Monday, February 28, 2011

Quake Update

The death toll from last tuesdays quake has now reached 148, with more bodies expected as the USAR teams pull more from the ruins. As of today Police have released the names of 6 of the confirmed dead quake victims. And today the youngest of them was laid to rest; 5 month old Baxter Gowland. More than 200 family members and friends gathered at Academy Funeral Services in uppar Riccarton this afternoon to celebrate Baxter's short life. But due to the earthquake only 15 people would be allowed at the cemetery.He will be laid to rest beside his grandfather.

Baxter Gowland

Urban Search and Rescue are continuing to search every building in the city centre one by one. Some team members were being lifted onto the top of damaged buildings so they could search for people from the top down rather than the bottom up. A large temporary structure has been installed at the Cathedral to stabilise a wall. Christchurch Mayor Bob Parker said that the Grand Chancellor hotel remained a risk as it has been on the verge of collapse but it had stopped moving. But the Pyne Gould Corporation building has moved slightly amid a wave of aftershocks that have hit Christchurch; but despite fears of future movemnt, recovery teams continue to work at the site.

Up to 60 properties on Clifton Hill in the Christchurch suburb of Sumner, have been evacuated over concerns abouth the stability of a cliff face after a magnitude 4.1 aftershock hit just before 8am today. A geologist is assessing cracks in the cliff.

Prime Minister John Key has estimated that this quake would cost about $13 billion, on top of the $6b-$7b of the first quake. The New Zealand Red Cross has already received around $5.2 million in donations for its earthquake appeal. All of the money donated will go to the victims with the organisation absorbing administration costs.

Some more ways that you can help...

At the weekend Mr Key launched a global fund-raiser the Christchurch Earthquake Appeal. Donations can be made at .

Telecom, Vodafone and 2Degrees mobile customers can text chch to 933 to make an automatic $3 donation, and donations can also be made through internet banking or at any branch of New Zealand's retail banks.

Two New Zealanders have organised a Christchurch Earthquake Vigil Service at Westminster Cathedral, on 2 March, 7pm, for all kiwis based in London to unite and pay respect to the people of Christchurch.
High Commissioner Derek Leask will read a message from John Key. There will be a Waiata from Ngati Ranana, London Maori Club and personal accounts and reflections will be read by Former Christchurch City Councillor, Paddy Austin.
A collection will be made and badges sold with proceeds going to the British Red Cross, New Zealand Earthquake Appeal.

Tattoo artists across New Zealand are rallying together for tattoo parlours closed in Christchurch as a result of the earthquake. On certain days all proceeds from participating parlours will go to the Tattoo Artist EQ Fund.
Tattoo artist Matti McEachen lost his life in Tuesday's quake. Money from the fund will also go to his family.
For more information see: .

Variety - The Children's Charity says all the money raised from its Variety Bash tour will be used to help children affected by the Christchurch earthquake.
The Bash starts on Saturday March 5 and will be travelling from the Bay of Plenty to the Bay of Islands.
Variety will also be running a charity auction on TradeMe from 3-15 March and says people can 'give an hour' of their salary by donating online at . is holding a 24-hour online garage sale from midday on Wednesday March 2, to raise money for the Canterbury Earthquake appeal.
It says there will be up to 80 per cent off products from brands including; Sony, Mooks, Billabong, Crayola, Victorinox, Speedo, Revitanail & Leatherman.

And of course there are the other ways of donating at the end of my last post. Please donate, the people of Christchurch need our help.


Act as if what you do makes a difference.  It does.  ~William James

Friday, February 25, 2011

Its been a sad week...

You may have noticed that i haven't posted for awhile. This is due to the fact that i have been glued to the news watching how the recovery of people from the Christchurch earthquake pans out. This is such a huge tragedy for us New Zealanders. Being such a small population most of us know someone who has been affected either directly or indirectly by the earthquake. And personally Chirstchurch was the most beautiful city in New Zealand, packed full of beautiful old buildings that were build around 1910 - 1920 some older.

The earthquake (or aftershock, as officials call it. As Christchurch had a huge 7.1 quake back last September 4th, and they have been having big aftershocks ever since) struck just before 1pm local time on Tuesday the 22nd of Feb. The quake was a 6.3 on the Richter scale and only 5km deep! and it struck just 10km south-east of Christchurch CBD.

The quake has caused widespread devastation. But the worst hit area was the CBD, with many buildings just crumbling apart. Including the iconic Christchurch Cathedral, who's spire broke in half and it is feared that up to 20 people ( probably tourists) are trapped and most likely killed beneath the rubble. It is now day 4 post quake and the death toll sits at 103, but will rise as more bodies are recovered from the rubble.

