A Poets Eye View...

A Poets Eye View...

About This Blog

Themes from climate change to the humanities will come under the watchful gaze of the author and are often presented in a succinct poetic form. All content has been Registered & Protected by 'MyFreeCopyright.com' and in many cases has previously been published by the author either in print or on various web sites to which he contributes regularly. Copyrights date back as far as 1965 in respect of some poems and lyrics.
Plagiarists will not be tolerated...

Health Is Your Real Wealth

Life and all that...Posted by Dave D Poet Rhumour Thu, June 07, 2012 18:28:36
Health Is Your Real Wealth

The Heart

Don't wait until it is broken!

I have personal experience of how symptoms that may not immediately appear to be heart related can be overlooked - my own wife suffered from 'chesty' symptoms for a couple of weeks before going to see the doctor about a possible infection. As she was only middle aged it didn't seem probable that anything serious was amiss, but that delay in seeking attention was to prove a serious ommision.

As we grow older we are naturally more aware of all the ilnesses that can affect us - we've probably spent a good bit of time visiting sick family and friends, often noticing many other patients when we went to hospitals and thinking we were lucky not to be a patient there too.

But even if we have enjoyed robust health all our lives, we might find ourselves suddenly taken ill with the effects of age - and one of the main worries can be that of a heart attack.

Here are some symptoms that you might experience as early warnings that you might be in danger of a heart attack - it is always worth being cautious and having a check up if you feel any of these!

1) Severe fatigue that lasts for several days is a possible sign of heart trouble that’s often overlooked or explained away. People often look back after a heart attack and mention this symptom.

If you’re normally a fairly energetic person and then suddenly feel sidelined by fatigue, it might not be a 'bug', so go and see your doctor.

2) If you have nausea or stomach pain ranging from mild indigestion to severe cramping & vomiting. Adults over 60 are more likely to experience this symptom and not think of heart troubles. If you feel a sudden stomach issue that is unlike your usual experience, arrange a check up and rest until it eases.

3) Pain in your neck or jaw - this can be a sign of heart trouble, also if you get shoulder, chest or arm pains. The distinguishing factor is often that the pain is rather sharp, but unlike when you may have pulled a muscle it comes and goes.

4) Loss of breath - if your heart isn’t getting enough oxygen due to restricted blood vessels you may feel unable to draw a deep breath. Other symptoms can be light-headedness or dizziness. You may like most people think being short of breath as being trouble with the lungs, like a chest infection coming on, but it may be your heart that is in trouble. It was symptoms like these that affected my late wife first.

5) Leg pains or swelling - if your heart is struggling then your extremeties may suffer loss of blood flow first, causing swelling at the ankles or feet, or pain in your legs. Blood clots may be forming in the legs and those can break free and travel to the heart if left untreated.

6) Flu type symptoms - clammy, sweating skin, with light-headed feelings, fatigue and weakness may make you think you are coming down with the flu when you may be having a heart attack. Heaviness or pressure in the chest are typical of some people’s experience in a heart attack but may be confused with having a chest cold or the flu.

Other symptoms can also be connected with heart troubles - sleeplessness, a rapid pulse, ears popping, just feeling 'out of sorts' - any of these can indicate there is trouble brewing. Don't worry about being a nuisance as many people do, just get along to the doctor and get checked over before it gets worse! You will be doing the medics a favour too, as it is easier to treat you before you collapse.

If you have already been treated for High blood pressure then your doctor will probably want to see you sooner, so do tell the receptionist that you are concerned about possible chest or heart issues.

Sources for this article include 'Healthy Living Daily' as well as the image above located via Yahoo images.

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What Price Privacy?

Life and all that...Posted by Dave D Poet Rhumour Thu, June 07, 2012 18:24:45

What Price Privacy?

Under the 'Freedom Of Information Act' the UK Government has been forced to reveal that hundreds of civil servants have "snooped" on British citizens' private data.

As if we didn't already have to worry about hackers illegally accessing government systems, it turns out that our civil servants are more likely to access your data illegally.

The U.K. government is failing to secure data from medical records to social security details, and even criminal records, according to figures obtained by Channel 4 program 'Dispatches' through use of Freedom of Information requests.

