domingo, 24 de junio de 2007

Supermán Outfit Sold in 16 Thousand Dollars

The News
The auction overcame the expectations… The suit that deceased actor Christopher Reeve dressed in the first movie of Superman, almost 30 years ago, was sold by 8,400 sterling pounds (12,500 Euros or 16,750 dollars) in an auction, in London… The famous tight blue suit of Reeve, with the S on the chest, the yellow belt, and the red boots, which he used in the movie of 1978, overcame the bidding expectations… (

I wonder how much will cost in a few years the Spider Man suit and also if the suit of Batman, after the corresponding 30 years, will overcome the price of Superman’s. Being already in the area of irrelevant questions, would the glasses of Clark Kent be included in the 16 thousand dollars price? Or are those going to sell apart together with the suit of the supposed journalist? I seem to remember (although I was not a faithful fan of this hero) that he was keeping the suit and the glasses of his secret identity in a pocket of the cape. I can understand that the cape had space for them, but always I questioned if the shoes would also fit since they had to be of a quite big size to contain Superman’s feet along with the boots. Or did lockers exist inside the telephone booths of Metropolis?

It is difficult to me to understand these eccentricities of the world. How can produce satisfaction the possession of a relic as that one? I cannot presume that I am an intelligent buyer; more than once I have given things that really I didn’t use and that I bought without needing, but certainly there weren’t things as expensive as a car. Anyhow, this is a good opportunity to reflect: can we live with fewer things in our houses so we can give the saved money to the poor?

Do you remember what Jesus said to the rich young man? “If you want to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.” If He was saying that to us today, what would be the first thing in what we would think? I don’t know about you, but I have to confess that the first thing that would come to my mind would be my computer, my car and my pen collection. As if I could face the Lord and ask: “Can I keep my laptop?” No matter which objects came to your mind, it is a wrong attitude. The first thing that we should think about should be the great opportunity showing up to follow Jesus. Any object is disposable compared to that.

What the Bible Says
“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." (Mateo 6:19-21)

Our treasure cannot be a suit with one "S", or a house, or a painting, c’mon, not even a Bible signed by Jesus (by the way, if somebody offer you one, don’t buy it, trust me when I tell you that it would be false). To do treasures in heaven let's begin to act as the Lord and let's ponder if we are ready to do what He is asking us to do in order to follow Him

viernes, 8 de junio de 2007

Returns Wallet with 2,700 Dollars

The News:
A homeless person found… a wallet with 2,700 dollars, checks and several credit cards in a square of the Argentine province of Salta and returned it to his owner… 42-year-old Ricardo Ismael Medina, a man who survives selling cardboards and plastic that finds in the streets, found the 'treasure' under a bench in a square… “The truth is that I did not hesitate a moment to return it because it was something that wasn’t mine and if my friends had found out that I keep something not mine, they would turn around their faces”, said to the press Medina, who lives in an improvised house to the side of a monument, along with a group of dogs and eleven cats… On having discovered that inside the wallet there were one thousand and 100 dollars and 5 thousand Argentine pesos (approximately one thousand 600 dollars), he went to a nearby police office to denounce the find, and soon there was located the lucky owner of the wallet, who granted to Medina a reward of 300 Argentine pesos (96.7 dollars). (

Is still there someone who doubts that honest people exist? Ricardo Ismael not only is honest, but a real hero. Can you imagine the happiness of the owner when he recovered his wallet? It is not mentioned why he was carrying so much money, but unless he belongs to the Forbes richest men’s list, nobody can spare 2,700 dollars.

Many people, perhaps the majority, still believes that money brings happiness, or at least, facilitate it. False! Generally the people get entangled in vicious circles to obtain more money that will increase needs that will require more money, and so on, until everything ends in ruins, destruction, or bitterness. And please note that I said “generally.” There is no law that prohibits rich people to be happy; it’s only that they achieve it “no matter” the money.

Generally the people with a lot of money worry more about taking care of their patrimony, often they have to hire bodyguards for personal protection and that of their relatives, social commitments remove them from family life and the spouse and children suffer for it, they lose contact with the human side of their employees and normally sacrifice compassion in exchange for efficiency, they lose notion of the social reality and poverty of the world, etc., not for nothing Jesus said: “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God” (Mark 10:25).

