A State Street Family Album -
State Street in Madison, Wisconsin is a half mile link between the Capitol dome and the campus of the University of Wisconsin. Tree lined, traffic restricted, shops of all manner, State Street represents an almost picture postcard ideal. It is also home to the Family. In the 30's they might have ridden the rails
, now they are hanging out in the Peace Park. Glenn Austin has documented their community.
posted by caddis
on Aug 13, 2007 -
The Happy Planet Index
presents an alternative to GDP for measuring standard of living. It ranks countries by measuring life expectancy and self-reported life satisfaction against an "ecological footprint" needed to support that country's lifestyle. The press release
claims that well-being is not based on high levels of consumption, but many don't agree
. Full report in PDF here
. Vanuatu tops the charts, while Zimbabwe and Swaziland lie at bottom. Critiques here
, and here
. A critique of happiness indices generally here.
posted by shivohum
on Jun 3, 2007 -
Where's the money?
[YouTube] In a short interview with the BBC, Bob Geldof and Bono discuss ongoing efforts to get G8 members to fulfil commitments made at the Gleneagles summit, their own credibility or lack of, and whether or not the current focus on climate change is taking attention away from the situation in Africa. This Guardian article
has more details.
posted by teleskiving
on May 16, 2007 -
"I'm not from here, so when I was told that what these boys do in the fields makes 'em fast, I didn't believe it." Welcome to Muck City
posted by kyleg
on Apr 16, 2007 -
A memorial to the many dead.
Here in Oakland, California
, the murder rate has gone out of control.
The incoming mayor
has not articulated any clear plan for reducing violence. And the current one, having only seen violence increase here, is going on to become the state Attorney General
Amid the challenges Oaklanders face - gentrification
, a lack of meaningful work opportunities
, and a history of a devistating drug trade
, there are some efforts to make change: here
, here, here
, and here
posted by serazin
on Dec 19, 2006 -
Clean water is a right:
"The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) published its annual report on human development
. It denounces the world's complacent disregard for such unglamorous subjects as standpipes, latrines and the 1.8m children who die each year from diarrhoea because the authorities cannot keep their drinking water separate from their faeces. The study
is both coldly analytical and angry..."
posted by kliuless
on Nov 24, 2006 -
I sometimes look up at the bit of blue sky
High over my head, with a tear in my eye.
Surrounded by walls that are too high to climb,
Confined like a felon without any crime...
posted by Miko
on Sep 18, 2006 -
Ilha Das Flores video
"A tomato is planted, harvested and sold at a supermarket, but it rots and ends up in the trash. The end?
No. ISLAND OF FLOWERS follows it up until its real end, among animals, trash, women and children. And then the difference between tomatoes, pigs and human beings becomes clear."
A remarkable and devastating 12 minute film from director Jorge Furtado
posted by maryh
on Aug 18, 2006 -
Inner City Youth, London
"In 2002, Simon Wheatley
began photographing London's publich housing developments...and was able to obtain a level of intimacy with his subjects that provides a true picture of the daunting project of growing up in the intimate confines of drug use, societal neglect, and poverty."
This (Flash-based) narrated slideshow features Wheatley's work, and is a look at the culture...and also the music (grime
) "as an artistic response to the place and circumstance, an expression of the violence, bleakness, and neglect..." (via Future Feeder
posted by tpl1212
on Jul 20, 2006 -
Maid for a Month
. On February 1, Ontario raised its minimum wage from $7.45 to $7.75 per hour. Well-known Toronto Globe and Mail
writer Jan Wong: "I thought the best way to tell the story of that 30-cent raise was to work — and live — at the bottom of the food chain. I would find a low-paying job, a low-rent apartment and, single-mom-like, take my boys
with me for the month and see how we survived."
posted by russilwvong
on May 1, 2006 -
According to estimates, about 1.5 billion people--about a quarter of the earth's population--are hosts to the Ascaris lumbricoides
parasitic worm. Ascaris worms can grow to be 18 inches in length, and use their host's windpipe and esophagus to migrate between the small intestine and the lungs. A single human host may support dozen of large worms, which can be contracted by contact with fecal matter, animals, or undercooked pork. Under some circumstances (the worms dislike anesthesia, for example) one or more worms may exit from the mouth (a horrifying image
), or the anus (one of the most disgusting images I have ever seen
, and not safe for work, obviously). Here, the removal of a worm is caught on video
Too disgusting to post? Almost. But 1.5 billion people have got these in their bodies right now. That's what's grosser than gross.
posted by washburn
on Mar 4, 2006 -
37 million poor hidden in the land of plenty
Americans have always believed that hard work will bring rewards, but vast numbers now cannot meet their bills even with two or three jobs. More than one in 10 citizens live below the poverty line, and the gap between the haves and have-nots is widening. Are you proud to be an American? (newsfilter - no apologies).
posted by adamvasco
on Feb 19, 2006 -
Running on Fumes
-- a fascinating essay by the Nation's
Sasha Abramsky on what rising gas prices will do to poor exurban communities.
posted by digaman
on Oct 4, 2005 -
Being Poor ...
what it actually entails. More from Body and Soul
, and from Making Light
, and from here's a whosit
And this article,
in which ...they were trying to rescue people with a helicopter and the people were so poor they were afraid it would cost too much to get a ride and they had no money for a "ticket." Dupree was shaken telling us the story. He just couldn't believe these people were afraid they'd be charged for a rescue. ...
posted by amberglow
on Sep 11, 2005 -
The real disaster in New Orleans.
David Aaronovitch of the London Times observes, "It isn’t the failure to act in New Orleans that is the story here, it’s the sheer, uninsured, uncared for, self-disenfranchised scale of the poverty that lies revealed. It looks like a scene from the Third World because that’s the truth. It’s a quiet disaster that ’s been going on for years." The truth is
the Lower Ninth Ward of New Orleans has a poverty level of 36.4 percent. A quarter of households have an annual income of less than $10,000, while half live on less than $20,000. Over half of the population in the ward is categorized as “not in the labor force,” mainly because they have ceased looking for work. The truth is that even on a normal day, New Orleans is a sad city.
"Sure, tourists think New Orleans is fun: you can drink and hop from strip club to strip club all night on Bourbon Street, and gamble all your money away at Harrah’s. But the city’s decline over the past three decades has left it impoverished and lacking the resources to build its economy from within. New Orleans can’t take care of itself even when it is not 80 percent underwater." The National Review is already blaming it
- predictably - on the breakdown of the family. Conservatives in America are already dismissing the problem, as they have for years. But to those outside the United States, the scale of poverty in the world's richest country comes as a shock.
posted by three blind mice
on Sep 4, 2005 -
Who here hasn't been a bit short before payday?
Jacob Ayrton of Calgary took out a payday loan of $500. Two weeks later he owed Payroll Loan Canada $606.32
(a $95 "brokerage fee" and 59% interest for a whopping 15,000% per annum charge.) Yesterday, an Alberta judge certified a class-action suit against so-called payday lenders with Mr. Ayrton as lead complainant. "These companies really exploit people who are vulnerable," said
his lawyer. A fast-growing franchise opportunity for investors, payday loan operations are facing increased scrutiny in Canada
and the U.S. (NC
posted by docgonzo
on Apr 27, 2005 -
Kofi Annan has issued his recommendations
for tackling poverty and promoting security and human rights, incorporating the greatest alterations to the UN and Security Council in history.
posted by Pretty_Generic
on Mar 21, 2005 -