View From The Afternoon

We were at a braai, high above Hout Bay:


I’m not a big fan of Hout Bay, but you can’t fault this view.
And being this high up, you couldn’t even smell the fish factory.
Double bonus.

1 Comment | Tagged , | Posted in quota photo, this is south africa

It Was Love That Laid Us Low

Chilled out vibes from these guys for a Friday afternoon:

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I’m not sure what effect the placed wallet has on the sound of the drum? And does it make a difference if it’s filled with credit cards or cold hard cash? Does the character of the music change as the band becomes more (or less) successful?

I’ve over-analysing. It’s a lovely song, and it’s Friday afternoon.

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John Lewis Monty The Penguin Christmas Ad is… awwww!

After last year’s very pretty, hugely popular, but factually inaccurate, hibernating bear and Lily Allen combo, John Lewis had to work hard to come up with their 2014 Christmas ad. They’ve done well:

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That’s Tom Odell on the music, a cover of John Lennon’s Real Love. And it appears that Monty is some sort of tall Fairy Penguin, either that or he’s been popping the growth hormone pills a bit. He might just have tall parents, I suppose.

Either way, it’s another big hit for the UK retail chain and purveyor of really good quality Sony Bluetooth speakers (personal recommendation).

You’re going to love it.

2 Comments | Tagged , , | Posted in positive thoughts, uk

Physics Demo

The best branch of science is microbiology. I can say this for certain because I’m a microbiologist, so I should know. There are other sciences that are quite good as well, and then there are some that are OK, and then somewhere deep into the lower half of the list of good sciences is physics. Physicists would probably argue with this, saying that “without physics, there would be no gravity”, but this is plainly untrue. Without microbiology, there would still be bacteria, and it’s not like we’d all go floating off the surface of the planet if physics was suddenly abolished as a science.

Anyway, this isn’t their list.

I did see some physics demonstrated the other day though, and I was impressed. Not impressed enough to move it above anthropology, but impressed nevertheless. And so, I’m going to share the video with you, right here, right now.

What happens in the video isn’t unexpected – physics tells us what to expect and what physics tells us to expect, occurs – but it is still a bit weird and tough to get your head around. Allow me to demonstrate – bring forth The Coxmatron!

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The lead in is actually really interesting too, but if you just want to skip to the mentally confusing bit, jump to 2:30.

Galileo hypothesised that falling objects would fall at the same rate regardless of their masses, and so yes, the only reason that a bowling bowl falls more quickly than a bunch of feathers is because of the added air resistance on the latter. And yes, you know that, but because you have never seen a bowling ball and some feathers dropped in the absence of air (until now), it’s properly weird to actually see happening, isn’t it?


* It’s nowhere near as good as microbiology, but still much better than biochemistry.

6 Comments | Tagged , , , | Posted in learning curve, recommended site, that's a bit mad, uk

Bin Tagging in Cape Town

The City of Cape Town is electronically tagging all its wheelie bins in an effort to improve service delivery and limit theft.

The tags will allow the City to monitor each bin serviced and to identify bins that are lost, stolen, or illegally serviced without being City property.

I get that scanning a bin as it is “serviced” (i.e. emptied), is reasonable and could provide good data as to how effectively refuse collection teams are working. And of course, I understand that being able to scan a stolen bin could assist in reuniting it promptly with its rightful (and probably tearful) owner.
But I’m not sure about bins being “illegally serviced”. Who would do that? Why would anyone want to do that? Surely you’d need a big truck with which to block the traffic and one of those hydraulic lifty things on the back. I can’t see anyone doing that. Really, I can’t.

Anyway, the upshot of this is that every single one of the city’s 800,000 bins is going to be tagged by teams from RAMM Technologies. They’ll be coming round to your house (assuming you have a house, that house is in Cape Town and you have a bin) and electronically tagging it. You should expect their call over the next couple of months.

For the public to easily identify these crews, RAMM crew members will be required to carry an identification card containing the following information:

  • City of Cape Town logo
  • Photograph of the crew member’s face
  • Member’s surname
  • Member’s first name/s
  • RAMM operations’ telephone number

This information not only means that you can easily identify RAMM crew members and also for any impostor to have all they need to craft a realistic-looking fake ID card. Happy days. If you’re worried that the people at your door aren’t from RAMM, you can call their depot on 086 111 7266 to check.

2 Comments | Tagged , , , | Posted in in the news, this is south africa