Saturday, June 30, 2012

Jamaica's brilliant London preview!

It was not London, but we watched Olympic excellence at Jamaica's National Stadium last night.  We shouted, stomped and cheered as we watched a galaxy of Jamaican stars running their hearts out to represent our beloved country at the London Olympics.

Here are the stars and their times yesterday - photos and reports from the Gleaner and Observer websites - and

  1. Yohan Blake - 9.75 seconds(s)
  2. Usain Bolt - 9.86 s
  3. Asafa Powell - 9.88 s
1. Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce - 10.70 secs -  national record.
2. Veronica Campbell-Brown - 10.82 s
3. Kerron Stewart 10.94 s

Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce
"SHELLY-ANN Fraser Pryce's majestic National Record of 10.70 seconds, set while winning the 100m title at the JAAA/Supreme Ventures National senior championships at the National Stadium on Friday night, has vaulted her further up into the pantheons of the best ever to have run the event.
In lowering her personal best from the previous 10.73 seconds, the pint-sized rocket vaulted France’s Christine Aaron, into fourth place behind three Americans.
The late Florence Griffith Joyner (Flo Jo) leads the pack with her World Record 10.49 seconds followed by Carmelita Jeter’s 10.64 seconds and Marion Jones’ 10.65 seconds set at altitude in Johannesburg, South Africa in 1998."
Yohan Blake

"NEW Jamaican senior men’s 100m champion Yohan Blake, says he is “over the moon” with his win and new personal best 9.75 seconds set on Friday’s second day of the JAAA/Supreme Ventures National Senior Championships after he got the best of a crack field including training partner and World Record holder Usain Bolt.

"Oh my God, I am over the moon," he said as he erased Bolt’s previous stadium record 9.76 seconds and said his training partner had been encouraging him over the years.
“Usain Bolt has been motivating me and telling me I can do it” he said."

Bolt in Beijing (China Daily)
From André Lowe, Senior Staff Reporter - Gleaner:

"THE TRACK and field world was treated to a feast of fine sprinting as World champion Yohan Blake continued to rubber-stamp his threat to 100m dominance while Olympic champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce showed her class to take the women's equivalent at the JAAA/Supreme Ventures Limited National Senior Championships.
Usain Bolt is not used to standing on the silver medal podium, but that's exactly where he was during the 100m medal ceremony last night inside the National Stadium, as Blake produced the run of his life, to win in a stadium-record 9.75 and, in the process, hand his training partner his first-ever 100m loss in Jamaica. Blake's time was also a new personal best and the fastest time recorded this year.
Media representatives were denied the opportunity to speak to Blake, who is expected to also feature in today's 200m rounds but Bolt, who, like he has been throughout these trials, was left in the blocks, described the eventualities as "one of those things".
"For me to get left in the blocks was really bad, but it's just one of those things," said a disappointed Bolt, who was clocked at 9.86. "In the semi-finals, the lane seven guy moved and it threw me off and I kept seeing him in my peripheral, so that threw me off.
"In the final, I got left and in a quality field like this, it is difficult to get back," Bolt added.
Asafa Powell winning his 100m semi-final (Gleaner photo)
Impressive run from Powell
Asafa Powell, 9.88, who came into the day with a groin issue and complained that it was sore after his semi-final two hours before the final, produced an impressive run to finish in third place and secure the final individual spot to the Olympic Games. Powell had to receive medical attention after the race and was also unavailable for comment.
Fraser-Pryce showed that her finish is just as good as her start, leading from start to finish in the female event with a blistering 10.70 - a national record.
Veronica Campbell-Brown
Veronica Campbell-Brown was second in 10.82, with Kerron Stewart third in 10.94.
Fraser-Pryce was ecstatic that she was able to break the national record in front of her home support.
"I have to thank God and my coach (Stephen Francis); what a phenomenal person he is, he believes in us even when we don't believe in ourselves, and I am excited about breaking the national record here in Jamaica. That is something I am excited about," said Fraser-Pryce."

Hubert Chin Building

This building which houses the National Water Resources Division was named in honour of my husband's uncle, the late Hubert Chin. It is located on the grounds at Hope Gardens.
A noted hydrologist, Hubert Chin was a Director of the Division, spearheading research on Jamaica's water resources - rivers and springs - to map out a delivery system ensuring nationwide availability of water. His research papers are kept in a library in this building.
Sent from my BlackBerry® device from Digicel

Friday, June 29, 2012

Balotelli: 'best night of my life'

 BBC ONLINE | 28 June 2012

Mario Balotelli has described his match-winning performance in Italy's Euro 2012 semi-final victory over Germany as "the best night of my life".

The 21-year-old Manchester City striker scored two first-half goals to set the platform for the 2-1 win, dedicating the victory to his adopted mum Silvia.
The Azzurri will now play favourites Spain in Sunday's final.
"This was the greatest night of my life and I hope Sunday will be better," Balotelli said.
At the final whistle, Balotelli sought out his family and embraced them in the stands. "At the end of the game I went to my mother - that was the best moment," he added.

