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Schools Interchange - links to 400,000 schools worldwide, plus Government websites and education departments Infinite Facts Series - from Police Letters to Prime Ministers - also huge free Keywords for Learning resource with word search puzzles ranging from the human body, invertebrates and football to Pokémon, Shakespeare, Dickens + the Bible the Project HappyChild Directory of organizations helping children - 80+ charities helping kids in many different ways Accelerated Learning - by world silver medallist Michael Tipper - amazing brain, book reviews, great minds, memory training, mnemonics - huge resource, all pages free to print free maths worksheets - addition, subtraction, times tables, division, fractions, percentages; English worksheets for poetry writing, lateral thinking, mc lyrics, crosswords, spelling, writing practice; huge index to free educational resources on line worldwide Reading System - complete free-to-print system 'Bricks and Mortar' for teaching children the basics of reading in English fundraising + resources, free stuff, events calendar, website sponsors, plus free on-line serialization of 'How to run a Successful Car Wash Fundraiser' by Lance Winslow III Aesop's Fables - over 200 now on line here, including 'The Hare and the Tortoise', 'The Grasshopper and the Ants', 'The Slave and the Lion', 'The Serpent and the Eagle' and many other well-loved tales created over 2500 years ago Projects helping children in over 200 countries - huge colour-coded index to countries worldwide and links to the websites of charities working to help children overseas Andy's Guide to Pokémon - huge pokédexes for red, blue, yellow, gold, silver, crystal, ruby, sapphire, emerald, fire red, leaf green, diamond, pearl + platinum, plus lots of help and info sent in by visitors + over 200 Pokémon pictures French - 800+ free-to-print self-test French-English worksheets, verbs + vocabulary, eg food + drink [38 pages], trees, numbers, shops, colours, telling the time, animals, birds, insects, sports, driving, car parts, tools, home, family, etc. Sol's guide to The Magical World of Harry Potter - wands, characters, spells, creatures, locations, items, Hogwarts, Gryffindor, Ravenclaw, Slytherin, Hufflepuff, Diagon Alley, Gringotts, Ministry of Magic plus book reviews and film reviews Syndromes - links to organizations helping children with dyslexia, asthma, eczema and more serious conditions News
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Area 6 : News & Views

NEWS ARCHIVE - May to Aug 2000

The longest journey starts with a single step .....................................................ancient Chinese proverb

This page is part of the main News archive of the site-building "as it happened" going back to 1998/9. Click here for Latest Site News or select from the table below for archived Newsletters and News pages:
Newsletter archives: 2007-2014 2005 2003/4 2002 2001 2000 1999
Virus-related items: Sobig-F Bugbear     Klez     BadTrans Magistr SirCam LoveBug
News page archives: Jan-Dec 2009 Jan-Dec 2008 Jan-Dec 2007 Jan-Dec 2006 Sept-Dec 2005 May-Aug 2005 Jan-Apr 2005
News page archives: Jan-Dec 2004 May-Dec 2003 Jan-Apr 2003 Sept-Dec 2002 May-Aug 2002 Jan-Apr 2002 Sept-Dec 2001
News page archives: May-Aug 2001 Jan-Apr 2001 Sept-Dec 2000 May-Aug 2000 Jan-Apr 2000 1999 Kathryn

... the longest journey starts with a single step ...

AUGUST 2000 [briefly summarised in Newsletter 1st September 2000]
31st August: We're delighted to say that the Index to " Free Worksheets & Educational Resources" has been updated today, with all links checked to free resources across the world. Link checking this page is a major task and has been deferred for some months due to the volume of pagebuilding going on elsewhere on the site. The foreign-language versions of this page (French/ German/ Italian/ Norwegian/ Portuguese/ Spanish) should be updated within the next few days.

This week has been exceptionally busy again - typical of a month in which the site has so far received over 115,000 visits, the highest ever recorded here. Being that August is traditionally a quiet month for us, we're beginning to wonder what things will be like once the schools go back! The webstats page will be updated as soon as possible, depending on how long it takes to put the Newsletter together.

The Monday "Cheats, Tips & Shortcuts" page at Andy's Guide to Pokémon went up at the beginning of this week, along with new pages for MEW and "Questions and Answers", as well as further site areas for Accessories, Remedies and Power Ups. The other days this week have been largely taken up with residual admin. matters and clearing some degree of mail correspondence backlog - everything is fully up to date now and the remaining items to complete the site integration should be completed next week, after which is scheduled the main pagebuilding for the new French resource offering many free-to-print worksheets for children learning and practising this language.

25th August:

The photos of Vinny Lauwers' homecoming after his amazing solo round-the-world voyage are now up on line [click here for his diary entry of 18th August about that memorable day]. Many thanks to Eileen at Areeba for the e-mail early this morning to let us know the pics had just gone up - and our congratulations to Vinny on this extraordinary landmark achievement.

22nd August: COT DEATH - we've added a link to the NZ site "Cot Life 2000" - established by Dr. Jim Sprott, a Consulting Chemist and Forensic Scientist who campaigns actively for the endorsement of mattress-wrapping and associated measures for cot death prevention - from the Syndromes Links index page "there has been no reported cot death among the tens of thousands of babies who have slept on mattresses wrapped to the Cot Life 2000 specifications" - for more details see the entry on the Syndromes page.

22nd August: Eileen at Areeba has been in touch again and the photos of Vinny's homecoming are still awaited but should be up on his site very soon (see the link from our FOCUS page).

22nd August: The Pokémon pagebuilding is still in progress - Skills & Techniques is now completed, and interlinked with H.M.s , T.M.s, and all pages in the Pokédex, and the Monday "Cheats update" went up yesterday on schedule. The Pokémon area is hugely popular (beyond anyone's expectations!) and brings many more kids across the world into contact with Project HappyChild. Traffic on the whole site continues to be high - yesterday's figures were over 5000 again, and we've finally been able to update the stats page for the last few days.

18th August: "Home Sweet Home" is now on line at the Parasail Vision Quest site; click on the map on our FOCUS page. We're expecting photos of Vinny's homecoming to go up there any day now.

