Friday, November 30, 2012


What would be a better reminder about World Aids Day, than a CONDOM PARTY!?
Group members got a notice with a red ribbon, an awareness ribbon, 
to show solidarity to people living with HIV/AIDS.
T.R.A.C.S on River Island

Condom Party @ T.R.A.C.S chapter II

A condom is a barrier device commonly used during sexual intercourse to reduce the probability of pregnancy and spreading sexually transmitted diseases. It is put on a man's erect penis and physically blocks ejaculated semen from entering the body of a sexual partner. Condoms are also used for collection of semen for use in infertility treatment. Because condoms are waterproof, elastic, and durable, they are also used for non-sexual purposes such as creating waterproof microphones and protecting rifle barrels from clogging. In the modern age, condoms are most often made from latex, but some are made from other materials such as polyurethane, polyisoprene, or lamb intestine.
A female condom is a polyurethane sheath with a flexible ring at either end. One end is closed and inserted into the vagina; the other end is open and the ring sits outside the opening of the vagina. The male condom, sometimes called a "rubber" or "prophylactic," is far more commonly used.
So, Condoms are:
  • Worn on the penis
  • Made of latex or plastic
  • Prevent pregnancy and sexually transmitted infection
  • Can be used with another form of birth control for extra protection
  • Can be used for vaginal, anal, or oral sex
  • Safe, effective, and easy to get
  • Cost about $1 each, but are sometimes available for free
Safe sex
Condoms protect both you and your partner from sexually transmitted infections. Condoms that are made of latex offer very good protection against HIV. Latex condoms also reduce the risk of other sexually transmitted infections, including: 
  • Chlamydia
  • Chancroid  - Chancroid is a type of bacteria that is transmitted through sexual   contact. It causes sores on the genitals.
  • Gonorrhea
  • Hepatitis B
  • Herpes
  • HPV - Human Papilloma Virus
  • Pelvic Inflammatory Disease - (PID)
  • Syphilis
  • Trichomoniasis - Trichomoniasis is an infection caused by a protozoan, a microscopic, one-cell animal called a trichomona. Trichomoniasis is often called "trich."
Condoms can also prevent urinary tract infections in men who wear them.

Condoms and Oral Sex
Sexually transmitted infections can be passed from one person to another during oral sex. The risk of passing infections is lower during oral sex than during vaginal or anal intercourse. People who want to further reduce their risk can use condoms during oral sex.

Condom Ads

Condom Party @ T.R.A.C.S chapter I

World AIDS Day
World AIDS Day is held on 1 December each year and is an opportunity for people worldwide to unite in the fight against HIV, show their support for people living with HIV and to commemorate people who have died. World AIDS Day was the first ever global health day and the first one was held in 1988.

HIV facts
HIV stands for the Human Immunodeficiency Virus. It is a virus which attacks the body's immune system — the body's defence against diseases. The virus can lead to Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome, or AIDS.
There are two types of HIV, HIV-1 and HIV-2.
Both types of HIV damage a person’s body by destroying specific blood cells, called CD4+ T cells, which are crucial to helping the body fight diseases.

HIV can be passed on through infected bodily fluids, most commonly via sex without a condom or by sharing infected needles, syringes or other injecting drug equipment.

HIV cannot reproduce outside the human body. It is not spread by:
  • Air or water.
  • Insects, including mosquitoes. Studies conducted by CDC researchers and others have shown no evidence of HIV transmission from insects.
  • Saliva, tears, or sweat.  There is no documented case of HIV being transmitted by spitting.
  • Casual contact like shaking hands or sharing dishes.
  • Closed-mouth or “social” kissing.
In 2011, an estimated:
  • 34 million [31.4 million - 35.9 million] people globally were living with HIV
  • 2.5 million [2.2 million - 2.8 million] people became newly infected with HIV
  • 1.7 million [1.5 million - 1.9 million] people died from AIDS-related illnesses
Choosing the theme
From its inception until 2004, UNAIDS spearheaded the World AIDS Day campaign, choosing annual themes in consultation with other global health organizations.

