H = Helstone; O = Operator; A = Assistant; D = Professor Dorfman
O: New South Wales University. Good morning.
H: Oh, good morning. Can you put me through to the School of Computing technology, please?`
A: School of Computing Technology. Professor Dorfman’s office.
H: Oh! Good morning. I was wondering if you could give me some information about the forthcoming Computing Technology 25th conference? Dates, enrollment procedures, cost … that sort of thing?
H: When exactly is the conference?
A: Well, the conference runs for four days from the 15th to the 18th of September.
H: 15th to 18th September … Oh, good. I’ll still be here then and er…, where exactly is it being held? Is it at the university as in previous years?
A: No, it’s actually being held at the Pacific Hotel – we’ve rather outgrown the university conference facilities so we’ve opted for this new venue.
H: Right, Paradise Hotel.
A: No. Pacific Hotel.
H: Oh, right. And presumably we can get accommodation at the hotel?
A: Yes, but you’ll need to contact them directly to arrange that. I’ll give you the number for hotel reservations. Have you got a pen ready?
H: Yeah, go ahead.
A: It’s area code 07 and then 9 444 12 33.
H: 079 444 12 33. And what’s the registration fee?
A: Individual fees are $360 for the 4 days, or $100 a day if you only wanted to attend for one day.
H: Are there any student concessions?
A: Oh. sure. There’s a 50% concession for students, and that’s $180 for the four days, or $50 a day.
H: And am I too late to offer to give a talk?
A: Oh, I’m pretty sure you’ve missed the deadline for that.
H: Oh, really? But I’ve only just arrived here in Australia – is there any way I could have a paper accepted?
A: Well, you’d need to talk to Professor Dorfman. He’s the person organizing the conference this year. I can put you through if you’d like.
H: Oh, yes please. That'd be great. Oh, and can I just check the spelling of his name? Is that D-O-R-F-M-A-N?
A: Yes, that’s correct.
D: Professor Dorfman's speaking.
H: Oh, hello. My name’s John Helstone. I’m a computing technology student at London University. I’m here in Australia for 3 months, looking at educational application of computing and information technology.
H: I’m interested in giving a talk on my research at the conference but I believe I may have missed the deadline.
D: Well, strictly speaking you have. The closing date was last Friday.
H: Oh, no!
D: But we may be able to include your paper if it fits into our programme, but you’ll have to be quick.
H: OK. What do I need to do?
D: Send me an outline of your talk. And make sure you include an interesting title for the talk. Something to attract the delegates’ attention.
H: OK. Interesting title. Right.
D: The outline should be no more than 300 words, though.
H: Right. I should be able to keep it down to 300 words but would 400 be OK?
D: No, not really because we have to print it in the proceedings and we just don’t have the space.
H: Sure! I understand.
D: And also, can you send me a short CV – the usual stuff, name, age, qualifications. That sort of thing.
H: Right. Include a brief CV.
D: Actually, you can email it to me. That’d be quicker.
H: Sure. What’s your e-mail address?
D: Well the best thing would be to send it to the conference administrative officer. The address is admin – in lower case. You know, in small letters.
D: So that’s email@example.com.
H: Right. I’ll do that straight away. Thank you very much. You’ve been very helpful.
D: OK. Well, we hope to see you in October then.
Hello and welcome to Cooking Corners. And this week we’re looking at that most versatile and aromatic of plants: a fairly recent addition to the list of Australian agricultural produce, but nevertheless, a great favourite today – ginger. And in the studio to tell us all about it is Jennifer Johnson.
Ginger is one of my personal favourite spices and I’ve got a number of wonderful recipes to share with you later on in the programme. So what is ginger? Well, actually it’s a spicy tasting root with an aromatic flavour; it's related to the bamboo family and has a hundred different uses in the kitchen. The Chinese have cultivated it for years, particularly to use in medicine, though you are probably more familiar with its culinary uses. But first, let's take a brief look at its history before we look at how it can be used, because it has a very interesting history. Ginger originated in the southern provinces of China and in India, where it had been used in medicine and food for over 5,000 years. The early traders who came upon the plant took it to many parts of the world such as Nigeria, the West Indies, Central America, East Africa and even Indonesia.
