Tuesday, June 26, 2007

News you can use

The last CHAFF meeting on Sunday was rather crowded.

We had Dilip and Reshu Joshi drop in to say goodbye as they are returning to India. They paid great compliments to CHAFF for having made their last weeks here meaningful. They are really looking forward to coming back to Finland and especially Oulu.

Ashesh Kumar, the CEO of the GMP facility in Medipolis returned from India and attended. Mika, our Thai food connoisseur was there before he pushed off for his afternoon round of golf. Kevin from China came along with Anoop Sharma from Nepal and another Nepalese student.

Jude, a Sri Lankan, who has a reputation in Oulu for going out of his way to help people made his first attendance at the meeting. Another new attendee was Oulu long timer Barbel Fink. Olga Soranova, our linguist from Russia, who speaks Russian, Finnish, English, Polish, Spanish and Norwegian brought along a Visiting Professor from Russia who speaks a Finno-Ugric language. We also welcomed Rachaya from Thailand and her husband Ari Ronkainen, who have just recently moved from Helsinki to Oulu. Ari is an expert on cars and a really wonderful personality. Rachaya is a dynamo for activity and has helped to get the new Pohjois-Suomen Thai Seura Association off the ground as they held their first meeting to found this organisation right after the CHAFF Meeting.

June and her daughter Pupe, Ann and her husband Petri and children, Eero and his wife, Nitaya, were also on hand for both meetings. Of course our host and hostess, Unnop and Pailin, were very busy and involved with everything, including serving up some delicious food.

The Flea Market had its share of happy visitors and I was the lucky seller of quite few bargains! The Sunday Flea Market this week will be between 12 noon and 1600 hours. The CHAFF Meeting will be again between 14:00 hours and 16:00 hours, so drop in if you can, and meet a broad spectrum of really lovely people.

Yrjö Mikkonen has informed me that the National Bahá'í Summer School (in English) at Kaakkurin koulu, Pesätie 15, will be held between 29 June to 5 July 2007. Anyone is free to attend and the accommodation (if one wants to stay) and refreshments and food are at very reasonable prices. The discussion theme of the week is "Mankind at the threshold of maturity." Guest speaker, Mr. Ian Semple (Great Britain), former member (1963-2005) of the Universal House of Justice, the Supreme Administrative Body of the Bahá'í Faith. You can see the whole programme on this web page.

There is also another theme for the week where John Jason, a teacher of English from Joensuu presents his topic "Covenant". Although the topic sound dry, it is interesting - if one is interested how vast this subject is. John can make "dry" issues really interesting. It deals with the question of succession of religions, protection of religion, bond with God and man etc.

There is a Special Program with the visit of Naantali Theatre to perform "Mona." This is a drama basing of factual happenings in Shiraz after the Islamic Revolution. Khomeini rises to power in 1979. The organized qaders of Shiah Muslims start the waves of religious terrorism. Their objective is to eradicate all religious dissidents in the country by all usable methods. The biggest religious minority, the Bahá'ís, becomes the specific target of deliberately brutal and cruel persecution...Mona is the story of the fate of her family during the turbulent years of the 1980ies in Iran. The play will be performed on Sat. 30 June at 7.30 pm. Tickets: 10 €/adults; 6 €/students, school children and youth between 7-16 years.

Have a great week.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Blooming Midsummer Rose

(Cross posted on my Jacob's Blog.)

We have something in our garden that is called the Midsummer Rose, which starts to bloom on Midsummer Day, plus or minus a couple of days. Midsummer Day, as usual, the 21st of June, was last Thursday.

I was watching the rose bushed very carefully and although there were several buds just ready to open, there were NO blooms visible.

Today, Saturday the 23rd is when we are celebrating Midsummer Day. It is the fashion in Finland to celebrate it over the closest weekend after the 21st of June.

I went around the garden in the morning and did not see any rose in bloom.

Later in the afternoon, Annikki and I were lazing in the garden arguing about the amount of Vitamin D were were each generating while exposing ourselves to the sun, when I told her that I had not yet seen a Midsummer Rose.

She excitedly took me to the bottom of the garden, where, hidden by a lot of rose bush leaves was a solitary rose in full bloom. Nature had not failed - it was just my lack of trust in nature!

The fusion festival at Vaala was an event planned for today.

Vaala is located about 90 km from Oulu driving south east. It is at the top of the Oulu järvi (Lake) and is a very small town.

One of our regular CHAFF Participants, a Finn, Jarmo Suomela, and his friend from Thailand, Siam, have bought a restaurant, Ravintola Janoinen Hauki, in Vaala town centre. It serves pizzas, fast foods, Thai food and Finnish food, and is also a popular bar and Karaoke Centre in the evenings.

