Sunday, January 29, 2006

Fair Trade Valentine Chocolate

If you're one of those people who's into the whole Valentine's Day scene, think this year about the gift of Fair Trade chocolate, easily obtainable via Global Exchange.
Cupid loves Fair Trade chocolate, because there’s no need to worry that the cocoa beans in the chocolate were harvested by child slaves, which is a major problem in the chocolate industry. Illegal child labor is rampant on cocoa farms in West Africa, especially the Ivory Coast, which supplies 40 percent of the world’s cocoa. And although the US chocolate industry promised to end abusive child labor on cocoa farms by 2005, they broke their promise and have done absolutely nothing to address the root causes of the problem: unstable and insufficient prices for cocoa. There is a solution -- Fair Trade Certified Chocolate – and Global Exchange has teamed up with Sweet Earth Organics to provide a Fair Trade option for Valentine’s Day. Our Fair Trade Halloween candy sold out in just three days, proving that many consumers will make the right choice when given the option of purchasing Fair Trade chocolate. We’re hoping for a similar level of enthusiasm on Valentine’s Day, when, according to Thomas Net Industrial Newsroom, Americans are expected to exchange more than 36 million heart-shaped boxes of chocolate as a token of love. Purchasing gifts that are Fair Trade-certified guarantees that the farmers and artisans who produced them are paid a living wage for their labor, and that the products aren’t made in sweatshops or by exploited child laborers. Fair Trade also promotes production techniques that will not harm the environment.
Here is more information on Fair Trade. (One thing you can definitely do is look for the Fair Trade label when buying coffee.)

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Heads of State with Senses of Humor

This is just awesome.
French President Jacques Chirac took a call from Canada's newly elected leader only to find he had been fooled by a pair of radio pranksters known as the "Masked Avengers" in Montreal. Chirac's office confirmed that the French leader had taken a courtesy call on Thursday purportedly from new conservative Prime Minister-elect Stephen Harper. ... Chirac did not react once to Audette's outrageously thick French-Canadian accent as the two men discussed relations, including the name of Canada's new ambassador to France -- Richard Z. Sirois -- who unbeknownst to Chirac is a well-known French Canadian humorist. When Audette complained of the poor press coverage Harper has had in France, Chirac said: "You cannot stop the newspapers from saying any old rubbish, it's true in France and it's true in Canada, so don't let yourself be impressed by that." "Exactly Mr President, liberty, equality and fraternity. Amen," said Audette in his the over-the-top accent, a response that earned the fake prime minister an invitation to make an official visit to France. When Audette finally revealed himself as a bogus prime minister, Chirac burst out laughing.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Internet trivia

For what Google search are these the top ten hits?
  1. Yahoo!
  2. Altavista
  3. Microsoft Corporation
  4. - Breaking News, US, World, Weather, Entertainment & Video ...
  5. Online Shopping for Electronics, Apparel, Computers ...
  6. Adobe Systems Incorporated
  7. MapQuest.Com: Maps, Directions and More
  8. My Excite
  9. Lycos
  10. World Wide Web Consortium

Thursday, January 05, 2006

More on cervical cancer vaccine

There's been a fair amount of action in the comments thread to a brief post from November. I suggested that it was deplorable to prevent children from being vaccinated against cervical cancer; at least one anonymous commentor take issue with my statement, then with my argument. All the interesting parts are in the comments.