Friday, 15 November 2019

Vaccine/Autism Link Confirmed in First American Case Award (2010)


Family to Receive $1.5M+ in First-Ever Vaccine-Autism Court Award

image6850366x.jpg
Nine-year-old Hannah Poling.  AP PHOTO/ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION, JOHN SPINK


By SHARYL ATTKISSON CBS NEWS September 10, 2010, 10:44 AM



The first court award in a vaccine-autism claim is a big one. CBS News has learned the family of Hannah Poling will receive more than $1.5 million dollars for her life care; lost earnings; and pain and suffering for the first year alone.
In addition to the first year, the family will receive more than $500,000 per year to pay for Hannah's care. Those familiar with the case believe the compensation could easily amount to $20 million over the child's lifetime.
Hannah was described as normal, happy and precocious in her first 18 months.
Then, in July 2000, she was vaccinated against nine diseases in one doctor's visit: measles, mumps, rubella, polio, varicella, diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus, and Haemophilus influenzae.
Afterward, her health declined rapidly. She developed high fevers, stopped eating, didn't respond when spoken to, began showing signs of autism, and began having screaming fits. In 2002, Hannah's parents filed an autism claim in federal vaccine court. Five years later, the government settled the case before trial and had it sealed. It's taken more than two years for both sides to agree on how much Hannah will be compensated for her injuries.
In acknowledging Hannah's injuries, the government said vaccines aggravated an unknown mitochondrial disorder Hannah had which didn't "cause" her autism, but "resulted" in it. It's unknown how many other children have similar undiagnosed mitochondrial disorder. All other autism "test cases" have been defeated at trial. Approximately 4,800 are awaiting disposition in federal vaccine court.
plantiff.jpg
Time Magazine summed up the relevance of the Poling case in 2008: ...(T)here's no denying that the court's decision to award damages to the Poling family puts a chink -- a question mark -- in what had been an unqualified defense of vaccine safety with regard to autism. If Hannah Poling had an underlying condition that made her vulnerable to being harmed by vaccines, it stands to reason that other children might also have such vulnerabilities."
Then-director of the Centers for Disease Control Julie Gerberding (who is now President of Merck Vaccines) stated: "The government has made absolutely no statement indicating that vaccines are a cause of autism. This does not represent anything other than a very specific situation and a very sad situation as far as the family of the affected child."

Sunday, 10 November 2019

The Prime Minister's statement to the House of Commons on 30 October, 2019 regarding the Grenfell Tower Inferno

Image result for boris johnson parliament images
https://www.google.com/search?rlz=1C1ARAB_enGB463GB464&biw=1248&bih=844&tbm=isch&sxsrf=ACYBGNTKNjJr3TOZehLlM4Stdd_2WeRAfg%3A1573416309817&sa=1&ei=dW3IXZa9MeXQxgO7yZ6IBg&q=boris+johnson+parliament+images&oq=boris+johnson+parliament+images&gs_l=img.3...9331.13949..14584...0.0..0.93.869.11......0....1..gws-wiz-img.......35i39j0i7i30.M8Mo8yOy5QU&ved=0ahUKEwjWy-vBuODlAhVlqHEKHbukB2EQ4dUDCAc&uact=5#imgrc=wmY9ZidfbZG0zM:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ChyvDGvMHIY  (@ 5:40:00 in)

