Travelling internationally? Need translation apps. Check out these two.


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Twitter’s promoted products begin to deliver results | memeburn


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Fillet! It is here.


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Meet Super Cow. The Belgian Blue has been selectively bred over the last century to be very muscular, thus yielding more meat and less fat. Now why haven't we done this with chickens? I love chicken wings. A lot. Why don't we breed chickens with four wings and four legs. We would then get twice the amount of wings and drumsticks by killing 50% less chickens? :p

Merry Xmas from Kassie and Rob! :p


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12 social media personality types to look out for | memeburn


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District 9 director’s strange new viral video | memeburn


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Danny MacAskill - "Way Back Home" - NEW street trials riding short film


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I'm sure you've seen Danny MacAskill's 1st YouTube hit video? If not then watch here... then watch the follow up. LOVE IT!

How should brands respond when being cyber-bullied? | memeburn


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How should brands respond when being cyber-bullied? | memeburn

My latest article on Memeburn. Check it out.

@MrDickens 'What are the essential ingredients of Old Spin'


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WAAAHAHAHA! Old Spin Guy responds to me my Twitter question.

A visit from the Spotted Eagle Owl


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Sitting watching TV and I hear an eerie sound. I immediately recognise the call of an owl. I mute the TV and there it is again "HU HOO HOOoooo". "THEY'RE BACK," I say in my excited birdwatching brain.

I leap out of bed and run upstairs to my balcony. I have heard them before... Spotted Eagle Owls! But I have never seen them. The call is so eerie and carries so much that I first go to my front balcony. I wonder if they're this side? Then I remember that last time they were perched in the two big blue gums on my property. The one tree is mere metres from my top storey balcony, which is practically at perfect owl-height.

I run downstairs to fetch my torch and bound back up to the braai deck (my back balcony). As soon as I open the sliding door the call booms in the night. They must be right here! My curious cat Clio is following me around (as usual... she's a right Daddy's girl that one) and when she hears the call her ears prick up. I can see a "WTF?" look on her face. It sounds like an animal, a bird perhaps, but it's at night and it's a pretty ghostly sound. She seems both excited and nervous. Normally when there's a bird around she starts shaking and making a "ma-ah-ah-ah-ah" stuttered quiet meow. She is lacking confidence this time and looks to me for support.

I am almost committing suicide by hanging dangerously over my balcony, craning my neck and straining my eyes, peering into the blue gum tree. I KNOW they are there. The male is definitely in this tree. "Hu hoo" he calls and is answered by his mate in the blue gum near the gate almost immediately. "Hu Hoo hooooo" she replies. Assuaging any of his fears that she may have drifted too far from his protection. They mate for life these majestic animals.

Then I see her! She flies straight into the blue gum opposite my balcony to join her mate. I don't hear her massive wings flapping though. As with most nocturnal and/or hunting birds, they have special "fimbrae" on the leading edge of their primary wing feathers which make them fly silently. This allows them - amongst other special adaptations - the element of surprise when hunting.

She flits to another branch and I can see her. Wow! It's very humbling to watch an owl and listen to their call. It's almost spiritual. Hence why the owl has, for millennia, been an animal that has haunted the mythology of humankind.

I managed to snap a picture with the camera, but you can only see her eyes:

Here's a better picture of these gorgeous animals:

And here's the call I was listening to:
Click HERE to play Spotted Eagle Owl call

If you've enjoyed my little midnight liaison with a pair of Spotted Eagle Owls (Bubo Africanus) then perhaps you'd like to read up a little more on these stunning creatures. Please CLICK HERE for the wiki link.

I really do urge everyone to get more acquainted with birds. If it wasn't for my knowledge and love of birds (and all animals) I would have ignorantly continued watching crappy TV while this magical visit happened right on my doorstep. All you need is a little knowledge and to open your eyes and ears to this wondrous life. So many of us are caught up in the hustle and bustle of the daily grind in this concrete jungle that we don't take time to really SEE, HEAR, TOUCH, SMELL and TASTE the world around us. 

Bird-watching is one way. Especially at this time of year. We have some amazing summer visitors. Some of you will have heard the Red-chested Cuckoo (commonly the Piet My Vrou) recently. Another beautiful bird! Good luck spotting one though. They are incredibly shy, due to the fact that cuckoos don't make nests. They "hijack" another species' nest and will boot out their egg and lay their own, leaving some poor schmuck to raise an ugly duckling. This is why they are very difficult to spot and rather skittish, because - and rightly so - they are mobbed by other birds who don't want to see their buns chucked out of the oven. 

See pic below of a poor adult Karoo Thrush feeding its "baby" - a Red-Chested Cuckoo baba that is twice its size already. Poor Thrush must be thinking that this is a baby only a mother could love. Not to mention how demanding a baby of that size must be in terms of food. Nature is amazing.

I also often hear and see the European Bee-Eater in Johannesburg. The distinctive "prrrrp, prrrp" call will have my head snapping back immediately to see the flock in the sky and it's only seconds before I identify the bird's characteristic wing shape and flight pattern.

I doubt you even knew that a bird as magnificently beautiful as this is often flying right above your head here in Johannesburg?
Distinctive wing shape
So WAKE UP and be more observant. Go and buy yourself the SASOL Guide to Birds of Southern Africa, which is my chosen field guide... so go and buy a copy and get started, but you can also check it out online HERE.

If birds aren't your cup of Earl Grey then how about stars? Everyone loves star-gazing. Even if it just means learning a few of the basic constellations and spending an evening on a blanket outside trying to identify them. Orion, the Hunter, is particularly magnificent right now (November) as well as Taurus, the Bull. Two of the easiest to see and identify. Go on. Do it! Your life will be richer for the effort. I can promise you that.

DOWNLOAD THIS FANTASTIC FREE PROGRAM TO EXPLORE THE SKIES. It's easy, just fill in your location and take your laptop outside. :)

Check out what's happening in our skies this November. CLICK HERE.

