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Super Rugby Predictions #3: Week 7 2013

My highlights for the Easter weekend are the Chiefs vs Blues and the Stormers vs Crusaders (both on Saturday)

First off, I have been a little bit slack, but mostly busy, with posting the past two weeks of predictions beforehand, but in the interest of monitoring my progress completely, I have updated my past two weeks of predictions in the Archive and they weren’t pretty. Week 4 also wasn’t much better. For weeks 4 & 6 I only managed to get 3/7 right each week and week 5 saw me only get 4/6. So moving along then, I hope week 7 can bring me a better result…

See all this year’s predictions here

Highlanders vs Reds

All Time

  • Average Score:  29  - 22
  • Highlanders W-D-L: 9 – 7 – 0

Home Game Advantage

  • Average Score: 38 – 17
  • Hurricanes W-D-L: 7 – 0 – 0

My Prediction: Highlanders by 4

I’m tempted to say that the Reds will win it, but the home game stats speak for themselves here, the Highlanders should get away with their first win!

Hurricanes vs Kings

All Time

  • Average Score:  N/A
  • W-D-L: N/A

Home Game Advantage

  • Average Score:  N/A
  • W-D-L: N/A

My Prediction: Hurricanes by 4

Relative newcomers the Kings play their second NZ conference game against the Highlanders. The severe beating that was incurred against the Crusaders last week has shown them what to expect and I still have hopes for them, even if my predictor doesn’t…

Chiefs vs Blues

All Time

  • Average Score:  26 – 24
  • W-D-L: 9 – 10 – 0

Home Game Advantage

  • Average Score: 25 – 21
  • W-D-L: 4 – 5 – 0

My Prediction: Chiefs by 10

Without considering past scores, the Chiefs should take this one by at least a try or two. No matter what happens though, this should be a very high scoring game with at least 80 points on the board

Brumbies vs Bulls

All Time

  • Average Score:  32 – 27
  • W-D-L: 8 – 6 – 0

Home Game Advantage

  • Average Score : 39 – 22
  • W-D-L: 5 – 1 – 0

My Prediction: Brumbies by 4

Should be the Brumbies game, considering their form this year and that they have the home advantage!

Cheetahs vs Rebels

All Time

  • Average Score:  37 – 24
  • W-D-L: 2 – 0 – 0

Home Game Advantage

  • Average Score : 41 – 21
  • W-D-L: 1 – 0 – 0

My Prediction: Cheetahs by 3

The Cheetahs have come back from a successful Australasian leg, while the Rebels are coming from a major ass-whipping in Durban against the Sharks.

Stormers vs Crusaders

All Time

  • Average Score:  21 – 30
  • W-D-L: 4 – 13 – 0

Home Game Advantage

  • Average Score:  23 – 28
  • W-D-L: 4 – 5 – 0

My Prediction: Crusaders by 12

The Crusaders have bounced back nicely the past few weeks… and the Stormers have a few injury concerns.

Waratahs vs Force

All Time

  • Average Score:  21 – 30
  • W-D-L: 4 – 13 – 0

Home Game Advantage

  • Average Score:  18 – 17
  • W-D-L: 1 – 2 – 1

My Prediction: Waratahs by 4

Against my better judgement I’m gonna back the Tahs, even though the Force could surprise them…


Super Rugby Predictions #2: Week 4 2013

Southern Kings

Can my local team, the Southern Kings, win it this weekend against my favourite team, The Sharks?

Last weekend’s predictions were a teeny bit off… okay they sucked, but that is how it goes. This week heralds the arrival of v1.1 of my prediction engine. A few changes were made in the inner workings, firstly, small adjustments to balance the handicap score out a bit with the teams performance building up to that specific point and also added sort of compensation amount to adjust the final predictions.

See last weeks predictions here

Hurricanes vs Crusaders

All Time

  • Average Score:  19  - 28
  • Hurricanes W-D-L: 5 – 15 – 3

Home Game Advantage

  • Average Score: 18 – 27
  • Hurricanes W-D-L: 2 – 6 – 2

My Prediction: Crusaders by 1

The Crusaders are off to their usual bumpy start, and the Hurricanes still have something to prove this year. Should be a close one despite what the stats show us.

Rebels vs Reds

All Time

  • Average Score: 11 -32
  • Rebels W-D-L: 0 – 4 – 0

Home Game Advantage

  • Average Score: 18 – 33
  • Rebels W-D-L: 0 – 2 – 0

My Prediction: Reds by 18

The Rebels haven’t beaten the Reds in any of the 4 games played between these two teams, including 2 at home. I don’t see that changing this year either, but they haven’t had a completely bad start to the year and barely lost to the Waratahs last week

Highlanders vs Cheetahs

All Time

  • Average Score: 27 – 20
  • Highlanders W-D-L: 7 – 0 – 0

Home Game Advantage

  • Average Score: 26 – 15
  • Highlanders W-D-L: 3 – 0 – 0

My Prediction: Highlanders by 11

Both teams are coming from a heavy Chiefs defeat, but the Highlanders have had time to lick their wounds. The Cheetahs are a bit more worse for wear, they’re travelling from 2 weeks of losses, the first to the Sharks at home and then the whipping they got last week in Hamilton

Brumbies vs Waratahs

All Time

  • Average Score: 24-22
  • Brumbies W-D-L: 9 – 11 -0

Home Game Advantage

  • Average Score: 31 – 14
  • Brumbies W-D-L: 7 – 2 – 0

My Prediction: Brumbies by 2

History show that home games between these 2 teams favours the Brumbies, but as with any local derby game, anything can happen

Stormers vs Chiefs

All Time

  • Average Score: 26 – 24
  • Stormers W-D-L: 8 – 6 – 0

Home Game Advantage

  • Average Score: 23 – 21
  • W-D-L: 4– 2 – 0

My Prediction: Chiefs by 13

The Chiefs have been on fire, so if they can break through the brick wall that is the Stormers defense, they should get a decent gap.

Kings vs Sharks

All Time

  • Average Score: N/A
  • W-D-L: N/A

Home Game Advantage

  • Average Score: N/A
  • W-D-L: N/A

My Prediction: Sharks by 5

I’m very torn about this game, the Sharks are my favourite team, but the Kings on the other hand are the first local team to get a shot at the Super 15, despite a large percentage of the province’s talent playing now for the other SA teams. I kinda want them to win all possible game this year and based on the support they had against the Force, I expect it to be a major boost for the local team again.

Blues vs Bulls

All Time

  • Average Score: 35 – 26
  • Blues W-D-L: 9 – 5 – 0

Home Game Advantage

  • Average Score: 42 – 19
  • Blues W-D-L: 7 – 0 – 0

My Prediction: Blues by 7

The Blues look on fire and they should win this one, although not as easy as you’d think.

