Sunday, January 31, 2010

Beauty or Brain?

Everyone knows that the physical appearance is what we notice at first glimpse. The hair, the face, the body—these are what our attentive eyes detect at quick look. From the fairest of creatures to the not so fair, to the most glamorous, sexiest and to the not so appealing. Who does not like beauteous things, beauteous women and gorgeous men? Who does not eye for beauty? But how sad that beauty fades and disappear? It is withered by the ticking of time and the coming of age.

But who does not admire the intelligent and the brainy, who speaks with sense and reasons, in whose head dwells knowledge and wisdom, whose knowledge is not shrunken by time but rather amplified by it. The brilliant minds always awe us.

But to find beauty and brain altogether in one person is infrequent. The beautiful may not have the wits and the brainy may be deprived of beauty.

If you were to pick one, would you go for the beautiful yet dull or would you choose the brainy but ugly? (tough question right??) But bear in mind that in deciding who we will choose as partners in life, let us not make beauty or brain alone as the sole basis of our verdict.Let us not be carried away by the A's in the school card nor the pair of beautiful dimples on one's face.

About Me

Who am I? Who is the persona behind "tytoc collie"? I run quite a few blogs and websites and I've been faced over and over again with the same dilemma of describing myself on my "About Me" page. I know I could reveal so much of myself and still you will only be knowing a little of me. I could use so many words to describe who I am but in the end you have your own interpretations about me and that is what matters to you. Hence, I would limit my "About Me" page to simple information that would give you an idea of me, yet without me exposing so much of myself.

What's my first name? C_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

What's my nickname? I _ _ _ _ but I prefer to be called K_ _

Birthday: December _

Nationality: Filipino

Favorite color: white, pastel pink, pastel blue

Favorite food: chocolates, cakes, ice cream, chicken, macaroni salad, fruit salad, seafoods, dried mangoes

Addictions: Blogging, Internet surfing, movie watching, coffee, facebook

Gadgets I can't live without: my laptops, cellular phones, portable dvd player and mp4

Weakness/fears: Spiders

That's all I could share. But remember, I unveil a portion of me every time I write. So if you want to get to know me more you will have to read my thoughts through my articles.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Pump Your Guy's Libido: How?

How do you pump your guy's libido? I've answered this question before on my other blog. I'm just gonna add more to what I already know. I'm not really an expert.. (aww! What if tay and nay reads this.. whahahaha!)

Here's what you should do. Be honest. Honest hearts produce honest actions. If you can't be honest you will fail in your attempt. So learn to speak your mind to your partner. Be frank and straightforward. Tell you guy the hottest sex dream or hottest sex plan you've been thinking with him. Reveal your juicy imaginations with him. Don't skip the details. Be specific going into every minor detail of your wild sexual fantasies. Doing this can inspire your man to expose his fantasies too. And you can guess what follows next.

But please exercise caution. This is applicable only to lovers /partners who are very comfortable with each other already. Otherwise this might hurt you and work to your disadvantage. Your partner may find you flirty and pushy and a turn off.

Why on Earth Do Men Have Nipples?

Have you guys asked yourselves why you have nipples? I guess you have asked yourselves about this but you try to keep it a secret from all the other boys and especially from the girls.. lol..

So why on earth do men have nipples? It's because men started their lives as girls. During the
During he first 6 weeks in the womb, all fetuses develop as female and grow rudimnetary genital tissues as well as nipples that have the potential to become functioning breasts. At he 7th week, however, sex chromosomes kick in, masculinizing the bodies of babies destined to be boys. "while the genital tissue grows into a penis and testes, the nipples are left as is but without any biological funcion" (according Dr. Randy Morris)

It's good that men only have nipples and not real boobs. But if a man takes megadoses of estrogen he can develop real boobs too..

Schnoz-o-meter: The Lie Detector

How do you tell if someone is telling you a lie? It's a hard one. But here's a proven fact that will help you detect if someone especially your partner is lying to you.

When a person tells a lie, you can figure it out when the person starts scratching or rubbing his nose. Why? It's because the tissues in the nose swells when someone lies, making the nose itch. This is according to Health and Home Book.

You can try this one out. Observe your suitors if they begin to scratch their noses when they tell you they love you. Observe how many times your partner, husband, wife, boyfriend, girlfriend rub their noses when they talk to you. This should be fun. But this is not conclusive all the time But still go ahead and try it. :)

A life snuffed out like a flame from a candle.

Cooper, Michael Campbell, Born Apr 14 1948 in Cust, Rangiora County, Canterbury, New Zealand, Died Mar 26 1967 on Mt Awful, Wanaka, Otago, New Zealand

I saw this stark record on a website this morning. A wave of emotions from sadness to guilt swept over me. This was a death I had somehow shut out of my life since I got the news two days later, on March 28 1967.

Michael Cooper was my cousin. I was 24 days older than Michael. Our paths crossed frequently on the athletic track, mountaineering scene and on the Otago Youth Council. Michael was a brilliant student at King High School in Dunedin, and then went on to Otago university. He died on Mt. Awful, Otago, New Zealand. almost 44 years ago.

Gillespie Pass and Mt. Awful where Michael Cooper died.

It was an early Easter weekend in 1967, and I went off with friends. Unbeknown to me, Michael had joined a group of mountaineers from the Otago University to go climbing up the Young Valley, their goal Mt. Awful. Mt Awful, a 2192-metre peak near Gillespie Pass, dominates the headwaters of the Young River. Its neighbouring peaks are Mt. Horrible and Mt. Dreadful.

At the end of the weekend of Michael death, I was elated after doing one of those then rare ascents of Mt. Huxley. Death somehow stalked us that long weekend. When walking up the Hopkins Valley we came across a memorial cairn to a group of young Otago climbers who died from rockfalls on Mt. Trent in 1938. We said a silent prayer as we walked by. When we were on our climb of Mount Huxley, Jim Cowie told me of a climber who had died on this part of the mountain some years earlier.

On our descent, my rope mate Graham Lockett fell and as he slid rapidly passed me, he cut my face open with a glance from his ice axe. Fortunately we were roped together and jointly, arrested the fall. But there was blood on the snow.
Bob McKerrow (l) Graham Lockett and Keith McIvor on the summit of Mount Huxley March 27, 1967. Photo: Jim Cowie

While we were putting a camp in under Mount Huxley on March 26, 1967, and preparing for our big climb the following day, Michael had camped on a ledge somewhere under Mt. Awful, and as he walked along a ledge to get some water to cook the evening meal with, he slipped on some mountain tussock, and fell to his death over a rocky ledge and down a mountain face. Eighteen years old, academically bright, handsome, athletic and the world was at his feet. A life snuffed out like a flame from a candle.

Three days later when I arrived home elated having climbed Mount Huxley, “ My Mother hugged me and said, “ Michael Cooper is dead.” I was numbed.

In the conservative 50s and 60s, we were never encouraged to go to funerals and somehow I never really grieved for Michael.
Sadly for his father and mother, my Uncle Campbell and Auntie Mavis, they had lost their first son, Murray. His death was on the same website I visited this morning.

