It’s March 20th again, the day of the Spring Equinox (chunfen 春分), when the centre of the Sun spends the same amount of time above and below the horizon, such that night and day are the same length everywhere.
It’s also World Storytelling Day. On this day March 20th 1916 Albert Einstein published his general theory of relativity, while closer to home my Grandfather, Captain Michael William “M.W.” O’Reilly was likely dividing his time between his job as Assistant Superintendent Clontarf District at Prudential Insurance and as a Captain of the Irish Volunteers, preparing for what was to be the ultimate challenge to British rule in Ireland: The 1916 Easter Rising (Read more at http://wp.me/p15Yzr-R).
The Roman poet (Ovid), a German theologian (Jerome Emser), the first monarch of the reigning Chakri dynasty in Thailand (Buddha Yodfa Chulaloke, a.k.a Rama I), a Norwegian writer (Henrik Ibsen), a French Emperor (Napolean Bonaparte II) and the last President of the Fourth Republic (Rene Coty), the “Forces’ Sweetheart” (DameVera Lynn), America actor (William Hurt), and blues singer (Marva Wright), a Mexican Nobel Peace Prize winner (Alfonso Garcia Robles), a Japanese long-distance runner (Kenji Kimihara), Canadians the 18th prime minister of Canada (Brian Mulroney) and one of the greatest ice hockey players of all time (Bobby Orr), a Russian composer, pianist and conductor (Sergei Rachmaninoff), a Greek journalist and Communist Party politician (Liana Kanelli), a world champion Australian woodchopper (David Foster), a Danish footballer (Jesper Olsen), and an Irish portrait and wartime painter (Sir John Lavery) were all born on March 20th, or the Cusp of Rebirth as the Pisces (the 12th and final Sign of the Zodiac) and Aries (the first Sign of the Zodiac) cusp combination is known.
“This is a most favourable and desirable cusp, indicative of a union between intelligence and understanding. In essence, these cuspians are likely to possess strong mental powers coupled with the priceless gift of comprehension. The chief characteristics of this blend are vigilance and caution…each step carefully weighed prior to being taken”“The power of intuition inherent in these natives is truly quite remarkable and they rarely go amiss when they rely upon their own judgment as formulated by their intuition. There is an extremely keen and valuable foresight here in all matters of a financial nature and these subjects will work out in advance the most brilliant of schemes and projects which are then executed with total success. The minds of these cuspians are always busily engaged in devising plans for new enterprises and projects. Indeed, perhaps the novelty of a certain scheme holds the most attraction for the Mars/Neptune individual”. Source: http://www.novareinna.com/constellation/ariescusp.html
March 20th marks the first day of the Iranian calendar, while in Azerbaijan, Afghanistan, Zanzibar, and Albania it’s a holiday.
Now there are 286 days remaining until the end of the year.
No matter driving rain, howling gale, bitter cold, or blazing sun, walking the length of Dun Laoghaire Pier I am conscious no one values the very unique brilliance of my thoughts and words as much as Muffin does. Behaves gracefully in all situations and circumstances. She never asks why, just sniffs the ground to keep abreast of where we are, wags her tail and pulls forward. Wonderful!
“…beauty without vanity, strength without insolence, courage without ferocity; and all the virtues of man without his vices.“
I was feeling really uptight, stressed. 52 hours on the go from Hangzhou to Dublin ..
Heavy snow, freezing temperatures. The busiest time of the year. Travel chaos. Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport. Three cancelled flights, queues, queues and more queues, the rumour machine (“we could be here until Christmas Day“), the lottery for seats on the extra plane put on by Aer Lingus (the world’s worst airline), which didn’t depart on 11.30pm but rather 2.30am.
Dublin Airport. The 5.00 am arrival (“where are our bags?“). More rumours… the chaos, bags, except mine, discarded all over the baggage reclaim area… the lack of Aer Lingus / Dublin Airport authorities ownership of the problem… everyone else to blame except them…. freezing cold waiting for the bus… that was dawn 23rd December… The welcome sight of my brother at the door standing in his jocks… a foot of snow outside the house..
And so to this heartburn-like feeling over the past week… the usual Christmas excesses or? I also felt wasted, like I had never felt wasted. At the urging of my ever attentive mother I went to see the family doctor for a check up.
When Dr. K started checking the battery of the blood pressuremonitor I knew something was very wrong… He did the test again… “How do you really feel?” “Very tired, easy to nod off, mentally erratic, hard to concentrate, a little headache and strange white spots in my eyes”
A reading of 170/108. Such blood pressure readings fall within Stage 2Hypertension(readings of 160/110 and 180/110 usually indicate Stage 2 Hypertension), in which there is high risk of a heart-attack or a stroke.
There then followed the ‘Mother of all Colds’, which knocked me out for five days … Related? Hypertension? To much salt?
Almost two weeks later I am wearing a blood pressuremonitor taking readings on an hourly basis. From a 170/108 emergency, blood pressure readings are now in the low 130’s or high 120’s/88-82.. Absolutely normal.
So what was all that 170/108 about?
Life is not to be taken for granted. We can be here one second and the next second snuffed out. Hypertension and stress are invisible killers. I wouldn’t have been aware what the combination of symptoms were pointing to.
Wholesome home food and a relaxed mind are the keys to a healthy life…. Now, if only air-travel was less stressful!
I know what my 2011 priority will be… “Good health = long life”.
