Tags >> history
Feb 22
2010

"The Poisoner's Handbook"

Posted by Bruce Robinson in toxic , technology , speaker , research , public safety , medicine , law enforcement , justice , journalism , history , education , drugs , chemicals , author

Bruce Robinson

Poisonings, both accidental and criminal, have been happening for centuries. But the science of investigating those deaths is barely a hundred years old.

As she began to research the history of forensic medicine in Jazz Age New York, science writer Deborah Blum, author of The Poisoner's Handbook,  says she was struck by the number and variety of toxic substances that were being used.

Many of those historic toxics are no longer in wide use, but that doesn’t mean we are any less vulnerable to poisons now, Blum (left) says. In fact, the chemistry of modern-day poisons is more complex than 90 years ago.

Forensic examinations and laboratory analyses have become central to a growing list of popular network television dramas. But Blum has no complaints about them.

 

 

Feb 08
2010

2010 Estate Tax

Posted by Bruce Robinson in seniors , politics , legislation , history , government , finances , families , budget

Bruce Robinson

Last year, the federal estate tax earned the government about $25 billion dollars. This year, unless Congress takes action, the amount will be zero.

The missing Estate Tax in 2010 means more than just less revenue for the federal government. Santa Rosa tax attorney MaryClare Lawrence explains it has a ripple effect that touches virtually anyone who has some kind of an estate plan.

Nor are the complications in the tax law that apply in 2010 limited to the Estate Tax. Lawrence says that calculating Capital Gains on inherited wealth has also gotten trickier.

This table shows how the revenue collected from Estate Taxes was apportioned before the minimum exemption was increased. The first blue column, for estates of less than $2.5 million, has gone away for the past several years, but unless Congress enacts changes, Lawrence says it is due to return with a in 2011.

 

 

Jan 26
2010

Nonviolence

Posted by Bruce Robinson in women , students , rights , protest , policy , peace , nonprofit orgs , news , media , law enforcement , justice , journalism , international , Ideas , history , government , families , education , activism

Bruce Robinson

 

Conflict doesn’t have to be violent. In fact, proactive non-violence can be used to force change, and those skills and tactics can be taught and practiced. That’s what Cynthia Boaz is doing at an international conference in India this week.

Cynthia Boaz, a Sonona State University professor of political science, has studied the mechanics and practices of non-violence, and is presenting on that subject this week at an international conference hosted by War Resisters International. All true and effective non-violent movements for change must first gain a measure of popular support within the repressed indigenous populations, she explains, then as the movment gains strength, the oppressor is left with nothing but force to try to sustain itself.

Ghandi and the Rev. Martin Luther King are often seen as exemplars of non-violent leadership, but Boaz says the high-profile charismatic individual at the head of a movement is atypical, and not necessarily the most effective model.

But just as grassroots leaders can study and learn the skills and tactics of nonviolence, Boaz observes that oppressors, too, can and do try to understand and deflect those efforts.

 

International Center on Nonviolent Conflict

Jan 25
2010

Ecoliteracy in Bhutan

Posted by Bruce Robinson in students , religion , policy , peace , nonprofit orgs , international , Ideas , history , government , education , conservation , children

Bruce Robinson

The modern idea of sustainability education in northern California is also finding a home in the schools of a small ancient culture nestled high in the Himalayas.

 

Zenobia Barlow is Executive Director of the  Center for Ecoliteracy in Berkeley. She is also a Fellow of the Post-Carbon Institute, which is based in Sebastopol. She is seen here with Bhutan's Prime Minister, Lyonchhen Jigmi Y. Thinley. Barlow co-founded the Center for Ecoliteracy 20 years ago, and while their principles are gaining ever wider acceptance, she still is often asked to define the term. Here’s her answer.

Under Bhutan’s governance model focused on promoting “gross national happiness,” there are four priorities:  (1) good governance; (2) environmental conservation and preservation; (3) preservation of their ancient Buddhist culture; and (4) a non-destructive economic development strategy. But Barlow observes that it has only been in recent years, as the county slowly opened itself to the west, that Bhutan’s culture and traditions faced any real threats to their preservation.

All the beautiful photographs on this page were taken by Barlow or document her trip. To see more, go here.

There is also a blog entry about her visit on the Post Carbon Institute website.

 

 

Page 9

Not Found

The requested URL /components/com_uruf/locs/tent.php was not found on this server.