Mind-blowing streetstyle skating by Kilian Martin


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As a Freeborder, snowboarder, sandboarder and ex-windsurfer, water skier and skateboarder, having dabbled in wakeboarding and surfing; I have an extreme affinity for all board sports. They are all very similar in mindset, skill and creativity. Boardriders, of all disciplines, are like a global brotherhood. It is for this reason that I was quite moved when watching this video. It always amazes me at the creativity and skill of boardriders. Someone is ALWAYS pushing the envelope and blowing our minds with innate skill, innovation, precision and talent. Kilian Martin is one of these prodigies.

As one Yootoobs commentator puts it: "That's what I call a mix of street, freestyle, and WHAT THE FUCK WAS THAT?"

This video is amazing, I'm sure you'll agree.

XMAS Gift Ideas: Shweshwe Poppis


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Shwe Shwe Poppis™ are living stories of hope from the land of South Africa.

These charming and imaginative fantasy figures are based on a series of original children’s drawings produced by the kids at the African Children’s Feeding Scheme’s Malnutrition and Rehabilitation Creche in Zola, Soweto. Lovingly hand-sewn by women from the community and inspired by stories from South African culture, these quirky, unique and sought-after creations are providing sustainable employment, educational opportunities and a sense of pride and purpose for many deserving men, women and kids from Soweto.

The true spirit of gift-giving


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It's silly season and many companies will be doing "Secret Santa" gift-giving in the workspace. As my gorgeous better-half points out; people will be blowing R50 on stupid little gifts. Instead of Secret Santa in your office this year PLEASE can you try and mobilise your office to rather take all of those R50 notes and donate to a charity. Of course, my chosen charity is Berea - Hillbrow HOME OF HOPE.

Everyone in the office can nominate a charity and you can put them in a hat and draw one, or perhaps your company already has a Corporate Social Investment charity.

Hell, why not go the whole hog and instead of an end-of-year party you all go and do charitable work for the day. Imagine tossing out all of that conspicuous consumerism and saving the money that would be spent on a lavish restaurant lunch, where everyone gets a bit too tipsy and does or says things they regret afterwards, and donating that money to charity while you all get together and do charitable work. Everyone wins! The company doesn't have to worry about any personal fallouts and runaway booze bills, you and your colleagues will experience great camaraderie and charitable spirit, along with team-building and bonding. Awards can still be given out, and the underprivileged will get a much-needed boost of festive spirit and cheer. Try out - They will easily set up the whole thing for you, including transport.

If there are too many "Bah Humbugs!" about having to do charity work and no end-of-year pissup, take the team out for some well-deserved drinks or a lunch afterwards.


Our family usually has a massive big lunch together with everyone. Instead of ALL of us buying presents for EVERYONE, all the adults donate R50 (or more if you like) to a predetermined charity (Check out The Trust locally or internationally for an easy way to make donations as gifts). Kids still get presents, but it's really stupid to spend so much money on presents for everyone. Do you really need that latest bestseller, or a new pair of socks (actually, I do) but still, can't you just buy that for yourself? There are people out there that can't even read and have never owned socks. Who do you think needs your compassion and charity more? It's a no-brainer. 

If you're still not convinced, maybe read what the Dalai Lama has to say about true success and happiness:

I have found that the greatest degree of inner tranquility comes from the development of love and compassion. The more we care for the happiness of others, the greater is our own sense of well-being. Cultivating a close, warm-hearted feeling for others automatically puts the mind at ease. It is the ultimate source of success in life.
It is not enough to be compassionate. You must act. There are two aspects to action. One is to overcome the distortions and afflictions of your own mind, that is, in terms of calming and eventually dispelling anger. This is action out of compassion. The other is more social, more public. When something needs to be done in the world to rectify the wrongs, if one is really concerned with benefitting others, one needs to be engaged, involved. - Dalai Lama

FREEBORD Best Submitted Videos 2010


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As some of you know, I'm a Freebord NUT! SNOWBOARD THE STREETS! :) So here are the BSV submissions for this year. I LOVE the winning video. Oh, but first, let me explain Freebording for the uninitiated.


BSV 2010 - 1ST "Virtual Invasion"

Virtual Invasion. from Manon Gicquel on Vimeo.

2ND -

Freebord BSV- Love and Skate from steven bianco on Vimeo.

3RD -

Directions. from Sam Trowbridge on Vimeo.

Fireworks should be banned on Guy Fawkes


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With the tradition of Guy Fawkes upon us, I thought it was time for a rant. I have a number of points.

Almost every tradition we know has been hijacked, twisted and corrupted in to some form of capitalist consumerist orgy. Many of them have been adopted for no particular reason at all. Recently we celebrated Halloween or All Hallow's Eve. Historically, it marked the beginning of kak cold weather for the Celts. The Christians hijacked it as All Saint's Eve and then the Yanks just went bos with Trick or Treating and carved pumpkins. WTF? So now we spend cash on costumes and decorations and get drunk, which doesn't really honour anything. Easter, supposed to be a Christian festival to mark the resurrection of Jesus. Now we go away on long weekend holidays and splurge wads of cash on chocolate bunnies. Christmas, once again, a Pagan Winter solstice festival, hijacked by Christians and now we spend wads of cash on presents and decorations, we stuff our faces and get drunk. Which brings me to Guy Fawkes.

I doubt 90% of the population in South Africa could even tell you who Guy Fawkes was or why he has a day named after him. The ignorance is further entrenched when these same people call it Guy Fox and probably spell it that way too. It's pronounced the same as 'forks'. Please read up here. Once again, it's linked to Christianity in that Fawkes (Catholic) wanted to blow up the King (Protestant). So very unlike religious types to resort to this violent sort of behaviour, isn't it?

It is an archaic festival, as they all are, but its relevance to South African society can only be drawn by a tenuous link to British colonialism. In effect, Guy Fawkes Eve is a thanksgiving celebration to say "Yay, the King didn't asplode!" Now if you, like me, couldn't give a rat's tonsil about the English Monarchy - any monarchy for that matter - then this celebration is really a load of codswallop.

However, if you, like me, are a pyromaniac then this celebration is a grand excuse for you to run around with matches terrorising all flammable stuff in the vicinity, wild-eyed and grinning, while shouting in your best caveman voice: "MAN MAKE FIRE!" As I said, I'm a pyromaniac, probably a pyrophiliac too. Fire gives me a woody. Okay, maybe not, but I couldn't resist that.

