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Friday, March 27, 2020

Low-cost ventilator to help patients suffering from Covid-19

My brother, a biomedical engineer, and the director of University of Florida's Centre for Safety, Simulation & Advanced Learning Technologies, designed with the help of his colleagues, a low-cost ventilator that can be assembled from parts bought in a hardware store.
Please pass this around if you know any person, preferably with engineering background, who can volunteer to build it in any part of the world that is running out of ventilators. It will save many lives.
Please be aware that this product is not fully tested. It's being shared because of the current state of emergency due to Covid-19, and the predicted ventilator shortage worldwide. Updates are available on the site:

https://simulation.health.ufl.edu/technology-development/open-source-ventilator-project/
More info about this DIY ventilator in his interview here:
Let's all do our share in helping to stop the spread of this virus. 
Keep safe with social-distancing and self-isolation. 

A video of Sem speaking on behalf of University of Florida Health faculty to explain the concept.




Sunday, March 22, 2020

Spring hope, renewal and love

On a walk by the ravine, 
keeping six feet apart from others,
reflecting on the horrors of the pandemic flu,
the long weeks of social distancing and self-isolation,
I saw hope in this constellation of white buds
eager to sprout from the chaos of dead leaves.
I saw life renewed in spring sunshine,
felt the warmth of those dear to me,
their silent presence 
in my heart.






Tuesday, March 03, 2020

Lin Fengmian: the uncle I wish I had met

In the last week, I saw a few documentaries about the life of Lin Fengmian, a cousin of my father. He is hailed internationally as the artist who started modern art in China by blending western techniques and traditional Chinese art.

I wish I had met this incredibly talented uncle whose work and life fascinate me. But we lived in different countries, and a generation gap, and cultural differences separated us.

He had already passed away by the time relatives showed me the extent of his work. I was sad that I never had a chance to meet him. As an artist, I felt an immediate affinity for his watercolours, and the moods he created with the harmonious movements of his brush.

I learned from the documentaries that traumatic events marked his life. I imagine painting was a healing force that helped him express his pain, and make life bearable, and even enjoyable.

These documentaries are in French. For those not familiar with French, and interested in his art, you can see samples of his work in those films.

Lin Fengmian: Combattre pour l'art

Lin Fenmian: S'approcher de l'art pur

Lin Fengmian: Hanté par calvaires






Thursday, February 27, 2020

Light and Shadow

When the sun spreads its light over the bare trees in winter
the transient shadows on the snow never cease to amaze
infusing depth and beauty to the landscape.

Same with the light of self-awareness that exposes
our shifting shadows, bringing insight, depth
so we can appreciate our wholeness.


Sunday, February 16, 2020

Authors' Afternoon ending ... passing the torch to Aiesha Bristol

Hello writers and book lovers, I would like to thank you all for participating as featured authors, and guests at the Authors' Afternoon, and making it fun and inspiring. Thanks also to Tony Merante of Stella's Café for providing the charming and cozy venue.

It's been wonderful connecting with you all while hosting the Authors' Afternoon for 2 1/2 years. Sad to say goodbye, but every good thing has to end or take on a different form. The café is becoming a restaurant. I'm moving on to other personal projects, but will keep supporting writers and artists in all creative fields.

Happy to announce that Aiesha Bristol, also known as SoulSis, the talented musician, and enthusiastic, friendly host of Flow Friday at Amp Studio Café (154 Oakwood Ave near St. Clair Ave W) will feature a writer on the 3rd Friday of each month.

Flow Friday runs from 3 pm to 9 pm every week. Writers who are interested in being featured can drop by any Flow Friday to chat with Aiesha, and be part of this welcoming community for creatives. It's best to arrive before 6 pm for a discussion. 

On February 21st, the 3rd Friday of this month, Oz Phills will be the featured writer from 6 pm. There will be an open stage for all forms of creative expression, a drum circle, and a jam afterwards. For more details on Flow Friday, check the event on Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/events/amp-studio-cafe/flow-friday-creative-community/2468801046732976

Thank you all for your support. Looking forward to seeing you this coming Friday, February 21st at 6 pm at Amp Studio Café for Oz Phills' talk about his book, "Blessed By Rhythm".


Friday, February 14, 2020

Love always

Wishing you love today and always ...

We have lots of room in our hearts to love, not only those dear to us, our family, friends, partners, but also, all those who come into our lives. It is in our nature to spread love ... it is free and limitless.

An interesting article that discusses the benefits of spreading love: 6 Reasons to Spread the Love

This article explains the various aspects of love beautifully: What is Love and What isn't? From it, some quotes that I can relate to:

Love does not come with conditions, stipulations, addenda, or codes. Like the sun, love radiates independently of our fears and desires."

Love does not say, "If you want to be loved, you must be nice," or "Do what i want," or "Never love anyone else," or "Promise you'll never leave me."

Love cares what becomes of you, because love knows that we are all interconnected.


Sunday, February 09, 2020

Gratitude

Feeling grateful ...
Winter can be darn cold and icy
but when nature paints the landscape with snow and mist
creating an enchanting and surreal world
I'm under its spell

When we focus on the positive
it's so much easier to let go of the negative.

Sharing this interesting article about the benefits of gratitude.



Winter 's fog and mist
blurs the hard lines of the mind
softens our vision

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

The Coral Heart's lovely journey - Le beau voyage de Coeur de Corail

It was a pleasure to read this positive review on the French translation of my book, The Coral Heart. Thanks again Robert Furlong for helping me with the translation. Thanks to Alain Gordon-Gentil of Pamplemousses Editions for editing and publishing it. 
Quel plaisir de lire ces commentaires encourageants sur mon livre Coeur de Corail. Merci encore une fois à Robert Furlong de m'avoir aidé à traduire ce livre. Merci à Alain Gordon-Gentil de Pamplemousses Editions de l'avoir édité et publié. 

I'm also thrilled that 3rd year students at University of Mauritius are currently studying The Coral Heart and Coeur de Corail for their BA French with Translation. 

Both books are available in Mauritius in all major bookstores. In Toronto, the English version is available at Book City St. Clair and Yonge, and worldwide on amazon.



  


Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Winter Weekend at Niagara Falls


Heavy snow, rain, and slashing winds 
did not stop us from driving to the falls.
Warm inside, we watched through windows
the mesmerizing force of pounding water
heard nature's roar, its continuous rush
felt the thrill of life, of friendship.


At the casino, a different kind of rush.
Bleary-eyed players pushing buttons
feeding bills into garish machines
seeking the thrill of winning
at the risk of losing everything.

Taking risks, an inherent part of human nature, 
makes me curious about why we choose to put ourselves in danger.
Or do we really have a choice when our genes are hardwired to do so?
Or did our childhood environment determine our risk-taking needs?
Some interesting articles that explore these issues:
















Wednesday, January 08, 2020

Authors' Afternoon with Lee Gowan and Ranjini George

It is with great pleasure that I invite you to meet our guest authors
Lee Gowan and Ranjini George

Come by and be inspired by these two fabulous writers who will share their writing journeys 
and read from their memoir, a work-in progress titled:
LOVE, KANNON: OUR PILGRIMAGE TO TOKYO

Looking forward to seeing many of you there. 


This is our last Authors' Afternoon at Stella's Café. 
More information will follow regarding its continuation in a different format, location, and with a new host.