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“As his mother, it was very meaningful to me that people who didn’t know us stepped forward to be in Bopsy’s life.” – Octaviana Trujillo, Mother of Frank “Bopsy” Salazar
Note: This story is in circulation through emails since February 2001. In most of the versions the boy is fictitiously named “Billy” instead of using his real name – Frank “Bopsy” Salazar. This story is relatively true.
Octaviana Trujillo, 26, sadly stared down at her 7-year-old dying son. Like all mothers, Octaviana too wanted her son to grow up and fulfil all his dreams. But leukaemia would not allow him to live long enough.
In 1981, in Phoenix, Arizona, doctors diagnosed Frank “Bopsy” Salazar as having terminal leukaemia.
Octaviana clasped her son’s hand and asked, “Bopsy, did you ever think about what you wanted to be once you grew up? Did you ever dream and wish what you would do with your life?”
Bopsy replied, “Mommy, I want to be a firefighter; I want to go up in a balloon; I want to go to Disneyland. “
She smiled back and said, “Let’s see if we can make your wish come true.”
Later that day, she went to her local fire Department in Phoenix. She explained her son’s last wish and asked if it might be possible to give her little son a ride around the block on a fire engine.
The Chief said, “Madam, we can do better than that. We’ll make him an honorary Fireman for the day. He can come down to the fire station, eat with us, go out on all the fire calls, the whole nine yards!”
The Chief’s reply enthralled Octaviana.
The Fire Chief decided that the Phoenix Fire Department should make sure the dying boy had an experience truly befitting a fireman.
“And if you’ll give us his sizes, we’ll get a real fire uniform for him,” the Chief added.
The first wish-granting team started with the Phoenix Fire Department.
A full uniform, complete with a yellow coat and a helmet, was custom-made for him.
A few days later the Fire Chief picked up Bopsy, dressed him in his uniform, and escorted him from the hospital to the waiting hook and ladder truck.
The 7-year-old got into the truck. He was in heaven. Bopsy scrambled around the back of Engine 9’s ladder truck, turned on the horn.
The boy went out with the firefighters. He rode in different fire engines, the Paramedic’s van, and even the fire chief’s car; and he doused a few cars with water from a 75-pound hose.
At the end of the day, the Phoenix Fire Department made Bopsy the first honorary fireman in Phoenix history and pinned him an official firefighter’s badge.
There was more to come. Media coverage of Bopsy’s first wish made others want to help, and more offers came in from people eager to lift the little boy’s spirits.
Hot-air balloon pilots and owners Chris and Bob Pearce took Bopsy on an unforgettable ride in their balloon that gave him a bird’s-eye view of Phoenix.
Next, the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim created a special day complete with private tours, meals, gifts and more just for Bopsy. In Anaheim, they treated him with every courtesy a visiting fireman could wish for from his Southern California colleagues. They chauffeured him to and from the Los Angeles airport in a fire truck, and two of his fellow firefighters from the Anaheim Fire Department escorted him around the park.
Having his dream come true, with all the love and attention that was lavished upon him, Bopsy lived three months longer than the doctors thought possible.
One night, after Bopsy returned to the hospital after his trip to Disneyland, he became critically ill. The head nurse, who believed in the hospice concept – that no one should die alone, began to call the family members to the hospital.
Remembering the day Bopsy had spent as a Fireman, she called the Fire Chief and asked if it would be possible to send a fireman in uniform to the hospital to be with Bopsy as he made his transition.
The Chief replied, “We can do better than that. We’ll be there in five minutes. Will you please do us a favor?”
The nurse said, “Sure. What do you want me to do?”
The Chief said, “Please keep the window to his room open.”
Five minutes later a hook and ladder truck arrived at the hospital and extended its ladder up to Bopsy’s third-floor open window. Five of his fellow Phoenix firefighters climbed through using the ladder. Bopsy shared a few laughs with his friends.
Before going back to sleep Bopsy looked up at the Fire Chief and asked, “Chief, am I really a fireman now?”
“Yes. You are,” the Chief said.
Later that evening, Bopsy passed away peacefully with his fondest wishes come true.
Getting a handle
Getting goofy at
One of the silliest attempt at securing an Internet Record is for the longest domain name.
Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch is a large village and community on the island of Anglesey in Wales, situated on the Menai Strait next to the Britannia Bridge and across the strait from Bangor. This village has the longest place-name in Europe and one of the longest place names in the world. The short form of the village’s name is Llanfairpwllgwyngyll, also spelled Llanfair Pwllgwyngyll. It is commonly known as Llanfair PG or Llanfairpwll.
