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February 2011



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Archive for February 1st, 2011

The Vines

Follow-up to 2008’s ‘Melodia’…

January 19, 2011 by Holly Frith

The Vines have revealed details of their new album, set for release in April.

The follow-up to 2008’s ‘Melodia’, entitled ‘Future Primitive’, was recorded in Paris with Wolf & Cub producer Chris Colonna, Triple J radio station reports.

The Vines last album ‘Melodia’ was released on their own label Ivy League Records.

Lead single, ‘Gimme Love’, has been made available from the band’s website.

Meanwhile, The Vines were forced to cancel a string of tour dates back in 2008 due to their singer’s ongoing battle with Asperger’s Syndrome.

Source: http://www.gigwise.com/news/60761/The-Vines-Will-Release-New-Album-Future-Primitive-In-April



By St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Posted: Wednesday, January 19, 2011 12:15 am

Here’s what has been learned in the 13 years since then:

  • *Most of Dr. Wakefield’s co-researchers withdrew their names from the key findings of the report, and the hospital where the research took place discharged him.
  • *Before the research even began, Dr. Wakefield had glaring conflicts of interest that he repeatedly failed to disclose. He was being paid by a lawyer who was planning to sue manufacturers of vaccines.
  • *Dr. Wakefield also applied for patents for an alternate vaccine and a diagnostic procedure, both of which could become highly profitable if they could link MMR vaccine to autism and bowel disease. He started planning to set up a private company to handle business generated by his patents.
  • *Last February, The Lancet publicly retracted the 1998 report.
  • *Most important of all, some two dozen scientific studies since 1998, involving millions of children, have found no link between autism and the MMR vaccine or other vaccines.

Yet Dr. Wakefield and his discredited study continue to fortify a small but potent movement opposed to mandatory vaccinations. Polio, measles, rubella, meningitis, hepatitis A and B, mumps, chicken pox, tetanus, diphtheria, whooping cough, influenza and rotavirus are all serious diseases.

Don’t take our word for it. Ask your doctor.

– St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Source: http://www.mtstandard.com/news/opinion/columnists/article_8286ab18-2356-11e0-b524-001cc4c002e0.html


The Daily Telegraph

A SYDNEY mother has been ordered to have her five-year-old daughter immunised in a controversial Family Court decision.

The girls’ father, who remarried and had another child, wanted the girl vaccinated against preventable diseases for her own wellbeing and the health of his other children.

But the girl’s mother said her daughter was healthy and the risk of vaccine-preventable diseases was very small.

The couple, who cannot be named for legal reasons, separated before their daughter was born.

The court heard the father initially consented to the child not being immunised but claimed it was because he was desperate to establish a relationship with her.

The father now wants her vaccinated, producing medical evidence immunisation provided no unacceptable risks for his daughter.

He said if the girl remained un-vaccinated, she would be forced to withdraw from school during outbreaks of some diseases.

She would also be unable to spend time with any new children he had as she was not immunised against whooping cough.

The mother produced opposing evidence that the vaccinations were unnecessary but was criticised in the judgment for submitting evidence from an “immunisation sceptic”, who made what the magistrate described as “outlandish statements unsupported by any empirical evidence”.

Outside the court, National Centre for Immunisation Research & Surveillance research head Professor Robert Booy said immunisations prevented very serious diseases.

He said 97 per cent of parents had their children vaccinated and that immunisations formed a chain of protection around those vulnerable to infection.

“The only way we can protect the vulnerable, and that may be a newborn or someone with an immune deficiency, is to ensure other people are vaccinated,” he said.

However the decision shocked paediatric chiropractor and author Dr Warren Sipser.

“It’s a sad situation,” Dr Sipser said outside court.

“I think it’s dangerous to impose [immunisations] on anyone when there are two opposing viewpoints and when there is credible evidence they may do more harm than good,” he said.

Source: http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/ordered-to-have-vaccine/story-e6freuy9-1225988181709

Campaigning for change illustration

The National Autistic Society has launched a guide to help people with autism and their families challenge cuts to local authority and NHS services in their area.

With local councils setting their budgets for the next financial year, we have been contacted by many of our supporters who are concerned that services for people with autism in their area are facing cuts.

While we recognise the financial pressures that local councils are facing, having had their funding from central Government reduced, we are extremely concerned about the impact of cutting vital services which provide a lifeline for so many families.  The right support at the right time can make an enormous difference to people affected by autism, preventing them from reaching crisis point - at even greater cost to the local authorities left to pick up the pieces.

The guide – SOS: Save Our Services – explains how to begin a campaign against cuts, including how to gather evidence to make your campaign more persuasive. It sets out how decisions about local authority and NHS services are made, which decision-makers to contact, and how best to influence them. It also explains more about the legal duties that local authorities and health services have in relation to support for people with autism, and what you can do if you believe that proposed cuts may put them in breach of these duties.

