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Motoring news

Audi’s new Q cars

April 12 2017

Another week, another new Audi. Two new Audis, in fact. The German car maker has announced a couple more additions to its Q line up of SUVs. The Q4 is a coupe-SUV hybrid that will go up against the BMW X4 and Mercedes GLC Coupe. As its name suggests, it’ll be positioned between the compact Q3 and bigger Q5. At the other end of the scale is the Q8, which will go head to head against the Range Rover. It’s lower and sleeker than the Q7 Audi is also producing. In concept form, it sat only four people, although it seems likely the production version will be a five seater. There’s a 630 litre boot as well. Eagle eyed Audi followers will notice the only SUV slots left to fill are the Q1 and Q6. Watch this space...

This student took his Tinder profile to the next level by turning it into a PowerPoint presentation

February 21 2018

Standing out from the crowd on Tinder can be tough, but with the help of Microsoft PowerPoint a British student has managed just that – and gone viral in the process.Sam Dixey, a 21-year-old studying at Leeds University, made a six-part slideshow entitled “Why you should swipe right” – using pictures and bullet points to shrewdly persuade potential dates to match with him on the dating app. The slideshow includes discussion of his social life and likes, such as “petting doggos” and “laser tag”, and “other notable qualities and skills” – such as being “not the worst at sex” and “generous when drunk”.It even has reviews mocked up from sources such as “Donald Trump”, “Leonardo Di Capri Sun” and “The Times Guide to Pancakes 2011”.Sam told the Press Association the six-slide presentation only took about 20 minutes to make and “started off as a joke”.However, since being posted to Twitter by fellow Tinder user Gracie Barrow, Sam’s slideshow has been shared tens of thousands of times across social media.So, it’s got the seal of approval form Gracie, but how has the slideshow fared on Tinder? “I’d have to say it has been pretty successful,” Sam said. “Definitely a clear correlation of matches and dates beforehand to afterwards.“Most of the responses tend to revolve around people saying ‘I couldn’t help swipe right 10/10’ but I’ve had some people go the extra mile and message me on Facebook.“Plus some people have recognised me outside, in the library and on dates.”A resounding success.

Motoring news

Join the queue for littlest Audi Q

November 9 2016

Audi’s relentless release of new models continues with the launch of its smallest SUV. The Q2 goes on sale in the UK next week with prices starting at £22,380. There’s an extensive selection of petrol and diesel power trains as well as the option of front or Quattro four-wheel drive. More models will be added to the range later on, including powerful SQ2 and RSQ2 versions. Aimed squarely at a younger audience, the Q2 has bolder, sharper lines and a different shape to Audi’s bigger SUVs, the Q3, Q5 and Q7. Although it’s clearly meant more for buzzing around cities than growling across farmland, cladding and skid plates lend it an aura of ruggedness. Audi is also offering a range of vibrant colours to deepen the Q2’s appeal to youthful buyers. The interior is as plush as you’d expect from Audi, justifying its price hike over similarly sized SUVs like the Nissan Juke and Honda HR-V. The materials are high quality – softtouch plastics, leather on higher spec cars and brushed aluminium trim elements all blended into a smart-looking package. As standard, drivers get a seven-inch infotainment screen on top of the dashboard. It’s operated through Audi’s rotary dial system that’s far more intuitive and easier to use when on the move than rivals’ touchscreen systems. Among the many options is Audi’s excellent Virtual Cockpit - a 12.3in screen that replaces the manual instruments behind the steering wheel. Overall, the Q2 is 4.7in shorter than the A3 hatchback, but Audi says there’s enough leg and headroom for two adult passengers in the back. Boot space comes in at 405 litres – 50 more than you’ll find in the A3 hatchback and rival Nissan Juke, although it trails the Mini Countryman by the same amount. To begin with, the only diesel option is a 1.6 litre with 114bhp, although a more powerful 184bhp 2.0 litre unit will be added to the range soon. Similarly, the petrol engine range is limited for now but will be expanded by the end of the year. The 1.4 litre, 148bhp unit offered now will be joined by 1.0 litre, 114bhp three cylinder turbo and 2.0 litre, 187bhp options – the latter coming with an S-Tronic automatic gearbox. When it arrives the 1.0 litre petrol version will be the cheapest model in the range with a price tag of £20,230. Courier Motoring has yet to get its hands on the car but early reviews have been very positive and Audi looks to have yet another winner on its hands. jmckeown@thecourier.co.uk