Cooper, Murray Campbell, Born Feb 15 1940 in Dunedin,, Otago, New Zealand, Died 1945 in Portobello, Dunedin, , Otago, New Zealand

Uncle Campbell lived in Portobello and used to take a small ferry across the Otago Harbour to his work in Dunedin. One night he came home and he looked for Murray, who usually met him at the ferry, and he could’nt see him. A few minutes later his body was found floating in the sea. Campbell and Mavis are dead, but one son, Maxwell survives.

The same year two other close friends who were emerging mountaineers died: Richard Tilley killed by an avalanche on Mt. Avalanche in Arthur’s Pass, and Howard Laing, in a car accident.

I remember writing a poem at the time about the deaths of friends on mountains. Perhaps that is how I worked through my grief:

All stones we learn as children
Are dead inanimate things
But stones falling on a mountain
Are alive with a death that sings

A stone's song is enchanting
Fit for mountain Kings
First it’s high, then low
Lachrymose from the strings

Friday, January 29, 2010

Blog Roll

This is my blog roll.

All bloggers are welcome to exchange links with me. Please make sure you do not own an adult/porn/gambling/illegal blog or website. Please comment below for free exchange links. Include your url. Remember all links here are do follow which means you get some link juice by exchanging links with me.

My Friends:

Yes I know my blog is a PR 0. Naturally, because the blog is very new. But with proper SEO and link building I'm pretty sure this blog will get at least a PR 1 in the next update. I have nice friends online with high PR blogs who are very kind enough to exchange links with me. So don't frown at my PR-0 blog. This blog might just get a PR 4 or a PR 5 in the next update.

Update: This blog is a PR 3..

Would You Opt to Cohabitate/Live In??

Cohabitation is a situation in which a couple who are not married live together. Cohabitation is on the increase especially in the west. Cohabitation has broad effects on the couples themselves, their offspring, to the social spectrum, and to the respective rights of the fathers, mothers, and children (not to mention the strong opposition of the religious sector). To illustrate, absence the sanction of marriage, it’s hard to draw up commitments and to enforce the responsibilities of the father to his children in case of separation. More so, separation of cohabitees adversely affects the child’s association of his kinship and lineage. Also, in a harsh society, a child out of cohabitation is likely to be teased and alienated. In addition, one can always deny fatherhood over a child, in order to walk off with the legal obligation to support.

Furthermore, cohabitation makes accentuating the rights of the cohabitees difficult. The likelihood of cheating of either party is so big, yet accountability is not clearly drawn unlike in marriages where responsibility and consequences are evidently established. Marriage lays down the rights of the spouses and provides for explicit means to redress such rights. Punishment in terms of imprisonment is available for offenses against marriage, while these are not provided for in cohabitation. Fidelity and loyalty are thus stiff to haul out in cohabitation.

Despite all of these downsides, cohabitation or living in, is still gaining popularity. Just about, people who favor cohabitation find it more suitable than marriage. It serves as the avenue to try relationships with someone, a trial and error program, where they can just end the relationship anytime they want to without the complicated legalities and technicalities and thus saves them from getting hooked forever to the wrong person!!

Let’s hear it from you. Would you opt to cohabitate/live-in?

Note: This is a repost. I wrote this article long time ago.

Count my Boyfriends and Girlfriends!

1,2,3,4… Cut it out! You prefer whatever floats your boat?!
You make me wanna puke!

… I’d like to rant and hit some nerves!

How can you love more than one person at the same time? Here’s the scenario in a real love story. One man loves two women at the same time. Some men are guilty of having two or more girlfriends all at the same time.. It’s really stupid.. But why? I just couldn’t get it. It’s definitely a selfish act. You tell somebody up-front all those beautiful “Shakespeare-like“ words to obtain their sweetest “yes” and then you turn to another woman and tell her the same words. Ain’t you just playing with other people’s emotions? It’s never fair to the women involved.

Both sexes or should I say genders are guilty of this. But I think men may be more prone to doing this than women. Of course you can argue with me on that especially if you are a man. “Defend the gang!”…. oh well, I may be wrong so take it as more of a guess and not a conclusion nor a judgment. I don’t want to be described as stereotyping.

But why do men do this? Why, I can’t think of any logical reasons? Let’s see, does it advance your manhood? Does it make more “Hunk-y”? Does it make you the utmost exemplar of MR. ROMEO courting his JULIET with the greatest love in the world to give. Heck!! You are so freakiiiin’ nuts! That’s not love. I call it cheating in the guise of love.

As for the women who are equally guilty of this, let me think of your reasons.. Oh I get it, you want to be called “Miss Hottie”so as to segregate you from “The Not So hottie”, the girl who who’s been kissed by every boy in town. How wretched! And you like being talked like that? Hey, you are not Paris Hilton! (grin..)

No one can serve two masters at the same time.. Duh! And it ain’t justified as multi tasking…lol. I won’t bite that. Faet! (I love using this expression!) You can’t love two persons at the same time. It’s one of the biggest lie you can tell yourself..the biggest deception/self deceit you play on yourself.

So got more than one boyfriend or more than one girlfriend??! Shut up!!!

Love Moves: Boy or Girl?

I think either boy or girl can do the first move. Traditionally and as part of our customary ways, it has always been the boys who do the first move. Boys have the advantage of wooing the girls they like. They have the license to verbalize and flatter the hearts of their adored, loved and highly thought of lass. While the girls, since time immemorial have zipped their lips and mastered the art of waiting for the lads of their dreams to notice them. And if go unnoticed, the girls forever hold their peace. What a pity!!!

I am a girl too and I find it unfair to give this engaging opportunity to express love to the opposite sex only. We are all on equal grounds, especially when it comes to matters of the heart. Isn’t it? Come on. There’s nothing wrong with the old ways but there’s nothing wrong with change either. If boys can woo, girls can woo too. If boys can do, girls can do too. What’s the difference, the curve in a girls’ body and the muscles in the boys’. Does physique really matter? The idea of expressing love first on the girl’s part does not lower her stature nor makes her cheap. Rather it is a paradigm of being true to oneself and an exemplar of a mortal’s quest for love.

Death Penalty: My Stand

Death Penalty is an old issue. But here's my short take. This is a repost..

President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo called for the Abolition of the Death Penalty. Whether she was driven by her personal conviction in doing that or simply just to get the favor of the CBCP and other religious groups that have continually played significant roles in our political arena, I don’t care at all. What matters to me is her decision. I am strongly against Death Penalty. If this kind of penalty is to be imposed there is a very real risk that the innocent will be executed. It is more humane to let the guilty go free than to punish an innocent man.

On the biblical side, I also find support for my belief. In the story of Sodom and Gomorrah, God was willing to spare the wicked cities if there were ten innocent people within them. Death penalty is a cruel repudiation of the scriptural teaching that favors the innocent. How about the spiritual message on forgiving the person who sinned you forty times seven or the message against revenge, or the famous 10 commandments which includes the mandate: “THOU SHALL NOT KILL!” I am not so versed with the bible, but I very well know of these.

Why blot a criminal out of the catalogue of the living? Killing a criminal exhibits revenge- the blood vengeance of an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. If we kill a murderer to punish him, aren’t we also committing the same crime we are trying to punish? Certainly! Talking of Justice- does the taking of human life advance justice? Are we upholding morality and do we raise the value of life by legalized murder?

Despite the recent Maguindanao Massacre my view on death penalty hasn't changed. Oh yes, I'd like to see the criminals suffer, but if I let this burning anger and hate consume me, I am no less than a criminal too who wishes the death of another!

