He called and told me he had heard I was coming to New Orleans as well. Which indeed.. the plan is in the works and It will happen. He told me he had gone down to the Bayou to visit fishing towns.. to see how people there were coping. As you can imagine.. some are coping.. many are not.
I mentioned the FEMA trailers… he said “I wish I had spoken to you before about this, I had to use the bathroom on one of those trailers yesterday.” Fortunately I think his health is fine. Beyond that.. his trip is just more inspiration for my own journey to see and report to you what is going on and why. Imagine that… a guy visting from India and a guy visiting from the Netherlands, I can only imagine all the other crazies like us wandering around trying to understand it all.
Ooh.. and today I read another interesting tale from NOLA. This time it involves musicians and the building of a new community in the 9th ward.. built for and by the musicians. NICE.
Last week, as I was doing the usual middle-of-the-night TV news network watching, the story of the train bombing aboard the Pakistan-India Friendship Express came up. Initially they called it a fire, and the details were few. I sat here, uneasy, as Im sure many observers did… that this was more than a fire and worst of all.. this was an attempt to break the peace process between the two countries.
It almost seemed typical. In my minds eye I could see India blaming Pakistan, and vice-versa.. then the train would be cancelled forever as would other travel links… and then it would be back to testing missiles and living on the brink of human annihaliation. As the next few details appeared on the television, I was already low on hope.
In fact that is NOT what happened. At least it doesn’t seem so, one week later. The Pakistani dictator-turned-president condemned the thing and vowed to keep working for peace. The Indian Prime Minister said the same. People mourned the tragedy, but in the news articles and editorials that I read, they didn’t call for blood. Which is some small way, seems encouraging.
Normally in the world, history repeats iself. Over and over. No lessons are learned, or at least, not enough lessons are learned by the people making decisions that can end or enhance human lives. Yet every now and then, I think we’re seeing an adjustment, a change. And in this case, I wonder if it isn’t a true change for the better… for peace between two longtime enemies.
The first installment of a series that i intend to further develop in the coming months, focusing on the pharmaceutical industry, especially their products; prescription drugs. In this series you will hear from researchers, doctors, lobbyists, consumers, and various other kinds of people involved in this complex world of making medication, forming policies about them, buying them, and prescribing them.
This first podcast, a longer one than usual, features two interviews with professionals in the research field:
My first guest, a returning voice on the Communique, he is Ed Vawter, PHD; he has worked for some of the biggest names in the business, as well as a consultant. I ask Ed about the current picture in the United States when it comes to the big drug producers, and we also get into Canada, Europe, Japan, even a bit of India.
My second guest, Jack Z, a longtime contributor to the blog, old friend of mine, and bio-chemist for a small company in the NY/NJ area. He and I will discuss what works well about the drug industry and what needs improvement. You also get to hear his experience working for a smaller company within the industry that includes so many big fish.
As so often mentioned, Radio Open Source is an excellent podcast, not mention a regular radio show on NPR in Boston. I not only listen, but I throw in my 2 cents in the comments and recommend guests when possible. In the past few months, some of the staff have gotten in touch to ask me certain questions and pick my brain on some topics. As you can imagine, I love contributing to their show.
Well last night I stepped up and helped them get most of their guests as the topic was related Tolerance, Radicalism, and the Netherlands. I also sent a big email talking about my own reflections on the country’s general attitude in relation to terrorism, extremism, and all those nice things.
I stayed up extra late listening to the show live, and it was very exciting to hear my own name in the credits. Made me want to call my mom and say “listen to this!”. As a bonus, it is also fun to see my email is featured on their site. I guess I should say welcome if you’ve come here from there. This is my blog, wipe your feet, browse around, try to play nice in the comments.
Lastly, thanks to everyone at ROS (Robin, Greta, and former intern Henry), for all the work you do and for involving me.