Day 433 – Not a horse

I was at a local riding school, ostensibly to take photos of some of the horses for their social media, but there were also cats (and dogs and chickens and guineafowls) around.
So even though it wasn’t feline Friday, I shot a bit of them too.

This guy is a Cape Leopard Bengal cat.


…many people consider the Bengal to be a wild cat that only pretends to be domesticated

And that fits pretty well for this chap, who doesn’t like to go indoors or hang around humans. But will always be nearby when there’s food on offer.

But that’s your feline studies lesson over for today, because right now, I need to get on with editing some horse pics before the football.

Day 83 – The WHO mask post

Much excitement online about this FB post from the WHO.

Here’s the image that came with it:

Apparently, this now means that [fictitious couple but we’ve all met them] Justin Whitebru and his obnoxious wife Karen are free to breathe all over everyone while they jog on the Sea Point Prom with their friends before breathing all over everyone at the coffee shop around the corner.

Actually no. Let’s unpack this for Justin, Karen et al. (Al is particularly keen to learn more.)

First off, a cartoon on the WHO Facebook page does not trump the local rules and regulations, which very clearly state:

And since the Constantia GreenBelt, the Sea Point Prom and all other public places where you might choose to exercise… are public places, that’s immediately game over for Justin and his “quick farve kay” buddies.

Let’s just summarise what we’ve learnt so far:

It doesn’t matter what you read on Facebook about not wearing masks while exercising, nor the authority of who posted it. The Disaster Management Act: Regulations: Alert level 3 during Coronavirus COVID-19 lockdown in South Africa state that you must wear a cloth facemask covering your mouth and nose while you are in a public place. 

Thanks for reading.

And because we’re clearly done here I should end it now, but like an irritating shopping channel, wait… there’s more!

Because I know that local rules and regulations don’t cut it for most people around here.

So here are some more words about this:

The main reason that we are required to wear masks when out and about is not to protect ourselves, but to protect those around us. No, sure, I know you know you don’t have the virus, Susan, because you washed your hands last Tuesday and you’ve been taking your supplements and all, but the fact is that you can be infectious while having absolutely no symptoms.

In fact, that’s one of the major problems we face in trying to overcome this pandemic.

Wearing a mask while you’re having your jog means that you are much less likely to spread the virus to other people. It’s been shown that your trail of aerosol droplets is likely to be far larger while you are running or cycling than if you were standing still or walking, and if you do have the virus, those droplets are likely to be full of it , just hanging around waiting for the next person to walk or run through it. Wearing a mask makes this cloud of nastiness much smaller.

Add to that the fact that we know that activities which involve breathing more deeply: singing, shouting… er… running and cycling, also tend to release more virus from an infected individual.
And that “one meter” that the WHO graphic suggests really isn’t going to help a great deal.

Thus, aside from being the law, mask wearing is also a moral obligation to protect the people you are running past. (Did you bring your morals with you today, Tamara?)

So that’s why you should wear a mask while exercising.
But let’s review the two main reasons that the WHO mentions above as to why you should NOT wear a mask while exercising.

1. “It makes it difficult to breathe” – Aww. Diddums.

“If you think that running with a mask on makes it difficult to breathe, you should try having Covid-19.”

Read the stuff I wrote above and get over yourself.

2. “It gets sweaty and promotes the growth of microorganisms” – wut?

Well sure, it will get sweaty and then you’ll simply wash it when you get home and it will be clean and ready to use again.

Yes, just like you do with your clothes.

If you don’t wash your mask when you’ve been wearing it (for whatever activity, but especially exercise), it will get nasty. If you don’t wash your clothes when you’ve been wearing them (for whatever activity, but especially exercise), they will get nasty.

You wouldn’t wear your running kit for n days in a row without washing it (although this may assist with social distancing), so don’t do it with your mask. And if you still want to try and apply this weird and feeble excuse for your not wearing a mask, then please also choose to run naked.

(But also, please don’t.)

The W in WHO stands for World, which means that they are trying to talk to almost 8 billion hugely diverse people in hugely diverse communities and situations around the planet about these things.

One size will not fit all.

I’m willing to accept that if you are dancing alone in the alpine meadows of Austria…

…you are less likely to infect anyone than if you are running through the heaving streets of downtown Manhattan; that if you are deep in the Patagonian wilderness vibing to your PsyTrance with only your camper van for company, you’re not going to spread the virus like you might if you were singing opera in a busy New Delhi marketplace. (We’ve all done it.)

And of course, the WHO can’t cover each and every individual situation. I do understand that. And for Maria, pictured above, mask wearing probably isn’t necessary. She can breathe easy and not get a sweaty face. But Maria is all on her own with just the meadow flora and mountain peaks for company, and first-world Austria is well past their peak of Covid-19 infections.

It’s not Cape Town.

And no matter what you may feel about the integrity and authority of the SA Government, and the WHO, scientifically speaking, the reasons given by the SA Government for wearing a mask while exercising are very good. The ones supplied by the WHO for not wearing a mask are frankly nonsensical.

So: if you’re exercising (or doing anything else), in South Africa right now – YOU NEED TO WEAR A MASK.

End of.

Day 61 – The Tale of The Broken Blog

The server that lives in fell over today, and I had to write a blog post on Facebook, just in case I couldn’t write a blog post on here.

Fortunately, Germaine H came to the rescue and propped the server up with a makeshift scaffold fashioned from kebab sticks, dental floss and some clay.

I’ll probably delete the Facebook post now, but let’s preserve it here first, just because:

Howdy, readers!

There is clearly some issue at my hosting company and I’ve been on hold on three different platforms for over an hour now with no response. So – for the moment, at least – today’s 6000dotcodotza blog post will be posted on Facebook.
It’s a blog post about not being able to post a blog post.
You’re reading it right now.

So very meta. I hope your minds can cope.

I’m optimistic that the engineers at Afrihost will get their act together in the very near future and put the server plug back into the wall after the cleaning lady socially distanced it from its socket, although the fact that they haven’t responded to anything in a long, long time doesn’t fill me with hope. They don’t even seem to know that anything is wrong: head to their network status page and ‘hosting’ has got a big green light and the legend:

Everything is looking good!
There are no problems to report at this moment

But there clearly are problems, one of them being that there’s no-one there to report them to.

Please watch out for updates on here, and – if I get lucky (careful now) – on as well.

Thanks for reading!

So now you’ve read a blog post about a blog post about not being able to post a blog post on the blog I wasn’t able to post on.

And with that, I think it’s high time for a drink.

Oh, and a gentle reminder to follow on Facebook – just in case this sort of thing happens again.

Koontz, clowns and Coronavirus

Via Facebook (and FOTB CJW) (thanks, CJW):

Author Dean Koontz predicted the coronavirus outbreak in 1981.

Huge if true.

But it’s not true (surprise, surprise). Sure a virus called Wuhan-400 does appear in Koontz’s book The Eyes of Darkness.

It was a man-made biowarfare product. So not like SARS-CoV-2, which is not man-made biowarfare product. (I don’t think it’s “the perfect weapon”, by the way: viruses with 100% mortality wipe their hosts out too quickly to be properly contagious, so you can’t get them to spread properly. That means more effort to get a decent number of victims. Who wants to put in that much effort when you’re already evading international law and slaying millions of innocent people?)

Anyway, as we can read above, Wuhan-400 had a mortality rate of 100%, not the ±2% of SARS-CoV-2.

Wuhan-400 was developed in Wuhan and became known to the West when a Chinese scientist called Li Chen defected. And yes, Wuhan was where SARS-CoV-2 was first found, but actually, Wuhan-400 was originally called Gorki-400 and was developed in Russia. And it was Russian Scientist Ilya Poparapov who defected. Li Chen and Wuhan were only substituted in during a reprint in the 1990’s – presumably when Russia became less of a perceived threat thanks to glasnost and perestroika. See?

Otherwise though: spot on.

But what about the much shared second piece in the book:

“In about 2020, a severe pneumonia-like illness will spread throughout the globe, attacking the lungs and bronchial tubes…”

Well, that’s not in his book at all. It’s in a book by Sylvia Brown called The End Of Days. It’s worth noting that there are three claims in there: the date, the illness and the modus operandi of the disease. They’re all correct, although the last one is a little tautological, given that attacking the lungs is really all that pneumonia-like illnesses do. But psychic Silv was accurate with her other two predictions. And as Meatloaf once told us: two out of three ain’t bad. It’s also not a bad starting mortality rate for a man-made weaponised virus. But that’s another story.

So yes, some of it was right. In the same way that – despite being a bit shit at darts – if I threw a million darts at a dartboard, I’d probably get a bullseye.

And if you want further proof that this was merely a lucky dart, you only need to check out the rest of the page that this metaphorical bullseye appears on, because it’s full of her 999,999 other misses:

Sadly, here we are in 2020 and there’s still cancer and invasive surgery and deafness and blindness and anorexia and diabetes and Parkinson’s and Multiple Sclerosis and Muscular Dystrophy.

But still, let’s celebrate the fact that there was no outbreak of flesh-eating disease “transmitted to humans by almost microscopic mites almost undetectably imported on exotic birds”. Imported from where? Why didn’t the humans there get it first? It’s transmitted “by mites”,  but also it’s “funguslike” and yet we find we can destroy “the bacteria” through combinations of electrical currents and extreme heat. We already knew that those things can kill bacteria. Sadly, they also kill the people who are infected with the bacteria, which is why we can’t use them to cure disease.

Unless Sylvia is suggesting that we just stick all the patients into an electric chair and then a big fire.

Because if you were going to try to destroy the mite funguslike bacteria, that would work.

But I have digressed once again. This was never supposed to be a post about how crap psychics are: this was about how Dean Koontz didn’t predict SARS-CoV-2.

In summary, Koontz’s fictional virus was completely different to this real coronavirus, wasn’t even from Wuhan originally, and half the pages in the Facebook post doing the rounds weren’t written even by him.
And even then, only 1 of about 74 predictions on that other page was correct.

tl;dr (although you clearly already have): don’t believe stuff you read on Facebook.

Some lovely examples of the genre

You might have thought that 2019 was the Year of the RBOSS, and you would have been right. But just because 2019 went and ended all unexpectedly and stuff, it doesn’t mean that the genre has to end with it. Thankfully(?), there have already been some wonderful images shared on the Facebook group which originally gave us the RBOSS.

Like this puppy from one of the Masters:

Utterly spectacular. The saturation dial really turned up to 11 there. The sky literally exploding with over-excited pixels, displaying colours and hues that were actually never there.

And then there was this:

Subject matter 1/10, RBOSS level 10/10.

As Dale Carnegie famously suggested:

If life gives you lemons, make lemonade!

The amataur photographer version being:

If a sunset doesn’t give you colours, utterly destroy any semblance of reality by dragging the filter sliders all the way to the right. Twice.

And then do it again. Twice.

As one commentator wryly pointed out:

What a terrible way to find out that Iran has pushed the button.

We’re not even halfway through the first month of 2020 and already new boundaries are being explored in the world of RBOSS. Stick your shades on and join me in the quest to find the new King or Queen of over-saturation.

You have nothing to lose except your vision.