Sunday, December 31, 2006

See The Truth

If you haven't seen Al Gore's "An Inconvenient Truth" please click below and pledge to do so today.

Or go to the website and find out more or just go ahead and order the DVD or the book

Lets make sure our children have a planet they can live on.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Light a candle for AIDS - or pharmaceutical profits?

'Thank you for lighting a candle to support the fight against HIV/AIDS' Bristol-Myers Squibb tell us on their Light to Unite (TM) campaign page designed, they say, 'to help raise awareness of the ongoing HIV/AIDS epidemic in the U.S'.

Cute candle ... I lit one ... felt good ... and then regretted it when I checked out what independent writers in the New Internationalist have to say about Bristol-Myers Squibb.

Looks like B-M don't have such a feel-good-thing going in AIDS stricken poor world countries.

NI article 'Patient versus Patent' describes the company's attempts to patent HIV drugs in Thailand - thus making them unaffordable to most of the million or so Thai's who have or have died from HIV.

Another independent article on AIDS explains how lucrative it is for pharmacuetical companies to maintain their monopoly on the
market through patents which prevent the production of cheaper generic medicines for at least 20 years.

It also reports that Bristol-Myers has paid its CEO at least $146 million in one year.

As they've capped their donation to AIDS research at $100 thousand I'm afraid it looks to me like those cute Christmas candles are merely a smidge of the CEO's pocket money being spent on an image makeover.

They might even be providing a useful return in skewed research findings!

Sorry to be a candle snuffer!

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Adopt a drought stricken sheep in the Australian outback

In our over consuming world I love the idea of gifts that give something important to those in need. It's like getting double your money's worth. In fact there are really three recipients - you and the person receiving the gift from you who both get to have a great feeling of having made a difference in someone's life and the person or family who actually receives the goat or the loom or the medical care that you have paid for.

The first gift giving organisation that I came across was who call themselves "the most important gift catalogue in the world". Their gifts come with a card which can be sent electronically to the recipients - great for those super last minute gifts to far away loved ones. works in US$ and you can give someone (for instance) the geese to start a flock for US$20.

For the Australians there is TEAR australia who have a catalogue at

The World's Most Useful Gifts?

TEAR's gifts start a little cheaper with eye examination and care for a needy person in Bangladesh or school supplies for a child in Ethiopia or Zambia for as little as AU$5. Tear also offer e and postal cards to give to your recipients.

And if you would like to offer your gift to a drought stricken Aussie sheep or lamb check out Adoptasheep where your "donation" will provide essential hay and grain for your personal sheep for 100 days. The Kiely family are dedicated eco-farmers battling the worst drought in 1000 years. They offer you the opportunity to name your sheep and they will send you a photo of it along with your gift recipients certificate (check it out here it's delightful!). They will even read out your emails to your sheep although they do warn ... "we will print it out and read it out to the flock. We have too much trouble isolating an individual sheep for a personal communication. So be aware and don't get too personal in your emails!"