February 2004 Vol. 4 Issue 2

An Internet Newsletter publication for all CIM Alumni and friends.

    Clem S. Estrera, Jr., M.D.

    Ma. Belen Rosales, M.D.
        Associate Editor

     Ray Castillejo, M.D.
    Binisaya Section Editor

Valentine's Special

"If love does not know how to give and take without restrictions, it is not love, but a transaction." --Emma Goldman

Letting Go (Part 4)

Clem S. Estrera, Jr. CIM 1972

     Many of us must have remembered Andy Gibb. He was a celebrity, a great pop singer, the youngest brother of the singing group The Bee Gees. His real life was tragic. He died in 1988 at the age of only 30 of what was reported to be viral myocarditis. Years before he died, however, it was also reported that when the woman Andy loved had stopped loving him, his heart was badly broken and thus some people understandably were inclined to believe that a broken heart must also have something to do with his early death. But why would a very popular pop star who could have any girl or woman he wanted, succumb to a sour romantic love relationship and nurture a broken heart? I guess growing up an ASPO (Anak Sa Pobreng Otin), it’s hard not to wonder why someone, let alone the likes of Andy Gibb, would allow a break up with the woman he loves to torment him all the way to a tragic end. For an ASPO, it takes more than just a sour romantic love relationship to break his heart. Well, maybe love is not for everyone.

     In 1981, during his pinup-poster boy phase, Andy Gibb met actress, Victoria Principal, whom Andy regarded as his “very special lady.” When the affair ended after a little more than a year, Andy Gibb was devastated. “When we broke up,” he told an interviewer on a national television show, “I gave up everything. I didn’t care about life.” Since I used to listen to his album and watch TV program when he was featured, watching Andy Gibb on TV during that time made me chuckle. I could almost hear the song inside my head: "Your goodbye, left me with eyes that cry. How can I ... go on, dear, without you..You took the best.. So why not take the rest. Baby, take all of me.."

     Yes, Andy Gibb was able to give up everything except his loss and disappointment. He could not let go of them. That’s why it is not hard for some of his fans to believe that Andy Gibb did not really fully recover from a broken heart. He took the break up with the woman he loved too hard, and he probably was not able to let go of the memories that kept haunting and tormenting him. You see, by defiling your body with unhealthy and unpleasant thoughts and feelings, you open the pathway for sickness and toxin to enter. You’d poison your spirit, and if you keep holding on to your loss, grief, disappointment, or memories that haunt and torment you, that poison would eventually cause irreversible damage and become fatal. You’d lose your balance and ultimately your life. For holding on to them tightly with both hands, you’d have no more hand to grab and grasp hope with. When you lose hope, you lose your desire to live.

Falling in love
     When we were young and restless, falling in love is like walking on air; everything is beautiful, our pulse quickens, our mood soars, and even the stinking toilet in CIM smells relatively good enough to make us sing or whistle a happy tune - "I'm singing in the rain..." Life is just wonderful. Our thoughts are centered on each other. The pleasant sensations of our body are being heightened by romantic feelings and fantasies as if our brains are constantly releasing endorphins and our endocrine system releasing adrenalins that make our heartbeat quicken and our skin flush. The future looks brighter. Indeed love is a many splendor thing.

     Once we get into a relationship, we feel lucky and we expect our relationship to work out and not bother to recognize that it may not. We go our way to see only what we want to see and lose our sight on reality. All our perceptions are filtered through romantic dreams, wishes, fantasies and expectations. We drift into the saying that "love is blind and lovers cannot see." It is as if the person we have fallen for is like a unique creature who possessed features that fire our minds with obsessive thoughts to possess her or him. It is easy to confuse obsession with love.

“Jealousy, night and day you torture me….”
     All too often young lovers do not consider misunderstanding as part of a normal relationship although they consider possessiveness and jealousy as love or parts of love. But the more jealous and possessive they become, the unhappier they get as obsessive thoughts and feelings lead to misunderstandings that would flourish like mushrooms after a thunderstorm particularly when their relationship is threatened by another person, a potential player in the game of love. Jealousy and possessiveness don't make the relationship strong and secure as what a jealous lover believes they do.  They would only make it weak, fragile and vulnerable, for jealousy makes a lover suspicious. And suspiciousness would readily lead to anger and irritability which in turn would lead to unnecessary fights and misunderstandings. Francois de la Rochefaucould said: "Jealousy feeds upon suspicion, and it turns it into a fury." Thomas Paine said: "Suspicion is the companion of mean souls." Indeed you become mean to each other for no good reason, or all because of jealousy and suspicion.

