15 April 2010

The Yes! Digest -- April 15th, 2010

This is: Tax Day in the United States. If you haven't decided what to do with your refund---and even if you have---please consider donating a portion of it to a local nonprofit organization. To find one, visit Guidestar.

Spirit food: "There is only one question: // how to love this world."" --- "Spring," Mary Oliver

Brain food: What will life be like in ten years? "professors, inventors, 'futurists,' and digital experts" have some ideas. (via Huffington Post)

Young adults today...:  are"confusing irony with tragedy, nonchalance with acceptance, a pose with poise, self-dramatization with self-awareness." (via The Rumpus and Bookforum)

 UU news -- *NEW!*: The Unitarian Universalist House, a "personal care, assisted living, and nursing care facility" that has served the senior citizens of Philadelphia for 75 years, has announced that it will close by mid-July. 60 people currently live there, and many more benefit from their community outreach programs. (via The Philadelphia Inquirer)

UU voices -- *NEW!*: At Spirituality and Sunflowers, Kinsi wonders if being against consumerism has to mean moralizing to consumers. Head on over and join the conversation!

A joy: British medical journal The Lancet reported this week that fewer mothers worldwide are dying from complications of pregnancy and childbirth---materal death rates have dropped 35% in the last 30 years. They attribute the decrease to "lower pregnancy rates in some countries; higher income, which improves nutrition and access to health care; more education for women; and the increasing availability of “skilled attendants”---people with some medical training---to help women give birth." (via The New York Times) (Noted, via AP: a report by the World Health Organization's Partnership for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health says that the maternal death rate hasn't decreased at all but "remains steady" at 500,000 deaths a year. For more on this seeming contradiction, listen to this piece from NPR's "Here and Now.")

A concern: Yesterday a magnitude 6.9 earthquake in the Qinghai province of China (which is "populated mostly by Tibetans") has killed 600 people and injured thousands. Nearly 90% of the buildings there have collapsed, and the death toll is expected to rise. (via NPR)

What you can do (work for social justice) -- *NEW!*:
  •  Maternal mortality --- Although maternal death rates seem to be dropping, hundreds of thousands of women still die every year as a direct result of having given birth. Most of these deaths occur in developing nations where sexual education and prenatal care are rare and women are likely to give birth in unsanitary conditions without the help of a midwife or other birth attendant. Most of these women are young adults. So how can we help? To start, visit the Changemakers "Healthy Mothers, Strong World Competition" to learn what young adults around the world are doing to help pregnant women survive to care for their children, then vote starting April 28th to decide what projects get funded.
  • China earthquake --- It seems, unfortunately, that there isn't much to do right now but give money to organizations that are working directly with the people in Qinghai (also known as the Nangchen region.) If you are so inclined, please donate what you can through The Tibetan Village Project, One Heart, or the Amitabha Foundation. To learn more about the lives of the people in Qinhai/Nangchen, visit NYEMA.
Churchy things: "[N]ew federal requirements requiring most people to have health insurance has left room for the Amish — and other religious groups — to maintain their beliefs when it comes to health care." (via AP)

Unchurchy things:
Artist Jason LaFerrera creates birds and other wildlife using old maps. (via BoingBoing)

Young adult(s) of note: Katie Washington, a 21 year-old from Gary, Indiana, will be graduating from Notre Dame on May 16th as that school's first African-American valedictorian. According to NBC Chicago, Katie, a biology major, plans to pursue an M.D./Ph.D at Johns Hopkins. Congratulations to her---may she go on to great things! (via Feministing)

Bonus -- Freebies!: In need of caffeine today? Bring a reusable mug into any Starbucks and get a free coffee. Other chains---Cinnabon, Dairy Queen, and P.F. Chang's, and more---are offering special deals, too. (via USA Today)

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