Monday, December 21, 2009

Crime in Johannesburg: We have a huge problem with security guards being involved in business and house robberies in the Mamelodi area

The guard and the suspect were expected to appear in the Pretoria Magistrate's Court on Monday on charges of house robbery and the possession of suspected stolen property.

The guard was charged as an accomplice.

SHOOT: Treat your guards with respect, but also circumspection.
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Johannesburg - A security guard at a residential complex in Silverton was arrested for his involvement in a house robbery on Monday, Tshwane police said.
Captain Jan Shawane Sepato said the guard was arrested after confessing he knew a group of seven armed robbers who had robbed a house in the Savana residential complex in Silverton.
"The security guard opened the gate for a group of men driving a VW Kombi without searching them. They went into the complex, forced open a window and robbed the occupants with firearms," said Sepato.
The 35-year-old guard then let the group go without searching them when they exited the complex with the Kombi, followed by a stolen Corsa bakkie.
"The guard admitted that he knew the suspects and led us to the house of one of them in Mamelodi," said Sepato.
The 34-year-old suspect was arrested and some of the stolen electrical equipment was recovered.
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Sunday, December 20, 2009

Boobs flashed, car crashed

SHOOT: Moral of this story - don't drive under the influence of boobs.
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A teenager flashing her breasts in the middle of a New Zealand road paid for her drunken revelry when a distracted driver ran into her.

Cherelle Dudfield (18) was dared to flash passing cars in the southern city of Invercargill after a night out drinking with friends.

She had exposed herself to a couple of cars from a strip in the middle of the road when the stunt went awry.

"I had seen a car coming towards me on the centrelane, so I decided to run and I got hit," Dudfield told commercial television news.

She was taken to hospital but suffered only a few cuts and bruises after rolling over the bonnet of the car and cracking the windscreen.
Dudfield said she had learned her lesson and had a message for anyone else considering a similar stunt.

"Don't be me, don't be stupid, don't get drunk
and stand in the middle of the road and flash anyone because it hurts when you get hit."
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Thursday, December 10, 2009

Sorry, we could have stopped catastrophic climate change. We didn't Sorry - isn't that enough?

Climate change has an added aspect that is very important. The scientists who built nuclear bombs felt guilt about what they did. Now the guilt is real for the broader public.

SHOOT: We're in serious denial.
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Even as the science of global warming gets stronger, fewer Americans believe it’s real. In some ways, it’s nearly as jarring a disconnect as enduring disbelief in evolution or carbon dating. And according to Kari Marie Norgaard, a Whitman College sociologist who’s studied public attitudes towards climate science, we’re in denial. Why don’t people seem to care?

Kari Norgaard: On the one hand, there have been extremely well-organized, well-funded climate-skeptic campaigns. Those are backed by Exxon Mobil in particular, and the same PR firms who helped the tobacco industry (.pdf) deny the link between cancer and smoking are involved with magnifying doubt around climate change.

Norgaard: Climate change is disturbing. It’s something we don’t want to think about. So what we do in our everyday lives is create a world where it’s not there, and keep it distant. Is that what this comes down to — not wanting to confront our own roles?

Norgaard: I think so.
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Sunday, December 6, 2009

The Best Article you'll find on the Copehagen Climate Change Conference, published in 56 newspapers around the world: humanity faces a profound emergency

If we, with such different national and political perspectives, can agree on what must be done then surely our leaders can too.

The politicians in Copenhagen have the power to shape history's judgment on this generation: one that saw a challenge and rose to it, or one so stupid that we saw calamity coming but did nothing to avert it. We implore them to make the right choice.
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Copenhagen climate conference

'Fourteen days to seal history's judgment on this generation'

Editorial logo

Today 56 newspapers in 45 countries take the unprecedented step of speaking with one voice through a common editorial. We do so because humanity faces a profound emergency.

Unless we combine to take decisive action, climate change will ravage our planet, and with it our prosperity and security. The dangers have been becoming apparent for a generation. Now the facts have started to speak: 11 of the past 14 years have been the warmest on record, the Arctic ice-cap is melting and last year's inflamed oil and food prices provide a foretaste of future havoc. In scientific journals the question is no longer whether humans are to blame, but how little time we have got left to limit the damage. Yet so far the world's response has been feeble and half-hearted.

Overcoming climate change will take a triumph of optimism over pessimism, of vision over short-sightedness, of what Abraham Lincoln called "the better angels of our nature".

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Monday, November 30, 2009

Standard Bank in bomb threat

SHOOT: We'll be seeing more and more of this as disgruntle3d workers take out their anger on companies they feel [rightly or wrongly] has victimised them. At AVUSA earlier this year there was also a bomb threat.
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Johannesburg - The Johannesburg head office of South Africa's second largest bank was evacuated on Monday afternoon following a bomb threat. has been told that the imposing Sauer Street head office was evacuated midday after an employee, who has been retrenched, allegedly placed a bomb on its premises.

