Archive for September, 2008

Breastmilk Ice Cream by Ben and Jerry’s?

Ban and Jerrys

As much as I love Ben and Jerry’s ice cream, am an advocate of breastfeeding, and staunchly oppose animal abuse, I was quite stupefied when I saw an article on the Associated Press about the animal rights advocacy group PETA, asking the ice cream kings to use breast milk to replace cow in producing their ice cream.

Tracy Reiman, executive vice president of PETA, argued the dairy products have been linked to juvenile diabetes, allergies and obesity, saying:

“If Ben and Jerry’s replaced the cow’s milk in its ice cream with breast milk, your customers — and cows — would reap the benefits”

Ashley Byrne, a campaign coordinator for PETA added:

“We’re aware this idea is somewhat absurd, and that putting it into practice is a stretch. At the time same, it’s pretty absurd for us to be drinking the milk of cows…”

Its not surprising that the folks at Ben and Jerry’s responded without much enthusiasm. I just can’t help feeling that the PETA people are not doing a favour for themselves or their worthy cause by making statements like this. You don’t need to do a nationwide poll to find out what people (aside from babies) will think of this – and thats creepy, I’m afraid.

Whether or not its absurd for humans to be drinking the milk of cows is not really the issue. Its what generations of us have been used to. Besides, what I find more important is the logistical problems it would face – it takes 12 lbs or 1 1/2 gallons of milk to make a gallon of ice cream. When I was nursing, it took at least half an hour to express 6 or 7 oz. Can you imagine how long poor Mothers would have to be strapped to pumping machines just to meet the demand? Thats an even scarier thought.

Rare Photo Up For Auction

flo

There is no nurse more famous than the venerable Florence Nightingale. The English nurse known as “The Lady of the Lamp” was not only was the first woman in history to be given the Order of Merit from Edward VII, but tirelessly worked to reform the hospitals of her time. She also established a nursing school and home for nurses after the Crimean War, and received the Royal Red Cross by Queen Victoria.

The reason why this photo of Flo, which was taken not long before her death, is so special is because the famous nurse was not fond of publicity and there aren’t many photographs of her in existence. The historical image, was by popular photographer of the time, Lizzie Caswall Smith, was taken at her home in London in 1910, when she was 90 years old. It was inscribed at the back by Ms. Smith saying:

‘Taken just before she died, house near Park Lane. The only photograph I ever took out of studio. I shall never forget the experience.”

The photo’s provenance is excellent, coming directly from the family of Ms. Caswell Smith. It will go on sale at Dreweatts auction house in Newbury on November 19th.

Is it Ours or the Goblins?

goblin

It seems like crazy logic, but what’s been happening with record companies and their lawyers these days does indeed sound like JK Rowling’s writings. In “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows”, Bill Weasley explains to Harry:

“To a goblin, the rightful and true master of any object is the maker, not the purchaser. All goblin-made objects are, in goblin eyes, rightfully theirs,…..They consider our habit of keeping goblin-made objects, passing them from wizard to wizard without further payment, little more than theft.”

In fact, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, who is now in a lawsuit with Universal used that very quote, and more from Rowling’s work in their brief. The legal battle, though it involves the sale of promotional music, is actually a worthy one, one which could implicate our personal cd and LP collections – so what we pay for and buy could very well NOT be ours, and we could get sued by the record companies.

“UMG seems to think that the promotional use only label somehow gives it eternal ownership over the CD,” says the EFF.

“While this might make sense to a goblin living in Harry Potter’s world, it’s not the law under the Copyright Act.”

It should be interesting to see what the US courts decide. Hopefully it won’t mean we live in Harry Potter‘s world.

For more on this story, go here.

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