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Big Fish Stories Getting Littler

February 17th, 2014 | Add a Comment

Big Fish Stories Getting Littler

See: http://www.radiolab.org/story/big-fish-stories-getting-littler_kw/


For generations, tour boats have been collecting fishing enthusiasts in Key West, Fla.: taking them for a day of deep sea casting; providing them rods, bait, companionship; and then, when the day ends, there’s a little wharf-side ceremony. Everyone is invited to take his biggest fish and hook it onto the “Hanging Board”; a judge compares catches, chooses a champion, and then the family that caught the biggest fish poses for a photograph. The one up above comes from 1958. Notice that the fish on the far left is bigger than the guy who, I assume, caught it; and their little girl is smaller than most of the “biggies” on the board. Those aren’t little people. Those are big fish.

Here’s another one from the year before – 1957. Again, the fish loom larger than the people. Check out the guy in the back, standing on the extreme right, next to an even bigger giant.


Click here to see all the picture and read the full article: http://www.radiolab.org/story/big-fish-stories-getting-littler_kw/


Why is Sustainable Management of Oceans, Forests and Biodiversity a Population Issue?

February 15th, 2014 | 2 Comments

Why is Sustainable Management of Oceans, Forests and Biodiversity a Population Issue?
See: http://populationaction.org/blog/2014/02/11/why-is-sustainable-management-of-oceans-forests-and-biodiversity-a-population-issue/

“We need to protect our oceans as if our lives depend on it, because they do.”

That was the message brought by Dr. Sylvia Earle from National Geographic to last week’s Eighth Open Working Group (OWG) on Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) at the United Nations, where governments of 69 countries came together to discuss the theme of “oceans, forests and biodiversity.”

The pollution of our oceans is growing and loss of forests and biodiversity is increasing. With 7 billion people living in this world, each requiring resources from nature, population dynamics need to be considered as a major factor when looking at responses to environmental degradation.

The presenters at the Open Working Group urged delegates to recognize that oceans, forests and biodiversity are not just resources to be used, but engines of sustainable development. Losing them would result in the end of humankind.

For me, the message echoed my firsthand experience. I live in Malawi, where the population has tripled over the past 40 years and 85 percent of people depend on natural resources for their daily needs. But over-exploitation of natural resources and environmental degradation is rapidly changing Malawi’s landscapes. Fish catches in Malawi’s lakes have been declining and over-fishing, compounded by increasing population, is part of the problem.

To read the full article, please click here:  http://populationaction.org/blog/2014/02/11/why-is-sustainable-management-of-oceans-forests-and-biodiversity-a-population-issue/

Hulu Announces Season Two of East Los High for Summer 2014

February 14th, 2014 | Add a Comment

SHELBURNE, VT – Hulu said it has ordered 12 new episodes of the English-language series “East Los High,” which features an all-Latino cast and explores such real-life issues as teen pregnancy. Last summer, the series consistently ranked among Hulu’s most popular programs.

“The show has this cool, contemporary feel, and feels like East Los Angeles,” Charlotte Koh, head of development for Hulu Originals, said in an interview. “The show will explore new issues this season — domestic abuse, coming out as gay in high school and bullying.”

“East Los High” is a project of Population Media Center, a nonprofit organization that produces dramas addressing health and human rights issues all over the world. It was Population Media Center’s first partnership with Hulu, and it was Hulu’s first and only series with an all Latino cast.

“We are excited for another season on Hulu. We were thrilled with the first season’s large and dedicated audience and the social impact,” says Katie Elmore Mota, Executive Producer.

The episodes were supplemented with video blogs by characters, key character social media profiles, and other transmedia elements where fans could interact with the program and be exposed to additional elements of the story. More than 98 percent of those who watched the episodes and used the transmedia elements said that they found East Los High’s resources incredibly helpful and 76 percent said they shared those resources with friends. In the first month, more than 30,000 people used the Planned Parenthood widgets on eastloshigh.com.

