Random

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/ 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Milestones

milestone

Over this past week or so, I’ve achieved some major milestones with my blog. Milestones I never thought that I’d achieve when I started this blog 2 years back. I am no internet marketing guru, I really don’t know how to do any proper blog promoting to get major traffic. I try little things here and there, like visiting and commenting on other blogs, submitting my posts to Stumble Upon for random traffic, submitting my blog to different blog aggregators such as myScoop and Amatomu and recently have even created my very own Facebook page

Firstly, out of nowhere I have over 11000 views in the past week, with 4184 this past Sunday, for a total of  33000 all time views. I just happened to blog about a rather popular person, that at the time was buzzing on the web, Barrack Obama. That and a bit of luck.

Before this though, I had managed to keep my blog going at 50-100 visits a day and a growing number of subscribers, which is more than enough to make it worthwhile!

Next milestone, my blog has also managed to make it to the top 25 of SA Topsites, which is a ranking tool for South African sites to compare traffic. Other sites in the top 25 include Cars.co.za and The Moviesite. (Slowly dropped to 28 today)

Lastly, This is officially my 100th post (excluding 1 automated post from WordPress)

Anyway, I’m happy, so I just had to share that… For all the milestones I’ve achieved and for much more than those, I would like to extend a very big thank you to everyone who has ever, still does and might never again read my blog. An even bigger thanks to all my friends (and writer friends) who, if for no other reason than a bit of guilt, or out of duty, push me along and give me a reason to blog. An a special thanks to my awesome fiance, who puts up with all my blogging and talk about blogging. You all rock!


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


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

 


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…


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


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


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.

 


Must See Movies 2012 #2: The Hunger Games & The Avengers

In my first “Must See Movies” post for 2012, which covered me until the end of March, I could barely scrape together 4 movies that excited me a bit. I am afraid that I must admit that the first two were major disappointments as well. 2012 isn’t the greatest of years for movies that have excited me so far. There have been some okay ones here and there, but none worth special mention. On the plus side, I’ve been catching up with my series and Skyrim.

The Darkest Hour was exactly that, and about 30 minutes more actually for that matter. The movie relied a bit too much on the cheap (3d) thrills. I can imagine watching it on a normal screen would make it even worse.

While Chronicle was not a complete disaster, the camcorder feel of the movie was a bit annoying, I think it would have worked much better if it was shot in any way but the way they did.

I have more hope for the remaining two, if only for their entertainment value. Project X’s producer is none other than Todd Phillips (who has previously produced and/or directed Old School, The Hangover I & II as well as Due Date) and, well The Wrath of the Titans will be some good fun even if it does suck

For April, I only forsee good things. There are two movies that deserve mention, The Grey and Take Shelter (see the trailers at the end of the post), but even they are simply overshadowed by two potential movies of the year for me.

Cover of "The Hunger Games"

Cover of The Hunger Games

First up, on 13 April 2012, is the movie adaption of  the Suzanne Collins novel of the same name: The Hunger Games. The book and movie are set in the fictional, post-apocalyptic country of Panem, built atop the remains of continental North America, which was destroyed by global warming, war and scarcity of resources. The country is ruled by the powerful, advanced city, the Capitol, which controls the 12 districts as well as all their resources. There were once 13 districts, but during a uprising by the 13 districts against the Capitol, they completely wipe out the 13th district and as a reminder of their defeat by the Capitol, an annual event televised event called the Hunger Games is held. Two tributes, a male and a female between 12 and 18 years of age, are chosen by the Capitol by lottery, unless someone volunteers, to enter a fight to the death. The district whose tribute is left standing at the end is showered with food and resources in abundance, while the remaining 11 districts face hunger and even death from starvation.

Knowing that Collins herself is involved in the movie is even better. I have been listening to the audio book while driving between work and home every day and am nearing the end now. This is one movie that seriously excites me so far. On Rotten Tomatoes the film has a 100% fresh rating with an average score of 8.1.

Looks like it should be pretty rocking right?