18th August: Things are as hectic as usual back here, no stats for yesterday from F9 but Thursday's visit figures were over 5000 (overall accesses 13000+) if that gives you any idea how things are here. Plus yesterday someone unknown used a variety of addresses purporting to be from here, to advertise gasoline and debt management services - judging by the overflowing "returned mail" boxes here, they must have spammed around a million people worldwide, maybe more ..... we are going to have to write a great deal of letters to major servers around the world to explain it wasn't us; our ISP F9 is trying to identify who was behind it, at present we have no idea. "All part of life's rich tapestry", as they say.

18th August: Meanwhile pagebuilding continues on the Pokémon area - almost there now! - the largest and most complex page of all (Skills & Techniques) should be completed and interlinked from all 150 related pages in the Pokédex some time tomorrow. After that it should all be plain sailing (theoretically, at least!).

16th August: A delightful update from Vinny Lauwers is now on line - "Made it!!" - click on the map link on our FOCUS page. The comments below, from Bob the meteorologist, are worth a read too.

Our thanks to Eileen Baudinette for her follow-up e-mail and to Jacquie Gill, Vinny's girlfriend, who also sent an update - Vinny had a BBC interview scheduled for today (the BBC haven't yet given details of expected broadcast date/time) and there will also be a documentary ready in a couple of months, which we hope will be shown all around the world. Vinny has a lecture tour planned which includes England, so maybe some of us will get to meet him then. No doubt details will be available on his website shortly - and we're told that the photos of Vinny's homecoming will be up on his site by the end of this week.

16th August: Things have been unbelievably busy here on the site, with the visit level reaching over 4600 yesterday [see webstats]. This afternoon's been particularly busy, some of you may have noticed the count "crashed" and zeroed somewhere between 3 and 5pm, probably because we had around 900 visits over that 2-hour period. Whether the counter will cope as the site gets busier remains to be seen; we can reinstate it from here as required (our thanks to Mike Ridyard who installed this brilliant counter initially!) but not being on line 24 hours a day means it won't always get done immediately.

16th August: The new "cheats page" for 14th August was up on line in the Pokémon area by mid-day on Monday - this is the first chance we've had to update this page since then. Building is still continuing apace for the Pokémon area although finishing the main setting by this weekend is looking increasingly unlikely ..... it may have to be deferred a week or two but we'll see how things go. Building of the French pages remains scheduled for September to December so it will be easier if the main Pokémon pagebuilding is clear by then ..... and the pages for the (final!) major new area, The Magical World of Harry Potter , will be fitted in whenever is possible along the way.

13th August: Vinny Lauwers is back home safely! We've just received the following e-mail from Eileen Baudinette at Areeba:

Hi Penny,
Saturday was fabulous. Vinny has lost a little weight but he is in great spirits and sounds very motivated. We will be speaking to Parasail about getting the pics on the site and will get back to you when I know more. You know he is now the official world record holder! I think that is amazing. There were even some paraplegic sailors there who were to be sailing in the Olympics this year. An inspiring day with a very good turn out.
Vision Quest looks a lot dirtier now compared to when he left with her, and it was interesting to see the damage after reading about it in his stories.
Will keep you informed.

Please see the FOCUS page for the map of Vinny's amazing round-the-world voyage and a link to the Parasail Vision Quest website.

12th August: The website address for MERU, which designs custom-made seating etc. for disabled children, has been changed - please see https://www.happychild.org.uk/nvs/focus/2001meru.htm . You may wish to update your records if you have a cached or printed-out version of this page.

11th August: Vinny Lauwers is due back tomorrow! Keep an eye on his website [linked from the map on our FOCUS page] - also his epic achievement should be visible in the media around the world .....

11th August: Element Groups for Bug, Dragon, Electric, Fighting and Flying Pokémon have been added to Andy's guide to Pokémon. The remaining ten groups will be added whenever time allows; general site traffic remains high (see webstats) and the Monday "cheats update" will take priority over the next couple of days.

9th August: The Dyslexia Institute (a UK-based national charity helping both parents and schools) now has a different address and telephone number in the Project HappyChild Directory of organizations helping children. If you have a cached or printed-out version of the Directory, you may wish to update this.

9th August: New update on line from Vinny Lauwers: 260 miles to go!! Vinny's not having an easy time of things but as ever he's aware of the needs of so many kids out there for whom this extraordinary voyage is raising money ... do read this update, if you get chance (linked from the big map on our FOCUS page).

9th August: Webstats page just updated - sorry, no time yesterday! - you'll see from the figures that the visit levels for the site as a whole remain extremely high and this increases the workload at all levels. Once the main Pokémon pages are completed, things should settle down a little here.

7th August: After the recent appeal for help from Namuli Baligidde Peace, a Ugandan girl urgently seeking support to continue her studies (see Guestbook), we wrote asking for an e-mail contact address; Namuli has now been in touch and we've added her e-mail address to the Guestbook entry.

7th August: Our ISP Force 9 seems to have their webstats facility up and running again ... so we've added the stats provided for this weekend, to the webstats page. Traffic levels have settled down again after the phenomenally busy 7 days from 25th July (for which we'll never know the full figures!) but have steadied out at a higher level than previously.

7th August: The Monday additions to the "Cheats, Tips & Shortcuts" page have now gone online in the Pokémon area. We hadn't anticipated quite how popular the free Pokémon info would be - nor the floods of e-mails which would arrive! - but that area is up to date now and there are only 25 or so pages to build, to complete the major construction phase. There will always be new items to add, but completion of the main Pokémon pagebuilding will allow a couple of weeks' breathing space to get all website areas up to date before the new term begins in September.

5th August: After some degree of reflection, we've decided that one further (huge!) area should be included on the site: "The Magical World of Harry Potter". This website is for and about children ... and Harry Potter is such a major focus for children these days that we simply couldn't exclude these wonderful books.

We've put a couple of sample pages on line which you can access by clicking here. For now, pagebuilding commitments elsewhere on the site mean that the foreseeable "weeks ahead" are fully booked, but we'll add to this new area whenever the opportunity presents itself. We have a lot planned .....

Meanwhile, Andy's Guide to Pokémon (still a primary interest for kids, as any parent who attended the recent Pokémon trading days will verify!) is still receiving a massive traffic flow, so two "mirror" sites have now been set up, accessible via the main Super Cool Zone index page, to safeguard bandwidth usage. One of the sites (housed at Freeola) is offline just now, till Tuesday or Wednesday next week apparently, but we'll link it back in as soon as it becomes operational again.

