iPod City – questions about working conditions

This article talks about Apple’s iPod manufacturing in China.
Trade unions take issue with “iPod City” report – Engadget

This raises several conditions in my mind:

1) What are the working conditions like for the people that produce and deliver the items we use everyday?

2) What responsibility should we accept for those working conditions?   Is the worker completely responsible for the working conditions he will accept?  Or should the buyer have share some responsibility as well?

3) Even if the working conditions are unacceptable by our standards, are they an improvement?  And if it is an improvement, will it continue to improve?

As a consumer, we look at only price vs. value.  But as a citizen, we must look at the entire package.  Not only for working conditions, but also in regards to the environment, and many other issues.  I believe there is a lot of value in “think global, act local”.

Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories – How to make the simplest electric motor

Create a motor from a C cell battery, a wire, a screw, and a small magnet.  Looks really cool.  I’m going to try to do this at home tonight.
Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories – How to make the simplest electric motor

Joke: How was I born?

My sister emailed me the following joke.  I thought it was worth posting.

A little boy goes to his father and asks “Daddy, how was I born?”
The father answers: “Well son, I guess one day you will need to find out anyway! Your Mom and I first got together in a chat room on Yahoo. Then I set up a date via e-mail with your Mom and we met at a cyber-cafe. We sneaked into a secluded room, where your mother agreed to a download from my hard drive. As soon as I was ready to upload, we discovered that neither one of us had used a firewall, and since it was too late to hit the delete button, nine months later a little Pop-Up appeared that said:

You got Male!

Unintended consequences of stepped up security

The BBC News site has an article Anger as father ejected from US about a man and his family going to Alanta on the day of the increase security fears.  When he landed in Atlanta, he was questioned for four hours.  They let his family stay but make him go back.  Here are several clips from the article:

“The whole experience was completely demeaning. One of them even said sarcastically ‘we didn’t tell you to come to America on holiday’ after we complained about our treatment.

“They went through all the suitcases including the children’s belongings before telling me I was being sent back because I needed a visa despite having a British passport.”

Find all the schools near you

Easy School Search – www.easyschoolsearch.com/default.php

Find and map all the schools near a zip code.  You can see stats about the school including number of students & teachers.   Unfortunately, it does not list standardize test scores.

The Torture Myth

There has been a lot of talk about torture during the War on Terrorism.  This article by Anne Applebaum does a good job of exploring it.  I definately recommend reading it.