Ginger became extremely popular because of its exotic, aromatic properties and was highly valued by spice traders in the 17th and 18th centuries because they were able to sell it back in Europe for a very good price. Although Australia is now the largest producer of ginger in the world, it wasn’t grown in Australia until the early 20th century.
Apparently some pieces of raw ginger found their way to an area about 100 kilometres north of Brisbane in Queensland earlier this century. The comparatively high rainfall and humidity in this area produce conditions which are perfect for growing ginger. So it became well established, but in the early days the relatively high cost of production placed it at a disadvantge in the market by comparison with the much cheaper ginger produced by other countries with lower production costs.
Then in 1941 the supply of ginger to Australia started to run out. Remember … this was in the middle of the Second World War when everything was in short supply. This provided a perfect opportunity for the Queensland growers to expand their production and sales. Five local farmers got together and formed a cooperative association in a place called Buderim. They started with only 25 pounds between them. (That was in the days when Australian currency was pounds, not dollars.)
So they set up the company with two wooden vats and 14 tons of raw ginger, but they went on to become the most successful ginger farmers in the world.
In fact, nearly all the world’s ginger now comes from the Buderim ginger factory in Queensland. 40% of the production is used in Australia and the remaining 60% is exported overseas to places like Europe, North America, south Africa, and even to Asia, where it originated in the first place.
So now let’s move on to look at ways of using ginger in the kitchen…
I = Interviewer; P = Dr Parkinson
I: Dr Parkinson, global warming was the threat of the 1980s but it seems to have fizzled out of people’s minds – why do you think that is?
P: Yes, in a way you’re right. I think scientists have become occupied with the task of trying to find out whether it really is happening and, if so, whether it’s caused by human activities.
I: A greenhouse effect is, after all, a natural phenomenon …
P: Yes, as we know, naturally occurring gases float above us, acting as insulators that prevent heat being radiated into space.
I: And the fear is that the insulation might get thicker …
P: Yes… and because of this, the Earth might get warmer.
I: The latest prediction we’ve heard is that the temperature will increase by about a third of a degree every ten years. What are your feelings?
P: Well …this prediction is difficult to make. You see the global climate is the result of a web of influences. Who is to say that a simple action such as adding carbon dioxide to the atmosphere will not have several effects which might even cancel each other out?
I: And I understand that the prediction is hard to verify whatever …
I: Why is that?
P: Because the Earth’s temperature surges and subsides naturally. In fact the best way of detecting global temperature change is to measure the temperature of the oceans as accurately as possible.
I: And this avoids the sort of seasonal fluctuations of the temperature of land mass.
P: Yes – in fact an understanding of the oceans is crucial to understanding how the global climate works. The ocean transports heat around the globe, it’s like a great reservoir of heat – a tiny change in sea surface temperature denotes a huge change in the amount of heat it is storing.
I: And now, I understand you are looking at ways of refining this measurement of ocean temperature.
P: Yes. For a long time, we’ve measured it by placing thermometers in buoys bobbing in the oceans and also when ships draw water through their engines.
I: It’s also been done by satellite, hasn’t it?
P: Yes. But now data from a more promising system is being collected. This is the European along-track scanning radiometer or ATSR, a much simpler name. The ATSR orbits the Earth above us.
I: And what stage are you at with this?
P: Well, it’s been up there two and a half years now. Its an infra-red detector that senses the Earth’s temperature with great accuracy and this is what we need. We have to be able to separate out random changes in temperature.
I: I believe there are other advantages as well.
