Tuesday, 26 August 2008

Mugabe Booed In Parliament - Is He Getting The Message? (video)

As Zimbabwe's parliament opened today Robert Mugabe was heckled and booed in a clear display of the rejection of his and his government's leadership.

I wonder if he's getting the message that he is no longer wanted or needed? Or is he continually blinded by sense of self-importance?

Wednesday, 20 August 2008

Is Linux Really What You Want?

- Taken from The Burning Biscuit

Monday, 18 August 2008

High-School Musical Rip-Off - Not Christianity's Finest Hour!

As someone who has spent many years around Christian ministry to children and teenagers, I was horrified to find a post on SingPraise.co.za detailing how Asylum Studios intend releasing what is clearly an attempt to cash in on the success of Disney Studio's High School Musical.

A look at the packaging and graphics shows how blatant the copying is. If you took out the title "Sunday School Musical", the poster could be mistaken for a sequel to the Disney show. It reeks of squeaky-clean evangelical puritanism.

The Christian dollar is powerful and Asylum Studios should be ashamed of themselves for putting money ahead of ethics no matter how pressing the evangelical imperative.

Teenagers are increasingly wary of having the wool pulled over their eyes. This attempt to bring them to Christ through the imitation of a secular success will, I believe, be seen by many young people as an attempt to hoodwink them!

Sunday, 17 August 2008

MXit - Media Raises Concerns

The use of technology among young people is something I encourage as they find themselves in an ever-increasingly wired and inter-connected world. I do however believe that parents and teachers have a responsibility to teach children how to use technology in a responsible manner. I also believe that parents need to place the necessary restrictions in place to protect their children from the potential dangers of misusing technology.

The media has recently reported on several incidents involving MXit - mainly focusing on the recent phenomenon of lists naming those who some have labelled as "sluts" and "ugly".

Take a look at these reports - they make for interesting reading (especially for parents and teachers). I will be circulating these to the Grade 6 & 7 parents and all teachers at my school on Monday.

1) Getting The Message Across

2) Parents Go To War Over MXit

3) Sex Danger In Chatrooms

4) Film Board To Look At 'Slut List'

5) MXit Suspected As Teen Absconds

6) Malicious MXit Lists Create Cruel Copy-Cats

Saturday, 16 August 2008

Are Schools Responsible For Good Manners?

I had the privilege of attending the Annual Old Boys' Dinner at my alma mater, Wynberg Boys' High School, this past Thursday evening. It was a wonderful evening spent reliving moments of school mischief, reminding each other of memorable moments inside and outside the classroom and being reminded of how fortunate we were to have attended such a great boy's high school with so many years of tradition (167 years old this year).

It was not however the tradition or the sense of history, recent or distant, that drew comment from guys seated around our table (all from the 1990 crop of matrics), but rather the manner in which each one of us was greeted as we moved through the school to the Old Boys' Pavilion where we met for pre-dinner drinks. Every boy, without fail, who we came across on the field, in the corridors, walking along the pathways greeted us with "Good evening, Sir" or "How can I help you, Sir?". This show of manners and respect left its mark on all of us and reminded us of the value of the education we had received.

Those who decry the youth of today and who lament the lack of respect among young people need to pay a visit to many of our country's schools. I have been able to visit a great many schools over the past number of years and in many I have been delighted at the show of manners by the pupils.

I must make one comment though that I know will upset some but it is borne out through my experience and observations in many schools across the country : it would appear that schools with a long history and tradition (both government and independent schools)are those in which emphasis is placed on producing young men and women of character and in which manners and respect are given high value.

This is obviously a generalisation but this observation is proved time and time again. On Thursday afternoon I was driving in the southern suburbs of Cape Town and was in the vicinity of a well-known large co-ed school at about the time of the final bell of the day. Scores of pupils were walking home and frequenting a local shopping centre. The abiding memory is ties hanging loose around necks, shirts hanging out, loose shoe laces and the vigorous chewing of gum by several pupils. I know that the education received at this school is good and that the staff are extremely dedicated to their pupils. Indeed I know several very fine men and women who attending this school - the fact is that the issue of dress and pride in the school and themselves is just not high on the agenda in the life of the school.

