Entries from December 2008 ↓

Danger from Cell-phones

I have an eye on the Jensen learning web which keeps me abreast in my interest on learning, accelerated learning techniques and recent discoveries on the Brain. This month’s issue of the newsletters deal with the danger of cell phone.

Extract from the newsletter

Like most of us, you probably used your cell phone over the holidays. What’s the latest on cell-phone usage and your brain? There are both rodent and human studies that illuminate new data. In order to mimic the real life situation, with exposure to the electromagnetic fields emitted by mobile phones, investigators used a rat model. They used 55 rats in one study. Aside from the experimental group, some were used as a control and some exposed to a sham (an “off” cell phone in their cage.) In Nittby’s studies, the effects on the experimental group (active cell phones) of repeated exposures over a long period were impaired memory for objects and their temporal order of presentation. Other rodent studies suggest the same data. But what if you took ALL the human studies and examined them?

As you might guess, this subject is controversial. HINT: Don’t ask the cell phone industry for any research. They will all deny any links – too much risk for liability. Barth’s research investigated 19 studies and analyzed them to find out if they had quality data for a meta study. Ten of them qualified and were included in the meta-analysis as they fulfilled several minimum requirements; for example, single-blind or double-blind experimental study design and documentation of means and standard deviation of the dependent variables. Here’s what they found: 1) Attention was affected, showing decreased reaction time. 2) Working memory is lower. 3) The number of errors may be higher under this cell frequency exposure.

OVERALL CONCLUSION: Results of the meta-analysis suggest that electromagnetic fields from cell phones may have an impact on human attention, working memory and health issues.

I would not tell you to use your cell phone less. That’s your decision. I will tell you a bit about our brain. It is highly dependent on very particular frequencies to operate properly. Specifically, 1) your memory is highly dependent on the thalamus which oscillates at 40 Hz, and your hippocampal oscillations for memory formation and retrieval, 2) the last time I checked, I found 502 quality, scientific references that linked up our memory with the quantity and type of frequencies that we are exposed to, and 3) memory loss may be the least of the problems with excess cell phone usage. Over 200 studies have found some links with cancer. Not good.

Nittby H, Grafström G, Tian DP, Malmgren L, Brun A, Persson BR, Salford LG, Eberhardt J. M (2008) Cognitive impairment in rats after long-term exposure to GSM-900 mobile phone radiation. Bioelectromagnetics. 2008 Apr;29(3):219-32.

Barth, A, Winker R, Ponocny-Seliger E, Mayrhofer W, Ponocny I, Sauter C, Vana N. (2008) A meta-analysis for neurobehavioral effects due to electromagnetic field exposure emitted by GSM mobile phones. Occup Environ Med.May;65(5):342-6.

Hardell, L, Carlberg, M, Söderqvist, F, Hansson, Mild K. (2008) Meta-analysis of long-term mobile phone use and the association with brain tumors. Int J Oncology May;32(5):1097-103.

PART TWO: Applications
Two suggestions. One is to reduce the sheer quantity of time spent on a cell phone. That’s a no-brainer. Or, you can do what I do: Once I have answered or dialed, I hold the phone away from my head a few inches. This still allows me to hear what’s being said and I can speak easily while reducing risk.

By the way, some of the kids at school may be adversely influencing their memory by over-usage with their cell phones. Kids today are using their cells as much as, or more than, a laptop or iPod. The effects may be on their memory in the short run. But it puts them at increased risk. Remember they have the “teenage” brain, so they’ll likely ignore the risk. They’ll have poor memory in class because they’d rather risk that than risk not being “connected.”

In the classroom, expect more kids with more memory loss. Here are five quick strategies for your class:

1. Constantly make something important to their brain (say, “Wow, this is so good that…” Or, “If you learn nothing else all day, listen closely and remember this…”)

2. Get students out of their seats for a quick energizer every 8-15 minutes (it bumps up cortisol, dopamine and norepinephrine, all of which help strengthen memory formation.)

3. After every single key idea, say this “Repeat after me…” (or, “Now we just learned there are four seasons. How many seasons are there?”)

