VOTD: Enhance that

I just read a quick post on Paige’s blog called Clients From Hell and followed the link on to some really funny excerpts from designers/developers who’ve had to deal with clients, you know the type – we’ve all experienced them before.

One of the posts was an “Enhance” video clip from various movies and TV series where they use “technology” to enhance digital videos and photographs for various reasons. It’s a great montage and I found it very funny, hopefully you do too.

Veggie garden – one month later

If you remember, about one month ago we started our own vegetable garden in our back-yard. We’ve been working hard to tend to it each night for the last month. Making sure it gets water each evening, taking out the odd bits of grass that have pushed their way to the top and making sure they don’t get trampled on by the animals or eaten by snails.

And the result of a month of tender-loving-care? Well feast your eyes on the photos below.

The eggplant (aubergine) plants have had an extra growth-spurt, almost overnight. The corn is growing nicely and it husks have started growing so it won’t be long before we’ll have some corn on the cob. We’ve already had some of the lettuce leaves in a home-made salad. The pepper and tomato plants have started flowering so we should have some fruit from them soon – there’s already a little tomato on one of the plants. The watermelon plants we’re steering into the open area (as they’re creepers) but no fruit on them just yet.

Unfortunately, Max (our golden retriever) did get in one day and trampled two of our green pepper plants, but I’ve managed to get them to grow again (albeit a little slower than the others right now). We also transplanted the herbs (peppermint and parsley) into smaller pots and put them on the windowsill in the kitchen, next to the basil and they’re growing better now.

Hopefully in another month (maybe longer) I’ll have another follow-up blog post for you with more news and pictures 🙂

VOTD: Adolf’s Adolf Hitler parody video

I’m sure you must have seen one of the meme’s around the Internet which features a scene out of a German movie called Der Untergang (Downfall) with English subtitles. But instead of the original English subtitles, they have been replaced by various people poking fun at various things.

I’ve just spotted the video to end all Hitler parody videos. One by the fuhrer himself! Check it out below. [via BoingBoing]

SA Lotto – Scam or media nightmare?

UPDATE: 16 Feb 2010 (13h50 SAST) – click here for details
UPDATE: 16 Feb 2010 (18h05 SAST) – click here for details

Lottery tickets are something I don’t buy very often, in fact, very seldom, and often just on a whim, spend a little if you win you win, if you don’t, well, better luck next time. To those who religiously buy tickets twice a week for each and every draw I feel sorry for them as they’re paying ‘a poor man’s tax‘.

This past Sunday the media announced that only one person had bought a valid ticket with the winning numbers, which meant that one person held a ticket for R91 million.

In a press release Dr Bongani Khumalo, chairman and CEO of National Lottery operator Gidani said: “One incredibly lucky lottery player has finally won Friday’s gigantic R91m PowerBall Jackpot in the lottery game which gripped the imagination of the nation for weeks and weeks while the six winning numbers proved elusive.” – source IOL

Then, early Monday morning the media announced who the winner of the R91 million was (stupid mistake number 1).

… a deaf and mute cleaner at a hardware shop in Wynberg, won over R91m in the national lottery’s PowerBall game, reports an Afrikaans daily.

The family are reportedly now staying at an undisclosed location after being approached for money. – source IOL

Why post the name of someone who won the latest lottery? Even less so a deaf mute? From whom did they get the winning ticket holder’s details from? And if he’s a deaf mute, did he even give them permission to publish his details? Then later in the day the following report was published.

The Cape Town family who won R91-million in Friday night’s PowerBall draw has been spirited away, apparently by employees of the National Lottery. – source IOL

It’s no surprise then that all the vultures come out to take advantage of a family who’ve just been named as the winners of a huge lottery win.

Then this morning (mistake number 2 – can you say back-pedal, back-pedal) the media (and the lottery company) announce that the winner claimed by the media is in fact NOT the lottery winner.

… a Cape Town cleaner, isn’t the winner of the PowerBall jackpot of over R91m, says the National Lottery Board, a report says.

