This is a nice image

I spent a lot of time awake last night wondering about writing a blog post. It was to have been a contentious blog post, and would have required some defence against forces of ignorance and prejudice. I don’t mind stepping up to the plate for this sort of thing, but it does require time and effort. I really don’t have the time at the moment and the effort would have been mainly used up shouting at a brick wall. I have better things to do with my effort right now. I’m not writing that blog post.

Part of the post was going to relate to how the opposition party (and/or anyone else who criticises corruption in SA) cannot afford to bend any rules at all, even when it would clearly make good sense to be able to do so, for fear of losing the moral high ground. We’ve already seen examples of how this can hold us back as a community – for example, the protracted time for the tender processes for aquifer drilling and desalination plants. The blog post was going to feature another example.

For me, this is a sad situation which has been exacerbated by the rampant looting of the state over the past 9 years. In my opinion, Jacob Zuma has caused immeasurable damage to this country and set us back in so many ways. So this was a nice image to log on to this morning:

Yes, that’s our ex-President in the dock on 18 charges of Racketeering, Corruption, Money Laundering and Fraud. The likelihood of him ever going to prison for these crimes is, at best, slight. The wheels of justice may be turning, but they turn very slowly. There will be appeals upon appeals, and every legal delaying tactic will be used. That’s his right, and that’s how justice works.
In this case, it’s unlikely ever to be done.
We’re looking at years and years and years.

His court appearance today took just 12 minutes.

But it was very important that those 12 minutes took place.

This is a nice image.


Addendum: I’m getting a lot of interest in the subject of the original planned blog post. See here, and do the maths. Don’t @ me. 🙂


Did I ever fly from Heathrow Terminal 1?

I honestly can’t remember. But I can’t fly from there any more, because it shut down almost three years ago. Fortunately, there seems to be no process of shuffling up, as in 2 becomes 1, 3 becomes 2, 4 becomes 3 and 5 becomes 4. Because that would be both confusing and unnecessary.

Why am I telling you about a disused airport terminal?

I’m telling about a disused airport terminal, because now you can buy most of it.


There are loads of things to buy, most of which will end up in local Hipster bars and avgeeks’ sheds around the locality, I’m sure. But there are some amazing items. Just look at Lot 1!

A whole Heathrow Terminal 1 sign.

Heathrow Terminal 1 sign


Moving on, check that your beagle isn’t packing heat (I’m convinced ours is trying to kill me) by putting this handy Passenger Metal Detector at your front door:

Or get your own “square”(?) metal box construction baby changing room sign. I went in high on this one – and I bet that extra penny will make the difference.

Your local Security Guard will surely thank you(?) for getting her or him this comfortable-looking(??) SECURITY FOOTSTOOL.

And in case you ever decide to run a medical facility and need a menacing way to count patients, this SICK PEOPLE COUNTER would definitely come in handy.

But all that previous stuff (cool though it is) fades into pale insignificance, because then there was this.


I’ll be honest, it was the F4 TOW CHAIN that swung this for me. This would have been one of the first models to feature this revolutionary (no pun intended) new F4 TOW CHAIN. And I’m sure that you will agree that it was a huge improvement over the previous F3 TOW CHAIN. The upgraded technology on the F4 TOW CHAIN link mechanisms for one: groundbreaking.
In fact, looking back now, I wonder (as I’m sure you are too) as to how the F3 TOW CHAIN would ever have powered a BELT LENGTH 43M. I don’t think it could. It couldn’t.

Thank god we’ve moved on. from those Neanderthal days.

This LOGAN PLEATED BELT CAROUSEL UNIT features the standard LOW SMOKE & FUME SLATS, which is great news if you’re planning to use it as a Lazy Susan on your row of check-in desks huge new dining table (LOT 2109).

And with those 8 OVERHEAD EMERGENCY STOP BUTTONS and 4 SINGLE PODIUM INFORMATION MONITORS – we’re talking top of the range here. I’m sure there will be a lot of interest on this one.

It does need a service though.

Wash the duck up

OK. We’re still not supposed to have baths in Cape Town and many people have seen that as a bad thing, but given this new research from Swiss and American researchers, maybe it’s not so unwelcome after all.

How could we ever have expected that something which is dark, constantly moist and regularly warmed to somewhere around body temperature could be a place that bacteria and other nasty bugs might like to live?

It’s almost like that old research from Swiss and American researchers from a few years ago which suggested that His Holiness the Supreme Pontiff, Bishop of Rome and apostolic successor to Saint Peter… might be Catholic.

Who knew?

They also did something about bears… I think that one might have been disproved though.

Swiss and American researchers counted the microbes swimming inside the toys and say the murky liquid released when ducks were squeezed contained “potentially pathogenic bacteria” in four out of the five toys studied.

The bacteria found included Legionella and Pseudomonas aeruginosa, a bacterium that is “often implicated in hospital-acquired infections.”

Well, at least it’s not penguicidal avian flu.
Still, not great, but really not very surprising either. Create near perfect conditions for microbes to thrive and microbes will thrive.

Lots of them:

They turned up a strikingly high volume – up to 75 million cells per square centimetre – and variety of bacteria and fungus in the ducks.

As a microbiologist, I’m used to seeing big numbers when it comes to the number of cells in any given place, so yes, that’s a big number, but microbes like to grow in big numbers.

Still, multiply it up for the internal area of this big boy…

…and you’ve got enough bacteria to wipe out the entire planet several times over. Perhaps that’s Florentijn Hofman‘s secret plan.

Anyway, if you’re a parent and you have concerns (or even if you’re not a parent and you have concerns), you have a few options:

Ditch the duck.
Clean the duck.
Buy a watertight rubber duck to prevent internal growth of nasty bugs.

It’s worth noting that actual, real ducks are also watertight, and most of them aren’t full of Legionella and Pseudomonas spp. – lessons from Mother Nature, ne?

But perhaps the best way to avoid diseases transmitted by rubber ducks is not to bath with a rubber duck in the first place. Or – as I mentioned at the start of this post – not to bath at all.

Noa Bakehouse Fire

I spotted news that that there was a fire at the Noa Bakehouse in Douglas, Isle of Man. Fortunately, it was a small fire and there wasn’t much damage.

However, emergency services are still on the scene.

Still. Two days later.

Just in case.

More penguin peril

Life is hard if you’re a penguin.

If it’s not humans overfishing your pilchards and (allegedly) changing your climate, it’s large wild cats eating you on the beach. And if you survive them, you’ve got to look out for malaria and beagles. And whalers.

Nope. Being a penguin ain’t easy.

Now though, they face their latest, smallest but possibly biggest challenge yet. Viruses.

Because yes, penguins are birds, and birds get Avian Flu. This is the same H5N8 strain that has been affecting the Western Cape (and beyond) for several months now. I mentioned it back in August here.

We think about it affecting farms (which of course it does), but no-one ever considers wild birds, which – in the Western Cape – include penguins.

And while Boulders Beach – our most local (but not necessarily our best) penguin colony – will remain open for tourists, they will have to take precautions:

Visitors should change shoes and clothes if visiting poultry farms to prevent contamination from one site to another.

Which is important because the chicken farms just outside Robertson have really upped their tourist game recently, and it would be sad to waste all their effort.

Seriously though: fingers crossed that this doesn’t do a lot of lasting damage.