Friday, July 29, 2011

Depression



Major depression is a bit like having diabetes. You can control for it by living healthily and looking after yourself but that doesn't make it go away completely. It affects more people than you might think, but is something people choose not to admit to (five to eight percent of the US adult population suffers from major depression).

If there are stressors in life, then major depression recurs, as the brain struggles to keep itself fully supplied with serotonin. Any stressors deplete serotonin levels to a point where one simply no longer cares about anything. If you could imagine waking up and having nothing to look forward to ever again, that's what it feels like to have major depressive disorder.

If someone with major depression decides to off themselves, it's usually triggered by a selfish, yet alarmingly clear moment of rationality. If you truly believe you have no worth left, that you're merely a drain on the earth's resources, that family and friends do not need you, then what point is there to remain in stasis?

The truly depressed don't broadcast their intentions. They don't offer themselves opportunities to reverse their decision. They'll jump off buildings, or drown themselves, or overdose in a manner which assures finality. The problem is, thet first attempt is usually an attempt to be validated by others. It's the second one you should be afraid of. Statistically, the second attempt is usually successful.

Once a person has been diagnosed with major depression and begins medical treatment, there is a period of increased risk, as the anti-depressants make depression sufferers more proactive, whilst still being depressed. If you have major depression, the best management strategy involves combining chemical intervention with serious appraisal of environmental factors contributing to the depression. It may take as long as nine months for anti-depressants to work, and their side-effects aren't great.

Cognitive behavioural therapy can be used to identify the root causes of the depression, once these are found, they have to be dealt with through behaviour change. Simply taking anti-depressants is not the answer.

Instead, a lifestyle audit is necessary that includes:
  • healthy eating
  • exercise
  • a proper sleep routine
  • avoidance of alcohol, cigarettes, drugs
  • relaxation techniques such as transcendental meditation

Summary of symptoms of depression:
  • sleep disturbances- either more or less sleep than before
  • appetite disturbances- again, weight gain or weight loss
  • listlessness, loss of interest
  • expression of negativity
  • increased usage of substances such as alcohol
Major stressors such as changing jobs, divorce, moving house, geographical re-location, child birth and even promotion and marriage can trigger depression. Be on the lookout, urge those you know to seek help. Most importantly, talk about it. Mental health is not a taboo subject, nor is it a sign of weakness.

I have suffered from major depression for the last fourteen years, on and off.

-Nicole Dodd, HOD, Industrial Psychology, The University of Zululand

The drive into work

Sound starts about 30 seconds into the first video- this is just to put the working environment into perspective.
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Thursday, July 28, 2011

Suicide Girls





You're beautiful, you don't have to cut your nipples off and stuff plastic bags into your tits. You don't need to spray yourself with brown dye. You don't have to smile and look like everyone's favourite fuck-princess. You can wear sneakers and pierce whatever you want to. You can read comics, ride a skateboard and still be pretty. You can fuck and fight and still be a girl.




Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Google Plus, Facebook and Twitter, reconciled by roles




Looking at my Twitter stream, I see a lot of information/forms of interaction:

News
eg Drink-spiller found guilty of assaulting Zuma http://ow.ly/1dZcru
Ideal for Twitter, you can get information on breaking news, before it even hits mainstream news channels.
Facebook does this terribly slowly, if at all.

Social Commentary
eg Breivik is giving lunatics a bad name :/
Another great thing about Twitter is that you can get a feeling for the prevailing sentiment in society about a given topic. Using trending topics and hashtags to define your searches means that you can spool information from many people easily.
Facebook does this, but at a slower, more insular rate. You might be getting the wrong opinions, or none at all.

Social interaction
eg @randomperson Wow how's your head
@otherrandom So sore
@randomperson Not surprised
@otherrrandom caramel vodka ftw
@randomperson Like, totally
Twitter fails dismally, in terms of interaction with people on a more personal level, it is better to use an instant messaging service such as skype, gtalk or even FACEBOOK.
Facebook is for friends, it allows you to have one on one or small group interaction without clogging up the stream of information
G+ should be very good at enabling this sort of interaction also. As with Facebook, you can nest comments, instead of each of them appearing separately as they do on Twitter.

