Tag Archives: south africa

A South African Fish Story | catching up with 23thorns


Something Fishy

[Terry: if only half of what’s in this story is true, it’s incredible.]

In 1950, a rather surprised angler caught a two metre Zambesi shark at the confluence of the Levuvhu and Limpopo Rivers in South Africa’s Lowveld.

Duuum dum. duum dum. dum dum, dum dum, dum dum, dum dum.

Duuum dum. duum dum. dum dum, dum dum, dum dum, dum dum.

This must have come as a little bit of a surprise, since the nearest ocean, the Indian, is over 400 km away.

Shark country.

Shark country.

The Lowveld is not however, a popular shark-fishing destination. This sort of thing had never happened before and has never happened since. In fact, the Lowveld isn’t well known for its fish at all. With good reason.

There are actually nearly fifty fish living down in the Lowveld. But you are simply almost never aware of them. The water, you see, is just a little on the dirty side. You could park a bright red Sherman tank just one inch below the surface of a Lowveld river, and you wouldn’t be aware of it until you swam into it while desperately trying to get away from a crocodile. And that crocodile should give you a clue as to how many fish there are here.

It didn't get that big by drinking protein shakes.

It didn’t get that big by drinking protein shakes.

There are seven permanent rivers in the Kruger Park, the main wildlife area of the Lowveld. In them live several thousand crocodiles. And crocodiles, despite what you see on the Discovery Channel, live mostly of fish, not wildlife documentary hosts. They do pull down the odd land creature, but that’s mostly just the very big ones. And they grow that big on fish.

It’s time for another Lowveld ecosystem post. I have been a little bit slack. I’ve been writing about the Lowveld for over a year now, and I’ve never mentioned the fish. So here goes.

The stupidest fish in the world.

I started off with a shark that had swum further up river than it should have, so let’s carry on in the same vein. I’ve always been fascinated by salmon. We are all so used to the idea of what they do that we don’t stop to think about what a remarkable thing it is. But it really is bizarre. Why? Why would an otherwise perfectly sensible fish, change its shape, give up on that whole eating thing, and leave its perfectly sensible home in the sea to swim up a river, spawn, and die when the sea seems like a perfectly adequate place for all the other fish to spawn and not die?

Is that a bear up there? That's it, guys, I'm going back to the sea.

Is that a bear up there? That’s it, guys, I’m going back to the sea.

It would seem, since the salmon’s closest relatives are the trout, that the salmon is a freshwater fish that found it was easier to live in the sea. It just never worked out how to breed there.

No. There are no Salmon in the Lowveld. We do, however, have eels. And eels, like salmon, cannot decide whether to be freshwater fish or sea fish. But they do it the other way around. The eels in the Lowveld are in what is called the feeding stage. They lurk around in that muddy, under-oxygenated water eating crabs and fish for a few years, or indeed decades, until they start to feel an unfamiliar itch. And then they start to swim towards the sea. 400 km away.

Luckily it's all downhill.

Luckily it’s all downhill.

 Much More -CLICK HERE

via 99. Something fishy. | 23thorns.

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Bestselling Author Jack Singer Won’t Be Returning To South Africa | Novel Ideas

"I will never return to South Africa," says a defiant Singer.For a writer who built his literary career on the history of South Africa, it is something he is rarely asked about. I was talking to Jack socially one night, I wanted to ask him about his life growing up in one of the most volatile countries in the world. I asked him point blank:

“Why has nobody interviewed you about your life in South Africa”?

Jack didn’t know, and neither do I.

So, I wanted to do that. This interview is about a world we know little about. The racism, the unfair equality and the way normal South Africans dealt with the disgraceful treatment of their countrymen.

Guys like Jack fought back at the Apartheid without ever picking up a gun.

via Bestselling Author Jack Singer Won’t Be Returning To South Africa | Novel Ideas.

Four Stars, lets make that 4.12432 stars (Daily Prompt) | The Rider

Hey Sweetheart We Get Rewrites

It is the Year of our Lord 2057. It is the arrivals desk at the Pearly Gates. Saint Peter stands there on duty, with a thick, thick folder in his hands.

A 90 year old man has just gone through the river Jordan (or the Styx, or the Ganges, or whatever river suits your persuasion…) He was destined to live for another 12 years. But somehow he has managed to first do a perfect doughnut, then a Stoppie, with his brand new Harley in front of the old age home.

It is the Year of our Lord 2057. It is the arrivals desk at the Pearly Gates.  Saint Peter stands there on duty, with a thick, thick folder in his hands.

A 90 year old man has just gone through the river Jordan (or the Styx, or the Ganges, or whatever river suits your persuasion…)  He was destined to live for another 12 years. But somehow he has managed to first do a perfect doughnut, then a Stoppie, with his brand new Harley in front of the old age home.

