vineri, 15 februarie 2008


O vizita la, prin fotografiile postate acolo, mi-a trezit amintiri si nostalgii din calatoriile mele in USA. Fotografiile pot fi vazute la

vineri, 8 februarie 2008


February 05
Rareori mi-a fost dat sa citesc ceva de un cinism atat de evident:
lucru care se vede inca din titlu: Fat people cheaper to treat, study says

Preventing obesity and smoking can save lives, but it doesn't save money, researchers reported Monday. It costs more to care for healthy people who live years longer, according to a Dutch study that counters the common perception that preventing obesity would save governments millions of dollars.
"It was a small surprise," said Pieter van Baal, an economist at the Netherlands' National Institute for Public Health and the Environment, who led the study. "But it also makes sense. If you live longer, then you cost the health system more."
In a paper published online Monday in the Public Library of Science Medicine journal, Dutch researchers found that the health costs of thin and healthy people in adulthood are more expensive than those of either fat people or smokers.
Studiul "lu' Peste" a fost facut pe o mie de persoane (Olanda e o tara mica, desi are una din cele mai mari densitati de populatie din lume) comparativ cu studiile serioase (care, ce-i drept, costa mult mai mult) din USA unde nr persoanelor cercetate e de ordinul cel putin al zecilor de mii.
The researchers found that from age 20 to 56, obese people racked up the most expensive health costs. But because both the smokers and the obese people died sooner than the healthy group, it cost less to treat them in the long run.
On average, healthy people lived 84 years. Smokers lived about 77 years, and obese people lived about 80 years. Smokers and obese people tended to have more heart disease than the healthy people.
Cancer incidence, except for lung cancer, was the same in all three groups. Obese people had the most diabetes, and healthy people had the most strokes. Ultimately, the thin and healthy group cost the most, about $417,000, from age 20 on.
The cost of care for obese people was $371,000, and for smokers, about $326,000.
Abia spre sfarsit se specifica faptul ca in acest calcul nu intra alte date, care ar putea duce la alte concluzii:
The study, paid for by the Dutch Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sports, did not take into account other potential costs of obesity and smoking, such as lost economic productivity or social costs.>
E drept ca se recunoaste ca s-a studiat rolul economic al prevenirii obezitatii:
The results counter the common perception that preventing obesity will save health systems worldwide millions of dollars.
"This throws a bucket of cold water onto the idea that obesity is going to cost trillions of dollars," said Patrick Basham, a professor of health politics at Johns Hopkins University who was unconnected to the study. He said that government projections about obesity costs are frequently based on guesswork, political agendas, and changing science.
"If we're going to worry about the future of obesity, we should stop worrying about its financial impact," he said.
Obesity experts said that fighting the epidemic is about more than just saving money.
"The benefits of obesity prevention may not be seen immediately in terms of cost savings in tomorrow's budget, but there are long-term gains," said Neville Rigby, spokesman for the International Association for the Study of Obesity. "These are often immeasurable when it comes to people living longer and healthier lives."
Avand in vedere cat de mult se cheltuieste in tarile dezvoltate pt ingrijirea persoanelor in varsta e de inteles urmatorul citat:
Van Baal described the paper as "a book-keeping exercise," and said that governments should recognize that successful smoking and obesity prevention programs mean that people will have a higher chance of dying of something more expensive later in life.
"Lung cancer is a cheap disease to treat because people don't survive very long," van Baal said. "But if they are old enough to get Alzheimer's one day, they may survive longer and cost more."
...."We are not recommending that governments stop trying to prevent obesity," van Baal said. "But they should do it for the right reasons."
Ca sa nu ma las mai prejos in materie de cinism am sa spun ca in tarile cu economie mai precara, unde banii de-abia ajung sa trateze bolile dobandite, speranta de viata e mult mai mica, despre preventie poate se vorbeste, dar de aplicat e mai greu, guvernele nu mai au de ce sa-si bata capul cu probleme ca cele din articolul citat.

Carnaval in New Orleans

February 03
La noi exista un fel de carnaval, cu masti, diverse personaje, etc, in Moldova, dar de anul nou. Dupa toate aparentele traditia carnavalului provine din perioada precrestina, sa ne aducem aminte de Bacanalele romane sau Dionisiacele grecesti, ca si de Saturnaliile care i-au determinat pe ierarhii crestini de prin secolul 4 sa stabileasca data nasterii lui Iisus pe 25 decembrie. Pt o data atat de arbitrar stabilita (ca si mutarea zilei de odihna de la Shabat Duminica = Ziua Domnului dar pastrand denumirea Sambetei de la noi f aproape de cea originala, in spaniola de ex, adica Sabado) e ciudat cata importanta dau persoanele religioase zilei de 2 februarie, ziua cand, cf traditiei ebraice,la 40 de zile de la nastere, Iisus a fost dus la templu de parintii sai, Maria si Iosif.

Iata cum povesteste Editor Bob despre experienta new orlensiana
Rick and I decided to go to Mardi Gras in New Orleans. I had never been there and wanted to see how the city has fared since Katrina. Boy was it hot, even in February! It was like walking around in front of air conditioner exhausts all the time. I grunted and complained to Rick and our cab driver said, "Nawlins is hot any time of year!" He also told us that the festivities had already started on Bourbon Street, so we headed directly there to see what all the fuss was about. It was a good thing we only had a backpack each because we barely made it out of the cab! The streets were so crowded and people were everywhere!The sights and sounds were overwhelming. There was music everywhere and a crush of people, and police on foot and horseback. The floats were huge, but my eyes kept getting distracted by the pretty girls. I tossed a couple of coins at a saxophone player playing Miles Davis. Then we passed a half-door in the wall. Rick whistling his tune, grabbed my sleeve and pushed me closer to the door. It was literally a closet, set up as a bar, where you can buy booze in a plastic cup to walk along Bourbon Street during the evening."That's a custom I could get used to," said Rick. We bought lagniappe (Creole, we think, for trinket - actually cheap plastic beads) to throw at the ladies. I have to say, there were plenty of pretty ladies to be seen. We kept walking around and ended up over on Rue Royale heading down towards the Café Du Monde, a place suggested by Donna before we left.We found a table right next to a group of lovely young ladies and ordered ourselves some beignets and chicory coffee. Rick asked me where the hotel was from there, so I went to dig the address out of my wallet. It wasn't in my back pocket. It wasn't in my backpack. It was gone. I had been the victim of a pickpocket. The coffee and beignets arrived and we discussed what to do. Rick had his own cash, but mine was gone, along with my driver's license, credit cards, everything."This is most unfortunate," said a rather distinguished old African-American gentleman seated at the next table. We asked him to join us and next thing you know, he's telling us to scrap the hotel and come along to his house. Now, back in New York (or Pasadena, even), children are told never to go with a stranger, but this guy seemed all right. We decided to trust him and accepted his invitation. He drove us to a part of the city called the Garden District. At this point we couldn't see much, it being late and all, but these were real mansions, with big cast iron fences and gates. We passed through the gateway to his place and entered a carriageway that took us back into a courtyard at the rear of the house. As the car passed through, we saw that the entire courtyard was lit up with hurricane lanterns. Plants and flowers of every description could be found there. A fountain was gushing forth, and get this, the guy had two peacocks strolling across the way!We were greeted as if we were family. They took us in, fed us a huge feast of southern and Creole specialties, and made up beds for us to sleep. These were some mighty kind and generous folk, and I slept soundly and comfortably, even in the heat. Over the next few days, Henry took us on a plantation tour, and even to the bayous to look for gators. We had jambalaya, po-boys and mufalattas. He took us to fancy restaurants on Bourbon Street, showed us the best jazz clubs, and even taught us about the cemeteries. When it was time to leave, I was actually sad to go. Henry and his family had definitely shown us that famous "Southern Hospitality". We swapped contact info, but Henry said it's too cold up there in the "Nawth", but we'll always have a standing invitation to visit him again... maybe this year?

Internetul, paianjenul care stapaneste lumea

February 01
Ni se pare normal (take for granted) ca sa reusim, cu ajutorul catorva clickuri, sa luam legatura nu numai cu cineva de la antipod, dar chiar si din cealalta emisfera. Cati se gandesc (eu una nu) ce munca enorma, cat efort necesita din partea, poate, a sute de mii de oameni (sa nu-mi spuneti ca totul e automatizat, eu aici vorbesc despre toti cei implicati in ce inseamna internetul, incepand de la profesorul care invata copiii sa scrie, continuand cu cercetatorul care descopera lucruri noi si ne invata cum sa le aplicam, dar si cu armata de truditori care aplica aceste descoperiri) aceste clickuri simple.
Un articol citit recent mi-a mai luminat cate ceva:
Finger-thin cables tie Internet together
The foundation for a connected world seems quite fragile, an impression reinforced this week when a break in two cables in the Mediterranean Sea disrupted communications across the Middle East and into India and neighboring countries.
Yet the network itself is fairly resilient. In fact, cables are broken all the time, usually by fishing lines and ship anchors, and few of us notice. It takes a confluence of factors for a cable break to cause an outage.
Nu mi-am pus nicodata problema pe unde circula informatia
By an accident of geography and global politics, Egypt is a choke point in the global communications network, just as it is with global shipping. The reasons are the same: The country touches both the Mediterranean and the Red Sea, which flows into the India Ocean.
The slim fiber-optic cables that carry the world's communications are much like ships, in that they're the cheapest way for carrying things over long distances. Pulling cable overland is much more expensive and requires negotiation with landowners and governments.
So fiber-optic cables that go from Europe to India take the sea route via Egypt's Suez Canal, just as ships do.
Si pe unde circula ele?
With two of the three cables passing through Suez cut, traffic from the Middle East and India intended for Europe was forced to route eastward, around most of the globe.
The main route goes through Japan and the United States, crossing both the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans.
The other route from India to Europe goes over China into Russia and along the Trans-Siberian railroad.
Egypt is not the only check point in the global network. The ocean just south of Taiwan proved to be one in December 2006, when an earthquake cut seven of eight cables passing through the area, slowing down communications in Hong Kong and other parts of Asia for months.
Another possible vulnerability is the U.S. island of Guam in the Pacific Ocean. It is the spider at the center of a web cables from the United States, Japan, Australia, the Philippines and China.
Both cables that connect the United States to Australia and New Zealand run over Hawaii, creating another choke point.


29? Ianuarie
Am (re)vazut o parte dintr-un film mai vechi, numit Ashanti. Intr-o f importanta scena doctorita de origine africana (actiunea se petrece in Africa), luata ca sclava de niste mafioti, banditi, in fine,arabi, doctorita asta zic e drogata si apoi oferita spre vanzare de negustorul ARAB unui print ARAB. Filmul fiind american toate personajele, in acest caz interpretate de Peter Ustinov si Omar el Shariff, vorbeau in engleza. La un moment dat intervine si femeia in discutie, bineinteles in engleza si OS se mira: "cum de stie engleza?"
A mai fost cel putin o asemenea situatie in "Planeta Maimutelor", primul film, cel cu Charlton Heston, in care toate maimutele vorbeau engleza. In carte, scrisa mi se pare de Pierre Bouille, maimutele vorbeau, of corse, simiesca, limba pe care au invatat-o si oamenii. Recunosc ca in film era mai greu sa vorbeasca toata lumea simiesca dar in Passions al lui Mel Gibson se vorbeste aramaica, in Lords of the Ring (trilogia de pe ecrane) elfii vorbeau in valara, mi se pare, deci se poate.
Si ca sa continui tot pe tema de filme, e ciudat ca in engleza partea II, III, etc (m-a distrat teribil o scena din serialul pt TV Sisters in care una din surori invata cum sa antreneze boxerul -si nu era vorba de catel- pe care-l mostenise, apeland la colectia de casete cu Rocky, care ajunsese cel putin la partea XV) se cheama sechele (sequels), cand in medicina nimeni nu-si doreste sa ramana cu sechele de pe urma unei operatii sau a unui accident.
Si pt ca vorbeam de filme noi si vechi, un film fara actiune, sau cu o actiune f lenta (cum a fost Insula, filmul nu mai stiu carui japonez) poate plictisi pe doritorii de adrenalina (pe mine Insula nu m-a plictisit, mi-a fost tare mila de acei amarati care, dupa ce le-a murit copilul, au continuat munca sisifica de ingrijire a plantelor de pe insula pt ca viata merge mai departe, nu-i asa?) dar parca prea se toarna (pun intented) multa adrenalina in filme, desi uneori "viata bate filmul", cum s-a intamplat pe 9/11.
Cata dreptate aveau chinezii cand spuneau "nu-ti dori sa traiesti timpuri interesante"


January 23
Mare scandal mare zilele acestea in UE! "Capitalistii nomazi" de la Nokia parasesc Germania pt Romania. Socialistii germani sunt extrem de indignati. Dar, dupa cate am inteles, acesti socialisti au tacut malc atunci cand WV s-a mutat din Belgia in Germania. De, Belgia e tara mica, are mai putini politicieni.

Sa nu se creada ca ma bucur ca a murit capra germana. Am inteles ca UE, care a fost alimentata in special cu fonduri germane, va ajuta pe cei din Bokum. Desigur, aceste ajutoare nu le vor mai permite nemtilor standardul ridicat de viata pe care il aveau. Probabil ca si multi emigranti care au trait acolo vor avea inca mai mult de suferit. Dar de ce au emigrat acei oameni (nu ma gandesc aici la emigrantii politici, care au cautat libertatea)? Pentru ca tara lor, mai putin dezvoltata, nu le asigura, de multe ori, nici macar cele necesare traiului (desi am dubii in aceasta privinta pt ca totusi, plecarea spre o tara straina presupune cheltuieli, macar de transport, iar pt clandestini platirea de bani, si nu putini, catre cei care organizeaza contrabanda). Din pacate, multi dintre emigranti constata ca realitatea e departe de implinirea visurilor lor. Iar pt unii din ei integrarea sociala pune mari probleme din cauza diferentelor culturale sau religioase. Si astfel apar frustrari care duc la revolte, ca cele din Franta, asasinate, ca in Olanda, sau terorism, ca in Anglia. Ma refer numai la Anglia pt ca acolo teroristii erau chiar cetateni englezi.

