Whatever: May 2003 Archives

May 10, 2003

A message to city councils

Want your city to prosper? Well you should know the economic price of intolerance. Recent research conducted in the United States by Richard Florida, Heinz Professor of Regional Economic Development at Carnegie Mellon University, and Gary Gates, an Urban Institute demographer demonstrates that tolerance of lesbians and gay men, immigrants and other minorities is much more fundamental to sustained economic growth than any amount of tax cuts.

...the big new-ideas and cutting-edge industries that lead to sustained prosperity are more likely to exist where gay people feel welcome. Most centers of tech-based business growth also have the highest concentrations of gay couples. Conversely, major areas with relatively few gay couples tend to be slow- or no-growth places. Pittsburgh and Buffalo, which have low percentages of gay couples, were two of only three major regions to lose population from 1990 to 2000.
Innovation and overall regional economic vitality also are closely associated with the presence of gays and other indicators of tolerance and diversity, such as the percentage of immigrants and the level of racial and ethnic integration.
Why? Creative, innovative and entrepreneurial activities tend to flourish in the same kinds of places that attract gays and others outside the norm. To put it bluntly, a place where it's OK for men to walk down the street holding hands will probably also be a place where Indian engineers, tattooed software geeks and foreign-born entrepreneurs feel at home. When people from varied backgrounds, places and attitudes can collide, economic home runs are likely.

The researchers also noticed a significant number of heterosexual people who looked for a visible gay community as a sign that a city was a vibrant and interesting place to live. Gay-tolerant societies prosper economically - USA Today, 30th April 2003.

May 3, 2003

Politics is boring here.

Kenya: The death of an MP and two others has acquired interesting overtones with the discovery of a bag containing suspected witchcraft material near where James Mutiso drowned. There is also much speculation as to why a female traditional healer was in the car with the MP. The three people drowned when the car they were travelling in was swept away as the driver tried to cross a swollen river.

Among superstitious villagers, the discovery of the witchcraft material is being cited as proof that evil spirits had been unleashed to destroy their MP.
In Ukambani, such things don't just happen. The vehicle stalled mid-stream and now witchcraft tools are found around the scene. There is something fishy here, said Mr Sebastian Mutua from Katangi, firmly dismissing suggestions the incident might be a normal rainy season accident.

Witchcraft riddle in MP's death - Daily Nation, 3rd May 2003.

May 2, 2003

Tourism chiefs worry about Council driving away tourists.

Edinburgh and Lothians Tourist Board has called for the return of the Beltane Fire Festival.

Graham Birse, head of marketing at the tourist board, said: It's a great pity the festival was cancelled .
We hope the differences between those involved are temporary, and the organisers can sort out funding and sit down with the authorities to ensure the festival complies with safety procedures, so that residents and visitors can be offered a unique experience in the years to come.

Tourists planning to visit the Scottish capital should note that it has not stopped raining since the Council decided to ban the public from Calton Hill on Beltaine, that the shopping is better in Glasgow and the Highlands are much interesting in terms of scenery and historic monuments. Tourist call to revive fire festival - Edinburgh Evening News, 2nd May 2003.

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries in the Whatever category from May 2003.

Whatever: April 2003 is the previous archive.

Whatever: June 2003 is the next archive.

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