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What a hero

January 19th 2011 04:08
: Vyoos news

How romantic can it be for a couple to go kayaking together through the wilderness of America's Florida Keys? It is the sort of thing which is guaranteed to bring two people closer together, especially when a barracuda jumps out of the water and strikes one of them with such force that several ribs are broken and her chest is sliced open.

This is what happened recently to Karri Larson, 46. From paddling quietly she suddenly found herself unable to breathe - because the barracuda has sliced into her lung.

Larson may have spent a few seconds, unable to breathe, looking at her boyfriend, Michael Hinoiosa, wondering if he could by some miracle action save her life.

He could. Hinoiosa knew just what to do. He reached into Larson's chest and squeezed closed the lacerated lung. This allowed her to breathe again. Then, with his spare hand, he grabbed his mobile phone and rang the emergency number.

It is reported that the person at the other end of the line, having been given a summary of the situation and an approximate position of the kayak, asked where Hinoiosa planned to row the kayak and his stricken girlfriend.

Sitting there among the mangroves, Hinoiosa stayed calm. "I'm holding her ribs with one hand. I cannot paddle this kayak anywhere right now. I need you guys to come to me," he said, saving a life while simultaneously briefing someone who wasn't fully comprehending the situation.

It seems a US Coast Guard vessel could not be dispatched to the couple because the water in their vicinity was too shallow, but a tugboat captain named Kevin Freestone volunteered to head into the mangroves to look for them.

It took him 30 minutes to find them, Hinoiosa all this time keeping Larson alive with his holding her lung together and, no doubt, plenty of reassurances.

As soon as Freestone got the pair into open water, they were airlifted to hospital, where Karri Larson is expected to make a full recovery.

As for Hinoiosa, we hope he gets a dozen medals. What a hero.


The best laugh

November 22nd 2010 06:42
: Vyoos news

A close friend of mine has the best laugh in the known universe. It takes one Kate peal of laughter and everyone around her feels good. Spirits soar. Her laugh is so infectious that you can't help but laugh too, even if you have no idea what Kate is laughing about.

And now, 30 years after I first heard that magic laugh, I have discovered why it is so special.

Professor Michael Owren and a team from Georgia State University, Atlanta, have just published the results of a study in which volunteers were played nearly 50 different kinds of recorded laughter and asked to rate them.

The winner was a genuine, spontaneous, open-mouth laughter which used the vocal chords (as opposed to a muted snigger).

And the most infectious laughter of all, according to the study, comes from women.

Especially Kate.





Questions about the afterlife

April 19th 2010 11:38
life after death

A remarkable story has unfolded today about the near-death experience of a three-year-old boy in Germany.

The story has three extraordinary levels. The first is that Paul Eicke, of Berlin, revived three hours and 18 minutes after drowning. The child fell into a pond at his grandfather's house and is thought to have been in it for at least several minutes before he was noticed and pulled from the water.

Efforts to resuscitate him failed. The boy's father gave him heart massage and mouth-to-mouth for 10 minutes until a medical helicopter arrived. The paramedics on board continued resuscitation procedures during a 10-minute flight to hospital, where doctors then took over and tried for "hours" to save the child. Just after they gave up, however, Paul Eicke's heart decided to start beating again.

The second remarkable fact is that it appears Paul will make a full recovery, suffering no brain damage because of the coldness of the water he fell into. His core temperature after being pulled from the pond was measured at 28 degrees, compared to a normal human body level of 37 degrees. It is known that cold temperatures slow the metabolism and allow the body to survive longer without oxygen, but Paul's case is still exceptional. "When children have been underwater for a few minutes they mostly don't make it," said Professor Lothar Schweigerer, director of the clinic to which Paul was taken. "This is a most extraordinary case." That view is supported by an American study which showed that, of children who survive drownings, 92 per cent are found within two minutes of submersion.

The third remarkable aspect of the story surfaced after Paul was well enough to speak — when he was able to tell those around his hospital bed what he had seen and done during the three hours and 18 minutes he was thought to be dead.

Remember, this is the story of a three-year-old, someone unlikely to have woken and recognised the reality TV and sensationalist magazine possibilities.

Paul Eicke told his family, friends and assembled staff that he had been to heaven. And there, he said, he had seen his dead grandmother. "There was a lot of light and I was floating," Paul said. "I came to a gate and saw Grandma Emmi on the other side. She said, 'You go back to your mummy. I'll wait for you here'.''

He added, "Heaven looked nice, but I am glad I am back with mummy and daddy now." Mummy and daddy, no doubt, agree.

Near-death experiences like that described by Paul Eicke are not new. Popular interest in what are commonly termed NDEs was sparked by the book Life After Life, written by Raymond Moody and published in 1975, but NDEs have been studied for many years by people in a variety of fields, including psychology, psychiatry, parapsychology and hospital medicine.

