Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Why are men so violent?

Dear Pals,

I had a discussion which concluded that men are more violent than women. I have pondered through this for a day now and still have some doubts as more of the thought arouse more questions. Please drop me a line or two to let me know what you think.
Are men more violent than women?

Google Could be racist

I was thrilled to find out that when doing some searches in this most powerful search engine, I came up with words that sent me thinking. This morning, I came accross a campus newspaper that carried a headline similar to the above but had no time to read the article. As I sat down infront of my computer, I decided to give google a try and beleive me, what I found is nasty.

when I entered "Black people",Google finished it by stating "... stole my car"

Obama is I had options from Google such as "satanist, Fraud, Idiot, Muslem, joke, Racist, Liar etc"

I tried. You do the rest.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Nursing and Teaching Strike in SA

We call them sisters. A very soothing title for a profession made up of a handsome number of women. Nurses all over the world – and particularly in South Africa where hospitals are under-staffed – work long, difficult hours, yet they are underpaid. The government and many people think nurses’ rewards should lie in being of service to others. At the same time, teachers enjoy their jobs because they took an oath to empower our children and even some grown-ups too. Their working conditions are terrible and most of them do not have offices. They do most of their administrative jobs from their homes; houses that are often in a terrible condition. But the government and many non-teachers think they do not have the right to decent salaries and housing allowances.

During the recent public service strike in South Africa, newspaper images and television screens were filled with images of groups of women toyi-toying in response to the government’s refusal to an 8% salary increase. These groups comprised teachers and nurses, alongside their public sector colleagues. The public has responded with disappointment and anger, especially where demonstrations have turned violent and because schooling and medical services have been disrupted. Because to them, teachers and nurses are lucky to have jobs and they knew what they were letting themselves in for when choosing the profession.

I do not write to condone violence nor the disruption of classes and the treatment of patients and non-strikers. I will never do that because the strikers have civil rights. What they do not seem to remember though is that while it is everyone’s democratic right to strike, it is also everyone’s democratic right to decide not to strike. As such, it becomes unacceptable to threaten or intimidate people who make either decision.

Let us assume that teachers are in this profession because of their call to educate the nation while nurses are angels of mercy. It is assumed that women are by nature educators and nurturers because amongst other things, they often come to the aid of those in need for nothing in return. When teachers and nurses go on strike, it seems to touch a raw nerve in our country’s consciousness because it is similar to a mother who goes on strike, and refuses to nurture the family or do any housework until she gets some recognition for it. When people protest to violent acts by women, it is because the picture painted in our minds seems like that of mothers who abandon their homes and children to go to war. Images of violent women during strikes evoke horror sights.

Teachers’ unions, nurses’ unions and COSATU have all been very vocal in stating that compassion does not pay the bills at the end of every month. In fact one striker stated on television news that they (educators) are the ones who make the directors and ministers of government who they are. I guess on the other side of the coin, nurses put forward a similar argument. Teachers and nurses are expected to give everything, and get very little in return for it. Loyalty and care is a two-way street, isn’t it? The government should be able to give what it expects to take.

Is it right for me to ask why the demand of these teachers and nurses has to be so irrelevant that the strike has to result to violence? Looking at the gender composition of these two professions and of the service profession in general, I am tempted to state that its employees find themselves at the very bottom of the public service pay scale because about 80% of the teachers in this country are women. The figure for nurses is possibly higher. In my opinion, these women should be paid more for working in the frontlines of education and social care, for dealing with children’s emotional and social challenges, for being the parents to our children during the day, for touching blood, bedpans, dying patients and for being in the front lines of overworked and stressed principals, head teachers, doctors, midwives and other specialists.