One building that was completely pancaked and on fire from the quake was the CTV building, where the local television network occupied the bottom two floors of the building and a English language school resided in the top floors. They have pulled some people alive from the wreckage but it is feared that up to 120 people are trapped in there still most likely dead as they say it is a unsurvivable building.

Much of Christchurch is covered in liquefaction from the quake, which is muddy sediment and sewage which seeps up through the ground due to land movements. There are so many amazing story's of survival and terrible stories of loss. The people of Christchurch are in for a big and long clean up, with many people now homeless. But the generosity and kindness which most New Zealanders are showing to their fellow citizens in need is just unsurpassable. I feel immensely proud to be a New Zealander at this time.

103 confirmed fatalities - four names released
228 missing
70 live rescues
10 international teams on the ground
559 rescuers on the ground
594 seen by emergency departments - 164 of those admitted to hospital
2000 people have had treatment for injuries
11 patients in intensive care
452 people in welfare centres
(John Carter says this number is down on the September quake as more people are self-evacuating the city)
20,131 calls to the Government's help-line
Five active welfare centres

The cost of rebuilding this destroyed city is huge and many are banding together to fund raise for Christchurch. Amongst many others The Australian government has given us $5 million Australian dollars towards the clean up and rebuild. If you would like to donate some money to the Christchurch relief fund you can do so by these means:

A Mayoral fund has been set up for donations to the citizens of Christchurch using the following BNZ bank account: 02-0800-084958-000.

Donations can be made to the Red Cross online or via the GrabOne website, as the Red Cross site has been crashing.
Donations can be made to the Salvation Army by calling 0800 53 00 00 (specify that your donation is for the 'Canterbury Earthquake Appeal') or at:
• Any ANZ Bank branch: Account number 01-1839-0188939-00
• Any National Bank branch: Account number 06-0869-0548507-00
• Any Westpac Bank branch: Account number 03-0207-0617331-00
• Any ASB Bank branch: Account number 12-3205-0146808-00
• Any BNZ Bank branch: Account number 02-0500-0982004-000
• Any Kiwibank branch: Account number: 38-9009-0759479-00

Donations can be made to the Rotary New Zealand World Community Service here.

Donations can be made to the Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand website, by calling 0800 22 10 22, or by post: Caritas, PO Box 12193, Thorndon, Wellington, 6144. Mark correspondence: "Canterbury Earthquake Appeal".

Telecom mobile users can donate to the Red Alert Canterbury Earthquake Appeal by texting to 4419 to make an automatic $3 donation to the appeal.

Vodafone users can donate to the Red Alert Canterbury Earthquake Appeal by texting "Quake" to 333 to make a $3 donation to the Red Cross Canterbury Earthquake Appeal.

Across the Tasman, the Commonwealth Bank of Australia is also accepting donations for the New Zealand Red Cross.

Britons can donate to the New Zealand Red Cross online here.
Alternatively UK Vodafone customers can give £5 by texting "NZQUAKE" to 70801. UK Vodafone will donate an extra £1 for each text.

BP Oil NZ will be matching dollar for dollar all donations made to victims of the Christchurch earthquake at its Wild Bean Cafes and BP Connect stores.

It wish to express gratitude as a New Zealander, to all of the people out there helping rescue and clean up Christchurch and all those giving money and helping to fund raise. This really is a time to band together.


Thursday, February 17, 2011

Nanami Cowdroy!

Check out these amazing illustrations by Australian artist Nanami Cowdroy. Aren’t they beautiful! Nanami is a Sydney born Australian with close bonds to her Japanese- European heritage. Growing up with such contrasting cultures and surroundings has greatly influenced her style of art and creative expression. She is drawn to subjects, which may on the surface seem delicate or fragile, but are given strength and depth through her pen and ink techniques, intricate hand illustrative style and mixed media compositions.  Her artworks are only ever monochrome, and she uses a mixed media of Ink, pen, pencil, water colour and spray paint on paper, with some digital elements. As well as her paper illustrations she has made designs which have been laser etched onto Skate board decks. These decks are not intended for use though only for wall hanging. Nanami has been inspired by fish and paper cranes in a lot of her artworks. The paper cranes remind Nanami of her grandmother who taught her how to make them as a child. Her name which means (seven seas) in Japanese, is stamped on to her artworks in the traditional Japanese way with red ink. To me the art works have a real graffiti feel to them and I love that they are only black and white. Nanami creates so much depth and texture, and she packs in so much detail, I just love it!