Representative Bienvenido Abante called on his colleagues in the House of Representatives to begin discussions on pending proposals for the return of the death penalty following the Maguindanao Massacre.

What's your take?

Attempt to define Love

Much has been said about love.
But what is love?
Can you define this definiendum?

Naahh! Love is one of those terminologies in the dictionary that while defined is not fully described. Any attempt to define love using various terms are always futile, as this abstract thing, so intangible, so strange yet so common, defies definition. But the irony is that everyone understands a portion of this thing called “love”.

Love maybe likened to a disease with an existence extending beyond the reach of memory. It is an epidemic affecting countless lives of different ages, races and generations. There is no vaccine to protect the immune system from the love pathogen and there is no cure either for while it is a disease, it is the kind that the patients may willingly die for. Love is a recurrent infection in man’s mortal existence with all its torments that he so cheerfully embraces even till his demise.

Love can likewise be likened to an addiction. It strikes, it ends then infects again, only to die once more, and then the cycle goes on again. But who would want to get rid of this addiction when it brings people together, creates relationships, builds families and creates peace and tranquility? Who would blame such an addiction, when it is by it that you and I were born, when it is by it that humanity achieves the continuation of the species? The more you love, the more you lose a part of you; yet it doesn’t make you less of who you are, you just end up being complete. Should we rid of this addiction therefore?

Love may be expressed in words and actions, but it is in the latter that is best measured. But even in silence the powerful scream of love can be heard. Love is so ordinary yet so strange, so simple yet so vast. No one can give a full satisfying definition of love. Not even the greatest of all poets and philosophers accurately describe Love. But in our daily existence we see it, we feel it, we share it and we live with it.

In my attempt to define love I always do not succeed. While most of the time I always have one word to define it- You ( The People I love). I too cannot perfectly define love. But my heart can. Your heart can..:)

Defining love maybe humanity’s longest craving, but if I were to define love with one word, for me Love is "Great", yet if love be madness, then I must be crazy, and I don’t care! I’ll be the happiest craziest person on earth! :)

(Ga emote lang kay hapit na Valentines day!)

The X-Perience

Losing one’s virginity for the liberated, unconventional and open-minded individuals is never an issue at all. But for those who belong to the traditional, old fashioned, conservative, typical Filipino “maria clara”, the “probinsyana” and the pious, virginity is a BIG THING. (you might ask, hey miss blogger what’s your “V” status? If you dare! LOL! … I’ll just pm my answer.. hehheheh)

Well, looking on the Biblical side, virginity is a really sacred thing. It is not something to be tossed away anytime one pleases. Just as when sex outside of marriage is a no no. To engage into sex and lose one’s virginity without the benefit of holy matrimony is an issue each and every one of us must personally face and decide. Whether the driving force behind the idea of doing it is love or just lust of the flesh, the principles that we have and the belief that is rooted in us will steer us to whatever decision. I don’t mean to offend those who see no wrong with having sex and losing one’s virginity outside of marriage. As I said and am reiterating it again, it’s a personal choice.

I just wonder why having sex at the earliest, outside of marriage, is like a race for men, and eventually being dubbed as the “X-perienced”, the “NOT ANYMORE VIRGIN”, is the trophy. Losing one’s virginity appears to be the indicator of manhood. No hard censure, no eyebrows’ raised and no gossips and tittle-tattle. In short, it’s accepted. No license needed. It’s just justified. But when it is the women who get exposed of having lost their virginity outside the halls of marriage, it’s gonna be the bread and butter of every conversation, gossips, teasing, mockery, criticisms, harsh judgments. Women get tongued with censure. It’s like a disastrous, perfidious wrong.

Is this another discrimination against women that has not yet been totally addressed and exterminated? Hey, two different genders, commit the same mistake if it be so, yet each undergo different litigations and are adjudged differently? The same crime, the same constitutive elements, yet different sentence? Come on, this is horrible! Where’s the point? For those who are fond of judging books by its cover, come on Mr. Justice, be fair and square!

Some women who get snared in this thorny situation hope for a rewind button where they could just undo things after reaching the 7th heaven with a push of the button. But there ain’t no rewind button, only the jury of condemnatory eyes. Yes, at the end of the day, its guilt, anguish and the familiar regrets. Just like the famous line “Curiosity killed the cat”, curiosity can strip you of your virginity.

Anyways, the agony of harsh censure and reproach doesn’t end instantly. It doesn’t subside for a day or two, over a week, even years- like a bottomless pit, an infinite trench. While the X-perience is in the past and these scorned women try to move on with their lives and prowl for their MR. RIGHT and the much awaited “I do” vows, when walking down the aisle is just a stone’s throw away, this virginity issue will again pop up, resurface, like a dead now resurrected. It’s gonna stalk its victims by tail. What a sad plight for women!

Note: I wrote this article on my friendster blog and I just reposted this. ..

About tytoc collie

Welcome to tytoc collie. This is another blog started by me. I have tons of blogs but I think I can keep up with the responsibility of maintaining another one. My new website which was supposed to be my personal website is inaccessible. Sh*t I forgot my password, I can't access it. So I have to start anew. Hence, the birth of "tytoc collie". This is my very personal blog. You won't see advertisements here for the time being. I'll make it as clean as white sheet, (yay but it's grey..giggles). You are free to comment, just be careful not to insult me. I fight kidding.. comments are automatically posted but they get censored by me so think twice before spamming in my blog.


tytoc collie contains articles/thoughts written by the author herself, unless otherwise indicated. Images, pictures,and videos may be taken from online sources in the public domain, unless otherwise noted as well.

If you find any infringing material in this blog, you are free to contact the author and request for the removal of the infringing material. All issues will be settled the soonest time possible. Please provide for your full name and address plus proof of ownership of the alleged infringing material.

The author of tytoc collie respects any copyrighted work. In the same vein, all readers of this blog are prohibited from copying the articles in this blog without the express permission from the author. Please be warned!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Preparing for the floods in Jakarta in the coming weeks

It was an impressive day yesterday being with 1600 young Red Cross volunteers who were out on a disaster training day in Jakarta. With serious floods predicted for Jakarta in the coming month, the Indonesian Red Cross is in a high state of readiness. The new Chairman of PMI, Jusuf Kalla was there giving strong leadership and direction. Here are a few photos.

Indonesian Red Cross (PMI) tracked vehicles with rescue boats prepare for floods that can be expected in Jakarta in the next two months.

The PMI have highly trained helicopter rescue teams and a fleet of five helicopters.

The new Chairman of PMI, Jusuf Kalla

Bob (blue shirt) talking to young PMI volunteers at yesterday's practice.

Time for a snack and a bit of reflection.

Another rescue team resting.

The new secretary general of PMI, Budi Atmadi Adiputro (left) and myself. I look forward to working with Pak Budi. who has worked in disaster preparedness and response a long time.

One of eleven PMI water purification units. In times of flooding, clean water is essential for maintaining the health of affected people. At a Government disaster simulation ten days ago, with the President of Indonesia.