But as he was performing his best wheelie ever, the new young blond nurse walked out of the front door, and bent over to pick up her pen. As his worn out eyes could vaguely make out that beautiful twins that the Song of Songs talks about in Chapter 7, he has lost control of the bike. The one moment he thought he saw perfection, then there was a crash, followed by darkness, followed by blinding light.  He opened his eyes and there Saint Peter stood with the Book of Life of The Rider…

“First of all- I must say, that was the best attempted wheelie in the history of mankind for a 90 year old! Congratulations! The doughnut needed a bit of work, but then you do have an excuse- brand new tires just don’t spin as they should… but you are 12 years early… what to do, what to do…? I’ll have to phone a Friend… “

After a while, Saint Peter came back. He has gotten the shorter version of the thick Book of Life. The Readers Digest Condensed Book, if you like…

  •  The RIder broke a lot of laws in his life. There were a few hundred thousand instances where he did not obey the speed limit.   There were a lot of reckless driving, starting at the illegal age of 15.  There were tens of thousands of stop signs ignored.  There were even a few falls of bikes, some of them were due to that one brandy too many on a rally.   He even stole from the State sometimes, by speeding through the toll gate without paying… Verdict; Guilty!
  • The Rider had a bad temper some days. That was even more evidently so in that thousands of confrontations when one of the South African Minibus Taxi’s crossed his path. Usually without any signals involved, and sometimes making U-Turns in front of him. This usually resulted in The Rider flipping the driver The Bird. Or the Middle Finger. Or what other vulgar hand signal will translate to your persuasion.  As a pastor, he should set an example to the younger Christians in the flock…  He remembered a few dark words from his days as a bus driver and a steel factory worker, and sometimes used them to explain something to an idiot… Verdict: Guilty. (But Saint Peter thought to himself Eish… those taxi’s would cost me some holiness too…  only SAFFAS will get that one…)
  •  The Rider mixed with all people. He lived for new experiences. Yes, he did go to the bad motorbike rallies, like the Poison in South Africa…  He was seen at places his elders thought he did not belong… He even walked through Amsterdam’s Red Light district to see what the people are up to there. He tried to drink every beer available to mankind. He was too stupid to find a “daggazol”, a marijuana smoke, otherwise he would have tried that too.  He read books that was forbidden to read- he even read “50 Shades of Grey” to see what all the hoohah was about…  Verdict: Not Guilty for the mixing with all people- Jesus also mixed with all the sinners. The Rider saw himself as the biggest one of all… Guilty on all the sinning stuff…
  •  The Rider sinned in his mind.  His thoughts were not always that pure. He looked at a lot of women, and thought they were very beautiful indeed.  He considered women to be the most beautiful of all the Lord’s handiwork,  and he appreciated beauty… sometimes with a naughty thought flashing through his mind…  Verdict: Guily- (But then it could be said in his favor that he only loved one woman from the age of 21 for the rest of his life…)

So it looked pretty bad for the Rider… Guilty on nearly all charges…

But then, across the cover of the Book of Life, there stood the words in bright red letters: “Saved by His grace…”  And that cancelled out all the other Guilty Verdicts, for the price was paid in full… Tetelestai…

Come in, my son, come look at the Ride we have prepared for you!

Ps. I saw my friend Korrelkop Kahuna‘s bike as well, but they said it was still a long time before he could take possession of it…

PPs… As I walked in, I heard Saint Peter mutter: “Damn, that wheelie was gooooooooooooooood!”

via Four Stars, lets make that 4.12432 stars (Daily Prompt) | The Rider.

Memory Matters by Danny Schechter (Your News Dissector)

English: Nelson Mandela in Johannesburg, Gaute...

ImageAs he aged, Nelson Mandela turned his principal foundation into a Center of Memory, not only to share the achievements of his phenomenal life but also to keep the story of the South African freedom struggle alive for new generations. Many, in just 20 years, had forgotten, or never learned about its sacrifices.

Memory is not just the preserve of the iconic and important, but something that all of us lose with the passage of time, especially because we live in societies oriented towards living in the present, in the here and the now, with little sense of a collective past beyond what most of us learn in school and then promptly forget. In Uganda, women facing an early death from AIDS, or diseases of poverty, came up with the idea of creating “memory boxes” to collect photos, heirlooms, and family histories to share with the children who will survive them. The boxes quickly became a popular way to pass on their history, values, and reminiscences to the next generation.
In more “developed” societies, we have vast professional archives to collect and preserve documents and artifacts, even though many are dependent on funding or university support. The state of Georgia just announced that is cutting the staff that maintains its archive, while in many states and cities, funding for public libraries is disappearing. Few of these places still have bookstores, with publishers increasingly relying on on-line sales. In some towns, newspapers face extinction and Local TV news may be next. Already, the media outlets that most of us rely on minimize context and background in reporting, often recycling stenographic accounts missing in interpretation. Even as we have more technology than ever to connect us
with a changing world, it tends to be used more for entertainment than information. The most popular websites are the best-marketed ones. The
superficial still trumps the substantive.
A recent study of Monterey, California, showed how what we remember is often influenced by the powers that be. John Herbst wrote, “many people will find the elements of the Monterey experience familiar: a history represented by upper class homes; socially elite governing boards and societie  outdated and non-inclusive interpretive exhibits; the tour guide who is alocal history ‘gatekeeper;’ emphasis on decorative arts and furnishings on a historic house tour; the lack of emphasis on industrial history; the commercial exploitation of adaptively used industrial buildings.”
This is the conflict the late Howard Zinn addressed years ago in his writing on the tension between official history and “people’s history.” It surfaces time and time again, when we think about whom we remember, and what to remember. There is a personal component in this conflict for me as a long time social activist, journalist, filmmaker, and sometime troublemaker. As a storyteller and journalist, I have often used my own experiences as a prism to explore the past. As my mom, the poet Ruth Lisa Schechter quipped, “He knows
what it is because he was there when it was.” History is still being made and remade and I am hardly the only one with tales to tell. As a relatively experienced observer who has lived

English: Young Nelson Mandela. This photo date...

