Haitian thoughts

I recently visited this country to adopt a little boy with my wife and we noted that misery had a name and the name was Haiti. Before the earthquake which struck on the 13th, the country and its people already had their backs to the wall. Water and electricity and food were luxury products. I saw shanty towns and roads like ravines, buildings damaged from four hurricanes.After the quake, the unimaginable becomes true. A million people live in Port au prince and it’s estimated that 100 thousand are dead from the earthquake alone.Now there is no clean water and typhus, cholera and other water borne diseases such as gastroenteritis and diarrhea will strike and an already weak population. More will die in the aftermath of this disaster than directly.

1 million people are now homeless in the island. They had little before, now  they have literally nothing. 70 % plus unemployment, 76% survive on less than 2 dollars per day US.That was before. even the presidential palace in all its splendor is a pile of rubble.Almost all multi story building are down. We have friends who got the last plane out before the quake. Lucky them.


The hospital has collapsed, there is no water or electricity, no lifting equipment , no fire brigade or ambulance, no doctors or medicine,no surgeons or nurses, no food, no toilet facilities,people lay with terrible injuries and die.In the streets.in the open air.They die like dogs.

I managed to contact the crèche. All the children are thank god, well. but the building has disappeared into rubble.The quake struck just after their afternoon nap and thank God for that, .Some crèches are just disaster zones, full of dead or dying children.

What can you do? Give your money/time/equipment/spare clothes/bricks and mortar to a reputable cause, such as the red cross or medicines sans frontiers.

The immediate need is survival. After they need to rebuild, better and with pride.Teach them how. Help them now.

Evry dollar saves a life. Give what you can, and remember. Perhaps the quake will wake up people to the plight of Haiti. Its a shame it took such a cost, such a price for people to see.. A beautiful country a beautiful people. Perhaps they can start from nothing.But what a cost.What a price.


imagine your city, and a disaster that kills 10% of the population. And makes many many more homeless.

1 million live in port au prince and 100 thousand are dead, and probably 100,00 more will die from the disease and after the quake. 500 thousand may be homeless.They need your help.

Already people are looting and this has to stop.The UN has now to send in more troops, to help control a dire situation.We need to get equipment there as quickly as possible.There can be no strings attached and no under the table deals.The time is now for a new Haiti.


here is a link to help those who can give


There are many charities here, give and give and give. Remember, you are rich in compaarison to them. I’ve given what I can and next month I’ll give more.

This disaster won’t stop now.

Our prayer.

We pray for the Haitian people, and for those who have been touched by this disaster, for those who have lost loved ones, or have no news, we pray to our God and ask for his hand. We pray that people will be generous and touched.We pray that change starts with people now.



Do the same with your God(s) please


Prayers aren’t enough. Imagine the worst and multiply it by ten.


The lost elephant

The lost Elephant. A story for children.  By Richard Jenkins


Once upon a time there was an elephant. His name was…

In fact he didn’t know his name!This was because he was The Lost Elephant

Where he lived, in the jungle, he was contented,but he had a lot of questions.The other elephants he saw didn’t speak his language, or they didn’t know it.

So he began to feel sad.

Poor elephant.

One day, he went to find the answers.

On the way, there were many scary trees, frightening and strange.

Sometimes he was afraid, but he was a brave elephant, and very curious too.

Even when he thought that he could see monsters or nasties, he continued, looking for himself.

He wasn’t too scared because he was big and strong, and he could make a lot of noise with his trunk.This gave him comfort. All the birds in the trees flew away whenever he trumpeted, and this made him laugh.

One day a bird asked him “why do you make such a noise?”

“We are kind and we can show you the way to get out of the forest.”

The elephant thought about this.

He had made the noise because he was scared. If he followed te birds,he could get out of the forest. Perhaps he could find his name, or even his family.

So he explained to the birds and said he was sorry.The birds showed him the way to the savannah.He had found some new friends.

Once he was outside of the forest, the elephant felt much better. He thanked the birds by singing, and the birds called him ‘Softly’ because his song was so softly sung.

The elephant had a name! Softly! and he had some friends too.

Softly was a bit lost , but happily he was in the savannah. He hid in the long grass and waited.Suddenly, he saw another elephant, a very beautiful elephant.Together, they continued along the path.

Finally, he had a name, and a family and some friends!he had found out some of the answers and found some of himself too. Together with the birds, they went to find their destinies.



» posted in Rickj’s Blog

Horizontal writing

Can we see what we do, or do we just chase gold ?

Comfy in our little zone, or do we see the cold ?

Watching death around our patch, like some weird cartoon ;

Hoping that it doesn’t come, at least not very soon.

Miles away from agony, until it hits the screen.

Then only for a moment, then we’ve overseen.

Our minds are touched, but then we’re bored,

Or scared and so we zap the ghastly gore.

