Thursday, March 30, 2006

Government Affairs Advocacy

Senate passed, but House rejected a resolution including $7 billion funding for the National Institute of Health. If you would like to read about the bill or take action showing your support, go to the National MS Society.

Another resolution being considered is the Elderly Pharmaceutical Insurance Program (EPIC), a New York State sponsored prescription plan for senior citizens who need help paying for their prescriptions. The National MS Society would like to see EPIC expanded to include those of us with a disability or chronic illness, to fill in the gaps in the Medicare drug benefit. To read about this bill, go to the National MS Society.

Make your voice count.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Books and Covers

Here’s a fun blog with a single purpose: Judging Books by Their Covers

By fun, I don’t mean call the kids. The language is less than delicate. However, the premise is clever and the blog is fun. He (I assume the author is a ‘he’ because the posts are signed Mr. Bingolittle) looks at a book cover and reviews it – the cover, not the book. He confesses he does not read the book. Most of the review concerns the title, although the author’s name is also fair game.

I read a few reviews, but did not find one he likes. He seems angry (based on the descriptive language) and gets his kicks out of ridiculing the package that is the book. I don’t think he’s angry, he’s just having fun with a clever idea.

It does make me think.

Now another site if you choose to go beyond the cover: Literature Map

Enter an author’s name, and the site will display other author's names. The original name is in the center, those most similar are close, and the names furthest in the display are similar, but less so. The closer two names are, the more likely a reader who likes one will also like the other.

Now, click on any name anywhere on the display, and a new tourist map of literature with the clicked name at the center displays.

If you like one, the map names others you might like. Writers of all genres and time periods are included. Expand your reading options. Explore new writers.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Fashion from Thailand

Here is a fashion reporter who directs us to Thailand fashion sites.

The first is not in English, but there are nice pictures.

The next site is in English although it is definitely Thai. There is some history, pictures that demonstrate the inspiration. Read about fashion and style history, European influence, as it feeds the philosophy of Thai style – definitely get a picture of Bangkok and definitely get a feeling of Thai fashion.

After the short introduction there are presentations from six magazines. I paged through Scream, Street and Stone. Spun says it will be available in March, but I could not get it, so maybe later. Skin says it will be available in May, and Speed’s date is July. The magazine series covers haute couture, ready-to-wear, jewelry, fabric, accessories and designers.

Striking images, definite fashion.

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Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Female Heads of State -- Here and There

Hillary or Condi in 2008?

Some people say Hillary already had a Presidential role as an active First Lady. But some people say Nancy participated in Presidential decisions before her. And what about Edith?

It was well-accepted that Edith was a close advisor to her husband Woodrow during and after World War I, and she controlled access to him after his stroke. The only Presidential business was accomplished through Edith Wilson

We know women have led countries in the past – Cleopatra and Catherine the Great are among the leaders of big and powerful countries. But these are modern times and this is America. Women couldn’t even vote for President until 1920, how could a woman serve?

There have been serious contenders in recent times. In 1964, Margaret Chase Smith announced her candidacy for President as a Republican in 1949. The Democrats actually nominated Geraldine Ferraro for Vice President in 1984. And Elizabeth Dole made a good run for the Republican nomination in 2000.

Yes, America is easing into the reality of a female head of state. Maybe we’re almost ready to show the international community that women can lead a country.

But wait. Maybe the international community already knows. Some examples --

Golda Meir of Israel, Margaret Thatcher of Great Britain, Simone Weil of the EU, Gandhi in India, Bhutto in Pakistan. Iceland, Norway, Yugoslavia in the 80’s, Turkey, Ireland, Poland, Panama in the 90's.

This week Chile elected Michelle Bachelet and Sri Lanka is headed by Mahinda Rajapaksa. But Sri Lanka has experience with women having elected Sirimavo Bandaranaike three times since 1960.

Maybe it’s time for the United States to catch up with the rest of the world and elect a woman president. Or, here’s an idea – Let’s elect the BEST PERSON who may be a woman or a man, of any race or any religion, but just the Best Person. Using the criteria to elect the best person, we are ready for a woman President.

Yea! It's about time.

Friday, March 17, 2006

MS Awareness Week -- Last Day

On this the last day of MS Awareness Week, Dr. Lawrence Steinman presented the last of five webcasts to increase awareness. Did you miss a webcast? Click here.

MSAwareness Week may be ending today, but that's not the end of the story. We can continue toward wiping out MS and helping MSers until then.

Upcoming events:
  • The MS Walk is right around the corner. Last year's event brought us one step closer to a cure by raising almost $50 million.
  • The MS Bike Tour, now on its 27th anniversary, raised about $60 million to fight MS. This is the largest organized bicycle event in the U.S.
  • The MS Challenge Walk is a 2- or 3-day event that raised $7 million last year.
  • Champions Against MS connects MSers with event participants.

