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Warm Air Fan Hand Dryers are Filthy

Air-dry, fan type hand dryers in public toilets spray particles of faeces and bacteria over your hands and into the air:

” … potential human pathogens were recovered from plates exposed to hand dryer air whether or not a HEPA filter was present, and from bathroom air moved by a small fan. Spore-forming colonies, identified as B. subtilis PS533 averaged ∼2.5-5% of bacteria deposited by hand dryers throughout basic research areas examined regardless of distance from the spore forming laboratory, and these were almost certainly deposited as spores. Comparable results were obtained when bathroom air was sampled for spores. These results indicate that many kinds of bacteria, including potential pathogens and spores, can be deposited on hands exposed to bathroom hand dryers, and that spores could be dispersed throughout buildings and deposited on hands by hand dryers.

Importance: While there is evidence that bathroom hand dryers can disperse bacteria from hands or deposit bacteria on surfaces, including recently washed hands, there is less information on: i) the organisms dispersed by hand dryers; ii) if hand dryers provide a reservoir of bacteria or simply blow large amounts of bacterially contaminated air; and iii) if bacterial spores are deposited on surfaces by hand dryers. Consequently, this study has implications for the control of opportunistic bacterial pathogens and spores in public environments including healthcare settings. Within a large building, potentially pathogenic bacteria including bacterial spores may travel between rooms, and subsequent bacterial/spore deposition by hand dryers is a possible mechanism for spread of infectious bacteria including spores of potential pathogens if present.”

I have always detested them; useless, noisy things.

Syria: A Christian Response

Part of a long and thoughtful article by Sohrab Ahmari, writing at Commentary Magazine.

” … the troubling outcome of the Iraq project doesn’t automatically vindicate the reflexive Christian opposition to today’s escalation in Syria. Christian supporters and critics of Trump’s move must apply public moral reasoning informed by the faith’s rich tradition of thinking about war and peace. The critics, I believe, have the weaker case—for two reasons.

First, Christians cannot remain ambivalent in the face of grave evil. This is true of the individual soul, who is called to wage spiritual combat against the evil within his heart (cf. Mt. 15:19), but it is also true of powers and nations. The Catechism of the Catholic Church is instructive on this point: “Actions deliberately contrary to the law of nations and to its universal principles are crimes” (2313; emphasis added). And more: “Every act of war directed to the indiscriminate destruction of whole cities or vast areas with their inhabitants is a crime against God and man” (2314).

It follows that Christians must support efforts to defang regimes that commit such crimes. According to the U.S. and numerous other Western intelligence agencies and civil-society organizations, the Assad regime is responsible for the vast majority of deaths in Syria’s civil war. It is the Assad regime that drops shrapnel-packed barrel bombs on densely packed civilian population centers. It is the Assad regime that runs industrial-scale torture facilities. And it is the butcher of Damascus who has used chlorine, sarin, and other chemical weapons against his own people, most recently in Eastern Ghouta.

Assad’s depravity goes far beyond cynical power politics and cruelty in wartime of which most nations through history have been guilty. Rather, Assad is racing for a place in the mass-murderer’s Hall of Infamy. Years from now, when the civil war is at last over and the West reckons with its failure to stop Assad’s killing machine in time to save half a million people and counting, it will not do for Christian opponents of military action to say: “But Iraq had gone so badly!” Or: “We couldn’t tell who was good and who evil in that fight!” Or: “Assad was fighting Islamists and protecting Syrian Christians!”

As Weigel wrote, “Whatever its psychological, spiritual, or intellectual origins, moral muteness in wartime is a form of moral judgment—a deficient and dangerous form of moral judgment.”

Second, Christians cannot remain ambivalent when the “minimum conditions of international order” are at stake. Christians, especially Catholic Christians, have spent two millennia thinking about world order. Through the ages, the Church and its greatest theological minds have constantly emphasized the need for a just, well-run, and peaceful order. As Weigel noted, however, the political peace that Christianity has in mind is not the permanent absence of conflict, a condition that is impossible to achieve so long as human life is disfigured by the mystery of evil—even after the Cross and the Resurrection.”


