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Love = Football

Football fever in South Africa still seems to be building up steam. While there is the odd initiative or two knocking around promoting the World Cup, I still feel that there is a long way to go until locals are fully in the football groove. What is happening, why is there such a mellow mood in the build up to one of the most prestigious events on the sporting calendar.

This morning I was surprised to see a small effort done by an unknown artist throughout Sea Point.
Scrawled everywhere where simplistic little chalk signs showing Love = football (heart = football pic).

While all the major companies and sponsors are already doing their thing promoting the event there is still lots to be done on the local football fan side. I’ve seen only a handful of people actually walking around wearing 2010 World Cup attire….very few indeed.

This is why I was actually a bit surprised to see these chalk signs all over the place. It’s not much, don’t get me wrong…it’s just a simple love = football sign, but it really gives me hope that more people will start to get into the football frame of mind.

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What I want to know now is who is responsible?

That is the burning question isn’t it. I mean this may not be a football crazy fan at all, it may be some guy that a certain party paid to let loose with the chalk. Its guerrilla marketing if you will! Although it doesn’t appear to be from any particular country it does make you think about the event. Maybe that is simply what it is, a reminder, or prompt, to get your mind back into the football.

Love = Football may be a subtle mental suggestion to get the public on track. Yes this may be manipulation, but then again very few signs or advertisements don’t try and compel you to buy into “whatever they are selling”.

I’m a perfect example, I woke up this morning and the last thing on my mind was the football. I was more interested in eating some breakfast and making it to work on time. When I was on my way to work I spotted the first Love = Football sign, kinda raised an eyebrow and kept on going, but when I spotted 2, 3, 4, etc… thats when I actually took notice.

I suppose it’s all about repetition and constant bombardment. See it once, the mind forgets, or at least stores it away in the recesses of your head creases, only to be expelled on command at some random point. However with the Love = Football sign you see it over and over in a short space of time and it sticks. This is truly guerrilla marketing at its roots!

Look at me now, I’ve actually correlated my thoughts and have spun together this blog about the chalk drawings. Mission accomplished for whoever did them in the first place.

So who did the Love = Football signs? It is a mystery that will bug me for at least…until home time LOL.
But seriously if anybody knows who did the signs and who “commissioned them” I’d love to know.

Don’t worry the municipality shouldn’t be too bent out of shape about them, because they are done in chalk and will wash off easy peasy. Besides we need plenty more crazy football related interest stories popping up in the next few months.

Look I’m also guilt of not getting into the spirit of things, however if I can keep blogging and try to raise awareness I feel like I am doing my part.

Please guys and girls keep me informed, is there not some game on today or some other football related event? The African Cup of Nations finished a few days ago didn’t it? Raaaa raaa Egypt (or Ra Ra if we wanna get specific)??

Lion King Review

Well, this weekend was eventful indeed, I flew up to Joburg for a double birthday and let loose….just a tad. However, one of the highlights of the weekend had to be the stage production of Disney’s Lion King. Personally, I don’t get to see a whole lot of theater, but when I do its always a treat, Lion King was no exception. Of all the words I can think to describe it, I think “special” is the most appropriate. So, I thought it appropriate to write a review of this most entertaining production and hopefully get your guys opinions of the show.

The Lion King was performed professionally from start to finish, the performers for the most part were superb and I saw very few technical errors, you could see that this group of performers and stage hands, have spent a great deal of time (and money) working on this show and perfecting the use of puppets, lighting effects and engaging routines.

For me, the best part of the Lion King is the myriad of amazing puppets, that they use in conjunction with dazzling costume design. Notable the characters of Scar and Timone, who’s mask and puppet usage was top notch and brought the characters to life perfectly, they were undoubtedly a crowd favorite. Another interesting point about the production, is that it differs slightly from the Lion King productions elsewhere in the world, in that they use local languages like afrikaans to add a bit more flavor, Zazu (the hornbill bird) even sings a kwaito song when stuck in Scars cage….very funny and the crowd loved it, although I was hoping that he would sing the “lovely bunch of coconuts” song, which is used in that scene in the movie.

Okok, so usually I have something to gripe about when I see a show, movie or production….this one is no different Im afraid. My biggest issue is with the child they chose to play the young Simba, not only was his voice unclear, but he had a strange nasal taint to it. I had no problems with his acting or dancing, he was pretty standard, but when after the show everybody echoed my sentiment about the singing, you realize something is wrong. Other than that, one of the lionesses mask microphones got bumped and another almost lost her mask altogether, but being professionals they handled it very well.

Overall, it was a wonderful experience and I recommend the Lion King production to just about everybody,old or young, watch it while you still can, the shows are being sold out very quickly and from what I hear the show will not be coming down to either Durbs or Cape Town, logistically it would be a freaking nightmare, the stage in Joburg was created specially for the show and the cost astronomical.

