Archive for May, 2009

Pod of 55 beached Pilot Whales at Kommetjie

Posted in General with tags , , , , , on Saturday, 30 May 2009 by Deems

Around 7:30 this morning a pod of (originally thought 47) 55 Pilot Whales started beaching themselves at Kommetjie Beach.

The NSRI are urging people NOT to go down to the beach as the throngs of people are hampering their efforts to rescue the whales and return them to deeper waters.

It still seems no one really knows why whales beach themselves but it’s thought that since they swim in large pods the rest of the whales may be following a sick/beached leader. Another theory is that since they rely on magnetic waves to navigate themselves that some coastlines may have strong magentic forces which lead the whales to believe they’re entering deeper waters and not the coastline.

You can see some pictures here, here and here.

Update: almost 3 hours later and it appears reports are coming in that they have had to resort to shooting some of the whales that keep returning and rebeaching themselves. More photos here, here, here and here.

Listen here for an on the scene audio report with Dave Bull from The Times with Lauren Cohen.

IOL News reports that steps to euthanise the rebeaching whales will have to be taken.

“We have tried everything but they just make a U-turn and keep rebeaching themselves,” said Wally Peterson, project manager for the Kommetjie Environmental Awareness group.

Rice said the whales would be shot through the head with a pistol.

“I feel quite sad but it is the right thing to do,” she said. - source IOL

VOTD: Sorry I’m Late

Posted in General with tags , , , , , on Saturday, 30 May 2009 by Deems

Here’s a great stop-motion animation clip titled “Sorry I’m Late” shot from above with a still camera. The final sequence is in the video clip below – but you can see still and test videos on the official website here. [via BoingBoing]

Review: Browsershots

Posted in General, Technology with tags , , , , , , , , on Friday, 29 May 2009 by Deems

BrowserShots-Logo

As a web developer I’m almost always tasked with ensuring that websites and web applications I build not only work but look good in the popular browsers for the target platform. Sometimes you may get a client with some obscure version of a browser (not necessarily Internet Explorer, Firefox or Chrome) and you don’t have that platform available to test it locally to try and replicate the issue and hopefully fix it.

browsershots-search

Along comes Browsershots – a website with a very simple front-end. Type in the address to the page you wish to view (obviously needs to be hosted online already and not a password protected site) and select as many or as few browsers (and platofmrs) to test, whether or not JavaScript and/or Flash is required or not (even which version must be avaialble) and even screen resolutions and colour depths. Click the button, and sit back.

browsershots-browsers

browsershots-options

Through what I’m assuming are multiple virtual machines on their servers which are instructed to browse to the site you requested and then a screenshot is taken of that browser and added to your screenshot queue.

It will notify you of the progress, whether or not the browser screenshot will be available or approxiamtely how long it will be before your screenshot is queued and taken.

browsershots-queuedetails

The site even allows you to download all the screenshots in a single ZIP file – how handy is that.

I’m definitely bookmarking this site for my next browser-compatibility issue resolution!

VOTD: The Vendor-Client Relationship

Posted in Funny, General with tags , , , , , , , on Thursday, 28 May 2009 by Deems

Real-world situations where the client makes unrealistic and unreasonable expectations from the vendor they’re using – so, so true! [via StevenMcD]

John Pugh’s 3D art

Posted in General with tags , , , , , on Wednesday, 27 May 2009 by Deems

John Pugh is a trompe l’oeil artist – someone who paints art that gives the illusion of something three dimensional.

You can see a small sample of his work below. For more take a look at this Daily Mail article here and some more pictures over here. [via DCP]

john_pugh_mural1

Treasure trove: An Egyptian style mural adorns a wall in Los Gatos, California. Pugh paints people into the mural to heighten the 3D effect - Copyright John Pugh

john_pugh_mural2

Wonder wave: John Pugh's Mana Nalu mural in Honolulu. Fire crews rushed to save the children from the mighty wave - before realising it was an optical illusion - Copyright John Pugh

Another chapter begins

Posted in General with tags , , , on Tuesday, 26 May 2009 by Deems

Well the last two weeks have been a bit of a roller-coaster. With the news at work of retrenchments and the idea of having to find work again, especially in the current state of the world economy, had me quite stressed out.

I’ve since contacted a number of companies, gone through a few agencies and attened a few interviews but today’s news made me sigh with relief. I went to see a company late last week (through a referral from a family member) and was really keen for a follow-up as I really liked what I heard and saw. The follow-up meeting happened on Monday which went really well and this afternoon I got the offer that I was hoping for.

So I’m really excited to say that I’ve now left the unemployment line and joined the ranks of the employed again. I’ll be joining the team at Khanyisa Real Systems on Monday morning. I’m really hoping this is an exciting, fruitful and long next chapter in my life. I’m of the age now that I need to find a place that I really enjoy and can settle in, and by all accounts this seems to be it.

Wish me luck :)

New addition to the family

Posted in Family, General with tags , , , , on Thursday, 21 May 2009 by Deems

We now have two rabbits (Spikey and Snowey), a Golden Retriever (Max), a cat (Spookie) and now my wife’s Mother’s Day present has arrived, Laki, the orange Canary!

laki_canary

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