31 May 2006

Smoking in Manly

Various countries have effectively protected their airspace for people to breathe. Tobacco and its additives are the leading cause of preventable death. Five million people die each year from tobacco related diseases.
Manly (beach) supposedly became a smokefree zone in 2004. More signs than trees sprang up and 'hefty fines' were promised for smoking. Two years on one is still forced to passively smoke on the beach, on footpaths and in restaurants/cafes. Lacking effective implementation one finds themselves sitting in stuffy places and smokers sit outside in the open air blowing their toxic fumes into the enclosed space. There is in effect no non-smoking area. Elsewhere customers are deserting such polluted gastronomy. The footpaths are filled with lunch time smokers standing under 'no smoking signs' and door ways, making passing these clouds a health hazard. The pavement, flower pots, the beach and waterways are littered with butts and 'throw away' lighters. On rainy days all the toxic sludge gets washed down to the iconic Manly Beach. (image).
Minors often get a good dose of toxins, especially in cars. In flats, balconies and neighbourhoods the second-hand poisoning continues. Enforcing authorities seem to hope that the signs bring about change and outsource the enforcement of existing laws (DIY). Businesses are also not inclined to ensure a breathable space for their customers. Approaching tobacco addicts oneself is as risky as their toxins.
The Non Smokers' Movement of Australia
Tobacco Industry Documents,CDC
Airspace Action on Smoking and Health

27 May 2006

Hibiscus or digger intersection

On a busy intersection of Manly (Cnr. Wentworth/ Darley) is a large old Cottonwood tree in a tiny patch of soil. The tree and a large sandstone monument of the public school provide the much needed shade in the hot cement desert of this crossing. When there is a market on the school premises many people gather in the shade of this large Australian Hibiscus. Often the freshly planted small plants underneath got trampled.
Now, most of the earth has been removed and a statue erected on a cemented patch. Most bottom branches of the old tree have been shaved off (as it is a new Manly convention to turn public trees into toothpicks, irrespective of species).

The hero to be unveiled is a digger of the so much loved 'bygone area' providing the young with nourishment for their days in East Timor, Afghanistan and Iraq. In the absence of a concept for a sustainable future and a lack of providing contemporary direction, one just models the old paradigm.

The Cotton tree (Hibiscus titialceus) is salt tolerant and flourishes on sandy beaches. A known shade tree of many Australian holiday locations it sprouts large yellow hibiscus flowers. As part of the 'natural heritage' the young could be informed how the Aboriginal people utilised this resource. Weapons, rope, fire-sticks, fishing nets, weavings, medicines and other artistic artefacts were gained from this dense and bushy tree.

Some councils seem to be aware to increase their natural canopy cover, but Manly gets further cemented out. There is no concept/planning of greening the CBD or even retaining existing endemic/native vegetation.

26 May 2006

Baby TV, 24/7

A round the clock Baby TV channel for under 6-month-old babies has arrived. No more stimulant medication is needed, just add mobile under the plastic cover of the pram and experience the calming effects.

Signed land of Manly

Some of the remaining Kay-ye-my Aboriginal 'sites' on the Manly walk (from Spit Bridge) are documented by Creative Spirits. Images and a map of the walk can be found there too.

There is also interesting and updated reading on sustainability by the CSIRO Sustainability Network.
(Image: petrography 'woman in whale' by the Eora people)

25 May 2006

Iconic lap dogs of Manly

In the absence of any enforcement, Manly cafes are putting up signs to remind dog owners that their loved ones are not allowed on laps, tables and plates. True to the Manly iconic image (beach promenade,sign reads:'The lap of luxury') one can see cafes lined with ladies sipping their bubbly at mid-day with their white fluffy pampered things on their laps, hand feeding a few delicacies. Others prefer large hulks with huge jaws as companions, they have their snouts right in the plate. But then one should be happy they are populating the gastronomy and are not locked up in the subs yelping once the Valium has worn down or mauling another creature. 'Toothless laws' can't stop the noise pollution or physical violations. One can just hope, royals eat more of these ex-canines or pet food will get them. Till then the black dog-poo plastic bags will blow along Manly beach...
See also

13 May 2006

Designer 4WD for Manly

Parade that status symbol down Manly beach, park anywhere, indulge in conspicuous consumption (4.5km to the litre), with 4 tons, taking up 4.5 meters of car park. It "...is built to appeal to those who do not need to worry about fuel consumption or parking spaces - or indeed anything to do with money." (BBC)

12 May 2006

Leave some of Manly as a penguin habitat !

