Archive for the ‘people’ Category

Rock and Roll!

Monday, June 2nd, 2014

ancollision band imageA while back I posted a video with the band of some friends of mine here, and now their EP is out! Actually, I don’t know if you can call it EP anymore, after the demise of the LP (kids, google it 😉 ) – but its a limited number of songs on an album.

The band is AnCollision and the album is named “Certain Value”. This is music right up my alley, hard beat, guitars, rugged vocals – can one ask for more?

I know that I am doing promotion for my opinions on this, but I really think kids with talent and an ear for music should get a chance.

You can listen to the complete album on Spotify if you follow the below link – and feel free to buy it on iTunes too!






 
 

 

Pure cynicism in human form

Monday, March 24th, 2014

The sexual abuse of children, including by their parents and other “guardians” is unfortunately a fact of life, has always been and will always be. I believe that most parents want the best for their children and will go through fire for them.

Most will, but then there are the others.

This Australian documentary tells the story of Peter Truong and Mark Newton and how they bought a boy in Russia for $ 8000 to abuse him sexually, under the pretence of adoption. They wanted, as they boldly stated on the radio in Australia, to be “gay dads”. Not only that, but they also made the child available for abuse by friends of them in their “boylover” network all over the world. Normal looking men, men with families, jobs and hobbies – just like the ones that live where you and I live.

The documentary runs 45 minutes, but I strongly recommend that you spend that time to see the full story. There is a positive aspect here, the “dads” and several others got arrested after an investigation that crossed continents and time zones – and they are now serving decades of prison time in the US.

Kudos to the cops that made this possible 🙂

In the disclaimer of the program, they state: “This program contain content that may disturb some viewers”. Bloody hell, this program contains content that should disturb ALL viewers!

Music will set you free!

Saturday, August 31st, 2013

Well, perhaps not – but undoubtedly music is something that improves our lives, whether you use it to set the mood, shorten drives or really listen to it. I used to be a hi-fi freak and spent ridiculous amounts of money on cables, speakers and electronics, before I had to spend all my money on family and more mundane things, like food and rent. I still think music is an important part of my life, and I try to really listen to it from time to time.

Prior I linked to some friends of mine that went to Ghana in Africa to help out an orphanage, and two of those kids have started up a rock band here in Norway, based out of Asker and Bærum. I thought I’d do a shameless plug to (hopefully) improve their fan base somewhat – because their music is really good and with their upcoming album, they could really need a boost in attention 🙂

They call themselves AnCollision and play guitar based, melodic, straight forward rock music. Below is a music video they have made without anything other than a iPhone and some free editing software. I thinks its cool 🙂 They are currently recording their first album, out in November 2013 (on Indie Recordings) and will distribute on Spotify, Wimp, iTunes and other digital platforms in addition to physical media.

This is, in my humble opinion, a good example of ordinary guys getting a break and using modern technology in their quest to get their music out to the masses. It’s incredible how computers, smart phones and inexpensive software has made it possible for “ordinary people” to do what demanded a complete record company, talent scouts, PR-people, technicians, distributors, record company execs and the kitchen sink  just a few years ago. Power to the common people!!

Anyway, have a look at their first video and if you like it, feel free to support them and share the links in any way you want – its much appreciated 😀

 

 

Some nuts and bolts and stuff

Tuesday, June 25th, 2013

I have not statistics blingyoubeen writing much in this blog for a while, and when coming back here today – I discovered that it has been almost one year since I last wrote anything at all (364 days to be exact). Still, even without being up to date on the current affairs of the world, or to be more precise: writing about whatever is going that needs my comment (if anything) – I am still receiving some traffic, albeit no or very few comments, on this blog. I do love comments, so if you have any opinions that you feel need to be aired, please do – I am all for discussion!

Actually, before I forget – have a look at my last post and please go to the linked site and define your favorite things. Its bloody difficult to reduce the number to only three.

