Too much

I do enjoy summer here in the Cape, but today was too much.

My English enzymes can’t cope in these sorts of temperatures and have to be cooled and revived with a special mixture of Castle Milk Stout and Castle Milk Stout. The first four didn’t seem to get through, but after another four I fell into the pool and felt much better.

Later, we headed to the beach with the rest of Cape Town and enjoyed the sea breeze and our square metre of sand, most of which was dug up by Alex and deposited on his sister.
The place quietened down as the sun ducked behind the mountains and the temperature suddenly plummeted to a chilly 34°C and we headed home to the beer fridge.

NOTE: Already been asked several times: this temperature was outside, in the shade, out of the (slight) breeze.
We were happy at 34-35°C, then it suddenly leapt to this peak and then dropped back to 38°C after about 10 minutes.
Cape Town weather is weird.

This too shall pass

I recognise that this is going to be blogged ad nauseum over the next month, but I’m still going to throw a post up (geddit?) on here because I think it’s brilliant.

Remember OK GO and their song Here It Goes Again back in 2006? No?

How about if I ask whether you remember the treadmill video song?
And yes, we’re back singing from the same duck row.

At the time, that video was new, fresh and hugely popular – it still is. Well, now OK GO have OK GOne and done it again with their latest video for This Too Shall Pass.

As wired.com report:

For nearly four minutes — captured in a single, unbroken camera shot — the machine rolls metal balls down tracks, swings sledgehammers, pours water, unfurls flags and drops a flock of umbrellas from the second story [sic], all perfectly synchronized with the song. A few gasp-inducing, grin-producing moments when the machine’s action lines up so perfectly, you can only shake your head in admiration at the creativity and precision of the builders.

The song?  Meh – I can take or leave it. But the video is an absolute work of art.

Helen talks mainly sense

Grand Emperor of the Western Cape, Helen Zille has been talking up a storm after a police briefing on World Cup security. She warned of the dangers of sensationalist media and their attempts to stoke up negative sentiment about the country and the tournament.
Well said, Helen. We warned you about that over 3 months ago.

“There are a lot of journalists who want sensational stories in the run-up to the World Cup. Be very careful not to be caught off-guard with a sensational quote,” she said.
Zille said it was important not to “pump up” international fears, and mentioned the recent attack on the Togolese football team during the Confederations Cup in Angola as an example of how perceptions could go wrong.
“They don’t differentiate between countries,” she said, adding that she herself had been on the receiving end of journalists “trying to squeeze alarming statements” out of her.

While this is obviously of concern, those journalists should have known better than to mess with Zille. Even when squeezed really tightly, all that comes out is rhetoric; stuff like “ANC”, “totally unacceptable”, “President Zuma” & “morally questionable” with the odd transitional phrase thrown in so it all makes sense.
To her, anyway. 

After savaging the media, she then turned her attention to the equally menacing vuvuzela.

“The vuvuzela is great fun until you sit and hear thousands,” she said.
“You need to warn people. You need to have earplugs on sale at the stadium.”

Seriaas, Helen?

“It is a serious point I am making, I am not being frivolous.”

Oh…  right.
Well, that’s nonsense.
One vuvuzela is annoying. Thousands of them honking together like an army of mad geese is just great.

Also, this gives the ANC a great indication as to how to disrupt the next DA rally that they want to disrupt. No – not the thousands of vuvuzelas thing, the opportunity to sell earplugs to people on the way in.
And then they could do the thousands of vuvuzelas thing just to annoy Helen.

Mjölka e-kon!

Swedish website fun ahoy!

Mjölka e-kon!
Har du mjölkat en kossa på gammalt hederligt vis någon gang?
Om inte, är det dags nu. Ta tag i spenarna och tävla om fina priser.

Ah – those zany Swedes! They gave the world ABBA, sing-song accents and beautiful women with blonde hair and blue eyes. And now they’ve taken it one step further with the opportunity to win great prizes by milking a cow online.  

E-milking cow!
Have you milked a cow in the old-fashioned way, at some point?
If not, it’s time now. Grasp the teat and compete for great prizes.

And they’re right, because: mjölka 6dl innan tiden är ute så kan du vinna en kväll met Ärets Kock. Yes, if you manage to milk more than 6dl (600ml) within the allotted 3:00 minutes, you could win an evening out with Ärets Kock.

I know, I know. At this point, the women are suddenly more interested and the men are looking distinctly nervous. However, Ärets Kock turns out to be nothing more sinister than Chef of the Year.

