Thirsty Work

November 22, 2011

When I first saw the headline “EU bans claim that water can prevent dehydration” I did one of those eye-bulging, cartoonish double takes. Surely I had misread? Or misunderstood? I checked the date: nope, not April the 1st. Surely no one sane could claim that water doesn’t prevent dehydration? After all, that’s the very definition of ‘dehydration’. From Oxford online dictionary

dehydrate
Pronunciation:/diːhʌɪˈdreɪt, diːˈhʌɪdreɪt/
verb
[with object] (often as adjective dehydrated)
cause (a person or their body) to lose a large amount of water:
his body temperature was high and he had become dehydrated
[no object] lose a large amount of water from the body:
the nurses made sure I didn’t dehydrate
remove water from (food) in order to preserve and store it:
dehydrated mashed potatoes


I was not the only one smacked in the gob by the apparent lunacy of the EU. Here’s what MEP Roger Helmer had to say:

This is stupidity writ large. The Euro is burning, the EU is falling apart and yet here they are worrying about the obvious qualities of water. If ever there were an episode which demonstrates the folly of the great European project, then this is it.

Then I thought for a little longer. Read the rest of this entry »

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Jaws

September 30, 2011

Here is a media release from the City of Cape Town

MEDIA RELEASE
30 AUGUST 2011
Inshore movement of sharks: Safety for the
summer season
The City of Cape Town would once again like to remind all beach and
ocean users that we are approaching the time of year when we expect to
see a seasonal increase in the presence of white sharks in the in-shore
area.

This seasonal change is not unique to False Bay or recent in its
occurrence. Similar behaviour is recorded in Gansbaai, Mossel Bay and
even California.

Shark sightings recorded by the shark spotters have consistently shown a
seasonal peak during the period from August to March, peaking in mid-
summer. Typically shark sightings start in late August. However, shark
spotters and water users have recorded early sightings in the last two
weeks in Muizenberg, St. James and Clovelly.

White shark research trips over the weekend recorded a significant drop
in shark activity at Seal Island, indicative of the seasonal move of sharks
away from the island to the in-shore areas. The City is therefore
appealing to all beach and ocean users to be aware of these recent
sightings and the expected increase in shark presence in the in-shore
area over the summer months.

I was walking the dog on Muizenberg beach the other day when the sirens sounded and the white flag was raised. (Why white? I would have thought red would be better.) Most of the surfers and bathers left the water, but a few ignored the warning and stayed in the surf. They were fortunate they weren’t eaten.

Great White Shark


Yesterday, a similar thing happened at Fish Hoek on the Clovelly end of the beach. Sirens, flags, but one person, Mr Michael Cohen, chose to ignore them. He wasn’t as lucky as his foolhardy fellows in Muizenberg, and he is now in the Constantiaberg Clinic with his right leg considerably shorter than the left.
Read the rest of this entry »


Base Stations Again

September 2, 2011

Let me say at the outset that I am not a fan of cell phones. In my view these anti-social devices have done more to damage quality of life (and, when in the hands of moronic drivers, to actually end life) than any other modern invention. It is no longer possible for me to enjoy a day at the beach, or a romantic dinner without being irritated by the constant ring tones and inane, high-decibel chatter of those around me, or, much worse, by my pointy-haired boss who is so dim he thinks an after hours computer error is an emergency, despite the fact that no one will die or even feel vaguely queezy because of it. No one would be happier than I if the damn things were swept off the face of the planet once and for all, but I am reluctantly forced to take up a position in their defence against the plethora of hogwash currently being spouted about their effect on health. Read the rest of this entry »