4th August: Vinny's back to his usual jaunty self, his latest report "Excited about returning" is now on line from our FOCUS page.

3rd August 2000:
Today marks the most harrowing report ever received from lone skipper Vinny Lauwers, who came unbelievably close to tragedy whilst rounding Eclipse Island, south of Western Australia. As usual he's triumphed against all the odds - but this report makes you realise exactly how close to the edge he's having to take things - and how amazingly lucky he was on this occasion. Take a look at "Close to disaster", linked from the map graphic of Vinny's journey round the world, on our FOCUS page.

2nd August: The second Newsletter for the Pokémon area of the site is now on line.

2nd August: Just a note about the webstats page - this has had to be discontinued for the time being, as our ISP isn't providing any logs or stats at all just now - currently traffic is pretty heavy as you'll know from the escalating visitor count on the site, but we have no way of knowing how long it will take Force 9 to get their stats provision up and running again.

1st August: Project HappyChild News for August 2000 is now on line

... the longest journey starts with a single step ...

JULY 2000 [summarised in Newsletter 1st August 2000]
31st July: Our thanks to Eileen Baudinette at Areeba for letting us know that Vinny Lauwers will be arriving back Saturday 12th August 2000 ..... docking at 12 noon. The venue is Royal Yacht Club of Victoria - 120 Nelson Place Williamstown Vic. Australia, for anyone who may be in Australia and want to catch this memorable and emotional event. There will be a fund-raiser barbeque and the opportunity for people to contribute to Parasail - Caring For Kids. See the link from our FOCUS page for the latest news on Vinny's progress.
29th July: Take a look at these amazing photos from lone paraplegic skipper Vinny Lauwers who is now only 210 miles from completing his epic world voyage. See his latest update on the winter storms he's facing, via the link from our FOCUS page.
28th July: Michael Tipper's August articles are now on line in the Accelerated Learning area of the site. Judging by e-mails received over the last few weeks, the lack of articles in June and July have been noted by many - as explained Michael's been busy organising the World Memory Championships taking place in August.

28th July: Apologies to everyone who's had trouble accessing the website during the course of today. This morning, there was a power down at our ISP Force 9, meaning that all systems had to be re-booted; things were just getting back to normal when the cables started arching on their main distribution board just before 6pm and the fire brigade had to be called, consequently all websites on their server were unavailable till about 10pm this evening. Just about everything's up and running again now, but it's been a memorable day .....

28th July: All 150 Pokémon are now on line in the Pokédex [121-150 uploaded yesterday]. Traffic levels yesterday across the Project HappyChild site were almost as high as on 26th July - we don't have stats for either day yet as our ISP's portal hasn't yet been updated as they're in the midst of other admin. work, but we're informed the figures should be available soon.

28th July: The "cheats" page at Andy's Guide to Pokémon is gradually being added to - there's a cheat for "Mew" (which most kids will be interested in!) though we can't confirm yet that it works. The traffic on the whole Pokémon area is extraordinarily high but this is also bringing new visitors to many other areas of the website as a whole.

26th July: The portal is now working at our ISP and the traffic figures for Tuesday 25th July have been uploaded to our webstats page.

26th July: Due to rapidly accelerating traffic to "Andy's Guide to Pokémon", a mirror site has been set up at www.supercoolzone.plus.com , to which some of the links from here may be directed in due course, to safeguard the Project HappyChild bandwidth as a whole. Webstats aren't available yet for 25th July from our ISP (whose portal is down) but the on-site visitor count logged over 4000 yesterday and it's likely the portal figures will be higher. We've updated the webstats page with Monday's figures, and Tuesday's will be added as/when provided to us.

26th July: The première of Flintstones Viva Rock Vegas (in aid of Great Ormond Street Children's Hospital) took place last night so we've taken down the many banners advertising this event, from the main index pages across the site. The page itself will remain on line till the end of today, but the General Events calendar has now been updated. Next major event scheduled is on 10th September, a celebrity football match "The Battle of The Soaps", at Villa Park [players from a range of soap operas including EastEnders and Coronation Street], arranged by Children in Crisis.

25th July: "Vinny's back on the air!" ..... Solo Skipper Vinny Lauwers is back in satellite contact - only 300 miles west of Australia and almost at the end of his epic world voyage. For his latest update, see the link from FOCUS.

25th July: A further 20 Pokémon (101-120) are now in place on the Pokédex at Andy's Guide to Pokémon, linked in from Evolution, Types and Elements.

24th July: We've finally been able to re-instate the "Webstats" page today, after a break of some three months - the stats should now give a broad guide to ongoing traffic levels, and we've added a column to show what each day's visit figures equate to on an annual basis. We've also updated the website "publicity page" - our thanks to everyone who has put copies of this on noticeboards in libraries, schools etc.

23rd July: A further 20 Pokémon (81-100) are now in place on the Pokédex at Andy's Guide to Pokémon. We've also added graphics to the main index page, for visual effect, but we'll probably leave adding of individual graphics across this area until all the primary information text pages are on line.

22nd July: The next 20 Pokémon in the series (61-80) have now been added to the Pokédex at Andy's Guide to Pokémon. Building this area is a fairly lengthy process but once all 150 basic Pokémon characters are in place a great deal of other related information can be added. The Walk Through for the blue, red and yellow games has to be the most comprehensive to be found anywhere on the Internet - and it goes step by step from the very beginning right the way through. Thanks go to the many people who have recommended this area to friends, its separate visitor count is accelerating daily and it has brought many more children into contact with Project HappyChild.

21st July: Just a reminder that "Fun Day 2000" (organised by The Children's Trust) takes place tomorrow, at Tadworth Court in Surrey. An open day for the whole family with stalls, live music, good selection of craft goods, Punch and Judy Show, family fun, face painting, etc. - see General Events.

19th July: "Still no Satellites, but Vinny's making good time" ..... for the latest update on lone paraplegic skipper Vinny Lauwers, due back in Australia a couple of weeks from now, see the link from FOCUS.

