Sunday, October 29, 2006


Pazdziernik will be moving to a new home:

Red October

We are all saddened to learn about the death of Boston Celtic's Patriarch Arnold "Red" Auerbach (1917-2006) last night.

"I think Arnold was an absolute giant in the field. I have been around a lot of competitive people but his commitment to winning was absolute -- nothing was more important. He was relentless and produced the greatest basketball dynasty so far that this country has ever seen and certainly that the NBA has ever seen. This is a personal loss for me, Arnold and I have been together since 1950. I was fortunate that I was able to attend a function with him Wednesday night when he was honored by the United States Naval Memorial Foundation in Washington, and I am so glad now that I took the time to be there and spend a few more moments with him." — Bob Cousy

"Nobody has had as much impact on a sport as Red Auerbach had on the game of basketball. He was a pioneer of the NBA. He left his philosophy of winning championships, playing hard and playing as a team with several generations of players. He was truly a great manager of people because he got people to commit to who they were as people and what their role was on the team. He was exceptional at listening and motivating people to put out their very best. In my playing days he once gave me a loaded cigar and six months later I gave him one that was our relationship. We had a tremendous amount of fun and the game of basketball will never see anyone else like him." — Tom Heinsohn

"Beyond his incomparable achievements, Red had come to be our basketball soul and our basketball conscience; the void left by his death will never be filled." —David Stern, NBA Commissioner

Ora Pro Eo.


Saturday, October 28, 2006

Flags of Our Fathers

After seeing Flags of Our Father — directed by Clint Eastwood and produced by Clint Eastwood and Stephen Spielberg — this afternoon in a theater, I now finally understand and appreciate Johnny Cash’s "The Ballad of Ira Hayes” (1964). Ira Hayes was one of the U.S. Marines who raised the flag atop of the Japanese Island Iwo Jima in February of 1945.

Flags opened in theaters on October 20, 2006. It was filmed very much like Tom Hanks and Stephen Spielberg’s Band of Brothers. Overall, I enjoyed Flags of Our Father. It was worth its R rating. The violence and language was harsh at times but not gratuitous. The action was very much in keeping with Band of Brothers (2001). (I read somewhere that Stephen Spielberg is preparing a “World War II Pacific theater” version of the “European theater” Band of Brothers.)

The battle scenes in Flags showed vividly the horror of war. Its was not on the war in the Pacific or even on the Battle of Iwo Jima, but rather both served as a backdrop to the story of the particular men who raised the flag. It alternated between the events on Iwo Jima leading up to (and shortly afterwards) the flag raising, and the heroic acclaim that the survivors of the flag raising received as part of a campaign to raise War Bonds to support the United States' effort in World War II. John "Doc" Bradley (Ryan Phillippe), Rene Gagnon (Jesse Bradford), Ira Hayes (Adam Beach) and Keyes Beech (John Benjamin Hickey) were the central characters. The ordinariness, duty, heroics, and deference to the men who lost their lives at Iwo Jima make these characters noble. Adam Beach should surely get a supporting actor nomination for his portrayal of Ira Hayes!

War is real and the Iwo Jima story is real. Flags was especially edifying because it stuck to the “war and flag tour story” and did not get wrapped-up in any particular ideology as contemporary war-themed movies tend to. This movie is not for the “faint of heart”. If one is squeamish or otherwise would have trouble digesting the violence in the context of a battle, then perhaps another movie would be a safer bet. If you really enjoyed Band of Brothers —as I certainly did — then Flags of Our Father should be on your "must see" list.

Clint Eastwood's companion movie Letters From Iwo Jima will be released in Japan on December 9, 2006.

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Sunday, October 22, 2006

Grunge TV

I like to watch quality television programming like the next guy (I think). Such programming is hard to find these days. When cable tv was first introduced I thought that it would offer a real variety of programming including frequent and easy-to-find “classic” movies on television: Movies that are always lauded at Oscar® time but I missed because I was not yet born. Such was the promise. Of course, nowadays, the “classic” channels and other channels are all seemingly offering the “least common denominator” fare targeted to the “coveted 18-34 demographic.” The “classic” movies are also rare to find at a local video store.