Indomie Noodles

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So tell me, how many of you out there live on a staple diet of inexpensive foods like the infamous 2-minute noodles? Yep for a few years I was guilty in this regard and did whatever I could to shave a few cents off my food bill, obviously so I could go out, party and have some semblance of a life.

Those days are over and now I can at least afford to eat “real food” and not go bankrupt.

But for those of you who are still in this situation and have no escape, there is a silver lining…there is hope in the power of the true oriental quick noodle…in particular a company called Indomie.

Ok so I knock the 2 minute noodle diet, but in reality I am a true “noodle-son“, I love noodles in all shapes and forms, from tagliatelle to udon…I’m there like a bear.

Indomie is actually the biggest instant noodle manufacturer in Indonesia…which is saying a lot because that’s pretty much all they eat there.
Now where Indomie differs from good ol Maggi, is that Maggi gives you one solitary sachet with seasoning. In the case of Mi-goreng noodles from Indomie, they have 4 separate sachets.

1 with the flavoured seasoning, 1 with chilli powder, 1 for soy sauce and finally 1 with a special oil. When you mix all the ingredients you will firstly smell the difference as all the exotic elements of the aroma hit you like a very tasty tsunami.

Mi-goreng is special from some of the other flavours that are available, because instead of leaving the soup in with the noodles you strain off all the liquid and mix the ingredients in afterwards, interesting eh?

Theres also the Soto-mei flavour which has an awesome lime flavour to it, which is out of this world.

Another great thing about these superior noodles is that they cost the same or less than Maggi or any of the other no name brand instant noodles…so any way you look at it…YOU WIN.

Strangely enough I found Indomie at my local SPAR, but if you struggle, head down to the oriental market or most Chinese stores, they are likely to have it or know where you can get it.

So to all you guys and girls out there on a budget or doing the student thing, do yourself a favour and try these out, you will thank me .
Yep it’s true. I honestly cannot be bothered shelling out mega cash for something that I will probably read once and then throw underneath the coffee table, to gather dust. Likewise I hate the idea of such wastage of paper…I’d rather read something online thanks. There are however a few magazines that I will keep. I’m a sucker for sci-fi magazines like Analog, which I keep for reference as well as cooking magazines that are jammed with recipes. One magazine that pips all of these however is ImageFX, which is the ultimate graphic designer’s magazine.

When I was living over in London the magazine had just come out (January 2006). When I picked it up and started paging, I instantly knew that this was a design magazine for others of the genre to aspire to be.
ImageFX is brimming with the hottest science fiction, fantasy and manga design talent from all over the world.
The designers that are featured in this magazine actually make me sick they are THAT good. It just pains me and makes me sad when I see the design talent out there.

Fantasy art is always a good thing for me to get hold of, because it helps me think up awesome ideas for writing crazy stories. ImageFX always gets my creative brain juices flowing.

This month is special for ImageFX, because they are celebrating their BIG 50th ISSUE. WoW, congratulations to the ImageFX team. It’s good to see that a design magazine such as yours can make it in a market that is inundated with design orientated fakers. I suppose people know gold when they see it.
Keep blowing us away with your amazing content.

To kick off the 50th issue party, ImageFX has included design work from the Top 50 living artists on our beautiful blue orb. Legendary Craig Mullins will also speak about his career as a concept artist. Not to mention original concept art for the best sci-fi of the year, District 9.
Yep, it’s gonna be one kickass issue.

The only problem is scrounging enough cash to buy the mag. Unfortunately being an export of this calibre means that you will pay through the teeth. Prob around R150…if not more.
However, ImageFX magazine, as I mentioned earlier, is a magazine that you can keep forever. Not only are the designs so beautiful that you will want to keep them around just for inspiration, but it also has tons of tutorials for Photoshop, Illustrator, etc…

Alice in Wonderland 3D

The4405456091_5db1441f95re has been such an immense amount of hype surrounding the new Alice in Wonderland movie, that I am in fact, more petrified of watching it than ever before. Many of you will already know that this is not a remake of the original story, rather what transpires afterwards.

Can Alice in Wonderland attain the respect it has been said to deserve?
Will Alice in Wonderland 3D flop?

As I mentioned above the story is not of the young Alice that we know so well, but rather a 19 year old Alice who is about to be betrothed to a man that will become a Lord. Alice does not care about all the pomp and wishes for a more rewarding life. Of course we already know Alice’s inquisitive nature which inevitably leads her to chase after the white rabbit and tumble down that mysterious hole into Wonderland…or at least Underland…which is what they call it in the movie.