17th July: Several entries have been added to the Guestbook today - three Appeals for help (for hearing apparatus for a deaf Russian child, Polleena, support requested by an orphanage in India, and from a Ugandan girl, Namuli, needing financial help to continue her studies) - also some delightful comments on the site from S. Ledgerton, in Warrington, UK.

We've taken this opportunity to interlink the majority of Guestbook entries across the site, to the relevant country appeals pages, schools interchange, etc. and from schools and appeals back to the guestbook, as it's become clear from e-mail traffic that despite the huge numbers of visitors, often people are not aware of linked information elsewhere on the website. Cross-linking the guestbook entries has been a somewhat lengthy process on this occasion, but it ensures that related information should be easier to find in the future.

16th July: Due to the current traffic levels (and very high volume of possible additions, being sent in by visitors, for all areas), the decision has been taken to re-schedule building of the huge area of free French worksheets until September of this year [this area of several hundred pages should, we hope, be completed by Christmas 2000]. Judging by the level of visits already to the French pages, this will be a hugely popular resource, but from a practical point of view the rest of the website needs to remain current on an ongoing basis, and so the French pagebuilding has had to be deferred for the time being.

Meanwhile it's hoped to complete the Pokémon resource (for red, blue and yellow versions of the game) during July and August 2000 [this area has already had several thousand visits whilst under construction] and we have recently added more pages to the Pokédex, which now has 60 Pokémon in place, interlinked from the huge Evolution index, Types and Elements, and wherever appropriate from the detailed Walk Through for the game. Pagebuilding for the Gold and Silver versions is unlikely to start until after September, being slotted in wherever there are breaks in the French schedule, and allowing for inputting and uploading information sent in for the other many areas of the website as a whole.

14th July:
We'd like
to thank The International Association of Web Masters and Designers for the Golden Web Award 2000-2001, presented to Project HappyChild today "in recognition of creativity, integrity and excellence on the Web".

13th July: Only 150 tickets are left now for the London Première on 25th July of "The Flintstones in VIVA ROCK VEGAS", in aid of Great Ormond Street Children's Hospital - for more details click here.

13th July: After contact from another organization which helps children in Sri Lanka [and also Nepal] we've made a link from the Sri Lanka appeals page to the recent guestbook entry from SLSCO-FLAME about help for children in Sri Lanka, for the convenience of visitors unaware of the appeals which regularly feature in the Guestbook. We hope to add links for the new organization, from the Nepal and Sri Lanka pages, shortly.

12th July: A week now since the last message from solo skipper Vinny Lauwers on his epic round-the-world voyage - and the latest posting on his website, " No Satellites! An update from Jacquie" - explains why. Vinny is due back at the Royal Yacht Club of Victoria, Williamstown, Australia, during the first week of August ..... see the link from FOCUS.

7th July: A new "site re-direct" page [in place of a 404 page] has been uploaded via .htaccess, to allow visitors coming in via any of the expired page addresses to find their way easily around the site [making use of the former "shadow" area, originally set up for use by earlier browser versions]. We've also made a few amendments to the Welcome Page, and to the "site history" page. Incidentally, after all the streamlining of recent weeks, if any link anywhere on the site is found not to be working, an e-mail would be very much appreciated :)

6th July: A website link has been added for Addaction - providing education and rehabilitation to individuals and their families affected by drug and alcohol misuse - from their entry (1046) in the Project HappyChild Directory of UK-based organizations helping children.

6th July: Latest update on line from solo round-the-world skipper Vinny Lauwers - "Time for some repairs" - see the link from FOCUS.

6th July: Meanwhile we've been doing our own "repairs", here ... traffic dropped down by 50% for no apparent reason on Saturday, to around 1500 visits per day - the hot weather and the weekend might have had something to do with it, but by Monday things hadn't tangibly improved so it seemed likely the search engines had picked up on the fact that around 600 of our page addresses had gone west [after the site streamlining, last month]. Consequently the last 48 hours or so has been largely spent re-spidering index pages for areas that have "moved" - it will take a few days for the new listings to appear on the search engines, but traffic's already picking up again so whatever the problem was, it seems to be sorted now.

3rd July: The star-studded Gala Film Premiere of The Flintstones in "VIVA ROCK VEGAS" takes place on Tuesday 25th July 2000 - for full details click here. This event is likely to be attended by many celebrities, so book now! All proceeds from the evening are being given by United Pictures and United International Pictures, to Great Ormond Street Children's Hospital.

1st July: Project HappyChild News for July 2000 is now on line, along with the first Newsletter for the new Pokémon area, which has its own separate mailing list. It's possible to join either (free) mailing list by using the join-up facility at the foot of most main site pages.

... the longest journey starts with a single step ...

JUNE 2000 [summarised in Newsletter 1st July 2000]
30th June: Solo Skipper Vinny Lauwers' latest update is on line - "No wind again, but a nice sunset" - see the link from FOCUS.

30th June: Over the last couple of days we've been adding a number of pages to the new Pokémon resource. There's a lot more detail on the H.M.s page which is now linked where appropriate from the Walk Through for children trying to find their way through red, blue and yellow versions of the game, and we've also added twenty more Pokémon to the Pokédex, and interlinked these from the pages for Evolution, Types and Elements. We still have a huge pagebuilding schedule for this area, but hope to add a few pages at a time regularly for the next few weeks, gradually interlinking all the different factors as each set of new items is added.

27th June: The updated 24-hour-freephone-helpline for the Meningitis Research Foundation has been added to the Syndromes Links index page. If you have a cached or printed-out version of this page, you may wish to update this.

27th June: Some thought-provoking insights on line today from Solo Skipper Vinny Lauwers, on inspiring kids to believe in themselves and their abilities. If you compare the map of his current position against the one on our FOCUS page, the beginning of the journey, it shows just how far he has travelled - and how near he is to achieving his goal of being the first disabled person ever to sail solo, non-stop and unassisted around the world. For Vinny's latest diary update, "Some Thoughts", please see the link from FOCUS.

26th June: British & USA Military Regiments have sent in Appeals for help for a school in Kosovo and for Landmines Awareness Training in Bosnia & Herzegovina. These have now been added to the Resources Required page, and also we've opened up the page for Schools Kosovo as a starting point for this area [linked from the Schools Eurasia index also].