"I told her these goals were for her. I waited a long time for this moment, especially as my mother is not young anymore and can't travel far, so I had to make her happy when she came all the way here. My father will be in Kiev for the final too."
Balotelli's two goals took him joint top of the Euro 2012 scoring charts with three. "I will try to win the top scorer award," he said. 
"In football sometimes you can try so many times and it doesn't go in, or try few and it does all the time. It was a fantastic assist, the kind only Antonio Cassano can provide, while Riccardo Montolivo's pass was great too."
He celebrated his second goal by taking off his shirt and striking a typically defiant pose. "They didn't get angry because I was booked for taking my shirt off, but they saw my physique and got jealous," he joked.
Balotelli, who was substituted midway through the second half, dismissed any injury worries and declared himself fit for Sunday's final. "I had cramp and was a little tired, but I told the coach to wait five minutes and by that point the substitution was already in progress. It's fine."
Italy now meet Spain for the second time in the tournament, having played out a 1-1 draw in the group stages. And Balotelli believes that, despite Germany's lacklustre performance, the Azzurri are in the final on merit.
"When Italy win it is because the other team played bad," he said. "I think we won because we were better and we deserved it.
"We are with Spain, we are the two best teams in the tournament," he added.
"I hope to win, I don't care if I play badly as long as we give our all. We have to relax, mustn't get frustrated with Spain's possession and keep playing our football.
"We are the only side to have scored against Spain so far. We proved that we are equal to them, if not more, and we want to win."
Italy coach Cesare Prandelli said Balotelli's performance had proved he had developed into a team player and not just an individual.

"Mario is rather unique, he's atypical. He's very strong and fights for the team. He's always been there when called upon and he fights in the penalty area," he said.
"The career of Mario Balotelli has only just begun."
Not all the Italians were as content, however. Captain and goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon stormed off the field at the final whistle, furious at Italy's failure to convert a host of second-half chances that would have put the result beyond doubt.
"I was annoyed because I don't celebrate second place and I was angry with us because we could have avoided the difficult final five minutes," Buffon said.
"When you can score seven goals against Germany, you have to score seven because if they come back to 2-2 they'll beat you 10-2 in extra-time. We need to be more mature and to know that even if football is a game, when you reach the European Championship final, it's no longer a game."
Andrea Pirlo, who was named man-of-the-match, also sounded a note of caution for Sunday's final. "We haven't done anything yet," he said. "There's no use going to Rome and not seeing the Pope. We want to go home with this cup."

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Queen Victoria's Last Love Revealed!

screened on British Channel 4 recently

Diamond Jubilee derailed by Queens "love" for an Indian man

Royal loyal ... Abdul & Queen Victoria in the 1880s

Published: 23rd April 2012
Just over a century ago the same celebration for her great-great-grandmother, Queen Victoria, was nearly derailed by her scandalous relationship with an Indian manservant.
In fact Her Majesty became so infatuated with tall, handsome Abdul Karim that senior royal advisers plotted to have her declared insane just days before her Jubilee unless she halted a controversial plan to knight him.

The young waiter who was just 24 years old had begun serving the Queens table in June 1887 after being sent to London as a 'gift' from the Indian outpost of her empire. 

He soon began bewitching her with romantic tales of mysterious India, & cooking up delicious curries for her in the royal kitchens. 
But royal biographer Jane Ridley believes Abduls striking looks also helped to draw in the Queen. 

She says: Victoria always had a great appreciation of male beauty so when she saw these gorgeous clothes, sashes & turbans kissing her feet, how could she resist? 

Victoria soon promoted Abdul from waiter to her personal teacher or Munshi & after he began to teach her a few words in Hindi the pair grew ever closer. 

She had been starved of affection since the death of her beloved husband Albert in 18 61, & Abdul Karims great-grandson, Javed Mahmood, says it is not hard to see why she fell for his great-granddad.

Together ... Queen Victoria & her manservant, Abdul
He says: Abdul was a very warm man. He was very jolly, entertaining a very human person. Maybe those were the traits that attracted the Queen eventually, because he came across as a man of flesh & blood, & she wasn't used to real people around her. 

But as is revealed in a new Channel 4 documentary  Queen Victoria's Last Love  their growing intimacy did not go down well in the strictly hierarchical world of the royal household. (
telecasted on – Wednesday 25th April!)

By 1894, Abdul was elevated to the position of Her Majesty's Indian Secretary  making him an official member of the inner circle. Jane Ridley says: The idea that a servant, an outsider who has none of this pedigree or background, could suddenly leapfrog into a position of great closeness with the Queen is something courtiers found not just threatening but wrong.  It wasn't just Abduls class that troubled the Queens advisers. They were also scandalized by his race. But the more the royal household attacked Abdul, the more the Queen defended him. 
She fired off an angry memo to her Private Secretary, Sir Henry Ponsonby, 
saying: As for Abdul Karim, the Queen cannot praise him highly enough. His zealous & attentive, a thorough gentleman.  The royal household hit back by sending investigators to India who came back with alarming information about Abduls origins. 

He was not, as he had claimed, the son of a high-flying Army doctor. In fact, his father was a lowly pharmacist who worked in Agra jail  where Abdul himself had worked as a mere clerk. 

But the revelation only served to push the Queen closer to Abdul. 

She took a stance that was astonishing at the time accusing her household of racial prejudice. 

In a memo to Sir Henry she wrote: To make out the Munshi is low is outrageous. Abdul feels cut to the heart to be thus spoken of. The Queen is so sorry for the poor Munshis sensitive feelings. 

Rumours started to circulate that Abdul was passing Victoria inflammatory advice about India, & that he was a spy leaking secret foreign policy information

Bow about that ... gentleman greets Queen Victoria as she stands with Abdul
She responded by becoming even more intimate with him. When he became ill she would spend long periods in his bedchamber, fluffing his pillows & stroking his hand. 

Then in 1897, with just weeks to go until Victoria's Diamond Jubilee, the Queen announced she planned to knight Abdul. 

The bombshell was one step too far for her ministers & attendants. 

