مدونات

A policy proposal to Yamamoto Taro-san!

This 1 hour video by the NHK (made in 1999) is excellent. I think it is full of useful hints about a solution to the current economic malaise, climate change, and poverty in Japan and other countries. Vital pieces of information are all there! Michael Ende, Margrit Kennedy (Geld ohne Zinsen und Inflation), Silvio Gesell (1862-1930), Marx, Keynes, Wörgle, Hazel Henderson, Ithaca Hours, WIR in Swiss, and Bernard Lietaer!!!

山本太郎議員への提言 救国の方法

<貨幣は負債であるを知ることから始まる>

先月、田辺聖子さんが永眠された。「田辺さんの小説に、こんなくだりがある。自分ではどうすることもできない苦境に陥り、人生が行き詰まったかにみえたときでも「神サンはちゃんと、『この道抜けられます』の札を吊(つ)るしておいてくれてる」◆その札の存在を教えてくれるのが、人間の優しさなのだろう。神戸新聞2019・5・25」
(www.kobe-np.co.jp/column/seihei/201905/...)

絶体絶命。もう打つ手がない。という時に、通常では思いつかない型破りな発想をし、すんでのところで危機を回避し、ついには事態を好転させ、もの事を成功に導く人たちがいる。あわやという時には、火事場の馬鹿力で難を逃れることもある。

。。。下につづく

Psychology of feedback

flowers for Rolade

Our highly competitive world requires good and service companies, organisations and employees to improve constantly to stay on the top of their game. Giving feedback, which is information provided regarding aspects of one’s performance or understanding, is part of this “room for improvement” business.

Employees undergo appraisals periodically. Clients and customers have access to online reviews. During a birthday dinner party last June 15, I sat next to a lady who advised me to get into our city government’s website and expose my displeasure with their inaction regarding the pigeons’ invasion of my neighborhood that has caused financial and health anguish.

Since we are all either employees, employers, consumers, clients, or mere citizens, we do give or/and receive feedback regularly. As well, we get and give remarks, comments and advice from our family and friends, which are actually receiving and providing feedback.

Eurovision? Why not “Europe and friends’ musical extravaganza”?

During the Eurovision Song Contest in Israel on 14 May 2019, one of my students asked me what I thought of Australia being in it. When I was still living in Brisbane, I always looked forward to watching it as I found all participants talented; many were creative, and some were outlandish. Special Broadcasting Service (SBS), whose mission is “to provide multilingual and multicultural radio and television services that inform, educate and entertain all Australians and, in doing so, reflect Australia’s multicultural society”, covers this event every year. After I had said to my student that it should not be in it based on geography, I did some research.

Participation in the Eurovision contest is, firstly, open to those who belong to the 56 member-countries of the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) and its 21 associate member-nations. Therefore, participation is not by geography, which makes the title of the event “Eurovision” misleading and susceptible to innuendo. In 2019, 42 countries travelled to Israel and 36 of them performed in the semi-finals to qualify for the finals. Every year, the so-called “Big Five” – France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom – are prequalified to take part in the finals.

Earthquake – never thought it’d happen to me

fire after earthquake

I took a 21-hour flight to be at the reunion of my maternal family (Carañgan) in La Castellaña, Philippines. Whilst on stopover in Manila on 22 April 2019 at 5PM, there was an intensity 5 earthquake. I was in a parlor when suddenly the ground trembled and furniture started to shake, then the power went out. The six people in that beauty saloon, which is on the ground floor of a 22-level building, stayed where they were whilst I rushed to the door barefoot and run to the nearby one-level-structure. I was the first person to get out and one of the last to get back as I was worried about aftershocks.

After the earthquake, there was fire two blocks away from where we were. I took this photo from our window.

Aftershocks are tremors that follow the main earthquake. They happen more frequently in the hours and days after an earthquake, but their magnitude and frequency decrease over time. Even though their shaking intensity is relatively small compared with that of the main earthquake, they can destabilise buildings and injure people.

