It’s World Cup. Learn the rules

If someone mentions women’s rugby I doubt many people would think of a field full of aesthetically pleasing females (in a conventional, socialised point of view of course). After all, it’s a game for strong, heavy, fit people who aren’t afraid to take a beating for 80 minutes at a time on a regular basis. The end result is you have people who look like Guthro Steenkamp, and in the case of women’s rugby, well they’re Guthro Steenkamp looking females.

Fortunately the lesson we’re posting isn’t given by the pros. It’s given by some good looking individuals who’d probably die on the rugby field (yes, death would be a real possibility). So it’s not an authentic lesson and it’s not going to teach you much about the game but it’s definitely a lesson in the beauty of the human form (in a conventional, socialised point of view of course).

Go you good thing.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nW0Fp16XhZo

Thanks Kyle

Is this the future of glass?

Sometimes I see a product or a service and can immediately see 5 or 10 years ahead. It’s no gift or some kind of David Blaine magic – in fact most of the time its rather annoying because I can see what I want it to become but I know it’s going to take time to get there (this in essence has been my problem my entire life but let’s leave that for now)

These glass speakers are exactly the kind of thing I mean.

Sure they are cool now and, like WOW, you have glass speakers instead of the traditional box ones, but really is it that impressive. I mean nowadays you can get such cool speakers that it borders on art, so these glass panels actually look a little Holiday Innish in comparison.

The brilliance here is not in the design but in the tech.

You see they have found a way to use glass as a mechanism to convey sound! Why is that cool? Well, very simply if you are battling here, all over your house are windows, doors, glass mirrors etc. Can you imagine a day when the windows around your TV room ARE the surround sound speakers?

Imagine the amount of sound clarity and auditory perfection you could deliver if these panels were all working to bring you the sounds of what you were watching – not your vibe?

Let’s try a different approach then. You have a dressing room or a cupboard, yes? There is a mirror somewhere in it, yes? Imagine when you opened your cupboard to get dressed, brush your teeth or shave you have a playlist that played through your mirror – that people is very cool!

No more portable docks, no more cables and cords all over the place. Just, as I see it, one wall mount for your iPod, iPad, Galaxy or whatever to pipe music through the house. Touch panels on the glass for selection and volume and BOOM – the future! Welcome!

Until then, if you like the look, go for the glass speakers HERE . . . 

Where do I book?

So I’m one for great restaurants (this site is my ticklist). I love places where there are 1000 courses of flavours and scientific concoctions that no one thought possible. I love when I can dive head first into a culinary orgy of food, wine and company –few things in give me more joy (well quite a few but you get the picture)

BUT,

My whole life I’ve loved parties. They don’t have to be big, they don’t have to be extravagant, they need to have something to eat, a lot to drink, some form of good music and a collection of friends, family acquaintance or whatever. This is probably due to the fact that my family are functional social alcoholics. Also could be because we are most happy when our family and friends are around us with a glass of wine in hand – whatever the reason it seems to be genetic!

So let me just paint a picture for you here. This is the location.

(It reminds of a little of this small restaurant on Inhaca island, in Mozam, called Luca’s in the middle of the township where you can sit the whole day drinking Casal Garcia and eat seafood off the braai – just magic!)

So back to the image! This is the place, you fill it with 50 friends / family whatever. Some buckets of ice cold beers, champaz, vino and G&Ts. You scatter three or four open half barrel braais about, all cooking different seafood’s freshly hauled out of the sea (yes my partner at STM will only eat the calamari cause he thinks the rest is murder) and as the sun sets over the water you have a few last drinks and get boat ferried home.

I could think of few days better on earth than that. I think it’s worth some investigation to see the possibility of making it real, don’t you?

Amazing seafood restaurant is located on a rock near the Michanwi Pingwebeach in Zanzibar, Tanzania from HERE

Facebook: You’ve changed man!

Can someone please tell me at what point brands think they are more important than their consumers?

It happens so often nowadays that the power of something successful goes to the creators head and before you know it the product or service has changed so much from the one you fell in love with that it sickens you!

It’s for this reason that I love brands like Nike so much, they never EVER forget that the most important part of their job is to make the consumer WANT to be in Nike apparel and if they lose that focus the switch to other brands will be so fast it’ll cause buildings to crumble!

So, what the F#@K then has our friend Mark Zuckerberg gone and done now?

With his track record of ‘revolutionary changes’ to the Facebook basic product surely he is trading on very little goodwill at this point. After this f8 conference I fear (no I mean I hope) the crowds are starting light their pitchforks!

