"A man is a very small thing, and the night is very large and full of wonders." -Lord Dunzany

Humanitarian

Night-time Sun Rise

The Midnight Sun is almost here in Narvik – a arctic city well above The Arctic Circle. Now the sun barely dips below the horizon now. I shot this photo after a hard night working on the Århus Kræmmermarked® homepage way south, in Denmark, actually. I have to constantly update this page these days, since we are in the middle of the four days of market, working for free and earning a lot of money for our Lions Clubs aid projects. Anyway, time to get to bed. Just wanted to share this photo with you!

IMG_3925


Update March 18. 1200 zulu time – My Heart goes out

On a weather worn flagpost the State and War flag of Norway is flying at half mast.

His Majesty the King of Norway, fellow officers and the chaplain has just finished the memorial service at the Evenes Air Force Base, commemorating the loss of five fellow officers.

My heart goes out to the families of the loved and lost crew. I also send my thoughts to all the personnel that have risked, and still are risking their lives in order to bring home the lost crew from an altitude of 2 kilometers. They have defied hurricane winds, snow, visibility of – sometimes just a few meters – dodging the avalanches that has come down the mountains, as they battled for days to rescue the lost crew.

Now – unfortunately – all hope is lost…

The Norwegian flag flying on half mast at Evenes Airstation, in connection with the memorial service for the norwegian Hercules crew that crashed in Kebnekaise

The Norwegian flag flying on half mast at Evenes Airstation, in connection with the memorial service for the norwegian Hercules crew that crashed in Kebnekaise (photo: Norwegian Armed Forces)


Update March 17. 1200 zulu time – wreckage found…

The missing Hercules C-130J transport plane – with a crew of 5 – I have been writing about the last couple of days, is confirmed found near the top of the highest mountain in Sweden, Kebnekaise. Norwegian patrols are at the top now giving assistance to Swedish Rescue Climbers rappelling into the glacier area where the wreckage is spread.

The chances of finding the crew safe and sound is unfortunately bleak.

The weather in the area is somewhat better today, but not good. The risk og avalanches is very high indeed.

Crash site in the high alpine area - (photo: Google Earth)

Crash site in the high alpine area - (photo: Google Earth)

Images from the P-3C Orion , which is searching after the missing Hercules in Kebnekaise, Sweden (Photo: Royal Norwegian Air Force)

Images from the P-3C Orion , which is searching after the missing Hercules in Kebnekaise, Sweden (Photo: Royal Norwegian Air Force)

EOIR from SAR searching for the missing c-130_05

EOIR from SAR searching for the missing c-130_05 (photo: Royal Norwegian Air Force)

The Swedish hunter battalion search for the norwegian Hercules in Kebnekaise, Sweden (photo: Norwegian Armed Forces)

The Swedish hunter battalion search for the norwegian Hercules in Kebnekaise, Sweden (photo: Norwegian Armed Forces)


Update 1600 zulu time – Watch police helicopter land in the search area

If you have the patients to watch 10-12 seconds with Norwegian commercials first, this video gives a pretty good impression about the weather conditions in the search area and what the rescue teams have to battle with in the Sweedish mountains… http://www.vgtv.no/#!id=50577

Police_helicopter_trying_to_land_near_Kebnekaise-VG-TV

Police helicopter trying to land near Kebnekaise-VG-TV


Update 1540 zulu time – Possible wreckage observed by mountain peak

It’s been more than 24 hour since the Hercules disappeared. There has been made some observations by a Norwegian Orion surveillance plane of some orange material near a mountain top. Right now a Norwegian Sea King is trying to fly into the area, but the weather is grim. A British surveillance plane (E-2C Hawkeye) is en route from England to Sweden to assist in the search.

The risk of avalanches is extreme and the progress is slow going.