Si atunci, ca sa gandim pozitiv, nu e cumva outsurcingul o solutie mai buna? India, China, Irlanda sunt tari care s-au dezvoltat uimitor in ultima perioada tocmai prin acest fenomen, nu neaparat prin mutarea de fabrici, ci prin investitii de capital. S-ar zice ca in acest mod se produce o egalizare, o rerepartizare a resurselor si astfel o reducere a tensiunilor dintre tarile bogate si cele sarace. Tarile supradezvoltate pierd din confort dar castiga in siguranta. Corect? GRESIT!

Iata ce spun Lydia Polgreen and Howard W. French in New York despre investitiile chineze in Africa:
"We are back where we started," said Wilfred Collins Wonani, who leads the Chamber of Commerce here, sighing at the loss of one of the city’s biggest employers. "Sending raw materials out, bringing cheap manufactured goods in. This isn’t progress. It is colonialism."
Chinese officials and their African allies like to call their growing relationship a win-win proposition, a rising tide that lifts all boats in China’s ever-widening sea of influence.
From South Africa’s manganese mines to Niger’s uranium pits, from Sudan’s oil fields to Congo’s cobalt mines, China’s hunger for resources has been a shot in the arm, increasing revenues and helping push some of the world’s poorest countries further up the ladder of development.
But China is also exporting huge volumes of finished, manufactured goods — T-shirts, flashlights, radios and socks, just to name a few — to those same countries, hampering Africa’s ability to make its own products and develop healthy, diverse economies.
"Most of our countries have been independent for 35 to 50 years," said Moeletsi Mbeki, a South African entrepreneur and a political analyst. "Yet they have failed to develop manufacturing for a variety of reasons, and for the Chinese that’s a huge opportunity. We are a very important market for China."
On the one hand, Chinese imports give Africans access to goods and amenities that developed countries take for granted but that most people here could not have dreamed of affording just a few years ago — cellular telephones, televisions, washing machines, refrigerators, computers. And cheaper prices on more basic items, like clothing, light bulbs and shoes, mean people have more money in their pockets
Si totusi, africanii nu sunt multumiti. Sa vedem de ce.
But across Africa, and especially in the relatively robust economies of southern Africa, there are clear winners and losers. Textile mills and other factories here in Zambia have suffered and even closed as cheap Chinese goods flood the world market, eliminating jobs in a country that sorely needs them.
The Chinese investment in copper mining here has left a trail of heartbreak and recrimination after one of the worst industrial accidents in Zambian history, a blast at a Chinese-owned explosives factory in Chambishi in 2005 that killed 46 people, most of them in their 20s.
Si astfel, in ciuda investitiilor si a locurilor de munca ce s-au creat, ca si a dezvoltarii economice a Zambiei, de ex, situatia pe ansamblu e destul de critica.
China’s growing presence in global trade is wiping out thousands of jobs in countries with fledgling manufacturing sectors like Zambia and South Africa.
Despite relatively low wages in many countries, African manufacturers find it very hard to compete, arguing that China’s currency policies undervalue the yuan and give Chinese exporters a huge advantage.
Many industries in China also benefited at various points from subsidies and free or low-cost government financing, making their costs lower. Beyond that, there are major infrastructure problems in Africa, where industry struggles with inadequate roads and railways, and unreliable electricity and water supplies.
Suna cunoscut? Ne aminteste cumva de Rosia Montana, de Sidex? Dar sa ne intoarcem la Africa.
The textile and clothing industry, one of the engines China used to fuel its own economic expansion in the 1980s, has been particularly hard hit in Africa. For decades, African countries exported large quantities of clothes and textiles to developed countries under a trade agreement intended to protect European and American markets from competition from China and others, while encouraging exports from the world’s poorest nations. But the trade provision, the Agreement on Textiles and Clothing, expired in January 2005, putting these countries in direct export competition with China.
Africa found itself once again on the losing end of globalization
In South Africa, dozens of clothing and textile companies closed, according to trade organizations representing manufacturers. Tens of thousands of jobs were lost because of Chinese imports, and in response the government negotiated temporary voluntary restraints on some items.
Ramane sa speram ca Romania, mai aproape de Vest decat Africa, va avea alta soarta dar, avand in vedere ca economia globala pare a fi in criza (lucru ce-mi reaminteste de situatia descrisa de Arthur C. Clarke la inceputul Return of Rama) iar leul scade mereu, nu stiu cat de intemeiate sunt sperantele.

Nefericitii perfectionisti

January 22
Intelepciunea Zilei de pe data de 18 ian din calendarul religios: "Cu cat cineva e mai neatent cu sine insusi, cu atat se socoteste pe sine mai placut lui Dumnezeu. Dar acela ce se sileste sa se curete de patimi, acela se rusineaza sa-si ridice ochii sai la Dumnezeu, caci se vede pe sine ca pe unul ce sta foarte departe de El" (Sfantul Isaia Pustnicul)
Dupa parerea mea cei mai nefericiti oameni de pe pamant sunt perfectionistii, pt ca ei cauta mereu ceva ce nu exista poate nici la Dumnezeu (pt ca altfel ce rost ar mai avea Satana?). Si ce altceva erau pustnicii, indiferent de religie, daca nu niste perfectionisti?
Ca o paranteza, Florin povestea ca in 75', cand a fost in Canada, pe un perete era scris "Nobody is purfect". Cineva a atras atentia ca e scris gresit si i s-a raspuns: "See, nobody is perfect".
Interesant in textul din CR e faptul ca prin scrierea pronumelui personal cu majuscula s-a ajuns la unul din numele ebraice ale divinitatii, EL.
De mult mi-am format impresia ca pustnicii, prin stradania lor de a-si afla salvarea, erau de fapt niste egoisti (sa nu mi se spuna ca insusi Mantuitorul s-a retras in pustie pt 40 de zile, pt ca El s-a reintors intre oameni pt a-si continua lucrarea, lucru pe care sfintii nostri nu-l mai fac, a se vedea monahii de la Athos) si ca dovada iata un fragment din biografia sfantului Antonie cel Mare, din acelasi calendar:
"Isi face numerosi discipoli, care, insa, il vor obliga sa se retraga in pustiu, intr-o ruina de cazemata, pentru a-si regasi linistea si singuratatea necesare Contemplatiei"
Case closed!
Ca sa respect adevarul istoric, in timpul persecutiilor s-a dus in Alexandria, dar "i s-a refuzat martiriul", si "s-a instalat apoi pe Muntele Interior, langa Marea Rosie,...... inconjurat de grija filiala a doi discipoli".Ca sa fiu cinica, atunci cand nu s-a mai descurcat in pustie singur cu Dumnezeu au fost buni si discipolii.

