Blocked

Today marks 50 years since the death of Dorothy Parker:

American poet, short story writer, critic, and satirist, best known for her wit, wisecracks and eye for 20th-century urban foibles

… and that’s rather an appropriate anniversary, given that this post nearly didn’t get written, simply because – as can happen to any writey person from time to time – I simply couldn’t think of anything to write.

It happens to the best of us. It infamously once happened to Dorothy too, as she described in a telegram to her editor:

Yep. That’s the puppy.

And I’m in no way comparing myself to Ms Parker, except maybe to say that if she hadn’t suffered with Writer’s Block back in June 1945, then you might not be reading anything here today…

On my mind

An earworm: this.

Probably because of the Audi advert which features it and is doing the rounds locally at the moment.

And also, these:

The Galilean moons are the four largest moons of JupiterIo, Europa, Ganymede, and Callisto. They were first seen by Galileo Galilei in January 1610, and recognized by him as satellites of Jupiter in March 1610.[1] They are the first objects found to orbit another planet. Their names derive from the lovers of Zeus. They are among the largest objects in the Solar System with the exception of the Sun and the eight planets, with a radius larger than any of the dwarf planets. Ganymede is the largest moon in the Solar System, and is even bigger than the planet Mercury. The three inner moons—Io, Europa, and Ganymede—are in a 4:2:1 orbital resonance with each other. Because of their much smaller size, and therefore weaker self-gravitation, all of Jupiter’s remaining moons have irregular forms rather than a spherical shape.

No Audi advert this time. No reason whatsoever as far as I can work out.
My mind is a weird place, best avoided if you possibly can.

I often wish that I had that luxury.

James Kingston has got a Mavic

You may remember James Kingston from this post. Some of the stuff he does is a bit nutty, so when I saw the title of his latest video: It Finally Happened, I guessed that he had thrown a seven. Climbing tall things may be thrilling and yield some amazing shots, but it’s also incredibly dangerous, and one day, the videos will just stop.

I wondered if It Finally Happened was the video that he had made, with instructions for friends and family to release it should gravity get one over on him.

But no… I think he is saying that he has finally got a DJI Mavic Pro (like many other Youtube “celebs”) and that this is his first video flying it.

If you want to see the droney bit, it’s about halfway through – you’ll need to start from somewhere around 8:35. Featuring an impressive hand launch, some frankly terrifying footage of him standing an awful long way up from what appears to be a very solid ground, and copious use of the Mavic’s Intelligent POI (Point Of Interest) Mode. (As I have tested previously here.)

Once again, I am reminded how good editing can make a difference to Mavic footage, and once again, I remind myself that my PC  simply won’t allow me to even start to learn this sort of thing and that one massive technological purchase a year is – sadly – probably enough.

De Lille to host inter-faith prayer for rain on Table Mountain

That’s the headline from iol this morning, and the article underneath it goes on to say that:

The City of Cape Town’s Executive Mayor Patricia de Lille will host an inter-faith gathering of various religious leaders to pray for rain on Thursday at 2pm.

Who’ll be there? Well, various religious leaders including:

representatives from various churches, the Muslim Judicial Council, the Western Cape Christian Ministers’ Association, the Western Cape Traditional Leaders and Cultural Council, the Khoisan Griqua Royal House, the Bahaí Community of South Africa, the Tushita Kadampa Buddhist Centre, and the Hindu and Jewish communities.

Inter-faith indeed. All the major food groups listed there. No atheists, which is a bit awkward in our supposedly secular society, but I guess it might have been awkwarder still (I know) were we represented…

De Lille says:

“The residents and businesses of Cape Town have made great efforts to save water but we have to do more and we especially need the rains to come.”

Right. A few issues here. And I’m not going to spend too long on going through these. I’m too irritated to elaborate on stuff. It’ll involve swearing. Even this condensed version may involve swearing. Seriously, I’m literally just about to write it, and it really feels like it will involve some swearing right now.

1. Prayers don’t work. Evidence for this includes the repeated praying for no more terrorist attacks in Europe.

2. Also that whole Angus Buchan thing on Freedom Day.

3. And the annual SA Police Service prayer day for no more crime.

4. If prayers do actually work, then why didn’t you pray for rain earlier?

5. Oh wait. You did. And it didn’t work.

6. Look, I do realise that just because you’re spending your time doing this, it’s not that more practical solutions aren’t being organised: dams being dredged, other water sources being investigated and the like. But…

7. My rates – including my (understandably) inflated water tariff – are paying for you to attend this crap. And that’s annoying, because no matter what you were doing instead of sitting on the bloody mountain with your friends chatting to their various sky fairies this afternoon, it would offer me and the rest of the city’s ratepayers a far better return for our hard earned money.

8. If, when it rains tomorrow, as it is forecast to do (and as it has been forecast to do all week), and you or your god-bothering mates then claim that your Table Mountain meeting has yielded positive, tangible results, I may just go flipping postal. In a very reserved, British way, obviously.

Very restrained on the language there, well done me.

Look, I know you’re not going to read this, Patricia.
I know you’re not going to read it because you never read my towing an iceberg from Antarctica and dumping it in Franschhoek solution to the current water crisis; a solution which I have implored you to respond to on several occasions; a solution which I made up merely for comedic value, and which – although mathematically sound – is laughably far-fetched, but which would still be a better way of addressing the drought than you wasting everyone’s time and money on shouting at the clouds this afternoon.

What a disgrace.