Creepy crawly and phone voyeur

July 16, 2007 at 2:00 pm | Posted in All, Australia, Melbourne, news, Water, Weather | 2 Comments

I hate spiders. I’m scared of them. One night we almost walked into a BIG garden orb weaver in our driveway. I nearly fainted.

Australia is home to a lot of spider species, the most dangerous being the Redback and Sydney Funnel web. Daddy long legs are a common sight in our house. They seem to like the corners.

The news below gave me the creeps while reading it. I had goose bumps all over.

From The Age

Flood triggers spider explosion

It’s every arachnophobe’s worst nightmare: millions of spiders on the move, blanketing everything in cobwebs.

The Gippsland flooding has triggered a spider population explosion of up to 30 species, which have taken to the air in the search for new homes.

Spiders on the move set up camp beside the road near Sale. Photo by Joe Armao

Australia’s leading “spider man”, the senior curator of spiders at Queensland Museum, Robert Raven, said the phenomenon was triggered by recent heavy rain, after the drought had postponed hatchings.

Arachnids from up to five families, including money spiders, wolf spiders, water spiders, crab spiders and orb-weaving spiders are in a spin, producing silk, which catches the breeze and lifts them into the air.

“They are remarkable animals and they can get up into the stratosphere higher than planes,” Dr Raven said. But when the air gets heavy, the web drops and they fall to the ground, covering everything in sight.

“After floods you’ll also get things like scorpions and centipedes that will float on the water and then get into houses.”

One Licola resident returned home to find six snakes had taken up residence inside.

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This other news gave me the creeps too. I had a similar experience at work recently. Our office is next to a government linked employment agency where there are a lot of weird and strange looking jobless persons who come and go. The toilet is at the farthest left end of the T-shaped hallway. When I went inside, the middle cubicle (there are three) is being used. I went into cubicle farthest to the door. Not long after I was there, I saw a hand from the middle cubicle with a mobile phone slowly aiming the camera to my direction. The hand was huge so I was sure it was a man’s. I dunked a bit and was shocked to see a pair of men’s working boots. I suddenly forgot the reason for my trip to the loo. I hurriedly ran out and reported the incident to the office. It took a bit of threatening before the man got out of the toilet. I should have called the police then but I was too shocked and scared that I wasn’t thinking straight.

Phone voyeur charged over shower films
July 16, 2007 – 6:34AM

A 24-year-old man has been charged with secretly filming a woman showering in her apartment on Sydney’s northern beaches, police say.

The 25-year-old woman told police she noticed a mobile phone on her bathroom window sill with its video camera running as she took a shower in her Dee Why apartment yesterday afternoon.

Police allegedly found other video clips on the phone of the same woman dressing and showering.

The 24-year-old Forestville man, known to the woman, was arrested and charged with two counts of filming for indecent purposes and two counts of installing a device to film for indecent purposes.

Police have seized his computer and a digital camera for forensic analysis.

The man was granted conditional bail to appear in Manly Local Court on August 8.

Pervert.

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Winter season makes one a lazy person

June 14, 2007 at 11:37 am | Posted in All, Australia, Blogging, Melbourne, Water, Weather | Leave a comment

I have been a lazy bum this past three or so weeks. Winter in Oz set in early. The last few days of May have been really cold and this week, daily temperature is just over ten degrees. It goes down to 5 deg or below at night. Getting up in the morning is a drag.

This winter feels like a lot colder than the last few years that I have been here. Maybe because then, work is just a few minutes drive from home. I didn’t really have to go out and walk in the open. Whereas now, work has moved close to the city, I have to drive to the train station, have to walk for about ten minutes from where I park to get to the station which incidentally is by the beach. The morning sea breeze is often chilly.

At home, we have been trying to save on energy bills (water, electricity and gas) and have been quite successful. Our electricity bill for the last quarter was cut by almost 50% when we started turning off electrical/electronic appliances at the power point. It is definitely worth turning off appliances than just leaving them on stand-by.

