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Everything posted by monkie

  1. monkie


    Sort of. Chemically they are the same but physiologically the different concentration and delivery method mean they have very very different effects. Someone high on powdered cocaine tends to just chat boring bollocks. Someone high on Crack is dangerous. I guess an analogy would be the difference in getting tanked up on 10 vodka red bulls in half an hour Vs an afternoon slowly on the beers but more extreme, especially when it comes to health effects. You can turn powdered cocaine into crack quite easily though so that would need thinking about for sure.
  2. monkie


    An interesting topic and one I have probably more experience than most in. That experience would be as a user of "recreational" drugs back in my wilder days of yore and as the person on the other side of the fence as ambulance crew at everything from Notting Hill Carnival to Download Festival to Wireless Festival as well as an operational commander for SJA at those events and then quite literally poacher turned gamekeeper as an event manager for some of the UK's biggest dance music promotors. Running events for over 10,000 people many with a proclivity to partake. My experience is UK orientated, it's not a world I have had any contact with over in Australia. In all of those capacities other than the first I have seen the serious impact on health that overdoses and poisonings can have. I've saved a fair few lives, not managed to save one and once been the person who had to tell the friends of somebody at one of my event's that they weren't coming home with them, ever. I am, of course, a bias sample. The roles I was undertaking meant that I would only see the ill people / people who had an issue. You don't call an ambulance to somebody who is fine which applies to the vast majority of people who take drugs or even drink to excess for enjoyment. In every case, except one where it was quite clear the poor chap had deliberately overdosed, the issues were caused by contamination or super-strength substances, all of which would have been solved with some kind of testing facility. The current "war on drugs" has objectively failed. Billions and billions of resources have been spent and deaths from drug misuses are at the highest ever level (again UK stats): https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/birthsdeathsandmarriages/deaths/bulletins/deathsrelatedtodrugpoisoninginenglandandwales/2018registrations. The biggest demonstration that the "war" has failed is that I could arrive in any city in the UK and in 10 minutes have my hands on anything from heroine to cannabis. On top of the human misery caused by those dying from misuse you also have the terrible depravations that take place in countries that are in the supply chain, Afghanistan, Mexico, South America all bear the scars from the horrific control that organised crime has over their society due to the insane amounts of money they can make from the trade. As an event manager we had to genuinely risk assess anti-drug measures to ensure we would not end up on the wrong side of a shot gun. If you confiscate a significant amount of an organised firm's drugs or get them caught by the police then you are highly likely to have a bunch of tooled up gangsters turning up at your event. The police would be useless in that situation. In terms of how to solve it, basically I think everybody would like a system that minimises harm and also stops my gran getting mugged to pay for heroin. I don't buy the "Alcohol is worse so we should treat it the same as that" as I think it's a strawman, "This thing is bad, but it's not as bad as that bad legal thing so we should legalise it" doesn't really add up. It is useful however to use alcohol as a mirror to hold up to the morally outraged to demonstrate the hypocrisy of that position. We should split drugs into the "recreational" and the "addictive", there is crossover but considerably less than you would think. However alcohol is a perfect example of a crossover. For many people who use it in moderation it is not problematic and the social good it does is actually a real thing. I have a GP friend who works in a rural practice and he told me that the people he worries about health wise are not the old boys who head to the pub for two or three pints of an afternoon because it means they are getting up, getting out and socialising. They also have a bunch of people who would notice if they didn't turn up for a couple of days. The worry are the isolated ones who nobody sees / visits. Equally for most people MDMA and Ecstacy are not proven to be addictive and people tend to "grow out of them" as life moves on (summary of research here: https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/research-reports/mdma-ecstasy-abuse/mdma-addictive). There is a similar story for Cocaine although it is more addictive and does cause more problems. Note I am separating cocaine, from crack cocaine which is horrendously addictive. Crack, ice, heroine and the rest of the opiates are addictive. My personal view based on experience and looking at places like Luxemburg (https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/crime/11199849/What-happens-if-you-decriminalise-drugs.html) is that we need a massive step towards decriminalisation. I would like to see MDMA, Ecstacy, Cannabis and Cocaine (not crack) legalised, regulated and taxed. They should be available to purchase from licensed retailers. Limited to the over 18s and packaged in a way that clearly explains the danger. I would also like to see the other drugs decriminalised and made available through medical practitioners. People would be able to get hold of them so long as they were also taking part in some kind of treatment program. No 10 year old wants to grow up to be a smack head. We treat alcoholism as a medical / social issue. We should do the same with all addictions. This is not going to happen any time soon. Stigma and political pressure will stop this happening. In the mean time drug quality testing has to be rolled out if only so I never have to give anyone that news again.