Flower  Shower

Geisha Yume

Ink Pond

Ink Tears

Blow Fish

Royal Flush


If you want to know more, there is a really great article here.


Wednesday, February 16, 2011

If you need something to read now..

Here are a few books that have recently been released that you might want to have a go at as they look pretty good...

The Book of Tomorrow by Cecelia Ahern

The Book of Tomorrow by Cecelia Ahern was release in the UK last year. It is the story of a 16-year-old girl in Ireland who is forced to move to the country after her father commits suicide. As Tamara ventures into the town, she omes across a book in the library that intrigues her. It is empty when she first picks it up, but then it begins to fill with her thoughts from the next day. Tamara uses the book to change the future and work though some of the mysteries in her family.


Lake of Dreams by Kim Edwards

Kim is the bestselling author of a book you have probably heard of; The Memory Keeper's Daughter. Lake of Dreams is the story of Lucy, a women who returns home to upstate NY and must work through her father's death by drowning, and other complicated fmaily relationships.

A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness

This book was only just released this month and it has already caused a stir amongst readers of the genre. A discovery of witches is the first part of the All Souls Trilogy, so there is more where this came from if you enjoy it.
Deep in the stacks of Oxford's Bodleian Library, young scholar Diana Bishop unwittingly calls up a bewitched alchemical manuscript in the course of her research. Descended from an old and distinguished line of witches, Diana wants nothibng to do with sorcery; so after a furtive glance and a few notes, she banishes the book to the stacks. But her discovery sets a fantastical underworld stirring, and a horde of daemons, witches, and vampires soon descends upon the library. Diana has stumbled upon a coveted treasure lost for centuries - and she is the only creature who can break its spell.

Afterlight: the Dark Ink Chronicles by Elle Jasper

Afterlight is the first book in Elle Jaspers new series; the Dark Ink Chronicles. It is to be followed by Everdark which releases in June this year, then again by Eventide which has no release date yet.

About the series: Riley Poe leads the series as a gritty, unconventional tattoo artist-turned-slayer after her youngest brother is lured into a gang led by a pair of vicious Romanian vampires. In books 1,2 and 3, Riley, a dead-sexy guardian vampire named Eli Dupre, his undead family and Riley's surrogate grandparents (who are not only Gullah root doctors but hoodoo conjurers as well) stalk the underside of Savannah, Charleston, and a trip to the Old World as they track the deadly Arcos vampires to Romania. The story unfolds through Riley's eyes in first person where you learn of Riley's torrid past, her desires, and her fears as she falls hard for Eli, becomes Victorian Arcos' obsession, and struggles not to become the very thing she fights: a vampire.

Let me know if you read any of these, and what you thought of it/them!


Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The 53rd Annual Grammy Awards

The 53rd annual Grammy Awards was held on Feb 13th at the Staples Centre in Los Angeles. Barbra Streisand was honoured as the MusiCares Person of the Year two nights prior on Feb 11th. Grammy Nominations were announced on December 1st 2010 and a total of 109 awards were presented. As usual Lady Gaga was suitably strange sporting pointy shoulders and arriving in a giant egg which was carried by freaky minions. Katy Perry was cute as pie arriving with her Hubby Russell Brand and her grandmother.  And here are a few of the big winners; because I know you can’t be bothered reading them all and just want to see some photos:

Record Of The Year – Need You Now, Lady Antebellum

Album Of The Year – The Suburbs, Arcade Fire

Song Of The Year – Need You Now, Lady Antebellum

Best New Artist – Esperanza Spalding

Best Female Pop Vocal Performance – Bad Romance, Lady Gaga

Best Male Pop Vocal Performance – Just The Way You Are, Bruno Mars

And now check out some of the peps who attended…

Barbra Streisand

Lady Gaga arrives..


and collects award.

Bruno Mars


Esperanza Spalding collects her coveted award!

Florence Welch

JLo rocks it as usual

Kelly Osborne, looking sweet

The Bieber

Lady Antebellum

These two deffinately take out the award for freakiest couple... Lil Wayne and Nicki Minaj 

Miley Cyrus...

Natasha Bedingfield

Paramore! I heart you!

Usher and Jennifer Hudson

Rihanna and Eminem perform. Has anyone noticed that Rihanna is wearing a Dior dress?

Katy Perry

Katy Perry and her Grandmother, aw so cute


Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentines Day!!

