Jeanne Cummings, in an article on Politico.com, reports that Senator Barack Obama is set to break fundraising records for his current bid to take the Presidency of the United States. It is reported that his campaign has raised over $600 million thus far while Senator John McCain has raised about $250 million.
Saturday, 25 October 2008
Wednesday, 22 October 2008
Besides a Windows operating system, could you run your PC entirely on freeware?
Monday, 20 October 2008
Scientists have reported a fascinating discovery in a rock fissure in the Mponeng gold mine near Johannesburg nearly 3km below the earth's surface. They found rod-shaped bacteria, named Desulforudis audaxviator, in water extracted from a rock fissure.
This bacterium exists in total darkness with no oxygen and in a temperature of 60 degrees celsius. However the most important aspect of this discovery, according to researchers at the Lawrence Berkley National Laboratory in California, is that the bacterium lives in its own ecosystem - the first known species to do so.
"One question that has arisen when considering the capacity of other planets to support life is whether organisms can exist independently, without access even to the sun," says Dylan Chivian, the bioinformatics lead scientist at the Joint BioEnergy Institute in Berkeley, California, who studied the gene samples found in the fissure water.
"The answer is yes, and here's the proof. It's sort of philosophically exciting to know that everything necessary for life can be packed into a single genome." (quoted in the Sunday Independent 19 Oct, page 5)
Another fascinating aspect of this bacterium is that it can't live in oxygen which suggest that it hasn't been exposed to pure oxygen for a very long time, perhaps millions of years. Scientists believe that the water the bacterium lives in has not seen light for more than 3 million years!
D audaxviator's name comes from Jules Verne's Journey to the Centre of the Earth, in which a message in Latin deciphered by Professor Lidenbrock, Verne's protagonist, reads in part, "descende, Audax viator, et terrestre centrum attinges". It means "descend, Bold traveller, and attain the centre of the Earth".
Friday, 17 October 2008
I am increasingly frustrated with computer stores and general department stores whose desktop PC and notebook advertising tells customers what wonderful value they are getting because software is bundled with the machine. However on further investigation one notices that the software is open-source and available for free on the internet! The most common seems to be bundling Open Office as an extra-value add-on.
The consumer, who may not know any better, is thrilled to receive an office suite with their purchase and the assumption is made that they have been offered a wonderful bargain!
I believe that this kind of advertising exploits the average Joe's lack of knowledge and is exploitative. At the very least it is misleading. Surely this is unethical?
What do you think about this? Leave a comment and let me know...
Thursday, 16 October 2008
The South African Navy Band was once described by former President Nelson Mandela as a national treasure. Despite having grown up in Cape Town and being part of a musical family, I had never heard the Navy Band until this evening when they gave of their time to travel to Worcester at the invitation of the Institute for the Blind.
Sunday, 12 October 2008
We so often hear of people leaving the shores of South Africa for a myriad of reasons which I am not going to get into here. What I do find fascinating is the ever-increasing number of South Africans who end up back in South Africa after a stint in another country.
The stories of these folk are very interesting and I am thrilled that my good friend Mike has set up a blog detailing his return to our shores and his experience of living and working in Johannesburg. He has already had run-ins with bureaucracy and has a story to tell about the Joburg traffic department! However his overall experience has been a positive one and I invite you to click through to his blog and read all about it for yourself.
Click here - Living in Jozi