"Shortly before one oclock that morning a faulty fridge freezer had started a small fire in the kitchen of a flat on the fourth floor of the twenty-four storey Grenfell Tower. The resident of that flat did everything right. He raised the alarm; called the fire brigade; alerted his neighbours. Within five minutes fire fighters arrived to deal with what appeared to be a routine incident and in the normal course of events the fire would have been contained, extinguished and that would have been that. But what happened that night was anything but normal and so even before firemen began to tackle the blaze on the inside of the tower unbeknown to them flames were already beginning to race up the outside. Just seven minutes after fire fighters entered the kitchen on the fourth floor a resident on the twenty second dialled 999 to report the blaze at her level almost two hundred (200) feet higher up. By 1:27 am a column of fire had reached the roof. One whole side of the building was ablaze. Dense smoke and searing flames visible across the capital began wrapping around the tower, penetrating its heart and by 1:30 am, less than three quarters of an hour after it began, it was clear to those watching below that the inferno was completely out of control. Grenfell Tower that night filled with almost three hundred (300) souls in its one hundred and twenty nine (129) flats was beyond saving. The fire that shocked the nation and world that June morning took the lives of seventy two (72) men women and children. The oldest, known simply as 'Shiela' was a poet, artist and great grandmother who had brought joy to many and seen and experienced much in her eight four (84) years. The youngest Logan Gomez, had never even seen his own parents. He was stillborn hours after his mother escaped from the choking noxious smoke. Many who lived together, died together. Husbands and wives, parents and children were found in each others arms. Those who survived, saw everything they owned reduced to dust and ash. Wedding dresses, irreplaceable photographs, beloved children's toys - all gone. And the true scale of the trauma, the impact of the fire, not only on those who survived or who lost loved ones or who witnessed its destruction is unlikely ever to be known. Grenfell represented the the biggest loss of life in a single incident in the UK since the Hillsborough tragedy twenty eight (28) years previously. However my predecessor as Prime Minister, the Rt Hon Member for Maidenhead, that there would be no repeat of the travesty that followed that disaster, that saw the friends and family of those that died, forced to fight the establishment tooth and nail, year after year, decade after decade, to secure justice for their loved ones. That's why just fifteen (15) days after the tragedy, the then Prime Minister appointed one of our most experienced and respected former judges, Sir Martin Moore-Bick, to lead an exhaustive and completely independent inquiry into what happened. Sir Martin has today published his report on the first phase of that enquiry covering the events of the fourteenth (14th) of June. The cause of the fire and its rapid spread, the way in which emergency services and others handled the immediate response. As the sponsoring Minister under the Enquiries Act, 2005 I have this morning laid copies before Parliament of that report. I was in no doubt the House should have the opportunity to debate it on the day of publication. Grenfell was a national tragedy and this was a report of great national importance. However I recognise that Sir Martin has produced a very substantial piece of work, almost a thousand (1000) pages across four (4) volumes. The vast majority of Hon and Rt Hon Members will not yet have had the opportunity therefore to digest it and analyse it in any great detail. I believe Members do have an important role to play in scrutinising such reports and the Government's response to them so let me reassure the House that we will seek to schedule a further debate on Sir Martin's findings at the earliest suitable opportunity so that Members can debate the report in detail. Obviously after the election but we will make sure it happens. But of course what happened in the hours the fire raged is only half the story. Phase two of the enquiry which will start taking oral evidence in the new year will look at the wider context, This will include the nature and application of Building Regulations, the way central and local government responded to the fire and the handling of concerns raised by tenants over many years. Pase one sets out what happened, phase two will explain why. And such a necessarily complex process will inevitably take time, longer than anyone would wish. But as I said we owe it to the people of Grenvill Tower to explain once and for all and beyond doubt, exactly why the tragedy unfolded as it did. And by the standards set by this report, I am confident that is what will happen. Sir Martin's work is exhaustive in its detail. He provides an authoritative and often harrowing minute by minute account of the fire and its terrifying spread, led always by the facts. His recommendations are clear and numerous, and where failings are to be highlighted Sir Martin does so without fear or favour. Nowhere is that clearer than Sir Martin's single biggest cause of this tragedy. He leaves no doubt the cladding on the exterior of Grenfell tower was the defining factor in the rapid and all consuming spread of the flames. It was the cladding, the aluminium composite material,  'Rainscreen', and the combustible insulation behind it that ignited from the fire in Flat 16. It was the cladding that allowed the flames to climb so far up the outside the tower causing compartmentation to fail, the cladding that turned into molten plastic raining fire on the streets of North Kensington and causing the blaze to travel up and down the building as well. In short it was the cladding that turned a routine and containable kitchen fire into a disaster of unprecedented proportions that cost the lives of seventy two (72) people. Sir Martin is clear that the cladding on the tower was fitted in breach of Building Regulations and why this was allowed to happen and who was responsible for it will be covered in Phase Two of his Enquiry.  (Gives way to a question from David Lammy MP for Tottenham) I thank the Hon Member for his point (the slow speed of replacing dangerous cladding on similar blocks) and I was coming to it. He is quite right we cannot afford to wait for the full conclusions of the report - the Secretary of State has just indicated we have allocated another six hundred million (600,000,000) pounds for this purpose. It is essential we remove all similar cladding on buildings as soon as possible.  That is why we have established that fund for the removal of such cladding from tall residential buildings and I am pleased to say, although progress is not as fast as I would like, all such buildings owned by central and local government have now had their cladding removed or are undergoing work to remove it or have such work scheduled . In the private sector progress is slower and too many building owners have not acted responsibly. (Gives way to MP re action to be taken against private landlords?) We are intending to NAME the individuals and companies of those buildings that are failing to comply in order to encourage them to get on with this vital work. (Coughs!) Whilst people living in those privately owned buildings are safe, the house will know that round-the-clock patrols and other temporary measures ensure this is the case and I am in no doubt they need a long-term and lasting solution. Nearly all high rise residential buildings remain to have remedial work scheduled, where that is not the case the government will work with local authorities to take enforcement action if landlords refuse to deal with the problems themselves. I think the House would agree they have had enough time, no more excuses, they must make those buildings safe or face the consequences (Gives way to MP re private sector and doing work in default) We are indeed already are working with local authorities to enforce the requirement to remove cladding in question . Although I feel progress should be faster I can assure him we are hard at it. May I now turn to the next important factor that Sir Martin has identified: the cladding enabled fire to spread in ways that no one had seen before and this unprecedented fire presented an unprecedented challenge for the men and women sent to fight it. Since 2017 much has been written from many perspectives about the way the London Fire Brigade handled the unfolding disaster. So let me be very clear from the start (Gives way to a question from MP money for recommendations) after examining all the evidence and