Microfinancing and you!

So one of the core problems of our times is how to fight third world poverty. There have been lots of different theories and some are more successful than others. One recent development is the concept of "Microfinancing".

Anyway a friend of mineis part of a nonprofit trying to raise capital to help poor communities in Honduras. And the thing is $25, $50, or $100 bucks to us doesn't do anywhere near what it could do down there. I'll let him describe his project and provide the link.

A little bit of background. A little over a year ago, myself and a few others founded La Ceiba Microfinance Inc., an economic development nonprofit to partner with another organization, Students Helping Honduras. Our purpose was initially to be a financial organization to lend sustainability to their brick and mortar projects, and so far we've been met with a good deal of success. We provide small business loans to rural Hondurans, using social capital as collateral by cross-guaranteeing loans with loan groups of five. The loans get paid back with interest to allocate them efficiently to clients who will actually make the most of them.

Our program is expanding to more clients in the area who want to pay for an opportunity to increase their own standard of living and thereby develop their community's economy. Microcredit programs have been seen to be among the most effective in terms of regional economic change, while at the same time replacing charity with the beginnings of a functional basic finance sector. All of our clients are required to go through basic financial management training to learn fundamental business and record keeping concepts and to help guarantee their repayment.


Linky



So If you have some to give, and want to help Latin American Poverty jump on the microfinancing bandwagon today!

So THAT is what it is all about

So I've known about my food allergies for a while. I realized a slight itch in the back of my throat when I ate bananas in college wasn't normal. Up to that point I had always chalked it up to "well that is just a result of the texture of bananas" and never thought it was a food allergy. Since then I've been coming up with a list of foods that cause some kind of response. Bananas, carrots, avocados, melons, kiwi, and mango. Well today out of random curiosity I thought I'd try and see if that is all part of some food group or something which would explain it.

Well turns out it is. http://dmd.nihs.go.jp/latex/cross-e.html Latex-Fruit Syndrome. Yay I have a name for it. Now I should mention I've never noticed any reaction if a food is cooked which explains why some of the "suspect foods" don't cause a reaction. I mean who the hell would eat a raw potato?

Anyway so now I have a list of suspect foods. And apparently as a Latex-Fruit Syndrome guy I apparently have a higher chance than the normal population of developing a latex allergy. Good think I'm not in the medical professions.

So now it will be a matter of discussing it with my doctor and seeing if allergy shots will help, because if I could eat normal healthy foods without adverse reactions, that would be awesome.

Since we are all coming out of the political closet

Ya Comrade!

You are a

Social Liberal
(75% permissive)

and an...

Economic Liberal
(20% permissive)

You are best described as a:

Socialist




Link: The Politics Test on Ok Cupid
Also : The OkCupid Dating Persona Test
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Though to be fair I sometimes shift dramatically depending on the test questions and the way I feel that day. Though more and more it seems to come up socialist in these tests.

I wish to invent a new musical sub-genre

I have a rather expansive musical pallet. On my iPod now I have music that would count as classic rock, blues, big band, House(Techno sub-genre), and jazz. What I would like to hear is a fusion of two of these genres namely big band (or swing) and house). Both have a desire to facilitate dancing, and I think the mixing of big band tracks into a house beat and melodies could have a nice refreshing sound.

Unfortunately I don't know anything about mixing, editing, DJing, or music theory so my desire for Big Band House or Swing house will likely go unrealized.
  • Current Mood
    creative creative

Chess variant

Last night I called my sister, who asked to talk later since she was in the middle of the new 90210. Jessica out of curiosity wanted to see what this was like so we switched to CW for the show. I however had no interest in 90210, just as I had no interest in any of the 90210 shows. so I sat on the couch surfing on the laptop.

I stumbled upon some stuff about the Wu Tang Clan promoting chess, and it got me remembering fondly my days in college when I played a lot of chess. The west mall on campus, playing blitz chess after class. So much fun. Loved it.

