Date created: 2019-11-04 10:36:18

Subject: 2019 November newsletter

November 2019 newsletter


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Yes, we have news, but also opinions

I got some twerps writing in to complain that I express biased opinions. That I have an agenda. Well, yes I do. I write opinion pieces. My agenda is to share my opinions and influence my readers to perhaps see things from a different perspective.

Some also criticised the fact that I do not publish my name and just go by "ctn editor". Well, yes I do. It is every writer's prerogative to choose their nom de plume. And when you write, you can choose whatever the hell nom de plume you like too. That's how it works.

Do we have a Facebook page?
Yes, we do. It's here FACEBOOK
What about twitter?
Why not?
Why so unhelpful?
because I'm my own boss, which means I answer only to myself, not you.
Attitude problem?
Most definitely!

Bishops' sex scandal [story]

We've become accustomed to reading about teacher-pupil sex scandals occuring in the United States due to the regularity of such occurrences, but now we have our very own to contend with at the very upmarket Bishops school in Cape Town.

Some of the newspapers are not reporting the name of the female teacher involved, but it is already in the public domain, courtesy of a news24 report. Fiona Viotti nee Mallett is the niece of Nick Mallett. She married Pavo Viotti a little over a year ago, but apparently married life was not enough to satisfy her sexually and she had affairs with numerous boys at the school. She has retained an attorney who has instructed the media not to disclose names. Oh well, it's too late for that. As of now, no criminal case has been opened against her, but Bishops is conducting an investigation.

Personally, if I was a parent of one of her victims, I would not care what the school did. I would have already opened a criminal case against the teacher and be suing the school for its negligence. I would also have withdrawn my child from the school immediately and made other arrangements for their continued education and for them to write their examinations elsewhere.

What remains to be seen is what the outcome will be of Bishop's internal investigation and whether criminal charges will be forthcoming.

NASA scientist proposes engine that can almost reach light speed [story]

This concept engine can theoretically reach 99% of light speed without burning rocket fuel.

The propulsion is generated from a particle accelerator that shoots tiny particles at extremely high speeds towards the back and then recycles them around to the front for re-use. However, there is no proof that this concept engine will actually work because it violates Newton's laws of motions. There are other problems too, because it would have to be 650 feet long.

Who knows, maybe with a few tweaks, the eggheads will come up with something approximating a warp drive within the next 20 years which will make exploring the solar system a much quicker enterprise?

EskomSePush - The Load Shedding App [play] [app store]
Load shedding has reared its ugly head again and is threatening to plunge us all into darkness again. The worst part is figuring out when you will lose power. Well, if you install the ESP app, you will not be left in the dark (ahem).
Western Cape Human Settlements app competition [link]

The Department of Human Settlements is in the process of developing an app so that citizens can access information on government housing assistance. A competition was held earlier this year for people aged 16 - 35 to develop the user interface.

The winners are:

3rd Runner-up: Cynthia Augustine
2nd Runner-up: Annabela Bekker
1st Prize Winner: Anesu Malisa

The app is to be launched in 2020.

Extremely bearish outlook on Bitcoin [story]

Cryptodaily published a story with an extremely bearish outlook on Bitcoin (BTC). The author, Jefe Caan, expressed the following sentiment:

"I would not be surprised to see Bitcoin (BTC) decline to a triple digits price because not only has trust been shattered after the recent moves, Bitcoin (BTC) has been made into more of a joke by the small minority of people who call the shots and for this reason serious investors and institutions might want to stay away from this market for a long time till it matures."

This pretty much sums up my sentiments since mid 2017. Although BTC was rocketing up in price at that point, hitting highs in December and January, I knew it was a bubble and I had no idea when it was going to burst, I just did not want to be stuck holding the baby when it did.

BTC remains a highly unpredictable investment vehicle. If you buy now, you will likely see all your value wiped out. The real future value of Bitcoin is, in my opinion, under $100 (USD).

Kevin Spacey sexual assault case dropped after victim dies [story]

Kevin Spacey caught a break last week after his alleged victim died. He will now not be charged in the sexual assault case in Los Angeles.