     Yet many young lovers insist on calling jealousy and obsessive thoughts that are causing them so much unhappiness, love. They could not understand that love is supposed to feel good. Love creates a feeling of something warm and wonderful, a feeling of pleasure, stability, trust and inner peace, not a feeling of irrational fear, doubt, insecurity and uncertainty. Love should make them whistle a happy tune, not singing the blues.

     Since rejection is not considered as a risk in a relationship to begin with, a break up of such relationship is devastating. Rejection is a blow to the lovers' self-esteem and to their dreams and expectations, throwing them into an emotional tailspin. The resultant reactions of distress, frustration, disappointment, despair and humiliation often turn to rage and depression. Dr. Susan Forward, PhD, an internationally renowned therapist, lecturer and author of many best-selling books said: "Rage and depression are caused by the same feeling of anger. Rage is anger turned toward someone else, while depression is anger turned toward yourself." So while depression makes you feel tired, exhausted, powerless and hopeless that in turn could make you think of dying, rage makes you think of revenge including killing.

Pain and suffering
    I used to remind my two daughters and now my son to be realistic when it comes to a romantic love relationship and thus to consider all possibilities one of which is that he and his girlfriend may change their mind along the way regarding their relationship or their feelings toward each other. The change may not be good or may not be favorable, but the sooner they'd accept it as a normal part of any human relationship, or the sooner they understand that it can happen to anyone including themselves, whatever happens to their relationship even if it doesn't work out the way they would have wanted to, the learning experience should make them stronger, not weaker. When things are cool, they don’t need cool minds. It’s when things are rough, ugly and dirty that they need to keep their sanity.

     Rejection, that is oftentimes humiliating, should bring them down to earth and make them see and understand that love may be blind, but lovers should be able to see reality and maintain a level of rationality. Emotional pain that comes from a break-up in a relationship cannot be avoided, but it should only be temporary. They should recognize that pain and suffering are two different situations. Emotional pain is a normal response. Suffering is an abnormal choice. They can have pain but they don't have to suffer. On the other hand, the pain may be gone, but suffering would continue until they confront the problem by looking inward in order to see that it is only their pride or ego that is making them suffer. If their pride or ego resists being humbled down, then they'll continue to suffer, for they'll hold on to pain rather than let it go.

Parental dilemma
    There are some parents who don't want their kids to have a relationship until perhaps they're old enough like when they're twenty-one or about to finish college. But when the kids' hormones start firing all cylinders, stopping or holding them from having such relationship would be like plugging a hole of a dam with a bubble gum. To me, the earlier they experience and understand their emotions, the earlier they mature emotionally. Emotional painful experience makes if not forces them to understand that not everything in life works the way they would want them to. It is such experience and understanding that would make them less likely to be shaken, let alone shattered by life's unpleasant events. I just don’t approve of disguising the real world by bribing, luring or enticing my kids to indulge on some activities to hide or shelter them for few more years just for my own convenience and peace of mind.

     The most difficult problem for parents to tackle with is when we don't like, let alone approve our son's girlfriend or our daughter's boyfriend. It's very hard to keep our antagonism to ourselves. Fortunately, my wife and I did not have the difficulty agreeing that we should not antagonize our kids' choice of a friend. As much as possible, we should be nice and avoid being nasty no matter what kind of friends they have. We both happen to believe that ignoring your daughter's boyfriend or son's girlfriend, or being nasty instead of being nice simply because you don't like the boy or the girl, would only make your own son or daughter hate and resent you. Unwittingly, you are also giving your son or daughter the reason to blame you if their relationship would not work out. If they get angry of the break-up and rejection, their anger could easily turn toward one direction - toward you. If the kid has no one to turn to for support or help, not being able to respect and trust you, he or she may find comfort in drugs and alcohol.

