Attack the Shark Attack

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A beautiful white shark swims peacefully in its own habitat and tries not to be culled. Image copyright Richard Green/The Californian via AP.

In a story published on The Project’s website today, the NSW Government are set to announce a $250,000 campaign to reduce the number of shark attacks on the state’s beaches.

According to tonight’s show, the initiative to be undertaken by the NSW Government is not a cull, but will involve tagging and monitoring ‘so-called’ problem sharks, and researching the effectiveness of shark deterrent technologies, such as an air curtain that blows bubbles to separate swimmers from sharks.

NSW Premier and Member for Manly Mike Baird answered questions on tonight’s show about the issue, and although one of the hosts pointed out that WA’s trial of the air curtain was deemed unsuccessful, he said he would still go ahead with the review.

I’m happy to investigate further research.

Mike Baird

He also said that they will not be exploring the use of nets due to their knock-on effect on other marine life. I applaud this decision.

The government’s response is of course in answer to community concerns over an increase in the population of an endangered animal.

Endangered species of shark

According to the Australian Government’s Department of the Environment’s website, the threatened species of shark are as follows.

There are recovery programs and national action plans to help boost shark numbers, which will unfortunately take a while because of their slow fecundity rate.

Minimising the risk of shark attacks

The Australian Shark Attack File lists easy and commonsense precautions you can take to minimise your risk of becoming the victim of a shark attack.

These include:

  1. Swim at beaches that are patrolled by Surf Life Savers,
  2. Do not swim, dive, or surf where dangerous sharks are known to congregate,
  3. Avoid swimming well offshore, near deep channels, at river mouths, or along drop-offs to deeper water,
  4. If schooling fish start to behave erratically or congregate in large numbers, leave the water, and
  5. If a shark is sighted in the area leave the water as quickly and calmly as possible,

among others. Find the full list here.

One of the world’s deadliest animals

Although the shark is listed as one of the most deadliest animals in the world, this creature is responsible for the least amount of human deaths per year in comparison to other deadly animals.

Sharks live in the ocean

This may be stating the obvious, but the most annoying thing about anything shark-cull-related is that the plan is developed due to an increase in shark sightings in a particular area, or the hyped-up fear that always closely follows a shark attach, fatal or otherwise.

Take the Mick Fanning incident, for example. Fanning’s celebrity status and the fact that the incident took place on television evidently boosted the reaction to this encounter, but the reaction was there all the same.

My point is that we are entering the shark’s natural habitat, not ours. We evolved standing upright on two legs and without fins, flippers, or webbed anything for a reason.

Surfers also know that they are entering the shark’s territory, and are fully aware of the dangers they face every time they do so.

Created in Meme Generator.

Created in Meme Generator.

Chill out and go for a relaxing swim

Of course you are going to see sharks in the ocean.

No, it isn’t cause for panic if shark numbers are increasing. This is actually a good thing, seeing as they are, you know, facing extinction and all.

I would just like to end by recognising how appropriate Premier Baird’s plans for reviewing non-harmful methods of deterring sharks from swimming beaches are, especially compared to some other government shark safety precautions.

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Apple’s iPhone Enlargement and its Associated Health Issues

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With a record-breaking 4 million pre-orders on the first day, it seems iPhone users are loving the idea of the iPhone 6’s larger screen.

Finally, Apple has projected an iPhone with a big screen, even though one of their previous advertising campaign’s primary message was how well you can use the iPhone with only one hand. This was obviously a dig at Samsung who went gangbusters on their mobile phone screen sizes.

Being a Samsung user myself, I personally love a big mobile screen, which answers the question: yes, size matters. So I say good for Apple for catching up to the game, and for following as well as they usually lead.

But for those of you who like the iPhone because of its small stature, never fear: there are two new sizes. Yes, Apple is releasing a 4.7 inch iPhone and a 5.5 inch iPhone Plus (or phablet).

As Epstein reported earlier this year, the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus fill two gaps in the market.

