Sound like something that happens every day, doesn’t it? Oh so another shark attack. You will be sadly mistaken. This attack, however, was very different. It sparked an investigation that was all over the news. You see the question is: “Where did it find this limb?” If we dig further, we discover something extraordinary. So how did this Australian shark spark one of Australia’s most infamous murder investigations?
In the year 1935, just off the coast of Cogee Beach, Sydney a tiger shark had got caught in the nets of local fisherman and researcher, Bert Hobson, in Mid-April. When the shark was sent to Cogee Aquarium and Swimming Baths, it was acting strange–swimming lazily and irregularly. 48-hours later, after suffering from terrible indigestion, in a great brown-yellow froth it spat out two fish accompanied by an unidentified arm. At first everyone thought the shark had eaten it, but when a coroner and shark expert took a closer look at the arm, they soon realized that there was no evidence on the arm to show that it was in fact eaten by the shark. The poor shark was merely the one who discovered it. The arm was severed by a blade and not a bite (there was no evidence of tooth marks). A tattoo was soon discovered on the arm which led to the identity of the missing arm as belonging to James Smith.
James Smith was no angel. He was a bookie, amateur boxer and a small time criminal. His story was far more tragic than just being a petty criminal, he was a bankrupt builder as well as being a former SP bookmaker (bookie for the horse races). He had been missing for weeks after going drinking and playing dominoes with his friend, Patrick Brady in Cronulla.
Further to the suspicious situation surrounding James’ disappearance is a cab driver who witnessed that both men were uneasy, especially Brady. He also witnessed that he was instructed to drive from Cornulla to the home of one Reginald Lloyd Holmes at McMahons Point, Lavender Bay. Soon after Smith’s disappearance, Brady vacated his rented bayside cottage, but not before cleaning the walls and his boat, as well as replacing some furniture items. Since there was no concrete evidence connecting either men to the murder, the judge was forced to give a verdict of not guilty.
This calm only lasted a few weeks, when on May 20th Reginald Holmes tried to kill himself. His attempt, however, was unsuccessful and ended in a boat chase between him and police officers until he was eventually caught and relented to testify to Brady murdering James Smith. However, before the case even went to trial Holmes was found slumped over his steering wheel dead. But further things came to light, it soon surfaced that James Smith was an informant who had informed on a man called Eddie Weyman which led to him being caught red-handed raiding a bank. Eddie Weyman was one of the most dangerous criminals in 1930s Australia with connections to the cocaine trade.
So the question remains, how was James Smith murdered? The modus operandi of gangsters in the 1930s would probably have been something like what had happened to Smith–his body cut into pieces and dumped in the ocean so no one would find his body. This was what they called “sleeping with the fishes”. They could’ve even hoped that a shark would come across the loose body parts and eat them–that would backfire on them in a big way later on. Whatever the case, here we find ourselves with a tiger shark who helped bring one of the most dangerous criminals to justice.
Coffee. Why do we drink it so much? Is it even good for us? Well, let’s take a look and see why. Let’s have a look at why we drink coffee.
Obvious enough, it provides a dose of energy after you have that much needed cup in the morning. It can also help with exercise as it boosts your adrenaline levels. People who had coffee before a workout had a performance increase of 11- 12%. Caffeine is also very beneficial in weight lose as it contains magnesium and potassium both of which directly cause you to have less cravings for sugary treats. It also aids this process by breaking down fat cells in the body using it as fuel you for training. Having 1 – 6 cups of coffee a day is actually known to assist you with focus and alertness.
Now we’re going to take a look at the nutrients in coffee–all of which fill up the daily recommended RDI (Recommended Dietary Income). So we’ve already spoken about the magnesium and potassium, but there’s so much more. There’s Riboflavin, (11%), Pantothenic acid (6%), Manganese and potassium (3%), Magnesium and Niacin (2%). All in all you have a very stable source of vitamins B2, B3 and B5 in a single cup. These all are worked out of your system every day so modest consumption of these vitamins a day will improve your health in various. Doesn’t sound like much? Well, let’s consider that none of us have only 1 cup a day. So work it out for yourselves, you’ll see that it really grows with each cup.
