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to quote a comment on the TED blog, “I think we’ve just found our TED Prize 2013 winner.”

incredible, personal, and inspiring talk on the importance of identity and its consequences on justice, using very powerful storytelling. i consider it one the greatest TED talks i have ever seen. standing ovation.

obama could sign the NDAA (allow american citizens to be arrested on U.S. soil by the military without charge and detained indefinitely) as early as wednesday? that should take care of any leftover glimmer of hope in obama. that’s definitely a change alright, just not quite the one most people were hoping for (of a nobel peace prize winner, ha!): guantanamo forever.

every day it gets increasingly difficult to dispute that the US is a civilization in (rapid) decline. jon stewart’s daily show will one day likely be a historic record of this former superpower’s farcical political landscape and its deconstruction in the name of ‘economic progress’ and ideological ‘wars on terror’. don’t enough US citizens realize that every day their country is getting less robust, less fit to meet the challenges of the future (admittedly, europe isn’t doing such a swell job either, but the US is just crass)?

today i read some shocking figures on business insider (better version, less clicking), even though they just confirm the economic picture publicized in the wake of occupy. 57% of children live in ‘low income’ or impoverished homes. that’s more than half of a future generation that has been denied an equal opportunity. one out of three americans would not be able to pay their rent/mortgage next month if they lost their job. with such little back-up, it’s understandable that ‘medical debt’ accounts for 60% of bankruptcies. 50 million uninsured americans (16.7% of the pop’n, 1 out of 6) needn’t even lose their jobs to go bankrupt, but just have an accident or a medical problem.

how can one expect a nation to solve even the slightest future challenge, when it’s busy with so many self-created problems? it’s like a terminal-stage cancer patient trying to run a marathon (and not realizing the competition is actually a triathlon). one such challenge is that the US will eventually become one of the world’s climate change hotspots. closely related is the fact that an addiction to a limited ressource (fossil fuels) is simply suicidal.

occupy needs to make a major impact very soon for the US to be part of the future. if NDAA passes, it will present an even larger challenge and even slimmer chances of success.

7 billion people on the planet today. good occasion to revisit hans rosling’s thoughts on development:

zum auftakt der berlin music week gab’s von der kampagne ’deine stimme gegen armut’ ein schönes video zu sehen. am ende der woche können sich die besucher des berlin festivals ebenso filmen lassen und teil des videos werden.

[EDIT: mitgemacht, und vielleicht bin ich auch schon bald teil davon!]

still lots of problems to solve!

interesting feature by national geographic (thx, danbar!)

this (thursday) evening, the ONE campaign is premiering their movie “vodoo and vaccines in benin, africa” via facebook. the movie can be viewed at 20:00 (CET) through this facebook app (corresponding fb event).

the movie is about current medical practices in benin that bring together traditional healers and modern doctors to give children access to life-saving vaccines.

the interesting part is that they decided to do this via facebook instead of just launching a website at a certain time, or a video on youtube/vimeo. i wonder who’s consulting them.

probably the most important story that nobody talks about or reports on in the “west”: the speculation on food prices. fortunately, there’s the stop gambling on hunger campaign from the world development movement.

global food crisis explained in simple terms. and frederick kaufman explains what goldman sachs had to do with it on foreignpolicy.com.

empower a man and you give him a better life. empower a woman, and you give her, her family, her environment, and her community a better life.

– jane fonda