Disturbing trends….

Reading this article today on http://www.stuff.co.nz I was quite surprised to see that in New Zealand men over the age of 80 are most likely to commit suicide of all age groups


Baby boomers risk pushing our already high suicide rate to new levels as the rate of elderly people committing suicide skyrockets.

The baby boomer generation (those born between 1946 and 1965) was a large group that had carried with it higher rates of suicide at all ages, a world expert on older adult suicide, Professor Yeates Conwell from New York, said at a conference in Auckland last week.

“So as [baby boomers] move into later life, a period of increased risk, the number of suicides may rise higher,” he said.

Conwell said there was no conclusive evidence as to why the suicide rate among the baby boomer generation was higher, but our statistics back the disturbing trend.

Statistics released by chief coroner Neil MacLean showed men aged 80 and over have higher rates of suicide than any other age group in New Zealand.

In the year to June, nine men aged 85 or older committed suicide at a rate of 31 per 100,000. Three women of the same age committed suicide at a rate of six per 100,000.

The total number of suicides for any age group over the 2012/2013 June year was 541, a decrease of six from last year, and two less than the average number of suicides over the past six years.

Conwell, a geriatric psychiatrist, said common contributing factors to older people committing suicide included clinical depression or other mental illness, physical illness and functional impairment, and social disconnection.

Marie Hull-Brown, a mental health promoter at the Mental Health Foundation, said the figures were distressing but “not surprising”.

“Seeing friends die, family moving away and one’s home becoming increasingly hard to maintain are losses that are hard to bear, and older people may become depressed about their ability to manage alone, yet not want to see their GP about the black dog that sits on their shoulder.”

Conwell said there needed to be improved detection and treatment of depression in older adults, social programmes to reach out to isolated seniors, and access to good health care that allowed them to remain as independent as possible.

If you or someone you know is feeling depressed contact the following services, available 24 hours a day, seven days a week unless otherwise specified.

Lifeline, 0800 543 354; Depression Helpline, 8am to midnight, 0800 111 757; Kidsline, for children up to 14, 4-6pm weekdays, 0800 54 37 54 (0800 kidsline); Suicide Crisis Helpline, noon to midnight, 0508 828 865 (0508 TAUTOKO); Youthline, 0800 376 633, free text 234 or email talk@youthline.co.nz; http://www.thelowdown.co.nz or email team@thelowdown.co.nz or free text 5626 (emails and text messages will be responded to between noon and midnight).

I had always assumed young men (16-25ish) would be our worst statistical area. I had an interesting conversation with my wife about over medicating the elderly with anti-depressants the other day (she is a physio in a rest-home), maybe she was wrong……

Also bring the euthanasia conversation backs into the limelight



Australia Sucks!

Well here is the scientific proof that Australia does suck! (at more than just the rugby anyway)

The world’s sea levels fell in 2011 and it’s all Australia’s fault.

New US research shows Australia’s dry soil and mountainous coastline soaked up heavy rainfall in 2010 and 2011 and stopped it from flowing back into the ocean.

That effectively halted a long-term trend of rising sea levels which have been caused by higher temperatures and melting ice sheets.

“No other continent has this combination of atmospheric set-up and topography,” scientist John Fasullo, who worked on the study, said in a statement.

“Only in Australia could the atmosphere carry such heavy tropical rains to such a large area, only to have those rains fail to make their way to the ocean.”

The world’s oceans have been rising in recent decades by around three millimetres every year.

This is partly because heat has caused water to expand, and partly because run-off from retreating glaciers and ice sheets has made its way into the oceans.

But for an 18-month period beginning in 2010, the oceans mysteriously dropped by about seven millimetres, more than offsetting the annual rise, the study says.

The US scientists say this was mainly caused by Australia’s uniquely dry soil and land surface.

While some of the water evaporated in the desert sun, much of it sank into the dry, granular soil of the Western Plateau or filled the Lake Eyre basin in the east.

Since 2011, sea levels have been rising at a faster pace of about ten millimetres per year.


Hardly puts an end to the climate change debate but does add to the thoughts that I have always had that there is some sort of balance in world climatic change. (I am not a ‘sceptic’ but I do like to see the science from all sides of the debate).

Penn and Teller show those who ignore science the truth about vaccinating


This is a great way of trying to convince those who ignore science the truth about vaccinations, of course chances are they will ignore this and keep relying on others to lower the incidence rates by vaccinating their kids. Makes me very angry!


flying solo around the world at only19, part 2

I wrote about Ryan back in April, you can see my original post here

Well Ryan is well underway, having crossed the pacific he is currently in Wisconsin, visiting the hometown of the current world record holder, Jack, in OshKosh . By the way, excuse my ignorance, but I had no idea OshKosh was a real place!

