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Archive for July, 2014

Will the religion of peace destroy Europe?

Or will the people of Europe stand up and reclaim their lands?

:roll:Very thought-provoking and very powerful footage in this video. Watch all of it to gain a personal opinion.

Dotcom to drop a political bomb – five days out from the election he will prove John key misled the NZ public…

Kim Dotcom says he will drop a political bomb just days out from the election and prove Prime Minister John Key misled the public.

Mr Key has always maintained the first he knew about Dotcom was a day before the raid on his mansion. But Dotcom says that is not true and he has hired the Auckland Town Hall.

Dotcom says he will drop a political bomb, which goes right to the core of Mr Key’s credibility, five days out from the September 20 election.

“I invite everyone to come there because that is going to be the day where I’m going to reveal my evidence, my evidence around the political interference and my evidence that John Key lied,” he says.

Mr Key has maintained the first he knew of Dotcom was on January 19, 2012, a day before Dotcom’s mansion was raided.

We will find out who is telling the truth five days out from the elections.

Read more:

I can’t recall…

Waikato Uni student designed brain-controlled prosthetic hand…

 Mahonri Owen


MECHANICAL HAND: Waikato University masters student Mahonri Owen with his mechanical hand.

Future victims of accidents or warfare may have Waikato University student Mahonri Owen at least partly to thank when it comes regaining the ability to throw a ball or hold a coffee cup.

Owen, 25, is in his fifth year of study in mechanical engineering and is in the throes of designing a brain-controlled electro-mechanical prosthetic hand as the subject of his master’s thesis.

The motivation for attempting to re-create an artificial example of one of the most complex and important parts of the human anatomy came from several sources.

Owen grew up in a Mormon family in Dinsdale where his mum was always cooking for other people and giving a lot of service in the community.

”So I had the feeling I wanted to do something that could help people out. It really hit a note when one of my wife’s cousins had a little boy that was born with a webbed hand.”

The idea was cemented by a suggestion from his Waikato academic supervisor Dr Chi Kit Au.

”He suggested the idea and I jumped on it.”

The project began in April. First came an online study of what was going on in the development of prosthetic limbs around the world.

Building a brain-controlled hand is not an easy thing to do.

”I only have a year. The aim is to build a hand and programme it to do the simple things like a power grip, key grip, ball grip and pinch.”

Owen has already built the ‘skeleton’ of the hand. Using on-screen CAD (computer aided design) to map-out the mechanism the components were created using a 3-D printer which lays the design down in resin 0.3 of a millimetre at a time.

As one layer hardens, another is added until the entire design is built up.

The mechanism has about 50 components and took seven hours to print, but by using the 3-D printer, at  fraction of the cost – $240 – of using traditional methods of fabricating a prototype.

The parts were assembled by hand and Owen was last week working to fit the electronic actuators.  When completed the aim is to have an electro-mechanical hand which could be surgically connected to the nerve endings in the patients arm which could allow it to be controlled directly from the brain.

Next year Owen would like to take his studies on to the Phd level, but is also aware he has a wife and child and needs to earn a living.

Waikato Times

Brave Australian Olympic Games swimming champion Ian Thorpe comes out and publicly admits he’s gay

Michael Parkinson and Mary Parkinson talk with swimmer Ian Thorpeduring Day 10 of Wimbled

Michael Parkinson and Mary Parkinson talk with swimmer Ian Thorpeduring Day 10 of Wimbledon on July 3

AFTER years of personal struggle, Olympic hero Ian Thorpe has bravely revealed he is gay.

The 31-year-old confirms his sexuality for the first time Sunday in an exclusive interview on Channel 10, telling all to veteran British interviewer Sir Michael Parkinson.

It’s understood the interview, which Parkinson has described as one of the best he has ever conducted, includes a full admission from Thorpe that he is gay despite having dated women in the past.

In the emotional sit-down shot last month, Thorpe also details the years of depression he has battled while denying his sexuality from the world. Part of that concealment included his own autobiography This Is Me, published in 2012, in which Thorpe wrote that he found questions about his sexuality hurtful.


