Dr Stephen Moore and his backyard observatory

On a clear night you can see forever, (with apologies to playwright Alan Jay Lerner) 

For weeks the weather was dry and the sky cloudless, leading Northern Rivers residents, especially gardeners to believe - foolishly, of course - that it might never rain again.

Then, on the afternoon of 31 January 2018 the clouds built up and by dusk there was no sky to be seen. No sunset, and more importantly, no full moon starting to rise.

Amidst all the media hype, the local area, and a good deal of eastern Australia, would miss out on seeing what was billed a once in a lifetime event, a Super Blue Blood Moon.

With a desperate hope of glimpsing this rare event, the first total lunar eclipse since 2015, many locals stayed up, or roused themselves, at midnight, but to no avail.

Groans of disappointment, even anger, flooded social media, further fuelled by links to a host of websites where sky gazers posted stunning images of the Moon over the Pyramids, the mosques of Istanbul, and much of the USA (thank you Steve Scanlon from Locust, New Jersey who snapped the event at the civilised time of 6.53am).

If we felt let down, how devastated were the ardent astro-photographers who spend hours each week looking into space and recording the movements of the galaxies and planets that circulate above us?

CPR training at Goonellabah Medical Centre

Cardiac-pulmonary resuscitation is a compulsory part of accreditation and vocational registration. Dr Ruth Tinker favours a new service that ticks all the boxes. 

Would you like to:-

  • build teamwork and clinical partnerships within your practice?
  • help your team to get their compulsory CPR certification ?
  • review your in practice emergency protocols?

The team at the Goonellabah Medical Centre recently arranged for their CPR training through the new service provided by UCRH, Lismore. The CPR Training Unit can come to your practice out of hours, usually in the evening of a business day.

Although Australian practitioners can legally prescribe medicinal cannabis for a range of conditions, the great majority of patients who feel they might benefit are turning to the black market for their supply.

This disturbing claim was raised at a recent meeting between RACGP president Dr Bastian Seidel and the United in Compassion charity whose primary mission is “advocating for patient access to Full Spectrum herbal medicinal Cannabis extracts and dried herb Cannabis; in a manner which is safe, effective, affordable, equitable and favourable for patients, for the dignified relief of suffering.”

Brain Rules for Ageing Well

Brain Rules for Ageing Well

10 principles for staying vital, happy and sharp

John Medina

Scribe 262pp $32.99

Judging from the photo on his media release, NY Times bestselling author Dr John Medina is a cheerful, middle aged chap who has clearly delighted in crafting advice aimed at helping us all - regardless of age - to live well into our advancing years.

An affiliate professor of bioengineering at the University of Washington School of Medicine, he has considerable experience in brain research, and knows a thing or ten about how we might stay ‘vital, happy and sharp’ into our later years.

Impressively, he attributes Sir David Attenborough as his mentor.  A glimpse at almost any Australian television station’s current programming will attest to the value of Sir D as a role model, not least because even on the box he seems to enshrine a good many of the principles that Dr Medina describes.

These include never retiring, engaging socially with others, eating sensibly and keeping mobile, sleeping appropriately, being sure to reminisce, and, wait for it, training your brain with video games. A specially designed program, NeuroRacer is highly recommended.

Well known GP Kingsley Pearson (pictured holding award certificate), formerly residing in the Northern Rivers, has been honoured as North Queensland GP of the Year.

The award was made by the North Queensland Primary Health Network at a ceremony held at Gurriny and attended by all staff, the Elders of the community and other community members, and the CEO and Chairperson of the Board of the PHN.

“I feel very lucky that I have been able to work in the arena of indigenous health for the past 11 years,” Kingsley told GP Speak.

“It has not only taken me to some remote and beautiful locations around Australia, but it has introduced me to a whole new group of people, strong in culture, and amazing in spirit, who have huge and complex health needs, that deserve our attention and involvement.”

Kingsley came to Nimbin as a GP in the early 1980s and was there for more than 12 year before setting up the Prema House general practice in Lismore.

In 2007 he started working for Katherine West Health Service at Lajamanu in the Northern Territory. He worked on Elcho Island for two years and then at Yarrabah near Cairns in 2010. This was interspersed with work in the Solomon Islands and the NT.