Mandy J Watson
Mandy is an award-winning freelance tech-culture journalist, copy editor, and blogger (with a background in multimedia) who is based in Cape Town, South Africa. She has written for over 20 local and international print publications and web sites and she has worked on even more magazines as a copy editor. In 2005 she founded brainwavez.org
in order to have a place on the Web where she is both free to practise writing and reporting, without being constrained by assumptions of her areas of expertise (the tech stuff), as well as experiment with her coding skills.
Mandy has had a life-long interest in technology and all things geeky and in another lifetime she would have been a professional video gamer. Her interests are varied, as is reflected in the range of topics she tackles for brainwavez.org, because the world is an interesting place that is constantly evolving and outputting fascinating things worth documenting.
In 2010 Mandy won two South African Blog Awards (Microblogger Of The Year and Best Post, for "Marketing District 9: The Web"
) and in 2009 one of Mandy's tweets was published in Twitter Wit
(HarperCollins, ISBN: 9780061897276). Some of her brainwavez.org work has been featured on Neatorama and io9. In 2013 she contributed to an essay in the South African graphic-literature anthology Graflit: Graveyard Literature In Black & White
(ISBN: 9780620580748) and excerpts from her work have appeared in South African special editions of author Lauren Beukes' Moxyland
, Zoo City
, and The Shining Girl
At some point she may stray from fact and actually finish a short story, though no one is holding their breath....
She is well known for her sense of humour (not depicted here) and neo-Luddite tendencies, which she has managed to reconcile with her tech career masterfully (just don't ever phone her without permission). Her favourite thing to do is dream, preferably while asleep, but daydreams will also suffice. She enjoys travelling, which she never has time to do, and consequently some of her favourite things include stones from exotic places, maps, and foreign money... although that's not an invitation to give her cheap gifts. (LEGO is always appreciated, and never inappropriate.)
(Please be aware that due to the nature of Mandy's varied career this bio usually becomes out of date the minute it's revised.)
Cape Town, South Africa
Email: mandyw at (this domain)
Web Site: Mandy J Watson | Digital Portfolio
It's a little out of date because a new site is on its way. At some point....
(Recent) Posts On brainwavez.org
Throughout the year the Ukusela eKapa team has been travelling around greater Cape Town encouraging people to "squeeze", thereby giving each person a chance to make a permanent, personal mark on a ceramic cup that will be shared with the world.
Posted: 21 November 2014
Last month Red Bull brought the international finals of its Doodle Art competition to South Africa and set up the Red Bull Doodle Art Global Gallery in The Company's Garden in Cape Town, where visitors could interact with the doodles and learn more about the winning countries as part of a World Design Capital project.
Posted: 18 November 2014
In Interstellar, a new film by Christopher Nolan, the human race has to take to the stars - or risk dying out permanently on Earth - but the resulting emotional sacrifice may be too great for the man coerced into piloting the research expedition that could be the only chance humans have left to save themselves.
Posted: 7 November 2014
The InkTober Challenge is a challenge for a reason, though the point is to increase your skills and work out of your comfort zone, not just produce work. However, the project has taken its toll and some South African comics artists have slowly begun to fall out. See who has found the fortitude to keep going, who has just disappeared, and who knows how to bow out gracefully - all in part three of brainwavez.org's 2014 showcase.
Posted: 6 November 2014
It's that time of the year when ghouls, ghosts, and monsters come out to play. Internationally acclaimed speculative-fiction author Raymond E Feist gives us his take on dragons, the apocalypse, voodoo, zombies, vampires - and zombie vampires.
Posted: 31 October 2014
Comics season (part two) is in full swing in South Africa. Here's a roundup of new events taking place all over the country, as well as news of recent conventions in the UK, new comics in the works, and cartoonists tackling the courts. Plus, have a look at another batch of sketches, finished artworks, and a little Throwback Thursday fun.
Posted: 23 October 2014
October's #inktober challenge is in full swing and South African comics creators have continued to work hard to produce one ink-based artwork a day. This is part two of the brainwavez.org showcase of their creations for 2014.
