About Me

I ramble about a number of things - but travel experiences, movies and music feature prominently. See my label cloud for a better idea. All comnments and opinions on this blog are my own, and do not in any way reflect the opinions/position of my employer (past/current/future).

21 October 2005

Google Suggest

Yet another lab product from Google pointed out by Tim. Those of you who use gmail will know about the drop downs of the matching email addresses as you type - now this has been extended to search queries. Very cool, and works quite well - even with UCT's crappy network speeds.


Hmm ... also just realised that the Blogger spell check doesn't have Google or gmail in their list ...

20 October 2005

Movie: Night Watch

It's the first Russian movie I have seen; and it's a damn good movie at that. Night Watch has a traditional sci-fi/fantasy plot - the battle between good and evil. Throw in an extra dimension; there are certain people in the world who are better than the rest of human kind (like mutants in X-Men I suppose) - the others. There is currently a truce between the good and the evil; and the others are free to make a choice to be either good or evil; and both sides take turns to monitor the other's activities - in the day; a squad from the evil called day watch monitor the good and at night; a squad from the good called night watch monitor the evil. And to wrap it all up; the good and the bad are sometimes even good friends (and neighbours).

There are some plot holes; but the movie is stylish; it's dark and features some very good effects. It's part 1 of a trilogy and it's well worth seeing. Talking of good movies; House of flying daggers comes out tomorrow ... I might just go and see it again on Tuesday. If anyone wants to join me - send me a mail.

Car Free Day

So today is national car free day - people are supposed to give up their cars and make use of public transport. Walking up to campus today (I gave up waiting for the Jammie after 5 minutes; thought I could rather do with the exercise), it seems that car free day is a total failure. Both the M3 and main road was jam packed as usual and the Golden Arrow busses were not carrying any more passengers than usual.

Personally, after living in Cape Town for almost 6 years without a car; I don't really have many bad things to say about public transport. In my experience, public transport works quite well and it's not too expensive; but only to certain places. My 2 biggest problems with public transport in Cape Town is that
a) its almost non existent at night - there are some night time Golden Arrow busses; but its almost faster to walk than to wait to catch one (I know; I have timed them once)
b) Some very important routes are just not served - try to get to the airport for example.

With 2010, public transport is going to be an important issue - there aren't that many rental cars out there after all. Getting to Newlands is relatively easy - just catch the train. But getting from the airport to the hotels, or from the hotels to the train station - that's going to be the difficult part. I think that all major transportation nodes (ports, stations, airports) should have public transport links - I just don't see it happening any time soon.

18 October 2005

The Accident

As many of you know; I bought a mountain bike about two weeks ago. Yesterday afternoon I had my first accident on the road - of no fault of my own (but then everyone says that right?). Anyway, it happened outside Sunrise - this guy decided to open his door without looking around to see if it ok to do so - and so I went sprawling onto the road. Luckily, the pedestrian robot a few paces back was red a few moment back; so there were no cars and I got by with just a few scratches (and no damage to my bike). The guy (oldish, about 50 or so) was very apologetic, and said that he was so excited by something that he did not look before opening the door; and I left it at that as there was no real damage ... but it was a close call I suppose.

I have been trying (but quite unsuccessfully) to get into a cycling routine ... I would really like to get fit. I find that cyclists seem to share some sort of a bond - most other cyclists greet each other when passing each other (in either direction)- something that you don't see pedestrians do - and I have walked a lot. Many drivers also have respect for cyclists - shared a few jokes with a guy at a red robot yesterday - and even taxi drivers seem very nice towards cyclists. Now if only some drivers would check before opening their doors and stop driving next to the kerb ...