Day 380 – Phil stuff

Just some thoughts about the last 24 hours. Not drum to bang, no product to sell, just a few things I have noticed and that I’m going to write down now. You can learn a lot about people by watching their public reactions to this sort of news.

I recognise that not everyone likes a royal family, and I recognise that Prince Philip may sometimes have been a divisive figure, but some of the comments on social media – particularly those making it all about the individual posting – are both appalling and superb.

It’s true that this is a bit of a new thing for the BBC. No-one as nationally important (I’m talking about his standing in his traditional and ceremonial role, not what you think his rank in society should be) has died since 1952. Things have moved on since then. A lot.

“Timings not great for this”? Yeah. How irritating of him to die now. I’ll have words. Not to worry though, we’ll be sure to get the next public figure to pop their clogs at a suitable time for you, Cazza. Do you have anything free in October next year, for example? “Unbelievable really” actually does sum it up nicely. But your comment rather than his poorly timed demise.

And then this: There are hundreds of thousands of hours of BBC content on radio, TV and the internet every single year. But literally a couple of hours of news about the Duke of Edinburgh dying and John’s wondering where his money is going, the tight-fisted sod.

Other radio stations and streaming services are readily available, and I’m sure that John knows that, but just quietly switching over doesn’t get him the attention he requires. We need to be told about it. He is quite clearly nuts.

Still, could be nuts-er. Hello, Lisa Beaumont.

Nail on the proverbial. This is exactly what it’s like in North Korea. You moaning on social media (despite the fact that speech is forbidden) from PyongYang just like all North Koreans are always doing. Mark Radcliffe playing Aqualung, Zero 7 and Sigur Ros over the airwaves whilst the much beloved leader of the country oversees mass military demonstrations of thousands of conscripted soldiers all marching in perfect unison. Public executions of dissidents. Half the population starving, the other half in concentration camps. Regular botched nuclear missile tests.

“wElCoMe tO nOrTh KoReA.”


But it’s not all doom and gloom. There are some really amusing memories of Prince Philip as well. He seems to have been a fairly jovial character a lot of the time. See this from Private Eye:

Look, I need to get the braai lit, so I’m going to leave this whole thing with one final thought, which has been the one dominating my mind since I heard this news.

Photo story (it’s not the one you keep reading).

They were married for over 73 years. That’s absolutely incredible. I’m approaching n years old and my Dad was only a toddler when they tied the knot. The Queen has reigned for almost 70 years and he was by her side every single day of that. I fully realise that theirs is not a normal life by any stretch of the imagination, but to lose someone who has been your partner for that long must be impossible to bear.

I think a lot of people – especially those rushing to whine or fling insults around on social media – forget that there’s a human side to this as well. They’d do well to take a step back and think again.

Day 377 – Wizard Poison

I spotted this on Twitter and it made me smile.

“Wizard poison” – what a lovely turn of phrase.

The latest anti-vaxxer (for it is they that Patton is referring to under his “idiots” tag) arguments demonstrate a couple of their usual methods very nicely. I thought I’d run through them.

Firstly, there’s their claim that the vaccines amount to “gene therapy”. Nope.
What they’ve done here is looked at the vaccine, seen the acronym “mRNA”, extrapolated the N and the A to give themselves the phrase “nucleic acid” which they then associate with genes (even though genes are actually made up of DNA, not RNA) and then somehow leapt to the assumption that the vaccine will in some way replace the genes within their and your DNA, thus altering their and your genetic code. wut?
This is plainly incorrect, but – as we’ve discussed many times on here and everywhere else – that simple fact will not stop the rumours from being spread far and wide across the internet.
There’s a further point to this as well, though: the suggestion the gene therapy is a bad thing. Not so. Gene therapy will save countless lives, but that’s very much a secondary issue here, because none of the Covid-19 vaccines are gene therapy.