The Viceroy of India joined forces with the Prime Minister to oppose the move. In response, Victoria threatened to pull out of the Jubilee celebrations. 

With the biggest event that the British monarchy had ever seen under threat, the Queens eldest son, Bertie later Edward VII stepped in. 

He hatched a plan with the Queens doctor, Sir James Reid, who wrote to her, saying: There are people in high places who know your majesty well & say to me the only charitable explanation that can be given is that your majesty is not sane, & that at some time it will be necessary for me to come forward & say so. 

I have seen the Prince of Wales yesterday & he has said he is quite ready to come forward, because it affects the throne. 
Victoria had to admit defeat & Abdul did not get his knighthood. 

But he was constantly by her side for the Jubilee celebrations. For the remaining four years of Victoria's life, she was inseparable from her beloved servant. 

When she finally died in 1901, the protection Abdul had enjoyed came to a sudden end. 

Just days after the funeral, the royal householders marched into Abduls home, seized all items bearing the royal crest & burned all his precious letters from the Queen. 

He was exiled to India where he survived eight years, & died at the age of 46, & only God knows whether he died a natural death or on the instance of the British Raj.  

"Queen Victoria's Last Love"......was screened on British Channel 4 recently.


9 Beliefs of Remarkably Successful People

OWNERS' MANUAL | Jeff Haden Jun 25, 2012
9 Beliefs of Remarkably Successful People

The most successful people in business approach their work differently than most. See how they think--and why it works. 

I'm fortunate enough to know a number of remarkably successful people. Regardless of industry or profession, they all share the same perspectives and beliefs.

And they act on those beliefs:

1. Time doesn't fill me. I fill time.

Deadlines and time frames establish parameters, but typically not in a good way. The average person who is given two weeks to complete a task will instinctively adjust his effort so it actually takes two weeks.

Forget deadlines, at least as a way to manage your activity. Tasks should only take as long as they need to take. Do everything as quickly and effectively as you can. Then use your "free" time to get other things done just as quickly and effectively.

Average people allow time to impose its will on them; remarkable people impose their will on their time.

2. The people around me are the people I chose.

Some of your employees drive you nuts. Some of your customers are obnoxious. Some of your friends are selfish, all-about-me jerks.

You chose them. If the people around you make you unhappy it's not their fault. It's your fault. They're in your professional or personal life because you drew them to you--and you let them remain.

Think about the type of people you want to work with. Think about the types of customers you would enjoy serving. Think about the friends you want to have.

Then change what you do so you can start attracting those people. Hardworking people want to work with hardworking people. Kind people like to associate with kind people. Remarkable employees want to work for remarkable bosses.

Successful people are naturally drawn to successful people.

3. I have never paid my dues.

Dues aren't paid, past tense. Dues get paid, each and every day. The only real measure of your value is the tangible contribution you make on a daily basis.

No matter what you've done or accomplished in the past, you're never too good to roll up your sleeves, get dirty, and do the grunt work.  No job is ever too menial, no task ever too unskilled or boring.

Remarkably successful people never feel entitled--except to the fruits of their labor.

4. Experience is irrelevant. Accomplishments are everything.

You have "10 years in the Web design business." Whoopee. I don't care how long you've been doing what you do. Years of service indicate nothing; you could be the worst 10-year programmer in the world.

I care about what you've done: how many sites you've created, how many back-end systems you've installed, how many customer-specific applications you've developed (and what kind)... all that matters is what you've done.

Successful people don't need to describe themselves using hyperbolic adjectives like passionate, innovative, driven, etc. They can just describe, hopefully in a humble way, what they've done.

5. Failure is something I accomplish; it doesn't just happen to me.

Ask people why they have been successful. Their answers will be filled with personal pronouns: I, me, and the sometimes too occasional we.

Ask them why they failed. Most will revert to childhood and instinctively distance themselves, like the kid who says, "My toy got broken..." instead of, "I broke my toy."

They'll say the economy tanked. They'll say the market wasn't ready. They'll say their suppliers couldn't keep up.

They'll say it was someone or something else.

And by distancing themselves, they don't learn from their failures.

Occasionally something completely outside your control will cause you to fail. Most of the time, though, it's you. And that's okay. Every successful person has failed. Numerous times. Most of them have failed a lot more often than you. That's why they're successful now.

Embrace every failure: Own it, learn from it, and take full responsibility for making sure that next time, things will turn out differently.

6. Volunteers always win.

Whenever you raise your hand you wind up being asked to do more.

That's great. Doing more is an opportunity: to learn, to impress, to gain skills, to build new relationships--to do something more than you would otherwise been able to do.

Success is based on action. The more you volunteer, the more you get to act. Successful people step forward to create opportunities.

Remarkably successful people sprint forward.

7. As long as I'm paid well, it's all good.

Specialization is good. Focus is good. Finding a niche is good.

Generating revenue is great.

Anything a customer will pay you a reasonable price to do--as long as it isn't unethical, immoral, or illegal--is something you should do. Your customers want you to deliver outside your normal territory? If they'll pay you for it, fine. They want you to add services you don't normally include? If they'll pay you for it, fine. The customer wants you to perform some relatively manual labor and you're a high-tech shop? Shut up, roll 'em up, do the work, and get paid.

Only do what you want to do and you might build an okay business. Be willing to do what customers want you to do and you can build a successful business.

Be willing to do even more and you can build a remarkable business.

And speaking of customers...

8. People who pay me always have the right to tell me what to do.

Get over your cocky, pretentious, I-must-be-free-to-express-my-individuality self. Be that way on your own time.

