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I found this blurb elsewhere on another blog (http://soundingcircle.com/newslog2.php/__show_article/_a000195-000574.htm):

Controlling the Outcome

I live with the illusion that if I try hard enough, think hard enough, work hard enough and plan well enough, I will be able to control the outcome of a given situation. Soul tells me to take the action and let go of the results. When I feel that I can control the outcome, I live in the result rather than the process. "Life is what happens when you are making other plans." Trying to control results dams up the waters within me. My energy is spent on managing rather than living. When I feel that I am somehow responsible for the outcome of a situation, I get tangled up in a tedious maze of micro-management. I try to determine other people's feelings, perceptions and actions in an attempt to anticipate all the possibilities, so that I can better manage them. Living in the outcome is a way to avoid the present; consequently, it becomes living away from soul.

ZERO HOUR


It was the hour of simply nothing,
not a single desire in my western heart,
no ancient system
of breathing and postures,
no big idea justifying what I felt.

There was even an absence of despair.

"Anything goes," I said to myself.
All the clocks were high. Above them,
hundreds of stars flickering if, if, if.
Everywhere in the universe, it seemed,
some next thing was gathering itself.

I started to feel something,
but it was nothing more than a moment
passing into another, or was it less
eloquent than that, purely muscular,
some meaningless twitch?

I'd let someone else make it rhyme.
- Stephen Dunn
Different Hours

How did 100,000,000 women disappear?

Jun 06, 2009 04:30 AM, NICOLE BAUTE, STAFF REPORTER

In India, China and sub-Saharan Africa, millions upon millions of women are missing. They are not lost, but dead: victims of violence, discrimination and neglect.

A University of British Columbia economist is amongst those trying to find them – not the women themselves, who are long gone, but their numbers and ages, which paint a sad and startling picture of gender discrimination in the developing world.

The term "missing women" was coined in 1990, when Indian economist Amartya Sen calculated a shocking figure. In parts of Asia and Africa, he wrote in The New York Review of Books, 100 million women who should be alive are not, because of unequal access to medical care, food and social services. These are excess deaths: women "missing" above and beyond natural mortality rates, compared to their male counterparts.

Women who are dead because their lives were undervalued.

Around the world boys outnumber girls at birth, but in countries where women and men receive equal care, women have proved hardier and more resistant to disease, and thus live longer. In most of Asia and North Africa, however, Sen found that women die with startlingly higher frequency.

His research began a flutter of activity in academic circles and by 2005, the United Nations produced a much higher estimate for how many women could be "missing": 200 million.Read more...Collapse )
In their "elementary accounting exercise" published this February, Anderson and Ray began to plot the causes of excess death in 2000 by age group, and produced some interesting figures.

In sub-Saharan Africa, the dominant source of missing women was HIV and AIDS, the cause of more than 600,000 excess female deaths each year.

In China, Anderson says, most of the 141,000 excess female deaths by injury were suicides, making China the only place in the world where women are more likely than men to kill themselves, often by eating pesticides used for crops.

And in India, a category called "injuries" yielded ominously high figures: 86,000 excess deaths in the age group 15-29 in 2000 alone. Anderson has done extensive research in India, and says the numbers beg the question of exactly how many deaths were so-called "kitchen fires" – often used to mask dowry-related killings, the result of a new bride being tortured by her new family until her parents pay their debts.


Contrary to what you might expect, Anderson says, dowry prices have not dropped off with improvements in education in India. Instead, they have gotten worse, with educated brides and their families willing to pay even more for high-quality grooms.

Anderson says dowry payments can be six times a family's annual wealth – an excruciating price, especially for poor villagers. The implications of this hefty sum trickle down to the first moments of a child's life. While conducting recent field work in India, Anderson asked villagers about selective abortions and found them open about the fact that they use ultrasound to determine the baby's gender and help them decide whether or not to keep it.

"They see no other options," she says. "They really cannot afford to have a daughter."

Future research will delve deeper, seeking answers to questions such as: How often are men given mosquito nets to protect themselves from malaria, but not women? How many women die because they are not taken to the hospital when they are sick?

Anderson is using data gathered primarily from the World Bank, the United Nations and the World Health Organization, but admits that getting the figures can be a huge challenge. In sub-Saharan Africa, for example, many deaths go undocumented, and in India, it is virtually impossible to know how many "unintentional" deaths are actually dowry killings, because they are not accurately reported to the authorities.