listening to many witnesses, Sir Martin does NOT bring into doubt the actions or bravery of any of the rank and file members of the fire service sent to Grenfell Tower, no one should be in any doubt about that. As Mayor of London I was impressed by the care and commitment of firemen and Sir Martin's report bears that out. Firemen exhibiting extraordinary courage and selfless devotion to duty as they pushed themselves to and beyond limits of endurance facing choking smoke and temperatures as high as a thousand (1000) degrees Celsius. Their work that night was nothing short of phenomenal. However Sir Martin concludes that the fire fighters on duty that night faced a situation for which they had not been properly prepared . He finds the London Fire Brigades planning and training for such an incident were gravely inadequate and on the night of the fire there were serious deficiencies in command and control. The report highlights a failure in coordination between emergency services what Sir Martin calls a serious failure in stated policies and he finds the failure to order an evacuation of the tower block once the fire was clearly out of control most probably led to the deaths of individuals who otherwise might have been save. The so called 'Stay Put' policy, is the bedrock of all plans for fighting fires in tall residential buildings are based. Building regulations are supposed to mean that fires cannot spread beyond individual flats, that they are compartmented. When that is the case it is indeed safest for residents to stay in their homes until the fire is extinguished but at Grenfell that was not the case . The fire spread rapidly up and down and across the tower. By 1:30 am it was clear that compartmentation had failed. By 1:50 am it was still not too late to order an evacuation. Yet according to Sir Martin, senior officers simply could not conceive of a situation where compartmentation could fail so completely. In the report 'Stay Put' is described as such an article of faith within the fire service that senior officers were reluctant to let the reality before them override their training. And as a result the decision to order an evacuation until 2:35 am by which time the tower's single staircase was already filling with impenetrable smoke. Even after this time poor and confused lines of communication that operators in the 999 control room were not aware that the advice had changed . Swamped by the sheer volume of calls,  dealing with a challenge well outside their experience and training, some continued to give conflicting advice to callers trapped inside the tower . Sir Martin notes that many operators did not realise how all encompassing the fire had become until well after 5:00 am. when a lull in calls allowed them to check their phones and see images of the burning building for the first time. Information gleaned from people inside the tower was faithfully recorded but rarely made its way to firefighters who (gave way to MP re Lakenham house in 1979 recommending a review of stay put) (6:03:30) While brave fire fighters led many people to safety from inside the tower, Sir Martin concludes the chaos and confusion meant that some calls for help were not responded to before it was too late. (Gives way to a question from MP about the need for best training for fire fighters) Sir Martin cautions all of us of making judgements at a distance and I agree with him wholeheartedly. It is very easy for us on these green benches to have 20/20 hindsight , We are not about to run into the fire that is blazing two hundred feet into the night sky (Gives way to MP with question about fire cuts in London when he was Mayor and restriction on ability to complain) Sir Martin notes appliances were on site within five minutes and makes no points about resources or the other points she (the MP ) raises but it is important that individuals are held accountable for their errors and when we do so we must do so very carefully. It is clear from this report that the fire fighters on the ground were in a position they should never have been in, doing their damnedest to tackle a fire that should never been allowed to happen. But that does not absolve us from responsibility. We must ensure that the failures identified by the enquiry are corrected for they not only does Sir Martin refer to the failures of the London Fire Brigade to the Lakenham Fire referred to earlier, making sure those mistakes were not repeated, but also I'm afraid the LFB is at risk of not learning the lessons of the Grenfell Tower fire. It is vital that they do so and I am sure that everyone at the LFB will want them to do so. Because as a constituency MP or as a Mayor I've never met any fire fighter who is not totally committed to public safety ("Here, here")  and I will be working with the LFB and the Mayor's Office and local authorities across the land to ensure the lessons of Grenfell are learned and Londoners are made safer for it. I can confirm that where Sir Martin makes recommendations for fire safety to be taken on by Central Government we will legislate accordingly and more widely we plan to accept in principle all the recommendations Sir Martin makes for Central Government. We will set out how we plan to do so as quickly as possible but I can assure the House and all those affected by the Grenfell tragedy where action is called for, action will follow. (Gives way to MP question about the time (38 mins) taken for high reach appliance to reach the site) Sir Martin makes no mention of that point. For the bereaved and local community this report will prove particularly harrowing, yet I hope it will strengthen their faith in Sir Martin's desire to determine the facts of the fire and this Government's commitment to airing those facts in public no matter how difficult they may be and acting on them. That commitment is absolute. Because if anything good is to come from this senseless tragedy - a tragedy that should never have happened - it will be a catalyst to our approach to fire safety and indeed to social housing more widely then we must get to the truth about what happened and why , we must expose and fix the failings that allowed an otherwise safe building to become so dangerous, that allowed a small kitchen fire to become a devastating inferno , why so many people were told to stay in their homes when they could and should have been fleeing to safety. The enquiry is a vital part of that. I would like to thank Sir Martin and all his team for all their work so far and I know all current and former Ministers and public sector workers will fully cooperate with phase two. But while I know that uncovering the truth is very important, to the survivors and bereaved, is not the only aspect of the post brexit story that requires our attention . So we will continue as the previous PM promised to support the affected families long after the television cameras are gone . We will continue the work of the Grenfell Ministerial Group which brings together all the efforts of government , central and local, in meeting the needs of the community . We will continue to ensure an appropriate memorial is erected on the site of the fire, a process that is being led by the bereaved and local community. We will continue to make sure that those affected by the fire have an active and engaging role to play in implementing the lessons of Grenfell, including working closely with the Ministry of Housing to develop the policies in our social housing white paper. We will continue to implement the recommendations of the Hackett report on the Building Regulations. And I've asked the civil servants responsible for implementing Sir Martin's recommendations, to provide me with regular and detailed up-dates on their progress. I will not allow the lessons of this tragedy to fall through the cracks. Mr Speaker the night of the 14th June was an horrendous night.  But in the darkness we have also seen the best of humanity . The residents who sacrificed their live to save the lives of children and neighbours, the local community that rallied round, in such an incredible fashion, holding the survivors in a tight embrace when local authorities failed to step up. And the people here with us today , the bereaved and the survivors. Those who had every reason to hide away but who have instead fought to uncover the truth about what happened that terrible night . Who forced themselves to relive, time and time again, the sort of trauma that most of us mercifully cannot begin to imagine , who have dedicated their lives in so many ways to ensuring that those who died on the night of the 14th June, 2017 will always be remembered. And to them I say once again, that the truth will out and justice will be done and that Grenfell Tower and the people that call it home, will never be forgotten." END.