Contrary to some people's belief, setting off fireworks is not supposed to symbolise the gunpowder that Guy Fawkes was to use to blow up the Houses of Parliament. Unless, perhaps, you are a Fawkes sympathiser? Guy Fawkes night is also known as Bonfire Night. The people were so happy to have this conspiracy foiled and the King saved that they lit bonfires in celebration and even burnt effigies of Fawkes (Sometimes they burnt effigies of The Pope too - this being a Catholic plot after all. I somehow think that many Catholics will be setting off fireworks on Guy Fawkes with no knowledge of this fact). It was even declared a public holiday by the Thanskgiving Act of 1605.

Which brings me right up until today when the night is still celebrated, mostly by ignorant fools, by setting off fireworks.

Without mincing words, fireworks are animal cruelty. The loud percussive explosions combined with blinding light are so terrifying to animals that it literally drives them insane. Their hearing, being exponentially more sensitive than ours, makes these explosions overwhelmingly painful and petrifying. Read THIS to find out how inhumane and cruel fireworks are to animals. An excerpt:

Firework displays and celebrations bring confusion, anxiety and fear into the lives of animals, causing many to run away from their homes in an effort to escape the frightening detonations.
Fireworks are not animal-friendly. Invariably, when communities celebrate with fireworks, local shelters and other animal aid organizations are overwhelmed by the "fallout," which manifests in an increased number of stray animals and reports of injuries and trauma to animals.  Those animals who are reunited with their families must consider themselves fortunate.  Many injured or terrorized animals run away from their homes to escape the traumatizing detonations of fireworks.  Some are hit by cars and injured or killed, some are maimed for life, while others are never recovered alive.
Firework explosions can produce a blind panic in animals that can lead to serious injury, deep-rooted, debilitating fears, or even death.  This is, in part, because the events do not last long enough for animals to become accustomed to the explosions.  Moreover, the ears of most animals are considerably more sensitive than the human ear. Therefore, the explosion of a firework (which can emit sounds of up to 190 decibels, a full 110 to 115 decibels higher than the 75- to 80-decibel range, where damage to the human ear begins) not only is proportionately more disturbing to an animal, it can also affect an animal's acute sense of hearing.  And animals who are too close to firework explosions often suffer significant burns and eye damage. Fireworks generate a noise level higher than the noise from gunshots (140 decibels) and low-level flying jets (100 decibels). Irreversible ear damage, such as tinnitus and loss of hearing in humans starts at the 80-decibel range.
There are no "safe" places to hold fireworks displays either. Residential areas have hundreds and thousands of pets. Rural areas have pets, wildlife and horses. Then there's the birds:
If live fireworks come into contact with birds they can cause severe burns and injuries to a bird’s plumage, limbs, eyes and skin. The chemicals used in fireworks, including combustible powders and toxic inks, can also cause gastrointestinal distress if they are ingested, even in small quantities. The loud concussions made by fireworks can damage birds’ sensitive hearing or may cause enough emotional and psychological stress to drive birds away from nests and babies.
So please, join me in supporting the ban on ALL fireworks. They are not necessary. They are but trivial entertainments. Humans go "Ooooh, aaaah, look at the pretty lights with the loud boom!" while thousands of animals are driven to panic, pain, trauma and injury, sometimes death.

If you really want to celebrate Guy Fawkes then why not make a big bonfire? It's bang on tradition, if that's your thing, but more importantly REAL MEN make fires. Building, making and tending to a fire is about as manly as it gets. Flicking a Bic on a fuse is for pussies.

SKATEISTAN - To live and skate in Kabul


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The full version of the nine-minute documentary Skateistan: To Live and Skate in Kabul is now available to watch online. Sponsored by Diesel New Voices and Directed by Orlando Von Einsiedel, the beautifully shot documentary was filmed in January 2010 and follows two Skateistan students, Murza and Fazila, through the streets of Kabul.
After winning two awards at the L.A. Skate Film Festival in September, legendary director Stacy Peralta (Dogtown and the Z-Boys and Riding Giants) wrote to Von Einsiedel saying "the film really knocked me out, it brought tears to my eyes and made me realize why I've ridden a skateboard all of my life."
The film has been officially selected for a number of other festivals worldwide. For more information on which festivals it will be appearing at check out Grain Media's website. Also, expect to hear more soon about Skateistan's full-length documentary, Skateistan: The Movie, which will give a unique look at the story behind the creation of a skatepark in Afghanistan, and  premiere on the festival circuit in early 2011, to be released in cinemas later that year.

Sharlto Copley Nedbank Ad - Make things happen


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It's rare that a piece of copywriting has an affect on me, but this particular ad really speaks to me at the moment. It's a Nedbank ad that features actor and screenwriter Sharlto Copley, the breakthrough star from District 9 who went on to play "Mad Murdock" in the A-Team movie. The soliloquy is apparently "deliberations from Copley" on how we all fool ourselves out of taking the action that will make things happen in our own lives. I wholeheartedly agree and hopefully - with enough balls - I will soon embark on the next evolution of my dreams.

I've transcribed the script here:
We've all done it. We decide we want something to happen and then... we wait. We wait for a sign, or for someone to tell us to "Go ahead and do it!" That we have permission. Or we hope that by sheer chance that very thing we want will create itself. That it'll tap dance in to our lives and say "Surprise!" Then, nothing happens. So we watch TV and make fancy plans, waiting 'til we have the money or enough time before that elusive 'lucky break'. Or sometimes we're waiting to feel a little braver. For our fears and doubts to disappear. But there'll always be something else to wait for; until we face the simple truth. That thing we want is on hold, because it's up to us. We're waiting for ourselves. Things don't just happen on their own.

"Fools talk, cowards are silent, wise men listen." Carlos Ruiz Zafón


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It seems brands are struggling under the burden of social networking and the pseudo-power it has put back in the hands of the consumer. They will sit in their boardrooms with Marketing Execs, Creative Directors and MBAs... fully qualified and educated people coming up with great ideas. They will unleash these business-savvy and creative campaigns on the world, but then they will run scampering to the hills when a small, usually uneducated, vocal minority start bleating on Facebook.

Stick to your guns!