For me Facebooks new TIMELINE crap is the beginning of the end (again here’s hoping). Not that I hate Facebook for any reason but I hate when the owner or creator thinks they can decide or think for us, the customer. They think they know what we should want and because of their power over us they force us into it! The only place this can be stopped is online and all it needs is an alternative. If a viable one arrives at the right time the crowds will be rushing out the door and across the road to the ‘new shiny pub’ before you can blink – cue GOOGLE+

It seems to me like MZ has had what most people do when they feel seriously threatened, it’s called a knee jerk response and I’m afraid (hoping still) that he has stepped one foot too far over the line. Just from a practical perspective my Facebook home page now looks like something designed to test your ocular reflexes and it annoys me every time I bring it up on screen!

Time for a change people and not just because we deserve better but it’s important to show the billionaire geniuses out there that WE have the power still and they must never forget the customer is the most important part of their world.

Just in case you didn’t feel like you were being held ‘against your will’ in the book rather than the + have a little look at this!

(If you can’t read it the TINY block is THE LIBRARY OF CONGRESS, the second tiny block is INSTAGRAM, then FLICKR and the massive block is of course . . . )

Scared yet? See you in GOOGLE+ land (somehow giving my soul to Sergey Brin and Larry Page seems a little easier to deal with than letting Mark Zuckerberg rip it away!)

Google wallet and how it IS going to change your world!

The first question I asked myself when confronted with the Google wallet was how is this any different from the Visa Pay Wave I wrote about a while ago? I mean if you think about it the only difference is I swipe my phone past a receiver rather than my wallet. I carry both, always, so really the only difference is dipping into my left or right pocket (spose my phone is generally out and in my hands so there’s a small plus)

Then I started to dissect the possibilities. You see unlike Visa, Google is not restrained to any single point or service provider. It really is the link between providers which means it can stretch its application far further than any stupid credit card. Think of anything you need to interact with via card – underground or metro, the gym, taxi drivers sometimes or even business cards.

Google can be any of these points of interaction!

Now before you think of the potential of this and how it may streamline your life somewhat, you need to overlay the amazing fact that Google basically owns the data on all of our lives. They know what we look for, where we go and now will know what we buy – what does this mean? SPECIALS! DISCOUNTS and, on the downside, endless targeting by every retailer in the universe!

I’m fairly certain that Google wallet, as it advances, will slowly put wallets in the same draw (by draw I mean line in the dictionary for extinct) as the yellow pages!

The incredible thing is that in a world where cellphone internet proliferation is faster than that of computers, this device could benefit any type of user no matter what age or LSM profile. The fact is from the most basic user (just small amounts & cellphone top ups) to the youngest user (preloaded lunch money and cell) to the highest spender Google wallet will simplify your life – the only downside, other than Google having its hands even deeper in your brain, is that I’ll have to find a new home for my Mont Blanc wallets

Just as one final point, if you are fairly tech savvy and are constantly looking to cut down on crap you carry around, you should be salivating about Google wallet right about now. The next question you should ask is – are you and iPhone user?

Yup #EPIC FAIL!

For the most comprehensive article on GOOGLE WALLET GO HERE – the brilliant ENGADGET has broken down everything you could ever want to know about it after spending a week putting it through its paces!So is this Google’s real opportunity to get Android up there with iOS appeal and that of all things Apple or will they cave and make and iPhone Google wallet app? Something to think about for now!

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DsaJMhcLm_A

The Freedom of information bill for dummies . . .

So you know North Korea right? Venezuela yes? Zim huh?

Well now that I’ve hopefully scared you somewhat let’s get going – oh wait one more, Nazi Germany!

Everyone with me?

So in short the new info bill says the following . . . the government in order to protect, national security (what f*#king national security??) can render any document, publication or any kind of media classified, because lets be fair Wikileaks biggest goldmine of data that the world wants to get its hand on is South African secrets (that was sarcasm if you are a sociopath and didn’t get it!)

What does this mean exactly? It means that anything anyone writes can without any reason or any particular decision except for that decided by the fat guys who chill in parliament doing f*#k all but ban Marijuana and Alcohol advertising (that was shameless marketing for two other posts yes!)

On a more serious note take me as a blogger for example. I like to, well, air the most idiotic parts of our ruling party occasionally (only when they deserve it of course). This would more than likely be made confidential because it’s construed as negative and if I were to publish it I’d end up in Gitmo faster than you could tweet about it . . .

So you are all pretty smart I’m guessing (you read STM so you must be at least 10 IQ points higher than the average government official) so what does this bill essentially destroy?

Yes its called FREEDOM OF SPEECH!

