DRIVING: Like a Lady or Ladylike

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Coming or Going …

Our weather does not know whether it is coming or going presently; that is to say if the winter is finally at its end as in the photo underneath

Grass in the Glistening Snow

or if the spring has finally sprung on us and staying?!! Every other day it is winter and then the next day it is spring; and so it goes round and round week after week this year!

Branch of a Tree

© Photos Riihele. All rights reserved

How do pics of mine look framed?

Have you ever wondered how your fabulous pics & photos would look like framed? Well, I did and here is the result of a few of them which i did. I have joined a site called RedBubble where one can show and sell one’s stuff since four days ago.
Here is my site over there:

cardo framed bubble

The Cardo was Jerusalem’s main street during the Roman (63-324 CE) and the Byzantine era (324-638 CE). Today, the street is lined with elegant boutiques and shops. (Wikipedia; Israel- Mfa.gov)

cardo pillars bubble

In ancient Roman city planning, a CARDO or cardus was a north-south-oriented street in cities, military camps, and coloniae. Sometimes called the cardus maximus, the cardo served as the center of economic life. The street was lined with shops, merchants, and vendors.

white frame pillars at cardo

  © Photos by Riihele. All rights reserved 

Do have a grand weekend. Rii 🙂

LITERACY or Love of Reading

“What I can think about, I can talk about. What I can say, I can write. What I can write, I can read.
I can read what I can write and what other people can write for me to read.”

Professor Roach Van Allen

The picture, – do click at it to make it clearer, please – that I used as the lead photo, is the list of countries by literacy rate as included in the United Nations Development Programme Report 2005. Four countries lead the chart of literacy world wide with 100 per cent literacy rates Georgia, Finland, Luxembourg and Norway. Both The USA and UK are on # 21 with 99 per cent; as are Australia, France, Ireland and Germany. India is # 145 with 61 per cent. China is # 67 with 93,5 per cent.

The UNESCO literacy estimates provide basic information on the number and percentage of adults (aged 15 years and older) and youth (aged 15 to 24 years old) who are literate and illiterate. They indicate the dimensions and patterns of illiteracy within each country according to gender and age-groups, so as to aid in policy- and decision-making with regard to measures to be taken to raise the literacy level of the population. These estimates in a way reflect the performance of the national education system, as well as the quality of the human resources within a country in relation to their potential for growth, contribution to development, and quality of life.

What constitutes literacy aka literacy as defined by UNESCO:

1. A literate person is one who can with understanding both read and write a short simple statement relevant to his everyday life.
2. Literacy is not the simple reading of a word or a set of associated symbols and sounds, but an act of critical understanding of men’s situation in the world.
3. Literacy is not an end in itself but a means of personal liberation and development and extending individuals educational efforts involving overall inter-disciplinary responses to concrete problems
4. A literate person is one who has acquired all the essential knowledge and skills which enable him to engage in all those activities in which literacy is required for effective functioning in his group and community and whose attaining in reading, writing and numeracy make it possible to use these skills towards his own and his community’s development.

The United Nations defines illiteracy as the inability to read and write a simple sentence in any language. So, these literacy rates refer only to basic, not advanced, literacy. UNESCO Portal for the International Literacy Day. September 8 was proclaimed International Literacy Day by UNESCO on November 17, 1965. It was first celebrated on 1966. Its aim is to highlight the importance of literacy to individuals, communities and societies with celebrations taking place around the world.

An estimated 781 million adults live without basic literacy skills, of whom two-thirds are women. In addition, approximately 103 million children have no access to school and are therefore not learning to read, write or count. All these figures mentioned in the previous sentence total more or less one billion so to put in a way that it is easier to fathom: 1 in 6 in the world cannot read, write nor count! How very tragic that the wonderful pleasure of literacy is ’denied’ these folks, methinks.

This is an extract of an old article called ’Gestures not enough to teach the world’ on Guardian online site dated September 8, 2000, but still it is very relevant:

“We have been here before. The high-level conferences, the firm commitments, the hand-wringing, the international agreements that promise the earth and deliver next to nothing – all have been part of the backdrop to the campaign for debt relief. Now there is a threat that the campaign for universal primary education could go the same way.