Road tests

Audi Q2 puts quality over size

March 21 2018

Audi’s Q2 was one of the first premium compact SUVs on the market. It sits below the Q3, Q5 and the gigantic, seven seat Q7 in Audi’s ever growing range. Although it’s about the same size as the Nissan Juke or Volkswagen T-Roc, its price is comparable with the much larger Nissan X-Trail or Volkswagen Tiguan. Even a basic Q2 will set you back more than £21,000 and top whack is £38,000. Then there’s the options list which is extensive to say the least. My 2.0 automatic diesel Quattro S Line model had a base price of £30,745 but tipped the scales at just over £40,000 once a plethora of additions were totted up. Size isn’t everything, however. In recent years there’s been a trend of buyers wanting a car that’s of premium quality but compact enough to zip around town. It may be a step down in size but the Q2 doesn’t feel any less classy than the rest of Audi’s SUV range. The interior looks great and is user friendly in a way that more mainstream manufacturers have never been able to match. The simple rotary dial and shortcut buttons easily trounce touchscreen systems, making it a cinch to skim through the screen’s menus. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4eQ5p5Z7-Ek&list=PLUEXizskBf1nbeiD_LqfXXsKooLOsItB0 There’s a surprising amount of internal space too. I took three large adults from Dundee to Stirling and no one complained about feeling cramped. As long as you don’t have a tall passenger behind a tall driver you can easily fit four adults. At 405 litres the boot’s big too – that’s 50 litres more than a Nissan Juke can muster. Buyers can pick from 1.0 and 1.4 litre petrol engines or 1.6 and 2.0 litre TDIs. Most Q2s are front wheel drive but Audi’s Quattro system is standard on the 2.0 diesel, as is a seven-speed S Tronic gear box. On the road there’s a clear difference between this and SUVs by manufacturers like Nissan, Seat and Ford. Ride quality, while firm, is tremendously smooth. Refinement is excellent too, with road and tyre noise kept out of the cabin. It sits lower than the Q3 or Q5 and this improves handling, lending the Q2 an almost go-kart feel. On a trip out to Auchterhouse, with plenty of snow still on the ground, I was appreciative of the four-wheel drive as well. The Q2 is expensive – though there are some good finance deals out there – but you get what you pay for. Few cars this small feel as good as the Q2 does. Price: £30,745 0-62mph: 8.1 seconds Top speed: 131mph Economy: 58.9mpg CO2 emissions: 125g/km

Dundee

Burst colostomy bag no defence for drink-driver

February 15 2014

A bowel cancer sufferer got behind the wheel while almost three times the limit after his colostomy bag burst while in the pub. Thomas Foster was on a night out with friends in Dundee when the bag ruptured. Panicked Foster tried and failed to get a taxi and “in his anxiety” got behind the wheel. Police pulled him over on the Kingsway, and a blood sample revealed he had 229 milligrams of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood almost three times the drink-driving limit. Foster, 29, of Helmsdale Avenue, Dundee, pleaded guilty to a drink-driving charge. Jim Laverty, defending, said: “This is an unusual case. He had gone out without the intention of driving and was to leave his car where he was socialising. “He suffers from bowel cancer and his colostomy bag burst and he panicked. “He tried to get home in a taxi but failed and in his anxiety and concern he took the decision to drive, which he completely and utterly regrets. “He’s still receiving treatment for cancer now and another tumour has been discovered. There will be more invasive surgery in the coming months. “The loss of his licence will have a dramatic effect on his family.” Sheriff Tom Hughes banned Foster from driving for two years and fined him £400. He said: “The reading in this case was high.”