The iPhone 6 will seemingly be bigger than the 5s but smaller and more comfortable to use than the Galaxy S5. Similarly, it looks like the new iPhone phablet will be larger than Samsung’s Galaxy S5 but smaller than the Note 3 (and Note 4).

I realise this is old news, and that the rumours of these sizes have been public knowledge for a few months already, but have you been able to get your hands on one of the new iPhones to see how it fits in your hand?

Buster Hein posted a printable scaled model of the new iPhone sizes so that people can feel the size and fit for themselves.

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The CultCast‘s producer and host, Erfon Elijah, posted a video of himself on his Instagram taking his paper iPhones for a trial run.

My exclusive hands on video with both iPhone 6's

A post shared by erfon elijah (@erfon) on

But in this technology-crazy generation, do we ever stop and think about the serious risks associated with overusing technology?

Although posted in June last year, RooGirl magazine’s article entitled “25 Negative Effects of Technology” still holds currency.

The impact of technology on our social, mental, physical and environmental health can be devastating if we don’t keep ourselves in check. There’s no denying the benefits we have gained from technological advancements, but as with all things in life moderation is key. Being aware of the harmful aspects of the overuse of electronics will help you avoid any unnecessary pitfalls.

Up there with the severe side effects of technology that are listed in the article include developmental issue in children, neurosis, and loss of hearing and eyesight.

I’m sure your parents have told you that staring at a screen for too long will turn your eyes square. Although not literally true (the literal meaning of literally), staring at screens for prolonged periods of time can cause Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS).

Common symptoms of CVS include:

  • “eyestrain;
  • headaches;
  • blurred vision;
  • dry eyes; and
  • neck and shoulder pain.”

Common causes of CVS include:

  • “poor lighting;
  • glare on the computer screen;
  • improper viewing distances;
  • poor seating posture;
  • uncorrected vision problems; and
  • a combination of these factors.”

The American Optometric Association (quoted above) provide simple solutions to reduce the effects of CVS.

Prevention or reduction of the vision problems associated with Computer Vision Syndrome involves taking steps to control lighting and glare on the computer screen, establishing proper working distances and posture for computer viewing, and assuring that even minor vision problems are properly corrected.

So even though Hell will freeze over before people majorly reduce the amount of time they spend in front of a screen (especially with new technology being released so frequently), I hope this will raise awareness about Computer Vision Syndrome and start the ball rolling on those preventative measures.

 

Until next time

 

Information, video, and images sourced from:

American Optometric Association. 2014. “Computer Vision Syndrome.” Accessed September 16, 2014. http://www.aoa.org/patients-and-public/caring-for-your-vision/protecting-your-vision/computer-vision-syndrome?sso=y.

Edward, Jim, and Skye Gould. 2014. “What the IPhone 6 Will Look Like Next To Its Rivals From Samsung.” Image. Accessed September 16, 2014. http://www.businessinsider.com.au/iphone-6-compared-to-samsung-2014-5.

Epstein, Zack. 2014. “How the iPhone 6 and iPhone phablet compare to current flagships from Apple and Samsung.” Accessed September 16, 2014. http://bgr.com/2014/05/22/iphone-6-vs-iphone-5s-galaxy-s5-comparison/.

erfon. 2014. “My exclusive hands on video with both iPhone 6’s.” Video. Accessed September 16, 2014. http://instagram.com/p/svJazxsTO_/?utm_source=partner&utm_medium=embed&utm_campaign=video&modal=true.

Hein, Buster. 2014. “See how the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus fit in your hand right now.” Image. Accessed September 16, 2014. http://www.cultofmac.com/295125/see-iphone-6-6-plus-fit-hand-printable-models/.

Maan, Lehar. 2014. “Apple iPhone 6 pre-orders hit record 4 million on first day.” Accessed September 16, 2014. http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/09/15/us-apple-iphone-idUSKBN0HA1A220140915.

RooGirl. 2013. “25 Negative Effects of Technology.” Accessed September 16, 2014. http://roogirl.com/25-negative-effects-of-technology/.