It is also difficult to separate direct gender discrimination from biological, social, environmental, behavioural and economic factors. That will be part of the task as Anderson works on calculating missing women by region in India, and isolating gender discrimination from other factors that might contribute to uneven male-to-female ratios.

When asked what can be done to combat such deep-seated inequality, Anderson pauses. Even when governments outlaw root causes, such as the Indian dowry system, violence persists, she says. "It's too embedded in the system in their world."


Go your own road
by ~alltelleringet on deviantART



One of the best tracks I have "discovered" on the interweb is a live, acoustic version of Tom Petty's "I Won't Back Down" by Pearl Jam. Quickie research tells me the performance took place at "Gorge '06" -- somehow, 2006 shouldn't feel so long ago but it does. The song in the original is great (the delivery of the chorus, especially), but I love hearing Eddie Vedder's lone voice rising up quietly with the faintest guitar accompaniment -- love it.

Lyrically, I believe it was intended as song about political/social adversity. That's fine, but I take my personal anthems where I can grab them.

LiveJournal does not permit me to embed my actual track, but I found something better... love him.



One of the best tracks I have "discovered" on the interweb is a live, acoustic version of Tom Petty's "I Won't Back Down" by Pearl Jam. Quickie research tells me the performance took place at "Gorge '06" -- somehow, 2006 shouldn't feel so long ago but it does. The song in the original is great (the delivery of the chorus, especially), but I love hearing Eddie Vedder's lone voice rising up quietly with the faintest guitar accompaniment -- love it.

Lyrically, I believe it was intended as song about political/social adversity. That's fine, but I take my personal anthems where I can grab them.

LiveJournal does not permit me to embed my actual track, <"http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3wkxAmQo-Vw">but I found something better</a>... love him.

All things are well
And all things are well
And all manner of things are well.


-- 14th century prayer

Toronto-based dentist wins torturous desert race

PHINJO GOMBU
STAFF REPORTER

A Toronto-based Canadian Forces dentist has won a gruelling weeklong, 250 kilometre footrace across Chile’s Atacama Desert beating out more experienced runners from more than two dozen countries including several Olympians.

“Yes (Mehmet Danis) has won the race,” race spokesperson Zac Addoriso said via an email sent to the Star this morning. “He had a spectacular run.”

The Atacama Desert race which concluded today is part of a four deserts race organized by racingtheplanet and takes place in a landscape considered one of the most parched places on earth, an area characterized by scorching hot days and teeth-chattering cold nights.

Danis’s victory was sealed after he won the fifth stage of the race, considered the toughest and longest stretch, which some contest contestants took almost 26 hours to complete.

After five days, the final 10-kilometre stretch into the town of San Pedro today was a breeze.

“I just can’t believe it,” said his wife Sara Madhavi, who has been following the race in Toronto through spotty email exchanges and updates on the race website. “It’s only his second try.”

Danis, an amateur athlete, trained eight months straight for the race, running the equivalent of a weekly marathon a week and spending hours on a treadmill at an army base near Downsview Park.

It was his first foray into extreme racing. He took home first place in his age group, was the top Canadian and placed second among North American competitors. He’s running the Atacama to see if he can improve.

For Danis, the race was a mission of compassion by which he said he hoped to inspire others to step out of their comfort zones and make a difference in the lives of others.

Last year, he ran the Gobi Desert in support of the United Way of Kingston, where he and Mahdavi were living, and raised $4,000. His goal is $6,000 this year. So far he has raised $3,550.

“I’d been giving to United Way for years, " he explained. "United Way helps people help themselves.”

Most donors simply write a cheque. That didn’t cut it for Danis, who said he wanted to go that extra mile, challenging mind, body and soul for an important cause. After conquering the Gobi, Danis said he knew he had to push himself farther.

Toronto-based dentist wins torturous desert race

PHINJO GOMBU
STAFF REPORTER

A Toronto-based Canadian Forces dentist has won a gruelling weeklong, 250 kilometre footrace across Chile’s Atacama Desert beating out more experienced runners from more than two dozen countries including several Olympians.

“Yes (Mehmet Danis) has won the race,” race spokesperson Zac Addoriso said via an email sent to the Star this morning. “He had a spectacular run.”

The Atacama Desert race which concluded today is part of a four deserts race organized by racingtheplanet and takes place in a landscape considered one of the most parched places on earth, an area characterized by scorching hot days and teeth-chattering cold nights.