Final Table positions prediction:

CL: Conference Leaders

WC: Wildcard Teams

(+/-): Position Change from previous week

  1. (+2) Bulls (CL)
  2. (+1) Crusaders (CL)
  3. (-2) Brumbies (CL)
  4. (+2) Sharks (WC)
  5. Chiefs (WC)
  6. (-1) Blues (WC)
  7. (+2) Waratahs
  8. (-1) Hurricanes
  9. (-1) Stormers
  10. (+1) Kings
  11. (-1) Reds
  12. Highlanders
  13. (+1) Force
  14. (+1) Cheetahs
  15. (-2) Rebels

To view previous predictions and more info on how I get the predictions , click here: http://myconflictedself.wordpress.com/super-15-predictions-archive/


Must See Movies 2013: A Glimpse So Far

Below are the movies I am most excited about for first half of the year or so. Release dates indicated are for South Africa, and are subject to change. Only movies with trailers and confirmed SA release dates are shown here. Watch my monthly posts for more up to date info. Source for release dates: http://moviesite.co.za/CPR.pdf

 

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January

Django Unchained

Prediction: Damn funny and will rock, plenty of Oscar nominations.

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Also watch out for Argohttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w918Eh3fij0

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February

A Good Day To Die Hard

Prediction: Not really too sure, but should be good fun :)

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Lincoln

Prediction: Gonna be amazing!

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Also watch out for Zero Dark Thirty if only to see what the hype is about - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YxC_JNz5Vbg

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March

Oz the Great & Powerful

Prediction: Looks promising

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Red Dawn

Prediction: Probably will be the same old formula, but should be entertaining

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April

Oblivion

Prediction: Even if it sucks, it should be interesting or at least entertaining, it’s win-win

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Seven Psychopaths

Prediction: It’s a winner! Why? 1) Woody Harrelson, 2) Christopher Walken, 3) It’s looks awesome

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Also watch out for the Carrie remake - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RaHzUMq8iaM

May

Iron Man 3

Prediction: Looks very dark…

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Evil Dead (Remake)

Prediction: Where’s Bruce? No really… ooh wait this looks kinda freaky actually :)

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Fast and Furious 6

Prediction: Another one? Only the big names are gonna save this one…

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Also watch out for the Texas Chainsaw 3D (yet another scray movie remake) - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GqCe2pDfICE

And don’t forget about Stokerhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=brjtL-2kE9A

June

Man of Steel 

Prediction: Oooh dark… plus Christopher Nolan (producer) and Zack Snyder (300) are involved in it

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After Earth

Prediction: Should be pretty cool, starring Will Smith and son, Jaden

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Star Trek – Into Darkness 

Prediction: Never really got into old Star Trek (*gasp*), so the reboot since the previous film has me hooked :)

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July

World War Z 

Prediction: Bad CGI aside, it should be pretty cool, even if it doesn’t look anything like I’d have pictured the book.

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The Lone Ranger

Prediction: Looks pretty damn cool

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Despicable Me 2 

Prediction: Laughs and fun all around

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August

Pacific Rim

Prediction: Prepare to be blown away…

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September

Elysium

Prediction: Since this isn’t really a trailer, it’s kinda difficult to say, but if Neill Blomkamp bought us District 9 with $30m, imagine what he can do with $120m and Matt Damon?

The mystery around this film reminds me of the mysterious build up and viral campaign of “fakeverts” and the rest that he did with District 9. Less is known about this film that some films coming out in 2014.


Must See Movies 2012 #9: The Hobbit, Life of Pi (& Jack Reacher)

Week 1

There was nothing really worth watching in the first week in December in my opinion, and since that was the case, I’m going to recommend that you watch Skyfall (again if you already have), which opened the last week on November here in South Africa. See my previous blog post, Must See Movies 2012 #8: Skyfall Review

Otherwise The Hobbit is a winner!

Week 2: The Hobbit – An Unexpected Journey

hobbit_an_unexpected_journey_ver2This past weekend marked the release of the long awaited prequel to the Lord of the Rings. I watched it on Saturday night and all the people I went with were impressed.

The Hobbit is directed again by Peter Jackson and marks the return of several familiar faces. In case you didn’t know (like my fiancée) the Hobbit has been split into three movies: ‘The Unexpected Journey (2012)’, ‘The Desolation of Smaug (2013)’ and lastly ‘There And Back Again (2014)’. I have seen the meme doing the rounds and was expecting it to be very drawn out. While it could have (and should have) been done in one movie, the pace of the movie moves along pretty nicely and you rarely (although not never) get bored. Some critics moaned about it being a overproduced and being about the special effects, but I don’t see how you can make these movies and not.

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Hobbit Meme

The Hobbit also debuts the new HFR 3D technology, where the films are shot at 48 frames per second compared to the normal 24 of other films. Reviews have been mixed but the major advantage to the technology is the minimising of motion blur which affects other 3D movies. Unfortunately the cinema we were at didn’t have the infrastructure so I saw it in normal 3D, so I can’t really tell you more. Feel free to comment if you have.

IMDB Moviemeter: 1

Other IMDB: Top 250 #84 | 5 nominations

Tomatometer: 65%

Trailer 1

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Trailer 2

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Week 3: Life of Pi

Li of Pi

Based on the fantasy adventure novel by Yann Martel, Life of Pi tells the story of a 16 year old boy, Piscione Molitor Patel, or Pi, when his family is killed in a shipwreck while  moving their zoo to Canada. The story is told from an older Pi’s perspective as he relays his story to a novelist who thinks his story would make a great novel.

A blog I follow did a pretty cool review for this movie. Have a look at the The Focused Filmographer review here

IMDB Moviemeter: 5

Other IMDB: Top 250 #242 | Nominated for 3 Golden Globes. Another 10 wins & 21 nominations

Tomatometer: 88%

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Week 4: Jack Reacher

Jack_reacherI’m not convinced, but it might, just might, surprise me, so for that fact alone, give it a go if you haven’t see any of the first three films I mentioned. The critics seems to like it.

Tom Cruise stars as a homicide investigator who digs deeper into a case involving a trained military sniper that shot five random victims.

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Trailer 1

(When I first heard the soundtrack from the trailer, I thought it was a new Mission Impossible (1:02))

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Trailer 2

 

 

 

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Sacred Economics: The Gift Economy

 

 

Charles EisensteinToday I heard of Charles Eisenstein  for the first time. It was in a video about the concept of the Gift Economy and how we as society need to move away from the money economy.

 

 

 

Below is the short film which covers it briefly, but if you would like to hear more, watch the longer video underneath in which he goes into detail on money, the gift economy and some other topics

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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For something similar, but just as interesting, watch “THRIVE: What On Earth Will It Take?”, a 2 hour documentary on making a change.

 

 

 

Official Website: http://www.thrivemovement.com/ 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Why Doesn’t MTV Play Music Videos Anymore?

MTV

I heard the sound clip of this today on 5fm and just hosed myself. Before I carry on though:

Please Note: This video is not real… it is a spoof.

You’d think that’s logical right, seems more than enough people that commented didn’t actually realise this.

Anyway, I just think it’s damn funny. Although, being born in 1981, it hit a bit too close to home…

Reading through the comments though, there was one that I thought was brilliant, from Kahandran: From 2:25-3:10, he does not blink once!