Download a copy of ‘SOS: Save Our Services’.

If you would like further advice or information, or a hard copy of SOS: Save Our Services, contact our Campaigns Team:

Email: campaign@nas.org.uk
Call: 020 7923 5799
Write: The National Autistic Society, Campaigns Team, 393 City Road, London, EC1V 1NG.

Source: http://www.autism.org.uk/news-and-events/news-from-the-nas/nas-launches-new-guide-to-challenging-cuts-to-local-services.aspx

David Cameron

Autistic Man Asks Prime Minister To Reconsider Cuts

A Bournemouth resident who suffers from Asperger’s Syndrome has appealed to the prime minister to think about the human cost of the public spending cuts.

Garry Chapman, 36, told the Bournemouth Echo that hundreds of people in his local area alone will be impacted when the cuts mean that day centres for people with learning disabilities are closed.

“You’re sending out the wrong message to people. Do the right and honourable thing by stopping cutting, and help the people of this country by putting smiles back on their faces,” he said in a message sent to David Cameron.

“Keep day centres open. There is no need to close them. This is a people’s country. Let’s all work together and make it a better place to live.”

Also speaking to the local newspaper, Nadine Evans, service manager for community care services at Bournemouth council, said that a review of social care given to all the council’s users is being carried out to ensure funding is available for care for all vulnerable people.

Source: http://www.craegmoor.co.uk/industry-news/article/800369453/autistic-man-asks-prime-minister-to-reconsider-cuts/


Scales of Justice, London

First Published Friday, January 28 06:20 pm


Four people including two teenagers have been jailed for the “brutal and sadistic” murder of a young man with Asperger’s Syndrome.

Shaun Rossington, who was described as “vulnerable and gullible”, was beaten to death by the gang in Lincoln last year.

At Nottingham Crown Court, two men were given life sentences for their part in the killing.

Nicholas Shelbourne, 27, and Mark Jackson, 21, were both told they must serve at least 13 years.

Daryll Jones and Jordan O’Rourke, both aged 17, were both given youth detention orders and must serve 13 years and 11 years respectively.

A 17-year-old girl convicted of manslaughter was jailed for five years while a second girl was given a two-year youth rehabilitation order for perverting the course of justice.

Asperger’s sufferer Mr Rossington, 21, was found in grassland on Searby Road in the early hours of June 3 last year.

During the trial the court heard he was lured to the spot under the premise of meeting a then 13-year-old girl.

When he arrived he was savagely attacked by Jones, O’Rouke, Shelbourne and Jackson and left for dead.

During sentencing Mrs Justice Cox said Mr Rossington “offered no resistance” and was “beaten to the point of unconsciousness”.

The court heard the 21-year-old suffered 41 different injuries, including two knife wounds to his back.

Mrs Justice Cox said it was a “wholly unprovoked, brutal and chilling attack on a defenceless young man”.

Mr Rossington’s mother said in a victim impact statement her son “would not have understood what was happening to him”.

Source: http://uk.news.yahoo.com/5/20110128/tuk-gang-of-four-jailed-for-sadistic-mur-45dbed5.html

First Published 13th December, 2010.

A fund which supports more than 21,000 people with severe disabilities is to be phased out by 2015.

The £359m Independent Living Fund pays out an average of £300 a week, to help people pay for carers so they can live at home and not in a care home.

It was already shut to new applicants for this year and will now shut to new claims permanently, said the minister for disabled people, Maria Miller.

Payments to existing users are to continue until 2015.

Ms Miller said: “An independent discretionary trust delivering social care is financially unsustainable.”

But Richard Hawkes, chief executive of disability charity Scope, said the decision to phase out the fund was “bemusing”.

“The fund is comparatively very small and is designed to support disabled people to live at home rather than in care homes,” he said.

“It’s hard to see how phasing out this fund will do anything but narrow down options and push people towards greater dependence on the state.”

The phased closure was described as “foolhardy and lacking in humanity” by Labour peer Lord Morris of Manchester.

Lord Morris, who was the first minister for the disabled, said: “This will not save money. If you make it harder for disabled people to live at home, it will cost more because more of them will have to be in hospitals and other places of full-time care.

“It will mean far more of them having to be in institutional care at far greater cost to the taxpayer.”

The government said local authorities had a statutory responsibility to provide social care support to their residents.

And it said it remained its priority to safeguard the position of the recipients of the fund.

It said it would carry out a formal consultation next year on how best to continue to support existing users.

Source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-11985568

First Published Thu 23 Dec, 2010 08:00 am GMT

Everyone knows that alcohol and colds can give you a headache, but what else can act as a trigger? We reveal five surprising triggers which may be behind your headache.

