World AIDS Day 2008: To Respect and Protect

World AIDS Day 2008: To Respect and Protect

Today, December 1st, is the 20th Annual World AIDS Day, a day when individuals and organizations from all around the world come together to bring attention to the global AIDS epidemic. According to UNAIDS estimates, there are now 39.5 million people living with HIV, including 2.3 million children. Around half of all people who become infected with HIV do so before they are 25 years-old, and they are killed by AIDS before they are 35. Around 95% of the people with HIV/AIDS live in developing nations.

However, HIV today is a threat to men, women and children on all continents around the world. Started in 1988, World AIDS Day is not just about raising money, but is also about increasing awareness, fighting prejudice and improving education. World AIDS Day is important in reminding people that HIV has not gone away, and that there are many things still to be done.

D. Patrick Zimmerman, Psy. D.
(Disembedded)

Bruce Springsteen: The Streets of Philadelphia

Many words may make it sound contrived
But somehow we’re alive
The survivors-Our heads bowed
The survivors-At memorials for other faces in the crowd

Teachers and artists
And Saturday girls
Or twinsets-and-pearls

If life is worth living,
It’s got to be run
As a means of giving,
Not as a race to be won
Many roads will run through many lives
But somehow we’ll arrive
.”

The Pet Shop Boys, Miracles

Red on World AIDS Day

Music Audio: You Raise Me Up:

World AIDS Day 2008: To Respect and Protect

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Randy Pausch Dies at the Age of 47

Dr. Randy Pausch Dies at the Age of 47

Randy Pausch, the Carnegie Mellon University computer scientist, whose Last Lecture at Carnegie-Mellon was about facing terminal cancer, became an Internet sensation and wrote a best-selling book, died on Friday. He was 47. Alyssa Mayfield, a spokeswoman for Carnegie Mellon University, reported that Pausch had died in Virginia. Pausch and his family had moved there last fall to be closer to his wife’s relatives.

Pausch was diagnosed with incurable pancreatic cancer in September 2006. His popular Last Lecture at Carnegie Mellon in September 2007 garnered international attention and was viewed by millions of people on the Internet. In The Last Lecture, Pausch celebrated living the life he had always dreamed of instead of concentrating on his impending death.

Randy Pausch didn’t want his last lecture at Carnegie Mellon University to be about dying, but he was, sadly, dying of pancreatic cancer. He knew that it’s a painful way to go. When he gave his final lecture at Carnegie-Mellon, he wanted to demonstrate that his focus remained, as always, on living, or on living in the process of dying.

Randy Pausch Dies at the Age of 47

Randy Pausch Visits Oprah Winfrey: No Self-Pity

When there’s an elephant in the room introduce him.”

Randy Pausch Visits Oprah Winfrey: No Self-Pity

Randy Pausch: The Last Lecture

Pausch’s Surprise Visit to Carnegie-Mellon on May 18, 2008

Slide Show: Remembering Dr. Randy Pausch

(Please Click Image to View Slide Show)

The New York Times columnist Tara Parker-Pope has compiled a listing of many of the best internet links to access important videos and other useful items that make up the online legacy of Randy Pausch.

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Grant Achatz Nominated for James Beard Foundation’s Best Chef Award

Grant Achatz: Alinea Restaurant (Chicago)

Alinea Restaurant, opened in Chicago three years ago and is known for Achatz’s inventive techniques and fanciful presentations. When Gourmet Magazine named Alinea the top restaurant in its 2006 List of America’s Best Restaurants, the influential food critic Ruth Reichl praised Achatz and his food, putting him in the forefront as America’s next great chef.

But a year ago Achatz’s tongue had swollen so severely that he was not speaking clearly and he lost much of his taste. A cancerous tumor on his tongue was diagnosed. The removal of two-thirds of the tongue is the standard treatment.

However, instead of accepting a fate that would have ended his career, he chose a less drastic if unproven combination treatment including radiation and chemotherapy. During his treatment, he barely stopped working at Alinea and was writing his cookbook on his laptop in the hospital.

With Achatz’s health now much improved, he is planning to publish the cookbook in September and to open a second restaurant in Chicago.

In an article here last August, I reported this sad note that was written by Phil Vettell in The Chicago Tribune, at the time when Achatz’s diagnosis had just became known to the public:

“Grant Achatz, the young superstar chef whose restaurant, Alinea, is ranked among the very best in the world, announced that he has been diagnosed with an advanced stage of squamous cell carcinoma of the mouth. In layman’s terms, that’s a malignant cancer that has spread. It is life-threatening. The treatment, which Achatz says will be aggressive, won’t be pleasant.

I remain, and will remain, actively and optimistically engaged in operations at Alinea to the largest extent possible,” Achatz said in an email that’s still reverberating in the fine-dining world.

For anyone, this diagnosis would be terrible news. For an energetic, hands-on chef who’s never out of his kitchen, an illness affecting his mouth — and by extension, his sense of taste — followed by treatment whose side effects are often debilitating, gives this news a particularly awful poignancy.

In the fine-dining world, we carelessly use tragedy to describe a fallen souffle or a slump in business. Today, we received a heart-wrenching reminder of what that word really means.

Our thoughts, hopes and prayers go out to Achatz and his extended Alinea family.”

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Obama Saddened by News of Senator Kennedy’s Condition

Senator Barack Obama’s Response:

Michelle and I were saddened to hear the news about Senator Kennedy’s condition today, and we plan on doing whatever we can to support him, Vicki, and the entire Kennedy family during this time. Senator Kennedy has been a fighter for his entire life, and I have no doubt that he will fight as hard as he can to get through this. He has been there for the American people during some of our country’s most trying moments, and now that he’s facing his own, I ask all Americans to keep him in our thoughts and prayers.”

