serious times

 

 

World Hunger

  • 842 million people – or one in eight people in the world – do not have enough to eat. 2
  • 98% of the world’s undernourished people live in developing countries.2
  • Where is hunger the worst?
    • Asia: 552 million2
    • Sub-Saharan Africa: 223 million2
    • Latin America and the Caribbean: 47 million2

Aiming at the very heart of hunger, The Hunger Project is currently committed to work in BangladeshBeninBurkina FasoEthiopiaIndiaGhana,MalawiMexicoMozambiquePeruSenegal and Uganda.

Women and Children

  • 60 percent of the world’s hungry are women.2
  • 50 percent of pregnant women in developing countries lack proper maternal care, resulting in 240,000 maternal deaths annually from childbirth.3
  • 1 out of 6 infants are born with a low birth weight in developing countries.4
  • Poor nutrition causes nearly half (45%) of deaths in children under five – 3.1 million children each year. That is 8,500 children per day.6
  • A third of all childhood death in sub-Saharan Africa is caused by hunger.5
  • 66 million primary school-age children attend classes hungry across the developing world, with 23 million in Africa alone.6
  • Every 10 seconds, a child dies from hunger-related diseases.5

The Hunger Project firmly believes that empowering women to be key change agents is an essential element to achieving the end of hunger and poverty. Wherever we work, our programs aim to support women and build their capacity.

HIV/AIDS and other Diseases

  • 35 million people are living with HIV/AIDS.7
  • 52 percent of people living with HIV/AIDS are women.7
  • 88 percent of all children and 60 percent of all women living with HIV are in sub-Saharan Africa.7
  • 6.9 million children died in 2011 each year – 19,000 a day- mostly from preventable health issues such as malaria, diarrhea and pneumonia.5

Launched in 2003, The Hunger Project’s HIV/AIDS and Gender Inequality Campaign works at the grassroots level to provide education about preventative and treatment measures.

Poverty

  • 1.4 billion people in developing countries live on $1.25 a day or less.8
  • Rural areas account for three out of every four people living on less than $1.25 a day.9
  • 22,000 children die each day due to conditions of poverty.10

Rural Hunger Project partners have access to income-generating workshops, empowering their self-reliance. Our Microfinance Program in Africa provides access to credit, adequate training and instilling in our partners the importance of saving.

Agriculture

  • 75 percent of the world’s poorest people — 1.4 billion women, children, and men — live in rural areas and depend on agriculture and related activities for their livelihood.11
  • 50 percent of hungry people are farming families.11

In each region in which we work, The Hunger Project provides tools and training to increase farming production at the local level. In Africa, our epicenter partners run community farms where they implement new techniques while producing food for the epicenter food bank.

Water

  • 1.7 billion people lack access to clean water.12
  • 2.3 billion people suffer from water-borne diseases each year.12
  • 12 percent of the world’s population uses 85 percent of its water, and none of the 12 percent lives in developing countries.13

The Hunger Project works with communities to develop new water resources, ensure clean water and improved sanitation, and implement water conservation techniques

 

Sources:

  1. US Census Bureau, International Data Base
  2. State of Food Security in the World 2013
  3. MDG Report – Goal 5, 2013 (pdf)
  4. World Hunger and Poverty Statistics, 2013
  5. MDG Report – Goal 4, 2013 (pdf)
  6. World Food Programme Hunger Statistics
  7. UN AIDS Report on the Global Epidemic, 2013
  8. IFAD Rural Poverty Report 2011
  9. Human Development Report, 2007/2008
  10. UNICEF State of the World’s Children, 2010 (pdf)
  11. FAO Addressing Food Insecurity in Protracted Crises, 2010 (pdf)
  12. WHO Unsafe Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (pdf)
  13. Water as Commodity – The Wrong Prescription by Maude Barlow, The Institute for Food and Development Policy
  14. A Life Free From Hunger: Tackling Child Malnutrition, Save the Children, Feb 2012

 

 

VICTIMS

SHORTLY after the birth of her sixth child, Mathilde went with her baby into the fields to collect the harvest. She saw two men approaching, wearing what she says was the uniform of the FDLR, a Rwandan militia. Fleeing them she ran into another man, who beat her head with a metal bar. She fell to the ground with her baby and lay still. Perhaps thinking he had murdered her, the man went away. The other two came and raped her, then they left her for dead.

