Des nouvelles de Ogura Noboru Hanshi (小倉昇範士) - Maître de iaïdo 8ème dan

(Traduit de l'article de Sachié intitulé "News about Ogura Noboru Hanshi (小倉昇範士)")

On m'a demandé de contacter Ogura sensei il y a environ deux semaines. Je lui ai téléphoné immédiatement et nous avons discuté pendant 18 minutes. Comme d'habitude, j'ai adoré parler et rire avec lui.

Pour faire court, Ogura sensei va super bien!

Il pense souvent à ses ardents disciples en Europe. Toutefois, il ne peut voyager à l'étranger pour le moment car sa maman âgée de 97 ans a quelques ennuis de santé et réclame une attention constante.

Ogura sensei enseigne partout au Japon et doit souvent se déplacer jusqu'à trois jours maximum, auquel cas ses soeurs prennent soin de leur mère. Il promet du fond du coeur qu'il reviendra enseigner le iaïdo en Europe dès que sa maman ira mieux.

Il vous demande de continuer à vous entraîner vaillamment pour parfaire votre technique! Courage! Keiko gambatte kudasai!

Pour information, voici son agenda d’entraînements pour 2013:

... en savoir plus ...

News about Ogura Noboru Hanshi (小倉昇範士)

I was asked to contact Ogura sensei two weeks ago or so. I telephoned him immediately and we chatted for 18 minutes. As usually, I enjoyed talking and laughing with him.

To make a long story short, Ogura sensei is alive and kicking!

He often thinks of his ardent disciples in Europe. Though, he cannot travel abroad at the moment because his 97 year-old mother is frail and needs constant care.

Ogura sensei teaches all over in Japan and is often away three days maximum, while his sisters look after their mother. He faithfully promised that he will come back to Europe to teach Iaido as soon as his mother gets better.

He asks you continue your hard work! Keep it up! Keiko gambatte kudasai!

For your information, here is his training schedule:

... read more ...

Preventing Strokes

A stroke occurs when brain cells die because of lack of oxygen impacting on the person’s mental and physical abilities. This happens when: a) blood clot blocks an artery carrying blood from the heart to the body; or b) blood vessel breaks interrupting the flow of the blood to the brain. Its effect on the patient depends on which part of the brain the stroke takes place and how much damage has been done. Those with a small stroke have minor problems and recover completely. Serious strokes can lead to disability or death.

According to www.medicalnewstoday.com (seen on 26/7/13), the risk factors of stroke are: over 55 years old, middle-aged women with clinical depression, male, family history, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, smoking cigarettes, diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular disease, high levels of amino acid in the blood, cocaine use, birth control or use of hormone therapy, heavy use of alcohol; men from divorced families have a higher chance.

The prevention of stroke is based on a healthy lifestyle. Studies have shown that walking for at least 30 minutes each day reduce the risk of stroke for women. The food known to help fight against stroke are: tomatoes and other antioxidant fruits and vegetables, beans, oats, almonds, soy, salmon and other fatty fish, and those rich in potassium (e.g. bananas, potatoes, prunes, raisins) and magnesium (e.g. barley and cornmeal). Meanwhile, the bad triggers are processed food with fatty or unhealthy ingredients in the form of preservatives and colourings.

...selected paragraphs from Being Intelligent Gifted

三つの国の国境にて

突然、義弟が再婚するという知らせがあった。彼は、やんちゃでプレイボーイなので、来夏の結婚まで持つかは分からない。いや、彼は本気か? <神妙にお縄を受けて共暮らし> (時実新子)。「とにかく婚約はメデタイ。楽しもう」と、彼らの住むベルギーにむかった。

彼らの新居は、オランダ・ドイツ・ベルギーの三つの国境が集まった、三国点の近くにある。普段、欧州の国境を、県境のように行き来しているにもかかわらず。かつてヨーロッパや世界を制覇しようとした三つの大国が合体する一点を見ながら、それぞれの国境をひと足でとび越えながら、なぜか言いようのない興奮と感動をおぼえた。

