Archive for October, 2010

Happy Halloween

October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween

The Desert Fine Art Nude Photo Shoot

October 30, 2010

Desert nude photo shoot

The Desert Fine Art Nude

A Photographic Tour and Workshop in Namibia
“Combining awe-inspiring Namibian landscape with the grace of Namibian models, creating truly unique
photographic opportunities and allowing an intimate glimpse into Namibian culture”
March 01 – 14, 2011 (partial attendance possible)
With
Christian Goltz, kiss-of-light, Photographer, Namibia
Werner Pfeifer, Bush Culture Experience, Tour Guide, Namibia
Version October 27, 2010

Introduction
Two years in the making, we are glad and proud to be able to offer the Desert Fine Art Nude photographic tour and workshop.

Namibia’s landscapes are known to many by now. They are known for their harsh beauty and vastness. Travelers and photographers tend to fall in love with Namibia, Africa’s last true wilderness. Yet there is so much more than its obvious attractions.
Some say that God created Namibia in anger. They cannot possibly mean its gentle and cheerful people. During this event we travel to some of the most scenic locations (Sossusvlei,
Brandberg and Kaokoland) and combine the beauty of the landscape with the beauty of female Namibian models, creating truly unique photographic opportunities and allowing an intimate glimpse into Namibian culture, modern and ancient. It is possible for you to join us at only one of the locations or, recommended, you travel with us – guide, photographic leader and models – for the whole duration (in Kaokoland, we will work with local Himba models). If you travel with us – all of us are Namibians – you will have ample opportunity to sample modern Namibian culture. The ancient part comes in, not only in Kaokoland, but also when we re-enact pre-historic rock art: the Brandberg is home to more than a thousand rock art sites, roughly 50.000 paintings have been documented so far. Some of the paintings are of mysterious figures, probably representing shamans and spiritual, transitional beings. By using our custom body painting techniques we will recreate this old African heritage for the first time in millenia, at original locations!
There will be no formal lectures on photography, emphasis is on image critique, learning by doing. Your questions, however, will not go unanswered, be they technical, artistic or cultural.

There will be no formal lectures on photography, emphasis is on image critique, learning by doing. Your questions, however, will not go unanswered, be they technical, artistic or cultural. For more please click here to see the full event description in pdf

Brigitte’s Pick: The Corporate World – this is really brilliant!

October 29, 2010

The Corporate World – this is really brilliant!

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Brigitte’s Pick: Sand Sculpture Contest

October 29, 2010

Sand Sculpture Contest

At the World Championships in creating sculptures from sand, which was held in Washington State, from September 8 to October 3, artists from all over the world competed for the title in three categories: solo, duet and team.

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Suzi’s Bit: WHY I QUIT TEACHING

October 27, 2010

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Brigitte’s Pick: UNIVERSAL LAWS

October 27, 2010

Brigitte's pick

UNIVERSAL LAWS

1. Law of Mechanical Repair – After your hands become coated with grease, your nose will begin to itch and you’ll have to pee.

2.Law of Gravity – Any tool, nut, bolt, screw, when dropped, will roll to the least accessible corner.

3. Law of Probability –The probability of being watched is directly proportional to the stupidity of your act

4.Law of Random Numbers – If you dial a wrong number, you never get a busy signal and someone always answers.

5. Law of the Alibi If you tell the boss you were late for work because you had a flat tyre, the very next morning you will have a flat tyre.

6. Variation Law – If you change lines (or traffic lanes), the one you were in will always move faster than the one you are in now (works every time).

7. Law of the Bath – When the body is fully immersed in water, the telephone rings.

8. Law of Close Encounters –The probability of meeting someone you know increases dramatically when you are with someone you don’t want to be seen with.

9. Law of the Result – When you try to prove to someone that a machine won’t work, it will.

10. Law of Biomechanics – The severity of the itch is inversely proportional to the reach.

11.. Law of the Theater and Hockey Arena – At any event, the people whose seats are furthest from the aisle, always arrive last. They are the ones who will leave their seats several times to go for food, beer, or the toilet and who leave early before the end of the performance or the game is over. The folks in the aisle seats come early, never move once, have long gangly legs or big bellies, and stay to the bitter end of the performance. The aisle people also are very surly folk

12. The Coffee Law – As soon as you sit down to a cup of hot coffee, your boss will ask you to do something which will last until the coffee is cold.

13.Murphy’s Law of Lockers – If there are only two people in a locker room, they will have adjacent lockers.