Fritolay recently ran into the same cyber-bullies as the Woolworth's Christian magazine debacle. They recalled biodegradable chip packets because people complained about how noisy they were??? WTF? Sometimes brands need to grow some LOGICAL balls and stand by their decisions. Just because some vocal muppets on an SM platform complain DOES NOT MEAN ALL YOUR CUSTOMERS WILL BOYCOTT YOUR ASS! 
Read the full story HERE.

"Fools talk, cowards are silent, wise men listen."

Let the fools talk. It's the Greater Internet Fuckwad Theory. It's like brands and the people that manage them online are bloody n00bs to the Interwebz. If the person managing your social media has never been a moderator, or at least a heavy user on forums or IRC before, then they will be terrified little babies when faced with interwebz douchelords. I've seen a thousand of these loud-mouthed fuckwits in my time and they are just bullies (In fact I may even be one of them lol). Stand up to them - use logic and reason - and they will succumb. Unfortunately, the squeaky wheel always gets the oil. 

But I urge all brands to heed this advice. Listen to your customers, but don't freak out if there's a little uproar on Facebook about a calculated business decision on your part. Yes, social media has empowered customers to voice their concerns, but since when did you hire them to decide on your strategic business decisions? Listen and absorb, then mull it over, then decide internally. Don't have a kneejerk reaction. Besides, the average attention span of a social media fracas is about a week, then they'll move on to some other stupid bloody popular campaign, while feeding their pigs in Farmville and trying to win a free iPad by becoming a tester AND GET THIS -->> still buying your products and services. The average interwebz user is a fucking moron. As they say, an Internet petition isn't worth the paper it is written on and most Internet users, the vast majority in fact, do not have the strength of conviction to stand by their threats further than the effort it takes to engage caps lock. Don't let them dictate your strategic business decisions.


Seasteading... and why I wholeheartedly support their aims.


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We Deserve A Future Of Good Governance Patri Friedman and Brad Taylor (SOURCE)
We deserve a future of good governance in which people live under high-quality rule-sets suited to their preferences. Rules are enormously important to human welfare – just look at the differences between those on opposite sides of an arbitrary border, such as that separating North and South Korea. Rules are a meta-technology which determines how well people can cooperate to achieve their goals, and the potential benefits of improvement in this area dwarf those of any other effort to improve the world.
Proposals to improve government are common, but few are ever tried. Those which are tried generally end badly. The clearest example is communism, which claimed more than a hundred million lives and left billions poor and miserable. It’s no wonder that conservatives see radical reform as dangerous.
The central difficulty of improving governance is like any product: we don’t know what will work ahead of time. Products improve not by some grand plan which maps progress from start to finish, but by a series of decentralized experiments which allow ideas to be retained or discarded based on performance in reality. This is why we have such amazing phones today: entrepreneurs tested ideas against technological constraints and consumer preferences. Good ideas were retained and bad ideas abandoned - without anyone needing to die. Over time, we progressed from clunky machines to modern smartphones.
In governance, though, such low-stakes experimentation is currently impossible. Those wishing to improve politics have the impossible task of creating proposals without incremental feedback from reality. If they get things wrong, millions of people may suffer or die. Rather than groping in the dark for the right solution, as utopian philosophers do, we need to bring progress to politics by lowering the barriers to experimentation and making failure less costly. If new countries could be created by those with good ideas and citizens could move to whatever country best suited their preferences - and leave if it got unpleasant - we would see the decentralized experimentation that drives progress in other areas.
Historically, this has happened on the frontier, but since every square inch of land is currently claimed by some existing government, we need to look elsewhere. In the long run, space will provide a vast blank space for experimentation, but there is another frontier here on Earth which is ready now: the ocean.
By developing the knowledge we need to permanently live on the ocean comfortably at a reasonable cost, my colleagues and I at The Seasteading Institutehope to transform the market for governance. The political vacuum of the ocean would itself make seasteading worthwhile (we don’t have to fight anyone for it). As it turns out, the ocean has another important property: shifting large objects is much easier in water than on land (that’s why the ocean is our global highway for goods). With modular ocean cities, people could move countries without leaving their house. Seasteading makes it easier to create and compete in the nation-state industry.
While settling the ocean may sound utopian and unrealistic, it is far more humble and realistic than the alternatives. We admit our ignorance about the ideal society, so we want to let a thousand nations bloom to see what works. And by transforming a political problem to a technological one, we avoid the problems endemic to large-scale politics. While the technological challenges are large, they are far easier than convincing a majority of the population that your utopia is worth the whole country trying. The cruise ship industry shows that people can live comfortably at sea for around $200 per day. Our mission is to drive comfort and safety up and cost down while finding better ways to make a living at sea.
Settling the oceans is a realistic way of increasing quality, diversity, and innovation in governance. It avoids the hubris of top-down reform, and there is a clear path from here to there. While there is much work to be done, the potential benefits are huge. We hope you’ll join us in supporting seasteading as a powerful way to move towards the Future We Deserve.

The Parrot A.R Drone Quadricopter - Perhaps the ultimate gadget?


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You get gadgets and then you get GADGETS. How about a wi-fi connected quadricopter that you can control with your iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad (apparently Blackberry, Windows Mobile and Android are coming too) with 2 onboard video cameras... AND you can battle with a friend? Hmmmm, how about that? CHECK IT OUT: This gets a massive ^^5)( from me. That's a Double High Five Chest Bump and I'll add in a BOOYAAA!

Check this battle vid: 

If they add in a microphone/speaker function for yelling out shit like "WOOF!" when hovering over the family cat, then this will be one of the ultimate gadgets... okay, wait, if it fetched a beer from the fridge too then I'd marry it.

My favourite movie ending...


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My two favourite movies of all time are: "The Big Lebowski" and "Withnail and I". Herewith, the most poignant scene of any movie I have ever witnessed and a mind-blowing performance of Hamlet from our own Richard E. Grant.

"I have of late - but wherefore I know not - lost all my mirth, forgone all custom of exercises; and indeed it goes so heavily with my disposition that this goodly frame, the earth, seems to me a sterile promontory. This most excellent canopy, the air. Look you! This brave o'erhanging firmament; this majestical roof fretted with golden fire. Why, it appears no other thing to me than a foul and pestilential congregation of vapours. What a piece of work is a man? How noble in reason? How infinite in faculty? In form and moving how express and admirable? In action; how like an angel? In apprehension; how like a god? The beauty of the world! The paragon of animals! And yet to me, what is this quintessence of dust? Man delights not me: no, nor woman neither."

