5 November 2006
Live beneath your means. Share a large house instead of renting a small apartment. Food coops, babysitting coops, car pools, co-op schools. Share major purchases with friends. Live within walking or bicycling distance of the places you need to be.
Budget only a fraction of your income for basic necessities. Plan to donate a major portion and save the rest. Live generously – you need less than you may think.
– Josh Mitteldorf
4 November 2006
Then gently scan your brother
Who made the heart, ‘tis he alone
3 November 2006
« Le plus grand mystère n'est pas que nous soyons jetés au hasard entre la profusion de la matière et celle des astres ; c'est que, dans cette prison, nous tirions de nous-mêmes des images assez puissantes pour nier notre néant. »
“When we think of André Malraux we are tempted, more often than not, to remember his passionate involvement in all the great causes of our century, his high-soaring lyricism as the flamboyant Minister of Culture alongside General de Gaulle, between 1958 and 1969, and also the final epic, towards the end of his life, when he traveled to Bangladesh devastated by war, as the messenger and precursor of a kindred spirit that did not yet bear the name of humanitarian aid.
“In doing so we forget a
little too quickly the marvelous novelist and the genuine, simple and
immediate pleasure to be gained today from reading his stories, stories
where adventure does not exclude reflection, where the romanticism of lonely
struggles blends with the exaltation, seemingly paradoxical at first, of
group solidarity, all couched in a breathless, staccato style interspersed
with quick-fire dialogue.”
2 November 2006
“I was thinking of going back to medical school. Then I thought, if I’m an oncologist I can treat hundreds of people but if I discover a new drug maybe I can help millions of people. I decided that if I had even a 1 per cent chance of success, that was enough to make it worth my while. So I took my family and we lived in this little village we picked off the map that had no running water or electricity...”
There is a vast reservoir of information and superstition about healing in the shamanic traditions of ‘primitive’ cultures. The potential benefit for modern medicine is incalculable, if the sound remedies can be separated from the useless. In some cases, active ingredients can be refined from herbs, and chemical variants can be found that work even better.
For all the potential in this program, it is being pursued less than vigorously, because of the ideological constraints of capitalism. Medicines that are discovered in the laboratory are patentable, and may yield enormous profits; medicines that are discovered in traditional cultures are in the public domain, and cannot legally be monopolized. There is no incentive for the pharmaceutical corporations that control research dollars to invest in traditional medicines.
...and yet there are individuals and organizations who see the opportunity inherent in this situation, and are searching for powerful drugs in ethnic backwaters. Paul Alan Cox, author of the above quote, is founder and director of the Institute for Ethnomedicine in Hawaii. Working in Samoa, he has discovered a traditional remedy with powerful antiviral action. It is used locally to cure hepatitis, and Cox thinks it has potential against HIV.
Cox is incidentally committed to returning profits from these
pharmaceutical products to the tribal communities where they were originally
1 November 2006
31 October 2006
30 October 2006
For beauty being the best of all we know
Seymour Bridges, 1844-1930