What could go wrong?

With a headline like:

the answer is obviously “injuries”.
But if you’re thinking that this is in a kids’ playground, think again. No, this – the Tobogan Estepona – is:

a 38-metre-long slide in Estepona, on the Costa del Sol, intended to give residents of all ages a quick way to travel between the streets, which sit at very different levels.

So picture your granny on this:

I think not. And the locals aren’t impressed either:

“The Estepona slide is a piece of shit,” one woman wrote on Twitter. “I went on it and got hurt all over. I flew two metres and the police started to laugh.”
She also posted pictures of her grazed elbows, adding: “I’m not putting up one of my arse, which is worse.”

Yep.

Now, Cape Town has some pretty steep hills and it’s clear to me that we also now need to give this dangerous exciting new method of transportation a go. Embracing the tourist vibe, we’d probably need to keep it somewhere near town, and while Table Mountain might be a bit of a stretch, towering a kilometre above the city, the Lions Head (693m) seems ideal for a piece of shit helter skelter.

Land it onto one of the posh beaches at Clifton and it wouldn’t matter how far you slipped off the end into the soft sand: elbows and arses would all be intact.

I’ll be putting my ideas forward to Cape Town Tourism, and I’ll feedback on their (almost certain) excitement at this amazing plan.

Busy Thursday

Yesterday may have been a public holiday, but I had so many tasks stacked up for today that I need another one. Now.

So, not much from me here today, except some brief thoughts:

1. The election turned out every bit as disastrously as everyone expected: the government was elected. Again. This always seems to happen.

2. My family managed a total of three vaccinations between us today. We’re all still alive. And will continue to be.

3. And this after I donated blood and my feet felt like I was wearing lead diving boots. Note to self: eat and drink more before chucking a pint their way next time.

4. I have #ProjectOrange work to do so I must go now. I know that only one person reading will know what #ProjectOrange is, and it’s him that needs the work from me. I’ll explain to the rest of you in good time.

5. That football, hey? Brian summed it up very nicely here and here.

Until tomorrow, then?

Voting Day

Great News!

It’s Election Day in South Africa, and although we all know who the winners are going to be, a quick perusal of the manifestos and promises of each and every party contesting today’s election clearly shows that whichever one gets in, the citizens of this fine land are going to be living in Utopia for the next five years.

Bring it, baby!

Crime, poverty, unemployment, corruption and laughable foreign policy, which have all been the bane of our collective lives for the past 2½ decades will be swept away. The appalling track record of service delivery (or rather “non-delivery”, lol) will be a thing of the past. I’ve checked what we’ve been promised by the new government and I can tell you that the future is looking pretty bright. If we have any electricity.

Woohoo!

Please be aware that this time around, the majority of the population will not be voting for Jacob Zuma’s ANC. Oh no, they’ll be voting for Cyril Ramaphosa’s ANC.
This is the novel, clean, corruption-free version, with only half of JZ’s cronies in the hotseats. And a leader who saw nothing dodgy going on during his four years as Deputy President (despite… well, see the link above). And who has prosecuted and jailed about exactly zero of those implicated in State Capture and corruption since his promotion to President 15 months ago. And who seems regularly amazed at what a crappy state the country is in.

It’s new. Shiny. A fresh start. Mmmm.

I can’t wait. The next five years are going to be absolutely amazing.

Pano play

Photography homework this week for the boy was to use a freeware manual panorama maker (Hugin) to manually make a panorama.

I like the approach of the photography teacher: they have lessons on hardware and software, then they get to go away and try what they have learned. But not everyone wants to (or can afford to) go down the route of paid-for editing software, and so they are learning how to use freeware like GIMP and… well… Hugin.
They also have critique sessions, where they can – as a group – praise others’ work and suggest ways to improve. It’s a great way to work and they’re a very positive, enthusiastic group.

Hugin is free, and it does what it says it will, but it is cumbersome and time-consuming. Simply as a comparison, we took the same photos, fed them into Lightroom and pressed the magic Panorama button.

Here’s the result:

You can have a look at the full 63MP version here.

