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Ode to Mandela

first_imgThe passing on of Mr. Mandela to the other side, a man in his own class, a harbinger and full epitome of peace is a clarion call to Africa and the entire world to seek peace and harmony for the common good of humanity. It is our hope that South Africa after Madiba will rise and show the world what it is to forgive and forget, seeking peace and forging ahead for the common existence of all South Africans and thus carrying the legacy of Madiba to the next level.The long years of incarceration at Robben Island taught Madiba to be at peace with self and the environment, make use of his isolation and uplifting those who were faint hearted alongside him.Out of prison, the man did not bear any scars of hate, but forgiveness, peace and reconciliation ensured from him. He surprised too many not only in his native country but the world at large with his desire to forgive and let everyone in South Africa enjoy equal rights.Through his deeds he defied the status quo, modelled a paradigm shift, inspired a vision and challenged others to think like him. The Rainbow country was bornLike his idol the Indian peace icon, Mahatma Gandhi Mr. Mandela used peaceful tactics for dealing with the issues of racialism, segregation and apartheid and encouraged a common existence for all based on equal rights. He fought injustices out of prison and in prison. With persistence victory was won.  Closing of another chapter of the illustrious life of Madiba is indeed a dark day but we thank God as we celebrate his life. Such people do not come that easy and as the world mourns the challenge is: can we do all of us to live the legacy of that great individual and take his mantle? A selflessness Leader and a great believer in the contributions of others – that is the way to describe Mr. MandelaOther qualities that shaped the life of Mr. Mandela:Yearning for Knowledge – one of the familiar quotes underscores Mr. Mandela’s longing for education “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world” he attended various universities and continued reading.Espoused Sacrifice – at great price could one give up fame of the Presidency and the tripling of power attached. He did not let power get to his head. In being so humble and giving, he allowed others to also emerge as leaders. This is as if the 27 years in prison were not enough and itsafter effects to his health which has culminated into his death..Skirmish against Conformity – Madiba made a number of decisions different from the current beliefs of the time, both in his personal and public life. Away from the status quo he challenged the system of the time and fashioned his own dream.Stubborn Sense of Fairness – thisempowered him to endure doing everything he believed was dead-on even when others went against it. And many other attributes.Madiba indeed has fought the fight and run his race and accounted for his time on this earth. Sweet will be the memories of this statesman, revolutionist, sportsman, teacher, friend, pioneer, a freedom fighter, hero, colossus, icon and simply a commonwealth-sincewe all want to identify with him and his achievements.Our prayer is that they shall arise others with the attributes of the Madiba. Africa needs them and the world needs them too.Goodbye Madiba.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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Microchips may cause human cancer, critics say, citing animal tests

first_imgTo date, about 2,000 radio frequency identification, or RFID, chips have been implanted in humans worldwide, according to VeriChip Corp. The company, which sees a target market of 45 million Americans for its medical monitoring chips, insists the devices are safe. “We stand by our implantable products which have been approved by the FDA and/or other U.S. regulatory authorities,” said Scott Silverman, chairman and chief executive officer of the Delray Beach, Fla., company. Management was “not aware of any studies that have resulted in malignant tumors” in laboratory animals, but he added that millions of pets have been implanted with microchips without reports of significant problems. The FDA also stands by its approval of the technology, but declined repeated AP requests to specify what studies it reviewed before approving the implants. The agency is overseen by the Department of Health and Human Services, which, at the time of VeriChip’s approval, was headed by Tommy Thompson. Two weeks after the device’s approval took effect on Jan. 10, 2005, Thompson left his Cabinet post, and by July was a board member of VeriChip Corp. and its parent company, Applied Digital Solutions. He was compensated in cash and stock options. Thompson, until recently a candidate for the 2008 Republican presidential nomination, says he had no personal relationship with the company as the VeriChip was being evaluated, and played no role in FDA’s approval. Also making no mention of the findings on animal tumors was a June report by the ethics committee of the American Medical Association, which touted the benefits of implantable RFID devices. Had committee members reviewed, or even been aware of, the literature on cancer in chipped animals? No, said Dr. Steven Stack, an AMA board member. Dr. Cheryl London, a veterinarian oncologist at Ohio State University, noted it’s easier to cause cancer in mice than people. “So it may be that what you’re seeing in mice represents an exaggerated phenomenon of what may occur in people.” Tens of thousands of dogs have been chipped, she said, and veterinary pathologists haven’t reported outbreaks of related sarcomas. (Published reports detailing malignant tumors in two chipped dogs turned up in AP’s four-month examination of research on chips and health. In one dog, the researchers said cancer appeared linked to the presence of the embedded chip; in the other, the cancer’s cause was uncertain.) Nonetheless, London saw a need for a 20-year study of chipped canines.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! When the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved implanting microchips in humans, the manufacturer said it would save lives, letting doctors scan the tiny transponders to access patients’ medical records almost instantly. The FDA found “reasonable assurance” the device was safe, and a sub-agency even called it one of 2005’s top “innovative technologies.” But neither the company nor the regulators publicly mentioned this: A series of veterinary and toxicology studies, dating to the mid-1990s, stated that chip implants had “induced” malignant tumors in some lab mice and rats. “The transponders were the cause of the tumors,” said Keith Johnson, a retired toxicologic pathologist, explaining the findings of a 1996 study he led. Leading cancer specialists reviewed the research for The Associated Press and, while cautioning that animal test results do not necessarily apply to humans, said the findings troubled them. Some said they would not allow family members to receive implants, and all urged further research before the glass-encased transponders are widely implanted in people. last_img read more

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