Thursday, March 30, 2006

The Owl House

While giving recommendations on what to see in South Africa to an interesting chap that I met a little while back, it struck me that I should really blog the Owl House in the Karoo town of Nieu-Bethesda.
One of the most interesting examples of outsider art in the world, it is truly an amazing place.

And if you find yourself in town, be sure to make use of Jakob and his donkey rides.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Boss, I am product today

The amount of bad grammar in work-related email never ceases to amaze me. Sometimes you can't even understand what the hell is meant. There is one in particular that I will always remember. At a previous job the company president emailed me with this request, "Please give me a report that you are product today."

Interview with Netflix CEO

It's no doubt worthwhile listening to the whole interview, but Hackingnetflix has a summary of a recent NPR interview with Netflix CEO Reed Hastings. His statement that he wasn't really sure what the term 'throttling' meant produced a few choice comments.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Time Boom X De Devil Dead

Great. He killed my dark lord.
I have killed the devil. He is dead. I killed him on February 18 this year," says Seuntjie "Mortalman" Nhleko, who claims to be an angel.
From religionnewsblog.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

The right time to visit the Oregon Coast

The right time to visit the Oregon Coast is in the winter, or at least before the tourists return in their droves. We had the yurt part of South Beach State Park virtually to ourselves on Sunday night. Paradise.

Courthouse Cafe - Newport

Newport has a number of fine dining establishments, but the Courthouse Cafe has a special place in my heart. It is a good old fashioned diner, with fine basic breakfasts. I had the pigs in a blanket on my last trip there, the first time that I have enjoyed that particular toothsome dish. Sausages wrapped in pancakes.
The Courthouse Cafe doesn't take plastic, but it does take personal checks, which I greatly appreciate.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Le Roy's Blue Whale - Yachats

Kirsten and I spent the weekend on the Oregon Coast. Usually we cook our evening meal over the fire, but go out for coffee and breakfast in the morning. That having been said, here is a recommendation for the latter meal: Le Roy's Blue Whale in Yachats. They have good, basic breakfast, and coffee that will wake you up.
Photo coming soon, no doubt.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Africa - all the same, right?

Kitabkhana has some beautiful quotes in 'How to write about Africa.' Here are a couple of brief ones:

Quoting John Ryle: ...the tendency has been for Westerners—and often Africans too—to seek to impose a single reality, a general explanation, on the whole place.

And Binyavanga Wainaina: Never have a picture of a well-adjusted African on the cover of your book, or in it, unless that African has won the Nobel Prize. An AK-47, prominent ribs, naked breasts: use these. If you must include an African, make sure you get one in Masai or Zulu or Dogon dress.

I remember a guy in college coming to me one evening, all excited. He wanted to share that he had just found out that "Africa wasn't all one country." Jesus.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Site recommendation: Cockeyed

The chap who created cockeyed has the most amazingly creative pranks and projects. My favourite is 2001 prank involving Chad, the cross-country Google cyclist.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Two MDC officials arrested over arms cache

The suppression of the opposition continues apace in Zimbabwe:
Two senior Zimbabwean opposition officials have been
arrested after police said they had found an arms cache in the eastern
city of Mutare.
The Movement for Democratic Change identified them as MP Giles Mutsekwa and regional treasurer Brian James..
Security Minister Didymus Mutasa has warned that those planning violence would be physically "eliminated".

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Because it worked so well on the farms

it looks like Zimbabwe is set to nationalize the mines. From Business Day (via
According to media reports in Zimbabwe and local sources, Zimbabwean Minister of Mines Amos Midzi told the Zimbabwe Chamber of Mines last week that the cabinet had approved draft proposals to require mining companies to surrender 51% of their assets to the government and/or indigenous groups, depending on the commodity. The government would pay only for 26% and the remainder would be a "free carry".


Originally uploaded by Alhazred.
The Integratron, Langley, Southern California. An old UFO contactee gathering spot.

Joshua Tree park - coyote

Joshua Tree park - coyote
Originally uploaded by Alhazred.
Sunburned Mick photographing a coyote - Joshua Tree park.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Gospel of Judas to be published

The Gospel of Judas, originally stolen from Egypt, is now to be published by National Geographic. It's story, as summarized in this Christian Science Monitor article, is quite fascinating.
When the Gospel of Judas first surfaced in Geneva in 1983, scholars wondered if the mysterious text could trigger a reappraisal of history's most infamous traitor.
They never found out, however, because they couldn't afford the $3 million price tag on this second-century gnostic tale. Instead, the fragile pages vanished into private hands and set off on a 23-year, intercontinental journey through fist-pounding negotiations and even periods, reportedly, stuffed inside a Greek beauty's purse.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

And I thought Portland was bad... has an exceedingly interesting paper on the gender imbalance in Asia, aptly titled The Geopolitics of Sexual Frustration. The larger number of men than women on that continent is having unforeseen consequences, of which extreme nationalism may be one. One scenario that they posit:
A Beijing power struggle between cautious old technocrats and aggressive young nationalists may be decided by mobs of rootless young men, demanding uniforms, rifles, and a chance to liberate Taiwan. More likely, the organized crime networks that traffic in women will shift their deliveries toward Asia and build a brothel culture large enough to satisfy millions of sexually frustrated young men.
One aspect of the article that goes against accepted wisdom: it is not the poor that choose boys over girls.
It would be reassuring to assume that China’s economic growth will itself solve the problem, as prosperity removes the traditional economic incentives for poor peasants to have sons who can work the land rather than daughters who might require costly dowries. But the numbers don’t support that theory. Indeed, the steepest imbalance between male and female infants is found in more prosperous regions, such as Hainan Island. And census data from India suggest that slum-dwellers and the very poor tend to raise a higher proportion of female children than more prosperous families.
Interesting times.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Things for which we don't need to constantly refresh our RSS feeds - 43Folders

Merlin Mann is known for his fun and inciteful posts on his various sites. This is an extract from a 43Folders post.

A few things I’ve learned I don’t need to know about the second they happen:

a new comment has been added to a 43 Folders post
a friend of mine has posted a new photo to Flickr
a very long message from a mailing list I never read has been delivered to my inbox
someone on LiveJournal is still disappointed with their (joblove liferoommatehairlunchother)
Technorati reports a new post somewhere in the world tagged “web 2.0″
the temperature in San Francisco has dropped one degree Farenheit
my FedEx package is still in Memphis

And, yet these are all things that I used to monitor manually via my RSS reader. Refresh all. Refresh all. Refresh all. Refresh all. Refresh all. Madness.

Stuff I Collect - Militaria

Stuff I Collect - Militaria WW2 WWII First 1st Allied Airborne pin OPA ration token (1 blue) WW1 U.S. Shipyard Voluntee...