Mike the Psych's Blog

What if psychologists ruled the world? In real life?

Saudi Arabian football team deliver incredible insult to Australian hosts!

Kindadukish's Blog - I am not a number, I am a free man (The Prisoner)


There are times when I despair at the attitude of muslims to non muslims and the culture of western countries. They will be the first to demand that WE respect THEIR culture but seem at times incapable of reciprocating. At the start of the recent Australia v Saudi Arabia football match in Australia the Saudi players ignored the minutes silence at the start of the match, held to pay respect to the London killings and in particular the fact that two of those who lost their lives were Australian nationals

Saudi Arabian football bosses have since issued an “unreserved” apology after their players failed to properly observe a minute’s silence in honour of London terror attack victims at the World Cup qualifier against the Socceroos in Adelaide.

When the stadium announcer called for a minute’s silence to honour the victims of last weekend’s attack, including Australian women Kirsty Boden and…

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The world is becoming more short-sighted


11th Oct - Version 4And experts are blaming too much time spent on near electronic devices. Smart phones, tablets, Kindle et.

It’s been suspected for a while that lack of outdoor activity – for various reasons including safety fears – where you are exposed to UV light and can focus on distant objects more easily, and over-indulgence in screen time has led to an increase in the number of myopic i.e. short-sighted, children.

Almost five years ago I posted on research from Cambridge University on this topic.

Now scientists, at the Brien Holden Vision Institute in Australia, are predicting that half the world could be short-sighted by 2050 with 1 in 10 people suffering sever myopia.

The increase is particularly acute in Asia. 90% of teenagers and young people in China are short-sighted and in Seoul 96.5% of 19-year old men are too. In Europe and the West about half of young adults have the condition.

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An American Down Under: 20 Ways Your Life Changes When You Move to Australia

Hot Mess Goes To OZ

      Within the past 10 months,  I have been able to compile a reasonable amount of changes that have accompanied my life since  moving to Australia. Moving to a different country is going to bring plenty of additions, revisions, and variations  to ones life, some for the good, and some well… for the bad. Though, obviously not everyone will relate to everything on this list (especially since I am the one writing this) Overall, I think this list paints a clear enough picture.

Here are the main ways and things that impact your life when moving from America to Australia

Working Environment

The working environment in Australia is something I cannot compare to any atmosphere I have worked in at home. Here, I do not worry that my boss is going to freak out  if I am running 10 minutes late. They do not care if you are taking a bit longer on your lunch…

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Natural born killers

AustraliaFlagAustralia is planning to use dingoes to kill wild goats, originally imported by the British as food for lighthouse keepers and sailors, which have infested islands and are destroying the natural habitat.

Four male dingoes will be taken to Pelorus Island in the Great Barrier Reef national park and allowed to roam free killing and eating the goats. Experts think it will take two years before the job is done and all the goats are exterminated (based on experiences elsewhere).

Their job done the dingoes will then be exterminated themselves by hunters. However when they did this 23 years ago – although the dingoes eradicated 3,000 goats in two years – it took ten years to track down all the dingoes which had turned on native wildlife once they’d seen off the goats. So this time there is a plan B.

All the dingoes will have a poison sac implanted in them which will burst in two years killing them.

Sounds a bit harsh but maybe the dingoes are happy to have an unfettered orgy of killing and eating before their time is up.

Australia has used biological control methods before when they tried to eradicate the Cane toad. They imported the Cane toad from Hawaii to control the Greyback cane beetle which was damaging sugar cane crops.

It had worked in Hawaii but didn’t in Australia for  variety of reasons (explained here) and is now a plague almost impossible to eradicate.

flag_of_new_zeland_1600_clr_3555Elsewhere in the southern hemisphere New Zealand has its own problems saving its native birds, 25 million of which are killed by predators every year, including the totemic Kiwi which loses 95% of its chicks to them.

Already the country has lost a third of its native birds such as eagles, wrens and the great moa, the world’s highest rate of bird extinction.

The government now plans to exterminate every animal that preys on native birds which means killing million s of rats, ferrets, stoats, possums and wild cats.

New Zealand was the last large land mass to be occupied by humans who were quickly followed by the predators. Maoris took Pacific rats there for food, Norwegian rats stood away on British sailing ships,, and British settlers took birds, fish and rabbits from home.

The rabbits thrived so stoats, ferrets and weasels were introduced to manage them. That project failed but the newly introduced species thrived on eggs and baby birds which previously had no natural predators,were ground-dwelling, and in some cases couldn’t even fly.

Rather than relying on biological control, this time the predators will be poisoned using sodium fluoroacetate known as 1080 which causes heart or respiratory failure. New Zealand is the world’s biggest user of this poison buying 80% of the world’s stock.

They have had success eradicating rats from more than 100 islands including South Georgia in the South Atlantic using helicopter dropped poison baits but never on such a large land mass.

John Key, the NZ Prime Minister said “This is the most ambitious conservation project attempted anywhere in the world but we believe, if we all work together as a country, we can achieve it

Where would you have a better life?

If you want to know which country to live in to enjoy life more go to the OECD better life index.

They  have identified 11 key factors such as health, education, earnings, and sense of community.

You can decide how important these are to you. After I’d scored my choices and pushed the buttons it turned out Australia would be my ideal place to live, followed by the Nordic countries, with Turkey at the bottom of my list. The UK came 13th!

Australia is also top of the official OECD list followed by Canada and Sweden with the USA 7th and the UK not in the top 10 so my preferences seem to be shared by many people across the developed world.

Three quarters of Australians say they are satisfied with their lives and over 80% still expect to be satisfied in 5 years time with 85% reporting that they are in good health. They also trust their politicians (doesn’t mention bankers in the survey), 71% of women with school age children are working and relatively few people work extremely long hours. And the gap between low performing and high performing children is extremely small.

In other surveys Finland and Denmark have featured as the best countries to live in for various reasons and France the most miserable.

Denmark has also come out top of countries in the OECD for the best work-life balance (WLB).