Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Mines plead poverty, ignorance - toxic mine water about to decant into Vaal and Orange River

In the past, pumps kept gold mines outside Johannesburg largely free of water because most water was pumped to the surface, partially treated and released into rivers. Now many of the gold mines have closed or can no longer afford to keep pumping, and vast underground areas are filling up.

Department of Water and Environmental Affairs spokesman Linda Page said: “They (the three companies ) have been given 90 days to stop discharging into the Tweelopie Spruit. Failure to do so will result in further action from the department.”

SHOOT: This is more serious than swine flu and the economy. Having your drinking water polluted is an immediate and urgent public health threat.
clipped from www.thetimes.co.za
Dubious warning: A Rand Uranium water-purifying station in Randfontein, west of Johannesburg. Uranium levels in the area have reached an all-time high. Picture: Kevin Sutherland

A river of acid water — enough to fill 600 swimming pools a day — has flooded old gold mines west of Johannesburg and is just days away from spilling over, causing an environmental disaster.

Long-term exposure to the poisoned water poses major health risks, including increased rates of cancer, skin lesions and retarded brain development.

An overflow of toxic mine water in the past led to radioactive contamination of Robinson Lake — a fishing and picnic area that has now become lifeless — outside Randfontein on the West Rand.

Acidic water is also dissolving huge areas of underground rock, threatening the Cradle of Humankind World Heritage site.

If left unchecked, this water could also decant and contaminate water that ultimately flows into the Orange River.

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Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Makarapas - gaudy, fun and poised to become the fashion statement of South African football

SHOOT: I want one.
clipped from www.sowetan.co.za

Of all the paraphernalia surrounding football in South Africa, the pimped-up construction hats, or makarapas, worn by devotees of the game, are the weirdest and most wonderful.

Cut, twisted and painted into fabulous headdresses they give the wearer a look that is part sorcerer and part court jester.

At South Africa’s games in the ongoing Confederations Cup, rows of makarapa-wearing supporters, blowing noisily on vuvuzelas, provide as much entertainment as the players.

Alfred Baloyi, 53, a die-hard Kaizer Chiefs supporter, had the idea while sitting in a stadium.

“Someone threw a bottle and hit someone on the head,” says Baloyi, sitting in a dark corner of his shack in a squatter camp outside Johannesburg, where he still makes the colourful crowns.

At his next game Baloyi, who worked as a cleaner in Limpopo at the time, wore his work’s safety helmet decorated with football imagery.

As the helmets gained currency among club football fans, he began cutting them and bending them
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Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Confed Cup: Thousands and thousands of empty seats watch games

SHOOT: The same awaits us during the 2010 World Cup. When I was in South Korea they sort've solved this problem by bussing in students and schoolchildren. It's quite ironic. You build massive cauldrons at taxpayer;s expense, and then, of course, taxpayers can't afford to watch the games. Virtually no one attended the game at Royal Bafokeng between New Zealand and Spain. Even the opener wasn't sold out.
clipped from www.dw-world.de
Empty seats at South African Confederations Cup stadium

FIFA has been forced to rethink its ticket policy after the first two days of group matches at the Confederations Cup in South Africa were played in front of thousands of empty seats.

"We are looking at measures to ensure more fans make it into the stadiums. We can only encourage them to buy tickets," FIFA spokesman Nicolas Maingot told German news agency DPA at a press conference Tuesday in Johannesburg.

Speculation over free tickets was fuelled after FIFA president Joseph Blatter expressed his disappointment at the low turnout for the opening day of the tournament, which featured a match between hosts South Africa and Iraq. A match between defending European champions Spain and New Zealand was particularly empty.

"We were not happy with the number of people in attendance on the opening match day," Blatter said.

FIFA President Joseph Blatter

"They need to bring in people even if they cannot afford tickets," said Blatter. "The young and poor can be brought into the stadium. Nobody will be offended by that".

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Sunday, June 14, 2009

State of the Economy Right Now [CARTOON]

SHOOT: This picture says it all.
clipped from news.yahoo.com
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African Photography - FOR SALE

Some beautiful work by Nick van der Leek is going on sale this month.
Storm in Mabua, Kalahari R3499 unframed.
Foam at Kleinbrak River, Garden Route R1000 unframed/R2000 framed
Blazing sky over Free State Windmill R4999 framed/R4000 unframed.