  3. One of the biggest fears of my HK friends is that the US will remove their "Free Port Status" this is essentially the US recognising HK as being a seperate entity from China. That is why Hong Kong passport holders get visa free access to various countries which Mainland Chinese do not as well as a whole load of other trade exemptions etc. The fear amongst Hong Kongers is that if it becomes clear that China is in fact completely controlling HK then the US would be inclined to remove free port status. If that happened then the rest of the world would probably follow suit. This is a clear indication that at the moment the US are doing the opposite. Here's a full explanation: https://thediplomat.com/2019/06/hong-kong-needs-china-and-it-needs-the-world-too/
  4. +1 for effortless swimming. Took 10 seconds off my 100m time with no extra effort.
  5. Wow. I took myself off posting here after spending far too long in my working day having an argument that I could never win. But Friday made me rethink things. I ended up in ED after running 2km to the Manly ferry and then when I started up again up the gentle slope from CQ to Maquarie Street I felt something go a bit wrong... I checked my watch and my HR was 193... An hour later we were still ticking at 150 so hospital it was. I was quickly admitted by some rather freaked out medical staff and sitting in a bed being told I was in atrial fibrillation. You know where I wanted to go and talk about it? Here. This place is too important to disappear. Willie is a mate, I haven't followed the ins and outs too closely but I do believe he'll do the right thing but that's purely a personal opinion. What I can't allow is for this place to close. I have my own hosting and the tech knowhow to make it work but I'm sure others do too. Let's come together and not let it die. Missed you guys. Even those I disagree with.
  6. Castelli top is gone but I still got a load of CO2 and a basic bike lid to shift in addition to.... Mixed flavours, some with electrolytes. Mixed expiry dates (including some in the past). Missing nuts and bolts. Aluminium. Bad photo. Zoggs pull buoy. Speedo combine pull buoy / float. UK Size 8 -9 Centre snorkel Cryocuff complete with knee attachment. For the uninitiated these use ice and water pressure to help relieve swelling. They're real good! About $250 new. All free to a good home but I would prefer not to post as I have a lot on in prep for the move and they're all quite bulky. Collection Chatswood, Sydney CBD or near Central. I won't be checking on here much so please Whatsapp or text on +61437888604. I really don't want to throw this stuff away if possible and that's where it will be going if nobody wants it Cheers! Monkie
  7. There was no evidence found of misconduct. Have you read the link I shared? 9 investigations. No misconduct. If you have a source that shows otherwise then for the second time I invite you to share it. Many of the allegations of impropriety come from taking quotes out of context including "the trick" you yourself referred to. On the second point, again did you read the link? It specifically addressed your concerns. Again if you have evidence other than your hearsay then please do share it, I would be genuinely interested. On the last point you appear to being deliberately obtuse. Low emission vehicles emit less carbon as well as less particulates, the two go hand in hand. My suggestion about plastic reduction was referring to a general decrease in disposable consumption. Reducing frivolous throwaway consumption reduces energy consumption. And yes, eating less meat in the developed world has positive health outcomes... I'm not sure what your point is? And finally where are you going to put all those people from Bangladesh?
  8. If you are talking about UEA email hacking then some further reading would be useful: https://skepticalscience.com/Climategate-CRU-emails-hacked.htm. None of that amounts to "significant evidence" unless you have an alternative source that is not refuted by the comprehensive resource above? If you do, please share it. I already linked to a resource that addresses the heat islands, it concluded that temperatures increased even controlling for all of that. If you have a resource that disproves it or provides evidence otherwise then again, please share it. "The other is to put our resources into dealing with the consequences which has benefit whether global warming is real regardless of the cause or not." Could you explain this a bit more please? I gave specific examples of where mitigation would also have benefits. By dealing with the consequences do you mean raising Bangladesh by a bit? What would be the benefit of that if climate change is not the issue? Edited: My last sentence was unnecessarily forthright, I have corrected to more polite language.