The website http://www.llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwyll-llantysiliogogogoch.com/ says that it is he World’s Longest Single Word Domain Name, named after a Welsh Village.
But is it?
Technically, according to the domain registrars, the longest legal domain name can have up to 63 characters starting with a letter or number (not including sub-domains or suffixes).
The following websites too have the name of the village.
The ending “uchaf” in the above domain name is the welsh for “higher” or “upper”, and refers to the upper (old) part of the village .
I wonder whether any one will type in these long domain names. These sites can only be reached by clicking links or selecting from a list.
Here is one of a fun long domain names I came across on the net:
The owners of the website
claim that their website has the world’s longest domain name.
Is this a world record?
So, they asked Guinness World Records. And this is the reply they received from Guinness World Records:
From : <email@example.com>
To : <email>
Subject : Guinness World Record
Date : Wed, 25 Sep 2002 16:54:32 +0100
Received: from intranet ([188.8.131.52]) by mc4-f32.law16.hotmail.com with Microsoft SMTPSVC(5.0.2195.5600); Wed, 25 Sep 2002 08:53:23 -0700
Received: from mail pickup service by intranet with Microsoft SMTPSVC; Wed, 25 Sep 2002 16:54:32 +0100
X-MimeOLE: Produced By Microsoft MimeOLE V6.00.2600.0000
X-OriginalArrivalTime: 25 Sep 2002 15:54:32.0515 (UTC) FILETIME=[D6C40130:01C264AB]
Claim ID: 33140
25 September 2002
Thank you for sending us the details of your recent record proposal for ‘Registering the worlds longest computer domain name’
After having examined the information you sent, and given full consideration to your proposal, I am afraid we are unable to accept your proposal as a record.
This record is currently rested, which means that no one can attempt this record and become a new record holder. It has been rested because there is no merit whatsoever in this. It takes little to no effort and is similar to taking the largest number in the world and then adding 1 to it.
I appreciate you have gone to a lot of effort, and we are delighted to hear from people around the world with their record claims and suggestions. However, given the sheer scope of the records on our database, and the growing number of people contacting us with record claims and suggestions, we need to exercise some editorial control over
what is and is not accepted as a record.
I appreciate this may be disappointing for you, but I hope this does not deter you from trying again. We are always keen to hear from people who wish to break Guinness World Records. If you should need any advice regarding breaking an existing record, please contact us again quoting the above reference number. Alternatively, you can contact us through our website at:
Once again, thank you for writing. We wish you every success with any future record-breaking endeavours.
Records Research Services
Guinness World Records
This man was born in a little-known village to a peasant woman and was brought up in another out-of-the-way village. His father was a carpenter and he too worked as a carpenter until he was thirty.
For the next three years he wandered as a vagabond in the villages and towns surrounding his native place proclaiming a message. He gathered around him a small group of friends who were just as poor like him.
In those three years, he never owned a home; he never had a family of his own; he never had a business or a job; he never held an office; he never wrote anything; he never did any thing that usually go with greatness. In short, he had no credentials.
He did wonders but the tide of popular feeling turned against him, even in his own village.
Later, one of his friends denied him; another betrayed him by turning him over to his enemies. He was subjected to a mockery of a trial, nailed to a cross between two criminals, and when he died was laid in a borrowed grave.
But he rose from the dead.
Now, twenty centuries later, he is a central figure of the human race. All the kings that ever reigned, all the armies that ever marched, all the parliaments that ever assembled, are absolutely insignificant in their influence on mankind compared with that of this one solitary figure ….
- PUT ON THE WHOLE ARMOR OF GOD (vineandbranchworldministries.com)
Readers have viewed this post more than 33,138 times.
“Bury my body, do not build any monument, keep my hands outside so that the world knows the person who won the world had nothing in his hands when dying“. – Last words of Alexander the Great.
The final days of Alexander the Great offer a moral lesson for each one of us.
Alexander, while returning home after conquering many kingdoms fell mortally ill in Babylon. While lying on his deathbed in the palace of Nebuchadnezzar II, he realized the worthlessness of his vast hoard of gold, silver, and jewels, accumulated through his conquests with his sharp sword and his mighty army.
He longed to reach home. He wanted to have a last look of his mother’s face before departing from this mortal world. But, he knew that his sinking health would not let him reach his distant homeland. He called his generals and said, “I will depart from this world soon, I have three wishes, please carry them out without fail.”