For $US prices click here.
For more photography go to my Facebook Album.
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Saturday, June 13, 2009

"The lone wolf is what concerns the Washington field office, what concerns the FBI the most

It could be anyone. It could be the guy next door, living in the basement of his mother's place, on the Internet just building himself up with hate, building himself up to a boiling point and finally using what he's learned," said John Perren, head of the counterterrorism branch at the FBI's Washington field office.

SHOOT: As economic conditions worsen, a pack of wolves emerges out of the wood. Then another, then another.
clipped from news.yahoo.com
Some of the first people enter the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington

WASHINGTON – An elderly man enters a crowded museum carrying a rifle and begins shooting. A young man in Arkansas pulls the trigger outside a military recruiting office. Another man opens fire in a Kansas church.

Three chilling, unconnected slayings in less than two weeks. One gunman was a white supremacist, one a militant Muslim, one a fervent foe of abortion.

Each suspect had a history that suggested trouble. Each apparently was driven to act by beliefs considered by some as extreme. Each shooter fits the description of a "lone wolf" terrorist, a killer whose attack, authorities say, is harder to head off than if planned by a trained terrorist network.

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Monday, June 8, 2009

Somebody has to set in motion the chain of recognition, or events will soon do it for us - Kunstler

SHOOT: That is the purpose of this blog. A voice crying out in the internet wilderness, one sheath of grass in a clamouring field. Sadly the signal is for the most part lost. But the message we all already know. We have to start spending our days and nights differently, saying adieu to our cars, and to our conventional ideas about money. We can get on our hands and knees and put our fingers in the soil, and turn our eyes to the sky - instead of reading these pixels off a screen. This, here, isn't reality. Reality is hands and feet touching the Earth, and feeling it, and it feeling you beginning to scratch a real life of substance rather than an artifical excuse for a life.
clipped from kunstler.com
It will be very painful for us to walk away from the car-centered life.  Half the population faces the ugly obstacle of being hopelessly over-invested in a suburban house and all the life-ways associated with it. There will be no easy way out for them, whatever they chose to do politically, whatever noise they make, whomever they scapegoat, whatever fantasies they cultivate about what the world owes them, or who they think they are.
Mr. Obama should not waste another week pretending that we can keep this old system going.  The public needs to know that we will be making our livings differently, inhabiting the landscape differently, and spending our days and nights differently -- even while we suffer our losses.  The public needs to hear this from more figures than Mr. Obama, too, from leaders in the state capitals, and the agencies, and business and education and what remains of the clergy.  But somebody has to set in motion the chain of recognition, or events will soon do it for us.
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Wednesday, June 3, 2009

WARNING: The end of the current financial system may be iminent.

Other countries have had collapsed currencies, but never in the history of world of finance has so much currency been held outside a country of issue that could come flying back, almost on a moments notice. If the panic out of the dollar starts, even if Bernanke stops printing money (unlikely), all the dollars flying back into the U.S. could cause a huge price inflation all on its own.

SHOOT: We seem to be suffering from complacency in virtually every department. One thing more effective than a powerf failure (a blackout) is wiping out money. Huh? Rub your eyes. What happened?
clipped from dprogram.net
The end of the current financial system, as we know it, may be iminent. If you would have asked me even two weeks ago if collapse was imminent, I would have said it was highly unlikely, now I am saying it is possible. Bernanke may be able to patch things up short-term, if he is lucky, but long term the U.S. financial structure is in serious trouble. There is just too much Treasury debt that needs to be raised. An international panic out of Treasury securities, even a slow controlled panic, means the Fed will be the major buyer. This will ultimately mean record inflation.
And keep this in mind, we have never seen a collapse of a currency like the dollar. Even the hyperinflation during Germany’s Wiemar Period can not serve as an example. Since the dollar is the reserve currency of most of the world, a panic out of the dollar means more dollars will return to the U.S. shores than any country has ever experienced.
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