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Thursday, September 30, 2010

Stone Baby-Lithopedion

This post is for my dear father. At seven, I knew everything about natural childbirth. Sometimes I would see mothers give birth squatting in the hospital hallways. Childbirth was beautiful, real and so unreal. One day, I found out that my father did operated on a woman with a stone baby. Of course I begged him to let me see that stone baby. After seeing the stone baby,I was sad and amazed by biology. My dad told me that for decades the dead baby was in her belly, it became stone to protect her from infection. My dad was my super hero, he is a super hero. I told him that the stone baby looked more like a frozen chicken.  And when my dad ask for my treasure box to store his lithopedion. I felt like he made me his most valuable assistant. I was proud and more understanding of his passion for medicine.And when we moved, we took the stone baby with us. It became part of our family. I associated that stone baby with my father passion for medicine and it helped me  forgive his absences.Papa, I love you. You are the best!!!
More on Lithopedion

Stone Baby by Chad Nelson  

Monday, September 27, 2010

Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese

I finished it!!! It is an exquisite, sublime, deep and  rich novel. I want to thanks Emily and Katie for sharing this amazing book with me. It is better than a great movie. It is a learning experience with all the crispiness and crunchiness of  life. On top of it you have science, medicine and diseases. I was in heaven!!I grew up in hospitals and like many among us, I wanted to be a doctor. The author captured so many of my memories about sickness, death, migrations,exile and hope.It shows how intimacy is so powerful and mysterious. It is a great great novel, good job Dr Verghese!
"Marion and Shiva Stone are twin brothers born of a secret union between a beautiful Indian nun and a brash British surgeon at a mission hospital in Addis Ababa. Orphaned by their mother’s death in childbirth and their father’s disappearance, bound together by a preternatural connection and a shared fascination with medicine, the twins come of age as Ethiopia hovers on the brink of revolution. Yet it will be love, not politics — their passion for the same woman — that will tear them apart and force Marion, fresh out of medical school, to flee his homeland. He makes his way to America, finding refuge in his work as an intern at an underfunded, overcrowded New York City hospital. When the past catches up to him — nearly destroying him — Marion must entrust his life to the two men he thought he trusted least in the world: the surgeon father who abandoned him and the brother who betrayed him.An unforgettable journey into one man’s remarkable life, and an epic story about the power, intimacy, and curious beauty of the work of healing others."

Friday, September 24, 2010

Lauryn Hill - I Gotta Find Peace of Mind


Ayo - "Life Is Real"

Happy Friday!!!

Kimpa Vita a non violent activist 1684-1706

I watched Joan D'arc last week. Of course I had to Google for an African version. Enjoy!
"Kimpa Vita known also as Dona Beatrice was born in 1684 in the Kingdom of Kongo. Magnified by some historian as a kind of “African Joan D ‘Arc” with whom they share only the same end and fate. She is the first woman who fought the European domination of Africa. At age of 20, she started her non-violent action to restore her Kingdom destroyed by the Portuguese. She stands firmly and fought against both local and transatlantic slavery. She led thousands of people to rebuild and to repopulate Mbanza Kongo, the capital, whereas the Kongo’s King Pedro IV, imposed by the Catholic Church, had taken refuge in the mountains. In July 2, 1706, the catholic priest “fathers” Bernardo da Gallo and Lorenzo da Luca burned her into a stake, with her companion and their baby, according to rules of the “holy” Inquisition. Later, in 1739, some of her followers, sold in America, carried out the revolt well known as the “rebellion of Stono” in South Carolina, and her teachings inspired the action of the Kongo slaves, during the revolt which led to the independence of Haiti in 1804. Nowadays, Dona Beatrice is remembered as a prophetess and a symbol of the non-violent resistance in Africa, inspiring many political and religious leaders in the Congo and Angola. Therefore in regard of her dedication to fight oppression in all it form, we decided to name our publishing project after her name: Kimpa Vita Press & Publishers
The Kimpa Vita Press & Publishers is exclusively a non-profit publishing company dedicated to promote understanding, knowledge, equality through giving the opportunity to the often less heard people to have a say in the events and affairs of their society and the world at large"

Relativity, cyclical time in a linear temporality.

