Friday, January 30, 2009

5th ODI: Australia v South Africa at Perth, Jan 30, 2009 - LIVE ONLINE FEED

So far it's...
South Africa 288/6 (50 ov)
Australia 33/1 (6.4 ov)
Australia require another 255 runs with 9 wickets and 43.1 overs remaining.

Click on the link below for a live update.

South Africa 288/6 (50 ov)
Australia 32/1 (6.1 ov)

Australia require another 257 runs with 9 wickets and 43.5 overs remaining

Australia RR 5.18
Last 5 ovs 30/1 RR 6.00
Required RR 5.86
South Africa RR 5.76
Full scorecard
M Morkel to Ponting,
no run,
beaten again! Morne invites the shot with a full delivery outside off stump that swings, Ponting throws the bat at it and fails to connect
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Quote of the Day

The link is also to an article well worth reading...
You know, we pretended we had a service economy, we pretended we had a digital economy, but what we really had was a housing-bubble economy, and what that was all about was building more of an infrastructure for a daily life with no future.
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Thursday, January 29, 2009

17 Strategies to Cool the Atmosphere

I advocate building atmosphere processors. Giant, industrail sizes air-refrigerators...pricy but effective.
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"By 2050, only
stratospheric aerosol injections or sunshades in space have the potential to
cool the climate back toward its pre-industrial state
," earth scientists Tim Lenton and Naomi Vaughan of East Anglia University in England write.

Many global cooling approaches have been floated. The broad range of
the proposals — from injecting the upper atmosphere with sun-blocking
particles to creating plankton blooms by feeding them extra iron to
burying carbon-filled "biochar" in soil — has made comparing them very
difficult. The new study provides the first useful comparisons of a wide variety of geoengineering ideas.

The study did not calculate the costs or environmental impacts of
any of the techniques, but for most of the climate hacks, they could be
large. For those reasons, the authors of the paper recommend reducing
the amount of our emissions, not just banking on geoengineering to bail
us out.

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Crisis Heralds Opportunity in US - the Time for Railway Development is Nigh The Obama administration has promised more rail and transit funding. Are we going to see things start to happen?

Dukakis: No question about it. This economic mess we're in has actually turned out to be a huge opportunity to invest in transit projects. Despite the concerns out there, I think this is a huge opportunity.

NVDL: This is very good to see, although the US is probably better served constructing ordinary railways. High speed trains need different tracks and it is a more expensive investment which the country is unlikely to afford on a countrywide scale. ordinarily railways more so (more affordable that is).
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The president's $825 billion economic stimulus package includes $30 billion for rail and mass transit projects; a Senate version specifically allocates $850 million for Amtrak and $2 billion for high-speed rail. It's significant, because Obama has long favored expanding passenger rail
service and has specifically called for a rail network linking
Chicago with the major cities of the Midwest.

Some aren't waiting for the feds to get with it. California voters recently authorized the legislature to issue almost $10 billion in bonds to begin construction of an 800-mile high-speed rail line linking San Francisco with Los Angeles. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has long argued California must lead the nation to a high-speed future. He and others say bolstering the nation's passenger rail system is faster, cheaper and easier than building more freeways or expanding an already overburdened air-travel system.

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Wednesday, January 28, 2009

If warming is to last 1,000 years, why cut emissions?

Why drive less? Why buy a hybrid? Why promote renewable energy?
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Image: Icebergs float in a bay off Ammassalik Island, Greenland

If warming is to last 1,000 years, why cut emissions?

Because doing nothing would mean even more dire consequences, scientists argue. Full story

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Tuesday, January 27, 2009

How to register for Tax Online [eFILING Links Here]

To make use of the online service you're going to need a tax reference number. If you have one, and you're an individual, click on the seagreen tab below and start eFiling.


To enjoy the full benefits and convenience of eFiling, you need to first register to gain secure access to your own tax information.

Note: Registration for and the use of eFiling is free. All you need is internet access.

To complete the registration process you will need at hand:

  • Your tax registration number/s
  • Your ID number
  • Your personal details
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    Monday, January 26, 2009

    SA's criminals are violent because...

