This 'n That And the Long, Short 'n Tall of it Mon, 13 Mar 2017 18:45:40 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Why the World Needs Better Entrepreneurs Fri, 10 Mar 2017 17:20:19 +0000
Entrepreneurs need to instil some much-needed positivity
The world is in an interesting state, to say the least, and it is up to entrepreneurs and smart business plans to instil some much-needed positivity.

We are living in uncertain times wherever we are in the world. The United States arguably has its most controversial president in Donald Trump and the United Kingdom is in the process of leaving the EU. On top of this, there appears to be something of a right-wing uprising in global politics.

Businesses are either threatening to leave, or threatened to stay, depending on which side of the coin you are. Politics will always be a divisive subject, and not one that we will be exploring in depth – so what does the world need right now?

Better Entrepreneurs

Success always comes as a result of hard work
Although we are in the middle of the most uncertain of times, business opportunities are vast and entrepreneurship is pivotal to the economy.

Without the success of smaller businesses, the economy would be in a much worse state and there would be no competition at all for large businesses, which could effectively charge whatever they like for their products and services.

Finding the Opportunity
Good entrepreneurs are able to seek out a gap in the market and jump on the opportunity that presents itself. They do this by asking a question that no one can provide the answer to, and they make it their business to make their business the answer.

In modern history, there have never been so many unanswered questions. Although we cannot expect entrepreneurs to provide the answer to tackling terrorism, they can at least play a pivotal role in our day-to-day life.

A Good Idea
It takes just a single second to think of a good idea, but it can take a lifetime to make happen. While there are many examples of successful business owners working solo, a good entrepreneur seeks the help and opinion of others.

When a good idea and well-thought out plan come together, a promising business is born. Before seeking out commercial office space, small businesses learn to walk before they can run. This is where many a good idea evaporates with the expectation of immediate success.

Learn to Take the Hits
Success always comes as a result of hard work. For every overnight success, there are years of hard grafting and problem solving, and a dedicated team working night and day.

Every new business takes hits, which can be terrifying for entrepreneurs that have bills to pay, but this is when keeping hold of the wheel and stabilising the ship is most important. All it takes is to walk down the street and see shops to let and vacant office space for signs of others downfall.

Sometimes it just doesn’t work out and business owners can confidently say to themselves that there wasn’t any more they could do. Everyone fails from time to time, and the lessons learned from one project can be taken into making a success of the next.

If for no other reason than securing between 60 and 80% of jobs in the United States, according to Entrepreneur Magazine, small businesses fly the flag of hope and keep alive the normal person’s dream of making something of them.

Without those that choose to take risks, the world is left with a gulf between highly-paid CEOs and those that work for them. If Starbucks had to close down one of its 11,100 stores in the United States, the damage would be just a mere drop in the ocean – for a small business, the effects are damning.

The world needs better entrepreneurs to bridge the gap between the rich and powerful, and those who are not. A small business is built on an idea and lots of planning and hard work, providing the answer to a question you may not have even asked yet.

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Global Warming – Major Scam or Impending Reality? Mon, 30 May 2016 16:47:23 +0000 ; everyone has a strong opinion about it one way or the other - - major scam or impending reality?]]> Global Warming Scam or Reality
Global warming is the gradual increase in average temperature of Earth’s atmosphere

Global warming seems to be one of the most debated issues of modern civilization; everyone has a strong opinion about it one way or the other.

Global warming causes fights at family gatherings, and discords between friends. But how many people really understand the arguments on either side of the debate? It seems like people form their opinions based on how they feel, or what they want the answer to be, rather than based on information or evidence.

We’ll break down the arguments on both sides, and then let you decide for yourself whether global warming is all smoke and mirrors, or if you might want to go out and buy a hybrid vehicle.

Major Scam

Eleven years in the Sun's solar cycle
Eleven years in the life of the Sun solar cycle 23, from solar minimum to maximum and back again, as seen at upper right – click to enlarge

Climate Change is a Normal Part of the Earth’s Cycles
Global warming skeptics point out that the Earth has gone through several periods of warming and cooling, and has even experienced a few ice ages and warm periods throughout history.

There is also an argument to be made that we may be headed for a cycle of cooling due to lower solar activity than was initially expected over the last few years, and continuing in the near future. A previous period of similar low solar activity led to a major cooling of the earth in the 1700’s, which even led to the Baltic Sea freezing over.

Just a Couple of Degrees is Not a Problem (it’s not that bad)
Many people point out that a couple of degrees isn’t really a big deal. Can you actually tell the difference between a 23-degree day and a 25-degree day? How about 6 vs. 8?

These types of slight temperature variations don’t make that much of a difference, and many global warming skeptics point out that science and environmental organizations seem to be exaggerating the effects and are making things sound so much worse than they are.

There is no Consensus.
There are numerous scientists and researchers out there that have done studies that show trends that differ from those being reported by mainstream organizations.