Almost 1,000 civil servants working for the Dept for Work & Pensions (DWP) were disciplined for accessing personal social security records. The Department for Health (DoH), which stores all UK medical records, had more than 150 breaches during a 13 month period.

Only a fortnight ago the Queen formally announced that the UK government will be monitoring all Web & email traffic, and will log all landline, mobile phone, and Skype calls - so Big Brother really will be watching - and listening to you!

Who is to say that the data gathered won't be illegally accessed or abused - we have had a lot of revelations about Newspapers hacking into sensitive data over several years, so what are the prospects for any privacy in future?

The DWP has a database of around 100 million people, rather more than the current UK population - presumably including details of people now deceased. Some 200,000 civil servants have been vetted to extremely high standards before they can access this database - yet there are still breaches by staff.

Figures show that from April 2010 to March 2011, 513 civil servants made "unauthorised disclosures of official, sensitive, private or personal information". Between April 2011 and January 2012, more than 460 staff were disciplined over such breaches.

The DoH revealed that it did not log each & every breach of unlawful access to UK medical records, but admitted to 158 recorded breaches in 2011. Four years earlier, there were only 28 cases, so that represents a five-fold increase!

Out of the hundreds of thousands of employees in both departments, these numbers represent only a fraction of the total staff, so not all are untrustworthy. However as we know, it took only one person to leak more than 250,000 US diplomatic cables to WikiLeaks in the largest single unauthorized release of classified data in the history of the United States.

Under the Data Protection Act, it is a criminal offense to obtain or disclose personal data without prior permission. The penalties for such criminal offenses go up to £5,000 ($7,900) in a Magistrates court, or an unlimited fine in the Crown courts. Identity Theft is big business now and really ought to be punished in the same scale as robbery.

Some British politicians have called for extreme data breaches to result in prison sentences, something dismissed by other parliamentary committee members, so there is some hope of tightening of the penalties.

One Scottish local authority was fined £140,000 ($220,000) recently for five separate data breaches, which is the highest fine imposed by the courts to date.

It seems that the financial benefits from selling personal data are rarely outweighed by the fines or penalties imposed!

New legislation proposed by the European government would require a data breach, whether by an individual deliberately acting outside the law, or accidentally due to unforeseen events, to be reported to the person for which that data relates.

Those laws are at least two or three years away, so until then companies & public sector organizations will face minor fines compared to the 1 million euro flat rate or 2% of their annual global turnover. Meantime we should ask ourselves just whom is listening to intimate conversations we had always assumed were private!

GCHQ, Cheltenham UK

Our GCHQ center already monitors a huge amount of data flowing through the UK networks, a mixed blessing since that allows them to track would be terrorists.

Further data security concerns must be raised by the move to Cloud computing - the potential for data stored in cloud systems to be hacked is still questionable.

Of course the typical UK citizen is entitled to feel concerned - and should be legally entitled to know when his data has been misused. I think it reasonable that we regard these people as 'victims' just as much as those who were hacked by criminals or journalists, etc. And if compensation is due to them, who pays the price? It should be the perpetrator, but will probably be the tax payer yet again...

Some information used in this post was sourced from ZDNet's Between the Lines under the headline "UK government staff caught snooping on citizen data."

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Time For Change In The World

Life and all that...Posted by Dave Dunn Tue, February 07, 2012 20:12:19

It is surely now Time for more balance in the world's distribution of resources of every kind.

Everyone is aware of how the world economy has been driven into recession by the foolish actions of a minority of bankers and other financial sector executives - yet it is left to the majority of people to suffer the real consequences as both business and government sectors have made cut backs.

Around the world many millions have been left unemployed, with no real prospect yet of new jobs to keep them and their families fed and housed.

In some countries, such as the UK, the government is even cutting back on support for the disabled amongst society -people with perhaps the least power to protest about their treatment, as well as placing extra financial burdens upon the unemployed with a series of measures that have driven the basic costs of living ever higher while incomes are static or dropping.

We have endured huge rises in fuel costs to heat our homes, transport costs rising far quicker than inflation, food rising ever more, and facilities that both the elderly and the unemployed have previously relied upon for some comfort during the day, such as libraries and community centres, being closed to save a small amount.