    In any case, I always try to invite any of my son's girlfriends to dinner the same way I did to any of my daughters' boyfriends, to be able to know them better. My wife is against this if she doesn't like my son's girlfriend, because she doesn't want the girl to have the wrong impression that we like her. But on two occasions, my son and I did not tell her about his girlfriend coming to dine with us. My wife was upset with me but she had no choice because the girl was already in the restaurant. Anyway, the kids will respect you for it. You cannot really make judgment or say something against or for somebody unless you know enough of the person. And you won’t know enough of that person by simply believing what you’ve heard. You need a close encounter to free yourself from biases and prejudices to make your own impression. The kids know that. If they don't respect you because you are making judgment without knowledge, or saying something against somebody you don't know enough, then you won't be able to guide, let alone influence them with their relationship. They would only avoid you like a plague, if not fight you like a devil.

"Please release me, let me go.."
     Love, that is the most desired emotion, is also the most misunderstood. Emotional intimacy cannot develop, let alone last without true love. Unfortunately, when we were young and eager to fall in love, most if not all of us were not told, let alone taught, and thus have a hard time understanding that love is not a desire to possess or to own; it is an emotion that sets no conditions to the one you love. Love is something we give with no strings attached. It is not something we bargain with. Otherwise we are likely to pay only half of what it is worth because it's our human nature to do so, to wait for it on sale with at least 50% reduction.

    I must say that I am fortunate to have a teenage son who talked to me and asked questions when he started having a relationship with a girl. It makes me wish my two daughters did the same. I guess girls are more secretive. But I have been more concerned, however, with my teenage son because boys can be deadly when they succumb to rage and depression after a break up in a relationship with the girl they love. Thus I felt so much better when my son asked my opinion about love and romantic love relationship that I was too eager to discuss with him its pros and cons - the good, the bad and the ugly. I believe he understood well what I had explained to him because he was never hurt with the break up that he did not initiate. He just shrugged as if to say: “Hey! It’s life.” His grades were even better. But I felt sorry for the girl he dumped last year. The girl was too possessive. She is still in high school and she kept bugging my son in college who was having a hard time with his studies. The girl cried for a week, but she ultimately understood my son’s priorities. They end up being good friends, lovers no more. Wise move.

     As I had explained to my son a couple of times, love is about giving, not taking; compromise and cooperation, not control and coercion; and sharing of ideas, dreams, hopes and expectations, not keeping secrets and telling lies.  It’s about allowing someone to choose freely with no ifs and no buts. When one gets involved in a romantic love relationship, one becomes a lover, not a jailer. Thus when the person you love is gone, you simply let that person go because you love, not own, that person. Since you have also played an active role in the relationship, after a break up, you would have to look inward, not outward, if you want to understand the situation, instead of being confused by it. You need your mind to find the answer and your heart to grapple with the truth. You need to reconcile the brain and the heart; keeness and kindness to avoid tearing yourself apart. It is when you succumb to emotions that you’d lose your mind – unable to achieve mental clarity to keep your sanity. Indeed love is too precious a gift to lose, but it becomes useless when it’s no longer willingly shared by two individuals. Thus when it’s gone, you just have to take what little is left and live.

     So, rather than blaming which you’d learn nothing from, you should ask yourself what you did or did not do that has made the person you love stop loving you. Dr. Wayne Dyer, a psychotherapist, author and speaker said: "All blame is a waste of time. No matter how much fault you find with another, and regardless of how much you blame him, it will not change you. The only thing blame does is to keep the focus off you when you are looking for external reasons to explain your unhappiness or frustration. You may succeed in making another person feel guilty about something by blaming him, but you won’t succeed in changing whatever it is about you that is making you unhappy."  When you learn something from an unpleasant experience like a loss or a break up in a relationship, you earn the choice of becoming stronger and wiser. Blaming would only make you a fool. Better to lose and be a little wiser, than win and be a damned fool.

“After the loving….”
     There is nothing romantic about dying for love, just as there is nothing sweet about revenge. And yet, many men and women killed themselves or killed each other, or made each other's lives miserable in the name of love. Some people would argue that life without love is no life at all and thus dying of a broken heart is a romantic way of doing it. They prefer love without life over life without love. But they miserably fail to understand that life is learning. As long as you have life, you can learn to love again.