Entertaining autobiographical information
eg Oh snap... I knew this day would come. My mom is putting up photographs on facebook of my childhood. #feelsscared
I'm not a nerd.... The correct term is "Pokemon Master"!!
Twitter wins, hands down, when it comes to sharing quirky, funny or entertaining statements because information can be reshared so quickly.
Facebook fails because it has no scope for sharing with others, it is so private and personal that you can't let others know how great your friends are.
G+ allows you to share also, and has the added benefit of allowing you to edit what you have shared. Irritating typos can be removed before causing ones face to make contact with ones palm.

Random autobiographical information
eg Phew! What a day!
so tired
Twitter is not the correct forum for this information, Facebook wins hands down in this regard. Facebook should be reserved for the small enclave of friends who actually care that you're tired.

Twitter is an ideal way to share URLs and to interact with, and meet new people. It's not the right place to launch into a long winded conversation about a topic which is not relevant for sharing with a wider audience. Instead, Google plus serves as a great platform for this sort of communication. With chat enabled, as well as video calls, there are real opportunities for meaningful communication with professional contacts and with friends.

Google Plus's information 'stream' is too graphics intense to provide the real time information that Twitter provides so efficiently, this can be seen in the way that the network reacted to the recent incidents in Norway (slowly).

Personal insight suggests that Twitter provides an anonymous/impersonal means of interaction with like-minded individuals. Some of these people become so interesting, you add them in G+. Some remain in the ether, or even get blocked.

In terms of roles, the private, family role is best suited to Facebook. This is rather ironic, seeing as it was started as a means of electronically delivering a typical 'university' experience. Twitter seems best suited to semi-anonymous information sharing and is ideal for bloggers, because good posts get re-tweeted and reach the right audience. This is in contrast with Facebook, where your children, your relatives and your high school friends may show little interest in your growing collection of Marvel Comics, your fan-fiction, or your attempts to write a screenplay.

I am increasingly jaded about linkedin. I have yet to use it for any useful purpose. However, G+'s integration of Google documents, sites, chat and email makes it ideal for use in organisations. As a professional, G+ allows for real-time information sharing and collaboration and I marvel at the fact that it is free. If you become savvy about circles, you can even begin to filter out more personal information from your wider professional connections and begin to sustain some of Facebook's intimacy at the same time as maintaining a professional G+ profile.

Example:
You go to a conference:
If you're homesick, tell Facebook
If you think the bartender is hot, or you just saw someone spill a drink on the president, tell Twitter
If you just learned about something totally useful, tell G+ and Twitter
If you are constipated, and it's funny, tell Twitter, if it's not funny, don't tell anyone, except maybe a doctor.

ps, the image is not mine, but can be bought from http://judiliosatos.deviantart.com/art/Big-Mouth-48519687

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Coffee

And in the news at seven.

Two children were involved in a mountain climbing accident today, whilst looking for water. John, 8 fractured his skull, and Jill his sister also sustained serious injuries. The two were fetching water for their families. Water shortages in the area are highlighting global climate change issues.

During the recent heavy showers, a man was bludgeoned to death. He suffered from sleep apnoea. His wife is the prime suspect.

Dieticians are alarmed at the case of Jack Sprat, who has been feeding his wife only animal fats for the last three months. Sprat suffers from a serious disorder where he idealises obesity. Fortunately his daughter was not also treated in the same way.

Willie Winkie has been arrested for indecent exposure. He was caught after multiple reports of him running up and down a residential area in only a shirt. He has been remanded to custody for psychological evaluation.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Fastest DM Wins

1. What breed of dog pooed on SA_Trivia's azalea's in 1985?
2. Who drank all of SA_Trivia's gin at the 2008 Christmas party in Paternoster?
3. If SA_Trivia could eat pudding off a celeb, which pudding would SA_Trivia choose?
4. In Sub A, who killed SA_Trivia's entire collection of silkworms?
5. In which town has SA_Trivia been banned from inappropriately fondling statues?

GOOD LUCK :D

Unfortunately, the children are our future


Children are disgusting creatures. They're riddled with diseases and are little snot-mongers, producing quantities of excrement in their early years that would rival the output of an elephant's arse. As they get older, their usefulness increases at a dismally slow pace, and is completely negated by the amount of resentment and sullenness that accompanies any productive activity.

