Wednesday ephemera

Several bits of small stuff to share, so here it all is.
Knock yourselves out*.

Things are going all right

After yesterday’s post, this:

That’s quite a movement, ironically suddenly making illegal “small boat” immigration across the English Channel a whole lot harder.


Home Affairs is a mixed bag

Two tweets, just a few pixels apart on my laptop screen:

and:

And yes, I’ve experienced both ends of this spectrum.
Delightfully astonishing at the one end, but oh so frustrating at the other.


SA Mpox outbreak causes first death

Indeed:

Nothing to panic about here, but certainly one just to keep an eye on…


Explore your adventurous side

A recent advert on the web:

Ah yes. The silver self-defence spike. A true Camping and Outdoor Essential. And… does it really say “Thank you for choosing [manufacturer]” on the lanyard? That’s amazing.


I despair

A local page I follow on Facebook got hacked and started posting all sorts of weird stuff, including (but not limited to) a lot of AI generated content resembling American cities. In fact, the only local thing it posted was this range of images depicting (allegedly, at least) Cape Town, some lions in the Kruger, and some KhoiSan rock art in an ancient cave.

The worst bit was the comments though, with people from Cape Town fawning over the picture of their city. And this, despite all those new mountains, the sun setting on the wrong side, and that frankly weird extension bit coming out of Green Point.
Compare and contrast…

Also, while we’re on the subject, that is clearly not KhoiSan rock art, and WTF has happened to those lions? Our jobs are safe from AI for a while yet. But whether our lives are safe from idiot commenters on Facebook… well… that’s another story.


Winter in the vineyards

In more genuine pictures of Cape Town…
We took a walk around Groot Constantia a few days ago, and it was lovely.

Go and see more of the yellowing vines and lush, green grass on Instagram. And drop a follow if you haven’t already. Thanks.

Another German map

You’ll probably want to go and look at this post to see why this is “another” German map.

But, this is another German map, this time detailing the results of the recent European Parliament elections in that country.

That’s the Centre-Right CDU/CSU in grey and the Far-Right AfD in blue. And you’ll note that the country is – once again – divided up right down its historic East/West border. The weird bit here being that the ex-Communist Bloc East is voting for a far-right party that supports Russian president Vladimir Putin, who is all for reliving those halcyon days when the USSR and Eastern Europe was all powerful.

Well, in the USSR and Eastern Europe, anyway.

Still, the Western side is holding onto parties with far less extreme policies.
So I guess things could be worse.

See what I mean?

Ouch.

That E.coli announcement

There’s an outbreak of E.coli in the UK. And it’s a particularly nasty one.

A lot of people are quite upset that the announcement contained that phrase:

a nationally distributed food item

As if there’s some sort of conspiracy in not announcing exactly what food item it is, presumably in order to allow more people to get sick.

All the blue ticks. All the time.

Surprisingly though, the nationally distributed food item can’t be named, because they don’t know what it is. (Microbiologists will be waving their hands in the air, trying to attract the teacher’s attention so they can tell you that it’s almost certainly a pre-prepared salad of sorts, but that’s because it’s always a pre-prepared salad of sorts which is to blame when you get this sort of thing.)

What they do know however, is where the bug didn’t come from. Not from a particular holiday destination or cruise. Not from “wild” swimming. Not from a single water source. Not from a school canteen. And so on. And they can do this because of the demographics of the patients, and their geographic distribution.

It’s easy to tie these cases down to one specific bug: genome sequencing can do that very quickly. What it’s more difficult to do is to then work out the link between all of those cases. So what the UKHSA is doing with this statement is trying to reassure the public that swimming, drinking water, going on holiday etc etc is absolutely fine.

Can they identify the nationally distributed food item? No, not yet. Or they would have done.

They could guess, but then they’d get into trouble either simply for guessing, or for guessing incorrectly. Damned if they do, and damned – albeit by tossers on twitter – when they don’t.

They’ll let us know as soon as they know. That’s how these things work.

And in the meantime? Well, there’s plenty of advice on that link about the best way to avoid the bug and avoid getting sick. But with a population of about 70 million people, and “just” 113 cases, I honestly don’t think that you should be treating your fridge as a potential ticking timebomb.

I’d still wash that lettuce really well before you eat it, though.

“This results are rigged.”

Amidst the demands for a re-vote following the bizarre claims from the MK Party that the recent elections were rigged – a move many experts believe is not to actually based in any fact, but more to undermine the authority of the IEC – there was this:

And he offered the following screenshots as proof. One for the Western Cape:

And one for KZN:

I must admit, when I first read his allegations, I was a bit dubious. But the evidence is absolutely there.

How on earth can a bigger number be a smaller percentage? Something dodgy is clearly going on.

Jeez. Tiktok maths.
These people walk among us.
And look the way they voted.

Warnings

A lot of rain fell over Cape Agulhas this weekend. Struisbaai and Arniston are cut off again.
And there’s a lot more on the way:

Numerous warnings for the incoming rain, which has been described thus:

This is becoming one of our most historic systems.

Looking forward(?) to a very wet couple of days.

Stay safe…