The man in the news remained more satisfied with 97 reward dollars that if he had kept the wallet, which would produce in him nervousness, he would had to lie to his friends, hide from them and perhaps lose his friendship. Without doubt he chose his friends instead of a bunch of dollars. Wouldn’t you have done the same? Shouldn’t you do the same, in case of facing a similar dilemma?

Did you ever give money to a friend and he never returned it to you? And did the friendship cool down later? Mhh! I suppose that I am going in the wrong direction… I am guessing here, but I would be ready to bet that our hero Ricardo Ismael shared the 97 dollars of the reward with his dogs and cats and felt happy when they waged the tail and purred.

What the Bible Says:
And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content. But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows (1 Timothy 6:8-10).

How can we be vaccinated against the love of money? Paul offers us some advice: (1) let’s be satisfied with what we possess. Although we can plan to change our car, that shouldn’t make us take decisions that overwhelm us. (2) Let’s be careful of the methods about which we are thinking to make more money. (3) Let’s love the people more that the money and (4) let’s look for God more.

And a fifth advice, not from Paul, but indirect from Ricardo Ismael: let's adopt dogs and cats.

martes, 5 de junio de 2007

Babies Identify Languages

The News:
The babies between four and six months are capable of distinguishing visually between two languages just by observing the facial gestures of a speaker. After six months of age, only the babies who live in an environment in which the family speaks two languages support this skill, because they are forced to be more attentive … What is the importance of the visual perception in the baby and his comprehension of the world to which he has just arrived? It is known that they are capable of distinguishing faces and that they can appreciate in them the annoyance or the happiness. Now, a new investigation shows that, in spite of just looking at the gestures of the face of his speaker, a baby can distinguish if one speaks to him in a language or in other. According to Núria Sebastián, researcher …, this skill "is part of the set of capacities that the child has" … The results demonstrate that experience modifies the brain. (It appeared in El País)

Let’s start with some irrelevant questions: Could there be trilingual babies? Perhaps not, because the thing about to be bilingual comes from having parents that speak different languages, although I wonder… if one of them is bilingual and the other speaks a third language… Does some languages cost them more than others? For westerners, the Mandarin and the Japanese are quite difficult to learn. I suppose that it does not matter to babies. What would happen if a baby has a Mexican father and a Spanish mother? Would it count as bilingual? After all, accents and meanings, even if we are talking of a single language, vary among regions.

What is true is that if someone still doubted that babies are a marvel and a blessing for their parents, should be ashamed. Few things equal in tenderness, beauty and inspiration, to the laugh of a baby. And if the baby is the own one, the effect is magnified. Certainly there are moments of discomfort (night crying, change of diapers, etc.), but what father / mother does not overcome them with love?

Now, the babies come with the book empty and although they have an unknown kind of connection with their mother, they are going to be discovering their environment little by little. As the article mentions: they will be attentive. It is up to us, adults "wise persons," to produce for them an agreeable, positive, full of love world. Will we be able to do it?

The babies catch everything according to the study, even different languages. Then let’s be careful with the example that we offer them, let’s pay attention to the attitudes that we use in their closeness and of course, let’s observe the tone that we use, not when we speak to them (since I suspect that the majority of us play the innocent, smile at the point of hurting those muscles that we use very little and say foolish things as "beautiful little angel, how is my cherub doing? Cuchi-cu, baby!"), but when we speak to other members of the family. It happens sometimes that we speak to the babies in the tone of a fairy tale and we shout to our spouse and elder sons in a language and tone proper of a cheap bar. It’s wrong!

At the end, example, attitude, and tone, are types of languages for family communication. And as well as our babies identify the Korean, the Russian, or the Dutch, from the English, they are capable of identifying and of answering to the most sophisticated languages of love, anxiety, annoyance, or … hate.

What the Bible Says
Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb is a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, so are the children of one’s youth. (Psalm 127:3-4)

Do not give toys to your baby, give away words of affection, fondness and love to all members of the family in the environment near to the baby. Remember that loving your baby, is not about of just covering him with kisses and to speak to him in "babysh."