おそらくヨーロッパ人にとって、三国点は私が子どもの頃に三国岳に登った体験と似通っているのかもしれない。

だが、島国で生まれた私には、三国点はものすごく新鮮だった。「日本もこんな地続きの国境があったら、もっと外交に長けていただろうに」と、ふと義妹となる人につぶやいたら、「ウイ(そうね)」と即答が返ってきた。

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Our world is indivisible

It’s supposed to be summer here in France but last week it felt like 10°C, there was a severe flooding in the south-west and it’s overcast most days. Summer heat waves in Australia have increased over the last 50 years. The world’s average temperature is now 8°C warmer than a century ago and such increase can lead to even more extreme climatic events, such as very hot days with bushfires and substantial storms and rainfalls.

The Earth is wrapped in a layer of greenhouse gases which makes conditions right for life (for us to live) by keeping our planet warm and protecting it from cold (known as greenhouse effect). Carbon dioxide (CO2) is the main actor of the greenhouse effect. When excessive amount of CO2 is released in the atmosphere through the burning of fossil fuels (coal, oil and natural gas) for our energy use, climate change occurs; and inefficient use of this energy damages our planet.

On 17th June 2013 I went to a public meeting on climate and energy. The speaker, Mr. Pierre Radanne, spoke about ‘transition energétique’: the reconstruction in 1996, the petrol crisis in 1973 and the current situation (i.e. global obligation, national responsibility and individual action).

He emphasised that we’re paying for the ignorance and behaviours of previous generations, and this should stop. In France, for example, the consumption of energy are: residential comfort (e.g. heating) – 27%, food 18%, information & education 8% and leisure 8%. How can we reduce these figures? Someone from the audience divulged how her school managed to reduce its energy consumption by 50% by changing heaters and appliances.

激怒するEU。行き詰るアメリカ。他人事ですまない日本

今朝ラジオ(フランス・アンフォ)が、ドイツ週刊誌シュピーゲルの暴露を伝えた。
source: France Info (June 29, 2013)

独誌によると、アメリカ国家安全保障局(NSA)は、ヨーロッパにおける個人情報の収集だけでなく、ニューヨークにある欧州連合(EU)の国連代表部や、ワシントンのEUの代表部施設、ブルッセルのEU本部のコンピューター・ネットワークに侵入し、電子メールや内部文書にアクセス、盗み見し、通話を盗聴していたと報じた。独誌は、CIA元職員エドワード・スノーデン氏が所持する機密文書の一部である、NSAの2010年9月付けの「極秘」と指定された文書を、取材源として閲覧したと述べている。

EUのマーティン・シュルツ議長は、アメリカに事実の明確化を求め、独誌が報じたことが事実であるならば、今後の欧米関係、大西洋自由貿易協定の行方を大いにそこねるだろう、と表明している。欧州緑の党のダニエル・コーン=ベンディット共同議長は、アメリカに対する報復として、自由貿易に関する交渉の停止を呼びかけた。

シュピーゲル誌
source: Der Spiegel (June 28, 2013)

ガーディアン誌
source: The Guardian (June 30, 2013)

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中学生・高校生にもわかる「経済成長」にしがみつく日本社会の愚かさ

最近、GDPや成長戦略という言葉を、よく聞くでしょう。それって、何だか知ってますか?