Friends close to Thorpe said his family have playeda much bigger role in his life recentl

Friends close to Thorpe said his family have playeda much bigger role in his life recently. Picture: Tom Jenkins

One of the most ignorant Australian governments ever..

Australian retirement village rorts: The booming scandal…


Retirement village in Kilmaley

Retirement village in Kilmaley (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


If you thought the CBA and FoFA scandals were bad, you should see the rorts happening in retirement villages. If the Government wants to redeem itself, that’s where it should crack down, writes Alan Kohler.

If the Government is looking for a way to redeem itself in the eyes of the nation’s ripped-off retirees after the CBA financial planning fiasco and its pro-bank FoFA amendments, I have just the answer: the scandal that is retirement villages.

The way most of these things operate is as crooked as bank-owned financial planning and property spruiking. In fact, retirement villages and aged care accommodation are the progeny of the worst of both.

Australians get creamed by the financial advice and wealth management industry while they are saving for retirement, and then get scalped when they get there.

And by the way, this is a financial industry not controlled by the banks, so the government can be tough on it without upsetting its banking friends, who persuaded them to amend the Future of Financial Advice laws.

Tony Abbott and Mathias Cormann need to step in and clean up retirement accommodation, and what heroes they would be if they did it: their supine performance over the CBA and bank financial planning generally might even be forgotten.

Just as the securities industry used to be a chaotic mess of state laws before the National Companies and Securities Commission was set up in 1979, retirement villages and aged care are regulated by state legislation, and each state regulates it differently, and way too lightly.

The industry is a booming national disgrace, with three very juicy rackets: deferred fees, ongoing fees that keep going when you die, and bonds.

Taking them one at a time, deferred fees are where you buy a unit in a retirement village at full price, but when the time comes to sell you have to pay the village owner a large percentage of what you get.

One village that I’m familiar with requires 25 per cent of the original purchase price to be paid to the owner, plus 75 per cent of any capital gain. Others simply take 30 per cent of the sale price – 3 per cent a year for a maximum of 10 years.

There are a variety of deferred fee schemes contained in retirement village contracts and they all rely on the fact that when an elderly couple signs it, they tend not to pay much attention to what might happen to the assets when they die.

They usually don’t get legal advice and don’t really understand that the village owner, typically a property development company, will get a “deferred fee” of more than $100,000 when it’s time to move on to the next phase of life, or death.

In addition to that, the owner usually insists that it act as the selling agent on a fee that’s commonly well over the odds – usually 2.5 per cent or more.

Victoria recently passed a law that allows retirement unit owners to employ their own agent, but one village owner – a big national listed company – simply said that 2 per cent of the 2.5 per cent selling fee referred to preparing the unit and arranging access, so it had to be paid whether it was the agent or not.

On top of the gouge known as “deferred fees”, there are the non-deferred fees – ongoing management fees, usually $100 and $200 a week, but sometimes more.

How they got away with charging both is beyond me, but in the offices of all retirement village owners there must be a handsome bronze bust of the genius who thought of it.

The weekly/monthly management fees are meant to cover the maintenance of the village and the amenities; the deferred fees are meant to cover, err, the maintenance of the village and the amenities.

But the best thing about the management fees is that they don’t stop when you move out or die and your unit is empty, the garden unadmired and the bowling green not used, by you – it only stops when the unit is sold. And since the village owner is often the selling agent, this can, and often does, take a long time.

The children of deceased unit owners have found themselves having to pay crushing management fees for months, sometimes years, on top of the funeral expenses and their grief.

And if the next stop is an aged care hostel, there is a bond to be paid – usually somewhere between $300,000 and $500,000. From the beginning of this month, bonds are also required for high-care nursing homes, although these are means tested.

The beauty of the bond racket is that there are no restrictions on what the hostel owner may do with the money, and when it is repaid not only is there no interest, it is minus a fee of a few thousand dollars.

Aged care facilities therefore have a float of at least $15 million and often much more depending on the number of beds, which the owner can mostly spends as it sees fit. All it has to do is keep enough on hand to pay out the steady trickle of departees – usually about 10 per cent.