With tears flowing down their cheeks, the generals agreed to abide by their king’s last wishes.
“My first wish is that my physicians alone must carry my coffin,” said Alexander.
After a pause, the king continued, “For my second wish is I want the path leading to my grave be strewn with gold, silver and precious stones which are in my treasury while my body is being carried to be buried.
The dying king continued, “My third and last wish is that both my hands be kept dangling out of my coffin.”
Though the generals wondered at the king’s strange wishes, no one dared to question or ask him the reason for these three wishes.
One of Alexander’s favourite generals after kissing his hand and pressing it to his heart said, “O king, we assure you that all your wishes will be fulfilled. But could you please enlighten us on why you make such strange wishes?”
Alexander’s favorite general kissed his hand and pressed them to his heart. “O king, we assure you that your wishes will all be fulfilled. But tell us why do you make such strange wishes?”
At this Alexander took a deep breath and said:
“I would like the world to know of these three fundamentals:
I want my physicians to carry my coffin because people should realize that no doctor can really cure anybody. They are powerless and cannot save a person from the clutches of death.
My second wish to strew gold, silver and other precious stones on the way to the graveyard is to let the people know that though I spent all my life accumulating riches, not even a grain of gold will come with me when I leave this world. I want people to understand that it is a sheer waste of time, energy, and peace of mind when one yearns to be rich.
With my third wish of having my hands dangling out of the coffin, I want people to know that I came empty handed into this world and likewise will go empty handed from this world.”
A reader Thomas Dwomoh-Ameyaw has pointed out that Saint Paul was inspired by these last wishes of this great man:
For we brought nothing into the world, just as we shall not be able to take anything out of it. (I Timothy 6:7)
My doctor said: “You can have just one can of beer a week!”
So, I ordered one.
Source: Trustlaw // Nita Bhalla
|Sonali Mukherjee, 27, sits in a room temporarily offered by a Sikh temple during an interview in New Delhi July 22, 2012. REUTERS/Ahmad Masood|
* Acid attack victim says can no longer endure suffering
* India needs strong laws on acid attacks, says U.N.
* Concentrated acids cheaply and easily available in India
By Nita Bhalla
NEW DELHI, July 27 (TrustLaw) – They came in the dead of night, broke into her home as she slept and poured a cocktail of acids over her face — burning her skin, melting her eyelids, nose, mouth and ears, and leaving her partially deaf and almost blind.
Her crime? She had spurned their sexual advances.
Nine years on, Sonali Mukherjee, 27, is appealing to the Indian government for medical support for skin reconstructive surgery as well as tougher penalties on her three assailants, who were released on bail after only three years in prison.
Either that, she says, or authorities should give her the right to kill herself. Euthanasia is illegal in India.
“For the last nine years, I am suffering … living without hope, without future. If I don’t have justice or my health, my only way out is to die,” she says, sitting on a bed in a sparsely furnished room above a Sikh temple in south Delhi.
“I don’t want to live half a life, with half a face.”
Sonali’s desperate plea highlights the heinous crime of throwing acid on women in India, the lack of support for victims, and lax laws which have allowed attackers to get away with what activists say is the equivalent of murder.
Acid violence – where acid is intentionally thrown to maim, disfigure or blind – occurs in many countries across the world, and is most common in Cambodia, as well as Bangladesh, Pakistan, Afghanistan and India where deep-rooted patriarchy persists.
Around 1,500 acid attacks are reported globally each year, with 80 percent of them on women, says London-based charity, Acid Survivors Trust International, adding this is a gross under-estimate as most victims are scared to speak out.
There is no official statistics for India, but a study conducted by Cornell University in January 2011 said there were 153 attacks reported in the media from 1999 to 2010.
Many of these attacks, said the study, are acts of revenge because a woman spurns sexual advances or rejects a marriage proposal.
“These men feel so insulted that a woman could turn them down and have an attitude of ‘If I can’t have you, no one can’,” says Sushma Kapoor, deputy director for UN Women in South Asia.
ISOLATED AND DISFIGURED
With a bright future ahead of her, Sonali was a 17-year-old sociology student in the city of Dhanbad in India’s central state of Jharkhand when the attack happened back in April 2003.
The three men were her neighbours and harass ed her as she left for college every morning. When she threatened to call the police, they took revenge, leaving her with 70 percent burns to her face, neck and arms.
An Indian court handed down nine-year jail terms to each of her attackers. But within three years, the men were out on bail. Her appeal against their release has yielded little results, says Sonali, and she continues to worry about her safety.
