Tag Archives: stories

Sunday Musings #170

Light travels faster than sound. That’s why some people appear bright until you hear them speak.

– Alan Dundes

 

This really appeals to the scientist in me.

It also reminded me of a funny incident at school once.

In physics class one day, we were doing an experiment outside, attempting to measure the speed of sound. The teacher stood with a group of girls, who had a starting pistol (firing blanks). My friend and I, both equipped with stop watches, walked a measured distance away from them.

The experiment was to time the difference between seeing the puff of smoke as the pistol was fired and hearing the actual gun shot. We could then calculate the speed of sound, as we also knew the distance travelled.

Well, school was hard work and extremely tedious. I was a bit of a clown at times, just to relieve the boredom.

So, I spoke quietly to my friend and told her what I was going to do.

When the shot fired I dropped to the ground and lay still.

I thought this was hilarious! The teacher not so much. In fact I still remember her white face!

I was told to stop messing around and we got on with the experiment.

We got a fairly decent result in the end, considering it relied so much on human accuracy with the stop watches.

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And for those few who might be interested, the speed of sound (which varies according to air pressure and temperature) is 343 m/s in dry air at 20C.

 

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Oh Spam, How Hilarious Thou Art!

Freesia 1

Akismet does a grand job saving me from the worst of the spam comments, but I had to share some of my latest with you, as they are too funny!

So without further ado, let’s hear what Joseph, Leta, John and Verlene have to say! The highlights are mine.

Joseph

Having read this I believed it was very enlightening. I appreciate you spending some time and energy to put this information together. I once again find myself personally spending a significant amount of time both reading and commenting. But so what, it was worthwhile!*

*Oh thank goodness for that!

Leta

Definitely believe that which you stated. Your favorite justification appeared to be on the net the easiest thing to be aware of. I say to you, I certainly get irked while people think about worries that they plainly don’t know about*. You managed to hit the nail upon the top and also defined out the whole thing without having side-effects, people can take a signal. (Say what?) Will probably be back to get more. Thanks.

*How can you think about something that you don’t know?

John

Edited – What blog platform do I use?

I had to ask! Greetings! Very useful advice on this particular article! It is the little changes that make the biggest changes! (??) Thanks for sharing! I like what you guys tend to be up too. Such clever work and reporting! Keep up the superb works guys I’ve incorporated you guys to my blogroll.*

*Hooray!

Verlene

Thanks to my father who told me regarding this weblog, this blog is genuinely amazing.*

*Why Thank You! How is your father, by the way? I have no idea who he is!

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Most of these spam comments are attached to an old post or very often a photo! And they bear no relevance to the actual content of the particular post.

Well, I hope they amused you as much as they amused me! If you have a spare moment, why not check out your own hilarious spam comments? Have fun!

 

We Interrupt This Service!

Angel Chimes

We have Stage Four load shedding here in SA at the moment.

The means power cuts of 2 1/2 hours, 3 times, in a 24 hour period.

Everything is run on electricity. Our ovens are electric; no power, no hot food and no cuppa. Yes, I boil water beforehand and keep it in a thermos, but it just doesn’t make a very nice cuppa.

The evenings are the worst. Last night’s cut (and the next 3 night’s) was from 20.00 to 22.30. It gets dark around 19.00. Basically you just sit around in the candle light for a while and then go to bed.

Today was even worse, as they are laying new electricity cables in our area (unrelated to the load shedding) so the power was off from 10.00 to just now, 15.30.

Why no electricity you ask?

Hmmm. This is a non-political blog. I’m sure you can figure it out.

I’m sorry, but I will not be able to visit your blog or comment as much as usual. No power: no wifi; which is perhaps the saddest of all!

 

Sunday Musings #169

You have not experienced true fear until a poster falls down in the middle of the night.

– Anon

 

I had first-hand experience of this as a new student at university, away from home for the first time.

I had rented a tiny room on the third floor at the top of a large house; a little garret right up under the roof. Half the ceiling sloped down towards the back wall to a height of about a metre. I put my desk in that area as you could only fit there if sitting down. I bashed my head on the ceiling every time I got up. It only took me a few weeks to remember to keep my head down when rising from the desk!

The bed was along one wall and there was a tiny square window opposite that looked out over the rooftops. It was absolutely freezing in winter, but pretty to see the snow-covered rooves.

To make the garret a little homier, and also to cover up some of the ugly wall, I bought many posters and stuck them on the wall with prestik.

I had Clint Eastwood, Pete Deuel (From a TV series “Alias Smith and Jones”, a take-off of the movie Butch Cassidy and the Sundance kid) and David Bowie. David’s poster was on the wall where my bed was.

In the middle of one night I woke up in a panic. I heard a sound and next thing I knew something was falling on top of me, sort of folding over me and smothering my upper body and face.

I flailed around in blind terror for a moment, before freeing myself and rushing to put the light on.

I surveyed my bed to see – David Bowie’s poster had slowly peeled itself off the wall and curled over my sleeping form.

Yes, it was hilarious in retrospect, but I will never forget that feeling of panic on being woken up that way!

 

Dragonfly

Dragonfly 1

Haiku 103

Oh grey dragonfly

Marvel of engineering

How can you be drab?

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It’s been a very long time since I’ve seen a dragonfly hovering over the pool, so I was excited to see this one, even though he is a drab grey and not the scintillating red or blue I used to see.

Dragonfly 2

I know dragonflies get a bad rap, but they are still amazing! Just look at the marvel of natural engineering that is their wings, and the muscle needed on their back to power their flight. Each wing is powered by a separate muscle, giving them incredible manoeuvrability. Marvellous!

I had fun trying to get close enough for a half decent shot of this tiny guy. I only had my little point and click Canon so tried to creep as near as possible. Every time I got within a few metres, he took off. But he did circle around and settle on the bricks again. It seemed he liked the spot!

 

Granny’s Oatmeal Cookies

Cookies 1

I don’t bake much these days, as there’s usually just me to eat it; which is not good! But with visitors I get a chance to fire up the old oven and have some fun.

Cookies 2

The photo above is of the second batch, ready to pop in the oven and below is the first batch, just out of the oven.

You might wonder, in this second photo, why the cookies on the left are so nice and round, while all the others are blob-shaped. Well, the recipe says to roll the mixture into balls and place on the tray. What actually happens is that the cookie dough sticks to your hands like crazy till there is more on you than on the tray! So after my first few attempts (perfect round cookies on the left of the tray) I just spooned out dollops.

Cookies 3

These cookies are really yummy. It’s an old recipe from my Mum-in-law. I still haven’t figured out how you measure half a cup of margarine, but I just guess it!

If you’d like to try them for yourself, the recipe is below.

 

OATMEAL COOKIES

Ingredients

1/2 cup butter or margarine
1 cup sugar
1 egg – beaten
1 tspn vanilla essence
7 ml bicarbonate of soda
1 1/4 cups of cake flour* (not self-raising)
2 ml salt
2 tspn baking powder
1/2 cup coconut
1 cup oats
1 cup rice krispies

Method

Cream marg and sugar together. Add eggs and vanilla essence. Mix bicarb with a little water and add to the mix. Sift the flour, salt and baking powder. Add coconut and oats to the dry ingredients, then add all to the egg mix and mix well. Fold in rice krispies.

Bake

Place small balls on a greased baking tray.
Bake at 180 C for 10 to 15 minutes.

Enjoy!

 

*Everyone in SA uses cake flour and baking powder, not self-raising flour (as I found to my cost when I first came here from UK). In fact, good luck trying to find any self-raising on the shelves. Of course, you are welcome to use it, without the baking powder.

 

Sunbirds

Sunbird 1

I spotted a male Lesser Double-Collared Sunbird enjoying his evening meal on my honeysuckle recently.

I was standing inside the lounge with the stoep door open and I held my arm outside with my trusty Canon to snap photos without the bird seeing me.

Sunbird 2

It was a little hit and miss, but I caught a few shots.

Sunbird 3

After a while, a female came to tell the male it was time to go home.

Sunbirds 4

She was insistent! So the male took heed and flew off after her.

Sunbirds 5

Though he was back again early in the morning – without her!

 

post script: If you’re wondering what the empty bottles are doing in the pool in the background, they act as a sort of pool cover to help prevent evaporation due to the wind. We still have water restrictions here in Cape Town, due to the drought, and are not allowed to top up a pool.

However, as I write this, there is no need; as a large storm front has just swept by and deposited a few centimetres of much needed rain. We channel rain water from the roof to the pool and unbelievably it has filled right up!