Thursday, June 30, 2016

Bipolar & Chile: Fry, Fisher & Nanking!

Stephen Fry has disclosed that he attempted suicide last year and only survived the “close run thing” when a colleague found him unconscious after he had taken “huge” quantities of pills and vodka.

Fry suffered a nervous breakdown in 1995 while he was appearing in the West End play Cell Mates and disappeared for several days, coming close to suicide.

In 2006 he made a two-part television documentary called Stephen Fry: The Secret Life of the Manic Depressive, in which he spoke to other celebrities including Carrie Fisher and Tony Slattery about their own problems with the illness. In the programme he also disclosed that he had first attempted suicide aged 17 by taking an overdose.

In 2011 he said of his illness: “The fact that I am lucky enough not to have it so seriously doesn’t mean that I won’t one day kill myself, I may well.”

I hope he is on lithium!  
Unless he is doing a Carrle FisherTODAY

 Atacama Desert of Chile.

As one of the firm advocates of Lithium, he thought he needed to be where much of the world's Lithium could be cheaply produced.

As a lover of wild life he soon finds himself in a difficult position especially as much of the Lithium would be used in batteries for cars such as the $100,000 plus Tesla and your iPhones and Tablets.

Chile could produce lithium cheaply by using water and in a desert where the water is scarce this creates a problem: especially for the Flamingos. A third of the lake water is now used for extracting the Lithium.

All photos © Am Ang Zhang 2015

There is a view that the water will run out and with that the Flamingos will perish. Just a worry especially as The Cockroach Catcher was not sure if any Lithium will be left for Manic Depressives (Sorry: Bipolars!)

A reprint:

Chile: Salar de Atacama & Bipolar Disorder.

Santiago, Chile was the starting point of our recent cruise round Cape Horn. We had a wonderful guide who took us from Santiago city to the Valparaiso port, where we boarded our cruise liner. She was infectiously enthusiastic. She told us that apart from copper, agricultural products and wine, Chile produced something that was very important for her brother.  He suffers from Trastorno Afectivo Bipolar (Bipolar Disorder) and Chile is the world’s largest producer of lithium.

Some of the world’s most important deserts are around the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn and here in Chile the desert called Salar de Atacama is no exception. 
Our guide told us that as the snow melts in the Andes the water went underground and dissolves the lithium salt to form lithium brine. It is pumped to the surface where the sun did the rest of the work in evaporating the water content. Lithium could then be extracted from the salt. According to Forbes, the solar energy keeps lithium extraction costs to an estimated $1,260 per ton of lithium carbonate. It sells that ton for up to $12,000.

Amazing what a desert can yield!

Please spare some lithium for Bipolar Disorder though.

Lithium Bipolar and Nanking

77 years ago, the people of NankingChina's ancient capital city, were in the midst of one of the worst atrocities in history, the infamous Rape of Nanking. The truth of what actually happened is at the center of a bitter dispute between China and Japan that continues to play out in present-day relations. Many Chinese see Japan's election last month of ultraconservative nationalist Shinzo Abe as prime minister as just the latest in a string of insults. And it was recently reported that Japan is considering rolling back its 1993 apology regarding "comfort women," the thousands of women the Japanese army sexually enslaved during World War II.

In 1937, the Japanese Imperial Army, captured Nanking on Dec. 13. No one knows the exact toll the Japanese soldiers exacted on its citizens, but a postwar Allied investigation put the numbers at more than 200,000 killed and at least 20,000 women and girls raped in the six weeks after the city fell.
It was the mass rapes in Nanking and the brutalization of an entire populace that eventually convinced Japanese military leaders that they needed to contain the chaos. Japanese soldiers began rounding up women and forcing them to serve as sex slaves in so-called comfort stations.

This is what most historians believe. But not in Japan, where a large faction of conservatives, led by Abe, denies that the Japanese military forced women into sexual slavery. They maintain that any suggestion to the contrary is simply anti-Japanese propaganda and probably spread by China. At the furthest end of the spectrum, the minimizing turns to flat-out denial; one professor we interviewed at a top Japanese university adamantly insisted there were no killings or rapes in Nanking.

Not surprisingly, all this minimizing and denial enrages the Chinese and others in Asia. But this is a familiar pattern.

On November 9, 2004, Iris Chang (張純如), who was propelled into the limelight by her 1997 best-selling account of the Nanking Massacre “The Rape of Nanking: The Forgotten Holocaust of World War II”, committed suicide. Earlier she had a nervous breakdown and was said to be at the risk of developing Bipolar illness. She was on the mood stabilizer divalproex and Risperidone, an antipsychotic drug commonly used to control mania. There was a detailed report in San Francisco Chronicle.

Lithium for Manic-Depressive Disorder (Bipolar Disorder):

Sunday, June 26, 2016

EU & Two Futures: 2 Scenarios!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

There are two futures: NHS

“There are two futures, 
the future of desire and the future of fate, 
and man's reason has never learnt to separate them.”

 J. D. Bernal, Professor of Physics, Birkbeck College, London, FRS ( 1901—1971)

Scenario 1: Grandpa, why didn’t you save the NHS when you were Prime Minister?

But instead you called the EU referendum. The doctors went on strike for the first time in 40 years. You did nothing and let the SoS continue the destruction of the NHS. Now the country is divided and struggling. Most of our own doctors are in Australia or New Zealand. Why

Scenario 2: Grandpa, you were great. You did not listen to your fellow MPs. Yes you called the referendum but before that you sacked the SoSand improved the Junior Doctor contract. You pumped more money into the NHS and St Barts was saved. It was brilliant and everybody voted with you for staying in and Germany gave way for a new negotiation of what we contribute.

