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21 January 2009

14 January was the 14th day of the seventh month of the 3rd year of Canadian national consciousness rising to invincibility, as indicated by the following press reports:

14 January 2009

CTV News - Surgery checklist can reduce complications, deaths (14 January 2009) Incidence rates of serious complications can be lowered by as much as one third if doctors follow a simple surgical checklist, a new study found of hospitals from eight cities around the world from October 2007 to September 2008, including Toronto General Hospital. The research showed that rates of major complications fell from 11 per cent to 7 per cent and that deaths following major surgery fell by a staggering 40 per cent after the checklist was introduced. 'The results are startling,' said senior study author Dr. Atul Gawande, an associate professor at the Harvard School of Public Health. The findings are published in the New England Journal of Medicine. The study included one hospital each from Seattle, Toronto, London, Auckland, Amman, New Delhi, Manila and Ifakara, Tanzania. The researchers found that the checklist had the same impact at both higher and lower income hospitals. A Canadian version of the checklist will soon be available online from the Canadian Patient Safety Institute for any hospital to use. Dr. Phil Hassen, the institute's CEO, said he hopes the checklist will be implemented in most Canadian hospitals by September.

From a CBC News report on this: The most significant drops were in complications such as infections, heart attacks and blood clots, said Dr. Bryce Taylor, surgeon-in-chief at Toronto's University Health Network, who led the study in Canada. 'If you look at two million operations [a year in Canada], it adds up to 60,000 patients per year who would be spared having a complication after surgery,' said Taylor. 'That's a pretty provocative number.'

The Canadian Press - Research network to study long-term safety of drugs taken by Canadians (14 January 2009) The federal government is committing tens of millions of dollars for a network to research the long-term safety of prescription drugs taken by Canadians, Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq announced. The network will be co-ordinated by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR). CIHR president Dr. Alain Beaudet said post-marketing surveillance of drugs is critical for ensuring that consumers aren't putting themselves at risk when they pop a particular pill. Beaudet said clinical trials by pharmaceutical makers test new medications in relatively small and select groups of patients, which often exclude 'the very old, the very young and women, for example. 'What's different about this is once a product was on the market, that was it. We didn't further study a product. ... This will allow additional research on an ongoing basis.'

From a CBC News report on this: In recent years, approved drugs, such as the diabetes medication Avandia, have been linked to serious health problems. Now, if a patient comes to a doctor complaining of a major side-effect of a drug, then the doctor could share research on the case with others to identify any trends. If a major problem is flagged, the network will be able to research it and even recommend to Health Canada that the drug be pulled from the market.

The Edmonton Journal - Alta. can ditch coal for renewable energy: Report (14 January 2009) Alberta can switch its electricity source from coal to clean renewable energy sources in 20 years, creating jobs, reducing greenhouse gas and creating a more stable price for energy, says a report by the Alberta-based Pembina Institute environmental think-tank. There are no technological barriers standing in the way, says one of the authors. 'There's so much growth in renewables in other parts of the world, we wanted to look at what is realistic in Alberta based on precedents set in other countries,' said Tim Weis, the Pembina Institute's director of renewable energy and energy efficiency. The report offers two possibilities in 'pale green' and full-on 'green' shades. In the pale green scenario, renewable energy sources push the dominant conventional coal source from 74 per cent in the current electricity mix down to 25 per cent. In the pure green scenario, coal power sources, retrofitted with carbon capture and storage, provide seven per cent of Alberta's electricity. Either of the scenarios is realistic, Weis said. 'It basically comes down to a question of leadership, whether it's government leadership or industry leadership, and people of the province deciding this is what they want to do.' Spain, for example, went from nothing to the world's third largest wind energy producer in less than 10 years, he said.

From a CBC News report on this: The 'pale green' scenario would have the province meet all new growth in the province's electrical needs by using renewable technology and energy efficiency. The 'green' scenario is more aggressive. It would have Alberta relying on renewable energy sources to meet 70 per cent of all its electricity needs. The province's power needs could be met by using technology like wind power, the report suggests.

