Ned Hamson's News from the Second Line - Category: News    
 Is Work Making You Sick? 1 comment
picture30 Oct 2007 @ 13:52
Some colleagues of mine are involved in doing ongoing research on what makes work, work well and what makes it contribute to mental and physical ill health, as well as to lack of productivity or satisfaction.

Here is how they describe their current research and the link to the survey ([link]): We are researching the prevention of mental health problems. Mental health problems are increasing and we need better ways of measuring and preventing them. In particular we need to know how mental health is related to the various emotions people feel when they are at work, studying or engaging in other major activities.

These questions are part of a larger study of mental health in workplaces that was initiated by Professor Don deGuerre, Department of Applied Human Sciences, Concordia University. That larger study covers more factors and includes:

* A short online organisational survey that will determine the level of employee engagement in a participating organisation and will provide measures of any mental health problems that may be developing in the organisation. * A more in depth organisational survey, which identifies the organisational factors that do and don’t lead to, improved motivation, innovation, employee mental health, and productivity.

* An intervention designed to prevent mental health problems in the workplace and significantly improve productivity.

If you or your organization are interested in participating in, or want information about the larger study, contact Peter Aughton in Australia ( or Don deGuerre in Canada (

[link] text  More >

 Food for Thought - Is your fish or shrimp going to give you long life or end it?3 comments
picture3 Sep 2007 @ 15:29
The global market for fish now means that the shrimp, salmon, sea bass, or cat fish could have begun life on in an Indian, European, or Chinese "farm." Since seafood farming is actually farming of both fresh and salt water species, it's referred to as aquaculture.

How much seafood is produced by aquaculture? <>

In 2003, World aquaculture seafood production contributed about 40 million tons, or about 30% of total World fisheries production of about 130 million tons. A decade ago, aquaculture contributed merely 17 million tons, making it the fastest growing food production branch Worldwide.

Where is aquaculture conducted? Almost everywhere, in cold climate developed countries, as well as in tropical climate less-developed countries, over all continents:

Asia 37.0 million tons, mostly in China Europe 2.0 million tons Americas 1.2 million tons Africa 0.28 million tons, mostly in Egypt.

Fresh water aquaculture: contributes about 58% of World aquaculture output. Marine aquaculture: contributes about 42% of World aquaculture output.

What is produced in aquaculture? In developed countries: Salmon, Sea bream, Sea bass, Catfish, etc. In less-developed countries: Marine aquatic plant Kelp, various Carps, Nile Tilapia, oysters various Shrimp species, mostly produced in extensive, low grade systems.

OK - sounds good - so what's the problem?

1. Remember the recent rounds of problems with Chinese exports to the US? Now, the Chinese are just as good a people as any other... but just as bad too.

2. Raw and greed-based capitalism could well lead Chinese producers of much of the shrimp now being sold in the US to be as unethical as those who poisened pet foods and slipped lead into the paint of children's toys.

3. Seemingly beneficial traditional integrated farming methods of the Chinese may become the source of mutating a new flu pandemic or other animal to human pandemic disease transfer.

Integrated farming of fish and livestock: [link]

Integrated farming of fish and livestock is an old practice consisting of the culture of fish (or shrimp) associated with the husbandry of domesticated animals such as pigs, ducks, chicken, etc. The aim of integrated farming is the recycling of animal wastes (faeces, urine and spoiled feeds) to serve as fertilizers, and sometimes as food for fish raised in ponds, enclosures and cages.

Food for thought eh?  More >

 Update on Mac Computers for Mayan Kids1 comment
picture17 Aug 2006 @ 02:25
Now I understand why there is more talk about computers for every child than action -- it takes time and many steps whether you are getting computers for use here in US or overseas.

We are blessed with some bulldogs though, so we are moving forward. 400 plus Macs are in Guatemala. Funds are being sought for to build 15 small computer outbuildings at each school.

Will Blessing in Massachusetts is still helping by getting an updated wish/need list up on MacInTouch. This is one of the dozens of difficulties you run into. Eighty-five of the Macs need USB keyboards and mice or converters and we are in need of Dram batteries, as well as OS 9 education related software in Spanish, if possible.

Will it all come together? Yes! I'll probably be able to share photographs and messages from the kids, teachers and families in 6 months or so.

Until then, wish us the best and don't hesitate to help if you find a similar opportunity.

Which reminds me. A lot of folks think that projects like MIT's of inventing a laptop for under $100 for every kid in the world sounds really great... until...

Who's going to put up say $90 for one billion laptops, the software to go on it, people to train kids on how to use them, and the cost for access to the internet?

It's a nice idea but why invent a wind up, solar computer, except to get - sorry for the cynicism - press for MIT?

Only a small fraction of computers that could be recycled and donated for use here in the US, ever get recycled and donated. An even smaller fraction of just US computers ever make it overseas for donation.

The probable truth? There are enough computers tossed out and not recycled every year in the "first" world to provide a computer to every needful student in the second and third world section of the first world, as well as make a huge dent in the second and third world's needs for computers. Will it happen? It could but it's unlikely... unless people such as you decide to personally do something to at least see that one, two or three computers are recycled to needful students.

How about this for a really nutty idea? If you are getting ready to get new computers, find someone who can use the ones you now have. Then deliver it yourself, set it up, and volunteer to do a little start up training. How's that for being really radical? After all, who can you really count on to deliver the goods except yourself. What do you think?

I am not bragging but I have recycled four Macs that way - right here in river city - Cincinnati. Why don't you join up in taking action yourself?  More >

 What's Going On? The AfghanIraqiIranianIsrailiLebanon War0 comments
picture15 Jul 2006 @ 00:46
Bush League Does as Bush League is Afghanistan keeps going on, and on and on. Iraqi's snatching each other and US soldiers off the street - Where's Robocop when you need him? In an undisclosed location guarding the Vice President? Israel gets Bush league endorsement for overreacting and launching a pre-emptive war that will guarantee at least 20 years more hatred for America - long live the wart against terrorism!

Marvin, Marvin... We could use you now! What's Going On (excerpt)

Mother, mother, there's too many of you crying Brother, brother, brother, there's far too many of you dying You know we've got to find a way To bring some lovin' here today, hey

Father, father, we don't need to escalate You see, war is not the answer, for only love can conquer hate You know we've got to find a way To bring some lovin' here today, oh (M. Gaye/A. Cleveland/R. Benson) 1971  More >

 Keyword Thinking, Speaking, Writing Revealed1 comment
category picture22 Jan 2006 @ 18:44
Keyword Speak, Think is an affliction that not only affects the two Bush Presidents and their thinking, speaking styles, it has infected millions of Americans. As a result many Americans can no longer think is complete thoughts, let alone write of read in complete thoughts or sentences. It's the result of 20-30 years of teaching to the test and rank as a means to get funding, certified, etc. It is perhaps the greatest unintended consequence to rather lame attempts to reform, improve American education. Just get this picture in your head and you will understand. You give students a reading check list. They have not read what was assigned but look at item number one and then look back in the text to find key words, or phrases that relate to the question. Once they find them they write their answer in key words and phrses from the section of the story to which the question directed them. No context, no reading for understanding or enjoyment, just to fill in the check sheet. The unintended result - many students educated in this manner can no longer read in complete, speak in complete or think in complete sentences or thoughts. Read on or not - if you can.  More >