As of 2008, each year's World AIDS Day theme is chosen by the World AIDS Campaign's Global Steering Committee after extensive consultation with people, organizations and government agencies involved in the prevention and treatment of HIV/AIDS. For each World AIDS Day from 2005 through 2010, the theme was "Stop AIDS. Keep the Promise" with a yearly sub-theme. This overarching theme was designed to encourage political leaders to keep their commitment to achieve universal access to HIV/AIDS prevention, treatment, care, and support by the year 2010.

Since last year “Getting to Zero” is the theme selected by the World AIDS Campaign (WAC) to commemorate World AIDS Day on 1st December. This new theme, that will be used until 2015, echoes the UNAIDS vision of achieving
“Zero new HIV infections. Zero discrimination. Zero AIDS-related deaths.” The decision to choose "Getting to Zero" as the theme came after extensive consultations among people living with HIV, health activists and civil society organizations.

A new World AIDS Day report: Results, by the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), shows that unprecedented acceleration in the AIDS response is producing results for people.

Declining new HIV infections in children
The area where perhaps most progress is being made is in reducing new HIV infections in children. Half of the global reductions in new HIV infections in the last two years have been among newborn children.

Fewer AIDS-related deaths
The report shows that antiretroviral therapy has emerged as a powerful force for saving lives. In the last 24 months the number of people accessing treatment has increased by 63% globally.

More investments
The report shows that countries are increasing investments in the AIDS response despite a difficult economic climate. The global gap in resources needed annually by 2015 is now at 30%. In 2011, US$ 16.8 billion was available and the need for 2015 is between US$ 22-24 billion.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Freddie Mercury Party @ T.R.A.C.S

Saturday November 24th, Noon SLT (9pm CET)
DJ Dean rocked T.R.A.C.S with the Freddie Mercury Party
It seems I was the only one with a moustache.
So thumbs up for our creative guests.

Here are the pictures I made at the party.
 Tim and I
Winner Norbie

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Freddie Mercury Party @ T.R.A.C.S

Saturday November 24th
Noon SLT (9pm CET)
T.R.A.C.S on River Island

Freddie Mercury Party chapter III


The Queen crest
Having attended art college, Mercury designed the Queen's logo, called the Queen crest, shortly before the release of the band's first album. The logo combines the zodiac signs of all four members: two lions for Leo (John Deacon and Roger Taylor), a crab for Cancer (Brian May), and two fairies for Virgo (Mercury). The lions embrace a stylised letter Q, the crab rests atop the letter with flames rising directly above it, and the fairies are each sheltering below a lion. There is also a crown inside the Q and the whole logo is over-shadowed by an enormous phoenix. The whole symbol bears a passing resemblance to the Royal coat of arms of the United Kingdom, particularly with the lion supporters. The original logo, as found on the reverse-side of the first album cover, was a simple line drawing but more intricate colour versions were used on later sleeves.

Brian May: "That QUEEN logo, and the crest, were both entirely Freddie's design. He had been a student at Ealing Tech, of course...and those designs stayed with us, through various modifications, for many years. Freddie had a great eye for design." Like the fairies and the Phoenix, Queen had a flair for summoning up the great Britain of yore - a place of romance and hard-scrabble mystique that lives on within the folk tradition. It's a tradition that was revitalized by Queen through an eclectically electric vein of sonic sorcery that no one seemed to notice at the time. Magic has a tendency to hide itself.