There is also a lot of doubt shed on the interpretations of many studies, where different researchers can come to completely different conclusions while interpreting the same sets of data. This just goes to show that the issue of global warming is one that is more influenced by opinions than it is by hard data.

Image credits: Solar Cycle – NASA; Polar Bear – AP

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Solar Eclipse Supermoon and March Equinox Fri, 20 Mar 2015 12:20:57 +0000 solar eclipse supermoon and equinox
Today there’s a solar eclipse, a supermoon and it’s the equinox!

Today we see some truly momentous events in the heavens.

Not only is there a total solar eclipse, which comes in the middle of four Blood Moons, but there’s a supermoon which will coincide with the autumn equinox.

Of course, if you’re in the northern hemisphere, it’s the spring equinox.

On top of all that, today’s new moon coincides with the occurrence of a phenomena known as the supermoon.

solar eclipse
The path of today’s solar eclipse — Image: NASA

A supermoon happens once a month when the moon comes closest to Earth at the point called it’s perigee. That’s when the moon is at it’s biggest when viewed from the earth. According to Wikipedia:

“A supermoon is the coincidence of a full moon or a new moon with the closest approach the Moon makes to the Earth on its elliptical orbit, resulting in the largest apparent size of the lunar disk as seen from Earth”

There’s more. Today’s total solar eclipse happens right in the center of a series of four uninterrupted Blood Moons, known as a tetrad.

Tetrad of Blood Moons
Tetrad of Blood Moons each of which fall on a Jewish feast day

The tetrad of four Blood Moons fall on Jewish festival days and the solar eclipse occurs on Nisan 1, the Jewish New Year

Previously this occurred in 1967, 1949 and 1493, all years of major significance in Jewish history.

  • 1493 — Spainish Edict of Expulsion of the Jews and Columbus sets sail for America.
  • 1949 — The prophesied establishment of the state of Israel, the first Jewish state in 2,000 years.
  • 1967 — The “Six Day War” when Israel miraculously defeated the combined armies of Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, and Sudan in six days.

Of the 62 tetrads which have occurred since the first century AD, only eight of these have coincided with both the feasts of Passover and Sukkot.

Many believe that that the current tetrad signals the advent of the Blood Moon Prophecy, a series of end-time events, beginning with the April 2014 lunar eclipse, as described in the Bible in Acts 2:20 and Revelation 6:12.

Sources: NASA; Breaking Israel News; The Wall Street Journal; American Thinker; Wikipedia; EarthSky.

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Weyers Du Toit Local Artist Sun, 10 Aug 2014 15:50:17 +0000 Continue reading "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).

French Impressionist painters such as Claude Monet, Camille Pissarro, and Pierre-Auguste Renoir advocated en plein air painting, and much of their work was done outdoors, in the diffuse light provided by a large white umbrella.

Weyers describes his work as “classic with an impressionist influence”. He works Alla Prima, for ‘only one layer’ and he is clearly inspired by the beauty of the Western Cape, particularly the Western Cape coastline.

Heart Attack Rock
Heart Attack Rock, 61 x 22cm, oil on board

Blou Bakkie Boot
Blou Bakkie Boot, 25 x 25cm, oil on canvas

Vangsbelofte, 50 x 50cm, oil on canvas

Vangs van die Dag
Vangs van die Dag (Catch of the Day), 40 x 30cm, acrylic on canvas

Die Haarborsel
Die Haarborsel (The Hairbrush), 61 x 61cm, acrylic on canvas

Vrou van Kassiebaai
Vrou van Kassiebaai, 45 x 45cm, acrylic on canvas

My Eie
My Eie (My Own), 95 x 70cm, acrylic on canvas (click any image to enlarge)

Die Hoed Pas
Die Hoed Pas (The Hat Fitting), 30 x 41cm, acrylic on canvas

Soekend (Searching), 45 x 61cm, oil on canvass

Jakob se Baai
Jakob se Baai, 31 x 24cm, oil on board

Sonneblomme in die Reen
Sonneblomme in die Reen, 45 x 61cm, oil on canvas

Meisho Maru Magic, Southernmost Tip
Meisho Maru Magic, Southernmost Tip, 24 x 31cm, oil on board

House for Snakes and Birds
House for Snakes and Birds, 42 x 29cm, oil on canvas (click any image to enlarge)

Sources: Weyers Du Toit — Jakob se Baai, Sonneblomme in die Reen, House for Snakes and Birds, Blou Bakkie Boot, Vangsbelofte, Meisho Maru Magic, Heart Attack Rock; Stellenbosch Art Gallery — Die Oes, Soekend; Walker Bay Art Gallery — Vangs van die Dag, Die Haarborsel, Die Hoed Pas, My Eie, Vrou van Kassiebaai

]]> 1 Why I Deleted My Facebook And Why You Should Too Wed, 02 Jul 2014 18:52:47 +0000 Continue reading "Why I Deleted My Facebook And Why You Should Too"


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.

