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).

Tailor-made curriculum to address students' insecurity and distress

Tuition, quality of education, choice of school/university and institutional policies (e.g. funding/resources, pedagogy – online & blended instruction) are some of the education issues often discussed in most European countries as the school year starts in September. The beginning of the school year can be exciting or worrying depending on where you live and your individual situation: In Greece, for example, some university students have dropped out of their studies due to lack of adequate finance. In Spain, families who never passed on used school bags and supplies to other siblings have done it this year. In Germany, however, parents enthusiastically file at the checkouts with trolleys filled with school paraphernalia and items to help their children have a good academic year.

Anywhere in the world, the education playing field is not level and students are not homogenous. About 2% of the student population are gifted and talented, about 5% of them are from high-income families; and there are bipolar, autistic, slightly impaired and emotionally fragile among them. With our globalised world, it’s fairly common to find more than one religion, culture and language in every classroom. With the divorce rate of 40-50% and advent of other kinds of family arrangement (single parents, same-sex couples, restructured families), children face different challenges at school. There are many happy families but there are also those whose routine includes: couples disputing on subjects that range from money to infidelity, children experiencing abuse and intolerance, etc. As well, due to the financial crises and current volatile economic condition, many parents have lost their jobs, others may have the same fate soon, while some have been forced to move to other places and transferred their children to a new school. These circumstances impact on the children’s behaviour and their capacity to learn and perform at school.


Solar Windmill Boat3.11以来、どこの国でも政府の助成なしには、不安定な原子力産業をささえるのは、いよいよむずかしくなってきている。

World Nuclear Industry Status Report 2012は、原発の建設費は推定費をはるかに上まわり、建設工事も大幅に遅延する傾向にあると報告している。

ちなみに、フィンランドのオルキルオト原子力発電所三号機の建設は5年遅れで、必要費は100〜120%予算超過(60〜66億ユーロ)。フランスでは、2007年にフラマンヴィル原子力発電所三号機の建設開始、2012年に商業運転開始の予定が、竣工は2016年に延期となり超過額はすでに60億ユーロにのぼっている(World Nuclear Industry Status Report 2012、34ページ)。莫大な予算超過分は、当然、国民にはねかえってくる。






Modeling human well-being and societal progress

For those who already read our article "Towards International and Interdisciplinary Research Collaboration for the Measurements of Quality of Life" in Social Indicators Research and have become interested in modeling, you may want to watch Tony Buzan's video on Mind Mapping. It may give you an idea of modeling as I think that modeling and his mapping are closely connected.

And, the book Semantic Web for the Working Ontologist (Second Edition - link to Morgan-Kaufmann Publishers) by Allemang and Hendler is very nice, very progressive and pedagogic to learn about modeling.


Multipurpose summer holiday: intensive courses, sporting competitions, family, friends, charity, networking

Séjours linguistiques (language trainings), intensive courses in subjects that range from mathematics to personal development and sporting activities (close to 1 million visitors to London during the Olympics Games of which about 300,000 from overseas + 5.5 million day trippers + 10,500 athletes and 7,500 officials) are some of this year’s summer holiday interests.

My acquaintance and her husband plan their annual summer holiday around chess tournaments. They visit beautiful towns in France and nearby European cities while their 15 year-old-son collects trophies. Gone are the days when the sole destination was the beach, mountain, touristic spots or entertainment park to relax and have fun. Consciously, or otherwise, we engage in a multipurpose holiday, e.g. our travel luggage includes a laptop, net/notebook, iPod, Nintendo, headsets and other electronic gadgets. Do we really need these gadgets when our main goal is to have a nice break from work, school or a routine activity (especially strenuous one)?

Here in France, friends (sometimes even strangers) constantly ask each other these questions “When are you going on holiday?” “Where will you spend your summer vacation?”-- which are not easy to answer when you’re going nowhere. As well, these are always followed by further questions and comments, such as “Are you working all summer?” as if you’ve been punished for being inefficient; “Your children will be bored for 2 months” as if they didn’t have parents, siblings, toys, nearby parks and local activities to keep them busy. Sometimes it’s not enough to mention a place; it has to be abroad – such as England, Spain and other top country destinations!

There are many worthwhile activities during the summer holiday period aside from consuming artificially high-priced accommodation, airline tickets and entertainment. One of my trainees has just left Luxembourg as a participant of a one-month car rally in Mongolia. He’s so delighted that his summer holiday has raised money for charities through sponsorships and donations. In last nights’ news there was a segment about students working for nursing homes as volunteers this summer.

Pleasure and not pressure at work

A paid employment is necessary – it’s an indispensable work as it provides an individual with an income, self identity and social status. Due to some societal changes and the financial crises, the pleasure of being in a paid employment has been replaced with pressure, stress and race for survival. The original idea connected with the Protestant work ethic of independence and saving has disappeared, and what’s left is hard work and competition. Most of us are busy earning money hence we have no or little time for leisure.

