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User is offline Yesterday, 09:48 AM

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32 years old
December 10, 1986
South Africa

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  1. Cause - The Malazan Yank visits London?

    16 January 2019 - 08:48 AM

    My fellow Malazans.

    I have two friends who have immigrated to the UK recently and have offered me free accommodation So I'm thinking of popping over to the land of tea and crumpets over the Easter holidays. 4 days leave can net me ten days in London (April 19th-28th).

    So who is available for an epic 'OMG Cause is finally here meet up'. Tiste, consider arranging a police parade in my honor.

    What is there to do in London?

    What is there to do near London?

    What food, sweets must I try that are unique to the UK/Europe.
  2. Sanitary Pads for Free?

    16 November 2018 - 10:14 AM

    So this is a big thing at the moment. Should Sanitary pads be free for women? The argument is that women on heir periods are forced to miss school and work and women cant choose not to have their periods. The price of Sanitary pads is quite high and the argument is they are too expensive for the poor and should be provided for free by government. In my own country their are regular charity drives asking people to donate sanitary pads to poor schools etc. We recently had a VAT hike for the first time in 24 years of democracy and this promted people to demand that sanitary pads like food staples should be zero rated. I was also recently shocked to see that a women in the UK is even getting a lot of attention for championing the cause and saying women in the UK cant afford them either. This was quite a shock to me because I figured women in a first world country like the UK should not have this problem.

    Anyway yesterday a friend of mind posted on Facebook a man saying that Sanitary pads for women should be free rather than government providing free condoms for men. This to me was a ludicrous argument and I said so. If Sanitary pads should be free that doesn't mean we need to stop giving out free condoms. I pointed out that 1 in 5 South Africans has HIV and that free condoms are used to fight the spread of STDs, that abstinence only education is known to fail and that condoms are also important for family planning (especially among the poor). I pointed out that generally speaking for every man hacing sex their is a women having sex and that as a nature of biology women are more susceptible to getting STDs and that unlike men they cant ever escape the responsibility of falling pregnant. Condoms are free because giving away free condoms is cheaper than giving away ARVs for life. Mostly however I simply argued that its not a condom or Sanitary Pads choice. If sanitary pads should be free that's its own argument. [QUICK ASIDE: In SA you can get free condoms from any government hospital or clinic, Universities will have them in every bathroom. I think the police stations even have them. I think some workplaces have them. I believe free condoms is quite standard in most countries. Are they free in yours?]

    I would agree that Sanitary pads should at the very least be zero rated from a vat or sales tax point of view. Id even be happy for the government to provide them for free if their is a true need. It seems to be a simple economic calculus, if providing free Sanitary pad to women will reduce school and work absenteeism then they should essentially pay for themselves in taxes?

    I got annoyed yesterday because 2 women on Facebook yesterday eventually just said something along the lines of as a man I don't have periods and will never understand. Which annoyed me because I think I was clearly trying to understand and I think the points I had raised were all fair. SA needs free condoms! We don't need to cut of our hands so we can use the glove budget to buy shoes.

    So I feel safer asking these questions here (Our Forum is a remarkable internet miracle where we actually seem to trust one another to have good intetniosn) than on Facebook. The disposable Sanitary pad is a fairly modern invention. It was invented in 1888 but didn't become mainstream for quite a while after that. Kotex's first ad for sanitary pads was apparently 1922, and wiki seems to be telling me they were considered too expensive for the average women. So for most of human history Women have survived without disposable sanitary pads. What's changed? Have women always been missing work and school because of their periods? Woman have had the use of alternates for centuries, why are they no longer usefull? If we ae going to make Sanitary pads for free must we provide the convenience of disposable Sanitary Pads or should we provide reusable cloth sanitary pads which are cheaper in the long-term? Is culture partly to be blame? Women on their periods are in many countries/cultures considered unclean. So even the UK has this problem but I wonder how much of its is a sanitary pad problem and how much of it is a cultural problem of fear of shame etc in places like Africa that have a strict taboo. Is pads the answers than or education?
  3. The Masquerade

    05 November 2018 - 08:07 AM

    These books deserve a thread!

    Book 1: The traitor Baru Corumant

    Tomorrow, on the beach, Baru Cormorant will look up from the sand of her home and see red sails on the horizon.

    The Empire of Masks is coming, armed with coin and ink, doctrine and compass, soap and lies. They'll conquer Baruís island, rewrite her culture, criminalize her customs, and dispose of one of her fathers. But Baru is patient. She'll swallow her hate, prove her talent, and join the Masquerade. She will learn the secrets of empire. Sheíll be exactly what they need. And she'll claw her way high enough up the rungs of power to set her people free.

    In a final test of her loyalty, the Masquerade will send Baru to bring order to distant Aurdwynn, a snakepit of rebels, informants, and seditious dukes. Aurdwynn kills everyone who tries to rule it. To survive, Baru will need to untangle this landís intricate web of treachery - and conceal her attraction to the dangerously fascinating Duchess Tain Hu.

    But Baru is a savant in games of power, as ruthless in her tactics as she is fixated on her goals. In the calculus of her schemes, all ledgers must be balanced, and the price of liberation paid in full.

