Friday, March 23, 2007

A fine tribute to the memory of Bob!

Following the tragic and untimely death of Bob Woolmer at the 2007 ICC Cricket World Cup in the West Indies, a Trust Fund has been established to raise money for a number of projects that he was involved with at the time of his passing.

Full details of this Trust Fund can be found here - link.

Poo Paper

This is sustainability! Paper from Elephant dung! Check out the site - link

Your source for hand made paper stationary.
The making of paper starts with the collection and processing of the dung pulp. Elephant dung is typically full of short to medium grained fibrous materials from the elephants diet which when processed makes excellent paper:
  • We collect naturally dried elephant dung from elephant conservation parks and bring it back to our paper-making factory.
  • We then pre-rinse the elephant dung with water, leaving only the fibrous materials from the grasses, bamboo & fruits they've eaten.
  • Afterwards, we place the fibers into a giant pot of boiling water to ensure the fibers are super clean. After this thorough cleaning, any color that we may want to add can be added.
  • Natural fibers from banana trees & pineapples are added to the dung mixture so the paper will be thicker & stronger.
  • Once this is all mixed together, we separate the moist fibers into small “cakes' or “wafers” of about 300-400 grams each.
  • The cakes are spread evenly over a mesh-bottomed tray measuring about 60cm by 90cm.
  • The tray is leaned up against a tree, angled toward the sun and allowed to dry naturally for a few hours.
  • Once dry, we peel the sheet of paper from the mesh tray and start making Poo Poo Paper products.

This is how we made the hand made paper stationary and our how to make recycled paper process!

I will view chocolate in a different light now!

This Easter, the chocolate industry cannot guarantee our chocolate is Traffik Free.

Nearly half the world's chocolate is made from cocoa grown in Côte d'Ivoire, West Africa.

The 2000 US State Department Human Rights report said "It is estimated that some 15,000 Malian children work on Ivorian cocoa and coffee plantations. Many are under 12 years-of-age, sold into indentured servitude for $140, and work 12-hour days for $135 to $189 per year."

They are trafficked into forced labour so we can eat chocolate.

"I will tell you how I lost my arm. I tried to escape, but I could not. They caught me and tied me to a papaya tree and they beat me and broke my arm. From here my life was ruined."
Anonymous. Personal Interview, Côte d'Ivoire. Dec. 2005. ILRF (International Labour Rights Fund)

A young boy called Victor trafficked from Mali said:
"Tell your children that they have bought something that I suffered to make. When they are eating chocolate they are eating my flesh."

We have the power to help Victor and the thousands of children like him.

Change your buying habits. By eating Fairtrade chocolate we can guarantee that no trafficked labour has been used in its production. Use the STOP THE TRAFFIK Good Chocolate Guide to find out which chocolate is Traffik Free.

What do we want the chocolate companies to do? Give us a Traffik Free Guarantee on all their chocolate.

thanks Rob

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Another Water Polo video

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

An all time favourite!

Friday, March 16, 2007

Some quotes by Bono

"Where you live should no longer determine whether you live."

"And this wise man asked me to stop. He said, "Stop asking God to bless what you're doing. Get involved in what God is doing -- because it's already blessed."

"Freedom has a scent like the top of a new born babies head."

"Distance does not decide who is your brother and who is not. The church is going to have to become the conscience of the free market if it's to have any meaning in this world - and stop being its apologist."

"Every age has its massive moral blind spots. We might not see them, but our children will."

"What can I give back to God for the blessings he's poured out on me? I'll lift high the cup of salvation - a toast to God!",

"The attention of the world might sometimes be elsewhere, but history is watching. It's taking notes. And it's going to hold us to account, each of us."

"At a certain point, I just felt, you know, God is not looking for alms, God is looking for action."

"When the story of these times gets written, we want it to say that we did all we could, and it was more than anyone could have imagined."

"To be one, to be united is a great thing. But to respect the right to be different is maybe even greater."

"It's not enough to rage against the lie...you've got to replace it with the truth."

"Isn't equality a son of a bitch to follow through on. Isn't "Love thy neighbour" in the global village so inconvenient?"

"When you sing, you make people vulnerable to change in their lives. You make yourself vulnerable to change in your life. But in the end, you've got to become the change you want to see in the world."