If the thought of enjoying a Chef-filled evening excites you (careful now), then click the link and drag and drop a teat or two. It’s actually rather addictive. And full of calcium.

Why I don’t believe

The internet is full of weird and wonderful places. Personally, I generally prefer the wonderful to the weird, but it’s often interesting to have a sprinkling of both. One of the weirder elements on the web are the anti-vaccination, 9/11 conspiracy theorist, anti-establishment, Zionist-rule, anti-Global Warming, Big Brother Is Watching You sites.
I’m talking about stuff like infowars.com. Read it and weep. Possibly, anyway.

I – like many (all?) others online – am constantly bombarded by information. That’s fine by me. I love it. But the downside of this information overload is that one has to sort through all that information to find the decent, important, relevant, worthwhile stuff.
Mentally separating the wheat from the chaff, as it were.
When it comes to sites like infowars.com, there seems to be very little middle ground. Either you believe all the stuff that’s on there or you don’t. It’s all either wheaty goodness or chaffy nonsense. That’s a rather blinkered way of looking at things, but I can see why it happens.

I’m a scientist. It says so on my lab coat. And part of my work as a scientist is to look at scientific papers and assess their value. Science uses the peer-review method to assess the value of scientific work. When you do an experiment, you write it up and that write up is sent to several hugely critical scientific bigwigs across the world for them to rip your methods, techniques, writing and entire career to shreds. And they do, because if they let something slip through the net, then it will come back to bite them.
And that doesn’t look good when you are a hugely critical scientific bigwig. Your reputation will be forever sullied.

All of which brings me to the first part of Why I don’t believe the stuff that I read on infowars – a lack of credible scientific evidence. All too often, scratching the surface of their stories reveals inconsistencies and conflicts of interest. The stuff they base their articles on is not peer-reviewed, nor does it comply with mainstream (and therefore proven) scientific principles. And I have studied science long enough (20 years now) to make up my mind on what I believe when it comes to science, thankyouverymuch. I understand the theories and principles behind vaccination. 
And when I find that their version of the stuff I know is incorrect, then why should I believe any of the other articles on the site? For all I know, there are knowledgeable people out there ridiculing infowars’ take on 9/11 or the worldwide economic slowdown.

And there’s another problem. I would/might take some of the stuff on infowars seriously if they didn’t spread themselves quite so widely and therefore quite so thinly. But if I choose to believe that the US used depleted uranium shells in Iraq, then I also have to believe that 9/11 was organised by the US Government and that the MMR jab causes autism. And that doesn’t work for me.  
One can’t just pick and choose certain articles and reports from a news source for their veracity and be willing to disregard the dodgy-sounding others. That doesn’t make sense – either you trust the source or you don’t.
And that’s a little sad, because just maybe infowars and those sort of sites have important messages for us, but they’re lost in a veritable ocean of bullshit.

Next – and closely linked – the fact that they associate with and willingly publish the work of people like David Icke. Too much. Too far fetched. And again –  a huge blow to their credibility.

And then finally, perhaps the most annoying reason – their paranoia. Their arrogance in thinking that they are actually important enough for the government to want to know their every move via CCTV and RFID.
For example, Infowars’ search page doesn’t use google in case the government are watching.
This means that as a search page it’s shit, but at least the CIA don’t know it’s shit.
Unless they’ve tried to use it, obviously.

If you don’t want to travel on the Gautrain because it has CCTV, well that’s your prerogative, but please don’t make a big fuss about it. The rest of us want CCTV there to deter the muggers and the crime, not to see what colour jean pant you chose to wear today. So sure – stick to the roads, but then remember that there’s CCTV there too. How annoying – except if we want to catch those dodging traffic fines or we want to avoid the traffic, of course.
Better then that you stay home and just connect online. But wait –  aren’t the government monitoring all internet connections as well?  Or would believing that bit be a little inconvenient?

Wake up and smell the BS. No-one is bothered about you. No-one gives a toss. Really.

Of course, there will be the counter arguments to this. The ones that run along the lines that I was assimilated by the state education system of a Western government – made to believe their lies.
Or maybe that I’m actually working for the CIA, British Secret Service, Mossad or all three and I’m actually being paid to discredit Alex Jones, David Icke and their cronies and I was connected to Hitler, the assassination of JFK and the attempted assassination of Ronald Reagan – just like George Bush Snr, who still runs the US.

This is all absolutely true, obviously.
(One time, you can’t believe).