Saturday, 2 April 2016

Mrs Yang posts have a new home!

If you have come here to see my posts re Mrs Yang please note that I have removed them from this blog and given them their own blog.

While I haven't written much, due to circumstances, I wanted to keep the posts, and keep them separate so it's easier for people to find them.  I do hope to add to that blog soon, just have to do some juggling and balancing of my time at the moment.

SO!   To read the posts regarding MRS YANG... simply 


Odd photo's and stories - Brussels Airport Bombing 2016

Call me cynical, and I'm not the only one if you go look at youtube and/or blogs - but every bombing over the last few years always has just a few 'witnesses' who speak out, despite so many suffering injuries AND in this day and age of mobile phone/cameras everywhere very few people seem to post either photos or videos, other than a select few.  Real or not - there are some rather strange scenarios that come out.  Could be crappy reporting, who knows.  While no offence intended, one sometimes has to wonder.

So, just out of my own interest, I took a look at a couple of the photos and videos from the recent Brussels Airport Bombing.  I will leave the videos and in depth blogs to those that do this on a regular basis, but the few I looked at just seemed so odd, to say the least.

According to Sebastien Bellin heard the FIRST explosion 'near' the Pharmacy so we can assume he was down that end of the airport. However, instead of running out of the airport via two entrance/exit doors that were on the way, or running away from what would be smoke, screaming and debris, he runs towards the scene.

Sometime between the first and second explosions (which some eye witnesses have said were about 10 seconds apart) - he says he was shot in the hip by a "Kalashnikov".  (Haven't read very much about a gunman being on the loose as well as the suspected suicide bombers). The second explosion sends him flying 10 - 20 meters and he ends up laying on the floor near the Gate A area as you can see from the photo below.  The shops, where you would expect them to be, can be seen in the background.  The woman in this photo doesn't seem to be too concerned with Mr Bellin laying injured either, and what's with the tile pattern going all blurry just before her foot, and then on into the background?

Here is a plan of the airport showing the pharmacy, where the explosions were, and where Mr Bellin ended up.

The blown out windows seen in video and photographs tends to put the blasts in this area shown above, however the Daily Mail in this report seems to have them closer to areas 7 - 9 - as shown on this pic below.

Luckily for Mr Bellin, he seems to have worn jeans that can withstand quite the blast, despite it being powerful enough to send him flying 20 - 30 meters.  It's hard to tell from the photo, but he also looks to have a tourniquet at the top of his left leg, yet the blood appears to come from his lower leg.  Either he did his own first aid, or perhaps the person standing by him helped him out?

This poor guy below, just a few feet away from Mr Bellin and despite being quite badly injured just lays there while the guy with the case just walks on by, staring straight ahead.  Not sure if this was taken before or after the photo of Mr Bellin -(you can see this poor chap in the background of the first photo, getting some attention, although someone else appears to have kindly put a bag or back pack under his head for support!).

His jeans or trousers didn't fare as well as those of Mr Bellin, but they do both appear to have sustained various leg injuries.  

This lady, identified as Air Hostess Nidhi Chaphekar was lucky in some respects.  While the blast shredded her uniform jacket, she does not seem - in this photo at least - to have been severely injured, although it was reported :

A Jet Airways manager says a flight attendant injured in the Belgium attacks is undergoing treatment for burns and has been placed in a medically induced coma.
Bernard Guisset, a Jet Airways manager in Brussels, said Nidhi Chaphekar has burns over 15 percent of her body and has a fractured foot, but is out of danger.

The journalist who took the photos of Mr Bellin and Ms Chaphekar, Ketevan Kardava told CNN she too was at the check in area when the first bomb went off.  Luckily for her she appears to have escaped any injuries that we can see, so was able to take photos and get them up on twitter pretty quickly.  The picture below is a screen grab from an interview she did with CNN showing the CNN host approximately where she was when the first bomb went off.  This agrees with my map showing the bomb zone, rather than the Daily Mail version.

Interestingly this photo she is using has a time/date stamp of 7.58:03 22 March 2016.

Another unfortunate person injured in the first blast was Mason Wells.  who is now recovering in Utah, USA after suffering terrible second-degree burns, a broken foot, and rupturing his left Achilles tendon.  The blast blew off his left shoe and his wristwatch as well.

Mason Wells

According to Elder Empey, who was with Wells and also suffered burn and shrapnel injuries, he himself was knocked out and later found Elder Wells standing in a pool of blood outside the airport doors. (Can't find any photo's or video of that so far).

Joseph Empey

Wells and Empey - 31 March 2016

Here is another person being wheeled away on a luggage trolley - either someone cut his trouser legs off or the bomb did a nice clean cut! Either way other than a few cuts, there appears to be no 'burns' or debris/dust/soot on this person, although he too seems to have a nice red tourniquet!  You can see the video report HERE.

More ripped trousers and tourniquet!

Anyway, whatever is going on, there definitely seems to be a pattern.  Shredded clothes, very little serious injuries shown - months of so called rehabilitation needed yet happy smiley photo's shared within DAYS!?  Oh and don't get me started on the go fund me pages set up sometimes within HOURS of an event when people don't even know exactly what happened!  Too weird!

From the Boston Bombing.


Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Darren Sims AKA "DAZ" tirelessly raises funds for UK Charities

I am thinking that many of my readers, friends and online pals may not have heard of Daz.  I have known him as an online friend for well over 7 years and he is like the Energizer Bunny - he just never seems to stop!

Daz in action - Rock 4 Charity
He puts together an annual event called "Daz's Rock 4 Charity" which often takes place at the Colston Hall, in our mutual home city of Bristol, England.