     Many individuals go out with another person after a break-up of a romantic love relationship. There is absolutely nothing wrong with it. One should take pleasure to which he or she is entitled. After all, is it wrong for you to find pleasure at the sight of a beautiful rose, its fragrance, simply because someone else is giving it to you? Would you not take it even if it makes it easier for you to live? Why not? You deserve it. Of course, you don't have to, but you should not allow those obsessive memories or guilt feelings to keep you from taking pleasure with what's left of your life. You simply take what you deserve. And you deserve to live, to enjoy and have pleasure with what little is left, not to deteriorate, disintegrate and die like the sun would stop shining when you do.

Splendor in the Grass
     While Andy Gibb's real life story was tragic, the story in the movie, Splendor in the Grass, had a happier ending. I'm sure many of us should still remember this movie. It’s a classic movie, a Box Office hit during its time - a love story about two teenagers in high school starred by Natalie Wood and Warren Beatty, whose love relationship went sour. All because Warren Beatty decided to follow what his father wanted him to and so he went out with another girl against his better judgment. After all, many teenage girls in high school were phatpretty hot and tempting.

    Broken-hearted, Natalie Wood became depressed and hysterical, and eventually ended up in a mental institution. When Warren Beatty realized that he really loved Natalie Wood above anyone else, he decided to propose to marry her. But it was too late. Natalie was in a hospital bed delirious, not recognizing people, and was bound for a mental institution. Also, Beatty’s overbearing father was strongly against it particularly that Natalie had become a mental patient. He wanted Beatty to proceed to Harvard and finish college. Beatty was devastated. Eventually, however, Warren Beatty realized that a life full of choices imposed on him by his father was not worth living for. So he decided to live his own life and make his own choices. He dropped out of Harvard, married an Italian waitress, and settled to live and work as a farmer against his father’s wishes.

    Meanwhile in a mental institution, Natalie met a young surgeon who rekindled her romantic feelings. The young surgeon was institutionalized because he was unable to handle his anger, hatred and resentment of his overbearing father. His father wanted him to become a surgeon and when he became one, his father was far from satisfied. He wanted him to become the greatest surgeon in the whole world. The young surgeon just could not take it anymore. He indicated that before he could make his first cut as a surgeon, like taking an exam, he had a mental blackout. He became nervous and could not proceed. Anyway, he and Natalie became fond of each other and planned to get married as soon as they get out of the institution.

    During the course of therapy, Natalie finally realized that she had to let go of the past if she wanted to have her normal life back. She also realized that she could not entirely fault or blame her mother for the way she was raised, calling her my child or my baby even if she was already old enough to be a woman, because her mother did the best she could with what she knew how. And the things she knew were from her mother before her and so on. Her mother also accepted the flaws in the way she raised Natalie and for that, she apologized. They forgave each other and loved each other even more. In the end, however, Natalie decided to confront her nemesis, that is her own feelings for Warren Beatty that started it all. She made up her mind to drain or evacuate the pus of the past so her wound would completely heal.

     With her two best friends, Natalie went to see Beatty. Beatty already had a family, had a little boy and his wife was again pregnant. They were living in a shack. Those of us who had seen this movie, in watching this particular scene, we were all filled with anxiety, apprehension and anticipation. But instead of being hysterical which she had become every time she saw Beatty after their break-up, Natalie was very rational. She went inside the house, greeted Beatty’s wife pleasantly, asked if she could lift the boy in her arms which she did eagerly, talked and played with the boy briefly. When Natalie was about to say goodbye to Beatty alone on the road, she asked him whether he was happy. Beatty replied that he didn’t ask that question to himself much anymore. When she was asked the same question, she gave the same answer more or less. Both of them came to understand that what's past is past and they have to let go of it and move on with their life. Let the past bury the past.

Finding strength in what remains behind
     Natalie, after having been through the thorn hedges in life she had a hard time dealing with, had decided to accept the sting, and it gave her calmness and confidence. She then understood that to quote the song: "All is fair in love, because love is a crazy game." She had accepted the fact that the break-up of her romantic relationship with Beatty was something she had no complete control of and it was her full responsibility for allowing her feelings or emotions to drive her crazy. It was her choice to get entangled with the crazy game without considering the consequences of losing. For in a crazy game, crazy things can happen. A nighttime of passion can give you a lifetime of pain. If this is not crazy, then what do you call it?