Archive: A SAR helicopter is trying to get into the area. (photo: Royal Noregian Air Force)

Archive: A SAR helicopter is trying to get into the area. (photo: Royal Norwegian Air Force)

An E-2C Hawkeye is en route from England to assist in the search for the five crew members who went down in the Norwegian Hercules more tha 24 hours ago. (Photo: Wikipedia/Jonathan Snyder)

An E-2C Hawkeye is en route from England to assist in the search for the five crew members who went down in the Norwegian Hercules more tha 24 hours ago. (Photo: Wikipedia/Jonathan Snyder)


Update 1100 zulu time – Still not found

The weather is really bad and there is still no trace from the missing Norwegian Hercules. And as time goes by, the chances for finding survivors are diminishing in the freezing and stormy weather. According to the news channel NRK, the radarlog shows that the plane flew towards the highest mountain in Sweden, Kebnekaise at a level 100 meters higher. The theory now is that the plane, for unknown reasons has crashed into the mountain.

The crew members has been released to the media.

Missing Norwegian Crew - no trace for a day


Update 0900 zulu time – Denmark, Sweden and Norway

Right now the good neighbors of the Nordic Countries have pooled their ressources and although they have searched all night, new and rested troops are taking their way up the valleys and mountains to regain the terrain that was lost due to the extreme weather during the night.


Update 0830 zulu time – Orion spotted heat signature – no results

As of 0830 zulu time, the Norwegian transport plane that went down in the mountains yesterday with a crew of four men and one woman, has still not been found.

The weather in the area has been terrible with visibility as low as 20 meters and the treasonous mountain terrain still pose a threat – there is a very real chance of avalanches.

Earlier today a long range reconnaissance plane – Orion P3 – picked up a faint heat signal – but by the time the ground troops arrived there was nothing there to be found. Animals in the mountains have been known to give off heatsignals that can give these false positives.

But no stone is left unturned. The weather should be clearing up today and the search continues.

All we can do here in the lowlands is hope and pray for the best both for the missing crew and the brave troops out to find them.


SOPA / PIPA postponed indefinitely

The SOPA and PIPA law proposals are postponed indefinately! Which means the World’s Population – not the Entertainment Industry – still has the democratic control over the internet! (For now)

So in order to join in the free expression of the world this entire blog is free under a CC – Creative Commons License – with the following limitations:

Commercial Use: NO (right back at you, greedy entertainement industry) Not without my written permission.

Share alike/alter the work: Yes, you may alter and share my pictures, videos or texts from this blog, as long as you link back to the blog. But still, if for commercial use, you need my written permission.

This license applies to The Whole World!

Creative Commons-lisens
Dette verk er lisensieret under en Creative Commons Navngivelse-Ikkekommersiell-DelPåSammeVilkår 3.0 Unported lisens.


I am so sorry…

  • Do you prefer a safe Internet?
  • Do you prefer a stable Internet?
  • Do you prefer the old security of rights “Innocent until proven Guilty” to still be a golden rule in democratic societies?
  • Do you support a free, prosperous Internet
  • Do you oppose giving control over the World’s most significant tool for Prosperity and Freedom of Expression to the entertainment industry and dictatorius regimes?

Please, watch these film:

http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/en/defend_our_freedom_to_share_or_why_sopa_is_a_bad_idea.html

http://fightforthefuture.org/pipa

This has NOTHING to do with protecting artists’ Copyright! They are already protected through the law over most parts of the world – and I support the ones I like by buying their music and films.

This has EVERYTHING to do with giving the Entertainment Industry (and subsequently corrupt regimes) the TOTAL control over The Internet…

Still not convinced: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WJIuYgIvKsc

On 1/24 it could be too late… The clock is ticking…


Lions Club Narvik/Ankenes – A Bitterly Cold Work for a Sweet Warm Help

In accordance with tradition I purchased the annual Christmas Tree yesterday from the local Lions Club outside the local supermarket REMA 1000 on Ankenes. Lions Club Narvik/Ankenes is a fantastic club! Every year the comb the area for land owners with Christmas Tree sized spuces (Norway Spruce) to sell for Christmas. Once they have found areas suitable for Christmas Trees, they go up (it is usually up a hill side or mountain) into the woods and cut spruces, drag them down to the nearest road and transport them into town.

