Import of comments started

The change has begun… You probably can’t see anything yet, but behind the scenes, a new commenting system is being installed and your old, much loved comments are being imported into that new commenting system so that your valuable views are never lost.

More on that in a future post (i.e. I have to to work out how to use it before I can tell you).

The import to the new commenting system currently stands at post #2005 of an impressive 3597. And it appears to be stuck.
Meanwhile, the new commenting system has sent me 4 emails telling me that it has completed the import.
Really now? Honestly, I believe more of what I heard during last night’s debate.

I’m now working on trying to make the font on the site look pretty. It’s harder than it looks.
And it looked quite hard.

Depending on how things go, the switch over might be later today, or it may be tomorrow.

Either way, despite the best efforts of mice and men (but to be far, mainly men), it’s probably still reasonable to expect a few minor teething problems. We’ll be trying to identify and squash them as soon as we can.

Beagle news

According to this comment, I should be thinking of Colin as clickbait. The rationale, as the commenter goes on to explain, is that revenue from the Google ads clicked upon by people coming here to see photos of Colin could be used to pay for replacement furniture. It’s a good plan, but there’s going to have to be a lot of clickage to sort out all the damage.

Earlier this week, the dog discovered the joy of digging up the lawn. Turns out that it’s actually very good at it too. Let’s make no bones about this (pun intended), I KILL MOLES WITH A SPADE for doing exactly the same thing. And then on Monday evening, I spent an hour repairing the wire from the alarm contact on the front door because it had been chewed through (the wire, not the front door) (yet). While there’s no actual proof that this was the dog, sources indicate that they are around 99.999% certain it was Colin-related.

Beyond. Reasonable. Doubt.

DSC_0058
Look, I’ll admit it. It looks fairly harmless, doesn’t it? It’s clever though. Devious. It has already learned the power of public relations and it poses, looking mournful, underloved and completely innocent, as soon as it sees a camera or cellphone. It has naked selfies on the iCloud and will rightfully expect widespread pity when its account is hacked.

Don’t be fooled.

Once the camera is gone, the mischievous, destructive escapologist reappears. Things get dug, chewed, eaten, damaged. The dog isn’t where you left it and you’ve no idea how it got where it is. Your daughter has been partially devoured. Colin is about 1o weeks old. Apparently, “it gets better” by the time they’re about 10 months old.

Something is going to have to give.

Dry The River

If, when he left this comment, Jon Liddle was attempting to generate some sort of interest in his son’s band’s new album, well then, he’s succeeded. I’ve had a quick wander through their back catalogue and – while there’s a bit of gospel, a lot of beard, some violin and more than the occasional hint of banjo – it’s well worth a listen. This ain’t no Mumford and Sons/Lumineers mashup. Thankfully.

Recording in Iceland was about shutting ourselves off from our daily lives and our heavy touring schedule to rediscover what Dry the River means to us. We suspected it would be some kind of otherworldly experience, and it was: beautiful and alien, lonely and taxing but ultimately rewarding.

So yes, the tenuous link was Iceland: its wild beauty and solitude. And they did a documentary on just how that worked out for them:

MOAR SCENERY!!!!

Apparently:

The end product, Alarms in the Heart, is so heavily engrained with that process, that strange location and the experience of being there, that you have to take the two together.

I’ll be giving the album a full listen and I’ll let you know how that goes, but in the meantime, here’s Gethsemane: which features on the documentary from about 8 minutes in and just. fits. perfectly.

My son doesn’t have a band, but when he does, I’ll probably advise him to head to Marion Island (SA’s equivalent of Iceland, I guess) to record that difficult second album. “Fewer beards,” I’ll also tell him.

Safety first.

UPDATE: More information about Dry The River? Here.

It wasn’t me…

Incoming, this message on the 6000.co.za Facebook page:

Thought of you immediately!

Now, usually, I would be flattered to be thought of immediately on many occasions; it’s nice to be at the forefront of people’s minds. However, having said that, I’m not sure that the death of a man from bubonic plague and the subsequent sealing off of a city of 30,000 people in China is one of those occasions.
And I want to make it absolutely clear that I had nothing to do with this incident.

What is interesting is the publicity that this story has got. As I write, it is the most read article in the World News section of the Guardian website in the last 24 hours. And, given the pretty stiff competition (MH17, Israel and Gaza, Sheffield United manager Nigel Clough trying to buy another striker), that’s fairly impressive stuff. Yay microbiology.
The thing is, sporadic cases of bubonic plague are actually fairly regular occurrences all over the world:

Updated Plague Map 2010 with Country lines

With even (as you’ll have noted) a handful of cases in the USA each year:

CasesbyYear_barchart_1970-2012

And yet, no-one has ever – to my knowledge, anyway – thought of me immediately in any of these situations. Perhaps because they haven’t made the international headlines, which makes one wonder why this one has. True, it’s a rather draconian reaction by the Chinese authorities to one death, but then it’s not like they’re not renowned for that sort of behaviour. It does rather leave one wondering if the Guardian journalist in question saw BLACK DEATH! and didn’t do any background reading before breaking the story before anyone else got chance to. But then, I can’t believe that a journalist would put sensationalism before research.

Either way, I’m always happy to hear about microbiology stories in the news (it is, after all, the best Science in the World) and what better place for you to share it with a willing audience than via the 6000.co.za Facebook page, which you can like by visiting it (the blog facebook page, that is) here.

Thanks Debra

UPDATE: Sky News finally catches up with the story, add nothing.

Fill It In

Much excitement on Social Media over the weekend as #Underdog, the canine found alive at the bottom of Kimberley’s ‘Big Hole’  (the town in the Northern Cape, not the chick on Sea Point Main Road), which was kept alive for several days by tourists throwing it scraps of food, was rescued.
Viva ER24, Viva!

The Big Hole is the largest man-made (hand dug, no machinery involved) hole in the world. It’s more than 50 storeys deep.
Cape Town’s shiny new Portside building would comfortably disappear into it, with height to spare.
It took 50,000 men 42 years to excavate. 22 million tonnes of earth was removed.

It’s Big.

Anyway, news of the heart-warming rescue has spread to the UK and to the Daily Mail, who did a lovely piece on it.

And it was there that we find this comment:

kbh

WON’T SOMEBODY PLEASE THINK OF THE CHILDREN?!??!?????!??!?!!!??!?!?

And then there was John’s reply:

kbh2

Stereotypical Irish suggestion, typical Yorkshire humour. Excellent.

Now I’m off to wash my hands, having had to link to “that newspaper”.