Tuesday, March 28, 2006

You know what it’s like…

It’s 3:30 on a Friday afternoon, and you’ve got a meeting at 4 across town. You’ve just pulled onto the freeway and you’re bracing to start some of the most artful traffic dodging ever there was.

But something glitters in the corner of your eye… a familiar and unwelcome glow that you’re certain wasn’t there a second ago. You reluctantly glance down, knowing what you’re going to see, and being afraid of that knowledge: the fuel warning light.

Some hasty inner monologue ensues… you glance at the needle on the fuel gage, and try to do some mental maths: 1 degree = 5 kilometers? You bloody well hope so.

It’s peak hour… there is only just enough time to get where you’re going, assuming the gods of traffic and weather are smiling upon you. Trying to stop at a petrol station will add at least 15 minutes to the trip – 15 minutes you don’t have.

So you floor it, and hope against hope that the few remaining drops of motion-lotion will be enough to see you through.

You’re half-way there when the needle drops off the bottom end of the little white line… but she’s still going, so you keep at it, even though you know you’re asking for trouble.

That’s where I am now. Two days into a week of 12-hour working days, and over an hour left of the day. The nasty cold I’ve picked up has been like a leaky fuel-line and my gauge dropped off the bottom end hours ago.

My brain is sputtering and my eyes trying to force themselves shut. I don’t know how I’m going to get home.

The only beacon of hope I have to head towards is the knowledge that the Coolest Girlfriend in the Universe is waiting for me at home with a hot meal and all the love I need to feel better.

I just hope I make it that far.

Monday, March 27, 2006

I've been tagged

Ok, I’ll bite.

Four jobs I've had:

High School Teacher – Science and Biology

Floor-space salesman

Assistant manager in a box factory

IT nerd.

Four movies I can watch over and over:

Edward Scissorhands

Big Fish

Wayne’s World (The defining movie of the X Generation)

Kung Pow

Four places I've lived:

Kensington, Johannesburg

Braamfontein, Johannesburg


Northcliff, Johannesburg

Four TV shows I love:

Star Trek

The Most Amazing Show

South Park

Four highly regarded and recommended TV shows I haven't seen:


Battlestar Galactica


The new, post-Enterprise, Star Trek show. It has yet to be made, but I have faith.

Four of my favourite dishes:


Gnocchi di-patata alla gorgonzola

Chicken-mayo toasted sandwiches

Ice cream

Four sites I visit daily:

A host of blogs

A host of webcomics

Four places I've been on holiday:


The Waterberg

Springbok Flats

Groot Marico

Four albums I can't live without:

Jem – Finally Woken

Norah Jones – Come away with me

Red Hot Chilli Peppers – Californication

Metallica – Metallica (AKA The Black Album)

Four places I'd rather be right now:

Commanding a Starship


The moon

A place the sole purpose of which is to be a venue for people who have decided to chew glass.

Four other people I’m tagging:





Thursday, March 23, 2006


It means Day of Honour. The Klingons celebrate it every year, and so do many Trekkies, such as myself.

March 23rd was chosen because it is the anniversary of the first appearance of Klingons in Star Trek, back in 1967.

The Day of Honour is a day when every Klingon examines himself and his actions over the last year, and tries to determine if he has acted with honour.

In matters of honour, a warrior is accountable only to himself. He must judge himself fairly, but privately. For this reason I won't be spilling out a full audit of my activities over the past year for your reading pleasure.

Instead, I encourage each of you to look within yourself this batjaj, and examine your actions... Look at your intentions, your words and the results thereof. Ask yourself, "If I were in that situation again, knowing what I know now, would I react the same way?" And, most importantly, take the answer of that question to heart... Use it to influence your daily actions and attitudes, so that when next batjaj comes around, you may judge yourself less harshly.


Tuesday, March 21, 2006

The Devil on Two Legs

My spiritual beliefs center around the physical, observable universe. With that said, it may surprise you that I believe in Karma.

It's a little less surprising when the idea of Karma is expressed like this: "Every action has an equal and opposite reaction." That's Newton's third law of motion.

Yes, I know, Quantum Mechanics has made Newtonian Physics obsolete. But just because causality has no meaning at a quantum level, doesn't mean that it should be completely ignored when dealing with matter.

In fact, I suggest (as many others have before me) that the concept of causality becomes increasingly relevant as the complexity of the system increases.

When dealing with a system as complex as ideological concepts of Good and Evil, it becomes more relevant than ever.

This has been proven to me recently.