Movember is here… #2

Catvember

Catvember

wesbentleyfacialhairSo day 7 of Movember has passed and so far I’ve just let my beard grow out. The goal being that I have a good foundation to work around…

Nine days in and I am struggling to think of a winning idea. It is Movember after all, you could just grow any standard mo and be happy that you’ve done your part. For my first Movember last year though, I went all out and set a pretty high standard for myself. I have even been asked what my plan is for this year.

You see as I mentioned in my previous Movember post, I’m taking part in a competition/fund raiser at Chingadas in PE on the corner of 6th Ave and Main Road, Walmer. (https://www.facebook.com/TacheForCash )

So I got thinking and my woderful fiance sent me a email with some ideas , and voilà, enter Wes Bentley with his beard from the Hunger Games, created by makup artist Ve Neill.

I get that it’s a beard, but it can easily be turned into some sort of magical mo. Also it’s a beard that took 2 hours to groom everyday, but since mine will only be trimmed into shape for the competition once it’s grown enough and only be fine tuned a few days before, so I can get it right, I don’t see that it’ll be problem.

Video Interview: MTV Rough Cut Interview – Wes Bentley

Anyway, here’s my progress so far :)

Day 7


Obama Has My Vote #2

Romney
Romney

Wait… what?

Yesterday, I posted a video in my post saying I would vote for Obama if I was American, just because the Chris Rock video was so damn funny!

Then I saw this video of interviews conducted with voters at a Romney rally in Defiance, Ohio.

In the video description is a scary bit of info:

Election observers believe that Ohio is the state most likely to decide who becomes our next President. These interviews were conducted with Ohio voters at a recent Romney rally in Defiance, OH.


Obama Has My Vote

Chris Rock

Chris RockI have never been the biggest Chris Rock fan, not that I don’t like him. But in the last couple of days, a video was released via the Jimmy Kimmel Show where Chris Rock pleads to the undecided white voters to vote for Obama.

I’m not American, so I can’t really vote for Obama, but damn it’s funny!


Movember Is Here…

29112011011

Greeting my MoBros & MoSistas

It’s that time of the year, when some of the female of our species threatens divorce/break-up/murder as us males grow a bit of fur on our upperlip. Some females, however (MoSistas), are just awesome and support us MoBros during the month. A very big thanks to them!

There are few things in the world that have as many nicknames as the beloved mo…

  • Stache
  • Tache
  • Mo
  • Dirt Squirrel
  • Nose Neighbor
  • Lip Cap
  • Pubestache
  • Best Friend
  • Face FurnitureLip Hat
  • Lip Rug
  • Flavor Saver
  • Cookie Duster
  • Molestache
  • Lip Toupée
  • Mouth Brow
  • Mouth Merkin
  • Nut Duster
  • Smoke Filter
  • Snot Mop
  • Lip Spinach
  • Muzzy
  • Upper Lip Plumage
  • Face Fungus
  • Misplaced Eyebrow
  • Mouser
  • Mouth Brow

There are also very few things like the moustache that have as many different types that a MoBro can embrace… This list barely touches the surface:

  • Pencil
  • Horseshoe
  • Fu Manchu
  • Handlebar
  • Imperial
  • English
  • Chevron
  • Lampshade
  • Painter’s Brush
  • Toothbrush
  • Walrus
  • Pyramidal
  • Dali
  • Petite Handlebar
  • Hungarian

But let’s get serious here for a minute. Movember is more than just a time to grow your mo, you’re growing your mo to raise awareness for cancer, particularly prostrate & testicular cancer, which affects men.

So what should you do? Firstly sign up on the Movemeber website, select your region, and then go from there. Join with a group of friends and form a team. From the website you are able to donate to the cause, each region has specific charities it goes to, for South Africa (my region), its CANSA & the Movember Foundation

Find out if there are groups in your area that are getting together for a competition.

Personally I am joining the Chingadas (local restaurant/pub) competition run locally in Port Elizabeth, called Tache for Cash, which makes it a bit more fun. At the same time though, last year they managed to raise R18000 for CANSA, with donations from the 130 participants. This year their goal is R40000. Big up to Josh for their 3rd year doing this.

See the Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/TacheForCash 

Join us if you’re in PE on the corner of 6th Ave and Main Road, Walmer at their new venue. Even if you’re not in PE, go check out the Facebook page as this year, for the first time, out-of-towners are also allowed to enter.

Here’s my mo from last year that won me the Freestyler award. Follow my progress this year on my MoSpace:

http://za.movember.com/mospace/1683610


Pixar, Marvel & Now Lucasfilm. The Force Is Strong With Disney

Disney

DisneyYesterday it was announced that Disney are to acquire Lucasfilm for $4.05 billion. This is all “subject to clearance under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act, certain non-United States merger control regulations, and other customary closing conditions.”

But everything has been approved by both Disney and Lucasfilm’s sole shareholder, George Lucas. So what does this mean for the fans?

Well, besides three new movies, with “Episode 7″ being released in 2015 and all sorts of merchandising/theme parks spin-offs, only time will tell.

Did anyone really notice the changes in Pixar and Marvel. I didn’t. Let’s look at this from the fan viewpoint and the easiest way is to look at the responses to films before and after. Comparing Pixar before and after is relatively easy, but Marvel is a bit more complex as they licensed their comics to various companies for production & distribution, some good and some not so much.

Have a look at the two tables below, which are split into 2 sections (post- and pre-Disney) which are split again into public opinion and critic’s opinion. The abbreviations are as follows:

Lets start with Pixar:

PRE-DISNEY
Title Year RT (AR) IMDB RT (F) MC
Toy Story 1995 81 8.3 100 92
A Bug’s Life 1998 61 7.2 92 77
Toy Story 2 1999 72 8 100 88
Monsters, Inc. 2001 84 8 95 78
Finding Nemo 2003 82 8.1 99 89
The Incredibles 2004 67 8 97 90
Cars 2006 80 7.3 74 73
AVERAGE 75.3 7.8 93.9 83.9
POST-DISNEY
Title Year RT (AR) IMDB RT (F) MC
Ratatouille 2007 84 8 96 96
WALL-E 2008 89 8.5 96 94
Up 2009 86 8.3 98 88
Toy Story 3 2010 91 8.5 99 92
Cars 2 2011 54 6.4 38 57
Brave 2012 80 7.5 78 69
AVERAGE 80.7 7.9 84.2 82.7

A quick look the average public ratings (RT(AR) and IMDB) show us that the public prefer the post-Disney Pixar, if only slightly. If you take a closer look, Cars 2 was a major let-down for post-Disney Pixar. If we take that one out, things are very different the averages go up to 86, 8.2, 93.4 & 87.8 respectively. If you look atthe critic’s opinions however, Rotten Tomatoes says that Disney is not doing a great job, while Metacritics says it’s pretty much the same, unless again, you take out Cars 2.

