DIANA REMEMBERED AT ANNIVERSARY SERVICE BY Julia White
Friday August 31,2007
THE 10th anniversary of Princess Diana's death is being marked today with a poignant memorial service.
Exactly a decade to the day since Diana, Princess of Wales was killed in a tragic car crash, Prince William and Princes Harry gathered to remember her at a special thanksgiving ceremony in the Guards’ Chapel in London.
Joined by the Queen, the Prince of Wales, other members of the Royal Family, the Spencers and some 500 guests, the brothers took their seats for the commemoration they had organised.
Music played by the orchestra from the Royal Academy of Music, of which the Princess was president, sounded around the chapel.
William and Harry joined in singing the first hymn, Be Thou My Vision, O Lord Of My Heart.
The Duchess of Cornwall was notably absent from the royal line-up, after pulling out amid criticism that it was inappropriate for her to attend.
Diana’s death in the early hours of August 31 1997 stunned the nation.
Untimely and out of the blue, the loss of the “People’s Princess” led to a mass outpouring of public grief, the like of which had never been seen before.
Distraught mourners wept openly in the streets and people flocked to Kensington Palace, leaving behind a carpet of flowers in honour of the dead princess.
Diana and boyfriend Dodi Fayed were killed when the Mercedes they were travelling in hit a pillar in the Pont de l’Alma tunnel in Paris.
They were being pursued by paparazzi after leaving the Ritz Hotel.
Driver Henri Paul, who was also killed, was drunk and driving at high speed. Bodyguard Trevor Rees-Jones was the only survivor.
The young Princes William and Harry were just 15 and 12 at the time.
They did not speak at the funeral, but walked bravely behind her coffin as it proceeded through the streets on its way to Westminster Abbey in front of crowds of crying public.
Today, both William, 25, and 22-year-old Harry were giving readings.
Those still devoted to Diana’s memory returned to Kensington Palace, affectionately known as “KP”, to pin pictures, messages and poems to the black iron gates of the Princess’s former home and attend an open-air service.
Dodi’s father Mohamed al Fayed held a two-minute silence in honour of his son and the Princess at his Harrods store in Knightsbridge, London.
At the Guards’ Chapel for the Princes’ official service, Sir Elton John, Sir Cliff Richard, Lord Attenborough and celebrity photographer Mario Testino - all friends of the late Princess - were among the guests, as was Prime
Minister Gordon Brown and ex-PMs Tony Blair and Sir John Major.
Diana’s siblings Earl Spencer, Lady Sarah McCorquodale and Lady Jane Fellowes, who helped William and Harry with arrangements, were there with the rest of the Spencer relatives.
Lady Sarah was also giving a reading, but Earl Spencer, who delivered his controversial “blood family” eulogy at the funeral, was not.
Among more than 30 royals were the Duke of Edinburgh, the Earl and Countess of Wessex and Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie.
Camilla was at her countryside retreat Ray Mill in Lacock, Wiltshire - the private family home she still owns.
Critics were adamant it was not right for the woman who had an affair with Charles while he was still married to the Princess to be there.
The hour-long service, which began at midday, was conducted by the Rev Patrick Irwin, Chaplain to the Household Division.
It included two prayers written for the occasion by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, at the request of William and Harry.
Diana’s favourite hymn was chosen as the emotional finale. I Vow To Thee, My Country was sung at both her wedding and her funeral.
The Bishop of London, the Rt Rev Richard Chartres, was making the address.
Floral arrangements, organised by the Spencer family, included rosemary for remembrance and growing English garden roses which will be given to some of Diana’s favourite charities afterwards.
Among family, friends and those the Princess met through her charity work were 12 of her godchildren, her godparents and all of the bridesmaids and pageboys from her 1981 wedding to the Prince of Wales.
William’s on-off love, Kate Middleton, and Harry’s girlfriend, Chelsy Davy, were not there.
The Princes did, however, invite Mohamed al Fayed’s daughter, Camilla Fayed, who is Dodi’s half-sister.
