Lateral Thinkers with Time on their Hands

Creative creations#01

Just when you thought that you had seen it all before, along comes somebody with time on your hands. Each in its own way illustrates a create spark that was actualised. As can be seen from these two dozen examples, it many instances the inventor/creator is merely using discarded items with a minimal monetary investment. Instead such investment is mainly or wholly in the artist’s time.

Continue reading

Just Don’t Look Down

Scary photos#41

Especially if one suffers from acrophobia. It might be irrational but, for sufferers, they feel a sense of panic when they are at a certain height. When gripped with this fear, they are often unable to trust their sense of balance. If you are concerned for the safety of the users of these structures, what about the workers who constructed them?

Just a word of caution. Never attempt to take the ultimate selfie. It might well be the last one that you will ever take.

Continue reading

Would these Adverts get past the PC Police Today?

Old adverts#17

Probably our grandchildren will have the same response when they view our adverts or even movies such as Star Wars. It is highly likely that the Beatles will sound tinny and David Bowie will look nerdy. They will possibly be amused at rap, wondering why an artist would talk through a song instead of singing. Ironically shoulder length hair for men will probably be in vogue again as well as bell-bottoms.

Main picture: How can the PC Police claim that this advert is sexist. Rather it displays concern for the welfare of one’s wife. Surely!

Continue reading

The Fate of Abandoned Artefacts of Civilisation

31-Abandoned-Bridge made out of an abandoned train carriage

For the most part, mankind’s artefacts are neither durable nor resilient. Left to the elements most man-made objects would have been reduced to their original elements within a century. Even such ancient memorials of a past civilisation such as pyramids and the Sphinx will be reduced to dust within 10 millennia.

Needless to say, it is not merely the dispassionate elements and nature which inexorably destroy man-made artefacts but there is also the intentional laying waste to artefacts of one’s rivals whether political, social or religious.

Main picture: A bridge made out of an abandoned train carriage
Continue reading

Children’s Antics which make their Parents Apoplectic

Childrens antics#1 (1)

Why is it that some kids just have the knack of doing the wrong thing whether it is regarding their room’s walls as a blackboard or attempting to climb into places which they shouldn’t like the toilet. Often it is the family’s animals that are the object of their naughtiness? Whatever it is, at least 10% of children will be egregious offenders whereas the other 90% will be model responsible children. As such they will never be a burden on their parents.

Dream on.

Main picture: Clearly this little boy knows that scibbling on the wall and “colouring-in” the dog were verboten, yet he did it. Why? Is this an indicator of a future delinquent or is it merely an example childhood naughtiness; a passing phase?

Continue reading

Photographs to Electrify a Curious Mind

Climbers going up Mount Everest in 2013

So many questions never get answered. Not that one is incurious but life is too short or the answer is not readily available. Whatever the reason, one never finds out. Instead of the usual canon of photographs of stunning sunsets or virgin African bush populated with grazing animals, this is an unusual collection of eclectic photographs. Take time to ponder on each.

For instance I have always been fascinated with Mount Everest. For me it defies belief that people would want to climb it knowing that the risk of dying is 1 in 10 and that the risk of losing a digit or a limb is even higher at between 2 to 3 in 10. Yet, for all that, men in the hundreds will not be dissuaded by the deprivations of freezing cold, oxygen sparse altitude and precipitous climbs in order to satisfy an inner yearning, a life-long desire to conquer their fears and the mountain.

Main picture: Climbers ascending the highest mountain in the world and the greatest challenge in their lives

Continue reading

Pictures to Cheer Us Up

Pictures to cheer us up#24

After a week’s sabbatical due to work commitments, the Casual Observer is back at work – not work work – but my home work – not homework – but work at home – the blog. Instead of a depressing blog on the Springbok’s thrashing at the hands of the rugby minnows, the Japanese – the less said the better – instead you may have another beer to drown your sorrows. I don’t need an excuse for a drink. I am balancing a Savanna on the couch as I type.

As an aside, I did not watch the rugby as I was sleeping after a cool 21km race in Irene. When I arrived at Rodizio’s in Bedfordview for Arnold’s birthday party, the first question that he asked me was the final score. The match was just finishing as I entered the restaurant. Without hesitation, I proffered a winning margin of 35 points. Fortunately I did not place money on that.

Moreover I must have been the only South African not to watch South Africa beat the All Blacks in the World Cup final in 1995 – 24th June to be exact. The mundane reason was that I was boarding a KLM flight back to South Africa at Schipol Airport in the Netherlands. Not being a rugby playing country, it was impossible to find a TV set in any of the lounges which was showing the game. A third division Bundasliga soccer match was the closest that we could get to rugby. Finally two hours after take-off, the  captain announced that as he was aware that the South Africans on the flight must be interested in the final score, he announced that South Africa had won.

The plane erupted. Even if he had announced the final score nobody would have heard. That was inconsequential. The fact that South Africa Africa after so many years of sporting isolation had thrashed its traditional rugby foe was all that counted. Joel Stransky was the man of the match with 3 penalties and 2 drop goals.

 

Continue reading

Unrest in Port Elizabeth

Protest in Walmer#12

Port Elizabeth is still close to my heart as I was raised there. I only relocated to Joburg after completing my articles as there were no work opportunities there. Due to the numerous protest actions nationally mainly as a result of service delivery – poor, non-existent or shoddy – it is a daily occurrence throughout South Africa. Due to the number of these riots, they receive little publicity. For me this one did. My paternal grandmother Daisy Elizabeth McCleland, the family matriarch, lived at 99 Albert Street which judging by the photographs is slightly off the epicentre of some of these riots.
Continue reading