Big Issue Cover Fail

It’s been a while since we mentioned the pisspoor (but lovely at heart) SA version of Big Issue magazine (it was October 2017). That’s because my life is a better place without the Big Issue in it.

I have to ask about this month’s cover though:

I see no need for the Antarctic Peninsula(?*) to be exploited. I’m actually with Greenpeace on this one [audience gasps]. But despite this unusual alliance, I am still going to take exception with the Big Issue cover.

Q. Why don’t Polar Bears eat Penguins?
A. Because they can’t get the wrappers off.

Or because one inhabits the Arctic and the other, the Antarctic. They are literally poles apart. And yet this incorrect and profoundly misleading cover is being shown to impressionable kids at traffic lights and road junctions all over South Africa.

And then we wonder why the education system is broken here.

It’s only a matter of time until the Bunny Huggers start using it as part of a misinformation campaign, telling us how OMG! you can’t find a Polar Bear anywhere in Antarctica anymore and how we must give them lots of money before the penguins disappear too.

(I do know that the penguins are disappearing though.)

 

* is it really actually a peninsula though?

RedWine

Last night was the first proper log fire and red wine evening of the Cape Town autumn. Fortunately, I had both logs and wine ready to go.

The logs were Blue Gum.
The wine was this:

Ja. I can like to go exotic every now and again, especially as:

Every increase a glass of wine a month reduced about 2% of the risk

Yep – you heard it here first. And there’s more:

Red wine
Red wine, general is short for red wine. Brewed wine, grape skins and grape flesh is also squeezing, red wine contains red pigment, is a time when the skin by crushing grapes release. Just because of this, all the colour and lustre of wine is red.
Red wine and beauty

I felt educated. I mean, who knew?

As for the wine, it was bloody awful. But it was red…

Drone homework

I’ve been planning ahead for our trip to Europe later in the year. Part of that planning is working out where I can safely and legally fly my Mavic.

It’s reasonable to say that there are differences in the approach to drone rules and regulations between differing countries.

Take, for example, the Isle of Man:

Basically, with a few provisos here and there, together with a dollop of common sense and a healthy respect for other people, you can fly your drone up to 120m high anywhere outside that red circle.

You need to employ those same provisos, that common sense and respect in France too. But it’s a bit more complex than the IOM.
Here’s a map of the bit of France we’re going to:

Right.

Easy stuff first: no flying in the red bits; but yes flying (up to 150m, nogal) in the uncoloured bits. No problem.
From there though, it gets complicated. Pink areas allow flight to 30m altitude. You can fly up to 50m up in the orange (or is it peach?) areas. Even better, in the peach (or is it orange?) areas, you’re permitted to fly at 60m up from your takeoff spot. I’m not sure why they have this 10m difference. Presumably, something important happens (or is likely to happen) in this narrow strip of airspace in orange areas that doesn’t happen in the peach areas. Oh, and then in the yellow areas, you can fly up to a height of 100m.

I’m happy to comply with all of this, of course. It’s just that it’s massively complicated given that we go through a constantly changing kaleidoscope of colour as we wend our way downstream, so I’m going to have to keep a digital, zoomable copy of this map to hand.

The other thing is that for a lot of these restricted areas, it’s not very clear why there are restrictions. That doesn’t matter, of course – if it says not to fly, you don’t fly. It would just be nice to know what that bizarre mirror image of a question mark is bottom right. And why there’s that huge, weirdly shaped peach (orange?) swathe right across the middle of the map.

Obviously, I’m going to follow all the rules and regulations. There’s more than enough opportunity to get some decent shots and video in between all the bureaucracy.

But it’s going to be much more simple to chuck Florence the Mavic up once we get over to the Isle of Man.

On stats

I reinstated Google Analytics on the blog this week. More out of interest than for any other reason, although it does open the door to potential future advertising and collaboration opportunities at absolutely no cost and very little effort. But it’s mainly just to look at some numbers.

And I do like numbers.

The rudimentary wordpress stats package thing that was automatically active on the blog is ok, but GA does give you so much more information.

And I do like information.

Of course, the numbers and the information mean so much more when you have lots of them to compare with each other. It’s (very) early days and most things that I’ve seen on there have left me completely unsurprised.

Except for one stat, which I had never really considered.

It appears that over the past three days, over 60% of people reading 6000 miles… are doing so on mobile devices. Woah! That’s a lot more than I had thought. I mean, I hadn’t really thought about it a lot, but if I had (and obviously, I have now, retrospectively), I would have thought (and now, as mentioned above, I have thought) it would have been a much smaller percentage than that. Like 10. Or 20.

