Wednesday, April 16, 2008

More On Twitter as a Business Tool

More On Twitter as a Business Tool
title says it all. A little shocking - twitter feels so much like a way cool waste of time!

Where Did All the Girl Geeks Go?

Where Did All the Girl Geeks Go?
real interesting article. Seems as if the work we did in 2000-2001 worked, but was not sustainable. Obviously the PR and activities to push tech careers to girls from 9-12 needs to be repeated for every cadre of girls. This is interesting as funding for these projects is rarely open-ended.
The drop is catastrophic - seems as if there are even fewer women going into tech now than before 1999, when there were so many programmes starting to get girls into tech.

Monday, April 14, 2008

RE: Heal Helen - the DRIVE TO FIND A DONOR

Below is a message from a good friend of miine. Please circulate among the North American Caribbean community.


Dear Friends,

On Tuesday October 30th one of my closest friends, Helen Ross, was diagnosed as having acute lymphocytic leukemia, otherwise called acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Helen is 41 years old and a mother of three, a true Trini and an exceptional human being.

Acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) is a fast-growing cancer of the white blood cells. Lymphocytes are a type of white blood cell that the body uses to fight infections. In ALL, the bone marrow makes lots of unformed cells called blasts that normally would develop into lymphocytes. However, the blasts are abnormal. They do not develop and cannot fight infections. The number of abnormal cells (or leukemia cells) grows quickly. They crowd out the normal red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets the body needs.

Treatment generally entails 8 courses of chemo over a 6 month period followed by maintenance treatment over the course of 2 years (tablets, spinal taps etc.) Helen has had about five treatments already, with encouraging results. However, she recently found out that she has an abnormal chromosome called the Philadelphia chromosome which prevents complete recovery through chemo and means that her only real chance for a full remission is a bone marrow transplant.

Unfortunately her brother and sister, her best hopes for a match, turned out to be incompatible, although they have been found to match each other perfectly!

Since then a search was made at the US Bone Marrow Registry. However, an ideal match has not yet been found. In order to find out if your bone marrow matches someone else's, your blood has to be HLA typed. It is a very specific test that looks for up to 10 different markers in your blood.

There is no registry of such blood types in Trinidad (nor indeed in the Caribbean) and therefore we cannot carry out such testing here. This creates a real problem for Caribbean people, because ethnicity plays a large part in determining whether there is a match or not, since half the markers in your marrow come from your mother and the other half from your father. It makes it more difficult for a person from the Caribbean to get a match, especially someone who is of mixed blood.

In the meantime, Helen found out about a Trini/Jamaican man living in Montreal by the name of Emru Townsend who also has leukemia and is having difficulty finding a match. His friends and family have started a drive to recruit donors through a website:; and on Facebook.

On behalf of Helen, Emru and all Caribbean people in need of bone-marrow donors in North America, I am hoping that you will join the cause and encourage your Caribbean friends living abroad to become donors. Put up flyers in your local supermarkets and churches. Emru’s website has printable flyers with all of the necessary information. Time is short and ACTION IS NEEDED NOW.

Elena Araujo


In South East Asia, a young woman by the name of Pia needed a match desperately

but there were practically no South East Asian donors. Her friends set up a website called MatchPia.

Through their drives and efforts, 33,000 South East Asians became donors and she got her match.

Imagine that - 33,000! Because South East Asia has nothing by way of a registry,

has become the officially recognised recruitment website for South East Asians

wishing to join the US Bone Marrow Programme.

Visit the website if you can - it's a great story.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

The doubles conspiracy

The most hilarious analysis of the doubles price rise in Trinidad. Dennis Allen is a master of oletalk!

