lhowell

Archive for September, 2007|Monthly archive page

World Map of the Week: The Inequity and Profits of Bottled Water

In bottled water, dirty drinking water, lifestraw on September 30, 2007 at 7:43 am

Drinking water is essential to live, but dirty drinking water is also a major cause of disease. Whilst most people living in Western Europe can access safe water, only 50% of people living in Central Africa can do this. The largest population without access to safe tap water is in China: that is 324 million people, or 25% of the population. In a quarter of all territories more than a quarter of the population is without access to safe water. Worldwide 18% of people have no safe drinking water. Safer water can be obtained by treating water, collecting it from a spring, or pumping it up from groundwater.

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Copyright SASI Group (University of Sheffield) and Mark Newman (University of Michigan).

Here is the irony as told in the Fast Company article, July 2007 that discusses in-depth how bottled water is viewed: “When we buy a bottle of water, what we’re often buying is the bottle itself, as much as the water. We’re buying the convenience–a bottle at the 7-Eleven isn’t the same product as tap water, any more than a cup of coffee at Starbucks is the same as a cup of coffee from the Krups machine on your kitchen counter. And we’re buying the artful story the water companies tell us about the water: where it comes from, how healthy it is, what it says about us. Surely among the choices we can make, bottled water isn’t just good, it’s positively virtuous.

Except for this: Bottled water is often simply an indulgence, and despite the stories we tell ourselves, it is not a benign indulgence. We’re moving 1 billion bottles of water around a week in ships, trains, and trucks in the United States alone. That’s a weekly convoy equivalent to 37,800 18-wheelers delivering water. (Water weighs 81/3 pounds a gallon. It’s so heavy you can’t fill an 18-wheeler with bottled water–you have to leave empty space.)

Meanwhile, one out of six people in the world has no dependable, safe drinking water. The global economy has contrived to deny the most fundamental element of life to 1 billion people, while delivering to us an array of water “varieties” from around the globe, not one of which we actually need. That tension is only complicated by the fact that if we suddenly decided not to purchase the lake of Poland Spring water in Hollis, Maine, none of that water would find its way to people who really are thirsty.”

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Never Listen to People Who Lie

In Uncategorized on September 27, 2007 at 4:55 am

I’ll keep this brief. The president of Iran is doing what children five, six, seven year olds do. They lie about things or taunt just because with no basis. This is why the Iranian President should simply be ignored. If someone said slavery never existed or the attack of the World Trade Center Towers was a publicity stunt, you shouldn’t even waste your breath arguing. The same applies here.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Racism: Confusion and Ignorance Part 1

In jena 6, language, racism on September 23, 2007 at 11:07 pm

After viewing this segment, I realized how fragmented our society truly is here in the United States. The thought process and reasoning from Al Sharpton underscores the confusion that is so pervasive in the minds of African-Americans; the analysis is complex to be sure. However, listen closely because this double-standard/confusion of how African-American women are treated illustrates just how confused and ignorant are the men who are in positions of authority in highly visible organizations.   If you are a staff person in the New York Knicks organization, or the wife of a player or for that matter, the mother or sister of Isiah Thomas, you must feel awfully bad inside. The comments are akin to committing treason against ones’ entire race. Mr. Thomas should lose his job, never be hired because of complete ineptitude as a manager and leader. In the non-sports world, this behavior would call for an immediate dismissal with future prospects for other high-paying jobs almost nil. Where’s the accountability? Where is the humility? Where is the understanding that there should be no division of ignorance that says it is wrong for one group of people to be wrong for calling a woman the “B”word, while another group essentially gets a mulligan for using the same “B” word?

 

Mattel: Daddy I Won’t Do It Anymore

In China, lead-based paints, mattel, toys on September 13, 2007 at 5:12 am

Remember the good ole days when you got a severe spanking from your parent who was physically closest to you when you disobeyed or you committed a very serious infraction or did something very bad? For $100, what were the first words that flew out of your mouth when it was time to pay the price for your naughty behavior? Right, you win $100 dollars, the first thing that came out your mouth was, “I won’t do it anymore.”

Well, Robert A. Eckert, CEO of Mattel said the same thing to Congress earlier today September 12, 2007. Of course, what happened as a kid after saying, “I won’t do it anymore” is the same thing that will continue to happen with Mattel? They (Mattel) will do it again and likely again? Not until the punishment is so severe that they will get it, here’s the scenario if they don’t behave. Please note, that the video is from August 14, 2007.

 

The result will be: private equity firm purchases Mattel and takes the company private, inserts new management and plays hardball with the Chinese manufacturers to use non-toxic paint that is safe for unsuspecting 1-2 year olds who are teething.

Toy prices will increase because the Chinese manufacturers are now forced to use non lead-based paints because it costs more to use better quality paint. Using unsafe paint means it costs less to manufacture toys, which means more, unsafe toys for Wal-Mart to push like crack rocks to naive parents who simply want their kids to close their pie hole while shopping.

In a few years, the private equity firm files an IPO, makes boat loads of cash for the 3-4 MEN who own the private equity firm as they do similar deals in the meantime with other companies.

 

Aid to Africa is Like Women on Welfare

In marketing, Uncategorized on September 12, 2007 at 3:24 am

How many success stories do we read about when it comes to countries accelerating educational opportunities or creating new jobs, or feeding families because of foreign aid? Not many to be sure. The same applies to people in the United States who continue to receive welfare through federally funded programs. These programs both abroad and in the U.S. cripple people who are typically poor, lower educated, and tend to be ethnic minorities in the U.S. and people in Africa.

One of the most dynamic strategies that could help these countries is to actually purchase direct from entrepreneurs who design and sell, what I call “third world innovations”. The concept is simple, provide a platform like an Amazon or eBay that allows for “free of charge marketing”. If a man lives on less than $2-3 dollars a day can generate income by enjoying free marketing and earn $20 dollars a day, the bellies of children are full and they can attend school. What do you think?

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Human Trafficking

In Human Condition and Treatment, human trafficking, slave labor, Trafficking on September 12, 2007 at 2:56 am

We must continually be reminded that that there are much more important topics for discussion and action than Britney Spears dance routine at the VMA’s and her post-baby belly.

 

Simple Pleasures without Video Games and TV

In Uncategorized on September 8, 2007 at 11:24 pm

The video is of Alex, my son.  When I shot this, I didn’t realize how soothing it was to looking at months after I shot it.  I hope you enjoy this and hopefully bring a smile and a laugh to those who watch. The video explains it all. Remember those days when we didn’t have a care in the world and video games and cable TV?

My Debut on NPR

In Uncategorized on September 7, 2007 at 11:41 am

I am a huge fan of National Public Radio, and I have always wanted to “say” something on the air.  Well, you can now hear my comments.  There was a story about how African-American women who are college educated, experience abuse to a greater extent than women who did not receive a high school degree.  Well, I shared my point of view on the show with Lee Hill, who was very cool by the way.  Check it out…

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