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Narratives Worth Exploring

Music, Podcast / 28.02.2010

An interview with Love Hope Strength executive director Shannon Foley

A couple of weeks ago I got an email from my friend Maitri. A friend of hers was in serious trouble and she wanted my help. "I’d seen her the day before and everything was fine. And she said, 'I think my husband has leukemia'." Maitri said. "And they’ve checked him into the UW cancer ward." Here in Madison the University of Wisconsin is home to one of top research facilities in the county the Carbone Cancer Center. With very little notice Maitri’s friend was immediately admitted to the affiliated community hospital. "I was most surprised with how quickly it happened and how urgently the medical profession had to respond," Maitri said. "Sunday I was at church with her. She went home after church. Her husband said 'I have some pain in my legs. I think I’ll go to the doctor tomorrow.' And she said 'Let’s give the nurse on call a quick phone call and just make sure this is fine.' The nurse said you need to go to the emergency room now. We went and they were ready to check him into the hospital that afternoon. So one minute fine, leg cramp, next minute checked into the UW Hospital ward." "With leukemia,"I said. "Correct," she said.
Assignment Earth, Video / 27.02.2010

Tougher Drilling Rules on Public Land

Produced by Melinda Binks and Rebecca Hunting Drilling on public land supplies 27 percent of the nation’s natural gas. But producing this relatively cheap, clean burning fuel comes at a cost. “We’re having traditions disrupted,” said Steve Belinda, of the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership. “Places where extended families would spend two weeks hunting and camping together, all of the sudden they show up and they’re in the middle of some energy development with big trucks and noise and tons of roads.” This edition of Assignment Earth takes a look at new regulations enacted by the Obama administration that require an environmental impact report to be filed in advance of drilling on public land. Question: Should the recreational use and preservation of public land supercede oil and gas drilling that could speed the recovery of our economy and reduce our dependence on foreign sources of energy?
Assignment Earth, Environmental Protection / 26.02.2010

There’s a new media organization dedicated to environmental reporting. Assignment Earth creates compelling news stories on issues related to wildlife conservation, industrial pollution, destruction of natural habitats and the ecological impact of climate change.  Distributed online, and on Public Broadcasting Service stations nationwide  under the title This American Land, AE programs aim to educate viewers on these issues, encourage other reporters to cover similar stories, and to energize public debate.
Breaking News, Diversity, Environmental Justice, Yosemite / 25.02.2010

Congresswoman Jackie Speier (San Francisco/San Mateo County) testifies today  before the House Natural Resources Committee.  Speier's bill, H.R. 4491, authorizes the National Park Service to study the role the African American regiments played in establishing the National Park System and to honor their legacy. "I am thrilled to have this opportunity to begin to tell the world of the momentous contribution the Buffalo Soldiers have made to our country," said Congresswoman Speier.   "It is fitting, during Black History Month, that we take the first steps towards the rightful recognition of these soldiers.   They were truly the first guardians of...

Commentary, Uncategorized / 24.02.2010

Jennifer Jones Austin is a complete stranger to me. But in the coming months you’re going to hear me talk a great deal about people just like her. At the age of 41 this mother of two is suffering from leukemia. Though with this serious form of cancer Jennifer’s prospects for survival will increase dramatically if she receives a bone marrow transplant. But first she needs a donor. A successful transplant requires a very specific tissue match. The most likely donor candidate will be a person who shares her genetic ancestry. Unfortunately, African-Americans represent only 2 percent of the pool of registered donors in the United States. The chances of Jennifer finding a match are quite low.
Film Festival, Interview, Mountain Film, Podcast / 17.02.2010

An interview with Time Magazine reporter and author Pico Iyer

PicoIyerFrom a very young age  Pico Iyer has had a close personal relationship with one of the worlds great spiritual and political leaders. In 1960 his father a professor of philosophy and a student of world religions was among first westerners to seek an audience with the Dalai Lama.  Traveling from his home in England Iyer’s father journeyed  back to his native India to meet the Dalai Lama then around the age of 24.  In their conversations the Tibetan Buddhist ruler in exile and Iyer’s father discussed ancient mystic wisdom that had been unavailable to the outside world for centuries. And with the exchange of a single simple gift, they also established a connection between the Dalai Lama and Iyer that now spans almost 50 years. "At the end of his conversation with the Dalai Lama in 1960 he said 'I have this little three year-old boy back in England and he was already quite interested in the story of your dramatic flight from Tibet into India'," Iyer said.  "And so the Dalai Lama, with his great gift for the perfect gesture found a photo of himself when he was 5 years old and sent it to me. And so from the time I was three I had this photo of this little boy, 5 years old, already ruling 6 million people. I didn’t understand who or what the Dalai Lama was. But I could make a contact with this little boy sitting in this place. And I could see all the responsibility he had. So in that sense I grew up with the image of the Dalai Lama and stories of the Dalai Lama from the time I was a little boy." From the gift of that photograph to their first meeting years later Iyer and the Dalai Lama have been become good friends. And through the course of his career as a journalist Iyer has cultivated a deep insight to the philosophy that has guided the Dalai Lama toward a peaceful resolution of the conflict between China and Tibet. In his new book The Open Road: The Global Journey of the 14th Dalai Lama Iyer shares his view of the spiritual and political path we all take to find peace in our lives and the world in which we live.