This bill quite simply states any expression in any media that is for whatever reason deemed wrong, by someone which will more than likely be JUJU MALEMA in future, you will be put in jail. Now do me a favour and go read the first line of this post again – sound familiar?

But don’t worry, we are not quite there just yet. The bill has been taken away for some ‘tinkering’ (code for what can we change so the public forget we are trying to push through communist crap?)  But don’t lose faith, when this bill resurfaces and DOES GET PASSED by parliament there is STILL another barrier we can all rely on . . . THE SUPREME COURT, the heart of honesty, integrity and justice . . . oh wait!

Thursday’s Threesome

So the World Cup started off a little shakily against Wales and left me in a position I don’t normally find myself in on a Saturday morning – stressed, with a beer in hand (although they do sometimes happen separately).

We managed to pull through and with one down we have a threesome in the pool to go. Fiji, Namibia and Samoa. I searched for pictures of them and found that the main commonality between the three was… wait for it… sand. Yes, sand. Now if anyone ever asks you what the three have in common you’ll know the answer.

STM, your source of credible geographic facts!

Click on the pic for more sandiness.

3D Mapping Projection

I got sent a video today with the message – “Very cool thing if you want to post – I know your writing brainspan only lasts 5 lines so this is a good one for you”.

You’re right.

It is very cool.

And this is only 5 lines.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tp2Z_RBcLPs

Seriously though, there’s some amazing projection that gets done onto buildings. Check out some of the others on YouTube.

Sh1t, seven lines. Nine with these two. Ten with the thanks. Should I be counting spaces? On a bigger monitor are there less?

Thanks Mike

Julius and what may come next . . .

I wrote a piece about my concern that JuJu wouldn’t go quietly into the night. Now the last thing I want is for this man-child to do anything other than fades into political obscurity and to be honest I don’t think anything will come of him. People like him seldom become what we truly fear, or maybe I just watched too many superhero cartoons as a kid and for some reason I believe the good guy will show up at the last minute and save us all.

Either way I have this nagging feeling that there is something evil brewing and when I hear words like ‘white criminals’ and ‘war against the imperialists’ I start to think or rather should I say fear things like Nazi Germany. This is a place I have never been (not at the time we are talking about that is) but as a Jew my childhood was littered with stories of dictatorship and how fast and easily it can happen. I heard stories of survivors who were in camps still singing the song ‘it’ll never happen here & the world will stop it’ and before they knew it their brothers, sister and children were being murdered around them.

The truth is the world has its own shit to deal with. The Euro is being dragged down like a ton of bricks, the USA, which is generally our beacon of hope, is going through its worst period of unemployment and recession in its history and the current powerhouses Japan and China have been so successful because they don’t get involved in everyone else’s mess unless it benefits them economically.

So we turn to the next strongest power we know, local power. The local businessmen have too much to lose, they’ll never let it happen. We think this until we realize that most of the people who would suffer the most have enough money stashed in offshore accounts (especially with the relaxation of exchange control and the amnesties granted) let alone overseas properties and houses. Not because they saw something like this coming but because they knew Africa was a gamble from day one and any good gambler knows to hedge their bets.

JuJu has a disillusioned and depressed youth at his back just as Hitler had a nation unfairly pinned back by world war one and, just like Hitler’s crowds, the unemployed South African youth have nothing to lose. All it takes is one charismatic leader whose need for power is deeply rooted in his narcissism and what we believed would never or rather could never happen in a place like this becomes reality.

In case you missed it our neighbors to the north have been suffering the same fate for almost a decade.

Now before you start with the hate mail and the patriotic nation crap let me tell you I will be the last to leave. As my boss says ill switch off the lights when you’re all gone, but there is a difference between being optimistic and cautiously so. All I’m asking of this nation (or at least the sane ones left here) is not to be so naïve and blinded by hope that we don’t see this coming. The world is poisoned all over with dictators and you probably couldn’t name half of them, so open your eyes to the possibility that evil is lurking around the corner and best we prepare for it!

Nkosi Sikeleli Afrika – God bless Africa (not that I’m really a believer but that’s a whole other post that requires its own set of hate mail :) )

Creativity is the future!

I love competitions like the Electrolux Design Competition because they give those who have incredible talent the ability to show the world a little portal to the future, without which the funds they need would be missing and so they’d sadly be doomed to menial jobs, probably forever.

Now most of these, like concept cars, will never see the light of day, BUT they have given us an inkling of what’s possible. They have given us a small taste of perfection or rather ‘perfection in progress’.

