Smoke and Fire in the Kogelberg Biosphere Reserve – Day 2

Well, the fire didn’t go away. This short Video clip shows Day 2 of the fire in the Kogelberg Biosphere Reserve

The Kogelberg Biosphere Reserve is in the heart of the Overberg about 16 kilometers (10 miles) from Hermanus in the Western Cape, South Africa

Kogelberg Biosphere Reserve
Panoramic view of Kogelberg Biosphere Reserve on fire, day 2
At right, the aftermath of Wednesday’s fire is visible in the center. Burning right through the night the fire advanced over the mountains seen in the background. This morning, on day two, the fire had moved into new territory and was burning strongly.

In this previous post yesterday you can see a photo of the fire just minutes after it started around 2pm on Wednesday.

By late yesterday afternoon the wind was a factor, blowing strongly from the south-east. The fire was moving rapidly into the mountainous area north of the N2 national road, threatening farms in the area.

Smoke and Fire in the Kogelberg Biosphere Reserve

The Kogelberg Biosphere Reserve on Fire
The Kogelberg Biosphere Reserve on fire
Within minutes, yesterday afternoon, this fire had blossomed from a wisp to a towering column of smoke. The vegetation of Fynbos contains plant matter with eucalyptus-type oils that burn very quickly.

After sunset the fire continued to burn as it marched over the peaks of the mountains in the distance at left casting a bright yellow glare in the night sky.

Japanese Tsunami and the Amazing Resilience of Japanese People

Japanese nuclear reactors
Japanese nuclear reactors under threat -- click to enlarge

Day five and utter devastation and mounting problems face the deeply shocked survivors of the worst Japanese seismic event in history. The Japanese people, in the first moments realised that something was different from the intensity and duration of the movement of the ground.

The one-meter drop in sea level which occurred immediately after the 8.9 level earthquake confirmed that this was a seismic event big enough to generate a deadly tsunami. People on the coast began evacuating immediately.

The tsunami arrived on the shore at Sendai a mere 10 minutes after the quake, and 30 minutes after the quake at the shorelines of the Iwate and Miyagi prefectures. The wave was shockingly huge, reports vary between 10 and 15 meters. The series of tsunamis (tsunamis come in sets) penetrated 10 kilometers (6 miles) inland, further than expected. Continue reading

Avatar Movies Trilogy in the Works

Avatar Movie 2009
Avatar Movie 2009 -- click to enlarge
Avatar, like the Star Wars classic, looks set to become a ‘Trilogy’ with Avatar 2 and 3 in progress on the directors canvas. Just as the Star Wars franchise moved into the Star Wars Expanded Universe, as it is known, it seems that Avatar will follow suit.

In this earlier post we explored Cameron’s plans to film Avatar 2 underwater in the deepest ocean on earth, the Marianas Trench. The movie is set in the turbulent seas of Pandora, an alien moon.

The director is planning to film Avatar 2 & 3 back-to-back with the two movies set to be released in 2014 and 2015. James Cameron is not a new phenomenon. He has a passionate Geek audience who are drawn in droves to movies like Terminator, Aliens and The Abyss. Continue reading

Is This Bike The Ultimate Ultrabike?

Icon Sheene the Ultimate Ultrabike?
Is the Icon Sheene the Ultimate Ultrabike?

The world’s most powerful production road bike is the Icon Sheene. It was designed and developed over a five-year period as a tribute to the motorcycling legend Barry Sheene.

The handcrafted bike is also the worlds most expensive production bike at R1.2M (£107 000). The turbocharged 1400cc four-cylinder engine puts out 250bhp and is capable of an incredible 320kph (200mph).

British designed and built, production of the Icon Sheene is limited to just 52, one for each year of Barry’s life. Each is decorated with a different playing card, held by a 1940s-style pin-up, hand-painted by Mike Fairholme – the man responsible for the artistry on Barry’s helmets.

Follow this link for more details and photographs.

How Consumer Protection Act Affects Lease of Property — Part 2

Cpa and Lease Agreements
How the CPA effects new Lease Agreements. – Photo: jimtim0505 on Flickr

South Africa’s new Consumer Protection Act comes into effect on 1 April 2011. Part 1 covered the introduction of a “Cooling-off” period and the use of “Voetstoots” clause under the new CPA legislation.

Part 2 deals with some important changes to the law governing Lease Agreements, when the new CPA comes into effect on 1st April.

Now some of my more astute readers will have noticed that this is also April Fools Day. Please people, this is purely co-incidental, however inopportune the date may seem.

Lease Agreements: The CPA introduces some far-reaching changes to Lease Agreements for immovable property. Specifically for ordinary people, the changes affect the maximum duration and grants the parties certain rights of cancellation.

Note that Leases to “Juristic Persons” fall outside the ambit of the CPA. “Juristic Persons” includes Closed Corporations, Companies, Trusts, Partnerships and Associations. No distinction is made between Commercial and Residential property.
Continue reading

How Consumer Protection Act Affects Property Transactions — Part 1

Consumer Protection Act will effect Real Estate transactions
Consumer Protection Act will effect Real Estate transactions

South Africa’s new Consumer Protection Act comes into effect on 1 April 2011. This law fundamentally changes the way business is done in South Africa. The law regulates the way businesses market their products and services and makes South African consumers among the most protected in the world.

Three important changes relating to Real Estate transactions are introduced with the CPA.

Firstly the Act introduces a bill of rights, granting consumers the right to cancel certain contracts within a “Cooling-off” period of five business days.

Secondly, the Act changes the way the voetstoots clause will be applied in Real Estate contracts.

The third is about how the CPA effects the Letting of property. This one will be covered in Part 2 of this post.
Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

And the Long, Short 'n Tall of it