Guilty Pleasure: Slavery and Child Labour in the Production of Chocolate

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Guilty Pleasure: Slavery and Child Labour in the Production of Chocolate.

Posted on December 20, 2012 by

For many, Christmas is upon us once again. And like every other year chocolate will be sold in vast quantities. But unbeknownst to most consumers, some of the chocolate they buy will have partly been the product of slavery and child labour in West Africa.

A bittersweet product

West Africa was responsible for nearly three quarters of the 4.24 million tonnes cocoa beans produced worldwide last year – the Ivory Coast alone produced roughly 1.5 million tonnes, or one third of the world’s production, while Ghana produced over 1 million tonnes. According to some research, these two countries also rely on around 1.8 million child labourers

Stop Subsidizing Obesity – NYTimes.com

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Stop Subsidizing Obesity – NYTimes.com

via Stop Subsidizing Obesity – NYTimes.com.

Not long ago few doctors – not even pediatricians – concerned themselves much with nutrition. This has changed, and dramatically: As childhood obesity gains recognition as a true health crisis, more and more doctors are publicly expressing alarm at the impact the standard American diet is having on health.

“I never saw Type 2 diabetes during my training, 20 years ago,” David Ludwig, a pediatrician, told me the other day, referring to what was once called “adult-onset” diabetes, the form that is often caused by obesity. “Never. Now about a quarter of the new diabetes cases we’re seeing are Type 2.” …


Dakar mosque decked in Christmas lights as mostly Muslim Senegal joins in holiday cheer – The Washington Post

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Dakar mosque decked in Christmas lights as mostly Muslim Senegal joins in holiday cheer – The Washington Post

via Dakar mosque decked in Christmas lights as mostly Muslim Senegal joins in holiday cheer – The Washington Post.

It looks a lot like Christmas in Senegal, where 95 percent of the 12.8 million residents are Muslim. Even the Grande Mosquee, a mosque that dominates the city’s skyline, is aglow in holiday lights.

“When they go to school, the children learn about Santa,” says Lo, wearing a flowing olive green robe known as a boubou. “We are born into the Senegalese tradition of cohabitation between Muslims and Christians. What is essential is the respect between people.”

Senegal, a moderate country along Africa’s western coast, has long been a place where Christians and Muslims have coexisted peacefully. Most Christians here are Catholic and live in the south of country and in the capital…


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New York State of Mind

Originally published in The Bona Venture on December 7, 2012.

It’s been four days, and the royal baby already has five parody Twitter accounts.

In an announcement which took over social media, their Royal Highnesses The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge a.k.a. Prince Will and Princess Kate announced Kate’s pregnancy on their official website on Monday.

Granted, this is nothing compared to the overwhelmingly exuberant media coverage of the Royal Engagement and the adorable couple’s wedding in April 2011, but the general public hasn’t even known about the pregnancy for a week and it’s still, unfortunately, taking the world by storm.

You can follow the Royal Baby in what might be the longest-running live tweet in history — nine months of undoubtedly exciting action from Kate’s womb!

The best part is, you have plenty of options. @RoyalFoetus, @Royal_Fetus, @IamRoyalBaby, @UnbornRoyal and@HRHBaby are all Twitter handles probably created by obsessive fans…

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Schools ban photos to stamp out cyber bullies via @independent_ie

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Schools ban photos to stamp out cyber bullies via @independent_ie.

SCHOOLS have been told to ban all students from taking photographs of other pupils or members of staff under new guidelines to combat cyber bullying.

The radical advice from secondary school managers is the latest move in the drive to combat electronic bullying through social media websites, text and picture messaging, email, chatrooms and gaming sites.

In its advice to 400 schools sent out last week, the Joint Managerial Body (JMB) said the only exception should be when the pictures were specifically required for a school project. The damage caused by cyber-bullying, which has been linked to some recent teen suicides in Ireland, has forced schools to improve their response to the fast-growing problem.

A ban on the generally harmless activity of taking photographs in school, other than in limited circumstances, shows the extent to which the management body has to go to protect its staff and pupils in the age of social media…

The simple magic of learning to spell

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The simple magic of learning to spell.

Your child has picked up a book, understood what they’ve read and now, in the third part of our literacy series, it’s time to help with spelling

Who needs spelling? Isn’t that what spell-check is for? Well despite advances in technology, there is still a need for children to learn to spell in order to write and convey their thoughts. Spelling is essential for written communication.

Many people will remember the Friday spelling test: learning lists and lists of words, only to write them down and have your classmates correct them – gold star optional.

The problem with this method is that being good at memorising lists of words is no guarantee that a child will be able to reproduce the same words at a later date. There are many reasons why children struggle with spellings…

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