Tuesday, June 6, 2017

5 Corporate Scandals

Oops! I accidentally got carried away while working on a freelance writing project and wrote way over my projected word count about corporate scandals. So please, enjoy this short list of awful things done in the name of capitalism.

If you are horrified and fascinated by these events, perhaps you would like to browse this blog's history tag.

1. Ford Pinto (1978). Ford made its Pinto models between 1971 and 1980. In 1971, Ford recalled 20,000 of its Pintos because of reports of vapors from the fuel tank leaking into the back of the car through the carburetor. In two legal cases, Ford was accused of producing a car it knew was unsafe, particularly in low-speed rear-end collisions. Three deaths and four incidents of serious injury were reported 1971-1974.

https://www.amazon.com/Was-Ford-Pinto-Death-Trap-ebook/dp/B017OFMRQI/
In 1978, the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration ruled that the design of Ford’s fuel tank was defective. In 1980 the state of Indiana charged the Ford corporation with murder after three teenage girls were killed in one accident involving a Pinto, but the company was found not guilty.

2. Union Carbide (1984). The chemical manufacturer’s pesticide plant in Bhopal, India was so poorly maintained it caused the largest industrial disaster in history. The accidental release of methyl isocyanate caused the immediate suffocation deaths of more than 2,000 people, injuries in more than 50,000 people, and an additional gas-related death toll of perhaps another 8,000 people. Although the Indian government charged Union Carbide executives with homicide, the company claimed it was not under Indian jurisdiction and these officials did not appear in court to face these charges.

https://www.amazon.com/Five-Past-Midnight-Bhopal-Industrial/dp/0446530883/
3. Lincoln Savings and Loan (1989). The Lincoln S&L had been a respected financial institution since it was opened in Los Angeles in 1925. Its management ran the institution conservatively and made a modest profit.

When Charles Keating purchased Lincoln S&L in February 1984, Keating increased the company’s profits five-fold by taking on riskier and riskier investments. As a result, the parent company was forced to declare bankruptcy and 21,000 investors, many of them elderly, lost their savings.

4. Firestone Natural Rubber Company (1990). Firestone Tire and Rubber Company opened this natural rubber plantation in Liberia in 1926. Leased from the Liberian government, the plantation was the largest of its kind in the world. Human rights groups have documented numerous worker complaints about conditions in the plantation, ranging from accusations of child labor violations to modern-day slavery.

Civil war broke out in Liberia in 1990, and a resistance group took over the Firestone plantation. Although all the details of the what happened on the plantation at that time are unclear, what is known is that warlord Charles Taylor made Firestone Natural Rubber Company his base of operations and that Taylor was convicted in international criminal court for war crimes.

5. Halliburton (2010). Founded in 1919, the Halliburton Company is among the world’s largest oil field service companies. It has been involved in numerous scandals over the years, from accusations of illegal trading with the enemy when a subsidiary opened an office in Tehran to charges of obstructing an investigation by deleting data related to the Deep Water Horizon oil rig explosion of 2010. Halliburton was found to be jointly responsible, along with BP and another oil company, of negligent practices that caused the deaths of 11 employees and the discharge of 4.9 million barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

'Geekerella' by Ashley Poston Book Review

GeekerellaGeekerella by Ashley Poston

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

'Geekerella' is a sweet, fun, charming retelling of the Cinderella fairy tale. Its heroine, Elle, bonded with her late father through the sci-fi television series 'Starfield.' Its prince is Darien Freeman, an actor on a soapish evening drama series recently cast as 'Starfield's Prince Carmindor in a movie reboot.

Elle is not initially happy with this casting decision. A nice twist is that part of the book is written from her point of view and part is written from Darien's. I don't think I've ever read a "Cinderella" version that gives us the prince's POV before.

Darien and Elle correspond via text without knowing who the other person is in real life. They fall in love through each other's words and their shared love of 'Starfield.' In a way, they become Carmindor and the fictional TV series' heroine, Princess Amara. There's a wicked stepmother and a lost shoe, but this retelling is contemporary and fresh enough to make it all seem new.

An important detail about this book is that it has a Cosplay Ball, and at that ball, a Dean Winchester and a Castiel are a dancing couple. (Okay, maybe that's only an important detail if you're a Destiel shipper.)

I'm more of a fanfiction writer than a cosplayer, so I didn't quite identify with Elle as much as I did with Cath Avery in Rainbow Rowell's Fangirl. Still, this is in 'Fangirl's wheelhouse, and fans of Rowell's geeky romance should enjoy this romantic geeky retelling.

I won this book in a Goodreads giveaway and was not obligated in any way to review it.

View all my reviews on Goodreads

Friday, May 12, 2017

'Democracy In Black' #Nonfiction #Politics

Democracy in Black: How Race Still Enslaves the American SoulDemocracy in Black: How Race Still Enslaves the American Soul by Eddie S. Glaude Jr.

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book is excellent at describing what the problem is, but a bit lacking in practical solutions on how to solve the problem. Professor Glaude isn't responsible for single-handedly solving the race problems in the U.S.A., of course, but I did think that at the beginning of the book he said that he would focus on what could be done other than more preaching to the choir.

The #1 problem, as summed up in this book, is that white Americans fundamentally need to change the way we view African-Americans before anything will truly change. Professor Glaude then goes on to describe how contemporary African-American politics, including the presidency of Former President Obama, exacerbate rather than deal with the problem. Namely, the Black Left is too worried about placating and catering to white ideas of what an African-American politician should be to be considered "acceptable."

