human costs

the only thing bigger than newt scamander’s suitcase is newt scamander’s heart


Asma Jama, a Somali woman who was hit with a glass mug for speaking Swahili, forgives her attacker.

Asma Jama made a powerful statement about her feelings. Swahili is no different from other languages. English, if desired, can bring no less harm than any other language! All depends on the person and not on his nationality or dialect!

I see this woman only spreads love, trust, and forgiveness to her offender and all other people who “argue” just like that woman…

As a human being, she’s worth more than hundreds like her…


The study of history is a powerful antidote to contemporary arrogance. It is humbling to discover how many of our glib assumptions, which seem to us novel and plausible, have been tested before, not once but many times and in innumerable guises; and discovered to be, at great human cost, wholly false.
—  Paul Johnson (1928-) English historian and journalist.

The sad truth about Donald Trump and the Paris agreement on climate change

In September the U.S. formally ratified the Paris treaty, an agreement between 180 countries that aims to prevent a 3.6 degree Fahrenheit increase over pre-industrial average global temperatures by 2100.

Exceeding a 3.6 degree rise would cross a threshold believed to make climate change and its dangerous consequences extreme and irreversible.

Now, the IEA’s new report predicts even those countries that try to follow the Paris agreement will fall short of what is needed to prevent global temperatures from crossing that threshold: If everyone does their part, the average rise is still expected to be 4.9 degrees Fahrenheit by 2100, the report finds.

And what if President-elect Donald Trump withdrew the United States from the Paris agreement? The cost — human and financial — of climate change would be even worse. The IEA report details three possible scenarios.

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The Travel Ban Is Just Wrong
The Getty‘s president on the importance of freedom of people and ideas.

“The recent executive order barring entry into the United States from citizens of seven nations is antithetical to the values of the Getty, and we condemn it in the strongest possible terms.

Curiosity, diversity, and tolerance are the core values of the humanities, values that require the free movement of people and ideas. That’s why, for years, the Getty has supported scholars, scientists, and other professionals from around the world—including from the targeted nations—in pursuing research and study here with us. It’s also why we are proud to welcome people of all faiths, colors, ethnicities, and nationalities into the Getty community.

If it continues, the travel ban will extract a high human cost in lost freedoms, livelihoods, and careers, as well as a high social cost in lost innovation and discovery. It may have a profoundly adverse effect on important work the Getty is pursuing in the Middle East, even in the midst of turmoil there, to protect and preserve the world’s cultural heritage. It will have a corrosive effect on scholarly exchange with the United States and on the stature of American cultural and educational institutions.

We believe the order is ill-advised, unnecessary, and destructive. The Getty stands against it and adds its voice in favor of established American principles of freedom and engagement.”

—James Cuno, President and CEO of the Getty


The True Cost Movie

Directed by Andrew Morgan and Executive Produced by Livia Firth, Lucy Siegle and others, The True Cost is a fashion documentary about the human and environmental impact of fast fashion and the clothing industry in general.

Tom Ford attended the London Premiere and said “I was truly moved by it and I think anyone who isn’t moved by it would be callous. It is brilliant.”

Have you seen the film yet and what did you think?

NieR Automata: Happy (E)ndings are Possible Through Unity and Sacrifice


That’s probably the best way I can summarize my recent experience with NieR Automata, a game that is truly Yoko Taro at his best: unsettling, tragic, strange, entertaining, emotionally-charged, and downright surprising. But what made this version of Automata stand out is the numerous routes (A, B, C, D) that bring about the question of meaning and whether there is meaning when things seem impossible.

To put things into perspective, the story revolves around main characters of 2B, 9S, and A2, combat androids of the YoRHa unit aimed to ‘save humans on the moon’ from the evil machines (plot twist: humans died long ago). This is implied to be their only reason to live- to protect humans at all cost. Little do they know all the humans died long ago and are being forced to repeatedly kill the androids.

Through the trials of Ending A, B, C, and D, nothing but tragedy, despair, and failure repeat for the characters. Whether it is your character dying, forcing someone else’s death, or dying of a character’s morals, dreams, or motivations, the game shows itself to be impossible to ‘beat’ by yourself. There is 2B getting tired of being forced to kill her lover/love interest 9S for eternity, 9S is being used to gather information but killed whenever getting too smart, and A2 is used as a guinea pig for the logic virus and making it better.

