All posts by John

I'm a Real Estate professional with 19 years experience, dabble in programming a bit and I'm a wannabe artist. I live on the southern tip of Africa.

Weyers Du Toit Local Artist

Die Oes (The Harvest)
Die Oes (The Harvest), 95 x 75cm, oil on canvas (click to enlarge)

Weyers du Toit grew up in the Western Cape town of Bredasdorp. In the early 1990s he was a student of Fine Arts at the Cape College, working in Oils under the guidance of Liesbeth Gunther.

The artist paints from life in the spirit and style known as en plein air, after the French phrase for ‘in open air.’ This method of working in natural light serves to put the artist in direct contact with the beauty of nature and its elements. (See 13 more images, or click here for Flickr slideshow). Continue reading

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Need A Growth Hacker To Tweak Your App?

Dilbert.com
Source: Dilbert by Scott Adams

Dilbert is lining up a cushy work from home deal as the company’s new “Growth Hacker.”

“Growth hacking is a marketing technique developed by technology start-ups which uses creativity, analytical thinking, and social metrics to sell products and gain exposure” – from “Everything is Marketing: How Growth Hackers Redefine the Game” by Ryan Holiday

Source: Dilbert by Scott Adams

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Why I Deleted My Facebook And Why You Should Too

Goodbye Facebook

Facebook conducted a secret social experiment on 689,003 of its user accounts. See here for a copy of the study (pdf).

The 2012 study’s findings were published on 17 June 2014 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

This is the one that finally got me. That’s it, I’m out of there!

In January 2012, in a week-long experiment, a Facebook data scientist and university researchers manipulated the news feeds of 689,003 random Facebook users, without their knowledge.
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“Ayisafani” The Video The ANC Does Not Want You To See

This week we saw the state run SABC trying unsuccessfully to block a Democratic Alliance (DA) TV advert from airing on national television.

Well, predictably the “Streisand Effect” has now kicked in and the video has gone viral on YouTube. Oops.

“Ayisafani” means “It’s not the same” in Zulu.

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Isabel le Roux South African Artist

Isabel le Roux Ceres Landscape
Ceres Landscape — oil on canvas (click to enlarge)

Isabel le Roux was born in Rustenburg, a city situated at the foot of the Magaliesberg mountain range in North West Province of South Africa. She began her career as an art teacher and has been painting professionally since 1974.

Her dynamic style is both expressionistic and contemporary, employing the vibrant and bold use of colour to depict typical South African scenes, particularly the Cape and it’s people.

She paints mainly in oils but also uses acrylics, watercolours, pen on paper and mixed media. Her passion and commitment is evident in her artwork and her travels abroad have brought a new dimension to her work.

She is one of the most prolific artists in South Africa. Her first solo exhibition in 1974 was followed by thirty-six more solo and group exhibitions, both locally and overseas. She was recently honoured with a three month sabbatical in the “Cite International Des Artes’ in Paris. (See 12 more images, or click here for Flickr slideshow). Continue reading

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Open Letter: Aussies Stop Killing The Great White Shark

South African great white shark
The endangered great white migrates to Australian waters where a culling operation is now in progress. As top-level predators, sharks regulate the marine life they feed on by removing the sick, weak and injured – click to enlarge

Open Letter to the Honorable Premier of Western Australia, Mr. Colin Barnett:

Dear Mr. Premier,

I’m writing to you about the Australian Shark Cull Policy, which targets various shark species, including the endangered great white. This policy was initiated late last year following a spate of fatal attacks in 2011. Despite widespread criticism in Australia, you have refused to back down, claiming your catch-and-kill policy is justified.

South Africa is a world leader in shark research and the killing of great white sharks is prohibited in South African waters.

Australia should not be allowed to make unilateral policy decisions that affect the global ocean environment. Furthermore, the Australian cull policy violates international laws. It targets various shark species, including the endangered great white. An independent study has found that there is no proof that this initiative will reduce attacks and shows that it would probably have an adverse effect on the environment. Continue reading

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Wild Horses of the Bot River: New Kid On The Block

Bot River Wild Stallions are challening for leadership after “White Diamond” returns to the herd with his mare and a two-week-old foal. Watch for the kick at 48 seconds!

“Size for size, this 100 000 hectare UNESCO registered Kogelberg Biosphere Reserve is home to the most complex biodiversity on our planet! Here we have some 1880 different plant species… the next richest is the South American rainforest with just 420 species per 10000 square kilometres!” — Cape Nature website

The Bot River Estuary lies on the Southern tip of Africa and is home to a magnificent herd of wild horses. It’s now low tide on the estuary with the river mouth in the background. These magnificent creatures are decended from cavalry stock released by the British administration after WWII.

Wild Horses now peacefully roam the pristine banks of the Bot River Estuary, on the eastern border of the Kogelberg Biosphere Reserve (see 7 Images or click here for Flickr slideshow).
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R.I.P. Nelson Mandela (1918 — 2013)

Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela
Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela (18 July 1918 – 5 December 2013)

South African icon Nelson Mandela passed away last night, on 5 Decemeber 2013. He is sadly missed and fondly remembered.

“Resentment is like drinking poison and then hoping it will kill your enemies.” — Nelson Mandela

God speed, Madiba.

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Dilbert Gets Weaponized

Dilbert.com

Dilbert finds some scary and disturbing things on the internet. Whether it’s a video, an image or a sound file these things may perhaps remind you why you typically stick to the safety of Facebook and Twitter.

Source: Dilbert by Scott Adams

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Raymond Loewy the Father of Industrial Design

Raymond Loewy Industrial design
1951 Studebaker Commander Convertible, with Loewy at the wheel, pacing a PRR T1 Duplex – artist Chris Ludlow

Historians refer to Raymond Loewy as the designer of the modern world. He began his career drawing for Harper’s Bazaar, Vanity Fair and Vogue before moving into industrial design towards the end of the 1920s.

“There is a frantic race to merchandise tinsel and trash under the guise of ‘modernism’. I can claim to have made the daily life of the 20th Century more beautiful.” — Raymond Loewy

Loewy studied engineering at the Université de Paris and École de Laneau, before emigrating to the United States of America in 1919 (See 23 Images, or click here for Flickr slideshow).
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