The result is that the Democratic Party counts on the support of the African-American voting block without actually creating policies that do anything to make Black life in America any better. It's a huge frustration, quite disheartening, and a problem that grass-roots activism is going to have to work really, REALLY hard to make a dent in.

I received a paperback copy of this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for a fair, honest review.

View all my reviews on Goodreads

Sunday, April 23, 2017

'When God Made You' #childrensbook by Matthew Paul Turner and David Catrow

When God Made YouWhen God Made You by Matthew Paul Turner

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is a beautifully written and beautifully illustrated picture book with words by Matthew Paul Turner and images by David Catrow. The star of the book is an unnamed little girl who appears to be about four years old. She's a girl of African descent with an adorable little face and beautiful natural hair in braids.

I knew I was going to love the illustrations when I opened the cover and saw the abstract, rainbow-hued "squiggle" artwork on the inside. On the first story page, a cat of perhaps Siamese persuasion is making a very cat-like face on one side of our heroine, and a fluffy little dog is looking very curiously at her story book on her other side. Her baby sister plays contentedly on the floor. It's a charming illustration in watercolors and a few lines of black ink.

The story introduces children to the concept of being created as a unique creation in God's image. It would be a nice lesson for a young children's Sunday school class, for a religious or home-school kindergarten or preschool class, or for a bedtime story. The illustrations get increasingly whimsical.

Overall, this book is an absolute joy.

I received a copy of this book from BloggingForBooks.com in exchange for writing this review. I was not otherwise compensated.

View all my reviews on Goodreads

Buy my copy on eBay



Tuesday, March 28, 2017

4 Great Travel Books for 2017



4. Ghostland: An American History in Haunted Places by Colin Dickey

Colin Dickey’s haunted travelogue Ghostland roams New York, New England, the Midwest, the South, the Southeast, the Rocky Mountains, and the Pacific Coast in search for ghost-ridden homes, businesses, cemeteries, asylums, and prisons. Whether or not you believe in life after death, Dickey explains, the folklore connected to certain geographical locations often tells us more about the anxieties of the living than it does about the concerns of the dead. I'm fascinated by Dickey’s analysis and by his conclusion that the public’s interest in ghost stories is keeping alive the important work of historical preservation.

3. Atlas Obscura: An Explorer's Guide to the World's Hidden Wonders by Joshua Foer, Dylan Thuras, and Ella Morton

Starting with the premise that with identical chains of store franchises in every village and hamlet across the land, America is no longer a place that holds any mystery, the authors of Atlas Obscura began by wondering what they could do to reclaim some of the world’s lost wonder, starting in their Manhattan backyards. They were amazed to find more weird, obscure, bizarre and - well, amazing places had been right under their noses. Around the world, the authors found wherever you go, something weird is going on just out of the public eye.

2. Flâneuse: Women Walk the City in Paris, New York, Tokyo, Venice, and London by Lauren Elkin

Virginia Woolf called it “Street Haunting,” and the French poet Charles Baudelaire termed it flânerie: the art of inhabiting the crowd of a city street. In Flâneuse, Lauren Elkin writes specifically of what it means to inhabit the street crowd, a traditionally male-dominated public space, while inhabiting a female body. With keen and often cutting powers of observation that would have made Woolf proud, Elkin shares with us the kind of woman-on-the-street experiences men might miss.

1. The Joys of Travel: And Stories That Illuminate Them by Thomas Swick

Thomas Swick is a seasoned travel writer who’s seen more than 60 countries, and in The Joys of Travels he names the seven joys of travel by name. Like a modern-day Canterbury Tales, each joy has a corresponding tale full of humor and insight.

Monday, March 13, 2017

8 Great Quotes From Literature

[Guest Post] It is not uncommon for some phrase to be memorized out of the whole book of our favorites. It was so catchy, so memorable or simply was in the fullness of time. Users of a popular social network gathered together just some out of those, which are the most popular ones. Here are the eight quotes on the top of the list:

“That's the wonderful thing about man; he never gets so discouraged or disgusted that he gives up doing it all over again, because he knows very well it is important and WORTH the doing.”
Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451


“No”, he said quickly. “Never. Stay friends? Try to grow a small rose garden on the ashes of broken feelings? No, this will never work for you and me. It happens only after small affairs and it looks fake. Love should not be spoiled by friendship. The end is the end.”
― Erich Maria Remarque, Arch of Triumph


“I don`t care what you think about me. I don`t think about you at all.”
― Henri Gidel, Coco Chanel


“I suppose it comes from the fact that none of us can stand other people having the same faults as ourselves...”
― Oscar Wilde, Picture of Dorian Grey


“I won`t think of it now. I will think of it tomorrow.”
― Margaret Mitchell, Gone With the Wind


“What really knocks me out is a book that, when you're all done reading it, you wish the author that wrote it was a terrific friend of yours and you could call him up on the phone whenever you felt like it. That doesn't happen much, though.”
― J.D. Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye


“I don`t ask you to love me always like this, but I ask you to remember.”
F. Scott Fitzgerald, Tender In The Night


“That is the most difficult thing of all. It is far more difficult to judge oneself than to judge others. If you succeed in judging yourself correctly, then you are truly a man of wisdom.”
― Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince


About the Author: Melisa Marzett is a young lady who nevertheless has gone through many books, met lots of people, and can come up with an opinion on anything, really. Working for bigpaperwriter.com at this time, she is eager to write more and more. She has passion for writing and it would be delightful to her to get to know more. She is never tired of what she does and will gladly accept a challenge to write a guest post whatever the topic would be.