Law enforcement sources confirmed that the man died a few weeks ago of natural causes.

A previous case of sexual assault was also dropped after the victim pled the 5th Amendment and refused to answer prosecution questions. After that, the prosecution decided not to continue with the case.

Kevin Spacey was lead actor in the House of Cards TV show, which was one of the most interesting TV shows I've watched recently. President Obama also confessed to being an avid viewer. However, during filming of the last season, the whole Weinstein saga blew open and #MeToo became a thing. Accusations against many celebrities started flying around and Kevin Spacey was one of those hit by sexual abuse allegations. The producers of House of Cards had no choice but to sideline Spacey and make the last season about Claire Underwood.

Now it seems that despite about 18 accusations made against Spacey, only two of which were being prosecuted, neither will now proceed. It's difficult for the public to assess whether Spacey was really a sexual threat to others or whether people simply dogpiled on in order to get settlements. However, the damage to Spacey's reputation seems permanent.

How This Decade of Archaeology Changed What We Know About Human Origins [story]

A discovery at the archaeological dig site in Morocco, Jebel Irhoud, has revealed that homo sapiens is 300 000 years old, not 200 000 as previously estimated.

Australopithecus afarensis is currently suspected of being the director ancestor of homo sapiens.

“There is no Garden of Eden in Africa, because the Garden of Eden is Africa.” - Jean-Jacques Hublin

The very first humans, our oldest ancestors who belonged to the Homo genus emerged millions of years ago.

Homo habilis (~2.1 million to 1.5 million years ago), Homo rudolfensis (~1.9 million years ago), and Homo erectus (~1.9 million to 600,000 years ago).

'Porn pastor' gets 15 years for sexually abusing boys in Cape Town [story]

"His two cellphones, a laptop, an external hard drive, a tablet and two flash drives were confiscated and found to contain images of child pornography, according to the charge sheet."

Kent Locke really dug himself in like a tick. By establishing himself in authority positions, he showed he was calculating in his schemes. He deliberately sought out a leadership position in a church and volunteered to become a police reservist, most likely to attempt to place himself in positions that were above suspicion and present as someone that people trust.

He deliberately abused the community trust and established himself as a sexual predator. He then proceeded to blackmail his young victims and leverage them into giving him what he wanted. His crimes were egregious abuses of his positions of trust and therefore he fully merits a harsh sentence.

Even when on bail, he refused to stop his predations. This is not a person who can ever be trusted again and rehabilitation is unlikely. I believe that the sentence he received, 15 years (5 of which were suspended) is insufficient to protect society from him. It is likely that he will re-offend upon release.

Armed robbers snatch laptops from youngsters receiving computer training at Cape Town facility [story]

"Laptops were snatched in front of a group of youngsters receiving computer training at a Cape Town youth facility during an armed heist, the Department of Social Development confirmed on Tuesday."

Three armed suspects had entered the youth centre in Ntsikizi Street at about 10:00 that morning.

"The suspects pointed their firearms at them and told them to keep quiet as they took eleven laptops estimated to be worth an undetermined value," Majikela said.

What makes me so annoyed about this crime, is that management were aware of the high crime rate in this area, and yet they took no steps to counter it. Any place that has valuable equipment needs to spend money on adequate security systems to protect the equipment and the lives of their staff and learners.

Clearly the security systems were inadequate. They need security gates and guards to screen access. Anyone attempting to breach security should be shot on sight. We cannot afford to be soft on criminals. Allowing them to escape just means they will try again later, but dead criminals commit no crimes.

1937: An Old letter from a great aunt

My mother found a letter written on September 13 1937 by her aunt, approximately two years before the start of World War II which began on September 01 1939.

My mother was going through some old papers recently and came across a letter from her aunt which she had sent to her sister (my mom's mother) about her travels in Europe just before the start of World War II.

Old letters like this fascinate me because it's a way of looking back in time to see what people thought about and what they experienced long ago. Her thoughts were not about the coming war that was just around the corner but about much more banal things - trivia and family issues rather than the enormous political and ideological forces at play which were about to plunge the world into an enormous struggle for our very survival and for the freedoms that we now take for granted.

