Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Another Year

I like the irony of this photo - watching the sun rise from Lion's Head, while far below, my car is being broken into.

That said, it was a great sunrise.

In other news, NOFX are rumored to be coming to SA... again. I was always a bit cynnical, and this is the third time I've heard The NOFX Rumor, but for the sake of everyone who cut their punk scene teeth on this band I hope it's true. I wasn't among those, and there are a few punk bands I'd rather see - Strung Out and Bad Religion at the top of that list, also Thursday and Rise Against. And Lagwagon last year were great.

It was apparently 35 in the City Bowl today, so I've stayed at work in the semi-aircon until it cools down a bit. I have more to post, later, but I've run out of time. There is cold beer in the fridge at home.

Friday, January 19, 2007


[From a full-page ad in the Mail&Gaurdian this week - source:]

Last year, Telkom recorded a staggering R9.3 billion in pure profit. At your expense. Read on and find out why South Africans continue to pay some of the highest prices for telephony services in the world. Don't expect the government to step in. They couldn't give a hoot. They've got a 38% shareholding. This in itself is like a ticket to act with impunity. And anyway, it's the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) which acts as the watchdog for the telecommunications industry. Their central role is to regulate telecommunications in the public interest. So how come they're not barking noisily and waking up the country about the fact that South Africans pay five times as much for a local call now than they did in 1996? Or that internet access in South Africa is among the most expensive in the world (in fact, you'll pay less for broadband in Morocco, Egypt, Botswana, and Mozambique)? Or that Telkom is only too happy to pay a R15 million fine for failing to deliver basic services where "it was not economical to do so" (Hold the phone, could that be your area they were talking about?) Worse still, Telkom has laid off over 35 000 staff over the past seven years, ensuring that its profits continue sky-rocketing while the rest of the country continues at a snail's pace, waiting up to six inexcusable months or more, to get connected. To anything. And all this from a company that is supposedly "proudly South African"? Indeed, something is very wrong when the only way the public can get through to Telkom is by running a full page newspaper advertisement. Because clearly, Telkom isn't answering the phone.

Monday, January 15, 2007

How Far We've Come

A bit hesitant to post this, you're never sure who really reads a blog (and i'm hoping my parents have lost the address!) Also, I can't find the site I intially read the article on, and since I'm at work it's going to be hard to search much.

Ah, what the hell: here's the link

I found this while wandering unrelatedly around the web, as you do. How much is true I don't know (a calabash of buzzing bees? hmm) but it's interesting to see how far we've come, and to wonder how history will view our assumptions about sex.

So, it'd be nice if someone would comment for once.... What could be as twisted to our great grandchildren as some of this seems to us? Any ideas?

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Help I Can't Think of a Title Devoid Of Tastless Sheep Jokes

You can't go wrong with gay sheep jokes, to start with, but this article contains some interesting science, too. Turns out that around 8% of rams actually prefer other rams, and "will swiftly pounce on any ram stuck in a fence, the sheep equivalent of prison showers". Ewes, too, might be lesbian, but since female sheep express a desire for sex by standing still, no-one's quite sure (and there may be a lot of frustrated female sheep).

The real punchline, though, is that an actual biological difference (in the size of the hypothalamus), identifiable from the third trimester of pregnancy, has been identified as the cause of homosexual behaviour in sheep. Sheep really are born gay or straight, the first hard evidence scientific evidence of this in mammals.

It's worth reading the whole article, but this fact alone, and the distress it should cause religions the world over, will have me sleeping very soundly tonight.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

An End To Hunger

2 weeks in Mozambique in December (it's 30 degrees... at midnight) is great for sleeping, reading, daydreaming and anything else not requiring actually moving from your hammock. It's just too hot. Since mike moved in last year our house has read quite a bit of China Mieville, and I borrowed Iron Council (closer to a fever dream than some of my fever dreams. brilliant) to take with me, and to use to fend off giant flying insects. I also bought Looking For Jake (his latest book, a collection of short stories) before I left. One story I particularly like is An End To Hunger, conveniently published online by The Register. It's worth reading, particularly for the email from 'Very Hungry Foreign People' on page 3.

Unrelatedly, we managed to get my tattoo to scan at the end of last year :) It's healed well, and I have a few more pictures that I'll download and post. The phone that scanned it successfully was a Nokia N70.

Also, I've finally given in and joined Facebook - suddenly, it seems important to keep in touch, and I'm terrible at it most other ways. Thanks chris for helping with that, your newyears party was great!