Teeth grinding

If you suffer from morning headaches, your teeth might be to blame! People who grind or clench their teeth – known as bruxism – are three times more likely to suffer headaches than the rest of us.

As most grinding takes place while you are asleep, you may not be aware you are doing it. Constantly grinding your teeth can cause the facial and neck muscles to tense, making a headache more likely.

Other tell-tale signs of teeth grinding include jaw pain in the morning, facial and neck pain, worn away tooth enamel and sensitive teeth caused by roots being exposed as the gum recedes.

If you think teeth grinding may be your headache trigger, then see your dentist as soon as you can. They can supply you with a mouth guard which can help to save your teeth and ease the headache.

The week-end lie in

People working flat out Monday to Friday may find themselves with a pounding headache come late Saturday morning.

This can happen when stress hormones circulating in the blood drop when the body suddenly goes into relaxation mode. This causes a rapid release of neurotransmitters, the brain’s chemical messengers which cause the blood vessels to constrict and dilate, leading to a headache.

So try to fit in some kind of relaxation or exercise into your busy schedule during the week rather than waiting for the weekend. And limit your sleep to no more than eight hours. Too much sleep is also linked to headaches.

Your computer

Poor posture can cause the muscles of your upper back, neck and shoulders to tense, which increases your chances of getting a headache.

Sitting in a slouched position for hours at a time or sitting with your head jutted forward should be avoided.

Looking at a computer screen means the eyes have to focus at short distances, which requires the most effort by our eye muscles, and can cause eyestrain as well as headache.

So take regular breaks from working at the computer and move around. Adjust your compute screen so that it’s 20 to 30 inches away from your eyes and positioned at eye level. Avoid glare by making sure there is no direct sunlight on the computer screen.

Try to use a headset rather than a phone when sitting at a computer. Cradling a phone between your head and shoulder will only increase muscle strain on your neck and shoulder muscles.

Your perfume

Perfumes are designed to stimulate the brain. When exposed to the air, perfume evaporates and the chemicals within activate nerve cells in the nose, which send signals to the brain. Unfortunately for some sensitive souls, these signals are strong enough to cause headache and migraines.

Household cleaners, fragrance air fresheners, soaps and shampoos can all have the same effect.

Ensure that your home and place of work are well ventilated, with a good supply of fresh air to help minimise your exposure to the offending fragrance. Make a point of letting work colleagues know how fragrances affect you, especially if they’re the type who like to “splash it all over!”

One remedy claims that you can fight smells with smells – apply a small drop of peppermint oil to your forehead – a study suggested that this can work as well as painkillers for a smell induced headache.


Tense, nervous headache? Are you reaching for painkillers? Perhaps you should stop and think again, because taking pain medication too often can itself trigger headaches.

Around one in ten people are thought to suffer from “rebound” headaches caused by taking too many over-the-counter painkillers such as ibuprofen, aspirin, codeine and paracetamol.

Typically, rebound headaches happen after taking painkillers a few times a week for long periods of time. During this period, the headaches usually become more frequent and more painkillers are taken to deal with them and so a cycle is established.

If this sounds like you, then see your GP. They will advise you on how to come off the painkillers if necessary.

Unless your doctor has told you otherwise, you should not take painkillers for headaches more than twice a week or two days in a row.

Always should always go to your GP if you feel you need to regularly use OTC medicines. You could have an underlying health condition, so it’s best to get it checked out.

Source: http://uk.health.lifestyle.yahoo.net/Five-suprising-things-which-trigger-headaches.htm



A Fate That Narcissists Will Hate: Being Ignored


Narcissists, much to the surprise of many experts, are in the process of becoming an endangered species.

Not that they face imminent extinction — it’s a fate much worse than that. They will still be around, but they will be ignored.

The fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (due out in 2013, and known as DSM-5) has eliminated five of the 10 personality disorders that are listed in the current edition.

Narcissistic personality disorder is the most well-known of the five, and its absence has caused the most stir in professional circles.

Most nonprofessionals have a pretty good sense of what narcissism means, but the formal definition is more precise than the dictionary meaning of the term.

Our everyday picture of a narcissist is that of someone who is very self-involved — the conversation is always about them. While this characterization does apply to people with narcissistic personality disorder, it is too broad. There are many people who are completely self-absorbed who would not qualify for a diagnosis of N.P.D.

The central requirement for N.P.D. is a special kind of self-absorption: a grandiose sense of self, a serious miscalculation of one’s abilities and potential that is often accompanied by fantasies of greatness. It is the difference between two high school baseball players of moderate ability: one is absolutely convinced he’ll be a major-league player, the other is hoping for a college scholarship.

Of course, it would be premature to call the major-league hopeful a narcissist at such an early age, but imagine that same kind of unstoppable, unrealistic attitude 10 or 20 years later.