However, Board chief executive Vevek Ram says that someone else won the prize, and wishes to remain anonymous. – source IOL

Am I the only cynical one that thinks something smells really wrong about this? Why the denial all of a sudden? Is the lottery in South Africa rigged (surely not?), is this a PR/media nightmare that they’re trying to get themselves out of (and failing dismally)? Was there really even a winner? If the family named in the media are not the winners, how long will it be before they’re no longer hounded by the vultures out there who want a piece of their, alleged, financial freedom?

What do you think?

UPDATE: 16 Feb 2010 (13h50 SAST)

It would appear that one or more journalists did not do their job correctly. As it has now come to light that the alleged winner’s winning lottery ticket numbers are indeed those drawn BUT are in fact not for the R91m draw but tonight’s draw instead.

… a deaf man from Parkwood, has a PowerBall ticket with Friday night’s winning numbers on it. But while the numbers match up, the date is for tonight’s draw.

The Cape Argus’s examination of the ticket shows that the numbers match up to Friday night’s winning numbers, but the date at the top of the ticket reads “First draw – 16/02/2010”, suggesting that the ticket is only eligible in tonight’s draw. – source IOL

I guess my media nightmare heading might still hold true because it seems people have jumped the gun in more ways than one as seen here:

[his] rags-to-riches story has seized South Africa’s attention, prompting the Minister for Women, Children and Persons with Disabilities, Noluthando Mayende-Sibiya, to issue a statement congratulating the family.- source IOL

Not sure whether or not the statement has in fact been issued by Noluthando Mayende-Sibiya yet but it would be a media nightmare if it has.

What’s that saying: Don’t count all your chickens before they’ve hatched.

UPDATE: 16 Feb 2010 (18h05 SAST)

Now, almost two days after the fact, it would appear that all the blame lies with the person who claimed to have had the winning ticket (but for the wrong draw day).

National lottery operator Gidani on Tuesday said it was battling to understand why a Cape Town man claimed to have won a Powerball jackpot of more than R91 million.

The real winner, a 43-year-old wife and mother of two also from the Western Cape, had the millions handed over to her on Tuesday. – source EWN

And in one of the polls run by IOL today they asked readers whether or not they would want their name made public if they had won the lottery or not. Only a small number voted Yes:

Of the 978 people who participated in the poll; 97 percent (952 votes) said “No” and 3 percent (26 votes) said “Yes”. – source IOL

In related news a couple in the UK found out that they won £56m in the local lottery.

The couple, who would make around &pounds;47 000 a week in interest if they banked all their jackpot, said they were confident that the huge win will not spoil their children.

The family plan to move from their ÂŁ235 000 three-bedroom semi in Cirencester, Gloucestershire, to a six-bedroom detached, ideally with a pool. But they want to stay in the same area where their children enjoy school and have lots of friends. – source IOL

VOTD: A history of pretty much everything

Just spotted this incredibly well done animated video of hand-drawn pictures on Utter Insanity.

UPDATE: It (the final piece) got full marks! YAY 😀
This is the final piece for my AS art course, a flipbook made entirely out of biro pens. It’s something like 2100 pages long, and about 50 jotter books. I’d say I worked on and off it for roughly 3 weeks.
Song is French Cancan by Jaques Offenbach.
Additional sounds credited to Valve, specifically from their game Team Fortress 2.
Other stuff is from the 300 trailer and O Little Town of Bethlehem.
All other content copyright Jamie Bell (aka DispleasedEskimo) 2010, I guess 😛 – source DispleasedEskimo

I’m famous – in Sweden!

Well it seems like my blogging has finally paid off. It seems my mere ramblings are not just only ramblings but a voice that’s been heard as far as Sweden. And it seems like my little world is making a difference to others.

Click on the link below to view the full press release (in Swedish with English subtitles).

