without too much technical terms, let us talk about health issues

Effects of weather, temperature on moods and suicide

Weather, temperature, moods and well-being... It was the last day of October, the temperature was 2°C at 8am and I was freezing but couldn’t go back home to get my gloves as I didn’t want to miss my bus and be late for work. It is supposed to be autumn (US “fall”), but winter has definitely arrived and our heater has been switched on prematurely. According to my Belgian student, the suicide rate in his country is highest in November and this is lower than in December because of the jolly Christmas atmosphere and brightly-lit and colourfully-decorated streets and shops.

The change in season and weather condition (such as rain, duration of daylight & sunlight and humidity) has been considered as contributing factors to suicide. Some studies have tried to prove that suicides are more frequent in hot days because of heat-related behaviours, such as excitability and alcohol drinking. Some researchers, however, suppose that suicides emerge during winter and peak in summer.

Every year, there are about one million individuals who successfully suicide; and there are more men and women in these statistics. The World Health Organisation data reveal that 6 of the top ten countries with high suicide rates are developing nations of Eastern Europe with Lithuania in the first place (42/100,00: 16.1 men and 10.4 women) whereas developing nations with hot weather, such as Philippines and Haiti, have low suicide rates.

Right to water

Nice documentary film recommended. Watch below:

As a citizen, it is time to ask oneself if it is worth or simply feasible to fight against international corporates and local industries for the human right to good-quality, drinkable, and affordable water.

...and of course, the excellent film of Annie Leonard and her team:
"Story of stuff: Story of bottled water"

Also, you may be interested in:
"Challenge corporate control over water: think outside the bottle!"

...and this: "Public water works!"

...and this:


最近、すぐれたドキュメンタリー映画を立て続けに見ました。その一つが“Bottled Life”です。配給会社が後でいい日本語タイトルをつけるでしょうが。無理やり日本語にすると、「ペットボトルに入れられた命、生活、暮らし」とでもいいましょうか。

ペリエ、サンペレグリノ、ヴィッテルなど、70品目以上のミネラルウォーターを幅広く手がける世界最大の食品メーカ・ネスレ(Nestlé)をめぐるドキュメンタリーです。スイス人ジャーナリストRes Gehrigerが、本社、アメリカ・メイン州、パキスタン、ナイジェリアなどを取材し、ボトルウォーター・ビジネスの戦略・実態にメスを入れてます。自国スイスに本部をおく巨大多国籍企業のひずみを、スイス人が告発し複数の映画賞を受賞した労作です。


Fat-Finger Syndrome

Fat-finger syndrome is work and health issue.

Have you sent an unfinished email?
Have you forwarded a correspondence to the wrong addressee?
Have you accidentally deleted a file?
Have you bought or ordered items that you don’t want?

These mistakes are called fat finger syndrome - errors made by hitting the wrong key or button on a keyboard, which can be inconvenient (e.g. rescheduling a meeting), costly (e.g. trader typing an extra zero to a share to be sold confusing the stock exchange) and even deadly (domestic violence or crime due to a discovered extra-conjugal relationship or lie).

Réflexions et recommandations sur l'engagement de la relation soignant/soigné

Fixons l'objectif…

Face à la personne âgée en situation de grande vulnérabilité, il est nécessaire d'apaiser le stress des soignants, de redonner du sens aux pratiques, et de fédérer les équipes autour du "prendre soin personnalisé".

Les soignants sont des humains comme les autres, mis à part qu’ils soignent les autres humains.

Chaque jour et chaque fois qu’ils se rendent au travail, ils sont face à la grande vulnérabilité de l’être, à sa grande fragilité, et à son insondable finitude. Les questions qu’ils affrontent sont des questions existentielles et philosophiques qui bouleverseraient la plupart du commun des mortels.

Personne d’autre que les soignants ne touche d’aussi près la part de mystère que représente la vie suspendue à la douleur, la souffrance morale, et la déficience ; Tout soignant essaie d’établir la distance qui protège et qui "met des gants" pour aller toucher l’être et la vie qui "prend aux tripes".

Amartya Sen's Capability Approach, Democratic Governance and Japan's Fukushima Disaster

Yutakana kurashi

I have just published an article entitled "Amartya Sen's Capability Approach, Democratic Governance and Japan's Fukushima Disaster - アマルティア・センのケイパビリティ・アプローチ、民主政と福島の大惨事" in The Asia-Pacific Journal, Vol 9, Issue 46 No 2, November 14, 2011.

For those who are interested in reading the article, please go to:

To print the article:

Rei Shiva's photo shows the deserted town of Futaba, inside the 20-kilometer evacuation zone in Fukushima prefecture. The irony is that the crossroad sign saying “With correct understanding of nuclear, (we have) a yutakana (rich or affluent) living.” Another photographer, Ota Yasusuke shows in his blog the photos of the companion animals unintentionally abandoned after 3.11:

Dr. Beat Richner - giving the medecine of the richest to the poorest

If you are going to visit Cambodia soon, please check out the concerts performed by Dr. Beat Richner. Dr.