At the moment, this blog is being accessed by about 100-150 different IP-addresses per day and that made me curious. What are people searching for in order to get this blog as a search hit, high enough in the responses from google, bing or whatever people prefer? Well, WordPress to the rescue – there are statistics!

Looking at the total statistics, a lot of people have been searching for the same thing – and my number one is Lizzie Miller from way back in 2009. She was the model that was somewhat “controversial” because of her un-model-like body, with some extra pounds here and there, somewhat unfit (but completely normal, as I have been told repeatedly) appearance. I did a piece on this here, if you are interested. I wanted to voice my opinion on this topic, and many got back to me with their comments. I appreciate all those that took the time to inform me, educate me, disagree with me and generally not praising my view on things. I like those that disagree, agreeing is not productive – but I still stand by my initial post on this 🙂

More than 4000 search hits on the word “snus” as well. Snus is, for those of you that are not Swedish or Norwegian, a form of smokeless tobacco that is banned in the EU but is available in many other countries under a myriad of names, probably in different cuts too. I find it strange that the EU would ban smokeless tobacco while at the same time allowing cigarettes, that we know will kill a large percentage of its user base, but that’s just me. Tobacco is all bad, but snus is much less harmful if you are addicted to nicotine and need your daily dose of that. Works great on long flights too.

People seem to need demotivational posters from time to time, probably to underline a point or get likes on facebook. I have some, not many, that I put up here a long time ago – the ones I at the time found to be the funniest. I have not really been looking for any of these since then, but if you have suggestions on good motivational or demotivational posters – please post them in the comments below. Some of these are pure genius!

Matt Damon seems to be popular and he has been for the duration of this blog. I did a post on his increased weight for a movie, and now “Matt Damon fat” is high on my charts, so is “Matt Damon shirtless” and just plain old “Matt Damon“. I guess men search for the fat version to feel better about themselves, women just find him generally attractive. In his new movie, Elysium, he is as fit as ever. Damn you, Matt Damon!

Also, Bling water is something that many have an interest in. I bought a bottle of this by mistake once, and wrote some stuff about it. Thinking back, I find this to be one of the greatest hoaxes out there, right next to Scientology, people that can speak to the dead and most kinds of non science based medicine. Getting people to buy water purely for the image of you that it reflects is either really smart or completely .. eh .. its really smart. Low production costs combined with a high retail price is the best business idea I have ever heard of. You can still get it at the bling store, if you want it. I never drank mine, it was too expensive to open for a long time, and when I wanted to taste it – it was out of date. Water does not really get out of date though, but having it on a shelf for a long time is not the best way to store it, so it went in the sink.

I also had a look at the search hits that somebody only searched for once this year, and there are some strange ones there. Have a look a the image to thestatistics blingyou2 right. You have to have a strange mind to enter some of that stuff into a search engine, stuff like “poverty kids happy”, “omer bhatti michael jackson gay lover”, “lesbian islam” and “fat shirtless actor pictures”. I like the one about “dead fritjof nansen” though. Go here for his infamous nude picture, taken prior to his death, btw.

I have written some things about serious topics too, like the sexual abuse of children, folks I know that help poor children at orphanages in Africa and policing in Norway and on the Internet. They don’t seem to bee that popular, though.. 😉

So – have a look at the other search hits and think about what brought you to this place. Anything productive, intelligent or useful – or just wasting time like most of us do when on the Internet?

People helping people

Sunday, November 13th, 2011

I have some friends that are doing a very commendable thing this Christmas. Rather than eating and drinking too much, in sync with the traditional Norwegian Christmas celebration, they have chosen to spend both money and time on something better. One of the members of the household worked as a voluntary worker at an orphanage in the village of Darmang, north of the capital Accra in Ghana earlier in 2011.  You will not find the village on any maps, not even Google has passed it by with their street view, as its tiny and largely goes unnoticed.

