Archive for March 16th, 2011
The central question of climate change is, how will it affect humanity? New research has been published examining this question, estimating which regions are most vulnerable to future climate change (Samson et al 2011). The researchers then compared the global map of climate vulnerability to a global map of carbon dioxide emissions. The disturbing finding was that the countries that have contributed the least to carbon dioxide emissions are the same regions that will be most affected by the impacts of climate change.
To estimate the impact of climate change on people, scientists from McGill University, Montreal, developed a new metric called Climate Demography Vulnerability Index (CDVI). This takes into account how regional climate will change as well as how much local population is expected to grow (continue reading…)
Late last year, members of the Women’s Voices for Change community were invited to an advance screening of the film Desert Flower (Yes, that’s Dr. Pat in the LIFE Magazine photo below.) Based on the autobiographical novel of the same name, the film chronicles the story of Waris Dirie, a young Somali girl who made the amazing journey from the most harsh conditions as a desert nomad to unexpected success as a fashion model and activist. The film does not reveal the nature of the horror at the center of the story until the audience has become comfortable with this Cinderella tale. Otherwise, the film would be relegated to the docu-dramas of other unspeakable tragedies that befall women and children all over the globe.
When we learn about the nature of the secret shame and pain that has affected this young woman, every person in the audience could understand both her passion to eliminate the procedure that has so affected her life (continue reading…)
Oscar De La Hoya arrived back in the United States yesterday after a seven-day visit to with our troops fighting in the Middle East. He was accompanied by up-and-coming fighters Adrien Broner, Danny Jacobs and Seth Mitchell. They toured Kuwait and Iraq locations, mixed it up with the soldiers and conducted boxing clinics.
De La Hoya is an Olympic gold medal winner and a former ten-time champion in six different weight classes. He knows something about fighting but he got his lessons in what it means to fight with weaponry other than boxing gloves.
Prior to the trip, Oscar couldn’t even reveal when he and his group would take off, never mind where he expected to be (continue reading…)
As much of America emerges exhausted from a winter full of storms and tentatively ushers in spring, Hollywood marks the joyous occasion by debuting the first in a series of contemplative ‘Seasons’ pictures by famous directors. The Coming of Spring, written and directed by Quentin Tarantino, presents four short segments about this restorative season of renewal that interweave into a profound narrative about blood, death, mutilation and the infectious laughter induced by scenes of dismemberment.
The film opens with a visceral, intestine-laden battle between a lion and a lamb, in which the tiny lamb, with one dangling eyeball and its stomach mauled away, emerges ultimately victorious over the lion. This is, of course, symbolic of March coming in like a lion and going out like a partially blinded and disemboweled lamb (continue reading…)
On Wednesday I post excerpts from my upcoming book about wabi-sabi, the Japanese art of finding beauty in imperfection and impermanence. The book goes to press this week, amid this deep, wide continuing sadness. Today, I’m having a hard time finding an appropriate excerpt. Today, selling books seems crass.
Wabi, a poetic word used since ancient times to describe a diffuse sense of melancholy, has been translated very roughly as “an old memory of my home town.” Wabi is for later, much later, after the raw footage and the terrifying images are archived (continue reading…)
Last Friday when you first learned about the catastrophic tsunami that washed away entire Japanese communities, I bet the morning conversation around your breakfast table or office water cooler was not “Hey Susie, did you hear that JCPenney is running a 20 percent off sale on shoes?” Or, “Mike, how about Groupon’s movie deal for Battle: Los Angeles?” Yet on Twitter and Facebook — the global switchboards where hundreds of millions of people were engaged in high-velocity conversations about the disaster in Japan — corporate America could not put down the sales sheet.
Like you, I follow dozens of my favorite people and companies on Twitter and Facebook. But reading urgent calls for disaster relief right alongside updates from companies pushing their products precisely during the boiling point of a global calamity left me, well, dumbfounded. On Friday, did corporate America flunk the main lesson of Social Media 101: Be human?