One third of the world’s population — that is 2 billion people — live in countries which have fewer telephone lines in total than Italy — with a population of less than 60 million! Around 90% of telecommunications traffic takes place between rich countries, while 50% of the world’s population have never made a phone call. As the knowledge economy takes root in the coming years, this lack of access will take a heavy toll and widen the divide still further.

A computer is not much use to a child who cannot read. Out of a global population of 6 billion, 880m adults are illiterate, two thirds of them women, most of them in south Asia. All these figures underestimate the full extent of the literacy problem, perhaps by as much as half. They are based on school attendance figures, and ignore the problem of the numbers of children who leave school functionally illiterate. In Africa, where increasing numbers of children will be out of school unless there is emergency action by western institutions, a new generation of adult illiterates is set to create a dangerously marginalised section of society.

Even in the industrialised world illiteracy is a problem, with almost a quarter of young adults in the US having difficulty reading all but the simplest of texts. In the developed as in the undeveloped world low literacy invariably means poverty and the spiralling problems of drugs, violence and insecurity which go with it.”

Debunking myths about the “Third World” (This video has most fabulous graphics)

“If we talk about literacy, we have to talk about how to enhance our children’s mastery over the tools needed to live intelligent, creative, and involved lives.” (Danny Glover)

Tis for now from Rii – who loves to read & write. xx

These are some of the great links that I used in this article and for further reading:

http://www.literaturepage.com/
http://www.uis.unesco.org/en/stats/statistics/literacy2000.htm
http://dir.yahoo.com/Education/Literacy/
http://www.literacyconnections.com/InTheirOwnWords.php
http://www.literacyconnections.com/
http://www.vocabvitamins.com/

Literacy Exchange: World Resources on Literacy
Nation Master site that has all kinds statistics on all kinds of things!

ROTUNDA Hospital & Becoming Mother


Although there are many trial marriages… there is no such thing as a trial child. (Gail Sheehy)

Giving birth is compared to running a full marathon. Maybe, as I have never heard this before by anybody, but could it not be said that, the baby who is trying to be born also is running her/his own mini-marathon! I really do think that it is so. It does require so very much energy and stamina to bring it about for both the mother and the child. It was in the antenatal classes in Ireland that this fact about the marathon for the mother was told to us by our trainer, who was a midwife and a mother of six. Here is a link to the Baby University.com. Yes, there is such a thing! The baby with the mortar board on his head looks absolutely cute & clever.

The one thing that the newly-baked mama herself is in great need of more than nearly anything else is one’s own mum in fact. This is the time that she needs the most assurance and advice – that she is doing the right thing with this little totally helpless creature. Things like: what to do in times of crisis – yes, one needs one’s own mama more than any other time in one’s life! My Mum died very young, just three months before my first daughter was born, actually. My paternal Granny had died ten days before my mum, so there was a double funeral for them in Finland which I could not make because I had had the risk of miscarriage for the entire nine months and was not allowed to fly. Then the obstetrician gave me permission a week later after the funeral had been to fly over to Finland. The year after my Mom and Granny had died while I was expecting my second daughter, my younger brother was killed in a traffic accident in Finland which made it all so much tougher. I associate giving new life with death, in fact because of this.

I do not take having the girls in any way for granted because the ‘road’ to have them was paved with unbelievable obstacles all the way; even at the delivery there were never the guarantee that they and I would come out of it all in tact and alive! Not once. I gave birth to a dead baby and that ranks as the saddest of the saddest things that have happened to me, ever. I would have loved to have sons as well, but them I lost in miscarriages.

It is a funny as odd thing that one gets these repeated false labour alarms and then they reverse in the last minute and stop completely, but then when the real thing comes, it comes with a bang and there is no turning back. So when the birth got really going, I had to make my way to the Rotunda Hospital because the waters had broken – the oldest maternity hospital in the world for it was founded in 1745. Such an apt name for a maternity hospital, methinks. One goes in rather rotund and comes out lean. The delivery itself would not get going the right way so I was put into an annex in the hospital where there was a whole bunch of all the social classes in a jumbled mix and I was attached to a drip with hormone Oxytocin* – that is supposed to speed up the delivery. Sounds snobbish to talk about the ‘classes’ but it is so. Yes indeed, the class division system in Ireland is very well and alive, in every way: hospitals, housing, education – you name it!!