Syria: Sending a Message

How to send a message that use of chemical weapons crosses a red line, as then President Obama insisted (and then, appallingly, failed to act), without involving the US in another pointless ground war on the other side of the world?

This article by Thomas Lifson on American Thinker makes the case that President Trump got this right. Let’s hope no further messages are needed.

“As the war drums were being beaten for an attack on Syria in response to its apparent use of chlorine gas, I shared some of the fears of such critics as Tucker Carlson and Michael Savage – that we were being led into a possible war that could end up a quagmire.  My greatest reservation was the possibility of toppling Assad and reaping another Libya or Iraq, with even worse enemies taking control.  And for all the brutality of the Assad regime, it has prevented wholesale religious massacres in a multi-religion state.

But so far, the strike on three targets in Syria appears to have been not too much, not too little, but just right to deliver the necessary message.”

Read the rest:


Green Power, Black Death

Paul Driessen pointed out years ago that green policies mean stopping developing nations from developing by depriving them of energy and clean water.

Viv Forbes lists the ways green policies also undermine the continuing growth of the West. Greens are not only traitors to the poor, they are traitors to the environment:

Greens hate individual freedom and private property. They dream of a centralised unelected global government, financed by taxes on developed nations and controlled by all the tentacles of the UN.

No longer is real pollution of our environment the main Green concern. The key slogan of the Green religion is “sustainable development”, with them defining what is sustainable.

Greens hate miners. They use nationalised parks, heritage areas, flora/fauna reserves, green bans, locked gates and land rights (for some) to close as much land as possible to explorers and miners – apparently resources should be locked away for some lucky distant future generation. And if some persistent explorer manages to prove a mineral deposit, greens will then strangle it in the approvals process using “death by delay”.

Greens hate farmers with their ploughs, fertilisers, crops and grazing animals. They want Aussie grazing land turned back to kangaroos and woody weeds. They plan to expel farmers and graziers from most land areas, with food produced in concentrated feedlots, factory farms, communal gardens and hydroponics.

Greens hate professional fishermen with their nets, lines and harpoons. Using the Great Barrier Reef as their poster-child, they plan to control the Coral Sea using marine parks, fishing quotas, bans and licences, leaving us to get seafood from foreign seas and factory fish farms.

Greens hate foresters and grass-farmers. They want every tree protected, even woody weeds taking over ancient treeless grasslands. Red meat and forest timber are “unsustainable”. Apparently they want us to live in houses made of recycled cardboard and plastic and eating fake steak and protein powder made from methane generated from decomposing rubbish dumps.

Greens despise the suburbs with their SUV’s, lawns, pools, rose gardens, manicured parks, ponies and golf courses. They prefer concentrated accommodation with people stacked-and-packed in high-rise cubic apartments, with state-controlled kindies in the basement, and with ring-roads of electric trams and driverless cars connecting apartments, schools, offices and shops.

Greens hate reliable grid power from coal, nuclear, oil, gas or hydro generators. Their “sustainable” option is part-time power from wind and solar with the inevitable blackouts and shortages needing more rules and rationing.

Greens lead the war on fracking and pipelines. The victims are energy consumers. The beneficiaries are Russian gas and Middle-east oil.

Greens think it is “sustainable” to uglify scenic hills with whining wind towers, power poles, transmission lines and access roads, and to clutter pleasant estuaries and shallow seas with more bird-slicing turbines. They think it is “sustainable” to keep smothering sunny flatlands under solar panels and filling the suburbs with extra power lines and batteries of toxic metals.

Greens think it is “sustainable” to clear forests for bio-mass to feed large wood-fired power stations, or for establishing biofuel plantations. They think it is “sustainable” to keep converting croplands from producing food for humans to producing ethanol for cars.

Greens hate free markets where prices are used to signal changing supply and demand. There is no room for fun, frills or luxuries in their “sustainable” world. They want to limit demand by imposing rationing on us wastrels – carbon ration cards, electricity rationing meters, water rationing, meat free days, diet cops and bans on fast foods and fizzy-drinks.