    NVDL: I have a theory. Think about looters. Once enough people are lotting, the temptation for a reasonable person who might not even consider it otherwise increases a lot. So there is a tipping point level where awareness/temptation/desire kick in, and the risk seems to be justified since so many others are doing it. It's cave man's logic.
    I believe the Media share culpability in spreading the Lotting Mindset. By peppering headlines with sensational crimes, would-be criminals somehow feel less hesitant to act. And let's face it, South Africa's newspapers love giving the front page to blood and guts. Personally I felt the Man on Fire during the Xenophobia period was not good in the headlines - because it encouraged/licensed the coninuation, the spread of this 'phase'. I know editors won't agree with me, their salary checks depend on them seeing it the other way - bad news sells, makes money etc. My advice to the editors who care about the country - when it comes to crime, report the facts, but don't sensationalise them and particularly with crime, try to err on the side of drawing less attention to it, rather than the current surfeit...which simply induces fear and paralysis from one set, and activates the other set.

    Quite why South Africa should be so violent compared to countries that are poorer and in many ways, worse off, is something that nobody has been able to explain. After an elderly Naboomspruit/Mookgophong couple were brutally attacked with pruning shears late in 2007, forensic criminologist Irma Labuschagne stated, “We are an incredibly evil nation. I believe that people in our country have never been angrier with one another.”

    The problem with this theory was that the alleged attackers were young Zimbabweans, not South Africans. Apartheid and a history of racial discrimination did not wash as explanations for their sadism. And why does South Africa bear the brunt of the violence? Why is Zimbabwe relatively free from violent crime? Similarly, why is South Africa so much more violent than Mozambique?
    Is there some kind of critical mass of criminals driving social norms which decree that sadism and brutality are acceptable?
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    Kunstler on bearing our hardships bravely

    Has Mr. Obama's circle lost sight of the fact that we import more than two-thirds of the oil we use, even during the current price hiatus? Or have they forgotten how vulnerable this leaves us to the slightest geopolitical spasm in such stable oil-exporting nations as Nigeria, Mexico, Venezuela, Libya, Algeria, Columbia, Iran, and the Middle East states? And we're going to rescue ourselves by driving cars?
    But in this moment, the week after a new president's inauguration,
    the deadly fog has rolled in and absolutely everyone dreads what lurks
    on the other side of it, without being able to discern the path through
    it. For example, the "bail-out fatigue" being reported suggests that
    congress may just call a halt to money-shoveling. Where would that
    leave Mr. Obama's urgent call for "stimulus?" Not to mention further
    TARP injections for redecorating bank offices.
    I've been skeptical of the "stimulus" as sketched out so far,
    aimed at refurbishing the infrastructure of Happy Motoring. To me, this
    is the epitome of a campaign to sustain the unsustainable -- since
    car-dependency is absolutely the last thing we need to shore up and
    promote. I haven't heard any talk so far about promoting walkable
    communities, or any meaningful plan to get serious about fixing
    passenger rail and integral public transit.
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    Sunday, January 25, 2009

    Lance is exactly where he wants to be at this point

    "I felt pretty good," he said. "I was very curious how I'd do. I can come in with expectations that can be unrealistic having not had any experience for the last three and a half years. But just based on my training I expected to be in the first few on the climbs. I guess I can say I was able to do that. It's in line but there's still a long way to go. I'm pretty happy."

    Armstrong said if he had any second thoughts about coming back, it was during Friday's long, wind-blown stage through the Barossa Valley wine country. "I was hurting," Armstrong said. "I didn't have a good day. My legs were screaming at me all day long and I was thinking, 'Wow, that's not fun.' But the next day was a lot better.

    "That's the way it's going to be, with good days and bad days. I have to focus on the habits, all the little things. When you're 37 you can't just get by like when you were 27, no way. You have to double down hard on all those little things."

    Next up is the Tour of California next month. -
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    Lance Armstrong
    Although Lance Armstrong led the final stage for a few moments, he mainly spent the Tour Down Under riding in the pack and not among the leaders.
    Reporting from Adelaide, Australia --
    Lance Armstrong was in first place when he stood on his pedals, powering through the throaty voices and the pounding of cheer sticks on the barriers.