The mixture was a colourful circus as anything: the one mum that I do remember very clearly is this one who was just about to give birth – finally – and to be rolled into the delivery room, when her sister and mother came in with the ‘glinkety-glinkety’ sounding bags into the ward at the non-visiting hours of the day and said to the poor thing while giving a hefty slap on the back of her, even though she was already doubled-up with the sheer agony and pain:

“Have you produced anything yet? We came to celebrate!!”

She could not reply them at all. Don’t remember what the nurses said to them but out they eventually were ushered out by the staff.

When my agony finally came to an end after a day and a half – I said to himself straight after the delivery that:

‘Funny, that the music has just been put on?!’

‘Oh no’, said he, ‘it has been on the whole time!’

I had not heard a thing until the very end of the end! So – the music is not there to soothe the nerves of the mamas but the papas & the staff!

“Now the thing about having a baby –
and I can’t be the first person to have noticed this –
is that thereafter you have it.”

(Jean Kerr)

Tis for now. Riihele – in the reminiscing mode. xx

* the word ‘oxytocin’ is from the Greek word ‘oxutokia’ meaning ‘sudden delivery’ (as oxy- =sharpness and tokos = ‘childbirth’) Well, it sure caused the birthing to be sharp, don’t know so much about the ‘sudden’ as it was an age before the Baby finally popped out!!

Picture is off the net.

Belfast, Belfast…

Belfast city scene

Photo of Belfast is off the Wikipedia site.

“Belfast from the Irish Béal Feirste meaning “The sandy ford at the river mouth” is the capital of Northern Ireland. It is the largest city in Northern Ireland and the province of Ulster, and the second-largest city on the island of Ireland (after Dublin). In the 2001 census the population within the city limits (the Belfast Urban Area) was 276,459, while 579,554 people lived in the wider Belfast Metropolitan Area.This made it the fifteenth-largest city in the United Kingdom.” Wikipedia

Here is a memory of days long ago: BONEY M video and song BELFAST

“DESTINATION 360” on Belfast:

”Belfast, Northern Ireland has always had a fierce, often bloody history. The Troubles of 1960 to 1994 have not faded from Ireland’s consciousness, but active negotiations and peace efforts have soothed this strong activist region. Unlike many other Irish regions, present-day Northern Ireland is a province under the rule of the United Kingdom. After decades of political turmoil, violence, and activism, Belfast Ireland has at last found some degree of peace, when a cease-fire between the British and the IRA was called in 1994. The cease-fire continues to this day, although the long-seated division between British supporters and IRA supporters still lingers.”


BELFAST PEACE LINES – WALL- to segregate the communties: ”The Peace Lines are a series of separation barriers ranging in length from a few hundred yards to over three miles, separating Protestant and Catholic neighbourhoods in Belfast, Derry and elsewhere in Northern Ireland. The stated purpose of the barriers is to minimize intercommunal sectarian violence between Protestants and Catholics.

The barriers themselves consist of iron, brick, and steel walls up to 25 feet high, topped with metal netting, or simply a white line painted on the ground similar to a road marking. Some have gates in them occasionally manned by police, which allow passage by day, and which are closed at night.

The first barriers were constructed in the early 1970s, following the outbreak of “The Troubles”. Originally few in number, they have multiplied over the years, from 18 in the early 1990s to 40 today; in total they stretch over 13 miles. Most are located in Belfast. In recent years they have become locations for tourism. Black Taxis now take groups of tourists around Belfast’s Peace Lines, trouble spots and famous murals. (Wikipedia)

Belfast is so very near to Dublin in the Southern Ireland and yet so far. What that? Well, the mentality of the Northerner compared to the Southerner is miles apart, in almost every way. Where the Dubliner and the rest of the population in the south are laid-back, witty, fatalistic and not-so-terribly efficient in whatever they do, the Northerner is uptight, serious, strong willed and highly efficient in his/her basic nature.

The very first time I went to Belfast was just four days after arriving in Ireland. There was a family funeral there. In Ireland it is of utmost importance to be there and to support the people that have had the sadness of death in the family. People go by the hundreds into the funerals and it is normally considered an excusable reason to take time out in the middle of one’s working day to attend a funeral.

Did you know that the Titanic was built in Belfast in 1912, on Harland and Wolff which had the largest shipyard in the world? And, have you ever heard of the Belfast Sink?