Danis’s victory was sealed after he won the fifth stage of the race, considered the toughest and longest stretch, which some contest contestants took almost 26 hours to complete.

After five days, the final 10-kilometre stretch into the town of San Pedro today was a breeze.

“I just can’t believe it,” said his wife Sara Madhavi, who has been following the race in Toronto through spotty email exchanges and updates on the race website. “It’s only his second try.”

Danis, an amateur athlete, trained eight months straight for the race, running the equivalent of a weekly marathon a week and spending hours on a treadmill at an army base near Downsview Park.

It was his first foray into extreme racing. He took home first place in his age group, was the top Canadian and placed second among North American competitors. He’s running the Atacama to see if he can improve.

For Danis, the race was a mission of compassion by which he said he hoped to inspire others to step out of their comfort zones and make a difference in the lives of others.

Last year, he ran the Gobi Desert in support of the United Way of Kingston, where he and Mahdavi were living, and raised $4,000. His goal is $6,000 this year. So far he has raised $3,550.

“I’d been giving to United Way for years, " he explained. "United Way helps people help themselves.”

Most donors simply write a cheque. That didn’t cut it for Danis, who said he wanted to go that extra mile, challenging mind, body and soul for an important cause. After conquering the Gobi, Danis said he knew he had to push himself farther.

The Guardian editorial,from Saturday, Feb. 7

Ill-advised remarks by a new senator

Senator Mike Duffy's remarks do little to advance the interests of Islanders.
The honeymoon appears over for P.E.I. Senator Mike Duffy following the swirl of national controversy over his ill-advised comments in the past week about Island Premier Robert Ghiz and Newfoundland and Labrador Premier Danny Williams.

Mr. Duffy first voiced his opinion about an "alliance" between Mr. Ghiz and Mr. Williams over federal transfer payment cuts during the annual meeting of the P.E.I. Progressive Conservative party last Saturday. In a surprisingly partisan speech, he launched into a tirade about the two premiers being in bed together, and that when two men get into bed, one gets the shaft. His message was that Mr. Ghiz is making a mistake by supporting Mr. Williams in his battle with Ottawa. He certainly could have made his point without lowering the tone of the conversation.

Those comments drew a mixed reaction from the people on hand in Winsloe last Saturday. Making such comments in that setting was questionable, but when Mr. Duffy rose in the Senate on Tuesday to make his maiden speech, and made essentially the same comments although with some minor changes, it caused a national firestorm.
Mr. Duffy seemed genuinely surprised that his remarks, intended to be funny, actually caused offence. In trite and unapologetic remarks Thursday in the Senate, Mr. Duffy said if his metaphor caused offence, he would withdraw that metaphor. There was no hint of an apology or recognition the comments were bordering on offensive and vulgar.

When P.E.I.'s newest member of the upper chamber was appointed in late December, Mr. Duffy was seen as a welcome newcomer, essentially non-partisan, who was expected to bring a breath of fresh air to the stuffy red chamber.

Duffy said that when he was appointed, Prime Minister Stephen Harper's only question was whether he supported Senate reform. The answer was yes and that apparently clinched his appointment. Concerns about his residency were brushed aside as Mr. Duffy proudly declared he was an Islander, despite having lived in Ottawa for years.

P.E.I. Conservative leader Olive Crane has expressed concern with Mr. Duffy's comments, saying our politicians must maintain decorum and work on behalf of all Islanders. It's a message Mr. Duffy should listen to. As a TV commentator he routinely criticized politicians, but now Mr. Duffy is a politician with a mandate to work on behalf of all Islanders and plead their case here and in Ottawa. Mr. Duffy should be working with our premier and other Island politicians to support the province because we are going to lose millions of dollars in changes to the transfer formula. He cannot become an apologist for the prime minister and be seen as being more interested in doing his bidding than in defending P.E.I.'s interests.

His comments will not improve his relationship with our premier. He had a chance to stay above the fray and employ a non-partisan approach to his work in the Senate on behalf of Islanders and indeed all Canadians. Instead, he appears to have chosen to become the prime minister's pit bull and political funny man. With the economy in recession, this is not the best time for P.E.I. to lose up to $20 million a year. There is nothing funny in that. As Mr. Ghiz said, if Mr. Duffy wants to be a senator from Prince Edward Island, he should act like one.
07/02/09

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