Freddie’s vocals were over a four-octave range
Although Mercury's speaking voice naturally fell in the baritone range, he delivered most songs in the tenor range. His vocal range extended from bass low F (F2) to soprano high F (F6). He could belt up to tenor high F (F5). Biographer David Bret described his voice as "escalating within a few bars from a deep, throaty rock-growl to tender, vibrant tenor, then on to a high-pitched, perfect coloratura, pure and crystalline in the upper reaches". Spanish soprano Montserrat Caballé, with whom Mercury recorded an album, expressed her opinion that "the difference between Freddie and almost all the other rock stars was that he was selling the voice". She adds, "His technique was astonishing. No problem of tempo, he sung with an incisive sense of rhythm, his vocal placement was very good and he was able to glide effortlessly from a register to another. He also had a great musicality. His phrasing was subtle, delicate and sweet or energetic and slamming. He was able to find the right colouring or expressive nuance for each word." As Queen's career progressed, he would increasingly alter the highest notes of their songs when live, often harmonising with seconds, thirds or fifths instead. Mercury was said to have "the rawest vocal fold nodules" and claimed never to have had any formal vocal training.

Vocal ranges are used to determine voice types. For women, the main three types are soprano, mezzo-soprano, and contralto. For men, there are four types: countertenor, tenor, baritone, and bass.
Since letters and numbers are used for classifying vocal ranges according to voice type, I should list those notations and what they represent before bragging about some of rock’s diverse vocals.
For men: it is C3- C5 for tenor, F2- F4 for baritone and for bass, it is E2- E4. For Women: it is C4- C6 for Soprano, A3 – A5 for Mezzo-soprano and F3 – F5 for Contralto.

Bottomless microphone stand
The iconic trademark Freddie Mercury the bottomless mic stand traces back to the days when he did his last performance with Wreckage (formerly Ibex). On 12th December 1969 Freddie played at Widnes Wade Deacon Grammar School. Freddie Mercury was swinging the microphone stand around then Freddie lifted his microphone and the top bit broke away from the main stand and he carried on the show with his shortened mic stand.

The bottomless microphone stand; it is essentially a microphone stand without a base to support itself unaided, meaning it must be held by a singer throughout a live performance. It is useful as a mobile prop.

So Freddie Mercury discovered the device by accident. For the rest of his career he used a bottomless microphone stand regularly. Robbie Williams also uses bottomless microphone stands.

Lady GaGa took her name from the Queen song “Radio GaGa
Lady GaGa: "My producr, Rob Fusari, was the first to really bring out both my theatrical and pop elements. I was in theatre for many years, but I was also a pop vocalist. When I auditioned for pop, record labels would say you're too theatre. And when I auditioned for theatre they'd say you're too pop. When I met Rob, I discovered David Bowie and Queen, and the more theatrical Beatles records. One day, I played Rob a song called Again Again, and he said, "God that's so Queen! You're so Radio GaGa. Very theatrical". And he stated to call me GaGa when I'd come into the studio. When we were getting ready to really start performing, I decided that I'd been playing under my real name for so long I wanted a new way to reinvent myself. So I said, what about Lady GaGa, because Gaga is sort of crazy and Lady has such connotations. I went to a private school but now I was living in this trash glitter environment. So, for me, it was the perfect description of who I had become."

The working title for Queen’s smash hit “Radio GaGa” was “Radio CaCa”.
Recorded in 1983 and released in January 1984, the song was a commentary on television overtaking radio's popularity and how one would listen to radio for a favorite comedy, drama, or science fiction programme. It also pertained to the advent of the music video and MTV. Ironically, the video for "Radio Ga Ga" would become a regular staple on MTV in 1984, and was nominated for an MTV Video Music Award that year. Taylor originally conceived of it as "Radio caca" (from something his toddler son once said), which doubled as a criticism of radio for the decrease in variety of programming and the type of music being played. "Radio Ga Ga" in one of the original cassette boxes is called 'radio ca ca'. 
Radio GaGa lyrics

I'd sit alone and watch your light
 My only friend through teenage nights
 And everything I had to know
 I heard it on my radio

You gave them all those old time stars
 Through wars of worlds -- invaded by Mars
 You made 'em laugh -- you made 'em cry
 You made us feel like we could fly

So don't become some background noise
 A backdrop for the girls and boys
 Who just don't know or just don't care
 And just complain when you're not there
 You had your time, you had the power
 You've yet to have your finest hour

All we hear is Radio ka ka
 Radio goo goo
 Radio ga ga
 All we hear is Radio ga ga
 Radio blah blah
 Radio what's new?
 Radio, someone still loves you!

