My 5 favourite words in English [writersbootcamp]

With less than 30mins to smash out a piece about my five favourite words in English, the only words that come to mind are worthy of soap in the mouth.

Why not start with one of those actually? No need to get all fancy and clever. A few moments ago I looked at the clock and thought “fuck”; yes, I said it and even though it will be frowned upon, it’s a word we use all the time. By virtue of the frequency with which we use it, it must be an all time favourite for most of the world.

Now, onto that second word, which now, coupled with deadline induced anxiety and writer’s block, completely evades me and prevents from properly using the word phenomenal. A word I love and try use as little as possible to really maximise its impact.

Word three and I’m 15 minutes away from the new ‘topic of the day’. My first word chiming in every moment I write closer to 6pm and taking me further away from an exquisite blog post. Ha! There it is. Exquisite holds an air of prestige and class; one does not simply throw this around like the common “umm” or “huh”. It is reserved for occasions where your level of being impressed is at a maximum.

Speaking of being impressed and using an easy word to get by, one of my all time favourites, which was in all likelihood birthed in the 80s is cool. No really, the word is cool. If I had a preverbal penny for every time I said cool, I’d be able to fund Joburg’s e-tolls for a week.

Wow, and with that, the fifth and final favourite word is here. A word I use to delicately describe something that is just lovely; not amazing, not phenomenal nor cool, but just lovely. It’s like an ice-cream on Sunday afternoon or a Roger Federer leaping forehand…just lovely.

5 minutes to spare and I managed to write about 5 of my favourite words. No doubt, the second I post this, a flurry of more impressive words will hit me.

 

Even if you know me well, you don’t know this [writersbootcamp]

Much like a detox, a gym contract or never-ending plan to spring-clean the house, this blog-a-day situation may lose it’s appeal after day 5, at which point I may find something else to write about or just live vicariously through the blogs of other more determined people.

This then, is less about the content of my posts, but rather about running a blog marathon and not a sprint. These daily ramblings of a 20-something year old bachelor from Joburg may, I hesitate to say, become a daily rant or cry platform where the topic will unjustly be post-rationalised and wrapped up before anyone knows any better.

So as not to do any injustices to the concept on launch day, let me tackle the topic at hand.

I assume, and given human nature, that the vast majority of the blogs submitted will be inward focussed; people looking to share a secret only a High School boarding master knows, or perhaps it’s an opportunity to take a stab at your parents who told you writing was not a real job. Regardless, I’ll attempt to look into the future and not share sob stories.

So, even if you know me well, you don’t know this – by the time inspired bloggers are done with 30 days of 60 minute writing, the Fifa Soccer World Cup will have concluded, Julius Malema would’ve said something controversial and the Oscar Pistorius trial will have drawn to an anti-climatical end, and winter? Well, that will be a thing of the past.

How quickly we forget

Where many people panicked at the end of 2012 about the end of the world, I think the more recent events in Mzansi are better “suited” to an Armageddon.

In the first few weeks of 2013, South Africa was in the news spotlight and could only be described as, among other things: cringe-worthy, repulsive or a no-go zone. Newspapers were oozing with stories of rape, murder and ofcourse the perpetual news leader, corruption.

How have we reacted to these news reports? We’ve tweeted, we’ve listened to beeps on radio stations, we wore black t-shirts on Fridays and we’ve even stood at popular intersections waving beautifully printed posters, picketing around other people who sit in their fancy air-conditioned German sedans hooting in protest.

These actions of convenient protest and anger don’t do anything in my opinion. The woman who was raped by 8 men may appreciate your Sandton protest, but unfortunately has not been helped by your contribution to the noise level in the hub of South African business.

 

Lately, South Africans have been filled with two distinct emotions; anger and pride. Anger, around the surge in crime and pride for being a part of the reactionary awareness campaigns against these crimes. Yes, awareness campaigns.

The issue I have with these campaigns is that they do wonders for awareness but nothing for action. People, who hoot, wear black and post tweets with provocative hashtags feel good about making a contribution in the eyes of those who are making the same contribution.

While it seems as though I’m pointing a very big finger, I point it with the knowledge that I have done something; I didn’t hoot or wear black, but rather gave time to victims of abuse. I’ve sat and attempted to console a teary-eyed father carrying his daughter into a hospital because she had been molested. Granted, my contribution is not for everyone. But seriously if posters, tweets and hooting alone solved the problem then the hashtag #FirstWorldProblems would be all we’d need to worry about.

So, what has come of those campaigns? Where are the traffic hoots, tweets and powerful black posters? Well, they’ve been forgotten. It was “fun” for a while and we all got together for one common cause. But people are being raped and abused everyday. What are we doing to stop it?