Dancing Inmates - Michael Jackson's This Is It

Filipino, Philippines "Dancing Inmates" from Cebu Provincial Detention and Rehabilitation Center (CPDRC), a maximum security prison, were treated to a visit by Michael Jacksons long-time choreographer Travis Payne and dancers Daniel Celebre and Dres Reid to learn performances from THIS IS IT.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Haiti: Joe, the boy from nowhere

Haitian Red Cross psychological support volunteer St. Simon Magalie playing with Joe, laying at his hospital bed in the park outside the hospital. (photo IFRC)

The first time we saw four-year-old Joe was heartbreaking.

He was barely able to sit, wiping crumbs off the little cardboard mat that had become his home. He cleared a space to sleep, like his mother would have done, his eyes rolled back in his head, and he slumped into a daze.

Joe came from nowhere. Someone noticed him lying naked on the ground and he was brought to the Norwegian Red Cross field hospital in the centre of Haiti’s shattered capital.

Mageli St Simon, a Haitian National Red Cross Society psychological support volunteer, started taking care of him. “His head was injured,” she says. “And he was sick, maybe malaria, maybe typhoid.”

Mageli started to interact with the sick child and, after a day or so, she’d got his name. She gave him a pen and paper, and he drew his mother and father.

Then she gave him a toy phone.

“He started speaking to his mother. I asked him what she was saying. He told me: ‘She says don’t look for me, I’m dead’.

"I don’t know how he knew, someone must have told him before he got lost.”

Three days on, Joe’s doing well. He's still sick, but is taking water and a little food. He draws us a cross. I tell him my name is Joe too, and he gives me a long, deep look.

He’s a beautiful, fragile little boy, with a slight squint that makes him look even more vulnerable; makes you want to protect him.

Mageli agrees. “You have to really know yourself before you know other people,” she says. “That’s why I take care of Joe, to know what he needs. I can’t give people any money, but I can help in my own way.”

If Joe has no family members who can take on the responsibility of caring for him, the little boy will go to an orphanage as soon as a suitable organization working with orphans can be found. And he’ll do fine. He’s a survivor.

Article by Joe Lowry IFRC. Joe arrived in Haiti four days ago and it continuing the brilliant media coverage started by Paul Conneally, who is now back in Geneva

Miike Snow

This is just spell-binding.

My computer is dead. So the remix I also wanted to post will have to wait. But it is lovely also.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Recollections of Keith Murdoch

One of the most visited postings on my blog are the ones on Keith Murdoch. Here are some updated jottings on Keith. (photo right)
Keith Murdoch was my hero when I was a teenager. I was 17 and he must have been 23 when I got the chance to play with him. I must of played about five games with him that season, 1966.

He had represented Otago as a 20-year-old prop in 1964, then had a season with Ponsonby and one with Marist in Napier before returning to Dunedin. That was when I played with him. He was somewhat unfit and so he decided to start the season off playing for Zingari Richmond in the Dunedin second grade competition.

I remember that cold Otago winter of 1966, when we played on a frost covered ground against Eastern at Waikouwai-iti. I was a wing three quarter and my job was to throw the ball in at line out time. There was something unsettling about throwing into Murdoch, a hulk of a man who physical presence was magnetic. The first time I threw the ball in, it was crooked. Murdoch glared at me. The second time I threw it in off centre. Murdoch grabbed me by the shirt and said, “Next time throw the fuckin’ ball in straight.” The threatening look in his deep eyes convinced me to improve instantaneously, I improved and never threw the ball in crooked again to Keith Murdoch. I was 17 and not fully physically developed, and a couple of the opposition forwards picked on me and roughed me up. Murdoch must have seen it and said, “next time someone hits you, give me his number.”
A few minutes later, a prop with No. 14 on his back, punched me in a tackle. I looked at Keith Murdoch, and said " No. 14.” A few minutes later No. 14 was on the ground, half conscious, and cowering. No one picked on me for the remainder of the game. I had found a grumpy Godfather.

We had a great after match function, and after consuming huge quantifies of beer, Keith offered to drive me home in his olive green Mini Minor. Imagine a 130 kg hulk of muscle getting into a small mini. About 30 mins later, he didn't quite make a corner somewhere south of Cherry Farm and the car slid off the road into a grassy ditch. I offered to help Keith manhandle the car back onto the road. He glared at me with disdain. "Leave it alone boy" he said, "I'll do it myself." With that said, Murdoch lifted, bounced, wrenched and slid the mini up the side of a a 3 metre ditch, skewed it onto the road, straightened the car up like a city slicker straightening his tie, and wiped his hand on the back of his tight shorts.

We stopped at the Ravensborne pub for a few more jugs and Murdoch gave me a man-to-boy talk about how to play rugby.

A shoolmate, Nev Cleveland,told me recently he was a neighbour to the Murdoch family in Ravensbourne. Nev was the milk boy and remembers delivering 12 pints of milk to Keith's home daily. He told me that one Sunday morning about 7 am, he met Keith 'as pissed as a fart' crawling home on hands and knees. We both recalled Keith's older brother Bruce, a bricklayer, who was also a fine rugby player.

I also have pleasant memories of drinking after games we played at Monticelloon foot through the southern cemetery, or drive to the pub at the southern end of the Oval. Wyndam Barkman, Frosty are some of the other players who come to mind. Murdoch was generally kind and protective of his friends and a pleasure to drink with. He choose his words carefully and added colour and zest to conversations. I am happy he is living a peaceful life in outback Australia.

Murdoch was often the subject of rugby talk, some of it about his not inconsiderable rugby ability, much of it about his behaviour.
A favourite story was of Keith Murdoch towing a car up a Dunedin hill, clasping the tow rope in his teeth! I could believe it !
Selected for the South African tour of 1970, Murdoch, according to esteemed rugby writer TP McLean, suffered an ankle injury during a fight with friends of Springbok Piet Visagie. He was out of action for 10 games.
Later, his passion for the game and his unbelievable strength were emphasised when he played the fourth test in pain, then afterwards he was immediately whisked away to be operated on for appendicitis!

I had a look at Wikipedia a few minutes ago and this is what they have on Keith.
Keith Murdoch (born Dunedin, September 9, 1943) is a former rugby union footballer from New Zealand.
Murdoch, a prop, played for Otago from 1964 to 1972, except for one season each for Hawke's Bay (1965) and Auckland (1966). He represented New Zealand from 1970-1972, playing in 27 matches for the All Blacks, including three test matches. He toured with the All Blacks to South Africa in 1970 and to Great Britain and Ireland in 1972, and also played against the British & Irish Lions in 1971, but was troubled by injury throughout all three series.
Murdoch's career ended controversially and mysteriously. He scored the All Blacks' only try in their 1972 win against Wales in Cardiff, but later the same night was involved in a fracas and was sent home from the tour by All Black management, reputedly after pressure was brought to bear by the home rugby unions. Rather than returning to rugby in New Zealand, Murdoch virtually went into hiding, quitting his home and his sport and moving to the Australian outback where he has lived ever since.
A play Finding Murdoch by Margot McRae, which premiered at Downstage Theatre, Wellington in June 2007, is about McRae's tracking down of Murdoch. She says of the media frenzy when he punched a security guard that "If there's a baddie it would be the media."

Thursday, January 21, 2010

I am unstoppable!!


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

How Smart Are You?

Below are four (4) questions and a bonus question. You have to answer them instantly. You can't take your time, answer all of them immediately. OK?

Let's find out just how clever you really are....

Ready? GO!!! (scroll down)

First Question:

You are participating in a race. You overtake the second person. What position are you in?