Oh, fericirea

22 Ianuarie
Se pare ca problema asta a fericirii ma cam bantuie. Azi (adica ieri) mi se trage de la un articol al dragului de Melvin Durai, care se pare ca e nostalgic dupa anii petrecuti in Zambia (aflata pe locul 163 in lista de tari, mult sub Romania, aflata pe locul 120), altfel de ce si-ar fi intitulat blogul Nshima? Dintr-un link in altul mi-am calculat si indicii personali de fericire care arata asa:
Happy Planet Index
Your personal Happy Planet Index (HPI) is 44.1, which is similar to that of countries such as Belgium, Spain or Pakistan. This is above the UK average, about the same as the world average of 46, but well below the reasonable ideal we have set, of 83. Your score is above that of your country, 37.7.Below is a breakdown of the various components that make up your HPI score.
You: 44.1 Average: 43.6 [Average is of all online responses to this survey - not the average for your country]
Life Expectancy
Your life expectancy is lower than the average for your gender and country. You might have noticed some of the questions we've asked related to your life expectancy are related to factors beyond your control, such as family history. However, others, particularly your lifestyle choices - whether and how much you smoke and exercise, and what you eat - can be changed for the better. Everyone knows these habits can be hard to change, but you wouldn't be the first to do so!
You: 68 Average: 80.8 [Average is of all online responses to this survey - not the average for your country]
Ecological Footprint
Your ecological footprint is 4.23 global hectares, or 2.35 planets. This is equivalent to the average in Japan or Bahamas.
(UUUU, that hurts. I'm cofounder of Romanian Ecological Mouvement). Daca nici eu nu reciclez.... Ulterior Anca mi-a spus ca a facut si ea testul cand se afla in USA si indiferent ce raspuns dadea reiesea un consum de ~ 5 planete.
Your ecological footprint is greater than the average for the country you live in. If you live in a country with large economic inequalities, do note that this might be the case even if you are environmentally aware and trying to reduce your footprint, as others in your country might be living in very different circumstances. For example, Brazil's mean footprint of 2.2 g ha does not distinguish between the very low consumption lives of tribes in the Amazon, and those of people living Western-style lives in the big cities, whose personal footprints will inevitably be much higher. You are using between and one and a half and three times your share of the planet's resources (assuming no resources are put aside for other species). This is an amount typical of people in many industrialised countries, though just below the average for the UK. As such, if you are living in an industrialised country, you are probably doing some things well and some things not so well in terms of reducing your ecological impact. Seven ways that everyone can reduce their footprint include:
It's obvious, but we have to say it. Conserve energy. Turn off the lights when you leave a room, buy energy-efficient bulbs and appliances, turn off your TV completely, rather than leave it on standby.
*Reduce your waste. If there are ways to recycle where you live, try and do so. If you have a garden, start a compost heap. Re-use plastic bags. Give away clothes you don't use, rather than throwing them away. There are hundreds of little things you can do.
*Live with someone! Whether it be your partner, family, children or friends, sharing your living space means sharing your ecological impact. It will probably also increase your well-being!
Leave your car in the garage. Car use has a huge impact on ecological footprint. Obviously it's easier for some people than others, but where possible, try to use public transport more. Or, even better, get on a bike, or simply walk!
*Go local. Why buy tomatoes from another country, if you can get home grown ones? For those living in Europe - think about all those miles travelled by wine from South Africa and Australia, when Europe produces some of the best wines in the world.
You don't have to become vegetarian, but cutting down on meat, particularly beef, and particularly from animals fed by imported soya feed, is an effective step to reducing your footprint.
It has to be said that air travel is one of the biggest contributors to many people's footprints. For example, flying direct from London to Sydney and back would add 5.44 g ha to your footprint - that's the average Briton's footprint for an entire year. Flights with a connection add even more polluting air miles.
You: 4.23 Average: 5.35 [Average is of all online responses to this survey - not the average for your country]
Carbon Footprint
Your carbon footprint is 0.7 global hectares, or 0.39 planets. This is about the same as the average for your country (1.06 gHa).
You: 0.7 Average: 2.97 [Average is of all online responses to this survey - not the average for your country]
Life Satisfaction
You reported a life satisfaction of 8. This is the most common response across UK and indeed all of Europe. However, it is above average, so we are happy that you are so happy. Only in two countries is the mean life satisfaction higher - Switzerland and Denmark.
You: 8 Average: 6.77 [Average is of all online responses to this survey - not the average for your country]
The new economics foundation (nef) recognises that there's more to life than feeling good, which is why our model for well-being is based on four domains – personal feelings, personal functionings, social feelings and social functionings. 'Feelings' refers to your attitude to the way you, your future and society are. 'Functionings' looks at whether you have the opportunities to do the things that bring you well-being. Like with life satisfaction, a score of 5 is theoretically the middle score, but, given the way most people respond to surveys, is below average.
Personal Feelings
In this online questionnaire, personal feelings are assessed with two questions – one testing your optimism and one testing your self-esteem.
You are optimistic about the future and probably also about yourself.
You: 6.55 Average: 6.05 [Average is of all online responses to this survey - not the average for your country]
Personal Functionings
In this online questionnaire personal functionings are assessed with five questions – two evaluating your subjective opinion on your health and how activity you are, the other three testing you for feelings of autonomy, purpose and worth.
In some ways you are unable to function in the way you would like. Perhaps you have had problems with your health, are feeling unable to make your own decisions, or do not have the opportunity to get involved in activities that give you a sense of purpose and ability. Some slight changes in lifestyle would help.
You: 5.27 Average: 6.16 [Average is of all online responses to this survey - not the average for your country]
Social Feelings
In this online questionnaire social feelings are assessed with four questions – three assessing your opinion of your community, whilst the last looks at personal relationships.
You have a strong sense of trust and belonging in your community and a happy personal life.
You: 5.59 Average: 5.69 [Average is of all online responses to this survey - not the average for your country]
Social Functionings
In this online questionnaire social functionings are assessed with four questions – two assessing your job / studies, one your free time, and one your community participation. If you did not respond to the work / study questions, your score is judged purely on the other two aspects.
You are very satisfied with your job / course - it is very interesting, rarely stressful, and leaves you plenty of time to do the things you want to do, such as participating in community activities.
You: 7.05 Average: 5.6 [Average is of all online responses to this survey - not the average for your country]
Am copiat un articol, citat de MD, care contine recenzia unei carti care pare f interesanta: love to think, talk and argue about happiness. I have a hard time counting the number of times I’ve been approached at development conferences by someone who wants to tell me the story of Bhutan’s decision to focus on Gross National Happiness, not Gross National Product. Or the times I’ve been forwarded an article asserting that Nigeria tops a world happiness survey. We’ve all been happy and unhappy, and we’ve all got opinions - well- or ill-informed - on what makes people happy, which means we’ve all got something to say on the topic.
I was interested in correlating happiness to health, and threw some simple statistical techniques at a data set I’d found online. In a development that made me, well, pretty unhappy, I discovered that the data I was using - also Adrian White’s Global Projection of Subjective Well-Being - was apparently “borrowed” from the New Economics Foundation’s “Happy Planet Index”. That data, in turn, is apparently extrapolated from Dr. Ruut Veenhoven’s World Database of Happiness, which is a concordance of happiness research from around the world. The database includes results from 95 countries, many of which have been surveyed several times over the course of decades, asking people a fixed series of questions about their subjective satisfaction with their own lives.
Veenhoven’s database is the starting point fror Eric Weiner’s excellent “The Geography of Bliss“, a witty, funny and insightful book, which follows the wanderings of a self-described “grump” through his travel to happy and unhappy nations.
A foreign correspondent for NPR, Weiner sees a lot of nations at their worst. And he claims not to be a happy man, an addict of self-help books designed to help him enjoy his life more. Explicit in his journey is the question, “If I lived here, would I be happy?” There are some interesting geographic patterns to happiness. Impoverished and wartorn nations are generally not happy places. Scandinavian and Alpine nations are, for the most part. You might conclude that cold, rich nations are the places to be if you’d like to be happy.
But making generalizations in this field is difficult.Many of the former Soviet states are cold, and most rank very low in happiness. Money’s not guaranteed to help either. There’s an “East-Asian Happiness Gap“, where wealth East Asian nations are a lot less happy than you’d expect given their wealth. (Possible explanations for the gap include, “environmental disruption, excessive competitiveness, repressive education, excessive conformity, negative attitudes towards enjoyment, and the emphasis on outward appearance.” Sounds like a drag.)
Weiner travels to nine nations in writing the book, some unusually happy (Switzerland, Bhutan, Iceland), some surprisingly unhappy (Qatar, Moldova). He’s better at writing about the unhappy ones than the happy, which may reveal a fundamental truth of travel writing - it’s just not much fun to read about someone having a great time. (One of my favorite travel writers is Redmond O’Hanlon, whose jungle journeys generally sound like misery, interspersed with danger, failure and sheer terror, gently seasoned with British wit. My guess is that he wouldn’t be nearly as good at writing about beach vacations in the Bahamas.)
It’s hard to draw firm conclusions from Weiner’s travel about what makes some nations happy and others miserable. Weiner gives us intriguing hints at the state of the art of happiness research, writing at some length about “the hedonic treadmill“ (Georgetown University psychiatry professor Norman Rosenthal describes the hedonic treadmill by comparing the pursuit of happiness to a person on a treadmill, who has to keep working just to stay in the same place."As we acquire new things, we shift our expectations so that what seemed like a fortune to us before now seems not quite enough. As one famous millionaire put it, 'How much money is enough? Just a little bit more.' Observing how greater wealth generates higher expectations, researchers refer to the 'hedonic treadmill' theory, which compares the pursuit of happiness to a person on a treadmill, who has to keepworking just to stay in the same place."), a concept coined by Philip Brickman and Donald Campbell, who were studying the happiness of lottery winners and accident victims. Unsurprisingly, the lottery winners were quite happy, and the paralyzed accident victims unhappy. But over time, both returned to levels quite close to their happiness before these surprising developments.
Most people believe that acquiring a bit more money would make them happy; they tend to find that acquiring wealth is a trap, as they always want a bit more (hence, the treadmill.) There’s an exception - people who are truly impoverished will see their happiness increase with increased income. But this effect maxes out at a surprisingly low level, around $15,000 in annual income. In a rich country, there are only a few things likely to have an unambigious effect on your happiness over a long period of time, Weiner tells us: “Noise and big breasts. Studies have found that we really never get used to loud noises, despite prolonged exposure. Another study found that women who get breast implants never tire of the enjoyment it brings them, and presumably their companions as well.” And now you know.
Weiner adds his own layer of theory to his travels, introducing a couple of useful concepts to people interested in happiness. He discovers that throughout his travels, he meets people who are much happier in the places they’ve migrated to than in the lands of their birth. “They are hedonic refugees, moving to a new land, a new culture, because they are happier there. Usually, hedonic refugees have an epiphany, a moment of great clarity when they realize, beyond a doubt, they were born in the wrong country.” My guess is that a lot of people born in Burkina Faso, for instance, have this moment of clarity but aren’t able to relocate to Denmark - this is, perhaps, a more useful concept for explaining the migratory patterns of the rich and privleged than the world as a whole. But it’s an intriguing clue about “cultural fit”, the idea that someone who doesn’t fit well with the dominant culture of a place may be unhappy even if most of her fellow citizens are blissful.
Weiner also suggests that culture goes a long way towards explaining unhappiness in Moldova, the unhappiest nation he visits. Moldova is legendary in the happiness studies community, a nation that ranks extremely low in happiness despite beating out many nations in terms of life expectancy and wealth. Weiner believes this is because Moldova is:
Moldova este pe locul 147. Pana la 178, cu voia HPI, ultimul loc de pe lista, mai e....
…a fabricated nation. It doesn’t exist. Oh yes, you can go there, as I did, and walk its streets, eat its mamaliga, drink its bad wine, talk to its miserable people. Later, safely home, you can flip open your passport and admine, if that’s the word, the stamp that says “The Republic of Moldova”. None of this matters. Moldova does not exist, and existence is, in my book, a prerequisite for happiness. We need a solid identity - ethnic, national, linguistic, culinary, whatever - in order to feel good about ourselves.
This theory helps explain Weiner’s reaction to Qatar, which he finds surprisingly unhappy. His visit to Qatar’s historical museum, an unairconditioned concrete bunker in a nation where summer temperatures routinely break 50C, convinces him that Qataris have outsourced their history and heritage, not just all menial - and much technical - labor. Unless it’s the claustrophobia that comes from a society bound by tribal rules, but freed of the constraints of traditional financial rules by incredible wealth through national resources. Turns out it’s almost as difficult to pin down the causes of unhappiness as it is to explain happiness.
“The Geography of Bliss” makes a lousy self-help book - it won’t help you relocate to your happy spot on the earth, if such a thing exists. But it’s a really fun way to get a handle on what we do and don’t know about happiness, and you’ll likely be (marginally, slightly, temporarily) happier if you read it.
On page 56 of the book At What Price: Conceptualizing and Measuring Cost-of-Living and Price Indexes the hedonic treadmill theory is addressed as follows:- Nothing can keep people happy or unhappy for long. - Expectations quickly adapt to new circumstances.“If these circumstances are characterized by continuous improvement, ever increasing amounts of goods are required to maintain the same level of satisfaction. Conversely deteriorating circumstances wouldmake people unhappy for some time, but only until expectations are back in line with reality, as long as basic needs are met.”The National Academies Press: At What Price
The Hedonic Treadmill:“Those who rush to experience intensively pleasurable activities find that, amusing as they are, they soon become accustomed to them - the pleasure from them isn't sustainable. In order to maintain the intensepleasure they try more extreme and expensive things, but they'll adapt to them too. Abstinence from pleasures can make smaller pleasures seem more intense.”
In an article by Martin Morse Wooster:“.. relying on money as the measure of happiness might cause you to step onto what psychologists call the "hedonic treadmill," where you feel you would be happier if your income increased by 25 percent.Apartment renters would like to be able to get a house, homeowners want a larger house and a second car. (..) Once you're on the hedonic treadmill, it's very hard to get off, since it never ensures happiness; whatever you earn, you'll always want 25 percent more money.Reason: February 1994
About the Happy Planet Index
The Happy Planet Index (HPI) is an innovative new measure that shows the ecological efficiency with which human well-being is delivered around the world. It is the first ever index to combine environmental impact with well-being to measure the environmental efficiency with which country by country, people live long and happy lives.
The Index doesn’t reveal the ‘happiest’ country in the world. It shows the relative efficiency with which nations convert the planet’s natural resources into long and happy lives for their citizens. The nations that top the Index aren’t the happiest places in the world, but the nations that score well show that achieving, long, happy lives without over-stretching the planet’s resources is possible. The HPI shows that around the world, high levels of resource consumption do not reliably produce high levels of well-being (life-satisfaction), and that it is possible to produce high levels of well-being without excessive consumption of the Earth’s resources. It also reveals that there are different routes to achieving comparable levels of well-being. The model followed by the West can provide widespread longevity and variable life satisfaction, but it does so only at a vast and ultimately counter-productive cost in terms of resource consumption.
The Happy Planet Index (HPI) strips the view of the economy back to its absolute basics: what we put in (resources), and what comes out (human lives of different length and happiness). The resulting Index of the 178 nations for which data is available, reveals that the world as a whole has a long way to go. In terms of delivering long and meaningful lives within the Earth’s environmental limits - all nations could do better. No country achieves an overall ‘high’ score on the Index, and no country does well on all three indicators.
No single country listed in the Happy Planet Index has everything right. We have to acknowledge from the start that while some countries are more efficient than others at delivering long, happy lives for their people, every country has its problems and no country performs as well as it could. Yet, fascinatingly, it is possible to see patterns emerging that point to how we might better achieve long and happy lives for all, whilst living within our environmental means.
Cifrele ingrosate reprezinta locul pe lista iar cele simple: Life Satisfaction, Life Expectancy, Ecological Footprint, Happy Planet Index
1 Vanuatu 7.4 68.6 1.1 68.2 2 Colombia 7.2 72.4 1.3 67.2 3 Costa Rica 7.5 78.2 2.1 66.0 4 Dominica 7.3 75.6 1.8 64.6 5 Panama 7.2 74.8 1.8 63.5 6 Cuba 6.3 77.3 1.4 61.9 7 Honduras 7.2 67.8 1.4 61.8 8 Guatemala 7.0 67.3 1.2 61.7 9 El Salvador 6.6 70.9 1.2 61.7 10 Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 7.2 71.1 1.7 61.4 11 Saint Lucia 7.0 72.4 1.6 61.3 12 Vietnam 6.1 70.5 0.8 61.2 13 Bhutan 7.6 62.9 1.3 61.1 14 Samoa (Western) 6.9 70.2 1.4 61.0 15 Sri Lanka 6.1 74.0 1.1 60.3 16 Antigua and Barbuda 7.4 73.9 2.3 59.2 17 Philippines 6.4 70.4 1.2 59.2 18 Nicaragua 6.3 69.7 1.1 59.1 19 Kyrgyzstan 6.6 66.8 1.1 59.0 20 Solomon Islands 6.9 62.3 1.0 58.9 21 Tunisia 6.4 73.3 1.4 58.9 22 São Tomé and Principe 6.7 63.0 1.0 57.9 23 Indonesia 6.6 66.8 1.2 57.9 24 Tonga 6.6 72.2 1.6 57.9 25 Tajikistan 6.1 63.6 0.6 57.7 26 Venezuela 7.4 72.9 2.4 57.5 27 Dominican Republic 7.0 67.2 1.6 57.1 28 Guyana 7.2 63.1 1.5 56.6 29 Saint Kitts and Nevis 7.4 70.0 2.3 56.1 30 Seychelles 7.4 72.7 2.6 56.1 31 China 6.3 71.6 1.5 56.0 32 Thailand 6.5 70.0 1.6 55.4 33 Peru 5.6 70.0 0.9 55.1 34 Suriname 7.3 69.1 2.3 55.0 35 Yemen 6.2 60.6 0.7 55.0 36 Fiji 6.7 67.8 1.7 54.5 37 Morocco 5.6 69.7 0.9 54.4 38 Mexico 6.9 75.1 2.5 54.4 39 Maldives 6.6 66.6 1.6 53.5 40 Malta 7.5 78.4 3.5 53.3 41 Bangladesh 5.7 62.8 0.6 53.2 42 Comoros 5.9 63.2 0.8 52.9 43 Barbados 7.3 75.0 3.1 52.7 44 Malaysia 7.4 73.2 3.0 52.7 45 Palestine 5.4 72.5 1.1 52.6 46 Cape Verde 5.8 70.4 1.3 52.4 47 Argentina 6.8 74.5 2.6 52.2 48 Timor-Leste 6.6 55.5 0.8 52.0 49 Belize 6.9 71.9 2.6 52.050 Trinidad and Tobago 6.9 69.9 2.3 51.9 51 Chile 6.5 77.9 2.6 51.3 52 Paraguay 6.5 71.0 2.2 51.1 53 Jamaica 7.0 70.8 2.6 51.0 54 Nepal 5.5 61.6 0.6 50.0 55 Mauritius 6.5 72.2 2.4 49.6 56 Mongolia 6.7 64.0 1.9 49.6 57 Uruguay 6.3 75.4 2.6 49.3 58 Ecuador 5.6 74.3 1.8 49.3 59 Uzbekistan 6.4 66.5 1.9 49.2 60 Grenada 6.5 65.3 1.9 49.0 61 Austria 7.8 79.0 4.6 48.8 62 India 5.4 63.3 0.8 48.7 63 Brazil 6.3 70.5 2.2 48.6 64 Iceland 7.8 80.7 4.9 48.4 65 Switzerland 8.2 80.5 5.3 48.3 66 Italy 6.9 80.1 3.8 48.3 67 Iran 6.0 70.4 2.1 47.2 68 Ghana 6.2 56.8 1.1 47.0 69 Bolivia 5.5 64.1 1.2 46.2 70 Netherlands 7.5 78.4 4.7 46.0 71 Madagascar 5.8 55.4 0.8 46.0 72 Cyprus 6.9 78.6 4.0 46.0 73 Algeria 5.2 71.1 1.5 45.9 74 Luxembourg 7.6 78.5 4.9 45.6 75 Bahamas 7.7 69.7 4.1 44.9 76 Papua New Guinea 6.3 55.3 1.3 44.8 77 Burma 5.3 60.2 0.9 44.6 78 Belgium 7.3 78.9 4.9 44.0 79 Slovenia 6.6 76.4 3.8 44.0 80 Oman 7.3 74.1 4.4 43.9 81 Germany 7.2 78.7 4.8 43.8 82 Croatia 5.9 75.0 2.9 43.7 83 Lebanon 5.6 72.0 2.3 43.6 84 Taiwan 6.6 76.1 3.9 43.4 85 Haiti 5.5 51.6 0.5 43.3 86 Syria 5.1 73.3 1.9 43.2 87 Spain 7.0 79.5 4.8 43.0 88 Hong Kong 6.6 81.6 4.6 42.9 89 Saudi Arabia 7.3 71.8 4.4 42.7 90 Gambia 5.7 55.7 1.1 42.5 91 Cambodia 5.6 56.2 1.1 42.2 92 Albania 4.6 73.8 1.5 42.1 93 Jordan 5.1 71.3 1.9 42.0 94 New Zealand 7.4 79.1 5.5 41.9 95 Japan 6.2 82.0 4.3 41.7 96 Congo 5.7 52.0 0.9 41.6 97 Egypt 4.8 69.8 1.5 41.6 98 Turkey 5.3 68.7 2.0 41.4 99 Denmark 8.2 77.2 6.4 41.4 100 Brunei Darussalam 7.6 76.4 5.6 41.2 101 Georgia 4.1 70.5 0.8 41.2 102 Korea 5.8 77.0 3.4 41.1 103 Bosnia and Herzegovina 5.1 74.2 2.3 41.0 104 Senegal 5.6 55.7 1.2 40.8 105 Azerbaijan 4.9 66.9 1.5 40.7 106 Gabon 6.2 54.5 1.7 40.5 107 Libya 5.7 73.6 3.1 40.3 108 United Kingdom 7.1 78.4 5.4 40.3 109 Laos 5.4 54.7 1.0 40.3 110 Benin 5.4 54.0 1.0 40.1 111 Canada 7.6 80.0 6.4 39.8 112 Pakistan 4.3 63.0 0.7 39.4 113 Ireland 7.6 77.7 6.2 39.4 114 Poland 5.9 74.3 3.6 39.3 115 Norway 7.4 79.4 6.2 39.2 116 Macedonia 4.9 73.8 2.3 39.1 117 Israel 6.7 79.7 5.3 39.1 118 Namibia 6.5 48.3 1.6 38.4 119 Sweden 7.7 80.2 7.0 38.2 120 Romania 5.2 71.3 2.7 37.7 121 Hungary 5.7 72.7 3.5 37.6 122 Guinea 5.1 53.7 1.0 37.4 123 Finland 7.7 78.5 7.0 37.4 124 Mauritania 5.3 52.7 1.1 37.3 125 Kazakhstan 5.8 63.2 2.8 36.9 126 Togo 4.9 54.3 0.9 36.9 127 Kenya 5.6 47.2 0.9 36.7 128 Czech Republic 6.4 75.6 5.0 36.6 129 France 6.6 79.5 5.8 36.4 130 Armenia 3.7 71.5 1.0 36.1 131 Singapore 6.9 78.7 6.2 36.1 132 Slovakia 5.4 74.0 3.6 35.8 133 Greece 6.3 78.3 5.4 35.7 134 Tanzania 5.5 46.0 0.9 35.1 135 Guinea-Bissau 5.4 44.7 0.7 35.1 136 Portugal 6.1 77.2 5.2 34.8 137 Eritrea 4.4 53.8 0.7 34.5 138 Bahrain 7.2 74.3 6.6 34.4 139 Australia 7.3 80.3 7.7 34.1 140 Mali 5.3 47.9 1.1 33.7 141 Mozambique 5.4 41.9 0.7 33.0 142 Cameroon 5.1 45.8 0.9 32.8 143 Djibouti 4.8 52.8 1.3 32.7 144 Ethiopia 4.7 47.6 0.7 32.5 145 Bulgaria 4.3 72.2 2.7 31.6 146 Nigeria 5.5 43.4 1.2 31.1 147 Moldova 3.5 67.7 1.2 31.1 148 Burkina Faso 4.7 47.5 1.1 30.1 149 Lithuania 4.7 72.3 3.9 29.3 150 United States of America 7.4 77.4 9.5 28.8 151 Cote d'Ivoire 4.5 45.9 0.9 28.8 152 Rwanda 4.4 43.9 0.7 28.3 153 Sierra Leone 5.0 40.8 0.9 28.2 154 United Arab Emirates 7.4 78.0 9.9 28.2 155 Angola 4.8 40.8 0.8 27.9 156 South Africa 5.7 48.4 2.8 27.8 157 Sudan 3.6 56.4 1.0 27.7 158 Uganda 4.7 47.3 1.5 27.7 159 Kuwait 7.2 76.9 9.5 27.7 160 Latvia 4.7 71.6 4.4 27.3 161 Niger 4.5 44.4 1.1 26.8 162 Malawi 4.6 39.7 0.7 26.7 163 Zambia 4.9 37.5 0.8 25.9 164 Central African Republic 4.9 39.3 1.1 25.9 165 Belarus 4.0 68.1 3.2 25.8 166 Qatar 7.0 72.8 9.5 25.5 167 Botswana 5.4 36.3 1.3 25.4 168 Chad 4.5 43.6 1.3 25.4 169 Turkmenistan 4.0 62.4 3.1 24.0 170 Equatorial Guinea 5.2 43.3 2.5 23.8 171 Lesotho 4.3 36.3 0.6 23.1 172 Russia 4.3 65.3 4.4 22.8 173 Estonia 5.1 71.3 6.9 22.7 173 Ukraine 3.6 66.1 3.3 22.2 175 Congo, Dem. Rep. of the 3.3 43.1 0.7 20.7 176 Burundi 3.0 43.6 0.7 19.0 177 Swaziland 4.2 32.5 1.1 18.4 178 Zimbabwe 3.3 36.9 1.0 16.6
Nu e ciudat ca pe locul 6 se afla Cuba, mult deasupra Romaniei (locul 120) ?Dar macar suntem deasupra Ungariei, locul 121.
Cel mai bun comentariu despre aceasta situatie il ofera dragul de Melvin Durai, cu nelipsitul sau umor (oare de ce umoristii mei preferati sunt indieni care acum s-au stabilit in Canada? Si de ce m-am simtit atat de atrasa de Sonali? Anca zice ca pt ca semanam. Trebuie sa amintesc si despre Man from Matunga, deasemenea umorist indian):
I'd rather be poor in a country that gives me freedom than rich in a country that's restrictive. I'd hate to live in a country that controls the media or chops off the hands of thieves. I'd hate to live in a country where women don't have much freedom, not just the freedom to work and move around freely, but also the freedom to wear bikinis.
Despre treadmill MD scrie:
Yeah, we humans quickly adjust to our circumstances. That 52-inch high-definition TV might make you happy for a few days, but you'll soon get used to it and it won't seem so big anymore, especially when your friend Abdul buys an 80-inch model, the bastard.