View video press release (low bandwidth version)

VOTD: Super Bowl Sunday Commercials

For us South African’s Super Bowl Sunday is just another run-of-the-mill weekend for us. For American’s it’s one of the biggest weekends of the year. And companies pull out all the stops to make commercials aired between the game as they’re guaranteed to reach one of the highest number of viewers since almost everyone is in front of the telly.

Connie just sent me this hilarious commercial about the Audi A3 TDi (see video embedded below). If you want to catch up (and vote) on some of the videos aired yesterday have a look at the Ad Blitz channel on YouTube.


Big Picture: Dogs and Sleds

I’ve unfortunately not been able to keep up with the past few posts of Boston.com‘s Big Picture series but today’s one caught my eye. I love the pictures of these sled dogs, they always look so amazing. Reminds me of Eight Below (which had my eldest daughter in such tears we’ve not watched it again with her).

Dogsleds are in the news lately, as several races have recently taken place around the Northern Hemisphere, and as transportation choices for both a meeting of the G-7 and the start of the 2010 U.S. census. Mushers brought representatives to Iqaluit, a small village in Nunavut Territory, chosen to host a recent G-7 meeting, in part so Canada could assert sovereignty over its part of the Arctic. The 2010 U.S. Census, as per tradition, kicked off its count on January 25th in a rural part of Alaska in the small village of Noorvik, as census takers arrived by dogsled. And recent dogsled races include Le Grand Odyssee, the Sedivackuv Long, Pirena, the Aviemore Husky Sled Dog Rally and many more smaller regional competitions. Collected here are a handful of recent photos of sleds, dogs, and their humans. (30 photos total) – source Boston.com

A sled dog waits in the snow before this weekend's sled dog Rally in Aviemore, Scotland January 21, 2010. (REUTERS/Russell Cheyne)

Food: Pasta a la Deems

My wife does most of the cooking, merely out of convenience and timing, since she’s at home before I am and kids get hungry before we do. So, more often than not, dinner has already been made by the time I get home from work. On the odd occasion, normally over weekends, I’ll make dinner or lunch.

Inspired by Di’s really tasty looking blog posts of the various meals she’s made, I decided to take a couple of photos (you can click on any photo for a larger version) while making lunch today.

A lot of people moan that they can’t cook but a pasta dish has to be one of the easiest meals to prepare and sans burning something, you can’t really mess it up – and you don’t even need to follow a recipe, just throw in a few ingredients and you’re good to go.

The ingredients I used is as follows:

  • Chopped peppers
  • Finely chopped onion
  • Pitted black olives
  • Diced mini Italian tomatoes
  • Chopped fresh Basil
  • Chopped Cabanossi sausage
  • one round of Feta cheese
  • a can of tinned purĂ©ed  tomatoes
  • and, obviously, pasta.

You can always skip the sausage/meat entirely for just as delicious vegetarian option. The Cabanossi can also be replaced by any other meat too but it’s nice to have a nice spicy meat in the meal (the spicier for me, the better).

While the pasta’s on the boil (simply in a pot of boiling water with a little bit of olive oil and salt) braise the chopped onion until it begins to brown and add the rest of the ingredients.

If you’d prefer you can opt to exclude the can of purĂ©ed tomatoes, as I said there’s no fixed recipe, it’s all about what you’d prefer. The Cabanossi sausage is already smoked so all I had to do was defrost it, but if you use a raw meat leave it to simmer for a while longer. Ideally you should braise the meat with the onion before adding the vegetables to ensure that they’re cooked well.

Once that’s done you can either mix the ingredients into the pasta and serve or if you prefer dish the pasta onto a plate and then add as much or as little of the rest of the cooked ingredients, add spices, etc. to taste and serve/eat.

I garnished mine with pepper, dried oregano, feta cheese and a few splashes of exta hot Tabasco sauce.

Worried about time? Well from beginning of preparation to serving was 30 minutes. How did it taste? Well I know what mine was like, why don’t you let me know how yours worked out once you’ve tried it.