Young Nelson Mandela.

through decades of tumultuous change and traveled to some 70 countries, I have developed my own reporting style and framework for analysis that informs my writing

and media work. It is grounded in a personal family history as well. As the child of working class parents with an immigrant background, I grew up in a culture that worshipped great writers and a history of labor struggles. I was introduced early on to a rich history replete with leaders who battled for social justice. That shaped my own orientation. Later, my immersion in the social movements of my time—student activism, civil rights, the anti-war, and anti-apartheid battles brought me into contact with well-known activists and important leaders.
In this book, you will find an essay on a “secret” I have kept since the 60’s, my small role in the underground inside South Africa that assisted the armed struggle, that decades later,

English: Nelson Mandela's prison cell on Robbe...

English: Nelson Mandela’s prison cell on Robben Island

helped liberate that country. I helped organize unions and rent strikes. I marched in many protests in New York and Washington. I taught in freedom schools and reported on demonstrations. I wrote for and then edited a high school newspaper and college magazine. In my twenties, I began traveling the world witnessing South African apartheid in its darkest days and then the protests that rocked London, Berlin, and Paris in the late 60’s. I came back to America to pursue a career in journalism ending up as a News Dissector and the “News Dissector” at rock and roll radio, local TV news, talk programs, CNN, ABC News and later my own production company, Globalvision, where my colleagues and I made TV series and many documentaries. In my case, six were with Nelson Mandela.

I realized that there was a media war underway over what to report and how to do it. I realized that media omission was as bad as commission in the slanting of news. What we don’t know is often more important than what we think we do. Hence, my calling this collection, “Dispatches” from an ongoing conflict. In my own work, I had gone from being an outsider to an insider, and then an outsider again, always independent in spirit and critical in outlook. I went from the underground press to the mainstream media, from print to radio and TV, and back to print. Today I am often on the air around the world, commenting for BBC, Al Jazeera, Press TV, Russia Today, Saudi Arabia TV, and even Austrian radio, but rarely, if ever, for the networks I used to work for. I do appear weekly on Reverend Jesse Jackson’s Keep Hope Alive Radio show, and contribute to websites worldwide.
As the digital age dawned, I went online in 1986 and never came back. I was part of teams that launched various websites, and have written a daily blog for almost 12 years. (You can follow it at I wrote my first book on what it was like to work in the trenches of mainstream media in 1997. It was called The More You Watch the Less You Know. Afterwards, I seem to have written a new one every year for a small following, often – alas – poorly promoted by small independent publishers. They tried, but the big houses get more attention for their books because they have advertising budgets that smaller imprints lack. I have written about media, war, politics and activism. My last two books are, Blogothon , a collection of some of my online work, and Occupy: Dissecting Occupy Wall Street,  a report on the contemporary fight for economic justice.
This book on your screen is #15, probably the last one because it became clear that while I had the energy to write and churn them out, I didn’t have the wherewithal or connections to get them distributed as widely as I would have liked. I would like to think that it is not due to their quality. It may be that all these multimedia interests, flitting from blogging, to movie making, all my globetrotting, and a blend of activism and journalism ensured that I had no one “field” to be associated with or remembered for. It seems axiomatic that to develop a public profile, you have to do “one thing well.” That advice never fit well with my more hyperactive personality.
We live in the age of the brand, and among the many who compete for attention in the highly commercialized “media space,” the notion of a “News Dissector” may be regarded more as a catchy phrase, but not for a serious body of work, despite an Emmy and other media awards. A media careerist might see me as my own worst enemy for trying to do too many projects and too quickly. It is a criticism I hear frequently and there is some truth to it. We are told that people who act as their own lawyers “have a fool for a client,” so the writer and filmmaker who tries to do his own PR invites charges of being self-promotional, and then, can be ignored. However, I don’t feel ignored. I have been blessed by being associated with teams of colleagues who work with me, put up with me, and encourage my pursuits. I am proud of what I have accomplished and I am hardly the only dissenter and critic whose work is ignored by the guardians of the status quo.
What a long and sometimes strange trip it has been and continues to be. I am always dancing on the edge of the contradictions, somehow managing to find the funding and audiences to keep going. I can still drop names with the best of them, but none of it matters when you are working in what people on the inside consider the “wilderness,” a place reserved for marginalized voices and gadflies. How I hate that putdown!

I have dipped my fingers in many oceans, traveled up the Yangtze and down the Ho Chi Minh trail. I organized rent strikes in Harlem and taught at a civil rights Freedom School in Mississippi. I have been underground in the secret war against apartheid and over ground up on the mountaintop with the economic elite in Davos, Switzerland. I traveled with the Dalai Lama, marched with Martin Luther King, rallied with SDS, dined with Malcolm X, met Jean-Paul Sartre, connected with Fela, Amilcar Cabral, Oliver Tambo, and Samora Machel in Africa. Visited the home of Patrice Lumumba in Kinshasa, and more recently, ran with Occupy Wall Street on, where else, Wall Street. I also met Yasser Arafat, Le Duc Tho, and later, yuck, HenryKissinger and Spiro T. Agnew.

I yippied with Abbie Hoffman, helped produce the all-star Sun City anti- apartheid album with Little Steven, Bruce Springsteen, Bono and Miles Davis et al. Profiled Tina Turner and Bob Dylan, did one of the first national TV reports on hip-hop, visited John and Yoko at home, shook hands with Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, Teddy Kennedy and Tip O’Neil, and had lunch

with George Soros. I have been more fulfilled by what I have been able to produce, than by connecting briefly with the “good and the great.” I have been to many political conferences, media conferences and TV award ceremonies. I have been to China and many Chinatowns. Sometimes I felt like Woody Allen’s Zelig.