PhD in America

January 21
Am aflat ca in USA e inflatie de PhD (doctori). Poate e mai bine ca A&A nu au ramas in USA.;_ylt=AhAZWRIxyTCta2uJ1UOzpiBzwcF
Analysis: Universities overproduce Ph.Ds
By JUSTIN POPE, AP Education Writer Sun Jan 20, 2:02 PM ET
College students are getting a raw deal, a recent New York report asserted. The problem is they're taking too many classes from part-time, or adjunct, professors.
But that same report unwittingly revealed something about how higher education is more culpable than it likes to admit when it comes to creating the problem.
The issue is a huge one in higher education far beyond New York, with about half of the nation's college faculty now on part-time contracts. Adjuncts are cheaper for colleges, but they often lack the time and resources for focused teaching, and research shows students' performance suffers if they are taught by part-timers too often.
In its report last month, a 30-member commission called for New York's state (SUNY) and city (CUNY) systems to alleviate the over reliance on adjuncts by hiring 2,000 more full-time faculty for their 87 campuses.
But just one page away, the report also called for adding at least 4,000 new doctoral students.
There's a connection between those numbers that deserves more attention.
In many fields, there are already too many Ph.Ds awarded for the full-time academic posts available, creating a surplus of likely jobseekers. That pool becomes adjuncts, who command wages and benefits so low that universities find them irresistible hires.
"It's not uncommon to have a disconnect like this in higher education, in which people are both concerned about the difficult career prospects being faced by recent Ph.D. graduates and concerned there aren't enough Ph.D. students," said Michael Teitelbaum, of the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.
The ideas, he said, "often don't get connected. It's puzzling."
Adds Jeff Crane, an adjunct who teaches two art courses at SUNY-New Paltz: "There's this tendency to turn a blind eye to things like that and not make those kinds of equations."
Of course, some adjuncts have other jobs and like working part-time. But many are adjuncts by necessity. Crane, an artist, says he likes working part-time so he can paint, but thinks he should be paid equitably. He earns about $5,200 per semester for teaching two courses.
The national average for full-time assistant professors is about $60,000, and $100,000 once they get tenure. Crane says many of his colleagues work mostly for the health insurance, which, unlike many places, New Paltz offers to adjuncts.
Teitelbaum is quick to point out New York may have good reasons to add doctoral students. They will help improve the state's standing in the research sector, and of course, many may find work in the private sector.
But if they come seeking full-time professorial jobs, some will be disappointed.
It's well known that jobs in, say, philosophy, are rare. Even at the very top doctoral programs, only one in 10 who start will end up teaching at an elite research university, according to Brian Leiter, whose blog "Philosophical Gourmet" tracks the field. In fields like history, recent numbers show the market improving, and there will be more jobs as baby boomers retire. But some fields like American and European history still have such a surplus that even community colleges now commonly look only at candidates with a doctoral degree.
It's not just humanities. Groups such as the Business Roundtable have grabbed headlines with urgent warnings about the need to ramp up production of American scientists. In fact, Teitelbaum testified to Congress last year, there is no evidence of a shortage of scientists and engineers — particularly on the Ph.D. track.
In the life sciences, the U.S. is awarding twice as many doctorates as two decades ago, but has no more faculty jobs, according to one recent study that prompted the journal Nature to editorialize that "too many graduate schools may be preparing too many students." A 1998 National Research Council made much the same warning.
Nonetheless, universities keep flooding the academic pipeline.
The latest federal data show about 45,600 Ph.Ds were awarded in 2005-2006, 5.1 percent higher than the year before. It was the fourth straight increase and tied for the highest percentage gain since 1971.
Faculty like having graduate students around. They're good intellectual companions, and they bolster a professor's research efforts.
Particularly in the sciences, they also often come with funding from sources such as the National Institutes of Health, which doubled its budget between 1998 and 2003.
But funding usually leads to more slots for graduate students, not for professors. That's why the percentage of science Ph.D.s moving on to "post-docs" (temporary university posts where they do research while continuing to apply for faculty jobs) is surging — from 43 percent to 70 percent in physics, for instance, in just a few years.
Of course, universities could cut back on using adjuncts and pony up for better wages and more full-time jobs. Some, like Rutgers in New Jersey, have agreed to add tenure-track positions, and the American Federation of Teachers is pushing for legislation in 11 states to require more teaching come from full-timers.
But with universities already under fire for skyrocketing prices, it's probably unrealistic to expect most will pay more than the going rate for a captive labor pool.
Saying "no" to students definitely isn't easy. If education is good, it seems to follow more is better. And when qualified students come to a university — particularly a public one — it can be hard to justify refusing them the education they say they want.
But if public universities (and really that means legislatures and taxpayers) won't pony up for more full-time faculty, higher education will have to take more responsibility for its role in creating the oversupply problem.
"We have flooded the labor market with Ph.Ds who can't get jobs doing what they've been trained to do," said Cat Warren, a North Carolina State English professor and state American Association of University Professors leader, who recently gave a talk to graduate students at nearby Duke warning them to be realistic. "I think we have to think very hard about that."

About Love

January 18

Din Editor Bob
This week's Zen quote comes from Martin Luther King, Jr. he said, "Hatred paralyzes life; love releases it. Hatred confuses life; love harmonizes it. Hatred darkens life; love illuminates it." Spread the love brother, ya know what I'm saying? I've decided to not hate or be bitter about stuff. I think no matter what the future holds, I’m going to have a positive outlook on things.


Dupa cat ma duce pe mine capul, nshima asta e un fel de mamaliga. Iata reteta, de pe
Nshima Recipe
Nshima is the staple food for 10 million Zambians. It is eaten at least twice per day; for lunch and dinner. Another second dish, known as ndiwo, umunani, dende or relish, must always accompany nshima. The relish is always a deliciously cooked vegetable, meat, fish, or poultry dish. By comparison to other cultures, Zambian recipes tend to be bland and hardly use any hot spices at all. However, they use other traditional ingredients and spices that give Zambian foods that distinctive unique taste and flavor.
4 Cups Water
2 Cups plain corn meal

Method: Pour 4 cups of water into a medium size cooking pot. Heat the water for 3 - 4 minutes or until luke warm. Using one tablespoonful at a time, slowly sprinkle 3/4 cup of the corn meal into the pot while stirring continuosly with a cooking stick. Keep stirring slowly until the mixture begins to thicken and boil. Turn the heat to medium, cover the pot, and let simmer for 3 to 5 minutes.
Cautiously remove the top. Slowly, a little at a time, pour into the pot 1 and a quarter cups of corn meal and briskly stir with the cooking stick until smooth and thick. Stir vigorosly. Sprinkle a little more corn meal and stir if you desire the nshima to be thicker or less if you want softer nshima. Cover, turn the heat off and let nshima sit on the stove for another 2 to 3 minutes. Serves 4 people

Despre Paradis

January 17
Cum a aparut notiunea de paradis? Din visele oamenilor si nevoia lor de protectie. Nu stiu daca animalele au vise (in sensul de teluri de urmarit pe termen lung) dar unii oameni isi socotesc implinite visele daca au multe acumulari materiale care sa-i faca fie sa se simta superiori altora, mai bogati, fie sa-si poata permite tot felul de fantezii, chiar daca implinirea acestora le ruineaza sanatatea fizica si morala

In vremea "epocii de aur" pt cei mai multi dintre romani, a caror principala grija si preocupare era procurarea alimentelor (avand mult mai multa importanta chiar decat educatia copiilor, chiar si pt oameni cu pregatire profesionala superioara), prin mijloace care uneori le punea la grea incercare ingeniozitatea, rareori solidaritatea, probabil ca pt ei paradisul era o imensa camara plina cu toate bunatatile, avand alaturi un frigider plin de carne.