We watch the shows -- we watch the stars
 On videos for hours and hours
 We hardly need to use our ears
 How music changes through the years

Let's hope you never leave old friend
 Like all good things on you we depend
 So stick around cos we might miss you
 When we grow tired of all this visual
 You had your time, you had the power
 You've yet to have your finest hour

All we hear is Radio ka ka
 Radio goo goo
 Radio GaGa
 All we hear is radio ga ga
 Radio goo goo
 Radio GaGa
 All we hear is Radio ga ga
 Radio ga ga
 Radio what's new?
 Someone still loves you!

You had your time, you had the power
 You've yet to have your finest hour

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Freddie Mercury Party chapter II

Today he would be 66 years but next Saturday, November 24, it is 21 years ago that he died at the age of 45.

Freddie's dead
According to his partner Jim Hutton, Mercury was diagnosed with AIDS shortly after Easter of 1987. Around that time, Mercury claimed in an interview to have tested negative for HIV. Despite the denials, the British press pursued the rampant rumours over the next few years, fuelled by Mercury's increasingly gaunt appearance, Queen's absence from touring, and reports from former lovers to various tabloid journals – by 1990 the rumours about Mercury's health were rife. At the 1990 Brit Awards held at the Dominion Theatre, London on 18 February, Mercury made his final public appearance on stage when he joined the rest of Queen to collect the Brit Award for Outstanding Contribution to Music. Towards the end of his life, he was routinely stalked by photographers, while the daily tabloid newspaper The Sun featured a series of articles claiming that he was seriously ill; notably in an article from November 1990 which featured an image of a haggard looking Mercury on the front page accompanied by the headline "It's official – Freddie is seriously ill".

However, Mercury and his inner circle of colleagues and friends, whom he felt he could trust, continually denied the stories, even after one front page article published on 29 April 1991, which showed Mercury appearing very haggard in what was by then a rare public appearance. Brian May confirmed in a 1993 interview that Mercury had informed the band of his illness much earlier.  Filmed in May 1991, the music video for "These Are the Days of Our Lives" features a painfully thin Mercury, which are his final scenes in front of the camera.

These Are the Days of Our Lives was written largely by their drummer Roger Taylor, and is the eighth track on the band's 1991 album Innuendo. Keyboards were programmed by the four band members in the studio, and conga percussion (a synthesised conga) was recorded by their producer David Richards (although it was mimed in the video by Roger Taylor).
It was issued as a single in the United States on Freddie Mercury's 45th birthday, 5 September 1991, and as double A-side single in the UK three months later on 9 December, in the wake of Mercury's death, with the seminal Queen track "Bohemian Rhapsody". The single debuted at #1 on the UK Singles Chart, and remained at the top for five weeks. The song was awarded a BRIT Award for "Best Single" in 1992.
"These Are the Days of Our Lives" hearkens back to similarly themed 1975 Queen song "Love of My Life", twice using the line "I still love you". At the end of the song, Mercury simply speaks those words, as he would often do in live versions of "Love of My Life."

Music video
The accompanying video was the last to feature front man Freddie Mercury as he was in the final stages of his battle with AIDS. The majority of the footage used in the video was filmed by Rudi Dolezal and Hannes Rossacher of DoRo Productions on 30 May 1991.

For the promotional video, Mercury, Taylor and John Deacon were present at the shoot, with additional footage of guitarist Brian May filmed some weeks later and edited into the footage, as he was out of the country on a radio promotional tour at the time of the principal film shoot. The video was shot in black and white to hide the full extent of Mercury's faltering condition from AIDS, following rumours about his health had been at the centre of much media and public speculation for over a year, following on from its use in the video for "I'm Going Slightly Mad" earlier in 1991.

