Mar 272017
 
Playing For Change has demonstrated what I believe is one of the most viable social mechanisms of all, music as a bridge for a common connection between all people. This principle of “applied music” is successful with the invisible children of the world. I first witnessed its success through a youtube video, “Landfill Harmonic”. In this instance music gave a complete life transformation to the “Children of the Landfill” when they were taught to not only play but to build their own instruments for the waste in the landfill. There is an estimated 15 million* children “living to survive” on the world’s open landfills and dumps. Green Fire Engineered Reclamation is a Landfill Mining company and has designed for the “Children of the Landfill” a lifestyle transformation that includes music as one of the basics to aid the transition into society * Source of information The Independent HISTORY, MISSION, AND GUIDING PRINCIPLES OF THE PLAYING FOR CHANGE FOUNDATION Playing For Change arose from a common belief that music has the power to connect people regardless of their differences. In 2005, a small group of filmmakers set out with a dream to create a film rooted in the music of the streets. Not only has that dream been realized, it has grown into a global sensation that has touched the lives of millions of people around the world… When the crew set out, they created a mobile recording studio and went around the world filming musicians in the places where they lived. The sound was then mixed, and although the musicians were never in the same room—or even the same country or continent—they were unified through music with each contributing her or his distinct gifts to the whole. While traveling the world to film and record, the crew got to know the music and people of each community they visited. Those involved wanted to give something back to the musicians who had shared so much with them. In 2007, the Playing for Change Foundation was established as a 501(c)3 non-profit organization created to inspire, connect, and bring peace to the world through music. Our mission is to create positive change through music and arts education. As one of our students in Nepal stated, “Music is an indispensable part of life -? you cannot live without music.” We couldn’t agree more. At the Playing For Change Foundation, we live our lives by this principle (more…)
Jul 272015
 
House Passes Bill to Prohibit States From Labelling GMOs! Ask Your Senators to Oppose Any Bill That Prohibits Labeling of Genetically Engineered Foods! Should You Decide If You Want to Eat GMOs? Ask Your Senators to Oppose Any Bill Prohibiting GMO Labels! http://act.foodandwaterwatch.org/site/MessageViewer?dlv_id=65883&em_id=58581.0 The House of Representatives passed a bill last week that will prohibit states from labelling genetically engineered foods! Can you ask your Senators to oppose any bill that tries to take away labeling for genetically engineered foods? Why is this important? Well, in poll after poll, more than 90% of people want food to be labelled if it contains genetically engineered ingredients. Several states have already passed laws requiring labelling, including Vermont, which will require labels on all foods starting next summer,unless this terrible bill passes through Congress and is signed into law by President Obama. It’s really important that your Senators hear from you, so they’re not misled by the Big Food Corporations that want to prohibit GMO labeling. The lobbyists for Big Food have been busy on Capitol Hill, and it appears that many members of Congress may be confused by the language in the “Safe and Accurate Food Labelling Act.” It sounds good doesn’t it? We call it the Denying Americans the Right to Know Act (DARK Act). We get a lot of questions about why we need labelling for GMOs, even from staff of members of Congress! Our answers are below. We hope you’ll contact your Senators today, and give them the information below, so they can vote the right way and protect your right to know what’s in your food. Question: What is a genetically engineered food or GMO? Answer: A genetically engineered food is a plant or animal that has been changed by taking genes from one species and inserting them into the DNA of another species or altering the DNA in a way that could never happen through traditional cross-breeding or in nature. Question: Aren’t genetically engineered foods safe? Answer: The approval process for new GMO crops in the U.S. is extremely weak and relies solely on the safety tests done by the corporations that are creating these crops. Right now, most crops are approved by federal regulators under the “generally recognized as safe” provision, which means that if a GMO corn variety looks and “acts” like the non-GMO version of corn, it is approved. Question: But don’t farmers need genetically engineered foods to feed the (more…)
May 052015
 
Published on May 3, 2015 American students face a ridiculous amount of testing. John Oliver explains how standardized tests impact school funding, the achievement gap, how often kids are expected to throw up. Connect with Last Week Tonight online… Subscribe to the Last Week Tonight YouTube channel for more almost news as it almost happens: www.youtube.com/user/LastWeekTonight Share this:FacebookLinkedInTwitterGoogleTumblrPinterestReddit (more…)
Dec 192013
 