COMMENT

It is possible to bury an issue with lots of fine words and sentiments. It took at least a couple of ours to get that verbatim copy. Impressive rhetoric in the best traditions of Boris. Yet the basic cause has still not been explained and in fact The PM repeats the ruled out thesis that the fridge freezer caused it. That is a worrying element that has gone unchallenged. The over protective treatment of the occupant of the flat also worries me, specifically excused from the Enquiry and several times exonerated by public figures as he was here right at the beginning. Yet apart from questionable features of the fire itself, the behaviour of the occupant and initial accounts of his behaviour also give rise to questions, not least the fact that only four minutes after the fire has been reported, video shows him bare foot, four floors below, on his own but on his mobile phone, leaving the building as if nothing has happened. At the very least this means that his claimed efforts to raise the alarm and get other tenants out must have been limited in the extreme. The neighbour reported he had packed a case but if he had, he is not carrying it when he leaves. Also the initial accounts pointed to others in his flat and the neighbour reported being able to see the fire from the landing despite the kitchen not being in direct line of sight. In view of all this isn't it peculiar that he was not examined? This was definitely in the province of the "what" part of the Enquiry. I must read the report to see how it is treated but certainly Boris wanted to dispose of it as soon as possible. The second part of the enquiry - the "how" - starts in January, so that pushes that part well into 2021 at least, and the further distant it is, the less raw and everyone loses interest. There was absolutely NO mention in Boris' emotional speech of either the Police or Health and Safety Executive investigations which is ominous. Have prosecutions been shelved pending the enquiry? In the case of less serious offences, they have already run out of time. The way in which the fire broke out of the kitchen and ran amok in the cladding also appears highly suspicious to me, over and above the whole process of certification and fitting in breach it is said of the existing Building regulations, nor have issues relating to fire alarms, emergency lighting and failure of intended compartmentalisation been addressed. There's a distinct whiff of 'scape goating' the fire department, although undoubtedly the stay put policy in those circumstances, added to the fatalities. How many years is it since "towering Inferno"? Boris promised much, hopefully in good faith but he was far shakier on the private landlords. But there is an election to come with many imponderables. He may not even be still in his job in a month's time! I have previously drawn aesthetic parallels with 9/11 and the twin towers and the links may in fact go deeper. Some of the responses follow similar disturbing paths, not least the emphasis on the on-site memorial. Nor could I help noticing those strange little numerical coincidences such as the fire starting in flat 16 on the fourth floor, sixteen years after the WTC attack, or that Boris' speech refers to "20/20 hindsight" when the date 14.6.2017 might easily be so construed. No mention of the absence of sprinklers on the negative side or the installation of gas on the positive despite their huge potential to have prevented or exacerbated the inferno.