There are many ways to raise awareness throughout the year. Keep in touch with your local chapter and stay involved.

technorati tags: MS, Multiple_Sclerosis, Research, Fundraising, MS_Awareness_Week

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Who’s Your Hero?

March is Women’s History Month. Here are the honorees:

Juana Gutierrez (b. 1933)
Political Activist and Community Organizer

Aileen Hernandez (b. 1926)
Union Organizer and Human Rights Activist

Winona LaDuke (b.1960)
Economic Justice Activist and Public Policy Visionary

Cindy Marano (1947-2005)
Economic Justice Activist and Public Policy Visionary

Mary Aloysius Molloy (1880-1954)
Educator and Innovator

Nancy Skinner Nordhoff (b. 1932)
Philanthropist and Environmentalist

Mary Taylor Previte (b. 1932)
Pioneer and Advocate for Juvenile Justice

Betty Reid Soskin (b. 1921)
Cultural Anthropologist and Writer

Mary Taylor Previte (b. 1932)
Pioneer and Advocate for Juvenile Justice

Marian Van Landingham (b. 1937)
Artist and Community Leader

The theme is “Women: Builders of Communities & Dreams”

For more information, click here.

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Monday, March 13, 2006

Everybody Has a Story

Monday is the first day of MS Awareness Week.

A new website is launching today, illustrating the changing face of MS. Click on the picture of an MSer to see and hear the story. On my first visit, I listened to Neal Cavuto, a Colorado Supreme Court justice, the father of an MSer, and a 16-year-old MSer. It’s a clever design, a fun and very interesting visit.

come face to face with MS

Become aware of the changing faces of MS.

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Sunday, March 12, 2006

Lunch with Mother

Last weekend I had lunch with my mother. It had been months since I had seen her before that.

My mother lives in an assisted living residence and no longer drives. I live in a nice house less than 300 miles away, but I also no longer drive. We talk by phone on a regular basis, but neither of us is a phone chatter preferring to listen. We needed to see each other.

My brother and his family live near her, so he and my sister-in-law planned to take her halfway to my house. My mother is older, but she can get in and out of the car and walk into a restaurant, but she is very slow. Garry lives near me – very near, as in the same house – so he planned to take me halfway to her. I am non-ambulatory and breakable, and pretty slow, too. With an abundance of patience, we were going to have a family luncheon.

After lunch, we visited my father’s grave. I haven’t been there since the funeral, but I was still walking then. This time I stayed in the car – getting in and out of the car seems to be my most breakable time, so I limit the number of my car transfers. We parked nearby and Garry took pictures for me. I wish the grass had been greener.

Then we went home. Not a very exciting day, but a very appreciated day. Thank you Steve and Bonnie. Thank you Garry.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

MS Awareness Week is coming

MS Awareness Week: March 13-17, 2006

MS Awareness Week: March 13-17, 2006

Activities and webcasts are planned for each day with the mission of increasing awareness. Visit my MS blog Down the MS Path.

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Friday, March 03, 2006

What’s up with Kanab?

Well, what is up with Kanab? Kanab is a small city in a beautiful area of Utah. The local government has passed two laws under the guise of “Natural Family Resolution” that seriously invade personal freedom.

First, they decided households can have two – and no more than two – dogs. Anyone with more than two dogs is covered by a grandfather clause and can register two extra dogs. If anyone has more than four dogs, they have to choose which ones to discard. After four, the dogs are unregistered and therefore under the jurisdiction of Animal Control.

What if the dogs are well-behaved, don’t bother anyone, but bring joy to their owners? Are there more than two? Some have to go.

It mentions only dogs. Maybe they just don’t like dogs. I think most communities handle the perceived problem with regulations such as leash laws and designated areas like dog parks. There has to be a better way.

Now, to the people in the family –

A political think tank drafted a resolution based on a church document and sent it to all Utah cities. Kanab is the first to adopt it, word-for-word.

The natural family idea guides the local government in public policy and action. Their “first responsibility” is to protect “the natural family.” That’s nice -- if you fit the definition.

But only the traditional two-parent (man and woman) family with a “quiver of children” fits the definition. Is there a number of allowed children? It mentions a “quiver,” but does not say how many that is. Maybe numbers work only for dogs.

My understanding of a community is a diverse group of people, each with value, some with problems, some with solutions, everyone contributing and a local government that works for everyone. Naïve? Maybe, but fun and interesting and free.

So what's up with Kanab?

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Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Alice Berry -- Independent Designer

Alice Berry is an independent designer who is making it on her own. After graduating from design school she spent her time in Paris showing textile and clothing art while developing her style. How exciting to learn the craft in a fashion capital!

Alice Berry’s fashion style is to play with relationships between color and texture to make functional pieces. She relates the process of designing to composing music. Alice has clothes, but her focus is on scarves. She uses her scarf fabrics and patterns to create elegant window treatments.

She is both versatile and successful. She recently opened a Chicago store, Alice Berry at Tree Hill.