Obama Girls Got It, Will Yours?

As the swine flu vaccine campaign kicks off in New York City schools, first daughters, Sasha and Malia were also innoculated.

Some critics say given the limited supply of the vaccination across the country the girls’ access might raise eyebrows in some quarters.

But, letting the public know that the president’s daughters have been vaccinated could help soothe the fears of cautious parents.

A recent Associated Press poll found that 38 percent of parents said they were unlikely to give permission for their kids to be vaccinated at school, despite the reassurances of the Center of Disease Control.




New rules to prevent induced births

New rules are prohibiting mothers from requesting early births to be performed.  There are many rational reasons for induced labor, but some women are choosing this option for convenience purposes such as timing a grandmother’s visit or avoiding early morning deliveries.

Hospitals will now require that the mother’s cervix be nearly ready for natural labor before a C-section is performed. There are also medical risks for inducing labor around the 37th week of pregnancy, an even greater risk for first time mothers. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention reported that labor is induced in more than one in five births, double the rate in 1990. However,  now mothers have to meet a checklist of requirements before requesting an induction.

Hats and Evil

Luke Jackson is the man behind “Hat and Evil.” The 30-year old Brooklyn artist, born in Italy, received a Bachelors Degree from the University of West England Bristol.  According to Jackson’s myspace , he is “a painter moonlighting as a waiter.”

Jackson’s eye-catching piece was recently featured on the Brooklyn Arts Project website . And Jackson was the website artist of the day. It caught my attention as it’s reminiscent to the famous Dogs Playing Poker series by C.M. Coolidge. Although, it does not feature dogs (the character at the center maybe a dog or bear) or a poker game, the positioning of the artist match that of Coolidge’s piece. Continue reading

NY Times Shrinking at Home, Expanding Abroad

The New York Times announced today that it is launching it’s International  Weekly edition in Turkish as a partnership with Sabah, a popular Turkish daily.

“We are very excited and honored to align our newspaper Sabah with the world’s most prestigious newspaper, The New York Times,” said Suna Vidinli, chief communications officer of the  Calik-Turkuvaz Media Group. “Our collaboraton with The Times will be a further way for us to give our readers more information through accountable and transparent news making.”

The Times International Weekly is an edition that the Times provides to participating news organizations world-wide.  According to its website, the International Weekly was launched in 2002 in Le Monde, a French newspaper, and has since spread to 28 other publications in Europe, Latin America and Asia, as well as two foreign language papers in the U.S.

In a press release today, the Times said that the weekly edition will be assembled in New York by Times staffers and then sent to Turkey for translation.

The announcement comes on the heels of the Times Company’s decision last week to cut 100 newsroom employees by year’s end.  An earlier temporary five percent cut in salaries to Times employees was intended to avoid lay-offs, but dismal third-quarter returns left the company with little choice but to reduce personnel, the Times said.

The Times also recently launched a semiweekly local report in the San-Francisco Bay Area, in an effort to bolster its status as a national paper, and to compete with the Wall Street Journal, which has similar aspirations.  There has been talk of making a  move in Chicago, where both major dailies, the Tribune and the Sun-Times, are functioning under bankruptcy protection, but as of yet there has been no action.

Recyling In the City

It turns out that the message of reduce, reuse, and recycling is clear enough for most New Yorkers. Confusion about what to recycle and what not to recycle has led to NYC only recycling 42 percent of the time according to the New York Daily News.

The Bronx has one of the worst recycling rates while residential areas in Queens come in first place. Manhattan, Statan Island, and Brooklyn are in 2nd, 3rd, and 4th place respectively.

A major problem the city is facing is finding space to put all the separate types of recycling. Recycling is currently broken up into paper, metal, glass and plastic.

The city pays between $5 million and $20 million a year to recycling companies, which is makes it more expensive for the city to recycle than to ship garbage to out-of-state landfills.

New Yorkers currently recycles only 15 percent of 16 pounds of trash each person produces each week.

Next Stop:The North Pole



Once again, money grubbing tycoon  Bernie Madoff  has managed to dominate headlines, but not for the reasons one may think.

Continue reading

Child abuse deaths rise 35 percent since 2001

Child-welfare advocates will be gathering  in Washington to rally for Every Child Matters.  One of the major issues in the rally will be discussing the increase of child abuse deaths since 2001. Experts and activists have demanded  a  federal effort to decrease  child abuse, asking for more money and stricter laws. An estimated of 1,760 children died in the U.S. from abuse and neglect in 2007. The recession has caused a major downfall in  child welfare programs due to budget cuts. Some suggestions activists have proposed are $5 billion in federal funds to support child protection services and an adoption of national standards for child protection, to be mandatory for states accepting federal funds. The American Bar Association announced that child protective agencies receive up to $3.2 million reports of child neglect in 2007 but were only able to report about 62% of them for investigation. The goal of the upcoming rally will be to press Congress for funds in order to address and lower child abuse.