The decision to invite Miss Fayed came despite her father’s persistent allegations about royal involvement in the death of the Princess. Mr al Fayed was not invited.
The Princess’s ex-butler, Paul Burrell, who was accused by the Princes of a “cold and overt betrayal” for publishing a tell-all book, and others who sold their stories were left off the list.
Those who remained discreet and loyal over the years were rewarded with invitations.
Diana’s driver, Simon Solari, was among those said to be attending, as were Diana’s friends Rosa Monckton and Lucia Flecha de Lima.
More than 100 of the guests were representatives of Diana’s charities, including the Landmine Survivors Network,
Help the Aged, the Trust for Sick Children in Wales, the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery,
Centrepoint, the British Lung Foundation, the National Aids Trust, Eureka! the Museum for Children, and the National Children’s Orchestra.
Unlike the pop concert hosted by William and Harry in the Princess’s memory at Wembley last month, members of the public were not able to buy tickets for the commemoration.
As the Princes are serving Army officers of the Household Division, the church is their chapel at Wellington Barracks.
Choirs from the Guards’ Chapel, the Chapel Royal and William and Harry’s former school Eton College sang.
I sit here with a leaking roof and ponder the city of Kingston. My wife (a Jamaican national) and I have purchased a home here and plan not to leave, but to come to Jamaica from the United States for our retirement.
I read The Gleaner online daily and read the complaints from just about everyone.
For those old enough to remember, a cartoon drawn by Gene Kelly - POGO - often touched on the political and environmental issues in the U.S., but what Pogo said then, applies equally today to both the U.S. and Jamaica: "We have met the enemy and it is us!"
Jamaica is a beautiful place with wonderful people and a government and establishment that constantly cripples and injures itself by its own greed and politics.
Cripples its own people
You argue about the most stupid things, when you should be pulling together to keep your people fed, housed and safe. Your government cripples its own people by the outrageous tariffs charged on imports, making everything much more expensive for everyone and increasing the cost of living four-fold.
There is no reason why goods should cost more here than in the U.S., except that your greed penalises the people that the government supposedly is protecting.
Your law enforcement branches use antiquated laws in a modern world and would never be tolerated in a developed country. Why are you doing this to yourselves?
The politicians are more interested in kickbacks and power than the good of their constituents, and this goes for both your socialist and progressive parties.
They look as alike as peas in a pod from the outside. Neither do what they promise and neither change the systems for the good of the public.
I wish those in power would wake up and truly help those they serve make it easier to live here, so you won't see all of those emigration sales in the wanted advertisements. Jamaica should be one of the most desirable places in the Central American region, not a country vying for Third World status. Wake up, please, before you ruin your beautiful country and destroy your people.
I am, etc.,
Dr. JOHN LEGOWIK
THE JAPAN TIMES
Putting the fun back into feeling fit By YOKO HANI
Although you may be a typically busy worker, in Japan there's no shortage of easy exercise options to help keep you in shape — whether "10-minute fitness" clubs where you can have a quick workout without even changing your clothes, varieties of home exercise videos or machines and, of course, any number of gyms, both private and municipal.
But some people always want something more — and different.
Calling itself a "sports theme park," Muscle Park in Tokyo's waterfront Odaiba district offers visitors opportunities to test their physical strength and condition while having fun in an amusement-park atmosphere.
Opened in December last year, and located in a complex full of shops and restaurants, Muscle Park covers more than 2,800 sq. meters on the fifth floor of Decks Tokyo Beach's Sea Side Mall. But whatever its name may suggest, the park has nothing to do with body-building, and instead features nine indoor amusement facilities where you can enjoy an exciting variety of sporty pursuits.
"By combining sports and entertainment, we've tried to create a new type of amusement park where men and women of all ages can enjoy themselves," Tadahisa Kameda, deputy manager of Muscle Park, explains.
