VIDEO: Macbook thief gets defamed on YouTube

I CAUGHT wind of a fantastic story on 5fm while stuck in traffic this morning. Apparently some guy had his fancy new Macbook Air stolen from him. A while later, Steve (we’ll call him Steve) remembered that his Macbook had an auto backup function which automatically backed up his data to an online server. When Steve went online to have a little peruse through his data he skillfully managed to find the identity of the Macbook thief. Not only that, but Steve also came across a video the wannabe rapper had made using his newly acquired Macbook Air.

Steve reported the identity of the Macbook rapper to the police and uploaded the video to YouTube. It has now seen over a million views and is appropriately titled, “don’t steal computers belonging to people who know how to use computers.” The rapper has asked that the embarrassing video be pulled from YouTube and that he was sorry for stealing the Macbook. Steve and his new fan base told him to get bent.

Don’t steal computers belonging to people
who know how to use computers


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TOTO AFRICA: Sung by acapella group Perpetuum Jazzile

SINCE writing an article on music therapy and discovering all the wonderful benefits that music can have on the brain, I have begun listening to all sorts of lyrical delights. I am also making an effort to see more live music as this can have the best effect on our brains and psyche. One of my current and favourite musical styles, however, is acapella. To put it crudely, acapella is a musical style performed without instruments - usually by a choir group. To put it more academically, here's a description from Wikipedia:

Acapella music is solo or group vocal singing without instrumental sound, or a piece intended to be performed in this way. In modern usage, acapella often refers to an all-vocal group performance of any style, including modern pop/rock.

This particular acapella group hails from Slovenia. They're quite a talented bunch of vocalists that, in my opinion, do a sterling job of Toto's great hit Africa. The talent of their beat-boxer is also something to behold. The Perpetuum Jazzile video now has over ten million views. I'm responsible for just over half of that. It's a great listen that may even put a tear in your eye. Enjoy!

Perpetuum Jazzile singing 'Africa' by Toto

If you enjoyed that acapella music group singing Africa you may find the following article interesting: Music Therapy: Tune in and chill out

Here's a little extract:

MUSIC has the power to play on our moods, fine tune our brainwaves, pluck at our heartstrings, and unite entire nations under song. It has even proven to have a positive effect on livestock. We all know the effects that music can have on reducing stress and promoting relaxation, but music itself is becoming increasingly popular in the modern medical industry — a concept being dubbed as “music therapy”.

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COMPETITION: Google Science Fair ready for take off

GOOGLE'S worldwide Science Fair competition is calling for entries over the coming weeks. The Science Fair gives teenagers the opportunity to join in a new kind of online science competition that is more global, open and inclusive than ever before. It will also offer them the chance to win huge prizes including a 10-day trip to the Galapagos Islands or a $50 000 scholarship from Google.

Google's made this cool video to promote the Science Fair - done in the style of a Rube Goldberg machine. Reminds me of The Incredible Machine.

Google Science Fair promo video: Calling all Jr. scientists!

Who can enter?

The competition is open to students aged 13 to 18 from around the world working on their own or in a team of two or three. For more details, visit the Science Fair Rules page.

How to enter the Google Science Fair

  • If you don't already have one, create a Google Account. You will need a Google Account to complete the sign up form.
  • Complete the Google Science Fair sign up form. After you submit the form, you will see a link on the confirmation page. This link will create the Google project submission site where you will post your science fair project details.
  • Plan your science project, conduct your experiment, and write up your results.
  • Complete all of the sections of your Google project submission site.
  • Create either a two-minute video or 20-slide presentation giving an overview of your project and embed it on the Summary page of your project submission. A video or presentation is required to enter.
  • When your project site is done, make sure to submit it by 4 April 2011.
  • Detailed instructions and tips for building your project submission can be found in the Resources section of the website.

Please note: Entries and supporting documentation must be submitted in English. Google Translate is a free tool that may be useful for students who don't speak English as a first language.

Science Fair Judging Process

The deadline for project submissions is 4 April 2011. After this date all projects will be judged by a panel of teachers who will be following the judging criteria. In early May, 60 global semi finalists will be announced and their projects will be posted online and open to public voting for a “People’s Choice Award”. The 60 global semi finalists will then be narrowed down by our judging panel to 15 global finalists who will be announced later in May.

The 15 global finalists will be flown to Google HQ in California, USA for our celebratory Science Fair event. The finalist judging round will take place on 11 July 2011. These finalists will be expected to present their projects before a panel of acclaimed scientists including Nobel Laureates, tech visionaries and household names. A finalist winner will be selected from each of the age categories, 13-14, 15-16 and 17-18. One of the finalist winners will be named the Grand Prize Winner.

The Grand Science Fair Prize: A National Geographic Expedition

The Grand Prize winner(s) plus one parent or guardian per winner will win an amazing 10 day trip to the Galapagos Islands with National Geographic Expeditions. Traveling aboard, the winner(s) will visit Darwin's living laboratory and experience up-close encounters with unique species such as flightless cormorants, marine iguanas, and domed giant tortoises.

