Saturday, August 7, 2010

Cell Phones

New World Notes News
Vol. 3, No. 32 -- August 7, 2010

This week in New World Notes, radio program #127, August 10 & 13:

Cell Phones

In brief

Trying to lighten up a bit, I look at consumer electronics, especially cell phones--and find myself in the midst of a bloodbath in Congo. There rival factions rape, mutilate, and slaughter the citizens, attempting to control the mines that produce minerals our gadgets require--tungsten, tin, tantalum, gold, and coltan. 5+ million have died. Consumers are pressuring electronics manufacturers to monitor their supply chains and to avoid purchasing Congolese "conflict minerals."

Contributors to this installment include Lisa F. Jackson, Nicholas Kristof, John Prendergast, Mac vs. PC, and Janis Joplin.

Top: Soldier or militiaman in Congo, 2008.
Bottom: human-rights crusader John Prendergast. (Yes,
the resemblance is striking.)
Most photos: Click to enlarge.

Notes, credits, & links

Clarification: Coltan is the ore from which the metal tantalum is refined. I didn't understand this when I recorded the program.

Passage by Lisa F. Jackson courtesy of Mike McCormick's program, Mind Over Matters. Nicholas Kristof's, "Death by Gadget" appeared in the New York Times "Week in Review" section, June 27, 2010, p. 11.

New World Notes is produced under the auspices (Latin for "counter") of WWUH-FM, a community service of that beacon of light in darkest Connecticut, the University of Hartford.

You can listen to any installment of New World Notes online or else download it (as an mp3 audio file) for later listening. New World Notes' main audio archive is at Installments beginning with #90 are archived also at The Internet Archive, in a variety of file formats. Either link should get you a reverse-chrono listing of available installments. Or browse the show's Web site: Each installment has a page, and each page has links to the recorded audio.

Series overview: Political and social commentary in a variety of genres. Exploring the gap between what we want ... and what they're trying to make us settle for.

Top: Children, reported to be slaves, mine coltan in Congo.
Bottom: Cell-phone recycling center.

Coming soon (Tuesday air debut date shown)

  • August 17 -- Dr. Susan Rosenthal, on the causes and cures of North America's bad health-care systems (Part 2).
Catch New World Notes (all times Eastern):

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