Parents Television Council (PTC) (founded 1995) is a nonpartiasn organization that tracks the content of primetime programs and their sponsors. They work with "elected and appointed government officials to enforce broadcast decency standards." I weekly, or at least now and then, hop over to their site to see what I’ve “missed” — most often for my good. “We’ve come a long way baby” from the early days of cable television, not to mention television in general. PTC is always noting that the primetime "family hour" —7:30 pm to 9pm are the parameters I think— is anything but family-friendly these days.

If you are wondering “where have the arts gone on television?” and “why are there 100 channels on cable and they all seem similar?” (read: no variety), then PTC’s October 2, 2006 article, Culture Watch Entertainment Industry News by Christopher Gildemeister, is a near “must read.” Here is an excerpt from Gildemeister's full on-line article:

Critics generally laud foreign film as superior to most American fare, yet the United States was one of first nations where film as a medium of artistic expression began; and inarguably America’s early success with the medium contributed to its worldwide popularity and encouraged the development of film as a medium of expression overseas. Thus, film can be considered one of America’s few native art forms, and as such is deserving of proper preservation and presentation.

Such was the original mission of the American Movie Classics cable network. Beginning as a pay service in October 1984, American Movie Classics became a resident of the “basic cable” tier in 1987. At its inception critics gushed over the network and its presentation of classic films, from famous epics to little-seen gems, including silent films, shown around the clock. The network – and the movies it showed – were free from commercial interruption, and thus were able to be viewed as their makers intended them. Spaces between films were often filled by Movietone Newsreels. The network also offered original documentaries on the art of film and the charmingly nostalgic drama Remember WENN. But the network abandoned its dedication to the American artform, and is now a general-interest network similar to others.

“American Movie Classics has devolved into just plain old AMC and, like the fast food chain KFC, refers to itself exclusively by acronym to shroud the content of its product. The word ‘Classics’ no longer applies, as you could watch AMC for days and never see one. The schedule used to boast Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton festivals, and films such as Katharine Hepburn’s debut in A Bill of Divorcement, and the rarely-screened Frank Capra feature The Bitter Tea of General Yen. Now, AMC is home to Halloween IV [and] RoboCop…All this was done, according to AMC, to attract a younger audience, because heaven knows there just aren’t enough cable networks devoted to the 18-34 demographic.” David Hofstede, author of What Were They Thinking? The 100 Dumbest Events in Television History.

AMC’s former niche on basic cable is now occupied by Turner Classic Movies, which emulates much of the presentation style and content of the old American Movie Classics; but the trend towards crasser programming may also be creeping upon TCM. The network currently advertises a program in which traditional film host Robert Osborne will face off against the younger and presumably trendier Ben Mankiewicz in arguments over film. TCM has also announced the debut in October of TCM Underground, a series to be hosted by Rob Zombie, director of such stomach-churning movies as House of 1000 Corpses and The Devil’s Rejects.

If cable’s treatment of classic film has become skewed toward more explicit violence and sex, it is as nothing compared with the fate of networks and programming originally devoted to the fine arts.

The Bravo network originated in 1980, and featured a gamut of programming devoted to all areas of art, from presentations of Shakespeare and other plays to grand and light opera, as well as more avant-garde productions. Occasionally classically-oriented top-quality drama from film and television were also presented, such as the acclaimed miniseries I, Claudius. But while the audience for arts programming tends to be both financially wealthy and fiercely loyal, it is also small. Furthermore, most of the viewers of fine arts programming are in the over-45 age bracket – an unpardonable sin in the eyes of network programmers and advertisers. After being purchased by NBC in 2002, Bravo began its evolution towards the déclassé format it currently occupies. Today, alongside such hit programs as Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, one finds the raunchy standup comedy of Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List; the Desperate Housewives-inspired The Real Housewives of Orange County; Work Out, featuring the clientele of a Beverly Hills gymnasium; Tabloid Wars, which chronicles the cutthroat world of salacious journalists; and presentations of such graphically violent films as The Silence of the Lambs and Pulp Fiction. And while Bravo’s executives gamely protest that nothing has changed, such statements are farcical when contrasted with the programming Bravo now offers.

