Orlando's picture

    A Powerful Noise is a Powerful Film

    In honor of the upcoming International Women’s Day (March 8th), last night the documentary film A Powerful Noise was screened simultaneously in 450 theaters nationwide. A panel discussion followed the film, and included five individuals involved in some capacity in aide work.

    Deadman's picture

    Michael Phelps may have been on(to) something ...

    I can't stop stewing over the fact that the South Carolina sheriff decided to investigate Michael Phelps' notorious bong hit, with an eye toward possible prosecution.

    I know, I know, the sheriff dropped the investigation earlier this week after deciding there wasn't enough evidence to convict Phelps, who wisely did not admit to smoking the funny weed but merely apologized for using 'bad judgment.'

    Orlando's picture

    Witch Hunts in Papua New Guinea: The Dark Side of Human Nature

    Before last week, all I knew about Papua New Guinea was that its capital was Port Moresby and that it was that island on top of Australia. But while I was searching the internet for examples of the country’s musical offerings, I was fascinated to learn that over 700 languages are spoken there, that most of the island doesn’t have access to television and can only be reached by airplanes, and that there is an incredible diversity of flora and fauna in the mountains and rainforests.

    Deadman's picture

    Questions: Stimulate Me

    OK, so Obama's tough talking apparently worked.

    The administration got three moderate Republican senators to agree to support the stimulus package and prevent a filibuster. In return, some $100 billion in spending from the package was removed while some Republican proposals for tax cuts and credits were adopted (most notably a $15,000 credit for homebuyers).

    Series: 
    DF's picture

    Bill Gates Begins "Nefarious World Domination Plot, Phase One", BBC Buries Lede

    From the Eccentric_Billionaire++ department:

    The 2009 TED talks are going on this week.  Apparently, during his talk on fighting malaria, Bill Gates unleashed a jar full of mosquitoes genetically engineered to implant nano-bots in their victims.  Gates laughed maniacally and revealed the details of his plot, phase one of which involves the nano-bots infecting their hosts with a fanatical devotion to Windows Vista.

    Deadman's picture

    Cancer: Early diagnosis and the Canary Foundation ...

    A few weeks ago, I wrote about how insufficient the typical yearly doctor physical seems for adequately diagnosing diseases, and how modern technology could be used so much more effectively. Interestingly enough, the latest Wired magazine cover story addresses this very issue with a specific focus on the battle against cancer. It's a fascinating read.

    Deadman's picture

    Let's Get (A Real) Physical ...

    Earlier this week, I went to my doctor to get a physical.

    What a joke.

    DF's picture

    Jerry Brown Facing Off With Ken Starr Over Prop. 8

    Although it's been expected that there would be legal arguements both for and against the legal standing of California's Proposition 8, which amends the state's constitution such that only opposite sex marriages are recognized, the manner in which these arguments are playing out has just become more interesting.  State Attorney General Jerry Brown has asked the California State Supreme Court to overturn Prop. 8 in a recent filing.  From the SF Chronicle:

    Orlando's picture

    Stop the Presses: Feminists to Blame for the Economic Crisis!

    The other night, I was talking to a friend when she suggested that feminists were to blame for the current economic crisis. It was hyperbole, I’m certain. Although at the time I changed the subject because I was so shocked to learn that she felt that way.

    Orlando's picture

    Giving Thanks and Something More

    No matter where each of us finds ourselves on Thanksgiving Day, we all no doubt have reasons to be thankful. I am thankful for family and friends; for my sweet dog, who found me in March; for the opportunity to work hard to bring about something that hasn't happened in my lifetime--a Democrat winning my state's electoral college votes. I am thankful for summer, for music, for the fact that Chicago is only a couple hours away. I'm thankful for the people in my life that challenge me to be better.

    Michael Wolraich's picture

    Korea, Madagascar, and Nouveau Colonialism

    Dagster Donal recently posted the news that a South Korea company is pursuing a deal with Madagascar to lease arable land equivalent to almost half of its currently farmed land for 99 years in order to grow crops for feed and biofuel. Chinese companies have been doing similar deals with a number of African countries but at much smaller scales.

    Orlando's picture

    Pirates? Are you kidding me?

    There are still pirates? I mean, I figured there must still be a few if them around because every so often there would be a really stupid movie about modern-day psychos terrorizing some perfectly nice couple on their private yacht. But the news this month has brought attention to the fact that there’s a whole culture of piracy alive and well, centered in Somalia.

    Orlando's picture

    Adventures in Microfinance

    I first learned about the concept of micro-lending in 1996, when I had the opportunity to meet Muhammad Yunus of the Grameen Bank. Professor Yunus founded the bank in 1983, to provide small loans to poor Bangladeshi women who wanted to start small businesses. To date, the bank has served over seven million women and, in 2006, Professor Yunus and the Grameen bank were the recipients of the Nobel Peace Prize.

    Orlando's picture

    Living in a Post-Whatever World

    I've always been a bit puzzled by our rush to declare something over. I suppose it shouldn't be so surprising since, as a nation, we suffer from a mad case of ADD, always enthusiastically moving on to the next new craze, be it hula hoops, cabbage patch dolls, energy drinks, or those cute boy bands made up of brothers with floppy hair.

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