Bad news, good news.

I was diagnosed with costochondritis this weekend. No, not the Greek ex-Bolton Wanderers midfielder, an inflammation of the cartilage in my rib cage. It’s uncomfortable and generally not very pleasant, but when you are “middle-aged” and less fit than perhaps you should be, a diagnosis of costochondritis when you have chest pains and shortness of breath is actually fantastic news.

My heart will – as the bloody awful song goes – go on. In fact, my ECG was described as “perfect” by the doc. Boom! (bang a bang).

Anyway, some anti-inflammatories and an absence of foolish behaviour, and I should be fine real soon now.

If you google costochondritis, you get a lot of other suggestions just four letters in. I thought I might share some of them.

Cost of living – too damn high. Pick n Pay tried to charge me R115 for 850g of cheddar today. Ridiculous.

Costa Coffee – ubiquitous chain of coffee stores across the UK and the rest of the world (not South Africa) (yet).

Costocervical trunk – blood vessel behind the artery that is underneath your collar bone. Nothing to do with trees.

Costa, Diego – feisty, divisive footballer plying his trade up front for Spanish team Club Atlético de Madrid, SAD. You either really love him or really hate him. Or somewhere in between.

Costa del Sol – bit of Spanish Mediterranean coastline in Andalusia famed as being a hideout for British underworld figures from the 1960s onwards.

Costatu – an incorrectly spelled version of Cosatu – the Congress of South African Trade Unions. An increasingly irrelevant pseudopolitical entity claiming to represent the workers of South Africa – as long as they aren’t in one of the other Union bodies, in which case, not interested.

Your phone is listening

Here’s a VICE article about how your smartphone is listening to the things that you are saying, and is serving you adverts based upon the things that you speak about.

It’s entitled:

Your Phone Is Listening and it’s Not Paranoia

Sadly though, it does appear to have ignited quite a lot of paranoia about the fact that your phone is listening.

Am I the only one not to have known about this before?

I didn’t think this was news. I thought that this was common knowledge. After all, access to the microphone is often part of the permissions that you give apps when you download or update them.

Am I the only one not to be hugely worried by it either?

I’m not routinely planning terrorist attacks or coups d’état (although…?). And if I did, I’d make sure that my phone wasn’t right next to me. And even if it was, I’d probably only get served some google ads about terrorist attacks and coups d’état.

In fact, given that I am going to be served ads while I am on the internet, I have no issue with targeted ads. I’m wont to ignore them all anyway, but at least they might be of some interest to me.

Please don’t die

Not just an entirely reasonable request, but also the new song from Joshua Michael Tillman, t/a Father John Misty. A nice slow number which makes it onto here.

Arguably not my usual thing, but how can one pass by such a poignant song with such a powerful message? (A message also echoed in the video).

Enjoy it. Think about it. Learn from it.

Please don’t die.

Problems solved

Well, maybe not solved, but alleviated, certainly.

This sort of idea is exactly the innovation we need in SA.

I’ll be donating my portion* to a local maths tutoring site.


* All R2.50 of it

Firearms Control Act, 2000 (Act No. 60 of 2000)

This bit(s) of paper has been in the news over the last couple of days, so I thought I’d share a copy so that we’re all singing from the same hymn sheet Firearms Control Act.

Have a look here.

The relevant sections are on Page 41.

It’s Chapter 16, Section 120, (7) for this.

and, (lol) maybe Chapter 16, Section 120, (5)(a) for this*.


Now you know.


* that’s another magical SA political press release, btw.