Not sure where this link got tweeted from, so stop me and buy one if it was you, but having mentioned the nasty weather on the Isle of Man and my parents’ subsequent ferry trip – which was thankfully uneventful – it seemed apt to post this amazing footage:

That’s internal CCTV footage from onboard the Pacific Sun cruise liner as it hit some heavy seas.
Or rather, they hit it.

Perhaps the first thing to note is the helpful kitchen worker who strides purposefully off to rescue the furniture at 0:20 – no need mate – it’s already on it’s way back! And immediately thereafter, a fat man in a striped shirt shows that the sea is no respecter of obesity.
See if you can spot him popping through the shot again at 1:00 and 1:12. You’ll have to be quick! Whoosh.

Also worth a look is the brave officer who “saves” a woman as she rolls past and then uses her to protect himself from the next onslaught of furniture. In fact, that’s a recurring theme, as people grab onto the pillars and think they’re safe, only to be overwhelmed by a sea of tables and chairs.

Oh, and the faceplant into the pillar at 0:48 is, of course, pretty special.

In the second part of the video, I’m not sure what makes the bloke stop and step back (1:26). Suffice to say it was a pretty good decision.

As a kid, I remember crossing the Irish Sea in all manner of nasty conditions and being horribly ill. The worst bit of the 4 hour journey to and from the island was 2 hours out, when you were feeling absolutely horrible and yet you knew that it would be at least that long again before you were anywhere near the safety (and stability) of dry land. Happy days.

UPDATE: The Pacific Sun incident took place in July 2008. Never say we don’t bring you the latest stuff here on 6000 miles…


Up until today, my favourite phobia was arachibutyrophobia. It’s that one that always comes up in pub quiz questions and I know what it means. This makes me look good while others flounder around looking for links to spiders and stuff.
But this is “arachi”, not “arachno”. And “arachi” refers to ground nuts.
That’s why arachibutyrophobia is “the fear of peanut butter sticking to the roof of your mouth.”

Although I like it, I’ve never quite understood it. Why would someone be afraid of having peanut butter sticking to the roof of their mouth? What harm will it do up there anyway? Why not just lick it off with your tongue? That’s what it’s there for. Or maybe just avoid eating the peanut butter in the first place, thus negating any chance of palate adherence.

Some fears are understandable: Equinophobia – the fear of horses (they’re damn scary) or Helminthophobia – the fear of being infested with worms. Others not so much: Linonophobia – the fear of string (really?) and Omphalophobia – fear of belly buttons (they’re not great, but they’re nothing to be afraid of). And then there’s the ever so interesting double meaning of Cholerophobia – the fear of anger (not understandable) or the fear of cholera (very understandable).

I turned to the internet to help me out with the peanut butter thing:

The actual problem brought by peanuts is the presence of silicon gel type properties that get stuck to the upper part of the mouth.
When the sticky thing gets into the mouth and dissolves with the saliva it is impossible for it to get bonded at any particular part of the mouth because of the watery situation.
But, the roof of the mouth is the only part which remains a bit dry thus helping the sticky thing to get tangled in there. It feels very annoying when the butter gets stuck to the upper part of the mouth and you are unable to pull it out in the public crowd.

Last time I pulled it out in the public crowd, two women fainted. They were probably phallophobic.

All this is immaterial now though, because I have a new favourite phobia, as mentioned in the title of this post:


I’ll cut to the chase here: Anatidaephobia is the fear that you are being watched by a duck.

Like this fellow here.
Who, I have to say, has been made to look a whole lot more menacing by the use of a somewhat hectic camera angle. He’s probably completely harmless and even if he isn’t, he’ll be easily distracted by some small pieces of bread flung in his general direction.

He is not spying on you.

Anatidaephobia is an intense, irrational fear that one is being watched by a duck. Sometimes that fear can become so intense as to completely stop a person’s ability to maintain daily functioning. Unchecked, Anatidaephobia can become a debilitating condition that interferes with the person’s social life, their personal life and job responsibilities. Untreated, Anatidaephobia touches every aspect of a person’s life.

Especially when they are near a pond. Or in the local park.
Or, in a worst case scenario, near a pond in the local park. Terrifying.

Still, put yourself in the position of the duck. He’s done nothing wrong. This is an irrational fear, remember – like the string thing. And he has a whole lot more to fear than you do. Foxes, pollution, people thinking he is watching them. Constantly… watching them…

A little known fact is that most ducks are also arachibutyrophobic. So, if all else fails and your local duck seems to be around ever corner, in your meetings at work, in the back seat of your car on the way home: if he’s watching you in your damn shower, for god’s sake!!!!, then simply lace your decoy bread with Black Cat Crunchy and your duck will be gone.
And with it, your anatidaephobia.

You can thank me later. It’s a pleasure.

Heavy Sacks

Flicking through the Cape Times yesterday, I noticed a half-page ad for Cape Union Mart, the local camping, hiking and general outdoor sports suppliers. The ad in question (pictured here) detailed the wide variety of rucksacks which they sell, complete with stats on each and a brief blurb listing the features of the pack in question. All very handy, especially if you’re thinking about buying a new rucksack.

However, if you do find yourself in that situation, then might I advise you to read carefully and perhaps even try before you buy?
Because if you are planning trail running, mountain biking or a spot of climbing, then you might think that the Hydro Velocity 6 would be your pack of choice. Sure, it’s only got a capacity of 6 litres, but it is relatively cheap at R250 and it does have contoured shoulder straps for comfort. And they’re going to come in very handy, since it weighs 415kg.

