Archive for October 2006

Is the grass greener?

October 30, 2006

At a braai (party) on the weekend one of the topics that surfaced was which countries have the best standard of living. The general thought in South Africa is that if you want a better future for your children or even for yourself, it’s better to leave your country of birth and move overseas. The general consensus is that America, Britain, Canada, New Zealand or Australia all offer better living conditions than anywhere in Africa. But is this true? England is overrun by foreigners and the USA has always been the “land of opportunity.” The question is, is the grass really greener on the other side?

As I’ve never had the opportunity to live and work in another country, all my opinions have been formed by talking to people who have been there. The startling fact is, that although many South Africans are still making the change and seeking better lives overseas, a lot of ex-pats are returning to South Africa. Many have come to realise that crime and corruption isn’t only confined to this country. There are still a lot of benefits to living in South Africa and it seems that more and more people are realising this. The average person can still afford to buy a house and a car. Our education system is excellent, even our public schools, which cannot be said for a lot of first-world countries. Although living in South Africa is still a big challenge, maybe people should stop trying to run away from the problems, and rather face them right at home, because in my experience no problem or issue in life is fixed by running away from it. You have to face it, deal with and and fix it.

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Current tunes

October 25, 2006

Just thought I’d share some of the music that I’m currently listening to.

Snow Patrol – Eyes Open

Live – Songs from Black Mountain

Lugkasteel – Waar klop jou hart (Awesome South African artist)

Jose Gonzales – Veneer

Corinne Bailey Rae – Corinne Bailey Rae

Getting there

October 25, 2006

Just claimed my blog on Technorati and started using del.icio.us for my tags and bookmarks. Maybe I’m getting the hang of this!!

50 Interesting Science Facts

October 25, 2006

Courtesy of http://immense-world.blogspot.com/

1 – The speed of light is generally rounded down to 186,000 miles per second. In exact terms it is 299,792,458 m/s (equal to 186,287.49 miles per second).

2 – It takes 8 minutes 17 seconds for light to travel from the Sun’s surface to the Earth.

3 – 10 percent of all human beings ever born are alive at this very moment.

4 – The Earth spins at 1,000 mph but it travels through space at an incredible 67,000 mph.

5 – Every year, over one million earthquakes shake the Earth.

6 – When Krakatoa erupted in 1883, its force was so great it could be heard 4,800 kilometers away in Australia.

7 – Every second around 100 lightning bolts strike the Earth.

8 – Every year lightning kills 1000 people.

9 – In October 1999 an Iceberg the size of London broke free from the Antarctic ice shelf .

10 – If you could drive your car straight up you would arrive in space in just over an hour.

11 – Human tapeworms can grow up to 22.9m.

12 – The Earth is 4.56 billion years old…the same age as the Moon and the Sun.

13 – The dinosaurs became extinct before the Rockies or the Alps were formed.

14 – Female black widow spiders eat their males after mating.

15 – When a flea jumps, the rate of acceleration is 20 times that of the space shuttle during launch.

16 – If our Sun were just inch in diameter, the nearest star would be 445 miles away.

17 – Astronauts cannot belch – there is no gravity to separate liquid from gas in their stomachs.

18 – The air at the summit of Mount Everest, 29,029 feet is only a third as thick as the air at sea level.

19 – One million, million, million, million, millionth of a second after the Big Bang the Universe was the size of a …pea.

20 – DNA was first discovered in 1869 by Swiss Friedrich Mieschler.

21 – The molecular structure of DNA was first determined by Watson and Crick in 1953.

22 – The first synthetic human chromosome was constructed by US scientists in 1997.

23 – The thermometer was invented in 1607 by Galileo.

24 – Alfred Nobel invented dynamite in 1866.

25 – Wilhelm Rontgen won the first Nobel Prize for physics for discovering X-rays in 1895.

26 – The tallest tree ever was an Australian eucalyptus – In 1872 it was measured at 435 feet tall.

27 – Christian Barnard performed the first heart transplant in 1967 – the patient lived for 18 days.

28 – An electric eel can produce a shock of up to 650 volts.

29 – ‘Wireless’ communications took a giant leap forward in 1962 with the launch of Telstar, the first satellite capable of relaying telephone and satellite TV signals.

30 – The Ebola virus kills 4 out of every 5 humans it infects.

31 – In 5 billion years the Sun will run out of fuel and turn into a Red Giant.

32 – Giraffes often sleep for only 20 minutes in any 24 hours. They may sleep up to 2 hours (in spurts – not all at once), but this is rare. They never lie down.

33 – There are 60,000 miles of blood vessels in the human body.

34 – An individual blood cell takes about 60 seconds to make a complete circuit of the body.

35 – On the day that Alexander Graham Bell was buried the entire US telephone system was shut down for 1 minute in tribute.

36 – The low frequency call of the humpback whale is the loudest noise made by a living creature.

37 – A quarter of the world’s plants are threatened with extinction by the year 2010.

38 – Each person sheds 40lbs of skin in his or her lifetime.

39 – At 15 inches the eyes of giant squids are the largest on the planet.

40 – The Universe contains over 100 billion galaxies.

41 – Wounds infested with maggots heal quickly and without spread of gangrene or other infection.

42 – More germs are transferred shaking hands than kissing.

43 – The fastest speed a falling raindrop can hit you is 18mph.

44 – It would take over an hour for a heavy object to sink 6.7 miles down to the deepest part of the ocean.

45 – Around a million, billion neutrinos from the Sun will pass through your body while you read this sentence.

46 – The deepest part of any ocean in the world is the Mariana trench in the Pacific with a depth of 35,797 feet.

47 – Every hour the Universe expands by a billion miles in all directions.

48 – Somewhere in the flicker of a badly tuned TV set is the background radiation from the Big Bang.

49 – Even traveling at the speed of light it would take 2 million years to reach the nearest large galaxy, Andromeda.

50 – A thimbleful of a neutron star would weigh over 100 million tons.

New form of robbery

October 25, 2006

Duck theft

This is just too cute…

Far away

October 24, 2006

The problem with living in South Africa is that it’s pretty far away from the rest of the world. I just tried to order something from the States and the delivery charges to Cape Town were $118!! The item that i wanted to buy only cost $10! Something isn’t right.

On the other hand, maybe it’s not such a bad thing to be far away from everything. Africa is after all…well…Africa. Wide open plains, clear blue skies. There is enough room to build and expand and our traffic is easy-going compared to other parts of the world. Certainly living in first world countries has it’s benefits, but there something to be said for being far away and free…

Boy and his train

October 24, 2006

A mother was working in the kitchen, listening to her five-year-old son playing with his new electric train in the living room. She heard the train stop & her son saying, “All of you b*astards who want off, get the hell off now, cause this is the last stop!
And all of you b*astards who are getting on, get you’re a*ss in the train cause we’re going down the tracks.”
The Mother walked into the room where her son was playing and said “we don’t use that kind of language in this house. Now I want you to go to your room & stay there for TWO HOURS. When you come out, you may play with your train, but I want you to use nice language.”
Two hours later, the son came out of the bedroom & resumed playing with his train. Soon the train stopped & the mother heard her son say, “All passengers who are disembarking the train, please remember to take all of your belongings with you. We thank you for travelling with us today & hope your trip was a pleasant one.” She hears the little boy continue,
“For   those of you just boarding, we ask you to store all of your hand luggage under your seat. Remember, there is no smoking on the train. We hope you will have a pleasant and relaxing journey with us today.”
As the mother began to smile, the child added, “For those of you who are p!ssed off about the TWO HOUR delay,   please direct your complaints to the fat b!tch in the kitchen.”