  9. It's a pointless argument anyway. Of course there was a cost associated with her going there but in her calculations (and I agree) the benefit of the awareness she raised outweighs that cost in the long term. The idea that anybody who thinks that we should, do something about the environment perhaps for example, reduce our reliance on fossil and not be opening up new coal mines should only be listened to if they completely remove themselves from modern society is simply a straw man argument created by people with no better arguments to fall back on.
  10. No there is not. Unless you are claiming that NASA are lying. In which case we're so far into tinfoil hat territory that there is no hope. So the world is currently getting hotter. I have already agreed with all your other points. The causes, the severity, whether it is an anomoly or simply part of natural cycles and what to do about it are all under scrutiny. And you are incorrect to say that science is not about consensus. Of course it is. It is about using the collection of data to form opinions that are based on the balance of probabilities. There are no 100%s in science because we live in a probabilistic world and hence you will always have dissent, the trouble is that that dissent is then seized upon by those who use it as "evidence" that the rest is all wrong and incorrect. It's exactly the same as the anti-vax movement. Scientists will never say vaccines are 100% safe, because there are no certainties in the real world. In the same way scientists will not say that the current warming is 100% due to human behaviour. The majority will say that on the balance of probabilities this is the most likely explanation and a minority will disagree. That's the way of the world. This is also much more than "scientists saying" stuff. There is research and data and rigour behind the work that they do. Furthermore, not all scientists or scientific organisations are equal. You will claim that "Climate Scientists" have an inbuilt bias and desire to prove their own theories, I would counter that with the suggestion to look at where the funding is coming from for a lot of the people on the other side of the fence. No science is completely without bias, again, one has to take the balance of probabilities. The solution to the problem requires global thinking, it will involve a combination of technology and lifestyle changes. Many of those changes are simple and easy to achieve. They also have benefits outside of climate change. Lower emission vehicles improve air quality and hence health outcomes, reducing disposable plastic use reduces pollution in our oceans which means there's more beautiful wildlife for us to enjoy and cleaner beaches, reducing meat consumption (not removing it, just reducing it) improves health outcomes. It won't necessarily be easy, but then very few things that are worth doing are. The tired argument of "there's no point in us doing it if China keep doing that" is now outdated. China is already moving on a path to reduce carbon, they already generate 25% of their electricity through renewable resources. I'm using China here as a proxy for "Africa" & "Asia". As technologies improve there will be no need for those countries to replicate the carbon intensive growth that developed countries did. Why would countries building new power stations now use technology that is 50 years old? They won't they will use the most modern tech and hence will achieve similar economic prosperity without either the same level carbon cost or the other environmental costs. E2A: Could you please provide a link to the sources for the evidence that temperatures are being overstated? I would genuinely like to see it and a Google for "evidence that temperature increase is being overstated" doesn't bring up anything useful. Edit to further add I found this: http://static.berkeleyearth.org/pdf/skeptics-guide-to-climate-change.pdf which is very interesting and I think references what you are referring to. It still finds that the earth has warmed by 1.5 degrees over the last 250 years.
  11. Indeed. That's the problem with anecdotes. The world is heating up at the moment, there can be no disputing that as a fact. There is some dispute around the causes of this, the effects of this and weather this is anything but usual cycles. The significant majority consensus in the scientific community is that it is caused by man-made greenhouse gas emissions and the effects whilst currently manageable will be severe and significant if allowed to go unchecked. There is then a perfectly sensible debate and discussion to be had about what we do about it but that cannot happen until people stop denying the existence of the issue in the first place.
  12. I think most of that is targeted at Ms Thenburg. I am more than happy for somebody to present credible evidence that contradicts the vast majority of scientific research that exists. It has to be a bit more than "There's still snow in Australia" though.
  13. Indeed. The confusion between weather and global climate is one that is made too often as well as the use of the terms Global Warming and Climate Change interchangeably which appears to be either a wilful attempt to cloud the issue or a determined ignorance of the changing awareness of the local impacts of man made carbon emissions. There is also the desire to take a collection of personal anecdotes and somehow use that as a credible argument against vast amounts of actual data collected by actual scientists. The greatest indicator of the worthiness of what Ms Thunberg has to say is the collection of folk lining up to attempt to discredit her. If she really is a "Petulant Child" then she should be ignored, that's what you do with petulant children. What she is is a threat to the established order and they're running scared. To FP's comment about solutions, there are solutions but none of them are free. They will require everybody to make changes to their lifestyles (not necessarily for the worse, but people don't like change) and as a global society we're not ready for that yet. See comments in this post as evidence or look back at the outraged frothing over the plastic bag ban. We live in democracies which means that change will only happen with the consent of people, for them to give that consent they first need to be made aware, and then be persuaded of the facts. Once that is done then we can begin to look at solutions. This is the first step in a long journey.
