Thursday, 28 February 2008

29 Feb - A Special Day! 30 Feb - Yes It Once Existed!

So is it true that once every four years, on February 29, women can woo men and ask them for their hand in marriage?

As usual I go to the folks at for an answer - read all about it here.

10 famous people born on Feb 29 :

1) Pope John Paul III (1468 - 10/11/1549)
2) Gioacchino Rossini (1792 - 13/11/1868)
3) Morarji Desai (1896 - 10/04/1995)
4) Jimmy Dorsey (1904 - 12/06/1957)
5) Dinah Shore (1916 - 24/02/1994)
6) Tempest Storm (1928 - )
7) Henri Richard (1936 - )
8) Anthony Robbins (1960 - )
9) Saul Williams (1972 - )
10) Ja Rule (1976 - )

Keeing up with the maths :

February 2008 has five Fridays - it starts and ends on a Friday. Between 1904 and 2096, leap years with same day of week for each date repeat every 28 years which means that the last time February had 5 Fridays was in 1980 and next time will be in 2036. (taken from "Life Is Like That")

Did you know that 30 February actually once existed?

Sweden and the Soviet Union once had a February 30 in their calendar. Check it out here.

Tuesday, 26 February 2008

Oscar Honour For South Africa

It may not have generated as much hype as Charlize Theron's Oscar did in 2004 or as the film Tsotsi did in 2006 but South Africa once again walked away with an Oscar at this year's Academy Awards.

Taxi to the Dark Side, one of the films made for the South African coordinated, global documentary project Why Democracy?, won the Documentary Feature award.

South African producer and film maker, Don Edkins, was the executive producer of the film. Edkins also produced and coordinated the Why Democracy? project for Steps International from their Cape Town offices.

Director Alex Gibney’s film tells the story of an Afghan taxi driver tortured to death by the American government as part of its "War on Terror" and was one of 10 films in the Why Democracy? documentary project.

Edkins as Executive Producer on ‘Taxi to the Dark Side’, and Producer of ‘Please Vote For Me’ says, “This is a great honour for the film. I am very pleased that ‘Taxi to the Dark Side’ won because it deals with a very tough political issue. By awarding the film an Oscar, the Academy has showed it is not scared of films which expose the undemocratic practices of the American Government."

This is yet another opportunity to showcase the talent that this country produces. Well done Don Edkins and your team!

Thursday, 21 February 2008

The Weatherman in a New South Africa (video)

A relevant warning - take note...

Wednesday, 20 February 2008

Government Supports The Boks - When It Suits Them

So the Springboks have won the Laureus Sport Team of the Year Award - a fabulous achievement in anyone's book. Now the ANC jumps on the bandwagon of congratulating the team for their success despite the history of political interference which so often threatened to derail the team on their journey to success.

I find it rather ironic that in their congratulatory statement the government has called on Bafana Bafana, the country's national soccer team, to emulate their rugby counterparts and win the FIFA World Cup in 2010! I wonder to what extent the politicians will interfere with soccer to make this happen. On current form it will take nothing short of a divine miracle for South Africa to win the 2010 World Cup!

While the Springboks certainly united the nation for a time I believe that selective government intervention in other sporting codes will ultimately breakdown the unity they now applaud the Springboks for attaining.

Tuesday, 19 February 2008

Paid To Be Positive - HIV+

Would you consider being a human guinea-pig for a new HIV/AIDS prevention strategy if it meant you may contract HIV in the process?

This is exactly what a number of women did during a recent clinical trial of a gel which was supposed to prevent transmission of the virus.The full story may be found here.

6202 women participated in the study between March 2004 and March 2007. During this time the rate of infection was 3.3 new infections per 100 women. The participants in the study were given HIV education and counselling, gynaecological exams and testing and treatment for curable sexually transmitted infections.

Women who were HIV-positive at screening or who became HIV positive during the trial were given medical and psychological assistance.

I wonder what these women were paid to participate in this study - a study that for 200 of them translated to an HIV-positive reality. Was it worth it? I suppose if the gel had been effective they would have been hailed as heroes of the fight against AIDS. However they are now just statistics in the HIV/AIDS pandemic in our country. Are they still heroes or just foolish people looking for quick money at a high risk?

I realise this is a controversial topic and I invite you to leave a comment and get the debate started...

Monday, 18 February 2008

Johannesburg to Worcester - What A Pleasure!

It's been some time since I wrote on this blog and for my regular readers, I apologise! At the end of last year my family and I moved home from the bustling city of Johannesburg to the Boland town of Worcester so that I could take up the position of headmaster at a local primary school.

I cannot even begin to describe the difference we have experienced in lifestyle and peace of mind! Living on the school property allows me to walk to school across the fields and take in the surrounding beauty. As the sun creeps over the mountains and crawls its way across the the school buildings and fields I remind myself every day how fortunate we are to have been able to move. Don't get me wrong, we enjoyed our time in what is probably South Africa's most diverse and Afro-centric city but there is most definitely something different and refreshing about living in the country (not to mention the fresh air).

Worcester is situated in the wine-producing area of the Boland region. This has resulted in our fridge being well-stocked with freshly picked grapes and our wine selection being greatly enhanced through the generous gifts of parents of our school. Being so centrally located (an hour from Cape Town, Hermanus, Montagu and Touwsriver and even less from Paarl, Tulbagh and Ceres) ensures that Worcester is a bustling hub of industry and commerce in the area. All that is required is right on our doorstep.

While the summer temperatures frequently reach over 30 degrees Celsius (86 degrees Fahrenheit) the weather is pleasant and in the winter months snow covers the peaks of the surrounding mountains.

There are pros and cons to living in the country but I have to say that there seem to be many more pros than cons!

Worcester Tourism Homepage