Category Archives: Community

The Heroes of the Thai Cave Rescue

Maclean’s: Into the dark – The inside story of an improbable team of divers, a near-impossible plan and the rescue of 12 boys from a Thai cave.

“We were foreigners and we weren’t going somewhere foreigners often go, so when I saw the blond man across the Bangkok airport shuttle bus on our way to the remote mountains of Chiang Rai, a one-hour flight away, I asked whether he was about to do the one thing or the other: “Are you rescuing the boys or covering the rescue?”

“Well, we’re hoping we can help rescue them,” he said. He didn’t seem hopeful. He seemed grim. We stepped off the bus onto the hot tarmac and walked toward the plane.

“You never know,” I said. “It could happen.” Save 12 children and their soccer coach who got stranded three kilometres inside a flooded cave in northern Thailand at the start of the rainy season with no known food, water or swimming skills: It could never happen.

He nodded. “You never know.””

Link via MetaFilter.

“Legitimate companies don’t work this way for a reason.”

Vanity Fair: This Podcast Can’t Legally Tell You Amway Is a Pyramid Scheme. “Get an exclusive early listen to The Dream, hosted by Jane Marie, which digs into the under-explored world of multi-level marketing schemes.” By Katey Rich, September 21, 2018.

“But The Dream’s real concern is far from the key-party-and-polyester image conjured by the airplane game. Marie and her producer had, like many people, noticed her Facebook feed filling up with friends from high school selling leggings, or makeup, or handbags, asking their friends to buy them and sign up as salesmen themselves. They’re all participating in multi-level marketing (MLM) schemes, which anyone involved will tell you are not a pyramid scheme, because pyramid schemes are illegal.

“That doesn’t mean it’s not one,” Marie, a veteran of This American Life, said in a recent phone call. “That means it hasn’t been prosecuted.””

Find the podcast here: The Dream. I listened to all the episodes in the past few days. Recommended!

Vaccinate!

BBC News: Parents’ vaccine side effects fear ‘fuelled by social media’.

“Fear of a vaccine’s side effects is the top reason for people refusing them, a report from the Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH) suggests.
Among parents, this was fuelled by social media, with up to half exposed to negative messages about vaccines.
The Society’s report called for social media platforms and the press to do more to combat “fake news”.
Millions of lives have been saved through vaccination, and side effects are rare, it said.
“The spread of misinformation – if it impacts uptake of vaccines – could severely damage the public’s health,” said Shirley Cramer, chief executive of the RSPH.
England’s chief medical officer Prof Dame Sally Davies recently said parents should ignore myths spread by anti-vaccine campaigners and get their children vaccinated.”

Sehe gerade, dass der Kinderdok mir zustimmt: Impfgegner sind eine Bedrohung für die Globale Gesundheit.

Impfen!

Deutsche Welle: WHO warnt vor Impfmüdigkeit. “Mangelnde Impfbereitschaft zählt laut der Weltgesundheitsorganisation zu den zehn größten Bedrohungen der Weltgesundheit. Die Folgen lassen sich schon heute beobachten.”

“Welchen Folgen das haben könne, zeige das Beispiel Masern: Weltweit sei die Zahl der Fälle im Jahr 2017 um 30 Prozent im Vergleich zum Vorjahr angestiegen. Auch in einigen Ländern, die bereits kurz vor der Ausrottung der Krankheit gestanden hätten, gebe es wieder mehr Fälle. Zu einem Anstieg der Masern-Fälle kam es zuletzt auch in der WHO-Region Europa: Dort seien im gesamten Jahr 2017 knapp 24.000 Menschen erkrankt – 2016 waren es nur 5273, also weniger als ein Viertel. In Deutschland gab es 2017 rund 1000 Masernfälle. Ein Mensch starb, rund 40 Prozent der Erkrankten mussten stationär behandelt werden. Eigentlich sollten die Masern in der Bundesrepublik bis 2020 komplett ausgerottet werden.”

Jede(r) sollte bedenken, dass man sich nicht nur für sich selbst impfen lässt (bzw. die Kinder für sich), sondern dass man auch durch jede Impfung diejenigen in der Bevölkerung mit schützt, die nicht geimpft werden können, z. B. Neugeborene, Menschen mit geschwächtem Immunsystem und alte Menschen.

A picture-perfect Hebridean island

The Economist: Scottish islanders are buying out their lairds. “But remote settlements will need more than new owners to survive.”

“In June Ulva was bought by its residents, a result of sweeping land reform by the Scottish government. “For the first time, the people who live on the island will get to decide what happens to it,” declared Rebecca Munro, an islander.

When Ulva was put on the market last year, Mrs Munro and her family feared that a new landlord might terminate their tenancies. A brochure portrayed the island as a private playground, they said, listing the dates when tenants could be evicted. Community ownership, by contrast, suggests security and self-determination. But the fate of fragile and marginal places depends on more than land changing hands.

Who owns what, and why, has a particular emotional pull in Scotland. Half the country’s private land is owned by fewer than 500 people. Nationalists view this as a legacy of English colonialism, which saw the appropriation of land that under the clan system had been mutually owned. The clearances of the 18th and 19th centuries, when rich landowners forcibly evicted poor tenants to make way for sheep farming, loom large in the cultural imagination.”

Huffington Post: Meet The Island Communities Fighting Back Against Wealthy, Absent Landlords. “These tiny Scottish communities are taking control of their own destinies.” (Includes a 10min video worth watching.)

“Eigg is one of the Scottish Small Isles, an archipelago of islands a few miles off the country’s west coast, and when Fyffe arrived, the population was at an all-time low of 39.

The island was owned by businessman and former Olympic bobsleigher Keith Schellenberg. Schellenberg had bought Eigg in 1975 for the equivalent of $360,000 (274,000 pounds), and despite some initial investment, things had progressively declined. In an interview with the West Highland Free Press in 1991, he enthused that under his ownership the island had kept its “slightly rundown … Hebridean feel.”

Fyffe and her neighbors saw it differently. “We were in extreme circumstances,” she says. “With no security of tenure, no one was investing; the community hall was falling apart; the only shop was in a corrugated shed with no water or electricity.”

Fed up and desperate for change, the community decided to do something about it. When Schellenberg’s divorce led to the island being put on the market, Eigg passed briefly to a German artist, before the newly formed Isle of Eigg Trust raised $1.97 million to buy it ― one-third from hundreds of small donations and two-thirds from a woman who has remained anonymous to this day. Last year, Eigg celebrated its 20th anniversary of community ownership.”

Links via MetaFilter.