Happy Birthday Mickey Mouse.
It’s W.S. Gilbert’s birthday.
Of all the talents I don’t have that I wish I did, the one I miss the most is the ability to sing in tune. Because of that I was never even in the chorus of school musicals.
I did however, assist backstage for one – The Mikado from which comes I’ve Got a Little List.
We’d finished the meeting, shared taxis to the airport, checked in and regrouped in the Koru lounge.
A few years ago we’d have chatted to each other until our flights were called.
Instead, a couple checked and dealt with messages on their mobiles, two turned their computers on and started typing and another checked emails on a Blackberry.
Spot the irony.
The technology which makes it so much easier to stay in touch with people in other places makes it far too easy to be out of touch with people in the same place.
The commentary on births and deaths in the year to the end of September records a decline in infant mortality and still births:
During the September 2009 year, the number of infant deaths (under one year of age) registered in New Zealand totalled 290. The infant mortality rate (infant deaths per 1,000 live births) has dropped over the last 40 years. In the September 2009 year, the infant mortality rate was 4.5 per 1,000, down from 5.5 in the September 1999 year, and 17.6 in 1969. The Māori infant mortality rate was 6.2 per 1,000 in the September 2009 year, down from 23.0 in 1969.
Neonatal deaths (under four weeks of age) made up 55 percent of infant deaths in the September 2009 year. The neonatal mortality rate (neonatal deaths per 1,000 live births) was 2.5 in 2009, down from 2.9 in 1999. The post-neonatal mortality rate (infant deaths over 27 days of age per 1,000 live births) also dropped, from 2.6 in 1999, to 2.1 per 1,000 in 2009.
Australia has also experienced a drop in infant mortality rates in the last decade. In the December 1997 year, New Zealand’s infant mortality rate was 6.5 per 1,000 live births, compared with 5.3 per 1,000 in Australia. By 2007, New Zealand’s infant mortality rate had dropped to 4.9 per 1,000 and Australia’s rate had dropped to 4.2 per 1,000. (The 2007 data is the most recent available for Australia.)
Scotland (4.7 per 1,000 live births), and England and Wales (4.8) had similar infant mortality rates to New Zealand’s in 2007. However, a number of other low-fertility countries had lower infant mortality rates: Sweden (2.2), Finland (2.7), Norway (3.1), France (3.6), and Denmark (4.0).
There were 380 stillbirths in the September 2009 year. This corresponds to 6.0 stillbirths per 1,000 births (live and stillbirths combined).
The sharp decline in infant mortality is encouraging, but I am left with a question – how many of the babies who survived received some sort of damage during birth which left them with a disability?
These stats are for births and deaths so there is nothing untoward about the absence of any records of babies who were damaged during birth and survived, here.
But those numbers ought to be recorded somewhere and readily available and they don’t appear to be.
The optimum outcome of pregnancy is not just a live birth but a healthy baby.
There are growing concerns about our maternity system. The trend in the number of babies who are damaged during birth but survive would be one measure of whether or not these concerns are justified.
A media release from Health Minister Tony Ryall on his expectation that District Health Boards will collaborate more includes this:
DHBs across the country have responsibility for overseeing budgets from $100 million to over $1 billion a year. They also have in total around $160 million of unfunded services (DHB deficits) inherited from the last Government.”
“The Ministry of Health advises that only around 10% of Board members have specific financial expertise.
Only around 10% of board members have specific financial expertise?
I wonder how that compares with other boards?
Financial expertise isn’t the only skill required of directors but it’s one of the most important.
. . . you wonder what passes for customer knowledge in Cadbury.
The experiment with palm oil in chocolate failed when consumer pressure forced them to return to the old recipe with cocoa butter (and very nice it is too).
But they haven’t learned from that expensive exercise because now they’re meddling with Minties.
Cadbury is changing the recipe of the lolly and switching production to Thailand.
The confectionery company acknowledges the lollies are now “a softer chew” and a different taste.. .
New Plymouth woman Tania Garcher used to love Minties, she says she chewed them for stress relief. But after Cadbury changed the way her favourite lollies were made, her stress levels have raised considerably.
“All I care about is the taste. If they tasted fine – that’s great, but they don’t – they taste totally different to me,” she says.
Minties are Minties because of both taste and texture.
Meddle with one or both and Minties fans will be reaching for something else to get them through their moments.
On November 18:
326 The old St. Peter’s Basilica was consecrated
1926 George Bernard Shaw refused to accept the money for his Nobel Prize, saying, “I can forgive Alfred Nobel for inventing dynamite, but only a fiend in human form could have invented the Nobel Prize.”
1928 The release of the animated short Steamboat Willie, the first fully synchronized sound cartoon, directed by Walt Disney and Ub Iwerks, featuring the third appearances of cartoon stars Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse. This is also considered by the Disney corporation to be Mickey’s birthday.
1939 Margaret Atwood, Canadian writer, was born.
1942 Susan Sullivan, American actress, was born.