The spruce I bought yesterday, was a fantastic tree. It smelled just like a spruce is supposed to smell like! And the branches was so thightly packed, it was just amazing! And all the trees for sale looked amazing!

So – what’s the money used for?

Like any other respectable Lions Club, Lions Club Narvik/Ankenes work for free to earn money for humanitarian projects in the local area, nation-wide and internationally.

Today I stopped by with my camera. I would say -9 degrees is pretty cold for a lion, but not these Lions! Their hearts are plenty warm by the important job they are doing to help their fellow human beings (and environment!) to endure the cold winter weather! I took a few shots of the Lions on Ankenes in action.

Do you want to buy the very best looking and smelling Christmas Trees in Narvik? And do you want to help people in need? Here’s the Lions Club sales stand by Rema 1000:

Lions Club Narvik/Ankenes selling Christmas Trees to aid people in need! It's a cold job!

Lions Club Narvik/Ankenes selling Christmas Trees to aid people in need! It's a cold job!

Find your way to the Lions Christmas Tree stand!

Find your way to the Lions Christmas Tree stand!


9/11 – 9/14 – never forgetting

You probably remember where you were on 9/11 2001? I was on my way to the pharmacy to pick up some drugs for my father. We had nursed him at home for some time at that point, due to the total incompetence of the local hospital. While driving to town I heard about the terror against the Twin Towers in New York. For the first few seconds I was convinced I had tuned into a film review program. It sounded unreal. The story was so fantastically unbelievable, that I was sure they in the next sentence would mention some director or actor. That was until I heard one of NRK’s famous reporters live from New York. That’s when it dawned on me – the world would never be the same again…

Three days later my dear, loving, wise father passed away from cancer. That is a week I’ll never ever forget – as long as I live. I guess the hurt and the sorrow from these so very evil days has become a part of me. They will never go away, they will probably never truly heal – but they are getting better and more integrated into who I am as a person for every passing day. And in the end – maybe that is what will matter.

By these beautiful – and so very true – words from the film “Dying to have known”, I leave this day and week in the hope of a better world with an end to naivety, stupidity and a prayer for all man kind to serve The Good and turn their back on evil:

For each of us eventually – whether we’re ready or not – some day, it will come to an end. There will be no more sunrises, no more minutes, hours or days. All the things you collected – whether treasured or forgotten – will pass to someone else. Your wealth, fame and temporal power will shrivel to irrelevance. It will not matter what you owned or owed. Your grudges, resentments, frustrations and jealousies will finally disappear. So too your hopes, ambitions, plans and to-do-lists will expire. The wins and losses – that once seemed so important – will fade away. It won’t matter where you came from or what side of the tracks you lived at the end. Even your gender and skin color will be irrelevant.

So what will matter? How will the value of your days be measured? What will matter is not what you bought but what you built. Not what you got but what you gave. What will matter is not what you learned but what you thought. What will matter is every act of integrity, compassion, courage or sacrifice that enriched, empowered and encouraged others to emulate your example. What will matter is not your competence but your character. What will matter is not how many people you knew, but how many will feel a lasting loss when you’re gone. What will matter is not your memories, but the memories that live on in those who loved you. What will matter is how long you will be remembered, by whom and for what.

9-11 - 9-14 - never forgetting

9-11 - 9-14 - never forgetting


Help Japan!

Japan earthquake/Miyagi - Photo: courtesy of Lions Clubs International

Japan earthquake/Miyagi - Photo: courtesy of Lions Clubs International

As much as 100.000 people may have been killed after the 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan. The suffering is further increased by the following nuclear disaster at the Fukushima Nuclear Powerplant. Japan is the 3rd biggest economy in the world. So helping Japan is really helping – an already strained World Economy – survive, and subsequently – helping Japan is very much helping yourself!

How can I help?

Lions Clubs International was one of the very first to bring help in to the disaster areas. Why? Well, Lions Members – ordinary citizens with extraordinary brave Lions-Hearts – are present in most parts of the world. Those Lions in Japan who survived the disaster immediately mobilized and started the relief effort. 107.000 Japanese Lions Members are working hard at helping in the disaster area.