“We’ve had a role in entertainment programming that educates women and men about family planning and other health and social issues in more than 50 countries,” says Bill Ryerson, president of Population Media Center, “but we realized that some sections of LA have such high teenage pregnancy rates that half of the young girls are prevented from finishing high school. We realized we could and should be providing sex education in our own backyard.”

The East Los High team succeeded, with media outlets like Cosmopolitan saying “Escandalo in the best possible way,” and examiner.com saying “Finally, a Latino show we can be proud of.”

To learn more about East Los High season two or to watch season one, visit: www.eastloshigh.com.


Population Media Center is a nonprofit, international nongovernmental organization, which strives to improve the health and well-being of people around the world through the use of entertainment-education strategies, like serialized dramas on radio and television, in which characters evolve into role models for the audience for positive behavior change. Founded in 1998, PMC has over 15 years of field experience using the Sabido methodology of behavior change communications, impacting more than 50 countries around the world. www.populationmedia.org


East Los High is Hulu exclusive programming. It is co-created by Carlos Portugal and Kathleen Bedoya, produced by Prajna Productions, The Alchemists, Into Action Films, and Population Media Center. More than 15 leading public health organizations advised on the scripts and content to address teen issues related to relationships and sexuality in a meaningful way. Season one, launched during the summer of 2013, featured 24 episodes. Season two in summer of 2014 will feature another 12 episodes.  www.eastloshigh.com

Family planning versus contraception: what’s in a name?

February 14th, 2014 | Add a Comment

Family planning versus contraception: what’s in a name?
By Marleen Temmerman, Dr María Isabel Rodríguez and Dr Lale Say
See: http://www.thelancet.com/journals/langlo/article/PIIS2214-109X(13)70177-3/fulltext

The 20-year anniversary of the 1994 International Conference of Population Development (ICPD) Programme of Action and the upcoming 15-year anniversary of the Millennium Development Goals provide an opportunity to think about the global development agenda, including progress made and any remaining challenges. Although development has been referred to as the best contraceptive, the reverse link is neglected-ie, that sexual and reproductive rights and health facilitate development.1

Reproductive and sexual health is fundamental to the health and wellbeing of individuals, families, and communities. Contraceptive choice is essential to promote the health of individuals and enable development. Contraception has direct health benefits, such as prevention of unintended pregnancy and, subsequently, decreased maternal mortality and morbidity. Women with unintended pregnancies that are continued to term are more likely to receive inadequate or delayed prenatal care and have poorer health outcomes, such as low infant birthweight, infant mortality, and maternal mortality and morbidity, than have those with planned pregnancies.2-6 These risks of unintended pregnancy are increased for adolescents and girls.7, 8 Adolescents are at increased risk of medical complications with pregnancy, and are often forced to make compromises in education and employment, which can lead to poverty and low educational attainment.7,9-11

This information is not new. A large amount of the published work supports the fundamental role that sexual and reproductive health information and services have in the promotion of health, attainment of human rights, and sustainable development. However, poor sexual and reproductive health is a major component of global morbidity and mortality, and disturbing inequities exist in the burden of disability.12 Nearly 20 years after ICPD and 15 years after the Millennium Development Goals, the world lags far behind its objective of universal access to sexual and reproductive health information and services. A radical shift is needed to accelerate progress.

To read the full op-ed, please click here: http://www.thelancet.com/journals/langlo/article/PIIS2214-109X(13)70177-3/fulltext

4,000 Endangered Species Condoms Headed to Most Romantic U.S. Cities

February 14th, 2014 | Add a Comment

4,000 Endangered Species Condoms Headed to Most Romantic U.S. Cities
Valentine’s Day Campaign Highlights Connection Between Growing Human Population,
Plight of Endangered Species
See: http://www.biologicaldiversity.org/news/press_releases/2014/endangered-species-condoms-02-12-2014.html

TUCSON, Ariz.- For Valentine’s Day the Center for Biological Diversity is sending 4,000 free Endangered Species Condoms to some of the most romantic getaway cities in North America. From Bar Harbor, Maine, to Santa Fe, N.M., the condoms will be given away by volunteers to raise awareness about how runaway human population growth affects endangered species around the globe.