4. Use acronyms.

5. Use priming ALL day long (“Earlier I said we have 4 seasons and the coldest one is W-I-N _ _ _?”) They spell out the rest of the word.

Details at www.jensenlearning.com

Madame Lew Yew Fai

J’ai eu hier soir le grand plaisir de converser avec Madame Lew Yew Fai. L’arome d’un curry en ébullition titillait mes narines quand je faisais ma marche quotidienne dans les corridors de mon block d’appartement. Avec aisance j’arrivai à tracer très rapidement d’où la senteur m’arrive : appartement 35 celle de mon ami Deven.

Je me pointe chez lui pour le taquiner, il m’invita d’emblée pour venir voir et goûter le somptueux repas il préparait pour sa belle famille. Ainsi me voila installer entre les convives de la soirée mais plus important pour moi, ce soir c’est de faire  la connaissance de  la brave madame Lew Yew Fai. Elle était enchantée de bavarder en Hakka et notre longue conversation intéressante débuta.

Aujourd’hui âgée de 85 ans, elle arriva à Maurice en 1938, du même village de Moyenne en Chine ou elle avait vécu sa jeunesse dans la campagne. Elle entreprit le voyage de Moyenne pour arriver à Swa Tow par une barge de canal ou elle résida quelques jours en attendant l’arrivée d’un navire pour Hong-Kong et une correspondance pour l’ile Maurice. Son convoyeur et accompagnateur pour le trajet était Monsieur Wong Yen Shin.

Madame eut 19 grossesses et mis au monde 18 enfants. Eh oui, ce n’est pas tous les jours que j’ai la chance de rencontrer une mère qui a enfanté au tant d’enfants. Encore plein d’énergie Madame Lew Yew Fai me raconta dans quelles circonstances elle a épousé son mari issu d’une famille possédante en chine dont le père avait trois épouses. Elle est du même clan Chan que moi, nous avons pu retracer un lien de parenté avec les Chin s qui tenait un commerce à la place de la Cathédrale : Chin Tsun lin Pak Mei

Comblée elle est aujourd’hui avec des enfants, et petit enfants disséminés à travers le monde. La majorité des ses enfants ont épousés des non chinois ou des métis chinois. Aucun de ses enfants ne parle le hakka et elle expliqua qu’ils n’ont pas eu la chance d’apprendre la langue car son mari et elle n’avaient guère le temps d’enseigner la langue car il fallait avant tout travailler pour nourrir les nombreux enfants. Tenir un petit commerce de campagne et une boulangerie, toute en élevant 18 enfants était toute sa vie de travail. Elle set heureuse qu’une fille a choisi la vie religieuse. Originalement pas reçu beaucoup d’instructions, elle est rempli de sagesse et elle vit dans un détachement étonnant attendant d’être accueillie par Dieu. Elle respire la joie de vivre !

Merci Madame Lew pour ce partage qui démontre le courage des immigrés chinois en terre étrangère et leurs tribulations.

Alternative Medecine: Acupuncture

In my earlier blog, in April 2007, I wrote about laser puncture therapy which I underwent in France some time back. Whilst there is gain of interest in alternative medicine in the western world, there is definitely a greater interest in taking care of one’s body. This is one of the thesis of Professor Maffesoli when he explained that there is greater awareness of our body. Michel Serres , another great thinker of our time also wrote extensive of the accrued awareness of our physical body.  Preventive care of one’s body is ever increasing. During my last visit to Singapore where I visited my uncle who had a similar stroke, I understood that besides his routing twice weekly physio-therapy his doctors advised a weekly session of acupuncture for his general health. Does acupuncture re-establish the functioning of your vital organs? Practitioners of reflexology and massages vouch that regular massages does promote well being. Now I am having my weekly session of foot reflexology by my brother in law, David.

I am of opinion that if one can save himself from taking in drugs and use alternative care instead, one should be healthier. Drugs while curing some ailments necessarily have disruptive effects elsewhere. We know for use that pain killers in whatever form taken, relieves the patient but taken in the long term has adverse effects on other part of our body. I am a great believer of the harmony of the body. Our body has the capacity of readjusting to restore a balance within itself much like water always goes back to find its own level.