Since all this is volunteer work, and Lions don’t use the money they earn on any thing but 100% pure help, you have a guarantee that what you donate will reach the people in need.

Norway

  1. Send SMS med teksten “Katastrofe” til 2434
  2. Du mottar en kvitteringsmelding om at du har støttet vårt arbeid med 200,- kroner.
  3. Beløpet faktureres på din telefonregning.

Read more on lions.no

Denmark

Sådan kan du donere til katastrofen
STØT VIA SMS
Send LIONS 100 til 1999 eller Send LIONS 150 til 1999
Det koster 100 eller 150 kr. + alm. SMS takst.

STØT VIA BANKINDBETALING
Du kan indsætte et beløb på følgende bankkonto i Danske Bank
3543 – 3543435031 og mrk. Stillehavet.

Ønskes der fradrag som gave i henhold til ligningslovens § 8A
skal CPR eller CVR nr. opgives.

Read more on lions.dk

USA and others

  • Donate online at www.lcif.org/donate. Select Disaster and include the name of the disaster (Japan or New Zealand) in the comments section.
  • Make a credit card donation with a MasterCard, Visa or American Express. Fax the following information to LCIF: name, address, phone number, credit card type, credit card number, expiration date, and amount of the donation. If you are a Lions member, please provide your clubs information. LCIF’s fax number is (630) 571-5735.
  • Mail LCIF a U.S. dollar check drawn on a U.S. financial institution. Make the check payable to Lions Clubs International Foundation, noting the name of the disaster (Japan or New Zealand) in the memo. Please send the check to Lions Clubs International Foundation, Department 4547, Carol Stream, Illinois 60122-4547  USA
  • Make a direct deposit of local currency into an existing LCI account. Send a copy to LCIF via fax to (630) 571-5735.
  • Do a direct wire transfer. For assistance with this option please contact LCIF Donor Assistance at donations@lionsclubs.org.
  • Complete the single or multiple donor disaster donation form and mail or fax to LCIF.

Read more:

Lions Clubs International Foundation – How to donate

Read the stories from Lions working in the disaster areas in Japan

See map of Lions Clubs in affected areas – a chocking picture of the magnitude of the Earthquake and Tsunami disaster

Lions’ Official Blog


Helping Japan – my favourite things in life all come together to help

Emil Hegle Svendsen - one of the Norwegian Gold Medalists who donated their price money to Japan (CC-Creative Commons, Photo: Njaelkies lea (Lars Falkdalen Lindahl))

Emil Hegle Svendsen - one of the Norwegian Gold Medalists who donated their price money to Japan (CC-Creative Commons, Photo: Njaelkies lea (Lars Falkdalen Lindahl))

This week has been great with a big medal harvest in my No. 1 sport – Biathlon. The Norwegian biathletes Emil Hegle Svensen, Alexander Os and Ole Einar Bjørndalen won 4 x 7.5 km Relay Men on Friday but cancelled their victory celebration and donated their price money to the relief effort following the earthquake and tsunami catastrophy in Japan.

I have been a proud Lions member for 15 years. Yesterday Lions Clubs International Foundation announced that they aid the relief in Japan with US$1.25 Million.

The fantastic thing about Lions is that we are all volunteers. And we are present around the world, so Lions-members in Japan – with intimate local knowledge. That means that the money can be put to a more precise use.


The fine, thin line of life

Life or Death (Photo: Dimmed - From Flickr, liscense Creative Commons)

Life is so fragile. We are all walking this thin, invisible line from birth through life to death. And the line is invisible, so it’s almost impossible to know when we reach the end.

There are so many things in life blown out of proportions and often times the most important things in life is pushed aside. How much extra does it cost you to tell someone you love them? To give a hug or a kiss?  To lend a helping hand? The answer: it costs no more than a little cellular energy, but it touches another human being and could very well be exactly what he or she needed to get that silver lining on all the dark clouds in the sky.

Show your fellow human beings that you care – the sooner the better!

Life or Death (Photo: Dimmed - From Flickr, liscense Creative Commons)

Life or Death (Photo: Dimmed)