Water great idea

We’re rather short of water and thus any way of saving water is a good way of saving water, even when it seems a bit silly. Like the City stopping people wearing board shorts to its swimming pools (back when they were open). It’s that desperate.

But no-one wants to (or will) jump through hoops to save water. People are lazy. You need to make it easy for them.

So well done to our kids’ school for this simple plan to save just a little bit more:

One of the measures that takes effect immediately is that students may come to school in their sports uniform on the days that they have extra murals or matches. This should reduce the volume of uniform needing to be washed at home.

So my boy will wear his football kit to school on Mondays (match day) and Thursdays (training day), and my girl will wear PE kit to school ahead of her pilates on a Wednesday, instead of wearing their usual uniform and then getting changed for their afternoon activities.
Three sets of extra uniform not washed each week might not seem like much, but with 400+ kids in the school all following this advice, well, that’s when you start to make a difference.

If you have kids in Cape Town, why not suggest this idea to your school? And please share this post for awareness.

STATS: June and the shortest day – Cape Town

We’re into June (cue comments of “where does the time go?” etc.) and Cape Town (last time I checked) is located deep (about 33 degrees deep) in the Southern Hemisphere.
The relevance of those temporal and geographical observations is that June contains our shortest day. And this year, much the same as every other year, June 21st has won through once again. [polite applause]

Note: I’m writing this on the morning of June 1st, but as I don’t know when you’ll read it, some of the tenses might be a bit off. What a tense situation (lol, geddit?) that may would have will been!

Today, June 1st, in Cape Town the sun rose at 0743, will reach its meridian at 1244, and set at 1745, giving a daylength of 10 hours, 02 minutes and 08 seconds.
Today is 52 seconds shorter than yesterday. I know you’ll notice/have noticed.

On June 21st, in Cape Town, the sun will rise at 0751, reach its meridian at 1248 (33 degrees (who knew?) above the horizon), and set at 1744, giving a daylength of 9 hours, 53 minutes and 32 seconds.
That’s more than a second shorter than June 20th was and a whole 2 seconds shorter than June 22nd will be.

BUT…

The days only get longer because the sun sets later. The sunrise continues to be at 0751 until June 24th and then gets even later (0752) until 5th July. However, this delay is offset by the later sunset to the extent that by July 8th, we’re back to a daylength of over 10 hours.

On June 21st, the sun will be 152.034 million kilometres from Cape Town, and while than might seem quite a long way away, we’re going to drift even further away until (again, obviously) the 5th July when we will be 152.092 million kilometres away. That might not sound like a big difference, but that’s an extra 580,000 km, meaning that the sunlight will take an extra 1.935 seconds to reach us on July 5th as it does/did/will have did on June 21st. I know you’ll notice/have noticed/have will did taked note.

For comparison, Cape Town’s longest day is December 21st.
On December 21st, in Cape Town, the sun will rise at 0531 (2 hours and 20 minutes earlier than June 21st), reach its meridian at 1244 (80 degrees above the horizon), and set at 1957 (2 hours and 23 minutes later than June 21st), giving a daylength of 14 hours, 25 minutes and 05 seconds (4 hours, 32 minutes and 27 seconds longer than June 21st.)

As for Cape Town’s latest sunset this year: you missed it (or maybe you didn’t, but it’s gone already) it was 2001 on January 6th. The sun that day was “just” 147.101 million kilometres away. Light from the sun took 16.648 fewer seconds to reach us on January 6th than it will on July 5th. And light goes fast, hey?

Sugar for the pill

I was sitting in the traffic on the M3 this morning, listening to the new Slowdive album.

The traffic was awful, a thousand cars, each occupied by a single individual, waiting in line merely for the opportunity to join another queue on the other side of the lights.
And then, just as the amazing release kicked in on this track at 3:08, the peachy morning sun hit the top of Table Mountain.
The timing was impeccable.

And suddenly, everything was alright.

For a while, at least.

James Kingston has got a Mavic

You may remember James Kingston from this post. Some of the stuff he does is a bit nutty, so when I saw the title of his latest video: It Finally Happened, I guessed that he had thrown a seven. Climbing tall things may be thrilling and yield some amazing shots, but it’s also incredibly dangerous, and one day, the videos will just stop.

I wondered if It Finally Happened was the video that he had made, with instructions for friends and family to release it should gravity get one over on him.

But no… I think he is saying that he has finally got a DJI Mavic Pro (like many other Youtube “celebs”) and that this is his first video flying it.

If you want to see the droney bit, it’s about halfway through – you’ll need to start from somewhere around 8:35. Featuring an impressive hand launch, some frankly terrifying footage of him standing an awful long way up from what appears to be a very solid ground, and copious use of the Mavic’s Intelligent POI (Point Of Interest) Mode. (As I have tested previously here.)

Once again, I am reminded how good editing can make a difference to Mavic footage, and once again, I remind myself that my PC  simply won’t allow me to even start to learn this sort of thing and that one massive technological purchase a year is – sadly – probably enough.

Recent politics

Our Dear Leader Jacob Zuma survived another vote of no confidence at the ANC NEC this weekend, despite the conveniently timed release of several (or more) emails detailing how his chums in the Gupta family are essentially pulling the strings that make the country work.

And yet, the important guys in the top echelons of his party still voted to keep him. And you realise that when they do that in a democratic environment (which is what the ANC NEC supposedly is) then the problem is with the party, not the president.

But let’s watch as those dissenters all fall dutifully in line again after this thinly-veiled threat:

Meanwhile, the ex-leader of the official opposition and Lord High Empress of the Western Cape, with this HUGE open goal to aim at, is fighting with her boss about whether she can stay on for another term, given the alleged damage that she is causing to the party.

A local mayor wasted time praying for rain last Thursday.

How could you have missed that Donald Trump has been being Donald Trump internationally this week?

And in the UK, Labour comedy duo Abbott and Corbstello refuse to condemn terrorist acts from the 1980s, blame UK foreign policy for the Manchester attack, went to a “poignant” ceremony honouring terrorists from the 1970s and tell us that “the terrorists will not prevail” while… er… planning to radically alter UK foreign policy because of terrorism.

Thus – with a language warning in hand – please see this cartoon which illustrates the approach that many people will be taking towards the subject of politics today (and for the foreseeable future).

Really. Life would be so much more pleasant if we didn’t have to worry about these people who have been elected to serve us and whose salaries our taxes pay.