Labyrinthitis known as vestibular neuritis, is the inflammation of the inner ear. Vestibular neuritis derives its name from the labyrinths that house the vestibular system, which senses changes in head position or the head's motion; this results in a sensation of the world spinning and possible hearing loss or ringing in the ears. It can occur as a single attack, a series of attacks, or a persistent condition that diminishes over three to six weeks, it may be associated with nausea and eye nystagmus. The cause is not clear, it may be due to a virus, but it can arise from bacterial infection, head injury, extreme stress, an allergy, or as a reaction to medication. 30% of affected people had a common cold prior to developing the disease. Either bacterial or viral labyrinthitis can cause a permanent hearing loss in rare cases; this appears to result from an imbalance of neuronal input between the left and right inner ears. The main symptoms of labyrinthitis are severe nystagmus; the most common symptom for vestibular neuritis is the onset of vertigo that has formed from an ongoing infection or trauma.

The dizziness sensation, associated with vertigo is thought to be from the inner ear labyrinth. Rapid and undesired eye motion results from the improper indication of rotational motion. Nausea, a general ill feeling are common due to the distorted balance signals that the brain receives from the inner ear system; some people will report having an upper respiratory infection or flu prior to the onset of the symptoms of vestibular neuritis. Some cases of vestibular neuritis are thought to be caused by an infection of the vestibular ganglion by the herpes simplex type 1 virus. However, the cause of this condition is not understood, in fact, many different viruses may be capable of infecting the vestibular nerve. Acute localized ischemia of these structures may be an important cause in children, vestibular neuritis may be preceded by symptoms of a common cold. However, the causative mechanism remains uncertain; this can be brought on by pressure changes such as those experienced while flying or scuba diving.

In the vestibular system, there are three canals that are semicircular in shape that input sensory clues. These canals allow the brain to sense rotational motion and linear motion changes; the brain uses the sensory input clues and the visual input clues from the vestibular system to retain balance. The vestibulo–ocular reflex retains continuous visual focus during motion, the vestibular systems job during activity; the treatment for vestibular neuritis depends on the cause. However, symptoms of vertigo can be treated in the same way as other vestibular dysfunctions with vestibular rehabilitation. Typical treatments include combinations of head and eye movements, postural changes, walking exercises. Exercises that may be prescribed include keeping eyes fixated on a specific target while moving the head, moving the head right to left at two targets at a significant distance apart, walking while keeping eyes fixated on a specific target, walking while keeping eyes fixated on a specific target while turning the head in different directions.

The main function behind repeating a combination of head and eye movements, postural changes and walking is that through this repetition, compensatory changes for the dysfunctions arising from peripheral vestibular structures may be promoted in the central vestibular system. Vestibular rehabilitation therapy is a effective way to reduce or eliminate residual dizziness from labyrinthitis. VRT works by causing the brain to use existing neural mechanisms for adaptation and compensation. Vestibular neuritis rehabilitation is an safe management to improve symptoms; the vestibular neuritis rehabilitation can improve symptoms or resolve the symptoms, dependent on each individual. Rehabilitation strategies most used are: Gaze stability exercises – moving the head from side to side while fixated on a stationary object. An advanced progression of this exercise would be walking in a straight line while looking side to side by turning the head. Habituation exercises – movements designed to provoke symptoms and subsequently reduce the negative vestibular response upon repetition.

Examples of these include Brandt–Daroff exercises. Functional retraining – including postural control and balance training; these exercises function by challenging the vestibular system. Progression occurs by increasing the amplitude of the head or focal point movements, increasing the speed of movement, combining movements such as walking and head turning. One study found that patients who believed their illness was out of their control showed the slowest progression to full recovery, long after the initial vestibular injury had healed; the study revealed that the patient who compensated well was one who, at the psychological level, was not afraid of the symptoms and had some positive control over them. Notably, a reduction in negative beliefs over time was greater in those patients treated with rehabilitation than in those untreated. "Of utmost importance, baseline beliefs were the only significant predictor of change in a handicap at 6 months follow-up." Vestibular neuritis is a self-limiting disease.