    There was still one more lap to go during this final stage of the Tour Down Under. Armstrong wasn't going to win the race or even the stage. But in this moment he sent a message. There was power in his move and strength and most of all confidence.

    The 37-year-old Armstrong wouldn't magically pounce at a crucial moment and, whoosh, be away, ahead of the field, like the good old days of winning seven straight Tour de France titles. Not yet anyway.

    But Armstrong showed his oomph once this afternoon when he made a move to chase down a breakaway, when he tested his fitness, his legs, his desire to fight. He passed all three checks.
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    Thursday, January 22, 2009

    Quote of the day

    NVDL: So true.
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    “It's difficult to get a man to understand something if his salary depends on him not understanding it.”

    —Upton Sinclair

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    Quote of the day

    NVDL: So true...
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    “It's difficult to get a man to understand something if his salary depends on him not understanding it.”

    —Upton Sinclair

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    Tuesday, January 20, 2009

    ALERT: Damaging winds/large hailstones - TODAY

    Please be advised (below) of the national weather warning posted earlier today.
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    Thunderstorms in the following areas may become severe, with a risk of large hail and damaging winds: north-eastern interior of the Eastern Cape, eastern Free State, western KwaZulu-Natal.
    ADVISORIES: Gale force south-westerly winds are expected along the south coast of the Eastern Cape on Thursday. Heavy falls of rain are likely in places in the Overberg of the Western Cape on Thursday.

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    Obama Ideologies

    Where group hysteria is concerned, I tend to run the other way. Experience tells me that mass induced hype, specially hype that is attached to left-brain activation type words, is usually a precursor to disappointment and disillusionment.

    The present atmosphere surrounding the soon-to-be-sworn-in President of a state that believes itself to be the ultimate police of world democracy, puts the above into perspective.

    Now don’t get me wrong. He might be an upright and honourable person, and all the nice things the media have been sprouting about him but, he remains a politician and a human being. One who has a collective body of others to answer to. Others who collectively have the over-ridding power to make or break any decisions he makes or wants executed. And then, there are national policies to contend with. Thus, although he is the number one citizen of a country, he remains bound to political ideologies which will restrict and mostly impede well-intended initiatives, and human frailties which tends towards self-interest above all else.

    Will he remain-true-to-his-word is the question that most observers around the western world are asking themselves right now. Given the rising expectancy surrounding his inauguration, I surmise ‘yes’ to be the answer.

    I wish him all the luck for he presents the world with a renewed hope in something better but remain ambivalent where his political promises are concerned.

    If there is one thing I’ve learned during my sojourn through life is that one trusts the person, but not the devil inside that person. A lesson that has not only been well tested by history, but also by personal life injuries.

    In the words of Logan Pearsall Smith (a writer of historical semantics): “When they come downstairs from their Ivory Towers, Idealists are very apt to walk straight into the gutter.”

    Thursday, January 15, 2009

    Eskom's Reserve Margin is 8% and declining

    NVDL: By the time the lights go on that this problem hasn't been solved in SA, the lights will be going off again.

    I have 3 suggestions:
    1) New homes need to be increasingly off-the-grid including wind powered, with geysers solar powered
    2. Massified power stations ar ebecomign obsolete. Neighborhoods need to develiop their own micro-power stations. For this, a mini portable reactor (such as the one from Toshiba: can be used.
    3. Increasing vigilance and disciplined use of energy by ball consumers, with incentives/penalties to save/conserve. In time these may become laws and taxes to force compliance.
    ABOUT this time last year, South Africans were coming to terms with the reality that the country was facing a crisis because Eskom did not have enough electricity capacity to meet demand.

    Eskom gave several reasons for the supply shortage. These included the relatively low reserve margin, low coal stocks, heavy summer rains and maintenance of power stations.

    It did not take long for South Africans to become accustomed to load shedding.

    Fast forward to this year. The situation is not as dire. We are starting to forget about load shedding.

