Cape Town Loadshedding 2018

I would really rather not be writing this one.

Yep. Loadshedding is back. Not wet coal or no coal or breakdowns or corruption this time. This is strike action, although some believe it should be called something entirely different:

Because yes, this electricity shortage is because the workers aren’t happy about not getting a pay rise this year. But whatever terminology you wish to use, it’s the everyday people of the country that will suffer.

Which brings me to my next point: if you are in Cape Town, when might you be likely to suffer?

Here’s the information you need, in handy PDF form.

To work out when you might expect the lights to go out. And the TV, during the World Cup. Or the rugby, you smarmy egg-chasers. Yeah, that grin disappeared pretty quickly, didn’t it?

Using the schedule isn’t exactly rocket surgery. Use the map to find the numbered area in which you live or work (or intend to watch the sport), then match the date on the timetable below to see when you can expect the misery of a rolling blackout.

If you’re outside any of the gaily coloured areas on the map, then you need to go to the Eskom website to get your schedule.

No Nadia

Be me. In the lab. 
Lab phone rings.

Good day, it’s Mark speaking. Is Nadia there, please?

Sorry. You must have the wrong number. There’s no-one called Nadia here.

Oh. Right. Sorry about that.

No problem.

10 seconds later. 
Lab phone rings.

Hello, it’s Mark speaking. Is Nadia there, please?

I laugh.

Er… Mark, we just had this conversation. There’s no-one called Nadia here. You must have the wrong number.

Oh. Oh dear. Sorry.

No problem.

10 seconds later. 
Lab phone rings.
Oh really?

Nou sal die Poppe dans.
Falsetto voice mode: on.

Hallo. This is Nadia speaking.

There is relief in his voice. 

Ah! Nadia! I’ve been struggling to get hold of you…

Is that Mark? I don’t want to speak to you, Mark.

I put the phone down and return to playing with my TB*.
The lab phone does not ring again. 



* Not a euphemism

They are taking the piss

With the (government regulated) fuel price reaching a new record level today, that same government (the one that also imposed a 1% increase in VAT, a 7% increase in the Fuel Levy and a 18.4% increase in the Road Accident Fund Levy just a couple of months ago) tweeted this:

Sure, it might look like they are trying to help us cut our petrol use, but it does seem a bit like the school bully giving you a plaster for your bleeding knee when he was the one who tripped you up in the playground.

They’re taking the piss, right?

I mean, check that incredible starter:

Make Fewer Trips

Wow… Revolutionary.
Thanks, Einstein.

A better way of saving South Africans money on petrol would surely be to revisit all those recent tax increases or tackle corruption and run the economy a bit better so that the currency wasn’t always struggling against the USD oil price benchmark.

But given that neither of those things is ever going to happen, I guess that I’ll just have to “accelerate smoothly” and “close my windows”.


On Dan Kneen

I’ve just read this heartfelt post on Isle of Man TT rider Dan Kneen, who was killed during a practice lap of the Mountain Course earlier this week.

It’s deeply personal, written from the perspective of a comrade, but also from an individual who clearly understands the mentality and determination of the riders and the rush of the TT – and all the glory, adrenaline, drama, camaraderie and emotions that go along with it.

We’ve had three solid evenings of practice without any real drama. The whole island seemed to be on a high – the weather, the racing and not forgetting the astonishing 133mph lap Dean Harrison set!

…but now we’re not talking about the highs. The mainstream media such as the BBC, The Independent, etc. were never talking about that. Oh, no. They’ve been waiting for this like they do every year. A red flag. A fatality. ‘Ban the Isle of Man TT’ brigade will be out tonight… and it really isn’t the time or place.

And it’s true. A quick google search will show you that every news outlet and internet site going, has – at some point or points – asked the question as to whether the TT should be allowed to continue.
Even the readers of Golf Monthly think their opinion matters.

Fortunately, the Isle of Man is not being swayed – at least not yet. And nor should they be. The riders know the dangers, and they make the decision to race or not.