Colour footage of the band filming the video later emerged, showing just how frail Mercury really looked, and justifying the band's decision to film in black and white out of respect for him. In this music video, Mercury is wearing a waistcoat with pictures of cats that was made for him by a close friend, and which he loved. With his knowing farewell look straight at the camera, Mercury whispers "I still love you" as the song ends, which are his last words on camera.

After the conclusion of his work with Queen in June 1991, Mercury retired to his home in Kensington. His former partner, Mary Austin, had been a particular comfort in his final years, and in the last few weeks of his life made regular visits to his home to look after him. Near the end of his life, Mercury was starting to lose his sight, and his deterioration was so overpowering he could not get out of bed. Due to his worsening condition, Mercury decided to hasten his death by refusing to take his medication, and just continued taking pain killers.

On 22 November 1991, Mercury called Queen's manager Jim Beach over to his Kensington home, to discuss a public statement. The next day, 23 November, the following announcement was made to the international press on behalf of Mercury:

“Following the enormous conjecture in the press over the last two weeks, I wish to confirm that I have been tested HIV positive and have AIDS. I felt it correct to keep this information private to date to protect the privacy of those around me. However, the time has come now for my friends and fans around the world to know the truth and I hope that everyone will join with me, my doctors, and all those worldwide in the fight against this terrible disease. My privacy has always been very special to me and I am famous for my lack of interviews. Please understand this policy will continue.”

A little over 24 hours after issuing that statement, Mercury died on the evening of 24 November 1991 at the age of 45, at his home in Kensington. The official cause of death was bronchial pneumonia resulting from AIDS. The news of his death had reached newspaper and television crews by the early hours of 25 November.

On 27 November 1991 was Mercury's funeral. Mercury was cremated at Kensal Green Cemetery, West London, with the whereabouts of his ashes believed to be known only to Mary Austin.

In his will, Mercury left the vast majority of his wealth, including his home and recording royalties, to Mary Austin, and the remainder to his parents and sister. He further left £500,000 to his chef Joe Fanelli, £500,000 to his personal assistant Peter Freestone, £100,000 to his driver Terry Giddings, and £500,000 to Jim Hutton. Mary Austin continues to live at Mercury's home, Garden Lodge, Kensington, with her family. Hutton was involved in a 2000 biography of Mercury, Freddie Mercury, the Untold Story, and also gave an interview for The Times for what would have been Mercury's 60th birthday.

Not much is known about Jim Hutton; he was a very private, kind and gentle man, who was not accustom to Freddie’s fame, and was as uncomfortable with the attention Queen was getting as Freddie was. Also contrary to popular belief, Freddie Mercury was a shy, quiet and guarded person who rarely gave interviews because he was awkward with discussing his personal and even professional life with people he did not know or trust. 
Same went for Jim Hutton.

Jim and Freddie met at a bar in 1984. Freddie offered to buy him a drink, and Jim obliged. He didn’t recognize Freddie until his friend said, “Hey, Freddie Mercury is behind you.” Jim drank his drink and the two talked for a while, but nothing happened for another year. About eighteen months later, the two met up again at the same bar, and the same situation went down - Freddie bought Jim a drink, but this time, they got together and Jim ended up moving in the Garden Lodge with Freddie about two years later.

When Freddie was diagnosed with AIDS in 1987, he offered Jim an exit on their relationship. He told Jim he would understand if he left. In a Freddie Mercury documentary, Jim recalls telling him, “I love you, Freddie - I’m not going anywhere.” And he didn’t; Jim stayed with Freddie until he died. He nursed him, cared for him, and was there when he took his last breath.