OUNI ルクセンブルグのお店

OUNI shop front door

うちから歩いて3分。ほぼ毎日行く有機食品のお店。名前はウニという。See OUNI's Official Website (in English)

ルクセンブルグ語の ouni ウニは、ドイツ語の ohne、 フランス語の sans 、 英語の without にあたる。日本語で[・・・]なしに [・・・の]ない、を示す。野菜や果物やたまごがバラ売りされていて、プラスティック容器やビニール袋や廃棄物など要らざるものをできる限り、すべからくなくす。 「なし」がウニの名前の由来だ。

小麦粉やお茶も、オリーブオイルやバターも、お菓子やナッツ類も、洗剤もはかり売り。客は容器を持参し、自由に品物を選んでレジで払う。お店の棚に置かれた空き瓶に、入れてもよい。私の場合は・・・くるみチーズを切ってもらってから、容器を忘れたことに気づき、そのまま手持ちのネット編み袋に入れて持ち帰ったこともある。最初はまごついたが、2回目からは過剰包装がなく、すずやかな感じがした。

夕方たちよるのが楽しみで、お目当てはオーガニックのクロワッサンとパン。季節のくだものと野菜。秋にでまわるミラベル(飴色のが一般的だが、ブルーベリー色のもある)が好きで、reine-claude というスモモ種を見つけて毎日通うようになった。

。。。下につづく

OUNI championing the organic packaging-free trend

OUNI front desk and team representatives

This is a little blog about OUNI, Luxembourg’s first packaging-free organic grocery store. Visit OUNI's Official Website. We eat their croissants nearly everyday (or at least 300 croissants a year), though we hardly get tired of eating them… their croissants are simply natural, yet profoundly tasty.

OUNI is a self-service shop, but also a social vision of making community a sustainable better place. I believe that the secret of OUNI’s popularity lies not merely in their concept and their fresh/environmentally friendly products. But also it lies in their positive atmosphere created via face-to-face interactions; the store generates a spirit of connectivity, trust, and shared responsibility for sustainability in the course of community life.

Charm of Luxembourg

  • Clausen banks
  • sakura and holy heart church

ルクセンブルグの魅力

Clausen banks

ルクセンブルグへの通勤者の数は、一日に約20万人。ベルギー・ドイツ・フランスから、国境を超え毎日やって来る人たちが、労働人口の約半数を占めています。金融危機の2008年以降さらに人口は増え続け、この国に住みたい人たちの数も年々増え続けているらしい。

10年ほど前、フランスのメッツからオランダのハーグまで、車で出かけた時のこと。午前6時に、フランス側はすでに交通渋滞。ルクセンブルグを通りぬけ反対車線を見ると、ものすごいラッシュアワーで、ベルギー側から延々と続く通勤車両のテールランプをよそ目に、すいすいと北上していったことがありました。

その渋滞対策として、現在トラムの延長工事が行われ、2020年の春から公共交通は世界で初めてタダになります。横断歩道を渡るときは、交差点にたどり着く前にたいてい車が止まってくれます。まれに横柄な車両に出くわしたりしたら、外国ナンバー(フランスのF)だったりします。

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Mediation and negotiation

"Let us never negotiate out of fear. But let us never fear to negotiate".
- John F. Kennedy (35th US President)

Our current society is competitive, demanding and complex that conflict has become a part of modern day living. There are squabbles or disagreements among colleagues, neighbours, friends, family members, and even strangers. The common causes of office disaccord are work style differences, personality clashes, and sense of unfairness. Many complaints made to the Police concern noises, fences, trees, rubbish and stray pets that turn neighbours into foes.

According to www.unifiedlawyers.com, the world's divorce rate has increased by 251.8% since 1960. Nowadays, nearly half of marriages end up in divorce with Luxembourg topping the list (87%) followed by Spain (65%), France (55%), Russia (51%) and the USA (46%). India (1%) and Chile (3%) have the lowest rates. The most common reason given for divorce is incompatibility, which is nearly thrice that of infidelity. When marriage breaks down, in the majority of cases, those concerned knock non-hesitantly on lawyers' doors and rush to tribunals or courts.

The legal system is long and costly, whereas mediation and arbitration involve much less time and money; but why do many people opt for the former? Why don't they resolve conflict by mediation and negotiation?

