Thursday, April 28, 2011

Books, Doctors, and Marriage (None of Them Mine)

Sometimes, when I don't know what to write about, I scour my Twitter feed and hope that something catches my attention. A couple of things did, so yay, there's a post today.

First up, in the world of cheerful bloggery, I came across a tweet from my redoubtable friend Kate (she of BookCrossing fame). She shared the news that a fellow resident of Blogspot, book reviewer Evie-Bookish, is celebrating the acquisition of her 200th follower by hosting a young adult literature giveaway. This is a great idea and if I ever reach 200 followers, I might do something similar. Actually, I don't have the patience for that, so I might do something when I reach 20 followers. Anyway, if you click on that link, Evie explains what you need to do in order to be eligible to win your choice of some YA series.

One of the feeds I track regularly on Twitter is that of Doctors Without Borders. Recently, they've been posting something I thought was pretty disturbing. According to their information, pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson holds the patents for three HIV drugs that are desperately needed in the developing world. There is what's called a "patent pool," which is a setup designed to make it easier for people in developing countries to afford the medicines they need. Guess who's refusing to participate in the patent pool, and is thus making it impossible for people who need those HIV drugs to get them?

The article is here. It includes a video that can explain the patent pool better than I can, and a downloadable letter that you can send to J&J to urge them to join the patent pool. Also, if you're on Twitter, you can follow Doctors Without Borders and participate in the viral retweeting to try to get J&J to change their minds.

Finally, I'm having a really hard time finding information about tomorrow's royal wedding, because it's receiving so little news coverage. *rimshot* No, I'm happy for Prince William and his princess-to-be, I am. The British royal family fascinates me and I've devoted countless hours of free time to studying the Plantagenets, Yorks, Tudors, and...I've completely forgotten what Queen Victoria's family was but them too.

Will and Kate's ceremony is not the marriage I want to talk about here, though. I recently became acquainted with the existence of Girl Up, a United Nations program designed to empower girls and help them change the world. Their representatives recently visited Ethiopia and talked with teenaged girls who were fortunate enough to escape from what they call child marriage. In developing countries, one out of every seven girls is married by the age of 15; as they say in the video of the experience, some are betrothed or even married as young as five. Do you remember what you did when you were five? I'm not sure I do, but I'm pretty certain it had nothing to do with being somebody's wife.

Here is the video. I liked the part where one father said he will support his daughter's education rather than get her married young, and that he hopes she becomes a doctor. So much eye-opening information crammed into just over three minutes! This is definitely worth passing on, so that's what I'm doing.

I hope you'll do it too.

1 comment:

  1. Wow, that was quick. I only tweeted that like a half hour ago!

    BTW, because I promised I'd spread the word, a friend of mine is covering the royal wedding for Examiner:


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