How is the "Staying Put" Policy to be reconciled with standard fire instruction signage?

Image result for fire signs


"Staying Put" as a standard approach may be acceptible IF from the outset it is clear that the fire is localised and can be contained. If however it is clear that the fire is either out of control or subject to rapid spread as in the case of Grenfell, "staying put" is obviously unsustainable. Added to this if alarms had rung immediately throughout the building, either automatically or at the decision of the fire officer attending, and tenants had known this meant evacuation, the death toll is likely to have been a fraction of that experienced.


Below is a post from former chief fire officer from Derbyshire fire and rescue ( very good and highly respected chief)
Grenfell...
Who’d be a fire chief?
Who’d be a firefighter?

I’ve not read the Grenfell Inquiry yet. Something to look forward to next week.
As a firefighter, you spend decades being told to follow procedures and training. They work, fires get put out, you get to go home safely.
You are told you did a good job, you are audited and the auditors tell you that you are competent and professional. It is reaffirming and reassuring.
Step outside those procedures and you fail your assessment, you are not competent. You don’t want to be there.
All these procedures are written to tackle fire in buildings built to a regulated standard.
The building is supposed to behave in a predictable way. Arm Chair enthusiasts would imagine that fire is not predictable. Well, you are wrong, it is a matter of scientific fact that fire develops and behaves predictably depending on the fuel, air and environment.
That is why firefighters can have standard operating procedures (SOPs) that for the most part work and do the job. If fire was unpredictable you could not have an SOP.
For decades building regs worked and we never suffered a Grenfell even in the 80 and 90s when there were 40% more fires than we have today.
Likelihood and severity, you’ve heard these banded around. In the nineties the likelihood was massive but it seems nowadays the severity has mushroomed as whole buildings are burning down on a regular basis.
If you ever drove through Salford in the 90s a single burnt-out flat was a common sight as you looked up at the high rise buildings. Like a broken tooth.
A fire put out using tried and tested procedure in a building designed to contain the fire to the flat of origin. Most people in the other flats wouldn’t even know that a fire had occurred until the morning after.
No common fire alarm, no mobile phones yet a successful outcome and no mass evacuation.
Why?
Because the buildings were not wrapped in flammable material allowing unchecked spread up the facade and ingress through windows.
Because the internal separation was solid and fire-resistant, because mostly the fire doors unless vandalised worked.
At this time the fire brigade was the responsible authority for fire legislation. We issued fire certificates and our word was law.
Admittedly we didn’t issue certs on domestic property but such was our regulatory power in other premises the local authority building control accepted that we knew what we were about and went with our recommendation
All that changed through deregulation at the end of the 90s. (The reform act of 2005 in fact). I was in fire protection at the time and I remember the old hands predicting a disaster.
It was like giving the kids the keys to the sweet shop. Building owners were now (2006) responsible for the fire safety standards in the same way a manager is responsible for health and safety at work. Some do it well, some do it badly, some do what they can afford and hope it’s enough.
Well, it’s not good enough and it is coming home to roost.
As a chief, you expect your firefighters to follow the policy and be competent, you have the dubious pleasure of being ultimately responsible for making sure that this is the case. It is a massive responsibility, you do your best. You audit the boys and girls to death. They are sick of being assessed. But they are safe, competent and they go home at the end of the shift.
Grenfell.
Imagine turning up at a building where everything has gone wrong the whole fire protection system had failed and the fire is spreading through what should be concrete fire-resistant rooms and up the outside beyond your capability to reach it.
You now need to tell 200 firefighters to forget everything they ever learned and do things completely outside of every procedure they have trained on. Things that could get them killed. It’s a miracle none were.
Every fibre in your body is screaming to do something new and evacuate whilst every professional brain cell is saying “are you mad” if you evacuate the people in the flats with no breathing apparatus they are doomed and it will be seen to have been your call.
Evacuating a burning building means taking people from what you understand to be a place of relative safety (or at least it should be if built right) and asking them to enter smoke-filled corridors and stairs knowing some won’t make it. We are talking about people of all ages and abilities here. Your mum, your grandad, your kids.
What would you do?
How brave are you now sitting in your armchair with the daily mail sword drawn about to slay the guilty?
Making life and death decisions outside of policy because a building had been let slide as a result of a succession of systematic governmental failure, safe in the knowledge that if you lose one firefighter or members of the public are found in stairwells dead you will be squarely in the frame of “going outside of procedure”.
Not so easy is it.
It is no surprise that candidates for chief fire officers jobs total one or two per position when advertised these days.
I stand with Dany Cotton and I stand with London Fire Brigade.
I look forward to part two of the report that looks at root cause including building regs and I sincerely hope the author does his job properly.
I hope everyone understands that firefighters turn up when everyone else’s risk assessment had gone wrong and are tasked with sorting out the mess.
We are not chefs, a missed instruction does not result in a ruined dish. We have to take what ingredients we have been given and bake a cake on the hoof whilst the kitchen is on fire and then have some armchair baker who may have watched his mum make a jam tart once tell us how well we have done.
Don’t get me started on sprinklers. I’ve been vocal, been on the telly, been sat in front of ministers with hard evidence to prove the case and been fobbed off.
Politics is at the root of Grenfell, I doubt any politician will be vilified in the way firefighters and chiefs have this week
Who’d be a chief?
Who’d be a firefighter now?