Imi amintesc ca hotul care a patruns in locuinta familiei Braikoff a furat, pe langa bunatatile aflate in camara si o cratita de sarmale, lucru care a provocat durerea si furia Ilenei, nu numai pt violarea intimitatii locuintei ci mai ales pt ca a lipsit-o de alimentele procurate cu atata truda.

Si atunci ma intreb era oare vreo diferenta intre animalele a caror principala procupare, dincolo de imperativul perpetuarii speciei este procurarea hranei si aspiratiile "omului nou"?

Dar si pentru primii oameni, cei de care aminteam in eseul despre jertfa, aceasta era principala preocupare. Si atunci, cum s-a ajuns la notiunea de paradis? Cred, asa cum am scris mai sus, din nevoia de protectie si siguranta, niciodata implinita in viata. Pana au invatat sa-si cultive singuri plantele comestibile, sa le modifice genetic astfel incat sa dea randament, pana au reusit sa domesticeasca animale astfel incat sa nu mai hoinareasca kilometri intregi in cautarea hranei nu cred ca au avut prea mult timp de abstractiuni. Atunci paradisul era simplu: intinse campii de vanatoare, pline cu vanat usor de capturat.

Lucrurile s-au complicat la vechii greci, unde Campiile Elizee erau populate si cu zei. Pt vechii evrei era mai simplu: viata omului era finita, se termina aici, pe pamant. Dar ce te faci cu cei care, fara vina lor, duc o viata plina de amaraciune? Si aici e momentul sa spun ca, din toata Biblia, cel mai putin inteleg cartea lui Iov, cel care, in ciuda situatiei ingrozitoare si a tuturor necazurilor pe care le-a avut nu a incetat sa laude pe Dumnezeu. Poate ca lectia este ca indiferent ce ni se intampla trebuie sa multumim Domnului pt ca ne ingaduie pe acest pamant, astfel incat putem sa ne mentinem sanatatea mintala in cazul in care, Doamne fereste, sa bat in lemn, se abate vreo nenorocire, a se vedea cazul Steven Hawkins, sau raposatul Kristofer Reeve, interpretul lui Superman. Aici intervine Iisus Hristos. El da o speranta tuturor, dar nu in aceasta viata pe pamant, ci in cea din ceruri.

Sa nu se inteleaga de aici ca am uitat de paradisul din Vechiul Testament. Intai trebuie precizat ca VT (mai exact Vechea Intelegere, pt ca despre o intelegere intre Abraham si Dumnezeu este vorba: "cresteti si va inmultiti si veti stapani pamantul" - daca ma veti adora si sluji pe Mine se intelege, spre deosebire de Noua Intelegere, dintre Iisus si crestini, "cine ma va urma pe mine va avea viata vesnica") vorbeste despre un paradis terestru (oamenii il mai cauta si acum, unii zic ca ar fi fost in Mesopotamia, actualul Irak, cata ironie cand te gandesti cata ura exista intre arabi si evrei si ce stare de lucruri exista acum in Irak, altii zic ca ar fi undeva in Indonezia, unde exista o insula necalcata de picior de om, CS Lewis il situa pe planeta Venus, minunata Perelandra, la care visez uneori) unde leii convietuiau in pace cu mieii (cu ce se hraneau oare?, sau poate, in mod miraculos, nu aveau nevoie de hrana), de unde Adam si Eva au fost alungati atunci cand Adam a gustat din fructul oprit, al cunoasterii binelui si raului. Sa fie vorba oare despre schimbarea societatii umane odata cu migrarea din insorita Africa, unde oamenii nu aveau nevoie de haine (Dumnezeu s-a suparat cand Adam si Eva s-au imbracat, ma intreb ce-ar zice azi cei care au scris in Pentateuh acel capitol, despre actualele tendinte mondene de a dezgoli cat mai mult trupul uman, noroc ca mai vine cate o iarna geroasa si se mai acopera, macar pe strada) si despre trecerea la agricultura si zootehnie (oamenii au dobandit cunostinte pe care le avea doar Dumnezeu)

Revin la faptul ca in Paradis mieii traiau in pace alaturi de lei. Cea mai nesocotita dintre toate poruncile date lui Moise este "Sa nu ucizi". In ce priveste hrana evreii si arabii au gasit o solutie ingenioasa: numai o anumita persoana, hahamul respectiv halalul este indreptatita sa ucida animalele. Probabil, nu stiu, acea persoana este exonerata de pacatul nerespectarii legii (insusi Iisus a spus ca legile trebuie respectate, dar pt ca existau si reglementari privind hrana care trebuia consumata, "sa nu mananci carnea animalelor cu copita despicata', de ex, care intrau in contradictie cu traditiile culinare ale popoarelor care urmau sa fie crestinate a fost nevoie de visul lui Petru cu fata de masa plina de tot felul de bucate -interpretata de unii ca valori spirituale, dar eu cred ca explicatia de mai sus, mai terestra, e mai aproape de adevar- pt a se "amenda" acele reglementari). Ce te faci insa daca esti singur pe o insula pustie si vrei sa respecti legea? Solutia e simpla: devii vegetarian. Glumesc, desigur.

Ramane de vazut de ce sunt atat de multi vegetarieni in India, poate din respectul pt vacile sfinte,sau din cauza slabei dezvoltari a zootehniei, nu stiu.

Ipocritii din Uniunea Europeana, care cer ca animalele sa fie asomate, nu cred ca se gandesc la relatia noastra cu Dumnezeu si respectarea poruncilor sale ci au la baza niste cercetari care sustin ca daca animalul ce urmeaza sa fie ucis se sperie dezvolta in carnea sa niste substante toxice pt consumatori. Zic ipocriti pt ca imbraca reglementarile lor in haina milei. Daca sunt asa milosi, de ce nu trec la vegetarianism. Asa ar ajunge mai repede in paradis, fie el terestru sau ceresc

Ar mai fi poate ceva de spus despre paradisul musulman si la ce monstruozitate de gandire au ajuns acei imami care le promit sinucigasilor care, odata cu viata lor, iau si vietile atator oameni nevinovati, accesul sigur in acel paradis privat, numai pt musulmani.

Despre Delft

17 Ianuarie
Astazi s-a intors Florin din Olanda. Iata cum a descris el Delftul:
Acolo e greu sa gasesti o adresa. Nu sunt strazi, sunt canale cu trotuare de vreun metru jumatate pe margini, si multe poduri. Iar casele arata toate la fel.

Ulterior a adaugat ca circula si masini pe langa canale. Am uitat cat de late sunt trotuarele dar imagini din Delft pot fi vazute pe adresa mea de Picasa

Despre jertfa

January 15
Am constatat ca cel mai important lucru pt crestini este jertfa de pe cruce. Poate pt ca sunt nascuta in zodia Berbecului, legata de orice inceput (echinoctiul de primavara a fost multa vreme sarbatorit ca un inceput de an) mi s-a parut ca nasterea e mai importanta decat moartea, chiar urmata de inviere, adica renastere.

Interesant e ca Pastele evreiesc sarbatoreste libertatea, prin eliberarea din robie (chiar daca episodul ce ma distreaza totdeauna, cu vasele de argint si de aur imprumutate de la egipteni si niciodata restituite datorita fugii-lucru care ar explica furia cu care oastea lui Faraon i-a urmarit- e oarecum editat in versiunea moderna -vz BBC, plagile...- si anume ca egiptenii le-au daruit vasele ca sa scape de ei si plagile trimise de Moise), spre deosebire de popoarele pagane, pt care schimbarea anotimpului era mult mai importanta.

Pt mine sarbatoarea Pastelui crestin e oarecum umbrita de acele : "indeparteaza cupa aceasta de la mine" si "Eli, Eli, lama sabactani" adica "Doamne, Doamne, de ce m-ai parasit" (tradusa la noi prin "Tata, Tata, de ce m-ai parasit" ca sa accentuieze calitatea lui Iisus de Fiu al lui Dumnezeu, parte din intregul Sfintei Treimi, ajungandu-se astfel, prin ideea de Sfanta Treime, la o viziune a Dumnezeirii inca mai abstracta si mai absconsa, agnostica chiar, decat cea evreiasca) pt ca pot cu usurinta sa inteleg durerea atat de omeneasca din ele. Bucuria simtita de apostoli la revederea lui Iisus dupa reinviere a cuprins, destul de greu si cu destula suferinta lumea, dar nu stiu daca fara convertirea lui Constantin (explicata de unii prin ratiuni mult mai pamantesti decat legendara cruce aparuta pe cer in timpul bataliei cu Maxentiu prin aceea ca in oastea lui Maxentiu erau inrolati f multi crestini care ar fi trecut de partea lui Constantin, poate datorita mamei acestuia, crestina Elena) crestinismul ar fi ajuns astazi una din religiile cele mai importante ale lumii.

Poate ca accentul care se pune acum pe crucificare (mi se pare cel putin ciudat ca cel mai folosit simbol, in special la ortodocsi, e crucea, care mereu aminteste de moarte, deci jertfa, ca sa revin la titlu) se datoreaza faptului ca Elena a pretins ca a gasit la Ierusalim crucea mantuitorului.

Si totusi. Iisus a spus: "Mila voiesc, nu jertfa". Jertfa fusese practicata pana la el poate de sute de mii de ani, intai in forma umana (sa ne reamintim ca insusi Avraam era cat pe ce sa-si sacrifice intaiul nascut, noroc cu berbecul aparut in mod miraculos), apoi prin ardere de tot a mieilor albi, fara pata, deci neprihaniti, care erau "rascumparati" cu bani de catre cei care nu aveau asa ceva prin curte, de unde prezenta zarafilor in templu, lucru ce l-a revoltat atat de mult pe Iisus. Cei ce il asteptau cu atata dor pe slujeau, fara voia lor, prin intermediul zarafilor, acel atat de hulit vitel de aur.

Cand eram mai tanara violenta din filme nu ma deranja, era ceva abstract, de pe alta lume, figment of imagination. Ba chiar asteptam cu nerabdare Studio X de la bulgari, atat de interesant in comparatie cu anosta viata dusa de noi, romanii. Nu mai vorbesc ca mi-am perfectionat vocabularul in franceza, engleza, ba chiar si italiana citind romane politiste. Scriitoarea mea preferata era (si este) Ruth Rendell, ale carei carti le-am citit in engleza (las de o parte faptul ca am inceput sa aprofundez franceza pt a savura poeziile lui Samain in original pt ca tradutore= traditore). Odata cu schimbarea regimului si invazia de filme proaste, politiste sau nu, dar suprasaturate de violenta, ca sa nu mai vorbesc de infamele stiri de la ora 5 de pe PROTV sau de multele jocuri pe calculator cu mii de morti am inceput sa nu mai suport nici un fel de violenta.

De aceea, citind cronicile la Passions sau Appocalipto ale lui Mel Gibson nu-mi doresc sa vad vreodata aceste filme. Mi-a fost cumplit de mila citind intr-o brosurica intitulata Procesul lui Hristos, cred, in ce mod a fost chinuit Mantuitorul. Mi se rupea inima inchipuindu-mi scena, incat nu-mi doresc s-o vad transpusa pe ecaran, in mod veridic sau nu.

Am incercat sa inteleg de unde venea cumplita spaima care-i facea pe preotii azteci (nu sunt sigura daca si pe incasi sau alte popoare amerindiene) sa smulga din pieptul unui tanar inima palpitanda si sa o depuna ca jertfa pe altarul zeilor.

Si iata cum imi explic originea acestui ritual: imi imaginez o ceata (ca sa nu zic turma sau hoarda) de hominizi, capabili sa invete din experiente, ratacind prin imensitatea africana, plina de dusmani la tot pasul. Deodata sunt atacati, sa zicem de o turma de lei. O iau la fuga, dar micul lor pui, primul lor nascut, fragil si plapand, e scapat din brate de mama. Leii se opresc din vanatoare si devoreaza linistiti mica prada. Ceata a scapat datorita acestei jertfe. Tanara mama capata experienta si urmatorii pui sunt tinuti bine, nu mai cad din brate. Doua lucruri au fost invatate din aceasta intamplare, repetata poate de mii de ori. Primul: o jertfa umana, primul nascut al unei mame (sa nu uitam ca prima societate umana era bazata pe matraiarhat, Avraam a fost poate, dar nu cred, intemeietorul patriarhatului) poate salva ceata dintr-un pericol de moarte, al doilea, mai prozaic, ca pt a salva un pui trebuie sa-l tii strans in brate. Odata cu migratia spre zone cu mai putine animale de prada si cu evolutia omului spre judecati abstracte, ratiunea pt care se aduceau jertfele s-a estompat, dar obiceiul a ramas si a fost imbracat intr-o haina religioasa de catre cei care creau reguli.

