Thursday, September 20, 2007


The ad: Wendy's commercial shows people lined up to inhale helium, showing how their voices change. We've seen it before on sitcoms too. People are floating on the ceiling and and the voiceover says, “Filling up with just anything, that's wrong. ” Well apparently Wendy's and their ad agency think there's nothing wrong with filling up on helium.

Wendy's, well-known for its old and highly effective Where's the Beef ? ads, are now running a TV ad depicting people breathing in, also known as "huffing" helium. Here's a company whose slogan is "Wendy's is Committed to
Doing What's Right" apparently unaware of the potential harm of the inappropriate “message” they are delivering to young people and adults--that it is ok and fun to intentionally inhale helium and, by extension, other chemicals and gases. Helium is an inert gas under pressure in its canister that displaces oxygen in the lungs and consequently deprives the brain of oxygen when sniffed or "huffed. " This can lead to lightheadedness, disorientation and possible loss of consciousness. This is a dangerous message to be sending. Hopefully consumer advocates will convince Wendy’s to reconsider airing this commercial.

Here's who to contact:
Corporate Office: Wendy’s One Dave Thomas BoulevardDublin, Ohio 43017 614/764 – 3100 (Ms.) Kerrii B. Anderson, Chief Executive Officer & President Denny Lynch, Senior VP, Communications Ph: 614/764 – 3553; Fax: 614/764 – 6707Bob Bertini, Director, Communications Ph: 614/764 – 3327 Fax: 614/766 - 3946

On another note...
There's a new Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University (CASA) report, The Importance of Family Dinners IV, finds that compared to teens who have frequent family dinners (five or more per week), those who have infrequent family dinners (two or fewer) are three and a half times likelier to have abused prescription drugs; three and a half times likelier to have used an illegal drug other than marijuana or prescription drugs; three times likelier to have used marijuana; more than two and a half times likelier to have used tobacco; and one and a half times likelier to have drunk alcohol

Thursday, September 13, 2007


Hillary and I have been looking for a great magazine of real giving and I think Greater Good might just fill the bill. I usually don't look at or read what I perceive as junk direct mail campaigns. This time I opened up the bright sunny package and began reading the appeal, "For too long studies of human emotion have focused on the roots of violence, aggression, and selfishness rather than kindness, compassion, and love. Scientists have charted the "fight or flight" portion of our nervous systems, but they're just starting to map out the pro-social brain. We know more about anger than compassion, more about causes for divorce than what makes long-term intimacy."

I was immediately compelled to further investigate the magazine and what I found is that it's from the Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley. According to Co-editors, Jason Marsh and Dr. Dacher Keltner, the Greater Good, "fuses ground-breaking research with inspiring stories...on human happiness, virtue and well-being." Here's the best part, "it explains how to convert the research into action." Greater Good is tailor-made for my interests and clearly speaks to me.

They are now on their 7th issue and the website is terrific, with podcasts and a lot of great information.

Monday, September 10, 2007


On Tuesday, September 11, 2007, at 7:30 pm Musicians 4 Harmony is hosting their Sixth Annual Concert for Peace at the Symphony Space (95th Street at Broadway) in New York City. This year, Musicians 4 Harmony has elected to donate the proceeds from this concert to Seeds of Peace. The concert will include performances by legendary pianist Claude Frank and master Chinese pipa player Wu Man, in addition to many other talented musicians who will appear in this special event.

Seeds of Peace develops and empowers young leaders from regions of conflict to work towards peace through coexistence and conflict resolution. Since 1993, Seeds of Peace has graduated over 3,000 teenagers and young adults from several regions of conflict and has reached several thousand more in their communities through initiatives such as the International Camp in Maine.

Tickets are on sale now ($35, $75, $125 including reception afterwards) at 212-864-5400 and all sales will go to Seeds of Peace.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007


I'm not big on promoting political figures, but I certainly think Bill Clinton's Foundation website offers a nice way to read and share a "giving story". Clinton's new book, "Giving--How Each of Us Can Change the World" is just getting launched this week with solid media backing and although I haven't seen nor read the book, of course, I think it's a great way to perpetuate action and change in our society. According to the Boston Globe Clinton's book, although scattered and dry, may be an effective resource for giving. I sure hope so.

I like the idea of giving time, money and skills to help others in need. I've been doing it myself for many years. Each of us really does have the power to change the world. Now if only more of us would truly believe it...

Clinton's book is in step with Time Magazine which features The Case for National Service. Included in the report is a commentary by Caroline Kennedy on "Making a Difference at Home," as well as another place to share how you serve the community. I've written in the past about the US Public Service Academy and they too are featured in the article. Listen to the podcast