The people who pay you, whether customers or employers, earn the right to dictate what you do and how you do it--sometimes down to the last detail.

Instead of complaining, work to align what you like to do with what the people who pay you want you to do.

Then you turn issues like control and micro-management into non-issues.

9. The extra mile is a vast, unpopulated wasteland.

Everyone says they go the extra mile. Almost no one actually does. Most people who go there think, "Wait... no one else is here... why am I doing this?" and leave, never to return.

That's why the extra mile is such a lonely place.

That's also why the extra mile is a place filled with opportunities.

Be early. Stay late. Make the extra phone call. Send the extra email. Do the extra research. Help a customer unload or unpack a shipment. Don't wait to be asked; offer. Don't just tell employees what to do--show them what to do and work beside them.

Every time you do something, think of one extra thing you can do--especially if other people aren't doing that one thing. Sure, it's hard.

But that's what will make you different.

And over time, that's what will make you incredibly successful.

Sent from my BlackBerry® device from Digicel

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Social Commerce is the next big thing!

Eventbrite Blog
- thank you for sharing Jane Buchanan

Social Commerce: A First Look at the Numbers
By Tamara on October 14, 2010



Measuring social commerce

True social commerce promises to leverage the speed and connectivity of social networks to drive sales transactions. It's an elusive promise that many companies have struggled to realize, but those that do will disrupt industries and create a new scale of business.

With "Social Commerce: A First Look at the Numbers," Eventbrite is unveiling the first tangible data to quantify the value and impact of social media in driving eCommerce. We are tracking a new set of metrics that measure social commerce success and are excited to share them with the industry. In doing so we hope to spark conversation and begin to set standards and benchmarks around this new marketing channel.

Events are inherently social.

When people buy tickets for an event, they want to share the experience – and the news – with friends. The social Web fuels the conversation and the communities that arise around live events. This conversation isn't new, but we are now able to track the resulting transactions with unprecedented granularity.
Eventbrite's web-based service is the simplest, most effective way to publish events and sell tickets online. Deep and growing integrations with the major social networks mean that the power to drive organic social distribution is finally in the hands of event organizers and attendees. Eventbrite's tools tap into the world's overlapping social graphs to spread event news and purchase behavior. These tools are built specifically to empower organizers and attendees alike to turn events into truly social experiences.
For the purposes of this report, Eventbrite defines social commerce as transactions that are driven through sharing on social platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn and through email sharing via the Eventbrite "email friends" application.

Key findings

The key findings of our analysis include:
Sharing equals transactions: Dollars per share
When someone shares an event with their friends through social media, this action results in real dollars. Our most recent data shows that over the past 12 weeks, one share on Facebook equals $2.52, a share on Twitter equals $0.43, a share on LinkedIn equals $0.90, and a share through our "email friends" application equals $2.34. On an aggregate level across Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, and our email share tool, each share equals $1.78 in ticket sales. We're seeing this number improve every week with the most recent four-week average equaling $1.87.

It's extremely sticky: Visits per share

The hyper-relevancy of the social graph breeds deeper engagement, greater sales and stickier audiences. For Eventbrite, Facebook is now the #1 referring site for traffic to the company's site, surpassing Google as people discover events that their friends are sharing and they click through to find out more.

On average each Facebook share drives 11 visits back to Averaging across all channels, one share drives over 7 visits back to

It's happening everywhere, across all sizes and types of events: Consistency of sharing

Sharing is consistent across event size. Sharing occurs at the same rate an event has 10 or 10,000 people. Classes/workshops and networking events have the most share activity, followed by fundraisers, conferences, and music events.

How we did it

We use a custom suite of social analytics tools that we have developed entirely in-house. Our reporting lets us track and analyze not only which sharing options our users leverage, but where on our site each share action takes place. These tools also tie back into our conversion funnels, so we are able to attribute ticket purchases to the specific social distribution channel that drove them. So, for example, we can compare not just the value created by a Facebook "Like" vs. a tweet, but also the performance of shares initiated before or after a purchase.

Summary: Social commerce is the next big thing

Social commerce takes online commerce to a new level. It marries the natural act of sharing and socializing with friends and the act of buying something online. Social commerce brings together social promotion and transactions into a single, unified experience, which breaks the old rules of eCommerce and demands new metrics. And the exciting news is that this is just the beginning. Look for more reports from Eventbrite in the coming months. We're also keen to hear your thoughts and feedback on the subject.
Sent from my BlackBerry® device from Digicel

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Every school can be a 'Good School'

Award-winning educator O'Neil Ankle
I believe that every school can be a ‘good school’ with quality teachers and strong leadership.  When I was asked to address the Green Park Primary and Junior High School graduation in 2010, I had no idea where in Clarendon it was located.  Thank goodness, I accepted and found my way there, as I came away convinced of the power of a passionate teacher.

The then Principal was the award-winning O’Neil Ankle, whose speech I quoted at length in this column. “Many parents have told me that they selected Green Park as their preferred GSAT School for their children,” he declared.  “Ladies and gentlemen we must be doing something that is different as a primary and junior high school…Teachers of Green Park please to take bow…I know I have been a hard task master at times however to get to where we want, none of us can be too comfortable.”

Of his students he said, “Even if they are slow learners, we have special programmes to ensure that they move from one level to the next.” He charged students a fine for being late: “When they grumble, I tell them that they have to be prepared for the working world by developing the habit of punctuality. I explain that when they are adults, three times late and they could lose their livelihood.”

