Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Wednesday Weirdness: Trash Tracking/ A serious note on life...

Originally uploaded by Editor B
Wednesday Weirdness: I discovered today that the folks over at MIT have a grandiose plan to track and follow the path of an incredibly important substance... rubbish! It seems that they plan to attach tracking devices to about 3000 pieces of garbage that will be thrown out in big cities like New York, London and Seattle. I know that we spend a lot of money tracking animals in this sort of way... and that seems like a worthwhile pursuit to me... but.. uh... this stuff is inanimate... do we really need to attach expensive tags to it? That seems a bit frivolous. I'm surprised at the things science spends its time with sometimes. I know the point of the whole thing is to reveal how messed up our waste disposal processes are, but really. Is this a great way to spend money? I guess it's good someone's thinking about trash though, we all do spend very little time thinking about it, other than remembering the day to put the can on the road.

A serious note on life: I also saw something in the news that disturbed me, and made me very sad. The last time I mentioned Zambia in this blog it was to mention a funny incident where the President was peed on by a monkey, but perhaps that was what was coming to him. I just read that an editor at the major Zambian newspaper (Post) was arrested for distributing "obscene materials." This isn't what disgusted me. Rather it was what they're shrugging off as "pornography" and just ignoring. The pictures that she (her name is Chansa Kabwela) was sharing with others showed a woman who was forced to give birth to her baby in the streets. The baby died because the hospitals turned this woman away. The editor wanted to point out the violations of this woman's rights, but was criminalized instead. And instead of focusing on what is important about what the photos revealed about the problems with the incident illustrated, the Zambian government just charged the editor with distributing repugnant images. Apparently the images were VERY graphic, but still you'd hope that the government of the country would be sickened with the lack of help the woman received and do something about it. Unfortunately they reacted quite differently.

I don't know the whole story or anything, but I came away from learning about it with one thought. The more and more I learn about the rest of the world and its goings-on, I become more and more appreciative of the life I'm able to lead in the nation I'm able to lead it in. I'm incredibly fortunate to be where I am. That's all.

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