I would like to think my investigations were ahead of their time, including a film warning of the financial crisis in 2006 and another explaining why it was a crime story, not just an economic miscalculation. I did a film exposing election fraud in 2000, another calling for tolerance in the aftermath of 9/11, and yet another, explaining how Barack Obama won in 2008.
I wrote the first book published on the Iraq War along with a film exposing the role of our own TV industry as propagandists called WMD: Weapons of Mass Deception. At points, I have been widely published, and at other points ignored, or spied upon by the CIA and FBI. I know because I have seen my files. In one of my most wannabe revolutionary moments, one of their informants praised me as likeable if “funky” for wearing my hair in the “bouffant style of a woman.” So, even as I saw myself as a feared militant, they saw me as a teddy bear. Some activists even considered me an agent because I knew too much about the covert world, or because of the paranoia and suspicion that festers in the left political culture.
I know of only a few friends, comrades, and colleagues who have been as immersed, and learned so much, in the course of so many adventures, doing so many things, going so many places, over so many decades, from the 1940’s through 2012 and still counting. This book and my earlier work is one way of giving back, sharing what I care about and hoping you will care too.

[ Terry: For once, I’d have to agree with the FBI, Danny is a teddy bear. An exceptionally impassioned teddy bear devoted to individual freedom and the value of knowledge. But still a teddy bear.  If you read my Post My Long Night With Hunter Thompson, Danny was one of my friends who made up the impossible band of 4 Senior Producer who tried to steer The Worst Show on Television in 4 different directions (sort of an editorial Amistad). On the other hand, he’s one of the people in television that make you feel like you haven’t gone anywhere no matter how many places you’ve been.

Danny’s book is available for a free download at

and I strongly recommend it — even if you don’t agree with his politics.

Or better yet, especially if you don’t agree with his politics.]

The Journey… (Daily Prompt) | The Rider

Daily Prompt: Journey

by michelle w. on May 26, 2013

Tell us about a journey — whether a physical trip you took, or an emotional one.


I have had so many smaller journeys on the One Big Journey of Life. I had a hard time to think about which one to share. And then I decided to share the first one, when leaving my parents’ house.

I had finished matric, and also had my first stint at Iscor, the South African steel producer. But it had also been a traumatic Christmas holiday- we buried my youngest sister after she passed away from cancer. And two weeks later my first girlfriend in my life broke up with me, the day before Christmas. Talk about finishing your school days with a bang…

In these times I had to go on towards my adult life, leaving the security of childhood in the past.

I had enrolled at a university 500 km away from my parent’s house. There are only 3 universities in South Africa where our church train pastors. I chose not to go to the nearest one, because I wanted a clean start in adult life. Some of my interpersonal experiences in the high school just made me want for a totally new environment, without having to bump into some school day enemies…

At the University I went to, first year students are not allowed to bring cars onto the campus. I also still had my old trusty Honda MB5, which was much lighter on the juice… much more affordable transport in the city for a student anyway.


So the first real journey in my adult life was when I decided to ride the bike to University. The old 50 cc’s were not fast, and also not fun to do a long distance trip with. But I just had the need to do it. I was overwhelmed with a lot of emotions I can not even today begin to describe… Extremely sad about my youngest sister’s death. Absolute terror for the hazing I knew was coming in the university dormitory. Fear of leaving my old world behind to start something new. Hope for the future, a new chapter in my life was beginning. Looking forward to meeting the famous university girls. Maybe one day meeting my future wife… Fear for the Greek and Hebrew that were waiting for me (and it was much worse than my worst nightmares!)

With that beautiful mixture of flavours in my emotional condition I said goodbye to Mom and Dad, and my middle sister, and climbed onto my MB5 to ride the road to the future…


And like Forrest Gump said: That is all I want to say about that…

PS. It took me about 8 hrs to complete the journey…

via The Journey… (Daily Prompt) | The Rider.

Welcome to a new friend – The Happy Guide

The Happy Guide

Hi people this is our new blog. We are going to post everything about the happiness. You can be part of our journey around the best places that you can visit. We gonna show you many ways to improve your health, mindset, brain activity. We gonna supply you with as many guns as you can carry – Just joking (we are trying to be funny ) . Hope that you will be on board in this adventure with us.

via About | The Happy Guide.


Do you like the big screen of IMAX? Every time when I watch movie at this huge screen its awesome, I always want to come back into the theater. Last time when i was there I watched “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” in 3D. I felt like the hobbit hits me to the head :D
Now we can watch movies at the big screen of IMAX, at Home! Yes it’s realistic, maybe it will cost a little bit, but I’m sure it will be Amazing !

IMAX designs every aspect of the IMAX Private Theatre – from our renowned projection and sound technology to the room acoustics and theatre geometry – to work as a fully integrated solution that is optimized specifically for your home.


Now, IMAX has combined its industry-leading expertise, cutting-edge proprietary and patented technology and architecture to bring the world’s most immersive entertainment experience to select homes with the IMAX Private Theatre™.

Once the system is up and running, the company’s service center remotely monitors it 24 hours a day, and will reportedly respond in less than five minutes if something goes amiss.The official website doesn’t actually specify a price, opting instead to invite serious customers to set up a “personal introduction.” However, according to DTV USA Forum, the home IMAX systems will run between $1 million and $2 million.

Where to surf ?

Where is the best spot in the world to ride the waves? We all love the big waves, I started getting interested in Surfing, when once I saw “Baywatch” and in one of the episodes, a beauty girl rode the waves and she was amazing!
In the next rows i want to share with you some of the best places where you can go to surf and to have a great time with your friends to ride the waves.