     Natalie also understood that in most any game in life, there are winners and there are losers, but there are also more games to play. Live today and play another day. So she let go of her past - her loss, grief and disappointment - and found strength in what remains of her life. She looked forward to the future to play another game with another partner, and this time, she was more confident in having a better chance of winning.

"Though nothing can bring back the hour
Of splendor in the grass;
Of glory in the flower;
We will grieve not; rather find
Strength in what remains behind…"

         --William Wordsworth

Happy Valentines, Everyone!

To be Continued


CIM Alumni News

    Congratulations to Chi-Chi Maestrado of the CIM Class 1996! Chi-Chi has gotten the match at Johns Hopkins Hospital for her fellowship in Child and Adolescence Psychiatry. Chi-Chi, we are proud of you. Johns Hopkins may have the most difficult program to get in and the toughest one to go through, but with a smart CIM graduate like you, you'll fit in like a dainty little foot on an already broken-in shoe.


For Laughs Only

Why do women play with their hair at traffic lights? - Because they don't have any balls to scratch.

    A visitor to Texas inquired: "Does it ever rain here?"
    The rancher replied: "Yes. Remember that part in the Bible where it rained for 40 days and 40 nights?"
     "You mean Noah's flood?"
    "Yep. Well, we got about two and a half inches during that spell."

    An English visitor to the U.S. was talking to a fellow passenger on the train. She told him that last year she came over to stay in San Jose.
    "You pronounce that wrong," said the man. "It is San Hosay. In California, you should pronounce all Js as Hs.
    "Oh, I see," said the woman. "Thank you for pointing that out."
    "When were you there?" inquired the man.
    "Hune and Huly."

    A man and a woman were seated at a bar, both drinking champagne. Neither had met before. After a while, the man turned to the woman and said: "I see you're drinking champagne too. Are you celebrating something?"
    "I sure am," replied the woman. "This is a special day for me. For years I've been trying to have a child and today my gynecologist told me I'm pregnant."
    "Congratulations," said the man. "I'm celebrating too. I'm a chicken farmer and for years all my hens were infertile, but today they're finally fertile."
    "How did it happen?" asked the woman.
    "I switched cocks." replied the man.
    "What a coincidence..."

    A Jewish couple were worried that their son would refuse to learn Math at school, so they sent him to a Catholic school which had a good reputation in the subject. But after his first day at the new school, the boy came home, ran straight to his room and slammed the door. The behavior went on every school night for the next two months, at the end of which the parents were asked along to meet the teachers. They feared the worst but, to their surprise, their son's Math teacher revealed that the the boy was doing excellent work and was top of the class.
    "So what changed your mind about learning Math?" they asked the boy when they returned home.
    "Well," said the boy, "on the first day I walked into the classroom, I saw a guy nailed to a plus sign at the back of the room, and I knew they meant business."


Valuable Tips and Information

"The soul is dyed the color of its thoughts. Think only on those things that are in line with your principles and can bear the light of day. The content of your character is your choice. Day by day, what you do is who you become." --Heraclitus 535-475 BC (approximately), Philosopher and Author

Safety and Security
    This safety tip is courtesy of the Consumer Reports Travel Letter, 101 Truman Ave., Yonkers, NY 10703. Beware of Laptop hustlers at airport security stations. While you put your laptop on the conveyor belt, two crooks get in front of you in line. After the first crook passes through the metal detector, the second crook sets off the alarm, stalling the line - and you - while the first crook runs off with your laptop. Self-Defense: Keep an eye on your laptop as it emerges from the X-ray machine. Call for help if you see a stranger grab it.