Readers' letters

August 4: Care standards at Ninewells second to none

August 4 2010

Today our correspondents discuss the standard of care at Ninewells Hospital, bureaucracy in the NHS, John J. Marshall's marshalling of facts and the quality of food at the Apex Hotel in Dundee. Care standards at Ninewells second to none Sir, Your front-page report (July 31) about Mr McLeay and his wife's experiences at Ninewells Hospital, Dundee, must cause concern to those about to require the services of the hospital, especially if their visit can result in a life-changing situation. For this reason, I would like to present another side to the story. I underwent radiotherapy for throat cancer in 2008, which did not solve the problem. In June 2009 I was admitted to Ward 26 for surgery. The staff were at pains to explain what I was in for and I was offered support left, right and centre, support which I personally did not want. I knew I was coming out of theatre without a voice box and that was enough but, never having been hospitalised, that was my concern. Cancer I could handle but what felt to me like incarceration was something else. However, from the minute I left theatre to the time of discharge, I had never been so pampered and fussed over in my life and I won't see 70 again. From the night nurses who brought me tea when I couldn't sleep, to the young student who nagged me incessantly about nebulising, I knew I was being well looked after. As for aftercare and support, that could not be bettered. I have a voice (but cannot sing) thanks to a valve and a therapist. I can smell thanks to the same therapist and I am regularly checked out. To be more logical, does anyone out there know anyone who hasn't slipped up? Garry Stewart.Springbank,Clayholes,By Carnoustie. Free clinicians from paperwork Sir, Mr John Blair, a retired senior consultant at Perth Royal Infirmary, is spot on with his criticism of the over-managed National Health Service (July 30). My own family's experience (two consultants and a doctor) echoes that of Mr Blair, with growing frustration among doctors and nursing staff caused by the empire-building bureaucrats who have shanghaied the National Health Service. Form-filling and box-ticking have taken over from patient care as priorities, while highly trained doctors of long experience have to defer for permission to act to managers with no medical training. Social workers, for instance, have equal status with consultant psychiatrists in decisions whether to section a mental patient or not. If the social worker says no, the patient is released against the wishes of a psychiatrist of long experience. The only way to restore sanity to the NHS is to return to the old regime where doctors and nurses were in charge, with pen-pushers relegated to the secondary role of dealing with the paperwork. Doctors and nurses complain bitterly about the top-heavy management structure, the bureaucracy and the never-ending paper-chase. Why do their organisations not take matters in hand and confront our various governments with an ultimatum - return to a system run by medical staff with a greatly reduced bureaucracy performing a secondary role, or doctors and nurses will opt out of the health service? Next to patients, medical staff are the people who matter. Faced with their opposition, even our benighted leaders would have to give way and dismantle this house of cards. If not, the only part of that title with any meaning will soon be the word national. At the moment, it is an organisation increasingly serving the interests of a bloated and blinkered bureaucracy. Paper has replaced patients at the top of their priority list. Put patients back at the top, with doctors and nurses free to make decisions about their treatment, untrammeled by endless form filling. George K. McMillan.5 Mount Tabor Avenue,Perth. A voice of reason Sir, I am sure that your columnist John J. Marshall would be the first to accept valid opinion or comment as regards his detailed article last Wednesday, but the content of the letter from James Christie (July 31) contained pure party-political bias as opposed to Mr Marshall's facts on the Megrahi case. If it was not for newspaper writers and articles of certain journalists of calibre, the public would be ill informed. Mr Christie did not have to look far for another example of the Scottish Government ignoring public opinion the letter by Ron Greer (also Saturday) on support for Calliachar windfarm. Harry Lawrie.35 Abbots Mill,Kirkcaldy. Casting pearls before swine Sir, One of the best meals (roasted lamb with colcannon) and one of the most memorable breakfasts (lightly smoked Finnan haddock, fresh rocket and a perfect poached egg) I've ever had is when I had occasion to stay in the Apex City Quay Hotel, Dundee. So I was surprised when I recently read an extremely bad review of the hotel in a tabloid. I'm not in the habit of jumping to the defence of large hotel organisations let's face it, they're big enough to look after themselves but I have to say that review was ridiculously unfair. However the management shouldn't get too worried nor should the citizens jump into the Tay yet. The piece was based on the buffet breakfast and written by a sports "pundit". Further research reveals that the reviewer's favourite meal appears to be over-spiced curries and hand-cut chips. He also complains of "the language problem" in the hotel, although it's not made entirely clear who was having the problem. Brian McHugh.52 Kirkwell Road,Cathcart,Glasgow.