The cycle of killing, despair, and corruption constantly repeats itself because you, as the player, are forbidden from ‘breaking the code’ and giving the players the happy life routes they wish to obtain. Yet, every time you are killed, you are given various messages by fellow characters telling you not to give up. Despite the tragedy, there is always a small glimmer hope in the routes, pushing you to keep trying. 

Perhaps there is a happy ending after all, if you keep trying…? 

Enter Ending (E). What happens is that before the start Ending (E), you are sent to the game’s final boss….the credits?

That’s right- you are literally fighting the credits. In other words, the creators themselves:

This is a very difficult part and is pretty likely you will die ‘fighting the creators.’ Until….you are given the option to select ‘YES’ where another player suddenly offers to save you. Someone else must be wiling to sacrifice themselves to save you. There is a glitch in the system no one could anticipate- finding meaning in otherwise one’s (permanent) loss.

Help, which you’ve really haven’t had all game, comes in the form of the pods who have backup data for all three characters. As this happens, the credits themselves even start fizzling out while you are given this gem:

“I have to come to the conclusion that I cannot accept this resolution.”- Pod 042.

You are also given the option to pay it forward to save another person when they reach the final battle. 

What this game is really asking you…. if and when the time comes, are you willing to make sacrifices for the betterment of the world, even if you gain nothing and possibly lose it all? Can you find meaning where most people cannot and simply give up? Are you willing to place your trust in others in a world where the ‘other’ is seen as the enemy?

Because someone is willing to sacrifice their own data, the characters are all able to survive. This is strong message in that unity and sacrifice, no matter how small and insignificant, provide us hope even in the darkest times. This is underlying message behind the madness Taro has provided us- in an idealized world, we would all make the sacrifice. The world may be a very cruel and meaningless place at times, it does not mean we ourselves are meaningless, nor are our actions meant to protect our fellow beings.

Oh, and the chorus during the final credits? The developers of this game!! They are literally trying to cheer you on to defeat ‘their game’ and find the happy ending within their world of challenge and despair. They are challenging you to find meaning even though the characters question it repeatedly. 

NieR Automata is a great game that is now one of my all-time favorites- it reminds me of Majora’s Mask in that has the ability to make you think and consider how it relates to humanity. It may not have the mainstream popularity or be some extravagant open world, but to me, this is what a GOTY is all about- challenging your world views and making you think long after the game has been turned off. 

Today marks a major milestone in the history of geriatric canine literature! The Susie’s Senior Dogs book was released today. After months of breathless anticipation, scholars and critics agree: ‘Susie’s Senior Dogs has set a new high-water mark among books that have nice pictures and sweet stories about old dogs who find new homes.’ The author, coincidentally, is my wife. She worked so hard to make this book perfect and it came out wonderfully. The book will warm the heart of every dog lover. Moby, Simon, and I are very proud of her. And Erin is using every penny that she makes to pay for the medical bills of old foster dogs– so that they’re healthy and happy when they arrive at their new homes. The book only costs $15 human dollars. So please consider getting Susie’s Senior Dogs for yourself or the dog lover in your life!

Barnes and Noble:
Trump’s anti-immigration stance could result in a $60 billion food shortage
By Leanna Garfield


Donald Trump has been very clear about his intentions to deport an estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants in the US and build a wall along the southern border.

Besides the human cost, Trump’s anti-immigration stance could also strain American farms. Of the 1.5 to 2 million people working in agriculture today, at least 50% to 70% of farm workers are undocumented, according to a recent report by the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF).

If the agriculture sector were to eliminate all undocumented workers, the US would be left with a $30 to $60 billion food production loss, the researchers write.

Retail food prices would increase by 5% to 6% on average, with some categories seeing higher jumps than others. For example, the National Milk Producers Federation expects a 90% increase in milk prices if the country removes the immigrant labor supply, Modern Farmer reports.

The report also states that few US workers would be able to fill these farm labor jobs, mainly because they are grueling. Shifts in 100-degree Farenheit weather over 12-hour shifts without overtime pay are common. The demand for farm labor far exceeds the local supply of workers who are skilled, legal citizens, according to the AFBF report. This is especially true in agriculture-heavy parts of states like California and Texas.