Home' Greymouth Star : January 7th 2014 Contents Greymouth Star
4 - Tuesday, January 7, 2014
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uLetters to the editor
1536 - Catherine of Aragon, rst wife of
King Henry VIII of England, dies.
1785 - Dr John Je ries and Jean Pierre
Blanchard make the rst crossing of the
English Channel in a hot-air balloon.
1789 - e rst US presidential
election is held.
1830 - World's rst railway
station is opened at Mount Clare in
1894 - In an early motion picture
experiment, comedian Fred Ott
is lmed sneezing at the omas
1904 - e shipping distress call CQD ("seek
you, danger") is introduced.
1989 - Emperor Hirohito of Japan dies after
a 63-year reign.
1990 - e Leaning Tower of Pisa is closed to
tourists for the rst time in its 800-year history
for restoration work.
2001 - A general practitioner in Manchester,
England, may have killed more than 200
patients over almost 24 years, a clinical study of
Dr Harold Shipman's medical practice shows.
He is sentenced to life in prison for the deaths
of 15 patients.
uWest Coast yesteryear
uToday in history
Millard Fillmore, 13th US president (1800-
1874); Marie-Bernard Soubirous, St
Bernadette of Lourdes (1844-1879);
Sir Hudson Fysh, Qantas founder
(1895-1974); Charles Addams, US
cartoonist (1912-1988); Gerald
Durrell, British zoologist and writer
(1925-1995); Kenny Loggins,
US singer (1948-); Nicolas Cage,
US actor (1964-), Lewis Hamilton, English
Formula One driver (1985-).
"Whether women are better than men I
cannot say --- but I can say they are certainly
no worse." --- Golda Meir, Israeli prime
"Now when these things begin to take place,
stand up and raise your heads, because your
redemption is drawing near." --- (Luke 21:28).
e death occurred
at Greymouth on
Saturday evening of
Mrs Winifred Evelyn
McKendry, wife of the late William Joseph
McKendry, Omoto Road, Greymouth. She was
in her 71st year. Mrs McKendry was born at
Havelock, Marlborough Sounds, and came to
Greymouth as a young woman and had resided
in Omoto Road since.
Predeceased by her husband three years
ago, she is survived by two sons, Dennis
(Papatoetoe) and Desmond (Omoto Road).
e death of Mrs Alice Anastasia Garth,
a senior citizen of Greymouth, occurred on
Saturday evening in her 90th year. Born at
Ross, where her parents were pioneer settlers,
Mrs Garth came to Greymouth as a young
woman and had resided in ompson Street
for the past 62 years.
Predeceased by her husband, the late William
Myers Garth, she is survived by two sons,
Edward (Christchurch), Myers (Greymouth)
and two daughters, Eileen and Lorna
Subscriptions to the John F Kennedy
Memorial Fund will be received by the town
clerk at the Greymouth Borough Council
o ce and be acknowledged through the
columns of the Evening Star.
is subscription list requested by the prime
minister is to create a fund to honour the late
President Kennedy in a practical way. e
money will be used to provide opportunity for
American educationalists and scholars to visit
this country and study here. e fund provides
a means, in a modest way, of reciprocating the
generous help so many New Zealanders have
received from United States institutions.
uToday s birthdays
uFood for thought
Printed and published by the
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3 Werita Street, PO Box 3, Greymouth
03 769 7900 (o ce)
769 7913 (editorial)
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Sports Editor Tui Bromley
Chief Reporter Laura Mills
03 769 7913
03 755 8422
Almost 5000 years ago,
recommended a tea made
from cannabis leaves to
treat a wide variety of
conditions, including gout
Today, as the global market for marijuana
experiences an unprecedented boom after
moves to legalise, it is China that again
appears to have set its eyes on dominating
trade in the drug.
e communist country is well placed to
exploit the burgeoning cannabis trade with
more than half of the patents relating to or
involving cannabis originating in China.
According to the World Intellectual
Property Organisation (Wipo), Chinese
rms have led 309 of the 606 patents
relating to the drug.
About 147 million people --- about
2.5% of the world's population --- use
cannabis, according to the World Health
Organisation. e medicinal properties of
the drug are increasingly being recognised.
It can be used to treat conditions ranging
from the nausea caused by chemotherapy
for cancer patients and chronic pain
to cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis and
Last month, Uruguay became the rst
country to legalise marijuana in its entirety
--- from growing the crop to processing
and use. Now Peru looks likely to follow
Uruguay's example and legalise cannabis
Last week, the State of Colorado in
the United States, decriminalised the
recreational use of cannabis. Stores may
have turned over up to
$1.2 million statewide during the rst
day alone, according to shop owners. e
Department of Revenue for Colorado said
sales could hit $US600 million by the end
of this year.
People in Washington state have also
voted to legalise marijuana, although
stores are not expected to open until later
in the year.
e New York Times reported that New
York is planning to loosen its marijuana
laws to allow limited use of the drug
by people su ering serious illness. e
newspaper said Governor Andrew Cuomo
--- a long-time opponent of legalising
medical marijuana --- was planning to
announce the new guideline this week in
an executive action.