Answer: If you answered that you are first, then you are
absolutely wrong! If you overtake the second person and you take his place, you are second!

Try not to screw up next time.
Now answer the second question,
but don't take as much time as you took for the first question, OK?

Second Question:
If you overtake the last person, then you are...?
(scroll down)


Answer: If you answered that you are second to last, then you are wrong again. Tell me, how can you overtake the LAST Person?

You're not very good at this, are you?

Third Question:
Very tricky arithmetic! Note: This must be done in your head only.
Do NOT use paper and pencil or a calculator. Try it.

Take 1000 and add 40 to it. Now add another 1000 . Now add 30..
Add another 1000.. Now add 20. Now add another 1000
Now add 10. What is the total?

Scroll down for answer.....


Did you get 5000?

The correct answer is actually 4100.

If you don't believe it, check it with a calculator!
Today is definitely not your day, is it?
Maybe you'll get the last question right....

Fourth Question:

Mary's father has five daughters: 1. Nana, 2. Nene, 3. Nini,
4. Nono. What is the name of the fifth daughter?


Did you Answer Nunu?
NO! Of course it isn't.
Her name is Mary. Read the question again!

Okay, now the bonus round:

A mute person goes into a shop and wants to buy a toothbrush. By
imitating the action of brushing his teeth he successfully
expresses himself to the shopkeeper and! the purchase is
Next, a blind man comes into the shop who wants to buy a pair of
sunglasses; how does HE indicate what he wants?


He just has to open his mouth and ask...
It's really very simple.... Like you!


Wednesday, January 20, 2010

The brutal truth about giving to disasters ! Cash is needed !

The situation in Haiti is the worst I have seen for some years. For over 30 years I have worked in the frontline in times of major disasters, and you get so frustrated when all you have is junk in warehouses, and no cash to buy what the affected people want. Today I saw this article written by Edward Brown, relief director for World Vision, who debunks five myths around disaster relief.

1. Collecting blankets, shoes and clothing is a cost-effective way to help
The cost of shipping these items – and the time it takes to sort and pack – is prohibitive and entails much higher cost than the value of the goods themselves. World Vision has relief supplies already stocked in disaster-prone countries as well as in strategically located warehouses around the world that meet international standards and are ready to deploy as soon as a crisis strikes. Cash donations are the best, most cost-efficent way to help aid groups deliver these life-saving supplies quickly, purchase supplies close to the disaster zone when possible and replenish their stocks in preparation for future disasters.

2. If I send cash, my help won’t get there
Reputable agencies send 80% or more of cash donations to the disaster site; the rest is invested in monitoring, reporting and other activities that facilitate transparency and efficiency in their operations, as well as in sharing information with those who can help. Donors have a right and a responsibility to ask aid groups how they will be using those donations, and what will be done with donations raised in excess of the need.

3. Volunteers are desperately needed in emergency situations
While hands-on service may feel like a better way to help in a crisis, disaster response is a highly technical and sensitive effort. Professionals with specialized skills and overseas disaster experience should be deployed to disaster sites. Volunteers without those skills can do more harm than good, and siphon off critical logistics and translations services.

4. Unaccompanied children should be adopted as quickly as possible to get them out of dangerous conditions
Hearing about the specific needs of children often sparks a desire to adopt children who seem to have lost their families. However, early in a crisis, children need to be protected, but should remain in their home countries until authorities can confirm the locations of their family members and explore adoption possibilities within their own communities and cultures first.

5. People are helpless in the face of natural disasters
Even in the poorest countries like Haiti, people often reveal a great deal of inner strength and often show a resourcefulness that can save lives... While support and aid are necessary, the Haitian people are by no means helpless.

. So I implore you, we need you empathy, sympathy, support but not your hand-me-down clothes.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Latest on earthquake in Haiti - 20 January 2010

Here is the latest from Paul Conneally who has graduated from sleeping on the back of an abandoned flatbed truck to a mosquito dome. Paul is one of our Red Cross comms people out there. He was joined by Joe Lowry last night.
Below Paul's postings, is another update from our President.

conneally more than 500 tonnes of aid mobilized + scheduled 2 arrive in the coming days #redcross #haiti
about 1 hour ago from web

conneally Disaster response is a sprint but disaster recovery is a marathon says Bekele Geleta SG of International #RedCross in #Haiti 2day
about 1 hour ago from web

conneally people affected by this disaster will be full partners in #RedCross work 2 restore their homes, livelihoods + dignity ¦
about 1 hour ago from web

conneally Haiti is what happens when an extreme natural event occurs in the lives of people already frighteningly vulnerable ¦
about 1 hour ago from web

conneally news in from Channel 4 journo friends ¦ town 2hrs west of PAP in dire need ¦ hosp destroyed ¦ 1000+ confirmed dead ¦ thx Ch4 we're on it

I should note that our basecamp has 150 #redcross international staff BUT we are more than 400 in #Haiti + 10'000 strong haitian redcross

conneally Response to #redcross appeal mind blowing ¦ it is really motivating for all of us here and we will make sure it makes a difference in #haiti
about 1 hour ago from web

I have graduated from sleeping on back of an abandoned flatbed truck to a mosquito dome - Heaven! Also had a wash yday + hotmeal 2day :o)
about 1 hour ago from web

conneally Our basecamp now has 150 international #redcross specialists working with #haiti redcross staff + volunteers ¦ many more arriving evry day

conneally We have now landed 13planes ¦ today I saw turkish + iranian #redcrescent, mexico and german #redcross cargo offloaded ¦ 4 more planes 2morro
about 1 hour ago from web

conneally Fact: poss 2 park 4 cargo planes in 1 hr in #haiti airport ¦ #redcross urgent aid is getting thru, the rest we take by road via Domincan Rep
about 1 hour ago from web

conneally Lots of talk about US handling of airport ¦ let's get real ¦ US has increased #haiti airport capacity to 170% ¦ it's a massive contribution

Basic Health Care (treating wounds, first aid etc.) also now in many areas in PAP ¦ Finnish, German + japanese #Redcross doing gr8 work
about 1 hour ago from web

conneally Relief distributions going well after a false start ¦ working with #Haiti #Redcross means we have really good contact with local population
about 1 hour ago from web

conneally #Redcross delivering fresh water now at half a million liters a day and rising ¦ that's 50'000 people a day getting good clean water #haiti
about 1 hour ago from web

conneally Also visited 1of many mobile clinics, this 1in an area called Croix Depres. 1000's of people camped out being treated rapidly by our medics
about 1 hour ago from web

conneally Y'day I went all over PAP ¦ devastation downtown is beyond the usual descriptors ¦ the sight is heartbreaking, the destruction unforgiving.
about 1 hour ago from web

conneally #Redcross field hospl @University hospital in overdrive carrying out 300 operations a day; backlog of wounded significantly down #haiti
about 2 hours ago from web

conneally #RedCross basecamp #Haiti now has wifi! So back online! An incredible few days since last updates. Lottsa stuff moving in rite direction.
about 2 hours ago from web

Red Cross Red Crescent intensifies relief and plans for early recovery in Haiti
19 January 2010

The leaders of the world’s largest humanitarian organization are on their way to earthquake-devastated Haiti as part of a massive disaster response and recovery operation.