From The New York Times December 18, 2013   <nyt_headline version=”1.0″ type=” “>Hypertension Guidelines Can Be Eased, Panel Says By GINA KOLATA Original Article: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/19/health/blood-pressure-guidelines-can-be-loosened-panel-says.html?_r=1& <nyt_byline style=”color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Georgia, serif; font-size: 13px;”><nyt_text style=”color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Georgia, serif; font-size: 13px;”> <nyt_correction_top> New guidelines suggest that people over 60 can have a higher blood pressure than previously recommended before starting treatment to lower it. The advice, criticized by some physicians, changes treatment goals that have been in place for more than 30 years. Until now, people were told to strive for blood pressures below 140/90, with some taking multiple drugs to achieve that goal. But the guidelines committee, which spent five years reviewing evidence, concluded that the goal for people over 60 should be a systolic pressure of less than 150. And the diastolic goal should remain less than 90. Systolic blood pressure, the top number, indicates the pressure on blood vessels when the heart contracts. Diastolic, the bottom number, refers to pressure on blood vessels when the heart relaxes between beats. Essentially, the committee determined that there was not strong evidence for the blood pressure targets that had been guiding treatment, and that there were risks associated with the medications used to bring pressures down. The committee, composed of 17 academics, was tasked with updating guidelines last re-examined a decade ago. Their report was published online on Wednesday in The Journal of the American Medical Association. Hypertension experts said they did not have a precise figure on how many Americans would be affected by the new guidelines. But Dr. William B. White, the president of the American Society of Hypertension, said it was “a huge number for sure.” He estimated that millions of people over 60 had blood pressures between 140 and 150. Dr. Paul A. James, the chairman of the department of family medicine at the University of Iowa and co-chairman of the guidelines committee, said, “If you get patients’ blood pressure below 150, I believe you are doing as well as can be done based on scientific evidence.” The group added that people over 60 who are taking drugs and have lowered their blood pressure to below 150 can continue taking the medications if they are not experiencing side effects. But, it cautioned, although efforts to lower blood pressure have had a remarkable effect, reducing the incidence of strokes and heart disease, there is a difference between lowering (more…)
Apr 022013
 
Indian Court Makes Landmark Drug Patent Decision The ramifications of this case are huge. It means that the big pharmaceutical companies can no longer make a minor tweak to a drug formula in order to extend its patent – and keep their prices high. Thus enabling just-as-effective cheaper, generic drugs to be made and distributed around the world. Supreme Court Rules for Cheap Cancer Drug By Subodh Varma, TNN  – April 1, 2013 http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/business/india-business/Supreme-Court-rules-for-cheap-cancer-drug/articleshow/19331267.cms NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Monday rejected pharma giant Novartis AG’s plea to preserve its patent over a life-saving cancer drug, Glivec, drawing a huge sigh of relief from thousands of patients in India and in dozens of developing countries as the fear of an almost 15-fold escalation of drug costs receded. It is the biggest setback for multinational pharma companies, which have been denied patent protection for a series of life-saving drugs in recent years. Click here to view the embedded video. Invented in 1991, Glivec is a miracle cure for a type of blood cancer called chronic myeloid leukemia (CML). In this form of cancer, certain bone marrow cells go rogue and produce excessive white blood cells, causing mild fatigue and hip pain initially, but slipping into an out-of-control crisis of zooming platelet and white cell counts. It used to be fatal, but with Glivec, the survival rate is over 95%. Imanitib, the active component, is on the National Essential Drugs List in India. India has an estimated 3 lakh CML patients, with 20,000 added every year. Glivec is sold by Novartis for about Rs 1.2 lakh per month. Indian manufacturers sell the same drug at a monthly cost of Rs 8,000. This was the reason why Novartis launched a seven-year-long legal battle to protect its patent on the drug. Novartis, which reported a net profit of $9.6 billion in 2012 on sales of $57 billion, criticized the judgment. In a statement Ranjit Shahani, vice chairman and managing director, Novartis India said, “This ruling is a setback for patients that will hinder medical progress for diseases without effective treatment options.” When the drug was first commercially sold in 2001, India was moving over from the old patent regime to a new one after signing the international trade and patent related agreements in 1995. The new patent law came into force in 2005. Novartis could not get a patent on Glivec as it dated (more…)
Mar 202013
 