The second requirement for N.P.D.: since the narcissist is so convinced of his high station (most are men), he automatically expects that others will recognize his superior qualities and will tell him so. This is often referred to as “mirroring.” It’s not enough that he knows he’s great. Others must confirm it as well, and they must do so in the spirit of “vote early, and vote often.”

Finally, the narcissist, who longs for the approval and admiration of others, is often clueless about how things look from someone else’s perspective. Narcissists are very sensitive to being overlooked or slighted in the smallest fashion, but they often fail to recognize when they are doing it to others.

Most of us would agree that this is an easily recognizable profile, and it is a puzzle why the manual’s committee on personality disorders has decided to throw N.P.D. off the bus. Many experts in the field are not happy about it.

Actually, they aren’t happy about the elimination of the other four disorders either, and they’re not shy about saying so.

One of the sharpest critics of the DSM committee on personality disorders is a Harvard psychiatrist, Dr. John Gunderson, an old lion in the field of personality disorders and the person who led the personality disorders committee for the current manual.

Asked what he thought about the elimination of narcissistic personality disorder, he said it showed how “unenlightened” the personality disorders committee is.

“They have little appreciation for the damage they could be doing.” He said the diagnosis is important in terms of organizing and planning treatment.

“It’s draconian,” he said of the decision, “and the first of its kind, I think, that half of a group of disorders are eliminated by committee.”

He also blamed a so-called dimensional approach, which is a method of diagnosing personality disorders that is new to the DSM. It consists of making an overall, general diagnosis of personality disorder for a given patient, and then selecting particular traits from a long list in order to best describe that specific patient.

Read in Full: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/30/health/views/30mind.html?_r=2&ref=health


‘Music is my passion/obsession/vice. I find solace in the words of Morrissey’.

Yousif Nur

guardian.co.uk Sunday 16 January 2011 12.00 GMT

Those, like me, who have Asperger’s syndrome may struggle with daily interactions – but we find solace in our passions

At a very early age I knew I was somehow different from the others. An unexplainable difference in behaviour, idiosyncrasies and just having bags more energy than other toddlers. Couple that with numerous trips to different psychiatrists asking why I had frequent tantrums and crying fits, and was very antisocial with other schoolkids. Something was mostly definitely wrong with me. My parents were unnerved by it. It was not so much that I had a problem with myself but, rather, a question mark tattooed on my forehead. I was lost in a limbo of myself. And so it went on for a number of years.

Then an epiphany. It was around 14 or 15 that I read about the symptoms of an autism-related condition called Asperger’s syndrome – and suddenly I understood. It affects about one in 300 people (mostly but not exclusively male) in the UK, according to the NHS. Some of the traits include difficulty in maintaining eye contact, unusual patterns of speech in conversation, an inability to interact with other people and often failing to read body language. There’s no “cure”, but training to cope with the outside world is required. Finally, I had some clarity on just why I felt as though I lived in a bubble throughout my adolescence. Now it made sense why I needed the extra learning support, being often taken out of lessons and into one-on-one tutoring.

But I was also at a crossroads. Should I accept my condition, though relatively untreatable and incurable? Or should I spend the rest of my teens and most of my adult life locked away in isolation listening ad nauseam to The Smiths’ Heaven Knows I’m Miserable Now? Well, I did a little of both … OK, maybe most of the latter.

Then there’s the small matter of rules of engagement with the opposite sex. Confidence is a stumbling block that for many, including myself, is an obstacle that is often too difficult to jump over. Of course, most teenagers go through a stage like that, but for me it was abnormally intense. I recall an incident as a 17-year-old at a bus stop with a friend, being checked out by a couple of girls, to which they turned a corner and said audibly “I don’t like his face”. Most people would get over that pretty quickly, but I don’t think I left my room for four days straight, save for showers. My confidence had been shot.

This isn’t to say that we’re completely incapable of being intimately involved or being in relationships. Though admittedly, it’s more difficult for us than most. Our social interaction skills aren’t perhaps as strong as anyone else’s, though that’s not to say that we’re cripplingly uncaring, po-faced or even indifferent, but to put it simply, it’s the thought of intimacy and sharing that intimidates. In contrast, as far as love goes, many of those diagnosed can go on to have happy and sustainable relationships.

There has been talk among researchers that Asperger’s syndrome, in terms medical approaches, can perhaps be seen as a different cognitive style rather than as a disability – much in the same way that homosexuality was once regarded as an illness but then demedicalised. Personally I’m a little dubious. Homosexuality is widely accepted tacitly and people are much more accepting of it than Asperger’s, because they have so little experience or knowledge of the latter.

Read in Full: http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/jan/16/aspergers-syndrome-living-social