“The Speciality”

(Note: We’ve covered this sort of thing before here and here.)

“Traditional” “herbalists” are still very much “a thing” in South Africa. I have to presume that this is the case, because I keep seeing leaflets advertising their services all over town. So I deduce that, much like 419 scams, people must actually be going to these “doctors”, because otherwise, these adverts would stop.
And while you might think that people are “somewhat foolish” to spend their money on some leaves that purport to give them amazing abilities in the sack or at the blackjack table, just remember that several (or more) of you go to a pointy-towered building every week in order to sing songs to an invisible sky fairy.

Each to their own.

Look. Every herbalist can bring back lost lover. That’s basic stuff. BOOOR-INNGGGG! (And, in addition, I “lost” her for a reason.)
But, as the Tall Accountant pointed out in the cooking smell-laden air at Hudson’s in Claremont last night, Dr Nassib is taking things to a whole new level with his “>>RESULTS GUARANTEED” “THE SPECIALITY” package:


Wow. Let’s just run through those items included in the “The Speciality”, shall we?

1. Get the power to be invisible

Bang. There’s no messing around with Dr N. He’s straight in with the big hits right at the top. Invisibility – an ability only previously seen (pun intended) in the Klingon’s cloaking device and Harry Potter’s… er… cloaking device. I have no idea if this is cloak-related, but just think what you could do with the power of invis… Oi! Get out of that changing room. Now! Now!!

2. Get the ability to fly like a bird

I see three options here: Either it’s very, very briefly, or it’s with some sort of mechanical assistance (like an Airbus A380-800), or he’s thinking of an ostrich.

3. Do you know that you can be in two places at the same time?

Woah! Stand sit back, Stephen Hawking. This is next-level quantum physics, alternative string theory universe stuff right here. How useful would this ability be in today’s busy, modern world?
Can I let you into a secret, dear readers? I’m actually in two places at the same time right now. (It’s just that in one of them, I’m invisible.)

4. Get the power to control the public (this is special for politicians and musicians

Ooh. It’s all gone a bit 1984. Some libertarians would argue that there’s too much of this going on already with our repeatedly, surprisingly successful, ruling party’s election results. This makes me thing that maybe JZ has been consulting with Dr Nassib, and makes me very sure that we need to keep our good doctor and “musician” and “would be politician” Steve Hofmeyr a long way apart. Seriously distant. For everyone’s safety and well-being.

4a. The power to close brackets

Not really. I made that one up.

5. Get all the magical powers that you need

Wait. ALL of them? But if I get all of the magical powers I need, why would I ever need to come back to you.

Only Have Three Wishes This Is The Genie Loophole! - CollegeHumor Post - Google Chrome 2015-08-28 095452 AM.bmp

Aren’t you killing your market here? If I can make myself be invisible, fly, control the public or close brackets, I won’t need you any more, will I? This is an own goal of note.

6. Get the “Ndagu Ritual” to make you rich

I checked this out and found out that Ndagu is a Kenyan thing, and since they’re all massively rich up there, I can actually completely believe this one.

7. Get the “Bahat-Gaflah Ritual”to make you lucky in gambling (casino / lotto)

Look, there’s more to life than money, and regular readers will know of my penchant for all things Norwegian 80s Synthpop. Thus, I was delighted to win (with Dr Nassib’s assistance) a novelty prize at Grand West last night – an a-ha bath flag. I’ve been needing a bath flag for a long time, so this worked out really well for me.
Perhaps Dr Nassib should point out that when using the Bahat-Gaflah Ritual, you will only win stuff that is an anagram of ‘Bahat-Gaflah’, though.
It may be best to leave this one then, unless you actually want A Bag Half Hat or La Hah Bat Fag (I think it’s a sort of French perfume).

The Epilogue:
I began this post with the intention of taking down Dr Nassib and his seemingly phoney business. But as I have investigated the claims he made in his missive, I have realised that perhaps “The Speciality” package is maybe worth a shot. If even one of the promised results comes to fruition, you are, in some way, set for life.

And I do love my bath flag.

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Quotes Of The Day – yes – plural. Like London buses, these things.

First off, some succinctly put insight into the world of the fad diet and the public reaction to it:

Nutrition is a complex minefield of information with plenty of vested interests playing their part. There is also a lot of legacy popular thinking around (read: stuff people just accept without any critical thinking).

That’s Joe Botha, speaking sense at Memeburn. Sadly, immediately thereafter, he does rather ruin it all by detailing his “lose weight quick” plan based on the enforced dietary timetable of our distant ancestors. (Save your time and bandwidth.) But, in typical Tim style, I’m going to take those lines (and only those lines) that suit my agenda and quote them here.

And then this from Australia’s Galileo Movement on Stellenbosch University’s latest breakthrough in renewable energy:

The industrialisation of our landscape for inefficient power production.

And yes, this is exactly the issue with solar and wind power right now. I know we need to make the switch away from fossil fuels, I completely accept that. But right now, there are simply no viable renewable alternatives out there:

The issue is the inefficiency of these technologies. And exactly how much space and how much of our environment do we really want to give up to this “inefficient power production”? Yes, SA has a lot of spare space, but that’s a good thing. It doesn’t mean that we need to fill it with solar panels and wind turbines.


