This year we celebrate (quietly) the 33rd anniversary of the now ubiquitous township taxi and I feel it incumbent upon me to remind readers of the time Togetherness Amadeus Tshabalala was asked to road test one of the new 16-seater taxis which the government was anxious to promote as a replacement for the old combis.
The first thing Togetherness did was to find out how many people this 16-seater could hold. He managed to fit 58. Tight, yes, yet there was a degree of comfort, he said, that would impress most taxi passengers, who were used to being compressed. Despite there being some quite well-built passengers, one was still able to slide the doors closed without anybody losing anything important, anatomically speaking.
I was intrigued to read how Gauteng scrap metal thieves recently stole 5km of railway line. Overseas railway thieves steal mailbags from trains but in South Africa they have stolen entire railway carriages.
Presumably they then tow them through the streets at night to the scrap dealers.
A reader, Keith Elliot – Keith organises end-of-the-month book sales to boost funds for Sandton’s public libraries – has sent me an example of an “infinite loop”.
An infinite loop, he explains, is a “computer programming concept, describing a situation involving cause and effect that continues for ever – one action causes another action that causes the first action, etc”. If, like me, you don’t understand that, you soon will, so stick around. He says these loops never happen in real life, yet some Einstein-brained fellow has described how such an event can come about.