New York would become the 21st
State to allow medical use of marijuana.
California has already loosened its rules on
Shares in companies involved in
cannabis soared after Colorado's move.
One rm, Mediswipe Inc, had its stock
jump by nearly 70% last ursday. e
legal trade in cannabis in the United
States alone could be worth $US10
billion by 2018.
Analysts say China is once again at the
forefront of exploiting new economic
"Because cannabis in western medicine
is becoming accepted, the predominance
of Chinese patents suggests that
pharmaceutical sciences are evolving
quickly in China, outpacing western
capabilities," Dr Luc Duchesne, an
Ottawa businessman and biochemist,
wrote in InvestorIntel.
"CTM (Chinese traditional medicine)
is poised to take advantage of a growing
trend. e writing is on the wall:
westernised Chinese traditional
medicine is coming to a dispensary near
Many of the Chinese patents are for
herbal treatments. One, led by the
Yunan Industrial Cannabis Sativa Co,
refers to an application made from whole
cannabis sativa seeds to make "functional
food" designed to improve the human
Another, by an inventor called Zhang
Hongqi, is for a "Chinese medicinal
preparation" for treating peptic ulcers. It
uses an array of ingredients, including
cannabis sativa seed. e ling says it
has "signi cant therapeutic e ectiveness
and does not cause any adverse e ect".
ere is also a patent ling from China
for a treatment for constipation, which
is made using fructus cannabis and other
ingredients such as "immature bitter
orange", Chinese angelica and balloon
ower. is, it is claimed,
treats constipation's root causes and
However, only one company in the
world has developed cannabis-based
drugs as medicines that have been
recognised by regulators in the west
following the long, costly process of
clinical trials. G W Pharmaceuticals,
based in Wiltshire, England, makes
Sativex for the treatment of symptoms
of multiple sclerosis and cancer pain, and
Epidiolex for childhood epilepsy.
A spokesman for the company, which
is the only one licensed to carry out
research on cannabis in Britain, said
China had a long history of working with
"In that sense it doesn't come as a
surprise," he said of the patent lings.
" is is a country with thousands of years
of working with plants in medicines."
In December, Jamaica announced it
was forming its rst medical marijuana
company, called Medicanja. Henry Lowe,
a scientist and executive chairman of
Medicanja, said medical cannabis could
help "transform Jamaica's edgling
"Given Jamaica's history with ganja, we
could be the hub for medical ganja in
Latin America and the Caribbean."
Peter Reynolds, leader of Cannabis
Law Reform (Clear), a British-based
campaign group, said China had another
advantage over other countries in selling
cannabis as it was one of the largest
producers in the world of industrial
hemp, a form of cannabis with a low
amount of the psychoactive compound
" e Chinese are smarter and they are
on to all the good ideas," he said. " e
potential for cannabis as a medicine is
But smoking cannabis remains illegal
in China. In April last year, the South
China Morning Post reported that it
was a popular drug among the country's
young people despite the threat of
lengthy prison sentences.
e opening up of a legal trade in
non-medical marijuana is not without its
critics. Uruguay's decision to remove all
legal restrictions on use was condemned
by the International Narcotics Control
Board, the body charged with monitoring
international treaties on narcotics.
"Cannabis is not only addictive but
may also a ect some fundamental brain
functions, IQ potential and academic
and job performance, and impair driving
skills," it said. "Smoking cannabis is more
carcinogenic than smoking tobacco."
China set to cash in
Geologists have reported insights into
super-volcanoes, the brooding, enigmatic
giants of the Earth's crust whose eruptions
are as catastrophic as they are rare.
e buoyancy of molten rock, or magma,
is the key explanation as to why these
monsters blow their stack, according to the
report in the journal Nature Geoscience.
Super-volcanoes include Yellowstone,
in the State of Wyoming, which spewed
out more than 1000 cubic kilometres of
ash and rock when it last erupted about
600,000 years ago.
Events of this kind can chill the planet's
surface by up to 10degC for a decade or
more because the ash, carried into the
stratosphere, re ects sunlight, according to
a 2005 study.
By comparison, the biggest volcanic
eruption of the last quarter-century was
that of the Philippines volcano Pinatubo
in 1991, which discharged a relatively
puny 10 cubic kilometres.
Seeking to understand why volcanoes
can be so di erent, a team from
Switzerland, France and Britain built
a computer model of volcanic activity,
basing the age of eruptions on a telltale
mineral, zircon, found in volcanic rocks.
Separately, a team from the Swiss
Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich
(ETH) used a hi-tech x-ray facility to
study the density of molten rock below
In conventional volcanoes, activity is
determined by the size of the magma
chamber, meaning the rocky vault
below the volcano, the investigations
Relatively small in volume, the chamber
in conventional volcanoes is replenished
regularly by bursts of upwelling magma,
which is expelled in moderate amounts
when the pressure becomes too
But in super-volcanoes, the magma
chamber is simply too big to be
pressurised by magma injections alone.
In these leviathans, what happens is
that a buoyant kind of magma steadily
accumulates in the chamber.
