Adonis Diaries

Archive for August 14th, 2018

Mon Cher Ado”

Note: Georges Bejani has dual citizenship (French/Lebanese) and is settled in France. He taught in France before retirement. Georges started writing a few of his childhood souvenir on FB,  I prodded him that, by the by, he will learn to be bolder. I also reminded him that I have already posted my autobiography on wordpress.com several years ago. It kicked and Georges is posting one of his memoirs almost everyday. Here are a few samples.

Mon cher Ado,

Ce dimanche matin du 12 août 2018 , je me suis levé du pied gauche, parce que ma femme à occupé ma place habituelle au lit , celle qui me permettait de me lever du pied droit .

Cela me rend irritable ! Et si tu rajoute une douleur désagréable qui me titille à la poitrine , alors tu comprends dans quel état se trouve ton ami .

Bref, et comme l’horloge du salon m’indique qu’il est presque huit heures , c’est à dire , neuf heures au Liban à cause du décalage , alors je suis doublement irrité car je ne pourrait pas me rendre à Mar Sessine pour la messe du dimanche , et où je pourrais me remémorer ceux de ma famille qui nous ont pré cédés au ciel , ni rencontrer ceux qui sont encore là.

Avec aussi l’espoir de te rencontrer en chaire et en os  (a Beit Chabab).

Autrefois , notre terrain de jeux était le petit espace devant l’église, (Mar Sessine ou La Vierge Marie), quelques mettre carré , on jouait à cache cache , à saute moutons , aux billes , car aux débuts des années cinquante, la petite place n’était pas encore dallée , ni d’ailleurs les escaliers du village .

Et les maisons étaient bien jolies avec leurs murs en pierres de taille et leurs toits en tuiles rouge de Marseille, et devant chacune d’elles , un jardinet et où les mains robustes de nos aïeux faisaient pousser des fruits et légumes , avec évidemment quelques fleurs en bordure du jardin, pour plaire à leurs épouses et aux passants.

Sans oublier le poulailler et pour certain une chèvre qui nous procurait du lait frais et du fromage blanc, qu’on appelait fromage vert, dont on se régalait surtout en été quand on accompagnait ce fromage avec une grappe de raisin ou une tranche de pastèque ou même une tomate bien rouge qu’on cueillait dans notre jardin

Tu pourras en rajouter si tu veux mon cher ami . Que rien ne t’en empêche ! Bon dimanche et à la prochaine !!!!

Adonis Bouhatab replied: 

Mar Sessine event day is in September 15. Are you already in Lebanon for Al Sayyidat (Vergin Marie) in August 15? I overheard from third party that probably they’ll play petanque/boule that day. Amene les toupies (belbol) aussi, and a few billes (kelal). J’entends te faucher toutes les billes, Le pied gauche est mauvais pour le coeur: ta femme devrait le savoir? A demain: on fera de sorte qu’on defriche un terrain pas dalle’

Mon cher Ado ,

En 1966 , l’école des frères Maristes de Jounieh fut transplantée à Dick el Me7di . De ce fait , nous avons déménagé à Beit- Chabab qui se trouve à quelques km de cette localité .

Ainsi j’allais tous les matins à l’école , du nom de Champville pour poursuivre mes études secondaires .

Cette année -là , à part les études , nous n’avions rien à faire car le village s’endormait dès 6 heures de l’après – midi .  (Ca n’a pas change’)

Parfois nous nous promenions jusqu’à l’orée du village , vers le pont tout en grignotant des cacahuètes et en cassant des pépins .

Par beau temps nous nous installions chez Alexandre Le Bas ( Scandar Lwati ) surnommé Le Bas parce que sa maison se trouvait au bas du village .

Et là, nous jouions aux cartes et autres jeux de société jusqu’à la fermeture de la boutique , qui se faisait au plus tard vers 8 heures du soir .

Alors nous rentrions nous coucher … Nos amours étaient courtes pour ne pas dire inexistantes . Je me souviens d’une fille charmante qui était interne au collège dès fille , et que j’aimais , mais que je n’ai plus revue depuis ce temps- là.

Je crois qu’elle s’appelait Aida , si ma mémoire est bonne . Le sort a voulu qu’ à la fin de l’année du bac , en 1968 , je partis pour la Guinée pour rejoindre mes parents . Tu dois te dire pourquoi je te raconte tout ça ? Et bien pour rien !