In fact, like at those 10-minute fitness clubs, visitors to Muscle Park don't even need to change their clothes to try out any of the facilities. Some of the activities, however, require more physical ability than others.
Those rising to the challenge of Sasuke, for example — the hardest of Muscle Park's attractions — must first hang by their fingertips from a narrow ledge as if they were rock climbers, and then (try to) move sideways.
In the "Ranking Park," meanwhile, they can test their balance and coordination using specially designed equipment. In the end, as a dubious reward for such exertions, visitors are rewarded with an assessment by park staff of their physical ability. As an only slightly overweight 40-year-old, you may, for example, be told you have the strapping bodily attributes of a 60-year-old. (Don't be distraught, though, because in this writer's experience, Muscle Park's tests are all entertainingly difficult — especially when you try them for the first time.)
But don't be deterred — the nine areas also include a puzzle section and a kids' park, providing chances for all age groups with different physical abilities to enjoy themselves.
Meanwhile, at the Shooting Park attraction, where visitors shoot soccer balls to hit nine target boards, the park staff's voices ring out through microphones, saying, "OK, which number are you going to hit? Nine? OK. Hit the nine!
"Goal! Well done!"
If that strikes a familiar chord, it's maybe because Muscle Park is a spinoff from the popular TBS television program "Kinniku Banzuke (Muscle Ranking)," which ran from 1995 to 2002. In the program, athletes competed in various sporting activities to determine who was the best all-rounder in terms of physical abilities.
The show was so popular that "viewers contacted the program saying that they wanted to do those sports too, and that was the start of the idea of this amusement park," Kameda says.
To create the "real TV atmosphere," park staff deliver running commentaries through microphones for each player, in the same way the TV program hosts did for the show's football-shooting and baseball-pitching games.
In fact, through Muscle Park's nine areas, there are more than 50 staff members who explain the games, give running commentaries and record each player's scores.
If you are an athlete who pursues sheer joy and excitement through sports, you may well think that you can do that in any outdoor field under the sun — or mosey along to the National Stadium or any of those gyms with cutting-edge machines. So why would you choose to sweat in a pastel-colored amusement park inside a bustling mall in Odaiba, kicking or hitting balls and jumping up and down on machines with lots of people watching you?
Kameda, of course, can tell you just what's unique about his sports theme park.
"Odaiba is a dating place and a tourist place," he says. "Visitors here may not particularly like sports, and may not be serious sports players. But we created this park targeting those people as well, so they can casually play sports and find out how enjoyable they are.
"Also, during their date, couples can try the football-shooting game or the baseball-pitching game together, and that way boys may be able to impress their dates!"
As well, the park gives visitors a chance to experience "real" sports, he says.
"You cannot do penalty shootouts in your daily life unless you are a member of a football team. But here anybody can do that. Fathers who used to play football, for example, can do it casually with their family and show off their skill."
In fact, even this writer played the football-shooting game (years after I last touched a football), and can proudly report hitting two of the nine targets. I may not be a former soccer player, but I enjoyed it just as much as the elementary school kids who played just before me.
One day, perhaps, Japan may have a soccer star who came to love the game at an indoor sports theme park just like this . . .
The Japan Times: Sunday, Aug. 19, 2007
THE JAMAICA GLEANER
BE WELL: Post-Hurricane Dean survival kit BY Eulalee Thompson
published: Wednesday | August 29, 2007
Here's a post-disaster survival kit especially for families in the eastern and southern parishes (including communities in Kingston and St. Andrew) hit hardest by furious Hurricane Dean last Sunday.
Survival measures after a disaster always focus on basic needs - clean water, nourishment, light and of course, mental health services.
Most environmental agencies indicate that any disease-causing microrganisms and parasites can be killed by the vigorous boiling of water for at lease one minute (or longer depending on the quantity of water.
Place water in a covered pot (to shorten boiling time and conserve on fuel). Bring water to a rolling boil and keep it boiling (bubbling up) for several minutes to kill germs.
