Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Universal Declaration of Human Rights

Article 1
All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.

Article 2
Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.

Furthermore, no distinction shall be made on the basis of the political, jurisdictional or international status of the country or territory to which a person belongs, whether it be independent, trust, non-self-governing or under any other limitation of sovereignty.

Article 3
Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.

Article 4
No one shall be held in slavery or servitude; slavery and the slave trade shall be prohibited in all their forms.

Article 5
No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

Article 6
Everyone has the right to recognition everywhere as a person before the law.

Article 7
All are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to equal protection of the law. All are entitled to equal protection against any discrimination in violation of this Declaration and against any incitement to such discrimination.

Article 8
Everyone has the right to an effective remedy by the competent national tribunals for acts violating the fundamental rights granted him by the constitution or by law.

Article 9
No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile.

Article 10
Everyone is entitled in full equality to a fair and public hearing by an independent and impartial tribunal, in the determination of his rights and obligations and of any criminal charge against him.

Article 11
Everyone charged with a penal offence has the right to be presumed innocent until proved guilty according to law in a public trial at which he has had all the guarantees necessary for his defence.
No one shall be held guilty of any penal offence on account of any act or omission which did not constitute a penal offence, under national or international law, at the time when it was committed. Nor shall a heavier penalty be imposed than the one that was applicable at the time the penal offence was committed.

Article 12
No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honour and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks.

Article 13
Everyone has the right to freedom of movement and residence within the borders of each State.
Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country.

Article 14
Everyone has the right to seek and to enjoy in other countries asylum from persecution.
This right may not be invoked in the case of prosecutions genuinely arising from non-political crimes or from acts contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations.

Article 15
Everyone has the right to a nationality.
No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his nationality nor denied the right to change his nationality.

Article 16
Men and women of full age, without any limitation due to race, nationality or religion, have the right to marry and to found a family. They are entitled to equal rights as to marriage, during marriage and at its dissolution.
Marriage shall be entered into only with the free and full consent of the intending spouses.
The family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and the State.

Article 17
Everyone has the right to own property alone as well as in association with others.
No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his property.

Article 18
Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance.

Article 19
Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.

Article 20
Everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association.
No one may be compelled to belong to an association.

Article 21
Everyone has the right to take part in the government of his country, directly or through freely chosen representatives.
Everyone has the right to equal access to public service in his country.
The will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of government; this will shall be expressed in periodic and genuine elections which shall be by universal and equal suffrage and shall be held by secret vote or by equivalent free voting procedures.

Article 22
Everyone, as a member of society, has the right to social security and is entitled to realization, through national effort and international co-operation and in accordance with the organization and resources of each State, of the economic, social and cultural rights indispensable for his dignity and the free development of his personality.

Article 23
Everyone has the right to work, to free choice of employment, to just and favourable conditions of work and to protection against unemployment.
Everyone, without any discrimination, has the right to equal pay for equal work.
Everyone who works has the right to just and favourable remuneration ensuring for himself and his family an existence worthy of human dignity, and supplemented, if necessary, by other means of social protection.
Everyone has the right to form and to join trade unions for the protection of his interests.

Article 24
Everyone has the right to rest and leisure, including reasonable limitation of working hours and periodic holidays with pay.

Article 25
Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control.
Motherhood and childhood are entitled to special care and assistance. All children, whether born in or out of wedlock, shall enjoy the same social protection.

Article 26
Everyone has the right to education. Education shall be free, at least in the elementary and fundamental stages. Elementary education shall be compulsory. Technical and professional education shall be made generally available and higher education shall be equally accessible to all on the basis of merit.
Education shall be directed to the full development of the human personality and to the strengthening of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. It shall promote understanding, tolerance and friendship among all nations, racial or religious groups, and shall further the activities of the United Nations for the maintenance of peace.
Parents have a prior right to choose the kind of education that shall be given to their children.

Article 27
Everyone has the right freely to participate in the cultural life of the community, to enjoy the arts and to share in scientific advancement and its benefits.
Everyone has the right to the protection of the moral and material interests resulting from any scientific, literary or artistic production of which he is the author.

Article 28
Everyone is entitled to a social and international order in which the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration can be fully realized.

Article 29
Everyone has duties to the community in which alone the free and full development of his personality is possible.
In the exercise of his rights and freedoms, everyone shall be subject only to such limitations as are determined by law solely for the purpose of securing due recognition and respect for the rights and freedoms of others and of meeting the just requirements of morality, public order and the general welfare in a democratic society.
These rights and freedoms may in no case be exercised contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations.