Google will cover the cost of Economy Class flights to the Galapagos from the winner’s home. The prize is valid for one year from 11 July 2011 and must be booked directly via National Geographic expeditions. It does not, however, included items of a personal nature such as internet usage, laundry or spa services.

A Scholarship from Google

A $50 000 scholarship will be split equally between team members should a team win this prize. This scholarship is intended to be used towards the finalists’ further education.

A Once in a Lifetime Experience

The Grand Prize winner will have first choice of an experience at one of the following partner organizations: CERN, Google, the LEGO Group, or Scientific American.

A Personalised LEGO Prize

  • A package from Scientific American.
  • Digital Access to Scientific American Archives for your school.
  • Digital access for the finalists' schools for a year. This prize is valid up to 12 months from winning the prize on 11 July 2011.
  • A personal LEGO color mosaic (one for each team member, to build her/himself) and 1 personal, exclusive LEGO box - specially made for the occasion.

Finalist Winner Prizes

A $25 000 scholarship from Google, split equally between team members should a team win this prize. The Finalists will have second and third choice by random selection of one of the remaining experiences at one of the above-mentioned partner organizations.

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VIDEO: Interview with Mango Groove's Claire Johnston

CLAIRE Johnston of Mango Groove fame was at Gateway the other week promoting her band’s latest album Bang the Drum. The album is great – a little different in pace to what Mango Groove fans are familiar with but is still in vibey and Proudly South African Mango Groove style. A colleague and I caught up with Claire Johnston for an interview. The video supplement and article follows:

Interview with Claire Johnston

Ryan Calder

IT’S 9 am on Monday morning, and my colleague Galen Schultz and I make our way to the food court of Gateway Shopping Centre, carrying video cameras and dictaphones. Claire Johnston of Mango Groove is instantly recognisable.

Wearing a funky tartan cap, the famous blonde singer is sitting with her EMI rep Kevin at a coffee table in the food court as we approach. They stand to greet us and I immediately note her black and white jersey, which I refrain from mentioning, given the poor run of form of the Sharks in recent weeks. Still, I like that she’s thought about it. When in Rome...

We find the quietest corner of the busiest shopping centre in Umhlanga and get to the interview, which has come about after the release of Mango Groove’s latest studio album, Bang the Drum. The album is the band’s first in 14 years.

“Very good question, why now?” Claire Johnston reflects. “Mango Groove never split up, but we all took a break to pursue various projects which we had all wanted to do for a while. You get to a point where you love what you do, but probably don’t appreciate it as much as you should, and that’s a good time to take a break and explore different things.”

Johnston was 17 when she joined the group 25 years ago, and after Mango Groove’s success went on to pursue a solo career which saw the birth of three albums. “But slowly, over the past seven years, we had each started feeling those stirrings again, which was nice. It was nice to know that we were ready.”

Claire highlights the launch of the band’s website as a catalytic point in deciding to record again. “It was amazing once the website was up, we got responses from people asking where we’ve been and what we’ve been doing.

“We did some shows in Gauteng and people went crazy for songs like Hometalk and Special Star, and we knew the magic was still there. That’s why we’re in this industry: it’s a feel-good industry as much as it is a business industry.”

Claire Johnston knows the hardships of making a career as a musician, having recorded Fearless, a solo album in the UK, which she admits was very different from Mango Groove and “refreshing on a personal level”, but which wasn’t received well in South Africa. She then recorded Africa Blue, a collection of songs “which have influenced me and which I am fond of” which were closer to the sound of Mango Groove.

“I like to think of my solo career as running parallel with Mango. It can be done, you just have to be savvy about it.”

For now, however, Johnston’s focus is clearly on Bang the Drum, Mango Groove’s new 16-track offering which clocks in at close to 70 minutes. Recording the album “was like coming home,” Claire Johnston reflects, “because it was in the same studio where we recorded our first album. They’d changed some of the wallpaper and some of the technology was new, but it really felt familiar.”

Out of the studio has come an album that is typically Mango Groove. “People ask us who our target market is. I just say ‘well, everyone’. Perhaps I’m naive, but I like to think that music can do that, that it can stretch across all sorts of boundaires.” -

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Albi The Racist Dragon as seen on Flight of the Conchords

Albi The Racist Dragon is likely not what you're expecting. My sense of humour has often been labeled as "dry." This isn't necessarily a bad thing. It's certainly better than having a wet sense of humour. That's just a little taste of what I mean.

Anyhoo, there's a great show I started re-watching a while back called Flight of the Conchords, which really speaks to my funny-bone. Below is an awe-inspiring clip from the show called Albi the Racist Dragon, which I'm sure all fans will enjoy; as well as any fans of dragons, Albanian boys and good, dry laughter. Enjoy! :)

Albi The Racist Dragon

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