Unlike workaholics, we rely on periodic leisure (which is associated with holiday as the British call it; “vacation” American) to spice our employment. I rarely hear of employees raving about having the pleasure of working. It’s not only money that makes our work environment pleasurable. It may not be possible to get pleasure from all our daily tasks, however, we can see the glass half full in times of pressure when we have a good sense of humour and take time to relax. There’s also pleasure, instead of pressure, when we have a shared interest (e.g. sports, entertainment, arts) with our colleagues, update our work station (e.g. new photos on our desk and fosters on the wall), vary our office snacks and meals, dress up differently and change our lunch activities from time to time (e.g. picnic in the nearby park or trip to the swimming pool and a quick sandwich).

As I mentioned in my previous article, I didn’t have internet access for 10 days by choice. I leisurely explored the mountains and lakes in Scotland and played a typical tourist in England. The 12-day holiday with my family was fantastic though I really didn’t need it as a break from my paid employment. A staycation would have been leisurely productive and pleasurably relaxing. This is because I enjoy what I do for a living. We can only have fun with our job when we are passionate about it. Can we instil passion in our work? How can we handle pressure and obtain pleasure when we aren’t passionate about our employment?

Towards International and Interdisciplinary Research Collaboration for the Measurements of Quality of Life

Our paper (with the title above) has been published and is available as "Online First" on SpringerLink now: www.springerlink.com

When we started creating our eLab in 2006-2007, it was probably one of the earliest ones. Now there are many eLabs, especially nice ones in the UK and other universities. Though, I understand that many researchers focus on eScience, while we are more interested in eSocial Science and measuring societal progress.

We have written the earlier versions of this paper for the last three years. And, as the time has passed, we have learned new stuff, and tried to make the paper shorter and less technical. Therefore, quite frankly, the paper is getting outdated as technology advances so quickly. Though, our article provides a general introduction to eSocial Science.

A good news is that we've got a new idea. Although we cannot go into details at this time, what we wish is we make it accessible and useful for as many people as possible.

We hope to update you about progress on this site (by the end of this year, if possible). Also, we will see you at future conferences and meetings! At the moment, we are interested in the 9th IEEE International Conference on e-Science in Beijin, China in 2013: escience2013.csp.escience.cn

あじさい革命雑考 ╾╾ おまわりさん。デモの目的を、わかってらっしゃらない?!

Hydrangea Revolution (Ajisai Kakumei in Japanese) in Japanフランスに住んでいると、デモは日常茶飯事のように見かける。群衆の巨大パーティー、ハレの場という雰囲気が常にあるけど、時には耳をつんざかんばかりのシュプレヒコールが鳴り響き、発煙筒の黄色い煙りが目にしみて、その大混雑から早く立ち去りたくなる場合もある。ヨーロッパには、劣悪な労働条件で働いていた人たちが、デモをして今の社会保障を勝ち取った記憶がまだ生きている。大人も高校生たちも、デモの重要性をよく知っている。



Hydrangea Revolution (Ajisai Kakumei in Japanese)

Anti-nuclear protests are flourishing in Japan like hydrangeas that are in bloom everywhere now. A recent wave of protests is now called Ajisai Kakumei, or Hydrangea Revolution. I do not know who has started to call it, but it is nice as it reflects Japan's ikebana culture. More importantly, I believe that ajisai symbolizes tenacity, and the protesters are as hardy and prolific as ajisai flowers.

Reportedly, 200,000 people gathered outside Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda's official residence in Tokyo on June 29, protesting against the restart of a nuclear power plant. It was one of the largest public protests since 1960s. Also, many more people protested in other big cities.

For example:

See 1) the video: people are shouting "Saikadou Hantai, or No Restart (the reactors at the Ohi nuclear power plant in Fukui Prefecture)" and "Noda Koso Yamero, or Noda Quit (It is Noda who have to quit)." www.youtube.com/watch?v=UfyFZ_yk7qQ

Enfin, c'est pas trop tôt! (as French people say).

Finally, same-sex marriage (in French, "le mariage homosexuel") to be legalized in France.

This is good news for my gay friends and also a good progress for a democratic country with the motto of "Liberté, égalité, fraternité" (Liberty, equality, fraternity or brotherhood/sisterhood).

According to France Info (radio) this morning, the new Socialist government will propose a bill to legalize same-sex marriage.  If the French government will pass the law in 2013, same-sex married couples will receive the same rights and benefits as other married couples.

