It's not often that I'm reading the newspaper and see something that makes me immediately turn to old Blogger, and write about it. But you see, there's an article on page 7 of The Age about the dangers of solariums. It's titled Sunbeds join smokes as top danger.
Included is a list of substances/behaviours which are known to be carcinogenic to humans. There's a little asterisk explaining this is a list compiled from a "much longer list.'
See if there's anything here that jumps out at you:
- Oral contraceptives
- Solar radiation
- Aluminium production
- Working as a painter
- Tobacco smoking and tobacco smoke
- Ethanol in alcoholic beverages
- Household combustion of coal
- Salted fish (Chinese style)
- Wood dust
Well, there's actually two. Chinese-style fish? I'm guessing it's a highly charcoaled dish, because carbon-crunchy crusts consumed in that way is something we know can be bad for you.
Everything else is logical and unsurprising. Apart from the pill. I know there have been studies which suggest the contraceptive pill might be or is connected to higher rates of certain types of cancer. I went to the International Agency for Research on Cancer and skimmed some studies. I found out that according to their research (and I'm summarising):
- increase in relative risk for breast cancer
- risk for endometrial cancer approximately halved
- overall, the risk for cervical cancer increased
- overall reduced risk for ovarian cancer
- no significant association with use of contraceptive pill and death from liver cancer
- no association found between pill use and risk for cutaneous melanoma
- no associated risk for colorectal cancer
So, the actual data are probably what I might have expected. If someone had asked me what are the risks of the pill, I would have said "I think there's some connection with breast cancer, so they say."
My point here is WHY THE FUCK IS THE PILL ON THIS NEWSPAPER'S LIST IN THE FIRST PLACE?
With so few items mentioned, why put the pill in there at all? Everything else on that list (with the exception perhaps of the fish (Chinese-style) can be categorised as "BAD" or "DANGEROUS" by the average thinking person. I would think.
arsenic - dangerous
asbestos - dangerous
sunbeds - bad
chimney sweeping - dangerous
We know it's not good to inhale certain stuff (BOB!) - wood dust, fumes from pain, tobacco smoke, stuff that's in chimneys.
We know the sun can give us cancer.
Maybe fish (Chinese-style) is incredibly hazardous. Obviously it is, to make the list along with arsenic and asbestos.
And the pill's inclusion. What does that mean? What message does it send people who read that list? People who maybe panic and think the risks for taking the pill can be equated with the risks in having contact with Asbestos, the Evil Tobacco and the Dreaded Chinese-Style Fish!!
What message does it send women? What decade are we living in? I'm not saying the pill is without risks and side-effects, but it's like a few years ago when there were reports of Hormone Replacement Therapy causing increased risks in cancer - was it breast? - and women everywhere went off them and men everywhere went crazy. ( I can say that because I'm a woman and I have hormones.)
While at the online version of the Age I saw some other gems that I couldn't pass by.
1. Best man allegedly raped by stripper at buck's night.
Some choice lines:
'A County Court jury was yesterday told to approach their task free of sympathy, emotion or bias and to put views of strippers and buck’s nights ‘‘out of your mind’’.'
'But Naggs’ barrister, Paul Higham, asked the jury to have ‘‘in the back of your mind’’ issues of male sexuality and pride, fear, ego and peer group pressure.'
That's a lot for a jury to have in and out of their minds.
Also - 'He said if there was penetration it was accidental and he asked what led the man to ‘‘place himself in proximity to the dildo’’, which he described as ‘‘arguably statuesque.’’ '
A statuesque dildo?
But wait, there's more:
Naggs, who has pleaded not guilty, is alleged to have thrust the dildo into the man’s anus during a naked XXX-rated show in a house in Mornington on September 24, 2007.
Mr Gilligan told the jury that the man had replaced the groom and another volunteer who were reluctant to continue their involvement with Naggs. He said after she did a lap dance, rubbed her breasts in his face and used the dildo on herself, he asked her: ‘‘Be gentle. Don’t do it too hard.’’
‘‘No worries,’’ Mr Gilligan said Naggs replied.
When the man, who was on all fours and naked from the knees up, asked her not to go near his anus, she allegedly said: ‘‘Not a problem. Relax. It’s only fun. I won’t go there.’’
But Mr Gilligan said that soon after Naggs applied cream or lubricant to his buttocks, he felt a sharp pain, a thrust and the dildo ‘‘go right into his anal passage’’.
He said the man was hurt and shocked and after Naggs allegedly told him not to worry because ‘‘only you and I know’’, he said: ‘‘What the f--- did you do that for, you stupid bitch.’’
Mr Gilligan said the man complained to police later that day while a medical examination showed a small abrasion below his anal verge ‘‘most likely caused by blunt trauma’’.
Mr Higham submitted that if there was penetration it was accidental so ‘‘this is a case, if you like, of accidental rape’’.
He described the facts as unique, involving a working mother and professional dancer of 13 years.
And finally a feel-good story that made me go "awwwww" instead of "ewwwww."
2. Lost Brissy dog Muffy found nine years' later - in Melbourne.
Oh, I just read the article. Seems it's likely the dog was picked up as a stray in Queensland and brought to Melbourne. Not The Incredible Adventure after all. Never mind, at least she's been rescued from the evils who had her (who were being investigated for animal cruelty) and will be reunited with her true owners next week.