Article 30
Nothing in this Declaration may be interpreted as implying for any State, group or person any right to engage in any activity or to perform any act aimed at the destruction of any of the rights and freedoms set forth herein.

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Sofia asleep holding a ribbon

Sofia asleep holding a ribbon
Originally uploaded by HyperBob.
Christopher and Terhi had a christening today. The baby was given the name Sofia Edith Helena.

In Finland the names of the babies are kept secret until the actual ceremony. This saves the grandparents wondering if any of their names will be used.

So I asked Terhi what did you call her from the birth until the christening. In public she said "vauva" but in private she whispered Sofia.

Christopher was asked by friends from the UK what the babies name was and all he could say was that it is a secret, and he could not tell anyone. This is unheard of in the UK because as soon as the baby is born it has to be given a name for the birth certificate.

The dress she is wearing was knitted 27 years ago by Maija for our daughter Riina. Indeed it has been used for quite a few christenings. The pink ribbon is exchanged for a blue one when a boy turns up. The silk rose was a touch added by the other grandmother Riita.

So when I got home I decided to open one of my christmas presents to celebrate and it turned out to be Reese's Nutragenous. That warmed my heart. It is good when your own children remember what you like, and then go to the effort of getting it for you.

Joy to the World

Christmas is a time of joy and laughter. A time to sing songs together. You know it is good when you loose control laughing. When you forget that your front teeth are missing, and your mother is taking a photo of a toothless grin that you will hate in years to come. You are oblivious to the camera, and someone could push a plug, into your face, using your nose as a socket, and the energy coming off you would light up a christmas tree.

The kids wait for their presents, and if it happens that the first present out of the wrapper is a spiderman suit, a red and blue lycra concoction, that they have dreamed about, as they practised the hand movements, to shoot imaginary spider webs to swing on, then the evening is over and done with as far as all other presents are concerned.

It is just a pity that you do not become a super-hero by doning a tight blue and red suit, and no matter how hard you throw yourself at the wall, the suit does not have the power to make you defy gravity. You have to be satisfied by looking damn cool, as you strike a classic spiderman pose. It is unfortunate that the illusion of being a super-hero these days is all down to posing. The power is missing.

The excellence of a gift is in its appropriateness and not in its value

I decided to get radical with my own presents and not to open any of them. It is not being disrespectful to the people who gave me presents, it is just that I want to wait for special occasions to celebrate. Or rather many special occasions.

I believe I will celebrate by opening a present tomorrow at the christening of my grand-daughter.

Friday, December 24, 2004

Buy nothing for Christmas

Blue Aarikka Angel and me
Originally uploaded by HyperBob.
Does it take courage to buy nothing for Christmas? The kids expect it. The relations send christmas cards, and for each one you get you have to send one back. It is the season for giving and advertisements appear in the shops as early as October.

Post early for Christmas is to blame, or more specifically the American soldiers who fought in the II World War. If they were to get their presents on time for the 25th then you had to post early for Christmas which ment shopping early as well, and so it burgeoned into a full blown consumer fest.

We get ties we don't want, dresses that don't fit, coats of the wrong colour, jewelrey that is obnoxious, sweets to make us sick, and more food than would feed a small village in Africa.

The celebration is supposed to be about Christ coming to the world and bringing the good news of peace and goodwill between God and man. The three wise men brought their gifts and so we commemorate the event by giving gifts to each other. But commerce has taken over to the extent that the peace and goodwill that should be christmas, has been replaced by stress and tension. Fights, arguments, drunkeness, abuse, dissatisfaction, depression, neglect, rejection are the emotions that are felt at the festive table.

Apparently Christmas is the time when hopes and expectations are built up. Families will be together, and will show love and care for each other, but instead dreams are dashed and Christmas becomes a crashing bore. We spend so much time thinking about love, and so little time feeling it.

It is too late to make this a Buy nothing for Christmas year but next year be a rebel and don't spend a cent. No cards, no presents. Don't cook a christmas meal, don't get landed with all the pots and and pans to clean up. Give up being a consumer. Consuming is not good for you.

Here is a Buy nothing for christmas song.

Thursday, December 16, 2004

Ilona's Graduation

Father and Daughter
Originally uploaded by Iita.
Attended Ilona's graduation at Plymouth University. She is now a B. Sc. in Psychology.

In my seat I silently rehearsed something that I could shout out. Something Finnish that only she would know. A phrase that would be go straight to her heart and nobody elses.

But the thought of all the precious words I could say brought the flush of blood to my throat, that thickening of the viens that is a precursor to tears.

Being proud is such an overpowering emotion.