Armchair witnesses of the world, aloof from reality

All that’s left to understand the answer is just ourselves maybe

Untroubled by the pain , we’re far away, but TV close.

Internet connected, a click away, to post ideas online

The world’s an expert , shed a tear, spread some fear,

« It’s terrible », « don’t you know » « we’re powerless »

But change starts internally, not government or policy

I watch the smoke from chimney stacks

Its hot cloud waft of wasted heat

Would fill the pens of a thousand hacks

And almost never fill the sheet

They drift up , then left, then right,then back

Which way to go, the wind decides

Just like us, the clouds they lack

Any substance and all the facts

Where we go, and what we say

Corporations organise governments thus

We don’t decide our life each day

Democracy is just passive lush

We have ,no plans, no vision , no belief nor ideas ,

Just make a profit ,make a margin

People don’t matter,or countries, that’s clear ?

Got to cross the line first if you want to win.

Throw them to the wolves or drag

Ideas to divert them from the scent

Tell them that the debate is deep

Keep them numb and well meant

Gaze into the belly-button,gaze into the hole

And all you’ll see is fluff,fluff,fluff

Questions empty with meaning and ideas stole

Away from keepers then twisted so enough

That in the false light of the media they seem so beautiful

But on closer inspection they are just shallow

Imagination has it’s boundary, fearful

Ideas already proven empty and hollow

Come back again to spoil our route

The reason forgotten in the thrust

Of communication when we are mute

And policies which are just unjust

The pathway is chosen to our minds

By companies whose choice is cost

Price but not as the consequence unwinds

And the rest is sacrificed to frost

So in the end we wait for change-but passive us

Act now and take control of you

Destiny’s path is self made stuff

Show the people what to do.

Crawl through all the thick and dross

Fight the path to freedom’s truth

Lips are dry from bitter dust

And hopes are spent from wasted youth

We don’t question what we buy

Nor its production place today

The lowest wages question why ?

The little children’s bleeding hands

Made in somewhere else today

The cost of production here’s to high

In low cost countries profits pay

With low aspirations, respect will die

The mystery is why such guiltless tranquillity

The ticking clock of all our lives

The effortless switch of history

The chance to spin eternal lies

« We want to win the war » they said

But in its wake there was the blood

And every drop was shyly shed

And every hope was in the mud

They came back home draped in a flag

Silently they passed through streets of shame

No really gave a fag

And no-one really took the blame

They fought for what ? For History’s fame ?

The pages of the books repeat

All that’s left is all that remains

Forgotten again, till death they meet.

Soldiers, wasted, like school boy’s games

Lined up inside the playground of their minds

And each battalion are just toys

And all the lives are just white lines.

Crosses on the empty fields

With only sorrow for a bride

Wage war against the clinging weeds

When tomorrow claims its pride

We fight ourselves with bitter breath

And cut our very souls with spite

When into battle our shields,our wealth

Go avidly , the cause of might

Victims of ourselves we are

The crumbled leaves in debris town

The hunger of the innocent by far

Was caused by greed’s renown

They pray and hope for peace inside

Tranquil temples of their minds

Deaf to begging’s desperate tides

Blind to reality’s simple signs

We want peace ?We want war ?

We want change ?We want the same ?

We want what ?Just more and more ?

We want calm ?We want shame ?

We need to step back and t say

Where the line lies in the sand

From being free and giving way

To take up responsibility’s stand

Fight no more ! Tire ye not !

Against aggression fear and pain

The finger slips and not a jot

Of difference there was to gain

Empty gestures in the end

They joined up and knew the price

Back in boxes, empty hands

Empty bodies , freedom’s dice

So we plan for another way

But naive are those who think it so

Doomed to greed, to war, to say

The same message spat from long ago

Larkin’s man is alive and well

With misery in every bowl

Pass around famine’s gruel

Hand on the pain, remove the soul

Throw the dust back to the earth

And give back pain and helplessness

Don’t expect any love or truth

From lips blistered by forgetfulness

The soldiers path is cracked and dry

The battle has been fought and lost

The flags bare and tattered lie

The bodies broken count the cost

All youth is doomed, its anthem sung

Cut down as poplars in Hopkin’s wake

War is lost, the game begun

Stuttering steps , which road to take ?

On paper full of promises

The signatures were scratched

But signed with pens and not with hearts

The charter was half hatched

Into dry dust, forgotten there

In some backwater of a place

Where no one remembers where

Forgotten, lost without a trace

Administration’s machine it turns

The laws like sausages produced

The taste perhaps, for it some yearn ?

But listen to the instrument’s sound

They play what tune ?What sound is that ?

I’ve heard it somewhere else I’m sure

The public though,sleeps like a cat

And History was ‘just before’

We change and change and change again

We haven’t any clue

What medicine to take today ?