Manly penguins along the Manly Scenic Walkway will have their habitat a little more protected as council will erect fencing and declare the area a "dog on-leash" area. (Manly Daily)
More signs will go up. As reported before, (illiterate?)dog owners chase dogs deliberately into penguin territory, many little penguins are mauled by dogs and aquatic motorbikes threaten their breeding grounds.

Let us hope council enforces the protection for these little birds as vigorously as their parking meters.

Mobile phone transmitters, science, society and health

Seven staff working on the top floors of the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology's building have developed brain tumours. The suspected cause is the radiation emission from the mobile phone antennas placed on the roof of the building. The two floors have been shut and the 100 employees work from home.(SMH)

  • The academics' union claims that the tumours are caused by the towers on the roof.
  • Medical experts are quick to point out:"… no definitive link had been proved between mobile phone tower radiation and cancer."
  • 'Independent' R&D (National Health and Medical Research Council), funded with $2.5 million is looking into "the possible health effects of electromagnetic energy emissions from mobile phones and mobile phone towers."
There is a low attention field on the issue in the media:
The brain tumor and death of broadcaster Andrew Olle in 1995
The excellent articles (>health) on the subject by Stewart First in the late 90s.
Some abc interviews: "When those diseases arise people tend to want to see a pattern in it and in fact a cluster of diseases like that may just be one extreme of randomness. Nobody's talking about clusters of 'no brain tumours' in their workplace for example, which would be the opposite extreme. However, there is ongoing unease about electronic magnetic radiation and its affect on brains."
ABC interview:" Studying the effect of radio frequency radiation on life:" If we think that there is a possibility of external electromagnetic fields to interfere with electromagnetic fields in our body then there is a possibility of some health effects.

The gesture of a mostly non-consultative risk society chooses to invest in ongoing 'independent' r&d to outsource the 'solutions' of the 'down-sides' of radiation fields. Meanwhile risk minimisation is recommended, the sale of gadgets for personal electrosmog 'protection' booms. Should the human misery come to the public attention then compassion society springs into action, collects a lot of funds which 'calm' and turn the attention hype back into a calming collective amnesia. Risks are privatised and business as usual can proceed.

In Manly mobile radiation antennas sprout from most building roofs and decorate many pubs. Consultation seems alien. No one really worries. Brain tumours, leukaemia, lymphoma etc are for some-one else.
Electromagnetic Fields, WHO
"As Low As Reasonably Achievable"
Health and symptoms
How to cook an egg with two mobile phones
Update (260506):Tests found 'nothing', but another "handful" of tumour cases have been reported.

08 May 2006

Sofie Delezio and her community

"The pedestrian remains the largest single obstacle to free traffic movement."
The praying, hoping, positive thinking, school assemblies and empathy for Sofie Delezio is continuing and it is very powerful that many minds are with her now…

But after the shock - where are the parental groups lobbying for pedestrian safety?
Where are the municipality, politicians, RTA concerning themselves not just with that 'hot spot', but effectively addressing a dysfunctional mass motoring system that accepts too many dead and mutilated people? From the perspective of 'the people', the steering of these automobiles is way beyond 'the means of transport' and well in the realm of car fetish. The vehicle as a means of self-expression glares from every ad and it is learned early 'to burn rubber'. The decision makers of an infrastructure of car(n)age and the auto-mobile community are all adult participants in a risk society. With a will, manufactured risks can be met with preventative measures to decrease levels of risk (sustainability).
There could be a discussion about the will to a sustainable mode of mobility.
  • Some mark the 'hot spots' not with flowers and crosses but with stencils reading:
  • The 'party for a good cause'-neigbourhoods could block of their streets, discuss and implement child/people friendly 'transport'.
  • They could lobby to have the $1 billion for transport diverted to public transport and bike paths.
  • They could lobby for the auto-related fatalities on an epidemic scale to end. NOW!
  • They could get out their cars and walk/ cycle with their children, modelling 'safe' and fit mobility.
  • They could get to work, study, shops by public transport
  • They could…but do they want to?
Update: (100506) Sofie opened her eyes and looked at her mother. (Manly Daily)
The chairperson (Harold Scruby) of the Pedestrian Council of Australia:
"If you are improving traffic flow you have a direct conflict of interest with safety"
"They (councils) must make safety the priority, not (parking) meters.'' (Manly Daily)

