Archive for August 8, 2012

The Susan G. Komen Foundation Implosion Continues

Susan G. Komen for the Cure announced Wednesday that its two top leaders will be leaving their posts:

Nancy G. Brinker via NancyGBrinker.com

Chief executive Nancy Brinker plans to shift into a new management role focusing on revenue creation, strategy and global growth as chairwoman of the Komen Board Executive Committee, according to a news release from the organization Wednesday evening.

Translation: Brinker’s been assigned to a back-office job in the hope that she’ll quit.

Meanwhile, Komen president Elizabeth Thompson will leave the organization in September, and board members Brenda Lauderback and Linda Law also are stepping down, the release said.

The shakeup comes months after the foundation came under fire during a controversy over funding for Planned Parenthood projects.

News emerged in late January that Komen had decided to stop giving money to Planned Parenthood for breast-screening services because Planned Parenthood was the focus of a congressional investigation launched at the urging of anti-abortion activists.

More…

Susan G. Komen was Nancy Brinker’s sister.  Brinker lost her way.  She veered off into politics instead of concentrating on breast cancer prevention.

Too bad.

 

August 8, 2012 at 8:57 PM Leave a comment

This is Not a Photograph

I’m rubbing my eyes. My brain can’t comprehend that these are d-r-a-w-i-n-g-s:

Many of portraitist Paul Lung’s subjects are his and his friends’ pets, which he draws with extreme care — sometimes taking upwards of 90 hours — using mechanical pencils.

Here are some of the cats he’s drawn over the last few years:

(Image via TwentyTwoWords.com)

(Image via TwentyTwoWords.com)

Lung must love what he does to have the patience to spend up to 90 hours on one drawing.

Good for him and good for us because we get to see the amazing, amazing results.

Wow.

August 8, 2012 at 5:18 PM Leave a comment

Will the Real Mitt Romney Please Stand Up?

These two paragraphs, from an article about Mitt Romney’s difficulty in dealing with health care issues as he tries to distance himself from his own Massachusetts law while simultaneously trying to appeal to a base broader than Tea Partiers, leapt out at me because it perfectly sums up his campaign:

Romney consistently attempts to make up with tactics what he lacks in vision. Romney’s campaign isn’t driven by any core ideology or governing philosophy, but by responding to news cycles. It is a campaign that was perhaps best summed up by senior advisor Eric Fehrnstrom, when he proudly tweeted yesterday, “On Fox just now Romney was asked to respond to ‘RomneyHood’ charge and called it ‘Obamaloney.’” Conservatives, rest assured – Romney will not allow himself to be called a childish nickname without responding by calling Obama a childish nickname.

So, if Romney thinks touting his past support for government-run health care today can help defend against baseless attacks on his business career, then he’ll tout away, even if it’ll weaken the case against government-run health care he’ll make tomorrow.

It begs the question: Why in the world does Romney want to be president anyway?  Does anyone know?  At his core, I think he’s competing with, and trying to one-up, his daddy. But as that unfolds, we watch a soulless campaign, void of passion, willing to do and say anything in order to win, except release tax returns and talk about what Romney would actually do if he did win.

It’s scary, creepy and loathsome all rolled into one.

August 8, 2012 at 4:31 PM 4 comments

New Thing to Worry About: Lead in Bullets

I just came across this headline and thought, omg, as if we don’t have enough to worry about already.

(Image via Wikipedia)

Lead in Bullets is Creating More Pollution and Public Health Hazards Than Anyone is Really Willing to Admit

I have not read the article as I’m suffering from a case of outrage overload today. You know, there are days when our problems seem endless but I wanted to post about it in case you’re interested.

Want to read it?  Have at it.  Here’s a link.

Oy.

August 8, 2012 at 3:41 PM 1 comment

Thanks to Safeway on 28th and Arapahoe in Boulder, CO

Thanks to Safeway on 28th Street at Arapahoe in Boulder!

 

Every Wednesday they donate to the Emergency Family Assistance Association’s (EFAA) food bank where I volunteer once a week.  The food bank manager there signed me up for another chore a few months ago —  a once-a-month trip to Safeway on the 2nd Wednesday of each month to pick up the nearly expired food they would otherwise throw out.  (Other EFAA volunteers are assigned to the other Wednesdays.)

