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by Euro Reporter
2010-09-06 07:31:59
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Finland opens clinic to help poker players on …tilt

In most of the world, you'd have to describe the relationship between poker players and governments as icy, at best. But that doesn't seem to be the case in Finland. The ancestral home of Patrik Antonius and Ilari Sahamies has recently opened a one-of-a-kind clinic and website aimed at providing assistance for poker players who have suffered one bad beat too many. It's called "Tilt" (it's in Finnish, so you'll want to let Google translate it for you) and it's for players who have gone on tilt, and are, according to a sketchy translation of the website: "guided by hatred, for example, feelings of despair and surrender".

Anyone who "loses contact with his game management and emotions" is welcome to drop by the office in downtown Helsinki to get some help. In the future, the website will also provide a variety of resources for tilting players.

Which leads to the question of what exactly is there at the clinic to help someone on tilt? Are there rooms that constantly play relaxing elevator music, or videos of puppies and kittens frolicking in sunny meadows? Or maybe there's just a kitchen stocked with a wide variety of soothing herbal teas and bongs? Whatever it is, here's hoping the idea catches on over in North America, because an anti-tilt chill-out clinic on the Las Vegas strip could save a lot of people a lot of money and angst.


Narcolepsy fears may halt swine flu vaccine

Finland's National Institute for Health and Welfare recommended Tuesday halting the use of the Pandemrix swine flu vaccine until a probe into a possible link to narcolepsy among children is concluded. "At the moment we are not having a (swine flu) epidemic, so there is no immediate need for vaccination," the agency said in a statement. "Besides, major parts of the population are protected against the swine flu virus either through vaccination or after having swine flu," it added.

The National Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) has received six reports of children known to have received the vaccine that have developed the chronic sleep disorder since the beginning of the year, it said, stressing however that "this is in line with the normal annual rate of narcolepsy cases." In addition, the agency said it was probing whether nine other cases of narcolepsy that had emerged since the beginning of 2010 could be linked to Pandemrix, which is produced by British pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline.

Last week, neighbouring Sweden's Medical Products Agency also opened an inquiry into the Pandemrix vaccine in response to reports of young people having developed symptoms consistent with narcolepsy after getting their shot. But a cause-and-effect relationship between Pandemrix and narcolepsy is far from proven; with Finland's THL pointing out that the swine flu virus H1N1 itself could possibly cause the disease. "Child neurologists and THL will continue to study the connection (with Pandemrix), but this will take several months," the agency said.


Two churches not to attend Askola's ordination

Two churches have announced that their representatives are not to attend the ordination of Irja Askola, Finland's first female bishop, as the bishop of Helsinki, Finnish Christian newspaper Kotimaa reported on Friday.

The Evangelical Lutheran Church of Latvia and the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Ingria in Russia have decided not to attend the ceremony. The Latvian church has stopped ordaining new female priests, while women do not work as priest within the Church of Ingria.

Guntars Dimants, the bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Latvia, denies that the church is boycotting the ordination due to the gender of the bishop in question. According to Dimants, the church's representatives simply do not have time to attend the event. The Bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Ingria in Russia did not want to comment on the matter.

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