International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) President Tadateru Konoé and Secretary General Bekele Geleta arrived today in Port-au-Prince to lead what is shaping up as one of the IFRC’s largest and most complex operations in recent memory.

“We must confront a natural disaster that is not only one of the biggest of the past decade, but is affecting one of the very poorest countries in the world,” says Konoé.

“Poverty is at the root of this catastrophe, and countless lives could have been saved by investment in quake-resistant buildings and other disaster risk reduction measures,” emphasizes Geleta.

“What we are seeing in Haiti is what happens when an extreme natural event occurs in the lives of people who are already frighteningly vulnerable, and the terrible human cost of this tragedy is only now becoming clear.

“The international community and humanitarian organizations such as the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement must work together to tackle the survivors’ urgent needs and ensure that they can recover and move towards a safer future,” he adds.

President Konoé praised the Haitian National Red Cross Society for its brave and determined response in the immediate aftermath of Tuesday’s magnitude 7 earthquake, which is estimated to have affected as many as three million people.

“Haitian Red Cross volunteers were among the first to respond because they live within the affected communities,” he says.

“They too have suffered appalling losses. They are shocked and grieving. And yet their desire to help their fellow human beings takes priority. They are true humanitarian heroes and we are both proud of, and humbled by, their dedication.”

Konoé said that the Red Cross Red Crescent would use the experience it has gained from five years of post-tsunami recovery work to ensure that Haiti’s devastated communities not only receive the help they need now, but will continue to do so in the months and years to follow.

“The people affected by this disaster will be full partners in all Red Cross Red Crescent work to restore their homes, livelihoods and – most importantly – their dignity,” says the IFRC president.

“Disaster response is a sprint but disaster recovery is a marathon,” adds Geleta. “I will personally ensure that sustainable long-term recovery plans are at the heart of everything the IFRC and its partners do in Haiti.”

More than 400 Red Cross Red Crescent aid workers – including 180 from Caribbean and Central and South American National Red Cross Societies – have arrived in Port-au-Prince, with dozens more en route.

Sixteen emergency response units (ERUs) have also been deployed to Haiti with 11 having arrived as of 18 January. These include a 70 bed rapid deployment hospital that is now set up in the grounds of Port-au-Prince’s University hospital, two mobile basic health care units that can provide curative and preventative assistance to 30,000 people each, a Red Cross Red Crescent base camp, and two logistic units to facilitate the rapid arrival and deployment of aid.

So far, more than 500 tonnes of aid has been mobilized and scheduled to arrive in the coming days.

These efforts are part of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement response, which also includes the ICRC. The ICRC has distributed medical materials for more than 2,000 patients to hospitals and to the Haiti Red Cross. More than 23,000 people have been registered on a special ICRC website that helps to reunite families without contact since the disaster struck. The ICRC has also contributed to Movement efforts to provide relief aid and clean water to thousands made homeless by the earthquake.

The IFRC is currently appealing for 105.7 million Swiss francs (103 million US dollars/73 million euro) to assist 300,000 people for three years. As more information becomes available, this appeal is expected to be revised">

Bring it.


Monday, January 18, 2010

Latest Red Cross efforts in Haiti

The leading US general in Haiti has said it is a "reasonable assumption" that up to 200,000 people may have died in last Tuesday's earthquake.

Lt Gen Ken Keen said the disaster was of "epic proportions", but it was "too early to know" the full human cost.

Rescuers pulled more people alive from the rubble at the weekend, but at least 70,000 people have already had burials.

I am really proud that the Haitian Red Cross has responded so well and delighted
that Paul Conneally our communications guy, is on the ground in Haiti and is being joined by fellow Irishman Joe lowry today, Tuesday 19 January, 2010. Here is our lates update:

Operational highlights: 18 January

- Yesterday a Spanish Red Cross water and sanitation unit produced 120,000 litres of water that was then distributed by Red Cross volunteers to 24,000 people in six settlements across Port-au-Prince.

- It is estimated that in the coming days, the Red Cross Red Crescent will increase its capacity to produce and distribute water for between 200,000 and 400,000 people a day.

- A Norwegian and Canadian Red Cross rapid deployment hospital is now operational in the grounds of Port-au-Prince’s University Hospital. This 70-bed facility can provide assistance to about 200 wounded each day. A larger, 250-bed hospital will be operational later this week.

- Two mobile basic health care units are also in the field. These units, deployed by the German and Finnish Red Cross Societies, are designed to provide preventative and curative health care to about 30,000 people each. A third unit will arrive in the coming days.

- Relief distributions are planned to start today for 60,000 families. Each family will receive kits which include hygiene kits, kitchen sets, tarpaulins, mosquito nets and other items.

- So far, more than 500 tonnes of aid has been mobilized and is expected land in the coming days.

The IFRC has launched a preliminary emergency appeal seeking a total of 105.7 million Swiss francs (103 million US dollars/73 million euro) to assist 300,000 people for three years.

The ICRC, which was already present and active in Haiti before Tuesday's earthquake, works as part of the wider International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement and cooperates closely with the Haitian Red Cross.

The ICRC is providing clean water to around 7,500 people in three makeshift camps. Latrines for around 1,000 people have also been built in the Delmas area. It has also provided materials to the Haitian Red Cross for the 10 first aid posts which have been set up around Port-au-Prince around the city. Six trucks carrying nearly 40 tonnes of ICRC medical supplies arrived on Sunday (17 January) with the supplies being distributed to local hospitals and clinics. A second ICRC rapid deployment team is expected to arrive in Haiti in the coming day or two to provide more forensics, tracing, nursing, communications and logistics support to staff already on the ground.

As of 18 January, more than 22,000 people had registered with the ICRC's special website,, which was activated on 14 January to help people searching for their loved ones.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Haiti earthquake, latest.

Judith Betrand, 10, attended by a Dominican Red Cross volunteer in Cite Soliel

Paul Conneally is at the cutting edge of reporting from the ground in Haiti by Twitter. Communications are bad and he is unable to get photos out by normal means, so he is using FLICKR. This gutsy, innovative Irishman is showing the world how to communicate, as only the Irish can. Here are his postings over the last 24 hours, starting from the latest one. Check it out first hand if you wish :

conneally We have been on the go since 5am ¦ 22h30 now. Rest beckons. Thx 2 evry1 for following + 4 words of support. Much appreciated by all here :o)
14 minutes ago from web

conneally Spanish #RedCross also running 11 mobile water trucks constantly on the move, supported by both Dominican and #Haiti Redcross societies
16 minutes ago from web

conneally Spanish #Redcross continue to do gr8 work. Today, installed 2 ten thousand litre water bladders in hardhit areas with no water source #haiti
18 minutes ago from web

conneally #RedCross mobile clinics up + running. We are thinking 2 send them 2 same locations where we will distribute family kits. Good idea I think.
20 minutes ago from web

conneally HUH - University Hospital #haiti where we are now running field hospital. Situation dire, crowded with wounded + mortal remains #redcross
22 minutes ago from web

conneally Family kits incl hygiene items, kitchen utensils, blankets, mosquito nets, tarps, water purification tabs, jerry cans and buckets #redcross
24 minutes ago from web

conneally #haiti Steve McAndew is in charge of relief for #redcross tells me his team will reach 60'000 families with ready-made kits in one month
29 minutes ago from web

conneally Gennike my colleague from Trinidad + Tobago penned this report ¦ ¦ we will up our output as and from 2morro.
about 3 hours ago from web

conneally We are also putting as many of our photos as we can get uploaded here ¦ xtrmely diff to get images out
about 3 hours ago from web

conneally Staying positive. Focused on the reason we are here despite setbacks + obstacles. The human cost must remain our main focus #Redcross #Haiti
about 3 hours ago from web

conneally #Redcross President and Secretary General planning to visit PAP in the coming days to meet Haitian RC staff and see activities on the grnd.


