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Volunteering opportunities

  1. Volunteering in the Correctional Service of Canada Reference Handbook
  2. The John Howard Society of Canada
  3. Elizabeth Fry Society



& Storytelling

You don't write

The Retreat

Friendship of Elephants big and Small

Brain Drain



  1. Ken Rockwood papers

Global health research

  1. Essay on global health research

Health & Healing

The Helper Class

  • Comparing the health of helper-class expats to the health of the people in their home countries

Harmony of Pen and Sword

  • Formerly Holey Indifference / Invisible Cities


Innocence of Civilians

  • W. Churchill
  • US policy re enemy combatants
  • I&P
  • Historical occupations and liberation movements
  • Different senses of innocence
  • Inferences from innocence or guilt: i.e. the justification of punishment
  • Collective punishment

Stages of my encounter with the others in Cambodia

Paradigms of creativity

  • If any expressive modality, or technical method for the creation of decorative objects "catches on," it will in time attract an increasing number of practitioners, producing lots of new objects (or patterns of sounds, smells, images, tastes, touches) attracting inevitably some sub-segment of that genetically distinct species known as connoisseurs and collectors. It will be indistinguishable at the time from any other form accepted generally as Art. In the long term things will appear different. We can perhaps discount some of these forms as short-lived fads, reading their short life-span as evidence of their spiritual or creative corruption. Yet, of course it's not inconceivable that short life may arise as something internal to the form, something necessary and ingenious.
  • Case example: Photoart, other forms picking up on the internet, graffiti,
  • What determines which paradigms catch on and which ones don't (in the short term vs. long term). Memes?


  • Continuation of Witgenstein paper

Psychology & Medical Ethics

  • Human rationality, reasoning & decision making: implications on the bioethics of patient & care-giver choices, addiction, impacts of pharmaceutical advertising, direct and indirect (including the naming of drugs and trials - i.e. all the pharma PR) on doctors and patients
    • The folk psychology underlying medical ethics
      • Review ethics literature on addiction, pharma etc.
    • Current state of knowledge about human cognition
    • Difference between the scientific model and the model underlying discussions of ethics
    • Implications for the ethics discussions

"Risk Factors"

Our notion of risk factors is restricted by our underlying assumptions & political views. So we are more likely to take note of individual behavioural RFs as opposed to the broader environmental ones.

There are at least 4 reasons for this:

  1. our cultural notions of personal freedom & personal responsibility
  2. our notions, ironically coupled with the above, of our lack of control over environmental & political factors as compared to individual risk factor
  3. the limitations of our individual experience & our tendency (highly adaptive for a finite intelligence) to ignore the pervasive factors in the background (eg. socio-political & environmental factors) & only notice individual differences &
  4. the influence of the pharmaceutical industry whose adverisments to patients & physicians make us selectively aware of only those risk factors for which a profitable technical solution exists.

But if we look at the relative contributions of the macro versus the micro factors it becomes apparent that the macro are far more significant. The average obese North American chain smoking fast-food junkie has a life expectancy @ birth of ... higher than the average Haitian.

Re: (2) above. While a given individual may have more control over his or her own behavioural RF's it is not necessarily the case that a public health campaign is more likely to be effective against these RFs than against broader ones.

Siem Reap (or Thailand Defeated)

  • The temples
  • development & the rewards of tourism and "economic development", foreign investment and foreign exploitation
  • the art of measuring misery
  • measurement and aid intervention
  • school

On "Sustainability"

  • "Give a man a match and he will warm for a few minutes. Light him on fire and he will be warm for the rest of his life"
  • On a similar vain: "If your primary parachute fails to open, how long do you have to pull the chord to the secondary shoot? Answer: the rest of your life."
  • Someone might suggest a middle way. Let's say instead of just giving a match or setting the man on fire, we teach him how to make a fire. Except he lives on a rock island, where he is the only nearly flammable thing around.


Sustainable cities & communities

  1. Sustainability Measures
  2. Maclaren, Virginia W. Developing Indicators of Urban Sustainability: A Focus on the Canadian Experience. Toronto, Canada: ICURR Press, 1996.

"Sustainability" and aid

  1. Philip Berger

Where is Nobel Money Invested?

Medical briefs

  • HSV
  • Canabinoids & Marijuana
  • Psilocibin
  • MDR-TB
  • Malaria



This morning I saw M off at the airport. M was heading home to a rather unhomely place: Afghanistan. It was a sad, slightly guilt-laden goodbye. M spent the last four years in Cambodia, a place he never felt at home in, studying at the Cambodia School of Prosthetics and Orthodics (CSPO), one of the top centres in the world for such training given Cambodia's volume of the maimed and limbless. (Only in the past couple of years have traffic accidents claimed more lives than land-mines and unexploded ordinance (UXOs) here, one of those famous facts that you can only emotionally appreciate after experiencing the traffic flow here first hand). I met him on my first day of work at Calmett, the big hospital in town, which is next to CSPO. He had spent his first three years here studying there along with a dozen or so others all from developing countries, all on scholarship. He had managed to meet all the required criteria, and pass all the tests (fail two in a row and you get sent home, which happens not infrequently). Unlike most of the others however neither his home country's government nor its non-governmental aid agencies had the infrastructure in place to make use of his expertise. So he spent last year in a state of constant uncertainty, awaiting various job offers and placement attempts which came and went and never fully materialized. There are still a few in the wings but and Afghan passport doesn't open very many doors. Amongst other things M has been a teacher, a pharmacist, a rug weaver. He is also a father of four beautiful girls whom he will be seeing again in a couple of days. I hope his home-coming is a happy one.