Tsunami Relief

You know, one of the cool things about using a real blogging service is the RSS feed it automatically produces. (Read this to learn about RSS.) Of course, I personally know of only one other person who is keen on RSS, and that’s my homeboy Andrew Currie; but if you’d like to enter this brave new world, it helps to get a newsreader like SharpReader.

The changes on this site continue to mount. If you do some careful browsing, you’ll find new link styles, a change in content, and even more writing samples (though be warned that everything here is copyrighted, so I’ll sue your ass off if you misuse my stuff.)

Back in the real world, our tsunami relief efforts are continuing. It’s nice to see that the USA has been shamed into increasing its support to ten times its initial response… which still puts its per capita donation at less than that of Canada’s ($1.20 vs $1.23, not counting the exchange rate). It also means the World Bank is no longer the single biggest donor in this effort, so maybe the bank wil take this as a challenge and increase its contribution?

The organization I’m part of is called The Canadian Committee for Relief to Eastern Province, and is focusing solely on providing medical aid to a specific region of Sri Lanka. The big donors are providing other materials and have a more diffuse effort. But this region of the island is underserviced due to several factors, including the Sri Lankan government’s unwillingness to help areas which are ostensibly under “rebel” control. Also, the ubiquitousness of land mines in the region means that aid trucks are less likely to arrive there.

The committee is made up of scientists and health professionals, all of whom (except me) have relatives or other contacts in that region. So we have our own mini distribution network which, once we get the supplies to send, means that items will get transported faster and more directly to where they are needed.

If you’d like to help, please visit canrelief.org (which will have content any minute now) and consider making a donation. Or attend one of the fundraising events we’ll be hosting in Toronto and Ottawa in coming weeks.

A New Year’s Tradition

Thanks to those who’ve made comments about the new site design. It’s a work in progress; more comments are welcome. As always, last year’s Bulletin is archived, so if you missed my closing year commentary, feel free to browse back. I’d like to remind you of the new articles over on The Podium: “Poverty Caused the Tsunami” and “Stingy Tsunami Relief.”

2004 was a crappy year for many reasons, both global and personal. But the tradition here at Deonandan.com is to begin each year by listing those things for which I am actually thankful. So let’s go…

  • While I loved living in Washington, DC, it’s sort of nice to be out of the USA during these times of renewed gestapo culture;
  • I started a great new job and a great new career in consulting right here in boring old Ottawa;
  • My new book came out (and no one seemed to notice), but at least now I’m officially not just an author, but a novelist. Cool.
  • As a result of a personal crisis I discovered just how cool and supportive my friends and family really are;
  • Speaking of which, while some close friends have lost parents recently, I still thankfully have both of mine (serious knocking on wood!)
  • Canada’s new federal Conservative party, while full of fire and bravado, failed to win election to power. Whew!
  • Most importantly, I met a remarkable young woman who, though we are no longer involved, remains a part of my life, and I am much better for it.

Sorry for the shmaltz, but that’s what you get. It’s a small price to pay one day a year for the hard as nails journalistic commentary you usually get here at Deonandan.com!

The 21st Century

Yep, I’ve finally entered it. After having avoided using a real blogging service for five years, I’ve bitten the bullet and subscribed to blogger. I must say, it’s quite convenient (so far).

So how do you like the new look of Deonandan.com version 3.0? Do let me know.

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