Many of the cost rises are influenced by external factors, but still the government has applied higher taxes to basic items, to petrol and diesel fuels, etc, so they cannot deny causing hardship to the most vulnerable people in the population, many of whom have lost their homes and endured other stressful experiences because of the recession.

And those problems are as nothing, compared to the people in the 'third world' who continue to suffer from cruel natural circumstances such as droughts, crop failures, etc, as well as lacking many of the basic infrastructure that everyone reading this will be used to enjoying - education, health care and permanent housing.

Yes, there are members of the super rich community that have been turning their attention to giving large parts of their wealth to deserving causes - Bill Gates is one example that many could follow if they truly
believe in caring for the under privileged.

What we need however, is a massive change in attitude from top businessmen and politicians - the billions of people in the world that are increasingly prepared to protest about their shabby treatment won't be prepared to endure much more before they rise up as in the Arab Spring, the London protests, the Wall street protests, etc.

We can all exert peaceful pressures upon those in charge, we can demand to know where all the money our banks lost ended up (surely few believe we have been told the real truth on that) and we can call for truly democratic distribution of resources for all..

The internet is a very powerful tool for communication and can be put to good use by the majority to ensure their voices are heard more clearly than ever before - national boundaries and the suppresson of free speech are no longer preventing the majority from accessing information and organizing protests via the web.

It is Time for Peaceful, but determined actions - it is no longer sufficient to grumble amongst our friends and neighbours in our own countries, grumble on a truly World scale instead!

January 16th 2012

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The Unknown Child

Life and all that...Posted by Dave Dunn Tue, February 07, 2012 20:06:29

(Version 2 )

I am the unknown child the stork didn't bring,
my mother struck down during endless bombing,
no chance had I to ever see the light of dawn,
or graduate from milk to rusks made from corn.

The web can reveal the millions that died in war,
those that were soldiers and sailors and more,
the many others who died without raising a fist,
but who counted the babies that were never kissed?

Many fathers away on battlefields never knew,
until many months later about bombs that slew,
the families they had to leave behind to be brave
and wives carried children with them to the grave...

I am the unknown child that was not born,
just one of millions who have never sworn,
never had one chance to play out in the sun,
or gaze up into the eyes of a loving mum...

February 5th 2012
Edited February 8th 2012.

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Dumped Plastic Kills!

Life and all that...Posted by Dave Dunn Thu, November 10, 2011 10:44:47

Dumped Plastic Kills So Much Marine Life.

Dumping plastic anywhere is bad news - it is bad enough on land, but at sea the almost unseen effects are now known to be severe.

Dumping plastic into landfill sites is not good news - not even if the plastic has been blended with biodegradables to encourage it to break down into smaller pieces. Like all oil based products it comes at a price - expensive processing and large quantities of energy consumed - and instead of being reserved for long life products, most of it now ends up being used to make 'disposable' items.

If we can avoid using plastic carrier bags, food bags and cling film and revert to cotten/jute bags for shopping, cornstarch bags for food wrappings and so on, then we will avoid huge amonts of waste and corresponding savings in emissions. Progress is being made with recycling of plastics and that will need to become 100% as the limited amount of landfill space in some countries (such as the UK) will be completely filled within a few years at present rates of dumping.

Plastic has been with us for over 50 years now - and even if we stopped making it now, it will be with us for many decades to come. This is because it doesnt degrade in the same way that many other materials do - it will gradually break down into tiny particles, but in so doing it leaches out all the other chemicals mixed in with it. Sadly the problems dont just end with landfills - plastic particles and their fellow components are entering the water table and thereby being taken into crops and livestock.

In the Oceans

In the oceans of the world micro particles of plastic now outweigh plankton by as much as 30 times - ingestion of these particles is now thought to contribute to the deaths of at least 100,000 marine animals every year. Satellite imaging has revealed areas in the oceans where vast quantities of plastic bottles and other waste have been collecting together as a result of currents collecting them from items discarded from ships, litter left on beaches, etc.