Mathilde’s story is all too common. Rape in war is as old as war itself. After the sack of Rome 16 centuries ago Saint Augustine called rape in wartime an “ancient and customary evil”. For soldiers, it has long been considered one of the spoils of war. Antony Beevor, a historian who has written about rape during the Soviet conquest of Germany in 1945, says that rape has occurred in war since ancient times, often perpetrated by indisciplined soldiers. But he argues that there are also examples in history of rape being used strategically, to humiliate and to terrorise, such as the Moroccan regulares in Spain’s civil war.

As the reporting of rape has improved, the scale of the crime has become more horrifyingly apparent (see table). And with the Bosnian war of the 1990s came the widespread recognition that rape has been used systematically as a weapon of war and that it must be punished as an egregious crime. In 2008 the UN Security Council officially acknowledged that rape has been used as a tool of war. With these kinds of resolutions and global campaigns against rape in war, the world has become more sensitive. At least in theory, the Geneva Conventions, governing the treatment of civilians in war, are respected by politicians and generals in most decent states. Generals from rich countries know that their treatment of civilians in the theatre of war comes under ever closer scrutiny. The laws and customs of war are clear. But in many parts of the world, in the Hobbesian anarchy of irregular war, with ill-disciplined private armies or militias, these norms carry little weight.

Take Congo; it highlights both how horribly common rape is, and how hard it is to document and measure, let alone stop. The eastern part of the country has been a seething mess since the Rwandan genocide of 1994. In 2008 the International Rescue Committee (IRC), a humanitarian group, estimated that 5.4m people had died in “Africa’s world war”. Despite peace deals in 2003 and 2008, the tempest of violence has yet fully to subside. As Congo’s army and myriad militias do battle, the civilians suffer most. Rape has become an ugly and defining feature of the conflict.

Plenty of figures on how many women have been raped are available but none is conclusive. In October Roger Meece, the head of the United Nations in Congo, told the UN Security Council that 15,000 women had been raped throughout the country in 2009 (men suffer too, but most victims are female). The UN Population Fund estimated 17,500 victims for the same period. The IRC says it treated 40,000 survivors in the eastern province of South Kivu alone between 2003 and 2008.

“The data only tell you so much,” says Hillary Margolis, who runs the IRC’s sexual-violence programme in North Kivu. These numbers are the bare minimum; the true figures may be much higher. Sofia Candeias, who co-ordinates the UN Development Programme’s Access to Justice project in Congo, points out that more rapes are reported in places with health services. In the areas where fighting is fiercest, women may have to walk hundreds of miles to find anyone to tell that they have been attacked. Even if they can do so, it may be months or years after the assault. Many victims are killed by their assailants. Others die of injuries. Many do not report rape because of the stigma.

Congo’s horrors are mind-boggling. A recent study by the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative and Oxfam examined rape survivors at the Panzi Hospital in Bukavu, a town in South Kivu province. Their ages ranged from three to 80. Some were single, some married, some widows. They came from all ethnicities. They were raped in homes, fields and forests. They were raped in front of husbands and children. Almost 60% were gang-raped. Sons were forced to rape mothers, and killed if they refused.

The attention paid to Congo reflects growing concern about rape in war. Historically the taboo surrounding rape has been so strong that few cases were reported; evidence of wartime rape before the 20th century is scarce. With better reporting, the world has woken up to the scale of the crime. The range of sexual violence in war has become apparent: the abduction of women as sex slaves, sexualised torture and mutilation, rape in public or private.

In some wars all parties engage in it. In others it is inflicted mainly by one side. Rape in wars in Africa has had a lot of attention in recent years, but it is not just an African problem. Conflicts with high levels of rape between 1980 and 2009 were most numerous in sub-Saharan Africa, according to Dara Kay Cohen of the University of Minnesota (see chart). But only a third of sub-Saharan Africa’s 28 civil wars saw the worst levels of rape—compared with half of Eastern Europe’s nine. And no part of the world has escaped the scourge.

The anarchy and impunity of war goes some way to explaining the violence. The conditions of war are often conducive to rape. Young, ill-trained men, fighting far from home, are freed from social and religious constraints. The costs of rape are lower, the potential rewards higher. And for ill-fed, underpaid combatants, rape can be a kind of payment.

Full article: http://www.economist.com/node/17900482

 

 

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The power that gives life

Do you believe it’s possible that SOMETHING created the universe and all existence? Is it possible that a power greater than the universe exists?

-“yes, God is the creator of all existence, God alone commands all…”

-“How did the universe come into existence? That’s a hard one, but evidence suggests that the giver of life is controlling the universe, which makes it a greater power than the universe.”