If we think we live in frightening times now, they pale into comparison with the world war that was just about to play itself out. Hundreds of millions of lives were about to be snuffed out, tens of millions were about to become refugees and the world's most powerful weapon, the nuclear bomb, was about to be developed and change the face of warfare forever.

By the end of World War II, the world had entered the ages of jet propulsion, of nuclear power, of computer aided computation that would completely transform the modern world as it was then known, of rockets that would take mankind to the Moon. Despite the enormous destruction that war was about to bring with it, it also motivated the development of brand new technologies that would tranform and shape the modern world we know today.

But back in 1937, my aunt Freda could not have imagined all that was about to happen in the next 7 years (1938 - 1945). Back then, she was just enjoying the holiday of a lifetime in Europe. Her attention was occupied by the songs of the time, which she wrote out in long hand and sent to her younger sister (my late grandmother) who was living in Rosebank, Cape Town with her five (later six) children, working in a hair dressing salon she owned on the Main Road which she later moved to Claremont Main Road.

Thanks to the modern miracle we call the internet, we can all still listen to the music my great Aunt Freda listened to back in 1937.

There will always be an England by Vera Lynn [youtube]

I’m sending a letter to Santa Claus by Vera Lynn [youtube]

Somewhere in France with you by Al Bowlly [youtube]

Till The Lights Of London Shine Again by Lew Stone and his Band [youtube]

Teen girl invents simple, yet innovative way to remove blind spots in cars [story][youtube]

"She mounted the webcam outside the passenger side A-pillar on a car and then displayed the live video on the inside pillar from a projector attached to the sunroof above the driver's seat. She even had to print a special part to help focus the projector at such close range. She then faced issues with projecting the image on the interior frame. So she resurfaced it with retro reflective fabric."

She built a prototype system with a webcam, projector, and 3D-printed materials to project an external video feed onto the car frame that blocks the view from drivers. No more missing information. Watch the video and see for yourself how it works.

Edcon employee dismissed for calling Jacob Zuma a 'monkey' in Facebook rant [story]

A former senior Edcon employee who called former president Jacob Zuma a “monkey” in a Facebook rant three years ago has been permanently dismissed from the retail group.

The dismissal of Teresa Cantamessa, who was a specialist buyer for ladies wear, was upheld by Labour Court Judge Hamilton Cele recently.

At her internal disciplinary hearing, Cantamessa claimed her post was not racist and that she was merely highlighting incompetence.

Edcon argues that her credibility as a senior employee and from a point of common sense, Cantamessa was expected to communicate in a professional, courteous and sensitive way regardless of whether the communication took place during or after working hours.

The disciplinary hearing summarily dismissed Cantamessa, but she approached the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) claiming unfair dismissal.

The CCMA found Cantamessa’s dismissal was substantively unfair and awarded her maximum compensation of 12 month’s salary, as her post did not constitute racism; but Edcon subsequently escalated the matter to the Labour Court.

I consider this judgement by the Labour Court, which overruled the CCMA, to be irrational, ridiculous even. People of all races are extremely angry and frustrated with the Zuma regime and to this day, online social media commentary about the Zuma era and it's associated corruption is highly uncomplimentary, to be euphemistic. To claim that Cantamessa brought her employer into disrepute is ridiculous, given that her opinion is shared by a significant proportion, if not majority, of the public.

I agree that her opinion was not expressed in a professional manner, but it was published on her Facebook profile, not on the group's corporate web site. It should be expected that people will use their Facebook account to express their own opinions especially on something that has affected all South Africans.

I also agree that her opinion was not racist, as her commentary was aimed at a political person and his cronies, not at a race group.

I fail to see the logic where a productive member of society is deprived of their employment because they expressed frustration with a corrupt former president.

I hope she appeals this to the Supreme Court of Appeal. I don't believe she deserves any sanction whatsoever.

Yoga teachers 'risking serious hip problems' [story]

Benoy Matthews, a leading UK-based physiotherapist, warns he is seeing increasing numbers of yoga teachers with serious hip problems - many of whom require surgery - because they are pushing their bodies too hard.

