11 posts

Urban agriculture in Cuba (image: WikiPedia)

How Cubans’ Health Improved When Their Economy Collapsed

Richard Schiffman | The Atlantic Monthly Apr 18 2013 Sometimes financial crises can force lifestyle changes for the better. When Cuba’s benefactor, the Soviet Union, closed up shop in the early 1990s, it sent the Caribbean nation into an economic tailspin from which it would not recover for over half a decade. The biggest impact came from the loss of cheap petroleum from Russia. Gasoline quickly became unobtainable by ordinary citizens in Cuba, and mechanized agriculture and food distribution systems all but collapsed. The island’s woes were compounded by the Helms-Burton Act of 1996, which intensified the U.S. trade embargo […]

Pre-mail: Not just a good idea.

WARNING. This is not email. This is pre-mail. It is a new product being marketed on the internet by the imasupermarketing-genius.com company. Please get your friends to visit our web site by simply telling them our easy-to-remember web address. In fact, if you don’t tell 15 of your friends, bad luck will befall you by the end of this day. I am not kidding. This is not a hoax. This is not another “chain mail.” This is for real. Frank Shepherd of Pennsylvania is one sorry man who didn’t tell 15 of his friends. He got cancer and died within […]

United States Is the Laziest Developed Country in the World

Inspired by the Winter Olympics currently being played in Vancouver, the Daily Beast decided to give out virtual medals—for not the most athletic countries, but the laziest. Starting with the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development’s member countries with extensive data available (24 developed countries), the site took four factors into account: calories per day, television viewing, aversion to playing sports, and Internet usage. After weighing the factors, the Daily Beast found that the United States took home gold as the laziest developed country in the world. “America always goes big, or doesn’t go at all,” the site says. “[G]luttony […]

Impermanence and thereitis.org

I’m Brendan Lalor, the one who runs there it is . org. In recent weeks I moved from Oklahoma City to Manchester Center, VT, and in the process the website went down a few times, and email communcations went hay-wire for periods of days. I thought I lost everything, and so posted this: Impermanence The Buddha implored us not just to talk about impermanence, but to use it as an instrument to help us penetrate deeply into reality and obtain liberating insight. We may be tempted to say that because things are impermanent, there is suffering. But the Buddha encouraged us to look again. […]

What is there It Is . org?

ThereItIs.org is a left-oriented political site, and I’m Brendan Lalor, the one who runs it. Starting in 2003, before the Iraq war, I published some of my own political writings here, in large part for my students at the University of Central Oklahoma, and for some right-wing members of my extended family. From January through December of 2004, the site became a venue for daily news and analysis pieces to which I (and 400 subscribers) pointed right-wing relatives, students, neighbors, or acquaintances for the antidote to delusions induced by propaganda from FoxNews, ClearChannel radio, the Bush Administration, and others. Although […]