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BRENDAN MASON: Man attacked and killed by ‘friends’

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Leicester, UNITED KINGDOM
VIJAY SHAH via JEN MILLS and Metro

A Leicester man with learning difficulties was lured to his death by two so-called friends who savagely beat him for kicks, U.K. newspaper Metro reports today.

Brendan Mason was taken along to Abbey Park by two men, Joshua Hack (aged 21) and Keith Lowe (aged 22) on the pretext of spending some time together, on July 5th last year. Once they arrived at the park, they began attacking him, hanging him from a tree and then took turns striking him, while the other held Matthews still. They also laughed at and taunted the victim, as well as filming the incident, telling Mason to ‘smile for the camera’.

 

 

The victim then fell unconscious. Hack and Lowe proceeded to strip Mason of his clothes, removed him from the tree and then dumped him in the park’s lake. The park’s grounds workers found him at 7.40 am, bleeding and naked. He was airlifted to Walsgrave Hospital in Coventry, but died from the injuries. Medics there said Mason had a catalogue of 99 injuries on his head and body, including brain damage, five broken ribs and a punctured lung.

Joshua Hack, from Beaumont Leys, Leicester, admitted murder, but his accomplice, who hails from Crown Hills district of the same city, refused to plead guilty and was put on trial last week. Four days into the trial, Keith Lowe changed his plea after police offered up damning new evidence in the form of a video shot on the defendant’s iPhone.

“Officers were able to see the video on the Cloud, showing an unfortunate scene,” prosecutor Miranda Moore QC said.

‘It shows Brendan’s battered and naked body with Lowe landing blows.’

She added: “It was being made for a third party to show them what happened to Brendan.”

Messages from the murderers’ Facebook show at 2.46am Hack said to Lowe: “Just do it dude.”

Lowe replied: “Shall we do it because he’s f** me off with the lies.”

Moore further explained to the court: “They were using their phones to communicate because Brendan doesn’t know what’s about to happen to him.”

Brendan Mason’s death was attributed to ‘unsurvivable’ brain damage, Metro stated.

After the court case, senior investigating officer Detective Chief Inspector Mick Graham said: “Brendan was known to the defendants and considered them as friends, and they lured him to the park with the full intention of hurting him.”

The Mason family released a statement, saying “It is not right how two evil people can do such a horrific thing and leave a massive hole in our lives that will never be filled again.

‘Brendan was a lovely young man and he was so happy. He had numerous learning difficulties and very poor vision.

‘Even though Brendan had numerous learning difficulties and was very easily led by others, he always knew right from wrong.

‘The police have been a big part of our life for the past seven months; they have been amazing, but there will never be closure for us”

The two defendants will be sentenced tomorrow at Leicester Crown Court.

 

SOURCES:
Metro, Facebook, Facebook Inc. https://www.facebook.com/MetroUK/
“Friends hung man with learning difficulties from tree and beat him to death” – Jen Mills, Metro/Associated Newspapers Limited (19 February 2017) http://metro.co.uk/2017/02/19/friends-hung-man-with-learning-difficulties-from-tree-and-beat-him-to-death-6457997/?ito=facebook
IMAGE CREDIT:
“Police Line Do Not Cross” – Pexels (26 July 2016) https://www.pexels.com/photo/police-line-do-not-cross-132752/

FOLLOWING FACEBOOK FRIENDS: Social network launches friend-tracking feature

CNN reports that the popular social network Facebook has launched a feature that enables users to track their friends while using the site. The new feature, which was officially rolled out this past Thursday, uses location information from satellites to tell Facebook users which of their friends are also available in the area they are currently at. The team behind the new technology have dubbed it the “Nearby Friends” feature. While it will make real-time socialisation away from the laptop much easier, there are also privacy fears, especially with the likelihood of stalkers or burglars using Facebook to track targets’ locations in order to carry out crimes and other nefarious activities.

The idea behind “Nearby Friends” is make it easier for people to meet up in real life and make their conversations face-to-face rather than via the site’s inbuilt chat service or wall comments. As CNN reporter Heather Kelly sums it up, the feature means that users can now be  “temporarily replacing Likes and LOLs with eye contact and actual laughter“.