Posted: 21 October 2014
The work of prolific South African editorial cartoonist Zapiro is featured in a new exhibition that's running in Cape Town until the end of the month. Plus, get a glimpse into some work-in-progress sketches from Zapiro's archives.
Posted: 16 October 2014
It's October, which means it's time to get ink on your hands (if you're an artist, anyway). This is part one of the brainwavez.org showcase of local comics creators' #inktober sketches for 2014.
Posted: 13 October 2014
GrafLit 2014: Urban Interiors, the latest anthology of graphic literature by South African artists, was launched recently in Cape Town at a corresponding art exhibition to which artists, illustrators, and comics creators featured in the book contributed illustrations, sculptures, and paintings.
Posted: 30 September 2014
It's September, which means it's time for the start of another round of comics-related events that will be happening all over South Africa for the next couple of months. It can become overwhelming so we've got the bulk of them listed here to help you keep track. Plus, local comics creators continue to work on their projects and post teasers on social media so we're sharing a few to get you excited for what's on the horizon.
Posted: 18 September 2014
The latest exhibition at the Alex Hamilton Art Studio in Cape Town featured papercraft, vintage mashups, steel artworks, and a stencilled flock of birds.
Posted: 10 September 2014
It's a busy time for indie games (although, to be honest, when isn't it?). Monument Valley has been winning awards, indie games will be in the spotlight at the PAX Prime expo in Seattle, The Nightmare Cooperative has gone mobile, and find out how you can get the Duet soundtracks for free - it's all in this roundup.
Posted: 29 August 2014
Cavern Kings is an action platform game designed to test your reflexes and determination as you power through a never-ending series of levels filled with enemies. It features pixel art and a chiptune-inspired soundtrack and is looking for a little extra help through Kickstarter to reach stretch goals and pay for the expertise of a couple of professionals to add final polish to the game.
By: Mandy J Watson
28 August 2014 | View Comments
Jump on your pixel gryphon and shoot your way through a diverse selection of environments and enemies in Gryphon Knight Epic, a new game looking for funding assistance through Kickstarter.
Posted: 26 August 2014
Millions (possibly billions) of LEGO bricks are heading for South Africa in time for the summer holidays in the form of the The Art Of The Brick exhibition, which will feature approximately 70 sculptures and artworks by US artist Nathan Sawaya.
Posted: 26 August 2014
Mountain, the game that gave reviewers all over the world an existential crisis last month, has recently received updates for iOS and desktop operating systems that not only fixed a few bugs but also added extra functionality and lots of new items. Additionally, last week the game was finally released on Steam and Amazon Apps, and for Android.
Posted: 25 August 2014
Today a large selection of rare Japanese whiskies and Scotch was offered on auction in Hong Kong. Here is a small selection of some of the more interesting lots, as well as the breathtaking amounts that they fetched.
Posted: 15 August 2014
Puzzle game Monument Valley, which is available for iOS and Android devices, recently passed the one-million-downloads milestone. Its success has meant that the development team is expanding (for a little while) and fans can now purchase the soundtrack to continue to enjoy the experience long after they've completed the levels.
Posted: 25 July 2014
South African and Australian comics are once again heading to San Diego Comic-Con to feature during a panel discussion on comics from the Southern Hemisphere, which will be presented by Velocity Graphic Anthology's publishers. This year, among other stand-out local comics, Velocity Graphic Anthology 4 will be showcased, which was launched earlier this month in Cape Town.
Posted: 18 July 2014
In our latest update we cover Shovel Knight's controversial release; examine a mountain simulator that is testing the sanity of gamers and games reviewers; watch a cart travel to the end of the world in Minecraft; and learn more about the Make Games SA initiative from Desktop Dungeons' developers.
Posted: 11 July 2014
It's time to start rescuing space animals from the Moon in the version 1.2.1 update of Disco Zoo, a mobile game for iOS and Android devices. Plus, let your animals entertain themselves with balls and amuse yourself by dressing them up in fancy hats.
Posted: 10 July 2014
The fourth iPhoneographySA competition has just been launched, in which anyone with an iPhone and a passion for photography can enter up to five photographs and possibly win great prizes, including iPad mini tablets and MacBook Air notebooks.