The 'Great Pacific Garbage Patch' is an area of floating waste (flotsum) said to be twice the size of Texas - over 3 million tons of plastic! Currently the next biggest known marine garbage patch is the North Atlantic Garbage Patch, estimated to be some hundreds of kilometres across in size.

As well as collecting in floating 'rafts' of waste, vast amounts are also carried onto the shorelines of unfortunate countries such as Hawai...

Many sea birds and turtles, etc, have also died from ingesting plastic bags - the damage is growing at an alarming rate.

Cleaning up plastic debris also uses up energy and thereby adds further to the emissions polluting our skies. Plainly the past habits of using disposable plastic items must stop before our oceans are turned into an inhospitable environment for fish and mammals alike!

A Shining Example of Change For the Better

Changing our daily habits can demonstrably reduce our reliance upon disposable plastics - as amply proven by the town of Modbury, South Devon. Please view their site for full details and guidance on how to implement similar schemes in your own area. http://www.plasticbagfree.com

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No Jobs For A Man

Life and all that...Posted by Dave Dunn Tue, March 29, 2011 01:01:29

I was the seventh child in a family of four,
the second born, do I need to say more?
Well perhaps I should fill in a few gaps,
or you could remain confused perhaps...

Yes I was the second boy born to my mother,
five girls came before me I did discover,
four boys in all were to follow my dad,
down to the dole queue, no jobs to be had.

No Jobs For A Man was all dad would say,
just a few ads for a lass, the same every day
and so the poverty we all knew as many before
was plain to all those that came by our door.

It was the time of depression between the great wars,
the shipyards were idle, the pits dug no more,
all the efforts of unions brought little relief,
fitters had nowt to fit, nowt to eat, nowt but grief.

For grief came to many as families felt the cruel
grasp of TB and rickets that kept children from school,
such was the prize for those veterans that survived the war,
no prospects for their kids to keep the wolf from the door.

They had stood most of the losses that any man might take,
in trenches as bullets and worse killed many of their mates,
back home they should have had their just reward,
but back in the thirties they were largely ignored.

For profit and health care were but for the few,
death came to most folk before they aged forty two,
lungs damaged by coal dust and smoke and TB
in those cruel years afore we ever heard of TV...

March 26th 2011

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A Shrinking World

Life and all that...Posted by Dave Dunn Mon, March 14, 2011 08:26:15

From my perspective, the largest single benefit that the internet has brought (to the people who have access to it) is the facility to communicate across the boundaries of distance, borders, religion and politics - truly shrinking the world as we find out for ourselves that people are basically the same everywhere and develop a sense of empathy with our distant cousins.

When the devastating power of natural disasters is sweeping across nations as it has in Japan these last few days, as well as in Haiti and New Zealand and many other places before, we can react in real time to at least display our support and perhaps in some small ways provide comfort to those suffering.

Plainly the logistical problems facing Japan now are enormous - massive damage to road and rail links, loss of harbour facilities, etc, are massively hampering rescue efforts and the fear of further significant aftershocks, maybe even another tsunami will be traumatising those that have yet to be reached.

Like many countries, the United Kingdom also has concerns for their own missing nationals who were working or visiting the affected areas, bringing many families around the world closer to the realities facing Japan. Truly no nation should ever have to feel isolated at such times - search and rescue teams have been arriving to bring some immediate practical benefits.

And through all this natural tragedy we are still well aware of avoidable death and destruction in Libya, Somalia, Yemen, Afghanistan, Iraq - the list goes on.

Doubtless the attention that is deservedly being given to Japan has to some extent limited the prominence of the suffering being inflicted in Libya as the military battle to regain control of dissident regions. Sadly it appears to take much longer for a decision by the UN to take any action there to limit the ruthless actions that Gadafi has initiated......

We should never underestimate the potential of the internet to bring the combined power of millions of like minded people to reach out and press all the political entities to take decisive actions on such issues sooner - web based collective actions by groups such as Care2.com are becoming well known and many keep members updated and motivated.

One place to look for a list of groups can be found at:- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_human_rights_organisations

We can all make our voices heard now, yours is as important as any....