PTC’s also lists regularly their Top Ten Best and Worst Shows for family viewing on prime time broadcast television.

Photo: Grunge Television © Shaun Lowe
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Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Cool Cash

Yesterday the National Bank of Poland (Narodowy Bank Polski) issued a 50 zloty note depicting the last Patriarch of the West. (Pope Benedict XVI dropped the title “Patriarch of the West”). Karol Wojtyla (1920- 2005), born in Wadowice, Poland, was elected to the papacy on October 16, 1978 and took the name John Paul II. Yesterday was the 28th anniversary of this blessed event for the Church, Poland and the world.

Here is a nice description of this new legal tender:

The note was designed by Andrzej Heidrich. The obverse of the note symbolically depicts a role of the Holy See and the Pope’s mission in the universal perspective and the reverse features the pontificate of John Paul II from the Polish perspective by placing it in Poland’s most recent history.

The face of the note contains a portrait of John Paul II holding his pastoral cross against the background of a stylised globe, which is a symbol of the pontificate’s universal nature. The Pope is wearing his pontifical vestments and is performing a greeting gesture. In his hand, he is holding a crosier — a symbol of papal authority. The right-hand bottom side of the note contains the following inscription: “John Paul II” and the pontificate’s term: “16 X 1978 – 2 IV 2005.”

The reverse of the note shows an episode which occurred during the Holy Mass for the inauguration of the pontificate of John Paul II and depicts a special relationship between the Pope and Stefan Cardinal Wyszynski. As the Cardinal paid homage, John Paul II rose and performed a memorable gesture to express his respect to the Primate of Poland. On the right-hand side of the scene there is a quotation from Letter to Poles read out by John Paul II to his countrymen who congregated in Vatican Paul VI Hall on the day immediately following the event: “There would be no Polish Pope on this Chair of St. Peter [...] had it not been for your faith undiminished by prison and suffering, your heroic hope [...]”. ("Nie byloby na Stolicy Piotrowej tego papieza Polaka [...], gdyby nie bylo Twojej wiary, nie cofajacej sie przed wiezieniem i cierpieniem, Twojej heroicznej nadziei [...]".) The space under the quotation bears the Pope’s facsimile signature and the date he uttered those words on, namely 23 October 1978. It is worth noting that in 2006 we celebrate the 25th anniversary of Stefan Cardinal Wyszynski’s death and the 50th anniversary of his release from prison.

An outline of the Jasna Góra Monastery and church under the text is to emphasise the role of the shrine of Jasna Góra in the history of Poland and life of the Holy Father and the Primate of the Millennium. The bands beneath their feet bear their Episcopal mottos, namely Totus Tuus — the motto of John Paul II and Soli Deo — the motto of Stefan Cardinal Wyszynski.

The graphic design of the note is modern yet full of symbolic. A watermark depicts a papal coat of arms of John Paul II. In the background behind the pastoral cross guilloche lines were placed with repeating images of fish, cross and the letters RP.

On the note, microlettering was used five times, so it is possible to see the names of the states visited by John Paul II during his papal pilgrimages through a magnifying glass. They fill out the outlines of the continents seen on the globe.

Both sides of the note feature a theme of Peter’s keys. On the face, white Peter’s keys framed into a square and bound by a string can be seen. On the reverse they are presented in olive colour. It is the so-called see-through register (recto-verso) – where the elements on both sides on the note complement each other and create a unity seen at the light. The inscription JP II is seen on the note depending on the angle of viewing – it is the so-called angle effect.