Today is Valentines Day, and no matter weather you have a partner or not there is someone out there that loves you. So today is a celebration of love, and to commemorate this i have some quotes and poems to share with you all. I hope you enjoy them.

Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.
Lord Alfred Tennyson

For Love is Immortality.
 Emily Dickinson

Love is an irresistible desire to be irresistibly desired.
Robert frost

They do not love that do not show their love. The course of true love never did run smooth. Love is a familiar. Love is a devil. There is no evil angel but love.
William Shakespeare

When love beckons to you, follow him,
Though his ways are hard and steep. 
 Khalil Gibran

Life without love, is like a tree without blossom and fruit
 Khalil Gibran

And when I shall die, take him and cut him up in little stars, and he will make the face of heaven so fine that all the world will fall in love with night and pay no worship to the garish sun.
Juliet- Shakespeare

Kiss me and you shall see stars, love me and I'll give them to you.

The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched. They must be felt with the heart.
Hellen Keller
Oh, thou art fairer than the evening air Clad in the beauty of a thousand stars.
Christopher Marlowe

I carry your heart with me

carry your heart with me(I carry it in
my heart)I am never without it(anywhere
I go you go, my dear; and whatever is done
by only me is your doing, my darling)
I fear
no fate(for you are my fate, my sweet)I want
no world(for beautiful you are my world, my true)
and it's you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you

here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life; which grows
higher than the soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart

I carry your heart(I carry it in my heart)


Come to me in my dreams, and then
By day I shall be well again!
For so the night will more than pay
The hopeless longing of the day.

Come, as thou cam'st a thousand times,
A messenger from radiant climes,
And smile on thy new world, and be
As kind to others as to me!

Or, as thou never cam'st in sooth,
Come now, and let me dream it truth,
And part my hair, and kiss my brow,
And say, My love why sufferest thou?

Come to me in my dreams, and then
By day I shall be well again!
For so the night will more than pay
The hopeless longing of the day.
Matthew Arnold

She Walks In Beauty

She walks in beauty, like the night
Of cloudless climes and starry skies;
And all that's best of dark and bright
Meet in her aspect and her eyes:
Thus mellowed to that tender light
Which heaven to gaudy day denies.

One shade the more, one ray the less,
Had half impaired the nameless grace
Which waves in every raven tress,
Or softly lightens o'er her face;
Where thoughts serenely sweet express
How pure, how dear their dwelling place.

And on that cheek, and o'er that brow,
So soft, so calm, yet eloquent,
The smiles that win, the tints that glow,
But tell of days in goodness spent,
A mind at peace with all below,
A heart whose love is innocent!
Lord Byron

Spread the love!!


Friday, February 11, 2011

The future of sleep?

How would you like a bed that lulls you to sleep with gradually fading light that simulates the sun setting? And wakes you with a virtual sunrise?

Well now you can have one! And it will do more than just those things. By the end of this you will be begging god that he sends you one of these babies on account of good behaviour. You guys have been good right?
The bed has been on the market for a few years now, but when I came across it I just had to share it with you guys. It’s called the Lomme pod bed and is made from GRP (Glass reinforced polymer). It is a hand laminated process where the manufacturer uses glass fabric tissues in combination with epoxy resin and a core material.

The bed, along with the light therapy alarm clock capabilities, has a mattress with a in-built massage system which offers a choice of massage options. Lomme has a light system installed all around the pod, which includes different colours from the spectrum which is navigated through a color wheel. Depending on requirements, the light can also be set to a specific color and strength. This light color therapy is known to enhance the body's energy centers and stimulate the healing process. The shell of the Lomme also has a special system which blocks harmful electromagnetic waves and radiation. A specially designed sleep button isolates all electricity away from the bed. All functions are controlled by an iPhone which has been specially programmed for Lomme and also enables the sleeper to listen to relaxing music, sounds and guided meditations.

Are you sold yet? Who hasn't at some point dreamt of sleeping in a futuristic pod, i know i have. Watch out Jetsons here i come. But unfortunately the bed doesn't come cheap. If you have a lazy 42,000 Euro lying around it's yours! But if not then hopefully sometime in the future all beds will be this cool and we won't have to consider selling all our belongings to acquire one.


Thursday, February 10, 2011

Books I am eagerly awaiting this year..

Lately I have been going through a faze with books, reading alot of paranormal romance. So I dare say that this genre will dominate my list...

