Ask a medium

Not me. I’m very much an XL (careful now).

I have been to Rome without feeling nauseous though.

“Forced to goad a rhinoceros to make it angry enough to fight”

There’s a line I never thought I’d read. However, given that there are several (or more) rhinoceroses in SA, also:

We’re all laughing at this, right?
Well, just remember that, while it may seem hugely amusing that Jenny is making a living from this sort of nonsense, and that Catherine actually believes that what Jenny says is true, both these ladies have exactly the same democratic rights as you or I or anyone else. Their voice counts every little bit as much as yours. And you can only begin to guess how they use it.

They walk among us (although probably some distance from zoos and important historical monuments).

A new menace

The problem with connecting more and more things to the internet is that more and more things are then more and more vulnerable to being attacked by unkind people.

Our family were recently devastated by a DDoS attack on our toaster.
As your family would be too: we weren’t able to have breakfast. Apparently, the attack was launched through a cereal port.

Sorry not sorry.

The latest of these things that I read about is a camera. A Canon EOS 80D, in fact.

Just like mine.

But fortunately, not actually mine.

Vulnerabilities in the image transfer protocol used in digital cameras enabled a security researcher to infect with ransomware a Canon EOS 80D DSLR over a rogue WiFi connection.
A host of six flaws discovered in the implementation of the Picture Transfer Protocol (PTP) in Canon cameras, some of them offering exploit options for a variety of attacks.
The final stage of an attack would be a complete takeover of the device, allowing hackers to deploy any kind of malware on the camera.

Reading through the article on bleepingcomputer.com, it seems that I am safe from this sort of thing, thanks to my not connecting my equipment to random, free wifi hotspots.

But I will be updating my camera’s firmware to the latest, safer version, as soon as it becomes available in SA.

And that only leaves the viruses in the iron to sort out.

Gym idea

I am known for my great ideas. You only have to look here to see one of my great ideas, which has now been taken up by real people and was mentioned on a famous podcast by media mogul Kathan Pillay.

That one took 2½ years to catch on.

So Virgin Active probably need to get in touch pronto because I’ve had another great idea after my experience at their Claremont branch this morning.

And the great idea is this: chairs.

See, when I got to the weights machine section at gym this morning, there were a few stations taken, and a few free. Nothing unusual there, and also nothing unusual in one of the stations (it was the Vertical Traction one, for the record) being occupied by a middle-aged lady who was talking to her middle-aged friend. No big deal, conversations happen, but then this particular discussion just seemed to go on and on.

And on.

In fact, by the time I worked out (no pun intended) that it was dragging on a bit, I began to wonder if it was ever going to end. I began to watch while I worked.

Long story short, I had managed over 270 (two hundred and seventy) reps on various machines in the 20-odd minutes it took them to finish their chat. I say various machines, but obviously, I couldn’t use the one that Little Miss Chatalot was on, could I?

They did no reps at all, but you should have seen the form on their TMJ muscles. Incredible.

And then to add insult to injury*, once she’d chatted for flipping ages, she did 5 quick pulls (careful now – this isn’t Stellenbosch) and then headed off, finally leaving the station open for me and everyone else who had paid to use it for… like… “gym stuff”.

So how would my chair idea work then?

Well, if a couple of Newlands housewives (in this case, or actually anyone else who just wanted to talk and not do exercise) needed to chat, they could just sit on some chairs next to the machines and talk there. I’ve been doing some rudimentary calculations and that would – I think – free up the gym equipment for people to use… as gym equipment.

It’s fairly radical, I know. But then so was the iceberg idea, and everyone thinks that’s great now.

Hey Virgin Active, my email address is here. Let’s see how this near outlandish, but ultimately rewarding, chair idea can be implemented soonest, shall we?

 

* there were no actual insults or injuries, although I was quite tempted.

I do understand what this headline means, but…

Ooer. Drama at the golf.

And the headline to go with it:

Look, I get it. The player (Kyle Stanley) hit the ball into the crowd and didn’t warn them that it was coming. The lady who got hit with the ball happened to be the mother of the caddie of Stanley’s playing partner that day, Bob MacIntyre.

