What’s going on?

It’s an excellent question. I haven’t got a clue.

Basically, there were problems with Fasthosts – my hosting company – and they went a bit mental and scrambled everyone’s passwords before mailing them (in ye olde piece of paper in an envelope way) out. I got an email from their (and I kid you not) Director of Customer Experience telling me about this.
So I set up here at WordPress, but then WordPress locked me out; apparently due to an “over-zealous anti-spam plug-in”. So many hyphens.
And then to add injury to insult, I had a multiple disc prolapse. That’s discs in my back, not a computer issue.

Normal service will be resumed just as soon as I work out what normal service is. Or was. In the meantime, you can be kept abreast (snigger) of the latest via my RSS feed, which will be updated from whichever place I write at next. Which, in this case, is both.


It seems likely that I will be moving over to WordPress, but there are some pressing issues which would need to be addressed first – hosting, comments, archiving etc. Fortunately (for me, not for him) I have a technical guru who is a bit of a whizz with such things.
What the Guru says, goes. Such is the power of the Guru.Crossposted at the ballacorkish.net/6000 bit of this site.

Confused? Good. Join the club.

The doctor will see you now…

Here’s the post that I was going to put onto 6000 miles last night, but couldn’t.
Ha – you’d thought you’d escaped, didn’t you?

No. No-one escapes the long arm of Doctor Perez…

In the letter box this morning…

Dr Perez will help you out

Dr Perez – He can do magic. (click for bigger)

May I draw your attention in particular to three unfortunate claims:

Need to take long in action (24 hr results)
It was long ago that I last claimed to understand the female mind. It’s a foolish thing for a male of the opposite sex to try and comprehend or predict. But even I feel confident in suggesting that 24 hours “action” might be a little too lengthy for most ladies. In a single stint anyway.
Presumably, if one were to actually attempt such a feat, one would have to plan in advance and have food and drink readily to hand (I’d avoid garlic). A completed sponsor form for an abused women’s charity would probably also be appropriate. And you’d have to set the video to avoid missing your favourite shows. In addition, from a male perspective, try to plan the session over a Thursday evening when there’s unlikely to be any decent footy on.

Also:

Women who can not produce Female discharge
I’m gathering that the good doctor is actually claiming to cure two separate ailments here – infertility and well… female discharge. But could he not have separated them a little better? It’s just confusing.

And:

Need to control your speed of reaching orgasm premature (24 hr doze results)Yes. Nodding off for an entire day will almost certainly delay orgasm. Anyway – there’s a “100% refund if it fails”, so why not give him a call and see if he can help you with your problems? The International Dialling Code for South Africa is +27. And drop the first zero. Let me know how you get on. (And if you’re able to get back off again afterwards)…

6000 on tour?

And lo, it came to pass that fasthosts.co.uk messed up on hosting 6000 miles from civilisation due to “security issues” which took us all briefly back to the mid 19th century.

I may expand on these issues later. I may not. It all depends. Firstly on whether they can be speedily resolved and secondly on whether I actually can understand what they were in the first place.
In the meantime, thanks to this guy, you can continue to read my witterings. I’m grateful. You’re distraught. Life’s like that. You’ll get over it. 

Right now, I’m merely trying to understand what’s going on here. Apparently, this is a hosted wordpress blog, no less and I’ll “have lots of learning to do this weekend“,  but once I “get to know WordPress,” I “may want to stick with it!“.  

Hmm.

The virtual world seems a ridiculously complex place for a part-timer like me right now. Yes. I am an interwebs charlatan and I have been cruelly exposed by the errors of those supposedly in the know.

So who knows how long I’ll stay here at wordpress? Thankfully, all you have to do is type in www.6000.co.za into that little window at the top of your browser and you’ll be brought here, there or wherever I happen to be that week. And I’ll see what I can do about an RSS feed as well.

Meanwhile – keep reading. You might miss something important.

Guy MacLeod of Plumstead – an inspiration

*subject to ongoing editing* 

Hi – I’m playing with old posts from the ballacorkish.net site.  You may have read this previously. Feel free to read it again though. Especially as Sunday approaches.

I’ve been busy and disinclined to write much on here of late. Until now.
My writer’s block has been lifted, cured, relieved if you will, by Guy MacLeod of Plumstead.

