United we fall

Online forum SomethingAwful managed to raise $27,695 to help the victims of Hurricane Katrina. Then suddenly, PayPal locked the account. When someone finally managed to contact PayPal, they were informed that PayPal has an exclusive contract with United Way—and that United Way’s contract would not allow PayPal funds to be transferred to the Red Cross. Yup: United Way and PayPal would rather block $27k in relief funds, than allow the money to go to the Red Cross.

Runs in the family

My brother Ed is somewhat crazy. He has decided to compete in a full distance triathlon next month—in the middle of the Nevada Desert. It’s to raise money for Cancer Research UK. Cancer Research UK is the world’s largest cancer research charity, formed from the merger of the Imperial Cancer Research Fund and the Cancer Research Campaign. In the past, ICRF scientists have produced Nobel prize winning research. Vital statistics for 2004 from their annual budget: Operating expenses and salaries £68m, new grant awards £120m, total grants £372m, additional spending on lab research £89m.