Certain user’s news feeds were deliberately supplied with a disproportionate amount of positive or negative content. Positive content caused users to respond less negatively. Conversely, the viewing of more negative content caused less positive reactions from users.

This is just the latest installment in a long string of mostly privacy related violations and it has resulted in widespread outrage amongst Facebook users. Nearly every year since the launch of Facebook in 2004, there has been some new revelation about the greedy and rapacious methods employed to glean and utilize the “private” data of it’s users for profit.

It is abundantly clear that Facebook has a rather fast and loose concept of “user privacy.” Each successive violation of users’ privacy has reinforced this idea, and revealed new ways that Facebook is trampling on user trust and goodwill, again.

Many straws were added to this camels back, each incrementally pushing the boundaries of users’ privacy concerns. Some of these stand out:

2008 — New user interface and changes in Facebook’s Terms of Use removing the clause detailing automatic expiry of deleted content. Facebook owns your stuff.

2009 — A new privacy policy declares certain information, including “lists of friends,” to be “publicly available,” without any privacy settings. Due to this change it’s no longer possible to keep this data private. Facebook simply changed users’ friend lists from “private” to “public” without even informing them. The change also removed the option to make it private again.

2010 — Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) identified two personal information aggregation techniques called “connections” and “instant personalization,” a pilot program which shared Facebook information with affiliated sites. The program enabled access by anyone to information saved to a Facebook profile, even if the information was intended to be kept private.

2014 — Facebook is the defendant in a class action lawsuit in the the Northern District Court of California for allegedly violating its members’ right to privacy. Facebook is being sued by members who claim the company intercepts users’ private messages, without their consent, and that Facebook mines this data for profit.

 Mark Zukerberg
Facebook’s Mark Zukerberg can make you sad or happy

2014 — A study is published of a secret social experiment conducted by Facebook in 2012 on 689003 of its user accounts, without their knowledge. Facebook has demonstrated that it has the capacity to secretly alter the emotional temperature of it’s users. This Orwellian turn of events was the final straw, for me anyway.

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“Ayisafani” The Video The ANC Does Not Want You To See Sat, 19 Apr 2014 12:09:33 +0000

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 Sun, 23 Mar 2014 18:34:57 +0000 Continue reading "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).

Isabel le Roux Swartland
Swartland — oil on canvas (click any image to enlarge)

Isabel le Roux Karoo
Karoo — oil on canvas

Isabel le Roux Elephants River
Elephants River — oil on canvas

Isabel le Roux Cape Street
Cape Street — oil on canvas

Isabel le Roux Blommeverkopers Van Ou Kaap
Blommeverkopers Van Ou Kaap — oil on canvas

Isabel le Roux Lily's And The Blue Bird
Lily’s And The Blue Bird — oil on canvas

Isabel le Roux Bed Of Roses
Bed Of Roses — oil on canvas (click any image to enlarge)

Isabel le Roux Connect
Connect — oil on canvas

Isabel le Roux Colour Of Love
Colour Of Love — oil on canvas

Isabel le Roux Sails In The Blue
Sails In The Blue — oil on canvas

Isabel le Roux Hout Bay Reflections
Hout Bay Reflections — oil on canvas

Isabel le Roux Waterfront
Waterfront — oil on canvas

Isabel le Roux Still Life With Flowers And Fruit
Still Life With Flowers And Fruit — oil on canvas (click any image to enlarge)

Source: Isabel le Roux website

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Open Letter: Aussies Stop Killing The Great White Shark Fri, 07 Feb 2014 19:55:33 +0000 Continue reading "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. The Australian government has ignored a letter from over 100 leading marine scientists and researchers stating the same.

White shark researcher Blair Ranford, a member of Western Australians for Shark Conservation, says the great whites targeted in Australia are the same ones that annually migrate to South Africa. In fact, a recent shark-tagging project has detailed the migratory pattern of great whites and shows that sharks typically commute between South Africa and Australia. This means our great whites and yours are genetically of the same stock.

I appeal to you, Mr. Premier, to reconsider and urgently intervene in this matter. Please bring this senseless destruction of our common natural resource to an end now.

Yours Sincerely,


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Wild Horses of the Bot River: New Kid On The Block Sun, 22 Dec 2013 18:46:36 +0000 Continue reading "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).

Wild Horses rush to meet the new young member of the herd
3. Then the Rush
Wild Horses at the Bot River Estuary
2. at the Bot River Estuary

Bot River Wild Horses peaceful scene
1. Peaceful scene

Wild mares at the Bot River Estuary form at protective screen
5. The mares are forming a protective screen

Bot River Wild Horses meeting the new foal for the first time
4. Herd meeting up with the new foal, at centre

Bot River Wild Stallions challenge for leadership
6. Wild Stallions challenging for leadership— click any image to enlarge click here for YouTube video

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R.I.P. Nelson Mandela (1918 — 2013) Fri, 06 Dec 2013 06:47:39 +0000 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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