26th June: The amazing Nintendo interfaces for disabled children, designed by Pathways Development Group in Seattle, USA, which appear on the Special Needs page in the Project HappyChild Shop, have been linked to the report in our April Newsletter relating how a 12-year-old girl with severe Cerebral Palsy was able to use the interface almost immediately, to the amazement of her parents - free videos showing these Interfaces in action are available via our Surplus Resources page.

26th June: A group of 8-12 year olds at Pulteney Grammar Preparatory School in Adelaide, South Australia - "Pulkids" - believe we should be focussing on the good things that happen in life, and are inviting schools, families and communities to get in touch and "make this world a more peaceful place for us all to share". We've added their project to our "FOCUS" area.

25th June: World Memory Championships 2000 - organised by Michael Tipper, who writes the Accelerated Learning area here - the dates for this event in London, in August 2000, have been *changed*. Please see the latest Press Release for more details.

23rd June: One of the most harrowing accounts yet from Solo Skipper Vinny Lauwers has just gone on line - "Surfing Vinny Style" ..... for this latest diary update please see the link from FOCUS.

23rd June: Just a reminder that "Celebrity Clay Pigeon Shooting" (Children's Trust) and the "Ladies' Golf-a-Thon" (Norwood Ravenswood), both events raising funds to help disadvantaged children, are taking place next week [Tuesday and Wednesday, respectively] - see the General Events page for further details.

23rd June: The entry for I CAN [the national educational charity for children and young people with speech and language difficulties] has been updated in the Project HappyChild Directory. If you have a cached or printed-out version of the Directory, you may wish to update this.

23rd June: Our thanks to Phil & Jan in Macau for forwarding details of the Macau School Network. We have now added a page for Macau Schools to the Eurasia pages at Schools Interchange.

21st June: A direct e-mail address has been added for BREAK, which provides residential and day care services for profoundly disabled children, and for families with special needs - they're at 1053 in the Project HappyChild Directory of UK-based organizations helping children.

21st June: We've been unable to discover any more about what happened to the Millennium Balloon launched from Quesnel, BC, Canada (despite several e-mails) - we'll leave the link from FOCUS for the time being but have removed the picture / link from the main Welcome page here. In its place we have put direct links to The Hunger Site and The Rainforest Site.

Simply visiting the Hunger Site each day and pressing the "donate" button gives 1/4 cup of food to the World Food Programme multiplied by the number of sponsors for any given day [eg 4 sponsors equals one cup of food]. Donations via The Hunger Site have helped the World Food Programme (WFP) provide more than 1..8 million meals to Ethiopian school children in the midst of the drought that is currently threatening 13.4 million people in five countries - Djibouti, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Kenya and Somalia, in Africa. Donations via The Hunger Site have also helped WFP to provide 5.5 million rations of Indiamix, a special blend of food for malnourished women and children.

A daily visit to The Rainforest Site donates *land* - your donation adds to the more than 550,000 acres of rainforest already protected by The Nature Conservancy's Adopt An Acre® program. Each sponsor on the page on any given day pays for 2.4 square feet of land - eg if you visit today you personally will protect 12 square feet of rainforest. Multiply that up by a year's visits (assuming an ongoing rate of 5 commercial sponsors on their site per day) and you will have saved over 4000 square feet of rainforest by this time next year.

You can access links to both sites from the main Welcome page here [you'll need to scroll down to just below the opening screen].

19th June: Today marks SIX MONTHS that Solo Skipper Vinny Lauwers - a 32-year-old paraplegic - has been alone out there on "Vision Quest", making his epic journey around the world. Not that far to go now ..... but there's a lot in today's update - "Four Seasons in One Day" - that brings home the dangers of the awesome task he has set for himself, in order to raise funds for disabled and disadvantaged children.

The photo is of Vinny at his laptop - still finding time somewhere to keep us all posted on his progress, and answer the e-mails which come in from all parts of the world. For today's diary update please see the link from FOCUS.

19th June: Our page for Appeals & Projects, Mozambique, Africa, has been updated with new information from The Hunger Site [where you can donate food *free* on line, daily].

16th June: Surftime finally went live here this afternoon, at 4.40 p.m. Apologies to anyone who's had trouble reaching the site over the last couple of days; our ISP Force 9 has been doing extensive tests across their whole network and general access and services have been very intermittent.

Surftime allows Project HappyChild to be on line any time of the day or night without additional charges, from now on, which should make overall site administration vastly simpler and more cost-effective. All the remaining streamlined pages across the whole site are scheduled to be uploaded during the course of the next few days.

We're awaiting restoration of the "Webstats" facility (not fully accurate since as long ago as April) - we're informed this should be available shortly. The Visitor Count on site doesn't record all accesses but logged almost 6000 visits on Tuesday - as most visits took place evening/overnight here, we assume that this was due to media publicity somewhere in the Americas - our thanks to whoever was responsible for this. We're happy to credit any newspaper / TV show / magazine that publicises the website, if anyone sends in details.

14th June: There's a new letter in the Guestbook, about help for children living on the streets due to the internal war in Sri Lanka. If you have any contacts with Sri Lanka, or know anyone who has, please take a look at this one.

13th June: Another update from Solo Skipper Vinny Lauwers is on line - "Whale Encounter" (in the Indian Ocean) ..... for today's diary update please see the link from FOCUS.

13th June: Humanitarian Aid Transport Services have updated their page in the Project HappyChild Shop - they specialise in the transportation of Humanitarian Aid and Emergency Relief goods worldwide - by road, sea, and air - anything from a few small cartons to full container-loads. Though based in the UK they can organise shipping, transportation and air-lifts in any part of the world.

12th June: Norwood Ravenswood has several fundraising events scheduled for this week - see our General Events page for details of the Property Lunch at the Savoy (Tuesday), Dame Shirley Bassey at the Royal Festival Hall (Wednesday) and Golf Aid, the 90-hole, 5 golf courses in one day Gold Challenge (Thursday). On Sunday their 4-mile Ravenswalk coincides with the annual Village Fair and Open Day at Ravenswood Village.

12th June: The page for Japanese schools and universities has been updated [the Japan Window site has been re-designed recently and we've amended the wording on the page here after feedback from visitors here that they were having trouble locating schools on line via the link] - there are now 6500+ schools on line in Japan. Information at Japan Window is available in both English and Japanese.

