Crocodile tears

September 6, 2006

Jack Marx of the Sydney Morning Herald doesn’t understand why the dead of Steve Irwin gets so much attention in the Australian press, and why some newspapers see him as a hero while he was slashed two years ago. It gets not only a lot of attention, but some media really go hysterical. Marx has written a great column about it:

“But what winds me up about celebrity death these days is the manner in which the frauds in the media fair blow their loads in the “outpouring of grief” that has became standard issue since Diana’s sick and prolonged exit. Footage runs in slow motion as pianos tinkle, while every columnist with the imagination of a duck jumps up for their own gooey turn at the pulpit in a free-to-air funeral service that never ends.”

Crocodile Hunter

September 4, 2006

Television star Steve Irwin died while diving in far north Queensland. He was stung by a stingray. Irwin was 44 year old. A documentary producer working with Irwin said at ABC that the star died doing what he loved best.

Irwin was known for his television programm ‘Crocodile Hunter’. He was a passionate conservationist and an important icon for the Australian tourism industry.

Prime minister John Howard appreciated the work Irwin was doing: “He was the genuine article, what you saw was what you got, he took risks, he enjoyed life, but he brought immense joy to millions of people, particularly to children, and it’s just such a terrible loss and I feel very distressed and I’m quite upset.”

Gardasil

August 30, 2006

Professor Ian Frazer vaccinated two girls with Gardasil, the only cervical cancer vaccine on the market. Frazer and his team worked sixteen years on Gardasil. Vaccinating the girls was the end of the journey.

Frazer acknowledged his colleague Dr. Jian Zhou. Zhou died six years ago, aged 42. There is a fund that commemorates him and that will finance a medical fellowship in Queensland.

The world first vaccine prevents four of dozens of strains of the HPV which causes genital warts and cervical cancer. Gardasil protects against cancers caused by human papillomavirus (HPV). Most cervical cancers are caused by HPV.

“This is not a substitute for pap smears – it is an adjunct. The vaccine can only prevent 70 per cent of cancers. The good news for women is they are very much less likely to have an abnormal pap smear”, said Frazer.