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5 Good Reasons to Learn to Speak a Second Language

Image Tobias Mikkelsen

Whether for employment or enjoyment, a second language can be useful and enlightening – Image: Tobias Mikkelsen

From the moment we’re born, we are taught in the primary language of our parents.

During our formative years, we develop a certain mastery of the spoken word in order to communicate our needs and wants with others.

This fluent mastery can suit our purposes well in the world we were raised in, but what if we needed to communicate with someone outside of this world of ours?

There are a variety of reasons why one would want to learn a secondary language:

1. Bi-lingual Employment – Many organizations hire translators in order to communicate with individuals of a specific ethnic background. Continue reading ‘5 Good Reasons to Learn to Speak a Second Language’ »


Elbonia’s Capital City Is An Alarming Destination

If you’re thinking of traveling or relocating, stop and think before you visit Elbonia’s capital city. It could be dangerous to your health.

Source: Dilbert by Scott Adams


Dramatic Changes On The Banks Of The Bot River Estuary

Bot River Estuary

Looking North over the Bot River Estuary, the renowned Arabella Estate is visible at centre on the opposite bank. In the middle distance, just left of centre, a group of four pelicans is feeding in the shallows – click to enlarge.

It’s amazing to see the changes that have taken place in the last six months, on the the Bot River Estuary.

Everywhere the banks of the estuary are taking on a more beach-like appearance. On clean white sand, sea shells, sea weed, red-bait and cuttlefish are in evidence.

The water tastes salty and it’s not unusual to see large shoals of tiny fish being preyed upon by diving sea birds, kestrels and duikers.

In the middle of August 2012, the mouth of the Bot River Estuary was artificially breached. This was done after consulting with the Bot River Estuary Forum (BREF), and estuarine specialists (9 Images, click here for Flickr slideshow).

Continue reading ‘Dramatic Changes On The Banks Of The Bot River Estuary’ »


Hebrew of the Torah and the Christian Bible


The Torah (Hebrew: instruction, teaching) is a central concept in the Jewish tradition – click to enlarge.

The decision to learn Hebrew began with a yearning to become acquainted with the origins of the Christian Bible.

It is immediately apparent that the contemporary Bible is a product of many translations and modifications.

The Christian Bible is founded on the Torah, the body of scripture known to non-Jews as the Old Testament, the Pentateuch or the Five Books of Moses.

Over a period of thousands of years, the original ancient Hebrew texts have been meticulously preserved to the present day.

These texts were first translated from the original Hebrew to Aramaic, then from Aramaic to Greek, Greek to Latin and finally Latin to English. The full Bible has been translated into over 450 languages, parts of it into more than 2,000 languages. Continue reading ‘Hebrew of the Torah and the Christian Bible’ »


Local Hermanus Artist Alyson Guy

Cottages with ducks

Cottages with ducks — oil on board — 37x28cm (click to enlarge)

Among the foremost attractions of Hermanus, on the Southern tip of Africa, is the industrious and talented community of artists and writers that live and work in this beautiful coastal town.

“I appreciate all facets of life, beauty of creation in all its diversity” – Alyson Guy

After matriculating, with a Senior Certificate in Art History and Practical, Alyson trained as a Medical Laboratory Technologist. She specialised in histopathology, working in South Africa and London until her semi-retirement in 1994.

Her artworks are on display at her studio and around Volmoed, a Retreat and Conference Centre, where she lives and works. Alyson’s artwork can also be viewed at The Little Gallery, in the Eastcliff shopping centre in Hermanus, an intimate space used by members of the Vermont Art Circle (15 Images, click for Flickr slideshow). Continue reading ‘Local Hermanus Artist Alyson Guy’ »


Top 5 Tips for Selling Your Property Faster


Maximise your prospects of selling fast, at the best possible price, with these Top 5 Tips.

Selling your home is not like selling anything else you own. Suddenly, your private domain will be open to public scrutiny. Strangers will be tramping through your home, evaluating your decor and assessing your housekeeping skills.

The faster you can get your home sold, the quicker this unpleasant process will be over with.

Quick fixes before selling always pay off. Mammoth makeovers, not so much; you won’t get your money back.

Before putting your property up for sale, it’s important to be objective and see your property through a potential buyer’s eyes.

In a declining real estate market where supply outstrips demand, sellers need to get some basics right, the first time around — or prepare for a long and frustrating time on the market.

Here are 5 things you can do maximise your prospects of selling fast, at the best possible price:
Continue reading ‘Top 5 Tips for Selling Your Property Faster’ »


Mandela: 15 Pearls of Wisdom

Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela – Photo: Carlo Allegri/Staff/Getty Images

Mr. Mandela is one of the most politically gifted individuals of all time and one of the most admired men in history.

Together with other brave South Africans, he helped engineer the first peaceful, non-violent revolution in the history of the world.

In Africa there is a concept known as ubuntu – the profound sense that we are human only through the humanity of others; that if we are to accomplish anything in this world it will in equal measure be due to the work and achievements of others.
-— Nelson Mandela, 2008

As an anti-apartheid activist, he was tried for treason and imprisoned for 27 years. Mr. Mandela was the first South African President to be elected in a fully representative democratic election. He served as President of South Africa from 1994 to 1999.

The great man’s leadership style is embodied in a stunning new book by Time editor Richard Stengel: Fifteen Lessons on Life, Love and Courage (Crown). Here are Madiba’s 15 life lessons, from the book:
Continue reading ‘Mandela: 15 Pearls of Wisdom’ »


Holiday Decorating With Real Trees

Should you use a real tree this Christmas?

Should you use a real tree this Christmas?

Outdoor and indoor holiday decorating are two completely different animals. Though both will allow you to spread a little holiday cheer, they each require different techniques and even completely different thought processes during preparation.

Indoor decorating and decor requires you to think about things like your Christmas tree and an indoor lighting pattern.

Outdoor decorating requires you to think about how you’re going to put up your lights and a wide variety of other aspects to make your house one of the best-looking ones on the block all season long.
Continue reading ‘Holiday Decorating With Real Trees’ »


Local South African Artist Hannetjie de Clercq

#1 untitled - Tempera on canvas 305x230mm

#1 untitled – Tempera on canvas 305x230mm – click any image to enlarge

Recently I came across fabulous local South African artist Hannetjie De Clercq. She lives and works in the quiet and peace of Riebeek-Kasteel, a rural town in the Western Cape of South Africa just 85 kilometres (53 miles) north-east of Cape Town. Take the N7 highway to get there.

“She feels that an over explanation of her work would render it impotent and therefore does not title her work. For her, the beauty of art is in the interaction of the viewers with their subjective personal view with a specific painting, to find meaning in the imagery.”
Hannetjie de Clercq website

The artist has a unique style, strongly sensual and inspired by middle-age frescoes and icons. The preferred medium is mainly tempera and also oils and watercolours on canvas and board. As you can see from the excerpt above, all her work is untitled (see 13 images or click here for Flickr slideshow).
Continue reading ‘Local South African Artist Hannetjie de Clercq’ »


Use Volunteer Work to Jump-Start a New Career

Use Volunteer Work

Volunteer Work is a great way to jump-start a new career

For anyone looking to switch careers or get their first one rolling, getting your foot in the door is often one of the toughest challenges.

Many industries and lines of work offer murky guidelines and pathways for novices looking to get experience and establish themselves in the industry.

In some cases, it can be hard to get a job without any experience in that field, and this can quickly create a paradox in which you need a job to get experience, but you also need experience to get a job.
Continue reading ‘Use Volunteer Work to Jump-Start a New Career’ »