Mr Ankle and Senior Guidance Counsellor Melissa Pryce-Stephens conducted Behaviour Change Camp at Morelands for some of the boys in his school. They regard this as an important step towards giving the children as much support as they can. There is a crying need for better parenting. “Children want structure in their lives,” says Mr Ankle. “They want their parents to be in charge.” Mr Ankle boasts a “brag board” for students and awards them with buttons that say “World Changer.”

We learn then that it matters not the name of the school: it is the leadership of the principal and the quality of teaching that will make students excel. We know that facilities in certain schools are not up to mark, but many of our national achievers were motivated by teachers, not facilities.  Indeed, we have heard the insistence of the late Wesley Powell, founder of Excelsior, that one should never give up on a child. He embraced many who are now bringing fame to Jamaica, after they did not do well in some traditional high schools.
Principal par excellence Margaret Bolt

With the arrival of the Jamaica Teaching Council (JTC), the aim of which is to maintain high professional conduct, we should see many more ‘good schools’.  One of my sad but uplifting moments last week, was a visit to that legendary Canadian Jesuit Father Jim Webb who is quite ill but strong in spirit. During his tour of duty as priest and then Jesuit Superior, Father Jim among his many other projects, restructured the St Peter Claver Primary School, creating a cradle of excellence.  He recruited the dynamic Margaret Bolt to be its Principal.  The transformation of the school is celebrated in a documentary titled ‘Change from Within’.  The notes for the production read, “What began twelve years ago as a typical Kingston inner-city school with problems of illiteracy, truancy, violence, a lack of resources and motivation has become a phenomenon that is attracting attention nationwide.”  

We also saw an excellent documentary on CBC television about our world famous sprinters.  Their visit to the birthplace of Usain Bolt, Sherwood Content in Trelawny was very special as we saw the basic school and clinic funded by ‘The Big Man’. In an interview three years ago, his manager Norman Peart told me, "As a William Knibb old boy who did athletics, I was called in February 2002 by then principal Margaret Lee who said she wanted me to help with 'this one little one that I think will do big things'."  That school principal triggered a mighty initiative … now Bolt is among the Forbes 100 highest paid sports personalities!

Jamaica can climb even higher on the happiness register – the seeds of greatness are just waiting for some careful watering.  From the household, school house and House of Parliament, our leaders are being called to give Jamaica the Golden Jubilee gift of simple decency.  Surely, for our children, that cannot be too much to ask.

Many beautiful Jamaica songs

Mikey Bennett
Eric Donaldson

Tony Rebel
There we were in Canada, reading online about the controversy around the Jamaica 50 song.  We are proud that composer Mikey Bennett has taken the high ground, appealing that the matter does not become politicized.  The latest news is that the public will be invited to vote on their favourite. 

What beautiful songs we have had over the years. I remember ‘I Saw my Land in the Morning’ being sung at a National Pantomime at the Ward way back in the day.  Then those great Festival offerings, ‘This is the Land of my Birth’, ‘Sweet Jamaica is Now on the Move’, ‘Give Thanks and Praises’.  Tony Rebel’s ‘Sweet Jamdown’ and Mr Vegas’ ‘Sweet Jamaica’ are also great songs.  These are but a few and there will be many more as every generation has its own unique appreciation of our lovely island home.

It is no wonder then that Jamaica continues to get a good ‘happiness’ rating.  The last UN report released in April of this year placed us at 40 out of 160.  Denmark, Finland, Norway, Netherlands and Canada topped the list, countries which put a high priority on social services.  In our case, it must be the family and friend connections that keep us smiling, and the many talk-shows that allow us to vent our feelings.

Jamaica - still okay!

 Naseberries from St Thomas, mangoes and 'jimbilin' from my yard!

(excerpt from Jamaica Observer column by Jean Lowrie-Chin - 25 June 2012)

We sat on my friend’s cool verandah last weekend with her relatives from abroad.  Of course, talk turned to the headlines they read on the web about Jamaica and yes, we agreed that there is a lot to be addressed in this little island.  Then my friend who has been running a demanding business for over 40 years offered, “Well, every time a Government changes or we hear a new budget, people say the country is done for. We have to struggle, yes, but we are still here.”

As we enjoyed her delicious Jamaican dishes, her guests began extolling our food.  “My wife there is going to be eating a mango right up to the plane door when we’re leaving,” a man chuckled.  His wife laughed, “Boy I tell you, the East Indians sweeter than ever! I am glad we’re here for mango season!”

Since they live in the US, they became very jealous when they heard what we were packing to take to relatives in Canada: mangoes, avocado pear, breadfruit, ‘jimbilin’. We also took Jamaica t-shirts for every family member, even the infants – we want the little ones who were not born here to remember that this is Jamaica’s Golden Jubilee. 

Monday, June 25, 2012

Sidjae Robinson's Leadership Nugget

Succession Planning

"The growth and development of people is the highest calling of leadership."  -  Harvey Firestone
"It is only as we develop others that we permanently succeed."  -  Harvey Firestone 

If an opportunity arose for you to be promoted or transferred, would you be able to seize it? Would your organization be willing to release you? Have you successfully trained, mentored, or coached someone to fill your shoes? Do you have a succession plan?

Many leaders view successors as people trying to steal their jobs rather than people who can continue and improve on their legacy. To be clear, your successor is not a mini version of you, in the same way that you are not a mini version of your predecessor. You are nurturing your successor's technical and leadership competence. You are helping them to think critically, to think objectively and outside the box.

Are you threatened by the success of others? Do you celebrate your team members when they do well? How have you been developing the technical and leadership competence of your team members?