1.Tamarindo, Costa Rica :  ecuador-montanita-l playa-tamarindo-witches-rock
After the popular surfing film The Endless Summer 2 showcased Tamarindo’s goods, tourists were tripping over themselves trying to get to this Central American hotspot. Now developed into a full-fledged resort, Tamarindo has not lost its edge as an exclusive surfing spot. Spots like Little Hawaii and Witch’s Rock are among the most legendary, thanks to aggressive swells and almost perfect weather.

2.Jeffrey’s Bay, South Africaflat,550x550,075,f dolphins-surfing-supertubes
A notorious surfing destination thanks to its six superb breakpoints and consistently great weather all year, Jeffrey’s Bay sees some picture-perfect waves roll onto its beaches, including “Kitchen Windows,” “Magna Tubes” and “Albatross.” It is no wonder the popular Billabong Surfing Festival attracts the world’s best surfers here every July — the conditions are ideal.

3.Pipeline, HawaiiAn underwater view of surfers above the reef, at Pipeline, on the north shore of Oahu, Hawaii pipeline 01
Here it is — the daddy of all waves. It’s the site most surfers will never be good enough to surf, but dream of riding its perfect crest. Aptly, it’s located at the island that created surfing, and is one of the heaviest waves in the world, scaling over six meters over a shallow base of razor blade table reef. If you’ve got the balls, charge this flawless water tube and experience one of nature’s finest creations.

Any surfer will tell you: once you’ve hopped on a board once, you just can’t stop. So even the inexperienced wave lovers who want to catch some big breaks and add “dude,” “tubular” and “awesome” to their everyday lingo should seriously check out these 10 destinations. Each one offers great surfing conditions in an idyllic setting where you can hit the water hard during the day and then experience a resort at night. So, are you ready to ride?

sweetheart rewrite COMBINE 2
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Singer FOR FREE! Get Your Free E-Book Right Now! | Novel Ideas

Singer FOR FREE! Get Your Free E-Book Right Now!

Giveaway, Relationships

by nickwale

jacobsingerrBestselling South African writer Jacob Singer has finally released his brand new and totally FREE E-book!

The Vase with the Many Coloured Marbles has been available for sometime as a paperback and as a download… BUT NOW you can get your free sample copy off Amazon for nothing.

Jacob has been lauded as one of the most exciting writers to come out of South Africa.

Praise for “The Vase with the Many Coloured Marbles:

“Let me begin by saying this is not the kind of book I gravitate to. I read it out of curiosity after the many comments I read about it. But once I began I was completely drawn into the story.

The book spans the decades before and during the struggle to deal with apartheid in South Africa, up to recent years. Singer follows two female characters, a mother, Emma, and daughter Marla through Emma‘s early years, right into Marla’s adulthood, from the times of a racist country in the throes of Apartheid to the present struggle to rid itself of the lingering effects of that destructive policy. This is a book about politics, racism, and the struggle for equality. Yet it avoids the common pitfalls of focusing on the sensational aspects that so often show in acts of rage and violence. Rather, it stays inside the lives of two very `real’ people learning how to live in a segregated world without losing their dignity or becoming embroiled in violence. These are the stories we do NOT see in the news. And it is this approach that makes” The Vase With The Many Coloured Marbles” an engaging, thoughtful, often tender tale that draws the sympathetic reader in. At the same time it manages to educate the reader about life, politics, and the struggle for equality in South Africa. It teaches without preaching, speaks without orating, educates without becoming academic.”~ 5 Star Review

via Singer FOR FREE! Get Your Free E-Book Right Now! | Novel Ideas.
The Vase with the Many Coloured Marbles: Book 1, EMMA Book 2, MARLA

24. The Spear. | 23thorns

May 22, 2013

24. The Spear.

Art isn’t really a big deal round here. Sure, the big cities have a gallery or two, and like every country we do have a community of both artists and art lovers, but the vast majority of us, even those who are better educated and better off, are about as likely to pop into a gallery over the weekend as we are to attempt the world naked backward-running record. We don’t see anything fundamentally wrong with it, it just doesn’t occur to us. Except for last year. Last year, we all became rabid art critics for a month or two.

The whole of South Africa, May, 2012

The whole of South Africa, May, 2012

There is an artist out here called Brett Murray. I had never heard of him before, but apparently he had had some success, both here and overseas. He had an exhibition, coincidentally round the corner from where I worked, called “Hail to the Thief”. As I have said before, I’m no art critic, but I didn’t think it was particularly good. It was basically just a series of visual jokes and digs at our ruling party.

There were ANC badges with “For Sale” Stickers attached. There were posters echoing South Africa’s struggle for liberation, but instead of demands for freedom and equality, there were demands for Chivas Regal, BMW’s, and bribes. Like I say, I wasn’t blown away. It was all too obvious. There was no subtlety to it. But up against one wall, in boldly contrasting black and red, there was a bombshell. It was called “The  Spear”. It will seem familiar to you, because you’ve seen this;


There he is. Lenin. The man of the people. The great leader, thrusting himself boldly into the future. He is imposing. Defiant. Heroic. Even godlike.

Here was our version;


There he is. Zuma. The man of the people. The great leader, thrusting himself boldly into the future. He is imposing. Defiant. Heroic. Even godlike. And he has his dong out.

This should come as no surprise. The man is in danger of becoming a parody of himself. Despite being rather busy as the president, Zuma has a quite staggering after-hours programme. His sex-life would exhaust the average twenty-year-old. Zuma is seventy.