Dar evreii, nevoiti sa se lupte cu alte triburi pt suprematie pe teritoriul Mesopotamiei (doar acolo a aparut civilizatia actuala, nu-i asa?), au inteles ca pt orice popor puterea sta si in dimensiunea populatiei, iar obiceiul jertfelor umane, mai ales din propriul trib (ca popor de pastori nomazi nu stapanea prea bine mestesugul armelor si al razboiului) nu era prea convenabil. De aceea, trecand de la politeism la monoteism (si din ratiuni practice, unui singur zeu ii aduci mai putine jertfe, e mai economic) a aparut capitolul din Biblie cu Dumnezeu care a ordonat jertfirea primului nascut dar s-a indurat de Avraam (Abraham) si i-a trimis un berbec spre jertfa. De altfel si alte popoare, cum ar fi vechii greci, faceau sacrificii de animale, dar cred ca mai tarziu. Numai romanii, cu Bachus al lor si bacantele sale mai sfasiau pe cei ce le stateau in cale, dar asta e alta poveste, legata de acea faza a betiei cand se trece de la euforie la agresivitate si violenta

Venirea lui Iisus a insemnat trecerea spre o alta treapta de civilizatie, in care jertfa umana devine inutila (s-a jertfit pt iertarea pacatelor noastre), in care toti oamenii trebuie sa fie ca fratii (nici vorba ca femeile sa fie considerate fiinte inferioare, ideile acestea vin de la Pavel, care nici macar nu l-a cunoscut nemijlocit pe Hristos, ca si de la cei care si-au impus ulterior punctul lor de vedere), sa se iubesca (nu e vorba de cntemporana dragoste cu nabadai) si sa se ajute unii pe altii, sa investeasca banii in afaceri profitabile (pilda talantilor) dar sa aiba grija mai ales de cele sufletesti, sa fie blanzi si intelegatori chiar si cu cei handicapati (fericirile), si sa nu dispere daca sunt saraci

Ce pacat ca lectiile lui de mila, intelepciune si bunatate nu au fost intelese si urmate de romanii (si scitii, Sf Andrei a fost rastignit de daco-geti, Roma inca nu cucerise Dacia) care au martirizat crestinii, dar mai ales de catre inchizitori. Nu degeaba in filmul Inchizitorul, dupa Dostoievschi, Marele Inchizitor recunoaste ca l-a slujit pe Satana. Din fericire in final se caieste si alege voluntar sa devina el jertfa.

Editor Bob "Zen"

Friday, September 07, 2007
genuine friend cares without hesitation, remembers without limitation and loves even without communication.
Grandparents don’t care what you are and what you achieved, they just Care.
Thursday, October 04, 2007
Remember, any wound can be taken care of by love, but there’s yet a medicine to be found to the wound caused by love Love with care.
Thursday, October 11, 2007
The best of friendship doesn't happen when we are together, but when we are apart, despite distance and the silence, friendship buds to a blossom.
Remember people, silent lips may avoid many problems, but smiling lips will solve many problems!
Thursday, October 18, 2007
Remember buddies, you don't need everything to enjoy life, but a life to enjoy everything.
Friday, October 26, 2007
The happiest of friends never have the same characters, but a better understanding of their differences. .
Nu sunt sigura daca povestea de mai jos mai e undeva in acest blog dar....better safe than sorry
Ah! Halloween. It reminds me of an incident that happened last year when Ron tried his hand at a Halloween prank at office. Am sure you wouldn't like to miss this one. Mr. B, our boss, has a cool head on his shoulders alright, but when you spring surprises like the way Ron does, you should've nerves of steel to keep your composure intact. He sneaked in a Jack-O-Lantern to work and it was a designer one! Yes. It had the eye sockets dug and tastefully carved out nose and mouth to make it look scary errr. . . rather funny. Anyways, our Resident Evil Ron, though technologically-challenged, did go the Einstein-way and wired the lights to the sockets, coiled a few coils, taped tight some sundry wires; plugged it in and announced "Mission Accomplished" Bush-style! Looked real neat, I should confess. Of course, we immediately cried for a "demo," but alas, none was forthcoming. Ron said it had to wait until Mr. B entered. And so came our Boss with a grand swagger breezing past and stood in his tracks on seeing the alien pumpkin, Ron errr. . . the Lantern! Momentary silence as Boss stood, staring at the creature. With the right pause and timing Ron made his move and hit the switch. The lights came on and there was an eerie glow that engulfed the room, the colors were Wow and the scene scary. . . almost. Genius Ron, I thought! And then the inevitable happened. Sure, the lights were cool, but realistically they were hot and they heated up the vegetable, the accumulated pressure releasing as it must. The sockets turned red with electric glow and the left eye turned a missile and there was eye contact with Mr. B himself! Eye contact? Yes. Literally. The left eye hit the right eye of the Boss and all hell broke loose. Pandemonium ensued and calm was restored only when we could extinguish the fire. When the dust settled, Boss stood in the middle of the remnants of half-burnt paperwork and darkened furniture facing the shivering Ron, the ex-genius. This time Mr. B's eyes were red hot without any supportive wires or coils from Ron. He thundered, "Ronnnnn, you better explain." A pregnant pause. Pin drop silence. All eyes on Ron. . . . All he did was open his mouth and the smoke came gushing, poor fellow, he has had the taste of his own fire. . . he looked a half-burnt Simpson! It had its effect. . . you guessed right, peals of laughter! Tell you what, when the Boss is happy, everything is just fine. And so it was!
When heart starts listening to silence and eyes start reading thoughts then there happens a beautiful relationship. Respect it!
Thursday, November 08, 2007
Dupa ce tatal lui a aflat ca are diabet a intrebat:
what’s life if you don’t eat what you like
Sfatul lui Bob:
Let your folks know there are sweeter things than the sweets to live for!
Moment of Zen, “Time alone can define a friend, the false ones fade while the best ones will be back.”
Asta s-a intamplat la Moll, in parcare:
Steve screamed instantly. He dropped the goods and shouted at full decibel "I got a gun, if you touch my bike, you are toast!"The guy who was trying to get started on the bike scooted letting the bike fall on the ground with a thud.Bravo! Megan and I looked at Steve admirably... oh man! He was proud until he saw his bike just beside the one that fell. Poor fella had left his own bike for the fear of a gun. And Steve just chased him away from his own bike. Anything is fun when Steve is around, even shopping!
Now, for the Moment of Zen: Every small gesture of love is like a seed sowed on a fertile land, when it blooms it's a beautiful harvest!
Thursday, November 29, 2007
on this Computer Security Day don't forget to scan your system and upgrade your anti-virus program. Make it a habit of keeping your most important files backed up. And never ever click on unknown links, especially if the offer is totally out of this world.
Moment of Zen: To do a certain kind of thing, you need to be a certain kind of person. Just follow your instincts and you can be the best gift to anyone you love.
Thursday, December 06, 2007
Greu de raspuns la intrebarea din final...
"Uncle Bob, what is Pearl Harbor?" asked my niece Rachel few days back. I was reading a magazine and she was watching a movie clip from "Pearl Harbor" on TV. Now, when my niece starts asking question about any topic she keeps on bombarding anyone with questions until she knows every detail about the subject. We’ve all concluded that she'd be winning the Nobel Prize in any field one day. She is so curious! I thought it's better to explain her the history about Pearl Harbor at one go. I refrained from mentioning to Rachel that the Pearl Harbor attack let the US to join World War II. I feared that it would lead a series of more questions on the war. But I couldn’t escape from her line of questioning. As she listened to the facts wide-eyed, her very next question was "why did Japan attack?" Now, I am not a historian or a political science scholar so I don’t have a detailed knowledge about the situation back then. So, I tried to put up a reason "well, you see there were some political tensions between the countries and that led them to go to war. All countries were fighting. It was the time of World War II" Ooops! I mentioned about the WW II. I was holding my breath and watching what she would say next. Thankfully, she didn't get into the topic. Instead, she posed a more philosophical and to be precise a more difficult question! "Why does everyone fight? Why can't they be buddies?" I looked at her innocent face. She is too young to understand the complexities of the world of the grown ups and I don't want to ruin her innocence. "You see, there are problems…" I replied. "But I am always told not to fight with anyone. Then why is everyone fighting?" implored Rachel. I had no answers for her. Do you have it? How do you talk to kids about this stuff?
Lectia pe care Anca i-o da Annei:
try EVERYTHING! You never know what you’re gonna like! Dupa ce Bob a refuzat toata ziua zuchinni bread (de ce or fi zicand bread cand e vorba de prajituri?)
For this week’s moment of Zen, I’m reminded of the great artist Michelangelo’s motto, "I’m still learning." We all are still learning regardless of our age, I like taking baby steps.
Thursday, December 13, 2007
And for this week’s Moment of Zen: "Once again, we come to the Holiday Season, a deeply religious time that each of us observes, in his own way, by going to the mall of his choice." – Dave Barry
Thursday, December 20, 2007
Rachel: I think World Peace is more important than Christmas," she said. Shocked, but pleased with her response, I kidded her. "But what about the presents? The food? Visiting Grandma and Grandpa?" She became very serious. "Bob, world peace is like a present for every little kid on earth, don't you see?" She stopped me with that one, guys. I guess however small may be the world we live in, if we can bring about a little more peace in our own lives, then perhaps we can affect the world at large.
Thursday, December 20, 2007
George Bernard Shaw said, "A life spent making mistakes is not only more honorable, but more useful than a life spent doing nothing."
Thursday, December 27, 2007
What is it about Fruitcake that people hate so much? I mean it's just cake, people! But when every December comes, fruitcake bears the butt of all jokes. We used to joke on the stoop about each other's fruitcakes. My favorite is: "Your mama's fruitcake is so heavy they had to hire a hand truck to haul it in!" We've always hated old and stale fruitcakes, especially the store-bought ones that people give as gifts when they don't know what to get. Actually, does ANYONE bake home-made fruitcakes anymore? We have a couple of theories, one that fruitcake was first made when Mrs. Claus took the crumbs that had be there for a while on Santa's beard. Another is that there is just one fruitcake and it's been circulating the globe for at least the past 40 years... Poor, poor fruitcake! But hey, what will we do without fruitcake humor during the holidays? Besides, it's an ancestor cake to those other breads and cakes that are fruitcake-like, including black cake, dreikonigsbrot, babka, king cake, and even panettone! Think about it, and it'll make you appreciate it more. The holidays would be so boring if we couldn't crack jokes about mom's fruitcake. After all, there are good fruitcakes out there ya know, you just have to sift through the rubble. (Pun intended.)
Ca intr-o adevarata telenovela, cineva (Bob??) a hotarat brusc s-o scoata pe Aaliyah din peisaj. Cu doar vreo 2 saptamani in urma Bob povestea induiosat ce cadou frumos i-a facut Aaliyah. Nimic nu prevestea: It's official folks, Aaliyah and I are no longer an item. Maybe it's because of my quirky humor, maybe it's because of my not getting out the bling, bling and stepping it up a notch. We mutually called it off after Christmas. She wanted to pursue her Ph.D. in Anthropology and a long distance relationship was not going to work for either of us.
Thursday, January 10, 2008
Sometimes we forget the little things that people do for us. Sometimes, having them there and just listening can make a big difference.
Despre tatuaje:
Poate ca am imbatranit dar nu am sa inteleg niciodata frenezia tinerei generatii pentru piercing si tatuaje. O fi vreun soi de maso, cine stie.. Dar inca imi sunt vii in memorie povestirile lui Jack London despre leprosii din Asia, ca si acea carte despre tatuaje de care nu-mi mai amintesc de unde o aveam si ce s-a intamplat cu ea, dar mi s-a intiparit in minte ca lepra se poate transmite si prin tatuaje. Iar lepra este o boala cumplita, reportajele despre Tichilesti pot face pe oricine sa i se zbarleasca parul de frica iar inima sa i se stranga de mila. Abia dupa ce le-am citit am inteles ce a fost atat de extraordinar in atitudinea lui Iisus fata de leprosi. Imi mai amintesc o povestire SF, nu mai stiu de cine, despre un munte unde erau exilati leprosii si unde un barbat a urcat si a strans in brate si a sarutat pe fiecare. Abia cand a ajuns in varf s-a vazut ca era ciumat! Inca ma socheaza.
Chiar azi un doctor, un profesor, a avertizat la radio ca infamele hepatite B si C, nemaivorbind de SIDA, se pot transmite prin piercinguri sau tatuaje. Ca sa nu para total demodat, sau cum se spune acum, ca nu e in trend, sfatuia tinerii sa fie f atenti unde si in ce conditii se inteapa.
Poate ca Hollywoodul, cu barfele lui despre tatuajele facute de actori sa fi condus la moda asta.
Iata ce zice Bob despre tatuaje:
Seriously folks, think not just twice but three or maybe even ten times before you think of having something inked on your body. Permanently! And remember, before you get that tight tattoo on your body, taking a tattoo off is a LOT more painful and expensive than putting one on.
This week's Zen quote comes from Morrie Schwartz, of the "Tuesdays with Morrie" fame. He said, "The most important thing in life is to learn how to give out love, and to let it come in."
Si iata ca am ajuns la zi cu Bob. Mai am "doar" 873 mesaje necitite. OK, unele le-am descarcat pe lap cand le-am pierdut din PC, dar ele erau deja citite, dar am nenumarate de la Beliefnet, cea mai veche din 17 ian 2007. Nu mi-am pierdut interesul dar pur si simplu nu gasesc timpul si starea necesara sa le citesc. EZine Doesit are cam aceeasi soarta, si e pacat, pt ca e exact ce-mi trebuie: un magazin (revista) de si pt babe (unacred ca a prins si primul razboi mondial :-). New Scientist cel mai vechi: 12 iulie 2007.
Ce aiurea e sistemul american cu luna, data, anul. Ca si am si pm, le e lene sa invete orele pana la 24. Sau idiotenia cu grade F si nu C, cand orice persoana cu pregatire stiintifica foloseste grile cu 0 ca punct de incepere. Ca sa nu mai vorbim ca au facut un razboi sa scape de englezii cei atat de traditionalisti iar acum englezii folosesc sistemul metric iar ei au ramas cu ciudatele oz si lb.
Mai neplacut e ca am cateva capitole necitite din Rowena, care imi place aproape la fel de mult ca romanele lui Ruth Rendel.
Cu NYT sunt mai avansata; 28 august 2007.