Saturday, December 11, 2004

Here's to your health

Originally uploaded by Uluriansanskrit.
When I studied microbiology we were taught about a famous case of a cholera outbreak in London in 1854.

John Snow drew a map of the area around Broad Street and came to the conclusion that the disease was being spread from a certain water pump, and that people were drinking water contaminated by sewage.

He was a doctor who considered the environment as a contributing factor towards health. Bad environment equals bad health. Simple concept.

Doctors today very rarely get out and about. They remain stuck in their offices. When a patient arrives in bad health, a pill in prescribed to make them well.

The doctor does not see their living conditions, nor does he see the food they have been eating, or anything to do with their lifestyle. Whether they are extremely rich or devilishly poor. Illness is being viewed entirely from a biochemical point of view. Pop the right pill and you will get better.

Many of the major diseases have been irradicated by vaccinations, for example smallpox and polio, and pills will continue to be given for high blood pressure and depression and impotence, but you have to wonder about the real reasons for all our aches and pains, rashes and headaches, yeast infections, stomach upsets, broken wrists, cracking hip joints, acne, spots, cracked nails, missing teeth, bad breath, bad eyesight, warts, impetigo, constipation, skin blotches, sores, cuts, bruises, sprains, cancerous throats and lungs, ruined liver and kidneys, worn knee joints, asthma, runny noses.

In actual fact healthiness has got more to do with the way we live and the things we do. But then again some poeple have no choice but to become ill. If the only source of water is a pump contaminated by sewage, even with the best will in the world, and regardless of all their prayers, they will be brought low. But when we are ill, we all want a miracle to happen, a magic pill to take away the pain, to restore our well being, and make us better, so we can continue on as before.

Now if the world were viewed as London of 1885 and there was a benevolent doctor like John Snow, who would go out and plot the areas of devastation, what kind of dots would he plot on his world map. What would the world map show when it comes to disease and famine, and would anybody care to do something about it?

He would find that in many countries in Africa they have no clean water, and gastrointestinal infections kills around 2.2 million people globally each year, mostly children in developing countries. That is more people than die in your average world war.

In a world where there are stockpiles of food going to waste, people go hungry to bed every night. What pill is available to make them all get better?

Tea Time for Children

Japanese green tea
Originally uploaded by tamaki.
When we were so new
and I wanted to impress
we drank our tea green.

Having no money
I collected the leaves
of arab peppermint.

To celebrate we
put fresh red monardia
in our sparse white cups.

Lapsang Souchong was
eagerly drunk even though
it was a mystery.

when we had become older
Assam surprised us.

Children are like teas
to be appreciated
when age catches you.

Thursday, December 09, 2004

Don't buy anything day

Originally uploaded by 2m.
In Finland they recently had Don't buy anything day. A simple idea and when I heard it on the radio I decided to not buy anything that day.

No petrol for the car, no food for the fridge, no entertainment. I decided to see the day through with nothing. It was easy, but who could do it day out day in, which is the reality for many people in the world.

It was all about awareness. The stuff that we consume it must come from somewhere, and somebody must make it, but do we care? Not really.

You see I am the logo man. I believe in brands. I've got Nike on my feet, and Addidas pants, my socks are by le coq sportif, my shirt is by Ben Sherman, my glasses by Ray Bann, my watch is a Tag, but when I wear my Armani suit, I put on my Rolex. I drive a Merc for business and for pleasure I have the BMW.

See this belt buckle it is encrusted with real diamonds, and this ring on my little finger is worth a down payment for a mayfair flat. I've had all my teeth capped, and a hair transplant to cover that small bald patch that was developing on the crown of my head. The botox has removed all the lines and crows feet from around my eyes, and of course my nose is much smaller now. The spare tyre around my waist was removed by liposuction, and I wear a very discrete corset to keep the stomach flat. No-one ever notices because my suits are so well cut they disguise everything.

Look at me I have class. You see I buy only the best, and not only the best, but the most expensive. When you look at me you add up all the price tags of all the items I am wearing you must think to yourself that I must be somebody. Somebody with class, someone with taste, someone who is well stacked.

But every night I sleep naked.

Thursday, December 02, 2004

A bunch of flowers for mum

A bunch of flowers for mum
Originally uploaded by -=HB=-.
This is one of the photos that I like of all the photos I have ever taken. It is tender and fragile. No face just a small hand holding a bunch of wilting flowers with badly bent stems.

Every child at one time or another will gather flowers for their mother. They will pick the best they can get. The idea behind giving flowers is to make the person receiving them feel glad or happy.

The camera only captures the external, and it very rarely captures the heart.

For me this photo for some strange reason is all about love, and that makes me happy.