But the jump from Disney to Pixar is not that huge, not as much as it is for Marvel… So what is the verdict with regards to Marvel. Up until 1998, Marvel never really made the jump to the big screen, with only a four movies coming out, including two versions of Captain America. From 1998, they started licensing out more movies to various companies until Disney bought them out in 2009 for $4.24 billion.

PRE-DISNEY
Title Year RT (AR) RT (F) IMDB MC
Year Title
1944 Captain America - - 6.6 -
1986 Howard the Duck - - 4.3 -
1989 The Punisher 42 24 5.4 -
1990 Captain America 20 11 3 -
1998 Blade 78 55 7 45
2000 X-Men 83 82 7.4 64
2002 Blade II 72 59 6.6 52
Spider-Man 65 89 7.3 73
2003 Daredevil 46 45 5.4 42
X2 84 88 7.6 68
Hulk 34 62 5.7 54
2004 The Punisher 68 29 6.4 33
Spider-Man 2 81 93 7.5 83
Blade: Trinity 70 26 5.8 38
2005 Elektra 47 10 4.8 34
Man-Thing 18 20 4 -
Fantastic Four 57 27 5.7 40
2006 X-Men: The Last Stand 73 57 6.8 58
2007 Ghost Rider 56 26 5.2 35
Spider-Man 3 54 63 6.3 59
FF: Rise of the Silver Surfer 55 37 5.7 45
2008 Iron Man 91 94 7.9 79
The Incredible Hulk. 75 67 6.9 61
Punisher: War Zone 45 27 6 30
AVERAGE 59.7 49.6 6.1 52.3
POST-DISNEY
Title Year RT (AR) RT (F) IMDB MC
2009 X-Men Origins: Wolverine 72 37 6.7 -
2010 Iron Man 2 80 75 7.1 57
2011 Thor 80 77 7 57
X-Men: First Class 88 87 7.8 65
CPT America: The First Avenger 75 79 6.8 66
2012 Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance 32 18 4.4 32
Marvel’s The Avengers 96 92 8.4 69
The Amazing Spider-Man 81 73 7.4 66
AVERAGE 75.5 67.3 7.0 58.9

No matter which way you look at it, Disney is doing a pretty damn good job, except when it comes to Ghost Rider 2, which was neither produced or distributed by them or Marvel, since talk of it’s production began in 2007 already.

Ultimately, as I said, time will tell, but I’m pretty sure they’ll do a good job


Eastern Cape Floods & Damage

Since last week, the Eastern Cape has been getting a lot of rain. In fact according to the Weather Guru (link below) up to this morning 389mm of rain fell in the Port Alfred area. Click here for details on all areas from last week to now.  He also shared this info:

With still 8 days left in October we have not only exceeded the record in Port Elizabeth as being the wettest NON FLOOD year on record and the second wettest year on record since 1955 (when records started at airport)

Reason for calling it a non flood year is that although we have had a lot of flooding, there is no ONE SINGLE EVEN/DATE that stands out like for example 1 September 1968

Comparative figures up until the end of October

1968 1032.6 mm
1974 966.5 mm
1981 923.5 mm
2012 985.4 mm up until 22 October

For the entire year the total for 1968 was 1068.4 mm. We thus need just over 83 mm before the end of the year to beat that record

Facebook has been buzzing about the heavy rains and people are posting photos like crazy, especially since Saturday.

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Where to get more info and updates:

Metro Newspaper: http://www.metronewspaper.co.za/

Follow the Weather Guru for up to date reports: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Weather-Guru/192566374124112

Algoa FM Gallery: http://www.algoafm.co.za/galleryphotos.aspx?id=201#!prettyPhoto

Grahamstown Photos: http://penneyspix.co.za/gtown-rain.php

St Francis photos: http://stfrancischronicle.com/2012/10/21/the-sand-river-canyon-develops-as-bridge-washes-away-for-3rd-time-photo-gallery/#jp-carousel-8398

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Videos:

Boesmanriviermond:

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Some Images from Facebook:

1)

3rd Avenue, Walmer (Saturday night?)

3rd Avenue, Walmer (Saturday night?)

2)

3rd Avenue, Walmer (Sinkhole in road)

3rd Avenue, Walmer (Sinkhole in road)

3)

N2 between Grahamstown and Port Elizabeth

The hole is 25m wide and 50m deep on the N2 between Grahamstown and Port Elizabeth

4)

Assegai Bridge between Port Elizabeth & Grahamstown

Assegai Bridge between Port Elizabeth & Grahamstown

5)

Boundary Lane, Mt Pleasant

Boundary Lane, Mt Pleasant (sorry about quality)

6)

Seaview Rd (Bushy Park)

Seaview Rd (Bushy Park)

7)

R72

R72

8)

Spar Despatch

Spar Despatch

9)

St Francis

St Francis

10)

Seaview Rd

Seaview Rd

11)

Grahamstown

Grahamstown

12)

3rd Avenue, Walmer

3rd Avenue, Walmer

13)

Star Bakery, Walmer

Star Bakery, Walmer

14)

Mount Pleasant

Mount Pleasant

15)

Seaview Rd

Seaview Rd

16)

Little Walmer Golf Course

Little Walmer Golf Course

17)

Port Elizabeth

Port Elizabeth

18)

Target Kloof

Target Kloof

19)

Sundays River

Sundays River

20)

Port Alfred

Port Alfred

 


Grow your own! Need some reasons?

GM foodThis year I decided that I wanted to start growing my own vegetables. There was no specific reason, I just wanted to have fresh, homegrown veggies that hadn’t been sitting in cold storage for weeks or months on end.

Since I’ve started, in about July/August, my little veggie patch has started to finally look like something. Being a bit of a geek as well, I spend a lot of time researching how to do it better, be it by reading articles, watching videos or whatever else.

Naturally, while reading articles and finding resources, you come across some related topics, one of which is GM, or genetically modified, foods. The scary part is that a lot of people wont even know what I am talking about. I just had to share some of the stuff that I’ve come across.

What  is GM food?

To understand what all the fuss is about, you first need to understand what GM food is.

For centuries man has been “genetically modifying” food by natural methods, such as selective breeding, where you grow a plot of corn and only take seeds from the ones that were resistant to things like fungus. You would do this year after year until you were left with a crop that was almost completely resistant. Even with chickens, you could find which eggs contained less cholesterol and breed only those chickens until you were left with a low cholesterol egg producing chicken.

With the advent of genetic engineering, scientist have been able to eliminate the trial and error method of selective breeding by simply injecting specific genes into the plant. For example Monsanto produce a herbicide called Roundup (glyphosate based) which kills any plant it comes into contact with. Monsanto then sell seeds that are resistant to Roundup. Farmers can then spray their crops with Roundup and be sure that only the crops themselves are left. These seeds are patented and you cannot reuse the seeds from these crops.

Another example is where BT toxins (Bacillus thuringiensis) are inserted into GM food crops to kill pests.

Since 1994, when Calgene (now owned by Monsanto) first marketed its Flavr Savr delayed ripening tomato, GM crops now include, but are not limited to soybean, maize, cotton, canola, squash, papaya, alfalfa & sugar beet. In 2010 and estimated 10% of crops worldwide were GM crops. In the US, by 2010, 93% of the planted area of soybeans, 93% of cotton, 86% of corn and 95% of the sugar beet were genetically modified varieties.