The question remains - why can some schools pull it off and other can't? Are schools of tradition and history guilty of producing snobs or young men and women who think too highly of themselves, or are they just successful at using their history to instil a sense of pride and honour in their pupils? Are single-sex schools more successful in this aspect of schooling than their co-ed counterparts?

As always, your comments are welcome...

Wednesday, 13 August 2008

Bloggers Helping Bloggers - A Mutually Satisfying Experience!

This year sees the 4th incarnation of Blog Day.

The idea here is that on 31 August bloggers post links to 5 other blogs on their blog. Each blog listed will be reviewed to guide visitors on their journey to new and exciting blog destinations.

All the necessary info can be found at the Blog Day homepage.

I will be posting my five links on August 31st. Be sure to check this blog on that day to find out which five blogs I've chosen to direct you to!

Blog Day 2008

Scout's letter home...

Dear Mom & Dad,

Our Scoutmaster told us to write to our parents in case you saw the flood
on TV and are worried. We are okay. Only one of our tents and 2 sleeping
bags got washed away. Luckily, none of us got drowned because we were all
up on the mountain looking for Adam when it happened.

Oh yes, please call Adam's mother and tell her he is okay. He can't write
because of the cast. I got to ride in one of the search and rescue jeeps.
It was neat. We never would have found Adam in the dark if it hadn't been
for the lightning.

Scoutmaster Keith got mad at Adam for going on a hike alone without telling
anyone. Adam said he did tell him, but it was during the fire so he
probably didn't hear him. Did you know that if you put gas on a fire, the
gas will blow up ?

The wet wood didn't burn, but one of the tents did and also some of our
clothes. Matthew is going to look weird until his hair grows back.

We will be home on Saturday if Scoutmaster Keith gets the bus fixed. It
wasn't his fault about the wreck. The brakes worked okay when we left.
Scoutmaster Keith said that with a bus that old you have to expect
something to break down; that's probably why he can't get insurance.

We think it's a neat bus. He doesn't care if we get it dirty and if it's
hot, sometimes he lets us ride on the fenders. It gets pretty hot with 45
people in a bus made for 24. He let us take turns riding in the trailer
until the highway patrol man stopped and talked to us.

Scoutmaster Keith is a neat guy. Don't worry, he is a good driver. In fact,
he is teaching Jessie how to drive on the mountain roads where there isn't
any cops. All we ever see up there are logging trucks.

This morning all of the guys were diving off the rocks and swimming out to
the rapids. Scoutmaster Keith wouldn't let me because I can't swim, and
Adam was afraid he would sink because of his cast, it's concrete because we
didn't have any plaster, so he let us take the canoe out. It was great. You
can still see some of the trees under the water from the flood.

Scoutmaster Keith isn't crabby like some scoutmasters. He didn't even get
mad about the life jackets. He has to spend a lot of time working on the
bus so we are trying not to cause him any trouble.

Guess what ? We have all passed our first aid merit badges. When Ryan dived
into the lake and cut his arm, we got to see how a tourniquet works.

Steven and I threw up, but Scoutmaster Keith said it probably was just food
poisoning from the leftover chicken. He said they got sick that way with
food they ate in prison. I'm so glad he got out and became our scoutmaster.
He said he sure figured out how to get things done better while he was
doing his time. By the way, what is a pedal-file ?

I have to go now. We are going to town to mail our letters & buy some more
beer and ammo. Don't worry about anything. We are fine and tonight it's my
turn to sleep in the Scoutmaster's tent.

Love as always
your only son

- taken from Jolly Good Jokes

Sunday, 10 August 2008

BBC's Olympic Monkey - Video

Those of us lucky enough to have the DSTV SuperSport Channels have been treated to our first weekend's coverage of the Beijing Olympics. The back-to-back coverage has been wonderful for sports fans and has no doubt caused a few domestic conflicts as families battled over choice of sport viewing (not to mention those households in which one person enjoys sport and the other does not!).

If, however, gold medals were handed out to broadcasters for their attempts to woo viewers, the BBC would romp home with their Sports Monkey video. Take a look at this video to see their creativity and unique approach :


This animated sequence, based on the classical Chinese novel, "Journey to the West", has been produced by Damon Albarn and Jamie Hewlett, the men behind virtual band Gorillaz.