Tim Veater His point about deregulation and self certification is powerful and accurate. All part of a Conservative approach to undermining the public sector and a system of LG building and other controls that had developed over generations although of course, like a lot of other retrograde moves, it happened under 'trendy' Blair's watch. Anything that puts aesthetics or economies before safety, is doomed to failure.

Friday, 8 November 2019

A revolutionary material to replace plastic?

From: https://lightonconspiracies.com/this-compostable-bioplastic-bag-made-from-fish-waste-won-the-james-dyson-award/


This Compostable Bioplastic Bag Made From Fish Waste Won The James Dyson Award

A graduate from the University of Sussex has designed a material that turns fish waste into a useful packaging product that is also entirely compostable.
Named MarinaTex, the substance is a bioplastic that uses fish waste to make unique sheet material that is both flexible and translucent. The invention has helped the designer Nancy Hughes pick up this year’s James Dyson Award.
It is ideal for the packaging industry and has the potential to replace all of the plastic in everyday use. The material is made from a combination of red algae that is readily available locally, and fish waste that is otherwise incinerated or used as a landfill. It is an ideal alternative material for single-use plastic including containers for perishable foods and grocery bags.  It doesn’t require specialized disposable systems, and can decompose in domestic composts or waste bins within 4-6 weeks.
The fish processing industry produces over 500,000 tons of waste in the UK alone as per data released by the UK sea fish industry authority. Her unique invention addresses the predicament of waste disposal and unearths a compostable substitute for the scourge of plastic.
The James Dyson Award recognizes and supports the new generation of design engineers from all over the world. She won the top prize that carries £2,000 ($2,500) for the UK edition and entry to the international edition that carries a top award of £30,000 ($37,500).
The development of MarinaTex is her project for the final-year at her course in product design for which she enrolled at the University. She was inspired to create a design that addresses this grave environmental issue. She realized that huge quantities of fish byproducts are wasted every year. And further disposing of such huge quantities in landfills or incineration creates an environmental hazard. She hit upon the idea to use the skin and the scales to make something meaningful.