    A shrinking reserve margin is Eskom’s nightmare as it keeps the prospects of a power crisis alive, especially in the event of planned or unplanned shutdowns of power stations. It is a constant threat to the security of supply.

    Eskom spokesman Fani Zulu says an inadequate reserve margin forces the power supplier to run its power stations harder.

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    Cholera: Mpumalanga records first death

    NVDL: Apparently this person picked up cholera on a visit to Zimbabwe. Conditions must be getting deadlier there by the day.
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    Mpumalanga has recorded its first cholera death, a health spokesperson said on Thursday.

    Provincial spokesperson Mpho Gabashane said the South African woman died on January 5 but the department waited for the results of a cholera test first before concluding that she had died of the disease.

    "We have the results now and the woman had died of cholera," said Gabashane.

    "A couple who had apparently visited Zimbabwe came into one of our clinics on January 2. The woman died on January 5 and the man was discharged on January 7."

    Limpopo province has recorded nearly 2 000 cholera cases and nine deaths while the number of suspected cases in Gauteng stand at 162 with three deaths.

    The Western Cape has had seven confirmed cases and KwaZulu-Natal six cases, with no deaths in either province.

    More than 2 000 people have died of cholera in Zimbabwe, the World Health Organisation reported on Wednesday. - Sapa
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    Tuesday, January 13, 2009

    Joburg tap water has 'no cholera'; is the lower Vaal cholera free?

    The results for the tests on Sasol's water supply system came back on Tuesday morning and indicated that all sites except one were fine, according to O'Sullivan. - Verashni Pillay

    NVDL:So they're saying it was a hoax email, although the vital clue is: no cholera in the UPPER catchment (areas providing water for Johannesburg) at this stage. What about the lower areas?
    Watch this space for details of any changes.
    Btw thanks Verashni for verifying the veracity of this story.
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    Johannesburg - An e-mail claiming cholera found in the Vaal River was contaminating Gauteng tap water was slammed by authorities on Tuesday.

    "We can categorically state, because we do the testing, that there is no cholera present at this stage in the upper catchment of the Vaal River and the Vaal Dam," said Karl Lubout, Rand Water's water quality specialist.

    All tap water in Gauteng was safe, he told News24.

    The rumours began after Sasol found an irregularity in its internal water supplies, and carried out tests.

    Staff at the Sasol One factory site were told not to drink the tap water because of a bacteria contaminant.

    An internal e-mail was leaked to the public, causing a flurry of panicked e-mails.

    "We have just found out that the Vaal River, which supplies most of JHB with water, has been infected with cholera," said one e-mail. "If the rumours are correct then Sasol has already sent a warning out to its employees."

    But Sasol has slammed the "urban legend".

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    Nintendo: New tech promises on-tap assistance

    Nintendo are on the cutting edge...

    The days of getting stuck in games could be gone altogether, if a patent filed recently by Nintendo comes to fruition.

    Nintendo's idea, made public in a patent application this week, hinges on making demonstration videos available to players while they're playing the game, either as a thumbnail view or a full-screen animation. Players could interrupt the demonstration at any point, taking control back to continue playing without assistance. Think of it as a tutorial guide that lasts throughout the entire game.

    It also proposes to let players start playing at any point during a game -- a feature that's in many games already, but typically only unlocked once a player has already completed those levels. Just like skimming a newspaper article for the juicy bits, this would allow players to tackle games, in their entirety, at their own whim.

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    ALERT: Cholera Outbreak Spreading to SA

    I received a call this morning informing me of 10 cholera outbreaks as a result of people in Vanderbijl and Veereniging drinking infected tap water. I've also heard reports that the cholera scare in SA is a hoax. So please exercvise your own discretion and be discerning about unsubstantiated rumors.
    The story below (from Reuters) also turns out to be a false alarm.

    The official cholera toll in SA is 73 dead (1979 in Zim) , and today The Times reports 13 new cases in Limpopo, the Sowetan: 'Cholera is spreading' (Cholera has been found in the Tubatse River.

    Given the news over the poor state of water treatment in SA (covered extensively in 50/50.

