What I Like About This Place

The subject that I appreciate most working in this place is the fact that this place is occupied with relatively young people who have full dynamism and idealism. Working with relatively young associates energize the whole organization, unite staff under some kind of comradeship without much power struggle, excessive politicizing, over-controlling and authoritarianism.

We might often be doing mistakes as a result of being relatively new and inexperience but the fact that we are quick to learn from mistakes and improve our learning curve is the process that ameliorate our survival curve. As a result, we accelerate the process of being excellence via persuasion and negotiated improvement of key performance indicators and key intangible performances. Human beings in general, appreciate the process of engaging rather than commanding. Testing another colleagues for their endurance and commitment for hard work proved futile if no sense of objectivity is laid down on the objectives and purpose of the commitment.

Quality leadership at various levels are always open and engaging, creating the atmosphere of trust, respect and creating the desire of working in harmony. Team building flourishes in the given environment and favors inter- and intra-disciplinary work on innovation and creativity.

There is a regular need for self-introspection and I believe, I have done my part not just to critic (when I feel I need to critic) but to praise on achievement when we deserve it.

Breaking News: Earthquake in Chile & Japan

A massive earthquake with a magnitude of 8.8 has struck central Chile, the country’s largest in 25 years.
The quake struck at 0634 GMT about 91km (56 miles) north-east of the city of Concepcion and 317km south-west of the capital, Santiago. The BBC’s Daniel Schweimler is in neighbouring Argentina, where the quake was also felt. He said communication systems have been hit making it difficult to contact emergency services.

In the early morning, a powerful 7 magnitude earthquake has hit Okinawa, Japan. A tsunami warning was in effect for Japan after the massive earthquake that struck in the early morning hours of Saturday February 27 2010 local time. The US Geological Survey, who monitor earthquakes world wide said the quake read an initial reading of 7.3 on the Richter scale. The Japan earthquake authorities soon after said a strong 7-magnitude earthquake hit Japan’s Ryukyu Islands. A Pacific wide tsunami warming went into effect immediately after the Japan 7 magnitude Okinawa earthquake news hit. The location of the potful Japan earthquake was just 85 km (53 miles) E (99°) from Naha, Okinawa, Japan.

International Mother Language Day & World Thinking Day

Feb, 21 marks the International Mother Language Day and Feb, 22 is known for the World Thinking Day. Both came one after another illustrates the fact that speaking in mother-tongue language is closely related to how people think and conveying thought in their own right.

The International Mother Language Day, was proclaimed by the General Conference of UNESCO in November 1999, and has been observed yearly since February 2000 to promote linguistic and cultural diversity and multilingualism. The 11th International Mother Language Day, this year, is celebrated in the framework of the International Year for the Rapprochement of Cultures. Where as, World Thinking Day is part of the WAGGGS Global Action Theme (GAT) based on the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which aim to improve the lives of the world’s poorest people.

Historically, Thinking Day was first created in 1926 at the fourth Girl Guide/Girl Scout International Conference held at Girl Scouts of the USA’s Camp Edith Macy (now called Edith Macy Conference Center). Conference attendees decided that there should be a special day for Girl Scouts and Girl Guides from around the world to “think” of each other and give thanks and appreciation to their “sister” Girl Scouts. The delegates chose February 22 as the date for Thinking Day because it was the mutual birthday of Lord Baden-Powell, founder of the Boy Scout movement, and his wife, Olave, who served as World Chief Guide.

In 1932, at the 7th World Conference, held in Poland, a Belgian delegate suggested that since birthdays usually involve presents, girls could show their appreciation and friendship on Thinking Day not only by extending warm wishes but by offering a voluntary contribution to the World Association. This is how the World Association’s Thinking Day Fund began. The fund helps offer Girl Guiding/Girl Scouting to more girls and young women worldwide. Girl Scouts of the USA, through its Juliette Low World Friendship Fund contributes to the World Thinking Day Fund.

To emphasize the global aspect of Thinking Day, members at the 30th World Conference, held in Ireland in 1999, changed the name from Thinking Day to World Thinking Day. Whatever, the history was, thought should be shared and understood in the wider context. Thought has to be seen more than just a remembrance but a process that shape emotional response and behavior. As such, the way I look at it, world citizens should benefit these two days in succession by appreciating how the mother-tongue language is closely related to original thought and ideas. That would make them more meaningful to the world at large! But I am here not to change the girl guide’s objective regarding the World Thinking Day i.e. to end extreme poverty and hunger as well as to raise awareness about a situation that affects the poor countries.

Whatever it is, Happy Celebrating International Mother Language Day & World Thinking Day.