Not one tweet or Facebook status update from any of my favorite companies signaled that they were getting behind (if not financially or strategically, then at least empathetically) our friends in Japan (continue reading…)
If you read the first installment of The Disney Princesses: If They’d Had Mothers, you already know that the writers at Disney have a secret agenda: to turn daughters into ditzes. Today we’re going to examine Princess Ariel of The Little Mermaid; the foxy redheaded daughter of King Triton.
The film never provides any explanation as to what happened to Mrs. Triton; perhaps in some kind of messy domestic dispute, she was banished, biblical Queen Vashti-style, to another part of the ocean (continue reading…)
Insure.com’s annual rankings of the most and least expensive vehicles to insure demonstrate how smart car choices are often also smart insurance decisions. The best car insurance rates go to vehicles that are practical: minivans and SUVs.
And then are the cars with the outrageous insurance price tags — but hey, if you’re in the market for a Mercedes convertible, maybe you can throw fiscal caution to the wind.
Take a look now at the most and least expensive 2011 vehicles to insure.
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Least expensive: Chrysler Town & Country LX
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#1 least expensive to insure: Chrysler Town & Country LX
Average annual premium: $1,092
Photo credit: chrysler.com
World’s Billionaires 2011: A Record Year In Numbers, Money And Impact
Gas Prices Soar: What Are You Cutting Back On?
Which Countries Hold The Most U.S.
read full news from www.huffingtonpost.com
Art can be a vehicle for all kinds of messages, social and political, blatant and subtle, personal and public. A new exhibition at Chicago’s Columbia College is using art to send a message to the fashion industry and consumers that it’s time to wake up and really examine the impact of fashion and apparel on the environment.
Every step of the clothing life cycle presents potential environmental hazards. The manufacture of polyester, which is made from petroleum and other synthetic fabrics, is an energy-intensive process and releases harmful emissions. Even the growing and manufacture of cotton is harmful to the environment; 25% of all pesticides used in the United States are used on cotton crops (continue reading…)
As my colleague John Walke eloquently explains, the EPA is taking action today that — if polluters and their cohorts in Congress don’t get in the way — will save tens of thousands of lives and prevent hundreds of thousands of cases of respiratory illness.
John’s blog has more information and background so check it out. EPA also published a powerpoint with some powerful illustrations that help convey the import and impact of the new life-saving standards.
First, dirty power plants are massive source of toxic pollution:
And the power plants that are the sources of these toxic pollutants can be found in just about every state, though most are found east of the Rockies.
So if you ever wonder what it is that the Environmental Protection Agency does for you and your family, just remember these two slides for the answer.
read full news from www.huffingtonpost.com
Our new Stanford Lean LaunchPad class was an experiment in a new model of teaching startup entrepreneurship. This post is part two. Part one is here. The class syllabus is here.
We asked each of the student teams to:
Write down their initial hypotheses for the 9 components of their company’s business model (Who are the customers? What’s the product? What’s the value proposition, distribution channel? etc.)
Come up with ways to test each of the 9 business model hypotheses
Decide what constitutes a pass/fail signal for the test (continue reading…)
Each week, ForYourArt highlights select events to help you PLAN ForYourArt. SEE, KNOW, COLLECT, and ENJOY the best of Los Angeles art and culture.
CULVER CITY OPENINGS
Various Locations (Culver City)
On Thursday, March 17, the opening reception for two new exhibitions: Steve Roden’s Stone’s Thrown, and Olga Koumoundouros’ Poor Pension Math at Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects. On Saturday, March 19, the opening reception for an exhibition featuring the paintings and sculpture of Los Angeles-based artist Henry Taylor at Blum and Poe (continue reading…)
So-called pioneers and innovators are often only relevant for as long as it takes the rest of the world to catch up. In a sport as impatient as mixed martial arts, it doesn’t take long for fresh-faced originators to become blurred images on a VHS tape. In the blink of an eye and flick of a punch, younger men update, improve and re-patent the very thing that once provided so many veterans with distinction.
