likes, loves and lusts

a little bit of za kultuur

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If I can recommend that you see one South African production this year, it's this one. Forget all the local bands (yes, even freshlyground), the local soaps, the dodgy pantomimes and funny festivals in muddy valleys surrounded by beer and hot dog stands.
If you want to see one South African at the height of his game, a consummate performer and artist, then go see Nataniel. Seriously.

We went to his production, "The Moses Machine". To say we were astounded is an understatement. The man is a genuis. From his music to his costumes (which are as outlandish as you can imagine) to his stories - the man knows how to sway and enthrall a crowd. So, despite what you may have decided about him based on his demeanor or appearance, please try see his new production, "Men Who Fly".

I have my tickets...

"Moving away from the structure of previous productions, this show is built around a theme rather than a single story-line. Energetic, textured and fantastical, MEN WHO FLY is a tribute to all who do not have their feet on the ground. Original soul, rock and pop songs alternate with comedy sketches and stories in both English and Afrikaans."

steve's done it again

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Steve Jobs, head of Apple, has announced a new toy. Welcome the Macbook Air.
It's 56 % thinner than the Macbook Pro, making it the thinnest notebook on the market. Think Thinnovation.

I read in an interview this morning that "the machine is a reversal of field for Mr. Jobs, who in the past has insisted that less-than-full-featured laptops are undesirable", so we can only assume that this Macbook lacks some of the features others carry - it's been seriously slimmed down. Apple, smartly, have not yet released the spec, so it's not easy to see exactly what they've left off. Noticeably though, a few of the ports are missing - the cable you'd stick into them are thicker than the notebook itself!

I'm keeping this page bookmarked on my browser to see what other info they release - I like it. But I wouldn't rush out and pre-order just yet...

UPDATE: they've left off the optical drive, firewire ports, and there's only one USB port. Although you can get external extensions for these, that defeats the oject of having something so slim. I use these ports a hell of a lot more than I'd use the 2 hours extra battery or the multi-touch track pad. I'll wait for version 2.0...

Shu Uemura, 1928 - 2007

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"LEGENDARY Japanese make-up extraordinaire Shu Uemura, who built an international cosmetics brand under his name, died of acute pneumonia in Tokyo on Dec 29. The news of his death was released on Tuesday. He was 79.
...Uemura believed that “beautiful skin is essential for beautiful make-up”. To him, beautiful skin was the canvas for make-up and the secret to beautiful skin started with gentle, thorough cleansing. That’s why his cleansing oils are central to the brand’s concept of beauty...
...Other than the brand’s signature cleansing oils and cosmetics, Uemura expanded his brand to include elegant handmade make-up brushes, perfumes, and fake eyelashes and eyelash curlers."
More on the rise of Shu Uemura

If you love your make-up, or ever instpired to one day be as perfectly made up as Dita or Marilyn, this is a sad story. Shu make the most beautiful products - and have eyelashes to die for. I have 2 pairs, and their legendary curler.

small and fabulous

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"The world is getting hotter and more crowded every day, and modular, prefab housing is just what the doctor ordered. When you go small, it's not just about energy efficiency and carbon footprints -- it's also about being strange, cool and beautiful. We've chosen our favorite houses that meld style with globally conscious living. Enjoy."

i want a car pod

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Driving home in the BMW the other night, I turned to look around me in the car - it's a big car. I was surrounded by all this empty space, and it was quite strange to think of myself manoevering this machine around. Kinda like being the only guy at the helm in a tank - you must get awful lonely.
Then I looked out my window and a man was waiting at the traffic light next to me in a people-carrier - one of those big soccer-mom cars. He was alone. Completely alone. Imagine all the space surrounding him.

And so I got to thinking, wasn't this a complete waste? Not only of space and energy and petrol, but of your buying power too. When you buy a car, you always end up buying it for what you MAY need it for. So a soccer mom buys her big car, but she really only carries the team once a week. And yet you can't buy smaller, because then you have a predicament when you suddently do need more space (a la smart car trying to fetch an aunt from the airport - laughable)

Hence my idea of PodCars. You buy your basic driving pod (the piece with the steering wheel etc), and thereafter you can add as many or as few as you want. So me and my handbag don't take out the full complement of car, but just the driving pod piece that I need. Going grocery shopping? I add another pod on for more space. And you could get specifically designed pods too - one for dogs, bicycles, canoes, kids - or the generic more-space-needed version. You then always have the choice of how many and what types of pods you own.

And not to take away the status that comes with any car - pods will still be designed with status in mind. An Audi pod for example, is very different from a Toyota pod. And I'm not talking about making everyone's cars look like the Smart car either - that's just ugly. They need to be decently designed like the ones we have now. Think Zaha Hadid's Z Car...

Yes, I know, the idea of having to assemble or disassemble your car after each trip is a pain, but that's a problem I'll let the car think tanks solve (maybe our garages need to be modified). Either way, I've given them the idea, they just need to perfect it.

I call it podular.

ps: great link from vanoodle which illustrates the why...

david goldblatt

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On Christmas Eve we each decided to open just one gift before going to bed and "waiting for santa". Robin bought me a beautiful book on the works of David Goldblatt - a piece taken out of each of his published works over the years as he documented the rise of the National party and the plight of the black workers.

It's astounding. It gives a view in to South African history few have seen, and none are taught in history class. While not always technically perfect, his work strikes a chord - he's seen such incredible things.

And I think more than that, why this book is so special, is it's inspired me to take up photography again. I've seen such amazing places in the last two years, and had such opportunities, but have turned little of it into more than a happy-snap.

So one of my aims for this year (lets not call it a resolution shall we), is to invest in a new camera, relearn my art, and start improving, with the aim to one day setting up my own dark room and generating my work - a dream I had so long ago.

*tingle tingle*

Plot-holder family at lunch - 1962

A commando of National Party supporters escorting Dr Hendrik Verwoerd to the party’s 50th Anniversary celebrations - 1964

driving home today...

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...the sun was shining through the rain, and a bright rainbow broke out over the city. I was trying to take the pic, but was obviously shakey - still, it was lovely

No One Could Save Benazir Bhutto.

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This week's TIME magazine cover story:

Benazir Bhutto's assassination has plunged the Muslim nuclear power into chaos. Now the Bush Administration must help undo decades of flawed U.S. policy to save Pakistan
Full Story.

a story update

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Here's an update on the aftermath of the assassination of Benazir Bhutto:

Ministry backtracks on Bhutto sunroof claims
"Pakistan's Interior Ministry backtracked Tuesday on its statement that Benazir Bhutto died because she hit her head on a sunroof latch during a shooting and bomb attack."
Full Story

Pakistan Elections Delayed by a Month
Elections will be delayed by one month following the turmoil sparked by Benazir Bhutto's assassination, despite opposition threats of street protests unless the crucial vote is held Jan. 8 as originally planned, a top official said Tuesday.

A senior Election Commission official told The Associated Press that the commission has agreed on a new date. He indicated it would not be before the second week of February, but refused to disclose the exact schedule before the formal announcement on Wednesday.
Full Story

Bhutto’s Son and Husband to Lead Party
Three days after the death of Benazir Bhutto, the Pakistan People’s Party on Sunday chose her 19-year-old son, Bilawal, and her husband, Asif Ali Zardari, as co-leaders of the party, the biggest and most potent in Pakistan.
Full Story

Scotland Yard to join Bhutto slaying probe
President Pervez Musharraf invited Britain's Scotland Yard on Wednesday to help investigate the slaying of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, but his effort to defuse widespread suspicions of government complicity seemed unlikely to convince an angry nation.
Full Story