Some graphic elements of the note can be seen only in ultra-violet light. For example, on the face of the note UV light reveals red and celadon green papal coat of arms of John Paul II on the right side of the Pope. On the reverse of the note, in the UV light, Peter’s keys are seen, framed into a square and in the colour of orange.

All the notes bear the letter series of JP related to the Pope’s initials.

Euros are not yet legal tender in Poland. Each 50 PLN note will cost 90 PLN. The difference is to offset the cost of this special "collectors' note". A portion of the profits will go towards a foundation for “gifted young people for low-income families.”

The last revaluation of the zloty was on January 1, 1995: 1: 10,000. The current exchange rate to the US dollar is about 3.1 zloty per US dollar.

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Citation: “Poland’s first collector note” (Narodowy Bank Polski)

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Great Joy Times Four

We have great joy in the Church today! Pope Benedict XVI proclaimed four new saints for the Universal Church! Two from Italy, one from Mexico, and one from the United States.

St. Rafael Guízar Valencia (1878-1938), a bishop of Veracruz, Mexico, who is the first bishop-saint born in Latin America. Saint Rafael was ordained June 1, 1901 at the age of 23. He is the great uncle of Legion of Christ and Regnum Christi founder Fr. Marcial Maciel. St. Rafael was the brother of Fr. Maciel’s grandmother (Maura Guízar Valencia). He was also the brother of Bishop Antonio Guízar Valencia of Chihuahua.

St. Teodora Guérin (1798-1856) of France, born Anne-Thérèse, is Indiana's first saint. Sent by the Congregation of the Sisters of Providence to Indiana in 1839, the religious founded St. Mary-of-the-Woods College in Indiana in the United States.

St. Filippo Smaldone (1848-1923) of Italy was a diocesan priest and founder of the Congregation of the Salesian Sisters of the Sacred Heart. He is known as the apostle of those who cannot hear or speak.

St. Rosa Venerini (1656-1728) of Italy, founded the Congregation of Religious Teachers Venerini and the first public school for girls in Italy.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church (1992) tells us the significance of these events:
By canonizing some of the faithful, i.e., by solemnly proclaiming that they practiced heroic virtue and lived in fidelity to God’s grace, the Church recognizes the power of the Spirit of holiness within her and sustains the hope of believers by proposing the saints to them as models and intercessors. “The saints have always been the source and origin of renewal in the most difficult moments in the Church’s history.” Indeed, “holiness is the hidden source and infallible measure of her apostolic activity and missionary zeal.” (CCC 828)

It would be nice to see some new churches be named after these saints!

Photo: Saint Rafael Guízar Valencia
Reference: ZE06101505
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Friday, October 13, 2006

Valor: Specialist Richard Ghent

Valor – n from the Latin valere to be strong; strength of mind or spirit that enables a person to encounter danger with firmness; personal bravery

Valor as a virtue is surely not shown on the nightly news or discussed on talk shows with any frequency. It is safe to say that for that it is not cultivated in most government, Catholic or other schools and universities. Valor nowadays is perhaps only cultivated in military schools and some “rare” homes and other “rare” schools. It may be a forgotten virtue that some think perhaps only applies to the battlefield. It surely does apply to the battlefield and it’s edifying to read about the valor of New Hampshire’s own Richard Ghent ("NH Guardsman to receive Silver Star for valor while under fire" by Mark Hayward (October 13, 2006)) in Manchester’s Union Leader.

A New Hampshire Army National Guard soldier who charged enemy insurgents in Iraq with a 9mm handgun after being blown out of his Humvee will be awarded the Silver Star tomorrow.

Richard Ghent of Rochester, who was 20 at the time of the attack, will receive the third highest citation the United States military awards for valor. He is the only New Hampshire guardsman to earn such an award, according to the New Hampshire Army National Guard.