To Your Unlimited Possibilities,
Sidjae Walia
Training that delivers "Above and Beyond" results
Twitter ID:
(647) 927 9289

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

52 Y-O Ottey to compete in European Championships

From the Jamaica Observer
20 June 2012

LJUBLJANA, Slovenia (AFP) — Former Jamaican sprinter Merlene Ottey, 52, will race next week for her adopted country Slovenia at the European Athletics Championship in Helsinki, Slovenia's athletics federation said yesterday.

Ottey, who claimed her first Olympic medal at the Moscow Games in 1980 in a distinguished career at 100m and 200m, will be one of six athletes going to Finland for possible inclusion in the 4x100m women's relay team.

It is, however, seen as unlikely that the former Yugoslav Republic's team will be fast enough to be able to compete in London this summer for what would be Ottey's eighth Olympic Games.

Her many achievements include having attended seven Olympics and winning nine medals, although she never managed the dream of gold. Her closest was in the 1996 Atlanta Olympics when she was just beaten by Gail Devers.

Controversy, at the 2000 Sydney Olympics over claims she was only included in the Jamaican team because of her name led her to quit, and she began competing for Slovenia.

Sent from my BlackBerry® device from Digicel

Sunday, June 17, 2012

JAMAICA listings - Google Page 1

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    Jamaica Gleaner News at every turn seven days a week featuring Jamaican Sports, Island Business, Health, Education,Entertainment, Commentary, Letters.
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    Breaking news from the premier Jamaican newspaper, the Jamaica Observer. Follow Jamaican news online for free and stay informed on what's happening in ...
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    1. Jamaica too dependent on imported food
      Jamaica Observer‎ - 14 hours ago
      Regrettably, Jamaica's dependence on imported food continues to increase each year, signalling several dangers, beginning with the fact that ...
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    A visit to Jamaica starts with discovering facts about Jamaica's culture, reggae music, food, people and sports. The ultimate information on Jamaica's birds, ...
  8. Jamaica - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Jamaica officially the Commonwealth of Jamaica, is an island nation of the Greater Antilles, 234 kilometres (145 mi) in length, up to 80 kilometres (50 mi) in width ...
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    Jamaica online takes a real look at Jamaica and Jamaican culture with recipes guides to patois, reggae, how to be a tourist, Negril, Montego Bay, Ocho Rios, ...
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  11. Jamaica Travel Information and Travel Guide - Lonely Planet
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    11 Jan 2012 – Information on Customs duty,Import,Export,Valuation,Returning Residents and C78.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Allen Stanford - 'long run - short catch'

From the toast of cricket to just plain ...toast

In 2008 watching the StanfordTwenty20 at Lords in England with adoring ladies

Stanford unveils the US$20 million prize at Lords

Allen Stanford gets 110 years in prison for $7B Ponzi scheme

Allen Stanford was sentenced Thursday to 110 years in prison for bilking investors out of more than $7 billion over 20 years in one of the largest Ponzi schemes in US history. A Texas tycoon and former billionaire, Allen Stanford used to be one of the richest men in the country. - Christian Science Monitor

Thursday, June 14, 2012

'Everyone can Bolt!'

Puma Billboard - shared by Carole Beckford on Facebook
Houston Street, north of Soho - Lafayette and Bleeker

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Olympic Veterans to be honoured by CCRP this Saturday!

Exciting exhibits

from CIBC FirstCaribbean
COK Sodality
Jamaica National
Rehab Plus

• Great Prizes from Grace Kennedy and National Baking Company
• Refreshments by WISYNCO.

See you this Saturday – CCRP Expo – Jamaica Pegasus, 10 am.


Congratulations to MAJ President Dr Aggrey Irons for his fantastic leadership!

Under the theme "Fifty Years of Independent Medicine: Celebrating the past, planning the future", the Medical Association of Jamaica held a dynamic annual symposium last week. Public lectures on psychiatry, sickle cell disease and dermatology gave us a glimpse into important medical research. They also held a seminar on ethics and a basic orthopaedic workshop.

Professor Tom K. Jameison Craig from the Institute of Psychiatry, King's College, London spoke on: “Home, not hospital: neglect, support and community psychiatry”. We were proud when he remarked that he was “eternally grateful to UWI …I still know my general medicine”, as his first university equipped him well.

He shared research highlighting the significance of social intervention in the recovery of mental patients who were nurtured in a home environment. However, we got a wake-up call when Dr Geoffrey Walcott, Consulting Psychiatrist for our Kingston & St Andrew Community Mental Health Services, explained that they had tried this at Bellevue, but patients who lived in garrison communities still were ‘institutionalised’ by their harsh and regimented environment. Oh the evils of the garrison!

The MAJ honoured distinguished representatives of their profession last Saturday. We join them in congratulating: President’s Award recipient, Dr. Frank Knight; MAJ Award recipients, Professor Michael Lee, Dr. Humphrey Lyn and Dr Charles B. Hastings; and Fellow of MAJ recipients: Dr. Henry A. A. Brown and Dr Richard E. D. Thwaites.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

From TMZ to BBC - Bolt's small crash echoed round the world!

When you're the world's fastest man - even a fender bender is a big deal!

Flower girl crash in Oslo

2 days later ... BMW crash in his home country Jamaica

Alcohol ruled out in Bolt car accident
The Australian‎ - 58 minutes ago
ALCOHOL use has been ruled out as the cause of a one-vehicle accident from which global sprint star Usain Bolt walked away uninjured, ...

Usain Bolt In Car Crash; No Injuries Reported
2 days ago – KINGSTON, Jamaica — Usain Bolt was involved in a minor car crash shortly before dawn Sunday in his Caribbean homeland of Jamaica but ...