He has, as we speak, four wives. One would think that that would, at his age, seem like rather too much nocturnal company. It isn’t enough. He’s engaged to be married again. That isn’t enough either, it would seem. You see, our President has fourteen children by his wives. But he has over twenty two children. They keep popping out of the woodwork.

When he was charged with rape, the original judge had to recuse himself because it turned out Zuma had fathered a child by his sister. He had another two children with a businesswoman in Pietermaritzburg. And another three with a woman in Jo’burg. And another one with a woman in Richards Bay. And he’s just had another with the daughter of a famous football manager. At some point, people were going to start pointing and laughing. And point and laugh we did.

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Welcome to a new friend: Mayuri Ramkolowan |


This blog is about all the silly on goings in my life as business owner of handprinted homewear company mesawstudio and all the nonsensical things i manage to fit in between m.e.s.a.w. and being a new wife and the mom of the cutest pups in the world.

I hope to give insight into how and why I do what I do for mesaw and allow you to have a new appreciation for that which is hand and home made! Because well, what’s better than owning something that has more love than machine?

This blog is going to be my diary of my weekly love for art, colour, mesaw, my husband, family, friends and my dogs! Hopefully you all will become quite acquainted with them soon.

Thank you for joining in on my quest in creating art, building a business, family and a home filled with colour!

via About |

Day 4 – Bullet your day

  • Showered – no time for gym this morning.
  • Yummy eggs on toast with Yash at home.
  • Dropped Yash off at the Gautrain.English: Map showing the Gautrain route overla...
  • Check ink levels for printing today – yay no mixing colours today..
    (not my most favourite task of the day)
  • Chat to Laura and Nishtha (this happens daily, if not, I cry myself to sleep).
  • Got invited to a pizza dinner at my cousin Sushma’s place – both our husbands are studying so just a quick one. Awesome! No cooking today! Fantastic.
  • Fed Dogs
  • Waste a bit of time on facebook, twitter and wordpress.
  • Put Tacky on printing table
  • Filled big tub with nice warm water for washing screens. (My hands deserve it)
  • Print!
  • Messed up a print
  • Tried to fix print.. Fail
  • Cleaned screens.
  • Shout at screens and failed print for ruining my happy Friday
  • Replied to emails.
  • Complained to Yash about my Failed day of printing – he talked me into continuing.. so I did, – he’s great isn’t he! Too bad! He’s mine! Boo hoo for you.
  • Print, print print print
  • Light Lunch, Sjoe.
  • Print print.. shout at print!
  • Gym! Yay?? – Gym was awesome! Really starting to enjoy this new schedule.
  • Shower.
  • Dry hair – in my case this takes longer than cooking lunch sometimes.
  • Go for dinner – awesome catch up time and great spending time with the kids.
  • Sew my challenge for today.Sewing tools
  • Figure out what this is that I have sewn.
  • Photograph shoe travel pouch.
  • Pour glass of wine
  • Finish Blog post heehee
  • Chill out!!

Travel shoe pouch.

Okay so I hope that wasn’t too much detail! For my sewing challenge today I was not keen on sewing something that I could actually sell because I am still trying to get used to the high speed on this new machine. So instead I just took an off-cut and played with it and this is what I created. Its a bit random but since I am going on holiday next month I think its great!

It could also be used as cute pouch for a gift… It really is quite random.

Have a great weekend everyone! My bed awaits me. Going to enjoy a lie in tomorrow and no gym haha!

Night Night …zzz

Welcome to a new friend: Michelle – Beneath the Sakura Tree

Beneath the Sakura Tree


Since you’ve found this blog sufficiently interesting enough to come here, I’ll try my best not to bore the pants off you. (Really, please. Keep them on.)

Who (am I?):

My name is Michelle. My existence from about 5 years ago became focused on getting the better of my double degree in B. (Comm)2 (Commerce and Communications). While I am an abused student by day, I am a third culture kid (business brat) by night. I enjoy learning about other cultures, expanding my taste palette, and confusing people by changing my accent constantly. I like pretty colours, winter mornings and rainy summers, matcha lattes and sakura blossoms, and building castles in the sky.

Why (am I doing this?):

I first got into blogging in Malaysia, then co-hosted a blog with a friend when I moved to South Africa, chronicling the differences between life in Africa and Asia. After the institution of learning (university) sucked the life and soul out of me, I stopped to find my feet again and reflect on my life’s ambition. Six years on, they are currently planted in Perth, WA, and while I may not believe that I will one day be a writer, I do like to write. So beneath my (very imaginary) sakura tree, I plan to pause, reflect, explore and write. (and hopefully recover my soul again)

What (could I possibly find interesting enough to write about?):

Politics. Big P, not small p, particularly Malaysian and South African. I believe in taking the side of the underdog, especially when it would be injustice not to do so.

Food. Eating it that is. If recipes start popping up here, then it means my own cooking has not killed me off (yet). I am a self-professed foodie despite my lack of judgmental taste buds and budget.

Shopping. All the time, every time. Somebody would be making a wise decision to hire me as a merchandising manager.

Travel. Into which I somehow manage to combine all three of the above.

Japan(ophile). I have a life long dream of living in Japan for at least a year just to taste, smell, experience, and wonder.

Job hunting. As a fresh graduate, I am experiencing the trials and tribulations of finding a boss in a decent company who would like to work with me for at least 5 years. I can work, I promise – JUST HIRE ME.

Books, movies and general geekiness. We will automatically be friends if you also enjoy the Hobbit, Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter and Dan Brown books.