Golf etiquette dictates that golfers should always yell “fore” upon hitting a shot that carries the risk of hitting another golfer. As long as you yelled “fore,” you did all you could to warn the other golfers. Convey this message to them in as polite a manner as possible.

MacIntyre was irritated that Stanley never warned the spectators that the ball was going their way.

But that’s not quite what the headline says, is it? That word “after” really doesn’t fit very well, because now for me, the suggestion is that Stanley should have gone over to Mrs Caddie Mum, who was by now nursing a very, very sore hand, and shouted “fore” at her. And I mean, there’s no point in doing that once the ball has hit someone, is there? In fact, some might call it ‘adding insult to injury’.

Seriously, if a golfer whose ball had just fractured my metacarpals, then strode purposefully off the fairway, across the rough and over to the gallery (look at me with all my golfing terminology, innit?), I’d be expecting some sort of sympathy or apology, not for him to shout “fore” at me at very close range. I’d likely consider that rather sarcastic, and, given my recent and clearly still very painful injury and subsequent troubled state of mind, I might even swing for him with my remaining good hand.

The subheading doesn’t really clear it up either, does it? It almost makes it sound as though MacIntyre was encouraging Stanley to go and scream “fore” into the face of the injured woman. Which he clearly wasn’t, but you wouldn’t know that by reading that second line.

There’s no point to this post except maybe to point out how weirdly my mind works sometimes. And that if you do play golf, and your ball looks like it’s going to hit someone, warn them before it happens, rather than after. Because that’s the way that warnings work best.

The World Cup win

I’ve been quite surprised at the online reaction to England’s Cricket World Cup win last night. So many calls that Stokes’ inadvertent extra boundary shouldn’t have counted, or should have counted for less (fewer?); so many people saying that the final outcome being decided by the number of boundaries in the game was “unfair” or “too arbitrary”.

Allow me a couple of points, if you will.

Firstly, it’s fine to be irrational, as long as you know you’re being irrational. Sport brings out the irrational side in a lot of people, and yesterday’s game encouraged it even more simply because it was so spectacular, so topsy-turvy, so big: and so damn close. The fact that it was played in such great spirit and with such gracious sportsmanship only adds to the emotion, and to the belief that neither side deserved to lose: that they should have simply declared it a draw (which is clearly hugely irrational, but it’s ok, because I know that I’m doing it).

Secondly, it’s really not “unfair” or “arbitrary” to decide a game in any given manner, just so long as the participants are aware of the rules ahead of time. It would be ridiculous to get to a tie at the end of the Super Over and then choosing a method to decide the winner. I’m sure that no-one could have believed that it would ever come down to how many boundaries each team had scored, but since there was a chance that it might, maybe Kane Williamson (yes, lovely guy) should have rallied his team to score more boundaries. Mind you, since this is kind of the aim of the batting side in cricket generally, I’m not sure why they weren’t trying to do this anyway.

It’s unfair (and irrational) to cherry pick the method of deciding the game only once one gets to the stage where one has to. But still, people thought they’d give it a go. Some other suggestions to decide the game might have been: using the result in the round robin matches (England would have won), the overall net run rate (England would have won), relative positions in the ten team league (England would have won), wickets lost in the Super Over (England would have won), overall boundaries scored in the tournament (England would have won).

But those all seem to have been ignored, with many people seeming to have settled on the number of wickets lost in the 50-over final, which conveniently would have meant that New Zealand took the match, and with it, the World Cup. Of course, it we’d all known about that up front, presumably both captains would likely have encouraged their side to try and lose fewer wickets (which is – again – pretty standard stuff unless you’re raking in some dollars in from some dodgy bookmakers).

Of course, it simply comes down to anti-England sentiment. Which is why we have to hear about all the different original nationalities of the players every time we play.

Everyone: England should accept more immigrants and put them in positions of responsibility.
ECB does it.
Everyone: Not like that.

And which, of course, is rather irrational.

But we’ve covered that already, haven’t we?

So here’s a photo of the World Cup winning team, full of diversity (except that they’re all men, obviously), who scored more boundaries than their opposition yesterday.

Well done, boys!