The Wonderful World of Oz

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NATIONAL WASTEWATER DRUG MONITORING PROGRAM REPORT 1, MARCH 2017

4.4: INTERNATIONAL COMPARISON OF DRUG USE 4.4.1: STIMULANT USE When comparing stimulant use in Australia with international levels, it should be recognised that cultures have different drug preferences and availability of drugs may differ between countries. Throughout many parts of Europe amphetamine is more commonly used than methylamphetamine, while the opposite is true in Australia. Therefore, to make international comparisons, the four common stimulants were added together and expressed as doses per day per normalised population (Figure 24). Latest international data for Europe were used as reported by SCORE (2017).

Of the European countries with comparable reported data for the four common stimulants considered, Australia has the second highest total estimated consumption. As discussed above, the amphetamine detected in this study is expected to be mainly a methylamphetamine metabolite and so no Australian usage is reflected in Figure 24. Comparing these drugs individually between Australia and other countries, Australia’s ranking in Figure 24 is driven by its high methylamphetamine consumption (Figure 25a). Methylamphetamine levels are the second highest compared to the other reported countries. It is worth noting that the other countries in the world with reasonably high methylamphetamine use, in Asia and parts of the United States, are not represented here. Compared to European drug usage patterns, Australian cocaine consumption is relatively lower, while MDMA is at median levels (Figure 25b-c).

4.4.2: ALCOHOL AND TOBACCO USE Similar international comparisons can be made for alcohol and tobacco usage between Australia and other countries (Figure 26). International data have been recalculated on a consistent basis to the Australian data (i.e. based on total population rather than adult population) and converted excreted to consumed values using the excretion factors and standard doses in Table 1). Australian average consumption of alcohol (approximately 1 200 standard drinks per 1 000 people per day, i.e. on average just over 1 standard drink per person per day) and tobacco (approximately 1 400 cigarettes per 1 000 people per day, i.e. just over 1 cigarette per person per day) sit within the mid to low range of the available consumption rates reported by other countries.
 

prince nez

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NATIONAL WASTEWATER DRUG MONITORING PROGRAM REPORT 1, MARCH 2017

4.4: INTERNATIONAL COMPARISON OF DRUG USE 4.4.1: STIMULANT USE When comparing stimulant use in Australia with international levels, it should be recognised that cultures have different drug preferences and availability of drugs may differ between countries. Throughout many parts of Europe amphetamine is more commonly used than methylamphetamine, while the opposite is true in Australia. Therefore, to make international comparisons, the four common stimulants were added together and expressed as doses per day per normalised population (Figure 24). Latest international data for Europe were used as reported by SCORE (2017).

Of the European countries with comparable reported data for the four common stimulants considered, Australia has the second highest total estimated consumption. As discussed above, the amphetamine detected in this study is expected to be mainly a methylamphetamine metabolite and so no Australian usage is reflected in Figure 24. Comparing these drugs individually between Australia and other countries, Australia’s ranking in Figure 24 is driven by its high methylamphetamine consumption (Figure 25a). Methylamphetamine levels are the second highest compared to the other reported countries. It is worth noting that the other countries in the world with reasonably high methylamphetamine use, in Asia and parts of the United States, are not represented here. Compared to European drug usage patterns, Australian cocaine consumption is relatively lower, while MDMA is at median levels (Figure 25b-c).

4.4.2: ALCOHOL AND TOBACCO USE Similar international comparisons can be made for alcohol and tobacco usage between Australia and other countries (Figure 26). International data have been recalculated on a consistent basis to the Australian data (i.e. based on total population rather than adult population) and converted excreted to consumed values using the excretion factors and standard doses in Table 1). Australian average consumption of alcohol (approximately 1 200 standard drinks per 1 000 people per day, i.e. on average just over 1 standard drink per person per day) and tobacco (approximately 1 400 cigarettes per 1 000 people per day, i.e. just over 1 cigarette per person per day) sit within the mid to low range of the available consumption rates reported by other countries.
I’m doing my best to lift our batting average.
 

