likes, loves and lusts

take the log out of your own eye

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A disturbing story broke on Sky News this morning of a massive increase in the number of deformed and malformed babies being born in Iraq - all since 2002 when America first attacked. These children are physically and mentally beyond the reach of normal society, with missing limbs, senses, capacities and features. Some cannot stay awake for days at a time, some haven't grown since the day they were born, some are covered in violent and seeping birthmarks - all are practically incapable of speech or normal activity.

Speculation has arisen that this epidemic rise is due to America's use of a weapon made of white phosphorous which explodes when coming into contact with oxygen causing severe burns. Studies are not yet definite on the exact repercussions of white phosphorus on a people and its environment, but none have yet ruled it out as a cause for what could be happening in Iraq's Fallujah.

How does someone invade a country stating that country's nuclear weapons policy and experimentation with biological warfare as a justifiable reason for the invasion - and then leave its people like this? They've used the very same dangerous and untested weapons they condemned on an innocent people who were just trying to survive under a dreadful regime. Now they're trying to survive with a crisis that they were never prepared for and never dreamed would happen.

Nothing has made me as angry about America's invasion of Iraq as this. How two-faced, self-serving and hypocritical can one administration really be?

One mother's 3 year old baby lies still on the bed, limbs the same size as the day she was born, but they're not the only reason she cannot move - she has two heads growing out of her tiny shoulders that weigh her down. It seems to be the only part of her that keeps growing. Her mother says she can easily sleep for 3 days, and that they have to poke her to wake her up. But there's little difference between awake and asleep for her.

Another mother holds a baby girl whose face is covered in a large swollen purple oozing "birthmark". It glistens and looks too painful to touch. While being interviewed, the mother says she sometimes wishes her daughter would just die - that way they can both get some relief...

Who knows what will be found out once studies on white phosphorous are definitive and complete. But I for one hope they point squarely at the US as being as irresponsible, selfish and criminal as the regime they swooped in to remove.

happy smurfday

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The Smurfs turn 50 this year - Happy birthday Smurfs! I remember how I used to love The Smurfs - their collected DVD is definitely on my kissmas list!

The little blue people have been giving joy to children for half a century, and now they're giving in a different way. To celebrate the Smurfs' 50th birthday you can buy a Smurf figurine in support of Unicef.

haunted hotel

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Vanoodle sent out a link this week, and I think it's the most amazing thing I've seen in a while. The story rolls out below...

"San-Zhr Pod Village

Just before arriving in Sanzhi, there’s an interesting site hugging the shoreline - an abandoned hotel/apartment complex that looks like somewhere ET might call home. I first heard about this a couple of years ago, but it was only recently that I was able to get out there.

Accounts vary on the origins of this complex, and indeed, as to whether it was meant to be a hotel development or a housing development. Apparently, it was constructed in the 1960s and included/was to include a dam to protect it against sea surges, floors and stairs made of marble and a small amusement park. The site was commissioned by the government and local firms and there is no named architect. Local papers at the time reported that there were numerous accidents during construction which caused the death of some workers. As news of these accidents spread, no one wanted to go there, even to visit, and the project was subsequently abandoned. The ghosts of those who died in vain are said to still linger there, unremembered and unable to pass on. The complex was left in its unfinished state because no amount of redevelopment will bring people to the area due to superstitions about ghosts, and it can’t be demolished because destroying the homes of spirits and lost souls is taboo in Asian culture.

When I was there, I met four young university students who were passing by and stopped for a look. They didn’t want to get too close to the buildings for fear that the ghosts would take them. They told me there was “heavy evil” in the buildings."

Story and more incredible pictures by Criag Ferguson here.

monday music

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Sam Sparro - Black & Gold

one night in bangkok

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This last Saturday we went to go see the production Chess at the Monte Casino Theatre. It's not a usual thing for us to do - go see a musical - but we really enjoyed it. They've cast Cito, the lead singer from Wonderboom, in one of the lead roles - the obnoxious American Frederick - and he works really well. He's got an incredible voice that I was surprised to see hold its own alongside all those professionally trained actors and singers.

The music it goes without saying is really good, but what I wasn't expecting is that there's no dialogue at all. The entire story is told through song - so clever! Turns out the boys from ABBA wrote the hit single One Night in Bangkok, and from just that, Tim Rice extrapolated this entire production all using song. I've never seen anything like it.

What's also intriguing is the story and backdrop - the Cold War in the late eighties, and how the super-powers fought their battles with things like Chess. It's a really interesting story for anyone my age and younger who didn't really watch the Cold War with any real understanding. It's like getting a glimpse into a past that was happening all around you, that you were just too young to be aware of.


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What to do with all that viagra, penis enlargement, bust inflation, shopping sales and weight loss spam? Easy - make it funny :)

A Spam a Day takes those ridiculous headlines you see in spam, and changes them into something their creators never intended. I'd love to be able to respond to each spam message with something like this.

See them all here.


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If you're ever in Cape Town and interested in local design, be sure to check out Mü&Me at the Old Biscuit Mill on Lower Main Rd.
It's run by a local designer Daley Muller and all the creations in the store are hers. The friends are really cute and if you only take home a fridge magnet or button, you have to own a little piece of a truly original South African design.

Official Site