I’m moving on to another blog…So long, muchachos.
Maybe this morning you woke up and said, “Today I would like to see a Roberto Bolaño story about a zombie movie turned into a moody animation filled with BLAM!’s and blood.” If that’s the case, that’s a weirdly specific thought, but lucky you, here it is. (All of this via Granta, who published the story in their Horror Issue.)
A new Web site by Amnesty International USA, created with technical assistance from AAAS, allows activists to see where human rights issues are occurring in Nigeria.
Eyes on Nigeria was launched on 18 March during Amnesty International’s 50th anniversary celebration. The Web site combines information gathered through on-the-ground reporting with innovative geospatial analysis.
“When you write a story, you’re telling yourself the story,” he said. “When you rewrite, your main job is taking out all the things that are not the story.”
Gould said something else that was interesting on the day I turned in my first two pieces: write with the door closed, rewrite with the door open. Your stuff starts out being just for you, in other words, but then it goes out. Once you know what the story is and get it right—as right as you can, anyway—it belongs to anyone who wants to read it. Or criticize it.
That’s Stephen King recounting some writing advice he received while in high school. I’m currently reading his writing memoir, On Writing, though I haven’t ever read anything else by Stephen King. He admits in its opening that he is a “popular novelist,” in the sense that he’s not a Don DeLillo or a John Updike. He doesn’t write those sorts of books. Conversely, I suppose many of us don’t aspire to write Stephen King sorts of books either. And yet, I think there is something valuable in reading this (I’m not done yet) and listening to what he has to say. It’s valuable to hear him. I don’t have to agree with all of it; it doesn’t all have to “work” for me.
The memoir aspect is especially intriguing to me. I felt a little emotional reading over coffee this morning. King writes about growing up, submitting stories left and right to publications, and the triumph at finally having a few accepted. He made $65 for his first two, and then he had a story he wrote on a whim sell to a publication for $200. I’m not a giant Stephen King fan, but I am a human and that’s awesome to hear. It’s not the money or the notoriety, I like to think, but the tangible proof that he was heading in the right direction. I root for him. I cheer for the past him, the future him.
I’ve been thinking much lately about success, how it’s so much more than money or fame. To me, it digs down into finding one’s place, a sense of belonging or contribution. In that regard, I hope we all find some. I’m pulling for everyone to find some.
In 2009, a new, safe, effective drug combination for human African trypanosomiasis, or sleeping sickness, was added to the World Health Organization’s Essential Medicines List— the result of an initiative led by MSF, its research and epidemiology center, Epicentre, and DNDi.
Sleeping sickness is among the world’s most neglected diseases. Affecting up to 70,000 people in sub-Saharan Africa each year, it is spread by the bite of the tsetse fly and can be fatal if not addressed. MSF teams began treating it in Uganda in 1986 and soon opened treatment programs in other affected countries.
For years, the only drug available was melarsoprol, a toxic arsenic derivative that killed 1 in 20 patients. From 2001 through 2008, Epicentre conducted research at MSF clinics in Uganda, Republic of Congo, and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), where a drug called eflornithine was already in use. Though an improvement over melarsoprol, eflornithine had its own onerous requirements: 56 intravenous infusions over 14 days.
MSF teams thought to combine eflornithine with another drug, nifurtimox. Trial results proved that NECT, as the combination is known, was equally effective and could be administered in just 14 infusions over 7 days. NECT was the first new treatment for sleeping sickness in 25 years. Today, the WHO provides it free of charge to Ministries of Health in affected countries, thanks to drug donations by Bayer and Sanofi-aventis, and to kits created by MSF’s logistics and supplies division. MSF continues to support sleeping sickness treatment in DRC, Central African Republic, Uganda, and South Sudan, and, overall, has treated nearly 50,000 people for the disease over the past 25 years.
Photo: © Marco Baroncini/Corbis
Check out the article, Global Urbanization As Investment Opportunity, published in Trading Desk. The article begins by saying, “With an estimated 7 billion people and counting now on the planet, global demand for everything from electricity to mobile phones is likely to shoot up.” The article has unique insight from the chief market strategist at U.S. Trust Bank of America Private Wealth Management’s Joseph Quinlan.
Quinlan asks important questions in the article such as, “Globally, what is going to happen when even a fraction of the 3.5 billion people still on the farm today move to the cities tomorrow?”