Ancient Chinese Healing Method for Stress and Diseases

Acupuncture, as an alternative medical practice, is now making headway in the Western world. It is now accepted as a drug-free treatment and method of stress relief. Practiced in China for more than 2,000 years, acupuncture is a therapeutic system that makes use of sterilized needles for the purpose of restoring the body’s equilibrium. The needles are inserted on specific vital points that correspond to a specific internal organ. The light insertion of the needle into a vital point is supposed to free the flow of internal energy or “chi.” According to Chinese medical theory, any blockage in the flow of chi in the body’s “energy streams” or meridians can an imbalance in the body — resulting to an illness. The natural flow of chi ensures a person’s general state of health. The focus of acupuncture is on restoring harmony in the flow of the chi throughout the body and, in the process, balancing the metaphysical concepts of yin and yang.

Acupuncture is used to treat a wide range of ailments such as nausea, sinusitis, migraine headaches, lower back pain, knee pain, and chronic pain. Ancient Chinese texts also claim that the acupuncture can be used to treat minor mental and emotional problem such as anxiety disorder. For this reason, some even compare the Traditional Chinese Medicine method of acupuncture to the Western medical discipline of psychology. Both are seen as similar disciplines or therapy methods that have a positive effect on the mental health of patients.

The true benefits of acupuncture are found in its efficacy as a non-invasive, drug-free means of alleviating a number of physical ailments. It is also used in conjunction with traditional Chinese herbal cures that are perceived to be as effective as modern pills and medication. Acupuncture is concerned not only with providing cure to specific ailments. It is also used to determine the causes of physical discomforts and illnesses. Acupuncture practitioners make use of body charts that show the meridians or channels where internal energy flows to different parts of the body. These meridians correspond to the Western medicine layout of the central nervous system and circulatory system.

Studies are still being made by Western doctors and other scientists to determine the efficacy of this Eastern alternative form of healing. Even if acupuncture already accepted in different parts of the world as an alternative healing method, some quarters are still skeptical about its long-term effects.

While there are still no research findings that make the curative claims about acupuncture absolutely undisputable, it is interesting to note the depth of understanding that the Chinese had about the inner workings of the human body thousands of years before the formal organization and practice of Western medicine. Perhaps, one day, scientists will finally prove that the differences between Eastern and Western medicine is found mostly in culture and terminology; and that both systems are actually alike in terms of philosophy and theory in the use of the needle as a tool for healing.

A blog which I regularly read.

Reflexion Dominicale

Evangile de Jésus-Christ selon saint Luc 2,22-40.

Quand arriva le jour fixé par la loi de Moïse pour la purification, les parents de Jésus le portèrent à Jérusalem pour le présenter au Seigneur,
selon ce qui est écrit dans la Loi : Tout premier-né de sexe masculin sera consacré au Seigneur.
Ils venaient aussi présenter en offrande le sacrifice prescrit par la loi du Seigneur : un couple de tourterelles ou deux petites colombes.
Or, il y avait à Jérusalem un homme appelé Syméon. C’était un homme juste et religieux, qui attendait la Consolation d’Israël, et l’Esprit Saint était sur lui.
L’Esprit lui avait révélé qu’il ne verrait pas la mort avant d’avoir vu le Messie du Seigneur.
Poussé par l’Esprit, Syméon vint au Temple. Les parents y entraient avec l’enfant Jésus pour accomplir les rites de la Loi qui le concernaient.
Syméon prit l’enfant dans ses bras, et il bénit Dieu en disant :
« Maintenant, ô Maître, tu peux laisser ton serviteur s’en aller dans la paix, selon ta parole.
Car mes yeux ont vu ton salut,
que tu as préparé à la face de tous les peuples :
lumière pour éclairer les nations païennes, et gloire d’Israël ton peuple. »
Le père et la mère de l’enfant s’étonnaient de ce qu’on disait de lui.
Syméon les bénit, puis il dit à Marie sa mère : « Vois, ton fils qui est là provoquera la chute et le relèvement de beaucoup en Israël. Il sera un signe de division.
– Et toi-même, ton coeur sera transpercé par une épée. – Ainsi seront dévoilées les pensées secrètes d’un grand nombre. »
Il y avait là une femme qui était prophète, Anne, fille de Phanuel, de la tribu d’Aser.
Demeurée veuve après sept ans de mariage, elle avait atteint l’âge de quatre-vingt-quatre ans. Elle ne s’éloignait pas du Temple, servant Dieu jour et nuit dans le jeûne et la prière.
S’approchant d’eux à ce moment, elle proclamait les louanges de Dieu et parlait de l’enfant à tous ceux qui attendaient la délivrance de Jérusalem.
Lorsqu’ils eurent accompli tout ce que prescrivait la loi du Seigneur, ils retournèrent en Galilée, dans leur ville de Nazareth.
L’enfant grandissait et se fortifiait, tout rempli de sagesse, et la grâce de Dieu était sur lui.

