{ Under The Bluegums }

A personal blog with craft tutorials, reviews of books, films, and music, parenting advice, and opinions on society and politics.

May 28, 2011

The Pigbutt Worm

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Well, I've officially seen it all.

Meet the pigbutt worm. It's a very newly-discovered creature, so Weirdimals reports that there isn't very much known about it. Well, aside from its resemblance to those items unreligiously thrown across television's Cow And Chicken show...

I would assume, in my humble opinion, that the butt part of the worm allows it to move from place to place. Other than that, your guess is as good as mine!

Otherwise, it certainly is a lovely derriere!:)

May 25, 2011

Just Read || No Surrender! by E. Werner

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no-surrender-werner-cover
'No Surrender!' is one of those novels that turn into a treasure when you've completed them.

elisabeth-wernerI've been reading a relatively unknown book called No Surrender! by one E. Werner. It was translated from the original German by Christina Tyrrell, and other than this information, it was at first difficult to come by any other details about the book or its author.

Upon some research, I found that E. Werner is Elisabeth B├╝rstenbinder's pen name - and this opened up all the other information I needed! :) The wonders of Google.

Elisabeth's Wikipedia biography page is, sadly, in German so it's a little difficult (for me) to find out what's what... (Maybe someone can help me out?)

From what I can make out, she was born in Berlin, and she was quite a lucrative writer. "No Surrender" is one of several of her books that have been scanned and are available from Project Gutenberg as ebooks.

Elisabeth looks like the stereotypical German lass, but her writing - and its translation - is truly beautiful. She has a spark for describing the landscape and nature with passion and precision, and I can still see the image of the village in the mountains that she conjured up for me in my head, as well as its different faces as it toiled through the seasons.

She also has a way of making the characters very real in your mind, and everyone from George Winterfeld and his lovely lady to the serious and brooding Arno von Raven are brilliantly rendered in all their flaws and merits.

Elisabeth is sure to take you on a journey of sights and emotions that will certainly make you want to read some more of her novels. I certainly do!

May 24, 2011

Favourites - May 12

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I know I said that this was a weekly endeavour, but life sometimes just doesn't turn out the way we'd like! :)

Here are some of my favourite findings from the last few weeks.



I love graffiti artists - and envy their ability to paint on a whim. These geeky paintings are also awesome! :)


I found We Heart Vintage a while ago - it features some really beautiful photos by some talented photographers and of some iconic people. Here is my favourite for the week:


I think it's because I like the black and white effect...

Then, I know it's a bit late since the Royal Wedding is over, and the fact that pictures of Princess Di's last moments are about to be broadcast, but I thought these photos were just freaky - Prince William and Kate share practically the exact same pose that Diana and Charles did upon their engagement.

This Gothic steampunk necklace from Miss Bohemia's blog is very cute. I wouldn't wear it because I love jewellery but never wear it. Except for my wedding ring, of course! :)
Freshly Found is one of the most inspiring blogs I know. They're launching their new website (which might be launched already...) and this is one of the new products they'll be selling.

I love the embroidery on the costume. The backstitching is also perfectly done. *jealous*
Indiespotting spotted these adorable little stuffed toys. These quirky little dolls are just so cute and fun. Looking at them makes me smile! :)

Finally, before I make you too sick and green with all this inspiration, GreenEyedMonster found these digital watercolour paintings.

They are so unique and fun, they'd make a perfect gift.Is that enough inspiration for you?

May 17, 2011

Wipe away bad memories?

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artwork-of-brain
Would you opt to wipe your mind of bad memories?

Scientists have apparently found a link between a protein in the brain that is linked to recollections of bad memories, and by dampening it down, the memories could be quietened.

This is great for war veterans, or people suffering from post-traumatic stress, but what kind of memories would one be able to pick? And we've certainly learnt from the film industry that suppressed memories can cause some serious problems, such as psychosis. Anyway, I digress...

Would one be able to choose to forget one particular unhappy incident, or would it "erase" all unhappy incidents? I can understand if you'd want to forget killing people in the war, but an unhappy memory involving saying goodbye to a loved one, which you wouldn't actually want to forget - would it also be erased?

What are your thoughts?

May 11, 2011

Reasons for Road Rage

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man-pulling-out-hair
I was driving to work this morning and was stunned by the lack of courtesy I see on the roads. Oh, I know it happens to me every day, but some days you're in just the right mood to notice it and be hurt by it.