Standard Bank spokesperson Erik Larsen confirmed the evacuation in a statement, saying an employee, "who showed visible signs of distress, created security concerns at Standard Bank Centre".

Larson said as a precaution all staff members were sent home and the buildings were evacuated. "Police and emergency personnel are still on site," said Larsen. "Business is not disrupted in any way."

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Sunday, November 22, 2009

"I think you guys should relax. Its Wikus Van der Merwe and his prawns"

SHOOT: Some people thought the falling, flaming rock above Johannesburg was a UFO. It's amazing to me that any time, rocks can fall to the Earth from space.
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Johannesburg - It was a meteor which lit up the skies over Johannesburg and Pretoria on Saturday night, an astronomer has confirmed.

"What people saw last night was almost certainly a meteor," Claire Flanagan an astronomer at the Johannesburg Planetarium said on Sunday.

People saw a bright "greenish, bluish" light heading towards Pretoria at about 23:00 on Saturday night.

"I saw a light flash the sky at about 20:00, at first I thought I was imagining it, but my friend also saw it," wrote someone who saw the meteor.

"... Maybe it's people getting abducted by aliens...I walked in the house looked out [and] the sky was lit. It looked how it normally [does] at 05:00."

Another wrote: "I [saw] it too in Hartbeespoort dam. Almost looked like daylight for a few seconds, not sure if it was a meteor or not... pretty cool..."

Others claimed to have heard and seen a "bright explosion".

"The speed which it was travelling at would have caused it to burn and then disintegrate," she said.

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Thursday, November 19, 2009

Recovery or Eskom

"There are now over 12.3 million electricity accounts in South Africa. By comparison there are only 1.8 million mortgage accounts in South Africa.

"This means that the effect of an electricity price hike is felt by 6.7 times more by consumers," Schussler said.

SHOOT: South Africa needs to take energy issues seriously, not just electricity, and perhaps the Eskom debacle will initiate this process.
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SA could have most expensive power

South Africa could have the world's most expensive electricity if Eskom gets it tariff increases, an economist said today.

"We keep being told that we have the cheapest electricity in the world and this is not the case. Let's start calling Eskom's prices the most expensive in the world and change the public's mindset."

From 2005 up to the present, electricity prices had increased 91 percent, while inflation rose only 35 percent over the same period.

Schussler said electricity prices were set to increase around 200 percent over the next five years.

"This means that between 2005 and 2014 electricity prices on the current proposal would have increased 633 percent."

"Eskom had a revenue of over R53.6 billion in the year to March 2009 while municipalities' gross revenue from electricity was about R32.9 billion for the same period."

That, he said, was a total R86.5 billion or around 3.7 percent of gross domestic product.

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Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Habana off the hook - not so fast

SHOOT: Habana faced a disciplinary for exactly the same sort of behaviour that he got so hysterical about in the last twenty minutes of the Currie Cup, when a Cheetah player gave him a small slap on the side of his head. So it's ironic that Habana does the same thing and is off the hook, on and off the field.
Watch it here:
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London - A charge of foul play for allegedly kicking an opponent has been dismissed against Springbok wing Bryan Habana.

Habana was cited under Law 10.4C, for allegedly kicking France wing Vincent Clerc during the Boks' 20-13 loss in Toulouse.

At a hearing at a Heathrow Airport hotel Habana pleaded not guilty to the charge, which carries a minimum one-week suspension according to the International Rugby Board (IRB) regulations.

Judicial officer Lorne Crerar from Scotland took just over an hour to dismiss the case. Local solicitor Owen Eastwood represented Habana.

Springbok media manager Anthony Mackaiser confirmed the outcome of the hearing.

Habana will now be able to take his place on the wing against Italy and also Ireland at Croke Park next week.

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Monday, November 16, 2009

Photographers and journalists - stressful jobs that pay badly

SHOOT: I can confirm. Why do we do it then? For the love of it.
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Stressful Jobs That Pay Badly

4. News Reporter

Median pay: $32,900
% who say their job is stressful: 62%

Every minute is another deadline for those who report and write the news. While racing against the clock, reporters gather data, conduct interviews and analyze their findings all before writing about major events for a newspaper, magazine, radio show or television program.


8. Commercial Photographer

Median pay: $43,600
% who say their job is stressful: 100%

The job may sound glamorous, but commercial photographers, who capture models, merchandise and landscapes for books, advertisements and catalogs, have to contend with long days, picky personalities and demanding deadlines -- sometimes withstanding precarious positions just to get that perfect shot.
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Sunday, November 15, 2009

FIFA worried that African grass in Green Point will be yellow - so first world cup on African soil will be on European grass

Yesterday, at the startling £400m Green Point stadium in Cape Town, perky shoots of pale green ryegrass were pushing through the soil three weeks after the seeds were sown. But local specialists say ryegrass – a cold season variety suited to Europe – will not stand the test of time and will have to be replaced after the World Cup.

