Lucky Escape

Hannover 96 had to rely on a penalty shootout to get them past 1.FC Köln in the German Pokal first round earlier this evening.
Hannover were cruising to a 1-0 win when their influential playmaker… er… me… was distracted by a playful beagle flinging both itself and a nauseatingly damp half of its owl chew toy at me, allowing Köln to sneak a last minute equaliser.

’96 have huge concerns of a similar incident as they head away to cup specialists Bayer Leverkusen in the next round, but they needn’t worry, as I’ve now shut the dog in the kitchen for remainder of the tournament.

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Today, I saved a seagull

It’s the 5spesie in Agulhas this weekend, whereby anglers from all over the country converge and try to catch as many Belman, Galjoen, Kob, Musselcracker and White Steenbras as they can.
Sadly, they also leave the beaches in a terrible state, with beer bottles and fishing line everywhere.


This little guy – probably not even a year old – was tangled in a fisherman’s line and was slowly drowning as the tide came in. The angler in question wasn’t doing anything about it (I’m not quite sure what his medium term plan was, given that there was a seagull attached to his fishing rod), so it was left to me to wade out about twenty metres, get pecked a bit and bring the gull to the beach for some cutting loose.

Tomorrow, we’re back down there to do some more clearing of fishing line, bait bags and beer bottles. But hopefully no more seagulls.

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Some more Friday Ephemera

Hey, blog reader. Let’s not beat about the Baardskeerdersbos here (more of that below): you’ve had a good week on here. Well. Prolific, at least. Nine posts on here already and I’m about to add a tenth.
Forget your old adages about Quality over Quantity. You get what you’re given.
And here comes another spoonful right now. Open wide…

Let’s start with Baardskeerdersbos – it’s a tiny village in the Overberg – not too far from the Black Oystercatcher. Crazy name, crazy reason for the name…

The name “Baardskeerdersbos” in Afrikaans or “Baardscheerders Bosch” in the original Dutch literally means “Beard Shaver’s Forest”. The accepted explanation for this name is that a species of solifuge inhabits the area, and that this arachnid is referred to as a “beard shaver” because it cuts hair to use for nest-building.

Cool. What’s a solifuge?



We move on, quickly. To Nurofen, who have been accused of misleading consumers in Australia:

The products at the centre of the dispute are Nurofen Back Pain, Nurofen Period Pain, Nurofen Migraine Pain and Nurofen Tension Headache.
The consumer watchdog has alleged that making each product look like it treats a particular type of pain is false or misleading – because the tablets inside are identical.
The drugs, which are sometimes sold for different prices, contain the same active ingredient – ibuprofen lysine 342mg.

Well, just buy the cheapest one then. That was easy.


Here are some Cybergoths (yes, they are a thing), dancing to the theme music from Thomas the Tank Engine.

You need to a flashplayer enabled browser to view this YouTube video

Let’s be fair, you can make most anyone look a bit silly by simply changing the soundtrack on a video of them dancing, and the further you go from the original, the sillier it looks. I think it’s reasonable to suggest that the gap between Industrial Aggrotech Power Noise and theme from animated kids’ TV programme about a talking steam train is about as far as you can get, and therefore we may have already reached peak silliness in this particular video format.


Intelligence news now (or rather lack of intelligence news, lol).

After the State Security Agency joined the long line of spy shops to become a laughing stock, the government is fighting back. On Thursday afternoon, they warned us of an espionage plot hatched by a CIA superspy team comprising Julius Malema, Lindiwe Mazibiuko and Thuli Madonsela.

Seems legit. No, really, it does seem totally legit that our brain-dead State Security Agency thought that this might actually be true.


This is scary. The Anatomy of a Hack.

In the early morning hours of October 21st, 2014, Partap Davis lost $3,000. He had gone to sleep just after 2AM in his Albuquerque, New Mexico, home after a late night playing World of Tanks. While he slept, an attacker undid every online security protection he set up. By the time he woke up, most of his online life had been compromised: two email accounts, his phone, his Twitter, his two-factor authenticator, and most importantly, his bitcoin wallets.

Basically, it all stemmed from the hacker gaining control over Davis’ email account. The rest was fairly simple. If you take one thing away from this post, it should be those cybergoths dancing to the Thomas the Tank Engine music. However, if you take two things away from it, then the other thing should be to make sure that your email password is as uncrackable as possible.