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Avengers

Movie Poster

Next, coming out at the end of April is The Avengers. The Marvel universe in which the Avengers is based, has had five movies preceding it’s eagerly awaited release and set the scene. It started with Iron Man in May 2008, followed by The Incredible Hulk in June 2008. In 2010, Iron Man 2 was released and last year, we had Thor and Captain America: The First Avenger. All 5 of these movies have had different directors and for the most part different writers, with the exception of Zak Penn getting involved in the story of The Incredible Hulk and now The Avengers. There are only two clear links between the films:

  • They each have a small clip after the credits have rolled hinting towards either another character or the Avengers themselves.
  • They are all produced by Kevin Feige

There is not much I can tell you about this movie that true fans don’t already know or that anyone else that is watching this movie would want to know. Let the trailers speak for themselves. If you don’t want to watch all of them, may I suggest that you just skip to Trailer #2 :)

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As a side note for those of you who haven’t seen the 5 movies mentioned and are wondering whether it’s critical to watch them before the Avengers, I have two things to say:

  • Why the hell not??
  • In all honesty it probably wont be the end of the world and you could probably get away with it, but they do provide an important back story for each individual character which may contribute to parts of the story.

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Then lastly as promised here are the trailers for The Grey and Take Shelter


Posts of Randomness #3: That’s How I Roll…

This morning while tidying my desk, I decided to power up all my PC’s and monitors that I have on my desk at work… It seemed the geeky thing to do, and while I was at it, took a photo and uploaded it on Facebook. I captioned it “This Is How I Roll”

This Is How I Roll...

This was followed up a few hours later by a colleague of mine captioned “And This Is How I Roll……”

And This Is How I Roll.....

Not long after this one, another colleague in the same branch, posted his follow up, captioned “And This Is How I Rollllll…..”

This setup included such wonders as wireless monitors, ability to solve Rubik’s cubes and special 3d monitors among other features.

And This Is How I Rolllll.....

I was just waiting for the next one, which came from another branch, but it was quite a funny turn, to my surprise

This is how I roll

Of course it didn’t end there and yet another colleague in another branch posted this one. This one seemed to end it all…

NO NO NO....this is how i roll. lol.


Stealth Mode Enabled…

tooth fairy

Operation Tooth Fairy – Stealth mode Enabled……….
Enter Room………. 
Ninja Mode Activated……….
Retrieve First Tooth from Under Pillow………
Return Tooth Casket to Under Pillow, with the Reward…..
Exit Room……….
*Phew* 
Safe……

When reading this the other day on Facebook, it gave me that fuzzy feeling in my stomach, that one that is usually accompanied by an “Aww!”

To put it in perspective, my friend’s sister’s eldest daughter lost her first tooth and mommy had to engage Tooth-Fairy mode.

I just couldn’t help but share…


2011 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2011 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 11,000 times in 2011. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 4 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.


My NaNoWriMo Novel

It’s my second year doing Nanowrimo and I hope that I manage to finish this year again. I’m a bit behind schedule, but nothing too hectic, I should be able to catch up… I hope…

This time around though, I wanna try something different. I’ve got a good foundation for my story, but from here, I can pretty much go anywhere…

The story so far:

We have discovered other intelligent life, and their shared knowledge has placed humanity on the brink of an era of mass exploration. Meanwhile Kalar, a hitman with very few morals, has stolen a new AI ship, Bob, capable of  almost anything, including being psychic & telepathic. Of course, the ship doesn’t really appreciate being stolen, and decides to make Kalar’s life difficult…

So anyone out there who wants to try and challenge me with something to include in the story should just head along to http://AnInconvenientAI.wordpress.com/ and comment on one of my posts.


Rugby Fever

The Rugby World Cup trophy - the William Webb ...

Image via Wikipedia

It is less than 24 hours until the Rugby World Cup 2011 starts with the first game between New Zealand and Tonga.

The first game I am really looking forward to is the one on Sunday between the Springboks and Wales though, not that the entire world cup doesn’t excite me. Unfortunately for most of the games I am going to be looking at highlights or possibly listen to the radio, but I will try see as much of it live as possible. I am quite an avid fantasy league player as well and this time there are quite a few fantasy games going on.

Ultimate Dream Teams has two games going, a fantasy league game and a score prediction game.