Thus, by 2013 France will join the eleven countries that legally allow same-sex couples to marry: the Netherlands (2000), Belgium (2003), Spain (2005), Canada (2005), South Africa (2006), Norway (2008), Sweden (2009), Portugal (2010), Iceland (2010), Argentina (2010), and Denmark (2012).

Actually, my hero Coluche, very popular French comedian and the founder of "Les Restos du Coeur" (Restaurants du Coeur - Restaurants of the Heart), who also protested against racism, already supported marriage equality in 1985.  Watch the video!

Why do you work? Are you happy in your job?

Worthiness of employment (job) and work “Que gagne-t-on en travaillant?” was one of the philosophy questions in last Monday’s Baccalaureate (high school diploma) French exam.

When I was in Australia, I often heard people whinging about neighbours and acquaintances who received unemployment benefits from the government but were too lazy to work (known as dole bludgers). Some people enjoy working but dislike their job. Working is not synonymous with employment (job). Work is any activity involving the use of effort to achieve a goal, such as to repaint the house or to earn money. A work may not be a job but a job requires working.

Job, e.g. teaching or bus driving, is specific referring to a particular employment. Repainting your house during your free time is work but not your job (employment), which can give you satisfaction and joy. Work can sometimes be un-enjoyable also that’s why we often describe it as the opposite of play, e.g. cleaning toilets at home.

Back to the French philosophy question: what do you gain by working? by having a job? I hope that our French high school graduating students, after 4 hours of writing about this topic under the watchful eyes of Education Departmental staff and detectors, acquired a more positive attitude and behavior towards work and employment in the midst of a bleak economic reality. What happened to our ‘Right to Work’ philosophy, “Just Wage for Fair Work” ethics and socially-responsible business model?

Excursion to Paris and the German Connection (!?)

Galerie VivienneThe photo (bottom) is the view from the copy machine room of the Maison de la culture du Japon in Paris. (Also, the Galerie Vivienne and roses in the Jardin du Palais Royal).

It was a regular trip to Paris with my husband to fill up with energy. One of my energy sources comes from Book Off, used Japanese bookstore. One of the books I bought this time is written by Setsuko Ono. The book title (in Japanese) is A Woman Flying Alone in the World: Twenty-Eight Years of Experience at the World Bank (Tokyo: Kodansha, 2005). The author's brother-in-law was John Lennon, and her older sister is Yoko Ono. Dr. Ono worked for the World Bank as a senior adviser. Her book seems to confirm my impression that some existing international organizations may suffer partly because some powerful people in development are very keen to promote their own self-interests (rather than to devote much of their energies to fighting global poverty).

Watching the BBC World news at the hotel lobby, I thought of the plight of the people in Syria as well as of Marwan, my old Syrian friend, medical doctor, and businessman, whom I lost contact with.

That night (last Wednesday) we went to watch the movie The Avengers. I wondered if it was one of the movies whose release dates were postponed because of the Fukushima event.

Coming back from Paris, I was checking emails. Lately many of my email correspondents are German people as I find much important work on nuclear and environmental issues has been done by German experts. As you can imagine, nuclear matters are the subject to which I devote a great deal of my thought nowadays.

Love gone wild! mad!

“Love Gone Wild” (Experiences, causes, dealing with domestic violence) -- visit my website Being Intelligent Gifted Victims and perpetrators are anywhere in the world from all cultural, social, economic and professional situations, ages and sexual orientations.

“Don’t ring me at home. We have been staying in a shelter since Tuesday,” she said to me with watery eyes a fortnight ago. For over 30 minutes, I listened to her non-stop revelation of violence that led her and their teenage daughter to the police station at 2AM. Love gone wild? mad? I wasn’t completely shocked as I never heard him speak nicely of /to her -- only criticisms that range from her lack of intelligence to her humble beginning in Eastern Europe (a pattern/signal that is often ignored).

In France, 6 women-victims of domestic violence die every month. In the UK, a woman is killed every 3 days in this way; and in Germany 3 women every four days (mondediplo.com seen 20 June 2012) whilst US statistics average 3 women every day.

Our future energy policies

We the citizens of the world deserve the leaders with a visionary energy policy for the future like Mycle Schneider.  I hope that the people of the Japanese nuclear power village watch this video to understand the need of abolition of nuclear energy and the complete switch to renewable energy.

His article last year "Nuclear Fallout Comes With Aura of Arrogance":








母が批判するのは、首相がこの時期、めまぐるしく交代したことだろう。近衛、東条、小磯、鈴木。リアリストの母は結局、お偉方も父の楽観主義も信じていず、衣類そのほかを荷造りしてせっせと岡山へ疎開していた」 (89〜91ページ)。

「すでに盟邦ドイツは降伏しているのに、鈴木貫太郎首相は一億玉砕を唱えていた。その暗示はどれだけの人に効いたろう」 (94ページ)。

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