Ever seen the film “Catch Me If You Can“? Stars Leonardo de Caprio, in this apparently true story in which he impersonates a school reporter, a pilot, a doctor, and then a lawyer and fools everyone. Eventually he gets caught.
Doctor Theodore M, M.D. PhD’, presented himself as “one of the foremost western psychologists residing in China“, with an assortment of qualifications, degrees (which would require substantial academic writing and journal submissions), and experience that covered many different facets of the medical profession. Having satisfied themselves Doctor Theodore M was a highly qualified medical professional local Chinese resident and ex-pats living in Hangzhou with real medical needs flocked to consult with him on various ailments. All had confidence in his abilities not only to treat, but they also took solace in the professional advice that a medical practitioner of his stature would undoubtedly provide.
Early in February, a Chinese girl received an email from the Doctor, which was in effect an unsolicited sexual proposition. The email contained his mobile number. The girl in question demanded an apology. After repeated requests and with no apology forthcoming she posted a warning about Doctor Theodore M on the Hangzhou Expat Forum. In a state of denial, believing that the best defence is offence the Doctor accused her of defamation of character.
It just so happened that prior to reading the girl’s post on the Forum I was reading a news article in which HR recruitment experts were commenting that employers will always do an online search for “extra” details about potential job candidates — the point being make sure that information about yourself, especially your background, which you post online is true because someone somewhere is going to Google you [or if you are in 2013 China “human flesh search you”!]
Anyway, I had some time to burn today, as one does when it is seriously freezing outside, and as I re-read the posts on the topic raised by the girl something just didn’t seem right. As we say back home, I smelt a rat. This guy’s mode of offence wasn’t very becoming of a medical practitioner of repute, especially a psychologist.
And so began the Google search. Soon Google was throwing up lots of disturbing information about the Doc M… He claimed to have 15 college degrees (including 3 PhDs), he was Reiki Master/Healer, a member of the US Marine’s elite Delta Force, a stuntman, a bounty hunter, a former police officer, and an actor. Google search threw up a huge amount of information about this Superman going back 15 years.
About those degrees:
AS Degrees in Arts & Sciences – York & Gaston Technical Colleges
BS- Healthcare Services; Alameda University
BS-Psychology and Master of Arts- Counselling – Alameda University
Masters of Science-Psychology and Masters of Science-General Medicine – Medical University of South Carolina
D. in Medicine – Medical University of South Carolina
D. in Psychiatry – Medical University of South Carolina
D. in Philosophy – UC Berkeley
He had purchased all the degrees certificates online. Alameda University in particular has a reputation for selling any type of degree at a price. Further research confirmed that the Doctor Theodore M wasn’t registered with any reputable medical school / authority in the USA, especially the American Medical Association.
Out of the blue Hangzhou had its very own version of Catch Me If You Can starring Theodore M. The man was nothing more than a con-artist with a very big ego (conmen usually are).
How his scam worked
1. Buy the degree online
2. Reside in a developing country with second and third tier cities crying out for the ‘professional wisdom of expert Westerners’, and where nobody can hardly speak English, let alone read and write it
3. Have you online purchased degree notarised by the nearest US Consulate (in this case the US Consulate in Shanghai)
4. Use the officially notarised documents to attain a license to practice as a medical physician
5. Use your charm
6. After you have the license you could easily apply for a job in needy hospitals, the notarised documents being proof that medical qualifications / degree are bona-fide
Doc M‘s approach opened doors to Hangzhou’s leading hospitals, and before long hewas even advertising his services as “a licensed and certified China organizer for organ Transplants for Foreigners“, a minefield controversial subject in China last year given evidence that the body parts of executed prisoners were being used in transplants (a trade that Chinese authorities have since outlawed, which doesn’t necessarily mean that the organ donation trade will stop in China any time such is the huge domestic demand for organ transplants). Moreover, most alarmingly, as a licensed physician Doc M was also able to prescribe any type of prescription medication, including anti-depressants and sedatives, which are considered very dangerous medications if not administered by a real professional doctor.
So Doc M was abusing a position of trust that had the potential not only to seriously undermine the credibility of bona fide foreign doctors practising in China, but also the legitimacy of all foreign professionals working in Hangzhou.
Soon other women started coming forward accusing the Theodore M of molestation and worse. After reading his online dating profiles, and hearing and reading his victims first-hand accounts, it was clear that his deception was deception of the highest order, bearing all the hallmarks of a sex predator, who according to several definitions is a person:
“who is or was seen as obtaining or trying to obtain sexual contact with another person in a metaphorically predatory manner”. (Source: Google it…)
“Doctor” Theodore M was exposed as a quack. The US Consulate in Shanghai and others were informed and he is no longer practicing in Hangzhou, let alone China: Caught!
Resume of a Quack Doctor (as posted online):
Shake Rattle & Roll – Townsperson
Carrie 2 – Paramedic
The Patriot (starring Mel Gibson) – Militia Fighter
Millie Lewis – Runway Model
TELEVISION COMMERCIAL EXPERIENCE
Two Local Commercials Principal and Voice Over (both)
Martial Arts, Stunt Fighting, Sword Fighting, Some Singing Ability, Archer, White Water Rafting, Repelling, Expert Marksman, Hiking/Camping, Former Police Officer, Private Detective, Bounty Hunter, Photographer, Paramedic, USMC – Force Recon, Wrestler, Clinical Hypnotherapist/Counselor, Meditation Instructor, Reiki Master/Healer and versed in Buddhism, B.S. in Health Care And Much More.”
At the very least, now we know what the B.S. in Health Care really means.