Alan Jones has prostate cancer

I’m listening to his press conference now – in the midst of this rather startling and unexpected news, he’s showing his class and level headedness in not over-lamenting his situation, and looking at it in the perspective of others who struggle far more than he will in this battle.

I wish him well and hope that he recovers from this setback. News link to come…

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Jane McGrath passes away

The wife of Australian cricketing great Glenn McGrath has sadly succumbed to her lengthy cancer battle, aged just 42. It’s been a well documented fight over the past decade, and I’m sure that it will not only affect Pigeon and their 2 young children, but many who would have known the family and feel like they know the family by virtue of Pigeon’s achievements on the cricket field and Jane’s sharing of her struggles.

In light of this sad news, I have decided to put the competition that I had running on hold, and donate the “prizemoney” to the McGrath Foundation. I was talking to Andrew (one of my regular readers, who has said in a past comment that he doesn’t have iTunes) at church this morning, and mentioned that I would donate the $50 to a charitable organisation if the winner so desired. The passing of a woman whose own plight did plenty to raise awareness of breast cancer seems an apt opportunity to do so.

My sincerest condolences to Glenn and his family.

Source: News Limited

Why euthanasia should not be legalised

An excellently balanced piece by Sandra Lee on the News Limited website – she rightly states that there is too much uncertainty that needs to be dealt with and in the end, advocates of euthanasia are taking matters in their own hands that they really have no right to decide upon, regardless of the state of the ill person. In light of the recent case in the NSW Supreme Court regarding the assisted suicide of Graeme Wylie, it is well worth reading.

Thongs – the new health threat

Research from the US suggests that the regular wearing of thongs/flip flops does more harm than good when it comes to posture and leg health. Justin Shroyer, the lead author of the study, suggests that they should not be a primary footwear choice for any person who wants to maintain a health gait and prevent pain in the legs and feet.

Makes sense – the typical Havaianas aren’t really that well sculpted to fit a particular foot, and even though they’re reasonably cushy, I would never wear them full time. Plus, if you inadvertently kick your toe on the pavement, it’ll just take the skin off your toe (and possibly a nail if you’re unlucky).

However I wonder what they’d have to say about Maseurs. Should Sven be worried?

Source: News Limited

Live longer, play golf

A famous quote attributed to novelist Mark Twain states that “golf is a good walk spoiled”. However, research from the Karolinska Institutet in Sweden would suggest that the long term health benefits of playing golf by no means have a spoiling effect.

Of course, I’d say that if golfers use carts as opposed to walking 18 holes, the effects would be minimised, but it makes sense that walking a decent sized golf course would be an excellent opportunity for fitness. Makes me more motivated to stick to my personal goal to try and get out for a round every weekend.

(Source: Daily Telegraph)

Do I want Kevin Rudd to slow down?

Agriculture Minister Tony Burke claims that the voters of Australia do not want Kevin Rudd to relax his workaholic ways, in that he believes in burning the midnight oil and urges his ministers and staff to do the same. Such an attitude has resulted in unnamed ministers coming forward to the media and expressing their concerns. Read about it here, courtesy of News Limited.

I, as an Australian voter, am happy to say that Tony Burke’s not speaking my point of view. I know that the demands of governing the country cannot by any means be shoehorned into a regular 40 hour week, but there’s no way that the job can be done to its greatest effect without adequate time for rest, rejuvenation and time spent with the family. It doesn’t matter if the Rudd government is an energetic one at the moment – if they overwork themselves, they’ll lose that energy and perhaps with it the resolve and focus on proper governance.

Too many people place an undue priority on their work lives, and hence run the risk of health issues, family straining and quite possibly killing themselves. One of my close mates has shared at Bible study how long hours in a new job role put some strain on his health and led to a greater longing to spend as much time as possible with his young family. Fortunately, now that his work situation has settled and he’s put measures into place to lessen his workload, he can look forward to some holidays in a few weeks.

If there’s a great deal of work on one’s plate, I can’t see why the best solution would be to tackle it on one’s own instead of sharing that load. I’d go so far as to argue that being a workaholic can have the same negative effects and is as dangerous as being an alcoholic in the medium to long term.

I’ve created a simple poll with a link on the right hand side column (can’t figure out how to embed it and have the poll show instead of just a link). Feel free to let me know what you think about Kevin Rudd and his workaholism.

5 Aussie men commit suicide daily

It’s quite a shocking statistic that has come out during a forum in Canberra today. News Limited reports that Professor John Macdonald from the Australasian Men’s Health Forum stated it’s a 5:1 ratio of suicidal males to suicidal females.

With the pressure placed on men in the family and the workplace, it’s to a degree not much of a surprise that so many men are feeling depressed and tempted to give up on life. These statistics could easily rise with the increased costs of life, which may lead men to try and work longer hours to ensure they make enough money to provide for their families.

It’s clear that such issues would be assisted by a national policy concentrating on men’s physical, mental, emotional and social health, but for churches with dedicated ministries to men in their congregations (or those considering such a program), it provides a means for building up stronger brotherhoods with fellow Christian men and sharing advice on how to counter the effects of the toil of daily life. Any social group could provide a release from the pressures, but I can testify to the healthy benefits of gathering with fellow brothers in Christ, be it in small groups talking about daily issues and struggles, or gathering in a larger group to enjoy a recreational activity.

In the end though, it’s important to ensure that families have assistance from all quarters to maintain a unity that, because of tragic circumstances, some are not afforded. Men need to realise that hiding problems and worries behind a confident “macho” facade isn’t by any means the most effective way of carrying on with life, and seek help when they are in need of it, regardless of what people might think of your exposed weaknesses.