Editor Bob Continuare

Incerc sa ajung la zi macar cu scrisorile preferate. Pe locul doi ar fi NYT, dar am si uitat de cand nu l-am mai citit
Friday, November 02, 2007
Moment of Zen for you people. . . Kids crawl and cry, but almost all the time they smile when they see others happy and cheerful!
Wednesday, July 25, 2007
Men are like grapes, we have to stomp the crap out to get you to be an okay-dokey wine.”
You see, girls are like mangoes on a tree, the easy ones you can get it on the ground or at easy reach on the branch, but the best ones stay at the top
Oscar Wilde said, “Always forgive your enemies—nothing annoys them so much.” :)
Wednesday, August 15, 2007
To miss a person whom you loved so much is called Fate alright, but if you give a chance to miss a person who loved you so much is a Mistake !
Wednesday, August 22, 2007
I’m so haggard and spent ! Ask me why ? Friendship Week was the culprit...had fun ganging up with my partners in crime all over the place and hey, now that I remember...Meggy met me with a bouquet of roses and daffodils (cute) and touched my heart with these words on Friendship Day... “Bob, I thought I am your only friend, but not to be...I found there is a long line of pals and so I complained to God only to find Him to be in queue.“
Thursday, August 30, 2007
You guys move along and care for the friend who gives you a shoulder. Remember, a true friend is the one who would find your tears even in the rain

Din Editor Bob

Alta povestioara nostima:
Wednesday, June 27, 2007
Megan and I go for long walks whenever time permits and on one of those walks we hit upon a beautiful idea. Throwing stones ! Yup ! You see, we were short of a Frisbee and thought it would be fun to throw stones and measure up the distance to decide the winner. And so we began… a few pebbles and stones later, I hit up on a solid rugged stone and threw with all my might… the stone flew like a dream and Meggy squealed in delight….and then a shriek and a scream. Shriek from Megan and scream from, well, an old man on his evening walk in the Central Park; should’ve landed smack on his head I guess. Count me to be brave… it took exactly 5 minutes 3 seconds to reach my abode. Yup ! All I did was get a glimpse of the screaming old man and I scooted. Hmm... ! some start for the Fourth of July. Anyways….in the evening I had to go to Aaliyah’s place to meet her parents for the first time n’ I was nervous. This is important, I knew, and attired right. Flipped open my phone to give her a call and she coolly reassured me everything would be alright. On reaching her house, I give her the flowers and she bid me in with a peck on the cheek. Ambience was great what with Country Music playing and the cool furniture. Well, I met her mom and we chatted a bit and moved to the dinner table when her dad arrived and joined us. We sat for dinner and offered Grace, our heads bent down in prayer. …in a minute everyone was up and ready to hold the fork and knife while I was still down…Aaliyah…waited for a while, nudged me, and whispered…“Bob, I never knew you were so devout ?!“Well, I never remember you telling me that your Old man goes for a walk in the Central Park either !”
Wednesday, July 04, 2007
To hail a cab at downtown New York is one tough job. Well, the point is I got one. The cab snailed through peak hour traffic and when we hit a free intersection, the driver stomped hard on the accelerator. Vroomed through the empty roads and that’s when I chose to tap on his shoulder to ask him to slow a bit. You know I get nervous when I don’t control the wheel. The fellow flinched on my touch, braked and shrieked and I thought it’s Armageddon before he finally grounded to a halt. With a perspiring face he turned back and spat, “Never ever do that mate” and I went, “I just tapped you, what’s the problem.”“Well, it’s not actually your fault, this is the first day on my job, I used to drive the mortuary vans with dead bodies as passengers before

Despre Fericire

11 ianuarie 2008
Despre fericire
1. Copiii nu aduc neaparat fericirea parintilor.
2. Poti sa ai o gramada de bani si sa fii nefericit.
3. Nu conteaza ce faci, conteaza cu cine lucrezi.
4. E important sa-ti urmezi chemarea.
5. Sa te lasi "dus de val"

If you can find an activity you love, you can find "flow." Conceptualized by psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi in the 1970s and commonly referred to with terms such as "in the zone," or "in the groove," flow is that transcendent state when a person becomes so engaged and focused in their passion, they lose all sense of themselves. It could come from a million different activities -- knitting, teaching, surfing, singing, speed chess, speed walking, playing an instrument, or playing solitaire.
Researchers have learned that flow can also be destructive....But the most satisfying endeavors are those that benefit others.

Test Your Level of Happiness With the Subjective Happiness Quiz
1.On a scale of 1 (not a very happy person) to 7 (a very happy person), in general, I consider myself 5
2.On a scale of 1 (less happy) to 7 (more happy), compared with most of my peers, I consider myself:6
3. Some people are generally very happy. They enjoy life regardless of what is going on, getting the most out of everything. To what extent does this characterization describe you? (Scala 1=not at all 7=a great deal) 4
4. Some people are generally not very happy. Although they are not depressed, they never seem as happy as they might be. To what extent does this characterization describe you? (1=agreat deal 7=not at all) 6
To calculate your score, add up your responses to each question and divide by four. The average happiness score runs from about 4.5 to 5.5. College students tend to score lower (averaging a bit below 5) than working adults and older, retired people (who average 5.6).
Scorul meu 5+6+4+6=21:4=5,25
Adrian White, an analytic social psychologist at the University’s School of Psychology, analysed data published by UNESCO, the CIA, the New Economics Foundation, the WHO, the Veenhoven Database, the Latinbarometer, the Afrobarometer, and the UNHDR, to create a global projection of subjective well-being: the first world map of happiness.
Participants in the various studies were asked questions related to happiness and satisfaction with life. The meta-analysis is based on the findings of over 100 different studies around the world, which questioned 80,000 people worldwide. For this study data has also been analysed in relation to health, wealth and access to education.
The 20 happiest nations in the World are:
1 - Denmark
2 - Switzerland
3 - Austria
4 - Iceland
5 - The Bahamas
6 - Finland
7 - Sweden
8 - Bhutan
9 - Brunei
10 - Canada
11 - Ireland
12 - Luxembourg
13 - Costa Rica
14 - Malta
15 - The Netherlands
16 - Antigua and Barbuda
17 - Malaysia
18 - New Zealand
19 - Norway
20 - The Seychelles
Other notable results include:
23 - USA
35 - Germany
41 - UK
62 - France
82 - China
90 - Japan
125 - India
167 - Russia
The three least happy countries were:
176 - Democratic Republic of the Congo
177 - Zimbabwe
178 - Burundi
Hanging out with other Danes just may be their happiness secret. Ninety-two percent of Danes belong to some kind of social club, dancing, singing, even practicing laughing with other Danes. Get a few people together who enjoy model train building, for example, and the government will pay for it. In Denmark, even friendship is subsidized. Along with less emphasis on "stuff," and a strong social fabric, Danes also display an amazing level of trust in each other, and their government
Asa ceva e de neimaginat in tara noastra. Nici peste o suta de ani!
Spre deosebire de Danemarca, o tara toleranta, cu valori liberale, Singapore isi bazeaza fericirea pe respectarea f stricta a legilor. Locuitorii sunt fericiti pt ca se simt in siguranta intr-o tara curata, condusa cu o mana de fier de catre Lee Kwan Yew, care a luat puterea acum 40 de ani. In ce mod l-a corupt pe el puterea absoluta nu mi-e clar. Cred insa ca o asemenea situatie nu va dura dupa disparitia lui de la putere. S-a intamplat prea des in istorie ca sfarsitul unei lungi domnii sa duca la stari extrem de confuze. A se vedea Biblia unde urmasii regilor blasfemiatori care au domnit multi ani au fost "pedepsiti" pana la a saptea spita. Deci dezechilibrul urmand unei lungi domni poate dura cateva generatii.
Celina Lin, a self-made millionaire and one of the nation's best-known bachelorette socialites, can tell you all about the five C's. Despite her apartment full of art, her snazzy Porsche and 300 pairs of shoes, she was the least happy person we met. "Sometimes I get unhappy if I compare," she said. "Of course someone … wealthier, having a more luxurious life, driving a bigger car, having a bigger house, having a wonderful husband who provides for her. And when I think of that, I feel, I mean honestly, I feel a tinge of jealousy."
S-ar parea ca secretul fericirii, intalbit mai ales la sihastri, este sa nu-ti doresti prea multe satisfactii materiale, sa fii multumit cu ce ai tu. "Sa nu ravnesti la bunul altuia", i s-a spus lui Moise.
Jennie Chua, the former CEO of the famous Raffles Hotel, says she is often happiest when having breakfast with her grandchildren, and her contentment comes knowing that they will have a secure future.
Luand in consideratie cele de mai sus, despre lungile domnii, mi-e mila de ea si de nepotii ei. Sa crezi ca starea prezenta e menita sa dureze vesnic, inseamna sa-ti cladesti fericirea pe nisip.
"The Geography of Bliss," Eric Weiner:You have a really strong sense of community here (Ashville-SUA). And if I've learned anything from researching this book, it's that other people matter. There's no such thing as personal happiness, your happiness is part and parcel of those around you."
Corect. Egoistii nu cred ca pot fi fericiti!
Community — that's the key. Community is why happiness can be found along with the high taxes in Denmark, the harsh rules in Singapore and the crushing poverty in India. One study found that the people living on the streets of Calcutta are happier that those in California. The homeless in Fresno may have more access to food and shelter, but what have the "houseless" in Bombay got? They have each other.
Poate de aceea primii crestini erau, in ciuda persecutiilor, mai fericiti decat cei din Evul Mediu, care au devenit ei insisi persecutorii celor ce nu gandeau la fel ca ei. Pt ca nu mai aveau incredere unii in altii se temeau ca cei diferiti le ameninta stabilitatea.
Se pare ca una din cheile fericirii e sa te bucuri de clipa prezenta. Poate ca sunt o fiinta complet nefericita din acest punct de vedere pt ca nu ma pot abandona cu totul in clipa prezenta, mereu astept ceva de "dincolo". Asta ajuta in momentele nefericite pt ca ma astept la ceva mai bun, dar in cele fericite ramane ceva ca un mic nor pe cer.
Exemplu: Cea mai luminoasa newsletter pe care o primesc e cea de la Editor Bob. M-a incantat totdeauna pt ca e tonica si plina de ganduri pozitive. Multa vreme am crezut ca Bob e un tanar f inimos, al carui scop in viata este sa aduca lumina in sufletul abonatilor (mai ales ca felicitarile sunt free). Pt ca imi plac atat de mult le-am lasat multa vreme pe mai tarziu si abia incepand de alataieri am trecut la citirea lor, intai in ordine cronologica, incepand cu 29 martie, apoi mai pe sarite. Cu "mintea de pe scara" cred ca e vorba de o echipa de oameni f inimosi care administreaza situl 123Greetings si care redacreaza scrisorile. Nu vad cum un pusti de 20 si ceva ar fi avut timp sa creeze atatea felicitari interesante (unele din ele f complicate) si sa compuna acele scrisori avand servici si atatea actvitati in timpul lui liber. M-au pus pe ganduri si cele 2 relatari despre prima zi la gradinita si Megan, asemanatoare dar usor diferite, postate in 2 scrisori la o saptamana distanta.
Exista insa o mare diferenta intre 123Greetings si NetHugs, de la care m-am dezabonat. Ideaa e aceeasi: sa lumineze sufletul prin daruire, dar NH mi se pare cam agresiva, desi e plina de muzica, flori, ingeri, peisaje mirifice.
Din Feed Back Editor Bob
I found myself in front of the biggest and most beautiful gates in the world. all of a sudden, the gate opened and a beautiful lady I called an angel ushered me in. out of shock I did not know whether to just sit there or turn around and go. Still standing there as if I did not hear what the lady said, i heard that sweet voice of the lady saying please enter it was then that I caught myself behaving strangely. i gathered myself and went in. she gently closed the gate behind me. The whole place was full of light and i must confess it was the most beautiful place i have ever seen. We entered a room and the lady started to talk; you are welcome to heaven and this is the reception. Just then the receptionist welcomed me. We went into another room where angels were seriously working. She said; this is where requests/prayers of people are received and packed. In fact the angels working there were many. Then we went into another room and she continued, this is where the requests of people are answered and packaged nicely and sent to them. I must admit again that the angels working over there were very many. That shows that the workload was very huge. After that we went into another room where i saw only one angel sitting down doing nothing. Then the angel continued again, this is the acknowledging room. this is where people after receiving their results of their prayers send their thanks to. Then I asked then why is only one angel sitting over here doing nothing. Then she answered, there is virtually no work that is why there is only one angel here. this is because many people after having their answers to their problems forget to give thanks. It is very important to give thanks no matter what happens to you. If day breaks and you are still alive sit by a computer then you must know god loves you. give thanks. You have food to eat, clothes to wear, and roof to hide under, you are better than many people .if you are aware that a friend like me thinks about you because i love you and writes this for you to read, then you are blessed. Give thanks to God. ronald
Din Editor Bob
Thursday, March 29, 2007

