Thursday, 21 February 2008

End of Days

As most of you are probably aware, the world should be ending any day now. How can I be sure? Well, it's been a long time since I went to Sunday School, but I'm sure there was a rhyme something like, "The world is ending, this I know; cause the bible tells me so..." Clearly all you have to do is look in the bible, and it will tell you (the technical term is "prophesize") how and when it's going to happen. But just because it doesn't always happen that way is no reason not to believe us...

In any event, in case you were not aware of all the signs of the coming apocalypse, here are a few to digest. Clearly not for the faint of heart...

Global travel: Apparently, Daniel 12:4 tells us that "many shall run to and fro." This is a clear reference to the fact that there are lots of airplanes and train travel all over the world. Get out your crucifixes, cause like the great prophets, the Monkees said, "Take the last train to Clarksville..." (emphasis added)

Traffic Accidents: Not unrelated - Nahum clearly stated that the dominance of car accidents will lead directly to a Satanic uprising. This would be far more disturbing than the current anti-drunk driving ads would lead you to believe.

Knowledge will be increased: This should surprise no one - the fact that there is more and more knowledge being had by scientists and lay people alike CANNOT be good for ANY good Christian.

Debit card of the Beast; or PIN code 666: I have to say, this is my personal favorite (ahem, I mean most dire warning). In the most holy of texts (Revelation 13:15-18) it is clearly laid out that the coming of the end will be heralded by a cashless society. So it is CLEARLY no coincidence that right NOW, of all times, debit cards are becoming more and more prevalent. The buying and selling of souls has never been easier for the Devil, and they'll just take the money straight out of his account. And here is a direct quote from the website I've been referencing, in case you've been too lazy/sane to link to them:
"That may seem like pretty stiff punishment for simply accepting a Mark that allows you to buy groceries. However, this prophecy indicates that receiving the "Mark of the Beast" is not merely an economic decision, but also implies acceptance and worship of the Satan-possessed Anti-Christ, and a pledge of allegiance to his anti-God global regime."
You HAVE been warned...

Wednesday, 13 February 2008

Kofi goes to Africa

Welcome to Kenya, and the world, Kofi Annan:

Monday, 11 February 2008


Man, I'm full of news this week. But no time for that! I'm busy playing [N]. Damn this game is addictive... very reminiscent of Jardinians... damn, I mean Jardinains. Damn! There's a Jardinains2!

Sobering thoughts

I went out with some friends on Friday night, including two dudes from Kenya - one that has been at UCT for a while, and one that has just arrived (though he has lived in SA for seven years). Anyway, we had a really great time, but this post is not about that (despite its beginnings).

Specifically, this is just to comment on the fact that what you read is true - Kenya is really fucked up. My friend, Bob, was just there for a little over a month, trying to get his wife and children out of there. Specifically because he and his wife are of different ethnicities, though, it was dangerous for them to be together, I think - the ethnic fighting is horrendous. The two dudes who we were drinking with on Friday were also from different tribes, and they said if they were living there, they would be fighting right now.

I don't know, it's just that news from across the world feels so detached from reality, and I sometimes wonder how widespread is the violence that gets reported. For example, a recent graduate student here is from Sudan, but from the capital - Khartoum - as opposed to Darfur, which is what you constantly hear about in the news. And according to him, though the situation is indeed dire in Darfur, Khartoum is really not particularly bad, which I was surprised to hear. This I contrast with information from my Kenya - Bob is from the capital, Nairobi, and he says that Nairobi is also significantly screwed, as in it was dangerous for him to go out. Although it does sound like outside of the cities are even worse - he told me that you just can't drive between cities right now, because chances are almost 100% that you will be stopped by wandering rioters (who will naturally be of a rival ethnic group) who will drag you out of your car and kill you. Full stop. That is fucked up. This is the country which was completely unique in Eastern Africa (and fairly unique in all Africa) in being amazingly stable for the past 40 years - with one of the best and most stable economies in all of Africa.

So this is dedicated to my best wishes for Bob's family, that they will be able to move here quickly and safely. Not to mention just the hope that the violence subsides quickly and peace soon restored.

Saturday, 9 February 2008

Healthy body, Clean car

I just recently started really making an effort to get into shape. I joined a gym, I'm going almost every day, and I'm really working on eating healthily. It's been about two weeks since I joined the gym, and I'm already feeling tons better - waking up easier and happier in the morning, and my muscles are beefing while my gut is shrinking. It's great! I'm a total convert. Hopefully I can keep it up, though... my track record is less than spectacular...

Anyway, it's so funny, outside the gym there are always a ton of guys wanting to wash your car. As soon as you drive along the road, they're waving you over, brandishing buckets and soap. The guard in the parking lot is even in on it, I think - there's always one dude who's washing cars IN the parking lot, and the guard helps him to get customers. Finally, my car was filthy, so I got it washed the other day, and it looks sparkling now. But it was never dirty before I joined the gym, and I can't help but think that these washing dudes wait until no one is looking and throw dirt on your car so that next time you'll want it washed...

Friday, 8 February 2008

National Traffic Day

Christ, what normally is a five minute drive, today took me an hour. The traffic was absolutely unbelievable. I think it may have something to do with the opening of Parliament or something - they completely blocked off the Towards-the-city-center highway, and it led to traffic being blocked up all the way to my driveway - I literally pulled out and had to stop in traffic while the tail end of my car was still in the driveway. Really goes to show how much we rely on public infrastructure. Sheesh, what a fragile world...

Thursday, 7 February 2008

Rollerblades, Basketball... I'm lovin' it

We had a speaker come and give a talk yesterday - Patrick Dorey, from University of Durham - and the talk was extremely interesting; it was actually on a subject upon which I "work", namely integrable systems. However, incidentally, in the course of his talk, he mentioned how the subject related to a famous problem in mathematics called "the McNugget Problem."

McDonald's (used to) serve McNuggets (R) in only three sizes - 6, 9, and 20. The question then naturally arises as to whether you can order ANY number of nuggets (quickly answered in the negative - try to order 3 McNuggets) and if not, precisely which numbers are disallowed?

It turns out that, because the three numbers are relatively prime (i.e., the only number by which you can divide all three numbers is 1), if you want a large enough number of McNuggets, you will eventually be accommodated. Turns out, the largest "McNugget number" is 43 - you will unfortunately be unable to order 43 McNuggets, but ANY number higher than that, and you're golden (arches). The other McNugget numbers are:

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 10, 11, 13, 14, 16, 17, 19, 22, 23, 25, 28, 31, 34, and 37.

Of course, McDonald's (partially) realized the error of their weighs, and have expanded the options. McNuggets now come in 4,6, and 10 piece boxes, and if you include the Chicken Selects (R) Premium Breast Strips (offered in 3 and 5 piece sets) you can now get any number of chicken pieces other than 1 and 2. But dang-it, I only WANT 2!