Blog-related QOTD

Once more, to Brian Micklethwait, who is producing some lovely stuff lately. This quote:

As I often warn readers, this blog will, as I get older, be, more and more, about the process of me getting old.
Don’t get me started on automatic supermarket checkout machines.

Brian is older than me, but somewhat concerningly I can see 6000 miles… headed that way as well in the future.

1 Comment | Tagged , | Posted in from the blogroll, that's a bit mad

Sky Full Of Stars

The official video to Coldplay’s new single Sky Full Of Stars was shot on a Long Street lookalike in Newtown, Sydney and it’s kinda cool:

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Happy vibes, nice public participation and everyone gets a mention at the end. Lovely.

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Triple Lightning Strike on Three of Chicago’s Tallest Buildings

This, via Brian. It’s not the most amazing timelapse I’ve ever seen, but the triple bolt from the blue grey makes it spectacular.

On the right, the 442m Willis Tower (formerly the Sears Tower), which was the world’s tallest building from 1974 until 1998. Then in the middle, the Trump International Hotel and Tower, 423m of glass and steel. And then on the left, the John Hancock Center, built in 1969 and the first building in the world outside New York to go above 1,o00ft at 1,127ft (344m) high.


For completion, Chicago’s third tallest structure (unstruck here) is the 1973 monolithic monstrosity AON Building, 83 floors, 346m. And for comparison, Cape Town’s tallest building, Portside Tower, is less than a third the height of the Willis Tower, at “just” 142m high.

Video: Craig Shimala

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Richard Branson didn’t write that letter

Another fake letter is doing the rounds in South Africa. This one is allegedly by Richard Branson (except it’s not) and it differs from the Trevor Mallach letter in that it appears that it was written as satire here, rather than just being attributed to an (apparently random) individual in a position of responsibility.

What is interesting is the way that the anti-EFF brigade have leapt upon this letter in much the same way as the anti-Zuma brigade leapt upon that Trevor Mallach letter. And once again, it doesn’t seem to matter to them that it’s not real – see this response on Facebook from the hysterically-named “Save The White People Of South Africa – STOP The Killing!” page (and then thoroughly wash your browser):


Yes, that’s “Thank you Chantel <smiley face>”, not “Oh no. We’ve used a misattributed letter. Richard Branson didn’t write this at all and we’ll fully acknowedge that we made a mistake and take it down immediately.”

Of course, that means that those arguing against the EFF’s policies in the future can triumphantly cite Richard as one of their team. Even though he had nothing to do with this “open letter”.

And there’s more of the same thing here:

…even if it’s a hoax, it’s absolutely hilarious and clever.

But I’m not sure that that partial disclaimer makes it OK to continue to portray the letter as Branson’s work, just because you can’t find the original source.

And then of course, there’s the disappointingly now-sloppy work of linkbaitastic

bran2 In which “thandi” says:

This is not breaking news, it is a few weeks old but oh my goodness it is good! This is an absolute gem, and definitely deserves a second read if you have read it before. Sir Richard Branson is just genius…Most people would respond with indignance – not him. His response is classic!

Ten out of ten on the hyperbole there. I almost wanted to read the whole thing again.

But… not.

We return to the words of Thabo Mbeki:

It seems to me that the unacceptable practice of propagation of deliberate falsehoods to attain various objectives is becoming entrenched in our country.

Firstly, use your brain. What is the likelihood of Richard Branson actually having written this? Really?
That’s right, it’s pretty much nil. There should be alarm bells all over the place.

Next up, do your research. It’s really not rocket science. I used “Google” to find the original of this letter. 2oceansvibe relied on an unreferenced piece from The hysterical Afrikaners on Facebook apparently didn’t even bother give us a source for theirs.

And again. Stop attributing these words to someone just because of their name or position and the way that it fits your agenda. This letter isn’t being shared because of its content, but rather because of who “wrote” it; the convenient notion that someone big and powerful is kicking back at the renegade upstarts of the EFF.

Don’t get me wrong. I know that this won’t change a think. I know that 99% of the general land-owning population will continue accept that Richard Branson is their saviour who will fight the EFF until he dies has to sell his hotel, but if I can just reach that 1%, then my work here is done.

DISCLAIMER: This is a comment on the veracity of the letter in question and the intelligence and diligence of those sharing it, not a comment on the policies of the EFF or anything to do with a posh hotel in Franschhoek.

Leave a comment | Tagged , , , , , , | Posted in annoying people, in the news, politics, this is south africa

Cape Storm

What an amazing weekend. There was wind, hail, rain, sunshine. There were waves, floods, brooding clouds, open fires and numerous glasses of brandy.


While the subject matter for great photography was obviously all there, the weather and/or the light, together with a distinct lack of skill (perhaps exacerbated by the brandy?), made it difficult to translate it into pixels. Doesn’t mean I didn’t have fun trying though: here’s the flickr set with some stuff I did manage to get.

Also now up in the Stuff from June set – photos from Giraffe House.

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