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27 Jul 2010

Khmer Rouge prison chief Duch found guilty

Yesterday chief Duch was sentenced in the first of a series of trials against members of the Khmer Rouge.  Here's the BBC write up.  More about him here and photos of the prison he ran here.  There is also a harrowing account from one of his former prisoners here.

22 Jul 2010

Pub Quiz Report

Last night saw roughly 80 people assemble into 14 teams for a pub quiz to raise money for VSO.  There was also a raffle with some great prizes donated to the cause.  In total, on the night, we raised £931.50.  Added to raffle ticket sales before the event the whole thing pulled in £996.50, so let's call it a grand!  We're still a little way off our target so donations, however small, are always welcomed on our Just Giving page.

Thank you to everyone that turned up, showed their support and exerted maximum brain power over pints and pizzas in Camden.  Here are some photos from the event and congratulations to our winning and losing on to see who they were.

Gilly & Sarah laying the foundations for a smoothly run administration of the event.  Nice jacket Sarah, more of that later...

Team Gadgee's Duncan finds it hard to contain his excitement following the first question.

Your host for the evening in his favourite suit, Bobby [Orange] Dazzler!

If there was a prize for co-ordinated poses this team would have won it, more from them later...

Brain food in hand, Oli and his team get into gear.  'Slow down quiz master' says Jay.

Ben, Mary and Lisa battle on despite two team members being missing and Lisa sustaining an injury in her pre-event training...

Only Matt knows the answer, Jupiter is the 5th planet from the sun.

It's too tough they said, but the scoring suggested otherwise.

Over to the booths and the Tuff-Nells are making music...

...while this team work out which one was blind and deaf in See No Evil, Hear No Evil, Charlie remembers the scene where Richard Prior and Gene Wilder have to fight together in the bar to compensate for each others weaknesses.

Make some noise for the Pleather Coalition, fun times!

Gabriel and his team engaged in discussion, keen to put up a fight against those around them.

It wouldn't be fair to put their team name up online but it's giving a couple of its members a bit of a laugh.  They ended up finishing a very strong second with 70 points from 100, great performance.

Ponder, ponder, scribble, scribble, what was the actor called who played mini-me in Austin Powers?

Quiz masters Sam and Briony debate a technical point-based decision.  No conclusion is reached and the quiz rolls on.

Deep Thought Nine, how many goals were scored by african nations in the world cup finals 2010: 14, 15, 16 or 17?

Confidence personified as Kevin and Sarah buck the big team trend and enter as a double act.

Question 12, arrange quiz masters Briony, Gilly and Sam in height order.

Every point counts and team captain Oli pushes the brain food to one side to give 110% concentration to answering this question...

...and it pays off as Arse Over Elbow clinch glory at Gilly & Sam's VSO Pub Quiz with an astounding score of 79 points from a possible 100.  A post-quiz interview with team captain Oli suggests that strength in the picture round and wise use of their joker played a big part in reaching this momentus achievement.  Their reward, boxes of pound shop chocolates and a copy for each team member of Paul Arden's 'Whatever you think, think the opposite'.  Well done!

Not forgetting team Three Blondes, Two Brunnettes and a Bald Guy who are making L-shapes with their hands which we understand symbolises 'Losers', and they were with a score of 35 points from a possible 100.  That's just over one question in three answered correctly, even with the help of an iPhone in round three, but as the bottom team they recieve copies of 'It's not how good you are, it's how good you want to be' by Paul Arden.

And now over to Gilly to draw tickets for the raffle.  Everyone's a winner, well almost...

Thanks again to everyone for your support.  There are a few more pictures here and donations can still be made on our Just Giving page.  Keep checking back to this blog for news and updates of our adventure, thank you and goodnight!

17 Jul 2010

Escaping the Khmer Rouge

A brief but insightful talk from Sophal Ear about his family's escape from Cambodia in the late 1970s.  From TED.

15 Jul 2010

Raffle Prizes

We've now raised £430 through donations and the book sale so we're just over 20% of the way to our target of £2,000.  You can see how it's building up and make a donation on our Just Giving page.

The pub quiz is looking like it'll be a full house which is great for this fundraising and there will also be some money raised from the raffle.  Currently the prize list, mainly donated by different businesses, looks like this (click the links for more detailed information):
  1. Wind-up powered 1GB mp3 player (donated by Good Energy)
  2. Wind-up front and rear bicycle lights and good living book (also donated by Good Energy)
  3. Afternoon tea for two at Grosvenor House (or other London locations)
  4. Pair of tickets for any Everyman Cinema (donated by the Everyman Group)
  5. Pair of tickets to any Odeon Cinema (donated by Odeon Holloway)
  6. Pair of tickets to the Surreal House exhibition at the Barbican
  7. One mixed organic fruit and veg box (donated by Abel & Cole)
  8. Ten pin bowling session at Rowans, Finsbury Park (donated by Rowans)
  9. Health club day pass for two.
  10. One hour massage or other therapy session (donated by Reiki Massage London, Euston)
  11. Set of five signed Arsenal player photos* (donated by Arsenal Football Club)
  12. Annual magazine subscription (titles tbc)
  13. Complete set of four 'Little Book of Business Bullshit' books
  14. Set of four ecological soap bars
  15. Time Out City Guides (donated by Time Out):  

*Fabregas, Arshavin, Denilson, Fabianski, Gibb

11 Jul 2010

Book Sale, Part One

Sam & Gilly all set and ready to go.

Today we headed over to Gillespie Park and set up a stall outside as part of their craft fair and fete.  Thanks to generous donations from friends and family we had a lot of merchandise to sell.

Sales under way.

The trade came in bursts, it seems that as soon as a couple of people start browsing then there are soon others who get interested.

Our stall during a break in sales.

We sold quite a lot and raised £120 which is now up on our Just Giving page.  We're going to take some more along to some second hand book traders before the sale at the pub quiz but this was a good encouraging start to the fundraising.

7 Jul 2010

Gillespie Park Fete

  Books, books, books

This Sunday, before the world cup final, we'll be manning a book stall at the fete in Gillespie Park to raise money for VSO.  We've already amassed quite a lot of merchandise and the pile will grow even more over the next couple of days.  The weather is set to be good so do pop along for food, fun and (mainly) fiction.

Date: Sunday, 11th July
Time: 12-3pm
Location: Gillespie Park Ecology Centre, 191 Drayton Park, N5 1PH

2 Jul 2010

Early Thanks

We've had a good response so far to our initial fundraising efforts, £145 raised in direct donations via the Just Giving page, thank you to everyone who has been so generous.  This money will actually lead to slightly more going to VSO through the Giftaid scheme so we're well on our way, but there is more to do...

We'd also like to thank some companies who have responded to letters sent earlier this week and who have kindly donated prizes for the raffle we're holding at the pub quiz.  We'll reveal what these are on the evening but you can probably take some guesses based on who has donated so far...

Thank you to: