Whao, it’s been almost a year since I wrote anything here! Not good, but I’ve got my reasons. 2009 was one busy year. It was a year in which I met quite a few new nice people, I rediscovered sketching, I listened to 1000’s of hours of Bloc Party, Polisiekar, Heuwels Fantasties, The Knife and Crystal Castles, I tried my hand at wood working, I cycled 0km, I swam at least 100km, I took some Holga shots, I hiked the Olifants River Backpack Trail (where I slept in a very thin tent metres away from hippo’s) and I entertained myself with more than the recommended annual allowance of mind bending emotional excercises! Despite all this, the reason I didn’t write anything since last January is because U2 once again released an album filled to the brim with mediocrity. No, seriously, the main reason was because me and my good friend David were too busy working on a little plan we hatched in March for a website we wanted to build. As we both have day jobs it took us a few months longer than we expected to launch a basic beta version of our idea, but at 4:34 AM on 31 December 2009 we managed to reach our goal and at least launched before 2010 arrived.
Our idea was simple really, we love going hiking around South Africa and we wanted to make a website where we could find all the available hiking trails in Souther Africa in an up-to-date and consistent manner. It seems quite simple and straight forward just saying it like that, but we soon realised that there’s a reason why no site has managed to do this yet… hiking trails are complicated things and every trail owner has his or her own way of defining, describing and “quantifying” what their hiking trail is, making it difficult to compare apples with apples, or trails with trails!
So, after many evenings and weekends listening to Bob Dylan, WildAtlas.com, in it’s most basic and pure form is alive on the Internet with 102 trails and counting. We haven’t quite reached our goal of listing all the trails in Southern Africa yet, but we’re well on our way and hope that outdoor enthusiasts will start using the site and find that it is already useful as it is today. Without writing anything more, I think the website should do the talking, go and have a look at WildAtlas.com and please feel free to fill in our suggetion box with any advice or feedback, and if you really want to make me an David happy then write a trail review on one of the hiking trails you’ve hiked.
After 4 years and 3 months U2 will release their next album, No line on the Horizon, on 27 February 2009. Listen to the first single, Get on your boots, on U2.com.
The Democratic Alliance unveiled their new logo this weekend at their re-launch party. After seeing it I couldn’t help but notice a striking resemblance to another logo I’ve seen recently? Hmm, Barack Obama’s campaign logo perhaps?
Now that the US election is finally over, it’s time to focus on our own election in 2009, an election where every single vote really does count. Recently the question of where and when to register for the election has come up a few times in coversations I’ve had. Well, I found out.
Firstly you need to find out if you are already registered to vote. The easiest way is to SMS your ID number to 32810, you’ll get a reply confirming if you’re registered and where you should vote.
If you are not registered you need to find out where you can register. To do this, go to www.elections.org.za/searchVD.asp. Be warned, this is the worst website I have come across in a very long time, click the refresh button if the page doesn’t load.
After you know where to register, you can visit your voting station this coming weekend between 8 and 9 November, when voting stations will be open for registration from 8am to 5pm.
Easy as pie, now go register.
Not surprising, if the world could vote for the next American president, Obama would win hands down. Well, if Economist.com readers of the world could vote, I guess if the readers of gunhuntermag.com voted the results would be quite different.
I’ve been watching the fall of global markets over the last weeks on a cool tool provided by the Financial times. Go to markets.ft.com and click on the Equities – Macromaps: Markets image halfway down the page.
Just hearing or reading that the DOW has fallen by 8% or the Russian stock market has dropped 15% in one day doesn’t really give you an idea of what’s going on with global markets. Looking at this map, indicating in red (mostly) and green whether markets are falling or rising, gives you an instant snapshot of what’s happening to markets worldwide, and it doesn’t look good.
I have a habit of listening albums to death. I’ve been listening non-stop to aKing’s debut album, Dutch courage, for 6 days now and they’re still alive an kicking!
With literally millions of blogs on the internet these days, I sometimes find it difficult to find quality reading anymore. Once in a while however, I stumble upon a web author whose words instantly captivate me. Two years ago I came across a very well written and informative essay by Paul Graham, titled How to Do What You Love. I was so impressed I read most of his essays on his website www.paulgraham.com in the next days. Mostly his essays are about startups, programming, and philosophy, but what makes them such good reading is the fact that all of his essays have some practical insights about life and human behaviour in general. Even if you don’t know much about software development, I’m sure you could still find his essays informative.
Tonight I went searching for some good reading again and I found 2 recent essays with some interesting thoughts, take look.
This morning me, Pieter and Pieter (Version 2) were thinking back about all the computer games we’ve enjoyed playing, and we started listing our top 5 computer games ever. We realised our favourite games were all relatively old. Probably because we played more games when we were younger and the memories of the hours we spent playing these games without a worry in the world are so great. I also find the simplicity of older games, the pixelated graphics and tunes games made them more memorable and addictive than today’s games. It’s difficult to come up with just 5 great games, but my choices are as follows…
- Myst (This game was revolutionary. My dad brought it back from a visit in the US in 1993 and I spent most afternoons for the next year exploring every corner of these amazing worlds. Check out the re-release of this classic with a free downloadable demo.)
- SimCity 2000 (Perfect for killing time on Sunday afternoons. I think it’s due to simplicity of SimCity’s objective, build a powerful city, that made it one of the most succesfull and addictive games ever.)
- Medal of Honor (During the FIFA World Cup 2000 and our University Exams, me, my brother Hannes and my 2 friends Paul and Rian played this game front to back! Miraculously we also passed all our exams and saw most of the World Cup.)
- Indiana Jones and the fate of Atlantis (I killed at least 2 school holidays in 1995 playing Fate of Atlantis. I loved the movies and this game was just as exciting. What made it even cooler was that there are 3 different “paths” to play the game through.)
- Age of Empires II (Next to SimCity 2000, I killed the most hours on Sunday afternoons playing Age of Empires II over and over and over…)
A foolproof way to start your Friday on the right foot.
- Place your iPod in its dock.
- Create a playlist in iTunes consisting of all the Creedence Clearwater Revival songs you can find.
- Upload the playlist to your iPod.
- Eject your iPod, insert the earphones in your ear and press play.
- Cruise through the day with a smile on your face.