Apart from that, the cash can earn a tidy profit over and above the pensions that are collected each fortnight, or could also finance a lavish lifestyle – cars, yachts, houses, travel. There are no restrictions.

The skimming of superannuation savings by unscrupulous financial planners and wealth managers is bad enough, but what’s going on with what cash is left at retirement is, if anything, worse.

The Government should make a show of cracking down on it and unifying all the various state laws into a national scheme, in which there is no double dipping on fees and interest has to be paid when the bonds are returned.

Alan Kohler is finance presenter on ABC News. He tweets at @alankohler. View his full profile here.

A warming gesture to the homeless of Christchurch…

Amy Burke

KINDNESS: Amy Burke distributes food and clothing to homeless people on a no-questions-asked basis.

Cleaner Amy Burke could no longer keep walking past the shivering forms of the city’s homeless, huddled in doorways, after finishing her job in the Re:Start mall area each night.

Now the 36-year-old mother of four distributes warm clothing and food every night to the homeless in the central city.

Already word has got around of the woman with a carload of warm clothes, spaghetti toasties, boil-up and fresh fruit – and it’s only been two weeks.

Twenty sleeping bags, 50 pairs of socks, gloves, beanies and warm layers have been distributed.

It is food and clothing with a no-questions-asked policy, said Burke.

“People have a right to be warm and fed. I’m not there to judge their circumstances, they need help. They don’t even need to tell me their name,” she said.

Burke gave a young teenaged boy the gloves off her own hands when she saw his were red with cold. She also dressed his injured hand.

“I’m a mum, whatever his circumstances you can’t ignore that,” she said.

People donate the clothing by contacting Burke on her Facebook page, Help for the homeless, Christchurch, and the New Brighton Project blanket bank keeps her stocked with blankets but the cost of the food comes out of her own pocket.

“We can afford to do this, we aren’t living on the bones of our butts,” she said.

Last Sunday she fed the homeless in the Re:Start mall food court but was told by management she couldn’t do that any more.

Undeterred, Burke moved across the road and simply carried on.

– The Press

Blue eyes originated 10000 years ago in Europe…

Frank Sinatra

Cover of Frank Sinatra

  • B)Old blue eyes…


    Blue Eyes Originated 10,000 Years Ago in the Black Sea Region, researchers claim…

    A team of researchers from Copenhagen University have located a single mutation that causes the mysterious phenomenon of blue eyes. And all blue eyed people are genetically related to a person who lived in the Black Sea region sometime between 6 – 10,000 years ago.

    The research was published in the Journal of Human Genetics. A mutation in a gene called OCA2 came into being nearly 8,000 years ago. It can be definitively traced back to an ancestor from the Black Sea.

    Dr. Hans Eiberg claims that before this time, every human being had brown eyes. “A genetic mutation affecting the OCA2 gene in our chromosomes resulted in the creation of a ‘switch,’ which literally ‘turned off’ the ability to produce brown eyes,” Eiberg said.

    When blue-eyed peoples from Jordan, Denmark and Turkey were examined, their genetic difference was traced back to the maternal lineage according to Eiberg’s team.

    The brown melanin pigment is still dominant. However, following the last Ice Age, Europeans developed this rare mutation that differentiated them from the rest of the human race.

    Ninety-five percent of Europeans in Scandinavian countries have blue eyes. They are also found to have a greater range of hair and skin color.
    Comparatively, Europe has a wider variety of hair color and skin pigment than is found in any other continent in the world. These mutations are recent as Europe was colonized only a few thousand years ago, say mainstream scientists.

    Through interbreeding, the brunette with blue eyes was evidenced about 25,000 years ago. Researchers attribute this to ancient interbreeding with Neanderthals.

    Although no Neanderthal DNA has been found in modern Homo Sapien-Sapien, mainstream science clings to this theory as fact because they haven’t come up with anything better.

    “The question really is, ‘Why did we go from having nobody on Earth with blue eyes 10,000 years ago to having 20 or 40 percent of Europeans having blue eyes now?” John Hawks of the University of Wisconsin-Madison said. “This gene does something good for people. It makes them have more kids.”

Key’s Peelers – check out the rugby clubs after the pubs?