When Jarmo suggested he organise a Midsummer Market for Midsummer Day, the Thai Community in Oulu responded positively.

They went there to set up a morning of Thai culture and selling some great art work, Thai food, clothes from Thailand, trinkets from Thailand, and to perform a whole set of Thai cultural programmes of song and dance.

As it is just an hour from Oulu, I decided to pay a quick visit just to show our support for Jarmo's venture.

I arrived at 10 am and the crowd was just starting to arrive.

I had a cup of tea on the house, bought and ate three spring rolls and had a plate of delicious Salmon Soup, the most traditional of Finnish Midsummer offerings. I watched the two little girls, Kwan (7) and Pupe (14) do a great Thai dance.

Just as the Thai ladies were preparing to do their number, I had to leave as I had to get back to Oulu to help Annikki get her mother out of bed for the daily routine.

I can certainly recommend this restaurant in Vaala.

I heard later that the festival was a success. Maybe this will become a traditional event in Vaala in the years ahead.

Can anyone give me an authorative account on how the human body accepts Vitamin D, especially the difference between darkies, like me, and light skinned people, as Annikki.

May resolve a major health discussion conflict! :-)

Friday, June 15, 2007

Summer Flea Market continues

The last two weeks saw the establishment of the Flea Market alongside the CHAFF get-togethers. The interest is growing as more and more people are turning up with stuff to sell.

Household items - dirt cheap!

Last week saw a 13 year old youngster selling off his entire Lego collection - 6.5 kg of it. The offer came from overseas! It was sold for € 40!

6.5 kg of Lego looks like this!

After disposing his Lego collection, Sodium was
thrilled to get a basketball - brand new, for Euro 1!

This week the Flea market will be between 12 noon and 17:00 hours on Sunday at Kenttätie 9, Kasarmi Area, outside the Pailin Restaurant. Those who want to sell can make their own table presentation. There is no table charge or commission for using the Flea Market. It is a great service provided by the Pailin Restaurant.

This week's CHAFF Meeting will be as usual between 14:00 hours and 16:00 hours at the same venue as above.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Dangerous situation of VIOLATION

(Cross-posted on all my MAJOR BLOGS.)

A few weeks ago, I received an email from my good young friend, Soda, that he had TAGGED me and the email had a line implying that if I did not join this TAGGED network, my friendship with him would be in question!

Is Soda your friend?

Please respond or Soda may think you said no :(

When I get emails which border on being emotional blackmailed, I usually investigate a little deeper. When I went through the process of joining the TAGGED network, and it came to a particular stage, whoosh, I closed the link.

The process of registration was asking me to reveal, to TAGGED, my email password.

This is a sure recipe for your entire security on the Internet and your personal computer to be fully compromised. Once you part with your password to such an organisation, the robot can enter your personal email INBOX, your ARCHIVES, your ADDRESS BOOK and data mine all your sensitive information, which could even be your credit card details.

I sent a reply to SODA:

Hi Soda,

Tagged is asking for my Password when filling in details - which I cannot give. Be careful about this site!


I few days later I had a similar request from a Cathedralite friend.

I replied him this:

Dear Adil,

Tagged is asking for passwords.

Quite dangerous.

Use LinkedIn, much better. Do you want to be in that Contact Manager?



To which he replied:

I merely answered one tag message, filled a form in and I now see that this thing has gone to my entire address book ! Quite horrified. Any idea how I can undue this Tag business? Sorry, I truly didnt mean to Tag everyone, except the guy who tagged me! Help !!


He was in panic and I replied to him:

That was why they asked for your email address AND Password.

Dangerous situation.

Don't know how you get out of it except by directly communicating with them.

Stay away from anything that asks for YOUR password to register - you are in for some tough times!



Since then I have had similar request from many friends who had compromised their system. Then came this from the Cathedralite daughter of another Cathedralite friend:


Thanks for this mail - its really weird as I didnt tag anyone. Will check my system for a virus.

Thanks for letting me know,

Kind regards,


Remember, this is not a virus, but a violation of your secrecy which you permitted by giving your password when you were emotionally blackmailed. Take action NOW before you are compromised on some other front.

My suggestion is that you bombard them with questions and demand restitution for compromising your email secrecy!

These are the CONTACT details for TAGGED:


Email support@tagged.com with site related questions or complications.

Company Information: info@tagged.com
Business Partnerships: business@tagged.com
All Other Inquiries: inquiry@tagged.com

web Address: http://corp.tagged.com/

Tagged Inc
P.O. Box 193152
San Francisco, CA 94119-3152

Do not violate Rule 1 of the Internet- never give YOUR PASSWORD to ANYONE!