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Business with Heart: Victoria Hale

by Fran Mon Jan 1st, 2007 at 10:55:40 AM EST

The name Victoria Hale is new to me, but I am impressed by what I read about her. Because of Hale, I would like to start the New Year with a positive story. For many the first day of the year is one of hopeful outlook. Maybe this story can also enhance the motivation and endurance to see some of the new priorities of this year through.

I came across the name of Victoria Hale shortly before Christmas, when I received my Yoga Magazine, the only magazine I still like to read in the paper version. Luckily, I also found the story online. What intrigued me was the first paragraph, so I'm not quite sure why. But it is the story of a woman who shows that despite all the problems and negativity in this world, it is still possible to make a difference.

Poverty's Diseases - and the Scientist Who Stopped Looking the Other Way

Riding in a New York City taxi on the way from the airport is where Victoria Hale determined that she would turn her dream into reality. In a time of Big Pharma and its focus on big profits, Hale had long had a vision of bringing life-saving medicines to the world's poorest people, but her plan was drifting in limbo. Making conversation, her West African cab driver asked her what she did. She answered that she was a pharmaceutical scientist. At the time, she worked for a successful biotechnology firm. By her account: "He said, `You guys make all the money.' And then he laughed deep and heartily. His honest laughter was suddenly painful, like a knife in my soul." Hale said she knew at that moment that she would find a way to launch a nonprofit drug firm. No one had ever done that. Certainly not anyone that the IRS had heard of.

From the diaries - afew

Read more... (38 comments, 1032 words in story)

Are some deaths of greater moral value than others?

by Fran Tue Jul 18th, 2006 at 09:23:50 AM EST

Just couldn't believe my eyes. Is this really possible that someone would say something like this. This is so revolting.

AFP: Lebanon civilian deaths morally not same as terror victims -- Bolton

UNITED NATIONS (AFP) - US Ambassador John Bolton said there was no moral equivalence between the civilian casualties from the Israeli raids in Lebanon and those killed in Israel from "malicious terrorist acts".

Asked to comment on the deaths in an Israeli air strike of eight Canadian citizens in southern Lebanon Sunday, he said: "it is a matter of great concern to us ...that these civilian deaths are occurring. It's a tragedy."

"I think it would be a mistake to ascribe moral equivalence to civilians who die as the direct result of malicious terrorist acts," he added, while defending as "self-defense" Israel's military action, which has had "the tragic and unfortunate consequence of civilian deaths".

The eight dead Canadians were a Lebanese-Canadian couple, their four children, his mother and an uncle, said relatives in Montreal.

"It's simply not the same thing to say that it's the same act to deliberately target innocent civilians, to desire their deaths, to fire rockets and use explosive devices or kidnapping versus the sad and highly unfortunate consequences of self-defense," Bolton noted.

I thought I could not be surprised anymore about peoples shallowness, but this is beyond for me, it touches evil. Even for Bolton that seems to be a step up.

Comments >> (69 comments)

Swiss Cultural Snippet: It's 4 AM - Lights out!

by Fran Sun Mar 5th, 2006 at 09:19:14 AM EST

This is how the Fasnacht, here in Basel, will start tomorrow morning - with the Morgenstraich. For some the three most beautiful days of the year begin.

The three-day event traditionally kicks off with an early morning procession, the Morgenstreich, which starts at 4 a.m. on Monday morning. This is a procession of about 200 illuminated canvass lanterns decorated with paintings and rhymes that make fun of a particular "subject" - a local event from the past year. After the city's streetlights are switched off, these lanterns are paraded through the darkened streets, accompanied by the cliques with their drummers and piccolo players. The bars and restaurants serve the three dishes traditionally associated with Fasnacht: Mehlsuppe (a hearty broth made from flour and onion), and onion and cheese pies.

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Flower, Herb and Spice Blogging: The Rose

by Fran Sun Oct 23rd, 2005 at 07:40:50 AM EST

As I love plants and am very interested in herbology, I decided to do a trial post for some non-technical, non-energy (you know bridge, train and windmill, though I enjoy reading them) blogging. Little did I know what vast topic I was picking, despite this post being about the rose only. It is only scratching on the surface. But let me give you an overview and then hopefully you all can fill in more on the rose.

Read more... (6 comments, 939 words in story)

Cities swap expertise on climate

by Fran Wed Oct 5th, 2005 at 11:36:03 AM EST

From the diaries ~ whataboutbob

For a change there is good news on the environment. More than is obvious to the eyes is happening. It can be considered a good sign that cities according to BBC are sharing their experience and expertise.

The leaders of more than 20 world cities are meeting in London to swap ideas on combating climate change.

Berlin's investment in solar cells, Mexico City's taxi fleet upgrade, and Toronto's use of lake water cooling for its buildings are all on the agenda.

I find it a comfort to know that there are many people who care about the environment and that they come from all over the world. Lately we have been hearing mainly about the problems. However, at times it can be more encouraging and inspiring to hear about the other side too.

The World Cities Leadership Climate Change Summit brings together representatives from a diverse range of cities, including Beijing, Delhi, Sao Paulo, Stockholm and Kingston.

Read more... (5 comments, 501 words in story)

America's Battered Wife Syndrome

by Fran Mon Sep 12th, 2005 at 09:14:20 AM EST

Gail Thomas is using a very good comparition for what is currently happening in the US - see her fullarticle. See writes it in the form of a very moving letter:

Dear America,

As a friend of the family I can't sit back and watch you do this to yourself without saying something. Consider this a long distance intervention.

our man is no good. He treats you like crap, lies to you, abuses you, bullies you, exploits you, takes your money. As a friend I want to tell you that you deserve better. You deserve a person that treats you with respect, cares about your welfare, and your children's welfare, but that's not George and it never will be.