Now the movie has already been seen overseas in RealD 3D and the review hounds have been scrutinizing endlessly since the preview and opening shows, it’s time to sit down and try our best not to be influenced by their opinions. What can I say? I have received a seriously mixed bag of reviews thus far. In regards to the movie most people said that it was bright, entertaining and a visual feast. Now, those are the most positive reviews. Some of the more hardcore comic fans have supposedly shaken their heads and called it a failure.

Now I’m not one to listen to reviews unless they are more than 90% one sided, which means that I will truly have to go and watch this for myself in order to get a true sense of its value. Only you yourself can ascertain if Alice in Wonderland 3D will flop!

Now the most disturbing aspect of the reviews I have heard comes in the RealD 3D department. Everybody was sure that with such a dense fantasy world such as Wonderland, that it would easily have the potential to blow Avatar out of the water. Not so, it seems!

In one review the message was clear, “the use of 3D is distracting at best and horrible at worst”.
Now that is some heavy news to hear. What went wrong? Is there simply too much going on on-screen that the 3D aspect becomes a visual bombardment rather than an enhancement? While Avatar took its CG and enhanced it with the new RealD technology, it seems that Alice in Wonderland’s “unrealistic fantasy design” instead takes the 3D tech and pushes the visual into the realm of OTT.

Alice in Wonderland 3D sounds like it could be sketchy at best…all of my fingers and toes are crossed atm.

Now let’s not all panic at once shall we…Alice in Wonderland still has lots of followers and positive reviews in regards to the general storyline. While the 3D may be too much, the story may be juuuust right.

Have any of you out there been lucky enough to see Alice in Wonderland yet?

I would love to hear what you all think. Please no SPOILERS!

35 Nations top picks

That’s right all you design fans out there, the much anticipated truly worldwide powered football design competition has just begun. After the amazing winner for the Down The Rabbit Hole was announced, we knew that it was going to be a very hard show to top. Indeed we had triple the amount of design entries from the previous competition…so there already you have less design ability to top the last compo. How will we be able to crack the job done by Nicetomeetyou? Well for starters Nicetomeetyou has entered a submission into this competition, which looks amazing. So there already we may have chance J.

Here are my 35 Nations top picks!

First off I better start with Nicetomeetyou’s super cool African inspired Diski Warriors. This design is saturated with South African flava and is already a huge hit with the voters. I myself have been drooling over this design all day…I was so surprised by a killer double entry and I’m still wondering why I didn’t fall of my chair. Maybe it was my survival instincts kicking in, because my chair is a high stool and I probably would have broken my frigging arm LOL.

Nicetomeetyou explains in his comments that iDiski is actually a South African word for football. So yeah, our rather vicious looking character is our very own South African football warrior. I also enjoy that our Diski Warrior is flanked by 2 very important features of South African culture….the spear and the vuvuzela. Dude, I’d rather be attacked by a spear than have to listen to a vuvuzela, so maybe we can put them both into the category of traditional African weapon hahaha.

I love this t-shirt design so much and must say I hope it takes the win. While I may uber dig my other two choices, they don’t quite come close to the character power of Diski Warriors.

My next runner up is a name that is very well known around these parts: DaRKo.

This is a designer that ceaselessly delivers top notch unique designs, which always have a great amount of humour and cleverness. His Vuvuzero design has already got the communities tongues wagging with excitement. Honestly speaking Vuvuzero and Diski Warriors will probably be the two designers going neck and neck for the winning top spot. There is no doubt in my mind that this styling design should be in my 35 Nations top picks. The worst thing was when I first saw this design I didn’t quite see all the elements as I should…please everybody, open up intricate designs and look at them nice and hard. This design just has so much going on in it! Obviously this will be a local seller, if it does win. People overseas don’t know the true pain of the vuvuzela and the rage it can cause in the average human being LOL. Maybe AFTER the World Cup we should sell these to the foreigners, because by then they will hate them as much as we do.

My last choice is a bit of a wild card if you will. Retro Kicker by Kingslip…takes us waaaay back!

It hasn’t really received much attention or comments just yet, but there is something about the old school vibe that just makes me love it. As I just mentioned it has a strong retro vibe. It takes me back to the football day of Maradona and thick afros of wavy hair bouncing left and right across the pitch. It’s a wonder how they even saw the ball in the 70’s and 80’s LOL.

My biggest issue with this design is that I don’t actually know who the player is. Look I’m no super football guru, so I don’t know every single one of these dudes, but still I wish it had been a more iconic player cleverly recreated. The player looks to be an overseas footballer, which doesn’t really make all that much sense, especially with the more African colour scheme. Maybe we will have to talk to Kingslip and kind out just who this oke is. While it may seem like I’m giving this design a lot of trouble I truly do like it. The colour and composition really speaks to me and I think it will be a very nice seller on a more commercial level.

So there we have, my 35 Nations top picks…will they come out on top? Hmmmm, I’m definitely feeling lucky on this competition folks.