conneally PAP airport can only handle 4 planes an hour (or less) when we need a plane a minute. Massive bottleneck so Santo Domingo notta bad option.
about 3 hours ago from web

conneally Aid effort undeniably slower than we would want but the reality is what it is. No infrastructure. Little central control (govn. in a tent).
about 3 hours ago from web

conneally will now meet 2 brief on the days activities + a clearer picture will emerge from the dozens of #RedCross people working in PAP 2day #haiti
about 3 hours ago from web


conneally #RedCross has now managed to get 8 planes of relief + equip into #Haiti, only 3 of these thru PAP the others thru Santo Domingo.
about 3 hours ago from web

conneally big focus is still on surgical care for the wounded, clean water and rebuilding the capacity of the Haitian #RedCross
about 3 hours ago from web

conneally Trying 2 explain to media the need 2 focus on life-saving priorities in a situ where 3ml are in desperate need of support. #haiti #redcross
about 3 hours ago from web

conneally Went to civil aviation building where many media are based. Was Live with Sky, ITN, ARD, BBC, NZ radio etc. etc. More than 40 interviews.
about 3 hours ago from web

conneally Haitian #RedCross (HRCS) offices + blood bank destroyed. Many staff still missing presumed ... lots of Haitians offering help HRCS.
about 3 hours ago from web

conneally Had the pleasure to talk @length with Mme. Gideon of haitian #redcross. Amazing lady. She tells me as many as 10'000 volunteers working now.
about 3 hours ago from web

conneally Big reinforcement of staff and equipment, relief items again today. We are more than 100 at base camp with one toilet which does not work!
about 3 hours ago from web

conneally We are not witnessing violence or rioting, the opposite. Calm Q's 4 water and relief items. Extremely harrowing scenes in the hospitals.
about 3 hours ago from web

conneally Spanish #Redcross doing amazing work providing clean water. 200k litres today, double that tomorrow and so on the next day. #haiti
about 3 hours ago from web

conneally Norwegian colleagues putting up field hospital @ University hospital + our surgeons, nurses already working hard. Vital medicines given.
about 3 hours ago from web

conneally Cite du Soleil is one of the hardest hit areas in PAP. Relief distributions and water distributions already underway. #haiti
about 3 hours ago from web

conneally People in our neighborhood Cité du Soleil screaming with fear and then sang and clapped till 6am. Incredible. We are in Cité du soleil PAP.
about 3 hours ago from web

Slept underneath the stars last night. Heavy aftershocks @ 4am.
about 3 hours ago from web

Saturday, January 16, 2010

What can we do to help earthquake affected people in Haiti ?

It's amazing how Twitter takes you to the front line of disasters. Yesterday I signed up for Twitter as I wanted to be able to keep up to date with what's going on. My good friend and colleague Paul Conneally, head of our media department in Geneva, arrived in Haiti yesterday, and I am getting first hand accounts from him. He flew into Santa Domingo yesterday and drove accross the border into Haiti.

Having been in the front line of large earthqaukes before around the globe, I feel helpless being a spectator. But what can people like you and I do, who are not in Haiti ? I can sit back and feel good about the fact Red Cross is on the ground there, and doing a fine job. But I am a paid worker, and that's not a good attitude.
I went to church last night in Jakarta with my two boys, and Wayne Ulrich, the Red Cross disaster management coordinator in Indonesia, and his family. The Pastor spoke with such pain, concern and passion about those suffering in Haiti, and our responsibility as a church to reach out and help the people who have lost everything, who are trapped under buildings, who are in hospital, who are dying. We have opened a fund for Haiti and with a very large congregation, we will be able to support relief efforts in Haiti. But sadly, its takes a tragic event like this to put the spotlight on Haiti, one of the poorest countries in the world.
To quote Paul Conneally, " For this to happen in any country would set it back a generation but to happen in Haiti, the most impoverished and under developed country in the world - well this was simply cruel and disproportionate. Almost impossible to get back up on your feet again. But Haitians are resilient people and arise they did though understandably still haunted by hurricanes. And now, to fall victim to a devastating earthquake is the cruellest of blows to this struggling nation. "

The Pastor last night, brought us together to pray for the rescue, survival and quick relief for all those affected in Haiti. My ten year old boy had tears rolling down his checks and was greatly distressed by what had happened in Haiti.

It brought back memories for Wayne Ulrich and I for he was our Operations Manager for the first month of the West Sumatra earthquake operation in October last year and we worked closely together throughout that tragic event.
We can feel from experience what the victins must be going through. It's a chilling thought.

I also saw a message Mauricio Bustamante who is our operations manager for Haiti. We worked together during the large Gujarat earthquake in India in 2001. He says “besides the deployed teams, trained Haitian Red Cross volunteers are also playing a vital role in saving lives, carrying out search and rescue operations in the areas most affected by the earthquake”. “But every aspect of Haitian society has been impacted in the past days, including civil society.

It was reassuring to get home last night and get Paul's notes on Twitter: I start with the most recent one. Remember he is sending them from a bus travelling on a bumpy road from the Domincan Republic to Haiti. I list the most recent message first:

1. Successfully crossed into #haiti. Heat and dust trucks with aid as far as the eye can see. Nearly there. Battery nearly dead!
Talking 2 team on ground. Fresh aftershocks causing lots of panic. No supplies for eating or drinking available. I hope I can stay connected.

2. Approaching #Haiti border soon. Meeting alot of traffic going in opp direction. "c,est horrible" cries a taiwanese man to me as he flees.

3. Still lots of interviews. Just did new york times. will b live on Sky after 6pm UK time. also in the loop now #haiti.

4.Just an hour away from #Haiti border now. 35 degrees outside + much more inside our locally hired vans. Slow but steady progress in hills.

5. Really excellent that we are getting capacity to assess needs and treat wounded

6. Now less than 3hrs from la frontera. Lots of media calling about our #redcross convoy with emergency medical and water/sanitation aid #haiti

7.. Just did live interview with Sky news about our #redcross heading twds #haiti. Loud and bumpy truck! Everyone eager to hit ground asap.

8. thx bob. This is 1 of those hugely difficult moments which also allows u to see the amazing global family of #redcross upclose

9. mobile field hospital can treat upto 200 seriously wounded people a day, says Brin from Norway. #haiti

10. mobile field 'hospital in a box' from norway can be up and running "in a matter of hours" according to head surgeon Brin Ystgard.

11. Extremely experienced #Redcross team of about 50 from norway, finland, denmark, spain, japan, canada. #haiti

12. On the road 2 #haiti now with about 50 #redcross aid workers and truck loads of relief incl. Field hospitals, water purifiers, surgeons etc

It is simply amazing to be travelling with Paul Conneally and seeing how aid workers get to the site. This is what the Red Cross is doing:

Haiti earthquake: With an eye to both short and long-term needs, Red Cross increases appeal to 100 million Swiss francs

The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) has revised and raised its Haiti appeal, and is now calling for 105.7 million Swiss francs (103 million US dollars/73 million euro) to assist 300,000 people for three years.

