Fake News

intro: “fake news” = propaganda, and the fact that the winner writes history. It’s always been around.

1. How real is fake news? Sharyl Attkisson Feb 2018 Ted Talk, 10 minutes.  The term “fake news” really started with support from executives from Google and Facebook, promoting Hillary Clinton, not with Donald Trump.  Big money is always involved in the dissemination of the news.


2. The Godfather of Fake News – BBC News

Word Document

3) The truth about fake news and how to protect against it, Jonathan Albright Ted talk May 2017, talks about the distribution networks of fake news.  Quite technical but shows the scope of the problem (bots are disseminating the news!) and has some technical solutions. (17 minutes)


4.  Snopes founder – CNN interview (2016), 4 min

China’s “Belt and Road” Initiative and Maritime Expansion

The perspective offered by another video, which we won’t view, is neatly summarized as follows:

  “We don’t know what a world run according to Chinese values looks like.  Hybridity of Confucianism, Buddhism, Taoism plus Marxism, Maoism and now Capitalism with Chinese characteristics (China) vs Universal Truth (Western thought)
1/ 5 of humanity lives with China’s values.  Should we engage/change?”
1. China’s trillion dollar plan to dominate global trade
3. China’s Belt and Road Initiative affecting big changes in Ecuador
4. Will the New Silk Road be a success?

Women and the Criminal Justice System

1. about the Elizabeth Fry society, a light-hearted overview about the stage-play “Jail Baby”.
2.  with author of: Orange is the New Black
3. LINC (Longterm Inmates Now in the Community)
re: Emma’s Acres, Mission, BC
4. Drugging women prisoners 
[low resolution]

5. For those interested in the history, this “life in a minute” episode is about Eliz. Fry

Ocean Plastics

Plastics are a serious issue, not just because they’re ugly and kill birds & sea life, but because many generations of humans will end up eating more of it, as the breakdown pieces and products end up in seafood we consume.
USE LESS PLASTIC, especially single-use, like clam-shell food packaging, bags, Starbuck’s iced drink cups…
and look for products made of recycled plastics (in order to help that industry flourish), some of which we already use (bottles for cleaners, shampoo, etc).
The first 5 are short introductions.
1) the problem, NBC, 2018 less than 2 min
2) ditto — Nat. Geog., 2016, first 2 min only
3) Hawaii, 2016, kids:  This can be summarized as: EDUCATING THE NEXT GENERATION IS KEY.
4)  5 minute video about how plastic end up in the ocean and introduces the vortexes, followed by 2 minute video of top corporate offenders
5) David Attenborough Plastic Oceans
6) World Economic Forum: 90% of the ocean plastic waste comes from 10 rivers (very good article, not a video)
The 10 rivers are: 2 in Africa (Nile, Niger, 2 in India (Indus, Ganges), 1 in Viet Nam (Mekong), and
5 in China (Yellow, Yangtze, Hai He, Pearl, Amur)
7) The Surprising Solution to Ocean Plastic 10 Minutes by creator of the plastic bank.  Making a profit out of garbage.  Too good to be true?  Do his numbers add up? Very slow speaker. [System to allow the poor to make purchases with plastic for recycling.]
8) Boyan Slat, How we will rid the oceans of garbage.  Founder of Ocean Cleanup Engineering whiz kid.   Created this group and designed ocean clean up systems that aim to clean up 50 % in 5 years. Self-promotional delivery, more detail than we need.
select a few clips – it’s far too long. It’s a promising system but nowhere near ready for deployment… maybe it could be used in river-mouths, based on the article in #6, above.
9) Article from Kathleen, Summary of problem of single use plastics and some solutions: Food Revolution
I shortened up the to-do list and handed out print copies: will attach here.
10) Sky Ocean Rescue, ‘ A Plastic Tide”, 2017 UK & India (encouraging), Too Long (45 min), so just if you’re interested in pursuing more. Shocking plastic refuse even on outer islands north of Scotland, just washed in on the daily tides.
Attachments area
Preview YouTube video Stunning New Video Shows Massive Plastic Debris In Ocean | NBC Nightly News

Preview YouTube video How We Can Keep Plastics Out of Our Ocean | National Geographic

Preview YouTube video Plastic Pollution, Our Oceans, Our Future…

Preview YouTube video David Attenborough Plastic Oceans

Preview YouTube video The surprising solution to ocean plastic | David Katz

Preview YouTube video Boyan Slat: How we will rid the oceans of plastic (May 2017)

