Castle

I’ve been running and then I’ve been packing. Things I have almost broken this evening include my right ankle and my age-old rucksack. I fear this will be its last trip abroad. The rucksack might have to go too.
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This is a photo from our last family trip up north. It features Castle Rushen, the Manx flag and blue skies. It seems likely that we’ll probably see two of those things this time too.

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Y U NO BLOG?

Aside from my daytime job of doing my daytime job, I also fulfil a number of other roles, including – in no particular order – father, blogger, world traveller and football watcher. Since I put my son to bed earlier and did some packing ahead of our trip on Thursday and then taking into account the fact that I am currently watching football, by doing some rudimentary calculations, you can perhaps see what has been left til last.

I am reading Roald Dahl’s Matilda to 6 year old Alex at the moment and I have been completely shocked by the vivid and regular depiction of child abuse, plus other rather adult themes including suicide, fraud, suspected murder, poverty, nepotism and the occult. I was even more shocked to discover earlier this evening that the evil monster headmistress from hell, Miss Trunchbull, was Miss Honey’s aunt.

WHO COULD HAVE SEEN THAT COMING?

not me.

Alex is enjoying the book though and is keen to experience more by the same author. Therefore, please can anyone tell me if James and the Giant Peach is any more child friendly, before I go, credit card in hand, to the Kindle store?

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Bread & Butter

I’m probably hugely hungover this morning following that party in Hermanus, so here’s one I made earlier: David Mitchell on Bread, Butter and the Atkins Diet.

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Brilliant.

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Going Gaga

Big Concerts has come out with a Big Announcement that they are going to make a Big Announcement on Monday morning.
Care should be taken here, since the last Big Announcement by Big Concerts was that Celtic Woman were to play in South Africa. (If you don’t know who Celtic Woman are, then you join the rest of us. Welcome.)

Speculation is unsurprisingly rife that it could be Madonna, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Radiohead, the Foo Fighters, or indeed a return visit from Celtic Woman. And then there’s the Lady Gaga thing.

Let’s have a quick look at how Big Concerts is advertising their Big Announcement:

And let’s compare that with the typography on the Lady Gaga “Born This Way Ball” site:

Similar? Not similar?
Coincidence? Not coincidence?

If it is her, she’d better not wear that meat dress. She’ll get braai’ed.

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Penetration of the Oral Mucosa by Parasite-Like Sperm Bags of Squid: A Case Report in a Korean Woman

You what?!?

Yep – it’s one of those moments where you have to sit down and take a long look at what you just read.
And re-read. But even when you do, it will still read:

Penetration of the Oral Mucosa by Parasite-Like Sperm Bags of Squid: A Case Report in a Korean Woman

That’s because it’s the title of this paper, which descibes how:

a 63-yr-old Korean woman experienced severe pain in her oral cavity immediately after eating a portion of parboiled squid along with its internal organs. She did not swallow the portion, but spat it out immediately. She complained of a pricking and foreign-body sensation in the oral cavity.

And what caused that pricking and foreign-body sensation in the oral cavity?

This did.

Twelve small, white spindle-shaped, bug-like organisms stuck in the mucous membrane of the tongue, cheek, and gingiva were completely removed, along with the affected mucosa. On the basis of their morphology and the presence of the sperm bag, the foreign bodies were identified as squid spermatophores.

But just what does that mean? Step forward Danna Straaf from website Science 2.0 – a woman whose claims expertise in these matters is obvious from the moment she states that:

I’ve probably had hundreds of spermatophores ejaculate on my fingers and never felt a sting.

As Danna says, that’s probably because the skin on the human hand is too thick for those pesky squid spermatophores – essentially bags of squid sperm – to penetrate. Not so your flimsy oral mucosa.

That’s why Danna doesn’t eat half-cooked squids. Probably.

So should we calamari fans freak out right about now (that’s if you haven’t already freaked out having digested (sorry) the contents (sorry again) of this post thus far)?

No – we “Western” squid nibblers are just fine:

First, most Western squid preparations remove the internal organs and serve only the muscle, so there’s no danger of accidentally ingesting spermatophores.

Oh, and just in case you were thinking about getting bags of squid semen and popping them into your oral cavity:

Second, it’s perfectly fine to handle spermatophores – just don’t put them in your mouth.

Consider yourselves educated. And slightly less hungry than you were five minutes ago.

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