So backward…

Astounding news today that the Western Province Rugby Union (WPRU) have blocked the much anticipated “exhibition” Heineken Cup game between Saracens and Biarritz from being played at the Cape Town Stadium, stating:

The WPRFU Executive Committee decided that the home of rugby, Newlands, would stage this historic match. According to the South African Rugby Union Constitution the final decision regarding the match venue lies in the hands of the host union.

This news was greeted by a hearty rattle of walking sticks and zimmer frames.

The thing is though, Saracens – who made the official approach to have the match played in Cape Town – don’t want to play at Newlands. They want to play at the Cape Town Stadium, hence their official approach to have the game played at… er… the Cape Town Stadium.

This could be seen as a not-so-subtle hint that WPRU has no intention of moving to the new stadium. A not-so-subtle hint which mirrors the no-so-subtle hint of Newlands only being awarded the South Africa v Argentina test next year, which all the “big” tests (Australia, New Zealand, England) went to 2o10 World Cup venues.

The Committee unanimously agreed that Newlands is currently the home of rugby in the Western Province, and will be treated as such for the foreseeable future. Newlands is one of the oldest rugby stadia in the world, with excellent facilities and currently boasts some of the highest attendance levels in world rugby.

Excellent facilities including decaying concrete, poor lighting, no parking and so on. And those attendance levels? Sure, they’re great – but  how many of those fans wouldn’t travel 10km up the road for a better experience at a better stadium?

It’s a poke in the eye for the City of Cape Town. A reminder of who runs rugby in the Cape. A sign of what’s to come if the City thinks it’s going to “force” WPRU away from Newlands. It’s a watershed moment and instead of embracing common sense and the wishes of so many people in Cape Town, WPRU are obstinately stuck in the past, sitting blinkered in their own little world.

Whether the game will now even go ahead at all is yet to be seen. If not, that would mean a loss of revenue for many stakeholders – including WPRU.

How long before they learn their lesson?

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In lieu of…

…a proper post, while I am struggling with other things, please accept this massive photograph of a flower.

Taken at Kirstenbosch this weekend and nicer on black here, it’ll just have to do until I have time to write something meaningful.

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Mein Land

Time to wake up and enjoy some Saturday morning madness with this new video from Rammstein:


Don’t you just love that Baywatch meets Happy Days theme?

You’re here in my country.
My waves and my beach.
My country.

sings Til Lindemann, incorrectly, since this video was shot in California, USA – about *cough* 6000 miles… from sein Land.

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Yesterday’s cricket at Newlands was a bit mental and broke all sort of records. And even those records that it didn’t break, it threatened with physical violence and actual bodily harm.
Cricinfo’s chief statistician S Rajesh was watching it all from the safety of Bangalore and produced this wonderful summary of what happened, what didn’t happen and what nearly happened.

It’s worth a read.

And even today, it’s been a bit odd:

Lots of silly hype about 11/11/11 and especially about 11:11 on 11/11/11.

In the cricket at Newlands, SA messed up by being 111/1 11 minutes early at 11:00 on 11/11/11.
However, they made up for it 11 minutes later by needing 111 to win at 11:11 on 11/11/11.

*cue twilight zone music*

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Cute gets hits

Think of this as some sort of web-based experiment. And yes – if you’re reading this, you are one of my experimental subjects. If you don’t want to take part, you can always close this window, but actually, in just being here, you’ve already taken part. Thanks.

Bizarrely, one of the posts which recurrently scores the highest number of hits is this one from June 2009, which features a baby pygmy marmoset. There’s nothing else of interest in that post, so I’ve formulated the hypothesis that “cute gets hits”.

That being the case, have some baby platypi platypuses:


Cute, hey? Yeah, cute until they get you with the pair of short spurs tucked away on their back legs, each of which is hooked-up to a venom gland that makes a viciously painful toxin:

Platypus spurrings of people are rare, but the select group who have survived the trauma (often fishermen trying to free irate monotremes from their nets) report pain strong enough to induce vomiting which can persist for days, weeks or even months. The pain is resistant to morphine and other pain-killing drugs and anaesthesia of the main nerve from the spur site is often the only way to relieve the patient’s suffering.

Or, of course, brandy:

“… the pain was intense and almost paralysing. But for the administration of small doses of brandy, he would have fainted on the spot: as it was, it was half and hour before he could stand without support: by that time the arm was swollen to the shoulder, and quite useless, and the pain in the hand very severe.” – W.W. Spicer (1876)

Mmmm….. Brandy….

But I feel we’re drifting away from the original idea of this post, so for more cute pictures and all you need to know about baby platypi platypuses head here.

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