Treatment with drugs is neither possible. The effect of glucocorticoids has been studied, but they have not been found to affect long-term outcome. Symptomatic treatment with antihistam

Margaret Mahy

Margaret Mahy was a New Zealand author of children's and young adult books. Many of her story plots have strong supernatural elements but her writing concentrates on the themes of human relationships and growing up, she wrote 40 novels and 20 collections of short stories. At her death she was one of thirty writers to win the biennial, international Hans Christian Andersen Medal for her "lasting contribution to children's literature". Mahy won the annual Carnegie Medal from the Library Association, recognising the year's best children's book by a British subject, both for The Haunting and for The Changeover, she was a commended runner up for Memory. Among her children's books, A Lion in the Meadow and The Seven Chinese Brothers and The Man Whose Mother was a Pirate are considered national classics, her novels have been translated into German, Spanish, Norwegian, Swedish, Italian, Japanese and Afrikaans. In addition, some stories have been translated into Russian and Icelandic. Mahy was born in the eldest of five children.

She was raised in her birthplace of Whakatane. Her father, Frances George Mahy, was a bridge builder and told his children adventure stories which influenced Mahy's writing, her mother Helen Penlington was a teacher. She was regarded as a'slow learner', hated mathematics, her first published story was "Harry is Bad", written at age seven. She showed it to her class to let them know, she went to the local high school. Mahy completed her B. A. at Auckland University College and Canterbury University College, graduating in 1955. In 1956 she trained at Wellington as a librarian. From around 1965, Mahy lived at Governors Bay on the Banks Peninsula, Canterbury, in the South Island of New Zealand, she raised two daughters there. At age 62, Mahy had her right shoulder tattooed with the picture of a skull with a rose in its teeth, she was writing about a person being tattooed and considered the tattoo research to enable her to describe the experience convincingly. In 2007, Mahy adopted a cavoodle puppy. Mahy died at the Nurse Maude Hospice in St Albans, Christchurch on 23 July 2012, aged 76.

She had been diagnosed with an inoperable cancerous jaw tumour in April 2012 and had been moved to a hospice about nine days before her death. Her final book Tail of a Tale, published posthumously in 2014, was commissioned by Polish photographer Tomasz Gudzowaty, she worked as a librarian in Petone, the School Library Service in Christchurch, in 1976 was appointed Children's Librarian at Canterbury Public Library. During this time many of her stories were published in the New Zealand Department of Education School Journal and her first book saw her become known internationally. A Lion in the Meadow was a School Journal story from 1965, it was published in 1969 by J. M. Dent in the U. K. and Franklin Watts in the U. S. as a large-format picture book illustrated by Jenny Williams. In 1969, William Heinemann Ltd and Watts published another large-format picture book, The Dragon of an Ordinary Family with illustrations by Helen Oxenbury, who won the Greenaway Medal from the British librarians recognising the year's best illustrated children's book.

There were three others in that same year. Mahy wrote several fantasy novels, including The Changeover. Mahy became a full-time writer in 1980, she went on to win numerous book awards and honours for her contributions to New Zealand and to children's literature. One was an honorary Doctor of Letters from the University of Canterbury. In 1985 she established the Margaret Mahy Fees Scholarship at the University of Canterbury. For her contributions to children's literature she was made a member of the Order of New Zealand; the Margaret Mahy Medal Award was established by the New Zealand Children's Book Foundation in 1991 to provide recognition of excellence in children's literature and literacy in New Zealand. In March 2009 she was commemorated as one of the Twelve Local Heroes and a bronze bust of her was unveiled outside the Christchurch Arts Centre. In 2010 the adaptation of her book Kaitangata Twitch as a television series aired on Maori Television. Directed by Yvonne Mackay and produced by The Production Shed.

TV, the series includes a cameo appearance by Margaret Mahy in a library scene. The biennial Hans Christian Andersen Award conferred by the International Board on Books for Young People is the highest recognition available to a writer or illustrator of children's books. Mahy received the writing award in 2006. Jury president Jeffrey Garrett wrote in the press release: In awarding the 2006 Hans Christian Andersen Medal for Writing to Margaret Mahy, the jury has recognized one of the world's most original re-inventors of language. Mahy's language is rich in poetic imagery and supernatural elements, her oeuvre provides a vast, but intensely personal metaphorical arena for the expression and experience of childhood and adolescence. Important, are her rhymes and poems for children. Mahy's works are known to young adults all over the world. Mahy won the Carnegie Medal in 1982 for The Haunting. In 1984 she won the medal again for The Changeover. In 2005 she won the Phoenix Prize for The Catalogue of the Universe.