Comme tout être est nécessairement issu d’une famille, la fête de la sainte famille que notre mère la sainte Église célèbre aujourd’hui est fondamentale. Je prends pour modèle la sainte famille où Jésus notre sauveur a passé 33 ans de sa vie. Sa famille était le lieu ou Il grandissait et se fortifiait, tout rempli de sagesse, et la grâce de Dieu était sur Lui. Et dire qu’ hier, j’avais assisté au mariage de Daisy et de Tim où il a été dit maintes fois que sans la présence du Seigneur dans nos vies, la construction d’une famille ou d’un couple prend des forts risques d’échouer. Ainsi je vous livre une prière écrite de Mère Therese pour les familles du monde :

Vous pouvez prier la Sainte Famille pour la vôtre :

Notre Père qui es aux cieux, tu nous as donné un modèle de vie
dans la Sainte Famille de Nazareth.
Aide-nous, Père très-aimant, à faire de notre famille
un nouveau Nazareth où règnent la joie et la paix.
Qu’elle soit profondément contemplative,
intensément eucharistique et vibrante de joie.
Aide-nous à rester ensemble à travers bonheur et peine
grâce à la prière familiale.
Apprends-nous à reconnaître Jésus
dans chaque membre de notre propre famille,
particulièrement quand il souffre et reste blessé.
Que le Cœur eucharistique de Jésus
rende nos cœurs doux et humbles comme le sien (Mt 11,29).
Aide-nous à accomplir saintement notre vocation familiale.
Puissions-nous nous aimer les uns les autres
comme Dieu aime chacun de nous,
chaque jour davantage,
et nous pardonner nos fautes les uns aux autres
comme tu nous pardonnes nos péchés.
Aide-nous, Père très aimant,

à prendre tout ce tu nous donnes
et à donner tout ce que tu nous prends
avec un large sourire.
Cœur immaculé de Marie, cause de notre joie,
prie pour nous.
Saints anges gardiens,
soyez toujours avec nous,
guidez-nous, protégez-nous.

Chinese Names in my Family

When I tell my non Chinese friends that I have the family history back for 24th generations, they are amazed. The reality is that my ancestors had the fore sight of planning their descendants. I rejoiced on reading an article published on L’Aurore, the Catholic Mission monthly magazine December issue No 125, by one of my distant cousins of the same clan Chin who explained how generations’ names were generated. Just like YIP TONG does not carry the clan name, the author of the article Leung Shing names was truncated by the civil status officers of the time when our ancestors landed in Mauritius.

Alternatives to Corporal Punishment

Having spent a week with my lovely grandsons and listening to them, it occurred to me that physical punishment might be an issue for them.

What is the alternative to corporal punishment in child rearing?

Whilst many of us need to instil discipline in our children, we should refuse to use physical punishment. Sanderson Beck does give some alternatives in his literature.