You simply can not beat the Bard, but when executed - especially at the end of this film - so impeccably by an actor, you truly feel the impact of his prose. This whole film is brimming with quotes and moments like this, but this particular scene has always punched me in the gut.


Preferably the whole movie though.



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Hot off the streets our reliable sources have revealed that Ugandan hip-hop artist Navio, Zambia’s biggest super star JK, Tanzanian heartthrob Alikiba, Ghanaian trio 4x4 and Gabonese Hip Hop duo Movaizhaleine have joined forces with, as rumour has it, a major international superstar from Chicago's South Side and started recording a single, music video, album and DVD. Rumours are flying on other superstars joining this new found Rocboys-type outfit named ONE8!

Aparently this song and music video is being produced by a major international producer and music video director and will drop this November in addition to being filmed and recorded by the world's number 1 recording giant Sony Music who gave the world rockstars such as Elvis Presley, Michael Jackson, Beyonce, Pink, Alicia Keys, R Kelly and Usher to name a few...

Damn... Is this music history in the making?

Scoop it here as I dig up more on this...

Does selfless love exist beyond mother and child?


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I commented on Imiel's blog recently, but thought it would make a nice post anyway. I'd love to hear your thoughts too, so please comment.

Here's Imiel's blogpost titled "When two mature persons are in love – by OSHO"

And here's my response: "
Dude, I love it... but I also disagree to some extent. I understand true love and giving without asking for anything in return. Selfless love is definitely a higher state of being and we should aspire to it, but it is rare (mother and child is the most perfect example though). Relationships and humans are MUCH more complex than being able to simply say LOVE without asking for anything in return. A relationship is not entirely about love. Love is the supreme bond, but a relationship requires a lot more than love. Friendship, companionship, affection, trust, truth and lies, sex, parenting, values, life philosophies, morals, intellectual stimulation, conversation, work and play, music, spirituality/religion/beliefs, passion, silence, happiness, sadness, compliments, arguments, personality... it goes on. 

One does not have a relationship purely based on love. You may give love selflessly, but what if they want more than love... what if you want more than love. Is love enough? I don't think so. Love is fueled by all these things, but it is not the sum of the parts. You can love someone as much as you want, selflessly, without expecting anything in return, but you still feel longing, or you still have needs that must be met. If not met, love will wither and die. And I don't think it fully relies on maturity either. No one is "mature", we're all learning and changing all the time. The trick is to align all of the stuff I've mentioned with someone else, grow and learn together, be together... love is sometimes placed on a pedestal. What is love after all? How do you define love? Is it worship? Is that too much? Is it absolute? Is that too much? What is too much love and what is too little? Is it a need, a lust, a passion? To me, love is companionship... a life partner, someone that complements your being. It will not be perfect, nor without passion and even hatred at times, but when you think about it, you love that person because of who they are and who you are because they are with you, and moreso, you love BOTH OF YOU together. 

Maybe I'm not enlightened enough, but giving love selflessly has lead me into trouble before. It is abused. A mature love is one where your needs and wants are also met and you're clever enough to know when they aren't. If your needs and wants and love are not met, then how can you possibly GIVE SELFLESS LOVE, because you will need that love for yourself. You can only give love once you love yourself entirely, then you give it as a gift, not expecting anything back, but it's just stupid to be in a relationship where you are the one giving and the other is taking. It's not healthy for you. As the post says though... two mature people. But as I say "mature" people are rare, if not non-existent. Humans are not and never will be perfect and wholly capable of selfless love (mother and child excluded). It's a continuous dynamic battle of give and take... and balance is what we should seek, not 100% giving. Seek to give, but also seek to receive. The world usually balances out and if you do give, you'll find that you do receive... and I won't feel guilty that I require reciprocal love. There ya go though, maybe I'm just not enlightened enough, but I truly feel that the recipe I have come to through my lessons is working quite well. I give... A LOT, it's in my nature, but it's not free. I don't expect a credit/debit style of payment at all, but I do expect my own personal needs and wants and passions to be met too. I simply can not give love otherwise. Love is a precious thing and I don't believe you should give it away freely. Love, like trust, must be earned. IMHO."

Trust & Jealousy


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Listening to Kieno Kammies on 702 and they are discussing Jealousy in Relationships. Here's my response:

Trust must be earned and not freely given! Until you earn my trust I refuse to trust you. I don't think this is an illogical nor emotional decision. Earn my trust and Keep my trust, then you have free reign. Break my trust and I will never trust you. I have 'To thine own self be true' tattooed on my chest because the minute you lie to anyone, you are lying to yourself and therefore you can't give people your trust until you know that they are being true to themselves... otherwise EVERYTHING is a lie. And everyone loses.

"This above all: to thine own self be true, and it must follow, as the night the day, thou canst not then be false to any man." - William Shakespeare - Hamlet. Polonius' advice to his son Laertes.

I live by absolute, brutal, honest truth with myself, so deception cuts close to the bone. When you are a true and honest person, and you live your life like an open book - heart on your sleeve and all that - you expose yourself to fallible humanity. And we are all fallible.

It's a tough road to walk, but in the end, truth and trust are intricately linked.

Last quote: "If you are speaking the truth; you don't have to remember anything." - Mark Twain.

If all of humanity could just start being true to themselves... I'll leave you with that.

New Tippex “Hunter Shoots a Bear� Campaign Goes Viral | memeburn


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New Tippex "Hunter Shoots a Bear" Campaign Goes Viral | memeburn

Look at the bear, now look at me, now look at the bear, now back to me, this viral campaign is now diamonds. The best viral campaign since Old Spice Guy is from Tippex, of all brands.

The Most Amazing Music Video... EVAAAAR!


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Arcade Fire release personalised music video
The music video genre has suddenly been blown out of the water by Arcade Fire's latest offering “We Used to Wait” off of their new album, The Suburbs.