    Conditions are favorable for the spread of Cholera right now - high temperatures, intermittent rain and obviously large areas in neighboring Zimbabwe where the disease is digging in.
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    * 61 workers sick since Thursday

    * Expects confirmation on cause by Saturday morning

    JOHANNESBURG, Jan 9 (Reuters) - South African utility Eskom
    [ESCJ.UL] shut down the construction of its Medupi power station
    in the country's Limpopo province after a cholera scare, the
    company's spokesman Fani Zulu said on Friday.

    Zulu said 61 workers had fallen ill since Thursday,
    displaying symptoms similar to those of cholera, and tests were
    being done to confirm the cause.

    If confirmed as cholera, it would be the first sign that the
    disease which has killed more than 1,800 people in neighbouring
    Zimbabwe was having an impact on South Africa's industry and
    economy. The outbreak started in August last year.

    Limpopo, which is adjacent to the Zimbabwean border, has so
    far recorded 1,634 cases of cholera in the province since the
    outbreak started, SAPA news agency quoted the department of
    health as saying.  Continued...

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    Monday, January 12, 2009

    'Wii' Will Rock You

    Wii Sports is the highest selling video game ever.

    Remember the term "virtual reality." Remember we saw movies with people wearing glasses and sometimes suits and "navigating" in a "virtual world." Wii changes all that with a simple cell phone sized object you hold in your hand. Wii has finally delivered on virtual reality in beautiful Technicolor.

    During the Christmas week of 2008, Wii Sports officially became the highest selling videogame in history. The title previously belonged to another Nintendo legend, Super Mario Bros.

    While Wii Sports has sold over 40.2 million copies worldwide, some dismiss the games' success since the game is bundled with the Wii console (in sales outside of Japan and South Korea). So is Wii overhyped?
    I test drove the Wii for the first time a few weeks ago. The console itself has something of Apple's clean white, "fresh" design. This is a high tech product that delivers some of the most innovative technology in gaming.
    Wii is a novel experience compared to conventional PC games, and even multiplayer games. Wii Sports really demands your full physical presence, meaning you should really be standing up with a fair amount of room to manoeuvre in your lounge or bedroom. A sensor placed on the television or monitor detects motion off remote devices held by the players.
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    Saturday, January 10, 2009

    Bush rejected Israeli plea to bomb Iran

    NVDL: Seems like W. did something right.
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    President George W. Bush gives a thumbs up as he boards Air Force One, Saturday,

    WASHINGTON – President George W. Bush rejected a plea from Israel last year to help it raid Iran's main nuclear complex, opting instead to authorize a new U.S. covert action aimed at sabotaging Iran's suspected nuclear weapons program, The New York Times reported.

    Israel's request was for specialized bunker-busting bombs that it wanted for an attack that tentatively involved flying over Iraq to reach Iran's major nuclear complex at Natanz, where the country's only known uranium enrichment plant is located, the Times reported Saturday in its online edition. The White House deflected requests for the bombs and flyover but said it would improve intelligence-sharing with Israel on covert U.S. efforts to sabotage Iran's nuclear program.

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    South Korean blogger arrested - almost causes economy to collapse

    When bloggers get arrested, you know people are really getting desperate to cast stones of blame.
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    A self-styled financial market prophet known by his Internet name, Minerva or by his family name, Park, leaves a Seoul court

    SEOUL, South Korea – A South Korean blogger pleaded not guilty Saturday to charges that he spread false economic information on the Internet, a news report said, in a case that drew heated debate over freedom of speech.

    The blogger, identified only by his surname Park, gained prominence among South Koreans because some of his dire predictions about the global economy, including the collapse of Lehman Brothers, later proved to be correct.

    Known widely by his pen name "Minerva," the mythological Greek goddess of wisdom, the 31-year-old Park was accused of spreading false information on an Internet discussion site last month that the government had ordered major financial institutions and trade businesses not to purchase U.S. dollars.

    Kim Yong-sang, a judge at the Seoul Central District Court who issued an arrest warrant for Park following Saturday's court hearing, said the case "affected foreign exchange markets and the nation's credibility," Yonhap news agency reported.

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