This sounds a bit unbelievable, but coffee can actually lower your risk of death and actually helps prevent type 2 Diabetes. The death rate for coffee drinkers is actually less than 23-50% of non-drinkers. On one occasion a study noted 67% less. Something else that’s rather astounding, it has been known to decrease the risk of diabetes by 7%! But wait the list goes on, various cancers (prostate, endometrial and basal cell carcinoma) are reduced by 20 – 25% in certain conditions. It’s also able to reduce the risk of Parkinson’s (25%) and Alzheimer’s/Dementia. At 2 – 4 cups a day it can also reduce the risk of strokes. When it comes to Parkinson’s it stimulates the part of the brain affected by Parkinson’s. Coffee has also been proven to reduce depression by 20%. Coffee has also been attributed to helping depression. More than 4 cups a day can reduce the chances of depression (although I think any coffee lover can tell you that).
As well as neurological improvements, it also is loaded with antioxidants that actually protect your body. It fights off free radicals inside your body. The liver is one of the organs that coffee can help in the fight against cirrhosis. Cirrhosis can be caused by several diseases affecting the liver. Coffee can fight these diseases off. Drinking 4 or more cups a day can lower the risk by 80%.
So why do we drink coffee? Well, aside from the caffeine it provides for our daily kick, as you can see from the above health benefits, it has so much more to offer us than just our morning pick-me-up. For those of us who can’t drink coffee, one of my future articles will lay out the benefits of tea and all it’s various health benefits. For now, I think a good cup of coffee is in order.
It’s warm in here and the atmosphere surrounds me like a warm, woolen blanket. I always duck in here to avoid the bitter cold. The smell of cappuccinos, mocha lattes and freshly baked muffins are enough to lure any passer-by in. I have always loved this place since I first smelt the croissants and hot chocolate. In this cold winter weather, I find myself spending more and more time in here. My purse knows all about that, but its worth it. I’ve taken to skipping lunch in exchange for the sounds of people muffling the soft, gentle jazz music in the background. I watch the waiters in their snow white uniforms walking between the chairs as though on a tight rope. I bet everyone of these people could perform the tight rope if they got the chance. Some of them are even carrying two/three trays at once. I gaze on in amazement at these tight rope walkers as they maneuver around people and other waiters. I get passed a menu by one of them, as they unhitch a pen from their pocket, retrieve the notepad from their pocket and just stare at me as I scroll through the menu options. I order a hot chocolate and a croissant, then I watch as she dodges another waiter; she turns on her heel to go through the tables and squeeze around other waiters.
I’m enjoying the familiar, comforting noise of the people around me. I can hear the feet of people as they bustle in and out of the coffee shop. I see the early afternoon drizzle outside. The way the clouds are gathering overhead can only mean rain, from where I sit close to the window, I close my eyes and imagine the wind and rain. While my eyes are closed, I hone on the sound of the people. The rain is over-powering, but the people are still somehow able to hear each other. If they are shouting, I can’t hear it. It all sounds muffled. Their voices make the rain sound louder somehow. It’s hitting the ceiling hard now and everyone looks angry. I have to laugh–I’m alone here. I have no one I need to talk to. All I have to do is sit still, smell the coffee and hear (or at least try to hear) the sounds of the people as they attempt to talk. The rain seems to settle down a bit and the people haven’t even realized it. They all shout above the imaginary rain. I laugh again. I notice my waitress navigate her way around the waiters and between all the tables. She holds the tray high above her head continuing her balancing act as she approaches me. Once she arrives at my table, she almost slides it down as though presenting me with a platter at a banquet. I’m used to this, but every time it makes me smile. She smiles in response and puts down my hot chocolate in front of me. She then puts down some extra sugar for my hot chocolate and my croissant on a plate accompanied by a serviette. I say thank you and take a sip. It is an amazing cup of hot chocolate. The aroma is warm and so chocolatey. The croissant only adds to the mouth-watering taste of the hot chocolate. It makes me crave chocolate–maybe after this I’ll go buy a chocolate bar or two. I expect nothing less from my favourite coffee shop.
It’s a fair enough question, isn’t it? We all at some point or other have asked this question. Last night I was staring at the ceiling and wondering if it was the heat or maybe I should watch something on my phone to help me sleep. Perhaps if I use the fan…but that wouldn’t work. All it will do is make me sick from the cold. It was frustrating. In my last science & medicine post I spoke about night terrors and how to combat them. Today I thought I would tackle another “sleep demon” as it were–sleep apnea. So let’s take a look at why I can’t sleep.
I thought we’d look at one of the more serious sleep disorders–sleep apnea. Now, sleep apnea is very dangerous because when you have sleep apnea your breathing actually stops and starts. I don’t know if you’ve ever woken up feeling like you haven’t slept at all, if that is the case you probably have sleep apnea and should get it treated. There are three types of sleep apnea.
