Thursday, August 31, 2006

Going ahead?

It looks like this is going ahead - woohoo! It should drive the price of our land up again!

Links - Chintsa River Golfing Estate & Daily Dispatch

If you did not know...

South Africa's national symbols

What's that image that appears on your birth certificate, passport and one cent coin? What does
!ke e: /xarra //ke mean? (Whose language is that?) What do the springbok, blue crane, galjoen, giant protea and real yellowwood have in common?

Here's a quick guide to the national symbols of South Africa, from the anthem, flag, coat of arms and national orders to the animals and plants the country holds dear.

South Africa's national anthem National anthem
South Africa's national anthem of is a combined version of Nkosi Sikelel' iAfrika and Die Stem van Suid-Afrika (The Call of South Africa in English). The words of Die Stem were written by CJ Langenhoven in 1918, and the music composed by the Reverend ML de Villiers in 1921. Nkosi Sikelel' iAfrika was composed in 1897 by Enoch Sontonga, a Methodist mission school teacher.

South Africa's national flag National flag
The national flag of the Republic of South Africa was adopted on Freedom Day, 27 April 1994, and first flown 10 May 1994 - the day Nelson Mandela was inaugurated as president.

The central design of the flag, beginning at the flag-pole in a V form and flowing into a single horizontal band to the outer edge of the fly, can be interpreted as the convergence of diverse elements within South African society, taking the road ahead in unity.

South Africa's national coat of arms National coat of arms
South Africa's coat of arms, or state emblem, is the highest visual symbol of the state. Its central image is a secretary bird with uplifted wings, a sun rising above it. Below the bird is the protea, an indigenous South African flower, representing the aesthetic harmony of all cultures and the country flowering as a nation.

The ears of wheat are emblems of the fertility of the land, while the tusks of the African elephant symbolise wisdom, steadfastness and strength.

At the centre stands a shield signifying the protection of South Africans, above which are a spear and knobkierie. These assert the defence of peace rather than a posture of war.

Within the shield are images of the Khoisan people, the first inhabitants of the land. The figures are derived from images on the Linton Stone, a world-famous example of South African rock art. The motto of the coat of arms - !ke e:/xarra//ke - is in the Khoisan language of the /Xam people, and means "diverse people unite", or "people who are different joining together".

South Africa's national orders National orders
National orders are the highest awards that a country, through its President, bestows on its citizens and eminent foreign nationals. The President as the fount (holder, cradle, main source) of honour in the country bestows these orders and decorations and is assisted by the director-general in the Presidency, who is the chancellor of national orders.
  • The Order of Mapungubwe is awarded for excellence and exceptional achievement.
  • The Order of the Baobab is awarded for distinguished service in business and the economy; science, medicine, technological innovation; and community service.
  • The Order of the Companions of OR Tambo is awarded to heads of state and other dignitaries for promoting peace, cooperation and friendship towards South Africa.
  • The Order of Luthuli is awarded to South Africans who have made a meaningful contribution to the struggle for democracy, human rights, nation-building, justice and peace, and conflict resolution.
  • The Order of Ikhamanga is awarded for excellence in arts, culture, literature, music, journalism and sport.
  • The Order of the Mendi Decoration for Bravery is awarded to South African citizens who have performed extraordinary acts of bravery.
South Africa's national animal National animal
The country's national animal is the springbok, which also gives its name to the South African rugby team - fondly (and sometimes not so fondly) known as the Boks.

The springbok (Antidorcas marsupialis) gets its common name from its characteristic jumping display - pronk in Afrikaans. The animal stands 75cm high and weigh about 40kg.

Both sexes have horns, but those of the ram are thicker and rougher. The species has adapted to dry, barren areas and open grass plains, and so is found in the Free State, North West and Karoo up to the west coast. They move in small herds during winter, but often crowd together in bigger herds in summer.

South Africa's national bird National bird
The national bird of South Africa is the blue crane (Anthropoides paradisia), the distribution of which is almost entirely restricted to the country. Standing about a metre tall, the bird is a light blue-grey, with a long neck supporting a rather bulbous head, long legs and elegant wing plumes which sweep to the ground.

Blue cranes lay their eggs in the bare veld, often close to water. They are common in the Karoo, but are also seen in the grasslands of KwaZulu-Natal and the highveld, usually in pairs or small family parties. Although usually quiet, the blue crane can emit a distinctive high-pitched and rattling croak which can be heard from some distance.

South Africa's national flower National flower
The giant or king protea (Protea cynaroides) is widely distributed in the south-western and southern areas of the Western Cape, from the Cedarberg up to just east of Grahamstown. South Africa's national flower is the largest of the proteas, which make up an important part of the Cape Floral Region, a major global biodiversity hotspot and a Unesco World Heritage site. The proteas also give their name to South Africa's national cricket team.

South Africa's national  fish National fish
South Africa's national fish is the galjoen (Coracinus capensis), which is only found along the South African coast. It keeps to mostly shallow water, often found in rough surf and sometimes right next to the shore, and is known to every angler as a game fighter. Near rocks, the colour of the galjoen is almost completely black, while in sandy areas the colour is silver-bronze.