GDPは国内総生産です。一年間、あるいは一定期間内に、国内で生産されたすべての財/製品やサービスを合計したものを、GDPといいます。

ところで。GDPが上がることは、日本という国が豊かになることでも、みんなの所得が年間150万円増えることでもありません。GDPがのびるのは、日本や世界中の人々が健康で幸せになり、貧しい人たちや自殺する不幸せな人が減ることでもありません。もちろん、お金持ちと、貧しい人との差がちぢむことでもありません。

無理してGDPを上げようと思えば、たくさんの人が不幸せでうつ病になり、治りにくい難病にもなり、ネット販売でお薬をバンバン買って、長期入院したりすると「経済成長率を上げる」ことができます。世界一の地震国に原発を次からつぎへと建てたり、刑務所をドンドン増やしても、GDPは上がります。また、台風や竜巻で被害にあった地域を復こうしたり、放射能で汚染された地域を「除染」する費用も、「経済成長」として足し算されます。

どうして大人たちが(皆じゃないですよ。ごく一部の大人だけですよ)、こんなバカげた「経済成長」にこだわっているかと言うと、物を測定する「ものさし」や基準が、クルッてるんですね。社会の豊かさや進歩度をはかる尺度に、欠陥があるからです。

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Dublin Core
Author: 
Sachie MIZOHATA

Global education on First-Third World divide

Last week when I was tidying up our computer room, I noticed that our son’s Year 7 (5ème in France) History and Geography textbook was opened on pages with articles on health and education in Mali and Finland. There were statistics on income, life expectancy and literacy rate (i.e. 15-24 years old in Mali it’s 36% for men and 23% for women whereas in Finland it’s 100% for both groups).

I thought it was an opportunity to expand the subject, but why question on the reasons for such differences was met with resistance expressed in these phrases: "We’ve not learnt that yet," "It’s not included in our lesson" and "Our test won’t be on that."

Formal education (school) should not only be about learning by heart facts and figures and passing exams, but applications and making connections. Three billion people, which is almost half of the world’s population of 7 billion, live on less than 2 Euros (US $2.55)/day and many of them don’t have adequate education, shelter, safe water for drinking, and access to health and social services. Since most of us in developed (First World) countries don’t belong to this group, why should we bother, especially that we also have our own problems? It’s because we live in a globalised Earth and are both part of the problems and solutions.

In one of my previous articles, I discussed poverty in developing and Third World nations and their high birth rate due to the necessity to have children who can help provide and care for families (children are social and welfare insurances, especially during old age); historical and political experiences (e.g. colonisation, wars and conflicts, natural disasters, poor governance and corruption); and global realities (e.g. unfair trading, policies and practices in rich First World countries. Thus, there’s no need to repeat it here.

Ethnicity and Crime

The media have reported, and continue to focus, on two “ethnic Chechen” brothers, who have lived legally in America for 10 years, as perpetrators of the Boston Marathon bombing that killed three persons and injured about 200 people last April 14.

The emphasis and interest on their “ethnic origin” has brought back memories of my PhD thesis. Based on survey of public perception, content analysis of newspaper articles and examination of police and prison statistics in Queensland, Australia in the 80s, I concluded that:

Newspaper reports on Asian criminality reflect public perception more than the official records (police and prison data) and that Asian-born migrants had lower crime rate than the Pacific Islander-born and the general Australian population.

(Media reporting should be socio-culturally sensitive, non-discriminatory and not contribute to negative stereotyping, prejudice and victimisation of law-abiding immigrants and refugees).

In the USA, there’s an over representation of African-and Spanish-Americans in the criminal justice system. There are economic, psychological and ideological reasons why an individual commits a crime. Members of immigrant and ethnic groups may not be more criminal than the majority in the population; however since they are more visible, they attract more police attention and their deviancy or criminality becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.

日本社会はこれ以上悪くならないという幻想。そしてTPPの異常さ

オーストラリア国立大学のガヴァン・マコーマック名誉教授が、安倍総理の自己矛盾を突いてます。下に内容を要約します。

www.japanfocus.org/-Gavan-McCormack

国民に忠誠心を求める一方、個人の権利制限・剥奪しようとする、水面下での動き。憲法改悪(9条、教育法、靖国神社公式参拝、国防軍など)のもくろみ。過去の残虐行為・侵略戦争責任の否定、侵略美化。北朝鮮や中国敵視。先の戦争の首謀者であり、A級戦犯で首相となった祖父が、戦前たどった帝国(絶対・国粋)主義の足跡を追う安倍氏は、保守派でなく、過激派で歴史修正主義者である。

