Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Just Friday

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  • Russell Brown,

    On Radio NZ (buggar their marketing), whos boyfriend did Noelle steal to get knocked off the air? Some Jurno student who still has their uni login to use turnitin ?

    She had to apologise but she's still on air.

    The handful of items she got caught on were certainly improperly attributed -- she used whole sentences and turns of phrase from UK newspaper stories. That's at least sloppy.

    But they were also fairly ephemeral -- a chat at the top of the hour isn't quite the same thing as, say, handing in a plagiarised story with your byline on it.

    Ironically, a good many radio hosts spout words that aren't their own in such circumstances. They just get their producers to write it for them.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22756 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Good post about the Noelle business on Peter Hoar's new blog

    Noelle's off air till Boxing Day, but back for Summer Noelle.

    It probably wouldn't even have been that if John Howson hadn't blurted to the media before considering her case.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22756 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    The handful of items she got caught on were certainly improperly attributed -- she used whole sentences and turns of phrase from UK newspaper stories. That's at least sloppy.

    Funny. I've been wondering about that since reading a health story in the Listener back in August which seemed heavily indebted to this one from the Grauniad, including some word for word, er, coincidences. It struck me because I wrote about that story too but felt that I should quote the source. Then again I'm not a journalist and I don't know the subtleties of proper attribution.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Sam F,

    The notion of a panadol overdose i thought was just silly, but taken in large quantities it can certainly have that effect.

    Not even that large - I've been strongly warned against taking even one extra tablet by an acquaintance in A&E, who should know. The clinically effective dose for paracetamol is scarily near to the harmful dose.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1609 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    The five dollars took a little bit of finding. I had been looking for the words as starting letters or code rather than a link in you'll.

    I'm kicking myself... I so should have hidden underneath a w.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    Okay, now I'm scared out of taking Panadol. So, the guy who's going through a multi-session root canal should take what? morphine? I knew the day would come when I would rely on PAS for pharmaceutical advice...

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Lyndon Hood,

    I recall a friend doing a pharma course being alarmed by the this-is-your-liver, this-is-your-liver-if-you-take-paracetemol-to-deal-with-your-alcohol-poisoning-induced-hangover pictures.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1115 posts Report Reply

  • James Green,

    The toxic dose for paracetamol is mostly not one tablet over, but it depends on your body weight and the state of your liver (and probably some other parameters). Taking extra for a hangover not a good plan as your liver is already worked up. It's also worse if you've been taking too much over 8+ hours than a single high dose.

    The crappiest thing about it is that if you do take a fatal dose and don't catch it in time, you have a 2-3 day delay before death...

    Giovanni, there's no particular problem to take paracetamol, ibuprofen, and codeine at the same time. Codeine is metabolized to morphine anyway(!)

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 703 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Then again I'm not a journalist and I don't know the subtleties of proper attribution.

    I just had a look. Hmmm. I don't think I'd be comfortable with that.

    But it can be difficult when you have a column-writing job that basically involves you synthesising interesting news and knowledge in your topic area. You have to put some effort into rephrasing the ideas in your own voice, and attribute or directly quote where you can't do that.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22756 posts Report Reply

  • Ngaruna Kapinga,

    Naturally produced endorphins are a sure fire (albeit temporary) cure for the flu, manflu & anything in bewteen - if you get my drift (wink wink!!!)

    Wellington • Since May 2008 • 26 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Okay, now I'm scared out of taking Panadol. So, the guy who's going through a multi-session root canal should take what? morphine? I knew the day would come when I would rely on PAS for pharmaceutical advice...

    It's a shame that the painkillers that really work for the big jobs are so sodding hard to get, on account of their abusive potential. For dental pain, you really want opiates.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22756 posts Report Reply

  • philipmatthews,

    In case you're not sure what Giovanni and Russell are talking about, this is from the Guardian one on August 2 this year:

    One day, they were sitting together in a doctor's waiting room when out of the blue Dorothy [Johnson] said, "Has our flight been called yet?" Garner was mystified and played for time. Her mother anxiously looked around and said, "We don't want to miss it, where's our hand luggage?"

    Suddenly, Garner realised what was happening. Her mother had always loved air travel and Dorothy was making sense of this crowded waiting situation by assuming they were in a departure lounge. When Garner responded with "All our luggage has been checked in, we've just got our handbags," her mother visibly relaxed.

    From this and similar experiences, Garner realised that people with dementia frequently go back to old memories in order to make sense of otherwise incomprehensible situations.

    Unfortunately, very few people, whether professionals or relatives, understand that this is what is happening. To them, it seems as if the person is completely bonkers. When the person starts calling out for their long-dead dog or talking as if they are at a workplace they have not visited for years, they are nearly always misunderstood as suffering from the kind of delusion for which anti-psychotic drugs are prescribed. The person is as convinced of the reality of their past situation as you are right now that you are reading an article. Yet everyone else keeps telling them otherwise, and like an actor in a play where all the other actors seem to be performing a different one, they either become terrified and panic-stricken or aggressive.