    This security tip is courtesy of Paul Hackerson, security coordinator with Rockford Housing Authority, Rockford, Ill. "As part of my duties, I travel to various cities for training. Once I have performed the initial survey of [the hotel's] stairwell locations, emergency exits, etc., I survey the layout of the furniture in my room in case I have to move around or leave in the dark. I also check the window design and height from the ground or lower roofs in case that is the only exit. Prior to turning in for the night, I ensure that the door is closed and locked, apply the chain or swing bar and place my set of keys balancing on top of the interior door handle. That way, should anyone try the door, the keys will fall and hopefully wake a very sound sleeper."

    This safety tip is courtesy of Herbert Teison, Editor, Travel Smart, 40 Beechdale Rd., Dobbs, Ferry, New York 10522. Instead of keeping your valuables in your hotel room, put them in the hotel's safe - but check first to see whether the hotel's liability is enough to cover your valuables. What to keep in the safe: Jewelry, cameras, traveler's checks you don't need and other valuable items like personal and travel documents, and even exposed film. Keep cash with you in a wallet worn around your neck or waist at all times, not in the hotel safe. If you don't need something, leave it at home.

    Keep a watch out for people standing near you at retail stores, restaurants, grocery stores, etc., that have a cell phone in hand. With the new camera cell phones, they can take a picture of your credit card, which gives them your name, number, and expiration date. Identification theft is one of the fastest growing scams today, and this is just another example of the means that are being used. So ... be aware of your surroundings.

Health and Medicine
    This information about men is courtesy of Michael Babyak, PhD, researcher at Duke Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina. He conducted a study of 750 men over 22 years. Domineering men die sooner?... Men who exhibited such vocal characterestics as attempting to interrupt conversations and making quick responses were 60% more likely to die sooner than men who spoke quietly and were more laid back. Theory: Socially dominating men need to be in control at all times. This increases levels of stress hormones in the blood, which can, over time, damage the heart and imune system.

     WOMEN,  Your Attention, Please… According to the American Heart Association, cardiovascular disease which includes heart disease, hypertension and stroke, is the number one killer of women. It kills half a million American women each year. And they are twice as likely to have a second heart attack in the six years following the first. Yet most women think that they’re going to die of breast cancer. Only 34% of them in a 2000 national heart association survey correctly identified heart disease as a leading cause of their death. And 57% said that they suffered depression, anxiety or both as a result of heart disease. So, women, stop cooking for your husbands and use the time to get out and exercise. Those husbands among you, if you want your dinner, then learn to cook it yourself if you love your wife. Heck, why don’t you go and walk or exercise with your wife? Come on. Put your rear in gear.



"Life is made up, not of great sacrifices or duties, but of little things, in which smiles and kindness, and small obligations win and preserve the heart." --Humphrey Davy

Sci-Fi Technology

Precious Metals

     I am one of those who believe that with the rapid pace of technology and it’s amazing ability to make things happen,  the possibilities of the future are endless and exciting. Centuries ago, many individuals tried to make or invent gold in their laboratories. Despite the crude technology and perhaps driven by greed, these individuals tried and tried and although they failed, at least they believed they could do it.

    But King Midas wanted a shortcut to making gold. He made a pact with the gods, who after much haggling granted his wish that everything he touched would turn to gold. Midas supposed that if he were to become immensely rich, his happiness would be assured. So when his wish was granted, King Midas thought he had made a first-rate deal. He could not help smiling to himself saying that nothing would prevent him now from becoming the richest, therefore the happiest, man in the world. But we all know the rest of the story. King Midas soon came to regret his bargain because the food in his mouth and the wine in his palate turned to gold before he could swallow them, and so he died surrounded by golden plates and golden cups.

     For what it’s worth, the fable about King Midas tells us that material success doesn’t necessarily translate to happiness. Yet people keep hoping that changing the external conditions of their lives will provide a solution, and thus they engage in an endless struggle to reach external goals, expecting that they will improve life and make them happy. They have a hard time understanding that happiness and peace of mind come from within - from the ability to control consciousness - to let go the past and be grateful and happy with what you have. One cannot create a complete sense of inner security by buying a tropical island and surround it with armed bodyguards and attack dogs. Yet it's practically what many people are dreaming of and aspiring for - to get rich in order to be happy, but they don't really have a clear idea of how rich and when to say that enough is enough. They always seem to want more and more, and thus their happiness is always tied with that magic "more."