A little background for you readers outside the borders of this rainbow nation and its political soap-opera:The ruling party in SA is the African National Congress (ANC). The leader of the ANC – and therefore the President of the country – is Thabo Mbeki. Thabo took over from Nelson (yes – that Nelson) in 1999, then won the 2004 election. This means that he is constitutionally obliged to step down as President at the 2009 election.
So we need a new President, who will presumably also be the leader of the ANC.
With me so far? Good.
Enter Jacob Gedleyihlekisa Zuma – JZ to his friends. And to his enemies.
JZ is deputy president of the ANC and was deputy president of the country until Thabo sacked him in 2005 over pending corruption charges (which are still pending). 6 months later, he was also accused of rape and was acquitted in a high-profile case, which was infamously supposed to have included his admission that he took a shower after sex to protect himself from HIV.
He has huge support from the left wing of the ANC, the ANC Youth League, the SA Communist Party and the Trade Unions. He also has a now trademark song which we get a rendition of at every gathering – Mshini Wam or “Bring Me My Machine Gun”.
Nice.
Finally – Thabo and JZ are going head to head in December for leadership of the ANC and therefore presumably, for the Presidency of the country in 2009. And it looks like JZ is going to win. And here’s where Guy MacLeod of Plumstead comes in. He wrote to the Cape Argus newspaper.
Judging by his name (always a dangerous thing to do), Guy is a whitey.
But while many whiteys are pretty terrified to the point of hysteria of the consequences of the seemingly inevitable JZ win:
“SA will be another Zimbabwe”
“He’ll rape us in a corrupt manner and then take a shower”
“We’re all going to die” etc etc.
Guy takes another view. A refreshing view. A view which has got me writing here again today.
He compares the male, black, alive, allegedly corrupt, bald, machine gun toting, HIV-naive Zulu with… Princess Diana. In case you’re not familiar with this “Princess Diana” figure*, she is female, white, blonde and British. Oh – and dead.
Take it away, Guy:

I would like to compare him most favourably with that wonderful other world celebrity [?!? – 6000] and people’s person (also often maligned) – the late Princess Diana. Lady Di “blotted her copybook” in many ways and she flouted convention but she never lost the common touch.

Guy – I never saw it before, but I think you may have hit upon something big. There are questions to be answered: Perhaps JZ is the reincarnation of Diana? Are we to expect him to stroke lepers and defuse landmines next? Could he even shed some light on what happened in that tunnel in Paris? Was he pregnant by Dodi Fayed at the time? And if so, did either of them shower after the act? Where did Prince Harry’s ginger hair come from?

Guy MacLeod of Plumstead, much like JZ and Princess Diana, you are an inspiration to us all.

*Unlike most of the upper class males in Britain

There goes the science bit

I caught sight of something on Page 3 of my newspaper today that made me smile.
It’s ok. It wasn’t The Sun.
No, in the Cape Times, under the punchy headline:

Scientists expose pseudoscience in extravagent claims made by advertisers[link]

I learnt about this organisation, The Voice Of Young Scientists. Young Scientists, I used to be one of them, I smiled ruefully. Then I stopped being rueful and got on with reading the article.
Basically, the VOYS has been going around and challenging companies to explain what exactly in the sciencey bits of their adverts mean. It seems that many of them don’t have a clue.
This doesn’t come as a great surprise to me. The claims made in adverts have long been the bane of my life, as my long-suffering missus will testify. She now leaves the room at the first sign of a Nivea model on the TV, abandoning me to my rant over their range which, the commercial boldly proclaims, “contains coenzyme Q10 plus R”*. Now, Q10 I have no problem with. Lovely stuff. But “R”?
R“?!?!? WTF is “R“?!?!?
It’s called “baffling with bullshit”. Assign something a letter, stick it in the advert and the consumer will lap it up – or rub it on their cheeks in this case. (The cream, not the bullshit.)

“Ooh look Betty! It’s got “R” in it!”
“Yes, haven’t they come a long way since the 60’s when we only had “A” and “B”?”

These methods, of course, are not new. Scientists, Engineers, Lawyers and, most of all, Medical Doctors have been using unnecessary terminology to maintain their lofty positions in society for years. I hate it. One of the most important things I have learnt during my career is that presentations, explanations, even informal chats about work and technical stuff should always be pitched according to ones audience. Sure, chat to the Prof about Extended Spectrum Beta-Lactamase producing Gram Negative Bacilli, call them ESBLs – he’ll understand. But when you’re explaining it to your mum, call them “superbugs” – and then she’ll understand too. Otherwise you’re wasting your time.
Society continues to beg for scraps at the head table, begging for more “dumbing down” so that it can join in with the big boys in their big words world Steve Grand wrote about this just a week after I left the UK. I guess he was missing me already.

VOYS have a downloadable booklet detailing some of their encounters with various companies and their outrageous claims, cleverly entitled “There Goes The Science Bit”. It’s actually a bit dry, but worth a read just to see what Pret-a-Manger, Ski Yoghurt and Clarins (amongst others) are saying their products can do. As VOYS puts it:

“Some people we spoke to disavowed responsibility.
Others were able to link their claims to science, albeit from a galaxy far, far away.”

*Nivea do have nice models though.