I spend a bit too much time on Facebook and now I'm sort of on Twitter (though I have given up MySpace for good and let's not even talk about LinkedIn or Friendster--ollldddd skoool), but sometimes it's kind of great. For example, being friends with famous chefs on these networking sites often let's me know new recipes, ideas and when their cookbooks are coming out, etc. The best part about Twitter is that I get feeds from the New York Times, NPR, Downing Street, etc as well as from Whole Foods, The Organic Consumers Association and others. It's cool, I swear!
But I like to give awards. And, by far, the best (absolute best) Facebooker is Nicholas D. Kristof who updates daily with succint, poignant and telling snippets that keep one informed of happenings around the world that you may not otherwise be privvy to and that drive you to delve deeper on your own. Here are his last few updates:
Visited a village with widespread trachoma, along with aid workers from Helen Keller International, which fights it. Trachoma causes blindness and terrible pain (the eyelashes scratch the eyeball), but it's very easily prevented with cheap antibiotics and face washing. I'm sure anybody who actually came and saw these kids going blind from trachoma would fervently want to help -- so that's my job, to spread the word.
Nicholas D. Kristof In Makeni, Sierra Leone, we met the usual sad procession of blind beggars, led by small children. But these were different. They got together and formed the "Blind Beggars Association" to lobby for a school for their children (who now don't go to school). They meet weekly and pay dues to use in an emergency. It's a lovely grassroots empowerment effort, and it's one more reason I'm hopeful. Wow!
Nicholas D. Kristof One reason for malnutrition here in Africa has to do with something surprising: mothers not knowing how to breastfeed properly. You'd think that after a few hundred thousand years, we humans would figure that part out. But moms delay feeding after birth, then give babies water, which horrifies nutrition experts. Now there's a big push for exclusive breast feeding for the first six months, and it may save many lives.