What does this have to do with me?

There has never been a long-term study of the effects of a diet including GM food on humans. I am also no expert on these matters, but there are more than a few articles on the possible effects of GM foods.

Genetically modified foods are not necessarily a bad thing (if correctly and openly regulated), but the way things are right now, people have a right to be concerned. Everyone out there should be able to make up their own mind up about GM foods. New Scientist have a rather informative article on the pros and cons of GM foods.

http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn9921-introduction-gm-organisms.html?full=true

Also see the selection of articles on GM food from New Scientist:  http://www.newscientist.com/topic/gm-food

The article below describes possible dangers of GM foods to our digestive systems. It also has links to various other articles on other dangers:

http://www.anh-usa.org/genetically-engineered-food-alters-our-digestive-systems/

The Wikipedia article on the controversy surrounding GM food is rather detailed and a must read. As with any Wikipedia article use your own discretion and read the sources.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genetically_modified_food_controversies

The WHO has also released a FAQ of sorts regarding GM foods.

http://www.who.int/foodsafety/publications/biotech/20questions/en/

The Daily Mail in the UK has also reported that toxins which were meant to be destroyed by the gut have found their way into the bloodstream of pregnant women and even the umbilical cord.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-1388888/GM-food-toxins-blood-93-unborn-babies.html

Even though GM crops are meant to be pest resistant, among other things, recently breeds of “super-insects” are now surfacing resistant to the toxins in the crops.

http://www.motherjones.com/tom-philpott/2011/12/superinsects-monsanto-corn-epa

Another problem with GM crops is what they go into from harvesting. How many products on our shelves use GM foods in their production?

There are so many articles, and resources out there, but these are some of the highlights

http://readersupportednews.org/news-section2/312-16/13908-new-gmo-wheat-may-silence-vital-human-genes

https://www.facebook.com/occupymonsanto

http://www.guardian.co.uk/sustainable-business/vandana-shiva-corporate-monopoly-seeds?newsfeed=true

The following video is a nice summary of the dangers

Who is behind this?

One of the largest companies behind GM foods is Monsanto, but other companies include Sygenta, Dupont and Bayer CropScience, all of which are, or were, primarily chemical companies.

Monsanto are no strangers to controversy, before they became a biotech firm as they are known today, they produced and had a virtual monopoly in the US for Polychlorinated bipyls (PCBs) which were used as coolant fluids in transformers, capacitors, and electric motors, and in a wide variety of other industrial applications. It has been banned since 1979 is the US and worldwide due to it being a persistent organic pollutant. Until it was banned in the US, Monsanto continued to defend it’s safety. Who is to say it is not the same case with their Roundup herbicide or engineered seeds?

Monsanto is also known for its involvement in high profile lawsuits, as both plaintiff and defendant. It has been involved in a number of class action suits, where fines and damages have run into the hundreds of millions of dollars, usually over health issues related to its products.

Other controversial products include: rBGH (recombinant bovine growth hormone) which is used to increase cow’s milk production and terminator seeds which ensure only one generation of seeds survive.

Monsanto are not alone, as the controversies between the other companies include: CFCs (Dupont were credited as one of the inventors and largest producer), neonicotinoid pesticide (Bayer pesticide that can kill off honeybees and other non-targeted insects) and countless more. For more details on the controversies surrounding the above companies, have a look at the Wikipedia articles under the relevant sections (links are above).

Unfortunately, these corporate giants have deep pockets and Monsanto especially influence those in power.

http://www.motherjones.com/tom-philpott/2012/09/romney-monsanto-bain

What can I do?

Simply grow your own and enjoy fresh from the garden veggies. It is very satisfying to pick your own veggies and enjoy the wonderful flavour and freshness. You don’t need a lot of space, there are lots of ways to use what little space you have.

Follow these facebook pages for some great ideas and info:

https://www.facebook.com/GrowFoodNotLawns?fref=ts

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Food-With-A-Story/153999687989457?fref=ts

Google is definitely your friend in this regard as well.

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But if you’re not the gardening type, then just make yourself more aware. See below:

Be more aware of what goes into the food you buy. Learn more here (available via web and mobile):

http://www.elabel.org/south-africa/about

Find out more about South Africa’s GMO labelling draft amendment to the Consumer Protection Act 68/2008

Article: http://www.digitaljournal.com/article/334690

Goverment Gazette: http://www.acbio.org.za/ACB_35776_9-10_TradeIndustryCV01.pdf

California’s Proposition 37 (November 6 2012), Vote YES

Very detailed article about the proposition: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/14/magazine/why-californias-proposition-37-should-matter-to-anyone-who-cares-about-food.html?pagewanted=all&_r=1&

Why to vote YES (must read): http://www.classwarfareexists.com/california-set-to-vote-on-whether-or-not-to-require-labels-for-genetically-modified-foods/#ixzz28rQcOm9v

The giants push millions into advertising campaign to vote against the proposition: http://www.carighttoknow.org/ad_blitz_pummels_support

Al-Jazeera article for a bit of non-US viewpoint: http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2012/09/20129257471016420.html


The World Is F***ed #7: Woolworths: A Follow Up

Just over a month back, I blogged about the Woolworths racism saga and how I felt that we can’t blame Woolworths for the BEE policies they need to follow.

Yesterday a Facebook group, which I happen to follow, shared my blogpost on their page and I happened to come across it this morning. There were also some comments on the original post, which I replied to, but there are some comments from the facebook post that I wish to address.

Before I begin, let me just state three things:

  • I think Woolworths are wrong in what they are doing, still doing, but the “boycott of Woolies” has been pretty ineffective as far as I’m concerned. Not that it has been much of a boycott, people involved could have spent the energy on more relevant & important things, but it’s easy to basically do nothing else but avoid one particular shop and call it “taking action”
  • I don’t think BEE is an effective means of redressing the mistakes of the past. Any policy which is related to giving preference to one race over another will always be met with criticism and even fear. Almost 20 years on and BEE has done anything that wouldn’t have naturally happened anyway in my opinion. If anything BEE has only made a very small minority of the African population much richer and the majority even worse off.
  • At no stage did I say I like agree with Woolies, the ANC or BEE. But laying the blame on one company is never going to solve the problem. So Woolies close their doors, then what, do you think that is going to change things? If anything it’s just more ammunition for the ANC to use against white people.

Now as for the comments, Let me address each one individually:

Comment 1:

I don’t even know where to start with this comment. The grammar and punctuation alone get me tingling, and not in a good way.

Well Richard, I am definitely not saying you should sit back and eat it up, if it something you feel strongly about, by all means do what you feel that you need to do about something you feel strongly about.

We are not the only country in the world where discrimination occurs, that isn’t to say it doesn’t happen, yes racial discrimination is happening, but that isn’t the only type of discrimination. What about gender and caste discrimination in India, Saudi Arabia and other countries? What about religious discrimination all around the world. Even when it comes to race, I really doubt we are the worst.