If disciplining is necessary in child-rearing, but we wish to avoid the harmful effects of corporal punishment, what are our alternatives? By refusing to use physical punishment, perhaps we can refine and develop those other techniques which may prove more beneficial and enduring than the easy and quick brutality. Punishment does not have to be physical; it can be social, emotional, or mental. One form of punishment is the administering of an aversive stimulus contingent upon disapproved behavior The other is the removal of a reward or positive reinforcer (Skinner, 1938). The undesirable consequences of punishment are primarily psychological, so it appears likely that non-physical psychological methods may also have negative effects psychologically. However, to avoid using any form of punishment whatsoever is probably too idealistic and impractical. The psychological methods are not as obvious in modeling. Also they are usually stimulating cognitively, and may stimulate the child to develop the mind just as much physical exercise builds muscles. The danger is that negative associations and complexes could result. This is why it is so important that the punishment not only be consistent in how and for what it is applied, but also that it be logical and clearly explained to the child before it is ever instituted and with each occurrence. Even though the child may feel the parent is wrong; if one is consistent, at least the child knows the situation and can learn to understand the psychology of the parent.

Using reasoning to accompany punishment when it is deemed necessary brings up the method of teaching and communicating as an alternative method. This is the ideal method of long-term control of behavior, because it develops the conscience, cognitive skill, and self-discipline. Wouldn’t it be the utopia if everyone took responsibility for their own actions and did not inflict on others? I believe that educators ought to use those methods that teach individual responsibility. Research shows that the development of conscience is related to parental warmth and the use of reasoning as a technique of discipline (Bandura & Walters, 1951; Baumrind, 1967; Sears, 1961). When the child has developed self-control and one’s conscience to the extent that one will no longer do what one knows is wrong even when one knows one won’t be punished, then we could say one’s character education has been successful.

Sustainability or the Green revolution

Some thoughts on Sustainability in the corporate world whilst I shall be absent for the next week.


Corporate Sustainability refers to the business approach by companies to

consider not only economical needs in their strategies and practices, but also

environmental and social needs. It is the opportunity for businesses to improve

their profitability, competitiveness, and market share without compromising

resources for future generations.

Public criticism, enabled by powerful mass media, has made some level of care

for the environment and refraining from dubious accounting practices and from

operating “sweatshops” in developing countries part of the strategy of even the

most die-hard financially oriented firms.

Leading sustainability companies show high levels of competence in addressing

global and industry challenges in a variety of areas:


Integrating long-term economic, environmental and social

aspects in their business strategies while maintaining global

competitiveness and brand reputation.


Meeting shareholders’ demands for sound financial returns,

long-term economic growth, open communication and transparent

financial accounting.

Customer & Product.

Fostering loyalty by investing in customer

relationship management and product and service innovation that

focuses on technologies and systems, which use financial, natural and

social resources in an efficient, effective and economic manner over the


Governance and Stakeholder.

Setting the highest standards of

corporate governance and stakeholder engagement, including corporate

codes of conduct and public reporting.

Human Resources.

Managing human resources to maintain workforce

capabilities and employee satisfaction through best-in-class

organizational learning and knowledge management practices and

remuneration and benefit programs.

Corporate sustainability performance is an investable concept. This is crucial in

driving interest and investments in sustainability to the mutual benefit of

companies and investors. As this benefit circle strengthens, it will have a positive

effect on the societies and economies of both the developed and developing


One of the critically important issues in sustainability is that of human

overpopulation combined with human lifestyle. A number of studies have

suggested that the current population of the Earth, already over six billion, is too

many people for our planet to support sustainably at current material

consumption levels. This challenge for sustainability is distributed unevenly. The

ecological pressure of a US resident is said to be 13 times that of a resident of

India and 52 times that of a Somalian resident

Bulimia or Anorexia

My wife has been suggesting Aloe Vera cures for friends who have excess weight issues. We know for sure that excess weight comes mainly from overeating or unbalanced diet. I can vouch for that as I have managed to shred 34 kilos off my body weight. From a high of 108 kilos I have now stabilised at 74 – 75kilos. I have read and studied the slender eating strategy which uses NLP techniques. This recent article from the BBC is claiming success from cognitive behavioural therapy. NLP therapy will not require 20 sessions of 50 minutes I am pretty sure.