Evaluating Charities

Topics @ 10 is one of the FWC groups. I, Jean Lewandowski, am a member of this group and I felt that some of the topics that we discussed last year might be of interest to other club members. I will be posting some of these to the FWC Blog. Here is the first of these
Evaluating charities
Some  ‘take-home’ lessons: get more involved, do your homework, give generously to organizations with accountability processes in place, keep the next generation in mind.
1.  TED, Melinda French Gates, 16 min, What nonprofits can learn from coca-cola
2.  TED, 2013, Dan Pallotta, 18 min- start at 1 min & stop at about 17, the way we think about charity is wrong
3.  TED-Vancouver, 2013, 16 min (but stop at 14.30?), John Bromley,
CHIMP: a bit slow, donating strategically, donor foundations: caution! middleman!
Note – this was seriously criticized in the Globe & Mail articles Sarica brought: we’ll have scanned copies for those interested by the time we next meet.
We didn’t view these last 2 videos, but I’m leaving them here.
4. CBC re:Charity Watch, 2017
5. this last one is an example of an American community-based initiative that has effected change locally.
TED, Michael Smith, 2018, 15 min, innovation in non-profits (community-based).
US-based issues, end about 8 min; maybe run 13-end as well
Attachments area

Preview YouTube video Melinda French Gates: What nonprofits can learn from Coca-Cola

Preview YouTube video The way we think about charity is dead wrong | Dan Pallotta

Preview YouTube video Disrupting the World of Charity: John Bromley at TEDxVancouver

Preview YouTube video It’s time to invest in non-profits with impact: Michael Smith at TEDxMidAtlantic

Canadian Drug Companies Payments to Doctors and Health-Care Organizations

Summary of the Globe and Mail article.

    • Ten large Canadian drug companies paid $48 million to doctors and health-care-organizations in 2016
    • The payment disclosure was voluntary and was an aggregate number; critics say this is  meaningless and not transparent
    • Only 10 of the 45 members  of a drug company consortium took part in the voluntary effort

Continue reading “Canadian Drug Companies Payments to Doctors and Health-Care Organizations”

Canadian Drug Companies Conflict of Interest in Clinical Practice Guidelines

Summary of the Globe and Mail Article.

  • Financial conflicts of interest are commonplace on guideline committees; 46% of the panelists involved in nine guideline documents received funding from companies that might benefit from a positive mention of their drugs
  • In 3 cases, more than 75 per cent of the panelists declared a conflict
  • In 2 cases, the guidelines were financed directly by the pharmaceutical industry.
  • Doctors rely on guideline panels; official clinical practice guidelines can have a dramatic impact on how drugs are prescribed.
  • Canada has no nationwide rules for conflicts of interest; guideline committees set their own conflict standards.
  • Pharmaceutical companies pay doctors to deliver speeches, act as consultants, teach continuing medical-education courses, fly to conferences and spearhead clinical trials, among other services.
  • The United States Physician Payments Sunshine Act compels companies to divulge all payments of $10 or more to doctors; Canada has no requirement for drug companies to divulge payments to doctors.

Continue reading “Canadian Drug Companies Conflict of Interest in Clinical Practice Guidelines”

2017 Vancouver Homeless Count

The 2017 Metro Vancouver Homeless Count counted the number of homeless people over a 24-hour period on March 8, 2017.

The count highlighted the increasing number of seniors that are experiencing homelessness

A total of 380 seniors between 55 and 65 years and another 176 seniors above the age of 65 years responded to the survey on March 8, for a total of 556 seniors. Seniors aged 55 and over represented 23% of the homeless population compared to 18% in 2014. This continues the upward trend of seniors in relation to the total homeless population that has been evident since the 2008 Count. Continue reading “2017 Vancouver Homeless Count”

Quebec Implementing Single Purchaser for Generic Drugs

Summary of the Globe and Mail article.

  • Quebec will seek competitive bids from companies for exclusive supply contracts for generic prescription drugs
  • In Quebec, pharmacists were often rebated up to 45 per cent of the price from the drug companies – fees that are illegal in most provinces; the new system caps rebates to pharmacists at 15%
  • Quebec spends $800 annually on generic drugs
  • Quebec could save 25 per cent to 35 per cent on its $800-million generic-drug bill

Read the entire Globe and Mail article June 28, 2017

NAFTA Negotiations Threaten Canada’s Push for Universal Pharmacare

NAFTA re-negotiations may impact Canada’s push for Universal Pharmacare.

U.S. trade negotiators favour the interests of pharmaceutical manufacturers over government and consumers. In the 1980s, the U.S. pharmaceutical industry successfully lobbied the U.S. government to make the elimination of early generic drug competition in Canada part of the Canada-U.S. free trade agreement. In the 1990s, The U.S. made the dismantling of policies favouring Canadian drug manufacturers part of the original NAFTA deal.

Continue reading “NAFTA Negotiations Threaten Canada’s Push for Universal Pharmacare”