This quote (via Sign with a E):

When Bulletproof coffee looks like the answer, the odds are you’re asking the wrong question.

It’s from this article, which isn’t anti-LCHF in the manner of being pro-anything else in particular, but is more about not looking for the one magic diet to make us live forever.

…the truth, as always with diet, is more nuanced. The doctor David Katz, a leading expert on public health who runs the Yale Prevention Research Centre, points out that when it comes to food, there is something worse for us than either sugar or saturated fat: “It is mostly stupidity that is killing us.”

Yes. Sadly, just not quickly enough in some people’s case.


Finally, a link I tweeted earlier this week – Shawn Benjamin’s photos of the Cape Town fire.


There are obviously a lot of shots around of this weeks events, but I particularly enjoyed this set because of the way that Shawn has captured the human element in so many of his photos. Then, just for balance, there are dramatic fire pictures, smoky ones and a whole heap of helicopters.

What’s not to like? (Apart from the widespread destruction of wildlife and property, obviously.)

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Mind The Gap

This is a very impressive, very touching short film by Luke Flanagan. It’s earned him an official selection spot at this year’s London Short Film Festival.

You only need 6 minutes to watch it, but you do need 6 minutes to watch it.

The actual mind the gap announcement is as iconic a part of London as the double decker bus or the post box. For Londoners it goes deeper — many of us remember the actual voice of Oswald Lawrence on the Northern Line, so when we hear it now we have a recall to that time. There’s a kind of nostalgia for growing up in London and using the tube.

When you find that it’s based on a true story, you’ll probably find that you have some smoke from that pesky Cape Town fire in your eyes, right?

1 Comment | Tagged , , | Posted in positive thoughts, uk

Photo of man holding dead dog is very touching, isn’t from Cape Town

In the… well, in the “duringmath” (it’s like an aftermath, but for an ongoing event, see?) of the Muizenberg Fire, this heartbreaking photo has been doing the rounds:

deaddog …described as:

This man is holding his dog who passed on due to smoke inhalation. This picture was taken just after firefighters brought her out. Dogs aren’t just pets. Dogs are family.

or like this:

That tweet in response to this post, by the way.

Yes. Very touching – and at least partially true (see below) – but this isn’t from Cape Town. This is from Reading, Pennsylvania, USA. Here’s the story from the 31st January this year via the (paywalled) Reading Eagle:

On Friday, five dogs died after a fire broke out in the second floor of a northwest Reading, Pennsylvania row home. One of the dog’s owners, Shamel English was devastated at the loss of his pitbull named Gemini. Eleven people lost their home, reports the Reading Eagle.

The fire may have started from an electrical problem. Authorities are investigating.

Amanda Moser, 31, her husband Shamel English and Moser’s mother, Diane Fritz were home when the fire broke out. The family managed to usher their two dogs out the door, but for an unknown reason Gemini ran back into the burning home.

“She must have gotten scared and then ran straight back into the house. They (firefighters) brought her out, but by then she had passed on,” the grieving dog parent English stated. “She was more than a dog; she was a part of our family.”

Firemen tried their best to resuscitate Gemini, but it was too late. English carried her lifeless body to the porch, and grieved. English stated he found Gemini when she was only three-weeks-old wandering in an alley. She was reported to have been a sweet and friendly dog.

The other dogs that died in the fire were Chihuahuas.

English’s other pit bull named Poe survived the fire. He was safely tied up at a neighbor’s home.

Rest in peace Gemini.

“Dog parent”? Really? Eish.

It’s probably worth noting that he’s likely quite upset that he doesn’t have a house or any possessions any more either.
No, don’t throw sharp things at me. He is. You would be too, whether you had a dog or not.

So there you have it. Sad, yes. Cape Town, no.
Listen, I do appreciate the sentiment, but let’s not just pretend that every photo that fits our agenda happened this week in the Cape Town fires.
One big – huge, even – local newsworthy event doesn’t mean that you should forget your responsibility to not be a doos on the internet.

Please try to remember that.

2 Comments | Tagged , , , | Posted in annoying people, in the news, this is south africa