なさけない気分になったら、地道に生きる人たちから勇気をもらう。今回は、カンボジアで働くスイス人の小児科医・Beat Richnerさん。カンボジアやスイスでは、尊敬されている有名人物だ。「セロ弾きのゴーシュ」でなくて、セロ弾きのお医者さん。彼は海外からやってきた旅行者のためにチェロを弾いて医療活動の資金をつのり、無料でカンボジアの子どもたちを治療している。(あまりお金のない)若い旅行者からは血液を、中年からはお金を寄付してもらう。


プノンペンの病院 Kantha Bopha I and II
シェムリアプの病院  Jayavarman VII

E coli Infections

Escherichia (E) Coli Infections.

Every Saturday there’s a fruit and vegetable market a few steps away from our downtown apartment in the north of France. For a fortnight now, I’ve been spending more time inquiring about the origin of tomatoes, bean sprouts & cucumbers than actually buying them. To date, 33 people in Europe have died of E coli infections - the majority of them were Germans. Since we live less than an hour drive from Germany, we don’t take risks – we peel fruits & vegetables and wash hands before eating. Apart from this apparently preventative measure, Governments and the media haven’t disclosed explanatory and reassuring information.

E coli bacterium grows in soil and intestines of mammals, including those of human beings. Most E coli strains are not harmful: in fact, some of them help the body to digest nutrients and food. Some of them, however, cause infections and poisoning, such as those reported in Europe, especially in Germany (what a coincidence - Escherichia Coli is named after its discoverer Theodor Escherich, a German pediatrician and bacteriologist in the late 1880s). The implications of this health crisis are enormous (e.g. 6 Million Euros per week is lost in France due to decline in the consumption of tomatoes and cucumbers – according to Radio 106.8 FM this morning), and so it’s not surprising that Russia and Germany are having a summit today to discuss import ban and related business issues.

According to tonight’s news reports, the source of these infections were sprouted grains, however, it’s not known how they were contaminated with E coli bacteria. There are research studies on E coli that have global importance. For instance, Dr. Cobbold, Senior Lecturer in Veterinary Public Health at the School of Veterinary Science (University of Queensland, Australia), and his team are involved in a project that endeavours to develop a vaccine for use in cattle that, hopefully, will reduce their colonisation with Shigatoxigenic E. Coli and diminish the potential for food-borne diseases to spread to humans. This project is still in relatively early stages; however, Dr. Cobbold has kindly shared with us this section of his presentation.





France Info: Comment on Fukushima by Jean-Michel Jacquemin-Raffestin (April 17, 2011)

This is an English summary of Jean-Michel Jacquemin Raffestin´s comment on Fukushima in an interview France Info, major French public news radio station. Its title was “Nouvelle hause de la radioactivité au large de Fukushima”. Mr. Jean-Michel Jacquemin-Raffestin is a French journalist best known for his work on Chernobyl.

A poverty of information on Fukushima

Many Japanese have felt frustrated that they lack comprehensive and useful information about the ongoing nuclear emergency at Fukushima nuclear power plant.

I have listed some websites that may have some useful information (in Japanese).

Especially, for the acquisition and dissemination of reliable scientific information, I find the website on Hiroaki Koide very useful. Hiroaki Koide at Kyoto University belongs to the Nuclear Safety Research Group at the Research Reactor Institute. Kansai people now turn to him for information as he is trusted for his professional ethics, sincerity, and willingness to share his knowledge with the public. The clear and straightforward explanations given by him do not lull us into a false sense of security, but somehow yield a sense of calm assurance.

Koide´s talk (1h 46mins) covers some of the issues discussed in the Forum hosted by the University of Tokyo ( and Japan´s nuclear energy-related laws (e.g., Menseki, or an electric power company may claim exemption from compensation for nuclear accident caused by huge natural disasters; Kaso areas have been chosen as "suitable" locations for building nuclear power plants.) Please share the information with your (Japanese) colleagues, students, and friends as widely as possible. Thank you in advance.








「これ是非読んでください。今日本で展開されている原発の現状なんて氷山の一角です」 シカゴに住む圭子さんが、送ってくださったメッセージです。



The voice of experience: From an insider of a Japanese nuclear power plant

Mr. Norio Hirai was a former piping engineer and a supervisor who worked at a nuclear power plant for twenty years. He died of cancer in 1997. Before he passed away, he wrote a (Japanese) article titled “I want you to know what the nuclear power is really like.” In the article, he writes about Japan´s regulatory framework for the safety and security of nuclear power (exisiting on paper, not on the ground), radiation exposure and the effects on human health, radioactive waste, the dumping radioactive water into the sea, the stigma attached to those who work at a nuclear power plant and those who live near the plant, and so on.

If you would like to read an English version, please visit at (someone is trying to translate the original Japanese article into English):








広瀬隆さんインタビュー 1/3

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