Things like the blue tooth controlled ‘tap vacuum’. The brilliance is not only in the design of this sexy little pet of the future but in the simplicity of its usage. Just have a look at it.

Now I kinda get the fact that you won’t be wearing the Bluetooth earpiece on your shoes much and therefor it will take more energy to go fetch the stupid little thing and come back and tap the floor than to go fetch the vacuum in the first place, however there’s no disputing which is infinitely cooler!

Then there’s the portable convection plate. Now this is a very new age little thing and you see you can now take your iPhone which doubles as the Bluetooth control of this thing and fry a scrambled egg while having a picnic.

You can reheat last night’s soup at the table and even boil an egg at the football if you want. The problem here is that anything you want to do in any of these settings doesn’t exactly fit this portable stove (let’s call it what it is). You want to picnic with cold snacks, you want to braai (or BBQ for the offshore folks) rather than pan fry and you certainly don’t want to do anything with this thing at the football other than perhaps burn an oppositions face with it!

Next there’s the portable microwave. Now I think this is the coolest of all the gadget inventions, the only problem is I think this thing is so far from actual invention that you may as well be designing the portal that takes you to Thors home planet (sorry I’m currently watching it on the plane).

 Second to last there is the, what I think, is absolutely superb portable, foldable and curlable heating and cooling pad. This can be used to heat up a stew when wrapped around a pot or cool a bottle of wine if we do the same.

It can be used as a heating plate for pretty much anything.

And it can be controlled by some seriously slick little buttons on its side. This is why this must have come in as a VERY close runner up.

And finally the winner of it all is the very cool looking but rather boring appliance with the functionality of JIK. This racy little beast removes stains. Yes it removed stains, which proves once again how much spending power the housewife or househusband commands.

Sure it looks cute and I suppose if it works it will be brilliant for those who do washing, but really, this is what we gave the award to . . .

 

Next year why doesn’t someone just design an automated ironing board and save everyone the trouble of entering!

For all the videos of these design – GO HERE

Ban alcohol and it’ll do nothing but waste time and money!

Once again the South African government has astounded me with how it chooses to spend its time (I mean other than misappropriating tax payers funds). First it was the time spent deciding to ban cigarette advertising. Now this was a quickie, cause pretty much the rest of the world had done it, but then they had to take it that critical amount further They skipped the time which should have been spent fixing things like crime, HIV, poverty, education and on and on (by now I’ve recited this list so many times you should know it by heart!). No these things are far less important than spending months passing a smoking bill that makes sure it’s virtually IMPOSSIBLE to smoke anywhere other than in your toilet with a can of deo that you need to spray every ten seconds so the Hawks don’t bash down your door and shoot you!

So now they are at it again. They have chosen once more to pretend the above list of ‘country destroying problems’ doesn’t exist and they have moved on to alcohol (because of course JZ is massively against it – I mean he had a man arrested for spilling his drink near our dear Pres!)

Let us for a moment forget the alcohol ban and the time it’s taken our proactive government to push this one through. Let us go back a little first . . .

About ten years ago the first countries started banning the marketing and advertising of cigarettes (there went those magnificent Styvie ads I used to drool over at the cinema). Cigarette companies, of course, panicked at first until they realized they now had billions of spare marketing dollars lying around. This led to underground parties, concerts, subliminal advertising and any other kind of marketing that wasn’t considered overt. This went on until the cigarette empires realized something amazing . . . NO ONE STOPPED SMOKING!!!

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nz-5EYxVPNI

They now had billions of extra profit every to spend on R&D and packaging because global governments had virtually forced them into it and the best news at all, sales kept growing! In fact virtually no where around the world has smoking declined because of the ban on advertising.

Perfect example of advertising Dollar going into new product development!

So instead of trying to stop the abuse of alcohol by perhaps EDUCATION (apparently we are against that in any form – just check the 100s of kids bussed in for Julius Malema’s trial instead of being in class). No we decide to spend more time pushing a bill through parliament that outlaws the advertising of alcohol.

Everyone say it with me now, WTF??

Good idea that girl in the uniform and all her friends should rather be here than LEARNING!

Now I’m no Nostradamus but I’m pretty sure I’ll be able to predict this one – PEOPLE WILL STILL DRINK!

They will drink as much if not more than before. Why? Very simply cause drinking and smoking are fun, they’re ‘cool’ and every single kid in the world tries it at one point or another. So until you find a solution for that people, you can ban whatever the hell you like and it’s not going to stop anyone!

As for the South African government pissing away time and money with this idiotic shit, I have a message for you.

FOCUS ON THE IMPORTANT STUFF AND STOP WASTING EVERYONES TIME AND MONEY!