The band released an online multimedia video entitled “The Wilderness Downtown” on 31 August, 2010. It was sculpted by the genius mind of writer/director Chris Milk, produced by
Radical Media and B-Reel, with a little help from Google. What can only be described as a personalised musical experience, The Wilderness Downtown is mashed together with HTML5, 3D canvas rendering, real-time compositing, Google Maps, Google Street View and Google Chrome Experiments.

Without taking away from the full emotive experience, I'll just point you to the site so you can go and enjoy it for yourself without any preconceived expectations. You're going to have to use Google Chrome to view it properly and the available information from South African Google Maps might me less granular than overseas, but nonetheless enough to make it mind-blowing.

Click on over to
“The Wilderness Downtown”, turn up your speakers and be prepared for one of the most incredible music videos you've ever seen.

Once you've watched it, come back and tell me how you think this sort of HTML5 Web 2.0 mashup will redefine the way we interact with media.

Amazing POV - downhill MTB bike race in Brazilian favela


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Check this incredible Red Bull Downhill Mountain Bike rollercoaster ride through a Brazilian favela

Twitter client not working? You need to take the OAuth | memeburn


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Twitter client not working? You need to take the OAuth | memeburn

Seems some people have fallen prey to the OAuthpocalypse. Is your Twitter client busted? Try downloading the latest version of the app. Click the link to find out why Twitter has moved over to OAuth.

The reason why Facebook is down


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OH SNAP! I have no idea why, but here's a lesson in creating fake traffic to your blog or website. Find a popular hashtag on Twitter and exploit it. :p

My Tweet:

PS: Don't do this professionally for your brand.

Habitat was ratted out for this exact faux pas. It's basically a bait-n-switch, like a Rickroll.

oh snap animated gif Pictures, Images and Photos

Old Spice: The Emmy your ad could smell like | memeburn


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Old Spice: The Emmy your ad could smell like | memeburn

I'm sure you've followed the Old Spice Guy campaign that I've been covering for Memeburn. Here's the latest in a string of accolades - an Emmy.

Beauty is only pixel deep


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Carte Blanche recently covered the "photoshopping" debate. It was sensationalist, feeding upon emotional knee-jerk reaction, and ironically it was as superficial as they claim the "beauty" industry to be.

Here's the blurb: "Most of us want to be thinner, prettier, browner, lighter or sexier than we believe we are. But how ethical is it to manufacture so-called beauty to conform to a particular aesthetic ‘norm’? Some in the public eye are happy with how they look and take exception to images of themselves ‘photoshopped’ beyond reality. Carte Blanche bares all. Sun 7pm"

Here's the Tweet: "How ethical is it to "manufacture" beauty?"

I believe I have enough cachet to comment on this subject; having worked in the "Men's Lifestyle" magazine category for a number of years. As the erstwhile Features Editor at the South African ZOO Weekly and the Digital Editor at FHM I have first-hand experience with this "unethical" practice.

TRUTH: ALL models are "photoshopped" or "retouched". In fact, in the magazine industry... screw that... the photographic industry, ALL IMAGES ARE MANIPULATED. Check out the cover of Getaway Magazine, or Country Life Magazine. Is that sunset really so vivid? Is the grass on that rural field really so green? The answer is an emphatic NO! Practically every single professional image that you see has been manipulated. Is this unethical?

What are ethics in media? As far as I'm concerned, ethics and media are juxtaposed. Nevertheless, is it unethical to enhance an image for aesthetic appeal? Would we have Leonardo da Vinci hung, drawn and quartered because he embellished Mona Lisa's smile?

Photography is an art. As an absolute "point and shoot" amateur even I know that the image you manage to capture is not exactly a reality. Using even the most basic camera, without zoom lenses and filters or post-production, you can create something that looks surreal. Lighting, lighting, lighting! I haven't attended any courses in photography but I think most will agree that lighting is probably the most crucial aspect of any shoot. Enough with Photography 101 though. You can take ANY model, even a swamp donkey, and using the correct lighting and basic photography skills you can make her/him look like a million bucks. Find the professional wedding pics of your "ugliest" friend for evidence of this magical ability.

What about yourself? Take a squiz at your profile pictures on Facebook. We're all a bunch of vain bastards. We'll always choose the pictures that make us seem more "attractive" as our profile pictures.


What really gets to me is that the "journalist" covering the story for Carte Blanche is all dolled up with lipstick, eye shadow, mascara... and probably a push-up bra. This righteously indignant feminist seems to love the fact that she's chasing down this ground-breaking story to reveal how the media is responsible for poor self image amongst women. Ironically, she spent at least an hour having her hair and make up done before appearing in front of camera. That's called "photoshopping" your head, you idiot.

So, girls, where do we draw the line? "OMG! I can't believe they made her hips look smaller in that photoshoot!" you'll cry, while happily adjusting the wedgie you're getting from your Spanx.

Women are experts at the art of illusion. Make-up, jewelery, fashion, lingerie etc. etc. etc. All designed specifically to deceive.

My mate Hagen, Editor of FHM, Tweets this in reply to me: "If we want pure authenticity, all models should be photographed the minute they step out of bed!"

Or Alyn, Deputy Editor of FHM, who says: "If you're going to bitch about superficiality, please be makeup-free when you do so..."

Or Natasha, who works at Heat, who says: "What I resented was the assumption that all us poor women have such fragile egos that looking at gorgeous images can completely ruin our self confidence... how insulting?"

Too true!

What is your self-worth, ladies, when you wake up in the morning and look in the mirror? Are you happy with what you see? Which points me to the problem here. It has NOTHING to do with the media and EVERYTHING to do with the psychological reality of women.

Arthur Miller said: "A good newspaper, I suppose, is a nation talking to itself." The media reflects society. The tail does not wag the dog. The media is NOT representing an aesthetic "norm" as Carte Blanche states. It's entirely not the norm. It is representing an aesthetic pinnacle. These 'shopped images are merely a creative and artistic representation of reality, and in no way attempt to force people to conform.

Why would you want to conform to an unattainable pinnacle?

There will ALWAYS be someone out there hotter than you, smarter than you, more successful than you.

As my brother (who is smarter than me :p) said last night, you should not be constantly looking at those people more successful, smarter and good-looking or famous and hankering after their lifestyle. You should rather be looking at those less-fortunate than you and be grateful for your own life.