Like a kettle, the chamber is initially
strong enough to resist the pressure but
eventually breaks apart in a cataclysmic
"Until now, nobody had measured the
density of the magma that is present in
the magma chambers of super-volcanoes,"
EZH's Wim Malfait said on Sunday.
e density is important, he explained,
"because magma is less dense than solid
rock, the magma in a magma chamber
pushes on the roof of the chamber."
" is is similar to holding a football
under water --- the air in the football is
lighter than the surrounding water, so
the water pushes it against your hand.
Overpressure is enough to start a super-
eruption if the magma chamber is thick
enough," Malfait said.
e Swiss-French-British team
calculated that the maximum volcanic
eruption would entail a release of
between 3500 and 7000 cubic kilometres
of magma --- the rst time an upper limit
has ever been established for a volcano.
Magma clue to Earth's super volcanos
Texas has seen the future of the public
library, and it looks a lot like an Apple
Store: Rows of glossy iMacs beckon. iPads
mounted on a tangerine-colored bar invite
readers. And hundreds of other tablets
stand ready for check out to anyone with a
Even the librarians imitate Apple's dress
code, wearing matching shirts and that
standard-bearer of geek-chic, the hoodie.
But this $2.3 million library might be most
notable for what it does not have --- any
at makes Bexar County's BiblioTech
the nation's only bookless public library,
a distinction that has attracted scores of
digital bookworms, plus emissaries from as
far away as Hong Kong who want to learn
about the idea and possibly take it home.
"I told our people that you need to take a
look at this. is is the future," said Mary
Graham, vice president of South Carolina's
Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce.
"If you're going to be building new library
facilities, this is what you need to be doing."
All-digital libraries have been on college
campuses for years. But the county, which
runs no other libraries, made history when
it decided to open BiblioTech. It is the
rst bookless public library system in the
country, according to information gathered
by the American Library Association.
Similar proposals in other communities
have been met with doubts. In California,
the city of Newport Beach oated the
concept of a bookless branch in 2011 until
a backlash put stacks back in the plan.
Nearly a decade earlier in Arizona, the
Tucson-Pima library system opened an all-
digital branch, but residents who said they
wanted books ultimately got their way.
Graham toured BiblioTech in the autumn
and is pushing Charleston leaders for a
bond measure in 2014 to fund a similar
concept, right down to the same hip
aesthetic reminiscent of Apple.
Except Apple Stores are not usually found
in parts of town like this. Biblio Tech is on
the city's economically depressed south side
and shares an old strip mall with a Bexar
County government building.
San Antonio is the nation's seventh-
largest city but ranks 60th in literacy,
according to census gures. Back in
the early 2000s, community leaders in
Bibliotech's neighbourhood of low-income
apartments and thrift stores railed about
not even having a nearby bookstore, said
Laura Cole, Biblio Tech's project co-
ordinator. A decade later, Cole said, most
families in the area still don't have wi- .
"How do you advance literacy with so few
resources available?" she said.
Residents are taking advantage now. e
library is on pace to surpass 100,000 visitors
in its rst year. Finding an open iMac
among the four dozen at BiblioTech is
often di cult after the nearby high school
lets out, and about half of the facility's
e-readers are checked out at any given time,
each loaded with up to ve books. One
of BiblioTech's regulars is a man teaching
Head librarian Ashley Elkholf came
from a traditional Wisconsin high school
library and recalled the scourges of her old
job: misshelved items hopelessly lost in the
stacks, pages thoughtlessly ripped out of
books and items that went unreturned by
patrons who were unfazed by measly nes
and lax enforcement.
But in the nearly four months since
Biblio Tech opened, Elkholf has yet to
lend out one of her pricey tablets and
never see it again. e space is also more
economical than traditional libraries despite
the technology: Biblio Tech purchases
its 10,000-title digital collection for the
same price as physical copies, but the
county saved millions on architecture
because the building's design didn't need to
accommodate printed books.
"If you have bookshelves, you have to
structure the building so it can hold all of
that weight," Elkholf said. "Books are heavy,
if you've ever had one fall on your foot."
Up the road in Austin, for example, the
city is building a downtown library to open
in 2016 at a cost of $120m. Even a smaller
traditional public library that recently
opened in nearby suburban Kyle cost that
city about $1m more than Biblio Tech.
On her rst visit, 19-year-old Abigail
Reyes was only looking for a quiet space
to study for an algebra exam. But she got
a quick tutorial from a librarian on how
to search for digital books and check out
tablets before plopping down on a row of
"I kind of miss the books," Reyes said. "I
don't like being on the tablets and stu like
that. It hurts my eyes."
Across the room, Rosemary Caballeo
tried shopping for health insurance on a set
of computers reserved for enrolment in the
A ordable Care Act. Her restless two-
year-old ran around and pawed at a row of
keyboards. e little girl shrieked loudly,
shattering the main room's quiet. She was
soon whisked outside by her father.
After all, it is still a library.
--- New Zealand Herald
Texas library offers gimpse of bookless future
Juan Castilleja uses a computer at BiblioTech, a rst of its kind digital public library.
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