" Last week, on APR4, 2008, I received the following message from a crew of brederin who usually debate such matters of national import…

Subject: Still want to buy doubles for $4 and $5? ...Feel FREE !!!!!
Date: Fri, 4 Apr 2008 14:36:05 +0000

> Hello Friends,
> As a worker at ***, I will give you a small insight to what I would call
> "Highway Robbery"
> The flour that most doubles vendors use (45kg) has been increased by
> $60.00. Do you know how many doubles can be produced from a 45kg of flour?
> Let me tell you. 1,200 doubles, yes twelve hundred and some good doubles
> vendors can get 1,500.
> So let's use 1,200. If your 45kg bag of flour has been increased by
> $60.00..Do the math.
> OK OK, let me do it for you..Your doubles went up by 5 cents.
> Still want to buy doubles for $4 and $5? ...Feel FREE !!!!!

To which I promptly dispatched the following response:

i think its important to differentiate between a BARRA and a that would have a significant effect on the maths presented here...
is it that 1200-1500 BARRA can be made with a sack of flour? or that amount of DOUBLES [2X barra?]
and what is the average square inch surface area of the individual barra mentioned by this "analyst"? a morvant doubles has a noticeably larger square barra-age than a typical roundabout doubles--even though they are geographically identical to most casual doubles consumers...
and what about debe doubles? fluffier than most north doubles, thus implying the addition of a rising agent, the cost of which has not been factored into this equation...

Read the rest HERE!

‘A Winter Tale’ impresses Jamaica audiences

NEWSDAY, Port of Spain.
Saturday, April 12 2008
A Jamaican student Talks It Out with actor Peter Williams and director Frances-Anne Solomon at the premiere of A Winter Tale.
WHEN Trinidadian Frances-Anne Solomon's award-winning feature film opened at a VIP preview in Jamaica on April 3, audience members weren't the only ones to take notice. Media across the Caribbean have been raving about A Winter Tale, and coverage of the film has been abundant.
During the premiere, Robert Gregory of Jamaica Trade and Invest described A Winter Tale as "a compelling story of struggle, survival and healing" calling it "a quality production, relevant to the times."
Gregory also said he's awaiting the DVD release: "I look forward to watching this film over and over again."
The Canadian Consulate paid for 100 inner-city youth to attend the screening and in the Talk Back session after the screening, the audience witnessed a riveting and heart wrenching outpouring of emotion as the young people expressed their appreciation of the film's relevance to Jamaica. As a result of the success of the first screening the Winter Tale team has been inundated with requests from local schools and communities to make the film available to their young audiences.
The film is now on general release in Jamaica. Throughout May and June it will travel across the region, opening at cinemas in Trinidad, Barbados, Antigua and St. Lucia.
A Winter Tale tells the moving story of a black men's support group that forms at a local Caribbean takeaway restaurant after a young boy is killed by a stray bullet. With a plot that revolves around the universal issues of gun violence and drug use, the film beautifully captures the day-to-day emotional struggles of this group of individuals.
Last September, the film took home the People's Choice Award for Best Caribbean Feature at the 2007 Trinidad and Tobago Film Festival. A Winter Tale features a brilliant cast including Trinidadian comedian and actor Dennis "Sprangalang" Hall and famed Jamaican icon Leonie Forbes. It will open in TT next month.
Over the past year A Winter Tale has travelled the world, garnering rave reviews and international recognition through film festivals in Toronto, Montreal, Halifax, New York, Trinidad and England.
The film's Jamaican release was sponsored by JMMB, Air Jamaica, Hype TV, The Gleaner, The Jamaica Observer, High Commission of Canada, Trinidad and Tobago Consulate, Roots FM, Jamaica Trade & Invest (JAMPRO), National Council on Drug Abuse, Grace Kennedy Corp, CTV, Caribbean Beat, Bank of Nova Scotia and Budget Rent-A-Car.
Frances-Anne Solomon is an award-winning filmmaker, writer, director and producer. She is the president and artistic director of the two companies she founded: Leda Serene Films and CaribbeanTales, and has also worked as a film and television drama producer for the BBC.
Recent projects include A Winter Tale (for Telefilm Canada/CHUM Television); Heart Beat (Bravo!) which profiles Caribbean musical creators; Literature Alive, a multi-facetted multimedia project profiling Caribbean authors; and the Gemini-nominated Lord Have Mercy!, Canada's landmark multicultural sitcom, for Vision TV, Toronto1, APTN and Showcase.
Photos: Some of the youth who attended the Jamaican Premiere of A Winter Tale at Sovereign Mall on April 3.
Posted By Frances-Anne to Newz at 4/13/2008 04:15:00 AM

Saturday, April 12, 2008

BlogHer needs your help: Will you blog our donation widget to save women's lives in five countries?

