Monday, May 31, 2010

relationships come with strings

Every relationship comes with strings attached. When you meet a person, your energies make contact and they either attract or repel. But more than that, every relationship is like putting a plug into a wall socket (with sexual relationships this is literally so). Just as a plug has both a negative and a positive connector, so it is with people and creatures; when you connect with a person there is always a transfer of energies: you get both the positive and the negative from them--the good and the bad, the happiness and the sadness, the successes and the problems. You also give both your good and your bad. For this reason a relationship can literally bless you or curse you.
Is this a bad thing? No; this is just the way it is. But it is wise to think or at least reflect before you leap. For example, there might be a beautiful woman who obviously desires you, but you notice that she has a drinking habit. In the time it takes you to down one glass of wine, she usually drinks two or three strong ciders. You consider this a problem; she doesn't consider it a problem. If you pursue the relationship, her non-problem will become your big problem and you also most likely will end up paying for it in one way or another. But if you hold back, stay at the level of just acquaintances, there is no problem at all because her drinking is not your issue. Of course, you can still go ahead if you wish, but at least you have warned yourself and are aware.
Relationships travel with you forever and that is why all the sacred texts say that love is what will last. When we die, we don't die. It is only the suits of meat that we inhabit for a short while that die. And even they don't die; they just change form. All the energy that we are continues in some other form, somewhere, because energy cannot be destroyed. We're not puppets, but puppet-masters. Make sure you notice the strings.

and now... Peppermint!

Time really rushes by, doesn't it? I remember, as if yesterday, when I first tried Ubuntu and got horribly rendered screens and graphics and fonts because the system couldn't deal with my hardware's graphic cards. I tried a few others as well at that time, and the only desktop OS that actually seemed to work was Linux Mint's Bianca release. Now Ubuntu is up to Lucid and Mint is offering Isadora--and both are very good and very accomplished. They're both so good that I double boot my machines these days. [I like Suse as well, natch, but KDE isn't my choice at the moment and the Ubuntu distros are keenly Gnome.] Anyway, Mint is based on Ubuntu, which is a lot of the reason I love them both; and now there is a distro based on Mint. It's cloud-organised and called Peppermint (www.peppermintos.com).
I'm using it at the moment, and it's fast. It's neither Gnome nor KDE, but XFCE/OpenBox--which is interesting, and accounts for some of the speed--but already I like it. It comes with links to frequently-used sites like Facebook, Google Mail and YouTube already factored in, and Dropbox is there too. UbuntuOne is not there (it isn't on Mint either--because they're 'competition'?) but One is easy to install through Synaptic.
I've been using Peppermint for a few days, and it's been fine and friendly so far. The only issue I've had is with OpenBox and the Desktop (but it's a minor issue) and I've installed Arora as the browser rather than Firefox, which has become sluggish on Ubuntu and Mint of late.
It's a small OS to download and runs with a very small footprint. Try it. These are early days, but Peppermint could be built to last.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Whitney in Swaziland



I came across this old photo the other day. It's of Whitney Houston in traditional Swazi clothing. I don't remember when this was... but she did visit for 1 day....

When the Grass Suffers

There's a saying in Africa that when two elephants fight, the grass suffers. That's a good description of what's happening at the moment in the world of Swaziland's telecommunications: Swaziland Posts and Telecommunications (SPTC) are fighting with Swazi MTN. And what are they fighting about? The usual-- who gets the chance to make the grass suffer. Unfortunately the Kingdom is riddled with monopolies (they are the norm here) and corruption is widespread (especially because the monopolies will do whatever it takes to retain their monopolies).
SPTC recently introduced a 'fixed cell' (i.e., not mobile) service, and a lot of people have signed up for it because it is workable and ostensibly cheaper than Swazi MTN. Now, just a few weeks into the new service, MTN are crying that their profits are suffering and they are seeking legal action to regain their monopoly.
Swazi MTN have no customer loyalty at all nor any business acumen when it comes to competition: so their response is not unexpected, but it is so akin to a baby wailing and shaking its rattle that the public is unmoved. But the outcome will no doubt be that the grass will be the ultimate loser here. Natch.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Same old, same old

T.I. I'm Back review

He should have stayed away. I enjoy tunes, singers, guitars, harmonies--songs. This ain't got none of that. It ain't music. So, as far as I'm concerned, fuhgettit.

Actually, what I'm really tired of is walking into any bar or similar place in town and finding the same old same old channel O everywhere. The same old stuff on the same old everyday (predictable) rotation, the same old sound and the same old visuals: for me a blanket denial that humanity has any creativity or talent or beauty apart from what big business wants to sell to the masses. Rant, rant, rant... but maybe channel O helps pay the rent (?).

Friday, May 21, 2010

Mobile Facebook--a cheaper option

Hm. Interesting. Yesterday I fired up Opera mini on my Nokia N73 and entered O.facebook.com in the address bar; I was redirected to m.o.facebook.com, which loaded quickly and looks good. I then checked a few notifications and logged out.
The whole logging on and checking cost me 11 cents.
Apparently, one reason for the new O.facebook.com service is for mobile users to save money (and therefore increase Facebook traffic and continue the move towards world dominance) and this does seem to be the case. Previously, logging on to m.facebook.com would cost 27 cents, so 11 cents is a 50% saving. However, this is still more expensive than mxit's 06 cents. Mxit though is a clever java app with a very small footprint, so I suppose it will always be a better chatting option than Facebook, but the two together is still my choice for keeping up with friends.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

poop power (Swazi cow!)



I wrote here some years back about the film Soylent Green and how the idea of recycling dead bodies for food and energy was ethically abhorrent but a viable business proposition. Then there was California's plan to recycle dog manure. Now comes HP's investigation into the possibilities of using cow manure to power computers (the article is here).

This is highly interesting news for us here in Swaziland, since one thing we do have an abundance of is cow culture; cows are food, cows are wealth, cows are lobola (dowry/bride-price payment). Cow dung is also, literally easy to find and scoop up (perhaps too easy: a politician got himself into a lot of trouble a few years back for scooping up some sacred cow dung--true story).

We've been investigating the use of sugarcane for energy/ethanol production; now we have another road to follow!

O.facebook.com/fb.me



Facebook has launched a new mobile site: O.facebook.com, though probably it won't be available here (in SD) just yet. They've also begun shortening 'facebook.com' to 'fb.me' (this is URL shortening: it helps with addresses and searches etc). Try it out. Type 'fb.me' into your browser's address bar.

Mozambique Fashion Week 2009




Yes, I know I should have uploaded these pics a while ago but you know how it is... anyway, better late than never 8-)

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Explode with joy!

As you sow, so shall you weep... or explode with joy. It all depends on what you sow. But if you don't sow, you can't grow... and so... your life will remain fallow, shallow with unexplored, undeveloped, unknown and unclaimed possibilities. The real way to live is to look for adventure by exploring into uncharted lands and waters, always expecting the wonder and fulfillment that is your human birthright. Life is not meant to be so-so but sow-sow that you shall reap and be blessed, by becoming a blessing to yourself an' all. Explode with joy, boy! Explode with joy, girl! Let your life unfurl and allow the wind of the spirit to fill your sails. Sail on, boys and gals, sail on!

There's no cure (be careful)


Be careful. There's no cure, no antidote, no forwarding address, for love. Be careful. How many hearts do you want to break? She has no money but still buys you chocolates; she has no dreams but dreams of you. Be careful. You are the song in her heart, in her mind, in her soul. You are every love song she hears on the radio. You are even the milk in her fridge. You think that's a joke? How many hearts do you want to break? Yours? There are no winners, no losers, only future children standing naked on the bridge; only cats and dogs howling in the sun and rain and every night the wind comes with the sound of pain every time you lie alone. And by your side, like a pill or a gun, lies the phone, asking you to call, always asking for you to call. Be careful. The pill and the gun can truly end it all. Do you really want to mix it, have those red red kisses throbbing for you in the dark? Do you really want to send all those smileys, or go online to book a face and upload that picture of you in the park? Be careful. There's no cure, no antidote, no forwarding address, for love. It's a dangerous game to call for a name. Late at night, when the wind comes moaning in the empty silence between two lonely heartbeats, and there's nowhere to run, be careful.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Omega Man/ I am Legend


Now that I've finished reading/re-reading the original 1954 novel, the relationship between the novel and the film versions is clearer:
1. elements of the novel do appear in the films, but the films are quite drastic reworkings of the original;
2. key elements, such as vampirism and eroticism, are played down;
3. the ending is altered from the original 'end of the human race' to 'a hero arises to save the human race';
4. the original bacterial warfare idea is transmuted (do you like that word?) into a viral one.

These are all significant alterations. Obviously, changing the form (novel to film) of necessity alters the content (cf McLuhan), and the original psychological approach cannot work filmistically (do you like this word?) so I'm not complaining here, just observing.

Personally, I have enjoyed all three, for all three do what good sci-fi should do-- they echo, reverberate, haunt the mind so that we keep thinking about the plot, themes, characters, and so on, long after we've watched or read the art.

Hawu! Relationships have become time-shares!

the article is here: Baby-mamas and boyfriend back-ups