The Western notion of time is mostly linear and progressive. The Eastern notion is cyclical and infinite. If you are a following one of the three major monotheistic religions, you must view the concept of time as being linear.  From creation to our absolute end of creation, time is limited and finite. In my opinion, our individual life is a singly infinite sequence but we must remember that Life is a double-infinite sequence. It means that “it has neither a first nor a final element” So I do believe in a cyclical time in a linear temporality.  In some way we are avatars of “Life” in our very own linear temporality.  If you look at your parents, relatives, or children, that very individual temporality is extended to a greater cyclical dimension.

 Each generation implies a succession of deaths, births or rebirths. The movement is eternal. Besides we must accept Einstein’s theory of relativity as a testament of creation. Our cosmos is not static, so our temporality is flowing but it is indeed linear. The universe expansion indicates the direction in which time flows.  With Einstein’s famous equation E = mc2, which reveals the equivalence of mass and energy. It is implies that the universe is not eternal because the thermal distribution in the cosmos is uneven. In a way, our differences in this global community are proofs that our universe is not eternal. And as cyclical as linear it is this is it. Moreover, time itself does not exist without space and matter. Then in my linear temporality: I am here because I am and this is my eternity. And in my cyclical time I accept my place and its infinity.

According to Descartes in the discourse of the method on God existence is a fifty-fifty gamble but either way you will die. And if you reason… only a God, a creator transcends infinity and eternity. Personally I must believe in God to trust science. And I have faith in humanity. I am enjoying my relativity in my cyclical time in my linear temporality.  I am also proud that I do not forget how time is relative. Honestly what is the point of having a watch if you never have time? Time is a precious gift! I want to take this instant to say Thank you!! Thank you, to everyone for everything you done, did, doing, do and will do. Thank you!!!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Peace Day 2010 September 21

The UN international Peace day is on September 21. Yes, just one day, just 24 hours in 192 UN members states. A tiny break to focus on peace and life saving activities!It is a day a ceasefire and non-violence. We are all supposed to commit to take action toward peace. I will commit on finding some inner peace and take a pacifist approach all day. I will also remember my grandfather who died many moons ago in a civil war. And I will share some food with someone in need because it is obviously impossible to be non-violent when you are starving!! It is in few days. If we can follow a "just do it" to score in some games we should be able to "just do some" for peace. Mahatma Gandhi said that “Nearly everything you do is of no importance, but it is important that you do it”. A tiny break is nothing but important!!!

The Tookie Protocol for Peace A Local Street Peace Initiative by Stanley Tookie Williams
"There is no quick-fix remedy for the gang epidemic.
Here on death row I have discussed a street gang truce with individuals from different age groups, geographical locales, gangs, and mentalities. I discovered that my ideological and philosophical outlook on peace was in step with perspectives of the newer and the older generation. I also realized it is illogical to create a peace not based on an individual and collective improvement of the lives of community members. Failure to establish a truce that includes a social agenda will cause any negotiation for peace to relapse into war. I am convinced that peace is possible, despite the many lives that have been lost from years of youth gang warfare. This document is designed to assist those whose aspirations are to create a cease-fire, end gang violence and restore social order. Pessimistic individuals may quote the English translation of the Latin phrase, si vis pacem, para bellum – if you desire peace, prepare for war. But I strongly disagree.    Real peace will conquer war."

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Life is an infinite sequence of bridges.

In high school mathematics had a huge place in my life.
I had dreams and nightmares full of numbers, trigonometry, sequences, series, geometry, and signs to the infinite. It was a constant struggle with victories and defeats. I was looking at mathematics as a reflection of my life. If I could not overcome difficulties and find the solution, I will never accomplish my dreams. I was not a brilliant student just smart and hardworking. And math was like a divine test that will predict which schools or programs will accept me. My future depended on mathematics. The best advice I had was from a teacher. He said that math is a reflection of my confidence that I have to work hard and trust myself because he believed in me. Bless his heart for that! 

My sophomore year in college; I was determined to thrive in math. So I could  prove to myself that I will be more than fine in life. And I did very well. For the first time I blossomed under that mathematical breeze. However I foolishly neglected other subjects because I desperately needed to conquer math's hills just once. Nevertheless nothing can take that victory away from me. 
And I realized that life was an infinite sequence of bridges. It is a succession of events that we do not control but we use probabilities to predict our actions. When we are young it is all about randomness and we learn from the results, then we know what to expect and predict more or less with wisdom. However it is a succession of bridges that we must cross because time does not halt for our consideration.
And no matter how you cross each bridge you will cross all of them. Sometimes we do not want to cross because the bridge does not look stable or solid, and we are afraid of the other side. Fog may blur our visibility, or sunshine may glare our sight but we will crossover like others before us. 