Obama Responds to News of Senator Kennedy’s Condition

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35,000 Philadelphia Supporters Hail Obama’s Speech on Race

35,000 Philadelphia Supporters Hail Obama’s Speech on Race

Barack Obama was greeted by the largest crowd of his campaign on Friday night in Philadelphia.  It was the biggest gathering of Obama supporters that the campaign had ever seen, exceeding the 30,000 who greeted Obama and Oprah Winfrey in December in Columbia, S.C.  An estimated 35,000 to 40,000 people pressed into Independence Park to hear the Democratic presidential candidate, four days before Pennsylvania’s crucial presidential primary on April 22nd.

Beyond the stunning fact that more people came out for Obama’s rally in front of Independence Hall than any other event since he announced his candidacy, there was a remarkable spontaneous demonstration of support that occurred when his speech ended.  At least 5,000 people had nowhere to go but up Market Street.  Obama’s charge of the night: “Declare independence!” was with them.  They started with the familiar “O-Bam-A.”  By 7th and Market Streets, they had graduated to “Yes we can!”   By 10th and Market Streets, with hundreds of supporters streaming in between cars on the road, they were just cheering.  At first, a few Philadelphia policemen cops tried to move the surging crowd to the sidewalks, but it didn’t work.  The police finally retreated to the sidewalks, and a full mile away from Independence Park, the Obama crowd was still marching.

Barack Obama’s Philadelphia speech is now being hailed as one of the most powerful discourses on race ever given by a politician.  Obama’s speech on race recognized that some blacks and whites still harbor significant anger and resentment.  While condemning their hateful expression, he conceded that these feelings exist.  Obama spoke from the heart, from his true experience of living in both our black and white cultures.  His life, indeed his DNA, embodies a truly American experience.  Obama mapped out his vision for getting beyond the distractions of race toward solving the real problems Americans face: the war, the economy, health, education and the environment.

Obama told the crowd that the United States is at a critical moment in its history, not unlike what the founding fathers faced in Philadelphia.  “It was over 200 years ago that a group of patriots gathered in this city to do something that no one in the world believed they could do,” Obama said.  “After years of a government that didn’t listen to them, or speak for them, or represent their hopes and their dreams, a few humble colonists came to Philadelphia to declare their independence from the tyranny of the British throne.”

The Illinois senator called Democratic rival Hillary Rodham Clinton a “tenacious” opponent but said that it was time to move beyond the old politics of the 1990s.   Hillary Clinton “is a tenacious campaigner and is a committed public servant,” he began.   But her message, he said, is “that we can’t really change the say anything, do anything special interest game of so we might as well choose a candidate who knows how to play the game.”  He mocked her “kitchen sink strategy” and then stated, “I’m not running to be the president who plays the same old game. I’m running to end the game.”

Barack Obama: “A More Perfect Union” (Full Speech on Race)

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Abused Chicago Riders Revolt Against Daley’s Decayed Subway System

After years of increasing abuse and neglect, Chicago subway riders finally got fed up, drew the line and revolted against Mayor Daley’s pathetic subway system. A jam-packed rush-hour subway train had been stopped underground in Chicago’s Loop for over an hour on Tuesday morning, held up by a broken-down train ahead. In the stifling, hot and stuffy air, passengers had turned nervous and impatient. Some were throwing up and getting sick from a complete lack of circulating fresh air. Finally, the Chicagoans revolted, ignoring the unpredictably intermittent announcements and pleas from transit workers, who were themselves in a state of total confusion about what was really going on. En mass, the riders decided to leave the stalled trains and to make a long and dangerous trudge through the dirty, dimly lit underground tunnel toward the eventual light of freedom.

As usual in Chicago’s disreputable world of machine politics, Hizzoner’s political flunky transit officials were quick to put all of the blame on the Chicago citizens, on the passengers, saying that the unauthorized evacuation caused bigger problems. Afraid that the passengers making to their freedom through the dark and dirty underground tunnel might be electrocuted by the subway’s electrically charged third rail, transit officials cut off all power to part of the Blue Line, which travels a large U-shaped route between Chicago’s West Side and O’Hare International Airport. Service was terminated for about four hours, and more than a thousand passengers had to be helped off several trains.

Esmeralda Cuevas, 26, who works in Chicago’s Loop as an administrative assistant, was on the train immediately behind the stalled one when she saw a number of haggard people walk by a window of her stranded subway car. “I felt a sense like I want to be with them,” Ms. Cuevas said. “I was impressed with their courage. I thought, ‘I can stay in here with these people and feel hot and uncomfortable, or I can start walking.’ ” And walk she did. So did most of the other stranded passengers from a total of four trains, who forged ahead despite intermittent, confusing public intercom announcements asking them to return.

Some two hours after her ordeal began, Ms. Cuevas finally emerged from the subway crying, with dirt all over her hands and face. An executive at her office downtown advised her to avoid the subway for a few days and to take cabs. But since he didn’t have the generosity to offer to pay for her cab rides, Ms. Cuevas said that she plans to take the train, but on an elevated line, not the underground subway.

At least seven of the Chicago subway passengers suffered injuries and breathing problems that required hospitalization. At the present time, none of their injuries or ailments is thought to be life threatening.

Revolt: Trapped in Underground Subway

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