En 1976, nous avions quitté le Liban avec notre fils de trois ans, fuyant les atrocités de la guerre civile qui sévissait dans notre pays. Nous sommes partis pour Abidjan , capitale de la Côte – d’ivoire où j’ai trouvé un poste d’enseignant dans la ville de Bondoukou , située à plus de 400 km au nord est d’Abidjan .

Nous embarquâmes dans un taxi brousse car c’était le seul moyen pour y aller . Au bout de 100 km sur une route bitumée , mais bien sinueuse , nous avons poursuivi 

The dust invaded us from everywhere so that we arrived all red to destination and were greeted by the principal of the high school who hastened to accompany us to the hotel where we were eager to take a bath to get rid of pounds of dust that had piled up all over the body.

The next day, I walked to school, sandals and shorts. The students were very nice and applied.

One day I was writing on the blackboard, a student approached me silently: she was barefoot, like the majority of students, lack of means, and she tapped my leg. I flinched and asked for explanations!

She told me there was a horsefly who wanted to steal me! And the whole class started laughing and applauding the young girl who had just saved me from the worst disaster that could happen to me that day!

Back in Abidjan, for Christmas Holidays, I contacted the bocoum, to inquire about the health of Brigitte and Marie Jeanne who had been my students at the college in Lebanon where their father was ambassador to Ivory Coast and on leave . I wonder today if my dear Suzanne wasn’t with them?

Royan , face à l’océan !

Ce matin , je me suis promené au bord de l’Atlantique , cet océan qui a vu au cours des siècles derniers des marins s’aventurer pour aller pêcher la morue jusqu’aux confins du monde et souvent disparaître , engloutis Par ce monstre impassible …

Tôt , ce matin , je me suis donc trouvé seul , sans aucune âme qui vive alentours, et là, je me délectais à admirer le spectacle qui s’offrait à mon regard et écouter cette musique que fredonne cet océan , admiré et craint à la fois par les hommes , que Baudelaire compare dans ” l’homme et la mer ”

Adonis Bouhatab:  le morue ou les baleines? C’etait une industrie prospere dans le north east coast of USA qui a decime’ les baleines au 19eme siecle.

Georges first essay before starting “Mon chere Ado” series 

La côte Charentaise est une des plus agréable pour passer un été ensoleillé tout en évitant les grandes chaleurs. À partir de Royan, on peut prendre le bus , soit pour aller vers le Nord , vers Saint Palais ou La Grande Côte et La Palmyre , soit pour aller vers le Sud , vers Saint Georges de Didone ou encore Talmon sur Gironde .

Talmont , un petit village plein de charme avec ses petites ruelle parsemées de boutiques et de restaurant prêts à vous servir les bonnes fritures , les moules ou autres crustacés accompagnés d’un bon vin du pays car il ne faut pas oublier que le Médoc ou le Bordelais s’aperçoivent à vue d’œil .

Talmont sur Gironde avec son église du XII e siècle .

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Et là , nous pouvons visiter la petite églises de Sainte-Radegonde avec son cimetière marin du XII siècle et qui fut érigée sur la route qui mène vers Saint Jacques de Compostelle autrefois fréquentées par les pèlerins qui venaient du pays des Charentes ou d’ailleurs

Sachant qu’en 1284 , Édouard 1er d’Angleterre fut le fondateur de la ville close de Talmont . Au-delà de l’estuaire de la Gironde , nous pouvons apercevoir l’océan Atlantique confortablement installé dans son lit et toujours prêt à accueillir les navigateurs de tous bords qui se balancent à sa surface avec l’espoir d’aller tranquillement à destination , sur les bords américaines .

Voilà mon cher Ado ce que j’avais à te raconter ce matin.

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Peter Higgs criticises Richard Dawkins over anti-religious ‘fundamentalism’

, science correspondent. The Guardian, Wednesday 26 December 2012 18.58 GMT

As public disagreements go, few can have boasted such heavy-hitting antagonists.

Richard Dawkins, the celebrated biologist, has made a second career demonstrating his epic disdain for religion.

The theoretical physicist Peter Higgs (Higgs boson particle) who this year became a shoo-in for a future Nobel prize after scientists at Cern in Geneva showed that his theory about how fundamental particles get their mass was correct.

(Can’t figure out this allegation or conclusion attributed to Cern: It’s None of its business)

Their argument is over nothing less than the coexistence of religion and science.

(That’s Not a new argument: Science and religion did Not Co-exist: they were anathema and harvested thousands of lives by the religious clerics)

Higgs has chosen to cap his remarkable 2012 with another bang by criticising the “fundamentalist” approach taken by Dawkins in dealing with religious believers.

“What Dawkins does too often is to concentrate his attack on fundamentalists. But there are many believers who are just not fundamentalists,” Higgs said in an interview with the Spanish newspaper El Mundo. “Fundamentalism is another problem. I mean, Dawkins in a way is almost a fundamentalist himself, of another kind.”

He agreed with some of Dawkins’ thoughts on the unfortunate consequences that have resulted from religious belief, but he was unhappy with the evolutionary biologist’s approach to dealing with believers and said he agreed with those who found Dawkins’ approach “embarrassing”.

Dawkins, author of the best-selling book The God Delusion, has been accused many times in the past of adopting fundamentalist positions..

In a 2007 post on his website titled “How dare you call me a fundamentalist“, Dawkins wrote: “No, please, do not mistake passion, which can change its mind, for fundamentalism, which never will. Passion for passion, an evangelical Christian and I may be evenly matched. But we are not equally fundamentalist. The true scientist, however passionately he may ‘believe’, in evolution for example, knows exactly what would change his mind: evidence! The fundamentalist knows that nothing will.”

(Actually, paradigm shifts in sciences or other rooted common belief among “professionals” demand decades of struggles , producing “evidences” before change in mentality occur”. For example, the climate change, the depletion of potable water…)

The criticisms have not led the biologist to soften his stance on religion.

In a recent interview with al-Jazeera, he implied that being raised a Catholic was worse for a child than physical abuse by a priest.

Responding to a direct question from the interviewer Mehdi Hassan, Dawkins related the story of a woman in America who had written to him about abuse she suffered as a child at the hands of a priest, and the mental anguish of being told that one of her friends, a Protestant girl, would burn in hell.

“She told me that, of those two abuses, she got over the physical abuse, it was yucky but she got over it. But the mental abuse of being told about hell, she took years to get over,” said Dawkins.

Telling children such that they really believe that people who sin are going to go to hell and roast forever, that your skin grows again when it peels off, it seems to me intuitively entirely reasonable that is a worse form of child abuse, that will give more nightmares because they really believe it.”

Dawkins did not respond to a request to comment directly on Higgs’s “fundamentalist” charge.

In the El Mundo interview, Higgs argued that although he was not a believer, he thought science and religion were not incompatible. “The growth of our understanding of the world through science weakens some of the motivation which makes people believers. But that’s not the same thing as saying they’re incompatible. It’s just that I think some of the traditional reasons for belief, going back thousands of years, are rather undermined.

“But that doesn’t end the whole thing. Anybody who is a convinced, but not a dogmatic believer, can continue to hold his belief. It means I think you have to be rather more careful about the whole debate between science and religion than some people have been in the past.”

He said a lot of scientists in his field were religious believers. “I don’t happen to be one myself, but maybe that’s just more a matter of my family background than that there’s any fundamental difficulty about reconciling the two.”

The Higgs boson explained. Link to this video

In 1963 Higgs predicted the existence of a force-carrying particle, part of an invisible energy field that filled the vacuum throughout the observable universe.

Without the field, or something like it, we would not be here. The field clings to the smallest fundamental particles and gives them mass. The field, which switched on moments after the big bang, allowed particles to come together and form all the atoms and molecules around today.

In the interview, the physicist spoke about the announcement on 4 July that the Higgs boson had finally been found. He said he had received a call from a colleague at Cern a few days earlier who had told him he would regret it if he did not come along. At the announcement, Higgs began to cry.

“What was so overwhelming really was the response of the audience at Cern. It wasn’t like a scientific seminar, it was like the end of a football match when the home team has won, and that was what was overwhelming to me, to be a part of that … Bursting into tears was a reaction to the emotions around me and the feeling that, well, it’s arrived at last! That was hard to deal with.”

Many scientist believe that the discovery means that Higgs is odds on for a future Nobel prize. He was relieved, however, that the Nobel committee had skipped over the discovery for the physics award this year. “I was relieved, simply because since the beginning of July I’ve been so busy dealing with requests to do this and that, that I was glad not to have that on my schedule as well, so I have described it as a reprieve.”

• The original interview is copyright Pablo Jáuregui/El Mundo

 

A few jokes attached for former deposed Egypt President Mubarak

Being told that he must write a letter of farewell to the Egyptian People, after being pressured to abdicate, Mubarak responded: “Why, where the Egyptian people is intending to transfer?”
An obstetrician, renowned for delivering twins,  was summoned to meet Mubarak: The president and his chair constituted a single entity.

