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Eartha Kitt, quoted in Norman Solomon’s “The Penn Paradox” over at Common Dreams.

[…] “If you walk through life needing everybody to love you, you will never do anything.” […]

There has to be something, an agency or collective or collaborative effort to replace the Voter News Service if it should go under. The absence of information about population segments comes too close to an anti-initiative, an inadvertent privacy, a blindness that risks serving the status quo. I mean, I like these black voter turnout projections; don’t get me wrong. I don’t want to be entirely dependent on mainstream media. I want as much information about these things as possible.

Oh, dear.

New York Times, Gwen Kinkead, “To Study Disease, Britain Plans a Genetic Census”

[…] If the $120 million project, called U.K. Biobank, goes forward, and enough people volunteer for pilot studies, 1.2 million healthy Britons from 45 to 69 will give blood samples to the Biobank. From their blood, DNA will be purified and frozen. Ninety percent of the donors will be white. The rest will roughly reflect Britain’s demographics.

From these, 500,000 will be chosen for the project by 2008.

When they sign up, volunteers will get brief health examinations and will answer 10-page questionnaires about their socioeconomic and psychological status, reproductive history, exercise, cellphone use and beverage preferences. They will note their diets for a week.

For 10 years, they will be followed through their national health care records, which will be copied into the Biobank. The data will be anonymous, but not completely, to allow for updates by doctors or new questionnaires. By 2014, 40,175 are expected to fall ill with diabetes, heart disease, stroke or cancer. Another 6,200 are expected to have Parkinson’s, dementia, rheumatoid arthritis or hip fractures.

The DNA of these people will be read and compared, and any normal gene variants, the one-nucleotide differences in DNA that make one person’s biology different from another’s, will be tagged for study.

“Then you will be able to see patterns: X number have this sort of genetic makeup and this kind of lifestyle, and Y has that, and you can start analyzing, if you like, the nature-nurture, environment-genes secret,” said Sir George Radda, the molecular cardiologist who heads the Medical Research Council, a sponsor of the Biobank. […]

New York Times, Larry Rohter, “A Government Gig for Brazilian Pop Star”

[…] “We have to free ourselves a bit from the idea that the responsibility of the Ministry of Culture is to produce culture […] I don’t think so. I think the role of the ministry is to create the conditions in which culture can be made and improved and to act as a bridge between those who make culture and those who consume it.”

He’s a Green Party member. His hair’s starting to lock. The country’s left has more issues with him than the country’s right. What’s not to love about Gilberto Gil? We’ve got “Quanta” in our CD collection. I may have to dust it off and, uh, inspect it for public-policy ideas. Through headphones. Think the neighbors will mind if I sing along? At top volume?

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