12th June: Surftime still hasn't materialised here ... well not for those of us at Force 9, but we're hoping this will be available shortly. However we've gone ahead this weekend with removing all the original versions of the newly-created pages on site [between 500 and 600 Directories in all have been deleted] so that the whole site is now streamlined for ease of operation and minimum downloads for visitors. Long term this should serve everyone better, though it may take the search engines a while to catch up with all the new page addresses - the site re-direct page ( https://www.happychild.org.uk/teleport.htm) which replaces the usual "404" page, should ensure that most new visitors will be able to locate the area they were looking for.

9th June: A new website link has been added for BREAK [holidays and respite care for children and adults with learning disabilities] in the Project HappyChild Directory.

9th June: The "Surftime" helplines at BT were entirely unavailable last night - we've had clarification this morning that it's necessary to actually register and book the service with BT, as well as setting up the access to Surftime via individual ISPs. Delay on using the service is likely to be 4-8 days if you haven't pre-registered with BT, and 48 hours if you've pre-registered but not actually booked, and dependent also on ISPs actually having their systems fully set up for the access. We've been informed also that using the ISP-provided 0844 number will enable access provided your exchange is compatible, but that BT will actually be charging for individual calls on 0844 until such time as they issue individual confirmations to users, that they are fully booked onto the service.

We appreciate this info will be irrelevant to overseas visitors but felt it worth putting details on line for the benefit of UK users who may be having trouble getting this info from BT as they become increasingly swamped by the numbers of people wishing to take up Surftime [currently over one million, they said today].

9th June: The last couple of days have been spent streamlining the html coding across the site, to minimise download time/quantity as things start to get busier. Fortunately we have access to a (free!) program which will allow modifications on up to 200 pages at once, although with the volumes of amendments currently being made this is a little disconcerting to use at times because errors can be replicated with just as much ease ..... if you encounter any odd-looking type anywhere on the site please let us know.

6th June: Another update from Solo Skipper Vinny Lauwers is on line - "Thinking of home" - Vinny reflects on living his dream, the increased worldwide focus on his epic voyage, and the new challenges that await him when he returns home ..... for today's diary update please see the link from FOCUS.

6th June: Just a reminder that the originals of pages duplicated during the streamlining of Schools and Appeals areas will be removed as soon as BT Surftime finally goes live (now scheduled for this Friday) - so please, if you have chance, update bookmarks and site links to any of these areas by locating new page addresses via the main Index pages for Schools Interchange and Appeals & Projects Worldwide.

Another area which has been both streamlined and re-located is the French worksheets area, currently under construction. This area is linked from around 700 pages across the site and at present we're in the process of updating and re-uploading linked pages; this should be completed within the next day or two, after which the original French pages will be removed. Being that this area will span several hundred pages in due course, we have streamlined to minimise download times as well as increasing accessibility.

We're hoping to return to building the French pages (and the new Pokémon area) within the next few days.

5th June: The Millennium Balloon launch went ahead on 4th June - hope you got a chance to look at some of the live streaming video of the view from the balloon - payload now recovered (came down on fire!) - see their site for photos of the launch and ongoing updates - link from FOCUS.

3rd June: - Late update - Millennium Balloon launch rescheduled for tomorrow, SUNDAY 4th JUNE - problems with FSS authorization for Saturday. Live Audio will be broadcast from the balloon, and live pictures from ATV. See their page "Calling All Kids" - children can get a QSL card confirming they heard the balloon, full details of what to do are listed on their site. Balloon trackers in Canada, USA and even Australia are listed on the Balloon site, and the audio should be hear-able over hundreds of miles apparently. Full details in their website linked from FOCUS.

3rd June: The Millennium Balloon launch in Quesnel, B.C, Canada IS GOING AHEAD, TODAY!! - see FOCUS. Children are being asked to help track the balloon, and the Millennium Balloon website has live web-cam photos.

2nd June: Another update from Solo Skipper Vinny Lauwers is on line - "Broken Wind Generator" - resourceful as ever, Vinny's coping with whatever life throws at him ..... for today's diary update please see the link from FOCUS.

1st June: We're advised that BT Surftime has been delayed until 9th June [ascribed to a missing piece of equipment ....] consequently we'll probably leave removing all the superseded pages until that date [see further down this page, re Schools and Appeals].

1st June: Project HappyChild News June 2000 now on line. Our thanks to everyone who's re-subscribed to the Newsletter via "ListBot" - we've sent the Newsletter but they seem to have something of a log-jam at present as our test copy hasn't been received here yet, we hope that subscribers will have received theirs although last month the test copy didn't get here until 2nd May. Please let us know if you're on the new mailing list and your copy doesn't arrive in the next couple of days.

... the longest journey starts with a single step ...

MAY 2000 [summarised in Newsletter 1st June 2000]
30th May: Canada SchoolNet / Grassroots have re-designed their website meaning that the links have changed for all Canada areas within Schools Interchange - you may wish to update your bookmarks. All pages have now been amended, and school listings for another province, Nunavut, recently added to the Canada SchoolNet / Grassroots site, have been added to Schools Interchange here.

29th May: Another update from Solo Skipper Vinny Lauwers is on line - "A little ray of sunshine, and my crew". Vinny is making advance preparations now for crossing a notoriously dangerous part of the ocean, the Agulhas Bank, south of Africa, renowned for its bad weather and strong currents opposing one another. For today's diary update please see the link from FOCUS.

29th May: We're delighted to say that the upgrades of the "Worldwide Appeals and Projects" areas [around 250 pages in all] are now completed [see the report on "surftime", below] - including the page blanks for geographical areas for which we don't yet have details. We've just learned that transferring to "surftime" will halve our daily bandwidth entitlement to only 250 Mb, but the streamlining of the site structure should ensure the bandwidth will cover around 15000 visits per day [5 million visits per year] which allows plenty of room for expansion from the current level of around 3000 visits most weekdays. Our ISP still isn't producing full-day stats but we'll re-instate the daily "webstats" record here as soon as their stats problems are resolved.

MAY 2000
27th May: The Millennium Balloon launch in Quesnel, B.C, Canada, scheduled for today, has been deferred yet again due to "Bad Weather" - now re-scheduled to Saturday 3rd June 2000 - see FOCUS.