I does have an orphanage and a “school” – and this is where young people from various countries come to work for free to help out. I write school in brackets, as there are no trained teachers there and the aid workers do most of the teaching, but it is better than nothing. Unfortunately, the children have very little school material like books, pens, paper and the like.

When the son of my friends went there, he and the other young people collected money from their respective families and dug a new well for the orphanage, saving them hours of walking to get good water every day, they built sanitary toilets for both boys and girls and by doing so reduced the probability of disease, bought new cribs for the babies, mattresses for the older children, pens, crayons and paper for the children to use at school etc. Even on a very slim budget they were able to do a lot, as money go far in Africa. Have a look at the below pictures and you can see some of the things that were built. To the left are the original “toilet” and the two other images show the exterior and interior of the new ones. Quite an improvement, I would say.

 

Anyway, back to Christmas 2011. This family has decided to travel down to Ghana and bring clothes, toys and other things that children need that they have collected from friends, family and neighbors. The children at the orphanage has nothing or very little of everything, so anything children between birth and 12 years old would need is being collected. In addition they are accepting donations for the purchase of school supplies, mosquito nets, medicine, band aids, shoes or other things they are lacking. All the money collected will go to the children. The family is paying their own trip, room and board out of their own pocket and there are no administrative fees of any kind.

They have a plan to try to support one of the children at the orphanage on a long-term basis too – hopefully more than one, but it depends. There is a 1-year-old girl at the orphanage, as seen on the picture to the right, that has Sickle-cell anemia, a disease that is not that uncommon among Africans, and demands constant follow-up from medical personnel. At the moment this girl is not receiving any real treatment, something that will result in a much shorter life span and chronic pain and discomfort. Their plan is to try to transfer money regularly to see to that she is taken care of. If they are not able to establish some system where several persons pay a small amount on a monthly basis, they will cover this themselves – but that will reduce their ability to help all the other children. You can read more about Sickle-cell anemia here and here.

They will be leaving Norway for Ghana on the 19th of December 2011, celebrating Christmas at the orphanage and will make sure that the children have a great Christmas meal – just like most of us are used to.

If you have money to spare and/or want to contribute – please go to their homepage for more information. This page is in Norwegian only, unfortunately – but it does give you the possibility to practice your Norwegian 🙂 You can also read it through google translate here.

If you are a Facebook user, and quite frankly – who isn’t, you can enter the event they have set up or go to the Facebook page they have set up – in English. It’s open for all, so feel free to invite your friends in on this project. There is information on how to pay from outside Norway into the project’s Norwegian account available on all the before mentioned pages.

As I understand it, any amount is welcome!

Those of us that are fortunate enough to be born in the rich part of the world, and have quite pathetic problems like obesity and laziness among youth, should take a step back from time to time, and look at the big picture. In the great scheme of things, many of our problems are minute compared to not having parents, not having food, not getting any schooling, living in a country with little or no security, having no hope for the future. Even though we can not save the world by helping a few kids in a country we have never been or even heard of, you can help a few children improve THEIR world, making them better equipped to save themselves and their own people and country. In my view, all the little things amount to all the big things – and when you change the little things – you are helping in making the really big changes.

Please consider setting aside an amount for something other than yet another unnecessary Christmas gift this year, give it to someone who really need it instead.

 

National heroes are people too

Monday, October 17th, 2011

copyright: AftenpostenThere are very few things Norwegians are more proud of than our explorers. I have written about Roald Amundsen in this blog before, but this time it is our polar explorer, Nobel peace prize winner and all around good guy Fridtjof Nansen that has stirred up an interest. The usually calm and collected Norwegians have even, in some cases, been angry that the images was published.

The newspaper Aftenposten published images of the nude Nansen, images he had taken himself and sent to his American lover/mistress/girlfriend, Brenda Ueland, in 1929 – one year before he died.

How we are used to seeing Nansen, on the old 10 kroner bill.

