Thursday, November 29, 2007

From Sewage, Added Water for Drinking

“Toilet to tap” by the way, is getting a close look in several cities
The New York Times

FOUNTAIN VALLEY, Calif. (Nov 27) - It used to be so final: flush the toilet, and waste be gone.

But on Nov. 30, for millions of people here in Orange County, pulling the lever will be the start of a long, intense process to purify the sewage into drinking water — after a hard scrubbing with filters, screens, chemicals and ultraviolet light and the passage of time underground.

On that Friday, the Orange County Water District will turn on what industry experts say is the world’s largest plant devoted to purifying sewer water to increase drinking water supplies. They and others hope it serves as a model for authorities worldwide facing persistent drought, predicted water shortages and projected growth.

The process, called by proponents “indirect potable water reuse” and “toilet to tap” by the wary, is getting a close look in several cities.

The San Diego City Council approved a pilot plan in October to bolster a drinking water reservoir with recycled sewer water. The mayor vetoed the proposal as costly and unlikely to win public acceptance, but the Council will consider overriding it in early December.

For more info see: Click here: From Sewage, Added Water for Drinking - AOL News

Is the “Sister-Wife” becoming the new social norm?

A sister-wife is one who cares about your life, children as much as you do
KNN News Serivce

(This article was originally written in The Chicago Tribune (June 10, 2007) Title: “Big Love’ in a Michigan Cul-De-Sac:” :Section 2: 1, 5)

Like most people, I was a stranger to the term “sister-wife” until I heard it on “Big Love,” an HBO drama about a polygamous family living on the outskirts of Salt Lake City.

Now, as “Big Love” enters its second season on Monday, the sister-wife concept has taken root on my own cul-de-sac in southwest Michigan. We sister-wives of Lynwood Drive use the term and live the life — only without the shared husband.

As with most well-written dramas concerning the private lives of marginal groups, “Big Love” had a way of creating a new normal. The premise that had first seemed outrageous — a man having up to a back yard full of wives — soon became mundane. Not that we would do it, but we could understand how the characters could.

We found ourselves confessing that plural marriage didn’t look so terrible, even in a drama filled with suffering and intrigue.

It was kind of like the Waltons, what with the big family and the red-state setting. One always had company. There was help with the children. And though the three or more women married to one man didn’t seem so great, it seemed a small point.

Within a few episodes, it dawned on my friends and me: We were envious.
We liked the way the sister-wives’ doors opened onto a common patio, how they wandered in and out of each other’s living rooms, how they dined at one giant table. Alone in her part of the house, a single wife looked lonely. In the kitchen together, even in moments of high tension, they looked cozy.

Halfway into the “Big Love” season, we discussed whether we could be sister-wives, though we did not share a husband and had no intention of making that part of the bargain.

The conversation went well. It seemed like that’s how we were living already anyway, only without a name for it. Our children roam from one house to another and are fed wherever they appear, and the space between our houses feels more like a patio than a street.

Besides, what woman couldn’t use a little more help without having to pay for it? What woman doesn’t occasionally long for a larger family without having to give birth? What woman doesn’t get bored doing the same essential chores alone at home? Who couldn’t use a little more company?

My friends and I first used the word as a joke, then as a term of affection, and finally as a salutation, as in, “Hey, sister-wife, how about dinner tonight?” It felt thrilling to speak it aloud. The word spread through the cul-de-sac.

It was a declaration, a call to solidarity. We took it into the public sphere: the playgrounds, the waiting room at the dance academy, the checkout line at Target. We were testing the market.
We knew that at the very least, this worked for us. Being a sister-wife was kind of like belonging to a women’s union. If you were there for them, they were there for you.

Over dinner we wondered aloud what made a sister-wife. Why did the term stick?
We liked the medieval ring of it, but was there more? We parsed the term. “Sister” wasn’t enough. A sister (real or figurative) could be fickle. “Wife” — with our platonic twist — suggested fidelity.

A sister-wife is one who cares about your life, children and appliances almost as much as you do. She will not drop your baby. She will make your child a sandwich he will like.

We took stock of our daily lives. Like our mothers before us, we feed, comfort and scold one another’s children. We are the baby-sitters when there is no baby-sitter. We give each other clothes. We gaze unself-consciously into each other’s refrigerators when ours no longer look interesting.

More often than not we eat together, and the more we’re at it, the more seamlessly it works. Instead of buying six ears of corn, we buy two dozen. We call up our neighbors and, voila: The corn gets shucked and the corn gets eaten. Sickness, health, richer, poorer, we’re there for all of it. The absent sexual component notwithstanding, we feel as if we are married.

I have five sister-wives now, four in my neighborhood and one married to my brother. So far, so good. When “Big Love” starts up again, we will renew our vows. And we will remind each other that as long as we each shall live in this neighborhood, we are — as our forebears put it — sealed for all eternity.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

FDA Probes Asthma Drugs for Kids

Top-selling asthma drugs Serevent and Advair is back in the spotlight
Reuters News Service

LONDON - The safety of GlaxoSmithKline Plc's top-selling asthma drugs Serevent and Advair is back in the spotlight this week as a U.S. regulatory panel meets to consider their safety in children.

Europe's biggest drugmaker said on Monday it remained confident the benefits of its products outweighed any risks.

Concerns about rare and potentially fatal side effects were raised in briefing documents posted by Food and Drug Administration staff ahead of a November 27-29 meeting of the agency's Pediatric Advisory Committee.

There were nine cases of adverse events in children under 16 using Serevent, or salmeterol, in the year following granting of pediatric market exclusivity in March 2006, including five deaths, papers posted on the FDA Web site show:


Serevent, a long-acting beta agonist used to ease breathing, is also included in Advair, Glaxo's biggest product with worldwide sales of 3.3 billion pounds ($6.8 billion) in 2006. U.S. sales accounted for 1.9 billion pounds last year.

It is not the first time that rare adverse events have been reported with Advair and Serevent and industry analysts said the latest regulatory scrutiny would probably not have any immediate impact.

"While the FDA's attention is unwelcome, any formal additional recommendations against use in children that would significantly affect prescribing behavior would seem some way off," analysts at Deutsche Bank said in a note.

The FDA already issued a warning in November 2005 that drugs containing long-acting beta agonists, such as Advair and Serevent, can sometimes paradoxically trigger severe asthma attacks and death.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Chicago's Ahk Zarakyah hits the air waves

SOUL REPATRIATION RADIO can be heard worldwide!!!

SOUL REPATRIATION RADIO - Every other Thursday on WHPK (88.5 FM), 12 P.M.-1 P.M.

Soul Repatriation Radio, hosted by Zarakyah Ben Ahmadiel and Tkumah Tsadeek, will feature progressive, revolutionary, and regenerative discourse on politics, spirituality, sociology, history, nutrition, etc accented by hip hop, soul, and world music weaving a story of restoration. Our goal is to restore the soul of the people to a position of strengh, vigor, and power through Truth. Expect special guest artists, community activists, international leaders and most importantly, real talk for real people...

SOUL REPATRIATION RADIO can be heard worldwide!!!The show also streams live online at Just click the link to our show, SOUL REPATRIATION, and tune in...

If you can't catch the time, podcasting (digital archiving) is also available at This weeks topics--The Real on Thanksgiving--historical lies, current confusion; Western Imperialism/Indigenous Resistance and more.