     Well, gold is still extracted by mining, not by Midas touch. Today it takes at least tons of rocks to get an ounce of gold. I know because I once worked in the Atlas Mining, Corp. in Lutopan, Cebu as a laboratory utility operator for about 10 months. Part of my job aside from sweeping and mopping the floor was grinding and pulverzing rock samples to test for its contents of copper, nickel, iron, etc. Twice a year, we received a small gold bonus check from the few ounces of gold that were extracted out of those tons and tons of copper the company sent to Japan.

     But a century or two ago, gold was panned from the river. “Go West, young man, and seek your fortune!” are the famous words from the California Gold Rush in the late 1840s. It was during those times when the American Dream was re-defined – to get rich; to make a fortune -- quickly. The simple life would no longer be enough. But the discovery of gold, however, was accidental. John Sutter, an affable Swiss immigrant came to California in 1839 and built a fort, amassed 12,000 head of cattle, and took on hundreds of workers. In late 1847, Sutter sent James Marshall to the river along the fort to build a sawmill – to provide lumber for Sutter’s growing ranch.

    The sawmill was nearly complete when a glint of something caught Marshall’s eye. It was gold and that was in January 24, 1848. By 1849, the Gold Rush began.  As the news of the gold spread all over the world, men and women from cities everywhere left their jobs, sold their properties and went west. Many of them were so optimistic dreaming of romancing those stones and perhaps thinking of getting laid. But instead of getting laid, they got screwed. Because of so many people coming from everywhere, the demand for basic human necessities was way beyond its supply and thus the prices of every commodity skyrocketed. At one time, a glass of water cost $100. Many died of thirst and dehydration. But those who lived continued to mine for gold. In San Francisco, California, these gold miners were called forty-niners derived from the year 1849. And that, I believe, is the origin of the San Francisco 49ers football team. For more good reading click on Gold Rush.

     If you have seen the James Bond movie Diamonds Are Forever, although fiction, you should have been amazed by the power diamonds can offer for technology purposes, being aware that sci-fi technology often starts in the movie and then creeps into the laboratory and becomes a reality. In the past and even until now, diamonds have always captivated the fancy of human beings and drove many of them to kill each other. Their dazzling beauty only becomes the mirror reflection of the human greed, and their purity the foil to mankind’s ugliness. Indeed a diamond’s mystique comes from its scarcity and high price. People with money would want to own it because there is something in diamond that one would want to possess. The bigger the diamond, the more it provides a sense of mystical power - a sense of awe.

     Diamond, being the hardest metal, would be the best metal for microprocessors that are used in computers and electronics. Diamond microchips would allow computers to run hundreds of times faster because it can handle higher temperature than silicon chips. But diamonds are so expensive. A diamond ring of one carat would cost you more than $3,000. Thus a personal computer with diamond microchip would probably cost you about $10,000. Today you can get a whole set of computer, monitor and printer for less than $500 and you may even have a bonus of digital camera thrown in with it.

     Now comes the laboratory-grown flawless diamonds that even experts can’t recognize them from the real or mined diamonds without a special machine that diamond mine companies are claiming they now have. Hard to believe, isn’t it? But there is one company that has become successful in making such diamond that would cost you just $5 a carat instead of $3,000 a carat. In one of the processes involved in "growing" this diamond, a diamond wafer – less than one-tenth of a carat – is placed in a vacuum with chemical gases were it is pressure-cooked at 1,800 degrees Fahrenheit for several days. This experimental process can grow a gem as large as three carats. When polished and cut, the gem’s color and composition are virtually indistinguishable from a mined or real diamond. Still can’t believe it?

     Within the next year, laboratory-grown diamonds for industrial use are expected to come to the market and within five years, diamond jewelries would become available at prices you’ve never dreamed of. However, there is a drawback for lab-grown diamonds particularly for jewelry purposes. De Beers, the diamond industrial giant, has already begun sending to major jewelers testing machines that it claims can distinguish between man-made and mined diamonds. Further, mined-diamond wholesalers have also petitioned the Federal Trade Commission to label the new stones "synthetic." And as you know, people would be very leery about buying a "synthetic" diamond. But the unintended consequence could be that many people would no longer consider diamond as girls’ best friend causing the price of the real diamond to drop. After all, who would want to buy and wear a real diamond at its price that kills when you can get one that would cost a pittance and keeps your wallet alive and yet virtually unrecognizable from the real one?

