Monday, March 31, 2008

Auckland proposes supercity plan...

Auckland proposes supercity plan...

First published on Qassia:

The Auckland City Council proposes to unveil a dramatic plan and template for a single super-city with a 26 member council and an elected lord mayor.

Under this plan the Auckland region would lose 90% of its 264 elected local politicians representing seven terrritorial councils and the Auckland Regional Council, it was reported recently.

The plan will be approved or amended for the council's submission to the Royal commission of Enquiry on Auckland governance. Submissions will close in less than a month,on April 22 2008.

If this plan is successful in being approved, and put into operation there would be a saving of millions of dollars per year. The downside could be a dramatic redundancy in manpower.

Here in the Wellington region I'm sure there will be a very interested watching brief. If the Auckland plan is approved and successfully put into operation, there is absolutely no reason why a 'Wellington supercity' couldn't follow. There has to be some amalgamation in the Hutt Valley for certain, but total amalgamation would certainly be given some real consideration.

I personally will be following the Auckland proposal with much interest.

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Monday, March 24, 2008

Arthroscopy: Part 1: What is Arthroscopy?

Arthroscopy: Part 1. What is Arthroscopy?

What is Arthroscopy? it is a surgical procedure that our orthopaedic surgeons use to visualise, diagnose and treat problems within our joints.

Since this technique became available back in the 1970's, tens of thousands of patients have preferred it over other types of surgery because the scars are smaller, the stay in hospital much shorter and the recovery quicker.

The word arthroscopy comes from two Greek words, 'arthros' meaning joint, and 'skopein', meaning to look. The term literally means to 'look within the joint'.

In an arthroscopic examination, the orthopaedic surgeon makes a small incision in the patient's skin and then inserts a pencil sized fibre- optic telescope, called an arthroscope, into the joint. The arthroscope has a small minature lens and a lighting system that magnifies and illuminates the structure inside the joint.

The small instrument varies from 2.5 to 5.0 millimeters in diameter. Light is transmitted through fibre-optic cables to the end of the artroscope which is inserted into the joint. By using a small video camera and a television screen the surgeon can see inside of the joint.

The video camera attached to the arthroscope displays the image of the joint on the television monitor. The enlarged image on the screen allows the surgeon to look directly at the joint, determine the extent of the injuries, and then perform the particuler surgical procedure required, if necessary.

What we have seen so far is an alternative to the old open surgery where a long incision was made to allow the surgeon to get into and see what damage had occurred and what was needed to repair the joint. Recovery was longer in this type of operation.

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Sunday, March 2, 2008

Sir Ed's ashes scattered in two lands - Hillary comes home...

Sir Edmund Hillary's ashes scattered in two lands...

First published at Qassia:

The ashes of the late Sir Edmund Hillary, the conqueror of Mount Everest, were reportedly scattered at sea in his homeland of New Zealand, and at a special ceremony in Nepal where he is a legend bordering on a god.
Sir Ed as he was affectionally known in NZ, received a rare honour of a state funeral, normally reserved for prime ministers who died in office, or former Governor Generals.

Some of Sir Ed's ashes were scattered from the sailing ship SPIRIT OF NEW ZEALAND in the inner Hauraki Gulf in Auckland on Feb 29 2008, while at the Nepalese capital of Kathmandu, another ceremony honoured the life and spirit of the legendary mountaineer and adventurer. It was described as a wonderful merging of two different cultures.

Sir Ed's body was cremated after a private family service, after his state funeral was attended by local and foreign dignatories. It was a moving service.

His widow, Lady Hillary, and his only son Peter, also a mountaineer and climber of Mount Everest,along with his surviving daughter,Sarah and other family members, helped to scatter his ashes in the waters of the Hauraki Gulf.

Sir Ed expressed his wish for his ashes to be scattered in his 1999 memoir VIEW FROM THE SUMMIT.

The gangplank especially constructed for the ceremony aboard the siling ship, will be named the 'Hillary Step' and kept for the use by disabled trainees.

There is still one chapter to be written in the life and times of Sir Edmund Hillary - just how will a sad and emotionally moved nation honour him in the most appropriate way. The greatest icon and legendary figure outside of our war heroes has come home.