Wednesday, 30 September 2009
Monday, 28 September 2009
Anyway diving is forkin rad - no doubt one of the best things I've learned to do in the past few years. I have issues equalising, so it hurts quite a bit sometimes, but eventually I seemed to get it going better and managed to get 3 of my 4 qualifying dives done. Will be going back to the ENT doktor to check if I did any damage! Also passed the thoery test, naturally, even though all the PADI book really tries to teach you is how and where to buy expensive gear from PADI shops.
You should all get your licenses and go diving. Just don't be shocked by the size and general quality of the bonehead population at Sodwana over long weekends.
Wednesday, 23 September 2009
A huge red stand storm was blown into town last night. Turned the whole of Sydney into a sandpit. It felt like some kind of biblical shit at dawn though, thought i was being punished for the pork dumpling i ate last week (I was experimenting!!!). It did make for a spectacular red sunrise though...
Picture from me mate Mary. More picture here.
Monday, 21 September 2009
Wednesday, 16 September 2009
Man, everyone is dying! I was never a big Swayze fan, but he seemed like a nice guy.
One story that did really take me by surprise was the death of REAL celebrity chef Keith Floyd! Dude was only diagnosed in June this year, so sad. I never rated his cooking much, but lots of people who know thought he was good, so i was probably just not paying attention. Regardless, he had personality, a great sense of humour, and made for compelling viewing, even if you weren't into food. In a totally different league to todays 'TV chefs' (I'm looking at you Kylie Kwong and Masterchef Australia!). He even handled his alcoholism with a frankness and dignity that i don't think you'd find in todays 'TV personalities' who mostly just seem to be famous for being famous. Anyone know what Nicole Richie actually does? No, me neither.
Tuesday, 15 September 2009
Sunday, 13 September 2009
Weekend of catch ups, sundowners in the park, Rock vs Disco dancefloor fun (including an awesome line dance reunion) and lemurs, white lions and zebras at the zoo. For those, like me, who have always wondered what the difference is between a Mountain and Burchell Zebra - fear not, we now know the answer: Burchell's zebra has "shadow stripes"- extra grey stripes inbetween the black ones on its ass - and the Mountain zebra has a "dulap" of extra skin (looks like an adams apple) on his neck. So.. now you know :)
Also... just needed to share my excitement... The Giant Carrot for October:
We (ken, his posse and me) are all booked for Lake of Stars!!!
10 days in Malawi, 4 days of which are at the fest - I am so excited I cannot concentrate on the daily grind that is this week's training in the grand metropolis of Hammanskraal (40km north of PTA).
Friday, 4 September 2009
Justin Nurse's daughter dies in fire
The Honda Jazz she was sitting in caught alight in Noordhoek at about 2pm on Wednesday as the family was unloading groceries after a shopping trip.
Vanilla's mother suffered burns trying to get her out of her car seat and her father tried, but failed to resuscitate her. She was declared dead on arrival at a hospital.
Forensic expert Dr David Klatzow, who would investigate the matter, told the Star he would be looking for "possible sources of ignition, short circuits, point of ignition in the car and leaks in
the fuel tank".
The police were also conducting their own forensic investigation.
Western Cape police spokesperson November Filander said an inquest docket had been opened and a post-mortem would be conducted on the girl.
Several years ago Nurse made headlines with his T-shirts, one of which satirised South African Breweries' "Black Label Carling Beer" slogan, which he turned into "Black Labour White Guilt". The company took him to court for trademark infringement. Nurse eventually won the case in the Constitutional Court. - Sapa
CAPE TOWN. Survivors of the genocide in Darfur have issued a formal apology for overstating their case, saying they were forced to reassess the extent of their plight once confronted with the terrible story of South African refugee Brandon Huntley. "It's like Jerry Springer," said one, "you only realize how fortune has favoured you when they bring out the seriously dysfunctional at the end of the show."
Sudanese refugee, Abdul Wardi, currently living illegally in Mowbray, Cape Town, said he could only imagine how tough things must have been for Hartley. "He spent a whole winter living in a basement in Ottowa. Could anything be worse?"
Wardi, who walked from Khartoum to Cape Town said Huntley's journey must have been significantly more dangerous than his own. "He made it all the way to Canada, I only made it to South Africa. It's hard to imagine the degree of persecution a man must have suffered for him to be driven that far."