Motoring news

Form an orderly Q for Audi SUV

August 10 2016

First there was the Q7. Then the Q5 and Q3. All have been a phenomenal success for Audi. I’d be surprised if that script changes when the Q2 arrives in November. Audi’s baby SUV is available to order now with prices starting at £22,380. Can’t quite stretch to that? Don’t worry, an entry level three-cylinder 1.0 litre version will be available later this year with a cover tag of £20,230. From launch, there are three trim levels available for the Q2 called SE, Sport and S Line. The range-topping Edition #1 model will be available to order from next month priced from £31,170. While the entry-level 113bhp 1.0-litre unit isn’t available right away, engines you can order now include a 113bhp 1.6-litre diesel and 148bhp 1.4-litre petrol unit, both with manual or S tronic automatic transmissions. Also joining the Q2 line-up from September is the 2.0-litre TDI diesel with 148bhp or 187bhp. This unit comes with optional Quattro all-wheel drive. A 2.0 litre petrol with Quattro and S tronic joins the range next year. Standard equipment for the new Audi Q2 includes a multimedia infotainment system with rotary/push-button controls, supported with sat-nav. Audi’s smartphone-friendly interface, 16in alloy wheels, Bluetooth connectivity and heated and electric mirrors are all also standard for the Audi. Along with the optional Audi virtual cockpit and the head-up display, the driver assistance systems for the Audi Q2 also come from the larger Audi models – including the Audi pre sense front with pedestrian recognition that is standard. The system recognises critical situations with other vehicles as well as pedestrians crossing in front of the vehicle, and if necessary it can initiate hard braking – to a standstill at low speeds. Other systems in the line-up include adaptive cruise control with Stop & Go function, traffic jam assist, the lane-departure warning system Audi side assist, the lane-keeping assistant Audi active lane assist, traffic sign recognition and rear cross-traffic assist.

Readers' letters

Cost should not prevent cancer treatment

July 13 2013

Sir, Much to our disappointment, the Scottish Medicines Consortium (SMC) recently made the decision to reject the secondary breast cancer drug Everolimus, also known as Afinitor, for use on the NHS. More than 1,000 Scottish women die every year from breast cancer, the vast majority from secondary breast cancer. Unfortunately there are very few treatments available for this stage of the disease. Yet clinical trials have proved Afinitor could slow the growth of cancer for up to a year and for most women, side-effects are also mild when compared to other treatments, allowing women to continue doing the things they care about such as spending time with loved ones, working or caring for family. It has been hailed as a “ground-breaking” drug and we think it is one of the most exciting breast cancer treatments to come up for approval in years. But it was rejected because it was deemed too expensive. Breakthrough Breast Cancer believes the system for approving medicines in Scotland has to change to allow more flexibility around cost. We will do all we can to influence decision-makers so that women with secondary breast cancer are not denied the treatment choices they need and deserve. James Jopling. Director for Scotland at Breakthrough Breast Cancer. Knighthoodis taking it a step too far Sir, All the people I know and love watched Andy Murray battle to win Wimbledon most of us had tears in our eyes when he won. In the aftermath there is not one of those people, including myself, who did not groan “please, no, do not give him a knighthood!” Nobody would dispute he worked hard and has inspired although would we have loved him as much had he not cried last year? but are our lives so lacking that every time someone achieves some sporting trophy we feel the need to elevate them to a status that once was so revered, a knight of the realm? Yes, these sportsmen and women are great role models for our young but my grandchildren now want to become footballers, cyclists, tennis players, not teachers, engineers, scientists, or even our unsung foot soldiers of the workforces. They want fame and glory, which is unrealistic for most of them. There has to be a balance. We overdo our acclamations. Sir Cliff Richard, Sir Bruce Forsyth, Sir Sean Connery I mean, really! My knights sat at a round table, in glistening armour, ready to battle for king and country. Let us salute Andy Murray. He was fantastic, brave and talented, but let us not forget that tennis is his job, for which he is extremely well paid. Barbara Sturrock. 12 Invergowrie Drive, Dundee. An incredible decision Sir, Having had the benefit of a presentation on the role of Skywatch by a leading member of the organisation, I find the recent decision by the police to dispense with its services incredible. How many helicopters/planes does our police force have? Can they cope with several incidents occurring simultaneously and spread all over the landscape? What happens to the injured parties during a possible one to two hours it takes for these search planes to reach their area? Will the police no longer require public help in cases of missing persons, murders, road accidents etc? Perhaps Sir Stephen will sprout wings on his motorcycle. Alex Blyth. Kilrenny, Fife. They should look after pets Sir, Recently there have been many articles regarding people’s cats being targeted by idiots with air guns etc. Do cat owners not think they have a responsibility to look after their pets? It seems the idea is to feed them then let them loose to use neighbourhood gardens as toilets and kill as many song birds as possible. I have also seen two cats being hit by cars and know of another three that have been killed recently by vehicles. God forbid someone tries to avoid hitting a cat and hits an innocent pedestrian. Dog owners have a responsibility to keep their pets under control, cat owners should also be responsible for the welfare of their pets. Bob Duncan. 110 Caesar Avenue, Carnoustie. Airport already in place? Sir, With reference to the letter from Kenneth Brannan about a new airport at Camperdown Park may I remind everyone of an excellent, all-weather runway with full associated infrastructure, about 20 minutes by road from Dundee and with a railway station on the main east coast line, shortly to lose its military aircraft? I refer, of course, to RAF Leuchars. There is ample space to construct a civilian terminal and even if the RAF did want to maintain a presence it could be a joint-use airfield. John Dorward. 89 Brechin Road, Arbroath.

