Some time ago, we featured the Bollards of London blog on here. Sadly, it seems that that venture has disappeared from the internet. What a load of boll…ards. Presumably, they found them all and there was nothing else to document. But there are still plenty of other niche blogs around, and here’s one:

Pylon of the Month dot org

Yep. Really.

I know electricity is a bit of a sore point around here at the moment, but Pylon of the Month is actually rather addictive. I’m currently back in early 2010, close to beautiful Sheffield, looking at a stunning pylon-related sunset. The site has been going since 2008 and despite being a British based blog, even featured a snap from Somerset West (ugh) to open 2015. There was one from Japan last year as well. Cyprus, Scotland, Greece, Bulgaria, France, Ireland and Sweden are all also represented.
Wow. International.

It isn’t just pylons though. There’s a bit of information about the locality or the reasons behind the author being where he was when the photo was taken. And (perhaps because he’s a physics teacher near Oxford) then there’s educational stuff too. TIL about Stockbridge dampers:

A Stockbridge damper is a tuned mass damper used to suppress wind-induced vibrations on slender structures such as overhead power lines. The dumbbell-shaped device consists of two masses at the ends of a short length of cable or flexible rod, which is clamped at its middle to the main cable. The damper is designed to dissipate the energy of oscillations in the main cable to an acceptable level.

Without which, power lines would be wobbling and failing all over the world. Thank you, George H. Stockbridge, for your surprisingly simple – yet effective – invention. And you’ve all seen them, you just never knew what you were looking at. I love stuff like that.

Anyway, never one to shy away from getting involved in mildly odd stuff (at least on the internet), I’m going to submit a photo wot I took (of a pylon, obvs) to and see if I can get SA another place on the 2015 board. Watch this space. Or rather watch that space.

Leave a comment | Tagged , , | Posted in flickr, learning curve, no electricity, recommended site, uk

One Direction in Cape Town

Today’s the day, tonight’s the night. One Direction madness has taken over the Mother City as everyone looks forward to seeing the Famous Five Four on stage later. I surrendered my tickets -in exchange for a reasonable sum of money – to someone who actually wanted to go, so I’m going to miss out on all the excitement in Green Point. Still, being just 11.21km from the Stadium (as the crow flies, and providing it avoids Devils Peak), I’m going to have to take extra care of the beagle this evening: it has very sensitive hearing, you know?

For those of you who are joining me in not being there this evening, here’s just a taste of what we’re missing.

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Those voices. That confidence. That chorus! Such power.

If you are going along – have fun.
I’m almost sad to say I’m not going to be there. Almost.

4 Comments | Tagged , , | Posted in music, this is south africa

Google Maps Pac-man

For a limited time only: Play pac-man on your local streets:

Go to Google Maps, find yourself an area with lots of roads (Cape Town CBD will do nicely), and look for the big Pac-Man icon on the bottom left:


At which point you zoom in to street level and Strand Street et al become your feeding grounds:


Control Pac-man with the cursor keys, eat the blobs and look out for the ghosts. What? Oh. Sorry. I didn’t know you’d played it before.

Apparently this is an April Fool’s ‘Eater Egg’ from Google, so it won’t be around forever. So go play now.
(Hint: use dual carriageways to avoid being eaten)

Leave a comment | Tagged , , | Posted in in the news, recommended site, that's a bit mad

Near-miss probe begins

Remember the Three German Warships Off Struisbaai? The Three German Warships that weren’t really doing anything very sinister? That was, until they tried to blow up a fishing boat with 10 people on board later that evening.

These things happen.

Captain Jaco Theunissen, spokesman for the SA Navy’s joint operations division, said on Saturday: “The South African National Defence Force acknowledges that the unfortunate incident that was reported on in the Cape Times on Friday, March 27 did take place.”

The navy has said warnings about naval exercises are sent out as navigation warnings on radio and to all fishing clubs and harbours. Day has said he got no warning.

To be fair to the Three German Warships, it’s actually unclear whether it was one of them or their SA Navy counterparts which fired the shots.

Fishing boat skipper, Anthony Day (perhaps understandably), isn’t happy though:

“…no one from the navy has contacted me. It is very disturbing that you can nearly take someone’s life away and you don’t even contact them.
I understand they don’t want legal implications, but if I shot at someone in the street, I would be locked up, and here nothing happens.”

Fair point, but if you fired a dual-purpose 62-caliber, 76-millimeter gun manufactured by OTO Melara at someone in the street, there would be other questions to be asked as well, like “Where on earth did you get that massive gun from?” and “Wasn’t there a house at the end of this road – you know – where that heap of smouldering rubble is now?”

And then, yes, you’d be locked up.

Seriously though, this was an unbelievably careless incident, which could have had huge implications and led to loss of life, and thus it needs proper, thorough investigation by someone senior in the naval hierarchy. I guess that means they’ll be bringing in the big guns.


2 Comments | Tagged , , , | Posted in cape agulhas, in the news, that's a bit mad, this is south africa

In step

In each photo I have of my Mum and Alex, they seem to be in synchronised step.


File under: Strange observations when introspectively browsing your Flickr.

Leave a comment | Tagged , , | Posted in flickr, positive thoughts, quota photo, the parenting bunny, uk