P: There are several … Every few days it covers the entire Earth. So it produces large quantities of data. It measures the temperature from two angles, which allows correction for any effects that the intervening atmosphere may be having on its readings. Its field of view has a width of 500 kilometres and it measures the temperature to 0.3 degrees centigrade.
I: And it should go on for years?
I: Thank you, Dr Parkinson, for talking to us today … And now over to…
Good morning. I’m Dr.Pat Plant, and I’m here to talk to you about preventative medicine in its widest and most personal aspects. In other words, I’m here to tell you how the patients should wrest control of their health away from the practitioners of medicine and take charge of their own medical destiny. I want to talk about staying out of the hands of the doctor.
When a patient takes responsibility for her or his own health – and let’s decide the patient is male for now – men are in fact more at risk than women anyway. When the patient takes over his own health regime he must decide what he wants to do. The first thing, of course, is to give up the demon nicotine. Smoking is the worst threat to health, and it’s self-inflicted damage. I have colleagues who are reluctant to treat smokers. If you want to stay well, stay off tobacco and smoking in all its manifestations. Our department has recently completed a survey of men’s health. We looked at men in different age groups and occupations, and we came up with a disturbing insight. Young men, particularly working class men, are at considerable risk of premature death because of their lifestyle. As a group, they have high risk factors: they drink too much alcohol, they smoke more heavily than any other group, their diet is frequently heavy in saturated fats, and they don’t get enough exercise.
We did a smaller survey in which we looked at environmental factors which affect health. I had privately expected to find air or water pollution to be the biggest hazards, and they must not be ignored. However, the effects of the sun emerged as a threat which people simply do not take sufficiently seriously. Please remember that too much sunlight can cause permanent damage.
Given this information, and the self-destructive things which people, particularly young men, are doing to themselves, one could be excused for feeling very depressed. However, I believe that a well-funded education campaign will help us improve public health standards and will be particularly valuable for young men. I’m an optimist. I see things improving, but only if things that you as students can do to improve your fitness.
So now I’d like to issue a qualification to everything I say. People will still get sick, and they will still need doctors. This advice is just to reduce the incidence of sickness – it would be great if disease was preventable, but it’s not. However, we have power.
In the late 1980s the Surgeon-General of the United States said that 53% of our illnesses could be avoided by healthy lifestyle choices. I now want to discuss these choices with you.
You should try to make keeping fit fun! It’s very hard to go out and do exercise by yourself, so it’s wise to find a sport that you like and do it with other people. If you swim, you can consider scuba diving or snorkelling. If you jog, try to find a friend to go with. If you walk, choose pretty places to walk or have a reason for walking. Your exercise regime should be a pleasure, not a penance. The university is an excellent place to find other people who share sporting interests with you, and there are many sports teams you can join. This unfortunately raises the issue of sports injuries, and different sports have characteristic injuries. As well as accidental injuries, we find repetitive strain injuries occurring in sports where the same motion is frequently performed, like rowing and squash. The parallel in working life is repetitive strain injury which may be suffered by typists or other people who perform the same action hour after hour, day after day.
In this context, therefore, the most important thing to remember before any sport is to warm up adequately. Do stretching exercises, and aim at all times to increase your flexibility. Be gentle with yourself, and allow time to prepare for the game you have chosen to play. Don’t be fooled by the term ‘warm up’, by the way. It’s every bit as important to do your warm-up exercises on a hot day as on a cool one.
I think one of the recognitions is that all sports can borrow from each other. Many sports programmes are now encouraging players to use cross-training techniques, that is to borrow training techniques from other sports. Boxers have been using cross training for years: building up stamina by doing road work and weight training, while honing their skills and reflexes. Other sports which require a high level of eye – hand coordination are following this trend, so you see table tennis players running and jogging to improve their performance, and footballers doing flexibility exercises which can help them control the ball better. All of these results are good, but the general sense of well-being is best, and is accessible to us all, from trained athletes to people who will never run a hundred metres in less than 15 seconds. Good health is not only for those who will achieve athletic greatness!