Yesterday’s headlines today

I’m out of town for a few days, so expect shorter, punchier, compact and bijoux posts for a while.

But then, sometimes less is more. For example, when reading this headline:

I prefer to let my imagination run free, rather than following up and looking at the actual details of the story.

If you want to do the same, extra marks are available if you are able to factor this quote into your mental imagery:

The TSA is yet to respond to Ms Feinman’s claims, but earlier said the lobster had “cooperated quite nicely with the screening process”.

And if you really have to know what was actually going on: click here.

Misleading Headline Leads To Expectant Mum Panic

It’s actually a serious story. And relatively neatly reported.
But the headline. No.

Here’s what you need to know:

  • There’s a mosquito-borne virus found in and around the equatorial belt called Zika Virus
  • It’s a member of the Flaviviridae virus family (actually, you probably didn’t need to know that)
  • It’s been linked with birth defects in cases where it infects pregnant women
  • The El Salvador Ministry of Health has suggested that, where possible, women delay falling pregnant

Sky News reported it like this:

Fullscreen capture 2016-01-22 111537 AM.bmp

Look, once you’ve read the story (or once your favourite blog has explained it to you in helpful bullet points), it does kind of make sense. But if you are pregnant and just see the headline, well, it does appear that you’re going to be pregnant for about 166% longer than you thought. (Or 7% if you’re an elephant.) (In which case how are you reading this anyway?)

Simply replacing “Warning” with “Advice” would surely have worked better.

As with many tropical diseases, Zika Fever can be avoided by not living in or visiting tropical areas. Despite the heatwave of the last few weeks in Cape Town, we’re not one of them, so thankfully our local-mums-to-be are safe and can hopefully look forward to entirely normal 0.75-year pregnancies.

Cape Town Clouds Make Sky News

Sky News. Clouds. SKY News… Geddit?

But yes, the Sky News website finally caught up with Cape Town’s spectacular lenticular cloud formations of Sunday afternoon, and told the world about them.

Fullscreen capture 2015-11-10 015651 PM.bmp

The story quotes photographer Kyle Mijlof as saying:

“I was on my scooter at the time, driving along Signal Hill back home to Camps Bay, I stopped to get this quick shot – I still had my helmet on.”

From which we can deduce that Kyle lives in Camps Bay, rides a scooter and usually takes his helmet off when taking photos. Also, we can tell that he isn’t a vegan and he doesn’t do crossfit, or he surely would have told us by now.
He continues:

“Honestly, the whole skyline that day was unbelievable and a bit of an eerie stillness in the air.”

Well, it wasn’t windy, which is a bit unusual for this time of year. But “eerie”? No. That’s a bit of a stretch.

Still, it’s just nice for Cape Town to get some positive (or at least not negative) coverage on the international news circuit.

Weather news from afar

While we are having a rather wet and windy day in Cape Town, according to Sky News it seems that the UK is bracing itself for equally nasty weather over the days ahead.

Gale force winds and heavy rain are forecast to lash many parts of the country today as stormy conditions, usually only experienced in the autumn and winter, hit the UK.
The Met Office has issued a severe weather warning for south-west England from early afternoon, with gusts of up to 70mph expected on exposed coasts and headlands in Devon and Cornwall.
Through tonight and Friday the centre of the storm will move slowly north east to south Wales and many parts of southern England as well as the South West, again with a risk of gales. Many places could see gusts of between 55 and 65mph, while as far north as Northumberland could be hit by the Atlantic storm.
Heavy rain is also due to fall over much of England over the next 48 hours.

Sounds divine. Glad I’m not headed there anytime soon.

Wait. What?

I’m no fan of seeing summers ruined, but some of the comments did make me smile:

Here’s coronakid with his/her take on it:

Nothing new here,the seasons are changing and have been over time.

The seasons are changing? Really? Hoodathunkit?
But you’re right – it seems like they’ve been doing that forever.

Strega weighs in with:

I put all this down to the volcano erupting in Iceland last year. Unusually hot summer but when all the hot air rises and cools the ash becomes cold and rain and wind occur.

That’ll be last year as in 2010, presumably? Did you perhaps fall asleep and miss 2011 completely?
And look, I’m no meteorologist, but I’ve been doing some rudimentary calculations and I can find completely no scientific evidence that cold ash causes rain and wind to occur. I think you’re talking utter pants.

But what does the so called scientific world know anyway?
Hit us with it, Joseph Bennett:

The globel warming lot will no dought blame it on us again but no one in the so called scientific world have never thought of the positions of the planets in the last few years they have been closer to us which will affect our planet

Where. To. Begin.

Well, for starters, I’m pretty sure that no astronomers (part of the so called scientific world last time I checked) have never thought of the positions of the planets in the last few years. That’s their job and I can’t believe that they’d be so remiss as to not not never think of the positions of the planets in the last few years. That’s an awfully long time span not to do your job for.

But, that aside, I’m also struggling with the link between the proximity (noted or not by the so call scientific world) of the planets and a bit of wind and rain sweeping across southern England. Could they not find somewhere else to make it happen? Or maybe even do something a little more significant? Massive galactic explosions? Alien invasion?
Come now, if they’re going to make all the effort of being closer to us, I’d expect to see something a bit more spectacular than some gusty drizzle in Exeter.

Sky News comments could just be the new Southern Suburbs Tatler


Hysterical British Tabloid Reporting (HBTR) returns to South Africa, a few months after comprehensively failing to derail the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

This from Sky News:

This isn’t anything new. These stories hit the SA newspapers months ago. But the Chernobyl link is nice – it’s obvious that they’ve had to think about things for a while before that one came to them. But once you consider the two issues, the similarity is obvious:

We were told that we were about to visit the most radioactive place on the whole trip. Geiger counters were brought out, and we watched the numbers double, triple, and quadruple, to a level far higher than we had seen near the reactor itself. Out the window we could see overgrown grass fields. It was clear nobody stopped here for trivial reasons. We drove through. It was clearly not a place for a roadside picnic.


It is contaminated with uranium and other heavy metals and is as acidic as lemon juice.

Because Jo’burg is no place for a roadside picnic either.

But listen – this can be sorted out fairly easily. When I have lemon juice issues with my pancakes, I add some sugar. Perhaps that’s all that is needed here. Sugar, in Biblical proportions, pumped into the ground in Gauteng.

And then, once the threat of the Acid Mine Drainage has been neutralised, Emma T can tell us about the 9/11-style dental problems that sweetening Jo’burg’s foundations has caused.