26th May: With notifications due to go out today for the UK Pokémon championships, new pages for the first 20 Pokémon in the Pokédex have been added to the Pokémon guide to the blue and red games. Pages for the remaining 130 Pokémon will be on line shortly.

25th May: A direct e-mail address for the Children's Country Holidays Fund has now been added to the Project HappyChild Directory - you may wish to update your records if you have a cached or printed-out copy of the Directory.

25th May: Another update from Solo Skipper Vinny Lauwers is on line - "The bomb". Whatever any of us is facing today, it's not likely to be a knockout storm with 10-metre-high waves, alone on a boat in the middle of nowhere. We had a nice e-mail from Vinny on Monday, he has a speaking tour scheduled after his return and will probably be including England in the tour. For today's diary update please see the link from FOCUS.

24th May: We're pleased to report that the upgrades of the "Schools Interchange" area [somewhere in the region of 300 pages in all] are now completed [see the report on "surftime", below] - including the page blanks for geographical areas for which we don't yet have information. Any help from visitors with identifying local school nets in the remaining areas of the world will, as always, be much appreciated.

22nd May: Solo Skipper Vinny Lauwers' latest update is on line - "More Fierce Squalls" [the photo's of a "whitewash wall" in a storm force squall] - Vinny's due to reach Cape Town, South Africa, 11 days from now ..... you'll find the link to this update in FOCUS.

22nd May: We're informed that on 1st June 2000 the new BT "surftime" package (Ł19.99/month) will allow people in the UK unmetered (and no call cost) access to the Internet 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, via a number of ISPs. It's likely this will be widely used and we are having to dedicate some time now to streamlining the website structure to ensure that if there is a resulting significant rise in traffic, we should be able to stay safely within our allocated bandwidth level. Accordingly we will be modifying the structure of all "schools" and "appeals" areas over the next week or so (time permitting) to minimise download time/quantity as much as possible.

Schools USA and Schools Africa have already been completed: the Index pages for both remain at the same address but the country pages have all been moved. If you have any bookmarks on the country pages in these areas you may wish update these, as the pages at the original locations will be removed on or around 1st June 2000.

Our apologies for any inconvenience but this streamlining had to take place at some time [it will also enable vastly easier website maintenance] and it makes sense to do this before the numbers of people on line increase any further. Accordingly work on the two major resources yet to be completed on the site [free-to-print French resources and the guides to "red" and "blue" Pokémon games, for children] will have to be put on hold until the re-structuring is completed - all going well, the rest of the Pokémon pages including a "yellow version" gamewalk will be on line by mid-July, with the French pages in place by the end of the summer.

22nd May: We'd like to express our thanks to Milan Zolotny, from Prague (Czech Republic), for submitting Project HappyChild for the "Christmas Rose" wild flower given to this website by Laki, who does voluntary work in a "Children's Village" in Yugoslavia with children of many nations who have lost their parents in war. The level of support for Project HappyChild from individuals and organizations across the world is much appreciated.

20th May: Just a reminder that the "Wheels of Hope" Cycle Ride takes place at Tadworth Court tomorrow [see General Events]. The General Events calendar has been updated and tickets are now available for the prestigious "City Dinner" arranged by Children in Crisis for Tuesday 11th July 2000.

The date has now been fixed for the "Battle of the Soaps" - 10th September - taking place at Villa Park - details of all these events (and many more) are on the General Events Calendar.

20th May: The Millennium Balloon launch scheduled for today has been deferred due to "Bad Weather and Jetstream" - now re-scheduled to Saturday 27th May 2000 - see FOCUS.

19th May: After comments received that the Site History could usefully be a little more comprehensive, this page and Penny's bio page have been updated.

18th May: Links have been changed on the Booklists page for the National Association of Toy & Leisure Libraries' range of publications including a directoryof companies producing or selling toys and play equipment suitable for children or adults with special needs and the results of the Good Toy Awards for 1999, for products which have been rigorously tested in toy libraries.

17th May: We're receiving an increasing flow of enquiries for more information about Project HappyChild and its background - accordingly we have finally put a brief "site history" on line so this information is easily accessible by visitors to the website.

17th May: A new addition has been made to the Syndromes Links Index, with a link to a comprehensive and well-structured article written by a parent who has worked steadily through all the options to find ways of liberating a child from the restrictions of ADHD [Attention Deficit & Hyperactivity Disorder] .

Items covered within the article include allergies, ADHD and food sensitivity, the Feingold Diet, the Failsafe Diet [which originates in Australia], Asthma, Yeast, Hyperactivity, Ritalin, and Diet Control. Well worth a read by any parent faced with apparent "behavioural problems" - and includes web-links to organizations mentioned in the article, also a book list for further related reading.

MAY 2000
16th May: We've received a delightful e-mail from a new visitor, Bruce H, whose letter has now been added to the website Guestbook.

16th May: Our thanks to Phil (original Guestbook entry 14.4.99) for alerting us to a broken link for Regent [Schools China], and to Jiang at Regent for providing updated info. The Schools China page has now been updated.

15th May: Solo Skipper Vinny Lauwers' latest update is on line - "Parasail Fundraiser" [money raised for disabled and disadvantaged kids] ..... you'll find the link to this update in FOCUS.

14th May: With the Pokémon Championship 2000 scheduled to begin in the UK in June, pages are being added to the Pokémon resource as fast as they can be built. The Evolution page gives full details of levels and modes of evolution [this page is extraordinarily comprehensive] and details will be added with respect to "Hard to find" Pokémon in due course. Pages have been set up for H.M.s and T.M.s, with full details to be added shortly, and the first item has been added to the "Cheats & Shortcuts" page [although Cheats cannot be used in the Championship]. The Pokédex page is now on line - all 150 page blanks for individual Pokémon have now been built and these will be completed, uploaded and interlinked as soon as time allows. The Walk Through already on line is very straightforward and should allow most children to navigate their way through the many complex stages of the game.

13th May: Millennium Balloon launch scheduled for 13th May has been deferred due to "Thunderstorms and Ground Winds" - to Saturday 20th May 2000 - see FOCUS.

