Silent UK on tour

Please take the time to check out another post from Silent UK:

This taken on the Port Vell Aerial Tramway in Barcelona

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Texts to dog

I’m LOVING the Texts From Dog tweets from @OctoberJones, who – just like it says on the tin – texts his dog (who is at home) while he’s out and about:


Use the link above to follow him for more LOLs, not all of which include the F word.

UPDATE: Now on Tumblr.

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Brian is back again, but he’s still not a Real Photographer

I was delighted to note that Brian Micklethwait, my favourite UK blogger, had decided to end another of his self-imposed hiatuses (hiatii?) and start up his regular blogging again. And so far this week, we’ve had a couple of wonderful photos [here and here] of Anish Kapoor’s Olympic sculpture, a Shard update from the 1950s and a link to a wonderful South African blog post about London.

And then today: geese.
And this quote, after a close encounter with a gander (while having a gander at his missus):

A real photographer would have advanced again, made him angry again, and got a shot of him being angry, while very slightly risking death, again.

I don’t know, hey Brian? If a swan can break a man’s arm (anyone ever seen this happen, by the way?) surely a goose could at least take out a finger…

Take care out there.

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Credibility issues

As Sarah Britten penned an article documenting Helen Zille’s slow but steady meltdown on Twitter and with political commentator Eusebius McKaiser even suggesting:

For its own sake, the DA might need a new leader.

suddenly the rug has been smartly pulled from beneath DA supporters’ feet, as their previously solid and reliable leader seems almost to be suffering some sort of breakdown, resulting in her, her party’s and her supporters’ credibility being eroded; the sage advice of arguing only with logic and not emotion seemingly forgotten.

But while the own goals of opposition politicians are important in our democracy, there are bigger problems involving credibility facing our country. Hot Cross Buns.

Yep – Woolworths (and as we’ve said before, this isn’t the same Woolworths as went bust in the UK, this is the SA equivalent of M&S) are out and about offending christians again. But after their previous capitulation on the decision to remove loss making christian magazines from their shelves back in 2010 (a decision which resulted, incidentally, in a loss of credibility for the store), “surprisingly” this time it’s the christians who have lost the plot. This just a couple of weeks after their “Jesus is alive/Jesus is dead” car crash of an argument over the Red Bull ad.

Because today, christian people (not all christian people, it should be said, but some very vocal christian people) are ever so upset about there being a Halaal marking on Woolworths’ Hot Cross Buns.

And yes, they’re really annoyed:

I hate woolworths… How can you do that to the Christians, I hope that God will have mercy on you. And dnt be surprised if your shops run bankrupt.. I will pray to my living God and you will see what he is capable of!

Let’s pop back and review that threat in a few weeks, months or years, shall we? Because while your bloke upstairs is allegedly both omnipresent and omnipotent, Woolies do sell awfully nice chocolate brownies, very decent fresh fruit and veg, and have a huge selection of quality clothing as well. With their latest results indicating a turnover up 11.4%, profits up 26.8% (despite not selling very many christian magazines) and total assets of R9,218,000,000, it seems unlikely that they’ll go under any time soon.

But with several people up in arms over some seasonal bakery products, who knows what the future may hold?

Even the SA Catholic Bishops’ Conference spokesperson Chris Townsend said “people were overreacting and needed to be more understanding”:

Hot cross buns are only a symbol, and not a central tenet of Christianity. There are a lot more weighty issues to deal with in SA than a few ‘hot cross Christians’

However, for me, it’s just another nail in the coffin as far as christian credibility is concerned. And to be honest, we’re running out of space on the lid now. When members of a religion (or any other group) display such stupid, irrational (shock) and intolerant behaviour, there comes a point when society will simply stop listening.

And if they want their reasonable and sensible suggestions to be considered in the future, just like dear Helen, someone needs to tell them to pipe down before that moment comes.

UPDATE: Here’s some opinion from Georgina Guedes. You may recall that I also agreed with her thoughts here back in 2007.

UPDATE 2: Oh dear – there’s precedent! Tesco in the UK has lost market share, profit and has been infested by mice (twice) – all “since supporting Gay Pride“.

UPDATE 3: Hayibo’s response is brilliant.

UPDATE 4: This is also worth a read for a different perspective on this.

10 Comments | Tagged , , , | Posted in economic issues, in the news, politics, that's a bit mad, this is south africa

Things you should read

AGAIN… not much time tonight (cue groans of happiness from the 6000 miles… reader collective).

But, rather than a quota photo, some reading material for you, since there’s not ever so much here:

Firstly, this, from the Independent, via my Dad:

Meet the Geordie who led Benfica to three league titles

When the great Eusebio flies to Sheffield to attend a statue dedication, and describes the subject as “still in my heart”, it is quite a tribute.

But so it was for Jimmy Hagan, the legendary former Sheffield United player who managed Benfica to three consecutive Portuguese titles in the early 1970s. He was only manager there for three seasons, but demonstrably left a strong and personal mark on one of Europe’s great clubs. He can be considered among England’s finest managerial exports.

It was not for Hagan’s managerial achievements, though – important as they were – that the statue was dedicated. Hagan, who was born in Washington, County Durham, on the outskirts of Newcastle, is broadly thought to be Sheffield United’s greatest ever player, having played there for 20 years, from 1938 to 1958.

Eusebio, who is to Benfica what Hagan is to Sheffield United, was speaking at the dedication of a statue of Hagan at Bramall Lane 11 years ago, near what would have been Hagan’s 83rd birthday. He died in 1998.

And then, continuing the sporting theme (sort of), this from Jacques Rousseau on Tim Noakes dietary advice flip and the lack of scientific evidence behind it:

Tim Noakes on carbohydrates – fad or fact?

It, therefore, seems premature – even unjustified – to speak of this diet in such unequivocally positive terms, not to mention introducing the language of moral panics in the form of our hypothetical “addiction” to carbohydrates. As Ben Goldacre has pointed out, anecdotes are not data, and the bulk of the data available right now suggest that the main problem is simply that we eat too darn much.

Seriously, they are both worth several minutes of your time. If I hadn’t read them, I’d be able to blog properly today.

Tomorrow, I’ll try to tell you about the tortoise in Nigeria.

But tomorrow is another day.

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