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Australians are fat and getting fatter, says national report card
By Aisha Dow 20 June 2018 — 12:03am

Australians can expect to live longer than ever before, but we are now among the worst in the world for obesity, the latest biennial report card on the nation’s health has revealed.
More than 70 per cent of Australian men are now considered overweight or obese.
Women fare somewhat better with a rate of 56 per cent, but are just as likely to be considered obese, with almost 28 per cent of Australians now in this category.

Over two decades, the rate of people deemed severely obese has almost doubled to 9.4 per cent.

This means Australia's level of obesity is now among the worst in the developed world, 8.5 percentage points higher than the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development average.
Australia is ranked fifth for obesity, with wider waistlines than countries such as the United Kingdom, Canada and Ireland, but slimmer than Hungary, New Zealand, Mexico and the United States, which has an obesity rate of 38.2 per cent.

The problem is having significant flow-on effects, as being overweight is linked to 22 diseases including 11 types of cancer, dementia, gallbladder disease, gout, back pain and asthma.
“This is a slow-motion disaster,” said Obesity Policy Coalition executive manager Jane Martin, who is frustrated by the lack of action to address the problem.

Australia's ranking among OECD countries for selected health measures

Health groups have repeatedly called for a national strategy to deal with the nation’s ballooning obesity crisis and lobbied for major processed food reforms including mandatory health star ratings and a levy on sugary drinks.
“We need to be seeing sugar coming out of the food supply and we need to be sending price signals to people,” Ms Martin said.



Australia under pressure to introduce a sugar tax

As Australians become increasingly overweight or obese, a novel solution recently introduced by the UK is being floated.

“And we really need to look at this unfettered marketing of junk food to children.”
Melbourne man Alan lost 90 kilograms by overhauling his diet and joining a food addicts anonymous group. He believes high numbers of Australian men are overweight because “men did not want to seek help for their problem”.

“Weight loss predominately is also aimed at females,” he said.
“Even the weight loss companies often use pink in their marketing and ads.”
Alan’s personal trainer used to tell him: “I see you for an hour and half a week. Outside that, it’s up to you”.
At his heaviest the father-of-two weighed 180 kilograms. Alan was still going to the gym every week, but eating all of the wrong things.
“I would go to a supermarket and buy $30 of baked goods,” he said.

“The quicker and easier it was, the better.”
Head of the weight control clinic at Austin Health in Melbourne, Professor Joe Proietto, said more needed to be done to support medical treatments for obesity as many people have a genetic disposition that meant when they lost weight they experienced hormonal changes that made them hungry, making it difficult to maintain weight.
“This is why public health measures cannot and will not work unless you have draconian measures like forbidding cars and making food scare, which we simply can’t do in a free society,” he said.

The biennial report, to be launched by Health Minister Greg Hunt on Wednesday, found the most common causes of death were were coronary heart disease (about 19,000 each year) followed by dementia and Alzheimer’s disease (13,123).
On an average day in our health ...

850
babies are born


440
people die

380
people are diagnosed with cancer

170
people have a heart attack


100
people have a stroke


14
people are newly diagnosed with end-stage kidney disease


1,300
people are hospitalised due to an injury. 8 women and 2 men are hospitalised due to assault by a spouse or domestic partner
Source: Australian Institute of Health and Welfare

Children and younger people up to the age of 44 were most likely to die in tragedies – in suicides and transport accidents.
Some positive trends were also revealed. The number of people dying in strokes has plummeted since the 1980s from 104 per 100,000 people to 27 per 100,000 people.

Australian teenagers are also waiting longer to try their first cigarette and alcoholic drink, and their illicit drug use has also fallen, with cannabis use halving between 2001 and 2016 for those aged 14 to 19.


And Australians are now living longer than ever before, with those born in 2016 expected to survive well into their eighties.
 

