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Food Court Musical January 25, 2010

Posted by baldricman in General, VOTD.
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Just came across this earlier this morning, and thought it was pretty cool. This bunch, Improv Everywhere, have a couple of very cool videos of their work, which you can check out on their website. The basic concept seems very similar (to me at least) to that of the Flash Mob. Anyway, it’s really best if you watch the video and check out their site. (And, Flash Mobs have been successfully executed right here in Cape Town, several times – see http://www.myvideo.co.za/video/flash-mob-cape-town and http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=4134287978 for more info).

Anyway, to the video! This is very cool (although not exactly “improv”), but I’m sure you’ll enjoy it…


Two Oceans Aquarium January 17, 2010

Posted by baldricman in Baldric-Man, General.
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Cape Town: I’ve realised that, when you find yourself with a day completely free of chores, duties, outstanding work, even plans with friends, there are few cities better to be stuck in. Yesterday, with it’s marvelous weather, was one such day for Wifey and I, so I decided to treat her to a trip to the Two Oceans Aquarium, situated at the Cape Town V&A Waterfront.

It’s an expensive outing, make no mistake – as lowly Adults we had to pay R88 each, even though we’re South African (which is a rant for another day 🙂 ), but we quickly forgot about that once we were inside. We spent about an hour and a half in the aquarium, and saw things such as the Giant Spider Crab tank, the “Nemo” exhibit (clown fish, always a hit with the kids), the Kelp Forest (pic below) which is just beautiful, and of course the Predator Exhibit, where we were lucky enough to see feeding time. (You can also feed the sharks, by getting in the tank with them, scuba-style, no cage. And you have to pay for this…..?) The aquarium also has two galleries to contrast the sea life in the Indian Ocean and the Atlantic Ocean, with helpful identifier cards next to each window, to help find the little critters (and learn a little interesting fact about them too).

The aquarium, however, doesn’t limit itself to sea-bound creatures. There is quite a range of birdlife (including the ever popular penguins), and a great River Meander exhibit, which includes fresh water creatures and describes a river’s journey. Also, not to be missed, is the new “Frogs Beyond the Pond” gallery, which has been very carefully and beautifully constructed, with sections making you feel about as big as a frog as you wander through, great lilies and garden taps looming above you.

Anyway, if you have kids, you definitely want to take them there – Wifey and I quite enjoyed watching the kids, some of whom were completely beside themselves with excitement, and the rest completely enchanted and wide-eyed. And if you don’t have kids, you might just find yourself feeling like one anyway…

POTD: Pie January 14, 2010

Posted by baldricman in General, POTD.
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Wifey and I had 2 good friends over the other night for dinner. These friends are vegetarian, (whereas Wifey and I are not), but it meant we got to make something we’d never tried before. (When I say “we”, I mean 80% Wifey, 20% me)

So we made a Chickpea and Courgette Pie. It had some other stuff in it too (like a lot of Basmati rice, of all things), but the main point of interest was that it was made using phyllo (filo) pastry, in a spring-form pan. Anyway, the meal was a success, I thought, and it was great to try out something we wouldn’t ordinarily have eaten.

Here are one or two pics of the masterpiece, in the making:

Phyllo Pastry Preparation

Mmm, Filled with Filling!

Cape Town to KwaZulu-Natal Road Trip: Highlights January 11, 2010

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Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all of you! A little late, I know, but seeing as this is my first post of 2010, and indeed my first in nearly 2 months, everything is a little late anyway. So this post might get a tad long…

My best (and yet insufficient) excuse for the lack of reading material for you, is that Wifey and I were visiting my family in Natal. And this time, to spice things up, we decided to retrace our steps, as it were, in another road trip. We drove up 2 years ago (I think it was), and enjoyed it just as much this time, as we did then.

We left on the 17th of December, close to sunrise, and headed out on to the N1 (for as short a spell as possible). When driving any real distance, our philosophy has for a long time been to avoid major routes (most notably the N1 and N2), and try to stick to the good quality back roads, as far as possible. In doing so, we enjoy near stress-free driving due to the almost complete lack of traffic, speed cameras, tolls, and roadblocks. But perhaps best of all, we get to explore and experience certain timeless parts of South Africa such as those Karoo towns that, much like their specialty apricots, peaches, and figs, seem to be drenched and preserved in syrups of unassuming heritage.