Posted: 26 June 2014
It's been nearly two years but the Whisky Live experience has finally returned to Cape Town. Here's a quick insider's guide as to what to expect, as well as some (secret) highlights from the opening night.
Posted: 20 June 2014
Stray is a new comics series that has been in development thanks to the help of Kickstarter backers and an enthusiastic comics community. The first issue was recently revealed digitally to backers and brainwavez.org has an exclusive reveal of the other cover art that nobody knew had been completed, as well as a showcase of some of the first issue's inks and colours to whet your appetite.
Posted: 18 June 2014
The X-Men's past and future collides in X-Men: Days Of Future Past. With the future looking bleak it's up to Wolverine to travel to the past and enlist the help of the younger versions of Professor X and Magneto, who come with their own complications, to change the timeline and save mutanity.
Posted: 22 May 2014
In development: a game in which you guide your tiny, naked cosmonaut around the infinity of space as he dodges aliens and tries to plant seeds on barren planets to bring new life to the galaxy. (It's not as naughty as it sounds.)
Posted: 20 May 2014
In this update learn more about new ports from iOS to Android; get some help keeping track of what's going on at Humble; and find out what happens when developers change fundamental aspects of a crowd-funded game that were the entire reason people backed the project.
Posted: 16 May 2014
The zombies (and cannibals) are coming! Rebuild: Gangs Of Deadsville will be out on Steam Early Access soon. Plus, get in the mood with the game's soundtrack, which has been released on Bandcamp.
Posted: 14 May 2014
Show your love of Star Wars, geekdom, or, you know, being clothed, by choosing your favourite from a selection of themed T-Shirts by TeeFury, which are available for a limited time only.
Posted: 9 May 2014
Some very good South African comics were launched last year and the quality just keeps getting better. Here is a roundup (mainly) of some of those books, which feature office high jinks, mind-bending existential mashups, and dramatic speculative fiction, as well as an in-depth review of a collection of an impressive body of work that spans more than a decade.
Posted: 30 April 2014
The Quickey is a multi tool the size of a key that's been seeking a small amount of crowd-sourced funding on Indiegogo. The campaign has been so successful that the project, with over a week still to go, is ridiculously overfunded and all sorts of new versions of the product have been introduced to keep up with demand - one of which now even raises funds for charity.
Posted: 24 April 2014
There is a whole lot going on in comics in South Africa at the moment, especially in the runup to Free Comic Book Day, so here is a very large roundup of local comics news, including sneak peeks, sketches, upcoming exhibitions, launches to look out for, and comics you can read online right now.
Posted: 22 April 2014
Can you assemble a deadly team and survive multiple waves of alien terror on Mars while completing objectives and side goals? That's the challenge offered by The Red Solstice, a new game that is seeking funds via Kickstarter.
Posted: 16 April 2014
A soccer-focussed face off between Fairbairn College and Fairmont High School in Cape Town kicked off the first interschools e-sports challenge in the city. At stake: bragging rights and, ultimately, possibly school colours.
Posted: 16 April 2014
Gobelinz Studio needs funding assistance to complete the development of Dungeon Rushers, an RPG in which you explore a world and its dungeons with your party in a single-player mode as well as build your own dungeons in a multiplayer mode. After all, what's more fun than stealing a real person's monster-guarded gold?
Posted: 15 April 2014
In this update you're on your own, on an island, with cannibals; Sarah Northway talks about developing a tech tree for her zombie-survival game Rebirth: Gangs Of Deadsville; there's a Funky Bus terrorising a highway near the Disco Zoo; Monument Valley is a hit; and learn about some really great games you should be backing on crowd-funding sites.
Posted: 11 April 2014
At another school's challenge in Cape Town young gamers at Fairmont High School finished off the first term by competing in a Call Of Duty: Ghosts tournament for prizes and the chance to represent their school in future competitions.
Posted: 8 April 2014
Three new South African comics were launched at the Blank Books Comic Book Day Summer 2014 mini comics festival in Woodstock, which featured the Trantraal Brothers, Falcon Comics, kEda Gomes and Wesley Harris, Moray Rhoda, and Warren Raysdorf - and there was also free beer.