You want to protest, fine, but a quiet boycott by maybe a few thousand white people is barely a start, it’s almost insignificant.

Comment 2:

Dear Melanie, thank you for your condolences, but they are however unnecessary and unwanted. From your comment I could assume that you are a narrow-minded fascist bigot, but I cannot know that, so I won’t call you that. The Moral? Don’t make assumptions, simple. In response: If I were brainless, I would not have an opinion, even if it is different to yours. Pinko? I am hardly sympathetic to our socialist government, apathetic maybe, but not sympathetic. My time is spent better on other things. As for Liberal, yes possibly, I consider myself very open minded, so I’ll give you that one…

Comment 3:

Hardly… From the end of August, after an initial drop of R400 which was at its lowest on the 10th of September, it has now gone R200 beyond what it was at the end of August (http://www.bloomberg.com/quote/WHL:SJ)

Comment 4:

No-one ever said that life was easy. I don’t agree with what Woolworths did, and never will, but I do think peoples reactions and consequent reactions are misdirected.

Comment 5:

I agreed with you until your last sentence. “Whities” are definitely too lazy when it comes to standing up for what is right. And when they do something it is generally something insignificant. Like saying you’ll never shop at Woolies…

Comment 6:

Don’t hold you breathe…

Comment 7:

Oh Lord, again with grammar and punctuation… Asskissing, uncomfortable? Hardly, and as for liberal, like I said, possibly, because I do consider myself open minded.

Comment 8-10

I thought I’d group these together, since they’re the only comments I agree with.

The majority definitely love the victim mentality and until everyone stops blaming one another, there is no hope for us as a country.

Mockracy is definitely the right description.

Comment 11:

I have no comment…


Gimme Some Series #3: October 2012

arrowposter652012


Spotlight:

NEW: Arrow (10 October)

Inspired by the DC Comics character, The Green Arrow, this new series is bought to us by Andrew Kreisberg (Fringe, Eli Stone), Greg Berlanti (Everwood, Eli Stone) and Marc Guggenheim (writer at Marvel & DC, co created Eli Stone.

Shipwrecked on a mysterious island and presumed dead for 5 years, billionaire Oliver Queen, portrayed by Stephen Amell (Vampire Diaries, 90210),  returns home, only to fight crime as the vigilante “Arrow”

The creators and the network, The CW, have hinted at a edgy and gritty feel to the series, so hopefully they can pull it off.

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Highlights:

Season 3: Walking Dead (14 October)

Merle’s back, the Governor, Michonne, a prison full of zombies, what is there not to like about the new season? Admittedly season 2 was a bit slow moving, but I still loved it.

As a side not, I am busy reviewing Telltale Game’s Walking Dead PC game for blogcritics.org, so the two will definitely overlap and it will be pretty hard not to compare them. Let’s see how this goes.

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Season 2: American Horror Story

I could carry on about the awesome series this is, but I’ll say just one word that should sum it up:

Creepy…

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Also watch out for these :

Season 8: Supernatural

I know my fiance will be pretty damn happy that this show is returning, and I’m sure there are a few others out there who will be just as excited. Possiblly the last season?

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Must see, in case you missed them:

Season 1: Revolution (Currently running)

Season 3: Haven (Currently running)

Season 6: The Big Bang Theory (Currently running)

Season 2: Homeland (Currently running)

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Complete List:

For a complete list of new and returning series, I would suggest following at a blogger called Cybermage’s rather exhaustive (and awesome) list here:

http://www.cybermage.se/tv-index/when-is-my-favorite-tv-show-coming-back/


Must See Movies 2012 #6: Frankenweenie, Moonrise Kingdom and more

Week 1: How I Spent My Summer Vacation (aka Get the Gringo)

This movie, starring Mel Gibson as a career criminal is due out in South Africa on the 5th of October. Caught by the Mexican authorities, he is thrown in a rough & tough prison, where a ten year old kid teaches him the ropes.

The sad thing is that this movie was already out in March in the USA and is already out on DVD there (since July), so most people have seen it already, probably. If not, give it a go…

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IMDB Moviemeter: Top 500

Tomatometer: 80%

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Week 2: Taken 2

The sequel to one of the more entertaining action flicks that has come out in recent years, Mills (Liam Neeson) and his wife are taken hostage while on holiday in Istanbul. Should be good fun, but the Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer rating of 11% has me worried.

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IMDB Moviemeter: 19

Tomatometer: 11%

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Week 3: Moonrise Kingdom 

I am really not sure where to start with this movie. If I tell you that it’s about two 12 year old kids who fall in love and run away together, you’re probably gonna give me weird looks, but that’d be understandable as that doesn’t sum it up properly. Directed by Wes Anderson (Royal Tenenbaums, Darjeeling Unlimited) and starring Bruce Willis, Edward Norton and Bill Murray, this must be one of the most anticipated movies of the year.

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IMDB Moviemeter: 2

Tomatometer: 94% (Certified fresh)

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Week 4: Frankenweenie

Directed by Tim Burton and not featuring Johnny Depp or Helena Bonham Carter (c-c-c-c-combobreaker), this black & white, stop motion film in 3D is about a boy who brings his dead dog back to life with dire consequences. Should be good pre-Halloween fun.

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IMDB Moviemeter: Top 500

Tomatometer: 81%

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In Case There’s Nothing Else 

Week 1: Premium Rush

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IMDB Moviemeter: Top 500

Tomatometer: 75% (Certified Fresh)

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Week 4: The Campaign

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IMDB Moviemeter: Top 500

Tomatometer: 67%

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Gimme Some Series #2: Revolution

Revolution posterIn my previous “Gimme Some Series” post, my series in the spotlight was Revolution, a new series from NBC. I’m not the only one excited as it turns out, in TV.com’s New Series Anticipation Index, the fans voted Revolution all the way to the top spot against some other awesome shows of which I mentioned one or two last time.

To keep up to date on the show here are some important links to follow:

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/Revolution

Twitter: https://twitter.com/nbcrevolution #Revolution

Tumblr: http://nbcrevolution.tumblr.com/

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/nbcrevolution/

(Be sure to have a look at the Pinterest link)

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There are some hundreds of interviews and promos out there, but these are the picks of the whole lot that I came across:

Eric Kripke Comic Con Interview:

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Cast Preview at :

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First Look:

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Special Olympic-themed promo:

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On the set:

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Primetime Preview – NBC (includes other NBC shows):

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Also have a look at these videos on the NBC website:

What would you do?

–> Pilot episode Preview


The World Is F***ed #6: I Blame Woolworths, No Wait…

ww_logoAs a South African, unless you’ve been hiding under a rock, you have probably heard about the Woolworths “racist” scandal earlier this week bought to light by internet marketer, Justin Harrison, who followed up a  few days later with another post. No surprise it made news, after all didn’t SAA just go through the same saga?

If you are still not sure what I am going on about here are some links to what is happening:

Woolworth refutes accusations of racism, disables wall

Woolworths denies racism claim

Viva Woolworths! Viva!

