Asthma problems, Giants Squid evidence, Frigate visit ……..

Great weekend here with temperatures upto 25ºC on both days, a bit blowy though!

Not much of interest in today’s paper.

The new Hiper Sá supermarket in Santana is worrying local shopkeepers, quite rightly so … best get your applications in now for cashiers and shelf stackers. The use of fuel-oil on the island has doubled over the last 10 years, much of which has gone to generate electricity for us all … such a shame really for an island with such great potential for clean power generation.

………. So back to yesterdays newspaper

Source : Diário de Notícias 20/1/2008

Asthma is one of the most common ailments in Portugal.  10% of  Portuguese infants have asthma, and 4% of the adults, and 7% of the the older generation complain about the same. All in all, there are over 800,000 asthmatics in all the country, including Madeira, where apparently the climate and conditions, are more likely to contribute to the causes of the respiratory illness. Improvements in the treatments have had some success in reducing serious cases and in some cases death, but it’s a costly business on such a large scale.


Remainders of a gigantic squid were found around 1.5 miles of the coast of Madeira, closest to Garajau. The crew of a boat that left Funchal in the morning were attracted to a feast of gulls and turtles out in the ocean, and found a piece of flesh weighing around 30 kilos, which was later identified as some sort of body part. Unfortunately this was not enough to guage the actual size of the squid.

Giant squid do live in the deep seas (1,000 meters or more), where they live on a diet of crustaceans and fish, but they do not come to the surface because the change in pressure will kill them. Around two years, the crew of another boat brought to shore a tentacle of a gigantic squid. It is believed that they can reach upto 19 meters of length and weigh as much as a ton. 


The american frigate ‘F32 USS John L Hall comes to Madeira this week, and security aound the docking place of the boat will be tightened to prevent public access. There is no truth in the rumour that GW Bush, having seen a picture of a boat full of dangerous looking Espada fish, is intending to invade Madeira on the belief that it is stockpiling ‘wetfish of mass destruction’.

You may also see other warships and frigates in the region, as there are joint military exercises (including Portugal) planned for Namibia and other locations around the Mediterranean during the coming weeks.

Finally, if you ever have any trouble accessing the daily blog, would you be kind enough to drop me an email. At times it does does strange things, and if I know about it I can probably do something to fix it. Thanks! Der

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