  14. monkie


    Armando Iannucci claims he stopped making British political satire because he was becoming too good at predicting the future!
  15. I'm also pleased that they have updated the rules about Aerobars and made it very clear what the conditions are. Basically if you're looking for a time there's no advantage to going on a roadie unless you are wanting to practice riding it in a group as you can use your aerobars when it suits you and jump into a pack at other times.
  16. You're cutting down on my excuses... maybe!
  17. So I just ran two models looking at the above. In both models I used a dummy variable set to either 0 or 1 for whether the gun control reforms had been implemented in Australia. I set this to 0 for any year before 1998 and to 1 for 1998 onwards. I also included Real GDP Growth, Unemployment and Overall Death Rate. In the first model the null hypothesis was that "Gun control has no effect on suicide by firearm in Australia." The dependent variable in the model was Suicide by Firearm per 100,000 of Population. The independent variables were GDP Growth, Unemployment Rate, Death Rate, Gun Control Reform and Suicide Rate. The results were: Adjusted R Squared: 0.9149 Therefore we reject the null hypothesis at the 100% confidence level. For the second model the null hypothesis is: Gun control reform has no effect on overall suicide rates i.e. people who would have committed suicide with a firearm substitute that method for an alternative. The dependent variable was the suicide rate and the independent variables were GDP Growth, Unemployment Rate, Death Rate and Gun Control Reform. The results were: Adjusted R Squared: 0.2698 Therefore we do not reject the null hypothesis. Unemployment does have an impact on the suicide rate at the 95% confidence level which is supported in the literature see here: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20652218. I did this in an hour so I wouldn't hang my reputation on it but certainly an interesting area to explore. Caveats are that using "Gun Control Reform" is a bit of a blunt instrument and doesn't take into account changing societal views about guns following mass shootings. There may also be other factors at play not included in the model but unless they have significant co-linearity with the dummy Gun Control Reform variable then that should not have an impact on the analysis. I ❤️ data.
  18. I sincerely hope this is as clever a pun as I have given it credit for!!
  19. Interactive Link Interactive Link Brief conclusions: Suicide by firearm were on a downward trend anyway. There appears to be a particularly sharp drop in 1998 (the key year) but there was also a particularly sharp drop in 1989, it would be interesting to know what happened then. Suicide average remained fairly consistent up to 1998 where it entered a sharp decline. I now have to do some actual work and run home but I'll dig in some more later as this has got my nerd juices flowing. Data from herE: https://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/ViewContent?readform&view=productsbytopic&Action=Expand&Num=5.7.1
  20. That is the problem with data and seperating causality from correlation. It is possible to do but requires a much more in depth analysis than just looking at the raw numbers. Month by month stats and an idea of the trend beforehand would be the place to start and then we can get all excited and do some hypothesis tests.
  21. After some date shenanigans it is settled on the 17th & 18th November. Lots of change from last year, distances for the full weekend are now 4/90/42.2. The bike course is completely different starting in Callalla beach and looks (I think) similar to the Ultimate Callalla bike course, looks significantly less hilly too! Is anyone signed up? It's after my return to the UK although I will actually be back in Australia my bikes won't be so I'm out... although I might pop down for a trot on the Sunday f I can work out transport.
  22. That's always been the case with ATOL. It's one of the advantages of buying a package. I'm a nerd when it comes to travel / flying / travel agencies / travel hacks so that's common knowledge to the likes of me but I guess to the average Joe the difference between buying a flight vs a flight + hire car (which would count as a package) is not obvious. My understanding though is that ATOL is used to refund & repatriate rather than just refund. If there is not enough in the pot then the g'ment steps in but is then repaid through the ATOL levy (in theory).
  23. I think there are degrees and saying something on social media / blacking up which are both clearly unacceptable should not really be put in the same category as sexual assault. RE: Kavanaugh whether it was true or not, three allegations of sexual assault were made, they were investigated and found to not have enough merit to prevent him being appointed to the position to which he was subsequently was. I think that is the correct process for something so potentially serious although I do think we need to look at anonymity for the accused person in sexual assault cases.
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