If it were a campaign to bring the country together, foster patriotism and feel good about making a noise then 10-points to all South Africans. But the issues still remain, and we cannot sit back and wait for the next big spout of horrific news reports to send us into a mild protesting frenzy.

I’m not going to leave this article on an inspirational note nor will I provide solutions to the world’s problems, but rather pose a question:

What have you done, what have you actually done?

Zombie nation

2012 has really become the year of the Zombie. The undead have become somewhat of a cult trend, with their appearance in games, apps, clothing and movies.

 

The craze hasn’t ended there though. For those who are bored with regular cheerful garden gnomes and have a morbid fascination with creatures from beyond the grave, today’s find will surely have you reaching for your wallet.

Lawn decorations have taken a step into the weird with these zombies. Lifelike garden models can be bought a placed strategically to fend off bystanders or annoying neighbours or perhaps just look good.

And where can you get one of these? Amazon ofcourse.

Take the Leap

It’s been while since I’ve posted a Find of the day. All the more reason to post something truly spectacular. The last few weeks/months have seen a flurry in varying bits of tech that seem to be a small upgrade to a previous version of themselves. Be it apps, smartphones and tablets. All fun and semi exciting, but nothing to swipe home about.

While trawling the Internet I came across this, a piece of tech, which had me watching in awe and re-watching a number of times.

When Steven Spielberg’s Minority Report was released a decade ago, it was easily one of the most popular flicks from a sci-fi and tech point of view. The ground breaking UI (user interface) and multi-touch software had people’s hands in the air wishing they could be Tom Cruise, even for a moment to experience the splendor. Since then we have fallen in love with a genius, billionaire, playboy philanthropist. Yes, Iron Man. Who has shown you can be a rock star and nerd at the same time.

His intuitively controlled gadgets saw the birth of a new era in hand gestures and interactive play. So, today’s find is really life mimicking art/film.

This mind-blowing item merges you with your desktop and/or laptop. The days of clicking your mouse really hard to get it to work are over.

I introduce to you, the Leap! Only the size of a flash drive, the small addition to your desk, makes a difference second to none. You can now become a poorer version of Tony Stark meets Chief John Anderton.

The device lets you interact with your computer in a more accurate and enjoyable way. Because your gestures are all in the air, there are no fingerprints left on any screens.
Obviously one of the biggest questions is “will it come to SA?” At the moment, there is nothing to say it won’t. The guys who are responsible for this tech wet dream have made provisions for qualified developers to order a free device to test and report on.The Leap boasts accuracy that surpasses that of a standard mouse and reliability that matches a keyboard. Armed with incredible sensitivity, it will put your fancy tablet to shame and for the finer details, it can track your finger movements down to 1/100th of a millimeter. I foresee a new approach to design.

Current costs are set to be around R800, but knowing how prices miraculously climb when brought into South Africa, we will probably pay a lot more than that

Take a look at the video, chances are you will watch it a few times:

http://www.leapmotion.com/

Duff Beer…Woo Hoo!

What was, for many, years a fictional beverage consumed en masse by Homer Simpson, has finally come to life. Made famous by The Simpsons and personified by the Germans, Duff Beer is finally available for human consumption.

Though many attempts have been made to recreate the popular beverage, none have gone the official licensing route.

Available in a case of 24 as you’d expect, the actual contents are rumoured to be of great quality; 4.7% alcohol level.
This is what we expect from the Germans.

The only thing left to do is to order a case, kick back on the couch and shout Woo-Hoo!

 

Does this hold any water?

The rainy season often brings with it new life, growth and cleanliness. The downside however; malfunctioning traffic lights, fuzzy DSTV connections and the demise of mobile devises.

Yes, it seems our mobile partners often fall prey to the elements. You slip while tip-toeing across the car park and off goes your phone. Not only are you highly frustrated, but you can’t tweet to tell anyone about it.

But, your dark days are over! Today’s Find Of The Day is one that I cannot endorse without trying it, but it did hold my attention for a few minutes.

The product: Liquipel.
A revolutionary solution to coating your device with a long-lasting waterproofing substance, described by Liqupel as being 1000 times thinner than a human hair.

The difference:
It is not a cheap gel that can be bought for R99 at Glomail or Verimark. The process seems fairly complex, with the use of a pressure chamber and “technology only found in the natural world on the surface of the sun”.

The science:
Liquipel is a revolutionary process that applies a waterproof coating to your electronic device to protect them in the event of accidental exposure to liquids. It is not visible to the human eye, virtually undetectable and Liquipel will not compromise the look, feel, and performance of your electronics.

Liquipel penetrates the entire device as a whole, including all of the vital components inside and out to provide optimal protection against accidental contact with liquids.” – Liquipel website

Seems legit, though I won’t be the first to try it.

 

 

 

 

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