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No Time To Sit Still

Life and all that...Posted by Dave Dunn Fri, February 25, 2011 18:49:21

The UK has far exceeded it's function of policing the world by military intervention - it has cost us dearly in both casualty and fiscal terms and our economy is in rather worse shape than the previous government and our new coalition have been prepared to reveal by more than drip feeding.

Inevitably the severe cuts now being made in government spending are leading to large job cuts - as well as leaving our navy without a single aircraft carrier and scrapping the new fleet of Nimrod aircraft which will leave a big hole in our air defense capabilities.

As has been observed by several of our senior military figures we would struggle to mount even a modest military intervention now, and after we withdraw from Afghanistan the army will see more cuts....

But none of that prevents us from signing petitions to encourage the UN to exert more pressure on Gadafi or other dictators who are after all on the verge of being overwhelmed by their own people - they don't need physical intervention by anyone else, just recognition.

One of the great benefits that the web has brought to the masses is an effective way to make their voices heard - 'ground up' initiatives are destined to be more and more important in the future and will undercut the power of many politicians, be they dictators or not.

This is no time to sit still and watch while so many changes are going on in the world - we will see the industrial might of China and that of India rise sharply whatever our governments in Europe and the USA & Canada do.

But with the power of the web to link us up with other like minded people we can bring pressure to bear upon tyrants and governments and big business - the collective voice of everyday people is a powerful emerging force that we should welcome and make full use of.....

February 24th 2011

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Let's All Sign

Life and all that...Posted by Dave Dunn Thu, February 24, 2011 14:21:45

People are in pain wherever we look,
Egypt, now Libya, isn't it time we took,
the time to send a message to all in power,
to say that injustice must end this very hour...

There is misery enough in the world already,
Haiti, now New Zealand, bear a toll so heavy,
just from disasters that mankind didn't make,
why let more suffer for some dictators sake?

Every year we hear more of disastrous floods,
always there are appeals for urgent goods,
just to keep the survivors free from disease
and starvation, plus medics and rescue teams.

Let's all sign the petitions & lobby ministries,
stir the politicians into some preventive remedies,
why wait for the deaths of so many more
if we can push a few dictators out through the door....

February 24th 2011

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Life and all that...Posted by Dave Dunn Mon, February 07, 2011 18:33:41

All the pretence of innocence
The rules that one invents
Laws that must be seen to be
Beyond the reach of devilry

Those in power can circumvent
As they like, with full intent
Legal eagles can but try
To keep your vision from the lie

All in all I wonder when
We truly will have freedom again
Twisted knots of red tape can
Imprison every once free man

Number six once held the key
The prisoner seen in the sixties
Enigmatic though he may have been
His story soon exposed the dream

Freedom is so rare indeed
I ponder if we can succeed
The papers headlines cry out loud
As if they could be truly proud

But nearly all are but a scam
Or spin made by some witty man
Lies they tell us day by day
No wonder many kneel and pray

And though they tell us vote for me
The end result will plainly be
Within their rules so we can play
At democracy but still lose the day

For freedom, truth and all that’s fair
Are lost to men who really care
The sails are rigged to the systems needs
And we’ll all be subject to their deeds

Evidence of this I’ve found
Is very common all around
In daily life the taxmans strength
Is way beyond the rules he bent

A quota for all spheres within
The scope of all the suits who sin
Against the public, the underlings
Those like us that like to sing

No matter what we say or do
They find some plot to take from you
An extra tax, a fine or worse
Small wonder many learn to curse

Those that stand before the judge
And spoil the truth to earn a grudge
A grudge that if you can’t escape
Will trap you in the coils of hate

In blue and white they stand and say
This is what they saw that day
If justice can’t be had for all
Then democracy is bound to fall

For only when we can truly see
The end to all kinds of tyranny
Will Castros and Mugabes flee
Instead of grinding you and me

When Idi fled Ugangdan lands
His shelter was in desert lands
Where oil wealth grants the right to rule
To very few, that were sent to school

Within our own society
Supposedly land of the free
But once back home they have the right
To strike your hands off if they like

Suffice to say we still can write
But perchance we may awake one night
To find the rules have been changed again
Our only freedom’s within our brain

April 9th 2008

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