    Book 2:
  4. Is the World Slipping Backwards

    16 October 2018 - 10:03 AM

    I do believe that its never been a better time to be alive: We don't have a Cuban missile crisis, the cold war is over, its been 73 years since WW2 ended and while the world is not done with war its been trending down.

    However in recent months or has it just been weeks there have been some seriously worrying signs. Am I imagining it or are things unraveling a bit.

    1) Two Russians entered the UK and used a chemical weapon to poison a Russian Defector. Its not surprising that they would attack a defector but was using a chemical weapon necessary? This has to be an escalation and it was a message.

    2) China is upping its game. It has disappeared its leading actress on possible charges of Tax evasion? It has disappeared the Chinese citizen head of Interpol on charges of corruption? It is openly talking about re-education camps with the aim of fixing the anti-communist party muslim population.

    3) Saudia Arabia killed a Saudia citizen but who is also an American Greencard holder (is this correct?) in the Saudia embassy in Turkey? Spycraft is part of the open secret of why embassies exist but this cant be normal can it? Also Turkey is a friendly nation to Saudia Arabia.

    4) Trump is trying very hard to steer America away from being the moral police of the world. I'm not sure that is necessarily a bad thing (Very long conversation this), however their is a difference between trying to not be the policeman and almost actively greenlighting this sort of thing as long as we can do business.

    5) Russia interefed in the US elections. Did it interfere in Brexit? It tried to hack the chemical weapon watch dog. What else is it doing? Who else is doing it?

    Am I leaving out some big events? Is this just par for the course or is it as I say a seeming escalation in bad shit happening around the world. Going backwards a few years we can even include Russia annexing parts of crimea and essentially getting away with it scot free. The Iraq war has heavily destabilized the middle east. I mean china has always been china and Saudia Arabia has never been to my mind a paragon of human rights but some of these stories just seem crazy to me.
  5. WAR!

    09 October 2018 - 08:09 AM

    Absolutely riveting Television and Movies!

    I recently rewatched Generation Kill which in turn made me rewatch Band of Brothers. I think both are absolutely incredible mini-series about the wars they cover. They are entertaining, they are dare I say educational (its the closest I will ever come to understanding what it was like to be at D-day) and they both make me want to know more about the real life soldiers and events they cover.

    Band of Brothers for examples portrays Captain Herbert Sobel. A man who the show and the men of Easy company describe as incompetent in the field and as petty and vindictive. However he trained Easy company harder than any other company and many of the men who hate him nevertheless credit him for making easy company able to do what they did. He is not portrayed well. Googling him I learnt he was a career officer, had four kids, tried to commit suicide and failed but blinded himself and spent his remaining 17 years in a retirement home. He had no services. It strikes me as a tragedy that this is his story. I imagine that while nothing the men of Easy company say is false I nevertheless imagine he had his own Point of view. Other officers are portrayed as similarly flawed while others are shown as the glue that holds the company together. Lt Spiers is shown as a brilliant officer who leads his men well but it seems likely that he killed a few German POWs on D-day (its controversial to this day). Which is technically a war crime but is likely to have been quite common on the day apparently and Paratroopers may even have been given a kind of unofficial order to do so. They couldn't hold the prisoners without sacrificing their advance and they couldn't risk letting them go. One of the most powerful moments of the show for me is when after VE day when the soldiers are starting to celebrate they are reminded that they will have to go fight in Japan now. The army does introduce a point system though and people with 85 points or more can be discharged and go home. Some of the men of easy company dropped into the fight in D-day, fought in market garden in Belgium, the fought in the battle of the bulge, they took the eagle nest and were present in the entire European campaign and they are still stuck with 81 points. At the same time on the homefront as these men are told they will be sent to Japan things are already starting to go back to normal and they are vacationing in Miami and having parties etc. The nuclear bombing of japan is controversial to this day but this show, better than a dry explanation of it on paper, does an amazing job of showing how from the perspective of many of the men, wary from war, that those bombs were godsends.

    Similarly the show Generation Kill shows many officers as outright incompetent. They show the war as being a complete fuster cluck with nobody in command knowing what they are doing, everyone out for glory and one stupid mission after the other. Yet the show is also there to remind you that nobody in the force recon marine company was killed in action and that the US forces rolled over Iraq with ease. Despite all the fog of war and mistakes as seen from the ground you have to think command knew somewhat what they were doing. Nevertheless the show depicts real life events where a passing convoy of Marine surgeons opens fire on the force recon marine convoy because they saw a target in the dark. For all our satellites, GPS and radios at some point in every war I guess you have to have a guy with a gun standing in god knows where doing the best you can. When victory is won the show also does a brilliant job of showing you that America was certainly underprepared for the occupation. Despite having 3 companies and some of the best marines in their force they can only do one patrol a day. In the entire battalion they have only one translator who can speak the local language.

    So my point for making this thread is to ask what other TV shows or Movies in this genre have had an impact on you?


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    10 Dec 2018 - 08:42
    and again
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    10 Dec 2017 - 07:18
    Happy birthday
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