Questions over Woolworths whistleblower

Whites against Woolworths: doth they protest too much?

There are probably many more but these should give you an idea

While as a white South African male, my initial reaction was to throw my arms in the air and scream bloody murder, as many did, after reading some alternative views and letting the dust settle, I find that I can’t really blame them at all.

So who do we blame? The ANC? Aren’t they are just trying to correct the imbalances of the apartheid era, the imbalance which has still not been corrected, despite close to 20 years of being free of apartheid? Well that is debatable since their policies have only seemed to benefit a very small majority of their followers, but that is something else altogether.

So do we blame white people? Can we blame the children of the post-apartheid era, like myself, who were too young to know what was happening? So do we blame our parents? After all they did nothing while the National Party ruled the country and implemented apartheid policies. They should have put their lives on the line, they should have done more, right? While it went on for far too long, the entire world also did nothing really, so can we blame them?

Maybe we should blame the Germans and countless other supremist goverments for giving our apartheid government ideas? Or maybe we should blame the Dutch and/or British settlers for coming to this country and taking it away from the indigenous people, the Zulus, the Xhosa, the San, et al? Not really, much like the Romans did for them, they bought a little bit of civilisation to the region.

Maybe we should blame the Romans for bringing the first hints of civilisation to what is now Britain & Netherlands or the Celtic or Germanic tribes for settling there in the first place? No?

What I’m trying to say is that history is exactly that, history. If we are going to just try to point fingers and play the blame game, nothing constructive will come of it, people will get angry and say stupid things which will piss off other people who will say more stupid things.

Lets say, hypothetically, as a white male in SA, you were looking through a newspaper for a job and you saw a job that you wanted to apply for. At the end it tells you, preference is given to BEE candidates or to disabled black women. Of course you think to yourself, “Fuck I hate this BEE crap!” or whatever else you may think, but is your next step to now launch a boycott against this company, or do you move on and try again?

The only thing that Woolworths did wrong was the way that they worded their job post really, and of course the way they handled the PR nightmare they bought on themselves, but I think after initially going into a flat spin, they have managed to correct their mistake, and isn’t that what we wanted?

Personally, I went to Woolies yesterday and bought some chicken they had on special. And next time I feel like some smoked snoek pate, I will go again.


The World is F***ed #5: A Comparison of Food & Petrol Price Increases in South Africa

5 year trends

Yesterday I read an article on the BBC website that got my mind spinning. The article is about how the UK Office of Fair Trade (OFT) has decided to launch a study into the high price of fuel. In the UK the price for petrol and diesel went up 38% & 43% respectively from June 2007 to June 2012. There are other factors they are investigating, but the bit that got me thinking was their citizens being upset about the 38-43% increase (Read the article here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-19489908)

This past month our petrol prices went up to their highest ever levels. A litre of 95 octane petrol now costs R11.97 inland and R11.62 along the coast.

Since June 2007, our petrol prices locally have gone up by a massive 59% for 95 octane unleaded and 65% for diesel! The chart below shows us in a bit more detail how the prices have risen and fallen over the past 5 years. In 2008 you may recall that oil prices rose dramatically, reaching a record $147 during July and then dropping to around $40 in December. However despite the oil price being lower than at it’s peak, we are paying R2 more a litre.

Fuel Price

Fuel vs Oil prices (June 2007 – Sept 2012)

Looking at food prices isn’t much better. I chose six random food products that I felt were quite common among all income groups, being: 1l Full cream milk sachet, loaf brown bread, 1kg whole fresh chicken, 1kg beef chuck, sunflower oil & 1kg carrots.

The increases ranged from 30% (chicken) to a massive 104% (Sunflower oil).

Food Price

Food Prices from June 2007 to Jun 2012

Separately, however, these didn’t make much sense, so I went to a bit of effort and created a weighted average between fuel, food and oil prices and compared them to the trend over the years and this is when it made more sense

If you look at the below chart, you will see red, green and blue solid lines indicating the movement of fuel, food and oil over the 5 year period, while the dotted lines indicate the trend created by this movement.

The purple line (X) is based on year on year inflation over this period, in other words what price increases should look like.

5 year trends

Trend of price increases over 5 years

But what do you notice if you compare the 3 trends and the solid purple line? This clearly indicates that fuel, and by comparison food, since SA relies on transport via our road networks, follow the trend of oil prices rather than the actual inflation rates given by government, which granted takes into account much more than I have: house prices, car prices, etc.

I’m no expert in matters like this so if anyone out there can give me a better explanation I will gladly accept it, but as if climate change wasn’t reason enough for us as a species to move away from oil and fossil fuels as a source of fuel and energy, then surely this should be  even more reason?

EDIT:

The sources for all the above prices and rates are:

Petrol Prices: http://www.aa.co.za/

Food Prices: http://www.namc.co.za/

Oil Prices: http://www.investis.com/

Inflation Rate: http://www.liberta.co.za


Gimme Some Series #1: September

Spotlight:

RevolutionNEW: Revolution (17 September)

From the minds of Eric Kripke (Supernatural) and JJ Abrams (writer/director/producer of endless hits) comes a new series directed by Jon Favreau (Iron Man). In a post-apocalyptic world, a family struggles reunite and discover what has happened 15 years after a mysterious event has rendered every bit of technology from lights to cars useless.

This series will either work damn well or fail miserably, but the brains behind it and the actors, including Elizabeth Mitchell (Lost) & Billy Burke (Drive Angry, Twilight), give me some hope.

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Highlights:

Season 2: Homeland (30 September)

Mentally unstable CIA agent Carrrie Mathison (Claire Danes), haunted by her failure to anticipate 9/11,  worries that a rescued POW (Damian Lewis) may be planning a terrorist attack.

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Season 3: Boardwalk Empire (16 September)

Chronicles the legendary story of Atlantic City’s rise to a gambling mecca. Written by Terence Winter (Sopranos) and produced by Mark Wahlberg and Stephen Levinson (Entourage)

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Season 2: Revenge (30 September)

Loosely based on The Count of Monte Christo, this is a tale of a rich young woman’s revenge on those who ruined her late father’s life years ago.

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NEW: Last Resort (27 September)

The crew of an American submarine defies orders to flatten Pakistan with nuclear weapons and become targets themselves. The crew escapes to a tropical island, declares the island a sovereign nuclear state, and look for ways to prove their innocence.

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Season 6: The Big Bang Theory (27 September)

The hit series returns for it’s 6th season.

(No Promo or Trailer available)

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Also watch out for these :

Season 2: Person of Interest (27 September)

A former CIA assassin (Jim Caviezel) and a billionaire computer scientist (Michael Emerson) team up to prevent crimes before they happen with the help of an all-seeing surveillance system created to prevent terrorist attacks.

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NEW: Elementary (27 September)

A new contemporary twist on the Sherlock Holmes story featuring Jonny Lee Miller as Holmes and Lucy Lui as Watson

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Season 5: Fringe (28 September)

The long running hit series is returning for it’s final season.