Illustration of Facebook mobile interface

Illustration of Facebook mobile interface (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Facebook also hopes Nearby Friends will promote more usage of its site’s features and that of its family member Instagram, the photo-sharing site that Zuckerberg bought for $1 billion in April 2012. People meeting up with the feature’s help might be more inclined to take selfies and pictures of the places they visit and upload them to Facebook photo albums and Instagram streams.

Nearby Friends will be made available to all users, but in a massive change from previous changes and innovations by the social media site, will not be automatically turned on for every user. Facebook’s earlier tinkering beneath the site’s bonnet has enraged users who felt they had been muscled in without giving formal consent, in addition to the site’s privacy woes – users often complain that Facebook makes its privacy setting deliberately difficult to find. Facebookers can opt out if they wish. Friends will not be able to see where you are unless you choose to enable live-tracking on your phone and make the correct choice in the site’s settings, which will go some way to reassuring those who are concerned about privacy, which Facebook has not always been on the ball with previous technologies.

People who do use Nearby Friends can set their location in a number of ways. They can opt to only show their general location, for example, just ‘London, United Kingdom’ with all of their friends, certain groups of friends (i.e. workplace, former school or college), or with a customised list that the user creates. Only friends who themselves have activated the feature will be able to see where you are. Turning the feature on shows a list of friends with the feature and their approximate locations. A push notification tells you how many friends are local. Opening the app will also let you know how far away they are from your current location and a timestamp displaying exactly when they were there last. You can also share your location to about half a mile’s accuracy with friends. It will even be able to show the locations of your associates across international borders.

The new app will prove useful to people coordinating large groups of mates on nights out or visits to concerts, to look for people who have gotten lost and also can have significant potential for travellers who can contact friends in the places they visit and take them on as unofficial taxi drivers or tour guides. It may even be a lifeline to those who normally travel and shop alone, as they can quickly meet up with any friends nearby, helping them feel possibly less lonely. Facebook has been criticised in recent years for allegedly isolating people with technology and keeping them only in interaction with their PC screens, despite its purpose being to make users more social and to supplement their real life activities. The new app is perhaps an attempt by Facebook to answer those criticisms.

People have the option to be selective about the locations they make visible. You can show your location sipping a latte at a local Starbucks or eating a burger and fries at the McDonalds in the centre of town, but can hide private places such as your home or place of work.

The app does continuously gather data even when switched off rather than standing by for a manual check-in. It will also save data listing places you were at in the past and not just places where you used the app to ‘check-in’ and announce your location to nearby friends. However the location gathering history can be switched off in Facebook’s settings, as well as delete all or certain locations from the log. However as the data will be stored on Facebook’s servers as with all other information shared on the site, people may be uncomfortable about a multinational corporation having a record of their every journey.

The new app shares similar aspects to established sites and apps such as Foursquare and Tinder, and is a sign that Facebook has seen greater potential in exploiting people’s wish to share location information. Facebook already has an option for people to tag themselves in status by linking themselves to the on-site pages of places like museums and restaurants as well as showing the rough location they are currently in. Rival social network Twitter also uses GPS technology to allow tweeps to place a location marker on their messages.

SOURCES:
HEM News Agency, The Half-Eaten Mind, Twitter LINK
insider-page.com, Twitter LINK
“Facebook launches friend-tracking feature” – Heather Kelly, CNN/Cable News Network. Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. (18 April 2014) LINK
“Hands On With Facebook’s Nearby Friends” – Kurt Wagner, Mashable (19 April 2014) LINK
IMAGE CREDIT:
“File:Facebook mobile.png” – Trlkly, Wikimedia Commons (17 February 2012) *original copyright by Facebook, Inc LINK
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FRIENDSHIP DAY: The Rules of Friendship

Vijay Shah (writer)

Khushbu Rajak (contributor)

Today in India and the United States (among other places) is Friendship Day, a special occasion whereby friends celebrate the unique bond of companionship and togetherness. Also known as International Friendship Day, it has been celebrated in several South American countries for many years, before jumping borders and becoming a global celebration. It is believed to have first been celebrated in 1919 and nearly a century later, on this day, special cards, wristbands (friendship bands), flowers and small gifts/tokens of appreciation are exchanged between besties and buddies.