Faithfully

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Just to show you where STM is hanging out this week!

STM has to do a little business in Shanghai this week so we thought we would give you a little taste of what most people think is purely high-rise madness!

Now if you are a frequent hotel stayer like me you will know if you are a big hotel kinda person or a boutique hotel kinda person. The truth is I have spent so much time in hotels that I can pretty describe my ideal hotel room down to the tap fittings! So without giving you too much detail I’m a big hotel kinda person with the style, class and attention of a boutique hotel . . . enter the world class PULI HOTEL (a boutique hotel with like 300 rooms! Paradise!)

Just look out the window of this net pic and tell me if this looks like a concrete, dull, grey world?

And if you think its just the hotels . . .

Thursday’s Threesome

I had to Google the three-body problem. If you’re interested, the short explanation’s below. If not, just click on the pic.

In its traditional sense the three-body problem is (generically) the problem of taking an initial set of data that specifies directly or indirectly the positions, masses and velocities of three bodies for some particular point in time and then using that set of data to determine the motions of the three bodies and to find their positions at other times in accordance with the laws of classical mechanics: Newton’s laws of motion and of universal gravitation. ‘Solving’ this problem means providing a generally applicable method for making this kind of determination of gravitational trajectories or possessing such a method.

On the other hand… you’re still a cock

I’m sure you’ve heard the recent Darren Scott saga. If not, the short of it goes like this – some colleague owed him money, hadn’t paid him back in years, they went on a team building trip to the bush, got hammered and Mr. Scott, when provoked, called the guy a k@ffir (excuse me for saying it, but the use of the “K word” really annoys me, as do others like “Vijayjay”, but I digress – everyone immediately thinks of the actual word anyway). No matter how angry you get, that’s not on.

I can’t really give a good reason why but I’ve never really liked the man. Perhaps it’s a little unfair as I’ve never met him and don’t know him but from what I have seen or heard he comes across as self aggrandizing type of guy who embodies a number of the seven sins (not that I’m into the religious concept of sin). That dislike has just been reinforced a little.

Having said that, I do have some respect for the way in which he’s handled the matter. Here’s the clip of his side of the story:

Darren Scott on John Robbie’s show.

A lot of our politicians could learn a lesson in taking responsibility and apologizing when you’re clearly in the wrong. I still think he’s a cock though.

What are the first signs of a nation starting to crumble?

On Saturday afternoon I found myself watching some or other nonsense and intermittently checking Twitter for whatever random updates were available that seemed interesting. I follow Stephen Grootes from 702 and writer or the brilliant Daily Maverick who religiously updates any press conference or interview on twitter and thankfully he reminded me that the Mogoeng Mogoeng interview was being broadcast live to anyone interested in who the next ‘superpower’ in South African law was going to be.

Now firstly it should scare you that this man (MM) was put forward by none other than Jacob Z, who by definition, is perhaps close to the opposite of moral compass so the fact that he gets to nominate a judge for the highest court in the land is despicable to say the least. Secondly I have to be honest I didn’t know a great deal about MM until I had read the media hype that basically painted him as a man who believed rape is not so serious if no damage is done physically and one that perhaps believes gay people should be put on an island somewhere. You are now starting to understand why I wanted to see this interview for myself, I wanted to personally see that we hadn’t sunk to the depths that both our chief justice and our president were cut from the same greedy and dirty cloth.

Sadly I must confess that what I saw over the next few hours was an angry, flippant, juvenile and arrogant man who was sitting in the presence of some of the greatest and most well respected judicial minds the country and perhaps the world have seen. It was almost like a first year intern at Apple being given the chance to be interviewed for Steve Jobs’s position as CEO and sat throughout conceitedly taunting the grand master (at least that interview wouldn’t have taken place on live national television).

The most depressing part for me was not the fact that another person in this country who is sub-par is going to get a job (refer to my post on India and you may have an idea of what I mean) but rather that someone who maybe is morally questionable is getting the job of the pillar of morality that this country so desperately needs. It is sort of like giving Dorothea Puente a job as the head of a nursing home.

I posed a question at the beginning of this post,  and the answer has been throughout history when leadership is corrupt (which lets be fair even the greatest pro Zuma’s now agree this leadership most certainly is at all levels) and that leadership can appoint and control the judiciary, well that just may signal the beginning of the end. Not in all cases mind you but in the overwhelming majority this is true.

The first great test of where this new leadership is headed is perhaps the ‘new’ freedom of information bill that when rejected will be sent to the highest court in the land, and who, as Zapiro once again so brilliantly illustrates, will be there with pen at the ready?