Psalm 117 the Shortest Psalm in the Bible

Psalm 117
Psalm 117 is the shortest Psalm in the Bible
Some noteworthy and remarkable facts are floating around in my head regarding Psalm 117.

In my research for this post I discovered a fair number of divergent opinions on the exact number of verses and chapters in the Bible. There are many good reasons for this — including the many variations of modern translations of the Bible.

Compare the text shown in the photo at right with the text below. It is different. The original King James Version (KJV) which was completed in 1611 is considered the most authoritative of the English translations in use today. It is the basis of the figures quoted here.

There are 1189 chapters in the Bible. The very center chapter of the Bible is the 595th chapter. This is Psalm 117 which also happens to be the shortest of Psalms or chapters in the Bible. Continue reading

Hottentots Holland Mountains of the Western Cape — Part 3

Here’s a link to Part 1 and Part 2 of this post. In this post we show the last 12 photos, with descriptions, of a set of 24 uploaded by Sharmaine Pearl Bradfield. Thanks Sharmaine! Click here to see a slide show (24 photos) on Flickr.

From photograph #16 the return route heads East on the N2 national road. Then through two mountain passes, Sir Lowry’s and Houwhoek, and over the Hottentots Holland mountains to Hermanus.

The N2 National Highway
The N2 National Highway

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The N2 National Highway running west across the vast expanse of plain known as the ‘Cape Flats.’ In the distance, still 50 kilometers (36 miles) away, Table Mountain lies on the horizon sans ‘table cloth.’

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Hottentots Holland Mountains of the Western Cape — Part 2

Here’s a follow-up to this post. The first 12 photos, with descriptions, of a set uploaded by Sharmaine Pearl Bradfield. Thanks Sharmaine! Click here to see a slide show (24 photos) on Flickr.

The route follows the N2 national road through two passes, Houwhoek and Sir Lowry’s, en route from Hermanus to Cape Town. This entire section of the N2 has been recently upgraded. It curves through the lush, green, fertile valleys of the Hottentots Holland range, through orchards and vineyards under big African skies.

Kogelberg Biosphere Reserve
Kogelberg Biosphere Reserve

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The Kogelberg Biosphere Reserve is seen here looking West over the Bot River estuary. The Kogelberg mountains in the distance form an impressive backdrop for the sea-side town of Kleinmond.

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Hottentots Holland Mountains of the Western Cape

Almost equidistant between Hermanus and Cape Town lies the beautiful Hottentots Holland mountain range. The excellent N2 national road must negotiate the Sir Lowry’s and the Houwhoek mountain passes. The recently upgraded road is in superb condition and is well graded and contoured.

This region is the heart of the Western Cape’s successful fruit-growing export industry. Apple, pear, peach and nectarine orchards are interspersed with established vineyards. These beautiful fruit farms and vineyards lie nestled together in the sheltered and fertile green valleys of the Hottentots Holland mountains. Many of the famous vineyards in this area contribute substantially to the renowned South African wine export trade.

Sharmaine Pearl Bradfield uploaded these photographs. Thanks Sharmaine for a great contribution (24 photos). Enjoy.

American Icon 1950s Cadillac

American Icon, the 1950s Cadillac
American Icon, the 1950s Cadillac Artist: John Harding

This great American icon of American success and the American dream, the 1950s Cadillac, is beautifully drawn here by renowned artist John Harding. See a portfolio of John Harding’s work here. Click to enlarge the image at right.

When this famous automobile first appeared on the streets the classic lines of the 1950s Cadillac defined an era. The style embodied the optimism of post-war America and heralded a glorious industrial renaissance led by Detroit, the home of the American automobile industry. On 25 November 1949, Cadillac produced its one millionth car, a 1950 Coupe de Ville.

Cadillac developed three engines for the 1950 model, including the V8 engine which  set the standard for the automotive industry.  Cadillac’s first tail fins, inspired by the twin rudders of the Lockheed P-38 Lightning, appeared in 1948. Continue reading

Mr Gene Sharp: Why Dictators and Despots Fear His Name Everywhere

Gene Sharp
Gene Sharp -- photo: Evan McGlinn for The New York Times

Gene Sharp is relatively unknown to the American public. Around the world he is held in high esteem by activists and is regarded with fear and animosity by many authoritarian leaders.

This humble, shy 83-year-old intellectual, through his practical writings on non-violent revolution, has had a broad influence on international events for two decades. Though he is quick to dismiss his role, his ideas are credited with helping to advance a global democratic awakening.

In 2005, two Moscow bookstores selling Russian translations of a book written by Mr. Sharp were mysteriously burnt down. In June 2007, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez accused Mr. Sharp of stirring unrest in Venezuela. In 2010 in Vietnam opposition activists were arrested for distributing a book written by Mr. Sharp.

Most recently his 102 page pdf document, “From Dictatorship to Democracy,” which is available in 28 languages, has inspired dissidents in Tunisia and Egypt Continue reading

Revolution Comes to Egypt and Sweeps Across The Arab World

Mohamed Bouazizi
Mohamed Bouazizi, a humble vegetable vendor started the revolution in Tunisia when he set himself alight as a sign of protest

Tonight as I write this a revolution of change is sweeping the Arab countries of Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan, Libya, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia and Yemen.

The revolution was started in Tunisia by Mohamed Bouazizi (26), a humble vegetable vendor. He set himself alight in December as a sign of protest. Mohamed had endured police bullying that resulted in the “last straw” confiscation of his vegetable cart. He died of his wounds in early January and instantly became a martyr to students and the unemployed. A wave of protests against poor living conditions began. Three weeks ago the country’s dictatorship fell sending a spark to ignite the unrest that is now burning out of control in this region of autocratic rulers.

The next dictator to feel the pain of revolution was Hosni Mubarak of Egypt after a 30 year autocratic rule which subjected Egyptian citizens to the suppression of political opposition, detention without trial and torture. Continue reading

The Grande Hotel in Beira Mozambique is Squatter Heaven

On the North-Eastern border of South Africa lies the country of Mozambique. Here, in the port city of Beira, the magnificent Grande Hotel was built in the mid 1950’s when the country was still under Portuguese colonial control. It was by far the most luxurious Hotel in Africa.

In the mid 1970s I visited Mozambique with my first wife on honeymoon. The civil war had just started and we saw evidence of the military wherever we traveled. Even at this time it was still a popular and thriving tourist destination for travelers from Rhodesia and South Africa. The port of Beira was a busy hub of commerce handling the exports and imports of African countries inland of Mozambique.

The video trailer above is of a documentary shot by Belgian filmmaker Lotte Stoops about the Continue reading

Pages Loading Faster With Optimised HTML Code

Optimise page loading times for more Page Impressions
Optimise page loading times for more Page Impressions
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Two days ago I made this wonderful discovery. Now, as a relative newcomer, I realise that this may be yesterdays news to some of the more experience HTML coders. Simply put, this is a way of optimising your HTML code so that your pages load faster.

A lot faster.

In my case working through 10 000 words of HTML code, re-writing and re-ordering parts of it where necessary, for two days — that probably doesn’t sound like much fun. The effort was well spent. The goal was to shrink all the page images. By using smaller, lighter images the overall page load time of each page is greatly reduced. This is particularly noticeable on image intensive pages. High resolution images only load after you click a link. This might sound obvious but it’s an aspect that is often neglected. Continue reading