The appeal, which replaces the 10 million Swiss franc appeal launched on 13 January, maps out the response of the world’s largest humanitarian network. It includes a scaled up relief component. In the coming days and week, significant focus, for example, will go towards trying to reduce the risk of waterborne and water-related diseases.

“This revision reflects the need of Haitian communities for long-term and sustained support,” said Yasemin Aysan, Under Secretary General, disaster response and early recovery. “For many of these people, this earthquake has robbed them entirely of their limited means. For many of them, they need help to totally rebuild their lives.”

Examples of longer-term assistance potentially includes the physical reconstruction of homes and community infrastructure.

Relief operation continues, despite logistical challenges

This announcement comes as vital relief continues to arrive in the devastated city of Port-au-Prince. Yesterday (Friday 15 January), two planes laden with 22 tons of aid land arrived. Today (16 January) a convoy of aid supplies and personnel is travelling from Santo Domingo (Dominican Republic) to Haiti.

In the coming days, the IFRC expects to have at least 14 emergency response units (ERUs) on the ground and operational, (for more information on ERUs click here). These will include two full-service ‘base camps’, designed to provide all necessary logistical and technical support for the initial relief operation.

The base camps will also act as a temporary headquarters for the Haitian National Red Cross Society. The organization’s offices were near-destroyed in the earthquake.

“Besides the deployed teams, trained Haitian Red Cross volunteers are also playing a vital role in saving lives, carrying out search and rescue operations in the areas most affected by the earthquake”, said Mauricio Bustamante, IFRC Operations Coordinator in Panama. “But every aspect of Haitian society has been impacted in the past days, including civil society.
“Part of our long-term plan is to support the National Red Cross to recover and to become a stronger organization in the months and years to come,” said Bustamante.

To make an online dontaion go to : internationally - or if you live in New Zealand :

All photographs supplied by IFRC. The photos depict the work of the Haitian Red Cross volunteers.

Hardrock Hotel @ResortWorld Sentosa

While everyone is excited for the opening of Resort World this Monday,
I spent our Friday night at the new Hardrock Hotel @Resort World Sentosa.

I am so blessed to have the opportunity in staying overnight at one of the most expensive hotel rooms I know here in Singapore!

The best part is.

This morning as I was waiting for my friends, I got bored and had decided to explore the room. Fix the bed, turn on the ipod and then opened the drawers.

To my surprise I saw this.

Yes! The Bible!!!
God is good He keeps reminding me of His presence everywhere. I soooo love it!

Thank you Abba.

Of course, I opened it
and a chance to read few chapters of Job.

Cool ha?

It is an awesome Saturday today.

Will post more of the Resort world adventure on my next thread.

Enjoy your weekend everyone!

Heyy, have I mentioned that
These are all for FREE?


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

First New Zealand Woman to ski to South Pole

In this photo taken Friday, Jan. 1, 2010, the participants of Kaspersky Commonwealth all women South Pole expedition, pose with the expedition founder, CEO of Britain's Kaspersky Lab, Russian born Eugene Kaspersky, at base camp in Patriot Hills in Antarctica, after their 904-Km (562-miles) cross-country skiing expedition. Eight women from the Commonwealth countries of Cyprus, Ghana, India, Singapore, Brunei, New Zealand, Jamaica and Britain took part in the ski expedition across Antarctica, arriving at the South Pole on Tuesday, Dec. 29, 2009. One of the eight, Kim-Marie Spence, 30, from Jamaica, was forced to quit the adventure after suffering frostbite just three days into the 40-day journey.

A Twizel woman who was part of an all-female expedition to ski to the South Pole has just returned home - mission accomplished.
Kylie Wakelin only got the call to go on the expedition in October but says it was a real adventure that also brought with it some unexpected pay-offs.
While Wakelin may be New Zealand’s first woman to ski to the South Pole she says she never set out to collect lofty titles.
“Really for me the journey was what it was all about and the relationship I've formed with the girls has been far more moving and significant for me than I thought it would be” she said.

Kylie Wakelin arrived at Christchurch airport yesterday afternoon, Friday 15 January 2010

When the initial squad of 16 began training in Norway last February it highlighted the huge task ahead.
Once they were underway the group of 8 quickly became 7 - one member was forced to pull out due to frost bite.
Wakelin said “That was a huge wakeup call for us and it was like this is serious stuff, you can't relent for 10 minutes because it's so cold” she said.
The dangers were also very real for Wakelin’s anxious mum Maye Dunn.
“It was a worry for a start but as she got into it we weren't quite so worried” she said.
Wakelin says while she was on the ice she dreamed of relaxing beach holidays and marmite on toast but she's already planning her next Arctic adventure

The team at the South Pole

Each woman has towed an 80-kilogram sled loaded with food, fuel and equipment for the past 39 days - skiing for six to 10 hours a day - to travel nearly 900 kilometres to the pole and mark the 60th anniversary of the Commonwealth.
The group was airlifted from the pole back to their starting point, a commercial expedition base at Patriot Hills, before flying back to London via Chile.
The women will soon have their first showers since November 12, with each rationed to one baby-wipe tissue a day for hygiene.
Wakelin stepped in as New Zealand's representative in early October after the expedition's British leader, Felicity Aston, axed a New Zealand Army doctor, Major Charmaine Tate, 33.
Tate had trained for the expedition with the international team in Norway and New Zealand.
Aston said at the time that the "team dynamics weren't quite right, so I decided to change the personnel before the team got anywhere near the Ice".
Wakelin was selected after spending 16 years running Glacier Explorers' boat trips in the small lake at the foot of the Tasman Glacier and taking part in ski-touring and mountaineering expeditions, as well as working for the British Antarctic Survey.
Christchurch was an appropriate place for Kylie to arrive after her historic expedition.
Explorers associated with both Christchurch and Antarctica include Robert Falcon Scott who left from the port of Lyttelton to again try to reach the South Pole after his earlier attempt had failed. Terra Nova returned to the port in 1913 bringing news of the death of Scott and his four companions on their way back from the South Pole.

Norwegian explorer, Roald Amundsen was the first to reach the South Pole in 1911 and later gave a popular public lecture in Christchurch. In gratitude to the Canterbury Museum for their help, he donated the penknife used to cut the flagstaff marking the South Pole; and Irishman Ernest Shackleton who first travelled to Antarctica with Scott but was invalided out and later tried again with his own expedition on Nimrod.

For people bought up in Christchurch during the 50s and 60s – a period of intense activity in the Antarctic – ‘Operation Deep Freeze’ and the early morning sound of DC3s heading ‘to the ice’ are part of our imbedded personal history and its seems highly appropriate the International Antarctic Centre should be sited there.
Monika Kristensen, the Norwegian glaciologist passed through Christchurch in 1986/87 en route to Antarctica with her dog team.

For me, I left Christchurch for Antarctica in October 1969 where I spent 13 months at the remote Vanda Station in the Wright Dry Valley. So Christchurch as a gate way to Antarctica has an emotional attachment for many of us who have spent time in Antarctica.

Congratulations Kylie for a wonderful achievement. We are immensely proud of you.