9/11

Yes I’m travelling by plane again today, so I don’t really want to think about this sort of thing, but equally, I’m going to be very short of time to blog, so I’m just going to direct you to this (long, but worth it) read, titled:

‘We’re the Only Plane in the Sky’

and subheaded:

Where was the president in the eight hours after the Sept. 11 attacks? The strange, harrowing journey of Air Force One, as told by the people who were on board.

It’s very good.

Morten in your front room

Or anywhere else, actually!

Remember the groundbreaking video for a-ha’s Take On Me? Of course you do – it was groundbreaking – the best video of the 1980s. Way up there in the Top Ten best music videos ever. Really good and groundbreaking.

Now, Augmented Reality buffs at Trixi Studios have made that very same video come alive in someone’s living room:

Look how real life dives in and out of pencil-sketched life. Just like in the original video. They’ve even managed to get those nasty thugs with their pipe wrenches into the mix.

AR has many wonderful applications, but putting us into our favourite popular music videos was one that I hadn’t really considered until now.

The South African Civil War – a short historical essay

No-one truly believed that South Africa would escape the descent into civil war at some stage – that was sadly inevitable – but I would wager that few of the naysayers and doom and gloom merchants could ever have accurately predicted the source of the conflict. It seems likely that, if pushed, most of them would have plumped for one of the more obvious causes: poverty, inequality, politics, corruption, race. But of course, that wasn’t it.

No-one ever realised that the previously-docile, overtly-privileged, white upper-middle class would rise up after the rumours that the City of Cape Town had threatened to close Newlands Spring. Even looking back, it seems ridiculous that this could be a trigger for any confrontation, let alone a protracted armed engagement between citizens of the Republic, but no-one thought about it. Well, why would you?

No-one foresaw that springing (no pun intended) from an online petition (where else?) set up by local businessman, ex-water collector and now infamous instigator of widespread civil unrest, Riyaz Rawoot, would come an army of discontented middle-aged white people. Never mind that the alleged closure turned out to be an entirely unresearched story put out by a local newspaper in order to incite outrage in an attempt to increase their dismal sales figures. That’s just incidental. It’s history now.

No-one would have believed that a barrage of strongly worded letters from the Southern Suburbs would be all that it took to bring down the elected leadership of Cape Town and the Western Cape, after they were unable to provide a satisfactory response within the 10 working days as promised in their electoral manifesto, prompting mass resignations in the higher echelons of provincial government. We had always thought that the war would be fought twixt electric fences and long knives (or at least machetes from Builders Warehouse). But the pen, it seems, is indeed mightier than the panga.

No-one ever thought that the effect of that sudden power vacuum in the south west of the country would be so disastrous. That it could come to this. That the alleged threatened lack of access to a slightly broken 4 inch plastic pipe at the end of a cul-de-sac in an affluent Cape Town suburb could drag the entirety of Southern Africa into bloody conflict.

No-one ever considered the butterfly effect; the implications of the true powerbase of the country getting swept up in a wave of outrage over a misunderstanding of what was frankly a rather trivial issue anyway.

No-one should ever underestimate how something so small could lead to our collective downfall.

Have a nice day.

The Qantas A380 post

After an impromptu Twitter debate yesterday evening, I have found myself photoshopping this Qantas A380 into various images in any moments of spare time this morning.

It’s a long and actually rather uninteresting backstory, but I have discovered that adding a Qantas A380 to any photo not only makes that photo better, it’s also quite a cathartic process.

Additionally, I got a couple of helpful replies from the legend that is Jules Hudson – presenter of BBC’s Escape To The Country – and all round aircraft noise avoidance technique expert (residential).

Anyway, you can look forward to occasional images with the additional of the above aircraft on here. And then you’ll see what I mean.

Shooting (jelly)fish in a barrel

The weekend. Yesterday, we went to the Aquarium and saw their Pink Meanie, and I found just how difficult it is to shoot jellyfish in a barrel cylindrical poly-carbonate tank.

Then this morning, the beagle got (slightly) eaten at the Beagle Run: ruining my plans for using its ears as coffee coasters once it has joined the choir invisible, and resulting in several (or more) Rands in vet’s fees.

I’m heading for channel 203 and a Black Label.

Other pics: here.