Unlike countries like Pakistan and Bangladesh, where acid violence has in recent years been listed as a specific offence, India still categorises it as grievous hurt, dolling out penalties which are lenient and jail-terms which are bailable.
“The actual attack is just the start of a life of suffering. Most are disfigured and blind. They face years of physical and mental pain and need rehabilitation,” says Sushma Varma, founder of the Campaign and Struggle Against Acid Attacks on Women (CSAAAW), a Bangalore-based voluntary group.
“In most cases there is no help, no support, no money.”
With a rising number of reports of such attacks, the cabinet this month approved a proposal to make acid attacks a separate offence, making it punishable by 10 years imprisonment and a fine of up to 10 lakh rupees ($180,000). This will now have to be approved by parliament.
But victims and activists say the government must also look at regulating the sale of locally produced household cleaners, which contain highly concentrated acids, that are easily and cheaply available in local markets across the country.
Acids are increasingly being used as weapons, like guns, they say, but there are no licensing laws for those who sell and purchase these deadly chemicals which also include neat hydrochloric and sulphuric acids.
“You can buy highly concentrated chemicals like those used on me in most markets for less than 50 rupees a bottle,” says Sonali. “This is enough to ruin a woman’s life. They may not have killed me, but I might as well be dead.” (TrustLaw is a global hub for news and information on good governance and women’s rights run by the Thomson Reuters Foundation. For more, visit http://www.trust.org/trustlaw) (Editing by Sanjeev Miglani)
- She requests help from the Government of India or permission for euthanasia. (tvaraj.wordpress.com)
- The Word on Women – Acid violence: the faceless women you can’t forget (tvaraj.wordpress.com)
- Disfigured victim’s plea to die exposes India’s acid violence (trust.org)
By Nita Bhalla publishe in Trustlaw
Since I met her over a week ago, I have been unable to forget.
Every morning as I put on my lipstick and black eyeliner in front of the mirror, I am reminded of her face. Or lack of it.
|Nita Bhalla and Sonali Mukherjee pictured at a sikh temple in New Delhi which has given Mukherjee shelter. Photo taken on July 22, 2012 by Ahmad Masood|
Sonali Mukherjee, 27, is one of hundreds of women across the world who have lost their faces, and their will to survive, as a result of one of the most heinous crimes against women I have come across: Acid violence.
Nine years ago, three men broke into Sonali’s home in the east Indian city of Dhanbad as she slept, and threw concentrated acid over her face.
The highly corrosive chemical caused 70 percent burns to her face, neck and arms and melted away the skin and flesh on her nose, cheeks and ears – leaving her almost blind and partially deaf.
Sonali, who was a 17-year-old college student at the time of the attack, had rejected their sexual advances for months and when she threatened to call the police, they took their revenge.
Despite multiple painful skin reconstructive surgeries, she still looks nothing like the photographs taken before the attack – a smiling pretty, confident, young woman who took pride in her appearance and who wanted to be a teacher in India’s poor and marginalised tribal areas.
Sonali says she is living “half a life with half a face” and has endured so much mental and physical pain over the years, that she is now pleading with the government to allow her to end her life. Euthanasia is illegal in India.
According to London-based charity, Acid Survivors Trust International, around 1,500 acid attacks are reported globally each year, with 80 percent of them on women. Figures are likely to be much higher, though, as many victims are too scared to speak out.
Acid attacks are not specific to any one country, but are more common in India and other South Asian nations such as Bangladesh, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Nepal as well as in Cambodia and Uganda.
Many of the attacks on women, like that on Sonali, are simply because men in these deeply patriarchal societies cannot handle rejection of love or a marriage proposal by a woman and decide to take revenge.
In a conservative culture where women are largely still judged by their looks, rather than by their attitudes, education, career or achievements, throwing a bottle of cheap and easily available hydrochloric acid over them is guaranteed to ruin their lives.
No one will marry them, employ them or even want to be seen with them. Their families, which are often poor, are burdened with the expense of years of medical treatment and soon run out of money – forcing victims with “half faces” to hide indoors, isolated and unable to return to the life they once had.
Despite the long-term financial, medical and psychological support vital for victims, little compensation, if any, is given by authorities.
As a result, these faceless women are left forgotten – but if you meet them, you simply cannot forget.
See Sonali’s story here.
- She requests help from the Government of India or permission for euthanasia. (tvaraj.wordpress.com)
- Disfigured victim’s plea to die exposes India’s acid violence (trust.org)