Tis for now. Riihele xx

GRAY’S Anatomy or GREY’S Anatomy

Gray's Anatomy

GRAY’S ANATOMY
is a medical book first published in 1858,
the 20th edition of the same

was published in 1918.

The Bartleby.com edition of Gray’s Anatomy of the Human Body features 1,247 vibrant engravings—many in color—from the classic 1918 publication, as well as a subject index with 13,000 entries ranging from the Antrum of Highmore to the Zonule of Zinn.

The English anatomist Henry Gray was born in 1827. He studied the development of the endocrine glands and spleen and in 1853 was appointed Lecturer on Anatomy at St. George’s Hospital Medical School in London. In 1855 he approached his colleague Dr Henry Vandyke Carter with his idea to produce an anatomy text book for medical students. His death came just 3 years after the publication of his Anatomy Descriptive and Surgical.

Henry Gray (1827–1861) was an English anatomist and surgeon and also elected a Fellow of the Royal Society (FRS) at the young age of 25. In 1858 Gray published the first edition of his Anatomy, which covered 750 pages and contained 363 figures. He had the good fortune of securing the help of his friend Dr. H V Vandyke Carter, a skilled draughtsman and formerly a demonstrator of anatomy at St. George’s Hospital. Carter made the drawings from which the engravings were executed, and the success of the book was, in the first instance, undoubtedly due in no small measure to the excellence of its illustrations. This edition was dictated to Sir Benjamin Collins Brodie, Bart, FRS, DCL. A second edition was prepared by Gray and published in 1860.

He held successively the posts of demonstrator of Anatomy, curator of the museum, and Lecturer of Anatomy at St. George’s Hospital, and was in 1861 a candidate for the post of assistant surgeon. Unfortunately, he was struck down by an attack of confluent smallpox, which he contracted while looking after a nephew who was suffering from that disease and died at the early age of thirty-four. (Wikipedia)

Gray’s Anatomy has been an international bestseller for 100 years; its appeal is not only to physicians and students, but to artists and the medically curious. As the new Introduction by Dr. Crocco states: “Every living physician today has been exposed to Gray’s Anatomy and nearly everyone has used it. It was Gray’s Anatomy that occupied most of the embryonic physician’s waking hours, whether at home or at the side of his cadaver. “There have been many imitations, but few real competitors. There have been dissection manuals and pictorial atlases brilliantly illustrated with exquisite photographs. There have been synopses of anatomy and there have been monographs on various regions of the body. However, there is only one Gray’s Anatomy. (Random House Publishers)

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

GREY’S ANATOMY
will be on its fourth season this autumn. Season one began airing March 27, 2005 and ended on May 22, 2005. The first season was shortened by the network to nine episodes instead of 14. (The original season finale was “Bring the Pain.”)

Meredith Grey, daughter of the once-renowned surgeon Ellis Grey, becomes an intern at the Seattle Grace Hospital. She meets fellow interns Cristina Yang, Isobel “Izzie” Stevens, and George O’Malley who will be her closest friends during the intern program. Other characters include Dr. Miranda Bailey, who is nicknamed “The Nazi” due to her “tough love” capability; Alex Karev, another intern who is not very popular with the other interns (especially Izzie); and renowned surgeons Dr. Derek Shepherd and Dr. Preston Burke.

The chief of surgery is Richard Webber, who was once more than close friends with Meredith’s mother. The season chronicles the first few months of the intern program and the day-to-day life of a surgical intern. Recurring plots include Meredith’s battle to keep her mother’s Alzheimer’s disease a secret and her relationship with Dr. Shepherd. Others include George’s infatuation with Meredith and a power struggle between Dr. Burke and Dr. Shepherd in the hospital. The season’s end introduces Kate Walsh as Dr. Addison Montgomery-Shepherd, Derek’s estranged wife. – Yes, occasionally, I do watch this series, though, I prefer ER of ‘medical series’ on television. (Wikipedia)

Nu, which one are You for, Gray’s Anatomy or Grey’s Anatomy?

Tis for now. Rii xx

PS.

I have a friend whose friend is a biology professor. Her students think Gray’s Anatomy is a book of scripts for Grey’s Anatomy!! Bright bunch, eh?