He can also be found at pubs, clubs and private functions doing what he does best - entertain, and more often than not, he also raises funds for individuals in need as well!

Back in 2008 my father in law passed away, and I wrote a short poem about sitting by his bedside shortly before he passed away.  Daz was kind enough to turn that poem into a short song - he both sang and composed the music track -so now I have a lovely memory that I will always cherish.  How many other people do you know that would do that for you?

Personally I think one of the things that makes Daz so popular is that he has such a great rapport with people - be they individuals or massive audiences.  At his concerts he's always getting people up dancing and singing along with him, and I've yet to hear of anyone not enjoying themselves.

Not only is he a great entertainer,
Daz - Land's End to John o'Groats
but he is also a massive charity fundraising power house!  As I am writing this, Daz is on an epic bike ride from Land's End to John O'Groats raising funds for the Darren Wright Foundation. and Variety - the Children's Charity UK.

Along with the bike ride, Daz's original track "Sunshine Girl" has been released, and with the generous help of others has also been made into a humorous video. The aim is to get the single into the UK charts as soon as possible, which can only be achieved via loads of support and of course people downloading the song via Amazon UK or iTunes.

The video is at the end of this post, but if you'd really like to help out even more, you can download the song for just 99 p from Amazon UK or iTunes - with all proceeds going to the fundraiser.  Just click on either the Amazon or iTunes links below to take you to the preferred download site.

Amazon UK Sunshine Girl - MP3  or iTUNES UK 

If you want to check out Daz's journey with loads of photos, short videos and updates, please go to the Facebook page of :  Get Sunshine Girl in the Charts to help Variety and the Darren Wright Foundation.    You can also follow Daz on twitter

Sunshine Girl - Facebook Page

Sending Daz and everyone involved much success - it would be awesome to see this in the UK Charts soon!


(Photo's copyright Darren Sims)

Saturday, 5 September 2015

Kaavan - the solitary Elephant

Meet Kaavan.

Kaavan in his enclosure at the Zoo

For the past three years Kaavan has lived a solitary existence in his enclosure at the Islamabad Zoo since the death of his long term and only companion Saheli.

Kaavan was gifted to the Zoo in 1985 by the Government of Sri Lanka, when he was just a year old. He is now 31.

Most people know that Elephants live in herds, are very sociable and intelligent beings.  Poor Kaavan spends all of his time alone, and some of that is also spent chained.(visitors to the Zoo seem to think it is far more time in chains than not). Elephants in the wild are known to roam anywhere from a few miles to up to 50 - something of course that Zoo Elephants rarely experience.

Video of Kaavan show typical behaviour of stress - the swaying of his head from side to side and hardly moving from his spot is known as "weaving" and can often be seen in both Zoo and Circus Elephants. (And other animals confined in cages and inadequate enclosures).

Weaving is a surrogate activity caused by boredom, frustration and desolation. It should be in the interest of every elephant owner to offer to his or her animals an interesting and varied life that is appropriate to the species.

What can you do to help?

You can sign this petition on Change.Org - Speak up for Kaavan the chained Elephant

You can also follow up to date information on the Facebook Page Unchain Kaavan The Elephant

The ideal outcome would be for Kaavan to be moved to a Sanctuary rather than have the Zoo acquire another Elephant for company - he would have the freedom to roam and interact with other Elephants, rather than yet another poor animal being brought in to await the same fate.

A great article appeared on the Pakistan Tribune as recently as September 4th, which you can share and tweet to spread awareness.

It really is time for these beautiful animals to have a life lived as it should be and not be kept for human entertainment or amusement.

Wednesday, 2 September 2015

Charity Scandal - Scotia Aid Sierra Leone

Saw an article floating about today and while it comes as no surprise, it's just shameful that so little of funds raised ever ends up being used to actually help the people it was donated for.

Back in the 1990's I sponsored an Ethiopian child for almost 7 years. Her name was Zewdie, and this is a painting I did of her from the last photo the charity sent me.

Sadly one day, out of the blue, my last letter was returned to me stating that my sponsorship was no longer required as Zewdie had now moved away to live with relatives.  That was fair enough, but the way it was done was pretty disgraceful.  They even sent me more information asking if I would consider sponsoring another child

I declined due to what I thought were some odd actions by them  during my sponsorship time.  I now only donate to charities that actually do the work locally, or who can show exactly where the money has gone.  Everyone should do that when having their heart strings tugged!

Scotia Aid Sierra Leone Charity Scandal

You can read the whole article regarding the latest scandal HERE.  But I thought I would just highlight what was discovered by the newspaper. None of it a huge surprise at all.

Extensive investigation into mercy body Scotia Aid Sierra Leone has discovered it hands over just 13p of every £1 raised to good causes.

  • Three bosses paid themselves £313,000 from the charity’s coffers, using shell companies to minimise their tax bill.
  • Whistleblowers claim that the trio use their income to fund lavish lifestyles that are in sharp contrast to the children they claim to help.
  • Pay levels at the charity mirror some of the world’s biggest and best-known voluntary organisations.
  • The leader of the Catholic Church raised fears about Scotia Aid four years ago but the concerns went unheeded by watchdogs.
  • The charity is exploiting a business rates loophole which starves councils of much-needed income.

  • So what does the Charity Commission in the UK actually do?  How can so many of these charities that have been caught out get away with it for so long?

    Well when you read a story titled "Charity Commission Not Fit for Purpose" it does make you wonder.

    Highly critical report warns commission's failure to investigate fraud and abuse was undermining public faith in good causes 

    You can read that full story by clicking this link to the Guardian article.