They also favour compulsory recycling of everything, no matter what that process costs in energy or resources. Surveillance cameras will keep watch on our “wasteful” habits.

None of this vast green religious agenda is compatible with individual freedom, constitutional rights or private property – and none of it makes any economic or climate sense.

Renewable Energy?

So called renewable energy is not renewable.

When you take into account the cost of construction, installation, maintenance, transmission, and the need to keep real energy sources running constantly to make up for fluctuations in supply caused by the unreliability of wind and sunlight, any wind or solar installation has a net cost in energy. No real contribution at all. Zero. Except to make governments and activist groups feel good about themselves. This is why, once the subsidies stop, wind and solar installations cease to function, and rust into the ground. The little they produce is not even enough to cover the cost of maintaining them.

Wind turbines produce less than one percent of the world’s energy, solar panels even less.

The cost of energy to consumers has to increase to cover the massive expense of these vanity projects. The more “renewable” energy in the mix, the higher the retail cost of electricity.

They are expensive and produce no net gain. Time to call it quits. Just stop taking tax-payer money to prop them up, and they will go away. And then private enterprise will have an incentive to invest in infrastructure that really works, and in researching new and efficient forms of energy production and distribution.

“Renewable energy” puts a brake on development in the West, and keeps millions of people in developing nations powerless and in abject poverty. Climate justice is exactly the opposite of justice.

Nothing Left to Ban

Since the UK banned most personal ownership of firearms, its rate of knife crime has risen to the point where someone in Britain is attacked with a knife every four minutes. In addition, London now has one of the highest rates of acid attacks in the world. No mention in the Independent of the likely cause of this massive increase in recent years, of course.

A couple of days ago, Regents Park (London) police reported with pride that they had conducted a street search and removed and disposed of the following dangerous items.

Seriously? These are all normal, useful items found in almost every home. On any given day I would be likely to have two or three of them in my pockets, as well as my Leatherman multi-purpose tool which includes a knife and several other potentially dangerous tools.

Removing tools, including knives and guns and corrosive liquids, from everyone because someone might use them to harm someone else does not reduce crime. Some other object can always be found. Focusing on the object used in the crime is senseless.

Strange Days at the Commonwealth Games

Besides two blokes winning medals in the Women’s 800 metres (they couldn’t be excluded because like, equality) there are a few other noteworthy results from the Commonwealth Games this year.

The host nation, Australia, has twice as many as many medals as any other country, including England, Canada and the massively more populous India. And little New Zealand, with a population of four million, has twice as many medals as Nigeria, which has a population of 198 million.

I was born in New Zealand and live in Australia. I don’t know know whether I should be proud or embarrassed.

Not Compassion but Envy

Inequality is often cited as a major cause of social disruption, and an urgent justice issue for democratic societies.

It has been pointed out many times before that you can have freedom, or you can have equality. You can’t have both, for the simple reason that different people will make different choices. That is what freedom means – the ability to make choices. And if people choose to use their time and their resources differently, the outcomes will be different.

For conservatives and libertarians that’s fine. Choose what you want, and take responsibility for your choices.

But for some of the have nots, even if their having less is a direct consequence of their choices, this seems horribly unfair. It has become unsurprising to hear younger people complain that they do not have as much “stuff” as older people. But older people started with even less than today’s younger people do. They worked, and saved, and paid their mortgages, and saved again for new furniture, and built up assets and capital over a lifetime. So it ought to be unsurprising they have more. They have worked for what they have, and made sacrifices along the way, of time as well as of other things they might have liked – a faster car, holidays, computers, etc.

To conservatives, the answer to be given to the have nots seems obvious. Make choices, work for them, and don’t complain that because you spent ten years travelling, you are ten years behind in saving for a house.

