Other people’s stuff

A bit of a mishmash of stuff I didn’t write, but that I think you should read today.

But first off, a health warning. How’s your energy frequency today? I’m still recovering from the weekend and my bad back, so I’m only mid-50s.

Oh, and Fresh Food = Death. Who knew?

No photo description available.

Seems legit.

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Next: CLIMATE! SeeOhToo is huge, glaciers are melting, and it’s not quite as hot as it was 4 years ago. I’ve said before that I’m not going to get too deeply involved in this debate, but I enjoyed reading this article on the subject. Again, I’m not fighting the science, I’m fighting the reporting of the science.

I asked the Australian climate scientist Tom Wigley what he thought of the claim that climate change threatens civilization. “It really does bother me because it’s wrong,” he said. “All these young people have been misinformed. And partly it’s Greta Thunberg’s fault. Not deliberately. But she’s wrong.”

I would not like to see us motivating people to do the right thing by making them believe something that is false.

Been there, too.

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Here’s an interesting twitter account: FootyQuakes

Measuring the seismic effect of goal celebrations in the EFL Championship.
Amazing.

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A brief intermission here, as I just asked someone at a multi-million Rand business (we’re talking 9 figures here), and was told that I could pick it up in Bellville. I don’t want to go to Bellville, so I asked for it to be sent via email, and was told:

We do not send so many pages via email.

Wow. Should I ask for a fax?

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And – vaguely linked, actually – I’ve been using WeTransfer to share some files recently. While the files are uploading, you get offered links to wepresent – their photographic essay site. Some of the stuff there is pretty good.

I’d advise https://wepresent.wetransfer.com/story/nuuk-york-state-of-mind/ and https://wepresent.wetransfer.com/story/corey-arnold-aleutian-dreams/ but the whole site is worth a look.

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Enjoy your day!

Finally clicking?

I was skimming through Facebook this morning when I came across this post from Justin Sullivan, shared via the Greater Overbeagle FPA, who stated: “We cannot agree more…”

Me too.

Is the penny finally dropping that people don’t like being lied to by the media (whether that’s “mainstream”, “specialist”, “political” or “social”)? It’s about time, because while one side of most every debate likes to shout about the “fake news” being peddled by the other, it seems clear that neither side is particularly truthful when an image or story suits or supports their narrative. And some individuals (I’m looking at you, Bradyn) seem to think that that approach is completely reasonable.

A quick reminder that we’ve been here before.

Mind you, even Justin made the same error just a couple of days ago:

It is quite hard to exactly pinpoint the source of this image, as it’s been used on thousands of websites. But it was being used on them as far back as 2017, so I think we can assume that the jaguar in question wasn’t diving into the Amazon to escape a fire last week. Unless it was a time-travelling jaguar, in which case surely there would be a much easier escape route for it.
We should also note that wild jaguars are very good swimmers, and would likely rather eat a human than give it a hug.

The thing is that now, every item of news has to be assumed to be fake and  double-checked, and it’s exhausting. We’re (quite reasonably) losing all confidence in our news outlets and what we read on Facebook and Twitter, and while it’s good that we are questioning what we read, it does leave us with the problem of exactly where we do get genuine, verified information from? (And I’m talking factually here, never mind the bias that is then flung into the mix as well.)

There’s going to be a backlash, and we’re getting closer to it every day. It might not be pretty, but neither is the current situation. The lack of trust builds barriers, prevents reasonable communication and further isolates individuals inside their own convenient echo chambers.

It stifles progress and we lose sight of any mutually beneficial common goal. Like preventing the (still) impending death of the planet.
If that is something that you choose to believe is actually a genuine phenomenon, of course.

Rain

We’ve had a lot of rain in the Western Cape this winter. Or so we all thought, but August is only two thirds of the way through and it seems to have stopped falling from the sky. Already, farmers in the Overberg (it’s just along the road from Cape Town) are asking if they might have a little bit more before winter heads off up north, please.

The dam levels are up around the 80% mark, which is far, far better than they have been for the past several (or more) years, and with habits having changed in Cape Town, we’re pretty much safe for the next couple of years, even if it doesn’t rain much more. But that’s not really the situation we want to be in. We want to be swimming (not literally) (wait) (no, actually literally) in the stuff.

And apparently, according the farmers, the rain that has fallen, has fallen at the wrong time and their winter crops are in peril. It does sound a bit like the wrong type of snow excuse from the british railway people back in the 90s.