Posted: 3 April 2014
For the past few years local comics creators have quietly been working on publications and getting them printed, to the delight of a growing South African fan base. At this year's Design Indaba four artists took to the exhibition stage to talk about the fantastic work that is being created by a small but passionate group of artists and writers all over the country.
Posted: 26 March 2014
In our first indie game news roundup we have highlights of development news for Darkwood, AdventurOS, The Binding Of Isaac: Rebirth, Mew-Genics, and more. Plus, there's a music based Humble Bundle running this week, and you can find out more about Drunken Robot Pornography.
Posted: 21 March 2014
Some younger FIFA 14 players in Cape Town were given the chance to compete for prizes and bragging rights at an e-sports event at Fairbairn College, which was organised by Zombiegamer. The result was a fun day characterised by occasional wild play on the virtual pitch and the possible birth of some enthusiastic future e-sports competitors.
Posted: 20 March 2014
One hundred minutes of 100% product placement coalesce in a feature film all about LEGO in which a group of rebels task an average, ordinary, everyday construction worker with saving the world - whether he is capable of doing so or not.
Posted: 19 March 2014
With Sparta's 300 finest warriors heading north to defend against the invasion by Persian God-King Xerxes and his formidable army, it's left to the remaining Greek city states to defend against his equally terrifying naval forces, which are commanded by a ruthless warrior. 300: Rise Of An Empire tells their story - the Battle of Artemisium.
Posted: 7 March 2014
Through its high-tech dotFNB branches South African bank FNB is looking to the future by incorporating interactive technologies into the products and services, thereby turning the traditional banking experience into a retail adventure.
Posted: 27 February 2014
The story of Pompeii, Vesuvius, and Herculaneum (and Oplontis and Stabiae) is captivatingly culturally infused in multiple generations the way the Titanic and dinosaurs are, yet, surprisingly, Hollywood hasn't really plundered the topic, which is ripe for all sorts of storytelling. Enter director Paul WS Anderson, who finally tackles the topic in Pompeii, and in 3D.
Posted: 21 February 2014
Sexual performance tracking, plotting sexcapades on a map, chastity bras - the world's obviously drunk on the 21st century's technologies and has gone mad! If you've been a little too eager with your apps and hardware (so to speak) here are some of the reasons why you may still be single.
Posted: 17 February 2014
In January, at the 2upGamers e-sports events in Cape Town, Call Of Duty: Ghosts was a featured tournament for the second time and FIFA players were given another day (almost) all to themselves.
Posted: 29 January 2014
Artists Pete and Elaine Woodbridge have joined forces to put together an exhibition of artworks that use quirky, humorous monkey and sheep characters, as well as vintage photography from orphaned works, to examine how we view ourselves, and our place in the world.
Posted: 21 January 2014
A mysterious forcefield ("rules") prevented the zombies of the 2013 Cape Town Zombie Walk from continuing their adventure into, or past, the South African Museum so the mangled group mingled before U-turning to follow the path back through the city to the starting point.
Posted: 14 January 2014
Now an annual Halloween tradition in its fourth year, the 2013 Cape Town Zombie Walk gathered the likeminded soulless from all over the city who shuffled and moaned their way through some of the most picturesque parts of Cape Town.
Posted: 7 January 2014
2upGamers ended off the year with two Trenchtown tournament days and an anniversary celebration for the community that featured showcases of popular games from 2013 - and a Couples Doubles event that, mercifully, didn't involve dancing.
Posted: 27 December 2013
Jabez Olssen, the editor of The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug, discusses some of the challenges the team faced, what it is like working with Peter Jackson, and what hardware and software is crucial to getting the job done on such a massive filmmaking project.
Posted: 12 December 2013
Once again, brainwavez.org very proudly presents its annual gift guide - a selection of covetable items that will delight geeks and non geeks alike. This year we have a bumper selection of items to pile under trees and stuff stockings of both the naughty and nice.
