Sweaty palms?

Not much from me here today, except this video which I was reminded of by my 2 year old daughter, who – on the way to school on Friday – informed me that she liked cranes, but she didn’t like swords.

So there you have it.

I still get shivers and sweaty palms when I see this. The lack of explanation as to who these blokes are and why they are doing this.
Google – my usual aide in such matters is surprisingly unhelpful as well.

Good advice

Spotted this morning on several poles on the way to work, this headline deserved a blog post and submission to this flickr group.

I had a copy of the newspaper in my car with me, but reading a newspaper while driving comes a very close second to using a mobile phone while behind the wheel. And, with the traffic approaching Koeberg Interchange as bad as ever, my mind began to wander.
Who had advised this sausage thief on his prophylactic usage?
And why?

Was this a better way to smuggle sausages out of wherever he had stolen the sausages from? After all, no-one’s going to suspect that a sausage-shaped something in a condom is actually a sausage, now are they?
Even if they did, they’re unlikely to want to check.

(This wouldn’t work for boerewors though. Unless it was a very big condom.)
(And rather oddly shaped.)

Additionally, it wouldn’t work for cheese, which is what he also stole – and “Cheese Thief” is what the online version of the Cape Times has got him labeled as. R299 worth of cheese and Vienna sausages. All he needs now is the pineapple and the cocktail sticks and he’s ready for a buffet of note.

At 23 years old, Mzawanele Japhta already has 4 kids. And that’s why magistrate Grant Engel urged Japhta to go to a clinic for free condoms, “before you end up with 30 children”.

Who would presumably require him stealing a whole lot more sausages and cheese.


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.