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25 posts from August 2011

31 August 2011

No, but yes!

by Innerdialect

Ummm by Rayla Noel"Ummm"
Medium: Pastels
©, Rayla Noel

Sometimes there are no words
just the colours in my mind
little pieces of Time and Space;
your lives and mine
indefinable
impossible, and yet
like bridges
and stairwells,
puzzles and mime.

Often we understand each other, often
not; but when I look within the pages inside
new words form, new rhyme.
Colour saves me, just in time.

©, Rayla Noel

23 August 2011

Spirit Wild and Free

by Christy

Moon Spirit - pastel painting by Tracie KoziuraSpirit Wild and Free
As sure as an eagle flies
As sure as a new born baby cries
As sure as the sun will shine
I know you'll be on my mind
You are a spirit wild and free and that is what you will always be
As sure as clouds predict the rain
As sure as loss bring pain.
You will alway be a spirit wild and free.
As sure as the moutain rises high
As sure time passes by
As sure as a seed grows in the sand
And green grass stretches across the land.
You will always be a spirit wild and free.
As sure as my love for you will always stay
As sure as night turns into day
As sure as roses collect the dew
As sure as the sky turns blue
You will always be a spirit wild and free
As sure as you are a part of my heart
As sure as I loved you from the start
As sure as there is always a beginning and end
As sure as hearts will always mend
As sure as you will always be a part of me
You will always be a spirit wild and free.

©2011, Christy

20 August 2011

Making a Difference ~ Michael J Fox

by Tracie Koziura

Michael J Fox by Tracie KoziuraMichael J. Fox was born in 1961 in Alberta, Canada. He describes himself as an "Army brat" and moved several times throughout his childhood with his parents, brother and three sisters before finally settling in British Columbia in 1971.

Michael started acting at the age of 15 and at 21 he became known world wide for his character, Alex P. Keaton in the enormously popular "Family Ties" which ran from 1982 to 1989. During his seven years with the show, he earned three Emmy Awards and a Golden Globe, making him one of the country's most prominent young actors. He has since starred in several TV shows and films but is perhaps best remembered for his role as Marty McFly in the Back to the Future Trilogy - the first of which was the highest-grossing film of 1985 and became an international phenomenon, leading to the second and third films which were filmed back-to-back and released in 1989 and 1990 respectively.

In 1991, Michael was diagnosed with Parkinsons Disease. When he finally disclosed his condition in 1998, he received a tremendous amount of publicity and he committed himself to the campaign for increased Parkinson's research. He even received a telephone call from Mohammed Ali. Michael recalls, "For some reason, I returned his call from the phone in my bathroom. In the mirror I could see my eyes welling up as he said, in his eloquent whisper, 'I'm sorry you have this, but with both of us in this fight, we're going to win now.'"

Michael realised that it was no longer a question of if Parkinson's could be cured, but when. Thus began his involvement in senate hearings and the creation of the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research. "Our sole concern," says Michael, "is to identify the best research and then to raise money and distribute it to the scientists conducting that research as quickly as possible. Our goal as an institution is nothing less than planned obsolescence."

Continue reading "Making a Difference ~ Michael J Fox" »

18 August 2011

Making a Difference ~ Alyssa Milano

by Tracie Koziura

Alyssa Milano by Tracie KoziuraRecognised around the world for her role as Pheobe Halliwell in the TV Series "Charmed", Alyssa Milano has been an Ambassador for UNICEF since 2003 and 2004 she she was an official spokesperson for UNICEF's Trick or Treat campaign. She traveled to India, Kosovo, as well as Angola, to work with UNICEF field officers there. Alyssa hosted a photography exhibition and auction in Los Angeles which raised close to $50,000 for Nkosi's Haven, an organization that runs care centers in South Africa for AIDS-afflicted mothers and children.

Alyssa was appointed Founding Ambassador for the Global Network for Neglected Tropical Diseases, to which she donated $250,000. The Global Network is an alliance formed to advocate and mobilize resources in the fight to control neglected tropical diseases (NTDs). Alyssa also works to raise awareness of NTDs by educating the mainstream media and general public of the plight faced by the one billion people who are afflicted by NTDs, and the importance in controlling and preventing this global health crisis.

Alyssa says, "Words cannot fully express the devastation and horror caused by NTDs [Neglected Tropical Diseases]. Until now, these diseases have been hidden in the shadows, but working with the Global Network, I am focused on bringing this tragedy to the public eye."

In the late 1980s, Alyssa appeared on Phil Donahue's talk show where she kissed Ryan White, a schoolboy ostracised for having AIDS, to show that she would not catch it from him.

In support of PETA, she appeared in an advertisement for them, advocating vegetarianism, in a dress made entirely of vegetables!