It’s 2011 and mixed martial arts is no place for the static or nostalgic (continue reading…)
Blame the Brits. In 1942, in the midst of world conflagration, the Brits went squishy. Sir William Beveridge, a member of Churchill’s wartime government (he actually worked for Labour Minister Ernest Bevin, who wanted to get rid of him because he thought he was conceited), published a long, turgid report with revolutionary implications: “Social Insurance and Allied Services.” This wasn’t the first social welfare scheme proposed — Bismarck tried one in Germany in the 1880s — but it kicked off a broad move toward what’s derided by conservatives as socialism. In 1945, the newly elected Labour Party took Beveridge’s plan and launched National Health and other social welfare schemes (continue reading…)
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US alarm over Japan atomic crisis
Greg Jaczko, chairman of the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), said attempts to cool reactors with sea water and prevent them from melting down appeared to be failing.
Emergency workers in the vicinity could be exposed to “potentially lethal” radiation doses, he said.
The plant was severely damaged by last week's huge earthquake and tsunami.
US Energy Secretary Steven Chu has said that the situation at the plant appears to be more serious than the partial meltdown at the Three Mile Island nuclear plant in Pennsylvania in 1979 (continue reading…)
Today, we will spend roughly $325 million fighting in Afghanistan. Twenty million dollars was spent just during Gen. David Petraeus’s testimony to Congress this morning.
This month, we are on track to spend more than $10 billion in Afghanistan. This year, we expect to spend $120 billion fighting the war there.
And for what?
In the last year, we had the highest number of U.S (continue reading…)
Polls show that on the major issues of our time — the Afghanistan and Iraq wars, Wall Street bailouts and health insurance — the opinion of We the People has been ignored on a national level for quite some time. While the corporate media repeats the myth that the United States of America is a democracy, Americans, especially Wisonsiners and Ohioans, know that this is a joke.
On March 3, 2011, a Rasmussen Reports poll declared that “Most Wisconsin voters oppose efforts to weaken collective bargaining rights for union workers.” This of course didn’t stop Wisconsin Governor Walker and the Wisconsin legislature from passing a bill that — to the delight of America’s ruling class — trashed most collective bargaining rights of public employee unions. Similarly in Ohio, legislation to limit collective bargaining rights for public workers is on the verge of being signed into law by Governor Kasich, despite the fact that Public Policy Polling on March 15, 2011 reported that 54 percent of Ohio voters would repeal the law, while 31 percent would keep it.
It is a myth that the United States of America was ever a democracy (most of the famous founder elite such as John Adams equated democracy with mob rule and wanted no part of it). The United States of America was actually created as a republic, in which Americans were supposed to have power through representatives who were supposed to actually represent the American people (continue reading…)
I was raised by parents who were both scared (and scarred) by the Great Depression. My father was the only son of an Ohio farmer who died when he was 17, leaving my dad as the man of the house and man of the farm. My mother was the youngest of a family of eight kids and her father died when she was a baby, leaving my grandma a widow, to raise and feed, if you can imagine, eight children from the age of 18 years to 18 months, (without Costco!) and amidst the Depression. Both of my parents grew up poor although I never heard them describe it that way (continue reading…)
There is no question that the devastation caused by the earthquake, tsunami and nuclear accidents in Japan, already estimated at $180 billion, will get worse before it gets better. With thousands dead and hundreds of thousands displaced, the damage is staggering and heartbreaking.
Japan will require a massive reconstruction, including a dramatic reconstruction effort to rebuild the nation with the world’s third largest economy. They will need the help of the world, and the U.S (continue reading…)
(Wherein we are basically extorted by our broker and revisit, once again, a place we didn’t even like that much the first time. For Pt. 3 click here.)
That night we waited in our apartment for Lauren to drop by and pick up the deposit. “I’m going to be in the neighborhood anyway,” she said, “I’m visiting friends in the Village.”
She came by at 8:00 p.m (continue reading…)
The noise in the world all around us is rising and gives the feeling that a crescendo cannot be far off. And, that noise is coming from all quarters.
North Africa and the Middle East have shaken their moorings and who knows where those ships will fetch up?
The situations in Afghanistan and Pakistan give off the stench of a fetid swamp capable of swallowing us whole.
The budget challenges here at home hang by a thread over the deep chasm of the debt ceiling.
The States of the United States and many of their cities are experiencing wrenching debt and public service challenges (continue reading…)