حكومة مصر استدعت الدكتور الربيعان لفصل مبارك عن كرسي الرئاسة باعتبار الدكتور الربيعة أشهر طبيب عربي متخصص في فصل التوائم.

فتحي سرور طلب من الرئيس حسني مبارك كتابة رسالة وداع للشعب المصري لكن مبارك رد عليه قائلاً ليه ..”هوا الشعب المصري رايح فين”.

اتصل مبارك بإحدى الإذاعات، برنامج “ما يطلبه المستمعون” وأهدى إلى شعبه أغنية “أخاصمك آه…. أسيبك لا”.

اتصل أمس، مبارك بزين العابدين بن علي وقال له : ” ألو وحياة أبوك إذا بتنام بدري خبيلي المفتاح تحت الباب”!

المصريون.. هلكوا القذافي.. قصفوه بالسخرية فدكوا مواقعه وحصونه، ولعل من بين أقوى التصريحات التي خرجت بحق القذافي، تلك التي نقلتها وسائل إعلام عن الفنانة إسعاد يونس، والتي قالت فيها:

“لا لقتل القذافي أو إعدامه.. عايزينه في قفص قزاز صاحي ومعاه سباطة موز وميكروفون.. أمال حانتسلى بإيه في رمضان؟”.

غير أن من بين التعليقات التي انتشرت على الفيسبوك ما ذكره أحدهما: “عزيزي معمر القذافي بالنسبة لمقولتك: أنا لست رئيسا ورجلا عاديا حتى يتم قتلي بالسم.. الرجل العنكبوت مثلا؟”

“Continuously doubt your understanding of things”? How about understanding fellow men?

Is Arrogance behind failure of successful organizations?

By Dan Rockwell?

Alan Wurtzel injunction is ““Continuously doubt your understanding of things”

And William Pollard to add: “The arrogance of success is to think that what you did yesterday will be sufficient for tomorrow.” 

And why do organizations fail?

Are the reasons related to the supposed Leaders Fail, Plus One

“The arrogance of success is to think that what you did yesterday will be sufficient for tomorrow.” William Pollard

Organizations fail because leaders fail and leaders fail because they:

  1. Stop learning.
  2. Don’t build the team.
  3. Can’t collaborate.
  4. Won’t adapt.
  5. Won’t delegate.
  6. Assume.
  7. Blame.
  8. Lack focus.
  9. Don’t communicate.
  10. Don’t plan.

Learning from failure:

I talked with Alan Wurtzel, former CEO of the now defunct Circuit City Stores, Inc., yesterday. (From more than 500 stores and 10 billion in sales to nothing.) He’s also the son of the founder, Sam Wurtzel.

Jim Collins chose Circuit City Stores, Inc. as a “great” company in, “Good to Great.” What happened?

Alan’s book, “Good to Great to Gone,” is his personal journey to make sense of what went wrong.

Its part history, part explanation, and most importantly, filled with powerful leadership lessons. I loved reading it.

Plus one:

Arrogance is the main reason leaders fail.

You could say there are many reasons leaders fail. I’ll say arrogance is behind most.

How many of the 10 reasons listed above are expressions of arrogance?

Circuit City thrived when its leadership acted humbly and died because of pride.

Wurtzel didn’t say that, I am. You might suggest they failed to adapt. I’ll say pride prevents leaders from adapting. Arrogance destroys.

Four Symptoms of leadership arrogance:

  1. Focusing on short-term success.
  2. Over concern about the opinion of others. Arrogant leaders are controlled by public opinion. Fear not confidence drives arrogant leaders.
  3. Unwillingness to admit mistakes; lying to save face.
  4. Blaming rather than taking responsibility.

Five powerful words from Wurtzel:

“I may not be right.”

Wurtzel’s five simple words answer arrogance. The greatest power of humility is it makes room for doubt. The most deadly power of pride is it prevents it.

How can leaders address the challenge of arrogance?

How have you seen arrogance hurt organizations and leaders?

Multiple Sclerosis–the vascular connection

From Rindfliesch‘s discovery of the central vessel in the MS lesion in 1863, to CCSVI and the CNS lymphatic discovery. 160 years of research on blood flow, CSF, lymph and perfusion of the central nervous system.

Because the heart and the brain are connected.

Posted by Joan. Wednesday, June 3, 2015

A “Stunning Discovery”

We are living in very exciting times.  During the past few years, researchers have changed what was thought to be known about how the brain cleanses and protects itself. 
Textbooks are being re-written.These discoveries are important for people with neuro-degenerative diseases like MS, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and dementia.