Valentine’s Day is the perfect time to spread a message of love by speaking out about human population growth and endangered species protection,” said Taralynn Reynolds, population and sustainability organizer at the Center. “Endangered Species Condoms are a great way to start the conversation about how our actions have impacts on polar bears, panthers and other critically endangered species.”

The condoms – wrapped in colorful packages featuring six different endangered species – are being distributed by volunteers in cities recently ranked by USA TODAY as the most romantic getaway cities in the United States, including St. Paul, Minn.; Savannah, Ga.; Charleston, S.C.; New Orleans; Naples, Fla.; and Honolulu.

More than a half-million Endangered Species Condoms have been given away since 2009.

To read the full press release, please click here: http://www.biologicaldiversity.org/news/press_releases/2014/endangered-species-condoms-02-12-2014.html


Population bomb may be defused [sic], but research reveals ticking household bomb

February 13th, 2014 | 1 Comment

Population bomb may be defused [sic], but research reveals ticking household bomb
See: http://phys.org/news/2014-02-population-defused-reveals-household.html

After decades of fretting about population explosion, scientists are pointing to a long-term hidden global menace.

The household. More specifically, the household explosion.

In this week’s Early Online edition of Population and Environment, Jianguo “Jack” Liu, director of the Michigan State University Center for Systems Integration and Sustainability, and former students Mason Bradbury and Nils Peterson present the first long-term historical look at global shifts in how people live. One large household sheltering many people is giving way across the world to households comprised of fewer people – sometimes young singles, sometimes empty nesters, and sometimes just folks more enamored with privacy.

In the late 1960s, ecologist Paul Ehrlich of Stanford University sounded the alarm about population growth. Now, Liu and his colleagues are pointing out that even though population growth has been curbed, the propensity to live in smaller households is ratcheting up the impact on the natural resources and the environment worldwide.

“Long-term dynamics in human population size as well as their causes and impacts have been well documented,” said Liu, who is the Rachel Carson Chair in Sustainability. “But little attention has been paid to long-term trends in the numbers of households, even though households are basic consumption units.”

To read the full article, please click here: http://phys.org/news/2014-02-population-defused-reveals-household.html

New York Times Publishes Discredited Arguments About Emergency Contraception

February 12th, 2014 | Add a Comment

New York Times Publishes Discredited Arguments About Emergency Contraception

See: http://rhrealitycheck.org/article/2014/02/10/new-york-times-publishes-discredited-arguments-emergency-contraception/

Last week, CVS Caremark, the 7,600-store pharmacy chain, announced it would stop selling tobacco products. CVS took this step in large part because it wants to become more of a health-care provider, and the sale of cigarettes and other tobacco products made for some “awkward conversations” with doctors and hospitals, according to various reports. By adding more in-store clinics, CVS may increase access to preventive screening and management of chronic illnesses, such as high blood pressure and diabetes, to many people in need.

In response, the New York Times asked four individuals to write short pieces on “other unhealthy products CVS should stop selling.” And for some reason, they gave one of those four spots to Donna J. Harrison, executive director of the Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists, who wrote a deeply flawed piece entitled “Dangers of Emergency Contraceptives.” The piece called for—you guessed it—CVS to abandon sales of both Plan B One-Step over the counter and ella by prescription.

It’s a mystery why the Times asked Harrison to write this piece, since it is composed of three outright false claims, all of which have been previously debunked by the New York Times itself.

First, Harrison argues that “the over-the-counter availability of Plan B, and the prescription distribution of Ella, are … incompatible with health care provision.”

Contraception is primary health care, so contrary to Harrison’s assertion, increased access to emergency contraception (EC) is a critical public health intervention. Whether it is intended or unintended, any pregnancy carries far more risk than the use of hormonal contraception; what would be “incompatible with health care provision” would be to force a woman to undergo the risks of an unwanted pregnancy when it could be prevented through access to EC.