SHOOT: As they say, come June Kikuyu turns parchment yellow in South Africa's inland stadiums.
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Millions of Africans have been saying it for years: the grass is greener in Europe. Now the world's football bosses have decided that Africa's indigenous grass is not bright enough for international television audiences.

In a major blow to South African pride in hosting next year's World Cup, stadiums used for top matches have been told to scrap their hardy African kikuyu pitches and switch instead to tender European ryegrass.

The decision comes amid mounting claims that the month-long tournament next June will be a "playground for Europeans'', providing scant long-term benefit to the largely poor country.

"Fifa decided that our pre-grown kikuyu pitch was not uniformly dark green enough for television so we have started again with ryegrass seed,'' said Pieter Cronjé, World Cup communication director for Cape Town where one of the semi-finals is due to be played.

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Arran Brown wins 94.7 on beautiful day in Johannesburg

SHOOT: Only 24,000 riders turned out, but the elite men spoiled fans with a great show [see below]. Interesting to observe the winning margin between elite men and elite women - 33 minutes.
Medscheme sprinter Arran Brown rewrote the history books this morning when he became the first cyclist to win the Momentum 94.7 Cycle Challenge and Cape Argus Pick n Pay Cycle Tour in the same year.
Brown made it look easy when he came off the wheel of his team captain, Malcolm Lange, to win the Cycle Challenge in front of a huge crowd at the Waterfall Country Estate in Midrand. Lange held on for second with MTN-Energade speedster Christoff van Heerden snatching a podium spot for his team in third place.

Kachelhoffer very nearly rode to victory when he shot out of the escape group on the final climb. He came to within 70 metres from the line before he was overtaken by his teammate.

Kachelhoffer went away after only 15km with Jacques Janse van Rensburg (DCM Chrome), Bradley Potgieter (MTN-Energade), Gawie Maree (Neotel) and Travis Allen (House of Paint). The built up a lead exceeding 2 minutes and 30 seconds with 30km to go.

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Saturday, November 14, 2009

Learning to quiet our anxieties and manage them on our own is an essential skill for negotiating the frightening world we are facing

It is time to be understanding and connect with each other, our neighbors, through action, not words alone. When we do necessary work together, to heal and repair our neighborhoods, the emotional connections, the joy in companionship, the meaningful bonds we yearn for, appear.

SHOOT: Wise words here.
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The question we have the luxury of answering now is no longer are we odd or damaged people. Most of us are. The issue is whether we can find ourselves embedded in a community of people, who say “I like you, despite how odd you are.”

Rather than learning to speak more honestly, (a skill I value, highly, by the way), I think that the true therapist encourages people to do more listening and do more real honest work with other people they live around. Meaningful work means local work that will heal and repair the world around you. I admit that having learned the skills of a clinical psychologist, and worked long and hard with the “King of Radical Honesty” Brad Blanton
But in my current opinion, it is way too late to ONLY keep talking, without accompanying it with appropriate action. It is way too late to embroil myself IN myself, and expect other people to be fascinated by my current self-revelations. Self-censoring isn’t the same as shame-filled lying
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Santa Claus vs Godless Joe = Shop till you smile vs "Let's Spend Christmas Alone and Crying"

Joe will spearhead our [atheists] efforts to bring children to the reality that there is nothing more to life than eating, sleeping, and defecating, and urge them to follow our dictates of societal norms and morality rather than the outdated and unfounded notions of the past or their personal consciences. We feel confident that by the end of the year, Godless Joe will be spreading our message in almost every shopping mall in America."
Godless Joe will not hand out presents to children in the traditional sense. Rather, he will distribute "Let's Spend Christmas Alone and Crying" coloring books, "The Preschoolers' Guide to Playground Sexual Harassment," and "Mom, Dad, Grandma, and You are All Going to Die and Be Gone Forever" pop up book.

SHOOT: Should be a big hit
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"Every year atheists are at a distinct disadvantage during the Solstice Season. The simple fact is Santa Clause is the best propaganda tool the Christians have to bribe their children into church once a year and extort at least a month and a half of relatively tolerable behavior out of them. The simple answer to this problem would simply be to abort all these useless eaters before they were born and replace them with more earth friendly beings such as dolphins and otters, or at lease implement a dedicated eugenics program to prevent those less enlightened than us from breeding. However, since the courts are just as dedicated to the illogical and unnatural concept of humans being better than other life forms for some unknown reason, as the unwashed religious masses are to cranking out kids, these solutions are still years away.
"Well, all that is changing today with the creation of Godless Joe, the Solstice Icon for the New Millennium.
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