1. Silence by Becca Fitzpatrick

The third book from Becca's New York Times best selling series the 'Hush Hush Saga. I am impatiently awaiting this book as i absolutely loved the first two. It will be a long wait though as the book is not due to hit the shelves until October! Becca's writing is fantastic; I found it difficult to find fault in it. from the Authors own blog "The storyline of the third book is daring and twisty and oh so romantic". Just what I like...

The noise between Patch and Nora is gone in this book. They've overcome the secrets riddled in Patch's dark past...bridged two irreconcilable worlds...faced heart-wrenching tests of betrayal, loyalty and trust...and all for a love that will transcend the boundary between heaven and earth. Armed with nothing but their absolute faith in one another, Patch and Nora enter a desperate fight to stop a villain who holds the power to shatter everything they've worked for - and their love - forever.

2. Forever by Maggie Stiefvater

Forever is the third book in The Wolfs of Mercy Falls Series, and comes out in July this year. So another long wait for this one, but one that will be worth the while I think.

The conclusion to #1 bestselling Shiver trilogy. In Shiver Grace and Sam found eah other. In Linger, they fought to be together. Now, in Forever, the stakes are even higher than before. Wolves are being hunted. Lives are being threatened. And love is harder and harder to hold on to as death comes closing in.

3. Passion by Lauren Kate

I am definitely excited about this book which comes out in June. Passion the third book in the Fallen Series is set to be a prequel to the other two and will hopefully fill in some gaps in the previous two books.

The book which covers a span of 5000 plus years, dips into a new setting, a new country, and usually, a new century with each new chapter. And it aims to explain just about every important moment that ever passed between Luce and Daniel. from the Authors blog "most intense, most...passionate book I've ever written".

4. This is a Book by Demetri Martin

If your looking for a laugh I have heard this book that is due out in April, will keep you in stitches from beginning to end.

Demetri Martin is the renowned comedian, creator, star and executive producer/multiple title-holder of Comedy Central's 'Important Things with Demetri Martin'. the book features longer-form essays and conceptual pieces, as well as his trademark charts, doodles, drawings, one-liners, and list ( ie. the world views of optimits, pessimists and contortionists). we all need a good laugh every once in awhile and these books are hard to come by. I figure it will be a nice break from all the paranormal romance i am reading.

5. City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare

City of Fallen Angels will be the fourth book in the Mortal Instruments Series by Cassandra Clare. The release date for the book is April, and oh my Jace I can't wait. However i do hope the book delivers a fair share of Jace (the sexy love interest of Clary's), as it is supposedly following Simon's (Clary's friend ) experiences as he attempts to manage life as a vampire.

Synopsis: Love, blood, betrayal and revenge - the stakes are higher than ever in City of Fallen Angels. Simon Lewis is having some trouble adjusting to his new life as a vampier, especially now that he hardly sees his best freind Clary, who is caught up in training to be a Shadowhunter - and spending time with her new boyfriend Jace. Not to mention that Simon doesn't quite know how to handle the pressure of not-quite-dating two girls at once. What's a daylight loving vampire to do? Simon decides he needs a break and heads out of the city - only to discover that sinister events are following him. Realizing taht the war they thought they'd won might not yet be over, Simon has to call on his Shadowhunter friends to save the day - if they can put their own splintering relationships on hold long enough to rise to the challenge.

6. The Ritual by Adam Nevill

If you liek a good horror then this is the book to watch out for. Due out in May this year, Ritual is set in the Scandinavian wilderness of the Arctic Circle.

The story follows four university students who set off to the wilderness to briefly escape the problems of their lives and reconnect with one another. But when Luke, the only man still single and living a precarious existence, finds he has little left in common with his well-heeled friends, tensions rise. With limited fitness and experience between them, a shortcut meant to ease their hike turns into a nightmare scenario that could cost them their lives.
This may be one to read with the light on...

7. River Marked by Partricia Briggs

Ok so I haven't read any of this now 6 book series yet, but I really really want too. A. The Library hasn't got the books yet and I am not in a position to buy them atm. And B. I have so many books on my too be read list that i can't read fast enough. River Marked is set to be released in March, so everyone who is already well into this series does not have longto wait.

Car mechanic Mercy Thompson has always known there was something different about her, and not just the way she can make a VW engine sit up and beg. Mercy is a shapeshifter, a talent she inherited from her long-gone father. She's never known any others of her kind. Until now.

An evil is stirring in the depths of the Columbia River, one that her father's people may know something about. And to have any hope of surviving, Mercy and her mate, the Alpha werewolf Adam, will need their help...

Happy Reading :)

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...