I am not for a moment denying that you find lazy, inefficient and disinterested teachers and nurses who are insufficiently trained and have bad attitudes, just like in every single profession. In fact the point I make in this article is that the responsibility for caring for patients in state schools and hospitals is that of the government. That the government has to create the kind of scenario in which teachers and nurses have the right to office space, equipment, expertise, support, financial encouragement, and other working conditions in order to do their jobs. Otherwise, the government will be failing both the teachers, nurses and the citizens. People now blame the teachers and nurses whose frustration has reached boiling point. This, in my view, is blaming the victim rather than the perpetrator.
Thank you

Friday, September 10, 2010

Life's Challenges

The past days have not been very friendly to me and my colleaques. We had secured a new office space and was due to move since March. This move did not stop dragging on untill we finally moved last weekend.

Look at this. Telkom had been unable to get telephone lines for us all this while. They got it and finally came to install the lines on the 2nd of September, then we found out that we have to move on the 3rd or that weekend because our PBX will be moved also.
What time were we left with to clean the new officed, pack our boxes, call the removal trucks, move to the new offices, allocate seating arrangements, unpack the boxes, call in the necessary technicians to configure telephones, computers, intercom, etc etc before we start work on Monday? Then on top of all these, I have to be in class on Monday too. No doubt I was in such a state till today.

Eiiiich, I'm still very very exhausted.

I like this Quote

“We are not afraid anymore of witch-hunts and the curses that rain down on feminists. If being powerful and knowledgeable is being a witch, then let every woman be a witch.”
a borrowed quote

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Knowledge has never been to Old. So is DESIDERATA

It reads

Go placidly amid the noise and the haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence. As far as possible without surrender be on good terms with all persons. Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even to the dull and the ignorant, they too have their story. Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit.

If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain or bitter; for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself. Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.

Exercise caution in your business affairs, for the world is full of trickery. But let not this blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals, and everywhere life is full of heroism. Be yourself. Especially do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment it is as perennial as the grass. Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth.

Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness. Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore, be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be. And whatever your labors and aspirations in the noisy confusion of life, keep peace in your soul. With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams; it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful.

Strive to be happy.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

How cellphones affect sperm

Cellphone radiation reduces the ability of human sperm to move spontaneously, a new Stellenbosch University study has found.

The research, which looked at the effects of cellphone radiation on human semen quality, and whether radio frequency-electromagnetic waves (RF-EMW) could cause male infertility, established that while these waves had no effect on the viability of sperm cells, they significantly decreased sperm's motility (a biological term which refers to the ability of semen to move spontaneously and actively).

According to the lead researcher and head of medical physiology at Stellenbosch University, Professor Stefan du Plessis, researchers split each of the total 20 samples into three, then exposed the 60 samples to different frequencies.

Continues Below↓
One sample was controlled, another was exposed to cellphones on stand-by mode, and the third to cellphones on talk mode.

About 25 percent of sperm cells that were exposed to talk-mode cells were found to have a decreased ability to swim, something that researchers described as a "challenge" during the natural fertilisation process.

"The exposure was done in vitro for about an hour. Interestingly, we found no changes in viability of the sperm cells that were exposed to the different frequencies. The exposure didn't kill the cells. However, there was a decrease in motility in those sperm cells that were exposed to the talk-mode waves," he said.

Du Plessis explained that while the study was still in its preliminary stages, and researchers could not prove that cellphone radiation could lead to infertility, the early results was interesting given the fact that the majority of males kept cellphones in their pockets.

More research was needed on why radiation reduced sperm movement. It was also yet to be established whether radiation caused any damage to the DNA of a sperm cell or alterations in spermatogenesis (sperm production).

"We need to look at reactive oxygen species production. During the process of sperm production, cells are vulnerable to any environmental insults such as temperature, exposure to chemicals and metals, as well as radiation.

"While the standby mode seemed to not have an effect on the viability of sperm, we are concerned about the effect that the talk-mode radiation might have on the quality of sperm, especially with the increasing use of new technology phones that have much higher frequency. The risk of talk-mode radiation is even more when using Bluetooth and hands-free devices, as the frequency emitted is likely to be absorbed by cells in the testes," Du Plessis warned.

While there was still debate on whether cellphone radiation caused infertility, he added that young people should be especially cautious of putting cellphones in close proximity to testes.

Taken from IOL-Technology and not edited.