    And from the Listener one on August 23:

    Garner stumbled on that approach when she and her mother were in a doctor’s waiting room. “Has our flight been called yet?” asked Johnson. An avid traveller, Johnson was making sense of the crowded waiting room by assuming she was in a departure lounge. When Garner told her mother their luggage had been checked in, Johnson visibly relaxed.

    From this experience and others, Garner realised that people with dementia frequently return to old memories in an attempt to make sense of the present.

    When people with dementia call out for long dead family members or make references to being back at primary school, well meaning family members and friends assume they are delusional and try to bring them to their senses. Anyone would find it terrifying to have his or her sense of reality questioned, and people with dementia often respond by becoming panic stricken or aggressive – for which they may be prescribed anti psychotic drugs.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2007 • 656 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    So, the guy who's going through a multi-session root canal should take what?

    Greater care of his teeth?

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    Good post about the Noelle business on Peter Hoar's new blog

    Worth reading through to the end for the fish story (properly attributed I note).

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    Greater care of his teeth?

    Okay: Anaheim fan, disrespecting my oral hygiene... I now officially hate you.

    (Plus, to quote the Simpsons: no matter how you brush your teeth, you're doing it wrong.)

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    if you get my drift (wink wink!!!)

    I'm a notorious not getter of drifts, but I might possibly make an exception.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    Russell can correct me, but isn't the usual process on student radio stations, who can't afford a news gathering team or even Reuters/NZPA, to source stories from other media and put them in the journalists own words.

    I'm thinking that's all Noelle was doing, just in a less relaxed environment.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • dyan campbell,

    I recall a friend doing a pharma course being alarmed by the this-is-your-liver, this-is-your-liver-if-you-take-paracetemol-to-deal-with-your-alcohol-poisoning-induced-hangover pictures.

    You only have to take a couple years of physiology to become horrified at the prospect of destroying any essential pathway in your body... and acetominophen (Panadol, Excedrin) or booze are both very easy ways to get there...

    from PubMed

    auckland • Since Dec 2006 • 595 posts Report Reply

  • Caleb D'Anvers,

    The McCarthy piece on dementia is out-and-out plagiarism, surely. Or at least it would be in academia. But I guess in journalism there's always been that culture of 'reusing' content from other sources (often without attribution), cannibalizing wire articles, manufacturing quotes, and so on. The question for me, though, is why anyone tolerates that culture, because it's just slack.

    London SE16 • Since Mar 2008 • 482 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Reid,

    Okay, now I'm scared out of taking Panadol. So, the guy who's going through a multi-session root canal should take what? morphine? I knew the day would come when I would rely on PAS for pharmaceutical advice...

    The toxic range for paracetamol is close to the therapeutic range at approximately double. Apparently around half the people with paracetamol hepatotoxicity (liver damage) did not intend to poison themselves (poisoning yourself with paracetamol has to be a fairly dumb way to self-harm - leading to a prolonged painful death from liver failure).

    However, unintentional paracetamol poisoning is usually in the context of older age, prolonged fasting, alcohol excess or competition for the liver enzyme that metabolises paracetamol (cytochrome P450) - so paracetamol is safer when you are younger, eating, not a big boozer and not on other medications.

    They are also describing a possible link between paracetamol use in children and later asthma.

    Anyway, not to worry, if you get it wrong there's N-acetylcysteine (NAC) - the antidote (they could make paracetamol with NAC included, without affecting the analgesic effect, but it would be much more expensive). And if you don't get NAC in time there's always a liver transplant...

    South Africa • Since Nov 2006 • 80 posts Report Reply

  • James Green,

    McCarthy piece on dementia is out-and-out plagiarism

    Nope. That was The Listener.

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 703 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    The McCarthy piece on dementia is out-and-out plagiarism, surely.

    It wasn't Noelle McCarthy, it was Linley Boniface. And can I just say that I'm not alleging anything? I have enough trouble coming up with dentist money, I would like not to be sued. But I'm with you on the whole culture thing, although it might change as journalism moves online. Bloggers on the whole are pretty strong on crediting the work of others.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    Anyway, not to worry, if you get it wrong there's N-acetylcysteine (NAC) - the antidote (they could make paracetamol with NAC included, without affecting the analgesic effect, but it would be much more expensive). And if you don't get NAC in time there's always a liver transplant...

    Great, you've put my anxieties at complete rest there.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Caleb D'Anvers,

    Oh damn! And there I was talking about proper attribution and everything. How embarrassing. And weirdly appropriate.

    London SE16 • Since Mar 2008 • 482 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Campbell,

    I avoid Tylenol/paracetamol/acetaminophen largely because of the liver toxicity - what's especially bad as others have pointed out is mixing it with alcohol which can max out your liver (without going over the recommended dose) and cause real harm.

    What's really sad are those who try to suicide by over using it - it doesn't kill you outright gently sinking into oblivion - instead you have a month or two of hell as your liver shuts down and the toxins back up into your bloodstream

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2608 posts Report Reply

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