07 May 2006

Spraying flammable solvents over beach and bush

Twirling and splattering flammable solvents on the white beach sand and near Shelley Head bushland is a regular activity in Manly now. Today there were various people (a class?) at Shelley beach fuming out the entire headland with a stenching smell from their fuel ( metho, (formaldehyde) kerosene, naptha, petroleum etc). Sparks fly close to the dried out bush, the high winds this evening made it all fly well over the headland. But there they twirled, hurling these toxic chemical solvents and drenching with it the white sand of the beach. An amazing tolerance of the Kiosk. The car park above was also shrouded with this foul smell. So much for 'fresh air in Manly'.
But then it is part of the culture to chuck a bit of metho on the BBQ and the absence of any enforcement will probably soon ignite the bush and all the bunkers encroaching upon it.

05 May 2006


Killer transport and the effects on children

Sophie Delezio was one of the two children who suffered massive burns when they were trapped under the car that ploughed into a childcare centre in Fairlight in 2003. Sophie "…lost both feet, some fingers and suffered third degree burns to 85 per cent of her body…".

Today, she was hit again by a car while sitting in a stroller attempting to cross a pedestrian crossing. The five-year-old has 'critical injuries to her head, chest and legs.' She is now fighting for her life in hospital.
Wishes for Sophie, post a message
Automobile apartheid & sacrifice
What weblogs are saying, Technorati

04 May 2006

Life in a pram with a fit mum

The birth of twins, triplets and other multiples appears to be the norm at the moment. This seems to be due to an artificial boosting of the birth-rates. Parents arriving in their hummers at the beach, unpack their 4WD-like prams, usually while the motor is running. Manly Beach parade lacks pram lanes wide enough where kids are lined up in threes or more. From dawn to dusk all lanes are taken up with mums jogging, one hand on the kid-mobile, the other on the mobile and/or dog. Pramwalking wards off depression and obesity it is said. But for the infant, toddler and/or pre-schooler the double/triple decker prams often turn to isolation chambers and physical restraints. Many of the older children could easily walk and explore their environment or cycle along, but that would interfere with mum's jogging speed. Some are allowed to develop their motor competence on dysfunctional Chinese throw-away-bikes, girls push pink mini-prams (of course). The point is that children are often too old to be in a convenient pram. Additionally, the overtaxed parent offers junk-food and sugar-rich drinks, or worse medication to create silence. This is obesity in the making, but most of all hinders the age-appropriate development of the childrens' muscles and coordination system.
Cafes have even resorted to putting up 'pram rules' to allow access for non pram wielding customers. The primary caregivers tend to seek interaction with anyone, but their off-spring. The revenge turns the venue into a sound-scape of a crèche without care.

Cartoon: "This is our most practical model. It comes with a 21-year warranty."
Beware of fat kids in strollers - they hurt, SMH

- hild Development: Lack Of Time On Tummy Shown To Hinder Achievement. American Physical Therapy Association (2008, August 7). >How to to get infants out of devices that constrain mobility and learn how to carry, hold and play with a baby (pdf)
- How best to walk your baby, The Independent, 211108
- Dr Suzanne Zeedyk, Dundee's School of Psychology
- The ability to engage in joint attention is crucial for language development. Joint attention is the shared focus of two individuals on an object. (Jogging and communicating on the mobile while the infants scream their heart out in a covered plastic capsule (pram) on Manly beach's Poodle-Pram-Parade. Shelly beach to Queenscliff with a cafe stop in between.) Eye-gazing, word learning & developmental disorders 042012

80 per cent of brain development occurs before a child is three years old. abc 052012

Want a child who is "emotionally secure, self-confident, curious, and autonomous"? Ditch the pram and carry them upright, tribal-style. Jared Diamond on child-rearing techniques used in indigenous societies 012013

Babies' brains may be tuned to language before birth Nature 0213