Grand Designs

I’m a huge fan of the Grand Designs show. The only thing stopping me from building my own architect-designed, avant-garde, leftfield, off-the-wall, out-of-the-box, modern eco-home from innovative materials and using a new twist on traditional building techniques, is money.
Well, that and having seen the crap that people on Grand Designs have to go through.

Kevin McCloud and his knowledgeable, laid-back approach are the cornerstones of the programme, and it’s him that keeps me watching even though sometimes the individuals featured can be a little… dare I say it… pretentious.

Now though come two excellent Grand Designs parody accounts on twitter. Parody accounts can be a bit hit or miss, but these ones are sharp, clever and right on point. If you’re a fan of Kevin and Grand Designs you’ll love them.

Firstly, @KevinMsays which pokes fun at his intro and outro monologues on each show:


and then @grand_designz, which concentrates on the builders themselves, with ever more improbable Guardianista names, bizarre upper-class careers and plans for their dream home:

It’s funny because it’s dangerously accurate.

Loads more enjoyment to be had on those two accounts. Go and have fun.

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The big news just in from Observatory, Cape Town is that independent cellular phone specialists M I Cellular are branching out into the world of the ELECTRONICS CIGARETTES. I know this because they have a sign on the wall telling people about it:


But that’s not all. Readers of the sign will also note that there are two other big bits of news here too.

Firstly, there’s the revelation that it’s not just upon entering the M I Cellular shop that you can enjoy the benefits of their new range. As you can clearly see, there are EXITING NEW FLAVOURS as well. You literally can’t get these when you’re on your way in; you actually have to spend some amount of time in the M I Cellular store and then it’s only as you leave that this offer is available to you. I’m not quite sure how you go about paying for these EXITING NEW FLAVOURS, because by definition, you will already have exited the shop. Maybe you only have to start heading towards the door for this deal to suddenly appear before you. I don’t know and I couldn’t try it out because they were closed when I wandered past just before 8 o’clock this morning.
What I can tell you though is that vaguely hanging around near the door of M I Cellular (a portal which appears to feature as both an entrance and an exit) simply isn’t enough. No EXITING NEW FLAVOURS were made available to me, despite my prolonged loiterage.


And then secondly, there’s obviously been a huge change in the anti-smoking laws in South Africa. Many of these relate back to the Tobacco Products Control (Act 83 of 1993) (which was obviously assented to the Act 12 of 1999), and the now infamous Tobacco Products Control Amendment Act (Act 23 of 2007).

These Acts basically forbid individuals from smoking in various places: bars, restaurants, schools, workplaces, covered balconies etc etc.


No more. As you can clearly see, not only can “u” now “smoke anywhere, anytime”, but in addition “nobody can stop u”. Of course, it seems likely that there is some degree of hyperbole involved here.
For starters, you’re not allowed to smoke an ELECTRONICS CIGARETTES on planes – they make specific reference to this in the safety video. And that goes for the entire plane journey, so the “anywhere, anytime” thing falls down a little there. Also, if you were to try to tell one of the cabin crew that M I Cellular said you could “vape” on board, then you’d be in contravention of the 2009 Civil Aviation Act (Act 13 of 2009), Chapter 11, Part 1, Section 135.
You could end up in prison for 6 months. And while that’s not great, I’m sure you’d be allowed to smoke in there.
The guys at M I Cellular reckon so, anyway.

Oh, and then there’s my house. No smoking in there, I’m afraid. Not for “u”, or any other Tom, Dick or Harry. I don’t care if M I Cellular want to live in some fantasy world in which “nobody can stop u”. I’ll stop “u”. And then I’ll chuck “u” out – and don’t expect any EXITING NEW FLAVOURS as “u” leave.

All in all, if you’re looking to be a bit of a rebel when it comes to smoking legislation, and you’re hoping for some inspiring (pun intended) and novel tastes upon any given egress, ELECTRONICS CIGARETTES is probably for you.
And M I Cellular is the place to go to get it.

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Can you help?

Whizzing past twitter today, when suddenly, this:


Further investigation suggests that this SYNTHETIC TELEPATHY! is an ongoing issue for Andrew, who has sought assistance from numerous organisations including the police, MPs, Councillors, the Government and the Church. He’s even emailed Theresa May, the British Home Secretary on no fewer than four occasions, but has had no response. Fortunately for Andrew, he is able to seek solace in long-running radio soapie The Archers. The Archers is regularly broadcast on BBC Radio 4. Andrew likes Radio 4… 


…but it can’t distract him for long:


Can you help?

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Giant Heysteks takes on Trouser Tim

Not enough time to do this justice, but I have to share it as being both an hilarious and perhaps salient comment on Tim Noakes’ cookbook and associated money-printing machine – it’s Magnus Heystek’s potentially inflammatory Moneyweb piece, delicately titled:

Is Tim Noakes running a Ponzi scheme?

There’s a brief history of local Ponzi schemes, followed by this absolute gem of a paragraph:

Collective delusions are typified as the spontaneous, rapid spread of false or exaggerated beliefs within a population at large, temporarily affecting a particular region, culture or country.
With money people want to become rich overnight, with religion people want a guarantee of heaven and with diets people want to lose weight effortlessly and without sacrificing too much.
The world is full of examples of Ponzi schemes, religious fanaticism as well.

We are now, once again, witness to another example of collective delusion: the Banting diet popularized, once again, by Dr Tim Noakes and his fellow LCHF-priests.

Oh, go on Magnus – tell us what you really think.

Many of us in SA believe that Tim is getting too big for his boots – and that his trousers are getting too big for him.


As a scientist, the manner in which he relies so heavily on anecdotal “evidence” and cherry-picks suitable papers to support his ever-so-popular book sickens me. As do his trousers.

Magnus is bang on with his analysis and questions.

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I laughed

This single line from The Big Bang Theory (S7E3) had me crying with laughter. On a plane. Somewhere over Belgium.

You need to a flashplayer enabled browser to view this YouTube video

It is funny, but I’m willing to admit that mild hysteria due to lack of sleep may have exacerbated my response to some degree. Still, the series is definitely the funniest yet, and you do need to watch it.

Just to remind you that flights and TBBT and I have previous:

But then, one day, on a flight to the UK, I ended up watching an episode of The Big Bang Theory and I have never looked back. Maybe it’s Sheldon’s character – a scientific genius not understood by the rest of the world – that somehow resonates.


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