In response to all the comments re: the latest marine emergency - thanks for thinking of us. I had a nice message from the Executive Director of the fishing association the shore captain is involved with saying "so tremendously glad to hear it turned out ok, I had called the catch monitoring office several times yesterday late and they had not hailed him in, was worried to say the least, I always get a huge knot in my stomach when I hear of boats not reporting in, in my own family, many years ago my then husband went missing from Georges Bank for over 48 hrs., their boat burned to the water's edge and 4 floated in a 3 man raft in thick fog, the second daughter was not a year old at the time" The message really took me back as I was working as Night Supervisor at our community hospital when the Coast Guard brought those boys in to be checked out. This wasn't unusual as we are located at the closest point to major fishing grounds and the rescue ships often dock there. I knew each of them from having gone through school together and they were pretty shaken up, it was an emotional time.
As the baby daughter commented "making quite a habit of it aren't they, that's the second time lately" well, yes, although the previous incident was more weather related. The prodigal son was telling me a few weeks ago that the Captain had commented that time he looked liked Spider Man as he had braced himself into the top bunk and with his long arms and legs was wedged between the beams, when the boat went down into a sea and he was left suspended apparently doing a great impression of the superhero. This second event as his oldest sister noted will give him even more material for yarns to entertain with. I worry a lot less about him on the water than land actually. But I do long for the days when life was simpler and the crisis was his father saying to him as I arrived home from work "show your mother your heyd" as his sister had biffed a rock at him after swimming lessons while waiting for the shore captain to pick them up, to see if he needed sutures. The girls version includes the disclaimer that he had initiated the rock chucking so it was one of those six of one, half a dozen of the other situations of course.
The work week was beyond belief (even by others in my work team) so that wasn't particularly reassuring. It involved amongst other things being booted out of my office before I got a chance to sit down one morning and having a new patient call system installed in my (and all the other offices in the wing I'm located on) so I'm guessing there are plans which I've not been privy to. Said installation also required the two technicians (boys who did not look as old as my son) and one of them wearing a red t-shirt emblazoned with the words MONSTER ATTITUDE, causing me to think 'you have no idea buddy how much I want to rip that off your back for myself' These two were also installing the system in the tub rooms aka storage closets at the end of the hall. This resulted in them rooting about to locate the panel, biffing everything into the hall and then ambling off for other targets. Speaking of tubs, my week also included a tub meeting with a rather persistent salesman and the District Environmental Services Mgr. neither of which I wanted to be in the room with let alone in a tub.
I'm pasting a story describing gender differences in handling the tough economic times we find ourselves in:
Women vs. men: Handling economic stress by Kiri Blakeley, Forbes.com
Last week's suicide of Chicago real estate auctions mogul Steven Good is the latest instance of what could be termed "econocide"—suicide due to the poor economy. While Good, who shot himself, did not leave a note indicating his motivation, his death comes a month after he made comments about the collapse of the real estate industry at a business conference.
Good's suicide follows that of Kirk Stephenson, a financier who jumped in front of a train in England after his private equity firm suffered losses; French financier Rene-Thierry Magnon de la Villehuchet, who slit his wrists after losing US$1 billion in the Bernard Madoff scheme; and German billionaire Adolf Merckle, who threw himself in front of a train after massive investment losses.
These tragic figures had something in common besides economic hard times: They were all men.
In 2005, the latest statistics offered by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 25,907 men killed themselves, versus 6,730 women. A big part of this discrepancy is that men use much more successful methods of suicide. Each of the four moguls who took their lives did so in a decisive fashion. "Men take far more permanent measures," says Manhattan psychotherapist Jonathan Alpert, who counsels many Wall Streeters and their families. "Women might make gestures that are not as strong, that are more a cry for help or attention."
The financial crisis offers serious and perhaps widespread motivations for male suicidal behaviour. "This is just the tip of the iceberg," says Dr. Leslie Seppinni, a Beverly Hills, Calif., clinical psychologist who counsels many millionaires, both male and female.
Seppinni notes this is the first time in her 18-year career that businessmen are calling her with suicidal impulses over their financial state. In the past three months, she has intervened in at least 14 cases of men seriously considering taking their lives. "There's been a rapid increase in the numbers," she says. Especially vulnerable are men over 50: "They've already built their empire one or two times, and they don't necessarily have the emotional energy to rebuild."
High net-worth individuals may be more susceptible to suicide in tough economic times, not only because they have more to lose from a financial standpoint but also because they tend to be haunted by the idea that they had a hand in their financial downfall. "They feel guilt and shame because they think they should have known what was coming with the market or they should have pulled out faster," says Seppinni.
Seppinni says her female clients, many of whom are chief executives, are more likely to "roll up their sleeves and become a cook somewhere or bake cookies and sell them—whatever needs to be done. She's not thinking her life is ruined; she just wants to put food on the table." Seppinni notes that not one female client has called her about feeling suicidal due to the downturn.
"Men traditionally are the breadwinners," says Alpert. "Particularly with big-name people, so much of their image, reputation and ego depend on financial success."
Which is why women, experts say, are more likely to take their lives when they've had long-term depression problems or suffer from mental illness, rather than over their financial condition. In Seppinni's opinion, "women do not kill themselves over finances."
For three million years, men have been the hunters and protectors, explains Dr. Helen Fisher, a biological anthropologist at Rutgers University. "Around the world, from the Zulus to Eskimos, women look for men who provide resources. When men lose that profoundly basic role and purpose, they get depressed."
Which isn't to say that women don't get stressed about the economy too. They are just more likely to manifest their stress in different ways.
Women, say experts, are more likely to take "healthy" approaches to dealing with stress. They work out, eat well, get plenty of sleep and look to family and friends for emotional support. Men, especially risk takers in the financial world, have a tendency to isolate themselves, clam up or "escape" through drugs, alcohol and sex.