I got this email the other day. I thought it was awesome to use blogging to raise funds to save lives. So please donate if you can, pass on the message, anything you can to assist in the drive.


2008/04/11 18:07 Eastern Daylight Time

Hi everyone,

This week, as BlogHer launched a special campaign with GlobalGiving to raise money for lifesaving programs for women around the world, I watched three members of BlogHer's community show extraordinary leadership:

  • Jen Lemen launched an amazing effort to help her friend Odette bring her children home from Rwanda and has raised more than $5,000!
  • Bonggamom reminded everyone that Jill Asher is holding a bone marrow drive April 19 inspired by her mother's ongoing battle with cancer. Join me there - especially if you have a rare blood type?
  • Raquita gave her baby's car seat away to a young couple who drove up in front of her house holding a ten-month old on the front seat. Her only desire? That she'd had two car seats to give. Because they had a baby on the way.
  • Don't these stories just make you want to pump your fist in the air and hug your neighbor and donate your time and money to help them? Me, it does. Which is why I'm using today's newsletter to describe the hard work Denise Tanton and Erin Kotecki Vest have done to kick-off our final phase of BlogHers Act.

    BlogHers Act: Donate Now to Save Women's Lives Our goal is to find out how many women's lives we can save by blogging to raise small donations -- $10, $15, $25, $50 --for critical clinics and educational programs for women, children and girls specifically in Afghanistan, Burkina Faso, Darfur, Nepal and South Africa. Denise and Erin chose these programs in partnership with the terrific team at GlobalGiving because GlobalGiving guarantees that your money will get where they say it's going. They research their programs carefully, and send your money to a well-defined project instead of to funding general operating expenses. And -- this is my favorite part -- if you're not happy, you can get your money back. More here.

    As a team, we also really like the diversity of their programs in the developing world -- from feeding hungry children to maternal health. As Denise wrote in her announcement:

    Over the weekend, I bought a domain name for $10. I haven’t decided what I’m going to do with it yet.

    * $10 covers the costs of a clinic in Nepal for two days. 2 days.

    This morning, we spend $15 at Starbucks. We bought 2 Quad Grande Non-Fat Caramel Macchiatos and 1 Triple Grande Cinnamon Dulce w/whip.

    * $15 also buys lunch for 50 girls in a West African village

    * $15 can fund healthcare for medicine for 100 refugees in Darfur

    We need to fill up the gas tank today, which will cost about $25.

    * $25 also aids 20 Afghanistan women with reproductive health care and education

    I was thinking about dinner at Satchel’s which costs about $50.

    * $50 will provide AIDS counseling for 2 women in South Africa.

    My money can make a difference - so can yours.

    So far, this enormous BlogHer community has donated $1,280. I cannot wait to see what we can accomplish togther by Mother's Day, May 11, not to mention July's BlogHer 08! I believe that when you click through on this page to see these incredible programs, you'll agree. Denise and Erin have worked to make it easy, using a great little widget developed by If you will download this widget today and encourage your readers to donate, we can find out just how many women we can help.

    Won't you join us?

    Get the widget here:

    Take Action Now:

    1) Grab a button or donation widget to place on your blog.

    2) Share this information with your readers by blogging about maternal health, or this BlogHers Act initiative, or the individual project you're supporting.

    3) Leave your link at the bottom of this post, using Mr Linky, so
    others can hear your thoughts on these issues. (We'll also be featuring
    many of you on and in our newsletters.)

    4) Donate to save women's lives, today.

    As someone who is like a broken record about the extraordinary power of women who read and write blogs, I'm excited to see what we can do together. Thank you in advance for your help -- I encourage you to blog this now. Let's do this.



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