BOOK AD

Coup d’etat in Slowmotion

by Ole Dammegard

For almost 30 years investigator Ole DammegĂ„rd has been on a quest to find the truth behind some of the worst conspiracies in the history of world – such as the murders US President John F. Kennedy, Robert Kennedy, John Lennon and the blowing up of m/s Estonia killing at least 852 innocent people. This has taken him on a very frightening and dangerous journey into unknown territories. What has been claimed as acts by lone madmen has turned out to be connected to the International military industrial complex and top level high finance, all sanctioned locally behind dark smoke screens. This ground breaking book focuses on the assassination of the Swedish Prime Minister Olof Palme, who was gunned down in February 1986. In Volume I secret agents, mercenaries, professional assassins, top politicians and innocent scapegoats fill the pages of this explosive book which shows a side of Sweden and the western world earlier glimpsed by very few. This is not the private opinion of one individual, but the disclosure of a puzzle so vast that it blows your mind. Let the detailed content speak for itself, but do not accept it uncritically. Read it – make up your own mind – then spread it.
To preview the book click on the thumbnail below:
Vol 1 Paperback Vol 2 Paperback
Buy The eBook here
She consciously decided not to opt for virgin materials and resolved to find a waste alternative. In her opinion, a superior quality design closes the space between attitude, commerce, and the planet.
Her product successfully does away with the need to set up an additional infrastructure for waste management. An Atlantic cod produces sufficient waste to make 1,400 bags. She believes that plastic is an amazing material and should be used to make durable products and not wasted on products that have a life cycle of a few hours.
She finalized her product after more than 100 experiments to strengthen and refine the material. She used a gelatinous matter found in the cell of some red algae species as a binding agent. Most of her experiments were carried out using basic devices in her student lodgings.
What is even more exciting is that the material has a tensile strength higher than low-density polyethylene (LDPE), the most widely used material for making plastic bags. Her product can decompose into the soil in a mere 6 weeks. It fulfills her dream to create an alternative to plastic that is genuinely environmentally friendly.

Tuesday, 5 November 2019

Parliament: Three sad events and one happy!


'Reluctant' Sir Lindsay Hoyle (centre) is dragged to the speaker’s chair (House of Commons/PA)
Sir Lindsay Hoyle (centre) is dragged to the speaker’s chair
https://www.asianimage.co.uk/uk_national_news/18014276.sir-lindsay-hoyle-textiles-printer-speakers-chair/

This last week of October, 2019, has been quite a momentous week for the UK Parliament. In fact, highly charged and emotional with it!

So it might be useful to summarise the events that played out in Parliament over the past week or so that are connected in more ways than one. This was in the context of Boris' attempt to prorogue Parliament until the 14th October which was declared unlawful, on application to the Supreme Court by Gina Miller and others. 


This was also the date for the State Opening of Parliament and Queen's Speech for a new session, that was known to be surreal in view of the fact that the intention was to have another election and therefore a new government as soon as possible.

Sad Event One: Death of thirty-Nine Vietnamese
23rd October, 2019

On the 23rd October, the day of the debate that narrowly approved the motion to approve the new Brexit deal, the news broke of 39 immigrants found dead in a truck trailer in Grays, Essex, newly imported from Zeebrugge. The timetabling programme to consider it was afterwards rejected, effectively killing it stone dead. The deflated PM's described it as, "Approving of the ways but not the means".  At the beginning of the debate, and subsequently by others, the tragedy was referred to. The timing has a strange resonance to the issues in play - immigration, people smuggling, cross-border security, terrorism, Northern Ireland, right-wing extremism - which raises the question, was this accidental or planned for its emotional or practical consequences?


Johnson appears at PMQs and is followed by Home Secretary's statement on lorry deaths | ITV News:   Watch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2-zZJQoKfeQ


Sad Event Two: Grenfell Tower Inquiry Reports
30th October, 2019

We all know how past public inquiries have been used to obfuscate the truth rather than reveal it (cite: 'Bloody Sunday', Hillsborough, Iraq as just three examples) indeed the PM referred to it himself today. The current inquiry into Grenfell, the first part of which has now been published, may be the exception, but it still surprises me that after more than two years it appears there have been no criminal prosecutions.

A public inquiry does not suspend, as far as I am aware, normal statutory provisions and investigative obligations imposed on the police, the health and safety executive and other public bodies in these matters of public protection. What we may ask has happened to these investigations, when on the face of it there were serious failings and breaches of statutory obligations and standards? Were no breaches identified? Was no one responsible?


Boris Johnson: Grenfell victims were 'overlooked, ignored and failed'. Watch:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L5Q4geKG00M&t=1s  (Opening remarks)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ChyvDGvMHIY  (From 5:35:00 in)


Sad Event Three: Brexit Frustrated
31st October, 2019

October 31st was to be the last day Britain remained in the EU, leaving on Boris Johnson's much acclaimed 'new' deal. This in fact is 95% Mrs May's old deal that he voted against but leaving that aside it is Boris, making the best of a bad deal and snatching defeat from the hands of victory. If he were cricketer, and in contrast to ex-PM John Major, Boris put the best spin on it he could.

Stymied by the 'Benn Act', facilitated by extraordinary - even unconstitutional - intervention by the Speaker, it prevented him from leaving without a deal. So bright as he is, with an astute psephologist by his side, the doomed ambition could hardly come as surprise, as could the discovery that he could not achieve the two thirds majority required to call a General Election, as required by the 2011 'Fixed Term Parliaments Act'. 

