Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Via JMG: On The Origins Of HIV

The Washington Post has published a fascinating history of the origins of HIV, based on the fairly widely-accepted theory that the virus sprang from chimp to human during the tumultuous colonial days of western Africa, possibly beginning in the 1880s.
Most of this colonial world didn’t have enough potential victims for such a fragile virus to start a major epidemic. HIV is harder to transmit than many other infections. People can have sex hundreds of times without passing the virus on. To spread widely, HIV requires a population large enough to sustain an outbreak and a sexual culture in which people often have more than one partner, creating networks of interaction that propel the virus onward. To fulfill its grim destiny, HIV needed a kind of place never before seen in Central Africa but one that now was rising in the heart of the region: a big, thriving, hectic place jammed with people and energy, where old rules were cast aside amid the tumult of new commerce. It needed Kinshasa. It was here, hundreds of miles downriver from Cameroon, that HIV began to grow beyond a mere outbreak. It was here that AIDS grew into an epidemic.
Read the full article. (Tipped by JMG reader Greg)

reposted from Joe

Via Gay Politics Report:

  • Houston mayor won't back down from marriage stance
  • Houston Mayor Annise Parker said this week she believes President Barack Obama “needs to evolve a little bit faster” on the issue of marriage for same-sex couples, and that she supports an effort to include marriage equality in the Democratic platform. Meanwhile, Parker rejected a local pastor's call for her to resign over her increasingly public stance on marriage. "I do my duty to uphold the state Constitution and the U.S. Constitution. I swore an oath to that. I take that oath very seriously, but I have my First Amendment rights to free speech. We all have the right to do that and I’m sorry [he doesn't] understand the Constitution," Parker said. The Huffington Post/Gay Voices (2/27), ThinkProgress.org (2/28)     

Via Tricycle Daily Dharma:

Tricycle Daily Dharma February 28, 2012

Who We Really Are

The life that flows through each of us and through everything around us is actually all connected. To say that, of course, means that who I really am cannot be separated from all the things that surround me. Or, to put it another way, all sentient beings have their existence and live within my life.
- Kosho Uchiyama Roshi, "The Bodhisattva Vow: Eight Views"
Read the entire article in the Tricycle Wisdom Collection