The score prediction game is sponsored by Etana and if you wanna join, just go here:

http://predict.etana.co.za/rugbypredictor/

The grand prize is an Apple iPad 2 16Gb with 3g/WiFi

The fantasy league game is sponsored by Blackberry and you can go here to join:

http://www.udt.co.za/fantasyrugby

The prizes have not yet been announced.

Supersport also have 2 games running, and you guessed it, they have a fantasy league game and a score prediction game. What I find quite funny is that they used to run their fantasy games through Ultimate Dream Teams.

Their games are located here:

Fantasy League: http://fantasy.supersport.com/rwc/

Score Prediction: http://games.supersport.com/predictions/rwc/

No prizes have been announced for these games either.

As always, Superbru also have a prediction game going, and you can check it out here.

http://www.superbru.com/rwc

Their prizes are actually pretty kick-ass, so go check it out here:

http://www.superbru.com/rwc/prizes.asp

The last game that I have registered for is a prediction game for the Springbok games only (currently)from BMW. The prize here is a trip for two to the final in New Zealand.

Go here to enter: http://bmw.co.za/springboks/


Posts of Randomness #2

War workers' nursery. Mrs. Arlene Corbin (righ...

Image via Wikipedia

When I drive to work in the mornings, it is a time for me to think about things; it helps me to de-stress. It’s my calming method so to speak. Except when there are people driving crap, but in comparison to other times of the day, I am relatively chilled out in that regard.

The other day, while driving, I noticed a piece of paper stuck on a power box on the side of the road. It read: “DAYCARE” and had a mobile phone number underneath it. Not printed either, but drawn with highlighters in bubble writing. I am not a parent but even to me this screams, “Stay the fuck away!” When they see a sign like this, what kind of parent would say to themselves, “Ooh, that seems like a good daycare for my flesh and blood, I can completely trust them with my child.”

You could argue that it will probably be cheaper than most daycares that have actual adverts on lampposts or wherever else, but of all the ways you could save money, is your child’s well being one of those ways? Once again, I am not a parent, but really?

Besides, clearly they use the kids they take care of to do their dirty work. Think about it…


Free Shit: An Update

About a month back, I decided to stop ignoring all the online competitions I saw around the web and started entering them like a crazy man.

On 20 June, I published a blog post on how to enter free online competitions and where to go to, such as winstuff.co.za, who post all the online competitions that they find for us…

I also told you about sites like Groupon and the rest and how they help you to get some major discounts, especially for eating out. Since then I also discovered a nice aggregator for all these sites – www.alldeals.co.za – which aggregates, or lists, all the deals from the many deal sites out there in one place, including online deals. You can also sign up to their daily email deal notifications.

More importantly though, yesterday I won my first competition and I have winstuff.co.za to thank for this as well. Not directly mind you, but through another competition they had linked to on the same site.

I won something that if you knew me, couldn’t be a better prize. It is a Philips BodyGroom which is pretty cool. But anyway, that’s not the point. I have been doing this for less than one month and it’s paid off already.

Tip: Take the time to setup your browser’s auto-complete feature. It is worth the initial setup time purely because of the amount of time it saves you in the long run.


Test Your Googling Skills

Google Logo officially released on May 2010

Image via Wikipedia

I think that I can easily say that most of the people I know use Google, as do most of the world. How are your googling skills?

On 7 April this year, Google started a puzzle challenge called “A Google a Day” which will put your googling skills to the test. I’ve been doing a few of them, as I get a chance, and it is very interesting to say the least.

You get given a clue and using that clue you need to find out what the answer is using Google. Once you think you have the answer, you input it and it’ll tell you if it is correct or not. Of course, you can admit defeat and ask for the answer. They will also explain what is possibly the easiest way you could have found the answer, whether you give up or get the answer.

Whether you do it to just put your skills to the test or use it to learn from fresh, you will eventually become a Google Master. You say, “But what’s the point, I can just google the answer. That is where Deja Google comes in. According to the website:

To keep the game interesting for everyone, we created Deja Google – A wormhole inspired time machine that searches the Internet as it existed before the game began. Because nobody wants someone’s recent blog post about finding an answer spoiling their fun.