If left to their own devices, this nasty little sub-species would stab each other (in particular siblings) and then embark on a path of destruction and anarchy, dependent on sugar supplies. You know this, you were once a child too and you know what the vicious little slatterns are capable of.

It's quite an attractive prospect to simply write off all those younger than eighteen and simply wait for them to arrive back from boarding school in time to spend their gap years masturbating on your couch whilst watching re-runs of Come Dine With Me. This isn't an option, and I'll tell you why.

These abominations need to be taken in hand and lovingly mentored and developed, not for their sakes, but for ours. They're our future tax-base. When we're spending our golden years bonking behind the bowling club, they're supposed to be out completing their e-filing and injecting money into the economy. These same little pus-pockets will be providing healthcare for us and wiping our bottoms should we be unfortunate enough to live long enough to need these services.

They'll be the ones deciding how we're treated when we become demented, they'll also be the ones who are employed by us when we reach the zeniths of our careers and have minions of our own. They need skills and to be taught how to be responsible adults, other wise we're all doomed to put up with them relying on our taxable income to keep them and their hordes of even more disgusting children alive.

It's not enough to simply abstain from bearing any unsightly spawn yourself, it's imperative that you protect yourself from other people's mistakes by investing your time and energy into setting these vile reprobates up on the straight and narrow.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Existential Exfoliation

The problem with showering, is you can't read. You can't tweet, you're left with steam and soap and skin. It's a pretty scary place when you're being assaulted by your thoughts. I started thinking about Stephen Hawking, I started thinking about how everyone buys it when he says that there is no God. What a shock, the angry crippled guy thinks that God doesn't exist.

He may not believe in God, but how can you experience the miracle of science and not feel the 'hand' of a greater entity or force? I am not talking about a deity that is conceptualised in a human form, but if not God, then what then?

How did this universe come to be, this universe that science seeks to explain and understand? Aren't scientists just chasing a definition of deity from a different perspective? Why couldn't "God" have conceptualised the splendid miracles that are carbon based lifeforms, set the catalysts of creation into spectacular existence?

We are limited as humans in terms of the scope of comprehension of even our own existence. How can any human revoke the likelihood of our world having been created through a greater power? How can our brains comprehend something that magnificent? Wouldn't science be needed to ensure that life could exist? Wouldn't a creator have to be a master of science?

I do not for a second believe that there was a God who rested on the seventh day. However, how did we get here? How did here get here? No matter what someone's IQ, simply negating the existence of a grey bearded Judeo-Christian deity does not account for the wonderment, awe and insignificance of human life. There is no explanation yet, so leave it at that.

I hate showering, because I am paralysed by existentialism. I am drowned by my wonderment at the miracle of water and steam. I am grief stricken for the crippled man who has used the one gift he has been given to deny that life began with any benevolence.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

I heart Chrome


Chrome wins again, and again and again. You can now install picnik from the Chrome web store, then take a screenshot, or download any individual picture you want. These can then be directly edited in Picnik. The app is great for easy edits and has a lot of fun features.

Chrome gets better and better, with Proxlet being available for Twitter so that you can mute hashtags, apps (like 4sq) and also send verbose posters to the sinbin for a day or two.

Finally, there's a game called Robot Unicorn Attack. It's dumb but it's dumb in a sparkly kind of way, with rainbows and unicorns, so it gets two very enthusiastic thumbs up :D




Monday, July 11, 2011

The invisible heir


minstrels in the distant groves
your secret in my belly grows

the innocent will lose no rest
no jewels in their armoured nests

the scarlet of the blood unspilled
the quickened heart that now is stilled

untested in this fruitless quest
the end of lent and no one blessed

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Google Plus, G+ e-learning and the digital divide




Before commencing with this post, let me admit that I am a technophile and have a soft spot for Google. Their organisational culture is worthy of scholarly attention, their product offerings are inspired and personally, they have opened a world of opportunities for social and intellectual interaction.

Google plus will be adopted as the official means with which I will be communicating with my students in the second semester. It's that simple, I can create a circle and add them to it, they can interact with me, and we can share documents and conversations online in one place. In short, it creates an online workspace that eases the communication and consultation that is so essential in e-learning, even when it is as a supplement to ordinary classroom learning.