New technologies have allowed researchers to see exactly how the brain cleanses itself while we sleep, via the newly defined “glymphatic” system, which relies on the sleep state to remove toxins, proteins and metabolites from brain tissue.

Before this discovery, it was not known how the lymphatic system functioned in the central nervous system. Researchers had assumed the brain was cleansed with cerebro-spinal fluid, but they really weren’t sure how this took place.

Now it is understood that there is a specialized CSF/lymphatic system in the brain, which has been called the “glymphatic” system because of the importance and reliance on the glial cells.

This discovery was made at the University of Rochester, and is currently rocking the world of sleep specialists.  It explains the link between sleep problems and neurodegenerative disease, and provides some answers as to why sleep is so essential for brain health.
link

I was able to visit Dr. Nedergaard’s lab at the U of R, where this discovery was made,  to see how she and her associates are taking this research forward into translational medicine and potential treatments.

As Dr. Nedergaard told me, good sleep and adequate drainage of the brain are key to brain health.  Nothing can be done to help the brain heal (via stem cells or medications) until these mechanistic systems are functioning adequately.
linkFurther understanding of this discovery has been made at the University of Virginia School of Medicine by Dr. Jonathan Kipnis.

The Kipnis Lab has found previously undetected vessels that carry immune cells in the CNS.  Seeing these vessels was like discovering a new planet in our galaxy.   Researchers thought they understood how the brain’s immune system functioned and how the CNS was “immune privileged”–but in reality, they were completely wrong.

The relationship between the brain and the immune system has long puzzled researchers.

For some time, scientists thought that immune cells only showed up in the brain during an infection.
The brain is considered “immune privileged,” such that when exposed to foreign material, it takes longer to mount an immune response than does the rest of the body. Furthermore, to date, traditional lymphatic vessels had not been found there.
link


This stunning new research shows that the brain and central nervous system is no different from the rest of the body.  We now can study how the immune system works in the brain, and how these lymphatic vessels allow or inhibit immune cells in brain tissue.What do these newly discovered lymphatic cleansing and immunological systems share?

They are lymphatic vessels and rely on veins.

That’s right.  The glymphatic system which cleases our brain utilizes paravenous spaces.  This newly discovered immune system in the CNS drains along the dural sinuses.

In searching for T-cell gateways into and out of the meninges, we discovered functional lymphatic vessels lining the dural sinuses. These structures express all of the molecular hallmarks of lymphatic endothelial cells, are able to carry both fluid and immune cells from the cerebrospinal fluid, and are connected to the deep cervical lymph nodes.
link

Kipnis described the newly discovered vessels as “very well hidden” and noted that they follow a major blood vessel down into the sinuses, an area difficult to image. “It’s so close to the blood vessel, you just miss it,” he said. “If you don’t know what you’re after, you just miss it.”
link

Kipnis and his colleagues found that vessels expressing markers of lymphatic vessels elsewhere in the body ran along the dural sinuses, drainage lines in the brain that collect outgoing blood and CSF, emptying these fluids into the jugular vein. They also found that the vessels contained immune cells.  link

Lymphatic ducts drain lymph into veins in the neck (the right and left subclavian veins at their junctures with the internal jugular veins). Valves in the lymphatic ducts at their junctures with the veins prevent the entrance of blood into the lymphatic vessels. link

If lymphatic vessels do not have adequate drainage, due to a stenotic dural sinus,  jugular stenosis, mechanical impingement or venous problems, the brain’s immune system and cleansing system will not function properly.

The venous system which drains the brain is essential for perfusion, cleansing and proper immune function.“Instead of asking, ‘How do we study the  of the brain?’ ‘Why do  patients have the immune attacks?’ 

now we can approach this mechanistically. Because the brain is like every other tissue connected to the peripheral  through meningeal lymphatic vessels,” said Jonathan Kipnis, PhD, professor in the UVA Department of Neuroscience and director of UVA’s Center for Brain Immunology and Glia (BIG). 

The brain is like every other tissue in our body.  It needs adequate venous drainage, so that lymphatic drainage can occur.

The images below show normal venous structure on the left, contrasted to Jeff’s stenotic jugular veins, pinched off dural sinus and inefficient, curly collateral veins on the right, as they looked on MRV prior to his venoplasty treatment.
Jeff has had no MS progression and a healing of most of his MS symptoms after successful stenting of his veins six years ago.

Endovascular stenting of the venous sinus is an approved treatment for intracranial hypertension, and a recent review shows the benefits.  link


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