Jim Hutton died on 1 January 2010 from cancer, or as Brian May, Queen’s guitarist, wrote on his homepage that Jim died from a smoking-related illness.
Jim Hutton was sixty years old. He passed away in his home in Ireland.
Freddie still love you

Monday, November 19, 2012

Freddie Mercury Party chapter I

His was born "Faroukh Bulsara" on 5 September 1946 in Zanzibar, and he died "Freddie Mercury", in London. On November 24, 1991, the announcement came: "Freddie Mercury died peacefully this evening at his home at 1 Logan Place, Kensington, London.
His death was the result of bronchopneumonia brought on by AIDS." 
Freddie Mercury was a British musician, singer and songwriter, best known as the lead vocalist and lyricist of the rock band Queen. As a performer, he was known for his flamboyant stage persona and powerful vocals over a four-octave range. As a songwriter, Mercury composed many hits for Queen, including "Bohemian Rhapsody", "Killer Queen", "Somebody to Love", "Don't Stop Me Now", "Crazy Little Thing Called Love" and "We Are the Champions". In addition to his work with Queen, he led a solo career, and also occasionally served as a producer and guest musician (piano or vocals) for other artists.

In the early 1970s Mercury had a long-term relationship with Mary Austin, whom he had met through guitarist Brian May. He lived with Austin for several years in West Kensington. By the mid-1970s, however, the singer had begun an affair with a male American record executive at Elektra Records, which ultimately resulted in the end of his relationship with Austin.  Mercury and Austin nevertheless remained close friends through the years, with Mercury often referring to her as his only true friend. In a 1985 interview, Mercury said of Austin, "All my lovers asked me why they couldn't replace Mary [Austin], but it's simply impossible. The only friend I've got is Mary and I don't want anybody else. To me, she was my common-law wife. To me, it was a marriage. We believe in each other, that's enough for me." He also wrote several songs about Austin, the most notable of which is "Love of My Life".

"Love of My Life" is a ballad by the English rock band Queen from their 1975 album A Night at the Opera. The song was written by Freddie Mercury about Mary Austin, with whom he had a long term relationship in the early 1970s. After performing the song in South America in 1981, the version from their live album Live Killers reached number 1 in the singles chart in Argentina and Brazil, and stayed in the charts in Argentina for an entire year.

Freddie Mercury wrote it on the piano and guitar first, Brian May rearranged the song for acoustic 12-string guitar to facilitate live performances. May contributed occasional guitar phrases to the original recording and played the swooping harp glissandos by pasting together multiple takes of single chords. The song is an example of Mercury's familiarity with rubato phrasing, showcasing his classical piano influences, notably by Chopin and Beethoven.

With its similar lyrical theme, later single "These Are the Days of Our Lives" would hearken back to "Love of My Life", twice using the line "I still love you". At the end of "These Are the Days of Our Lives", Mercury simply speaks those words, as he would often do in live versions of "Love of My Life."

Love of my life  lyrics

Love of my life,
You hurt me,
You broken my heart,
Now you leave me

Love of my life can't you see,
Bring it back bring it back,
Don't take it away from me,
Because you don't know what it means to me

Love of my life don't leave me,
You've stolen my love you now desert me,

Love of my life can't you see,
Bring it back bring it back,
Don't take it away from me,
Because you don't know what it means to me

You will remember when this is blown over,
And everything's all by the way,
When I grow older,
I will be there at your side,
To remind how I still love you
I still love you
I still love you

Hurry back hurry back,
Don't take it away from me,
Because you don't know what it means to me

Love of my life,
Love of my life
In his will, Mercury left his London home to Austin, rather than his then partner Jim Hutton, saying, "You would have been my wife and it would have been yours anyway". Mercury was also the godfather of Mary's oldest son, Richard.

During the early to mid '80s, he was romantically involved with Barbara Valentin, an Austrian actress, who is featured in the video for "It's a Hard Life". By 1985, he began another long-term relationship with hairdresser Jim Hutton (1949-2010). Hutton, who was tested HIV-positive in 1990, lived with Mercury for the last six years of his life, nursed him during his illness, and was present at his bedside when he died.
to be continued


Last Saturday at NOON SLT, DJ Infa, our Chief Spanker, made that our EARS got Red with his awesome tunes and he was assist by his host Peter Darling, who did the spanking.

Here are the pictures, with some red bums, made at the event.

(Ooh, and this is post number 800)