14. Law of Physical Surfaces – The chances of an open-faced jelly sandwich landing face down on a floor, are directly correlated to the newness and cost of the carpet or rug.

15.Law of Logical Argument – Anything is possible if you don’t know what you are talking about.

16.Brown’s Law of Physical Appearance – If the clothes fit, they’re ugly.

17.Oliver’s Law of Public Speaking – A closed mouth gathers no feet.

18Wilson’s Law of Commercial Marketing Strategy – As soon as you find a product that you really like, they will stop making it.

19. Doctors’ Law – If you don’t feel well, make an appointment to go to the doctor, by the time you get there you’ll feel better. But don’t make an appointment, and you’ll stay sick.

Imagine design

Brigitte’s Pick: Sex Education

October 27, 2010

Brigitte’s Pick: Gareth Cliff’s letter to govt. (This should be sent to all South Africans)

October 27, 2010

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Dear Government

12th October, 2010

Dear Government

OK, I get it, the President isn’t the only one in charge. The ANC believes in “collective responsibility” (So that nobody has to get blamed when things get screwed up), so I address this to everyone in government – the whole lot of you – good, bad and ugly (That’s you, Blade).

We were all so pleased with your renewed promises to deliver services (we’ll forgive the fact that in some places people are worse off than in 1994); to root out corruption (so far your record is worse than under Mbeki, Mandela or the Apartheid regime – what with family members becoming overnight millionaires); and build infrastructure (State tenders going disgustingly awry and pretty stadia standing empty notwithstanding) – and with the good job you did when FIFA were telling you what to do for a few months this year. Give yourselves half a pat on the back. Since President Sepp went off with his billions I’m afraid we have less to be proud of – Public Servants Strikes, more Presidential bastard children, increasing unemployment and a lack of leadership that allowed the Unions to make the elected government it’s bitch. You should be more than a little worried – but you’re not. Hence my letter. Here are some things that might have passed you by:

1. You have to stop corruption. Don’t stop it because rich people moan about it and because it makes poor people feel that you are self-enriching parasites of state resources, but because it is a disease that will kill us all. It’s simple – there is only so much money left to be plundered. When that money runs out, the plunderers will raise taxes, chase and drain all the remaining cash out of the country and be left with nothing but the rotting remains of what could have been the greatest success story of post-colonial Africa. It’s called corruption because it decomposes the fabric of society. When someone is found guilty of corruption, don’t go near them – it’s catchy. Making yourself rich at the country’s expense is what colonialists do.

2. Stop complaining about the media. You’re only complaining about them because they show you up for how little you really do or care. If you were trying really hard, and you didn’t drive the most expensive car in the land, or have a nephew who suddenly went from modesty to ostentatious opulence, we’d have only positive things to report. Think of Jay Naidoo, Geraldine Fraser-Moleketi and Zwelinzima Vavi – they come under a lot of fire, but it’s never embarrassing – always about their ideas, their positions, and is perfectly acceptable criticism for people in power to put up with. When the media go after Blade Nzimande, Siphiwe Nyanda and the President, they say we need a new piece of legislation to “make the media responsible”. That’s because they’re being humiliated by the facts we uncover about them daily, not because there is an agenda in some newsroom. If there had been a free press during the reigns of Henry VIII, Idi Amin or Hitler, their regimes might just have been kept a little less destructive, and certainly would have been less brazen and unchecked.

3. Education is a disaster. We’re the least literate and numerate country in Africa. Zimbabwe produces better school results and turns out smarter kids than we do. Our youth aren’t usemployed, they’re unemployable. Outcomes-based-education, Teachers’ Unions and an attitude of mediocrity that discourages excellence have reduced us to a laughing stock. Our learners can’t spell, read, add or subtract. What are all these people going to do? Become President? There’s only one job like that. We need clever people, not average or stupid ones. the failure of the Education Department happened under your watch. Someone who writes Matric now hadn’t even started school under the Apartheid regime, so you cannot blame anyone but yourselves for this colossal cock-up. Fix it before three-quarters of our matrics end up begging on Oxford Road. Reward schools and teachers who deliver great pass rates and clever students into the system. Fire the teachers who march and neglect their classrooms.

