Saturday, January 12, 2013

Money and Happiness Redux

In my blog Bhutan Suggests to US How to Measure Happiness, I wrote how the leaders of Bhutan spoke before the United Nations and suggested a new measure of happiness, one not based simply on a country's GDP, but one that includes a holistic look at a person's well being. At the end of the post I wrote, "I hope it takes hold: perhaps after academics have found a way to quantify the spiritual . . . " Well, it seems that has happened. While not an academic exactly, senior correspondent Derek Thompson wrote in the Atlantic, Yes, Money Does Buy Happiness: 6 lessons from the newest research on income and well being. I've reprinted the 6 points below, would love to hear a response from Bhutan, am concerned about #6. Particularly in light of the recent report on the health failings of the US as well as its high rates of violence when compared to other developed nations.

Friday, January 11, 2013

The Gender Wage Gap and Me

Just today, I went to my workplace, a state university where I teach, and spoke to the chair of my department about offering an independent study opportunity to students. I am teaching medical anthropology, my specialty, on an exciting medical/dental trip to the Inner Himalayas with the Himalayan Health Exchange next June. State universities, like all state agencies, are bureaucratic. Having offered travel study courses in the past, I was hoping to streamline the process by letting students sign up individually (an independent study) vs. via a new course offering, a process with enrollment restrictions requiring a review by the department, the Dean and the Provost. In providing the details of the trip to the chair,  I actually said, "I don't even care if I get paid, I just think this is a great opportunity for students." The chair wisely responded, "No, you will get paid for sure! And if nine students sign-up it will be the same as offering a course!"

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Fly Larvae Anyone?

China's Maggot Factories Hoping To Feed The World
Photo by - World Entomophagy
A while back I wrote a post about deep fried maggots in Nigeria. I was browsing around a country market that was selling natural remedies made of reptiles and herbs, 'bush meat' and all sorts of produce and seafood when I saw what appeared to be skewers of shrimp being deep-fried  and looking delicious. Once informed that these were not shrimp but maggots, I sadly declined (so hungry for those shrimp!) and snapped a photo of our host enjoying a maggot snack instead. Now, apparently, these delicacies are becoming a bit more mainstream than I thought.  Read below about how China's Maggot Factories Hope to Feed the World from Le Monde by way of Worldcrunch.  When it comes to Chinese capitalistic ventures, economic development and food, leave no insect behind!

By Harold Thibault
LE MONDE/Worldcrunch
KUNYANG - Li Jinsui is an ambitious man. He invested 250,000 euros of his own money in this insect factory, sitting amidst the hills of Kunyang, on the outskirts of Kunming, the capital of the southwestern province of Yunnan. With seven patents, production officially kicked off in 2009.
Since then, no visitor comes by without being offered a plate of bamboo worms, one of the dishes in his catalogue. Yunnan Insect Biotechnologies also offers dried larvae, protein powder from insect exoskeletons and actual insects for human and animal consumption.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Graffiti Smart


 A re-post about graffiti art in Miami from the New York Times. Of course, one of my favorite forms of visual art! Continue below click here for the full article.

Also check out:
 Grafitti: at 'home' and 'in the street'
urban Art Brazil 
Urban Art in Kabul
Grafitti: Vandalism or Art?
Grafitti and Vandalism Redux
City Streets Art

December 8, 2012

Breathing Life, and Art, Into a Downtrodden Neighborhood

MIAMI — Ski, a New York graffiti artist, swirled a can of spray paint, blasting a riot of neon in this once-forlorn slab of Miami called Wynwood. A few doors down, in a pop-up store, another artist, Asif Farooq, was selling an array of firearms — actually cardboard replicas for those who like everything about a gun except the shooting.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Volunteer in the Inner Himalayas

In June, I'll be traveling to the Inner Himalayas with Himalayan Health Exchange on a medical/dental mission to the Rupin Valley (see below). Along with other anthropology professors, I'll be teaching about non-Western healing traditions, medical anthropology and other aspects of health and illness. The trip is open to medical and university students.

For further information, go to:  Himalayan Health Exchange.

Medical-Dental Trek to 'Rupin Valley' in the Inner Himalayas
This medical-dental expedition/trek takes us to a remote tribal region of the Western Himalayas. Team members will depart from various international gateways on their way to New Delhi. A combination of rail and road takes us from New Delhi to Shimla for an overnight stay. The next morning we will begin our overland journey towards the Greater Himalayan Range and to the trailhead to begin our exciting trek of several days to reach settlements and tribal villages of 'The Rupin Valley'. A trail over a 11,800 feet high pass connects these villages to the outside world. This region remains cut- off for 6 months of the year due to heavy snow accumulations on Chansal, leaving the native population with little or no access to health care. Our team will run clinics in 4 different sites, totaling ten clinic days, and provide care to approximately 1,500 patients.

Please Note: This is a moderately strenuous trek that involves extended outdoor camping. Altitude can make this a challenging experience. As a team member you must be in excellent physical shape and be willing to adjust, adapt and accept changing weather and camp conditions.