Go check it out at agoogleaday.com


How To Survive The Internet #1

The internet can be a scary place. Over time you might find certain websites that you cannot live without. Now because I’m just awesome that way, I’ve decided to share some of the better ones out there, so you don’t have to sift through pages of Google results.

Of course if I had to start listing them by the hundreds as I easily could, you would give up before you even reached the halfway mark. So instead, once in a while, I’ll give you five of my favourites that stick out at that moment. Just click on the headings to go to each website. They aren’t in any particular order or in categories, they’re just there, because otherwise my CDO might kick in. *twitch*

1) Zamzar

Of all the websites I have ever come across, this one must be one of the most highly recommended. Have you ever received a file and not been able to open it? You can either mission trying to find the software to open it or try to convert it somehow…

That is why Zamzar is here. It has a pretty comprehensive list of supported file formats. With the free version of their service, you can upload files up to 100MB in size, going up to 1GB for paying customers. As a paying customer you also get online storage for a certain amount of time, can upload larger files, do concurrent conversions and much more

Its a pretty straightforward process as well:

  • Upload file
  • Choose output format
  • Enter email address
  • Go to download link (or storage inbox for paying customers) and download converted file.

I have tested the converter on all sorts of files (pdf to doc, xls to pdf, jpg to bmp, jpg to pdf and many more and have not been able to find a fault in any conversion.

As an extra bonus, the site also allows you to convert videos from most video sites, such as YouTube, into downloadable videos.

This is truly a life saver of a website.

2) Snopes

I don’t like spam, at all. So when people I know forward me e-mails that are clearly spam, I get really angry. I won’t even get onto the Facebook spam that I get on my  Facebook News Feed. If you don’t know what Snopes is, you are probably one of those people that forwards every e-mail that you receive and annoy the hell out of people like me.

Here’s how it works. If you receive a mail that you think may be a scam or spam, type the subject line or part of the message into Snopes’ search box and “voila!”

It’s not just email, it also lists various other types of scams running. Check the Hot 25 list for the most circulated scams at the moment

Hoax Slayer, Truth Or Fiction & Urban Legends are also decent alternatives and can also be used to double check your suspicions

3) Central Ops

This site is for the more advanced user and has some very useful online network tools. Get information on an IP address, get a domain’s information & records or even see what information your browser is displaying about you to the world (or more importantly to spammers or other undesirable people out there.)

To just verify an email address, use verify-email.org. This site is pretty simple. Got an e-mail that has bounced back and want to confirm if the address is valid? Just check it here.

4) Down for everyone or just me?

The idea here is simple. Picture the scene: You go to your favourite website, but it won’t open, so you start swearing (and possibly bashing your keyboard) because your email, and whatever else, is working.

This is where this site comes in… you simply enter the url into the box, click “or just me?” and within seconds you will know whether the entire site is down or if the problem is on your side.

5) How Secure Is My Password?

Want to know how secure your password is? Enter it here to find out how long it would take someone with an average desktop PC to crack your password. Simple

Just as an extra, here is a video I came across today that I thought I’d share…


The World Is F***ed #4: MTV Movie Awards

MTV LogoI used to love MTV, back when Beavis and Butthead, Migraine Boy, Daria, and more recently Celebrity Deathmatch, had me laughing my ass off. Back when there were still nights dedicated to rock music, not just one night or show either. They also didn’t have 12 hours of ads per day…

Okay I’ll admit, I don’t watch much TV at all these days, let alone MTV. I watch the movies and series that I like and that’s it. Once in a while at a friends house I might jump across to MTV, but I hardly ever stay there more than 15-20 minutes before I get frustrated.

As if my apathetic view of MTV wasn’t bad enough, at the MTV Movie awards last night (5 June 2011), I was shocked to find that the best movie, according to them, was “Twilight: Eclipse” and along with that they got Best Male and Female Performance (for Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart). Oh and Best Kiss & Best Fight. WTF? Really… Twilight was their “best” movie? What the hell happened to all the other way better movies, never mind the best performance awards? Sorry MTV, but you now just plain suck…

So I guess this is my goodbye to MTV. As a final remembrance of the MTV I used to love, here’s a video I found of  a whole bunch of Beavis and Butthead.


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