Here's my personal reflection of working on photoshoots. Admittedly, as a red-blooded male, it is fantastic to be on a photoshoot with lingerie models. There you are in the presence of arguably some of the most beautiful women in the world and they're in their undies and it's pretty damned amazing. As with any profession, this novelty wears off. Take a male gynae for example. He sees punani day in and day out and you expect him to act professionally... and he does (hopefully). Now, take off your clothes, lay back on the bed, put your feet in stirrups and ask some random guy off the street to come and 'ave a look-see. His eyes will pop out on stalks.

That's the difference. Nevermind that though. Here you are on a photoshoot. There are stylists, make-up artists, hair stylists, lighting guys, the photographer, his assistant, the model and a plethora of tools and gadgets dedicated to creating an image. It's art.

You'll quickly find yourself - everyone on the shoot, in fact, model included - seeking to create an image that is beautiful. Aesthetically pleasing. You'll even start looking at the reality in front of you as a final printed image. "That's gonna look amazing in the mag!" you'll say. You start looking at the reality in front of you - a hot babe in her undies - as a page in a magazine, rather than just a hot babe in her undies right in front of you. This, I suppose, is called the "Photographer's eye". When you're able to look at something random, but once captured correctly through photography, it becomes art.

With all the lighting, make up, hair, clothing, filters, artistic eye etc. this image then goes into post-production. Maybe the model had a bruise on her thigh from bumping into a table? That gets removed. Complexion is smoothed out. Colour is enhanced. Any number of digital tools are brought into play to create a beautiful image. And that's all it is.

Is the model truly that beautiful? Honestly, yes... in a way. In fact, she is more so. There is no way an image of someone can ever compare to their beauty in the flesh, so to speak.

Would I rather look at this image of someone, or be in their presence? With all their supposed flaws, I honestly doubt you would choose the image above the reality.

So why do people take an image as reality?

It happens worldwide. Here's Kelly Clarkson for example:

Are we really being hoodwinked? Is there some media plot? Is media responsible for creating a negative self-worth?

Comfortable in your own skin

The picture on the right is of 20-year-old model Lizzie Miller. She's a plus-sized model at size 12-14, although this is normal by most standards, so the "plus-sized" is a bit of a misnomer. This picture appeared in the September 2009 issue of Glamour Magazine in the US. It was accompanied by an article on feeling comfortable in your own skin... and Lizzie clearly does. Welcome to the real world, a world without photoshop. This is what a happy, beautiful and confident woman looks like in reality.

However, women will be the first to point out and laugh at her "flaws".

The most important advice for any woman is to feel comfortable in her own skin. Beyond the clothing, beyond the make-up, beyond the lingerie, this is what will radiate and resonate with other people. If you are a "plus-size" woman then I hope you take this to heart.

If you feel sexy, confident and happy then you will look sexy, confident and happy.

If you allow something so superficial (the media, magazine covers etc.) to affect your self worth... well then, you're ugly on the inside too.

PS: I also wrote THIS about using clothes to make you look slimmer. Is this just not another deception? Who is to blame here? Media? Or simply the fact that people enjoy looking their best? Where do we really lay the blame for lack of self-worth?

The blame for your self-worth lies with you. The sooner you accept that responsibility - and stop blaming external media - the sooner you'll feel comfortable in your own skin.

Pause for thought
Dove Evolution Advert - fanning the flames

Did you know that beer has the same effect as photoshop?

More hilarious beer goggles ads:

11 Facebook Personalities Everyone Has On Their Friend List


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Mr. Grumpy -

These people struggle to type a status update without starting or ending it with “FML”. Whether it's the latest tragedy to befall them, like spilling hot coffee in their lap, or sharing the latest doomsday headlines, these people will, ironically, never be happy until everyone else is unhappy.

Little Miss Sunshine -

Quite the opposite of Mr. Grumpy, Little Miss Sunshine is constantly vomiting rainbows all over her Facebook. Her profile page will be strewn with care bears, unicorns and notifications from groups like I ♥ MY BFF [ Best Friends Forever ]. You'll vom a little in your mouth as she writes 378 status updates in 24 hours about how much she “luvs” her new “boyf” and your toes will curl trying to decipher what the hell she's talking about when she writes like this: “MWAAZ y0 s0o ((cy00t)) 0n diz l0vly m0rN1N! Nj0y y0 d@y b@yb33 ♥”

Mr. Noisy -

He just loves to UNLEASH THE FURY OF CAPS LOCK! Perhaps suffering from a chronic case of SDS it seems like someone is always pissing on this guy's parade. Road rage for breakfast, loathing his fascist boss for lunch and detesting the result of a cage fighting match in the evening.

Mr. Daydream -

Filled with childlike naivete, this guy devours motivational books and spews out affirming quotes day in and day out. You'd think by now all of those books and DVDs would have spurred him on to a successful life filled with bountiful riches and supermodels, but he's still slaving away in a dead end job and remains hopelessly single.

This delusion spreads to all aspects of his life, so be prepared to hear about the latest conspiracy theory doing the rounds. Right now he's probably stockpiling canned goods in preparation for December 21, 2012, while you should be preparing a sarky remark for December 22.

Mr. Funny -

It's advisable to avoid taking a sip of your coffee before reading this guy's updates or you'll have it spewing out of your nose and onto your screen. A career in standup comedy has obviously alluded this guy as he brings forth such gems such as: “Mr. Funny hates it when people say stuff in their status updates that you really didn't want to know. I hate that. Anyway, I gotta go pooh.”

There's more this way

7 of the strangest sights seen on Google Street View | memeburn


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7 of the strangest sights seen on Google Street View | memeburn
Latest article up on Memeburn. A rather frivolous look at Google's Street View function (landed in SA in June). There have been some interesting captures on Street View and here are 7 of the strangest.

Mobilising my blog: Mippin feed validation KEY=bd54cab


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Just mobilised my blog with Mippin. Need to validate now, so posting this:

Mippin feed validation KEY=bd54cab

Old Spice: Humble pie for naysayers | memeburn


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Old Spice: Humble pie for naysayers | memeburn

We recently featured an article about the massively popular Old Spice social media campaign. In the article I sung the praises of this campaign like a 10-year-old, braces-sporting teenage girl commenting on the latest Justin Bieber music video. I was a fawning fanboy of the Wieden + Kennedy executed campaign. In the article I stated that I would “do a swan dive into a hot tub” if the campaign hadn’t boosted sales.