This isn’t perfect, but given that it was a last minute dot com effort from a bridge near his school, with the light fading and after he had been hiking all day in a Scouting competition, I think it’s pretty good.

The Hugin version was not as good and took longer to make, but as I mentioned, it was free.

And while we’re on about photography, I found myself waiting outside a coffee shop this morning, waiting for it to open. Wandering into the park opposite, I was kicking myself for not bringing my camera along: the mist was subduing all of the colours aside from the bright yellows and oranges of the American Sweetgums. Fortunately, I had my phone, but this quite nice image could have been really nice.

Always have your camera with you.
That’s something else they should be teaching the kids.

Minor Manifestos (2)

Step forward The Green Party of South Africa – it’s your turn to have your manifesto scrutinised by the 6000 miles… election team.

I came into this one rather sceptical, I’ll be honest.
And, it turns out, I had every good reason for that approach.

Some key policies:

What are we doing about crime? Addressing the cause of it.
Changing the hearts and minds of Men by a massive media campaign.

Well now. Why didn’t anyone else think of putting up lots of posters, sending SMSs and having the odd TV ad spot, just basically asking Men not to do crimes? All this time, we’ve been suffering under the tyrannical jackboots of murder, rape, hijacking and robbery, when we could just have asked Men nicely not to do naughty things and it would all have been solved. That’ll work. Said no-one ever.

But that’s not all: the hearts and minds of Men will be easier to change because:

Not eating battery farmed meat will reduce the stress and aggression chemicals regularly eaten inside the meat from battery animals who have lived in fear and stress all their lives.

mmmkay.

And education? What about that?

Making it relevant, by televisions by the best teachers with field trips. Teaching pupils how to teach themselves.

This doesn’t even make sense. The words are all ok, but I think it kind of falls apart in the way that you’ve put them together. And getting kids to teach themselves? Isn’t that what teachers do?

And then could we have some misplaced business science, combined some with age-old, oft-debunked conspiracy theories, please?

TRANSPARENCY IN THE PHARMACEUTICAL INDUSTRY. Cancer cures already exist, but are withheld from us because they don’t involve chemicals which can be sold at the huge profits the pharmaceutical industry is used to.
Animal research is huge business. It is often far more profitable to be looking for cures than to find them – particularly if the cures turn out to be relatively cheap or naturally available.

Seems legit. Also: aliens, right?

AN END TO BATTERY FARMING: Antibiotics are routinely fed to the animals to prevent them getting sick from living in such crowded conditions. This is creating a new era of super viruses and diseases in humans that are immune to all known antibiotics.

Now, I’m no fan of battery farming, and this starts well, but then goes way off track. I get the idea, sure, but the lack of any sort of accuracy in the second sentence does make me wonder if you actually know what the actual funk you’re going on about. Super viruses, really?

This would also greatly reduce heart attacks – over 50% are related to eating too much animal protein and fat.

I mean, we know this is likely correct, but have you run it past Prof Tim and his concubine?

At present it is possible that most of the food you buy in shops is POISONOUS to your health…

Sweet Jesus. It’s also “possible” that you’ll win the election, but let’s see how that pans out, shall we?

And then… then, these bizarre lines (from the 1990s?). How did this make it in?

To be able to utilise all of our ideas and co-operation when the computer flaw at the turn of the century throws our whole society into chaos, will help our survival . We are pretty certain that all over the world, the mainframes and their sensors scattered throughout the facilities are going to make water, petrol (and through that food), money, sewerage and airline and traffic control not available to us. We need to be ready with all our ideas and co-operation to get through that period as one Nation.

“The computer flaw at the turn of the century”? Is this… was this the Y2K bug that never actually happened?
And yet here they are 20 years on, using a debunked scaremongering theory to try and impose their bizarre thinking on us? There’s enough in those last three lines of their manifesto to keep any sane individual’s X out of the Green Party box.

However, if you want to get in touch with The Green Party of South Africa (NOTE: The website “greensouthafrica.co.za” and “Greens South Africa” on Facebook is not us.), then you can find their address on the website. And yes, it’s in Noordhoek – on the far side of the Lentil Curtain.