-“SOMETHING HAD to have made life!! Louis Pasteur disproved spontaneous generation of microorganisms, life doesn’t arise from nothing. The universe too, didn’t arise from nothing. The SOMETHING that brought the universe into existence is what most people in America refer to as GOD. The universe came from SOMETHING. That something is a power greater than the universe and what is known to mankind.”

-“How did we get here? I think the answer is so BIG that we would have difficulty wrapping our minds around it.”

-“I definately believe it’s possible. At our core we are but the light of consciousness. A power gives life to that light.”

-“Our people believe that the power that gives life is alive and we communicate with it and we give thanks for life and all the blessings of life. We live our lives in thanks and gratitude. It is a power that is greater than the universe…”

-“יהוה alone gives life to the universe. יהוה alone has power over all.”

In Love

sweet-dreams-night-is-long.jpg (512×384)

Eating organic food protects from pesticide exposure

Eating organic food protects from pesticide exposure

Filed Under: Pesticides Organics Health Children
Children who switched to eating organically-grown food greatly reduced their exposure to organophosphate insecticides. Scientists from Seattle and Atlanta just published the results of their study which linked pesticides in children’s urine to pesticide residues on food. Scientists worry that organophosphates might harm children’s developing nervous systems.

Children who switched to eating organically-grown food greatly reduced their exposure to organophosphate insecticides. Scientists from Seattle and Atlanta just published the results of their study which linked pesticides in children’s urine to pesticide residues on food. Scientists worry that organophosphates might harm children’s developing nervous systems.

Twenty-three elementary-aged children participated in a 15 day study which was divided into three parts. First the children ate their usual diet of conventionally-grown food for 3 days. Then they were switched to organically-grown substitutes for 5 days. For the final 7 days, they switched back to conventional food.

The organic substitutes were mainly fruits, vegetables, juices, and grain products (such as wheat) because these foods are often contaminated with organophosphates.

Urine samples were collected twice a day for each child. Researchers tested the urine for signs of pesticides.

In the case of two organophosphate insecticides — malathion and chlorpyrifos — the results were startling. Signs of these two chemicals were found in the urine in the first part of the study. Almost immediately after the children switched to an organic diet, these chemicals could not be detected. The chemicals showed up again when the children switched back to their normal diet.

The researchers said “We were able to demonstrate that an organic diet provides a dramatic and immediate protective effect against exposures to organophosphorus pesticides that are commonly used in agriculture.”

More information on chlorpyrifos

The organophosphate family of chemicals damages the nervous system (which includes the brain), so scientists are particularly concerned about children’s exposure because their bodies are still developing. Chlorpyrifos is one of the many insecticides in this chemical family.

In 1999, the Environmental Protection Agency decided to start cancelling some uses of chlorpyrifos, in part because of some disturbing animal studies. For example, newborn rats were much more susceptible to toxic effects of chlorpyrifos than adults. Also, even low doses of chlorpyrifos caused structural changes in the development of the brain.

While chlorpyrifos has been greatly restricted for uses in and around homes, it is still widely used in agriculture. The study described above makes it clear that children are still exposed to chlorpyrifos from residues on food.

http://www.pesticide.org/the-buzz/eating-organic-food-protects-children-from-pesticide-exposure

A brief introduction to DNA

A brief introduction to: DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid)
dna_mole.jpg (350×250)

In 1928, British scientist Fredrick Griffith was trying to learn about how certain types of bacteria produce a serious lung disease known as pneumonia. He isolated two slightly different types of pneumonia bacteria from mice.

In the lab…
disease strain – grew into smooth colonies on the culture plates
harmless strain – produced colonies with rough edges
(easy to distinguish due to different appearances)
griffith-experiment.png (741×601)
This led to biologists realizing that genetic information could be transformed from one bacterium to another.
In 1944, a group of scientists led by Canadian biologist Oswald Avery at the Rockefeller Institute in New York decided to repeat Griffith’s work. They did this with the intention of finding what it is that causes the transformation.
they took the heat-killed bacteria and destroyed proteins, lipids, carbohydrates, and other molecules, including the nucleic acid RNA. Transformation still occurred. When they then destroyed the DNA, transformation did not occur.
Through this experiment they discovered that the nucleic acid DNA stores and transmits genetic information. 
In 1952, two American scientists, Alfred Hershey and Martha Chase collaborated in studying viruses (nonliving particles smaller than a cell that can infect living organisms). One type of virus that infects bacteria is a “bacteriophage” (“bacteria-eater”). Bacteriophages are composed of DNA or RNA inside of a protein body. When a bacteriophage enters a bacteria, the virus attaches to the surface of the cell and injects its bacteria.
germWarfare.jpg (300×200)
[T2 bacteriophage (tan) invading an E. coli cell (green)].
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Radioactive markers helped the scientists determine which part of the virus entered the infected cell which led them to discover that genes were made of DNA, not protein.
Because proteins contain very little phosphorus and DNA contains no sulfur, the scientists grew viruses in cultures containing radioactive isotopes of phosphorus-32 and sulfur-35. The radioactive substances were used as markers.
* If sulfur-35 was found in the bacteria, then the viruses protein was injected into the bacteria.
* If phosphorus-32 was found in the bacteria, then it was the DNA that had been injected into the bacteria.
The Hershey-Chase experiment concluded that the genetic material of the bacteriophage was DNA!
After this, scientists wanted to know more!
Genes…
1) carry information from one generation to the next.
2) they determine the heritable characteristics of organisms
3) all of a cell’s genetic information is replicated every time a cell divides (mitosis).
DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid)
DNA is a long molecule made of nucleotides.
Each nucleotide is made up of three basic components:
* a 5-carbon sugar called deoxyribose
* a phosphate group
* a nitrogenous (nitrogen containing) base >>>> there are 4 kinds of nitrogenous bases in DNA: adenine, thymine, guanine. and cytosine.
The backbone of a DNA chain is formed by sugar and phosphate groups of each nucleotide.
Scientists concluded that the four different nucleotides could be strung together in many different ways, so it was possible they could carry coded genetic information.
***  Years earlier, an America biochemist named Erwin Chargaff discovered that the percentages of nucleotides are equal in any sample of DNA.
A=T
G=C
erwin-chargaff-source.jpg (960×1300)
  A British scientist named Rosalind Franklin used a technique called X-ray diffraction to get information about the structure of the DNA molecule. Aiming a powerful X-ray beam at concentrated DNA samples, she recorded the scattering pattern of the X-rays onto film.
rosalind-e-a-descoberta-da-estrutura-do-dna.jpg (620×352)
*** When an American Biologist named James Watson was shown a copy of Franklin’s X-ray pattern in 1953, he, along with British physicist Francis Crick, built a structural model that explained how DNA could carry information and how it could be copied. The published their results in April 1953.
Watson and Crick’s model of DNA was a double helix. (two strands are wrapped around each other)
H4000039-Watson-and-Crick_cropped-by-CM-v1-1440x866.jpg (1440×866)
The Double Helix
doublehelix.jpg (600×376)
A double helix is shaped like a spiral staircase. Watson and Crick then discovered that hydrogen bonds could form between certain nitrogenous bases and provide enough force to hold the two strands together. Nitrogenous based can only form between adenine and thymine, and guanine and cytosine. This principle is called base pairing. This brought Chargaff’s rules full circle. For every adenine there had to be one thymine. For each cytosine molecule, there was one guanine molecule.
dna.jpg (1200×627)

weighed in the balance

the spirit within

Born within it’s mind
rhythm with the rhyme
beyond space, beyond time
the living sublime

the cycles of life
from beginning to end
and around again
going deep within

from the source we spring forth
and we return in the end
to a beginning again
light shining within

health is wealth

be at peace and perceive deeper love…

Let all life set their hearts and minds on the Divine. On the Divine let us rest our thoughts. Let those who love the Divine come to know the Living God. Before the universe came to life, our LORD was alive…as you read these words, the LORD is present with you listening to your thoughts…beyond the confines of words and images and thoughts…let us set our hearts and minds on the Living God…the ONLY true power..let us bow our heads and pray for God to heal the world and help the oppressed and afflicted with help that will heal and bring peace to all. The conflicts in the middle east and globally over religion and money and greed and hate need to go away…may God help us and bring peace…let us put our faith in the only Commander of ALL…LET US HUMBLE OURSELVES AND BEG…may help come to the oppressed and the suffering. May food and drinks be given to those in need, REGARDLESS of religion or race or any other manifestation of hate..May the cancer of hate that plagues the world be SMASHED with pure love. Let us WORSHIP God Almighty in sincerity and devotion. Let LOVE pave the way, let us hate nothing or no one. Let hate go away and let us fill our minds and hearts with love for all…hate nothing!! hate leads to darkness and suffering. Love all..even the wreched. Love them, help them. If attacked, defend! Let love fill us with peace and let wisdom reign in our hearts and minds. Love is greater than hate. Mercy is greater than wrath. Let love light the way…

简化24式太极拳 (Tai chi 24-form)

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