At its base, complaining is envy. It is not compassion, or a desire for justice. If it were, the complainers would be at the forefront of volunteering to help others, and of giving to help others. Instead, it is conservatives who are more personally generous by a large margin, and who are more likely to volunteer as firefighters or ambulance officers or in other ways in their own communities.

Demands for change made by progressives are not driven by love for the poor, but by resentment of anyone who has more.

Moringa – the Latest Superfood Supplement Scam

“Dried moringa leaves are a storehouse of concentrated nutrition, so even a small daily dose can help correct imbalances in the body, add concentrated nutrition to your diet and help you reach the recommended daily dietary targets of fruits and vegetables.”

This claim was made by an Indian company; Organic India Private Limited. In 2015 the Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) upheld a complaint against the company for this advertisement, finding its claims were unsubtantiated.

If it were just a matter of comfortably-off people buying supplements that don’t contain anything useful, and wouldn’t help most people even they did (the only time a dietary supplement is helpful is if you are deficient in some particular nutrient, in which case you should seek advice from a medical doctor), then it wouldn’t matter too much. People will always find silly things to spend money on, and it is no one’s business but their own.

That does not excuse the sellers of these products, who generally know that what they are selling is useless. Even if they do not have the skills to analyse the claims made by the parent company, the methods employed should be a dead giveaway. For example, in the case of one multi-level marketing Moringa company, agents are given scripts which they are told to claim as their own stories, to share with potential clients and on social media. They generally go like this:

I was feeling x (fat, ugly, tired, sleepless, lacking energy, etc). Nothing else worked, so I decided to try y (the moringa product). I was sceptical, but after two weeks, the difference was amazing. I was z (slimmer, more energetic, sleeping better, dating Brad Pitt, etc, etc). The next time I went to the doctor, he/she was amazed. I told him/her about y, and showed him/her the list of nutrients it contains. He/she was so impressed he/she asked where he/she could get some for him/her self.

Any company that suggests it is appropriate to tell invented histories, ie lies, to family, friends, and customers, is not a company whose claims you should be taking at face value. That is bad enough.

But when extravagant claims are made for weight loss, or for cures for cancer or diabetes or other acute or chronic illnesses, then selling such products crosses a line from being merely unethical to being illegal. Or even where not illegal, monstrous. It is wrong to take advantage of people who are poor, who are ill, who are desperate.

You would hope people would be well aware by now that every few years some new miracle supplement, superfood, or therapy appears, promising weight loss, new youth, and social success. Bai-lin Tea, Cal-Ban, Herbalife, are all earlier examples. But sadly not.

Moringa is just the latest in a long line of supplement scams.

Don’t fall for these scams. Don’t buy these products.

The Murray River and Pudding-headed Pixies

I am getting a little tired of seeing people repost Jeremy Buckingham’s moronic video about Cubbie Station and the Murray/Darling  basin.

It’s always the end of the world with these loons. Everything is going wrong, everything’s a disaster, the world is going to end. Unless you vote for us, give us lots of money, and return to the stone age.

Buckingham, by the way, is the same tax-teat-tippling twit who told us that thousands of year old naturally occurring swamp gas was proof of the horrors of fracking.

Buckingham claims Cubbie Station diverts the water from the Balonne/Culgoa catchment before it can reach the Darling and flow downwards into the Murray. They are stealing water from the environment and from other Australian farmers!!!

They are not. In fact, Cubbie Station is an almost perfect example of sustainable water use in arid areas which are also prone to flooding – like much of the Australian outback. It is the kind of development the pudding-headed pixies in the Australian Greens would be supporting whole-heartedly and encouraging others to use as a model, if they actually cared about Australian workers or the environment. They don’t.

I have lived on the Balonne River, which is what the Condamine is called as it starts to move down toward the Darling. And I have lived at Murray Bridge. That doesn’t make me an expert. But it does mean I have some idea of issues at both the upper and lower reaches of the Murray-Darling. And I have visited Cubbie Station.

Cubbie Station is a miracle of engineering, common-sense and foresight. It has massive water storage capacity: just over 500 megalitres. And it has large and efficient recycling systems.

