Wednesday, 26 February 2014

The saddest face at the Hoedspruit Endangered Species centre, South Africa - a real nose job needed.

The Hoedspruit Endangered Species centre is a place with a mission which is to help African wild life survive and thrive in the modern world. With a rehabilitation and release program alongside a volunteer work program the centre really makes a difference.  Two of the residents have a sad back story described in at the centre as follows ..

Meet Lion's Den and Dingle Dell - two white rhinos being nursed back to health at the centre. Their story began on 30th August 2013, when an unnamed reserve discovered that they had been struck by poachers and three of their rhinos had been darted and dehorned. Unfortunately, the rhino bull did not make it, but the two cows managed to survive despite being brutally mutilated. The horns had been cut off with a chain-saw, but this left the animals' sinus canals open and exposed, posing a massive threat.

On 4th September, the rhinos were located, darted and sedated. Their wounds were examined and treated before they were moved to the HESC to be rehabilitated.

Every 3 weeks, a team of specialists and members of the HESC join forces to treat Lion's Den and Dingle Dell's wounds. The rhinos are sedated and their wounds are cleaned and checked. A cast is then secured over the area to prevent dirt, bacteria or flies from getting in. Unfortunatly, it hasn't been easy. As the wounds start to heal, it gets itchy and the rhino's natural instinct is to rub their noes against trees etc.  The team must keep checking to make sure that the cast is not damaged and if it is , they must replace the cast as soon as possible before flies and dirt can slow down the healing process.

What does the future hold for Dingle Dell and Lions Den? 

The rhinos will stay at HESC until there wounds are sealed and the horn is properly healed after which the team will decide on the future. It is our greatest wish that out of this tragedy we will have a story of hope and perseverance. Should Lions Den give birth to a healthy baby even after the terrible ordeal that she has endured, she will be monitored closely throughout her pregnancy to ensure the well-being of her new born calf.

You can contribute to Lions Den and Dingle Dell's well-being by making a donation to our rhino fund. You can make a donation on our webpage or follow the rhinos progress on our blog help us to ensure their is a tomorrow.

Sadly this is not a unique situation as this Saving the Survivors web page testifies. 

Eating a computer does not make you think quicker and eating a boat won't make you a better swimmer and in the same way eating rhino horn won't make your willy big.

A happier chap in Hluhluwe game park.


Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Old time maths question. What is 7+7/7+7*7-7 ?

This is a bit of a trick question. For the modern age the question would have been better phrased as either "What answer should your calculator give you when you push these keys ?" or "If this was an Excel formula, what would be the answer ?"

For extra credit this is how to get the various answers: Work out the bits in the innermost  ( brackets ) first. (second bit ( first bit )) 


The highlighted answers give the "correct" method to work out the answer.  When a sum has both + and -  as well as * and / but no brackets then the * and / should be worked out first.  Parts of a sum in ( ) should be worked out first followed by any * and / only then can the + and - be evaluated.  Breaking this down

First work out the * and /
7+ 1 + 49 - 7
8 + 42
= 50

Some calculators, will incorrectly give the answer 56 because they jump to the partial answers after each time any of the + - * /  keys are pushed.

7+7 = 14
 / 7 = 2
+ 7 = 9
* 7 = 63
- 7 = 56

The answer to why is this wrong comes from the basic rule that the order that a sum is written should not make a difference to the answer.

2 + 1 / 2  must be the same as  1 / 2  + 2  read this as
Two plus a half is equal to two plus a half.
Two plus a half is equal to a half plus two.

A "bad" calculator would read 2 + 1 / 2  as
Two plus one is three, divided by two equals one and a half.

There are more ways to get the wrong answer. We also we have

With such possible choices for a simple sum there has to be agreement on how to calculate any written sum. Having two people work out the same sum in different ways is the road to math madness.  Google "Bodmas" or see order of operations more explanations.

As career advice, just for fun, here is how various professions would tackle this question. What is closest to your way of thinking ?

  • Mathematician – There are at least 8 possible answers depending on …..
  • Scientist – I asked 500 people the same question and they said …..
  • Engineering – The answer has been calculated in Excel, on a Calculator, with a slide-rule, on paper and in my head as …
  • Teacher – We can find the answer by following this method  ….
  • Lawyer – What do the books say the answer is ?
  • Philosopher – First we must understand how we relate to the concept of 7 in this context.
  • Graphics designer – The spacing between the symbols is inconsistent, and the font does not match, resulting in ambiguity and confusion.
  • PR consultant – Whatever the client wants is The Answer.
  • Media Guru – Call 0907834348*  to get the answer. *( 75p/Min + call charges apply )

If you like this maths stuff check out this book.

If you like Animal stories (esp heroic dogs )  check out this book and VidClip about the book.

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

The "Big 5" a very special day

Today, Wednesday 5th Feb 2014 we had a very special and privileged day in Hluhluwe/iMfolozi game park in Zululand South Africa. We saw for ourselves the Big Five animals, Lion, Cape Buffalo, Leopard, Elephant and Rhino. This was a very exciting day and an unusual occurrence as seeing any of the big cats is quite rare.  The leopard sighting was very brief as it crossed the road and disappeared into the bush in the late afternoon. The lion in typical lazy attitude were dozing in a riverbed just by the entrance to the park.

We were lucky to see both rhino and elephant a couple of times during the day.

A big thanks to the  workers and staff of KZN Wildlife for protecting and preserving these fabulous animals.

Finally a couple of Videos from the Elephant encounter above .

We were in the car in front - That has this view

More photos over here.

Cheers and take care out there in the wilds.