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Mini-series: Coma (3-4 September)

Based on the Robin Cook novel (and 1978 film featuring Michael Douglas). This 2 part mini-series presented by Tony Scott & Ridley Scott, looks creepy as hell…

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Must see, in case you missed them:

Continuum (Season 1) (Returning Aprl 2013)

Falling Skies (season 2) (Returning June 2013)

Dallas (Season 1) (Returning January 2013)

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Complete List:

For a complete list of new and returning series, I would suggest following at a blogger called Cybermage’s rather exhaustive (and awesome) list here:

http://www.cybermage.se/tv-index/when-is-my-favorite-tv-show-coming-back/


Must See Movies 2012 #5: Total Recall, Resident Evil & Dredd (and others)

Over the next two months, there are three movies I cannot miss and some others I will try my best to see.

First up at the end of this week today is the remake of Total Recall. I loved the original with Arnie and am hoping that Colin Farrell won’t let me down. I don’t expect it to be better than the original, and am not going to walk in comparing them, but the trailer looks pretty kick-ass so I have a little bit of hope.

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In the middle of September, the day after my birthday actually, comes Resident Evil Retribution. Honestly I think this series of movies has been going on for way too long, but it has zombies and Milla Jovovich, so it’s a must see! :)

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At the end of September, comes a movie that I have been hoping for since the first attempt in 1995. That movie of course is Dredd 3D.

When I was in boarding school, every Friday afternoon would be spent at the bookstore in town reading the latest 2000AD comic. If I couldn’t read all of it, I would make sure that I had read at least the Judge Dredd part.

When I heard about the first movie in 1995, I was excited beyond words, until I watched it. It sucked and that is all I have to say about it…

Fast forward a few years (13 to be exact) and it was announced that Alex Garland (28 Days Later) would be the writer of the new movie.   Reviews of the initial screening of the movie have been positive with IGN giving it a 8/10. Even better has been the talk of a Dredd being a trilogy (did I mention how excited I am?)

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In summary here are the films to look out up to the end of September, including the above:

August

Now: Expendables 2

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Coming up: Total Recall

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September

Week 1: The Watch

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Week 2: Resident Evil Retribution

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Week 3: The Bourne Legacy

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Week 4: Dredd 3D


Must See Movies 2012 #4: Catching Up

After a few months of absence, I’m back! My last Must See Movies post was in May and to make matters worse, I have only seen one of the three movies that I rated as must see. That movie was Battleship and in my defence, I did say I thought it would be entertaining, whether it was good or bad… It turned out to be the latter.

I still intend to watch Men in Black 3 and Dark Shadows, but not sure when that’ll be. On the other hand over the last couple of months, there were three movies that really stuck out for me and if you haven’t watched them yet, what is wrong with you?

First up was Prometheus, and I really enjoyed the not-a-prequel prequel of the Alien saga. Check it out, there’s talk of a sequel to the not-prequel-prequel that will definitely not be a prequel, but a complete separate storyline. Confused yet?

The second one was The Dark Knight Rises. I know a lot of people won’t agree with me that this is the best of the Dark Knight trilogy. With the exception of Bane‘s almost unintelligible speech, I loved everything about it….

The third of my recommended movies for the past few months is The Amazing Spiderman, if only because it doesn’t have Tobey Maguire as Spiderman… Andrew Garfield did a much better job in my opinion. The only thing that made me appreciate this movie a little less was the fact that I had watched The Dark Knight rises a week before, so it was difficult to not compare


Must See Movies 2012 #3: Dark Shadows, Men in Black 3 (and Battleship)

Firstly, I would like to apologise to those of you who took my advice and watched The Hunger Games. In brief, it did suck a bit, so if you’re still on the fence about watching it, do yourself a favour, just climb down to the side where you don’t watch it. Or wait for DVD if you really have to watch it.

Moving on to the The Avengers though. OMG. Have you watched it yet? In one word, epic. That is what The Avengers was, epic. I loved it from beginning to end. Joss Whedon really did the movie justice. So if you haven’t watched it yet, go do it already. Big thumbs up.

For May, there are two movies that I reckon will be worth it. There’s one more that I will probably watch, but already have a feeling it will suck a bit, that is Battleship. I’ll get to this one at the end…

First up is Dark Shadows, Tim Burton‘s latest film, based on the 60′s series of the same name. In 1752 wealthy playboy Barnabus Collins, played by Johnny Depp, breaks the heart of a witch, who turns him into a vampire and buries him. He gets freed accidentally in 1972 and returns to find his once magnificent mansion in ruin and occupied by his dysfunctional descendants, each with the own deep dark secrets. It features, yeah you’ve guessed it, Helena Bonham Carter, in the role of Elizabeth Collins Stoddard (Michelle Pfeiffer), the family matriarch’s hired live-in psychiatrist.

At the end of May, we get to watch Men in Black 3. Not much needs to be said about this one except that we get to see the younger 1960′s “K” (Josh Brolin). As with the previous 2, it also features Will Smith & Tommy Lee Jones. There’s not much to say about this one except it should be pretty good, like the previous two.

As mentioned earlier, the other movie which I will probably watch this month is Battleship. The movie is based on the Hasbro game, Battleship. To be honest, it looks a bit too much like Transformers with a different name but it’ll probably be good entertainment regardless of whether it is good or not though, so give it go if you’d like.


Posts of Randomness #4: Gullible Much??


ImageDuring the day today I have seen several websites, blogs, legit news sites and even quite a few of my friends on Facebook commenting and/or reposting a photo of a dog fight arena with Heineken banners on the both sides (see photo to the right).

Firstly, let me just say that I love our furry friends, and that I do what I can, when I can. I definitely do not like, support or in anyway condone dog fighting. Also, I don’t even drink Heineken, I don’t hate it, but rarely drink it.

To get back to the point, there are a bunch of idiots out there, including some of my Facebook friends, who decided to jump to the seriously illogical conclusion that Heineken was sponsoring dog-fighting…. srsly??

You don’t think that it could just be a Heineken outlet of some type, a bar, a club or random venue, and that Heineken were not aware of the fact that the venue was used for dog-fights? No, because everything on the internet is true and people don’t use Photoshop to edit photos. Whatever the source of the photo and how legit the photo is, I am pretty damn sure that the least likely option is that Heineken are sponsoring the dog-fight. I’m sure they would have made sure that their branding was removed

Regardless of all my thoughts on the matter, at the end of the day Heineken did release a statement on their website:

Images are circulating on a number of websites showing what appears to be an illegal dogfight with Heineken banners (placed upside down) clearly visible. HEINEKEN is shocked and disappointed by this image. HEINEKEN is not and would never knowingly be associated with illegal activities, including those involving cruelty to animals. This is a gross misrepresentation of our brand and our legal team is now investigating the source of the picture and will take the necessary measures. We ask anyone with information regarding this picture such as the source, or the venue where it has been taken to contact us.

A simple Google search would have revealed this for anyone that had seen the photo and was wondering if Heineken would do something like this.

 


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