“This is not your grandmother’s hunger,” says Janet Poppendieck, a sociologist at the City University of New York. “Today more working people and their families are hungry because wages have declined.”
The last King of Rwanda, Kigeli V Ndahindurwa, lives on public assistance in low-income housing, at a dead end between US Route 66 and State Route 655 in Oakton, Virginia. 'He ruled Rwanda for just nine months in the 1960's before fleeing a revolt and has spent the last half century in exile, powerless to stop the violence that ripped through his country. He is 76 years old now, his tottering seven-foot-two-inch frame stooped by age and the vagaries of fate.'
A (presumably) wild dolphin entangled by fishing line approaches divers for assistance. [more inside]
"One thing about life in New York: wherever you are, the neighborhood is always changing. An Italian enclave becomes Senegalese; a historically African-American corridor becomes a magnet for white professionals. The accents and rhythms shift; the aromas become spicy or vegetal. The transition is sometimes smooth, sometimes bumpy. But there is a sense of loss among the people left behind, wondering what happened to the neighborhood they once thought of as their own." For Sophia Goldberg (98), Holocaust survivor, change has meant the end of a way of life.
REX is a "bionic" motorized exoskeleton that could make wheelchairs obsolete. Videos: 1, 2. Made in New Zealand by two British inventors, REX will be available internationally in the middle of 2011. Reported Retail Cost: (US) $150,000
Better World Books - Recently recognized by Fast Company as one of the best for-profit social enterprises of 2008, they offer a wide selection of new and used books with free shipping in the US and less than $3 shipping elsewhere. A portion of the profits go to fund literacy organizations such as Room to Read and WorldFund, and their shipping is carbon-neutral. The only thing missing is the ability to import Amazon wishlists.
The Benefit Bank is a project which uses technology to improve the lives of low income Americans. Through the use of software and trained volunteers the program allows the needy to fill out one application which can be generated to receive assistance from a wide range of public and private resources. During stops in the South this week the Congressional Black Caucus Institute and National Council Of Churches sought volunteers and partners to help expand the program. The program has so far been opened in 48 sites in Pennsylvania, Florida, and Kansas including ACORN Housing, Jewish Employment and Vocational Service, and Germantown Avenue Crisis Ministry.
"One call to AAA and your worries are over," says the brochure. That's what Melissa Gosule's family thought, but she was kidnapped and murdered during the hours it took for AAA to get its act together. So the family is suing. Do they have a case? After all, she's not the only one who's waited and waited and waited and waited for multiple hours after calling AAA. I oughta know. [more inside]
A Hong Kong student has written her thesis about the world's oldest profession, and found that the ten 'subjects' she chose to follow are real people too, and ultimately befriended them, offering financial and legal assistance. Apart from the actual story, of interest in the tone of the writing of the piece which underlines that the 'class' structure still exists almost everywhere . . .