Wardi said it was only after Monday's ruling that he was finally able to understand why repeated appeals to the West from humanitarian groups working in Darfur had fallen on deaf ears.
"They are busy assessing important applications like Huntley's," acknowledged Wardi. "They can only do one thing at a time."
He said he was also able to understand why Huntley had chosen Canada as the place to lodge his appeal for refugee status. "The most famous black person in Canada is Leonard Cohen," he said. "It's all so clear now."
Meanwhile responding to Wardi's comments and the furore that greeted the ruling on Huntley's status a spokesman for the Canadian government, Chalky Canuck, expressed regret.
"It saddens us to hear of a second genocide in Africa so soon after the terrible events in South Africa."
Canuck went on to say he hoped his country's decision to grant refugee status to Huntley would be a small silver lining and a tribute to the millions of white people who had suffered during South Africa's worst ever atrocity."
When it was pointed out to him that raced based persecution in South Africa had ended in 1994 and that the country had never experienced the horrors of a genocide, Canuck said the evidence presented by Huntley's attorney's had shown otherwise.
"The tribunal has ruled," he said. "I am sure history will prove them correct."
Tuesday, 1 September 2009
I can see how this guy's story could be spun such that it may in places look convincing, but doesn't Canada know we have a Constitution and an extensive Bill of Rights? C'mon lawyers how did that oversight slip through?
General: Canada gives white South African refugee status
A white South African who claims persecution by black South Africans has been granted refugee status in Canada. A representative of the SA High Commission in Ottawa, Anesh Maistry, told News24 SA has taken note of the decision by Canadian authorities in the case of Brandon Huntley (31), who claimed he would be persecuted if he returned home. The Ottawa Sun reported earlier that Huntley had presented ‘clear and convincing proof of the South African Government's inability or unwillingness to protect him’ to a panel of the Canadian immigration and refugee board. Tribunal panel chair William Davis said Huntley's evidence ‘showed a picture of indifference and inability or unwillingness’ of the SA Government to protect ‘white South Africans from persecution by African South Africans’. Maistry told News24 that the High Commissioner had been aware of the ruling, but had not seen a transcript of the proceedings. Home Affairs spokesperson Ronnie Mamoepa said the government was ‘disgusted’ by the ruling. Mamoepa said the department had heard about the ‘baseless allegations against our people and our country’, adding: ‘It would have been courteous for the Canadian Government to allow the South African Government to respond to the allegations.’
Full News24 report
See also a Beeld report
Huntley argued in his application that he had been attacked seven times by blacks while in SA because of the colour of his skin. He claimed he was called ‘a white dog’ and ‘a settler’ during the attacks, notes a report in The Citizen. Davis noted that Huntley’s ‘subjective fear of persecution remained constant and consistent’ up to the time he made his claim for refugee status.
Full report in The Citizen
Huntley’s lawyer, Russell Kaplan, says he is a human rights lawyer who emigrated to Canada 20 years ago to escape the apartheid government’s discrimination against black South Africans. Kaplan told The Times that his sister, Lara, who emigrated to Canada last year, testified about the torture and murder of her other brother, Robert, by robbers in SA in 1997. Both Lara and Huntley gave evidence in camera in a full-day hearing on 18 August, the report says. Between 30 and 40 newspaper clippings were presented as evidence of life in SA. ‘One article exhibited was published in (the Daily Sun in 2004) by Africa Ka Mahamba. (It was) entitled ‘Taking from whites is not a crime’,’ Kaplan said. The article quotes the leader of the ‘Uhuru cultural club’ as telling youngsters who attended a Human Rights Day celebration to steal from whites because ‘it is the right thing to do’. ‘The judgment was a direct criticism of the SA Government,’ Kaplan said. He said affirmative action and black economic empowerment were two of the aspects that were taken into account in considering Huntley’s application for refugee status in Canada. ‘These legislated policies, even though there is an explanation for them, are discriminatory.’
Full report in The Times
Some of its efforts to deal with an ageing society are positively unnerving. The country has led the world in developing robots as companions for the elderly. These include a “snuggling Ifbot” that, according to press reports, “lives in an astronaut suit, chats about the weather, sings and plays games”.
It is best not to laugh. As the US and Europe struggle to come to terms with the aftermath of a bubble economy, rising public debt and the retirement of the baby-boom generation, they should look to Japan with respect. It may be the future.