Within my relative universe there is a person who embodies the epitome of my concept of Good: The Coolest Girlfriend in The Universe.

That's not to say that she is perfect. She is still a human being with frailties and vulnerabilities that come with that. I don't always agree with her judgment or her actions, but I am convinced that the root motivation for everything she does is benevolent. It's that base intent that makes her Good.

According to my Complexity Karma model, if a person as Good as my girlfriend exists, it stands to reason that somewhere there must be someone who is the exact opposite: a beinq motivated solely by malevolence. I have encountered such a being.

The miserable company I work for has imported a mission specialist to "help" us with the project we're currently working on.

This man is pure Evil. The air around him crackles with invisible flame... Flame that consumes the oxygen from the room he's in, asphixiating all carbon-based life-forms in his presence.

It appears that his mission is to undo every bit of good influence The Coolest Girlfriend in The Universe has had on me.

Where she stimulates my ambition, he reduces me to a state of apathy.
Where she nurtures and bolsters my self-esteem, he assails me with spears of self-doubt.

My only escape seems to be to leave the company, soon. I only hope that my refuge, The Coolest Girlfriend in The Universe, is able to keep me on my feet until then.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Generation Theory

I've been doing a lot of reading about this, and am astounded at the accuracy of much of what I've read so far.

I'm still not convinced that it isn't all pseudoscience, but then I suppose being a sociological model it is, virtually by definition, generalized and non-specific.

That aside, I have noticed a few faith-based elements that have been slipped into Graeme Codrington's (Codrington is seemingly the pioneer of Generation Theory in the South African context) work, but for the most part it all seems quite reasonable and logical.

I can't speak to the accuracy of the predictions that have been made concerning the Millennial Generation, I suppose time will tell. However, the observations that have been made regarding the GI, Silent and Boomer generations and particularly Generation X seem to be remarkably accurate.

I also can't speak to the accuracy of the conclusions drawn in Generation Theory regarding causes for the behavioural and attitudinal characteristics attributed to the various generations... I have no idea how thoroughly they have been researched, if at all. But they do make sense as they are presented in the literature.

I wonder what tools sociologists have at their disposal for measuring these sorts of things, or if common sense really is the limit of it. (If that is the case, it means that sociology is as subjective and amorphous as its object of study... does it qualify as a science at all? I suppose the same
question could be asked of psychology.)

There are a lot of questions I have about the methodology of how this model was constructed which I have yet to find answers to. However it seems they have stumbled across what appears to be a remarkable sociological trend... even if they have the causes all wrong, the results appear to speak for themselves.

If you're keen to learn more about Generation Theory, there are a plethora of websites on the subject, mostly dealing with the model as applied to the US and Europe. The South African situation is dealt with most comprehensively at and its companion Blog site Worth looking into.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

She does it again

The Coolest Girlfriend in the Universe said something the other day that made me really happy.

She had been looking through one of those R100 DVD sales, where she came across a copy of Superman: The Movie, which she very kindly bought for me.

This weekend we were watching it despite her concerns about it being long and boring. During the first bit, the trial of General Zod, she asked me an unexpected question. “How do you spell Jor-El?” (Jor-El is the name of Superman’s biological father)

“J O R hyphen E L.”, I replied. “Why?”

“I think it would be a nice name for our son someday.” she said.

Man, I love that woman!

Friday, March 10, 2006

Stop Kaz

James Randi's Swift - March 10, 2005

An inspirational story about how "one skeptic can make a difference".

I'm impressed, and newly motivated.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Rolling Stone : Inside Scientology

Rolling Stone : Inside Scientology

It's a long article... took me three days to squeeze in enough time to get through it.

But I recommend you read it. It's frightening.

I'm just glad that I've already spoken out publicly against Scientology... thus disqualifying myself from membership. Oops... there I go again.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Nessie the elephant? : Mail & Guardian Online

Nessie the elephant? : Mail & Guardian Online

Well, that clears that one up. Of course, I already determined on the 7th of July 2005 That Nessie didn't exist. But at least now we know where it all came from.


Friday, March 03, 2006

The Dilbert Blog: Penn and Teller

The Dilbert Blog: Penn and Teller

I don't usually agree with Scott Adams' views on science, so I was quite surprised to read this blog entry.

I was quite impressed that despite the fact that he clings to some rather silly notions, he does subscribe to the fundamental governing principle of science: It is impossible to prove anything, only to disprove.

"The aim of science is not to open the door to everlasting wisdom, but rather to close the door on everlasting error."