"But my point is that the world is more malleable than you think and it's waiting for you to hammer it into shape."

"We're not here today for a victory lap; we're here to pick up the pace. Because AIDS is outrunning us,"

"Eight million people die every year for the price of going out with your friends to the movies and buying an ice cream. Literally for about $30 a head per year, you could save 8 million lives. Isn't that extraordinary? Preventable disease - not calamity, not famine, nothing like that. Preventable disease - just for the lack of medicines. That is cheap, that is a bargain."

"Senators, I spend a lot of time in this country. Maybe too much for your liking. I spend a lot of time in buses. At truck stops. In town halls. In church halls. I do all this, and I'm not even running for office."

If I could, you know I would. If I could, I would let it go. This desparation, dislocation, separation, condemnation, revelation, in temptation, isolation, desolation.

"I believe in the kingdom come. Then all the colors will bleed into one."

"But you know what's amazing? Everywhere I go, I see very much the same thing. I see the same compassion for people who live half a world away. I see the same concern about events beyond these borders. And, increasingly, I see the same conviction that we can and we must join together to stop the scourge of AIDS and poverty."

"Sing the melody line you hear in your own head, remember, you don't owe anybody any explanations, you don't owe your parents any explanations, you don't owe your professors any explanations. You know I used to think the future was solid or fixed, something you inherited like an old building that you move into when the previous generation moves out or gets chased out. But it's not. The future is not fixed, it's fluid. You can build your own building, or hut or condo, whatever;"

"We have to have a very simple standard of doing business, which is: If you are not tackling corruption, if you are not allowing civil society to do their job, we are not giving you any money. Outside of famine, and outside of those kinds of catastrophes, which need money pumped in no matter who's in charge. We are not marching the streets to redecorate presidential palaces for anyone."

"Even then I prayed more outside of the church than inside. It gets back to the songs I was listening to; to me, they were prayers. "How many roads must a man walk down?" That wasn't a rhetorical question to me. It was addressed to God. It's a question I wanted to know the answer to, and I'm wondering, who do I ask that to? I'm not gonna ask a schoolteacher. When John Lennon sings, "Oh, my love/For the first time in my life/My eyes are wide open" -- these songs have an intimacy for me that's not just between people, I realize now, not just sexual intimacy. A spiritual intimacy."

"I'm not in a position to be seen as a spokesman for a generation. I mean, how can you be a spokesman of a generation if you've nothing to say, other than 'Help!'"

"My heroes are all alive. I never have worshipped at that altar of burnt-out youth."

"But we've got to follow through on our ideals or we betray something at the heart of who we are. Outside these gates, and even within them, the culture of idealism is under siege, beset by materialism and narcissism and all the other "isms" of indifference"

"But with Christ, we have access in a one-to-one relationship, for, as in the Old Testament, it was more one of worship and awe, a vertical relationship. The New Testament, on the other hand, we look across at a Jesus who looks familiar, horizontal. The combination is what makes the Cross."

"But I'd be in big trouble if Karma was going to finally be my judge. I'd be in deep s---. It doesn't excuse my mistakes, but I'm holding out for Grace."

"You see, at the center of all religions is the idea of Karma. You know, what you put out comes back to you: an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, or in physics—in physical laws—every action is met by an equal or an opposite one. It's clear to me that Karma is at the very heart of the universe. I'm absolutely sure of it. And yet, along comes this idea called Grace to upend all that "as you reap, so you will sow" stuff. Grace defies reason and logic. Love interrupts, if you like, the consequences of your actions, which in my case is very good news indeed, because I've done a lot of stupid stuff."

"I'm not doubting. I don't doubt God. I have firm faith absolutely in God. It's religion I'm doubting."

"Take this soul stranded in some skin and bones. Take this soul and make it sing."

"And I know it aches. How your heart it breaks. You can only take so much. Walk on"

"Yahweh Yahweh always pain before a child is born. Yahweh Yahweh still I'm waiting for the dawn."

"I will admit that we are attracted to issues that unify people rather than divide them."

"Take these hands, teach them what to carry. Take these hands, don't make a fist. Take this mouth, so quick to criticize. Take this mouth, give it a kiss."