The Half-Eaten Mind would like to wish our bloggers community, and all our friends and supporters a very special and joyous Friendship Day.

Autumn Leaf in Nagasaki

Autumn Leaf in Nagasaki (Photo credit: Marufish)

Here is a message of the rules of friendship, courtesy of contributor and very good friend Khushbu :–

RULES OF FRIENDSHIP

NEVER ASK…

for a Hug

Just Take it

*****

NEVER ASK…

“Do you miss me?”

Say “I miss you!”

*****

NEVER ASK…

“Can you help me?”

Say “Do this for me”

*****

NEVER SAY…

I Can’t Live without you

Say I live for you

LAST but NOT Least….

NEVER SAY…

 Thank you, Sorry or Please

Instead just Say “Anytime for You”

DEDICATED To All My Lovely Friends

HAPPY FRIENDSHIP DAY 🙂 🙂 🙂

 

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SOURCE:
“International Friendship Day” – Wikipedia LINK 
IMAGE CREDIT:
“Happy Friendship Day Comments and Happy Friendship Day Glitter Graphics Codes for Myspace,orkut, Friendster, Hi5” – webpagecollection.com LINK 

 

SUPER SWEET AWARD: A follow-up

By Vijay Shah

On our article dated May 2, 2013, I reported on the Half-Eaten Mind receiving the tasty Super Sweet Award from Pallak Sharma of the “The Be-All and End-All” blog. The blog has received additional approvals for the award by three bloggers who have lent an amazing amount of support to the blog as well being very good friends and comrades to me as I find my feet in the blogosphere.

Firstly, Ajaytao2010 of Mumbai offered the first return nomination of this gorgeous, lip-smacking blogger’s award. He writes:

Thank you so much for the Super Sweet Blogging Award my dear friends

Three dear friends have nominated me for this award

They are  Jill London   &   Patty   &   Vijay Shah  

Each of these blogger is Illuminating in his own way and is very sweet. 

Ajay’s post: http://ajaytao2010.wordpress.com/2013/05/03/super-sweet-blogging-award-3-nominations/

Secondly, Davinder of San Diego, USA – owner of the Luchanik Travel blog on holidays, family, foods and cruises in the tropical sun – nominated me as well. She writes:

I have been nominated by Vijay Shah for a really sweet award – for the Super Sweet Blogging Award.  Vijay is the writer of the blog – Half-Eaten Mind, and I really appreciate his sweetness in nominating me for my first ever award.   I also  nominate him for the award too, and he is my first nominee.   Vijay, thank you so much for your nomination.

Davinder’s post: http://luchaniktravel.wordpress.com/2013/05/05/super-sweet-blogging-award/

Lastly, but certainly not least, Kavita from Australia, a master photographer, frequent traveller to Asia and the Pacific and blogger of Talking Experiences, has also offered a sweet little nomination for Super Sweet. Here is what she had to say:

A very sweet gesture from my sweet blogger friend Vijay (https://halfeatenmind.wordpress.com/2013/05/02/super-sweet-award/) just after I posted another award from Jill. Vijay presents me with ‘Super Sweet Award’. He studied journalism & media  from UK and is a very talented blogger. Thanks a lot to Vijay to nominate me with this awesome award.

Kavita’s post: http://talkingexperience.wordpress.com/2013/05/05/super-sweet-award-2/

Cupcake!!!

Cupcake!!! (Photo credit: Ana_Fuji)

I would like to humbly extend the warmest of heartfelt thanks and love to all the above for their nominations. I really enjoy reading what you have to offer and I have an immense amount of respect for all of you. It is people like you that make blogging a sweet, delectable and fun experience and help make me feel proud while owing a lot to the loyal community that I have built up over the last year of operations.

Always keep blogging, keep sharing your tales, experiences and viewpoints, and especially, keep having fun. Each and every one of you makes the Internet a more interesting and human place.

All the best,

Vijay