Boiled water may taste flat; improve the taste through aeration, that is, by just pouring the water back and forth from one clean container to another you can improve the taste of boiled water by allowing it to stand, for a few hours, in a closed container or by adding a pinch of salt to each quart (about a litre) of water.
Place only two drops of bleach to each quart container of water, eight drops to each gallon and about half teaspoon to each five-gallon container; mix well and leave treated water standing, preferably covered, for 30 minutes.
Don't be alarmed by the slight chlorine odour coming from the water, public health specialists in fact indicate that this odour is desirable. If there is no chlorine odour then repeat the procedure with the same dosage and allow water to stand for an additional 15 minutes. If the taste of chlorine is too strong, you can improve the treated water taste by allowing the water to stand for a few hours or aerating it (as described above).
PREVENT waterbourne DISEASES
Sherine Huntley, medical entomologist at the Ministry of Health, testing the mosquito breeding ground in a gully on Marcus Garvey Drive in Kingston recently.Norman Grindley/Deputy Chief Photographer
Using unsafe water can cause waterborne diseases such as gastroenteritis. Handling food with unwashed hands can pass on germs connected to typhoid fever. Purify and disinfect water for drinking and washing hands, dishes, utensils, fruits and vegetables.
Stagnant water is a breeding ground for mosquitoes and many types of these insects carry diseases such as dengue fever and malaria. Rodents such as rats thrive in unclean environments; they spread leptospirosis. Seek medical help if you feel unwell.
Lamps, lantern, candles and generators come in handy post-disaster. There are safety measures to follow to avoid stacking disaster upon disaster. Already, one elderly woman lost her life, post-Dean, when an unattended candle started a fire that eventually burnt down her home. Candles should be monitored and placed away from flammable objects and surfaces.
On the matter of generators, Winsome Callum, corporate communications managerof the Jamaica Public Service Company (JPS), has repeated over and over that they should be professionally installed with the proper switch to prevent feedback into the power grid that could place yourself and JPS workers at risk.
Distributors of generators recommend that they be placed away from occupied areas of your house; ensure that exhaust fumes are not carried into the home (these fumes contain carbon monoxide, the silent killer). Also, don't overload the generator - a small one shouldn't be used to do large jobs. Diesel generators may be more expensive than the gasoline-powered ones but diesel is less volatile.
THE JAPAN TIMES
Forsake not the elderly, for they bear a great bounty By ROGER PULVERS
They are remodeling the station near where I work in Tokyo, and I marvel at the diligence of the security guards directing pedestrians inconvenienced by the building work. Virtually all the guards are seniors, most likely retirees from other forms of employment. I usually arrive at my station by 6 a.m., and there they are, crisply uniformed, saying "Good morning" to commuters and courteously pointing the new way up the stairs.
Many years ago, in Kyoto, we lived in a condominium whose janitor was a retired company president and landowner. He could have lived off the fat of his land, or, as the Japanese say, "with a fan in his left hand (hidari uchiwa de kurasu)." But he chose to look after the building, sweep the grounds and field complaints; and a jolly good janitor he was.
Traditionally in Japan, there has been no stigma about doing menial labor in most lines of work. To many in the West, a former executive who was doing the job of a janitor — and doing it with a personal sense of joy and fulfillment — would be viewed as having "come down" in life. Not so in Japan, where such honest work is considered respectable.
From the micro to the macro: It has been estimated that, within a few years, one in four Japanese will be aged 65 or older. Compare this with the mere 7 percent of Japanese who were aged 65 or older in 1970, and the sea change facing this country's social makeup is plain to see. Can Japan continue to maintain its work ethic; and, if not, how will it affect those one in four Japanese, many of whom are still highly motivated to contribute to their society?