    Anyway, the company that is making headway in growing diamonds is a private company based in Boston. It holds the patent for the carbon-gas process. The name of the private company that "grows" diamonds is Apollo Diamond, Inc., private in a sense that the company's stock shares are not traded in Wall Street. If you want more information, click on this web site: www.apollodiamond.com

Capsule Endoscopy

    How would you like to simply swallow a minute camera that would take pictures in your GI tract instead of a long endoscopic tube rammed into your throat down to your stomach or shoved into your ass up to your large intestines, to diagnose a lesion in your GI tract? This new technology is called capsule endoscopy. The capsule that is actually a camera is 11 mm x 26 mm size and weighs less than 4 grams, about a size of a big vitamin pill. The company calls this capsule as M2A capsule that has a field of view of 140 degrees and enables the detection of a lesion at a minimum size of less than 0.1 mm as compared to 0.5 mm with the small bowel follow-through exam.

     The capsule contains a transmitter, video camera and light-emitting diodes to illuminate the GI tract. It generates 57,000 images at a rate of two frames per second to a portable data recorder that the patient wears on a belt. The capsule moves in the intestines and is excreted eight hours later. The procedure is painless at about half the cost of fiber-optic endoscopy procedures. I am excited with this procedure because until now, at my age, I still haven’t had any endoscopy done on me yet even if my doctor has constantly recommended it to me. I just find it uncomfortable thinking of having a tube up my ass or down my throat.

     These capsules are currently in use in more than 50 countries including the U.S. By the way, the capsule is not re-usable. It doesn’t sound comforting if it is. Imagine swallowing a capsule that has already passed through someone’s GI tract. The drawback is that since this technology is new, the imaging results could be misinterpreted and in patients with bowel obstruction or inflammation, the capsule could get stuck inside. To date over 65,000 patients worldwide have swallowed the capsule M2A. This procedure is now reimbursed by few health insurance companies like the Wellpoint Healthcare Network and The Regence Group. In the next few years, this will be covered by most health insurance companies.

     The company that makes capsule endoscopy available is an Israel-based company called Given Imaging Ltd. If you want more information, click on this web site: www.givenimaging.com. --Clem


Quotes of the Month

    "Ours are not Western values. They are the universal values of the human spirit. And anywhere, anytime ordinary people are given the chance to choose, the choice is the same: freedom, not tyranny; democracy, not dictatorship; the rule of law, not the rule of the secret police.
    The spread of freedom is the best security for the free. It is our last line of defense and our first line of attack. And just as the terrorist seeks to divide humanity in hate, so we have to unify it around an idea, and that idea is liberty. We must find the strength to fight for this idea and the compassion to make it universal." --Tony Blair, Great Britain's Prime Minister during his address to a joint session of the U.S. Congress on July 17, 2003.

    "This is the true joy in life….being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one … being a forced of Nature instead of a feverish selfish little clod of ailments and grievances complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy …. I am of the opinion that my life belongs to the whole community and as long as I live it is my privilege to do for it whatever I can. I want to be thoroughly used up when I die. For the harder I work the more I live. I rejoice in life for its own sake. Life is no brief candle to me. It’s a sort of splendid torch which I’ve to hold up for the moment and I want to make it burn brightly as possible before handing it on to future generations." --George Bernard Shaw


Important Notice:It's your voluntary choice to read this newsletter. The contents of this newsletter are absolutely not intended to hurt anyone's feelings or harass anyone's morality with its jokes, humor and philosophy, or handcuff anyone's intellect to its philosophy, thoughts, opinions or information. If you are not one of the CIM alumni and you receive e-mail notification of the current issue of Brain Waves, it's because you are considered as one of the CIM alumni friends. If you, as one of the CIM alumni or a friend of the alumni, wish to have your name deleted or removed from our mailing list, notify: clems3ra@adelphia.net . But if you wish to participate instead, then send your articles, essays, jokes, etc., in English or Bisaya to the same e-mail address. No guarantee that your jokes will be chosen for publication. Thank you for reading this important notice.