Yes, it’s approaching half a metric ton, but it has got that mesh back for ventilation. And that’ll keep you nicely cool as you wait for the fire crew to try and get you out from under it.

But wait, in true Verimark style – there’s more.

What if you were planning a “short hiking trip” or some “general use”? You’re going to need something bigger than the pitiful Hydro Velocity 6 for that, right? Right.
Well, may I then suggest that you head for the R299 Ignite? At 28 litres, it’s got the capacity you need and features a detachable waist belt and a large main compartment. But don’t go putting anything too heavy in that large main compartment, because the backpack itself weighs an incredible 612kg before you’ve even started.

And that’s about the weight of a fairly large horse, which is probably why the ad doesn’t suggest that you try horse-riding while wearing it, because that would cripple your steed. And you.

Obviously, there’s nothing in the picture to scale the Ignite against, but based on the fact that at 28 litres, it’s just a small rucksack, I’m guessing that it must be made of something hugely heavy, like plutonium or something similar. Not brilliant healthwise perhaps, but the pale glow of the decaying atoms therein would certainly be handy to guide the fire crew in to rescue you from underneath it, should night have fallen while you were craning it from the back of your truck.

They can then take you to the nearest hospital to die from crush injuries and radiation poisoning.

TRY ME!!!/Don’t try me!!!!!

More shelf-edge goodness comes to us courtesy of Woolworths who are becoming confusingly selective when offering freebies in their fruit section. Take this example which I spotted (in their fruit section) just this morning:

What Woolies appear to have done is to alter their policy on the TRY ME!!! freebies which they use to tempt you into purchasing their (usually very decent) fruit.
It used to be the case that they would lay out some of their wares openly with the invitation TRY ME!!!, at which point, one could delve into said wares and taste them whilst trying to forget that other people’s hands had been in there too.
But Woolies seem to have cottoned on to the fact that this was not very hygienic and have now boxed their TRY ME!!! offers – as you can see with the strawberries above.
But then the poorly-photographed dates on the left (the store manager was rapidly approaching as I took it) have me confused. As you can see, This is NOT a try me!!!!!, but is a try me!!!!! different to a TRY ME!!!? And if This is NOT a try me!!!!!, then why are the dates unpackaged and ready for TRYing, while the TRY ME!!! strawberries are all sealed in punnets?

Using my nifty footwork to sidestep the rapidly approaching – and seemingly irate  – manager and applying my scientific logic to the situation, I made some rudimentary calculations. And I worked out (by extrapolation of the data gathered thus far) that anything in Woolies which was in any sort of packaging was obviously a TRY ME!!! whereas anything which was open on the shelves is NOT a try me!!!!!.

I began to look around and was instantly greeted by a whole heap of freebie opportunities. Virtually everything was packaged and therefore available for sampling.
Since I was in the vicinity, I started with some fruit. The strawberries seemed appropriate and were very tasty. I then moved on to enjoy a messy (yet satisfying) breakfast snack of wholenut muesli and plain yoghurt (750g and 500ml respectively) while wandering around looking for chocolate and beer. I passed the homeware section, which (with hindsight) would have been a sensible place to unpack a bowl from the boxed 12-piece porcelain dinner set for my breakfast combo. R199 all in, unless you’re TRYing it in the shop, in which case, it’s free.

It was at this point I noticed that I had dribbled plain yoghurt down the front of my jeans in a rather embarrassing fashion. The worst of it was cleaned up using pre-packaged Woolies kitchen cloths (R19.95 for pack of 5) and the rest of it will come out in the wash this evening, thanks to the mugful (mug from the R15.95 porcelain range – brightly coloured, holds washing powder well, but it’s just a mug) of washing powder I chose to TRY!!! (1kg Skip Biological, R35).

I was contemplating which of the wide variety of toothpastes to test out with my recently unpackaged Oral B toothbrush when I was grabbed from behind by two burly checkout girls and a security guy and literally flung from the shop. I could have been quite badly hurt if it weren’t for the Nautilus scatter cushion (R160) I was holding at the time which thankfully broke my fall.

I can only imagine that the manager was not happy with me taking photographs in his shop. I guess I should have asked permission first. Maybe I’ll give him a little bit of time to calm down and then pop in later to apologise and sample some free dinner.

Too much plywood

Not much time to blog this evening due to an afternoon of beer and braai and an evening of tidying and repairs after 5 small whirlwinds (average age 3.2) whirlwound through the house.

So a quick recommended site post, because this one is always amusing but actually made me LOL this week. And I mean LOL as in making me actually LOL.

Stare all he might, he couldn’t wrap his head around how to panel the interior of the fridge with plywood.

This is from Unhappy Hipsters – the site which exposes the agonising dilemmas of those who choose to dabble in high-end architecture as their way of life. And it’s brilliant.

Meanwhile (on a completely unrelated note) if you’re going to quit your job, do it in style:

A JetBlue flight attendant got into an altercation with a passenger on the tarmac at JFK today. In a fit of rage, he activated the plane’s inflatable emergency slide, slid out, and stormed off the job.

Obviously, not all of us work on aircraft, so what would be your personal dramatic quitting move. Mine would almost certainly involve TB and be bad news for all present.