I already used Facebook to communicate with the students. Many of them have facebook on their telephones and found it cheaper to post a message on there as opposed to sending an sms. Last year we even used Mxit. However, google chat is far easier, and is directly integrated with gmail, so you're now accessing communication, social networking and information searching from one portal.

For enterprises and higher education, this may prove to be a shared online workspace that works. The circles also ease control of information, my work circle for example may include reminders about setting exams, whereas the student circle will include me nagging the students to study and the private circle of friends may include frustrated comments about the former.

Finally, if adopted, this may be the way to integrate the many sides of ourselves personally and professionally, but first, they need to get people interested enough to join and that's not going to happen just because a varsity lecturer tells you to.

Here's an example of the sort of site you can set up (this took less than an hour, and you can kind of tell, but it's easy to use) CHRM302

Friday, July 8, 2011

Hypocrisy- UR Doing it right


Vegetarians claim to be eco-friendly by avoiding the utilisation of leather and fur in their lifestyles. This is a somewhat near-sighted approach to a systemic problem. I get it, they like Bambi and think they're doing the right thing, but they're missing the point.

Beef is dreadful for the environment, in terms of its carbon footprint. Milk, eggs and cheese are far better, although milk and cheese are let down by the capacity daisy the moo cow has for farting a hole in the ozone layer.

There would be enough arable land on the planet to feed everyone quite comfortably if there were no meat-eaters. However, death and killing are natural. They cannot be avoided and, sometimes, there may be a legitimate, green reason for choosing to slaughter an animal after it's reached its sell-by date. One such reason is the fact that fake leather wears out super-quickly, which means that your conscience comes at a cost to the environment and, as a result to animals and us.

These veggies who shun the purchase of leather goods are contributing massive amounts of environmental degradation through the manufacturing processes they are supporting. The pollutants produced in the manufacturing of their so-called humane products contain carcinogens and wreak havoc on water systems and ecosystems. This suggests that their approach is not one of holistic care for wildlife, animals and the environment, instead it is some sort of misguided notion left over from watching Babe as a child.

I have lived on farms, watched animals get slaughtered and spent much time knee deep in cow shit. I have milked cows and have had to break the neck of a goose that had been mauled by a dog, to name one occasion where death was kind. Cows are incredibly sweet animals, stubborn as hell, but ladies nevertheless. They care for their young and they are creatures of habit. They deserve to live their lives in dignity, providing milk. Just bear in mind, for cows to produce that milk for us vegetarians, a large number of bull calves become someone else's veal schnitzel. Milk cows past their productive years could be left to die of old age, but if you've ever watched an animal die of old age, you'll know that it's not the kindest thing to do always. They can become leather too you know, having lived their lives happily munching on lucerne.

Like I said, death is inevitable. We plant crops- we destroy an existing ecosystem, we eat meat- we take a life. Eggs are fine, but again, where do all the little boy chicks go? Well, they get culled as day old chicks. Laying chickens are different from broilers and they don't often get reared for meat. Instead, the recently hatched chicks are sexed and then the boys are all culled. So don't think there's no blood on your hands if you buy eggs.
If you really cared about the environment, you'd source your produce locally, wear leather and ensure that livestock is treated with respect and humanity up until the point where it is slaughtered. Better yet, you'd farm it yourself. This is incredibly rewarding and you can see exactly how your eggs are made, as well as your chickens (cocks are randy serial rapists fyi).

If you can't guarantee what price was paid for your food environmentally and in terms of cruelty, then it's ok not to eat it. Just don't think that simply foregoing meat in your diet makes you a good person, a green person, or even particularly ethical.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Twitter rant



Here's something you aren't normally subjected to... me talking about you. In this case, the you is us, and the us is the Twitterverse. I am sorely tempted to change my avi to a picture of myself in librarian/academic mode to see how many people stop following me just like that.

It should really be called the slapperverse, because so many chicks have their goods on display in an effort to get attention. When you read the tweets you realise they're vacuous little cretins who have pickled their remaining three braincells using tanning booths. This is of course, just a fit of jealousy at the fact that I had to go out and get educated and get a grown-up job because I wasn't pretty enough to make it as a hausfrau. So now I have a downer on the pretty people.