Lynn Mayabb, senior adviser at Kansas City, Mo.-based BKD Wealth Advisors, which manages US$1.4 billion for wealthy individuals, has had her share of downturn-related stress—some clients have blamed her for their losses.
During times like these, Mayabb takes a deep breath, concentrates on what she can change rather than what she can't, and refocuses her clients on long-term financial goals. When one of her male clients broke down crying in her office, Mayabb chose to deal with his more cool-headed wife. "The men are a little too focused on 'What did I lose this quarter?' Women are more able to see the big picture," she says.
"I cannot picture one of the men I work with being able to handle the issues I've had to deal with," says Amy James, 41, CEO of sixThings, which monitors educational materials for compliance with federal regulations. Since September, James has personally fired 34 employees (70 per cent of her full-time workforce), relocated her company from New York City to Oklahoma City and been sued three times.
She notes that male friends suffering business malaise "disappear" from her social circle or refuse to talk about their travails, while James relies heavily on bonding sessions with her female friends. "They are the biggest stress relief I have."
Well for something a bit cheerier, I'm including a link to an artist profiled in the paper today:
She apparently is in Red Deer so I'm thinking someone in family located there could maybe check it out, hint hint. If the work wasn't too wildly expensive it would be something that the shore captain would enjoy of his fur son. You know, the guy you have to lift with your knees not your back to pick up as he weighs 19.5 lbs now - you guessed it Gary. My personal fav was the one of the Count of Mouseychristo - you gotta check it out.
And although I don't want those of you who fly or fear it to be overly concerned but this story is about the investigation of the flight which landed in the Hudson River, just think of the science of it all:
WASHINGTON — Clues from the wreckage from US Airways Flight 1549, which crashed in the Hudson River, are going to the best investigators in the world: the black boxes to the National Transportation Safety Board, the engines to the manufacturer’s experts and a bird feather to a Smithsonian museum.
The National Museum of Natural History in Washington may not leap to mind when both engines on a high-tech plane quit at 1,000 metres. But around the corner from the stuffed African elephant that greets the visiting hordes of schoolchildren, down a back hall from the employee bike rack, a staff of four in the Feather Identification Lab took in samples from 4,600 bird-plane collisions, or bird strikes, last year. Arriving mostly in sealed plastic bags, these included birds’ feet, whole feathers or tiny bits of down, and pulverized bird guts, known as snarge.
Correctly identifying the species involved in a bird strike can be important, said Carla Dove, the lab’s director. "If people know the cause of a problem, they can do something about it," she said. "If you have cockroaches, you don’t call an ant exterminator."
One key to reducing bird strikes is to move the species causing the problem, she said. That might mean mowing a certain area, or filling in a pond frequented by a species of duck.
The feathers or other bird parts submitted are compared against a library of 620,000 bird samples, some gathered by Darwin and Audubon. Another contributor was Theodore Roosevelt, who collected birds around the family home in Oyster Bay, on Long Island, before he switched to hunting big game. And if the feathers do not make the case, the snarge goes to the DNA section, which has a huge database. Between the two, the success rate of identifying the type of bird involved is 99 per cent.
And for high-profile crashes, identification both by feather structure and by DNA will be performed. A bird strike over the Bronx reported by the pilot minutes after Flight 1549 took off from La Guardia Airport may have caused both engines to fail, forcing the emergency splash into the Hudson, which all 155 people on board survived. The feather was discovered attached to one of the plane’s wings.
Researchers at the Smithsonian would not discuss their role in the US Airways investigation, but did talk about their work in other cases.
On a lab table under colour-balanced lights, Dove opened a zip-top bag with some brown and white feathers from a recent bird strike involving an American military plane in Rota, Spain. In the field, investigators had identified the feathers as being from a long-eared owl, but putting one on the table, Dove saw that was not right. She reached for an eagle owl, a bigger bird of similar colouring. "See how nicely this matches," shesaid.
For forensic ornithologists, it just doesn’t get any better than this.
Crash investigation is a relatively recent endeavour for the museum. "This collection started before there were even airplanes," said Marcy Heacker, one of the museum’s investigators, referring to the vast repository of birds. But ever since an October 1960 crash at Logan Airport in Boston, in which an Eastern Airlines Electra hit a flock of starlings, safety investigators have called on the Smithsonian for help.
Most of the bird samples come from the Air Force and the navy; the Pentagon wants every bird strike investigated. Military planes are more vulnerable to such strikes because they often fly at low altitudes and often in single-engine planes.
Often the military’s bird strikes occur in far-removed places like Afghanistan and Iraq, but the lab, which stores about 85 per cent of the world’s bird species, is prepared.
Major airlines also send samples from around the country, from airports large and small, Dove said.
Crashes caused by bird strikes are intermittent in small planes and rare among airliners. Government records show five strikes with scheduled airliners in this decade, not counting Flight 1549, that have produced significant damage.
Feathers that are intact can be matched against a sample. If fluff or down is all that survives, researchers using 100-power magnification will look at the pattern of nodes on the microscopic feather structures to identify them.
Turnaround time is usually very short, but sometimes the lab finds a problem. Faridah Dahlan, a geneticist, tested a sample a year ago that indicated it had come from a deer.
Airplanes do sometimes hit deer, but a phone call to the pilot confirmed that this strike was in the air, so more investigation was required.
Eventually, the lab used a tiny piece of feather to determine that the bird was a black vulture. The bird apparently had deer flesh in its belly.
Dahlan said getting DNA samples from small bits of bird flesh was not a challenge. In a previous job, she said, "I used to do ants."
And I leave you with this great quote: "Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever."
— Mahatma Gandhi: