1. War Photographers: The Shot that Nearly Killed Me

    "Port au Prince was falling. It was riotous, with widespread looting. A group of us had gone to the port. The thugs with guns didn’t want us there. We snapped from the waist, trying not to make it obvious. We decided to go over the wall. One thug offered me "protection". As we jumped the wall, I saw this boy, and was like, "This is what it’s come to." It was my first digital assignment and I was amazed to be able to look at my shots. I did for a second; when I looked up, everyone had run off. It was just me and the thug. It was like a dog that smells fear. He began pushing and threatening me. Then I was surrounded. One of them hit me. I had a few dollar bills in my trousers, and put my hand there. They began tearing at me, fighting over the bills. I waited 30 seconds, started to walk away, then ran and scaled the fence. On the other side, I tried to breathe.

    I began shooting one guy a metre away. He screamed and pulled a shotgun. I saw the barrel, then he shot the man next to me – I had blood on me, brains. I was crying, shaking. I ran to the car horrified; I was a mess. I love Haiti, but every time I pass the port, I carry some of that fear.” - Saul Schwarz

    Unreal read of the day. More at the Guardian

     



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  3. If you own pet, know anyone who owns one or have ever considered owning one you need to watch the first 90s of the video and make sure you read this. The popular foods found in the big pet chain stores are actually produced by huge multinational companies like P&G, Colgate Palmolive and Mars. Why are corporations that specialize in shampoos and dishwashing soaps in the pet food industry in the first place? It’s gro$$. Pedigree, Iams, Science Diet, Pro Plan, Royal Canine, Purina, Alpo, Beneful, Nutro, and Eukanuba all make terribly gross dog foods. While these brands may be cheaper than their healthier counterparts, if you breakdown the calories per serving the organic brands are actually a much better value (vet bills!). It’s like the difference between eating taco bell meat everyday or real, 100% beef steak, except the taco bell meat contains road kill, bird beaks and other ‘meat byproducts.’

    Be a responsible pet owner and spread the word. Definitely read this to see which foods are worth buying and what to consider when choosing your pet’s food. Also, never switch your dog’s diet immediately (his stomach will blow up). Mix in small bits of the new food with the old and gradually change over his diet to the new food over a 1-2 wk span. 

     
     

  4. Lemonaid

    1. Make delicious lemonade from fresh, organic products raised on fairtrade Co-Ops
    2. Get brilliant creatives to brand it (including rad music for the website and a great tagline)
    3. Sell to the masses
    4. Donate major share of annual revenue back to farms and development projects
     


  5. Julian Assange and Wikileaks

    First watch this:

    The read this Open Letter to Julian Assange from Reporters Without Borders:

    Dear Mr. Assange,

    Reporters Without Borders, an international press freedom organisation, regrets the incredible irresponsibility you showed when posting your article “Afghan War Diary 2004 - 2010” on the Wikileaks website on 25 July together with 92,000 leaked documents disclosing the names of Afghans who have provided information to the international military coalition that has been in Afghanistan since 2001.

    Wikileaks has in the past played a useful role by making information available to the US and international public that exposed serious violations of human rights and civil liberties which the Bush administration committed in the name of its war against terror. Last April’s publication of a video of the killing of two employees of the Reuters news agency and other civilians by US military personnel in Baghdad in July 2007 was clearly in the public interest and we supported this initiative. It was a response to the Obama administration’s U-turn on implementation of the Freedom of Information Act. The White House broke its word in May 2009, when it defied a court order and refused to release photos of the mistreatment of detainees in Afghanistan and Iraq.

    But revealing the identity of hundreds of people who collaborated with the coalition in Afghanistan is highly dangerous. It would not be hard for the Taliban and other armed groups to use these documents to draw up a list of people for targeting in deadly revenge attacks.

    Defending yourself, you said that it was about “ending the war in Afghanistan.” You also argued that: “Principled leaking has changed the course of history for the better; it can alter the course of history in the present; it can lead us to a better future.” However, the US government has been under significant pressure for some time as regards the advisability of its military presence in Afghanistan, not just since your article’s publication. We are not convinced that your wish to “end the war in Afghanistan” will be so easily granted and meanwhile, you have unintentionally provided supposedly democratic governments with good grounds for putting the Internet under closer surveillance.