I remember the early school days, people. I used to be a big choc-junky that time and as you all well know, Megan gives me serious competition there. On one occasion, we emptied the cookie box by me going on all fours in the kitchen floor ‘n’ Megan climbing on top of me to reach it. When mom queried, I turned jelly. I tried my most innocent look, but I knew she would see through me and I confessed. The awaited thrashing didn’t happen, but a hug... Her words still ring in my ears, “Bob ! I am proud of you for not telling a lie !” I understood the bigger crime is not the act but the concealment ! White lies are alright once in a while, folks !
Don’t scoot so soon guys, this week is so eventful that I am gonna spend the whole week wishing my pals and I wish you too do ! Hinduism, Jainism, and Islam are too gearing for a festive season and I gotta wish Raj, my childhood chum, on Hanuman Jayanti; not to forget Wasim on Mawlid al-Nabi, and of course, Prashanth Jain, on Mahavir Jayanti. You know, I wish there were more such days ! No kidding. I know there’s a heady mix of culture and faith, but the act of wishing and the fun of sharing is what keeps Bob going !
Poate asta e diferenta dintre 123 si NH - ultima e prea centrata pe crestinism.
Thursday, April 05, 2007
When you trip and fall it could either be in the drain or on a $100 bill ! Well, that depends on your luck. And as Mrs. Bradley next-door says, “the more you wish someone heartfelt Good Luck, the more they are going to receive some !”
“Hard work killed nobody, but why take a chance ?”
Good Friday to me is a day of introspection, remembrance, and prayer ! And yes, it is also a day of hope ! The moral being that no matter how bleak things may seem sometimes, we can always rise from the ashes like a phoenix and forge ahead. Of course, the Psalms, Stories, and the Word of Christ are not just to read and rote; but as my ol’ man says, “I hear and I forget, I see and I remember, but I do and I understand !”
Thursday, April 12, 2007
Prima din relatarile despre prima zi de scoala (gradinita?)
I remember my first day at school. My mom took me to kindergarten ‘n a young lady, the teacher, took me inside. New place, unsure, and insecure… I promptly started wailing ! Soon my teacher came over to ask what had happened. The naughty Bob in me peeped and I gleefully pointed at my neighbor ‘n bawled, “She beat me !” You guessed right, it was Megan ! Of course, nobody believed me even then and Meggy escaped unhurt !
Thursday, April 19, 2007
A doua:
Well, I met Megan, my childhood chum, when I entered kindergarten. Her mom dropped her to school and she came in wailing. I by then had finished my share of sobbing and was sitting bewildered. But on seeing her wail, I picked up the cue and we both started crying rhythmically. When nobody cared for a long time, we got tired and joined the sober group of kids. I learnt the alphabets quick but the numbers slow. She was good in both, but I beat her to the words and scribbled ‘Megan’ on my notebook. Hmm… well, she got to her first sentence before I did. But instead of writing she said it aloud, “Ma’am, Bob is disturbing me !” and looked at me proudly. Of course, I got exactly two whacks on the back and my cheeks were pulled once. We became friends !
We’d gathered at our geeky buddy Steve’s place for an impromptu get-together last Sunday evening. Steve taught Kate how to use the telescope to look up at the stars and showed her a picture of Earth taken from space. It was really beautiful – a glimpse of our home planet from the darkness of space ! That was when Kate went preachy and mused, “Why can’t we all live in peace ? The geographical boundaries should blur and the wars should stop while peace prevails !” Steve was in total agreement and voiced his opinion, “Wouldn’t earth be a really beautiful place then ?” When Steve looks down from the heavens and talks on worldly matters, people do tend to listen. Hmmm… on this Earth Day, let’s take an oath to not to destroy our habitat and of course, wish and thank those who have helped to make a little difference to our lives. As Steve says, “It’s the only home we have…”
Friday, April 27, 2007
Do I have a choice but to remain happy ? I mean, what with Kiss Day and Graduation time preceding and succeeding (not necessarily in that order) Get Happy Week ! As Megan says, “Last time I checked, no one in the world got any problem solved by staying gloomy… just chill, pep up weirdo !” Well, she says that to Steve alright ! There’s a particular exercise recommended for all human beings… of course, it is scheduled 24x7 ! Simple… just part your lips, make the teeth obviously visible, say “Cheese !” Stay smiling and get happy ! To remind you again, here comes Get Happy Week ! Share your joy with one and all.
Thursday, May 03, 2007
“The toughest thing to do in life is to do nothing.” It’s alright not to have an ideal, but never to be idle. Do what you are meant to do and that to me is to Live my life and not just Exist !
Wednesday, May 16, 2007
Mi-ar placea sa am si eu simtul umorului din aceasta scurta povestire:
Help me out here, guys ! I’m in big trouble ! It seems that those rogue pooches of mine Kong ‘n Pirate had a field day in my neighbor Mrs. Bradley’s garden ! They dug up her seeds and planted some bones instead ! And just now Kelly tipped me off that a livid Mrs. Bradley was waiting for me with a rake ! Quite some reception committee, I must say ! Kelly’s quite thrilled, she’s all for the protection of plants and seeds ‘n poor Bob doesn’t even feature on her ‘protected species’ list ! So I’ll have to fend for myself this time ! But one thing I can promise you, friends. If I do come out of this mess alive ‘n in one piece,
Wednesday, May 23, 2007
There was a video on CNN the other morning of a US Marine soldier who surprised his six-year-old son upon his return from Iraq. He went to his son's school and walked in to the classroom. Sensing silence around him the boy turned from his idle chatter with his peers and turned to look. Oh ! That little boy's face when he saw his Daddy !! It was priceless ! First it was uncertainty, then surprise, and then the tears….he ran to his father at record speed and pounced on him forgetting everyone around. Then he started crying with relief and joy….and the soldier with a myriad of emotions going through him was biting his lip lest he succumb to his emotions. Yes, a memorable moment. But, there still are kids home and their parents in the Front. There are kids who never would see their parents anymore. The brave men who laid down their lives for the Stars and Stripes deserve our respect and their act of bravery and valor should be spread and told and yes, remembered on their day, Memorial Day [ May 28 ] Salute !
Cand am ajuns la urmatoarea scrisoare IE n-a mai gasit serverul! A doua zi am citit scrisoarea cea mai recenta si asa am ajuns la Feed Back, unde am gasit referinte la urmatoarea povestire:
Friday, September 14, 2007
Okay, here’s the one about Rachel my niece. Well, this incident happened when I turned 16. The little tot is a delightful prankster and I adore her. Hmm….but I do hate her when she nags nonstop about her school and friends. I didn’t give her much time those days what with me busy at work and having to spend time with Meggy and gang. Hanging out was fun and had little time for anything or anybody. It was my birthday and we had this big party at my place. Rachel was eager and all dressed up, but left alone. Of course, I had things to do, like, chattering with my buddies, dancing with the girls….Rachel jumped on my foot and reached for my hand to lead her into a dance, but I refused. You see, I had things to do. Gifts! Yes, Meggy gifted me a baseball cap; Steve, a T-shirt, and Ron…well, I don’t remember. And then came Rachel, with her hands closed. “Happy Birthday Bob” she announced and gestured me to open her hands for the gift. I went on my knees, held her hand and opened it to find….err…well, nothing. Yes. Nothing!Gave her a cold stare, “Rachel, don’t you know, when you give someone a present, there has to be something inside?”Her eyes were wet in an instant, “Oh, uncle Bob! I blew 16 kisses inside. And you can take all of them. They’re for you!”I was crushed. I put my arms around her, I didn’t know what to do, I wanted to say a lot of things, but all I could manage was, “Thank You Rachel.” The best gift I ever got.Sorry and Thank You are two things that you don’t tell two people, one, your friend and another your parents. We don’t need to spell it out, they just understand. Especially our parents;
Din Feed Back
Thu, 13 Sep 2007
after reading of your niece having blown 16 kisses, it reminded me of a sermon I heard about a man who had a son with downs syndrome who was ina mainstream school,the teacher was telling them the easter story and gave each one a matchbox to put something in representing a sign of new life, the next day the children came in with their boxes and the teacher was going through them but missed out the childs box because it was empty thinking he did not understand,at the end of the lesson he asked the teacher why this was she said well there was nothing in the box,the boy said it was the tomb the stone had rolled away!!! Icried when I heard this one.that was many years ago thank you for bringing it to my mind.
Friday, September 14, 2007
After all they have given memories for a life time. Don’t these memories behave in a crazy way? They leave you alone when you are in a crowd, but when you are alone they stand beside you like a crowd?!That’s your Moment of Zen, wink* wink*
Saturday, September 29, 2007
I write to you, so we stay in touch and that I do coz I believe I’m like a raindrop. Yes, though the raindrop maybe small, somewhere a thirsty flower awaits it to drop. Here I am to quench your thirst. Join me, let’s go shower the world with our love. Hop on for an eventful ride.
Losing a loved one is not easy for sure. Uncle Frank had lost his wife and was grieving. Rachel (my niece), Debbie (my sis), and I went to his place for the weekend to stay with him through this time. When we were around, uncle Frank was pleasantly sober, but when left alone, he started brooding. When he was in one of those spells we went to check on him. He was seated by the fire place on his arm chair and softly sobbing. We just stood by, silent. There are no words for this occasion. We didn’t want to talk about the aunt or loss as it would only trigger a strong response. We just stood. Rachel slipped and sneaked out. Hmmm….good to be kids. They just can switch on and off and never need to go through all this. Sure enough, in a few minutes she was back with her favorite teddy toy. She has gone all the way to her room and dug into her backpack to find her toy. She took long baby steps to reach the arm chair. Climbed using the arms for balance and made room for herself in uncle Frank’s lap. The old man stopped sobbing and stared at Rachel. She said in a soft voice, “Uncle Frank, please keep my teddy toy with you.” Uncle, “But my little one, what’s that for?” Rachel, “Whenever I cry, mom gives me the teddy and says that she is my best friend and I wouldn’t feel alone in the night after mom has tucked me up for the night. I never cry when I have the teddy around.” And she added with a toothy grin, “See, what did I say, look at you, you’ve stopped crying.”Sure enough! Uncle Frank had stopped crying.Some sight, after a few minutes, the chair was bobbing up and down while uncle Frank was sleeping with around Rachel with the teddy resting on her lap.And I thought angels were creatures who wore white-wedding dress and carry a wand.You know, sometimes they carry teddies!
Cand am citit cele de mai jos am ras cu lacrimi.
Ron is a tech guy and he has stories to tell. Here’s one straight from the horse’s mouth.Ring. Ring.Ron: “Hello, MSM Tech Customer Care and I’m Ron, how can I help you?”Customer: “Hey, this is Will, I’ve bought a new computer, you know, the desktop one, but got a problem.”Ron: “Sure, Will. Tell me, what’s the problem?”Customer: Well, for starters, the computer wouldn’t start.”Ron: “Have you plugged in right and switched on the CPU?”Customer: “Of course, I plugged in, but by Gawd, they never told me about the CPU. Is that a remote one?”Ron (painfully patient): “No, Will. It’s the almost rectangular bulky one that has a few knobs or switches on it. You got to switch it on there.”Pause.Customer: “Gee, I never knew. Thanks it’s open now.” “I can hear the sound and now the screen is on. Great.”Ron: “Okay. Please open a window and you can use the internet and browse.”Customer: Sure.A big pause.Customer: Yes I did.Ron: What do you see?Customer: Lawn and my garage.Click.It was reported later, that colleagues found Ron banging on his monitor head-first for exactly 15 minutes. Non-stop.
The person who made you laugh when he was around, will make you sad in his absence
Friday, October 26, 2007
The happiest of friends never have the same characters, but a better understanding of their differences.
Alta poveste cu Ron care m-a facut sa rad in hohote:
Ah! Halloween. It reminds me of an incident that happened last year when Ron tried his hand at a Halloween prank at office. Am sure you wouldn't like to miss this one. Mr. B, our boss, has a cool head on his shoulders alright, but when you spring surprises like the way Ron does, you should've nerves of steel to keep your composure intact. He sneaked in a Jack-O-Lantern to work and it was a designer one! Yes. It had the eye sockets dug and tastefully carved out nose and mouth to make it look scary errr. . . rather funny. Anyways, our Resident Evil Ron, though technologically-challenged, did go the Einstein-way and wired the lights to the sockets, coiled a few coils, taped tight some sundry wires; plugged it in and announced "Mission Accomplished" Bush-style! Looked real neat, I should confess. Of course, we immediately cried for a "demo," but alas, none was forthcoming. Ron said it had to wait until Mr. B entered. And so came our Boss with a grand swagger breezing past and stood in his tracks on seeing the alien pumpkin, Ron errr. . . the Lantern! Momentary silence as Boss stood, staring at the creature. With the right pause and timing Ron made his move and hit the switch. The lights came on and there was an eerie glow that engulfed the room, the colors were Wow and the scene scary. . . almost. Genius Ron, I thought! And then the inevitable happened. Sure, the lights were cool, but realistically they were hot and they heated up the vegetable, the accumulated pressure releasing as it must. The sockets turned red with electric glow and the left eye turned a missile and there was eye contact with Mr. B himself! Eye contact? Yes. Literally. The left eye hit the right eye of the Boss and all hell broke loose. Pandemonium ensued and calm was restored only when we could extinguish the fire. When the dust settled, Boss stood in the middle of the remnants of half-burnt paperwork and darkened furniture facing the shivering Ron, the ex-genius. This time Mr. B's eyes were red hot without any supportive wires or coils from Ron. He thundered, "Ronnnnn, you better explain." A pregnant pause. Pin drop silence. All eyes on Ron. . . . All he did was open his mouth and the smoke came gushing, poor fellow, he has had the taste of his own fire. . . he looked a half-burnt Simpson! It had its effect. . . you guessed right, peals of laughter! Tell you what, when the Boss is happy, everything is just fine. And so it was!
Now, the moment of Zen, it's never easy to be with your girl when she shops, almost impossible to shop the right thing for your girl, and I swear to God there isn't a guy in this world who can even think of a right present for his future mother-in-law.
When heart starts listening to silence and eyes start reading thoughts then there happens a beautiful relationship. Respect it!