So that’s the one tactic: getting things completely wrong without any care or repercussion. The second one is cherry-picking the data to suit their narrative.

There may be a problem with the AZ vaccine in that there seems to be a link between it and instances of blood clots in patients. That’s clearly not a good thing, and because of that, the anti-vaxxer brigade have joyfully leapt all over it.

The thing is that we’re looking at 30 suspected cases in the UK, after 18 million doses of the vaccine in question. That amounts to 1 case for every 600,000 doses administered. Those are the numbers, and that’s what’s prompted a full investigation.


Blood clots are also a side-effect of Covid-19, possibly by triggering an autoimmune antibody. The instance of this is approximately 1 in 6,000 cases (nice number). So while you might – possibly – suffer from blood clots as a result of having the AZ vaccine, if you get Covid-19 as a result of not having the AZ vaccine, you’re about 100 times more likely to have problems with blood clots.

Surprise surprise, this is the bit that the anti-vaxxers choose to omit from their shitty monologues.

You can’t believe everything you hear. Or indeed anything that comes from their mouths.

Take it from me: the vaccines are far safer than running the risk of getting Covid, which is very much not safe.
And they contain very, very little wizard poison. Promise.

Day 371 – Covid news

A quick one here because things are going to get very busy very shortly.

First off, this:

There’s been a 5% increase in Covid-19 infections in the Western Cape – and 16% increase in Cape Town over the past seven days, according to the Western Cape Health Department.

That’s a very significant increase. And that shouldn’t be happening just yet. But it is.

Still, you shouldn’t believe everything you read on the local new sites. Especially the ones that blindly quote politicians.

Like this:

Because in actual fact, the recently published regulations say nothing of the sort:

Dlamini-Zuma might well have wanted the transportation of alcohol to be banned this weekend. She might even still get the transportation of alcohol to be banned this weekend. But that will only be by amending the published regulations. The current regulations don’t ban the transportation of alcohol this weekend, no matter what the erstwhile Minister might think. She’s either lying or incompetent. Or both.

Still, no-one reads the regulations, they only look at the headlines, so good luck with arguing your case at a roadblock tomorrow morning.

Day 369 – Tuesday Ephemera

A few short lines to document my thoughts today.

The goose drank wine.
Anyone else look at the title and have memories of The Clapping Song evoked? Yeah. Me too.

The beagle has lost its bark.
Yep. The beagle has a sore throat: a bacterial infection that was headed towards pneumonia before the vet and some antibiotics kicked into action in the early hours of Monday morning. There’s been some decent improvement today, but it’s still pretty glum about the whole situation. We’ll all be much happier when the beagle is bouncing around and chatting to its neighbourhood friends once again.
In Co-Amoxiclav We Trust.

Ramaphosa is addressing the nation this evening.
It was going to be at 7pm, but then there was this:

All the best, Noxolo.

There’s been much speculation about the contents of Ramaphosa’s speech. There are a couple of public holidays on the way and we have an incoming third wave due at some point (although our R=0.92 right now). So why is he bothering to talk at all? Will he close the beaches? Will he ban alcohol sales? Will he allow (much) greater numbers of people to attend religious gatherings? And if so, why? We have plans for the weekend. I’m sincerely hoping he doesn’t ruin them with some crappy pointless temporary legislation.

I have different music for different occasions.
No surprises there: you can’t reasonably expect to get away with Slipknot at your Granny’s tea-party. But moreover, I have different music for just me. Like this:

I’m still doing a lot of DIY around the house.
New lights here and there – and especially there. New sockets in the kitchen. New bathroom furniture. A touch of gardening. Some lying on my beanbag (not strictly DIY as we know it, but I did choose to do it myself). It feels like a never ending list. There’s some painting to do tomorrow. I can’t wait.

Unusual cover versions can actually be quite good.
I mean, Elbow’s Independent Woman is right up there. And here’s Future Islands covering Tina Turner.

Because, why not?