He says it can be easy for yoga practitioners to mistake joint pain, which means they should stop the movement, for stiffness, which they should push through.

"What's achievable for one might not be achievable for others," he says. "People tend to do the same set positions, rather than what's achievable for them.

The Baby Boomer's mantra of "No Pain, No Gain" is the biggest load of BS ever sold to the world. It ranks up there with recycle your plastics and nuclear power is bad. If your body hurts, stop doing what makes it hurt! It's a simple concept. Pain is not an optional warning signal the body throws out. Pain is a message from your body to your brain which says, "You're hurting me, and if you continue doing it, you will break me." Your body is fragile and it breaks easily if pushed beyond it's operating limits. Not everyone can run a marathon, not everyone can twist their legs behind their necks. If your body is in pain, ease off. It's important not to stress your body beyond it's limits because that can lead to things such as sudden death.

An MIT researcher says we should trash all our recyclable plastic, and he's probably right [story]

MIT researcher Andrew McAfee thinks attempting to sort plastic recycling is ultimately a waste of time and energy.

People don't have much use for the small portion of plastic that does get recycled anyway. In the European Union, only 6% of plastic demand is for recycled plastics.

Instead of worrying about recycling plastic, McAfee wants people to lobby for carbon taxes and endorse nuclear power

Efforts to get people using more sustainable goods, like reusable bags and foldable straws, may not pack much environmental punch, though. One UK study suggested that a cotton bag would have to be reused 131 times to be worth it for the planet, over plastic.

Studies suggest that people might give themselves a pass on changing other behaviors once they've done one good deed — what's called a "single-action bias." That's something McAfee worries about.

This article confirmed for me what I long suspected about plastic recycling - it's a complete waste of our time.

People are going nuts to recyle a couple of grams of plastic, but they're ignoring the elephant in the room, which is carbon emissions. Recyling plastic is a void exercise. It's unnecessary. Cutting your carbon emisions is a necessity. We have the ridiculous situation where suburban housewives are patting themselves on their backs for recycling a couple of grams of plastic, but everytime they burn a litre of petrol by driving their cars, they are putting 2.3 kilograms of carbon into the atmosphere.

Fossil fuels are the real problem. Recycling a couple of grams of plastic does nothing to solve it.

Vicki Momberg is on the run [ story]

A warrant for Momberg's arrest was issued by Randburg Magistrate's Court on August 01 due to her failure to appear. She lost her appeal bid and was due to return to prison.

Police have visited two addresses listed for her but did not find her at either location.

Bear in mind that Momberg is not a violent criminal. Her crime was to lose her temper and curse out a policeman using racial epithets which clearly crossed the line. It's a pretty stupid way to run afoul of the law.

Momberg is a cantankerous person who has fallen out with several attorneys who agreed to represent her pro bono. She seems set on a course to add to her problems. She will never be extended bail again for anything as she has demonstrated that she is a flight risk. Her best course of action is to turn herself in before she is found. Life on the run is stressful.

I hope you enjoyed this November newsletter. If you have anything to say in response, I want to hear it! If you would like to support us with a paid advert, get in touch.

-- ctn-editor, Cape Town news

I'm always keen to hear your feedback - {contact}


Age is just a number until you turn 50, and then you know you're old.

I wrote this about Day Zero in 2018:

On the Water Crisis

The poor are saying "I bet the city looks after the rich first and gives us the middle finger".

The rich are saying "I bet the city lays it all on for these bums who don't pay a cent for anything".

The ANC is saying, "LOL. The DA is trolling you. There is no water crisis. They invented this to scare you. Just chill".

The religious are saying, "Repent and pray and God will send his rains".

The atheists are saying, "If we stay, we're f*cked. Get the f*ck out now!"

And the comedians are cracking jokes and milking this for all it's worth!


"In three things is a man revealed: in his wine goblet, in his purse, and in his wrath." - Babylonian Talmud


I am accepting advertising for the December newsletter now. Deadline is December 15 2019. Circulation is approximately 500 000. Distribution is nationwide via email only.

If you're operating a legitimate business and you need some extra exposure, contact me for advertising options in Cape Town news - {contact}

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