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Unreasonable Marketplace: What Business is All About January 20, 2011

Filed under: Take Action! — aprasek @ 6:47 pm

A friend of mine just told me about the Unreasonable Marketplace, a contest (well, kind of) that selects fellows for the Unreasonable Institute. The 6-week summer institute takes entrepreneurs and provides them with a launching pad for their businesses and tools to enable continued success. These ventures are primarily about making our world a better place. Now that’s what business is all about.

And though one person (or entrepreneur) can certainly make a big difference, it takes a village to really create the impact that our world needs. Join a village by donating to your favorite business venture here and/or spread the news via email, FB, Twitter, etc.

I chose to support Day One Response, Inc. because they are doing some outstanding work to improve access to clean water (a luxury often taken advantage of in the U.S.). I’m also a little biased… the founder is a fellow Cal Poly grad (go Mustangs!) and a friend of mine is working her tail off for the organization (and loving it).

http://marketplace.unreasonableinstitute.org/index/widget/campaign/35/DayOne-Response-Inc

If you are supporting other great ventures on the Marketplace, please tell us about them here.


 

“Deadly Spin”

Filed under: Health Care Reform,Medical Ethics?,Take Action! — aprasek @ 12:32 am

Just got home from a fantastic lecture by Wendell Potter. He even signed my copy of his book, “Deadly Spin.”


Mr. Potter is the whistleblower that brought more attention to the shady practices of health insurance companies (BTW, I keep having the Counting Crows song “Mr. Potter’s Lullaby” run through my head…). You probably heard about (or watched) Mr. Potter’s testimony before the Senate Commerce, Science and Technology Committee in June of 2009, but this guy has a lot more to say… and a lot of it is in his new book. This is information that we should all know– especially those who are insured. Seriously, we should know what we’re paying for right?

Check out his website and get a copy of the book. Comment back here as you read through. This should get interesting….


 

“The Deadly Corruption of Clinical Trials” January 8, 2011

Filed under: Pharma — aprasek @ 12:53 am

Carl Elliott’s article, “The Deadly Corruption of Clinical Trials” is a must read. Seriously. Here’s a teaser:

In 2003, Mary’s 26-year-old son, Dan, was enrolled against her wishes in a psychiatric drug study at the University of Minnesota, where I teach medical ethics. Less than six months later, Dan was dead. I’d learned about his death from a deeply unsettling newspaper series by St. Paul Pioneer Press reporters Jeremy Olson and Paul Tosto that suggested he was coerced into a pharmaceutical-industry study from which the university stood to profit, but which provided him with inadequate care. Over the next few months, I talked to several university colleagues and administrators, trying to learn what had happened. Many of them dismissed the story as slanted and incomplete. Yet the more I examined the medical and court records, the more I became convinced that the problem was worse than the Pioneer Press had reported. The danger lies not just in the particular circumstances that led to Dan’s death, but in a system of clinical research that has been thoroughly co-opted by market forces, so that many studies have become little more than covert instruments for promoting drugs. The study in which Dan died starkly illustrates the hazards of market-driven research and the inadequacy of our current oversight system to detect them. 

It’s pretty amazing to think that Elliott had the courage to call out his employer like this (he teaches at the U of MN). And I suppose a shred of kudos to the U of MN for not firing Elliott…

 

Healing Spaces: Inside & Out January 5, 2011

Filed under: Not going to use — aprasek @ 8:28 pm

I’m a big believer that our external environment is a reflection of– or at the very least, influences– our internal environment.  That means that our body, mind and spirit are all connected to the clutter, knick-knacks, dust and disorganization. Or at least at my house:

Thankfully, this is not how my home usually looks. Hubs and I just moved into the upper level of a duplex and decided that painting the entire space would be easy. We were wrong. Ironically, amidst my effort of simplifying my life (and space), I’ve successfully created more chaos… but learned many lessons in the process: 

1. Don’t move during a Minnesota winter. Though the impromptu rain storm while hiking through knee-high snow with our living room couch was probably humurous for the neighbors…

2. Hire movers. I know, lift with your legs, not your back. But moving around obstacles doesn’t always allow for efficient and safe moevements. So, I’ll be leaving any future awkward heavy lifting to professionals (with all sorts of trucks, tools, dollys and back braces).

3. Hire painters. Painting is not as fun as it seems and it took me one full hour to get the paint out of my hair.  

Of course, this is just some short term household chaos. Patience and hard work will soon offer us a nurturing space that we can call home. And in reality, we’re really blessed to just have a roof over our heads and a space to call our own.

I’ll be updating here as we create our space. Hubs and I themed our colors from the five elements that are described in many of the ancient wisdoms (Earth, Water, Fire, Air/Wind, and Space/Heaven/Beyond). I’m also hoping to follow as many feng shui principles as possible and find a corner to create a meditation space– we’ll see how it all pans out 🙂

If you have pics/stories of a healing space that you’ve created in your house, please share!

 

Reflecting on 2010 January 3, 2011

Filed under: Miscellaneous — aprasek @ 12:23 pm

Happy new year everyone!

I’m not big on new year’s resolutions. They’re often unrealistic and at the same time self-deprecating. Further, self-care, introspection and transformation is an everyday commitment– not simply a Jan 1 activity. Nonetheless, I do like to reflect on the past year and this time around I’m tempted to set a goal (not a resolution!) for 2011. This last year has been especially challenging for me– good challenges, but also ones that I have allowed to overwhelm me and sideline more important priorities. Too many times, my self-care (and sanity) were put aside to finish projects, pick up shifts, volunteer for work activities, and of course, amidst all the craziness that I created, equal time was spent overanalyzing my stress and feeling sorry for myself. What a mess…

So, my goal for 2011 is to do less. Yup, do less. But more than that, I want to be more aware of doing less. What’s happening when I do less? What do I notice? What do I see? How do I feel? Present moment awareness while doing less will likely provide far more nourishment for my body, mind and soul than an overly full calendar.  

I’ve started this goal by taking two less classes for this semester and working 5 fewer hours per week. Money will be even tighter, so the hubs and I moved to a smaller (and cheaper!) apartment, but a space that is far more ‘homey’. I’m looking forward to more time and energy to dive into the things I love or have always wanted to do: writing (finally back to blogging!), cooking, gardening and more yoga.

How about you? What were some of the lessons 2010 offered you? What are you going to create for 2011?

 

Wishing you much love & blessings in 2011!!