Today they’d set aside four big shopping carts of food for us.  Three of the carts contained baked goods like breads of all sizes and shapes, rolls, individual servings of cakes, cupcakes and brownies, three boxes of a dozen-each glazed donuts and a full cart of frozen popsicles.

Granted, not the most nutritious food but a real treat for the people who come through the food bank.  Those are not things we would never spend our limited funds on.

After I loaded — packed to the gills would be a better description — both my trunk and the back seat area of my car, I drove the food to the food bank and unloaded it.  The freezer was almost bare (not a good sign) so there was plenty of room for the popsicles.  I left the bread and baked goods in a big cart for the Wednesday morning volunteers to sort out.

But again, thank you Safeway!  What a wonderful thing, and a no brainer, to donate food they would otherwise throw out.

August 8, 2012 at 3:27 PM 1 comment

White Collar Crime Pays — Big Time

If anything shows how the corporatocarcy has infiltrated the government, this does:

(Image via BadLawyerNYC.blobspot.com)

Morgan Stanley will pay $4.8 million and admit no wrongdoing as part of a settlement with the federal government over allegations that it helped KeySpan, an electricity generating company, fix prices against New York consumers.

A federal judge “begrudgingly” approved the deal Tuesday, overruling claims from consumer advocacy groups that the government was letting Morgan Stanley off the hook too easily.

The $4.8 million settlement pales in comparison to the $300 million the price fixing reportedly cost New York consumers, and it even falls far short of the $21.6 million in revenue the deal generated for Morgan Stanley.

More…

I spent most of my career working as a paralegal.  My last position was at a medical malpractice, product liability law firm.  People in that crowd know drug companies release drugs into the market (with the help of their friends at the FDA) they know are harmful but the thinking is that they’ll make a boat-load of money before anyone finds out and they have to pull it.  Then they’ll be slapped with a tiny fine when compared to the profit they’ve made.  Never mind if people were maimed or died.  In the end, it’s worth the lawsuits and the fines.

Looks like the same goes for folks like Morgan Stanley.  They made $21.6 million on the price fixing, they paid a $4.8 million fine and walked away with $16.8 million in profit.  The only “lesson” they learned is, hello, in the end, it’s worth the lawsuits and the fines.

Infuriating.

August 8, 2012 at 1:34 PM 2 comments

The “Truth” According to Feelings, Instead of Facts

This is a very interesting little tidbit that I’m sure will be used in advertising and political propaganda if it isn’t already.

(Image via ShutUpFoodies.com)

Trusting research over their guts, scientists in New Zealand and Canada examined the phenomenon Stephen Colbert, comedian and news satirist, calls “truthiness” — the feeling that something is true. In four different experiments they discovered that people believe claims are true, regardless of whether they actually are true, when a decorative photograph appears alongside the claim. The work is published online in the Springer journal, Psychonomic Bulletin & Review.

[...]

In a series of four experiments in both New Zealand and Canada, Newman and colleagues showed people a series of claims such as, “The liquid metal inside a thermometer is magnesium” and asked them to agree or disagree that each claim was true. In some cases, the claim appeared with a decorative photograph that didn’t reveal if the claim was actually true — such as a thermometer. Other claims appeared alone. When a decorative photograph appeared with the claim, people were more likely to agree that the claim was true, regardless of whether it was actually true.

Across all the experiments, the findings fit with the idea that photos might help people conjure up images and ideas about the claim more easily than if the claim appeared by itself. “We know that when it’s easy for people to bring information to mind, it ‘feels’ right,” said Newman.

The research has important implications for situations in which people encounter decorative photos, such as in the media or in education. “Decorative photos grab people’s attention,” Newman said. “Our research suggests that these photos might have unintended consequences, leading people to accept information because of their feelings rather than the facts.”

More…

When you think about all the ways in which this technique could be used, it’s really pretty chilling.

 

 

 

August 8, 2012 at 10:47 AM 1 comment


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