As with any popular campaign you’ll immediately draw out the naysayers, the hype heathens and the old media mavens who desperately don’t want to believe that this nerdy new media platform can deliver real world results.


40 Ton Whale Bodyslams Yacht


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This Southern Right Whale off the coast of Cape Town reckons "Jou ma se BP!" and body slams a yacht.

A visit to Berea-Hillbrow Home of Hope


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Last night Kassie and I were privileged to visit the girls at Berea-Hillbrow Home of Hope. Thanks to Jayne Davies, who introduced me to Home of Hope. A bit of background: Jayne is mom to Tanya (Kassie's best mate). Jayne told us about Home of Hope and I said I would volunteer to start a Facebook group and do some social media marketing. So that's how I got involved in the beginning.

I then embarked on my High Five Challenge for Mandela Day, spending 67 minutes giving out Free High Fives (see image gallery HERE). I managed to raise around R3500 for the Home and was truly chuffed with this small contribution that I managed to make.

Jayne then mentioned that she and her family would be going through to Home of Hope last night to make dinner for the girls, and we were invited too. The Home is pretty strict about who gets to visit, since the girls have been in very vulnerable positions, and the Home even performs background checks on visitors, such is the determination to keep these girls safe, many of whom have been victims of human trafficking and child prostitution.

The "Home" is situated in Berea-Hillbrow, a stone's through from the famous Ponte building. The girls occupy two flats. One they use for sleeping with 24 bunk beds, and the other they use as a living area. The living flat is located on the [redacted] floor and you'll have to take stairs as pretty much none of these buildings have lifts that work. The sleeping flat is on the [redacted] floor.*

* Removed the floor numbers just in case

I was a little nervous about driving into the area, especially since I had Kassie with me, but you can't be too precious about these things. Just because I live in Sunninghill and I'm white does not mean that stepping a foot into Hillbrow will immediately put a cross-hair on my back. I also, despite not being religious or spiritual, somehow believe that doing something good gives you some form of immunity. Nevertheless, this is their reality and I wanted to see what it was like.

We parked outside on the street and climbed the stairs to the flat. The building isn't in horrific shape, but certainly isn't in good shape. Walking in to the flat, we are met by the 50 girls, including about six babies and toddlers. We get a wonderful welcome as Jayne tells them that I'm the High Five Guy and started their Facebook group. Such a feeling of warmth and happiness and buzz at this place. Jayne and her daughters have been there since half past four preparing "chicken a'la king" for the girls. We got there at 18h00.

We cook a massive 5Kgs of rice in a pot on the stove. Only two of the plates on the stove work. They have a new stove, but the plug doesn't work (Any electricians out there?). The rice cooks in a big pot on the two hot plates. We must turn the pot regularly to distribute the heat evenly. We cook the chicken on a two plate portable "stove" on the floor in the lounge.

We've given the girls a task of making "Dream Diaries". We've got pens, glitters, stars, glue, scissors and plenty magazines. The girls are asked to create "Dream Diaries" for themselves, where they write down their hopes and dreams, cutting out pictures of where they see themselves and where they want to be. It's a really positive message for them and hopefully these dreams can manifest in their lives. They are SO bright and clever. I saw a 10-year old doing homework... from a Tolstoy novel! The girls LOVED the Dream Diaries exercise and they all made pretty books and covered them. Some wrote about being doctors or teachers and one 16-year old is adamant that she will be a pilot.

Dinner took three and a half hours to prepare. 5kg of rice is a mission to cook! And we're cooking for 50. Remember this is one flat, one tiny kitchen, one bathroom, for 50 girls. They have a TV, which was only switched on after dinner and then 3 fold up tables and plastic chairs where the girls do their homework and eat dinner.

They don't even have enough cutlery. You'll see girls sharing plastic forks. The vibe is happy, warm and filled with camaraderie and love. It is one HUGE happy family. The girls are impeccably behaved, polite, friendly and very clever.

The girls asked me to help with some homework. One look at the maths and I ran off to fetch Kassie (senior bookkeeper and more numerically minded than I will ever be). Kassie got roped into accounting homework, while I managed to help with Grade 6 maths (after Kass showed me how to do it). The girls loved showing us their good marks. Ten out of ten on most tests! Wow!

Dinner turned out great, luckily. We were a bit nervous that we had totally stuffed up the rice, but it was delicious and we all ate heartily. We followed it up with ice-cream!

We left at about 21h00, but we really felt like we were at home and could have stayed longer. When we said goodbye, we got some extra special hugs from some of the girls who clearly enjoyed our visit. It really affects you and you can't help but get a lump in your throat.

It's impossible to describe how grateful we are for our blessed lives. These girls have endured absolute hell and they still smile. They don't even have hot water, or a microwave, or a DVD player, let alone a fully functional stove and oven. They do, however, have each other, and Mam' Khanyi the founder, as well as the other "mothers" that look after them. True angels!

They stole our hearts and we are determined not to make this a once off thing. I think our lives are now permanently intertwined.

We can't stop thinking of ways to improve their lives. Although they still need so much in their current place of living, the MOST IMPORTANT thing right now is getting them out of there.

Please go to the FB group and read under the Discussion tab, as well as look at the photos (or read THIS post). We've found a new spot for them where they will have FOUR kitchens, more bedrooms, a place to play, live and call a real HOME! Once this place is owned by Home of Hope they will also qualify for a government grant of R700 per person per month. Unfortunately, the screwy law states that they must own the property to qualify and currently they only own one of the flats in Hillbrow, and rent the other.

So please can anyone help in any way:

Account Name: Berea-Hillbrow Home of Hope
Bank: ABSA
Branch: 74 Market Street
Account Number: 405 319 3353

Tel: +27 11 331- 4466
Fax: +27 11 331- 4467
Cell: 073 250 2086
NPO Registration #:019 – 857

It's really heartwarming and humbling to be able to see that whatever small gesture you make goes directly into helping 50 human beings escape the clutches of hell on earth. You may be only one person, but you can impact the lives of these 50 people in such a fundamental and profound way. It is personally rewarding beyond measure.

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