And we’d need to, if we were to come anywhere close to solving our well-documented long term power shortages. That Stellenbosch project needs a mirror surface area of 220m² (never mind the space in between and around them, nor the same for the tower in the middle) to provide electricity for “about” 30 houses. But not at night, obviously.

Simply not good enough.

I’m not blaming the science or the scientists here. They’re doing their best. They’re progressing, developing, and they’ll get there. But renewable energy remains expensive:

The researchers have calculated Germany’s rapid switch to renewable energy sources like wind and solar is adding another €28 billion a year to the electricity bills of consumers and businesses.

And inefficient:

What happens at night?
As there is no light at night, no energy will be produced. The PV plant will import electricity from the utility to keep operations on site going.

Ooops. The simple fact is that we’re just not there yet.
And that’s why we can’t (and shouldn’t) be making the switch right now.

If only there were some clean, efficient, proven method of producing electricity that we could use.

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Great news for Greek communists everywhere. You no longer have to make that onerous decision as to which of the Greek communists you’re going to support.



The KKE (Marxist-Leninist) Party and the Marxist-Leninist KKE Party have decided to join forces once again in the Greek elections with the joint aim of “overturning the barbaric Memoranda, and the fetters of imperial dependence and capitalist domination”.[link]

“It’s really impressive how two parties that span the ideological divide can come together like this,” stated one commentator.

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Under The Makeup

With their new (and allegedly last) album out next week, a-ha have finally got around to releasing the video for Under The Makeup: the first single off Cast In Steel. I’ll be honest, aside from the soaring James Bond-esque strings, it’s not one of my favourites by them and that was a bit worrying. Thankfully, the next offering, called The Wake sounds much more like my kind of thing, replete, as it is, with OMD-style ding-y keyboards and an 80’s synthpop feel, but more of that sometime soon.

So – here it is, starring Sofie Gråbøl and Frida “no accents in my surname” Farrell:

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

Sadly, given all the teasers and the generated suspense, they messed up a bit with the upload to YouTube, meaning that lots of Europe, Africa and apparently all of North and South America couldn’t watch due to “international content restrictions”. Thus, the video above is uploaded from the ridiculously named “WeWantA-HAandMortenHarket InTheFrenchMedia”. They might have a looney name and a niche agenda, but they can at least put 200 seconds of (ahem – pirated) video on the internet better than Universal music.
So… y’know… good for them.

As for the video… ja. I’ve watched it several times now, and I’m still not 100% sure of what’s going on, aside from the unfortunate demise of our protagonist. Are those… are those… Yurts? Do Pal and Magne escape? Whose side are they on anyway? What’s in the briefcase and why is that woman preparing a butternut in the middle of the Scandinavian wilderness?

Are you as lost as I am?

All in all, it’s not a great start to the whole Cast In Steel saga. There was never going to be massive commercial appeal for this anyway, but please – it should at least leave the fans happy. This, awkwardly… hasn’t… doesn’t.

Oh dear.

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Bye Bye Eye Eye…

We begin with a quote…

It is not a pleasant behaviour to observe, as the seals completely freak out and make a lot of noise.

So says Austin Gallagher, a postdoctoral researcher at Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada. As if it would be pleasant behaviour to observe were the seals all cool about it.

“What’s ‘it’, though?” I hear you ask?

Well, it is the story about the Kelp Gulls pecking out the baby seals’ eyes and then eating the blinded corpses. (Come now, we’ve all done it…)
Suddenly, what that American tooth bloke did to Cecil the lion seems almost… well… humane.

Life for a Cape fur seal pup is pretty tough to begin with.
For one, the babies can’t swim and have to rely on their mother’s milk.

To be honest this is pretty much the same with human babies.

To supply that milk, the mother seals must occasionally go hunt fish, leaving the pups alone at the colony for several days.

Yeah? Well, new mum Sharon might go down to her local pub and then call in the kebab shop on the way back to the flat.

The unprotected pups might then fall prey to land predators such as lions and hyenas—and now, seagulls.

OK. I’ll admit that this is less likely to occur in a human, urban environment.

In the study, kelp gulls were successful in plucking out eyeballs in roughly 50 percent of observed attacks.

“A blind seal cannot forage, cannot find mom, and will get attacked by other gulls,” says Gallagher.

Nice. And from there, obviously, it’s game over.

I’m not saying the killing animals is right. Not for one minute. (Unless you’re making tasty burgers or ribs or something and then it’s totes fine.) But when Cecil gets a million column inches; when Rhinos get a billion hashtags – why is no-one going after the damn Kelp Gulls and their disgusting torture of these innocent little baby fur seals.

Where are Greenpeace now, huh? Where’s Sea Shepherd and their hopelessly misplaced, xenophobic protests?

I’ll tell you where: Nowhere, because seagulls make difficult targets for their daft campaigns when compared with the poor Faroese fishermen and the wholly landlocked Johannesburg base of the South African Department of Energy.

It’s pure, seagull-favouring hypocrisy, and I, for one, am sick of it.

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