Is this winter really less rainy (or less rainy at the wrong time) than previous winters? Or are we just a bit more aware, a bit more sensitive, than before, because of the whole drought thing over the past few years (did I ever mention that on here?)?

And then that brings me to another bigger, more important point on the weather. Is climate change being blown out of all proportion, just because it’s the in thing at the moment? OK, I accept that something is happening, sure. But based on all the other nonsense we’re fed by the media, I refuse to believe that everything that they’re reporting on the climate issue is entirely legit. You’d be a fool to think otherwise, although on such an emotive, divisive issue, you’d also have to be pretty brave (or stupid) to publicly question anything that the climate change people are sharing.

They’ll call you nasty names.

Agh. This is for a longer, proper post; one which I have no intention of writing at the moment. But the science that’s being reported just doesn’t add up all the time, and no matter how noble you feel your cause may be, basing your opinions on misreporting and untruths has never worked for me.

The problem is that with all the misinformation and fake news around, you have to take everything with a huge pinch of salt. You have to research everything and you have to research it from reputable sources when you do. Oh, and you have to live your life as well, as if doing that allows time for checking each and every fact you’re constantly bombarded with.

 

Right. A touch of drought, some local agricultural issues, a moan about just how crap the media is and a slight hint of a blast at mankind generally.
What a mess of a post. And yet I bet no-one is surprised. 🙂

Spanish fire ignition

I saw this headline on the pisspoor CNN site:

And I was immediately reminded of this meme* (which I have to say is still one of my all time favourites):

And continuing the coprological theme, you can file this “flammable stuff will catch fire when it gets hot enough to catch fire” revelation under the heading “Sherlock, No shit”:

Authorities said the fire likely began when an “improperly managed” pile of manure self-combusted in the heat, causing sparks.
Spontaneous ignitions can occur when flammable materials, such as piles of hay, compost or manure heat up to a temperature high enough to cause combustion, according to the US National Park Service.

Notwithstanding that for shit to catch fire, it really does have to be very hot, prompting all sorts of trendy hashtags like “#climatechangeisreal” and the like. And yes, it is, but I’m so fed up of the way it’s shared with us. So yes, I need to do a proper Climate Change post, but that’s for another day.

Meanwhile, temperatures in Europe continue to rise even beyond the heady heights of this time last year, when we were dying of heat on the Canal du Nivernais. This was the heatmap for France this last week:

I mean the one on the left, obviously. If ever there was a poster pic for the Climate Change media, this would surely be it. Ugh.

The top temperatures being experienced across France and Spain are certainly toasty, but certainly no worse than a warm February day out in Paarl, which does make me wonder why there aren’t more manure fires each summer in our Winelands.

Maybe South Africans are just better at managing their shit?

 

* The original painting is known as “Portrait Of A Young Man”, painted by Italian artist Alessandro Allori in 1561. The painting is currently exhibited in the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford. 

Hello Svalbard

I recently watched a couple of videos from Svalbard. Things didn’t go according to plan for photographer Thomas Heaton because of the warmer than expected conditions there:

See?

It’s been documented by the Washington Post as well.

The international director of the Norwegian Polar Institute, Kim Holmen, who lives in Longyearbyen, says of climate change here, “This town is certainly the place where it’s happening first and fastest and even the most.”

Holmen notes that Svalbard used to be where students came to observe Arctic conditions. Now it is the place they come to study a climate in transition.

That’s it, Kim. Always look for the positives.

Of course, observing Arctic conditions studying a climate in transition isn’t the only thing to do in Svalbard, as I found out by googling Things to do in Svalbard.

Pyramiden looks like the place to be, not just offering mining and (possibly still?) glacier, but also polar bear and bear.

Ursines. One never can get enough.

And can we just take a moment to acknowledge the names of settlements in Svalbard? Svalbard is great.

The Longyear Town“, “Ice Fjord“, “The Pyramid” and er… “New Ålesund” (less impressive, let’s be fair) in that foursome above alone.

Many beagle-eyed readers will likely see this post as a thinly veiled attempt to get some readers in from the wonderful island of SVALBARD – one of the few places on earth from which 6000 miles… hasn’t been accessed. Maybe it is.

If you’re reading this, Kim Holmen, please give us a shout.

Cheers.