To read the full essay, please click here: http://rhrealitycheck.org/article/2014/02/10/new-york-times-publishes-discredited-arguments-emergency-contraception/

It Takes a Generation

February 11th, 2014 | Add a Comment

It Takes a Generation (Excerpt)

By David Brooks
See: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/24/opinion/brooks-it-takes-a-generation.html

…children need parents who are ready to care for them. But right now roughly half-a-million children are born each year as a result of unintended pregnancies, often to unmarried women who are not on contraception or are trying to use contraceptives like condoms or the pill. As the University of Pennsylvania’s Rebecca Maynard and Isabel Sawhill and Quentin Karpilow of the Brookings Institution have argued, if these women had free access to long-acting reversible contraceptives like I.U.D.’s, then the number of unintended births might decline and the number of children with unready parents might fall, too…

Morgan Freeman Speaks Out on Population

February 11th, 2014 | 1 Comment

Morgan Freeman on God, Satan, and How the Human Race Has ‘Become A Parasite’
See: http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/01/28/morgan-freeman-on-god-satan-and-how-the-human-race-has-become-a-parasite.html

Now, if you were a God-or a wizard-what would be the first actions you’d take? What do you feel really needs fixing in this crazy world?

Oh, man! One of them is the tyranny of agriculture. We’re turning everything on the planet into food for humans so we’re cutting down the rainforests, displacing all of the animals, and we’re doing all this to feed humans. That all started with the advent of agriculture. When we were hunters and gatherers, the population could only go as far as the food could go. Scientists did an experiment once and they came up with a very clear answer to this: you put five mice in a cage and you give them enough food for five mice, guess what? You’ll only have five mice. If you put enough food for ten mice, you’ll have overpopulation. And we’re already there. We have 7 billion people on this planet. It’s not that there’s not enough room on this planet for 7 billion people, it’s that the energy needs for 7 billion people are 7 billion people’s worth of energy needs, as opposed to, say, 2 billion. Imagine how much pollution would be in the air and the oceans if there were only 2 billion people putting it in? So yeah, we’re already overpopulated.

So what do we do?

My theory, personally, is that the intelligence in the universe is not human intelligence. We’re just here like everything else, and eventually, it will level itself out. The planet has more to say about it than we do. Nature will survive.

That’s a bit daunting.

Well, it is. I agree. But I feel we’ve become a parasite on this planet. That’s like saying you don’t believe in God, but yes, if this population keeps growing, we’ll just keep devouring the planet, and I don’t think it’s going to stand for that very long.




See: http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/01/28/morgan-freeman-on-god-satan-and-how-the-human-race-has-become-a-parasite.html

Bringing the beats to reproductive health

February 11th, 2014 | Add a Comment

Bringing the beats to reproductive health
See: http://www.gazette.uottawa.ca/en/2014/01/bringing-the-beats-to-reproductive-health/

Recent studies have shown that reproductive and sexual health problems affect youth significantly, yet youth are missing from the debate on these issues. The question is how to get young people engaged in a meaningful way.  Jillian Gedeon, a master’s student in health sciences, believes the answer lies in “artivism,” combining art and activism, and using music and dance to get important messages across. According to Gedeon, art speaks to everyone and provides a vital tool to transcend borders established by culture and other differences…

…For Gedeon, it’s not enough to talk the talk – she is rapping the talk and putting into practice what she believes is the most effective way to reach youth. Her rap “Family Planning Saves Lives,” recorded with the help of the Beat Making Lab (which teaches people from all over the world how to create hip hop tracks), discusses the importance of family planning. It won her the opportunity to go to Ethiopia to attend the International Conference on Family Planning (ICFP).

The rap is filled with lyrics such as this:

There are two-two-two million women in the world
Who have an unmet need for the one thing that could
Save their lives, space their births, and give them the freedom that they need
To keep going to school or have a business on the street

See: http://www.gazette.uottawa.ca/en/2014/01/bringing-the-beats-to-reproductive-health/