“It’s a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there’s no knowing where you might be swept off to.” – The Lord of the Rings

via About | Beneath the Sakura Tree.

GE13 through rose coloured glasses. Is the glass half-full, or half-empty?

Today has been quite a tiring day for me, emotionally and mentally.

Today, Malaysians took to their respective polling centers, tense and hyper-aware of their surroundings as they went to war against the dirtiest, most historical election Malaysia has ever seen.

Among many of the conspiracy theories included foreign workers being bribed with Malaysian citizenship and (supposedly) RM500 to vote for the current government, as well as police officers protecting these foreign voters and possible riots and fights breaking out in Malaysia.

All this while, it’s been difficult, sitting at home and watching the results. For one thing, I no longer know what to believe. I believe that our current government is corrupt, but I also know that Malaysians have a wild streak for gossip. Coupled with the frenzy of social media, it has resulted in a wild, bloodthirsty outburst of information, willing to devour any believer.

It’s been very hard for me to believe that anyone, much less my own government (BN) could be so corrupt and dirty as PKR supporters would have us believe. Then again, it’s also been tough for me to believe that PKR will be as clean as they hope to be, given the number of UMNO members who have changed sides.

At the end of all this, it’s come down to the waiting game. Many are dispirited, and afraid, although we tell ourselves to cling to the hope of a brighter, better Malaysia. We’re all still tense (those of us who have been watching the election anyway) as we await to hear the verdict on the future of every Malaysian.

So my final take is this. Do I continue to look at the world through rose coloured glasses? Is the glass half full, or half empty? And after today, my glass is really already starting to look half empty.

As Anne Frank once wrote in her diary, “I keep my ideals, because in spite of everything I still believe that people are really good at heart.” I believe that Malaysia has changed, in this case for better. We are no longer the politically passive or apathetic nation we once were. We are smarter and more vigilant than before. We know our rights, and we will stand by them, as all Malaysians should.

At the same time, I can hope that these elections do not change us at the very core. Many fair skinned indians and naturalised bangladeshis suffered today due to Malaysians wanting to keep Malaysia for Malaysians. But we have to remember that Malaysia compromises of many races. Judging each other by face value only takes us back to square one, when Malaysians were divided and in this way, conquered.

So Malaysia, I choose to look at you as a glass half full, with the other half waiting to be filled with all the wonderful potential I know Malaysians have. Whoever wins tonight (and I am waiting on tenterhooks) I know that we can only progress from there. I am not looking for immediate grand, sweeping and unsustainable changes, but the many small baby steps that will take us a long way into becoming the Malaysia that we need to be.

Malaysia doesn’t need to have a new government to change.

We are the change.

sweetheart rewrite COMBINE 2

Welcome to a new friend: Kendall F. Person, thepublicblogger

via A Lonely World | Kendall F. Person, thepublicblogger.

behind the scenes

chess – Sacramento, CA                                                                                                                              the author began the journey in 1997. life happens and his journey collapsed. in 2012, a close friend informed him that it was time to get back up. so he picked up the remnants, deciding to roll the dice. at the time, uncertainty would not allow him to write another novel,  so his very close friend, said “no worries, just take it slow. you will start a new journey as thepublicblogger“.

in 2013, thepublicblogger has begun introducing his literature to the world, as the author, Kendall F. Person….once again.

it is our vision to always deliver thought-provoking, all -inclusive editorials & opinion pieces, along with breathtaking fiction. we long to provide entertainment and engage vibrant discussion

Crystalkay Fairrington, Video Production 4 Literary Promotions

Kendall F. Person, The Literary Director

Phoenix Rising: Kendall F. Person’s The Hypocrisy of War the conclusion

Navy Seal Chris Kyle

“It was my duty to shoot the enemy, and I don’t regret it. My regrets are for the people I couldn’t save: Marines, soldiers, buddies. I’m not naive, and I don’t romanticize war. The worst moments of my life have come as a SEAL. But I can stand before God with a clear conscience about doing my job.”

In dedication to our Veteran Soldiers.
In solidarity with the families of our Veteran Soldiers.
In appreciation to the legion of professionals, volunteers, civil servants, persons of spiritual faith, and persons of their own beliefs who are committed to finding, building and implementing a solution.

We all have something left to give.

Message StonesI believe its a beautiful life. I believe that the blue skies that greet me each morning, and the moon that rises each night are beautiful sights. I believe that the Arctic ocean, teeming with life and the Atacama Desert, where life struggles to survive, are both beautiful places. I believe in second chances, in most cases, and that a broken heart can mend if it finds the right places. I believe that we all have a purpose, and I believe that no purpose outweighs any other, and while I throw absolutely no stones, for they may drop and shatter my own home, I do believe not trying to fulfill that purpose, may be the one stone that even a newborn child would wish to throw.

There is a value to every life.

ste[sIf you are rich, if you are poor makes no difference in a discussion of humanity. If you are fast, if you are slow, plays no role, as life goes on every day, so there is no first place or dead last, nor a single winner holding on to a cup of gold. Two legs, we can walk. One leg, then hop. Confined to a chair, we can still see the same blue sky and breathe in the same fresh air. There is a purpose as to why we are here. Not exemplary -below – just examples.

As disease devoured his body, a brilliant scientist still gave the world A Brief History in Time. A single mother, living below the poverty line, still raised a child who would be President in time. A wealthy philanthropist, not content with giving away gifts, builds a school in South Africa, contributing knowledge to a new generation, not far removed from the scars of apartheid sin. A humble father of two, throws himself on the subway tracks, to save the life of a man, he had never seen, not one day in his life.