The Margaret Mahy Award, named for Mahy, is presented annually to "a person who has made a significant contribution to the broad field of children's literature and literacy". M


Kaha'i is a handsome Polynesian demigod whose exploits were popular in many Polynesian mythologies. In Hawaiian mythology, according to the Kumulipo he is known as Kaha'inuiahema and according to Tregear, the legends about Kaha’i are'extremely fragmentary and vague', but they indicate that Hema traveled to'Kahiki' to receive a tribute called palala for the birth of his son Kaha’i. There he was captured by the Aiaia and was buried in Ulu-paupau. Kaha'i decided to avenge his father. A rainbow was the path over which he and his brother ‘Alihi ascended into the skies, where they asked Kane and Kanaloa where Hema's remains were to be found. Sources: E. R. Tregear, Maori-Polynesian Comparative Dictionary, 497. In the Tuamotuan version of the myth and Karihi are twins, but only Tahaki has magical powers. Tahaki's father, trespassed on lands belonging to the goblins of Matuauru in order to go crabbing, they captured him and took him prisoner, Tahaki and Karihi begin a quest to rescue him. En route, Karihi accidentally gets snared on the fishing line of Kuhi.

Tahaki throws coconuts at the old woman and when they hit her, her sight is miraculously restored. Tahaki again rescues, he proceeds to Hiva-nui, the land of the goblins, with a strong net called Tukutuhuraho-nui. Ensnaring the goblins, he beats them to death. While returning home via the land of the fish, he gives his dark skin to the Hami-kere fish. After his death, Tahaki goes to the sacred sky of Kane, where it is set apart to rule over Havaiki-nui. Sources: R. D. Craig, Dictionary of Polynesian Mythology, 88-89. J. F. Stimson, Tuamotuan Legends: Island of Anaa, 60-96. In a legend from Mangareva, Tahaki is famous for his reddish skin. During a diving competition off the inner reef, his enemies make Tahaki dive last; as each person dives down, he waits below. When at last Tahaki dives, all the fish swarm in, each removing a piece of his beautiful skin; when Tahaki reappears, he is naked. But luckily for him his grandmother is nearby. No sooner does a fish bite off a piece of skin, than the grandmother takes it out of the fish's mouth and puts it in her basket.

She goes back to the underworld, taking with her all of Tahaki's skin. The nude Tahaki and his cousin Karihi go down to the underworld, where his grandmother returns each piece of skin to its rightful place. However, some stick insects have helped themselves to pieces of the skin, using it to beautify their armpits, they will not give it back, but the grandmother tells Tahaki not to worry about it, because they only have the skin from the soles of his feet, no one will notice. So it is. Sources: T. R. Hiroa, Vikings of the Sunrise, New Zealand Edition, Reprinted 1975. 1954, 211. In the Samoan version of the legend, Tafa'i, his brother'Alise, his sister Ifiifi are the children of Pua and Sigano, their servant Lauamatoto ascends to heaven. He convinces the goddess Sina-tae-o-i-lagi, daughter of Tagaloa-lagi, to give an audience to the Tafa'i and his brother, who disguise themselves as ugly old men in order to reach her court safely; because of their appearance, the goddess rejects them. The next day when they are about to leave, she sees their true appearance and is distraught and chases after them.

Tafa'i threw Sina into a pit, from which she is rescued by his parents, who bring her to live with them. Tafa'i falls in love with her, but she escapes to her home in heaven, her family convince her to return to earth and marry Tafa'i, to whom she bears La, the sun, who goes to live with her mother in the sky. Sources: R. D. Craig, Dictionary of Polynesian Mythology, 89. A. Kramer, The Samoa Islands, 497. E. R. Tregear, Maori-Polynesian Comparative Dictionary, 497. Tāwhaki, the equivalent hero in Māori mythology