No Rival

29 05 2011

Today is the birthday of Adrian Paul aka Duncan MacLeod, the immortal Highlander of the Highlander TV series that followed – and some would say surpassed – the movie series. (Myself among them.) I’m not exactly sure how old he is today, four hundred and fifty or so, I guess, but I am sure of one thing: the guy is pretty awesome. Yes, he’s a good actor and a great action hero, but what really ingratiates Adrian Paul to me is that he also founded the Peace Fund, a charity that makes life better for children around the world. Here, I’ll let Mr. Paul himself tell you about the fund:

So please do check out the Peace Fund website and also join me in wishing a happy birthday to a great actor and an all-around great guy, Adrian Paul.
There can be only one.


Little Sisters

24 05 2011

I recently heard a story from the BBC about the disappearing little girls in India. Here’s a link to the news story on the BBC website. Be forewarned: it is not pleasant.
In India, sons are what families want. Daughters are seen as a burden on the family. Sons bring money into the family. Daughters take it out, via a dowry when they are married. It’s difficult to measure exactly how many baby girls disappear as a result of the desire for families to have sons. Some are late-term abortions after the sex is determined. Some baby girls are born and then never seen or heard from again. The lucky ones end up in orphanages.
The ratio of boys to girls under the age of seven in India is discouraging, and many little girls are neglected and mistreated. Steps are being taken by the Indian government, but many think it is not enough.
Here is a trailer for the documentary film Petals In The Dust, which takes a hard look at the problem. (Again, not a pleasant subject.)

I’m afraid I don’t know what the solution is. How does one go about changing a cultural mind-set? Still, there are charities like AmeriCares that work in India to help families and children living in poverty. It may not be a direct pipeline to solving the problem, but I really don’t see how lending your support to AmeriCares can hurt.

Technology Rules!

13 04 2011

My friend Jeff Gamet of The Mac Observer recently wrote an article about how the iPad is helping to make life a little easier for children with Autism – and their families.
I also found this video from the Autism Epicenter site featuring a boy named Braden receiving his own iPad.

Not Dumb

9 04 2011

April is Autism Awareness Month. The Autism Research Institute works not only to find a cure for Autism but also to coordinating its efforts with other Autism organizations.
Check out this very informative (and very personal) video from The Brothers Winn.

Orphan Warriors

5 04 2011

I follow Drew Carey on Twitter, and that’s how I found out about Patricia Heaton’s campaign to raise awareness about the incredible organization, Reece’s Rainbow.

Patricia Heaton pledged to donate $10,000 if Reece’s Rainbow received 10,000 followers. Twitterers around the world stepped up and @ReecesRainbow cracked the 10,000 mark sometime between Sunday night and early Monday morning, putting this remarkable group on the radar for thousands of Twitter subscribers. @PatriciaHeaton happily tweeted yesterday that the organization had her check in hand.
What a great lady!

Lights Out

26 03 2011

Hey, just wanted to remind everyone that earth hour is from 8:30 – 9:30pm tonight, your local time, so please remember to switch off all unnecessary lights for that hour. You can even challenge yourself to go beyond that hour both literally and figuratively.

If you want to know more about earth hour, visit the official website.

High Horse

22 03 2011

Today is William Shatner’s birthday, so I want to highlight the causes supported by his annual Hollywood Charity Horse Show to be held on April 30, 2011.
First, though, a little history from the event’s website:
“For the past 20 years, William Shatner has spearheaded the HCHS to raise money for a worthy children’s charity.
It was back in the late 1980s that Shatner first watched an exhibition by children who were so severely handicapped that some of them could not hold their head up, yet there they were going through intricate exercises on the back of a horse. The program was sponsored by Ahead With Horses, a therapeutic riding group for handicapped children. When the exhibition was over, Shatner sat, deeply affected by what he had seen. ‘You can’t watch these kids without knowing you have to help, somehow.’ And so, in March of 1990 came the birth of the first Hollywood Charity Horse Show. Soon, other charities in need of help were added, small, grass root charities doing big time jobs.”
These charities are:
Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles
St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital
The Painted Turtle Camp
Camp Max Straus
Starlight Children’s Foundation
The Hollenbeck Police Activities League
And, of course, the group that inspired Mr. Shatner in the first place,
Ahead With Horses.
Happy Birthday, William Shatner. Captain Kirk was a hero of my childhood and you are a hero of my my adulthood. (Okay, Kirk is still my hero, too.)