South Africa's national tree National tree
The yellowwood family is ancient, having grown in this part of Africa for over 100-million years. The real yellowwood (Podocarpus latifolius), South Africa's national tree, is found from Table Mountain, along the southern and eastern Cape coast, in the ravines of the Drakensberg up to the Soutpansberg and the Blouberg in Limpopo.

In forests, the trees can grow up to 40m in height with the base of the trunk sometimes up to 3m in diameter. But trees that grow in unsheltered places such as mountain slopes are often short, bushy and gnarled. The bark of the real yellowwood is khaki-coloured to grey when it is old, deeply split and peels off in strips. The crown is relatively small in relation to its height and is often covered with grey lichen.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Apple & Google v Microsoft? The battle of the future?

"In a move that could lead to some fascinating collaboration, Apple just announced that Google CEO Eric Schmidt has joined its board of directors. As the battle heats up between Google and Microsoft for online services and between Apple and Microsoft for media (not to mention computing) this is a big move. Schmidt is now the eighth member of the Apple board.

Google just unveiled its first formal move towards an online office suite Sunday night. Everyone is watching to see how Apple will bring new media content online through iTunes and the company already dominates the portable media market. Could close collaboration between online giant Google and Apple hardware pose the most viable threat yet to Microsoft’s long held personal computing leadership? It certainly seems possible. Google alone is frightening enough for Microsoft. One way or the other, this could mean exciting things in the future."

This makes for very interesting reading and predictions about the future of computing.

Friday, August 25, 2006

How life has changed?

The link is to an article tabling how life has changed since the author left library school in 1988. There are some interesting predictions for the future of learning and research. (link)

This is broken

Seth Godin at Gel 2006

Saturday, August 19, 2006

If Jongilanga was Web 2.0

This is probably what the logo would look like thanks to Web2.0 Logo Creator

Thursday, August 17, 2006

I like this one...

Try to learn something about everything and everything about something. --Thomas H. Huxley

Surfing booms in UK, are surf-related lawsuits to follow?

An interesting article in The Time (online) about the possibility of lawsuits ensuing from clashes on the overcrowded surfing spots in the UK (like Fistral Beach (right)

Monday, August 14, 2006

Windows Live Writer (Beta)

I downloaded this little application and am writing my first test. I will need to test in before using it more, but so far it isn't too bad! 


Thailand plans 1 free laptop per child

BANGKOK, Thailand - Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra has announced that an ambitious project to provide low-cost laptop computers to all of Thailand's millions of elementary school students will begin in October.


Sunday, August 13, 2006

Is it a crime?

I was emailed this during the course of last week. Any comments?

a festival to remember

We returned from the Edinburgh festival unscathed. Loved the whole experience and would recommend it to everyone. Having young kids around does, however, change your perspective. We did alot of street watching (i.e. sitting around buskers), which the kids loved and ended taking them to scotty & lulu. If you have a 1 year old and a 4 year old, they will love it, but otherwise give it a skip. Can't wait until the kids are older and we will return.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Off for the week...

We are off the Edinburgh to stay with my Aunt for a couple of nights. Should be very good and hoping the weather will play ball for a lot of outdoor activities and theatre. I will catch up again at the end of the week.

Missed the first one!

The BBC are showing a new series about the Miracles of Jesus. I missed the first episode, but hopefully someone from church recorded it or the BBC will make it available for download soon. Note to self: watch next weekend. This is what it is about...

"The Bible says Jesus fed a crowd of 5000 with a few loaves and fishes, stilled a storm with a word, healed the sick and lame, walked on water, turned water into wine and brought the dead back to life.

This new series uses drama, special photography and computer generated images to bring the miracles of Jesus to life, whilst Rageh Omaar is our guide in Israel as he tries to decipher the meaning of the miracles of Jesus."

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

For my next birthday please!

Transparent Canoe-Kayak
"This kayak-canoe hybrid has a transparent polymer hull that offers paddlers an underwater vista of aquatic wildlife and waterscapes unavailable in conventional boats. Seating two people, the sturdy canoe hull is made of the same durable material found in the cockpit canopies of supersonic fighter jets. Easy to maneuver, the wide canoe displaces a greater amount of water for more surface stability, and the paddlers sit lower to the deck, resulting in better balance. Adjustable seats allow paddlers of different heights to personalize their leg room. With a lightweight anodized aluminum frame, it can be easily stored or transported to and from the water. Includes two double-headed paddles, a water bailer, and two flotation devices."

This is a must! So please please please it is only $1,500 plus P&P. Benjamin & Anna would love it! - link

About me

I am an African living in Scotland. A son, a father, an ex-husband, a boyfriend, a teacher and friend trying to piece together the stories that my God, my parents, my ex-wife, my girlfriend, my pupils and my friends are telling me, so that I can tell my own story. Thanks to all for your support and advice. I still love good coffee and popcorn.



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