    It is true that you said that “a further 15,000 potentially sensitive reports” were excluded from the 25 July mass posting, that they were being “reviewed further” and that some of them would be released “once it was deemed safe to do so.”

    Nonetheless, indiscriminately publishing 92,000 classified reports reflects a real problem of methodology and, therefore, of credibility. Journalistic work involves the selection of information. The argument with which you defend yourself, namely that Wikileaks is not made up of journalists, is not convincing. Wikileaks is an information outlet and, as such, is subject to the same rules of publishing responsibility as any other media.

    Reporters Without Borders has for years been campaigning for a federal “shield law” protecting sources, one that would apply not only to the traditional media but also to the new Internet media without exception. This is why we condemn all forms of harassment of Wikileaks contributors or informants – such as the recent arrest of Wikileaks researcher Jacob Appelbaum – by government agencies and immigration officials. We also condemn the charges brought against US army intelligence analyst Bradley Manning, who is suspected of leaking the video of the Baghdad killings. However, you cannot claim to enjoy the protection of sources while at the same time, when it suits you, denying that you are a news media.

    The precedent you have set leaves all those people throughout the world who risk their freedom and sometimes their lives for the sake of online information even more exposed to reprisals. Such imprudence endangers your own sources and, beyond that, the future of the Internet as an information medium. A total of 116 netizens are currently in prison in a dozen countries because of the comments they posted online. Can you image the same situation in the country of the First Amendment?

    Wikileaks must provide a more detailed explanation of its actions and must not repeat the same mistake. This will mean a new departure and new methods.

    We look forward to your reply,

    Sincerely,

    Jean-François Julliard
    Reporters Without Borders secretary-general

    Clothilde Le Coz
    Reporters Without Borders representative in Washington DC

    Thoughts?

     

  6. I know it’s depressing and I know it makes you feel helpless, but don’t look away. Get angry and get educated

     


  7. Reporter Airing TONIGHT on HBO

    If you have HBO, you must watch this





     


  8. Must Read: How to Solve Homelessness (maybe)

    Brilliant article in the New Yorker by Malcolm Gladwell on Power-Law distribution and homelessness. Thought-provoking at it’s worst, life-changing at best.  Must read: “Million-Dollar Murray”

     


  9. My Top 7: TED Talks

    One of my outrageous dreams in life is to be invited to TED. Don’t know why or how this will occur, but I will see to it that it does. TED.com is now at a point where the quantity of content is almost overwhelming (especially if you’re recently discovering it) and so I’ve filtered out my favsies below. I’ve watched all of these at least a dozen times and could talk about the issues/questions raised in each ad nauseam. I’ve learned more through these 18 minute talks than anything else in my life, ever (sans life itself). The residual effects of each far outweigh 18 minutes - my mind is still expanding and my eyes and ears are still opening. Special favsie spot in my heart for #1 -  I have never heard any musing on God as honest, articulate and reverently relevant as Tom Honey’s talk and it’s had a profound, once-in-a-lifetime kind of effect on my life. Enjoy.

    My Top 7 Ted Talk Favsies:

    1. Rev. Tom Honey - How Could God Have Allowed the Tsunami?






    2. Ken Robinson - Do Schools Kill Creativity?






    3. Samantha Power - Shaking Hands with the Devil






    4. Phil Zimbardo - How Ordinary People Become Monsters [and Heroes]






    5. Wade Davis - Cultures at the Far Edge of the World.






    6. Mike Rowe - Celebrating Work






    7. Vik Muniz - Art with Wire, Thread, Sugar, Chocolate




     


  10. Images from Human Rights Day - 12/10/08

    Yesterday, was Human Rights Day.


    Check out the alarming photo:




    [caption id=”” align=”aligncenter” width=”460” caption=”Amnesity International Campaign: Stop Human Trafficing”][/caption]

    Watch this: