Day 697 – Basic cartography

I’ve spent the morning as a Cartographer’s Assistant. It was interesting and rewarding stuff, although it doesn’t pay well (actually, it doesn’t pay at all), you can get a bit sunburnt, and – where possible – you should choose not to assist a cartographer in a dog shit filled park.


The cartographer in question was my son, using basic triangulation to plot the whereabouts of some bridges, some benches, a lamppost and at least one bin. This was for a Scout badge, and – to me, at least – it looked like all the requirements had been fulfilled. The DSF park in question was Keurboom Park in Claremont, which has likely been mapped already [checks]… yes:

…but this was still great practice for him, should he need to map anywhere that hasn’t been mapped yet.
Especially if there are lampposts and bins and bridges there. People need to know whereabouts those sort of things are.

Thankfully, now that Keurboom Park has been thoroughly mapped (at least twice), I won’t have to go back there. What a disgusting toilet of a place it is. We were there for about three hours, and we probably saw (no exaggeration) about 150 dogs. At a rough guess, I’d say that 50% of the owners cleaned up after their pets. And if you’re looking at [kwik maffs] about 50 dogs per hour, that’s 25 new “hazards” each 60 minutes, or 1 every 2Ā½ minutes throughout the day – just in that bit of the park.

It’s everywhere. Utterly repulsive.

Of course, it could all be so much better if the owners did something about it. The park even provides free bags and there are plenty of (mapped) bins. But the middle-class white people of Lynfrae and surrounds (or at least 50% of them) clearly feel that they are above cleaning up after their dogs.

Probably a good idea not to bother getting a dog then, you wankers. Just a thought.

Don’t snog your pet – rocket surgery research

We’ve covered the dangers of antibiotic resistance on the the blog many times before.
We’ve covered the dangers of unhygienic pets on the blog many times before.
Now, some rocket surgeons at Glasgow Poly Caledonian University have put the two together with some groundbreaking research:

I hope you are all sitting down, because the advice in this article is pretty shocking stuff, and may make you immediately rethink how intimately you’ve been living your life with your household pet.
I’m talking about near-incredible recommendations like:

Avoid kissing pets on the mouth

Seriously, just avoid kissing pets full stop.

Don’t let them pets lick your mouth or nose

This is basically french-kissing pets. It’s also to be avoided full stop.
And the nose fetish thing? Eww. No.

Pet owners should wash hands after stroking animals, particularly before meals

WHO?!?!? KNEW?!?!?

Make sure pets eat from their own bowls and don’t use household utensils

I’m going to be a bit sick now.
And this from a guy whose beagle can’t even use a knife and fork anyway.

At least they stopped short of suggesting that you also always use a condom.
(At least, I hope they did: I haven’t read the whole paper yet.)

It really seems like these things shouldn’t need to be said to humans. We’re literally the most intelligent species on earth, and that’s why we really shouldn’t need to be reminded or warned not to snog our canines who were literally chewing on some faeces they found on the pavement just five minutes ago.

It’s also why household pets shouldn’t be allowed into establishments serving or selling food. It’s not about me being mean to your French Bulldog, it’s just about basic common sense and decent hygiene. It’s about your poor choices putting other people’s health at risk.

Honestly, you people disgust me.

Normally, I’d put this sort of thing into the Darwin Awards category: removing oneself from the gene pool through one’s own stupidly reckless behaviour. But that doesn’t work here, because sadly, this might – might – not actually finish you off, but it will lead to the proliferation of antibiotic-resistant bacteria which – as I mentioned above – might finish other people off.

Now, thanks to this “new” research from Dr Adele DicksonĀ et al., we’re able to actually demonstrate that your disgusting behaviour is bad for the human race in general.

Thus, for the good health of humanity, please stop this sort of stuff immediately. Ugh.


Ah. I miss the UK on November 5th. Specifically the fireworks. Yes, they do them here, but for all the mocking of “The Nanny State” on “Mud Island”, the rules here around fireworks are far tighter than in the UK. And, surprisingly for SA, they are generally pretty well observed.

The Isle of Man, of course, is not in the UK, but they still do fireworks and here’s Douglas Bay on Saturday night courtesy of Flickr user cabmanstu:


Many thanks to Stuart for permission to use the photo.

As ever, twitter is divided over the fireworks here. Some don’t see the need, many are enjoying them and then there are the local dog owners whose animals keep us awake each and every sodding night, but who object to people making noise for a couple of hours on one evening a year.

I hesitate to use the word “killjoys”, but only briefly.