Angus & The Mearns

Gingerbread tribute to the Wee Red Town

October 14 2013

When Libby Jones was invited by Bank Street Gallery owner Susie Clark to exhibit at her gallery in Kirriemuir, she became intrigued by the history of the town. As well as Kirriemuir’s most famous son and Peter Pan author JM Barrie, she discovered the town had also been home for a time to AC/DC singer Bon Scott, Victorian mountaineer Hugh Munro, and 19th century writer Violet Jacob. She found the town had been a hotbed of witchcraft in the 16th century and is also world famous for its gingerbread and decided to combine all these elements. Ms Jones went on to craft a boxed set of prints, which also doubles as a card game. She said: “This tongue-in-cheek edition of 10 boxes, of 20 cards per box, features Kirriemuir characters presented on a slice of gingerbread on a plate. I have also made a poster featuring all the 10 characters in the game.” Visitors can see images of Edinburgh Castle with fireworks, wildlife such as gannets, and artwork made after a visit to Antarctica. Londoner and master printmaker Ms Jones exhibited work from her sub-zero stay at a Discovery Point exhibition in Dundee last year. Children can see her work Cooking the Climate, a comment on global warming, which consists of a microwave oven and slideshow with rotating polar animals. There is also a fossilised mobile phone in a second installation, Fossils of the Anthropocene an exploration of the traces that might remain of civilisation in 50 million years’ time. She is also exhibiting a selection of her woodcuts, linocuts, collagraphs and screenprints at the gallery. The exhibition runs until November 8 and opening hours can be found on www.bankstreetgallery.org, or by telephoning 01575 570070.

Fife

St Andrews scientists help lead fight against prostate cancer

February 13 2013

Scientists from St Andrews and Edinburgh universities are leading research into a new genetic test which could help in the fight against prostate cancer. Men thought to have prostate cancer could receive a more accurate diagnosis thanks to a simple genetic test, research has shown. The procedure will help identify the cancer if it is missed in routine check-ups, and will save patients undergoing repeated invasive investigations which carry a risk of infection. Scientists who led the research say the improved test works by recognising the “halo” of cells which form around a prostate tumour. These cells, which can appear healthy under a microscope, contain silenced genes which turn off the cell’s natural protection against tumour growth. Researchers say by identifying genetic changes in these halo cells they can tell that a patient is more likely to have a tumour, even if their tissue sample shows no cancerous cells. More than one in 10 men tested for prostate cancer receives an inconclusive result and has to have a second biopsy which can be painful and carries a risk of serious infection. This is often because the first tissue sample taken is clear, while their blood test reveals high levels of the PSA protein prostate-specific antigen which is associated with prostate cancer. The team examined prostate tissue from 500 men who had undergone a prostate check-up and received inconclusive results. The new test correctly identified hidden tumours in seven out of 10 cases without the need for a second biopsy. The test was also 90% effective in showing which patients did not have prostate cancer. It provided peace of mind to those without the disease, and prevented two-thirds of men from undergoing a second, unnecessary biopsy. Dr Grant Stewart, clinical lecturer in urology at Edinburgh University, who jointly led the study said: “Prostate cancer is the most common cancer for men in the UK although it can be challenging to diagnose as these tumours are not easily seen on scans. “Our work shows that there is a more precise way of detecting these cancers. “This new test helps us to see the ripple effect of a tumour so that even if the cells we examine aren’t cancerous, we can tell there might be a tumour nearby.” The test is now available in the US. The team hopes to work with the NHS to introduce it into routine prostate checks in the UK.

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