Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Tragedies and Miracles

I was browsing MSN.ca a little while ago and a couple of things piqued my interest...

The first was an article titled 10 Things That Aren't As Cheap As You Think. I followed the link to get to page 2, and ended up here. Most items on the list were not news to me, but the controversy surrounding coltan - a mineral used in cell phones and other technological items - I had previously been unaware of, so I moseyed over to War Resister's International from there (which I had also never heard of until today) and read about the No Blood In My Cell Phone campaign to check it out. This enlightening pit stop prompted me to investigate further. I found this documentary online soon afterwards, which is quite thought provoking. The impressions I got in the beginning of the documentary began to transform at about the halfway point, I think. Like all good documentaries, nothing is clear cut and there are no easy solutions (...well except maybe the fact that it is a problem that needs to be addressed and that a good way of doing that would perhaps be for companies to look at bypassing the majority of middlemen involved and find more direct and ethical routes to mining/collecting the coltan to lessen opportunities for exploitation by all the dishonest and/or desperate individuals and corporations the coltan is channeled through on it's journey from the mines to the production plants - themselves included if current practices continue) but the intricate web surrounding the issue is somewhat untangled for the viewer to ponder and perhaps to do something about. At the very least it will create increased awareness. The documentary mentions Nokia and Motorola a couple of times and their supposed positions on the use of coltan from the Congo. However, it has got me wondering about my beloved BlackBerry. Sigh...one more thing to feel guilty about... (Also of interest on this topic: http://Mvemba's video report on coltan's role in Congo's civil war , Appfrica Maps Coltan From Congo to Your Cell Phone and War, Murder, Rape... All for Your Cell Phone).

And now, on to the miracle...

which also stems from a tragedy...

Four weeks after the 7.0 quake that devastated Haiti comes this incredible report:
Doctors: Haitian may have survived 4 weeks in rubble . It seems a little far fetched and hard to believe (hence the title on CNN, I suppose), but, like the doctor in the video, who am I to argue? If it is real and not a publicity stunt or something (which would be in seriously bad taste), this man may be one of the luckiest to have ever graced our planet.

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