"I'm happy I'm getting it. I obviously feel I deserve it, but it's just doing what I was taught to do," Ghent said in a telephone interview yesterday.

Ghent's action took place on March 1 during a grenade attack that severely wounded fellow guardsman Jose Pequeno, the Sugar Hill police chief, and killed Vermont guardsman Christopher Merchant.

According to the narrative to Ghent's award, he was the first to notice the attack on the Humvee, which was patrolling a highway near Ramadi. A grenade hit him in the face, he yelled "grenade" and was ejected from the turret as he scrambled out of it.

Dazed and wounded in the face, Ghent quickly focused and demonstrated "great courage and intrepidity of action" by drawing his pistol and engaging the insurgents, according to the narrative for the Silver Star.

"(Specialist) Ghent charged the insurgents and drove them away from the Observation Post without any benefit of cover and concealment," the narrative reads. "(Specialist) Ghent held his ground, expending nearly all his ammunition, until relieved by elements of his platoon ..."

Ghent said the attack started a firefight that lasted about 45 minutes.

"Honestly, I don't think I was thinking anything at all," Ghent said. "I just knew what I had to do and did it."

Ghent received a bullet wound to his back, a laceration to his face and shrapnel wounds. He returned to the United States in late March. He is taking classes to become an emergency medical technician and is scheduled to enroll in the New Hampshire Fire Academy in March.

Ghent and Pequeno were serving with the 3,500-person 2/28 Brigade Combat Team of the Pennsylvania Army National Guard, which was made up of volunteer guardsmen and women from 22 states. The 28-member New Hampshire contingent had nicknamed themselves the Snowstormers.

He said he would like to see the United States set a timetable for a partial withdrawal from Iraq; major bases should remain in the country, however.

"It's almost like a safety spot for the civilians to go to," he said.

The award ceremony is scheduled for 11:30 a.m. at the National Guard armory in Manchester. Senior leadership from the New Hampshire National Guard, representatives of the state's congressional delegation and members of Ghent's unit, the 1st Battalion 172nd Field Artillery are expected to be on hand.

Pequeno suffered serious head injuries in the attack and is at a rehabilitation center in Florida, said Maj. Greg Heilshorn, a spokesman for the New Hampshire Guard.

Now that we have read about the valor of Specialist Ghent let’s apply valor to our ordinary lives.

Update Sunday October 15,2006:
Richard "Buddy" Ghent was awarded his Silver Star on Saturday. Read about it here.
"Buddy was never great in sports, but he tried them all, and he always gave it everything. That's something that comes from here," he (Pete Lambert, Ghent's grandfather) said, holding his fist to his chest.

Image: Union Leader October 13, 2006
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Kenyans know the way

Kenyans certainly know the way to San Jose. 11,536 registered runners participated in last Sunday’s Inaugural Rock 'n' Roll Half Marathon in San Jose, California. (15,000 runners were the pre-race target.) The top ten places all went to Kenyans! The men's and overall winner was Duncan Kibet. He was not an invited "elite athlete". Rather, Duncan had to pay his own way and his own $75 registraion fee. He is now like $8,000 richer. I'm sure in Kenya this will go a long way. I suspect he will use a good part of his prize money to compete in other races around the world.

1. 1:00:22 Duncan Kibet, 28, Kenya
2. 1:01:07 William Chebon, 23, Kenya
3. 1:01:56 Reuben Chebii, 24, Kenya
4. 1:02:08 Luke Kipkosgei, 30, Kenya
5. 1:02:21 Nicodemus Malakwen, 25, Kenya
6. 1:02:22 Joseph Chirlee, 25 Kenya
7. 1:02:31 Ernest Meli Kimeli, 20, Kenya
8. 1:03:39 Charles Kiama, 20, Kenya
9. 1:03:40 Julius Limo, 28, Kenya
10. 1:04:52 Davis Kabiru, 23, Kenya
11. 1:05:24 Pete Julian, 35, Colorado USA

The top female finishers also included Kenyans.