4. Give up on BEE. It isn’t working. Free shares for new black partnerships in old white companies has made everyone poorer except for Tokyo Sexwale. Giving people control of existing business won’t make more jobs either. In fact, big companies aren’t growing, they’re reducing staff and costs. The key is entrepreneurship. People with initiative, creative ideas and small companies must be given tax breaks and assistance. Young black professionals must be encouraged to start their own businesses rather than join a big corporation’s board as their token black shareholder or director. Government must also stop thinking that state employment is a way to decrease unemployment – it isn’t – it’s a tax burden. India and China are churning out new, brilliant, qualified people at a rate that makes us look like losers. South Africa has a proud history of innovation, pioneering and genius. This is the only way we can advance our society and economy beyond merely coping.

5. Stop squabbling over power. Offices are not there for you to occupy (or be deployed to) and aggrandize yourself. Offices in government are there to provide a service. If you think outrageous salaries, big German cars, first-class travel and state housing are the reasons to aspire to leadership, you’re in the wrong business – you should be working for a dysfunctional, tumbledown parastatal (or Glenn Agliotti). We don’t care who the Chairperson of the National Council of Provinces is if we don’t have running water, electricity, schools and clean streets. You work for us. Do your job, don’t imagine you ARE your job.

6. Stop renaming things. Build new things to name. If I live in a street down which the sewage runs, I don’t care if it’s called Hans Strijdom or Malibongwe. Calling it something nice and new won’t make it smell nice and new. Re-branding is something Cell C do with Trevor Noah, not something you can whitewash your lack of delivery with.

7. Don’t think you’ll be in power forever. People aren’t as stupid as you think we are. We know you sit around laughing about how much you get away with. We’ll take you down, either at the polls – or if it comes down to the wire – by revolution (Yes, Julius, the real kind, not the one you imagine happened in 2008). Careless, wasteful and wanton government is a thing of the past. The days of thin propaganda and idealized struggle are over. The people put you in power – they will take you out of it. Africa is tired of tin-pot dictators, one-party states and banana republics. We know who we are now, we care about our future – and so should you.

G”

Suzi’s Bit: Miss Etosha 2009

October 26, 2010

LOL!!

Miss Etosha 2009!!!

Thai Days: Floods

October 25, 2010

Hugh Paxton’s Blog’s “Understatement of the Day Award” goes to a Bangkok Post staff writer.

“Human life in a flooded area is miserable, debilitating and even scary.”

Even scary?

That ‘even scary’ gets the Understatement Award!

I think I’d rather go with the adjective ‘fatal’. Or ‘catastrophic’. ‘Predictable’. Or even ‘preventable.’

People have been drowning in Asia in very large numbers recently.

And now the floods have come to Thailand. Over thirty dead, 1.2 million affected in the last week, costs of flood damage to date in the region of 10 billion baht.

Bangkok is currently bracing for its own sink or swim session. It’s predicted tomorrow. Flood barriers further north are being overwhelmed and the water’s streaming south. A high tidal surge is going to join the party. It’s called North South calamity cooperation.       

“We did not expect so much rain,” explained the chief of the eighth regional Irrigation Office.  

Well, I did. And so did anybody with half a brain taking an umbrella to town to shield their heads from “so much rain”.

Fa crying out loud! Burma, Bangladesh, Vietnam, Cambodia, China, Taiwan … 

Is there a recurrent theme here?    

Yes, I think there might be.  

Human idiocy!

People motivated by greed have developed areas that are prone to floods. They’ve built all kinds of stuff – sports stadiums, golf courses, you name it, without bothering with trivia like environmental impact assessments and common sense.  They have felled forests that would naturally , and if left intact, have acted as natural sponges absorbing heavy rainfall, slowly (and beneficially) releasing water over time instead of hurling it at high speed off bald mountains. Real estate interests have encroached on Bangkok canals, narrowing them in a series of land grabs that will force excess water into tighter channels, increasing speed of flow (and then overflow).   

A couple of weeks ago I posted a brief story suggesting that Bangkok would be submerged by 2020. Not my idea, I hasten to add – the prediction was made by a bunch of scientific types. It seems their twenty twenty year scenario might have been a little optimistic.

I’ll let you know. Unless I’ve been swept away or I’m too busy filling sandbags.

BLOG ED NOTE: Hugh Paxton is known for his occasional taste for melodrama. A Bangkok flood warning was issued two weeks ago and nothing happened. So if you are an incoming tourist it may not be necessary to waste money on flotation devices or scuba gear. As for Mr Paxton’s sand bag filling remark – I find it an unlikely scenario. He doesn’t have any sand. And he doesn’t have any bags. Also he’s lost his shovel.


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