Alyssa has received an humanitarian award from Sri Chinmoy: The Peace Meditation at the United Nation and The John Wayne Cancer Institute’s 2004 Spirit of Hollywood Award, for her commitment to making a positive difference in the lives of others.

In honor of her 37th birthday (December 19, 2009), Alyssa ran an online fundraising campaign to raise money to support Charity: Water's clean water project in Ethiopia. She asked all her Twitter followers to make a donation and spread the word throughout Twitter and Facebook. Her original goal was to raise $25,000 and the final total raised was $92,568, bringing clean water to 4,628 people, 928 families in 19 communities.

As a Goodwill Ambassador for UNICEF, Alyssa initiated another online campaign through Twitter after the Haiti earthquake to challenge major corporations and organizations to match her donation of $50,000. The Twitter challenge garnered enough visibility to receive dollar-for-dollar matches from three organizations and double matches from two others. This resulted in $400,000 dollars for UNICEF to help the victims of the Haiti earthquake.

Social media gives us a platform to use our voice for positive change. Last year for my 37th birthday, I mobilized a campaign to raise money to support Charity: Water's clean water project in Ethiopia. I asked all of my Twitter followers to make a donation and spread the word through Twitter and Facebook. We raised $92,568, bringing clean water to 4,628 people, 928 families in 19 communities. It was the best birthday present I could have ever asked for.

As a Goodwill Ambassador for UNICEF, I again went to Twitter after the Haiti earthquake to challenge major corporations and organizations to match my donation of $50,000. The Twitter challenge garnered enough visibility to receive dollar-for-dollar matches from three organizations and double matches from two others. This resulted in $400,000 dollars for UNICEF to help the victims of the Haiti earthquake.

I'm also an Ambassador for the Global Network for Neglected Tropical Diseases, an advocacy and resource mobilization initiative of the Sabin Vaccine Institute. Most people don't know that 1.4 billion people have one or more neglected tropical diseases (NTDs). These diseases blind, disfigure, and stigmatize its victims, but there is a solution. Just 50 cents can treat an individual for many of the most common NTDs for an entire year. All it takes it pocket change. What was the last thing you bought for 50 cents?

There are many opportunities to spread awareness of global health issues through social media tools like Twitter. I'm optimistic that with the right campaign we can mobilize people to learn about how we can improve people's lives. This week, the World Health Organization (WHO) released a report on NTDs, and while the report highlights successes in combating many of this diseases worldwide, it is evident that there is much more that needs to be done.

I'm optimistic about successes we've had in global health and development. But how can we spread the word? The ONE Campaign's Living Proof project highlights the incredible stories of individuals whose lives have been saved because of interventions that work.

We can use the success highlighted in Living Proof and spread them through social media to educate and inform people that while we still have a ways to go to rid the world of disease and poverty, we are moving in the right direction.

Peace,
Light,
And Love,
Alyssa

I first came to know of Alyssa Milano through her portrayal of Phoebe Halliwell in Charmed and my admiration and respect for this talented, beautiful and caring lady has continued to grow over the years. She is another of my favourite celebrities who is working hard to make a difference in our world through doing good and giving back. Her first baby is due in September this year (2011) and I wish her all the love and happiness in the world - if anyone deserves it, Alyssa certainly does!

"Alyssa"
Medium: Soft pastels on velour
Size: 10" x 10"
© 2011, Tracie Koziura

Stitches Through Time

by Scott Loveall

Dancing Iris2Sue Davis is a fascinating artist to me. She has a mind that must see the way a handyman sees a task he has never attempted and comes up with a new and unique way of solving the problem or fixing a stubborn door. I first walked in to Sue's Ft. Wayne, Indiana gallery in 1990. The jaw in my mind's eye dropped. I'm sure my posture changed and mouth turned into a perfect 'O'. My mind had switched out of conscious mode. I was on autopilot. My feet tried to move without me and my eyes wanted to be everywhere at once.

Who runs a matte through a sewing machine and stitches it with metallic thread?

Who embeds circles and rectangles of fired clay tiles into windows of five layered cut out mattes?

Who adds dye to epoxies and creates dew-like droplets of pastels around bands of gold leaf foil that are etched by hand with delicate designs?

Who puts all that in the same piece?

With LACE?

Is this old hat today? These were not just paintings or sculptures, this was collaborative engineering. Little tribes of art, different species brought to a common moment to sing and cohabit together. It was everywhere, one more intriguing and creative than the next. I wanted it all. In the end I could never have decided on just one piece. I could walk out, get away, rush to my car and not look back or spend money I did not have. After all I had a dog on the way. I bought three. I named two of them.

Continue reading "Stitches Through Time" »

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