So have a look at his webpage and blog, a very inspiration young man!

Cate vs David!

In light of my recent post on an American newspaper totally stuffing up the location of the recent Seddon earthquakes (http://kiwiincanberra.com/2013/07/22/australias-earthquakes-maintaining-journalistic-integrity/) I thought this post was great!
Good on Cate for sticking it when David showed little understanding of Australia (and maybe NZ too). Very dignified!


Australia’s Earthquakes…. maintaining journalistic integrity

My good friend Ele over at homepaddock is the champion of the writer, the advocate for the wordsmith, but I am not even sure she can justify getting behind the writer this article!

In fact it is so far wrong I am going to put the whole article in

Update: Severe Earthquake Strikes Australia / Correction – New Zealand

Severe Earthquake Strikes Australia

Our publisher and editors deeply apologize for the errors in this article. To preserve our journalistic integrity, we have decided not to change one word of Tom Ukinski’s article. However, our team of reporters are working as fast as possible to provide you with the most accurate news and information covering the recent New Zealand earthquake. We expect to provide you with an update shortly, right here on this page.

Thanks for your patience.

(Original Report, without corrections below)
A severe earthquake with a magnitude of 6.2 has erupted in an area 20 kilometers east of Seddon.

Seddon is a suburb 7 km west of Melbourne, Australia, with a population of about 4,851 people. It is located in the state of Victoria on the southeast tip of Australia.  The shock effects of the quake have been felt as far away as Napier, in Western Australia, 3,302 kilometers (2,066 miles) from Melbourne.  This suggests that the path of the quake is along the southern part of Australia.

The intensity of earthquakes is measured by the moment magnitude scale (MMS).  Events with magnitudes greater than 4.5 are strong enough to be recorded by a seismograph anywhere in the world.

The death toll for earthquakes with a magnitude of 6.0 to 6.9 can reach 25,000 people.  A large number of buildings in populated areas can be destroyed.   The damage can be experienced far from the epicenter. (Wikipedia)

The depth of the quake near Seddon, as of 5:09 p.m., was 19km, which is over 11 miles deep.

Earthquakes can occur up to 700 kilometers below the surface.

There is an average of one earthquake per year in Australia with a magnitude of 5 or greater and a depth of 0 to 70 km.  (USGS)

By:  Tom Ukinski

People’s feedback on facebook and other commentary has been around what a mistake that has been made, and this is true it is a giant stuffup! But what floors me is the effort it takes to get it so wrong. To put Napier in WA and Seddon in Victoria takes a certain kind of stupid. I also find it absolutely disgusting in a breaking new article like this to write about a 6.0 to 6.9 earthquake causing 25,000 deaths, this kind of sensationalist ‘journalism’ disgusts me.

I had to complete 3 years of training to undertake my profession, one of the lowest in health. I also undertake yearly CPD to maintain and grow my knowledge. Apparently smarts are not so important for journalism!

Also, to the best of my knowledge there are subeditors, editors and proofers, surely someone knows where NZ is in the world!


Making a mockery of The Rolling Stone Magazine

Rolling Stone

Rolling Stone (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Can you glamorise a terrorist who killed many brought pain and suffering to many?

If you are The Rolling Stone magazine apparently you can


Boston bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev will grace the cover of Rolling Stone magazine, a move that’s being described as glamourising terrorism.

The music magazine said it chose Tsarnaev after contributing editor Janet Reitman spent two months interviewing dozens of people connected to him, including friends, teachers and police.

The picture was reportedly taken from one of Tsarnaev’s social media accounts.

Rolling Stone claimed the article would explain “how a charming kid with a bright future became a monster.”

But the move has sparked outrage on Twitter, where many people said it was making a hero out of  the man accused of killing three people and injuring hundreds of others at the Boston Marathon on April 15.

Rolling Stone’s Facebook page was also quickly hit by a barrage of negative comments.

Last week, in his first court appearance Tsarnaev pleaded not guilty to 30 charges, including using a weapon of mass destruction to kill.

I have read the Rolling Stone a bit when I was younger, but this does anything but make we want to guy out and buy it. This is far from good journalism for me.


The Rolling Stone Magazine has had some great covers over time, if you click on the link here you can see the ‘most popular of all time’, my favourite would be the  True Blood cover, mainly because Anna Paquin is hot! But once again I think they were way off the mark glamourising a terrorist