Fortunately the principle that Parliament is supreme legislatively and that no Parliamentary Act can bind another, enabled legislation to be passed to set aside the above by simple majority to enable a December General Election to be called. The last time a December election was called in 1921 was bit of a disaster for the Conservatives. We shall have to see if it is any better this time around.

If Boris manages to get a majority for Brexit, possibly with an accord with Nigel Farage's party, the way is open to him to repeal the Benn Act completely, and if necessary leave without any deal, including its pernicious trade and other conditions. This might well be the longer end game for which he is playing.


Watch again: MPs approve Boris Johnson's election on December 12  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t2JIC93-zFI


Sad Event Four: Speaker Bercow Resigns
31st October, 2019

John Bercow has been an MP for twenty-two years and 'Mr Speaker' for ten. His term as Speaker has been controversial. He and many Members think he was a modernising force for the better. Many compliments flowed on the last day, as well as his own tears, when referring in particular to the support he had received, from his wife Sally (nee Illman) and their three children. (This sits rather uncomfortably with the Wikipedia report that he is currently seeking a divorce!)

One of his first innovations was to dispense with the traditional, though no doubt uncomfortable, wig. Others followed such as improving the facilities for visiting parties of school children and affording back bench MPs far greater access for submitting questions and motions for debate. He was also subject to criticism for alleged partisanship in the the matter of Brexit, in particular facilitating the Benn Act by allowing an Emergency Debate Motion, contrary to convention.

On a more personal level, he was the subject of potentially serious complaints of bullying his staff. Mr Bercow’s former private secretary, Angus Sinclair, told the BBC that the Speaker undermined him by mimicking him, shouting and swearing — and once smashed a mobile phone on a desk in front of him! He was also considered long winded and self-opinionated by some and ironically admired more on the Labour benches, despite being a Conservative MP. 

On a lighter note he was renowned for his amazing ability to recall names and constituencies and to remain in the chair without (toilet) breaks for up to nine hours, which for the writer can only be described as super-human on both counts.


Watch again: John Bercow tears up as MPs pay tribute at hisfinal PMQs 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2cF8pby9T6U&t=6s

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2cF8pby9T6U



Happy Event One: New Speaker Assumes his Chair
11th November, 2019


Recently knighted, Sir Lindsay Hoyle, 62, became the new Speaker, after winning an election of MPs.  Following tradition, he was 'dragged' to his new and prestigious 'seat'. This particular ancient tradition dates back to a time, when the role involved no little danger in representing the view of the House of Commons, sometimes in opposition to an almighty Monarch. In fact seven Speakers were beheaded between 1394 and 1535! We hopefully live in more enlightened times.

Lindsay Harvey Hoyle was born on 10 June 1957, the son of Labour MP Doug (now Lord) Hoyle. He has been the Labour MP for Chorley in Lancashire since 1997. 

Since 2010 he has been the popular Chairman of Ways and Means, in charge of Budget Debates (see the Boris comment above) and Deputy Speaker. Since 2013 he has been a Privy Councillor, a mark of Establishment approval. 

In March 2017 he found himself in the onerous position of being in the chair when a terror attack took place in the precincts of Parliament, when he gained plaudits for his measured response
“We’re in a village and our village policeman (PC Keith Palmer) has been murdered and all of our thoughts are with the family and the other innocent victims,” he told BBC News on his way in to work the next day. “But of course the House must continue – we will not give in to terrorism and today we’ll continue.”

In his acceptance speech, Hoyle stated that "this House will change, but it will change for the better", which rather begs the question, in what way? He also stated he would be a "transparent" Speaker,  pledging to take the welfare of House of Commons staff seriously. He said he wanted the Commons to be “once again a great respected House, not just in here but across the world”. Some might regard this as a guarded indication of his feelings towards the previous incumbent - who knows?

Even this happy moment was touched by sorrow. In his acceptance speech he referred to the untimely death of his daughter Natalie Lewis-Hoyle, in December 2017 at the age of 28. She apparently had tragically hanged herself following a coercive and "very toxic" relationship. 

Sir Lindsay told the Commons, as he fought back tears: “There is one person who’s not here, my daughter Natalie. I wish she’d have been here, we all miss her as a family, no more so than her mum. I’ve got to say, she was everything to all of us, she will always be missed but she will always be in our thoughts.”


Sir Lindsay Hoyle is elected new Speaker of the House of Commons replacing John Bercow Watch more: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5JsjP8mlUDA


In parliamentary terms October 2019 has been momentous and very emotional time. I'm sure in the oldest democratic parliament in the world, it will be an earnest of the forthcoming ones.