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Rice Bowls and some good news from the earthquake in Haiti

Posted in Family, Journalism, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on January 15, 2010 by macmystery

Rice Bowls, the Spartanburg, S.C.-based world hunger ministry for which my wife Brooke works, supports an orphanage in Haiti.

In a bit of good news out of a country where the news only figures to get worse in the coming days, the 11 children Rice Bowls feeds are all alive and safe. (Read Thursday’s Herald-Journal story) Thank you God.

A group from the Pennsylvania church which runs the orphanage has traveled to Haiti with supplies with an MSNBC news crew in tow to chronicle their efforts. Here’s the initial story, when the safety of the children was still in question, and Thursday’s story telling of the group’s arrival in Hispaniola.

Haiti, the poorest nation in the Western Hemisphere, had enough problems before this earthquake. More than 80 percent of the country lives in poverty and less than half have access to clean water. And that’s when things are going well.

My thoughts and prayers go out, not only to the Haitian victims of this earthquake, to those who have made their way to Haiti to help, those who are on the way, those who are giving to the relief efforts … but also to those who didn’t need an earthquake to try and make a difference in Haiti.

My wife, of whom I’m very proud, works for an organization that was already trying to make a better life for a handful of children in Haiti, among other places in the world. As a result of this catastrophe, their job has gotten a lot tougher. And a lot more important.

For those who want to help the orphans at the Rescue Children orphanage or help facilitate repairs to their home, donations can be made at

For those who want to give to other relief efforts, once again, here’s a list of organizations already working in the country.

Again, for those interesting in helping immediately, simply text “HAITI” to “90999” and a donation of $10 will be given automatically to the Red Cross to help with relief efforts, charged to your cell phone bill.

How to help Haiti

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on January 13, 2010 by macmystery

With Tuesday’s 7.0 earthquake devastating Haiti, the count of the injured and the dead are going to grow to staggering numbers in the next few days. And the need for immediate assistance is only going to be magnified.

Because of the likelihood that there will be difficulties flying in and out of the country, experts are suggesting that for those wanting to help, it would be best to support an organization that already has it’s feet on the ground in the country. has provided a list of organizations already working in the country.

Possibly the simplest way to give:

For those interesting in helping immediately, simply text “HAITI” to “90999” and a donation of $10 will be given automatically to the Red Cross to help with relief efforts, charged to your cell phone bill.

Haiti is the poorest country in the Western hemisphere. Even before the quake, only 46 percent of the population there had access to clean drinking water. After this disaster, that number will surely drop.

Please keep the people of Haiti in your thoughts and prayers.

Jimmy V

Posted in Sports, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on December 9, 2009 by macmystery

If you watch ESPN at all, you would have had to have been under a rock the past week and a half to miss the replay of this speech. Every year at this time, it becomes a nightly ritual on the network during the Jimmy V Classic.

On March 3, 1993, former N.C. State basketball coach and ESPN basketball analyst Jim Valvano gave this speech at the ESPYs after receiving the Arthur Ashe Courage and Humanitarian Award. His body was riddled with cancer and he knew his time was short.

And his speech was magnificent. It’s one of those television moments I never grow tired of seeing. I’m sure the people I work with don’t feel the same way.  I’m sure they get tired of me turning the TV up every night to hear the speech when ESPN plays it. I don’t care.

In the speech, Valvano said he hoped to survive long enough to present the Ashe award the next year, but it didn’t happen. He fell victim to his cancer April 28, 1993.

Though he didn’t live much longer, there are two themes in his speech that have endured.

First, he very poignantly suggested how one could ensure they live each day to the fullest:

“To me, there are three things we all should do every day. We should do this every day of our lives. Number one is laugh. You should laugh every day. Number two is think. You should spend some time in thought. And number three is, you should have your emotions moved to tears, could be happiness or joy. But think about it. If you laugh, you think, and you cry, that’s a full day. That’s a heck of a day. You do that seven days a week, you’re going to have something special.”

Then he closed the speech with this:

“Cancer can take away all of my physical abilities. It cannot touch my mind, it cannot touch my heart, and it cannot touch my soul. And those three things are going to carry on forever. I thank you and God bless you all.”

(Many mistakenly believe that his famous quote, “Don’t give up, don’t ever give up,” came in this speech. It did not. It came two weeks earlier, February 21, 1993, at N.C. State’s celebration of the 10th anniversary of Valvano’s 1983 NCAA Championship squad.)

Valvano’s entire speech can be found in a text version here.

I hope that should I ever be unfortunate enough to face an unforgiving disease like cancer, that I might have the grace and class that Valvano did.

Arthur Ashe Courage and Humanitarian Award

Like your turkey organic?

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on October 19, 2009 by macmystery
Quick quiz: Who's the turkey in this picture?

Quick quiz: Who's the turkey in this picture?

The Clemson Poultry Science Club is offering 50 organic turkeys for sale this Thanksgiving.

Want to know more? Read here.

They don’t make ’em like they used to

Posted in Odd, Uncategorized with tags , , , , on October 19, 2009 by macmystery

I thought this was interesting. I found it on the auto page at

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety found a 1959 Chevrolet Bel Air in near perfect condition and decided to crash it head on at 40 mph with a 2009 Chevrolet Malibu to illustrate what progress in safety had been made in 50 years of American car manufacturing.

Take a look. I took particular note of how fast the airbag in the 2009 Malibu deployed. The driver never sniffed the steering wheel, much less the windshield.

As for the driver of the Bel-Air, well, he didn’t hit the windshield either. But that’s because he had a steering column coming through the back of his spine.