The Null Device


Life imitates Christopher Brookmyre novels: a nurse in Britain is on trial for being somewhat overzealous in tackling the bed-blocker problem, to the extent of attempting to hasten several patients' journey through death's door. In her efficiency drive, Barbara Salisbury is alleged to have given patients overdoses of diamorphine and withdrawn their oxygen supplies.

Salisbury, who was described by the prosecution as an experienced, capable and efficient nurse, is accused of attempting to murder Frances May Taylor, 88, in March 2002 in that she inappropriately administered diamorphine using the syringe pump, telling a colleague: "Why prolong the inevitable."
She is accused of attempting, 10 days later, to murder Frank Owen, 92, by instructing another member of nursing staff to lay Mr Owen on his back, allegedly adding: "With any luck his lungs will fill with fluid and he will die."

I wonder whether (assuming that the charges are true, of course) she was acting out of a personal cruel streak, or whether this is merely the most extreme manifestation of an institutional focus on patient turnover in the Thatcherite/Blairite health system in Britain (as was the plot of Brookmyre's Quite Ugly One Morning; though, granted, Brookmyre seems to write from a Scottish-socialist point of view).

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Those rabble-rousers at Adbusters are taking Nike and such on at their own game, with the Black Spot sneaker. It looks like a Converse All-Star (now owned by Nike), only is made using unionised labour, and will cost about US$40. The shoe, however, is only one part of a campaign which involves "culture jamming" Nike billboards and stores. (via bOING bOING)

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North Korea's state-run media claimed that many of the 161 people who died in last week's train explosion devoted their last moments to saving portraits of the Dear Leader. Which is not implausible, given that people have been sent to the gulags for accidentally defacing said portraits; think of the risk if you survived but your portrait of Kim Jong Il didn't...

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