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If things felt a little chilly when you got out of bed this morning, it wasn't just you.
Melburnians have shivered through their coldest morning of the year so far, and the coldest June day in two years, with the mercury plummeting below zero in some parts of the city.
Commuters make their way to work in Melbourne on the coldest morning of the year so far.
1529464560022.png
Photo: Simon Schluter
Bureau of Meteorology senior forecaster Dan Narramore confirmed it was the coldest morning in Melbourne since July 16 last year.
It was just 3 degrees in the city at 6.30am with some parts of the state hovering at subzero temperatures.
If you felt like you were in the coldest city in the world on Tuesday morning, you may have been right.
 

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Kangaroos under the influence: Grass to blame for staggering death of 'drunken' kangaroos
ABC Central Victoria By Jo Printz and Mark Kearney

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-06-21/phalaris-staggers-filmed-in-victorian-kangaroos/9895236

Wildlife rescue workers responding to reports of "drunken" kangaroos in regional Victoria believe a common pasture crop is to blame for the animals' ill health.

Michelle Mead, from Central Victoria's Wildlife Rescue and Information Network, said her service had received several calls from members of the public distressed at the sight of disorientated kangaroos.

"They stagger around, they shake their heads, and look very confused and disorientated," Ms Mead said.

Footage of affected animals posted online also shows them falling over and struggling to right themselves.

Ms Mead said the ailing kangaroos resembled someone who was under the influence of alcohol.

The wildlife worker said the animals were indeed intoxicated and that it was likely a type of grass that was to blame.

Known as phalaris or bulbous-canary grass, the introduced plant species is a common pasture crop grown to feed livestock.


Protective measures
Kangaroos that eat the grass can develop a condition known as the "phalaris staggers", which causes head tremors, a loss of co-ordination and collapse.

There is no known cure for phalaris staggers in kangaroos.

Ms Mead explained that entire mobs that had grazed on phalaris were susceptible to the illness.

"For our rescuers who go out to attend these rescues, it can be really quite upsetting for them as well, because it is horrible to see an animal like that," she said.​
PHOTO: While livestock can also contract 'the staggers', they can be given preventative treatments that kangaroos miss out on.(Supplied: Unsplash)



While the grass is used to feed livestock, farmers can administer cobalt to their animals or spray the mineral on their pastures, to protect animals against the effects of phalaris.

Kangaroos are not given this preventative measure, which leaves them susceptible to poisoning.

Untreated grass can also spread beyond farmers' fence lines and onto roadsides, where kangaroos also feed.

Grass has effect on livestock
PHOTO: Researchers Don Driscoll and Jane Catford examine phalaris. (Supplied: ANU)



Hamilton livestock veterinarian David Rendell said he has seen several cases of phalaris staggers over the course of his career.

The syndrome was more common in areas with limestone soils, which contained less cobalt than basalt soils, Dr Rendell said.

Dr Rendell said Phalaris staggers were also more common when lush grass growth occurred, because animals digested less soil, and therefore less cobalt, in those areas.

Ms Mead urged members of the public who spotted disorientated kangaroos to contact their local wildlife shelter.

"Unfortunately kangaroos aren't always high on the agenda," she said.

"They've suffered a lot of impact from human activities … and that's why we believe we have a little bit of a duty of care to take care of them."
 

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The Only Traveling Advice I Will Ever Give You: The Inevitable Australian
I have only ever given one piece of universal advice, which is that if you are ever offered your choice of a beverage during a job interview, you should take it, because whether or not you are offered the job will never depend upon your not having imposed upon the office manager for getting you a cup of coffee. It’s a free drink! You should take it.

After years of careful consideration, I would like to add a second piece, bringing the total of absolute truths I’m aware of to exactly two: If you travel any distance – even merely outside the city limits of your hometown – you must be prepared to meet an Australian person.

I will develop this further: You must prepare yourself for an Australian person to talk to you, to offer only the vaguest background information as to why they are so far from Australia, and to have no discernible occupation or plans to return to their home country. In my admittedly limited travel experience, from which I am prepared to extrapolate wildly, all Australian people are on vacation an average of 400 days a year, and prefer to spend that time talking to Americans about carpentry, their future travel plans, national monuments, and the supplement/fake cold remedy Emergen-C. If you have ever filled a Ziploc baggie with multivitamins in preparation for a trip, you have just upped the odds of running into your Australian. I don’t make the rules, I just work here.