But what if you have nothing left.

file0001083610876What if the person you were, is lost in the jungles of a distant land. What if you lived in a nation where there is no draft. Your service to your country is voluntary, and you swear that you will defend it, until your very last breath. What if bombs exploded, taking the legs of the soldier fighting next to you, and the life of your favorite pal. What if a child approached and you had orders to shoot him down, and what if the enemy had you surrounded  and you knew your mother at home would never recover from losing her only child. But what if you survived all of that, and you were finally headed home, but the heroes welcome you expected, never materialized, now you feel all alone.

We all have something left to give, but some of our soldiers gave it all away so that the rest of us could live.

Phoenix Rising Kendall F. Person’s The Hypocrisy of War the conclusion

written, developed & edited by Kendall F. Person. thepublicblogger
video production by Crystalkay Fairrington
music by P-Shaw Productions
Inspired by our Veteran Soldiers

bellCamelot, CA A young company, a techno player on the rise, played host to the ringing of the bell. Scoffing at the billion dollars in cash offered by the true industry giants, SodGom Industries believed their own hype and got caught in a bidding war that they had no business ever being involved in. Even as the true wealth pulled up stakes, SodGom stayed along for the ride, finally outbidding the stalwarts by more than two hundred million dollars. Draining their accounts, borrowing from the banks, and playing a game of numbers with payroll, leaving hundreds of employees and their families, unwittingly, betting it all on a single win.

Thousands made the pilgrimage up the hill. The planned media circus had become three-ringed, and a giant clock, nicknamed little Ben, towered above the foothills. The corporate executives clanked their flutes of champagne and imagined that the success of this one event, would allow them to buy everything in the whole wide world.

3.6 miles away, Private Donald and Mrs. Robyn Lawson were still embraced in  one another’s arms. Their lips touching, their hearts beating, their happiness so overwhelming that even the minster who was presenting the newly formed union to the world, could not hold back the tears. Robyn looked so beautiful in the wedding gown, passed down from her mom. Private Lawson seemed at home again, and his mind was no longer trapped in time. Their embrace came apart, and husband and wife turned to face their guests. Cheers went out among them, for the perfect day was now at hand.

treesBack at the christening of little Ben, Dr. Melanie Scott Jordan was on her phone. The hippies were back on their drums, the counting was down to 5, with only four seconds to go, she screamed into the receiver to the governor’s assistant’s deaf ear. “Get him on the phone, now!” but all she got in return, was that the governor was in a meeting and could not be disturbed.

The Veterans in the league, who recognized that the war had already begun, tried to commandeer all their troops, but the line had been drawn. The homeless veterans began to circle the wagon as their minds flashed back and forth, until their reality firmly planted them at war’s door.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOn January 10, 2013, The Guardian Express Las Vegas added an in-depth article to their website titled ‘PTSD suicide more deadly to American Soldiers than Combat’ . While it does give a clear cause and affect of post traumatic stress disorder, its real purpose is to open discussion on finding a solution to what some have called an epidemic (according to the Pentagon, in 2012, more soldiers took their own lives than died in combat). A hosts of professionals, including several American Veterans, offered communities advice on how to help their soldiers in making a successful transition upon returning home.

Individually, the pieces are not groundbreaking (service dogs, psychiatric drugs, supported by non-pharmaceutical anxiety lowering treatments to decrease drug dependency, job retraining, a spiritual connection, and the need to know where and how to seek and obtain each treatment) but it is the puzzle, not the pieces creating the cracks.  It is a necessity for an airtight, integrated plan between government, non-profits and communities be woven, to have a realistic chance to better, or in too many cases, save the lives of men and women, who earned the right to be welcomed home with dignity and honor.

Continue reading →

23 Thorns: 6.Hitchcock might have been on to something! | 23thorns

6.Hitchcock might have been on to something!

One of my fondest childhood memories is watching my younger cousin get attacked by a chicken. We were visiting his parent’s holiday house when we fell foul of the local rooster, a feathery behemoth with crazy eyes and spurs the size of a man’s thumb. The moment he saw us, he came steaming across the lawn, flapping and squawking like a banshee. We fled inside, breathless and laughing with terror. And that should have been the end of it.

But it wasn’t. Because we were boys. The door we fled into was the kitchen door. It had a large window set into it, and as we slammed it behind us, the rooster reared up against this, beating it with his wings and slashing it with his spurs. Excellent! We spent a happy afternoon seeing how close we could sneak up to the demented fowl, before rushing screaming back into the kitchen to watch him beat out his impotent rage against the window.




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Welcome to a new friend: 23thorns

I have never been particularly good at this sort of thing- there is nothing worse for me than sitting in a room full of strangers and hearing the guy standing up at the front say “when it comes to your turn, please stand up, tell us your name, and tell us a little about yourself” so I will try to keep this brief. Here we go:

I was a bookseller, at a time when the whole industry was changing.

I am married to someone smarter and better looking than me. She’s also in the book trade.

I have two children, an 8 year old boy and a 3 year old girl. I think they are better looking than me. They think they are smarter.

I was trying to write a book, and using this blog to keep myself going. Instead, I discovered that blogging was much more fun than writing a book, so now I’m a blogger.

If there’s anything I’ve left out, feel free to ask. I will try not to be too evasive in my responses.

via About | 23thorns.

(Editor’s note: 23thorns has made it a fetish to hide his real name so I’m unable to post a link to his books online. I mean, I’ve been to South Africa twice and got arrested once and I still use my real name!)

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