Perspective. Perspective is everything. Racers aren’t forced to race these roads. They know that this sport in particular is dangerous. So do their families. It’s no secret. There’s furniture. Trees, stone walls, curbs. The more forgiving hedge and the less forgiving lamppost. These racers jump on a motorcycle and lean over a flammable tank full of fuel because it’s what they enjoy, it’s their dream, it’s their life!

For some though (and here, I’m looking at the likes of Golf Monthly readers), this won’t be enough. Their sheltered existence upon the dreary, dog-legged commuter belt fairways of Surrey surely won’t allow them to acknowledge that the rush of riding the TT is sufficient reason for someone to exercise their free will and to voluntarily put themselves in harm’s way. The UK (of which the Isle of Man is not part) has banned everything from the overtly dangerous right through to the laughably harmless on the grounds of “risk”, and it’s become a hugely sterile place because of it.

Were there some press-ganging at play here; were orphans being dragged from their beds and forced to blast around 37+miles of winding country roads at more than 200mph on machines better suited for Donnington Park, Silverstone and Brands Hatch; were they lining the more dangerous bits of trackside wall with puppies… well, then I would agree that something needed to change.

But that’s not the case. And thus, when a fully grown adult chooses to ride the TT, fully aware of the dangers they are subjecting themselves to, I think you can take your risk-averse London ways and your fancy putters and back right off.

South Africa has the best word for this: Voetsek.


UPDATE: This morning’s follow up is also incredible writing.

More important news…

Further to my exposé yesterday on the exposé that there was new evidence suggesting that the government is using NASA to air drop Lithium on the masses, in which I exposed that there was no such evidence, I’ve had literally an email asking me to check up on other claims from that same dodgy site.

There’s a lot of stuff on there though, so I’m going to have to skim through it or we’re going to be bogged down for ages, and I’ve got a steak dinner planned for Thursday. If I haven’t died of lithium poisoning.

We’re not. But ok, if we were:

According to Graham, who owns the YouTube channel [redacted], certain extra-terrestrial beings are present inside the UFOs that can be seen from the ISS, and that they will soon reveal themselves not just to the astronauts that might be out in space already, but also to the rest of the world itself.

But they won’t. But ok, if they did.

In Graham’s view, it would really be in our best interest if visiting aliens are non-hostile.

No shit, Graham. You don’t say?




Or maybe try the chemotherapy or radiotherapy regimen that your oncologist, who has studied for literally years and years to become a specialist in this difficult field, is more likely to advise, given that the aforementioned Budwig Diet seems to consist solely of a:

cottage cheese and flax oil mixture


the diet has been used successfully in the treatment of cancer and other conditions for the last 50 years

really? According to whom?

…according to anecdotal studies.

With cottage cheese and flax oil readily available over the counter of your local branches of Pick n Pay and Dischem it really is a wonder that cancer is even still a thing.

You do the maths.

And then there was this:

Apparently, one of the many alleged benefits of Himalayan singing bowl therapy is toxin elimination, but I think they must mean Himalayan singing bowels. The public toilets of Kathmandu are indeed an incredible aural experience.

They are available as both pure singing bowls or hand-hammered versions made from an alloy of seven metals, which symbolize the seven planets, days of the week, primary colors, and musical notes.

There are 8 planets (9 if you include Pluto), 7 days of the week, 3 primary colours and 12 musical notes. I’m just saying.

Onto my pet subject: microbiology! And big news in the fight against antibiotic resistance:

Sounds good – what are you using instead, 25-year old student?

We’ve developed a new class of antimicrobial agents, which are very unique. They come in the form of tiny star-shaped molecules that are made from short chains of proteins.

Given that antibiotics is just a simplified word for “antimicrobial agents”, I think that headline might need to be altered just slightly:

Fixed. But wait. What’s this?

The suggestion (of course) is that this was an alien ship carrying… well… aliens. But this article is from last November. And yet we’re all still here. It seems likely therefore that the aliens were defeated through a combination of flax oil, cottage cheese and antibiotics antimicrobial agents.

And regarding aliens, I’ll leave you with this difficult juxtaposition:

The Bastards! But also:

The Bastards!

Horrible and scary. So stressed right now.
I’m going back to my Himalayan Singing Bowl.