More people with eating disorders could benefit from “talking therapies” which aim to release them from obsessive feelings, say UK researchers.

They said a specially-created form of cognitive behavioural therapy might work in four out of five cases.

A 154-person American Journal of Psychiatry study, by the University of Oxford, found most achieved “complete and lasting” improvement.

At present, the treatment is officially recommended only for bulimia patients.

Some statistics suggest that more than a million people in the UK are affected by some kind of eating disorder, the best known types being anorexia nervosa and bulimia.

Approximately 40% of those with eating disorders have bulimia, 20% have anorexia, and the remainder have “atypical disorders”, which can combine both bulimic and anorexic-type symptoms.

The National Institute of Clinical Excellence has backed cognitive behavioural therapy for bulimia, but Professor Christopher Fairburn, the Wellcome Trust funded researcher who led the project, believes his version could help many more people.

His study focused on bulimia and “atypical” patients, but excluded those with anorexia.

The technique works using a series of counselling sessions which help the person involved to realise the links between their emotions and behaviour, and work out ways to change what they are doing.


Professor Fairburn developed two versions specifically for people with eating disorders, one which focused completely on the eating problems, and another, which took a wider view of not only the eating disorder, but also problems with self-esteem which might be contributing to it.

Both treatments involved 50-minute outpatient sessions repeated once a week for 20 weeks.

Afterwards, the researchers found most patients had responded well, and that this improvement was maintained over the next year – a time during which relapse into eating disorder is most likely to occur.

Two-thirds made a “complete and lasting” response, with many of the other third showing substantial improvement.

Although the study did not specifically include people with anorexia, a second study, currently underway, is showing promising results in this group.

No hospital

Professor Fairburn said: “Now, for the first time, we have a single treatment which can be effective at treating the majority of cases, without the need for patients to be admitted into hospital.

“It is increasingly being used across the NHS, and has the potential to improve the lives of the hundreds of thousands of people living with eating disorders.”

Susan Muir is one person who says that CBT techniques have helped free her of a long-term eating disorder.

The 39-year-old, from Chesterfield, used diet and exercise to shed 13 stone, but found that once this had happened, she found herself binge-eating then obsessively exercising.

“The CBT helped me realise what I was doing, and turned those irrational thoughts into rational ones.

“It really helped me deal with my self-esteem problems and made me feel very positive.”

Susan Ringwood, the chief executive of Beat, the eating disorders campaign group, said: “This research shows that people can benefit from psychological therapy even at a very low weight.

“There has been so little research into eating disorders and anorexia in particular, and this has really added to our knowledge in a challenging field.”

Dr Alan Cohen, mental health spokesperson for the Royal College of GPs, welcomed the research.

He said: “Access to this service, and appropriate training for therapists to deliver this new form of treatment, is very important.”

Hot Flat and Crowded Thomas Friedman

The Green Revolution

Hot, Flat, and Crowded culminates in a level-headed

analysis of the best answers to the hot-plusflat-

plus-crowded equation. Friedman’s

goal is to energize a green revolution, the

likes of which the world has never seen.

Since climate change, rising middle classes

and swelling populations are vital concerns,

Friedman’s response is more than a simple,

short-term solution. Instead of only fighting

the symptoms of planet wide problems, he

proposes a complete “Clean Energy

System” to eliminate the many sources of

our possible demise.

Friedman’s latest book also serves as a

wake-up call to leaders at all levels to

“actually generate the vision and authority

to pull that system together.” This requires

thinking past the next round of sound bites

and the next season of elections to develop a plan of

action for guiding the country to better economic and

environmental health. Friedman writes that this effort

also requires the leadership of a U.S. president who is

capable of rallying the country to change its wasteful

ways and igniting the innovation of a nation. That kind

of authority can be rare, Friedman points out, but it will

be required for a truly green revolution to make the

necessary changes to avoid disaster.

