Wednesday, October 22, 2008

....drum roll please!

here he is... my new cousin Nathan:

Being held by his big brother

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

One of those "tagged" thingies

6 Things I Value

(In no particular order)

1. Love and compassion for all living things

2. Honesty

3. Accepting that life isn't going to be perfect, and that's OK.

4. My own golden rule: As long as anothers actions aren't hurting anyone, let them do as they desire.

5. Respecting the environment for the sake of humans and other living beings.

6. Helping others purely to help, rather than to "get something back later"

6 Things I Don’t Support

1. Assuming different= wrong

2. Thinking some people are more worthy of basic needs than others.

3. War/Violence in any form.

4. Treating some people like they are too ignorant to make their own decisions.

5. Ignoring an issue/problem/suffering rather than trying to find a solution.

6. Selfishness.

6 People I Tag

1. My sister

2. Vivek

3. Abby

4. Sue

5. Pooja

6. Anyone else who wants to do it.

You can either put your answers as a comment to this blog, or put them on your own blog and link in my comments. :)

Monday, October 20, 2008

Ride that Bike! Yeah!

View Larger Map

So here is the bike route I took today, 5.7 miles... the longest ride I've taken yet and I'm definitely ready to do it again. I have been either going cycling or doing yoga everyday and trying to keep track of what I eat (by portion size, thought not a 'diet' per say). I have lost 8 pounds since I got home.. hooray! Hopefully it will keep going this well.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Bay Cousin Nate (2)

So my baby cousin Nate was born soon after the other post.. but I didn't get to talk to the family until now about him... While his older bro Jake is blond and lighter toned, he has dark hair and tones. (I am waiting on his picture!) The most interesting thing is that he was born with a Mongol Spot, which is a blue birthmark, usually on the lower back or bum... Here's what a website says about them:

"The prevalence of Mongolian spots varies among different ethnic groups according to the overall depth of pigmentation. Mongolian spots are common among Asian, East Indian, and African races, but rare among Caucasian and other races. Reported incidences in representative ethnic infants are as follows:
Asian: 95-100%, East African: 90-95%, Native American: 85-90%, Hispanic: 50-70%, Caucasian: 1-10%"

Our family (on my mom's side) has Croatian and other eastern European ancestry.. so maybe it comes from there? Or maybe some of our Croatian ancestors were from the east, or from Turkey (I read that it is also common among Turks). Also, there is possible native American Blood in my family.. though we just have a name "Tecumsah Smith"..

All in all, an intriguing mystery...ancestry is very interesting, no?

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Baby Cousin Nate

If all goes as planned, my baby cousin Nate will be born today! He will be my 5th cousin.. and they are ALL boys! Here he is hanging out in the womb:

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Hunger in India states 'alarming'

Twelve Indian states have "alarming" levels of hunger while the situation is "extremely alarming" in the state of Madhya Pradesh, says a new report.

Madhya Pradesh's nutrition problems, it says, are comparable to the African countries of Ethiopia and Chad.

India has more people suffering hunger - a figure above 200 million - than any other country in the world, it says.

The report, released as part of the 2008 Global Hunger Index, ranks India at 66 out 88 countries.

'Scored worse'

The hunger index has been released by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) along with Welthungerhlife and the University of California.

It measures hunger on three indicators which include child malnutrition, rates of child mortality and the number of people who are calorie deficient.

The problem of hunger is measured in five categories - low, moderate, serious, alarming or extremely alarming.

The survey says that not one of the 17 states in India that were studied were in the low or moderate hunger category.

"Despite years of robust economic growth, India scored worse than nearly 25 sub-Saharan African countries and all of South Asia, except Bangladesh," the report says.

The best performing state was Punjab, which has a 'serious' hunger problem and does less well than developing countries such as Gabon, Vietnam and Honduras.

"When Indian states are compared to countries in the Global Hunger Index, [the central Indian state of] Madhya Pradesh ranks between Ethiopia and Chad," it says.

India is long known to have some of the highest rates of child malnutrition and mortality in under-fives in the world.

According to the Indian government statistics two years ago, around 60% of more than 10 million children in the state were malnourished.

Nutrition experts say the abysmal record is due to an inadequate access to food, poor feeding practices and poor childcare practices in India.

And now the rise in the global food prices has reduced the food-buying capacity of many poor families, making their situation worse.

In the past year food prices have increased significantly, but people's incomes haven't kept pace, forcing many families further into hunger, experts say.

The report says "improving child nutrition is of utmost urgency in most Indian states".

"All states also need to improve strategies to facilitate inclusive economic growth, ensure food sufficiency and reduce child mortality," it adds.
Story from BBC NEWS:

Published: 2008/10/14 12:24:13 GMT


Thursday, October 02, 2008

O politics. oh... politics. ugh.


I have been stressing out muchily trying to decide who to vote for in this upcoming election.. In the past I have always voting Green Party and totally avoided the two party system (and voting for a candidate that might actually get elected) but things are getting soo bad I was actually tempted for the "lesser of two evils" Barack Obama. Now, don't get me wrong, he has some nice ideas.. Health care is a huge step forward (especially since I don't have any!)And focusing more on education and such is nice too.

But, being a firm believer in non-violence, I am extremely uncomfortable with his comfort in talking about going into Pakistan.. putting sanctions on Iran (don't we know yet that sanctions hurt the common innocent people, not the crazies in charge!?!) and his super-support of Israel... Why is Israel such a big agenda these days anyways? I mean, I understand that they and Palestine need to work something out, but there are issues like that in MANY many places.. like India/Pakistan over Kashmir.. or China and Tibet... I guess it's because Israel is there only ally in the middle east.. where the U.S. has gotten itself into a mess of trouble.

Sigh. Sigh. Sigh. What would the Dalai Lama do? Seriously. Can I support any candidates who are advocating to go to war at any moment? Aren't there any other OPTIONS to create peace besides creating MORE violence?

I am bummed out. I don't know if I can bring myself to be responsible for war and death by voting for the democrats.. but at the same time the Green Party.. seems like a dead fish (it's not even flopping around!) this year. So what's the point? These sort of things make me wonder.. should I even vote at all?

Sigh. I feel disenfranchised.