The Winter Kama Sutra


The Kama Sutra is all well and good in its country of origin, where it's warm and wet or warm and dry. However, in winter, the exotic, yoga-laden moves need re-designing.

Like the Winter Olympics, there might be a gap in the market for a winter edition of the Kama Sutra.

Sage advice that should be included in the Winter edition:
1. Warm your hands up before you come near me motherfucker.
2. How to find the erogenous zones under three layers of fleece
3. How to get enough skin out of thermal underwear to get nookie, without getting hypothermia
4. How to mask manhood that's been shrunk by the howling South-Easter.
5. How to avoid biting someone's penis off when your teeth are chattering.
6. Staying on top, under a duvet without wafting cold air in from the outside world.

The truth is out there





Monday, July 4, 2011

It's red

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Nationalisation: Ryk Neethling as a case study

My favourite politician is advocating nationalisation of the mines as an attempt to ensure economic growth and poverty alleviation in South Africa. One would think that they'd start with something that would make women happy, like Ryk Neethling. He's a national asset, has earned gold before and is a valuable commodity abroad.

So, at first glance, nationalising Ryk would be fantastic. The problem is, if you nationalised him, you'd have to arrange a roster between about 15 million women. Given his lifespan, and ours that's just not feasible.

Plan B, we arrange a schedule of touch-time with Ryk. Eventually, if we were all to touch him he'd get all grubby and his skin would begin to abrade. He would also be at risk of catching something and that'd just be nasty. No one would want him then.

I suppose we could put him behind plexi-glass like the Mona Lisa, but where would the fun be in that? The fact is that Ryk, like wealth can only be distributed if we make more. Which is why I now support cloning. Reward offered for Ryk's hair with follicle still attached.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

The Bristol Stool Scale


the views expressed in this blog are purely satirical and do not represent any attempt to offend or insult anyone.

Spot the problem with our poop in ZA...

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Wimpy advert





Dream Machines

The BMW Z4 (2010) was designed by a female duo and it looks like a BMW, for BMW drivers. Kudos to them for designing something so sexy and quintessentially Beemer. Howevah....

Boys had all the fun growing up. While I was playing with dolls that would have made Kate Moss look fat, they were designing kick ass cars with flames and shit. While I was sketching wedding dresses, they were adding flame throwers and rocket launchers to their angular, aggressively engineered imaginations. Female car designers are scarce, and yet men wonder why we struggle to drive what are essentially extensions of their penises.

Errors in omission, the design specifications I admittedly need on a car:

Good ground clearance. This is so that I can park on the kerb and also stop hitting the kerb at drive-thrus, parking garages and outside my house, oh and at the Spar.

Road handling, this thing must stick like shit to shoes. If I am late for a meeting it must stay on godamn road and not roll (Mazda- I am talking to you). It must have cat-like self-righting abilities, so that I don't have to sit in a tow truck with someone called Tiaan and listen to Bok van Blerk inhaling second hand Embassy fumes mingled with sweat and brandy.

Shoe space. I need at least four pairs of shoes in my car at any time- Heels, spare pair of heels, boots for visiting mine pony and spare flat shoes for sprinting in and out of unattractive places. These should be neatly stowed near the front of the car.

Bra compartment- when it's summer and you're hot, sometimes it's nice to be able to remove your bra on the way home from work and let the puppies get some air. Make it happen.

Fuel efficiency. If I can run on a handful of provitas and an apple, why can't my car? Why are cars all binge eating biffers? Tip- get an anorexic in on the design process. Maybe then, if you don't put fuel in, the car can just absorb superfluous parts of itself until more fuel is supplied. It can start with that spare tire...

Bull bars, nudge bars and side impact bars all artfully hidden under sexy design. Most lingerie is a masterpiece of structural engineering. It defies gravity and Newton and gets the job done and still manages to look pretty- ever seen an underwire guys? We need support for our cars too- no need to display it prominently. Instead, lace and ribbons could be used to artfully disguise an arsenal of reinforcements that will avoid ones fender bending.

If Ford had been a chick, she'd have said "you can have it in any colour, as long as it matches your handbag and shoes" and then probably chosen black anyway.