同時に、親米外交・同盟国を強調をしながらの対米従属。彼がめざそうとする「新しく」「美しい」国家像というのは、(彼の祖父や仲間の時代に)敵国であったアメリカ(がもたらした戦後民主主義、基本的人権の尊重、国民主権など)への敵意の暗示であると、マコーマック氏が指摘。

日本人も、マコーマック先生のように、政策や(民意を代表するために仕事をし給料をもらっている)政治家を大いに批判していいのだと思いますよ。

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Are you emotionally gifted?

Are you emotionally gifted?

Last week, in our Business English class, we had a role play on hiring the best person for a middle level position, i.e. choosing one of these 2 job applicants: A) a qualified person with little experience but is more likely to integrate well in the workplace; B) a highly experienced and technically savvy individual. Without hesitation, my 3 students explained why they would choose applicant A, who they described as “the more emotionally intelligent of the two.” When I asked for further explanation regarding emotional intelligence, they spoke vehemently about good interpersonal skills, ability to manage emotions, resilience, foresight, quick thinking, effective decision making and optimism – a cocktail of personality traits and cognitive & emotional intelligence.

Personality is one piece of the human triangle that defines us as a unique individual. It is made up of patterns of feelings, thoughts and behaviours that remain stable throughout our lives. Like personality, cognitive intelligence (Intelligence Quotient – IQ) doesn’t change. In my book “Intelligence, Giftedness: Pre-cradle to Post-grave” I explored the subject of IQ as ability and potential - the brain. In this article, I concentrate on the third side of the triangle known as emotional intelligence/quotient (EQ) - which is about awareness and 'touch'.

TPP世界支配の拡大をもくろんだ大企業独裁

一つ目のビデオは、アメリカのNGO「パブリック・シチズン」のロリ・ワラックさんが訴える「日本のTPP参加は主権の放棄」。この一分ほどのビデオにすべて、語られています。

www.citizen.org

二つ目のビデオは、カナダきってのアグリビジネスの批評家ブルースター・ニーンさんと妻のキャサリン・ニーンさん。TPP問題を大変心配しながら、日本人へ心のこもったメッセージです。ブルースターさんが端的におっしゃってるように、「TPPの目的は、人々の幸福ではなく、企業の幸福です」。TPPにサインでもしようなら、日本の食料自給も、国民皆保険も全部つぶされてしまいます。(製薬会社は高齢者が多く、原発事故の健康被害も心配される日本をねらってる訳です)

経団連は「いや、自分たちは大丈夫」とほくそ笑んでいるのでしょう。ですが、900ページのTPP文書を初めて見れるのがこの夏で、交渉参加の許可が9月というのですから、いまの日本の政治力・交渉力・英語力で、経団連にさえ有利な条件交渉は、到底不可能ですよ。

ramshorn.ca/visible-state-invisible-government

三つ目のビデオは、デモクラシー・ナウ!でのロリ・ワラックさんの包括的な説明。自由貿易とはタテマエで、TPPの内実は大企業のむきだしな利潤追求。日本が不平等で屈辱的な条件を受けいれないなら、ビスネスの邪魔をちょっとでもしようなら、日本政府相手に大企業が法廷闘争できるという仕組み。つまり大企業がさらに儲けやすいよう、TPPに合わせて国内の法規制や手続きを変えて、一度決まったらそれが最後(企業の裏には、高給で雇われた優秀な弁護士団が勢ぞろい)、無制限に賠償を求めていくという段取り。地域産業優先と国産品愛好を禁じ、はては地方政治・内政への干渉の権利。なにしろ、そんなに公正で、みんながモウカル協定なら、どこの参加国の国民もそっちのけでコソコソ秘密会議しません。おっそろしく手のこんだ組織的悪だくみです。

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Horse meat and lies on our plates

Indians eat snakes, Thais - insects (such as crickets), Japanese - sharks, Chinese - dogs and cats, Filipinos - balut (fertilized chicken embryo) and bagoong (putrid-smelling fermented fish or shrimps). So, what’s the fuss about horse meat?

