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The Independent Weekly
April 30 - May 6, 2010 hear'say
Don t interrupt a nurse, warns
a Sydney University study,
unless you want medication
errors, clinical mistakes and
The university has just released
the first study to look at the impact
of interruptions on nurses during
their day-to-day work. Each
interruption was associated with
a 13 per cent increase in clinical or
medication errors and a 12 per cent
increase in procedural failures,
such as failing to check a patient s
ID with their medication chart.
"The risk of a patient
experiencing a major clinical
error doubled in the presence of
four or more interruptions," said
lead author Professor Johanna
Interruptions to nurses
contributed to a staggering 80.2 per
cent medication error rate.
But Prof Westbrook says
interruptions are very much a part
of the hospital environment.
"Clinical environments are
highly interruptive, with studies of
emergency departments reporting
rates of six to 15 interruptions per
physician, per hour," she says.
The only workplace more prone
to interruptions are newsroms,
where there are as many as 20
interruptions pert hour.
Americans voluntarily fly their
flag more often than citizens of any
other country, and Australians fly
theirs less than most.
But, says a national survey
released by Ausflag director
Harold Scruby, more than one
in two Australians want a Union
Jack-free Aussie flag.
Support is even higher among
those who speak a language other
than English at home, with 67 per
cent of those in favour of a new
flag. Of course, all this carries
the rider of "if an appropriate
(alternative) design could be
found", but despite several
national competitions over the
decades turning up a variety of
colourful, original and patriotic
options, none have attracted more
than a passing fancy from the
public, so Hear say isn t expecting
any change to be unfurled soon.
You ll have read the cyber bullying
story on previous pages, but here s
some news about a website which
encourages people to lie and cheat.
Gleeden.com is launching an
Australian version of its European
dating website designed for
married men and women.
"Gleeden.com is women s
answer to matrimonial bliss,"
claims publicist Melanie Black,
who declines to include her phone
number in the media release. "The
site was created for women and
their future lovers. One in three
men cheat, leaving their spouses to
feel unattractive, lonely, depressed
and trapped. We believe that the
key to happiness for these victims
of adultery is ... adultery!"
According to the site s founders,
having an affair makes a woman in
a rocky marriage feel happy again
by fulfilling emotional and
physical needs not met in her
We wonder how Melanie would
feel if she found her husband using
the website. Might that make you
happy again, Melanie?
We pretty well
understand how the
universe started, 13.7
billion years ago,
as long as you don t
questions like "What
caused it?" or "What
was there before the
We can then plug
in our physics, roll
forward the scenario,
and we find things
like stars and galaxies
forming pretty well
as observed. Only
trouble is, it all
happens too slowly.
In the real universe,
our most powerful
holes forming within
a billion years of the
Big Bang, and we ve
no idea why.
We see stars
turning on about
the same time, and
that s way too early
for our models. So
we know we ve got
something wrong, and
that s really exciting
for a scientist,
because that s when
The CSIRO is
building a $100
in WA which may
solve some of these
puzzles in only
two or three years,
Norris. He ll explain
how Australian radio
astronomy will solve
the origin of galaxies,
life, the universe, and
... er ... everything at
Adelaide University s
Kerr Grant lecture
An occasional cross-party coffee break
with MP3 and MP4.*
MP3 (sings): Love is in the air.
MP4: What prompted that?
MP3: Oh the wild, wild west.
MP4: You mean the ups and downs of a
MP3: Yes, the Honourable Troy Buswell.
MP4: Couldn t help himself, it seems.
MP3: Thank God our Treasurer s not
MP4: Heavens no.
MP3: That kind of stress could drive a
good man to drink.
MP4: If you got found out.
MP3 (sings): It s not sleazy seeing Green.
MP4: I gather he likes a bit of golf on the
MP3: Tiger Buswell. A hot-shot on the
MP4: Maybe he was just improving his
MP3: Hey, she was Liberal with her
MP4: At least he ll pay back the travel
MP3: How more honourable can you be?
MP4: Remember Gareth Evans?
MP3: And Cheryl Kernot?
MP4: Another cross-party alliance.
MP3: Seems sex has no party allegiance.
MP4: But is this really any of our
MP3: Buswell did say in his maiden
speech: "Nothing is more important to
me than my family."
MP4: All MPs say that in their maiden
MP3: So we shouldn t throw stones.
MP4: Can you imagine such a liaison
MP3: Sometimes I think about it ...
MP4: Green with envy?
MP3: Buswell s mistake was he didn t
expect her to tell all.
MP4: Yes, you can t be too careful.
MP3: It s probably safer to just be good
MP4: In a funny flirty kind of way?
MP3: Who was it who said that?
MP4: You crack me up. Nice coffee.
*(Not based on a true story)
South Australians should watch out
for a nationally listed marine pest, the
colonial sea squirt. The cutely named
creature is anything but, preventing
other species from settling and
PIRSA Biosecurity s Vic
Neverauskas says the exotic pest has
not yet been found locally, but it s been
reported in NSW and might spread
"If it were to become established
in SA waters it would be a particular
threat to our shellfish and finfish
aquaculture," Mr Neverauskas said.
"It overgrows many species,
including sponges, anemones, limpets,
oysters, mussels, scallops and barna-
cles. It has the potential to increase
infrastructure and gear handling and
processing costs in the aquaculture
industry if it establishes here."
The colonial sea squirt establishes
itself in high densities on jetties and
wharves, and can spread on ships
hulls. While the squirt is not toxic to
humans, PIRSA says it should not be
handled, removed or broken up in the
sea as this increases the chances of it
It has a distinctive mustard or
orange-yellow colour and forms large,
spongy clumps, often wax-like in
In some parts of the world sea
squirts are used as food. One species
cultivated in Japan and Korea is said to
taste "like rubber dipped in ammonia".
See a squirt The
it lives in
In sickness and in health
Out of Adelaide
ABC radio s popular late-night host Tony
Delroy takes his national program out of the
Collinswood studio tonight.
Tony will interview top chefs Frank Camorra,
Antonio Carluccio and Antony Worrall
Thompson from Tasting Australia for a special
show celebrating his 20th year on Nightlife.
If you d like to be part of the show, you can join
the roomful of fans at 6pm for a recording of the
In the beginning
The big bang was even bigger.
Flying the flag
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