Or shall we sniff some glue ?

Like hamsters in our little cage

We run around the wheel

Watching life’s empty page

While eating the last meal.

Children’s eyes, desiring seek

A meal to calm the gnawing pain

Every minute of every week

The children ask « What’s to gain ? »

We seek revenge for past wrongs

Passed on to us by long dead foes

Holding the hate for too long

It burns us with its fiery coals

Burn up, burn out, burn wide our hate

Burn deep, burn deep inside

The flames around every heart

Are pumped by bellows wide.

Reasons to kill someone, today will be supplied

Like some strange instruction delivered in the night

The meanings clear, just take a look inside

Join up the screws, and bolts and join the fight.

When terrorists hate so much

They kill themselves to kill us

With breast implants full of death

The breast gives life, not sour milk

What war we fight is for us to chose

The war against ourselves

To change our lives and others too

The future on it depends

There isn’t any hope today

Give up and go to bed

In your dreams the truth is said

But in the light we lose the way

Enough ! Enough ! There isn’t more.

I haven’t any strength

To go to battle or to war

Or to fix the fence

What dreams are these ? Deep down inside

Nothing ever grows

Except futility’s poison pool besides

Hoplessness’ claws.

The crab and the tide

The crab and the tide. A story for children. By Richard Jenkins


Once there was a crab who lived on a sandy beach.

The beach was nice and the crab liked his patch of the beach.

The crab lived by eating small creatures and sea weed, which he found by scuttling around his patch

The crab could see the ocean from the beach, and every day when the tide came in, the crab would paddle and wash, splash and play.  He never ventured into the deep water as he didn’t know if he could swim, or how far he could swim, or even how big the ocean was.

Every now and then, a very big tide , called a spring tide, would come in and leave debris, flotsam and jetsum would appear on the sea and on the beach.

The crab would explore the new treasures.

The tide would also be small from time to time, a neap tide.The crab would go up and down the beach, like a yo-yo.


One day, a very big tide came and the crab had nowhere to go, so big was the tide.

He had to try to swim in the deep sea. He found that after a bit of practice and some scary moments that he could swim quite well, and even very well after more practice.It was scary and tiring, but he managed to swim until he found a big rock.

He climbed up and rested and pondered. All along he could swim, and even if he still didn’t know how big the ocean was, he had found a new belief and a new skill.

The crab was happy, but careful. He swam back to the beach and carried on living amongst the sand and off what the sea brought.

Every now and then, the crab would go exploring, but he always prepared himself and he never went too far. The ocean was big and dangerous, and the beach was safe. The crab liked the thrill of the ocean and the safety of the beach.

The crab lived out the rest of his days like this. He never did find how big the ocean was, but at least he explored it.


The end

Winter 2009-2010

This winter has been one of the hardest and longest and coldest and snowiest for a long time.However, there doesn’t seem to be any snow in Vancouver for the Winter olympic games which start this weekend.

Such is weather, such is climate.

The fact that this winter is a hemisphere wide event, and the cold and snow has been felt from Vladivostock to Aberdeen, one might ask some questions.

Winter normally is a hemisphere event, but not normally so long,cold or snowy.

Only last yuear we were talking about an exceptional winter, and then this winter comes along and is colder, snowier and longer.

Last winter, in my garden the minimum was a chilly -18°c according to my thermometer, (which isn’t inside a Stephanson screen) for one very cold afternoon/evening.

This year , in the same spot, same thermometer, I’ve seen -13 all day and -10 for a week, i.e not seeing positive temperatures all week!

Ok, its not so scientific, but it sure is cold.

A De Vries cycle (or Suess cycle) is more or less due and perhaps we’ll see this, but who would dare predict it! This cycle coumes round evey 210 ish years and is a cooling cycle

this is discussed here


What’s even more worrying is that another cycle, called the Bond cycle is also more or less due.This is also a cooling cycle.This cycle comes around avery 1400ish years.

If the two do happen close to each other, we could well see a cooling.Also worthy of note are the predictions of lower solar activity , which would also have a climatic impact .

We’ll have to wait and see!

Winters will perhaps become ‘ real winters’ again.




Techtonic activity 2010

Although this year seems to be an average year for earthquakes, they do seem to be large and frequent.
I’m a bit worried about the swarm under Yellowstone and the recent quake at lake Toba, both of which are supervolcanoes.
If they go off, it’s bad news.That and the fissure in Iceland, which produces lots of florine salts, which are toxic. Long silent volcanoes produce the most catastrophic eruptions, so look at Germany and France too.
In a solar minimum, techtonic activity does increase.
I’ll keep a look out for new activity around the next full moon.

What odds “the big one” in the USA?


Well, so far this year there have been more than average volcanic eruptions and earthquakes, but the full moon a few days ago didn’t produce any major events