I won't mention people or cars, because I'm not like that, but I did have the right of way and they did cross over a solid line. Perhaps I'm being petty, but I think that's why most drivers get angry - petty things.

So to remind myself that the person in question is human, I compiled a list of things that could explain why that person was so rude:

1. They were late for work, although, sorry, I don't really have sympathy with you for that - just get up earlier.

2. They were rushing to the death bed of a family member, or are still grieving for a lost family member.

3. Their indicator was malfunctioning.

4. They were given special permission.

5. Their car is bigger and faster than mine.

6. They were hungry - yes, hunger makes you batty.

7. Their pet cat ate their pet bird, or some other such catastrophe.

8. They forgot to have their first cup of coffee - we all know how cranky coffee-lovers get without their first fix.

9. Someone forgot their birthday.

10. Their Smart Phone broke and they're in a rush to get updated.

11. They have a horrible hangover and forgot their sunglasses at home.

12. They're really pariahs and are upset that they had to go replenish their food stocks.

13. They were abducted by aliens last night, and remembered everything.

I think I'll stop there - the reasons will just become more and more bizarre! :)

To close, I want to ask everyone to stop and smell the bluegums in the morning! It might not be bluegums, but there's always something worth getting up for.


Image by Graur Razvan Ionut from FreeDigitalPhotos.net

May 10, 2011

Things will never change

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10 May 2011

It's almost election time in South Africa, and I can't help but ponder, as a South African, what will happen and how bad it will get.

Politicians are mudslinging as much as they can. One of the DA's biggest mistakes was the whole unenclosed toilet fiasco in a Cape Town township, which has provided plenty of ammo for ANC spokespeople to call the DA "arrogant" and "racist". Now, the ANC is in the same situation after over 1 000 toilets in the Free State's Makhaza were also found to be unenclosed for eight years, leading to another investigation by the Human Rights Commission, which declared the DA fiasco to be a human rights violation.

Then there's apartheid-architect Hendrick Verwoerd's bust in Midvaal - something the ANC was certainly not pleased with. The bust has now been removed, but, as was warned previously, tensions have risen in the region as a result, with an ANC candidate being attacked and insulted in the town.

The race card continues to be drawn in a country where the majority are getting along just fine. Certainly we should be focusing on more important things, like providing better education and stopping crime and rape in the townships instead of breeding hatred and disappointment.

I wish there were some way that we could stop looking back at the past and look to the future together. But sadly, everyone still harbours resentments they've perhaps inherited from their parents.

There was an incident over the weekend at our residence, where two inhabitants decided to have a screaming match on their balcony: it sounded as though they were complaining about noise being made, but even though the worst insult I heard during the altercation was "You're a liar", my mother said afterwards that racism will never end. Sure, the people involved in the argument were different races, but they never mentioned race.

Onlookers did, and that is the problem. Our past resentments, sentiments and beliefs have a bearing on how we judge the world of today, and this means that things will never change. Not because the conditions are not there for change, but because we are not willing to change our personal perspectives.

What will it take?

May 9, 2011

How Music was Born

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I love this image! It is such an iconic idea! :)



via Geeks Are Sexy

May 3, 2011

Osama is dead. Long live Osama

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3 May 2011

When I heard about Osama Bin Laden being killed over the weekend, it wasn't as much of a shock to me as it seemed to be to everyone else. The amount of coverage he has received now has made him no more dead than Elvis.

Watching the news on Monday evening was annoying - we all know about the 9/11 tragedy, but do we really need to be constantly reminded of it? Nevermind the fallacy of the thousands of troops sent to the Middle East for the "war on terror", and many of those young men losing their lives for king and country, so to speak.

I understand though that Bin Laden's death gives these people who have suffered at his hands some kind of closure, but the fact is that just because he is dead doesn't mean there's not someone out there to take his place. There will always be a terrorist as long as there are weapons.

His killing has also, according to AlterNet writer Joshua Holland, exposed the "folly of pre-emptive war" against nations. All the nations that America has been waging war with since 9/11, all the nations who have lost mothers, fathers and children to the "war on terror", none of them were harbouring this terrorist. He was not anywhere near the war - he was one of those proverbial generals who start the war from the top of the hill and look over the massacre of his own troops.

Pakistan must have had a tough time trying to stay in America's good books without inspiring another pre-emptive war against innocent citizens.

On a lighter note, there was an amusing typo on this website's headline on the story: Obama bin Ladin was killed. I think it's quite funny that America's terrorist and president are only one letter different in their names. :)