The Three Types of Sleep Apnea:
Obstructive sleep apnea
The most popular member of the family, occurs most commonly when your throat and tongue muscles relax. This actually causes your breathing to stop and start intermittently. This is mostly found in adults who are overweight or obese. If you’re not sure how to pick up whether or not you have sleep apnea, another sign is snoring and lack of sleep. So when someone tells you you snore and you have the other symptoms of sleep apnea, they may just be right. There are devices and surgery (worst case scenario) that you can do to be treated, but, whatever you do, don’t ignore it. Sleep is very important.
Central Sleep Apnea
Another sleeping disorder that involves intermittent breathing. This intermittent breathing is caused because your brain doesn’t send proper signals to the muscles controlling your breathing. Unlike the more common obstructive sleep apnea, central sleep apnea doesn’t occur too commonly. However, it is more dangerous in that it can be a sign to other conditions such as heart failure or stroke. In order to treat this you will need to treat the underlying condition as well as providing treatments to facilitate your breathing.
Complex Sleep Apnea Syndrome
Also known as treatment-emergent central sleep apnea, is a combination of the above two mentioned disorders.
We discussed above the three types of sleep apnea, now let’s look into one of their symptoms–insomnia. Now insomnia has many symptoms some of which are sleeplessness, waking up early and being unable to go back to sleep, constant drowsiness and irritability during the day.
These are just brief explanations of the three types of sleep apnea. If you have any of them, you will need to get help especially if you suffer from Complex Sleep Apnea Syndrome. All these sleep disorders are easily treatable. You don’t need to suffer with them, go see your doctor and let him/her assist you in finding the right treatment.
I hoped this helped you if you are/think you are suffering from any of these three sleep apnea disorders.
I feel the breeze as it comes from the ocean gently cool my shoulders. I have my favourite beige hoodie on and some denim shorts on, ready for a day at the beach. I want to dive in. I always wondered what the embrace of the ocean would feel like, but…sharks. I know it sounds stupid, but maybe it’s irrational fear that keeps me from trusting the gentle waves. It isn’t their fault that I have this irrational fear of them. I look up and away from the ocean to face the sky. It’s clear, as it should be at the beach. Despite the breeze, the sun goes on to warm the sand and the ocean. I venture into the water and stand feeling the sand beneath and between my feet. I have always loved to walk along the shoreline of the rushing ocean water, but now I’m in it and stretch out my arms wide to embrace the breeze.
My friends are behind me spreading out their towels to make one giant makeshift, multi-coloured picnic blanket. They take out the woven picnic basket and look up at me. Why are you staring? Are you marveling that I am so willing to face my fears? Are you surprised at my bravery or perhaps you wish you were me? What do you see in my eyes? Fear? Courage? I hope you see courage beneath this blanket of fear, so much like your makeshift blanket–layer after layer to form its pattern. I match that blanket so much more than you’ll ever know. My fear makes me a multi-coloured blanket. There is courage underneath, do you see it? As I run over to all of you full of joy and embracing you with all the love in my heart, I know the unbridled courage underneath, but yet…I still fear sharks.
Bent double, like old beggars under sacks, Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge, Till on the haunting flares we turned our backs And towards our distant rest began to trudge. Men marched asleep. Many had lost their boots But limped on, blood-shod. All went lame; all blind; Drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the hoots Of disappointed shells that dropped behind.
GAS! Gas! Quick, boys!– An ecstasy of fumbling, Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time; But someone still was yelling out and stumbling And floundering like a man in fire or lime.– Dim, through the misty panes and thick green light As under a green sea, I saw him drowning.
In all my dreams, before my helpless sight, He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning.
If in some smothering dreams you too could pace Behind the wagon that we flung him in, And watch the white eyes writhing in his face, His hanging face, like a devil’s sick of sin; If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs, Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues,– My friend, you would not tell with such high zest To children ardent for some desperate glory, The old Lie: Dulce et decorum est Pro patria mori.
God bless and remember be wary of deception, my precious avids.
The lateral vibrations caress me, They leap and caress me, They work pathetically in my favour, They seek my financial good.
She of the spear stands present. The gods of the underworld attend me, O Annubis, These are they of thy company. With a pathetic solicitude they attend me; Undulant, Their realm is the lateral courses.
Light! I am up to follow thee, Pallas. Up and out of their caresses. You were gone up as a rocket, Bending your passages from right to left and from left to right In the flat projection of a spiral. The gods of drugged sleep attend me, Wishing me well; I am up to follow thee, Pallas.