Some think that this was beneath the well-respected newspaper and that his memory and image should have remained untainted. I do not. So what if he wanted to show off his body (including the penis, as it is attached you see) to his mistress? Does that make him less of a national hero and important figure in our history? I do not think that it does, if anything it shows that even the ones we look up to, idolize, try to imitate and worship are just people with flaws – just like you and me – and the only reason you don’t see sex tapes with historical figures is that the technology was not in place.

Speaking of technology, the Facebook page of the newspaper had to remove the image, or risk being banned, due to the no nudity clause of the social media platform. 80-year-old images of 67-year-old men may be damaging to watch..

I find it liberating to see that even our heroes are people too, even national heroes 🙂

Protecting child victims of sexual abuse

Friday, February 18th, 2011

The CIRCAMP web page

Its a strange world that we are living in. People can communicate across borders, across ethnisity, across color and sometimes across language on the Internet – we can share thoughts, opinions, pictures and other files. Thats all well and good and probably the best thing that has ever happened to humanity, but as with all good things, it can also be used for really horrible things.

I just read a blog entry informing me that a system that has been in place in a number of countries for years is to be voted upon by the European Parliament, namely having Internet Access blocking against child abuse material (child pornography) in place or not. The post is written by the crimes against children team at Interpol – so one should think that they know what they are talking about. Its not a case of censoring the Internet or blocking illegal material in general, the EU are going to vote whether countries “must” or “may” block access to images of children being raped.

“Must” or “May”? If there ever was a no-brainer, this would be it!

Are there any countries that will choose not to prevent the distribution of images of children that are sexually abused? Are there any arguments against having such a system? Does any country want their population to have access to this, willingly or unwillingly?

Any sensible person would probably answer those questions with a thundering “Hell, no!” – but there are..

While some countries in Europe and the rest of the world have chosen to remove access to raped children, many or most have not. The countries that have such blocking have not crumbled, their Internet is not broken or reduced in speed and availability, their police or politicians have not chosen to block political sites, they are not on a slippery slope towards eternal damnation – they are actually rising above those that bend over backwards to civil liberties groups that demand that the Internet be free from any policing.

Civil liberties my ass, and for who? For you, you who surf the Internet from your nice house somewhere or civil liberties for the victims of the abuse? Those that choose their own right to access to all information, even if being criminal to produce, distribute and possess, over the basic rights of others and in particular the victims – are, imho, morally depraved.

Shame on anyone that is willing to protect the people that crave and produce these images – as they are all equally responsible for its existence and availability. Free speech advocates thinking that access to images of child victims is free speech are just plain stupid and should go back and read up on rights in general. Free speech is stating that you disagree with your government and why without the fear of being arrested, free speech is not protecting the rights of criminals spewing out pictures of sexually abused children.

I live in a country where we accept a level of policing, both in society and on the Internet. We accept that there has to be rules, regulations and some basic structure to how we can behave and treat each other. Personally I have never, ever accidentally come across images of child sexual abuse nor have I ever seen my country’s warning page. I use the Internet a lot, but I obviously use different parts of it than the ones that object to having such blocking because of its limiting effect on their “freedom”.

The Internet is now such an integrated part of our existence that not having rules that apply for our benefit seems dated and unrealistic. Would you accept that your bookstore on occasion displayed such images in its windows or that the mailman from time to time put it in your mailbox? Probably not. Would you accept that a house on your street had such images plastered all over its inside and outside and let people travel from near and far to access it free or for a small fee? Probably not. Still, this is basically what is happening on the Web today. You can choose to view a funny video on youtube.com or choose to view a rape of a baby – its equally accessible, as its using the same technology and the same information highway to your screen.

I think this is unacceptable and anyone that willingly let this continue should be held accountable.

