Daily Archives: January 16, 2008

Jacqueline Novogratz: Tackling poverty with”patient capital”

Jacqueline Novogratz is pioneering new ways of tackling poverty. In her view, traditional charity rarely delivers lasting results. Her solution, outlined here through a series of revealing personal stories, is “patient capital”: support for “bottom of the pyramid” businesses which the commercial market alone couldn’t provide. The result: sustainable jobs, goods, services — and dignity — for the world’s poorest.

Continue reading Jacqueline Novogratz: Tackling poverty with”patient capital”

Jacqueline Novogratz: Tackling poverty with “patient capital”

Jacqueline Novogratz is pioneering new ways of tackling poverty. In her view, traditional charity rarely delivers lasting results. Her solution, outlined here through a series of revealing personal stories, is “patient capital”: support for “bottom of the pyramid” businesses which the commercial market alone couldn’t provide. The result: sustainable jobs, goods, services — and dignity — for the world’s poorest.

Continue reading Jacqueline Novogratz: Tackling poverty with “patient capital”

Technology News

Slashdot has a number of interesting technology tidbits you may want to know about:

Later this year, at ShopRite supermarkets in the eastern US, Microsoft will be rolling out computerized shopping carts. These carts will allow people with a ShopRite card to enter their shopping list on the ShopRite site from home, and then pull up the list on their grocery cart when they swipe their card. The new carts will also display advertisements depending on where in the supermarket the cart is, using RFID technology to help locate it.”[source]

“IBM is molding its Jazz technology, which helps software development teams collaborate, in the image of its popular Eclipse open source community. IBM said that today’s move to open access to its Jazz.net portal to anyone to peruse its code, access bug lists, etc. puts it on the path to completely open-source the Jazz technology.”[source]

“NLnet, a Dutch foundation for an open information society, has publicly called for Microsoft to release its deprecated formats into the public domain. The maker of Office has made large efforts during the last year to move against the OpenDocument Format (ISO/IEC 26300). These efforts have been producing a lot of commentary regarding the amount of data bound up in the Redmond-based company’s proprietary specifications. It’s a nasty situation to end up with files that cannot be read because the sole vendor with the documentation for the files has withdrawn permission. ODF is the way forward, or a step forward at the least, with new documents. But for the old documents in the legacy formats, they cannot be read without supporting software and that support requires full access to the specifications.”[source]

“Dell and Hewlett-Packard are both facing lawsuits over catastrophic equipment failures that lead to fires and injuries last year. ‘In one case, a North Dakota auto lube shop owner claims that a Dell monitor he purchased caught fire and burned down his business … meanwhile, an Arkansas man has sued HP, claiming that an HP Compaq Presario PC he purchased from Wal-Mart burst into flames, causing a blaze that destroyed his house and seriously injured his daughter.'”[source]

Political Misgivings

Fleeing Ron Paul:

I’m out of the Ron Paul campaign …He does not believe in Evolution! If there was ever a time we need science to solve our problems of energy resources and climate control it is 2009! … He was my last chance at returning to the GOP.

Yet another story of a rino fleeing the herd once they get the full story! Sandra’s BlogRomney Tied to Global Warming Denier Group

Aides and staffers of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney are listed among the principals of a new Astroturf group set up last fall to deny the science of global warming.The new group advertises itself as the American Environmental Coalition – “working to keep America beautiful, strong and prosperous.” But the sole focus of its expensive website is to question the science of climate change.As for its outreach activities, the AEC seems intent only on attacking Romney’s presidential competitor John McCain, the Republican candidate with the best record on responding to climate change.

Details here, at desmogblog.com

Culture influences brain function

People from different cultures use their brains differently to solve the same visual perceptual tasks, MIT researchers and colleagues report in the first brain imaging study of its kind.

This is not that surprising, but it is very interesting research. We already knew, for instance, that people who read and write different “kinds” of languages … pictographic vs. non-pictographic … use different regions of their brain for this function, and thus are differentially affected by strokes or other damage. Continue reading Culture influences brain function

Jane Goodall: What separates us from the apes?

Traveling from Ecuador to Africa, Jane Goodall takes the audience on an ecological journey, discussing highlights and low points of her experiences in the jungle. She shows how progress is helping research (DNA analysis) and hurting the environment (clear-cutting). And she draws a dozen parallels between primate and human behavior, making the point that we really aren’t all that different. Our big advantage, she says, is the ability to communicate with sophisticated spoken language — yet, sadly, we are abusing this power and destroying the planet. She urges the TED audience to behave differently, and use their higher powers to correct the planet’s course.

Continue reading Jane Goodall: What separates us from the apes?

Kudos for Science, Evolution, and Creationism Kudos for Science, Evolution, and Creationism

From the National Center for Science Education:

Science, Evolution, and Creationism, the new book from the National Academy of Sciences and Institute of Medicine designed to give the public a comprehensive and up-to-date picture of the current scientific understanding of evolution and its importance in the science classroom, is receiving wide attention — and, what’s more, praise both from the scientific community and newspapers across the country for its uncompromising endorsement of the necessity of including evolution in science education.Stories about Science, Evolution, and Creationism appeared in such major media outlets as The New York Times (January 4, 2008), Reuters (January 3, 2008), ScienceNOW (January 4, 2008), United Press International (January 4, 2008), and the Associated Press (January 3, 2008), which noted, “Josh Rosenau, a spokesman for the California-based National Center for Science Education, which supports the teaching of evolution, said the new report is important because the debate over evolution in school is not going away.”And both NBC and ABC ran segments about the book on their nightly newscasts on January 3, 2008. Robert “Mac” West, a paleontologist and museum consultant who serves on NCSE’s board of directors, told ABC’s Dan Harris, “We don’t want to be in the position of misleading our youngsters about what science is and what it can tell us about how the world works.” NCSE’s deputy director Glenn Branch told NBC’s Pete Williams, “This is a definitive statement from a leading scientific authority about the scientific bankruptcy of intelligent design creationism.”The journal Nature offered three cheers on the publication of Science, Evolution, and Creationism in its January 10, 2008, editorial, remarking, “The document succinctly summarizes what is and isn’t science, provides an overview of evidence for evolution by natural selection, and highlights how, time and again, leading religious figures have upheld evolution as consistent with their view of the world,” and also citing Kevin Padian’s testimony in Kitzmiller v. Dover as “a more specific and also entertaining account of evolutionary knowledge.”In its January 12, 2008, editorial, New Scientist also praised the book, focusing (subscription required) on its avoidance of portraying science as opposed to religion (“The US is a religious country and, as Glenn Branch of the advocacy group National Center for Science Education points out, if the issue was ‘God versus science’ many Americans would choose God.”) and its emphasis on the practical applications of evolutionary theory (“understanding evolution is critical to agriculture, medicine and specifically to tackling viruses such as SARS and HIV”).Newspapers across the country took the opportunity presented by the publication of Science, Evolution, and Creationism to reaffirm their editorial commitment to the integrity of science education, including the Seattle Post-Intelligencer (January 6, 2008), the Tuscaloosa News (January 6, 2008), the St. Louis Post-Dispatch (January 7, 2008), and the Toledo Blade (January 9, 2008), which wrote, “Regrettably for American students caught in the middle, education on evolution could be watered down unless the National Academy of Sciences and others without a religious ax to grind get the last word.”