Presidential Power

While analyzing the role of the U.S. presidency in

leading the country through the massive changes needed

to keep the country competitive, Friedman points out

that Abraham Lincoln won the Civil War by expanding

the federal government. He adds that Franklin

Roosevelt also transformed a weak federal government,

turning it into the organization that conquered the Great

Depression and won World War II.

Likewise, Friedman writes that it is possible for another

strong president to lead the country through the

green revolution. Using every democratic means necessary,

Friedman explains, the president must have priorities

that include a new integrated national energy system

that replaces our currently inefficient grid. Regulated by

too many agencies rather than a single powerful guiding

entity, the current system, Friedman says, is a jumble of

mismatched parts that makes it hard to improve efficiency

and add alternative sources of energy to the mix.

Friedman writes that the United States needs an energy

policy whose primary focus is making clean power a

priority. It starts with innovating cleaner alternatives to

oil and generating cleaner power. It continues by building

a real system for creating greater efficiency and conservation.

In other words, Friedman proposes, the country

needs a “real” Department of Energy that works to

help the green revolution take root.

Turning problems into opportunities is the underlying

power of Hot, Flat, and Crowded. By considering all the

facts and issues involved in the big picture, and then formulating

the data into answers to the enormous difficulties

he describes, Friedman aims to shift the world’s perspective

away from conspicuous consumption and

toward conscious consumption. Meanwhile, he offers the

tools to make those adjustments permanent. Friedman

proposes immediate actions that can lead the country and

the world down a more sustainable path. He also confronts

our issues head on, turning them into opportunities

for valuable rewards. Through well-rounded reporting

and encouragement of positive change, he offers clarity

and ammunition for the uphill battle through the hot,

flat and crowded quagmire to a better place.

The Energy-Climate Era

At this pivotal point where the Energy-Climate Era

could go in an even more dangerous direction, we have

a chance to build sustainable solutions before our problems

grow too large to manage. Friedman’s latest book

offers timely hope to those overwhelmed by the clear

evidence of our difficult path ahead, which grows wilder

with challenges from all sides. The ride to prosperity

will be long and daunting, Friedman writes, but the

solutions to our problems are possible and abundant

with the proper attitudes and leadership.

Sustainable development is within our grasp, and

the green revolution is a helpful guide through which

we can review our actions and our work. By showing

readers how this revolution works, what it is trying

to accomplish and how each individual can make a

difference on a planetary scale, Hot, Flat, and Crowded

offers both concern and hope, along with the rich

ideas that can help hope become contagious. In it,

the opinions and ideas of many experts make the

imperative for action clearer with every chapter, so

readers can understand the importance of sustainable

solutions to entrenched habits and behaviors. According

to environmental law expert John Dernbach, the

decisions Americans make about sustainable

development “are decisions about who we are, what

we value, what kind of world we want to live in,

and how we want to be remembered.”

Thanks to Friedman’s vast experience and insight into

globalization and the resources involved in its evolution,

he is revered as a writer who works to keep humanity

from becoming an endangered species. His prescription

for redefining the most important issues of our day and

reigniting the passion of the country for innovating solutions

where they are needed most is massive yet realistic.

In the end, he points out, we need to rise to this enormous

challenge if we want to continue to live on a

planet that is hotter, flatter and more crowded than ever

before. By helping to clarify the focus of the United

States and the rest of the world on the most pressing

issues they face together, and on better strategies for

moving forward together, Thomas Friedman and his

book Hot, Flat, and Crowded deserve all the praise and

popularity they’ve been given by worldwide institutions,

media and admirers.

Reflexion Dominicale

Evangile de Jésus-Christ selon saint Jean 1,6-8.19-28.