Water and gas have never been an issue as we are very thrifty on the use of these resources. We didn’t even want to use centralised heating this winter BUT, yes you have guessed it, hindi na namin makayanan ang lamig.

So much for saving gas. Naninigas ang katawan ko sa lamig. 😀

 

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Are water bottles safe to re-use?

April 4, 2007 at 1:34 pm | Posted in All, Australia, Health, So You May Know, TV, Water | 8 Comments

Drink lots of water everyday; That’s what the doctors say
It helps you keep hydrated; Skin moistened, joints lubricated.
Drinking lots of water; Helps curb a bit of hunger
If you are in a diet; Less food more water will help lose weight
If enough water is in your body; You feel you have more energy
Perspiration will occur constantly; Even without strenous physical activity
So here’s to you oh water; For making me feel much better
You are a healing wonder; Cheers to you and your power.

We do need to drink water. And lots of it. For the lack of safe drinking water when we are out, we resort to bottled water. But what do we do when we need more? We re-fill the bottle. I’m sure there are a lot of people out there who in one time or another re-use water bottles. I did on a lot of occasions. Isn’t it always handy to have a bottle of water somewhere where you can easily reach out and have a sip?

There was an episode of the show “What’s Good For you” in Channel 9 which I think is worth re-telling. It was about re-using water bottles.

The test was conducted to find out about the health risks of refilling water bottles.

Water bottles were taken to a lab for analysis. These were:

  • A two-day old ottle from an office
  • A two-day old bottle from a car
  • A bottle that has spent a whole week being re-filled
  • One that’s been topped up for two weeks
  • A shared water bottle
  • And a bottle that someone has been re-using for six months.

The results:

The two-day old bottle from an office was found to be safe though bacteria were already starting to build up. In low doses, it will not cause any problems. Other bottle samples showed more bacterial build-up. The more they were refilled and the longer they were used, the more bacteria have grown. Yaiks!

Now, the bottle that has been used for six months showed some green colour in it. Algae! The microbiologist can not tell how the algae got into the bottle. Under the microscope, the bottle was swarming with bacteria but fortunately, the algae were not toxic. She emphasised though that there are some pretty serious water-borne toxins around.

So how did the bacteria get into the water bottles? Probably from the cells in the mouth which dislodge easily, saliva. Also, some of the food can get back into the water bottle by way of backwash. Yes, backwash, the outward flow of liquid, in this case, water.

To prove the backwash, three persons were made to dye their mouths and drink from water bottles. Two drank normally with their mouths touching the bottles. One drank by pouring water into his mouth without the bottle touching his lips.

The bottles which had benn drunk from normally have dye colours in them. This howed that any contact with lips on the bottle causes some form of backwash to go in. Nothing has changed with the bottle that has not touched the lips of the drinker.

So to avoid backwash, don’t let the bottles touch your lips as you drink. But that’s only from one’s own mouth, what about from a shared bottle?

The results from the sample taken from a shared bottle revealed staphylococcus growing. Staphylococcus? Doesn’t that sound icky? It is.

From Medterms: Staphylococcus is a group of bacteria that cause a multitude of diseases. Under a microscope, Staphylococcus bacteria are round and bunched together. They can cause illness directly by infection, or indirectly through products they make, such as toxins responsible for food poisoning and toxic shock syndrome. The best known member of the Staphylococcus family is Staphylococcus aureus.

From Healthline: Staphylococcus aureus is found on humans and in the environment in dust, air and sewage. The bacteria is spread primarily by food handlers using poor sanitary practices. Almost any food can be contaminated, but salad dressings, milk products, cream pastries, and any food kept at room temperature, rather than hot or cold are likely candidates.

There is a risk of picking up something nasty from using a shared bottle. Sharing bottle also means sharing germs.

So, will you be re-using water bottles? It’s not an absolute no-no to re-use bottles. The key is to wash it regularly with hot water and detergent and if possible store it in the fridge. Bacteria grow much faster in a warmer environment.

Me? I do re-use bottles but only for the same day I started using it. It goes to the recycle bin after that.

 

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