Anyway as I was going to sleep last night I came up with a chess variant. Basically you'd need a normal chess board, 2 8 sided die, and some coins/chips/markers/slips of paper. The concept is after each turn (turn being a white move AND a black move) you'd have a 'meteor' crash into the board rendering one square completely unusable. And any piece on that square when the meteor hit would be destroyed. This can include the King making the game over. Meteors can hit the same square more than once. So to determine which square is destroyed you would roll the 8 sided die to determine the square. So white queen's rook typically known as being on square a1, would be detsroyed if it was (1,1) rolled. Black King's rook (h8) would be 8,8, and you get the idea.

Now this does introduce a large matter of chance, but it can make chess fun for players of differing skill because anything could happen. My queen that has been dominating the game may suddenly get taken out leaving me at a positional loss. My king may end up on an island of squares unable to be captured, but that doesn't mean I've won since he still could be hit, or I could end up with a stalemate.

I'd be interested in laying this sometime just to see how it would work out. It may be necessary to make it 2 turns between meteors to prevent a totally chaotic game.
  • Current Music
    ABCD some as sung by Eartha Kit on the old school Sesame Street

So cable tv...what the hell?

Brief history about my television habits to date. My family resisted getting cable until after the 1st gulf war. So until I guess I was a freshman in high school or maybe a sophomore all I had was the big 3, a couple UHF stations, and two PBS stations (we got dallas AND denton!). Then we got basic cable, and wow were their choices. I was a news junkie, sports junkie, and music junkie in high school and college. Post college I had the digital package and usually a premium channel as well. And in fact before I moved in with Jess in 2004 I was a Nielson family. But since the fall of 2004 I have been cable free. And until last spring we only knew that we could get fox in our tv, so most of our tv viewing was done at people's houses or on DVD. Which meant we were pretty picky about what we watched.

Now we have cable again. And flipping through the channels I have to say I am very disappointed in the lack of quality programming. Maybe it is the fact we are in the dead months of summer, maybe this is a lingering effect of the writer's strike, but so far I am not impressed. And in fact I'm a bit miffed at the sheer number of commercials on shows that are pretty much infomercials anyway(I'm looking at you Travel channel and FoodTv). I want the tv revolution now!

The great blue sheet experiment!

Zoe has been fussy at bedtime four nights in a row. First we thought it was because it was the pack n play. Then we thought maybe it was theatrics, but last night I got the idea that maybe unlike naps, she needs her room dark dark dark to sleep. So after about an hour last night of crying we took the dark blue sheet and ran it under the curtain rod to darken the room. We'll see if tonight that was really the problem, or if she really is being dramatic for cuddles.

Jack Bauer is dead to me. (Spoilers on Season 4 opener)

We have been watching 24 on and off. Season one was good, season two was better, Season three is where I started to have a problem with the show, but watched it through the season. Last night we watched episode one of season four. This is where I give up on the show. I just can't watch anymore. It just lost me.

The fact that Jack has another intimate relationship with someone who is kidnapped (like his daughter twice) just seemed so stale. And The whole interrogation of the prisoner where there is literally moments until the Secretary of Defense is kidnapped so Jack shoots him in the leg, that was totally uncalled for and unexcuseable. And the whole developing plot line of the Secretary of Defense's son being an antiwar activist (which I will assume was somehow influenced by the people who kidnapped the Sec Defense) seems to indicate that if you speak out against the military you support terrorism. This I find offensive.

So Jack, I feel for you, but I'm done with you.

Back in my day! Alternately: Are you better off than you were 7 years ago?

So I've owned my Ford Focus for 7 years now. We've had good times, and bad times. But one thing that has been pretty consistent about the car is the miles per gallon. It was never the best out there, and with hybrids being more affordable it is getting blown out of the water. But for a non hybrid it was always pretty solid. I remember people laughing at me when I said that one of the selling points was the miles per gallon. Of course that was May of 2001 and I could fill the tank from empty with a $10 bill. Well who is laughing now? Well not me anymore. I filled up my tank (I got 11 gallons yesterday) for $40! I mean seriously watching the price of gas go up so much in seven years is insane! I feel old complaining about gas prices, but doing a double take at the pump yesterday triggered something in my head. Next car HAS to be a hybrid with at least 40+mpg no excuses. If I could find an electric car for my commute that would be even better in my opinion.