The rise of capitalism
Some in the West once also worked like the devil. In fact the German sociologist and economist Max Weber (1864-1920) unequivocally linked the Protestant work ethic to the rise of capitalism in Europe. However, the roots of that ethic are to be found in the thinking of the 16th-century French Protestant reformer John Calvin. To Calvin and his subsequent spiritual followers, every task or act committed by humans, however mundane, was an expression of faith. Pouring milk from a pitcher, weeding the garden, kneading dough for bread . . . these simple tasks were expressions of the spirit and required a stoic patience. There's no fun connected with these tasks: All work is serious God-business.
Many of the migrants from Europe to New England during the 17th and early 18th centuries were Calvinists, and the notion of the Protestant (or Puritan, as it is also known) work ethic transplanted with shining success to the New World. Of course, this upstanding regard for an honest day's work was based on the terrorizing and enslavement of indigenous and forcibly transported populations, the exploitation of women and children and the strictest control of anything smacking of free thought. This ethic, nonetheless, is one of the cores of what are now known as American values: the pretense of public virtue and respectability despite a surfeit of private vulgarity and vice.
But look at the Japanese attitude to work, and you will see that the essential seriousness of purpose and dedication to task is still intact. Japanese people, for the most part, do not horse around at work, as many in the West do as a kind of safety value or needed distraction. How many times have I been told in the midst of a job, "Jodan o iu ba ja nai! (This is no place for joking!)." On how many occasions have I said, "Let's call it a day," while my Japanese co-workers are just getting started as the sun goes down.
The Japanese certainly work as if there is no manana. (Maybe that's why there are so many inane programs on nighttime television here; they've got to stuff in all the idiotic jokes and puerile pranks that people suppress during the working day.)
It used to be the case in Japan that people took pride in an ascetic material lifestyle: Less was more, and enough was really enough. (This did not apply to the luxuries of the flesh, however. Unlike their Christian cousins in the West, Japanese could be, without hypocrisy, ascetic about their material needs but free-wheeling when it came to sexual matters.)
Nowadays, this sense of pride in a life spent in frugality has considerably shriveled away, and I wouldn't be surprised if someone wrote a book about Japan titled "Samurai Just Wanna Have Fun." And yet, the strict work ethic remains largely extant. In Japan, people seem to have retained their love of work, even if they have scuttled the ascetic restrictions on the no-frills material lifestyle it often dictated.
How did they manage to do this, and what beneficial effects might this have on the country's aging society?
Access to paid employment
According to data from the Japan Aging Research Center, in 2003, 94 percent of males and 59 percent of females aged 55 to 59 were in gainful employment, compared with 72 percent and 39.5 percent at age 60 to 64, and 33 percent and 14 percent at age 65. In other words, one in three Japanese males age 65 is working, though fewer than one in seven females has a paid job. It is essential that older Japanese men and women have access to paid employment if they have the desire for it. Work not only staves off senility, in many of its forms, but affords society the experience and skills of the elderly that we used to call "wisdom."
This is being done in some places. The piano-making arm of Yamaha in the city of Hamamatsu, Shizuoka Prefecture, is famous for employing its older craftspeople, pairing them up with younger workers in a kind of master-apprentice relationship. In addition, many large companies regularly re-hire retirees as consultants for their experience and connections.
As for me, I am facing retirement in less than three years from the public university in Tokyo where I teach. Yet I feel that I am just coming into my own as a teacher. "Prime working age" is usually said to span the ages 25 to 54. Rubbish! And let's scrap the term "compulsory retirement." I also work in the arts, particularly in theater and film; and I can tell you that the biggest joy comes from working with the great veterans of their craft. The arts are one area where the verb "to retire" only means "to go home and head for bed."
We are living at a time in Japan when old age is full of insecurities. There aren't enough young people around to look after their elderly relatives. Banks pay almost no interest and no one can rely on the stock market or real-estate investments. And to cap it all, the pension funds that millions have been dutifully paying into for decades may effectively be unredeemable.
Japanese people, with their strong ethic of diligence and respect for a decent day's work, derive pleasure from the earnest (often over-earnest) fulfillment of tasks. Invest in that. Harness that to the legions of energetic elderlies, and Japan's culture will be all the richer, smarter and deeper for it.