"I am a friend to God, a sworn enemy of the saccharine and a believer in grace over karma."

"Every era has its defining struggle and the fate of Africa is one of ours. It's not the only one, but in the history books it's easily going to make the top five, what we did or what we did not do. It's a proving ground, as I said earlier, for the idea of equality. But whether it's this or something else, I hope you'll pick a fight and get in it."

"Yes, I sometimes fail, but atleast I'm willing to experiment."

"We thought that we had the answers, it was the questions we had wrong."

"Fear is the opposite of faith."

"The music that really turns me on is either running toward God or away from God. Both recognize the pivot, that God is at the center of the jaunt. So the blues, on one hand -- running away; gospel, the Mighty Clouds of Joy -- running towards. And later you came to analyze it and figure it out."

"If I could put it simply, I would say that I believe there's a force of love and logic in the world, a force of love and logic behind the universe. And I believe in the poetic genius of a creator who would choose to express such unfathomable power as a child born in "straw poverty"; i.e., the story of Christ makes sense to me."

"As an artist, I see the poetry of it. It's so brilliant. That this scale of creation, and the unfathomable universe, should describe itself in such vulnerability, as a child. That is mind-blowing to me. I guess that would make me a Christian. Although I don't use the label, because it is so very hard to live up to. I feel like I'm the worst example of it, so I just kinda keep my mouth shut."

"There are potentially another 10 Afghanistans in Africa, and it is cheaper by a factor of 100 to prevent the fires from happening than to put them out."

"Imagine if a third of the kids at your local primary school were AIDS orphans. That's a reality in Africa where the parents of 13 million children have been killed by AIDS."

"All the best songs are co-written by God, y'know!"

"There are many side roads and back streets to rock 'n' roll, and most of us get lost down them at times."

"Those songs we sang on tour really helped me through the death of my dad. The problem with grief is bottling it up and that's when it can really floor you. You have to express it and face it and I was doing that every night."

"I'm not a whinging liberal. I'm no hippie with flowers in my hair."

"I'm tired of dreaming. I'm into doing at the moment. It's, like, let's only have goals that we can go after."

"Politicians don't turn me on, politics doesn't turn me on, the way music does. I have a lot more respect for them than I used to. They work a lot harder than I thought...but I don't want to be one."

"I could never be a politician because I think I'm too selfish, and I think I like to have fun: the right to be irresponsible is a right I hold dear."

"I've had the best life that a man's ever had: I don't just mean with U2, I mean with my family and even my father, whose loss I feel every day."

"We used to look at bands who could play better and look better, and we used to say, 'They have everything but 'it.'' We had nothing but 'it.'"

"You have worked your ass off for this. For four years you've been buying, trading, and selling, everything you've got in this marketplace of ideas. The intellectual hustle. Your pockets are full, even if your parents' are empty, and now you've got to figure out what to spend it on."

"Look at what happened in Southeast Asia with the Tsunami. 150,000 lives lost to the greatest misnomer of all misnomers, "mother nature." Well, in Africa, 150,000 lives are lost every month. A tsunami every month. And it's a completely avoidable catastrophe."

"Every age has its massive moral blind spots. We might not see them, but our children will. Slavery was one of them and the people who best served that age were the ones who called it as it was--which was ungodly and inhuman."

"Segregation. There was another one. America sees this now but it took a civil rights movement to betray their age. And 50 years ago the U.S. Supreme Court betrayed the age May 17, 1954, Brown vs. Board of Education came down and put the lie to the idea that separate can ever really be equal. Amen to that. Fast forward 50 years. May 17, 2004. What are the ideas right now worth betraying? What are the lies we tell ourselves now? What are the blind spots of our age?"

"Well, the going rate for change is not cheap. Big ideas are expensive."

"So my question I suppose is: What's the big idea? What's your big idea? What are you willing to spend your moral capital, your intellectual capital, your cash, your sweat equity in pursuing outside of the walls of the University of Pennsylvania?"

"I love the bit when Christ asked for his greatest hits and he says, 'OK, love God, and love your neighbours as yourself.' Christianity is not complicated, that's what it is."

"Joy is a subject I go on and on about. It's one of the only emotions you can't contrive. It's impossible. Despair and anger are easier to convey. Great rock 'n' roll, the raw stuff, is pure joy. It's that sense of being alive, of being grateful for your pulse."

