Fire theories

There have been some wildfires recently. And while arson is likely to be the cause of some of them, could there be something even more sinister behind that arson?

Only yesterday, High Empress of the Western Cape, Helen Zille, sent out this tweet, “just asking” if the recent wildfires could be “accidental or coincidental”.

[EDIT: Actually, this is a SA Weather Service map showing warning for “veld fire conditions” (and “extreme heat”), not actual fires.]

To be honest, we’re all well aware that she has jumped on the conspiracy theory bandwagon and is “#justasking” if the ANC has a deliberate, coordinated arson campaign in full swing in order to “destabilise the [DA-run] Western Cape”. And even then, is that “accidental” or “coincidental”?
In my view, it’s neither. I think that would be “deliberate” and “coordinated”.

The trouble is, even in sharing the image above, Helen has basically answered her own unasked question. The fires are all in red or brown areas – marked as such because they are very dangerous or extreme risk for wildfires. Next to some of the fire icons are thermometer icons. They show that there is a heatwave, adding to the fire risk. And then there’s the green bit towards the south and east of the province. Limited fire risk there. And no fires. And then there are the those three fires icons in the [ANC-run] Northern Cape. Bit of an own goal there, ne?

So wildfires in fire season in high risk wildfire areas, during a heatwave, in the middle of a drought? Yeah. Sounds like an ANC campaign to me. [pops on tinfoil hat]

Cape Town will always suffer from wildfires though, because of the volcanic mountain on our doorstep. I think most people are unaware of this – obviously the city wouldn’t want panic to ensue when the 4.5 million residents realised that they were living right on top of an explodey volcanological time-bomb. So they’ve not mentioned it.

Sadly, thanks to this erstwhile FB user, the cat are now out of the bag.

Yeah. I mean, how unlikely is that cigarette or arson theory when you look at the “Lions Head is a sleeping volcano” reasoning. Of course, Lions Head isn’t a sleeping volcano, it’s sandstone on top of Cape granite (see here), as any meteorologist will tell you (once they’ve… er… stopped foolishly looking at the weather), but don’t let that stand in your way as you crash wildly through the fragile boundaries of reality and into your scary, alternate, “everything is going to repeatedly be set on fire and they’re not telling us why” dimension.

Wait… OMG! Fires on hot days? I hadn’t linked the two. Ever. She might actually be correct. I mean, it never burns in winter, does it? You know: Winter, when the volcanic mountains go cold for several months and there are no wildfires. Checkmate, skeptics!

And just in case you are still a non-believer:

Well, California, South and East Australia, OregonPeru and Canada, just off the top of my head. And, weirdly, all in summer. And double weirdly, all in places where the ANC wasn’t in power. And treble weirdly, all in places where the local authorities haven’t told residents that they’re living on top of a explodey volcanological time-bomb, even when they’re not.

Suddenly. It. All. Fits.

And our Facebooking friend has some advice for those who are commenting on her post:

Yeah. I mean, honestly. If you don’t know what you’re talking about when it comes to the volcano mountain or the natural annual fires, then just don’t get involved, ok? Just like she didn’t.

Sadly, this being the internet, and her theories being utterly laughable, some people did get involved and the lady making the volcano suggestions was on the receiving end of some not inconsiderable ridicule. And then, this being the internet, someone defended her, and so she said this:

Yeah, immatured people. Please actually think logically when you’re participating in matured conversations like ones about volcanoes which aren’t volcanoes lighting fires on extremely unbearably hot days.

Honestly. It’s not hard.

Magnificent (she says)

Actually, Magnificent (I say). The first track from Elbow’s forthcoming new album has Guy Garvey’s soothing, uncomplicated voice running over a backdrop of dramatic strings and comes packaged with a suitably triumphant video:

It’s my new favourite tune, with thought provoking lyrics reminding us the powerful innocence and promise of childhood:

And there she stands
Throwing both her arms around the world
The world that doesn’t even know
How much it needs this little girl

It’s all gonna be magnificent, she says
It’s all gonna be magnificent…

and brings with it huge anticipation for the new album Little Frictions, due for release in early February.

Gorgeous.

QUOCKERWODGER

The infamous QI Elves shared this on Twitter over the weekend:

I think it was conveniently timed to coincide with the upcoming Trump inauguration, but to be fair, we had our own quockerwodger long before DT came onto the political scene.

It seems like it is a borrowed definition:

The term quockerwodger, although originally referring to a wooden toy figure which jerks its limbs about when pulled by a string, has been supplemented with a political meaning. A pseudo-politician, one whose strings of action are pulled by somebody else, is now often termed a quockerwodger.

But it’s a highly accurate one for our President. And – if the “fake news” are to be believed – theirs as well.

A day

Much relief today as a friend and teammate survived a medical close call. But a wake up call, too. Not that I wasn’t beginning to stir anyway. I covered that in part here.

Sterkte, El Presidente. Get well soon.

Battery

I had to buy a new car battery today. It was a late decision, and the only battery place still open in the afternoon was Battery Centre in Mowbray:

Mowbray

228 Main Road
snif@iafrica.com
(021) 448 7033

They’re open till 2pm on Saturdays. Lovely.

Not only was the service friendly and generally excellent, but there was this helpful chemical equation on the wall:

So not only do you get the battery, you get to see how it works as well.