Friday, October 30, 2009

Out of Poverty

Free-market advocate Paul Polak is an atypical poverty expert. He compellingly argues that handouts do not alleviate poverty and might make it worse. Instead, he insists, the true solution to poverty lies in unleashing the poor’s entrepreneurial power. Polak says successful entrepreneurs like him are the ones who can help the poor make more money. His company designs cheap water pumps and irrigation systems that sell for a profit while helping subsistence farmers make more money. Although he frequently repeats the same points, Polak’s treatise is a lively read. getAbstract recommends Polak’s point of view to readers who seek a contrary – and practical – perspective on the problem of global poverty.

The End of Food

Journalist Paul Roberts investigated the global food-delivery system and he reports that food product production and prices have advanced like the production and prices of other contemporary consumer goods. The economics of the food system push an ever-faster product cycle driven by supply-and-demand pressures. The infrastructure that delivers food to consumers uses ever-advancing technology. However, food itself is not an ordinary consumer “product.” Inexpensive food is an illusion, because the process externalizes many food production costs as cheap labor or cheap oil. Roberts explains why the food-delivery system is mired in economic, political and cultural problems, and examines the crisis that looms if it runs out of fuel or water, or both. getAbstract recommends this investigation to readers who want to understand the production, market and consumer implications involved in feeding the people on our planet.

Twitter Power

Why you should read Twitter Power
Comm’s book will alert you to the real business possibilities of Twitter. He guides new and intermediate Twitter users through the whole process of using Twitter productively, from creating a profile to building a following to measuring your success. He also explains how to get business results on Twitter and how to measure those results. While Comm covers the basics for beginners, even experienced users will discover tidbits that will improve how they tweet. getAbstract needs more than 140 characters to recommend Comm’s book, which gives corporate communicators, brand managers and individuals the information they need to do Twitter right.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

The Professional

Bagchi’s first best-selling book, The High-Performance Entrepreneur, shared his story of building a company. His second bestseller, Go Kiss the World, was the story of his life, a motivation to young people that anyone can achieve. But as Subroto Bagchi says: ‘Go Kiss the World did not provide a tool kit.’ In The Professional he gives us his knowledge, based on his lifelong experience, of what it takes to be a professional, what qualities you need to become a great professional. Most importantly, he asks, and gives answers, to the toughest question every professional faces: Is what I am going to do now, faced with a difficult decision and multiple options, the professional choice to make? In a world where a ‘Satyam saga’ was incomprehensible; where the global economic meltdown has affected the livelihoods of millions of people; where companies and individuals are routinely revealed to have made unprofessional choices, The Professional provides the explicit and implicit code of conduct— the boundaries which separate a skilled individual from a professional.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

What Is Worth Teaching

The Wages of Impunity consists of essays on human rights and civil liberties in India. Reiterating the indispensability of fundamental rights, read in the context of the Indian Constitution's Directive Principles, the essays focus on aspects such as secularism, socialism, and right to life, liberty, free speech and association. Using the Constitution as the point of departure, the author opens up the complexity of rights through incisive analyses of case law on each of these aspects.Examining the basis of repressive legal regimes in India and their history, K G Kannabiran traces discourses on rights along multiple channels, all inextricably linked yet separate and autonomous-the courts (both the judiciary and the bar), the government, and politics (progressive and reactionary). What is particularly striking about the essays is the manner in which each addresses a distinct point of law, but all of which converge on a single point that is in fact the core of rightlessness-the habit of impunity.On one track, the book looks at the origin of preventive detention laws in the country in the context of the debates during the colonial period on the issue. Arguing that, starting from 1950, the Constitution has been interpreted by the courts in a manner that breaks the critical link between it and the aspirations of a newly liberated people, The Wages of Impunity traces the whittling down of civil liberties in the emergency, which saw the suspension of free speech and freedom of association. The book shows that the years after 1980 saw the use with impunity of preventive detention in the political and legal fabric of governance and justice delivery through the enactment and validation of a series of antiterrorist laws. On a second track, the essays look at the practices of politics-the undermining of mass struggles and left movements and the rise of right-wing nationalism. On a third track, the essays explore possible remedies to a seemingly hopeless situation. These include absolute accountability, transparency and the rule of law in institutions of governance and justice and in political praxis.

Genetic Roulette: The Documented Health Risks of Genetically Engineered Foods

Eating genetically modified food is gambling with every bite.
The biotech industry?s claim that genetically modified (GM) foods are safe is shattered in this groundbreaking book. Nearly forty health risks of the foods that Americans eat every day are presented in easy-to-read two-page spreads. The left page is designed for the quick scanning reader; it includes bullets, illustrations, and quotes. The right side offers fully referenced text, describing both research studies and theoretical risks. It is presented in the clear, accessible style that made Jeffrey Smith?s Seeds of Deception the world?s best-selling book on genetically engineered foods.
The second half of Genetic Roulette explores why children are most at risk, how to avoid GM foods, false claims by biotech advocates, how industry research is rigged to avoid finding problems, why GM crops are not needed to feed the world, the economic losses associated with these crops, and more.
This book, prepared in collaboration with a team of international scientists, is for anyone wanting to understand GM technology, to learn how to protect themselves, or to share their concerns with others. As the world?s most complete reference on the health risks of GM foods, Genetic Roulette is also ideal for schools and libraries. Consider some findings:
Animals fed genetically modified (GM) foods developed bleeding stomachs, potentially precancerous cell growth, damaged organs and immune systems, kidney inflammation, problems with blood and liver cells, and unexplained deaths.
Soy allergies skyrocketed in the United Kingdom after GM soy was introduced.
Genes from GM crops transfer to human gut bacteria. This might transform our intestinal flora into living pesticide factories.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Games for Actors and Non-Actors

Games for Actors and Non-Actors is a valuable handbook of methods, techniques, games, and exercises, and is a genuinely inspiring work by the world-famous author of Theatre of the Oppressed. It is designed to help anyone - whether actor on non-actor - rehearse for real life: make the fictional real.