Publicist: Usain Bolt uninjured in Jamaica car crash - News | FOX ...
2 days ago – World-record holder and Olympic champion Usain Bolt has been in a car crash in Jamaica, but his publicist says he was not injured. Publicist: ...

Publicist: Bolt uninjured in Jamaica car crash - Yahoo! News - United States
2 days ago – News: World-record holder and Olympic champion Usain Bolt has been in a car crash in Jamaica, but his publicist says he was not injured.

BBC Sport - Usain Bolt is unhurt following car accident in Jamaica
2 days ago – World 100m record holder Usain Bolt escapes uninjured after a car accident on Sunday, his publicist says.

Usain Bolt involved in fender bender in Jamaica near dawn ...
2 days ago – Usain Bolt was returning from a party with friends in Kingston, Jamaica. He was not hurt, his publicist says.

Usain Bolt escapes unharmed from car crash in Jamaica | Sport ... › Sport › Usain Bolt
2 days ago – Usain Bolt has escaped unharmed from a car crash in the early hours of Sunday morning in Jamaica.

Olympic Champ Usain Bolt -- Car CRASH in Jamaica |
Champion sprinter Usain Bolt -- who has three Olympic gold medals to his name -- was in a car crash early Sunday morning, but escaped ...

Usain Bolt escapes unharmed after early morning road accident in ...
2 days ago – Olympic 100m champion Usain Bolt has escaped unharmed from a minor road accident in Jamaica, according to reports.

Usain Bolt Unhurt After Jamaica Car Crash - Sky News - United Kingdom
2 days ago – Usain Bolt has been involved in a minor car crash in Jamaica but was not hurt in the accident.

London 2012 Oympics: Usain Bolt unharmed after car crash ... › Sport › Olympics › Athletics
2 days ago – Olympic 100m champion Usain Bolt has escaped unharmed from a ... London 2012 Olympics: triple champion Usain Bolt escapes without ...

Enlightening Caribbean snapshots from Signis meeting

Members and colleagues of Signis Caribbean as they gathered at the Living Water Community Centre in Barbados: (front row l-r) Suzanne Dowdy, Secretary, Bishop Jason Gordon, Nuala Menezes (President), Host Father Clement Paul, Signis International VP Gustavo Andujar; (standing l-r) Msgr William John Lewis, Jean Lowrie-Chin, Daren Goodridge, Rhonda Maingot, Deacon Antonius "Sonny" Waterberg, Lisa Bhajan, Fr. Gerard Bernier, Javier Molina, Fr Tony Jeroncic, Michella Ali, Mervyn Marshall, Msgr Cuthbert Alexander, Sandra Lisa Claxton, Fr George Williams, and Derick Adonis.

Jamaica Observer column| MON 11 JUN 2012
by Jean Lowrie-Chin

In last week’s column, I mentioned the warnings after I told my friends I was heading for Barbados. Well here I am, back home safe and sound after enjoying the picturesque seaside in Dover and the beautiful countryside of St. David’s, where we gathered at the Living Water Community Centre. The warmth and courtesy of our Barbadian hosts made their Caribbean sisters and brothers feel like royalty.

I learned a great deal about the region and its peoples, listening to my colleagues in Signis Caribbean. Once again, we learned that Caribbean personalities are anything but bland. When it was the turn of Father Clement Paul to present for Barbados, I thought, “This priest looks very serious.” I could not have been more mistaken. As the senior priest told us that we should “use all possible media”, I heard several chuckles. Then AEC General Secretary Deacon Mike James explained that he was famous for spontaneously creating calypsos with witty Christian messages. Later that evening, Father Clement treated us to a lively performance.

Father George Williams of Antigua plays ‘conscious music’ on his Catholic radio station including, of course, Bob Marley. This has given him a following among Antigua’s Rastas who became concerned when he suddenly went off the air. They arrived at the station to investigate and gladly helped him to repair a damaged tower.

Michella Ali who works at the Government radio station in Guyana, said that her Catholic programme and all others were now focused on getting advertising revenue. “We have a new Prime Minister who has cut our national budget by 50 percent,” she explained. “The budget for our station was cut from $258 million to $1, yes ONE dollar!” It seems that Guyana Prime Minister Donald Ramotar is giving his country a serious reality check!

Our energetic President Nuala Menezes and her colleague Derrick Adonis have kept their faith alive in Grenada with a 24/7 radio station, website and newspaper. They focus on training to ensure that young people in the church are empowered.

The Trinidadian team of Lisa Bhajan, Rhonda Maingot and Suzanne Dowdy had us awestruck with their inspiring Trinity Television Network which will celebrate its 20th anniversary next year. No prima donnas here – they lugged equipment and headed to Barbados when they learned that their beloved Monsignor Jason Gordon would be ordained the new Bishop of Bridgetown and Kingstown. Their successful live stream was watched all over the world. The strategic Trinis led by Monsignor Cuthbert Alexander have their Catholic media under one umbrella – the Catholic Media Services Limited.

We were fascinated by the ethnic influences in Suriname media. Deacon Antonius ‘Sonny’ Waterberg explained that in the hinterlands of his country, there was no radio or television, and five different dialects were spoken by native Surinamese. They also have Javanese from Indonesia, Indians and Chinese. Get this: of 19 radio stations, one belongs to government, 11 to Hindus and Muslims, four to Javanese, two to Creoles and one to Chinese. Of their 33 television stations 28 are Hindu or Muslim, one Catholic, one Pentecostal, two government and the other general.

