i-think Twenty-Two

Now with more coherency.

Shock horror! Yet another of life's pleasures may increase the risk of cancer

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Well, today the Salvation Army has decided to wage war on alcohol, saying we should be putting warning labels on alcohol to warn people that it increases the risk of cancer. Unfortunately, the article doesn’t provide any references to the research that they are referring to, but that won’t stop The Mill.

The first thing that comes to mind when looking at this sort of research is just how scientific the approach is. There are so many factors that need to be kept constant to accurately measure an increase in risk. First, your group of people have to have the exact same existing levels of risk. Then, you need to ensure the only factor that may increase their risk is alcohol. I’m sure we’ve come a long way in the field of research, but I just don’t think we can adequately do this.

And then there are the countless other things that they (people who aren’t me) say increase our risk of cancer, like standing too close to power lines, microwaves, mobile phones and all the other fun gadgets that make life great. Oh, and then there is smoking!

So when you have your perfect test group you have to monitor and control them long enough to see whether their risk level increased. And the best way for that to happen is to wait until they get cancer. But the actual cause of the cancer isn’t what they are looking at, merely risk, and anyone can fudge those numbers.

So now I have to ask whether the Salvation Army could have an alterior motive to reduce alcohol consumption. Perhaps they are marketing a new line of non- alcoholic drinks, but more likely they deal with a number of other problems which may be related to alcohol. Perhaps they want to encourage “winos” to stop spending their money on booze and instead buy food, clothes and maybe even take a shower. Personally I don’t think cancer is high up on the list of concerns faced by the homeless.

I remember being told by a reasonably reputable source (I don’t remember who they were, just that they were reputable) that just about everything can cause cancer. The trick it seems is to die of some other way before cancer gets you.

Of course, boozehounds have many other ways that are likely to knock them off before cancer gets them. Anything from car accidents, bar brawls, nude drunken swimming and playing chicken with cars can lead to a premature, cancerless death.

So, why not eat, drink and be merry and enjoy life while you are living it? After all, death is inevitable (probably).The Mill encourages drinking in moderation. If you must binge drink, be sure to do it with friends who can help you and not leave you in a bus shelter or gutter for the night. The Mill also acknowledges the plight of the homeless and in no way suggests that all homeless people are constantly off their face on booze.

Cancer warnings needed on alcohol, Salvation Army says. 18/09/2006. ABC News Online

But I don't want to Hibernate

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Here at work we recently purchased a Dell laptop. It’s something that I wouldn’t recommend, but it was incredibly cheap, we needed a new laptop and it seemed like good value.And so far it has been, at least for the person who primarily uses it. Having used a Dell laptop before she is familiar with the exact keyboard layout. Performance wise it is quite good (although it is also chunky, which is what happens when you combine cheap and powerful).

Anyway, Dell seems to take it upon themselves to make some changes to the configuration that are quite annoying, including changing the resolution of images so they look all pixelly!One of the more annoying settings is “Hibernate” as the default shut down option. Now, as a laptop the hibernate option is quite useful, but I’m a purist and like to Shut Down Windows whenever I’m forced to use it. To fix it so it will use your last setting you need to edit the registry. (Of course, this problem only affects you if you use the “Old School” Shutdown Dialog, which you are forced to use if you are a member of a domain.)

CAUTION: Editing the registry may screw up your computer, particularly if you do anything other than these instructions, even if you do it could blow up, harrass your family or whatever. The point is, don’t hold me responsible. Do this at your own risk. If you aren’t prepared to do that, pay someone to take the risk for you.
To fix, run regedit and look for the following key:


The name, value pair you want to change is HibernateAsDefault. This will be 0x00000001 (1). Right Click and select modify. Change the value to 0 and click OK. The change will take affect immediately. Go on, try to shut down. For those of you who would prefer it to be the default option, change it to 1 instead.

I’m not quite sure who would use this functionality as most laptops can detect when the lid is closed or the power button is pressed and you can define the action you want for these. Hell, this Dell (hehe, a rhyme) even has Hibernate as a function key (and an eject CD function key, which seems redundant with an eject button on the drive itself).

Hopefully someone will find this useful. I know that I would have preferred a Google Search to answer my question.

Thank you for not smoking

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After seeing the movie Thank you for smoking I was quite curious as to whether less people were taking up smoking. In Queensland, smoking has been banned from all areas where food is served, suddenly making bars habitable again.

Victoria youth smoking figures seem to be at about half of the equivalent 1999 poll. Let’s just hope that this isn’t a poor sampling and is actually an indication of what is going on.

Vic youth smoking figures at two-decade low. 12/09/2006. ABC News Online

Public holidays to improve security?

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New South Wales may be seeing an extra public holiday next year in an effort to increase security during the APEC conference (featuring George W. Bush).

Personally I don’t quite see how this will help, because people will still be there somewhere. In fact, because people won’t be in their office buildings it would be likely that there be more people on the streets (unless of course they close public access to the streets).

Of course, I’m not one to complain about a public holiday. In fact, the i-think foundation is preparing to commence talks with recently re-elected Premier Peter Beattie to get a public holiday declared on the day of the i-think Awards.

Howard flags NSW public holiday for APEC meeting. 11/09/2006. ABC News Online