1. 1:09:17 Silvia Skvortsova, 31, Russia
2. 1:09:32 Edna Kiplagat, 26, Kenya
3. 1:10:05 Magdalene Makunzi, 23, Kenya

I have known for some time that the Kenyans have dominated distance running. Distance running is certainly not a “glamour sport”. It requires long and often lonely hours of training. The prize money is not that great except for the elite athletes.

Given my knowledge of the distance running scene, I did not expect to see any up-and-coming American youths finish strong. I was not disappointed in this regard. There were mostly older “recreational runners” among the 11,536 registered at the San Jose race. Nevertheless, it was edifying to see many youths and others giving it their best. Those who were out of shape and were on the course provided real inspiration (and competition!) For an inaugural event, everything was well done.

Photo: Duncan Kibet (by Action Sports International)
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Sunday, October 01, 2006

Baseball 2006: wrap

Today is the last of the Major League Baseball season. For the Boston Red Sox their "hot stove" season began in August. My 2006 pre-season baseball picks can be found here. I did slightly better than last year. So here is this year's wrap-up. Let's see how I did:

New York Yankees … I picked the Boston Red Sox. Injuries and a lack of a rotation doomed the Sox in the second half of the season. Surprisingly, the Yankees have had pretty good pitching all year. From top to bottom they have a well-rounded line-up.

Minnesota Twins …I picked the Chicago White Sox. The Word Series Champions will not repeat. I did predict that the Detroit Tigers to win the Wild Card: “I would not be surprised if they earn the Wild Card this season with manager Jim Leyland at the helm.” Can you think of anyone else who made such an accurate prediction? The Tigers' manager Jim Leyland, an “old school manager”, should certainly be a lock for manager of the year.

Oakland Athletics … I picked the Los Angeles Angels. This division is always a tough one to pick, in part because Oakland always competes well despite a small payroll and is always “rebuilding.” The Angels, even at 89-73, were certainly the biggest disappointment of the year. (The Angels were my first little league team, so they are always a sentimental favorite around here.)

New York Mets …Yeah baby. I nailed this one! At 97-65, they tied the Yankees for the best record in the majors. For the second straight year, my out-on-a-limb™ pick hit pay dirt!

St. Louis Cardinals … Yeah baby. I nailed this one! After 105 and 100 win seasons in 2004 and 2005, respectively, they needed only 83 wins this year to clinch the top slot. A division win is, well... a division win.

San Diego Padres … I picked the Los Angeles Dodgers. The Dodgers won the Wild Card, nevertheless. I did predict that the Friars would be in contention for a division win. Los Angeles has a solid team and should go far in the playoffs. We all learned that Nomar can still play: .303 20 93! It's good to see both him and Derek Lowe doing well for Los Angeles.

Now for my World Series™ prediction:
Drum-roll … New York Yankees vs. Los Angeles Dodgers

Scratch, too easy, how about Minnesotta Twins vs. Los Angeles Dodgers? I like it. And now it's "on the record" for all to see! (and hopefully admire?)

Of course, here are the individual honors.

Batting: Joe Mauer, Minnesotta (.347)
Home Runs: David Ortiz, Boston (54)
RBI: David Ortiz, Boston (137)

Wins: Johan Santanna, Minnesota; Chien-Ming Wang, New York (19)
Strikeouts: Johan Santanna, Minnesota (245)
ERA: Johan Santanna, Minnesota (2.77)

Batting: Freddy Sanchez, Pittsburg (.344)
Home Runs: Ryan Howard, Philadelphia (58)
RBI: Ryan Howard, Philadelphia (149)

Wins: Harang, Lowe, Penny, Smoltz, Webb, Zambrano (16)
Strikeouts: Aaron Harang, Cincinnati (216)
ERA: Roy Oswalt, Houston (2.98)