In mediation, a neutral person helps disputants to come to a consensus on their own. Mediators allow conflicting parties to vent their feelings and expose their grievances, but they don't impose their solution. It's the conflicting parties that decide on the outcome of the negotiation. The mediators can help them come up with a resolution that is sustainable and nonbinding.

The ABC of a lasting relationship

"You don’t develop courage by being happy in your relationships every day. You develop it by surviving difficult times and challenging adversity".
— Epicurus (Greek philosopher, 341–270 BC)

While in a jovial mood at last month’s carnival party, I agreed to my Polish friend’s invitation to dinner in a French restaurant five minutes on foot from my residence.

After some minutes of tiptoeing on the snow, my husband and I were ushered to a table in the middle of a room directly in front of a flat stage with standing microphone and sound system. All tables had only two chairs, and we were discouraged from mingling with other couples, including my Polish friends.

On the table was a beautifully cut-out paper in a shape of a turbine with a dozen questions, such as “What’s the best moment you had with your partner recently” and “What do you like most in your partner these days?”

Affaire du Siecle

This blog is about l’Affaire du Siècle, climate protection movement. It started with four associations (Foundation pour la nature et l’homme, Greenpeace France, Notre Affaire à Tous et Oxfam France) on December 17, 2018 in France. They sue governments over inaction on climate change.

異常気象「世紀の訴訟」

子供の頃に、ペットを飼い始めた人は多いのではないだろうか。

隣の家が火事になり自宅は事なきをえたのだけども、火が燃え移りそうになって水槽の温度が上がり、飼っていた魚が全滅したと友人が話していた。一・二度の温度の上昇が命とりになったとか。

壊滅的な気候変動の影響を避けるためには、今後数年の対処が分岐点だと (国連などの) 報告書に示されている。つまり十余年が、生態系にとって山場となる。

異常気象にどう対処すべきか?気候正義をめぐり、フランスのオックスファムやグリーンピースなどの4団体が、l’Affaire du siècleという闘いを続けている。この団体は、国の温室効果ガス排出量の削減努力は不十分であり、inaction (無活動・無能力) であると主張し、政府に対策を求めるための訴訟提訴を主導している。ジュリエット・ビノシュやマリオン・コティヤールなどの俳優陣や有名人たちも、動画で協力を呼びかけている。

。。。下につづく

Yes to healthy anger but no to violence

On January 19 (Saturday morning) while grocery shopping in our local supermarket, I heard a woman yelling. Since it sounded like she was only an aisle away from where I was, I pushed my trolley aside and had a look. She was pinching and hitting a young man in his early 20s, and I couldn’t believe how calm he was. Was it because there were several of us witnessing it?

I was worried that the young man would eventually lose his temper and fight back, so I hurried to the checkout and asked the cashier to ring security. Some minutes later, two sturdy men arrived and said that they saw it on their camera and thought it was just “problème de couple”. The young man approached and told us that the angry and violent woman had left.

While queuing to pay for my purchases, however, I heard loud voices again. The young woman came back with her two mates, and the safety of the young man bothered me. I turned my head right and left hoping to see at least one of the guards, but they were gone. My nervousness lessened when I noticed that the man was walking towards the male staff at the information/shop entrance. Then, there were piercing voices, but I could only see the staff’s work uniform because of the dozen people around them.

マデイラの大自然

  • Madeira

私の大好きなマデイラの大自然の写真をお届けします (2018年年末に撮影)。

マデイラ行きの飛行機は、午前6時半にルクセンブルグを出発。前回(「太平洋の真珠」礼賛)は気づかなかったのですが。前方の席を見ると、ハイエンドなシニアたちが、遠足に出かける子供のように和気あいあいと朝食を楽しんでました。

空港に降りたち、その場の人たちの後ろ姿を眺めるともなしに見ていたら、皆さん、背筋からお尻まですらりと引きしまり、足元はメンデルなんかのトレッキングシューズを履いていて、そのまま山に行けそうな人たちばかりでした。足元を見るれば、マデイラ旅行の目的と真価がわかるというもの。心ゆくまで自然を感じて楽しむことなんですね。

自然遺産に登録されている山の麓まで、ホテルの電動車を借りて行きました。

  • マデイラ島の照葉樹林
  • 。。。下につづく

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