Lets enjoy the sunset.
©2010 Am Ang Zhang

"The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars,

But in ourselves."
Julius Caesar (I, ii, 140-141)

David Cameron & Mental Illness: Panama & Professionals!

As it is now clear that our PM did not take advice from the professionals and did little to avert the plights of the Junior Doctors, who already worked flat out 7 days a week, and his continued support of Hunt and Stevens in its secret sell off of bits of the NHS has meant that he was out by a strange route. It reminded me of one of my popular posts. I did not imply that he has Mental Illness but now I am not so sure!!!!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

I am back after traversing the Panama Canal.

Panama Canal © Am Ang Zhang 2011

It is a common practice for politicians to ignore professional advice. Sometimes they might get away with it; sometimes it led to failure, gross failure as in the case of the French attempt at building the Panama Canal.

Can we really learn anything from such a colossal failure?

Panama Canal © Am Ang Zhang 2011

Most people probably know about the French failure to build the Panama Canal. Many thought that this was due to yellow fever and malaria which were diseases thought to be due to some toxic fume from exposed soil.

Extracted from the Official Website: Panama Canal Authority /French Construction

The engineer was no match for a career politician:

“There was no question that a sea level canal was the correct type of canal to build and no question at all that Panama was the best and only place to build it. Any problems – and, of course, there would be some - would resolve themselves, as they had at Suez.”
Panama Canal © Am Ang Zhang 2011
“The resolution passed with 74 in favour and 8 opposed. The ‘no’ votes included de Lépinay and Alexandre Gustave Eiffel. Thirty-eight Committee members were absent and 16, including Ammen and Menocal, abstained. The predominantly French ‘yea’ votes did not include any of the five delegates from the French Society of Engineers. Of the 74 voting in favor, only 19 were engineers and of those, only one, Pedro Sosa of Panama, had ever been in Central America.”

The French failed in a spectacular fashion.

Cost to the French: $287 Million (1893 dollars) or $6.8 Billion (2007 dollars)

Many reasons can be stated for the French failure, but it seems clear that the principal reason was de Lesseps’ stubbornness in insisting on and sticking to the sea level plan.  But others were at fault also for not opposing him, arguing with him and encouraging him to change his mind.  His own charisma turned out to be his enemy.  People believed in him beyond reason.

Could any of us learn anything from this experience?
Panama Canal © Am Ang Zhang 2011

Dr Grumble went VIRAL in  A reader writes
“If we all take the view that Lansley's bill is unstoppable then it will be. The arguments for privatisation of healthcare just do not stack up. The emperor has no clothes. If enough people were to point that out this bill would drop dead in its tracks.”

So what about David Cameron and Mental Illness?

No, I am not suggesting anything at all although you might think so if you roll back and listen to what he said in 2009.
"…….There will be no more of those pointless reorganisations that aim for change but instead bring chaos……."

No, it is about Bupa:

Now will Monitor be doing anything about that? I doubt.

But hang on, the NHS is really safe in David Cameron’s hands as there needs to be hospitals taking back patients that Bupa does not treat.

Told you: The NHS is not going to be privatised! Not all of it any way.

My guess is that NHS 111 will be. Oooops: there may be new jobs for people to call NHS 111 as £25 a go can soon mount up and it is impossible to monitor.

Oooops, did I say Monitor? Yes, Monitor may be re-launched as a QinetiQ styled company as there is so much money to be made from fining NHS Foundation Trusts. Dr David Bennett is not a medical doctor. He was with McKinsey. Perhaps he still is!!!

But, David Cameron, thanks for your faith in the NHS. And do not worry, after two years, we will be there. 

Hermione: "You pay a great deal too dear for what's given freely". -

(Act I, Scene I). The Winter’s Tale.


Friday, June 24, 2016

Underclass: The Old Beggar

Hasselblad/150mm lens.

Available light

Film: Kodax TMax 100

Printed on Record Rapid paper/ Selenium Toned

Selenium Toning is for archiving prints and imparts a lovely tone depending on concentration.


HyperCRYPTICal said...
Excellent portrait - you can almost hear him thinking.

Anna :o]
Cockroach Catcher said...
Sam said...
It's the light that does it Anna, but the man is actually 'blank', staring without thought ... and that's the brilliance of the photography here; capturing the 'nothingness' that comes with dispair ... and poverty

... but I never liked the word 'underclass' ... or 'subhuman', two of the same vocabulary, because of the degradation to humanity that is associated with such expressions. Surely, humanity with all it's ills, is still less vicious than that, or am I underestimating our 'exclusive' arrogance?

Well done, as usual, CC, you've made me think, and stirred some emotions :-)
Cockroach Catcher said...
With the recent debate on the UNDERCLASS I thought I would do a send up without words.

I am glad you liked the portrait. Photography portraiture is difficult as it was only a split second thing unlike painting which often takes many sittings (painting from photo is the modern way and that is why much of the BP stuff is not good in my humble opinion.

Saw One Man, Two Guvnors at the National: all the classes were bad----Public School class, butler class, mafia class, lawyer class, waiters class.
Sam said...
Sarcastic play, funny too, in parts.

... one of the most amazing, and very disturbed, paintings done from a photo, is [Gorky's mother and child]. He was influenced by Cezanne and Picasso, but that painting has something, a life of it's own, despite it's artist death long ago ... I find it scary and very disturbing ... Gorky needed you CC, check him out :-)
Cockroach Catcher said...
In Thailand and other Buddhist countries, the monks are doing a good turn to us ordinary people by begging so that we can buy our way out of hell.

It is the same with many Catholic countries and Portugal is one of them.

He was given some bread so from under his seat he pulled out some raw garlic cloves and ate the bread with it. He is going to live a long life.

My old man was doing good, much good.

COI: I did give him some money, after the photo of course.