All this leads to an Agence France Presse news story of two weeks ago which said NDEs are reported by between 11 and 23 per cent of survivors of heart attacks. The report used that fact to introduce what could be the fourth extraordinary level of this story. Or, perhaps, it proves that there was nothing extraordinary about the Paul Eicke story, nor about any other NDE.

AFP reported the findings of a study in Slovenia, published in the respected Belgian peer-review journal Critical Care, which investigated 52 heart attack cases, 11 of which reported NDEs. The researchers found no common link in terms of age, gender, education, religion, fear of death, time of recovery or drugs used to resuscitate the patients.

They did find one common link however — high levels of carbon dioxide, and to a lesser degree potassium, in the blood.

Can these things create hallucinatory experiences? Medical science isn't sure. The researchers say further work is needed. But it could be the beginning of the end for notions of premature visits to the afterlife.


Come home safely, Jessica

April 15th 2010 08:10
jessica watson

The Great Southern Ocean can be a terrible place, and there is in it at this moment a small, pink boat which has been battered for three days by wind gusts of over 50 knots, six-metre swells and a cold, stinging rain.

[ Click here to read more ]

Today's news: Fare's fair

January 14th 2010 02:52
new york cabs
There are an estimated 13,000 taxis in New York city
It's an ongoing saga: person leaves valuables in New York cab, cab driver finds person and returns valuables.

The latest involves a 72-year-old Italian tourist named Felicia Lettieri, a young taxi driver named Mukul Asadujjaman, and a large purse containing about US$21,000 in cash, jewellery worth several thousand dollars and some passports

[ Click here to read more ]

Labours of love

July 13th 2009 04:58
An Australian polling group has put political issues aside for the moment and conducted a survey on something truly useful: which profession has the most sex.

The poll, conducted by Galaxy Research, was generally aimed at discovering who has most job satisfaction, with the sex regularity question considered a major component

[ Click here to read more ]

The koala that beat the heat

February 4th 2009 04:39
hot koala 4

It was hot all over south-eastern Australia last week. It was so hot that even the natives were feeling restless.

[ Click here to read more ]

Fathers and sons on side

November 9th 2008 21:03
fathers and son cricket

Most weekends you'll only find seven names on the list for the Pine Rivers Hawks cricket team in Queensland. But that's okay because those seven blokes always bring their seven sons so they have more than enough to take the field.

[ Click here to read more ]

A love story

October 19th 2008 22:42
rainbow lorikeet

When Fred was in hospital about two years ago he accidentally slammed into a closed door and spent the next two days in a coma. Cynthia was the duty doctor and she nursed him back to health as best she could. Fred still hasn't fully recovered - probably never will - but he's not complaining too much since the accident helped him find Cynthia, his true love.

[ Click here to read more ]

I'm in the mood for a little introspection. I always liked Maria's idea of listing her favourite things so here, without overture or even a Tyrolean hat, is my list of things which are important to me. Feel free to respond with one or five or ten of your own.

1. The erotic whisper
[ Click here to read more ]

sexy scarf
Sexy scarf - start knitting it for your wife now

There is a lot to like about Douglas Brown. First of all, he knitted his wife a scarf for her 40th birthday. This was a big project because he first had to learn how to knit. He did this by attending knitting classes. All his classmates were women, and one can only wonder how many "Awwws" he got when he explained the purpose of his knitting tuition.

[ Click here to read more ]

Grill ride

July 15th 2008 07:03
How much can a koala bear? Quite a lot, according to a story from Queensland, Australia, today.

A male koala who for reasons which will become apparent has been named Lucky, was hit today by a car doing sufficient speed for Lucky's head and one arm to be rammed through the radiator grill. And there he stayed, as the unsuspecting driver drove on

[ Click here to read more ]

Panda tale of survival

July 7th 2008 03:03
panda birth china
Proud mother: Chinese earthquake survivor Guo Guo carries in her mouth one of two giant panda cubs born on July 6
Picture: Xinhua

The first giant panda cubs to be born in captivity in the world so far this year were delivered safely yesterday (Sunday, July 6) in Ya'an City, Sichuan Province, China. The birth of the twins, a happy enough event in its own right, is in fact the end of a dramatic story which could have been tragic.

[ Click here to read more ]

Oh happy Danes

July 3rd 2008 18:42
Professor Ronald Inglehart, of the University of Michigan, has been conducting an annual study of global happiness since 1981. The latest survey results have just been published, revealing that Denmark, this year at least, is the happiest country in the world.

Prof Inglehart was reported as saying that, unlike other studies, which have focused on economic factors, his research has found that financial prosperity is not the only reason for happiness. "Personal freedom is even more important, and it's freedom in all kinds of ways. Political freedom, like with democracy and freedom of choice," he said.

[ Click here to read more ]

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