Essentially it relies on the rain-bearing storms which occur every ten years or so. Cubbie acts as a flood mitigation system. It catches water from those ten year floods which would otherwise cause damage downstream and then be lost to evaporation. Because it takes flood water which would otherwise be lost, Cubbie is able to take just over one quarter of one percent of the Murray’s total flow, but without affecting at all the useful environmental flow, or the amount of water available to recreational or agricultural users. In addition, Cubbie filters and recycles constantly to maximise water use and minimise loss. When water can no longer be recycled, it is sequestered so that not a drop of fertiliser or pesticide flows into river catchment.

As I said, it is exactly the kind of carefully planned, carefully managed system which greenies should be having parties to celebrate if they cared about Australian land, industry, workers or environment.

Did I mention that Cubbie is managed by an Australian company with an Australian workforce, has revitalised the town of Dirranbandi, is the town’s major employer, and generates about $100 million in export revenue every year?

Rules for Apostrophes

Rules for apostrophes!

There are only a few, and they are simple.

Rule 1. If the word is simply a plural, it does not need an apostrophe. Ever. For example, the plural of CD is CDs, not CD’s. The plural of DVD is DVDs, not DVD’s. The plural of seafood is seafoods, not seafood’s. The plural of tomato is tomatoes, not tomato’s.

That is the first rule. No apostrophes for plurals!


Apostrophes are used to tell the reader one of two things; ownership (sometimes called possession) and contraction. Let’s look at ownership first. This is rule two.

Rule 2. If a dog has a bone, then it is the dog’s bone. If a boy has a football, it is the boy’s football. If a girl has ten tractors, they are the girl’s tractors.

But what if there is more than one girl? Then they would be the girls’ tractors (with the apostrophe after the ‘s’). If there was more than one boy, it would be the boys’ football.

When more than one person owns something, the apostrophe comes after the ‘s’ at the end of the word. The ‘s’ in those words is just the normal plural (more than one) ‘s’. The apostrophe comes after the ‘s’ to show there is more than one owner.

So that is rule number two, and it is also easy. If you read “The boy’s toy,” that tells you there is one boy who owns one toy. If you read “The boy’s toys,” there is one boy who owns lots of toys. If you read “The boys’ toys,” (with the apostrophe after the ‘s’ in boys) there are lots of boys who own lots of toys.

English is a wonderfully precise language. Apostrophes are one of the tools that help us to express what we mean with a clarity that is often not possible in other languages.

Rule 3. Apostrophes show where missing letters should be. Sometimes we put two words together to make one word, and then take some letters out to make the new word shorter. An apostrophe shows where the missing letter or letters used to be. For example, can not becomes can’t. I am becomes I’m. Do not becomes don’t. I would becomes I’d.

This is also a very straightforward rule. If you put two words together to make one word, and take a letter or letters out to make the new word shorter, you use an apostrophe to show where the missing letters were.

There are a few contractions that don’t make a lot of sense. For example, “Will not” becomes “Won’t.” You just have to learn these as you come across them. But there aren’t very many, so they are nothing to worry about.

There is only one other thing to remember, and that is distinguishing between its and it’s. We can call this rule four.

Rule 4. “It’s” (with an apostrophe) always means “It is.” Always. If you are tempted to write “it’s,” ask yourself “Do I mean ‘It is’?”

I’ll say that again. “It’s” always means “It is.”

“Its” (without an apostrophe) is a possessive pronoun, like his, yours, mine. It shows ownership. When you talk about an “it” owning something, for example, “The dog ate its bone,” you do not need an apostrophe. If you did put an apostrophe in that sentence “The dog ate it’s bone,” you would be saying “The dog ate it is bone,” which doesn’t make any sense. “It’s” always means “It is.” Always.

So that is easy too. “Its” (without an apostrophe) means that “it” owns whatever comes after; “Its bone,” “Its blanket.”

“It’s” (with an apostrophe) means “It is.”

So there you are. Six hundred words, and you know everything you will ever need to know about apostrophes!