Photo: Julio Franco September 30,2006 (Nick Wass/ AP)

Thursday, September 28, 2006

DDT: Don’t call it a comeback…

The United Nations World Health Organization (WHO) announced on September 15, 2006 that they have once again approved the chemical DDT for indoor use after a 30 year ban. DDT, first used in 1943, is an insecticide that was used to kill malaria-carrying mosquitoes. DDT (dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane) is produced under many trade names. It was banned because of “environmental concerns”. I remember the big concern was that some linked DDT use to the weakening of the shells of Bald Eagle eggs. Weakened shells would cause more breaks in the eggs and ultimately less Bald Eagles. I unsure if scientific studies continue to uphold links like this. Nevertheless, the WHO’s strategy of combating malaria with mosquito nets and malaria vaccine development seems to have been (were?) failed approaches.

Like all chemicals DDT needs to be used responsibly.
“The scientific and programmatic evidence clearly supports this reassessment,” said Dr Anarfi Asamoa-Baah, WHO Assistant Director-General for HIV/AIDS, TB and Malaria. "Indoor residual spraying [IRS] is useful to quickly reduce the number of infections caused by malaria-carrying mosquitoes. IRS has proven to be just as cost effective as other malaria prevention measures, and DDT presents no health risk when used properly.” [1]

The anti-DDT campaign began in 1962.
Rachel Carson kicked-off DDT hysteria with her pseudo-scientific 1962 book Silent Spring. Carson materially misrepresented DDT science in order to advance her anti-pesticide agenda. Today she is hailed as having launched the global environmental movement. A Pennsylvania state office building, Maryland elementary school, Pittsburgh bridge and a Maryland state park are named for her. The Smithsonian Institution commemorates her work against DDT. She was even honoured with a 1981 U.S. postage stamp. Next year will be the 100th anniversary of her birth. Many celebrations are being planned. [2]

But views toward DDT have changed.
Views about the use of insecticides for indoor protection from malaria have been changing in recent years. Environmental Defense, which launched the anti-DDT campaign in the 1960s, now endorses the indoor use of DDT for malaria control, as does the Sierra Club and the Endangered Wildlife Trust. The recently-launched President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI) announced last year that it would also fund DDT spraying on the inside walls of households to prevent the disease. [1]

I’m certain that the “population controllers” are none too pleased with the WHO’s reasonable announcement.
Each year, more than 500 million people suffer from acute malaria, resulting in more than 1 million deaths. At least 86 percent of these deaths are in sub-Saharan Africa. Globally an estimated 3,000 children and infants die from malaria every day and 10,000 pregnant women die from malaria in Africa every year. Malaria disproportionately affects poor people, with almost 60 percent of malaria cases occurring among the poorest 20 percent of the world’s population.[1]

I’m also sure that the use of DDT will, once again, be another “political issue” tossed onto the table. The “anti-DDT” crowd will surely mis-represent the WHO’s position by garnering up images of airplanes indiscriminately dumping chemicals in the middle of the night onto both wildlife and urban areas. The WHO’s announcement was for indoor use only. Using the “outdoor use” straw man, this same crowd, rightly concerned about DDTs ecological aspects, will present the extinction of entire species as a likely outcome.

The “pro-DDT” crowd will welcome the “indoor use” DDT announcement as proof that the WHO recognized its failed strategy to save human lives, combat illness and poverty. Addressing the root of the problem (mosquitoes carrying malaria) with proven measures will be a sign of hope for millions of our brothers and sisters.

“Momma Said Knock You Out” – L.L. Cool J

Photo: Mosquito hanging on a blade of grass ©Adam Tinney
Citations: [1] “WHO gives indoor use of DDT a clean bill of health for controlling malaria” (WHO September 15,2006)
[2] “Call for DDT Opponents to be Held Accountable for Millions of Preventable Malaria Deaths” By Steven Milloy (
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