12th May: The text entry for Fairbridge has been updated in the Project HappyChild Directory; Fairbridge now have 12 centres in some of the most disadvantaged inner city areas across the UK.

11th May: We have added a direct link to the website of BLISS * The National Charity for the Newborn, from their entry in the Project HappyChild Directory. Their wish-list of equipment required for special and intensive care baby units nationwide has now been fulfilled, and has been removed from our UK Appeals area.

10th May: Solo Skipper Vinny Lauwers' latest update is on line - "My very own pool" ..... you'll find the link to this update in FOCUS.

9th May: This website is for - and about - children. What are kids most interested in these days? Without any doubt, Pokémon.

For children who visit this site - and all you parents out there who'd like to know a little more about this game which so absorbs them - a new resource is being built, "Andy's guide to Pokémon".

This area has a no-nonsense "walk through" for the red and blue games - easy for kids to read (and a comprehensive guide to the many different stages required to complete the game, for those children who are having trouble with the harder stages) as well as a list of all the different Pokémon with their elements and types [1-150].

All resources in the Pokémon area are free to print - new items will be added whenever time allows.

8th May: Our page for free resources for Maths Key Stage 1 has now been updated.

8th May: The final remaining area for site re-structuring has now been completed, with the 1999 News Archive moved from the Translations area [early editions were originally on line together with auto-translations into five languages] into the News area of the site. Please update your bookmarks, if appropriate.

The new ListBot joining facilities for the mailing list for the monthly issue of "Project HappyChild News" have now been added to the foot of all Newsletter pages, both current and archived.

6th May: Millennium Balloon launch scheduled for 6th May has been deferred due (again) to "jetstream and ground winds" - to Saturday 13th May 2000 - see FOCUS.

5th May: Solo Skipper Vinny Lauwers' latest update - "Overwhelmed" - 5th May 2000 is now on line, along with a photo of Vinny with Trindade in the background, the only land he's seen since Chile and rounding the Horn. He's heading for the Tristan da Cunha group now, 1300 miles on, then it's straight home .....

Meanwhile the second Parasail fundraiser (benefitting disabled and disadvantaged children) is being held at the Royal Yacht Club of Victoria in Vinny's home Port of Williamstown this Sunday 7 May. If you're anywhere near Melbourne this weekend, there will be a yacht race around 11am, followed by a sausage sizzle on the lawn, a luncheon inside and an auction. You'll find the link to Vinny's update in FOCUS.

4th May: What a day! We [along with around a third of the UK] were the recipients of the "Love Letter" computer virus. As luck would have it, my eldest son James was home from school (not well) and amazingly he managed to find a solution to wipe the virus from the computer not long afterwards [you'll find this on line at https://www.happychild.org.uk/xvirus.htm ].

The rest of the afternoon was largely taken up with sending e-mails out to our contacts across the world to pass on the page address, as this is a fairly lethal virus if it's not dealt with promptly.

Please feel free to print the "virus" page and e-mail its address to friends - we've been told that even huge organizations like Sky [Telecommunications] went out completely, as did the House of Commons [UK Parliament] and many commercial firms in the UK - the virus created over 3000 files on our computer here in the space of 20 minutes so please spread the word if you can.

4th May: Solo Skipper Vinny Lauwers' latest update - "My message in a bottle" - 2nd May 2000 - was up on his site this morning - we couldn't amend this page as scheduled early this afternoon because of computer problems here (see entry above!) - you'll find the link to Vinny's update in FOCUS.

3rd May: We've received a delightful e-mail from Fabián Peralta in Quito, Ecuador, who is looking to convert a large property he owns into a Children's Home to house 30-40 children currently living on the streets. He would welcome contact from anyone with advice or experience to offer [see Guestbook]. This is also now linked from the Ecuador page in Appeals & Projects Worldwide.

3rd May: An appeal has been received for help with education costs for a Russian orphan girl called Dasha [please see Guestbook]. Also now linked from the Russia page in Appeals and Projects Worldwide.

3rd May: The e-mail address for POD [Entertainment for Children in Hospitals] has been modified in the Project HappyChild Directory - if you have a cached or printed-out version of the Directory you may wish to update this.

2nd May: Because of the growing size of the mailing list for the Newsletter, we have finally yielded to the inevitable and set up a ListBot [automatic] account to send out the monthly mailing of Project HappyChild News. This month took over one hundred separate sends to a portion of the mailing list each, which isn't viable long term.

There's a "sign up" facility for the auto-version of the Newsletter at the foot of our "Welcome Page" - we'll be writing to existing subscribers to request they transfer to the new list, and new subscribers are welcome to use this facility straight away.

2nd May: The postal address for Fairbridge has been modified in the Project HappyChild Directory - if you have a cached or printed-out version of the Directory you may wish to update this.

1st May: Project HappyChild News May 2000 now on line.

... the longest journey starts with a single step ...

This page is part of the main News archive of the site-building "as it happened" going back to 1998/9. Click here for Latest Site News or select from the table below for archived Newsletters and News pages:
Newsletter archives: 2007-2014 2005 2003/4 2002 2001 2000 1999
Virus-related items: Sobig-F Bugbear     Klez     BadTrans Magistr SirCam LoveBug
News page archives: Jan-Dec 2009 Jan-Dec 2008 Jan-Dec 2007 Jan-Dec 2006 Sept-Dec 2005 May-Aug 2005 Jan-Apr 2005
News page archives: Jan-Dec 2004 May-Dec 2003 Jan-Apr 2003 Sept-Dec 2002 May-Aug 2002 Jan-Apr 2002 Sept-Dec 2001
News page archives: May-Aug 2001 Jan-Apr 2001 Sept-Dec 2000 May-Aug 2000 Jan-Apr 2000 1999 Kathryn

... the longest journey starts with a single step ...

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This is Area 6 - News & Views - Archive News - May to August 2000
at Project HappyChild - linking children all across the world

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NEWSLETTERS - this website has been on line since 1998 - there have been a lot of Newsletters! The archive is here and the very last Newsletter is here.

your support is always welcomed for the Children's Charities in the Project HappyChild Directory - just click here for details of more than 80 organizations
Your support is always welcomed for the Children's Charities in the Project HappyChild Directory - just click here for details of 80+ organizations.

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