from the nothing-to-fear? dept One of the initiatives gaining momentum around the world is open data — the idea that, for example, non-personal data affecting the public should be made freely available. That’s partly to improve transparency, so that citizens are more informed about what is happening, and partly to stimulate new kinds of business that build products and services based on that data. An important category of open data that boosts transparency concerns basic drug safety information. Last month, Techdirt wrote about the AllTrials initiative that seeks to have key information about clinical trials placed in the public domain. As part of a wider move towards greater openness, the European Medicines Agency, the main body that licenses drugs in Europe, is starting to make available information that has hitherto been withheld. Although doctors and patients are rejoicing at this greater transparency, not everyone is pleased by the move. AbbVie, the pharma company spun out of the Abbott Laboratories at the beginning of this year, for example, is taking legal action to stop it: AbbVie, a pharmaceutical company has sought an injunction to block Europe’s medicines regulator from releasing “confidential” and “commercially-sensitive” information on its blockbuster rheumatoid arthritis drug, a spokeswoman for the U.S. drugmaker confirmed on Sunday. The Chicago-based company had taken legal action against the European Medicines Agency to stop it from releasing data on the effects in individual patients in clinical trials for its drug Humira, the Financial Times reported earlier on Sunday. Except, of course, this isn’t “confidential” and “commercially-sensitive” information: it’s just basic data about its safety and efficacy. Doctors and patients surely have a right to know this before using products that could potentially have serious, even fatal, side-effects.Another EU body, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), is also opening up: The project is part of EFSA’s continuing commitment to openness and addresses recommendations made by an independent evaluation report of the Authority’s performance to further enhance transparency in its decision-making processes. EFSA’s Science Strategy also highlights the importance of the Authority playing a leading role in making relevant scientific data more accessible to all interested parties. Here’s one particular set of data that it has now released: Given the level of public interest, EFSA will make all data on genetically modified (GM) maize NK603 publicly available on its website today (14 January). Once more, that seems reasonable, since the public ought to be able to find about what is going into (more…)
Jun 232011
 
June 22, 2011 by Editor (Credit: iStockPhoto) A yet-unidentified component of coffee interacts with caffeine, a possible reason why daily coffee intake protects against Alzheimer’s disease, researchers at the University of South Florida have found. One clue: they found that caffeinated coffee induces an increase in blood levels of a growth factor called GCSF (granulocyte colony stimulating factor) in mice. GCSF is greatly decreased in patients with Alzheimer’s disease and is demonstrated to improve memory in Alzheimer’s mice. The researchers said this is not possible with other caffeine-containing drinks or decaffeinated coffee. An increasing body of scientific literature indicates that moderate consumption of coffee also decreases the risk of Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s disease, Type II diabetes, and stroke. Recent studies have reported that drinking coffee in moderation may also significantly reduce the risk of breast and prostate cancers. The researchers suggest that moderate daily coffee intake (4 to 5 cups a day) starting at least by middle age (30s–50s) is optimal for providing protection against Alzheimer’s disease, although from their studies, starting even in older age appears protective. Ref.: Gary Arendash, et al., Caffeine Synergizes with Another Coffee Component to Increase Plasma GCSF: Linkage to Cognitive Benefits in Alzheimer’s Mice, Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, 25(2), June 28, 2011   Share this:FacebookLinkedInTwitterGoogleTumblrPinterestReddit (more…)
Oct 192004
 
      F. William Engdahl is an award-winning geopolitical analyst, strategic risk consultant, author, professor and lecturer. He has been researching and writing about the world political scene for more than thirty years. His most recent works trace the strategies and events that led to the rise of the U.S. as an international superpower. He describes the emergence after 1945 of an American power as a new kind of Empire not based upon sole military occupation of land, but control of vital resources. Discussed are the origins and aims of GMO – Control of food by Globalist Criminal Corporations. Share this:FacebookLinkedInTwitterGoogleTumblrPinterestReddit (more…)