AIDS is a mass murderer

Tuesday, September 8th, 2009

every 15 seconds a person dies from aidsThere is a controversial ad campaign getting ready to be showed down the throat of German TV viewers and movie goers from next week until World Aids Day on December 1st. They use strong images and messages  to make people open their eyes to HIV and AIDS, stating that somebody dies from AIDS every 15 seconds. It turns out that British research has found that one in four HIV positive does not know that they are infected with HIV, and keeps spreading it to others – multiplying the damage and suffering. Some people will be offended by both the sexy video and the real mass murderers used in the posters below. Still, if only a few – or even one, takes precautions, protect themselves and as a result does not infect another – its all worth it.

Have a look at it and make up your own opinion.

The video should work in your browser, depending on what you have installed on your computer. You might need a media player if you do not have this installed already. I prefer the “play everything” VideoLan, as it will play media in the Firefox browser and open the external player in IE, but any player capable of handling FLV-files should do the job:

Press to view video

If you are going to have sex with an untested partner, or if you have not tested yourself in a while – use a condom. They are probably the cheapest life insurance you will ever get!

When did chubby become “normal”?

Monday, September 7th, 2009

lizzie-miller_closeupThere has been some discussion lately, regarding the weight and look of 20 year old Lizzie Miller – published in Glamour Magazine.

On one hand, its hailed as the body of “normal” women and a healthy step away from the anorectic supermodels we have become accustomed to, while others see this as a normalization of overweight, unfit and a generally unhealthy female appearance. I think I belong to the latter category, possibly with some adjustments.

Firstly, I do not like the Popsicle look on many celebrities and models today, the twig bodies with the big heads and boobs – that’s just unnatural and frankly looks stupid. Neither do I like the soft, “flabby but skinny” or “fat but thin” models that roam the catwalks of the world, where its all to evident that they are only thin, not fit in any way – with soft behinds and flat chests. Well, then – whats left – or are we destined to become fatter and fatter?

What happened to the fit bodies of women that keep in shape, that do sports, that have muscles, that are toned, well shaped and healthy?lizzie-miller_chubby model Where are those bodies to idolize? I want to have healthy role models, with bodies that look like they have been used for something other than sipping Latte at the local mall or as extras in a concentration camp movie. Too much of everything is not good for us, not too fat and not too thin.

I must say that I admire Lizzie Miller – who daringly show off her unfit and/or heavily built and/or normal body for all to see, but I hardly find her body to be something to copy. She is slightly overweight, but more importantly, she looks unfit.

Lizzie Miller looking somewhat better

Lizzie Miller looking somewhat better

She is 20 years old and flabby – flabby like women in their late 30s have a tendency to be, or more correctly, like women in their late 30s was in the past. They say 40 is the new 20, but now it looks more like 20 is the new 40 when it comes to body shape and fitness level. Its sad, really – by promoting this body type as something to strive for, we are striving for the mediocre. The human anatomy has the potential for so much more.

Things not to do: Texting while driving

Sunday, August 23rd, 2009

mobiles driving deathThe Gwent Police in Wales has paired up with local talent to produce a “what if”-video of young people texting while driving. It turns out that this is a huge problem amongst young drivers, and is potential disastrous – as it may take away up to 35% of your attention. With todays complicated traffic and amount of idiot drivers, you need that 35%!

Chief Inspector John Pavett from Gwent Police Roads Policing Unit hopes the serious message in this film will hit home to viewers and sais: “I hope that after watching this film motorists will think twice before picking up their mobile phone when behind the wheel and realize that a quick reply to a text message or answering a phone call is never worth putting theirs and other people’s lives at risk.”

If you have a drivers license, you should really spend the few minutes it takes to see this video – it will definitely make you think. You may have to confirm your birth date to see the video, as the content is not for minors.

Surveys have shown that six our of ten use their mobile phone while driving, either by calling or sending SMS messages. Among young people under 30, seven out of ten have SMS’ed while driving. Men use their mobile phone more than women while driving.

We should all stop using our cell phones while driving unless equipped with a complete hands free setup, and we’ll all be around much longer.