2010
Mar 9

I took these photo’s while doing the Fish River Canyon hike in Namibia

I have a Canon EOS 350D, with standard 18-55mm lens.

Fish River Canyon, Namibia

Fish River Canyon, Namibia Fish River Canyon, Namibia Namibia
Fish River Canyon, Namibia

Fish River Canyon, Namibia
Fish River Canyon, Namibia
Fish River Canyon, Namibia
Fish River Canyon, Namibia

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Buddy, the amazing talking dog

Posted by batman on Mar 7th, 2010
2010
Mar 7

buddy-crop.jpgBuddy, the charismatic brindle Boxer brought to the small screen by Toyota South Africa and its marketing partner of nearly half a centurys’ standing, Draftfcb Johannesburg, has featured in a few television commercials. These commercials are amongst the few that I really don’t mind watching – over and over and over again.

Sophistication in a Toyota Corolla

Buddy is introduced to the South African public as a sophisticated, aristocratic beast of pedigree who disassocates himself with any lower form of life.

What a chop

In this commercial the canine star is off to a dry Karoo farm for the Toyota Hilux. Buddy abandons any attempts to behave with sophistication and grace. Instead, he has fun on the farm mocking the sheep he encounters and making bad jokes, while recognising the Hilux’s toughness. This is my favourite “Buddy” commercial – “what a chop”!

Game Park with the Wild Dogs

In this commercial he is on a game drive, once again pulling up his nose at the “lesser” elements of the animal kingdom.

Automark Used Cars – I don’t do tricks

Here Buddy is strolling through a used car lot, quite adamant that he “doesn’t do tricks!!!”.

If you have any other links to share of really classic commercials that have been made, please post a link – I would love to hear about them. (Please note – this is NOT an invitation for you to market your own product – regardless of how good you think it is, or of how important you think your miracle pharmaceutical product might be – I will not approve/moderate your post)

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Road of Death, Bolivia

Posted by batman on Feb 27th, 2010
2010
Feb 27

bolivia_road_01.jpg

The North Yungas Road in the Bolivian Andes has been officially declared as the “world’s most dangerous road” – for motorists! Mountain bike enthusiasts however, are cut from a different cloth, and it has become a favorite destination for downhill racing – now that has got to be a serious adrenalin rush!

It is just short of 70 km long and runs from La Paz to Coroico, descending over 3,500 metres and regular occurrences of 800 metre abysses and impossibly narrow hairpin curves. One wouldn’t expect a road leaving one of the highest cities on the planet to go uphill – but in fact it does – almost five kilometres above sea level, where even a normal internal combustion engine struggles to ‘breathe’.

bolivia_road_02.jpgOn average between 200 – 300 fatalities are recorded every year. This is freakish – that is (playing with statistics) – one person dying every 3 days! The route is littered with the remnants of many, many accidents, with many trucks and buses lying wrecked, at the bottom. They will probably never be recovered.

The buses and heavy trucks navigate this road, as this is the only route available in the area. Buses crowded with locals go in any weather, and try to beat the incoming traffic to the curves. One of the local road rules specifies that the downhill driver never has the right of way and must move to the outer edge of the road. This forces fast vehicles to stop so that passing can be negotiated safely.

bolivia_road_09.jpg

Because of the extreme dropoffs, single-lane width, and lack of guardrails, the road is extremely dangerous. Further still, rain and fog can make visibility precarious, the road surface muddy, and loosen rocks from the hillsides above. On July 24, 1983, a bus veered off the Yungas Road and into a canyon, killing more than 100 passengers in what is said to be Bolivia’s worst road accident.

bolivia_road_06.jpgHigh in the Andes, they are building a new road, a bypass to replace the old one. But this is Bolivia, and already it has been 20 years in the making. Who knows when it will be complete? Until it is, people will have to continue offering up their prayers, and taking their lives in their hands on the most dangerous road in the world.

bolivia_road_10.jpg

See also :

http://www.ssqq.com/archive/vinlin27b.htm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yungas_Road

http://www.gravitybolivia.com/view?page=27

http://worldmysteries9.blogspot.com/2009/02/bolivian-road-of-death.html

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Highest definition picture ever taken of Cape Town

Posted by batman on Feb 27th, 2010
2010
Feb 27

Virtual Tours are an organization that provide virtual, often 360º views of various sites, amongst them Nelson Mandela’s jail cell on Robben Island.

One of their most spectacular creations is the so-called “Highest definition picture ever taken of Cape Town” – click here to view. It really is a mind-blowing photographic achievement. Since this photo (the word ‘photo’ somehow seems so inadequate), they have been commissioned to do similar projects of scenes in Gautend and Durban – the start of great things i feel.

Some details as to the size of this image (taken directly from their site):

  • It was created by stitching 1850,fully zoomed (x 20 optical zoom), 10 MegaPixel images together.
  • The time it took from the first shot (top left) and last shot (lower right) being taken, was about 3 hours.
  • It’s 205 000 pixels wide.
  • That equates to a printout of about 90 m x 15 m!
  • The end result was a 25 GigaBytes RAW file which takes about an hour to open on my Macbook Pro.

Enjoy – I certainly did. It just reminds me once again why Cape Town is considered one of the most scenic cities in the world!

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Birth of ‘Batman @ Work’

Posted by batman on Feb 27th, 2010
2010
Feb 27

I have decided to split this blog into two blogs (each with the same look & feel, but with a different target audience).

Blog of Batman

This blog will remain as is, focussing on photography, unusual places or events, sports and humour (above the belt). I shall transfer (and remove from this blog) all articles that would otherwise rather belong in the other blog.

Batman @ Work

I develop software using Java (and Linux where the client allows). Currently I am using Fedora with Gnome but I’d rather be using Ubuntu. This blog contains articles of a technical nature, that might otherwise be uninteresting for “the other blog’s audience” 🙂

I hope to see you at both of these blogs.

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