Day 458 – NK

I found a website this week:

It’s a website which shares information and developments in North Korean Technology. Latest press releases, new sites, photographs and the like from the secretive state. It’s a pretty interesting rabbit hole if you have some time to spare.

For example, I wandered through to the Korean Stamp website:

Stamp Issuing and Distribution Organ Representing the DPRK

Yes. That one.

Where I tried to buy some North Korean stamps:

The stamp design team of the Korea Stamp Corporation staffed with talented designers who had finished the professional educational course and possess rich field experience is doing fairly well with the design of stamps of different topics, postal stationery as well as the philatelic souvenirs including stamp yearbook, stamp catalogue and stamp albums. 

The Korean philatelic souvenirs are winning popularity among philatelists around the world for their rich thematic contents, various types and apparent national tinge.

Indeed. It was the fact that their stamp design team is doing fairly well that made me want to buy the stamps. Well, that and the apparent national tinge. And they don’t come much more nationally tinged than this:

Sadly, I couldn’t get the online shop to work, otherwise I would have grabbed a couple of Kims and a Flying Squirrel.

Elsewhere, there are images of new houses being presented to citizens for propaganda purposes. That happens here too, but they don’t have state radio receivers built into the walls. there is news of a Dynamic Traffic Light System, like we need in Cape Town, and a link to hear North Korea’s Short Wave radio programming.

It’s all a bit haphazardly put together, but then that’s how these sort of states (kind of) function. All in all, it’s an intriguing look behind the red curtain into what is, to most people, a rather mysterious country.

Day 449 – Radio

It’s Friday, and while your radio station might be celebrating the upcoming weekend with a live lunchtime drum and bass mix (mine is), there are always other options out there.
Like listening to the radio from yesteryear, for example. Which is exactly what you can do on Old Time Radio.

Listen to genres such as Horror, Crime, Future (Sci-fi), Comedy, Western or Drama, or click through on that helpful hamburger top right and design your own show, make a playlist, choose an appropriate visualiser or set a sleep timer so you can drop off to the best of Abbott and Costello.

I’m not going to lie, you have to be in the right mood for this, but if you are, it’s pretty cool to hear what floated people’s boats in the 1930s, 40s and 50s, just prior to the advent of Netflix.
Sadly, there’s no drum and bass to pump you up for the weekend.

Day 437 – Photos and postcards

A run on the mountain yesterday, a surprisingly hard game of football in surprisingly warm conditions this morning.
I are a bit broken. I have sat down to blog and I might never be able to get up again. But it’s all been fun.

Today: A photography competition judged by someone called Trevor.

Win A Canon Kit Worth R68 999

Decent prizes there, including the chance for your image to be featured on the Sea Point Prom, where it will be seen by literally thousands of people every day. And also some cyclists.

But then you look more carefully, and there are separate prizes for Pros and Ams. I have to say that while the Powershot is very nice, the R6 and that monstrous 800mm lens (that’s clearly not it in the image above) is far more tempting. So, do you have to be a Pro enter the Pro arm of the competition? What exactly is a Pro in this context? I regularly take photographs in exchange for money, so can I enter that one? Especially now I’ve got my nice, new, big lens (bought from Orms, by the way). And while we’re getting the props in early, I also follow Trevor on Instagram and once advised him on Facebook of a good place to get a laptop screen fixed.

I’d say that I’m pretty much a shoe-in for this one.

All I need is a decent photo of a bird. Hmm.

And then, this.

I love the Postcard from the Past twitter account – I said it was good back when it started.
An image and a line or two from any postcard in Tom’s collection, presented without context and thus really prompting some thought into what exactly might have been going on in the writer’s mind (or on their holiday).

I have a virtual concert to attend on Thursday evening, so sadly it’s going to be difficult for me to do this one, but if you are interested, all the details are available on the link just above the image above.

[too many aboves, above? – Ed.]
[Nah – no-one will notice. I’m just going to hit the Publish button.]

Day 430 – Six degrees

Not the temperature last night in Cape Town (although it wasn’t far off).

No, this:

Six degrees of separation is the idea that all people on average are six, or fewer, social connections away from each other. As a result, a chain of “friend of a friend” statements can be made to connect any two people in a maximum of six steps.

And, building upon that, this:

Of course, you don’t have to use the example(s) above. You can try anything. I checked out Adolf Hitler to Donald Trump (further than you might think), and Sheffield United to László Bíró (every bit as far as you might think).

And while it’s working out just how many connections there are there between the two things you want to check out, it gives you slices of Wikipedia trivia to keep you entertained. e.g. “798,944 (12.8%) Wikipedia pages have a title that doesn’t contain a space”. Pub quiz-tastic stuff.

There’s no real point to this except to waste a bit of time, but then that’s pretty much the same as life, right?

Go play.