CBC News - First of new large hybrid trucks showcased in Moncton (13 January 2009) U.S.-based Peterbilt used its Moncton showroom to display its new hybrid heavy truck for the first time in Atlantic Canada. The truck runs on diesel and uses two 25-kilogram lithium batteries. The hybrids are the size of the trucks often used by large utility companies and it's those industries that the truck's manufacturer hopes to attract. Matt Preston, a spokesman for Peterbilt Canada, said the truck saves 80 per cent of fuel when it's idling and 30 per cent when it's running. 'The boom arm for getting the guys up the pole ... can run strictly off battery power,' Preston said. 'This truck will run engine-off and can run the arm an average 28 minutes. Then what happens is the truck is going to start up on its own, and it'll take 4½ minutes [till] it recharges the batteries 100 per cent.' The company estimates that the truck would run off its battery for seven hours in an eight-hour day. Peterbilt plans to roll out hybrids in long-haul trucks in the next 18 months. Peter Nelson, executive director of the Atlantic Provinces Trucking Association, said the industry is moving toward greener options. 'The whole era of the big dirty truck is just dissipating,' Nelson said. 'It's just going in another direction, and we won't see it again.'

The Financial Post - Office space for a new age (14 January 2009) When the urban planning team at IBI Group in Toronto discusses office design with its clients, the talk isn't about meeting rooms, cubicles or conference tables. Its planning sessions revolve around spatial concepts such as idea generators, sparks, deep thinks, and media cafes. With some brainstorming sessions starting with hand-drawn visuals that look remarkably like a brain, it seems fitting that for many businesses, office design is about encouraging the exchange of ideas. 'Now [design is] about combining furniture, space and human behaviour to [facilitate] the transfer of knowledge,' says Barry Nathan, associate with IBI Group. Manitoba Hydro has taken this approach to office design at its new corporate facilities in Winnipeg. Tom Gouldsborough, division manager for corporate planning and business development, says the premise was to focus on how each design element would affect productivity and support collaboration. Carl Gustav Magnusson, a New York-based independent industrial designer who often partners with Toronto-based Teknion on furniture projects, notes: 'The idea of the corner office is the last thing the new generation of urban workers wants or cares for. They want opportunities to make eye contact and start spontaneous conversations, enjoy natural light, and work in a cheerful environment.'

The Globe and Mail on unprecedented gathering on polar bears (14 January 2009) Somewhere around 25,000 polar bears tread the Arctic—two-thirds of those in Canada. But over the past 20 years, two of the best-studied polar bear populations in the western Hudson Bay and the southern Beaufort Sea—have declined by 22 per cent and 17 per cent, respectively. Studies show that polar ice cover—prime bear habitat—is shrinking 10 per cent every decade. A hodgepodge of federal, provincial, and territorial governments, Inuit groups, researchers, and environmental organizations all perform some jumbled role in the well-being of polar bears. That fractured history is what makes this Friday's national polar bear roundtable in Winnipeg a potentially historic event. 'To this point, there has been no other forum like this,' said Peter Ewins, director of species conservation for the World Wildlife Fund. 'This is the very first time ever that all the key stakeholders and decision-makers have come together and said, ''What are we going to do about the bears?'' ' Federal Environment Minister Jim Prentice will preside over the roundtable of about 100 Inuit leaders, environmentalists, conservationists, government officials and scientists.

The Canadian Press - Manitoba premier seeks higher infrastructure, education spending (14 January 2009) Manitoba Premier Gary Doer is looking for more spending on infrastructure and education as he prepares for a First Ministers meeting this week. Doer says the federal government has already talked about speeding up infrastructure spending. He says having more people educated and trained would provide not only a short-term economic boost, but would also help the long term 'social cohesion' of the country. Doer is also optimistic the government is listening.

These are a few of the news reports reflecting Canada's rising invincibility from the growing Yogic Flying groups across Canada and the Invincible America Assembly at Maharishi University of Management and Maharishi Vedic City, USA.

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