Our individual life is a singly infinite sequence but we must remember that Life is a double-infinite sequence. It means that “it has neither a first nor a final element”. So we must be gentle with ourselves and remember that we are children of the Universe. We must enjoy each step of the process and still believe, hope, dream, and keep faith.
Pics:Uploaded on December 11, 2009 by Tall Guy

Le Voyage De Plume/ Little Polar Bear by Hans de Beer

“Plume or Feather” is a cute little polar bear. This story puts the child in the little polar bear perspective. It is about the discovery of new world from his native land to Africa. From his beloved all white world, the little polar bear find out that other colors do exist.In his journey he befriends a hippopotamus. With his help he will go back home. It is a beautiful story.  It is a cute story and also a powerful message of solidarity and friendship.
Another A+ from us.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Just Share a dream

I was walking through an orchard of white Chinese peaches the one that have an almond flavor. It could see small pink grapes, the one that have a raspberry flavor, as well as olives trees. The orchard was surrounded by avocado trees and mango trees. It was raining. I was enjoying each step in the warm rain. It was an African sky with a luxurious fiery sunset. It could feel the emerald abundance in the red soil with my bare feet. It was a mix of all my dearest memories from my African, Tropical, Mediterranean and Californian experiences. I could smell my mother’s warm wild raspberry jam. I was grown but I had that sweet peace fullness from childhood. I walked back home with a care free indolence, knowing that my loved ones were waiting for me. I was happy and blessed. It was a blissful dream.

If dreaming is all I have. Well it is already a lot. So far I have been blessed.
Fell free to share a dream…
Same moonlight for our dreams.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Within the Four Seas: Introduction to Comparative Philosophy by Ulrich Libbrecht

 Oh my! Oh my! I just found this book online!! I will look for it at the library. Seriously, comparative philosophy!!! I am so exited I had to share... Ulrich Libbrecht is a belgian philosopher and a writer in comparative philosophy. He started as a math teacher. I understand how a math lover did fall for the beauty within the different models of thinking. I hope to find out that we are united in our differences.

"Our world has evolved in such a way that we can no longer reduce it to just a market - it has also become an «agora», where philosophers exchange world-views in order to understand one another. Europe has lost its position at the centre of the world and should stop pretending it holds the one true religion, philosophy, economy and science. Instead, we should turn our attention to fulfilling the dream of Erasmus reflected in his statement: "I wish to be a citizen of the world". First and foremost, we should learn to play fair when comparing different cultures and not rely on exlusively western criteria. This book explains how a comparative model, based on the paradigm-free axes of energy and information, accommodates the current world-views of Taoism, Buddhism and Rationalism - representing Chinese, Indian and Western heritages respectively - and shows how science and religion interrelate within such a global framework"

Monday, September 6, 2010

"Yeye Ndiye" by Dela

One more song from Dela! Enjoy!

From Kenya :Muthoni

  Also named the Drummer Queen, Muthoni is from Kenya.I like her voice. By mixing English. Kikuyu, and Kiswahili; She brings multiple dimensions to her poetry.And her talent remind me of my Kirundi challenge.I am still working on it...Sorry to my specials readers and please accept this gifts!!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

My "green" urban patio garden

It is the result of our summer project. We did buy plants from a farmer market at one dollar each or two for a dollar. Then to keep this project on the frugalicious side, we used old storage boxes and plastic bags for potting. And voili, voilà...we have one bell pepper and tomatoes. For a first timer, patio gardening is fun, relaxing, and calming. However, I have to perfect many skills  by next summer to have a composed salad and strawberries for dessert! In this current gardening revolution, patio gardening is not impossible. Only if you are ready to commit and invest more than 15 dollars. Even if you do not feast on your garden. You can at least enjoy the gardening and  gaze at the beauty of growing vegetables, blossoming flowers and visiting insects. Besides, according to Voltaire,"we must cultivate our garden"!!  I see my gardening as my attempt to connect with nature and slow down.  At the end, I deeply appreciate the work of farmers around the world. Thank you!!!
Until next time, keep on cultivating...


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