Read more... (4 comments, 829 words in story)

The American poor and their lesson for Europe

by Fran Thu Sep 8th, 2005 at 01:21:55 PM EST

Important commentary - from the diaries ~ whataboutbob

I have seen discussions about this topic on the internet before. However, I think this UN report is a good opportunity to look at the topic of poverty and how to deal with it again. The American dream seems to be evaporating - as its reality becomes more visible. I hope that here in Europe the admiration for the US and the desire to copy it, by many people, will be reduced. I hope that this will be a lesson for Europeans to search for other ways of dealing with current problems.

So lets look at some of the points from the UN report via an article from The Independent:   UN hits back at US in report saying parts of America are as poor as Third World

Read more... (10 comments, 603 words in story)

Increasing Obesity

by Fran Sun Aug 28th, 2005 at 01:44:13 PM EST

promoted by Jerome. I have added some maps showing the advance of the "epidemic" in the US just below the fold

This week I saw the following BBC feature repeatedly and every time it catched my attention.

US people getting fatter, fast

Americans are getting fatter at a rate never seen before, a report shows.

In the past year, the adult obesity rate rose in 48 of America's states, and nationally from 23.7% to 24.5%, Trust for America's Health found.

In 10 states, over a quarter of adults are now obese, despite campaigns alerting people to the dangers of over-eating.

Mississippi, famous for its calorific mud pie, ranked the highest, followed by Alabama and West Virginia.

Read more... (54 comments, 1006 words in story)

Italy 'did deal to free hostages'

by Fran Fri Aug 26th, 2005 at 11:58:23 AM EST

I am the apprentice front pager on this site and been told by my masters to front page this - Fran

The Italian Red Cross treated four Iraqi insurgents to secure the release of two Italian women held hostage last year, a Red Cross official has said.

This is an article from BBC. What fascinated me most and had me shake my head was the following (bold mine).

Maurizio Scelli, the outgoing head of the Italian Red Cross, said the deal had been kept secret from the US.

Read more... (12 comments, 338 words in story)

Wilhelm Tell and the revolt of 1291

by Fran Mon Aug 1st, 2005 at 09:56:11 AM EST

promoted from the diaries by Jerome, on the occasion of the Swiss National Holiday. Please also see the story provided by whataboutbob on this same topic, which I have inserted as the first comment below. Edited slightly to put more of the text below the fold.

The 1st of August is the Swiss National Holiday and is connected to the story of Willhelm Tell who has become a legend and I am sure you all have heard of the apple shot.

Read more... (5 comments, 703 words in story)

[UPDATE] Nutritional Freedom ?

by Fran Wed Jul 13th, 2005 at 03:16:01 AM EST

Promoted by Colman: I take the view that unless you're ill you shouldn't need supplements, but I know other people will be interested.

Why are our governments restricting our access to nutritional supplements to such an extreme? I hoped that the European Court of Justice would reject this limitation. But, alas he did not listen. I used to be sceptical about the use of supplements, however, it seems that the soil our food is growing on is more and more depleted through industrialized agriculture, especially trace minerals seem to be more and more missing. Furthermore, most processed food is mostly empty food. For a healthy functioning the body needs more than just carbohydrates and proteins. Minerals and vitamins are, for example, needed in the body to build enzymes. Thus I find it frustrating that the access to these nutritional supplements will be almost entirely taken away. Besides I do feel it is a restriction of my personal freedom of choice. As long as cigarettes and alcohol are freely accessible, I also want to have free access to nutritional supplements, which are far less damaging to health, if at all.

Read more... (11 comments, 1382 words in story)

EU votes NO on GM crops

by Fran Sat Jun 25th, 2005 at 02:00:26 AM EST

I am glad that the EU still has enough spine to say no and not submit to US pressure.

EU votes to continue ban on GM crops - Britain warns ministers of threat of trade war with US

The UK failed to persuade the rest of Europe to give in to American pressure and lift the ban on genetically modified crops and food yesterday.
Britain's Elliott Morley warned fellow environment ministers in Brussels that they were going against scientific advice and faced the threat of a trade war with the United States over the issue if the ban remained in place, but ministers voted overwhelmingly to continue with it.

The decision was also a blow for the European commission, which told ministers that there was no evidence on health or environmental grounds allowing a legal ban on the crops. The politicians clearly disagreed.
The bans on GM varieties of oil seed rape and maize, imposed on public safety and environmental grounds by Austria, Luxembourg, Germany, France and Greece, should have been backed by scientific evidence but none was produced before yesterday's meeting.

One of the most contentious issues at the meeting was a variety of Bt Maize produced by Monsanto called MON 863, which caused unexplained kidney damage to rats, according to research conducted by the manufacturer.

Monsanto has refused to release all the results of its own tests on the maize, although it has now been ordered to do so by a German court.


Read more... (12 comments, 562 words in story)

Introduction to the Swiss Politcal System

by Fran Thu Jun 16th, 2005 at 08:24:25 AM EST

I am posting here a diary I wrote for Booman and hope it will give you some insight into the Swiss System.

Following is an excerpt from a paper I had to write a couple of years ago, just the basics how the Swiss political system is structured:

Read more... (21 comments, 771 words in story)
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News and Views

 December 2023

by Oui - Dec 1, 54 comments

Your take on today's news media

 November 2023

by Oui - Nov 2, 187 comments

Your take on today's news media

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