"One of the greatest contradictions of rock 'n' roll is that it's very personal, private music made on a huge public address system."

"Our music is rooted in the feeling that much more is possible than you think."

"There's a great freedom when you have your feet in two so called mutually exclusive worlds: The world of irony, and the world of soul, The world of flesh, and the world of spirit, The world of surface and the world of depth."

"U2 is about the impossible. Politics is the art of the possible. They're very different, and I'm resigned to that now."

"There was a badness that had its way. But love wasn't lost. Love will have its day."

"And I know it aches, how your heart it breaks. You can only take so much, walk on, walk on."

"Home, hard to know what it is if you've never had one. Home, I can't say where it is but I know I'm going."

"If I am close to the music, and you are close to the music, we are close to each other."

"To touch is to heal, to hurt is to steal. If you want to kiss the sky, better learn how to kneel."

"Our music never had a roof on it."

"I want to play the guitar very badly, and I DO play the guitar very badly."

"In some ways, success is a lot easier to achieve than relevance. Being 40, we have to come up with extra reasons for people to put us on the radio."

"One love, one blood, one life. You got to do what you should. One life with each other sisters, brothers. One life but we're not the same. We get to carry each other, carry each other"

"I think most people who I'm dealing with accept that the way I look, dress or act, doesn't take away from the rigours of the arguments I'm making."

"Mock the devil and he will flee from thee. Fear of the devil leads to devil worship."

"The truth is when that singer is saying something that comes from right down within him, and it affects you right down within you. That's when you start talking about great music, as distinct from nice music."

"The final mark of greatness, I think, is emptiness. That is true of music, painting, of anything. The less you can do it with, the more powerful you are."

"It's annoying but justice and equality are mates. Aren't they? Justice always wants to hang out with equality. And equality is a real pain in the arse... Seriously. I mean, you think of these Jewish sheep-herders going to meet with the Pharaoh, mud on their shoes, and the Pharaoh goes, "Equal?...Equal?" And they say, "Yeah, that's what it says here in the book here -- 'We’re all made in the image of God,' sir."

"But the one thing we can all agree, all faiths, all ideologies, is that God is with the vulnerable and the poor. God is in the slums, in the cardboard boxes where the poor play house... God is in the silence of a mother who has infected her child with a virus that will end both their lives... God is in the cries heard under the rubble of war... God is in the debris of wasted opportunity and lives, and God is with us if we are with them."

"Here's some good news -- [looks at President Bush] -- for you, Mr. President. After 9-11 we were told America would have no time for the World's poor. We were told America would be taken up with its own problems of safety. And it's true these are dangerous times, but America has not drawn the blinds and double-locked the doors. In fact, you have doubled aid to Africa. You have tripled funding for global health. And Mr. President, your emergency plan for AIDS relief and support of the Global Fund -- you and Congress -- have put 700,000 people onto life-saving anti-retroviral drugs and provided 8 million bed nets to protect children from malaria."

"Do unto others as you would have them do to you." Jesus says that [Luke 6:30]. "Righteousness is this: that one should... give away wealth out of love for Him to the near of kin and the orphans and the needy and the wayfarer and the beggars and for the emancipation of the captives." The Koran says that [2.177]. Thus sayeth the Lord: "Bring the homeless poor into the house, when you see the naked, cover him, then your light will break out like the dawn and your recovery will speedily spring fourth, then your Lord will be your rear guard." The Jewish Scripture says that. It's Isaiah 58 [verses 7-8] again. It's a very powerful incentive: "The Lord will watch your back." Sounds like a good deal to me, especially right now..."

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Powerful words from Bono

Friday, March 02, 2007

Cool news about Adobe

Hoping to get a jump on Google and other competitors, Adobe Systems plans to release a hosted version of its popular Photoshop image-editing application within six months, the company's chief executive said Tuesday. - link

About me

I am an African living in Scotland. A son, a father, an ex-husband, a boyfriend, a teacher and friend trying to piece together the stories that my God, my parents, my ex-wife, my girlfriend, my pupils and my friends are telling me, so that I can tell my own story. Thanks to all for your support and advice. I still love good coffee and popcorn.

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