Antipsychiatric movement has been known throughout the years but this movement had failed to be recognized as many new evidents coming out pointing toward the new discovery and treatment of mental disorders. It is a form of denial and rejection toward the existence of mental illness and how it has been classified and treated.

Thomas Szasz (1972) argued that illness must follow a physical concept and therefore cannot be applied to psychological disorder without any physical pathology. Now we know that he had made an obvious mistake since many new developments in neuroscience today pointing toward the fact that psychiatric disorders are basically neuro-psychological conditions with identifiable cause and prognosis.

The arguments on DSM are shallow as most criteria are made based on epidemiological, population, evidence-based study. What could be debatable is a condition known as culture-bound syndrome such as possession (rasuk: see my upcoming entry in http:drmohdjamil.blogspot.com) and dissociative disorders. Nonetheless, effort has been made to include some of these conditions under ICD-10 classification which has been accepted world-wide for the classification of medical illnesses.

The argument that psychiatrists can’t really tell the exact cause of psychiatric illnesses and hence nullify the existence of the illness is flawed because of their (a) multi-factorial aetiology and (b) evidence revealed from various functional radio-imaging studies which proved otherwise.

The so called anti-psychiatric movement has become a history and not even existed there anymore in the current version of psychiatric textbook and the recent journal.

Status – Desire for Prestige

Human beings are all in need of status. You lie to me if you say you don’t. But then, is it true that people who are driven by status seek to move up higher and faster in this world. Yes and no.

We all know that status driven people want to become somebody famous, rich and wealthy, so as people are impressed by their reputations and enjoy the attention given to them. If those are indicators for ‘moving up’ the staircase of the rich and successful, then, of course the answer is yes.

On the other hand, we know some people who avoid status and prefer to become egalitarian people for the sake of life simplicity, seeking humbling experience through a balance in life and maintaining zuhud-kind of life style. These people don’t bother much about status but sometime they are bestowed with status without they recognize it. So whether they move up or not the social strata, the answer is, we don’t know.

Malaysian are highly feudalistic, status-conscious society. A friend told me this joke on his experience in the business class. He was in a plane and a Flight Attendant was just calling, ‘anyone here …Dato’….’ and to his surprise 4-5 people put up their hands. If you a CEO of a large corporation without a title, there must be something wrong with you, not the society. The title often facilitates your work dealing with people, banking institutions, agents and media because those institution classify people according to their social status. Nevertheless, some people misuse their status to manipulate bank, organize illegal clan and hence, throw it to the drain for the status bestowed upon them.

Then, do you think that some of motivators with the title of ustaz and Dato’ Dr are lying when they say, don’t go ‘dunia’ and its heritage but they themselves are running high and low for status and its symbol.

A nice food for thought for today. Bye and cheers..

Being Responsive, While Unconscious

As a doctor, I found this interesting:

When a brain injury leaves a person unresponsive and unable to communicate, doctors and nurses must provide care without input from their patient, and families agonize over whether their loved one might still have–or someday recover–a flicker of consciousness. A new study provides hope that technology might open a line of communication with some such patients. Researchers report that a man with a severe brain injury can, by controlling his thoughts, influence scans of his brain activity and thereby answer simple questions.

The work builds on a 2006 Science paper by Adrian Owen, a neuroscientist at the Medical Research Council Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit in Cambridge, U.K., and colleagues. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), they tested a young woman diagnosed as being in a vegetative state following a car accident. Although she was unresponsive and apparently unaware of her surroundings, she exhibited distinct patterns of brain activity when asked to imagine herself playing tennis or walking through the rooms of her house. As in healthy volunteers, imagining tennis activated motor planning regions in the woman’s brain, whereas picturing her house activated a brain region involved in recognizing familiar scenes.

In one patient, a 22-year-old man who’d been in a vegetative state for 5 years, the researchers took an additional step, asking him to answer six questions by imagining tennis to indicate “yes” or picturing his house to indicate “no.” The questions all involved basic autobiographical details, such as the name of his father or whether he had any brothers or sisters. In a group of 16 healthy volunteers, this method worked 100% of the time, the researchers report. The vegetative state patient answered the first five questions correctly. The final question elicited virtually no activity in the brain regions of interest, and the researchers speculate that the man may have fallen asleep or simply decided not to answer.

In the new study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, Owen and several colleagues used similar methods to examine 53 additional people who were in a vegetative state or in the slightly less severe minimally conscious state, in which patients show occasional flashes of responsiveness. In four of these patients, the researchers found distinct patterns of brain activity during the tennis versus house imagination task, hinting at some level of awareness that could not be detected by observing their behavior, says co-author Steven Laureys, a neurologist at the University of Liège in Belgium. By: Greg Miller