Belize is also a melting pot as described by Signis Caribbean Vice President Javier Molina: at the recent ordination of their Archbishop, which was also live streamed, readings were done not only in native English, but also in Spanish, Maya and Garifuna languages.

We heard from Gustavo Andujar of Cuba, who described a recent pilgrimage throughout his country. “We had about 5 million participants,” he said, attributing the continued devotion to the church despite many decades of communism to ‘las abuelas’, the devout grandmothers of Cuba. The stately Gustavo is Vice President of the worldwide Signis and gave us a colourful description of the recent Papal visit to Cuba.

I have returned enlightened and enriched – let us embrace ‘the deep and wide of God’s great grace’ in our Caribbean family.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Vibrant 97 Y-O Shigeaki Hinohara: author/physician

From The Japan Times
At the age of 97 years and 4 months, Shigeaki Hinohara is one of the world's longest-serving physicians and educators. Hinohara's magic touch is legendary: Since 1941 he has been healing patients at St. Luke's International Hospital in Tokyo and teaching at St. Luke's College of Nursing. After World War II, he envisioned a world-class hospital and college springing from the ruins of Tokyo; thanks to his pioneering spirit and business savvy, the doctor turned these institutions into the nation's top medical facility and nursing school. Today he serves as chairman of the board of trustees at both organizations. Always willing to try new things, he has published around 150 books since his 75th birthday, including "Living Long, Living Good" that has sold more than 1.2 million copies. As the founder of the New Elderly Movement, Hinohara encourages others to live a long and happy life, a quest in which no role model is better than the doctor himself.

Energy comes from feeling good, not from eating well or sleeping a lot. We all remember how as children, when we were having fun, we often forgot to eat or sleep. I believe that we can keep that attitude as adults, too. It's best not to tire the body with too many rules such as lunchtime and bedtime.
All people who live long — regardless of nationality, race or gender — share one thing in common: None are overweight. For breakfast I drink coffee, a glass of milk and some orange juice with a tablespoon of olive oil in it. Olive oil is great for the arteries and keeps my skin healthy. Lunch is milk and a few cookies, or nothing when I am too busy to eat. I never get hungry because I focus on my work. Dinner is veggies, a bit of fish and rice, and, twice a week, 100 grams of lean meat.
Always plan ahead. My schedule book is already full until 2014, with lectures and my usual hospital work. In 2016 I'll have some fun, though: I plan to attend the Tokyo Olympics!
There is no need to ever retire, but if one must, it should be a lot later than 65. The current retirement age was set at 65 half a century ago, when the average life-expectancy in Japan was 68 years and only 125 Japanese were over 100 years old. Today, Japanese women live to be around 86 and men 80, and we have 36,000 centenarians in our country. In 20 years we will have about 50,000 people over the age of 100.
Share what you know. I give 150 lectures a year, some for 100 elementary school children, others for 4,500 business people. I usually speak for 60 to 90 minutes, standing, to stay strong.
When a doctor recommends you take a test or have some surgery, ask whether the doctor would suggest that his or her spouse or children go through such a procedure. Contrary to popular belief, doctors can't cure everyone. So why cause unnecessary pain with surgery? I think music and animal therapy can help more than most doctors imagine.
To stay healthy, always take the stairs and carry your own stuff. I take two stairs at a time, to get my muscles moving.
My inspiration is Robert Browning's poem "Abt Vogler." My father used to read it to me. It encourages us to make big art, not small scribbles. It says to try to draw a circle so huge that there is no way we can finish it while we are alive. All we see is an arch; the rest is beyond our vision but it is there in the distance.
Pain is mysterious, and having fun is the best way to forget it. If a child has a toothache, and you start playing a game together, he or she immediately forgets the pain. Hospitals must cater to the basic need of patients: We all want to have fun. At St. Luke's we have music and animal therapies, and art classes.
Don't be crazy about amassing material things. Remember: You don't know when your number is up, and you can't take it with you to the next place.
Hospitals must be designed and prepared for major disasters, and they must accept every patient who appears at their doors. We designed St. Luke's so we can operate anywhere: in the basement, in the corridors, in the chapel. Most people thought I was crazy to prepare for a catastrophe, but on March 20, 1995, I was unfortunately proven right when members of the Aum Shinrikyu religious cult launched a terrorist attack in the Tokyo subway. We accepted 740 victims and in two hours figured out that it was sarin gas that had hit them. Sadly we lost one person, but we saved 739 lives.
Science alone can't cure or help people. Science lumps us all together, but illness is individual. Each person is unique, and diseases are connected to their hearts. To know the illness and help people, we need liberal and visual arts, not just medical ones.
Life is filled with incidents. On March 31, 1970, when I was 59 years old, I boarded the Yodogo, a flight from Tokyo to Fukuoka. It was a beautiful sunny morning, and as Mount Fuji came into sight, the plane was hijacked by the Japanese Communist League-Red Army Faction. I spent the next four days handcuffed to my seat in 40-degree heat. As a doctor, I looked at it all as an experiment and was amazed at how the body slowed down in a crisis.
Find a role model and aim to achieve even more than they could ever do. My father went to the United States in 1900 to study at Duke University in North Carolina. He was a pioneer and one of my heroes. Later I found a few more life guides, and when I am stuck, I ask myself how they would deal with the problem.
It's wonderful to live long. Until one is 60 years old, it is easy to work for one's family and to achieve one's goals. But in our later years, we should strive to contribute to society. Since the age of 65, I have worked as a volunteer. I still put in 18 hours seven days a week and love every minute of it.
The Japan Times
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