About a kilometer from where we live there used to be a butcher that specialised on horse meat. Coming from Australia, I thought it was weird to think of horse as “la viande”. I supposed this butcher shop closed down because of declining consumption and competition from less expensive meat products. This lean source of protein and iron was from horses bred and killed in France for human consumption. As we know, with globalisation anything can find its way from and to any parts of the world. For example, between the Romanian abattoir and the French supermarket, there are: food brand Findus, food manufacturer Comigel, meat processor Spanghero and a Dutch trader.

As well, with the economic crises some companies look for supply chain opportunities that may include unethical practices. Accordingly, it is vital to impose international food labelling standard that provides a level playing field for food producers and sellers, and for consumers (wherever they are) to get information about their food that is clear (i.e. easy to understand, legible and visible) and not misleading.

Innovation and Luxembourg, Suffering a Brain Drain!?

Ten years ago, when I started going to the Bibliothèque Nationale de Luxembourg (BNL - the National Library of Luxembourg), the “poverty” of the library (e.g., infrastructure, resources, services, etc.) of the world's richest (if not mistaken) country shocked me. The BNL was so underdeveloped, when compared to many public and private libraries in the USA. More surprisingly, many libraries I had visited in Brussels, Paris, and other cities were not so nice, either.

(Just note that some BNL librarians appear to be cold and distant at first. But, when they get to know you, they can be friendly, very helpful, and even sweet.)

Over the last ten years, the BNL has improved dramatically, and has become one of the best/favorite libraries I know in the region so far. Although I still miss some aspects of American libraries – for example, specialized librarians (e.g., law librarians) and more conducive, competitive, extremely intense, and intellectually stimulating atmospheres for studying, I am OK with the BNL. Hope that it keeps improving in coming years.

However, talent management in Luxembourg concerns me/us greatly.

It is obvious that Luxembourg has an advantage in attracting people because of competitive salaries, benefits, etc. But, it may not be so good at retaining their top talents in some sectors (though, of course, there are really talented people in Luxembourg, but some of friends have been disenchanted. They have moved to other companies and countries with better opportunities).

There seems to be something dysfunctional: something does not ignite, but undermine the passion of people.

Lying vs Optimism

There have been fascinating comments, especially through Facebook, on my previous article on lying to others, e.g. lying doesn’t equate to absence of love, many parents lie to make their children behave better, and men find it more difficult to deal with lying and liars than women (about 75% of men apply for divorce due to their partners' extra-marital affairs; 75% of women forgive their unfaithful husbands and stay married).

We have excuses for lying to others (refer to previous article), but why do we lie to ourselves (Psychologists call this self-deception)? Self-deception, i.e. not acknowledging the truth about ourselves, can be conscious or unconscious. For example, an employee is consciously lying to himself when he takes a day’s sick leave once a month and stays at home in his pyjama behaving like he has colds (he has convinced himself that he doesn’t lie to his employer and that he has the right to these 10 days/year sick leave). Some managers lie to themselves unconsciously to boost self-esteem and self-confidence; for instance, they believe they are more skilled and knowledgeable than what they really are in order to be respected and admired.

Last month, our family doctor reminded me that I should have a regular physical activity (in addition to sufficient calcium and Vitamin D) to prevent osteoporosis later on. I told her that I do an hour of Zumba every Thursday and another 3 hours of gym exercises per week (in which I added the almost one hour of walking to/fro). I didn’t lie to her as walking is a form of exercise, but I felt like did to myself because I would like to be in the gym for 3 hours per week but couldn’t due to other commitments. Meanwhile, I’ve a friend who maintains that she has only coffee for breakfast, doesn’t snack and blames her extra weight solely on genetics instead of admitting the truth that she has always have a second serving of food for lunch and dinner.

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