Monday, October 31, 2005


Why is it that the most stupid things are said on TV? I was watching the cricket on saturday at the gym. Victoria versus WA. The usual commentators were on talking their usual crap about this player and that player. Most of this I can handle. But I almost caused myself serious injury when Ian Healy said the following phrase, "The legend that is Langer..". Just let me check the Oxford, Chambers or Maquarie...... Yep there it is under legend: Langer. What drugs is Healy on? Sure Langer is a good cricketer, but legend? If this is the case, Healy must be changing his underwear every time McGrath or Warne bowls. Me thinks he's been drinking too much of his own bathwater.

But ads are the worst. During the cricket, an ad came on for a Current Affair or one of those programs. The story wast about the most dangerous job in the world,....... wait for it, ..........have a think about what this could be,.............., yep, your right, being a jockey. Sure, it can be dangerous, but the MOST dangerous? Sure being a short arse might get you crushed in a stampede during the Boxing Day sales, but I think there are jobs far more dangerous that having a funny high pitched voice. Let's look at the data. (Fatality rate per worker is a very good measure).

America's top 10 most dangerous jobs in 2000. No 1: Timber cutter. I don't see a jockey in the top ten. Being a fisherman is a more dangerous job. Maybe the data is a bit old. There may have been a hugh increase in jockey deaths in America recently. Here are the figures for 2004. No jockeys here either. Being a taxi driver is more dangerous. Could you image that story on A Current Affair? But these figure are for America. Maybe the world as a whole has an epidemic of jockeys dying in work related incidents.

According to this the most dangerous job in the world is fishing. 24000 fishermen lose their life every year. Maybe Australia is different. Guess what, this site shows that we are not. The three most dangerous jobs are mining, fishing and transportation. Sure, being a jockey is one form of transportation but that job isn't included in that section.

So being a jockey is not the most dangerous job. But here is a plan for jockeys if they want their job to be the most dangerous. Walk around the streets talking in your high pitched voices wearing your silks and you may annoy enough people that your death rate may well sky-rocket.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

23 days!

It has been ages since I've written anything here.
I've been on my third and final teaching round but now that is over. Only two more assignments to hand in and then it's all over. Whoo hoo!

Have you seen those private health insurance ads where the line is "Plus, you can get real benefits even when you’re not sick." (That is the one from Medibank.) And then they list 'therapies' such as:
  • Myotherapy
  • Homoeopathy
  • Reflexology
  • Shiatsu
  • Chinese herbalism
  • Western herbalism
  • Alexander Technique
  • Bowen Technique.
So the insurance company says that you can use these when your not sick. Does this imply that when you are sick that you shouldn't use these treatments? Do this imply that they know that the evidence shows that these 'therapies' don't cure anything they claim to cure?
They claim that you get real benefits. Interesting use of the word real. The only real benefit is the $300 or $100 rebate a year (depending on the therapy) you get if you happen to use the services and I think that is exactly what they mean by real benefit. Ie, it is cheaper for you. But hang on, is it really cheaper? You pay about $1000 a year (Medibank, MyOptions plan) and can get $300 back on these services. Do the math. So even if you do believe in quack remedies don't fall for the ads. If you don't trust the science, trust the maths.