You may meet the Australian in a hotel, or in line at the movies. The odds of encountering one at a hostel or bar increase to roughly 100%. The Australian will either be inexplicably stone-cold sober at a bar at two a.m. or eight beers into an afternoon at a museum, never anywhere between the two. The Australian will, generally speaking, wish you well.

The Australian will have a baffling energy that is somehow both sexual and non-sexual at the same time. They will have some sort of issue with their credit card that will never be made quite clear to you, but they will have established some sort of financial workaround on the strength of an app you have never heard of. The next day, when you check your phone, you will find that you have the app now too. This is the power of the Inevitable Australian.

Every traveler must decide for herself how she would like to deal with her particular Australian. Certainly sex (or at least the possibility of sexual intrigue) is on the table. One can have the playful-yet-draining sort of public argument that is always readily to hand when one meets a member of the Commonwealth on the road; simply say the words either “Radiohead” or “health care” and your entertainment for the evening is sorted.

If you’re looking for scientifically-dubious but earnest and well-intended medical advice, ask your Australian about their thoughts on health. If you wish to have a guitar played at you or to be arm wrestled, the Australian will provide. Friendly non-engagement is also an option, for those who prefer their Australians at a distance. It should go without saying that the Australian is also good for more specific travel advice, but bear in mind that the wise traveler never accompanies the Australian to the next destination, or to “check out a waterfall” they’ve heard great things about. You’ve seen horror movies.

I have no further thoughts on the provenance of the Australian, or what the Australian’s appearance may portend for your individual journey. The Australian travels without explanation, context, or goal; I cannot say what this agent of chaos will bring into (or remove from) your life when you meet him on the road. Greet him carefully, and with the right speech, and keep your own counsel.
 

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Sydney restaurant 'dumped' drunk customers on street

"The incident at the Korean BBQ diner in Sydney was one of the worst breaches of liquor laws in years, authorities said. The group of three women had each consumed eight shots of Korean soju liquor within 35 minutes, before two of them collapsed at their table. Waiters and other diners then carried the unconscious pair out of the venue, and left them on the footpath."

Do the other diners also face disciplinary action? Who is at fault here? Women who can't hold their liquor or servers who keep serving them? I hope they settled up the cheque before blacking out and snoring away.
 

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Why Starbucks In Australia Was A Massive Failure

https://www.gizmodo.com.au/2018/07/why-starbucks-in-australia-was-a-massive-failure/

Tl;dr: Starbucks is gross, Aussies have refined taste
The only time I've been in a Starbucks is in Beijing and Taipei where I couldn't find a proper coffee shop. Its bloody awful - buckets of warm milk with coffee flavouring. And you can't even get a piccolo macchiato . Everybody knew they'd fail. The only people who frequent them here are teenage female Chinese students.
 

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The only time I've been in a Starbucks is in Beijing and Taipei where I couldn't find a proper coffee shop. Its bloody awful - buckets of warm milk with coffee flavouring. And you can't even get a piccolo macchiato . Everybody knew they'd fail. The only people who frequent them here are teenage female Chinese students.
Yes, l was recently watching a youtube on why starbucks failed in Oz. They realise their mistakes and are planning to make a comeback by marketing to tourists only.

Personally l don't understand the trend for drinking coffee. Many people are doing it these days in Oz, and it has even become an everyday drink for many. For me it has always been a treat that one would only have occasionally. For me i'd much prefer a really nice cup of tea served in a high quality silver teapot.
 

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I think that it probably started off with a disgruntled employee or ex-employee, and now you've probably got people going into supermarkets and copying that person with both strawberries and with other fruit, just because they are morons.

Perhaps I'm being too cynical, but I almost wonder whether some of the people who are finding needles in fruit put them in the fruit themselves, just so they can say, "I found one!".
 
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