Fortunately, thanks the genius that is The Guru, this blog is optimised for viewing on whatever size or type of device you choose. Thus, it should be a seamless, fluid, intelligent experience.

It’s just the content that lets it down.

And look, the site looks good to me when I occasionally log in on my mobile device, but if you’re on your phone right now, how is it looking? Please let me know if things aren’t working ok for you (I mean on the blog, not in life generally) (there are professionals who can help you with that kind of thing) (I’m far from professional).

I’m going to review my stats once I’ve got enough data to review, and I might post about it on here if there’s anything worth posting about. In the meantime, in the same sort of vein, I apparently had quite a good day (by my standards) on Flickr yesterday (mainly thanks to this post referencing this post referencing this album, I’d imagine) with almost 7,000 views.

If I could get those sort of numbers on the blog, I could almost retire.

Almost.

Funny, not funny

Nuclear disasters aren’t very amusing. Fortunately, they only happen very, very occasionally: so much so that you can probably only name the same Big Three that I can.

This story references a nuclear disaster that hasn’t happened yet. Indeed, there’s no evidence or suggestion that it ever will. And that’s why I feel that I’m allowed to find it a bit amusing.

First off, in the event of a nuclear accident at Koeberg (Koeberg being our local nuclear power station (the only one in Africa, nogal)), my first instinct would not be to head to the city centre anyway. Given that Koeberg is pretty much in the bottom corner of Africa, I would hesitate to head further into the bottom corner of Africa should there be any sort of radioactive leak.

That’s not where you want to be. Especially if it’s going to take you three hours to get there.

Additionally, should Koeberg go bang bang, residents in (Uns)Table View will surely not be the only ones anxious to vacate the general area. I reside in the much more gentile, verdant, pleasant surroundings of the Southern Suburbs, but in the unlikely event of Koeberg going off, I’m not going to hang around to see what happens next: I’m heading out of Cape Town along with everyone else. I’ll review the situation from the interminable queues in godforsaken Somerset West or something. I shouldn’t really have to say this, but Table View’s local traffic congestion is really just one small part of a much, much bigger problem if one or both of our local nuclear reactors happen to meltdown.

But then, why would you drive anyway?

Another resident, Cindy Welch, said it recently took her an hour to reach Table View High School, which is four kilometres away from her home, due to traffic congestion.

You’re not stuck in the traffic, Cindy; you are the traffic.

Four kilometres is entirely walkable. Or jogable. Or cyclable. Especially if the motorised alternative is going to take an hour. And even more so if there’s a big explodey mushroom cloud lighting up the sky behind you. I reckon you’d be shocked as to how quickly you can get yourself 4km from your current location with just the gentle persuasion of an impending nuclear catastrophe for assistance, Cindy.

Of course, all this is assuming the worst case scenario, which is a full reactor core meltdown at 8am on a wet Monday morning in August.

And that’s a rather pessimistic approach, isn’t it?

There are many other days, other times and other prevailing meteorological conditions on and under which Koeberg might conceivably explode. For example, it might happen 3am on a Sunday and the roads of Table View might be completely empty.

In which case, a quick getaway is almost completely guaranteed.

So why are we spending millions and millions of Rands on bigger roads, just in case the apocalypse happens during morning rush hour? Madness.

I’m here to suggest a controversial – but actually rather reasonable – alternative. Instead of building more roads connecting Table View to everywhere else, why not just build a Big Wall and isolate Table View from everywhere else?

Hear. Me. Out.

Firstly, this will clearly benefit anyone living outside Table View. Remember that:

approximately 40 500 people use the R27 from Table View to the city each day

well, they’ll immediately be taken out of the equation and will be unable to cause congestion on the other major escape routes out of the city, meaning that other, normal people will have more chance of survival.
Additionally, if the wall is big enough, it might actually contain some of the nuclear fallout from any Koeberg disaster.

Double bonus.

And as for the unfortunate residents of Table View, well, are they really any worse off?

No. Not at all.

As this news article clearly states, they were never going to successfully make it out alive anyway. You’re never going to outrun a deadly cloud of enriched uranium particles going at four kilometres an hour. It’ll take you an hour to even get to the High School, which – like you – will be completely and overwhelmingly contaminated by the time you get there. You might as well just stay where you are and see if you develop any (more) interesting mutations ahead of your inevitable death.

The City of Cape Town don’t have a great record in listening to my amazing ideas, but I suppose that they might have seen the whole iceberg thing as being a bridge too far. Simply diverting funds which have already been allocated for road building on the West Coast across to wall building on the West Coast really doesn’t seem too difficult, especially given the evidence I have presented here.

I’ll sent Patricia an email – I’m sure she’s not got much on her plate at the moment.