I am honestly quite sad that it took so long for me to begin to appreciate the astounding beauty of certain parts of South Africa (more…)

Cape Town to KwaZulu-Natal Roadtrip: The Route January 11, 2010

Posted by baldricman in Baldric-Man, General.
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So Wifey and I got back from our epic roadtrip from Cape Town to Howick a few days ago, which you can read about here. I said I’d detail the route for anyone interested in the “proper” way to go across the country, so, here it is.

To summarise our route, for anyone planning a similar trip, you start out on the N1 from Cape Town, and after going through the engineering marvel that is the Huguenot Tunnel, turn off onto the R60 at Worcester, heading through Robertson, then Ashton, and Montagu, at which point you’re on the R62 . (Route 62, as it’s known, is a must-drive for any trip heading vaguely West-ish. Trust me on this 🙂 ) (more…)

World Air Travel September 23, 2009

Posted by baldricman in General, VOTD.
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During some routine cleanup of my stuff today, I came across this old clip I received some time ago, showing the air traffic patterns around the world, over a 24-hour stretch. (I have, however, included a link to the YouTube version instead…)
It highlights all large aircraft (as yellow spots), and it is interesting to note the “swarms” and their relation to daylight times in the US and Europe, for example. This clip has been around for a while, but I’m not actually sure where it comes from, can anyone help out?

19th Century Education September 21, 2009

Posted by baldricman in General.
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My brother sent this to me a few days ago (thanks Allen), and I found it pretty interesting. I’ve copied it below exactly as it was sent to me. (Bear in mind it’s US-based, etc)


Remember when grandparents and great-grandparents stated that they only had an 8th grade education? Well, check this out. Could any of us have passed the 8th grade in 1895? This is the eighth-grade final exam from 1895 in Salina, Kansas, USA. It was taken from the original document on file at the Smokey Valley Genealogical Society and Library in Salina, and reprinted by the Salina Journal.


1. Give nine rules for the use of capital letters.
2. Name the parts of speech and define those that have no modifications..
3. Define verse, stanza and paragraph
4. What are the principal parts of a verb? Give principal parts of ‘lie,”play,’ and ‘run.’
5. Define case; illustrate each case.
6 What is punctuation? Give rules for principal marks of punctuation.
7 – 10. Write a composition of about 150 words and show therein that you understand the practical use of the rules of grammar.


Wikus September 2, 2009

Posted by baldricman in General, POTD.
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Following on from my previous post on District 9, I thought I’d share this gem I found (via Stii)

It’s an awesome little site called wikus.co.za, and as the more astute amongst you might have guessed, it’s all about Wikus van der Merwe, hero of District 9!

Here’s a teaser to whet your appetite, but do yourself a favour and check out the site!


Taxijam August 14, 2009

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Hi folks, just a quickie to share with you a cool site I found via Poegeyed yesterday, about an awesome site called Taxijam. To quote a section from their About page:

Taxijam is the smallest gig around.
We provide a selection of some of South Africa’s finest creative talent performing in an intimate 5 minute taxi ride.
All clips are recorded and shot in exactly the same style, in one take and uploaded in their unedited format to our website.

I had a quick listen to some of the stuff, and its highly entertaining. I particularly enjoyed Cassette’s jam…. (my current fav)

I heartily recommend popping over and taking a look for yourself. I have deliberately not tried to include any videos, I think you will miss out if you just watch one clip here, instead of browsing there properly. 🙂  Check out Cassette‘s site too, while you’re at it…

Farryl Purkiss - by Clare Thomas

Farryl Purkiss - by Clare Thomas

5.7kgs of Glass and a Half Goodness August 7, 2009

Posted by baldricman in Baldric-Man, General.
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At last, it arrived! Some of you will remember my previous post describing how I found out about winning a Cadbury’s hamper from 5fm, on Twitter. If not, you can read it here. Or, you can just look at the next post, seeing as I’ve been a little quiet on the post-front lately….

So, back to the arrival! I got in to work this morning to find a large cardboard box at my desk. I read the label to make sure it was addressed to me, and in doing so happened to notice the dimensions and weight section, where it was clearly stated that the package weighed in at a not-inconsiderable 5.7 kilograms!

Anyway, here are two pics of the hamper. You’ll need to think of them a little like wildlife pictures though, for three reasons:

1: The pictures are never as clear as you had hoped

2: The subject always seems much smaller in the photo, when the photographer just KNOWS that the animal was HUGE! (translation: hamper is bigger than it looks. Honest.)

3: The subject is fleeting, and you treasure the few photos you have because they were the only ones you had time to take.