Il y eut un homme envoyé par Dieu. Son nom était Jean.
Il était venu comme témoin, pour rendre témoignage à la Lumière, afin que tous croient par lui.
Cet homme n’était pas la Lumière, mais il était là pour lui rendre témoignage.
Voici quel fut le témoignage de Jean, quand les Juifs lui envoyèrent de Jérusalem des prêtres et des lévites pour lui demander : « Qui es-tu ? »
Il le reconnut ouvertement, il déclara : « Je ne suis pas le Messie. »
Ils lui demandèrent : « Qui es-tu donc ? Es-tu le prophète Élie ? » Il répondit : « Non. – Alors es-tu le grand Prophète ? » Il répondit : « Ce n’est pas moi. »
Alors ils lui dirent : « Qui es-tu ? Il faut que nous donnions une réponse à ceux qui nous ont envoyés. Que dis-tu sur toi-même ? »
Il répondit : « Je suis la voix qui crie à travers le désert : Aplanissez le chemin du Seigneur, comme a dit le prophète Isaïe. »
Or, certains des envoyés étaient des pharisiens.
Ils lui posèrent encore cette question : « Si tu n’es ni le Messie, ni Élie, ni le grand Prophète, pourquoi baptises-tu ? »
Jean leur répondit : « Moi, je baptise dans l’eau. Mais au milieu de vous se tient celui que vous ne connaissez pas :
c’est lui qui vient derrière moi, et je ne suis même pas digne de défaire la courroie de sa sandale. »
Tout cela s’est passé à Béthanie-de-Transjordanie, à l’endroit où Jean baptisait.

La méditation de Saint Augustin sur le texte de l’Evangile du jour m’a beaucoup touchée.

« Il est venu pour rendre témoignage à la Lumière »

Comment le Christ est-il venu ? Il est apparu en homme. Parce qu’il était homme à ce point que Dieu était caché en lui, un homme remarquable a été envoyé devant lui pour faire reconnaitre qu’il était plus qu’un homme, lui, le Christ… Qui était-il, celui qui devait ainsi rendre témoignage à la Lumière ? Un être remarquable, ce Jean, un homme d’un haut mérite, d’une grâce éminente, d’une grande élévation. Admire-le, mais comme on admire une montagne : la montagne reste dans les ténèbres tant que la lumière ne vient pas l’envelopper : « Cet homme n’était pas la Lumière ». Ne prends pas la montagne pour la lumière ; ne va pas te briser contre elle, bien loin d’y trouver du secours.

Et que faut-il admirer alors ? La montagne, mais comme montagne. Elève-toi jusqu’à celui qui éclaire cette montagne qui est dressée pour recevoir, la première, les rayons du soleil, afin de les renvoyer à tes yeux… De nos yeux, on dit aussi qu’ils sont des lumières ; et pourtant si on n’allume pas de lampe la nuit ou si le soleil ne se lève pas durant le jour, nos yeux s’ouvrent en vain. Jean lui-même était ténèbres avant d’être illuminé ; il n’est devenu lumière que par cette illumination. S’il n’avait pas reçu les rayons de la Lumière, il serait demeuré ténèbres comme les autres…

Et la Lumière elle-même, où est-elle ? « la Lumière véritable qui illumine tout homme en venant dans ce monde » ? (Jn 1,9) S’il illumine tout homme, il illuminait aussi Jean, par qui il voulait être manifesté… Il venait pour des intelligences infirmes, pour des coeurs blessés, pour des âmes aux yeux malades…, des gens incapables de le voir directement. Il a couvert Jean de ses rayons. En proclamant qu’il avait été lui-même illuminé, Jean a fait connaître Celui qui illumine, Celui qui éclaire, Celui qui est la source de tout don.

Préparer la route au Seigneur, comme Jean Baptiste c’est bien d’être humble, de se reconnaître tout petit devant Ta majesté au point de n’être pas digne de défaire la courroie de Ta sandale. Je me reconnais indigne de Toi, je me reconnais pêcheur, petit, impie,plein de défauts, croyant à tort d’être par moi-même  capable. Donne moi Seigneur de me pas l’oublier car trop souvent dans l’ivresse de mon moi, il m’arrive trop souvent de ne plus y penser. Mon ego me fait croire que je suis l’acteur, l’intelligent !

Je ne suis rien sans Ta Lumière. Ma force, ma source de tout don c’est bien toi. Ta générosité infinie pour moi et mes frères est la pour nous éclairer et de nous enrober dans ton immense amour. Infiniment merci Seigneur pour la venue sur terre pour nous montrer la voie et pour nous sauver.