- Blog 12-30-07
It would appear that more than BASF Chemical Company has an interest in plastic bags. According to the United Press International (January 9, 2008,) China will ban the use of plastic bags in stores effective June 1, 2008! Now this is eye-popping news coming from the world's most populated country:
"The State Council announced the ban on their Web site, citing the problem of litter and of the oil used to produce the bags. 'Our country consumes huge amounts of plastic bags every year. While providing convenience to consumers, they have also caused serious pollution, a waste of energy and resources, because of the excess use and inadequate recycling.' "
Chinese shoppers will return to cloth bags, most likely similar to the ones being sold in US stores now. It strikes me that it isn't like China to be the world leader on such a thorny issue,especially the year that they are hosting the Olympics. However, there are certain times when central communist rule has its advantages, and this may be one of them.
- Blog 12-16-07
"The moves will each add hundreds of millions of dollars to the Ivy League rivals' budgets. They come at a time of pressure from Congress and other quarters for wealthy schools to make tuition more affordable as they stockpile billions of donations and investment gains."
Other Ivy League universities are stepping up to the plate as well. Princeton was the leader of the pack in 2001 when it dropped loans from financial aid packages and other higher educational institutions having been scurrying to catch up ever since. Some ask why Congress has an interest in these matters and may believe that the government should keep its nose out of the Ivy Leaguer's business. However, the Senate Finance Committee felt differently:
"[The Senate] has been pushing to require schools to spend a minimum amount of their endowment each year. Foundations are required to spend 5%, while many universities fall below that threshold. [Senator Charles] Grassley praised Yale's move, calling it 'a day for parents and students.' He noted that Yale's and Harvard's announcements came after a hearing in September that focused on the size of college endowments. It's a big deal that the two wealthiest colleges are making tuition affordable. They set an example for all other well-funded schools to do the same."
The WSJ noted that 62 colleges have endowments over $1 billion and most are opposed to Congress mandating a minimum payout (1-8-08, p. D3.) It is a crying shame that such wealth is held by non-profits unwilling to give back, and this is one time when our government in its oversight role has stepped up and said enough is enough.
- Blog 12-25-07
- Blogs 12-29-07; 12-31-07; and 1-5-08
"Epileptic fits exhibit some of the same patterns as seismic shocks, . . .raising doubts about the longstanding belief that seizures occur randomly. The research led by neurologist Ivan Osorio of the University of Kansas, found patterns of 'waiting times' between epileptic fits that are similar to earthquake occurrences. Also, just as earthquakes are preceded by tiny tremors imperceptible to humans, epileptic fits are preceded by neural spikes detected only on brain scans. The analysis. . .compared 16,000 epileptic seizures with seismological data from 300,000 earthquakes. The researchers say these and other patterns might hold the key to predicting and possibly preventing epileptic fits" (WSJ, 1-10-08, p. B6.)
These findings might not be surprising if one believed in the literal interconnectedness of all beings as well as resonance with earth's electro-magnetic field. Lynne McTaggart's book The Intention Experiment previously reviewed here goes into great detail about the phenomenon. I would predict that within 20 years her theories will be accepted as the norm. Until then, many uncoveries of the kind noted above will likely surface. As I see these revelations, I will bring them to your attention as a way to shed light on a new reality that may stun us in its simplicity.
- Blog 12-27-07
The journalistic axiom "If it bleeds, it leads" could not be more true than in the case of Iraqi war coverage. Thus, this negative trend in war coverage may have more to do with psychology than politics. In defense of the broadcasting and print news corporations, they give their readers/viewers what is demanded. If not, these companies would be out of business. So, although many fingers point to biased corporations for their negative reporting, the reader/viewer is equally responsible as the ultimate consumer of these products. If more light was desired, more light would be had. This unenlightened trend is due for a change, wouldn't you say?
NOTE: "Connecting the Dots. . ." is a new feature and will be brought to you from time to time as trends unfold on the pages of this watch for change blog.