Saturday, June 6, 2009

Thembi Ngubane Yesterday on NPR, I heard this story of a brave young woman who succumbed to AIDS. But before that, she kept a radio diary for NPR. I heard a few excerpts and choked up. Listen to it on the NPR website - helps put things in perspective.

I made it to the gym yesterday after a few weeks and noticed a change. In between the lockers there used to be long benches . Those have now been replaced by stand along stools - two between each row of lockers. Apparently, sharing a common bench where anyone could place their gym stuff got too much for the patrons of the elite gym. For the emphasis placed on teaching kids to "share", the adults in America are pretty lousy at it. Personal Space and the ultimate importance of it in American life is a concept I first noticed this when I rode the Metro North or the Long Island Rail Road in New York. Throughout the crowded trains, all the 3 seat seats would hold two people, sitting on far ends and hiding behind their newspapers, magazines, iPods - anything to avoid random conversation. People would stand for upwards of an hour but not sit on the middle seats. I did that once - just for fun and made the two men around me so uncomfortable. They wanted to leave so bad but the seat rightfully belonged to them - I was the interloper. They stuck it out that day but I'm sure they took long showers after they got home - touching another human being - the horror!!

In the Air France story, 2 bodies have been recovered from Atlantic Ocean. Also emerging is some noise about Airbus having issued an advisory about some equipment on the plane. There is the usual denying of wrongdoing and CYA (cover your a**). Of course, nothing's going to bring back the people lost. The entire story gives me the chills when I think about how dependent we are on corporations doing the right thing. BBC reports that the plane actually sent 24 error messages in the minutes before it disappeared. Here's the full story.

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