By: The brainwavez.org Team | Posted: 27 November 2013
The worldwide release of Forza Motorsport 5 is imminent so, to whet your appetite, here's an amazing reanimation of in-game footage that was accomplished by driving a McLaren C12 fitted with a camera around a track lined with panels of images taken from the game.
Posted: 21 November 2013
In the cult animated television show Invader Zim a useless alien with delusions of grandeur and his intelligence-crippled sidekick robot are sent to invade Earth, with unsurprisingly disastrous consequences.
Posted: 20 November 2013
This month the latest games in two popular e-sports first-person-shooter franchises launched. To celebrate, MWEB GameZone in Cape Town hosted a showdown between the two to see which game - and its fans - would triumph.
Posted: 14 November 2013
In October 2upGamers hosted two days of competitive e-sports events at Trenchtown in Observatory, Cape Town. It was also a chance to say goodbye to Call Of Duty: Black Ops 2, which has been a 2upGamers staple, and welcome FIFA 14.
Posted: 7 November 2013
The universe's most soft-hearted badass finds himself in another predicament that requires him to utilise all his survival skills and abilities to outwit new opponents, both human and alien, in this third installment in the Riddick franchise.
Posted: 25 October 2013
The backdrop of many of this year's Open Book Festival events featured an installation of nearly 25 000 books, split over multiple venues, that were subsequently donated to libraries, courtesy of Granta Books in the UK.
Posted: 22 October 2013
An exhibition featuring Blue Mamba, a character created by cartoonist and comics creator Andy Mason, has opened in Cape Town and features 15 years' worth of work that is explored in the new graphic novel The Legend Of Blue Mamba.
Posted: 18 October 2013
Cape Town's Toitoy vinyl toy speciality store recently hosted an exhibition of customised toys that included a rooster, a dentist/pilot, a fox, and a caged bird, all based on the same base blank vinyl toy - Fonzo by Burundanga Design.
Posted: 15 October 2013
Ninety-five artworks, depicting around 50 South African artists' interpretations of themes from author Lauren Beukes' novel The Shining Girls, formed part of an exhibition and sale to raise funds for Rape Crisis in South Africa.
Posted: 10 October 2013
Local gamers were treated to exciting challenges against pro players, great prizes, and a fun evening of gaming and socialising at the recent South African launch of FIFA 14, which was hosted by MWEB in Cape Town.
Posted: 3 October 2013
In September the 2upGamers Trenchtown competitive-gaming tournament in Cape Town focussed on fighting games, with some Forza 4 action thrown in for fun. The event also gave a chance for everyone to say goodbye to the monthly FIFA 13 tournament, which concluded this month with another exciting, dramatic final.
Posted: 27 September 2013
Light and dark, both literally and metaphorically, mix effortlessly in a new anthology of graphic work that was launched recently to showcase contemporary work by both professional South African illustrators and writers and up-and-coming talent.
Posted: 18 September 2013
This South African comics roundup features a number of comics that have been produced this year, some of which have set the bar very high with their quality printing, fantastic artwork, skilled storytelling, and fun, quirky characters.
Posted: 6 September 2013
In August some serious FIFA 13 and Halo 4 action dominated the 2upGamers e-sports events. At the community gathering an impromptu Mini Ultimate Gamer challenge threw us in the deep end... and at the end of the night Han Solo made us all cry (not in a good way).
Posted: 3 September 2013
Joe Daly has achieved international acclaim for his comics work and is highly regarded in the industry yet he is not well known in South Africa, although he has been publishing books for about 10 years. Here's our roundup of his publications, including his stand-out series Dungeon Quest.
Posted: 29 August 2013
There is a kingdom (or a minimalist something, anyway) in This Is Not A Minimalist Game that needs rescuing (although "reviving" might be a better word) and it's up to you to accept the quest and solve the puzzles in this short, fun adventure game.
Posted: 16 August 2013
Glenfiddich, a single-malt-whisky distillery in the Highlands of Scotland, has been celebrating 125 years with events around South Africa in which three of its whiskies are being showcased. Learn more about its 12-, 15-, and 18-year-old expressions, as well as what happened at the Groove Lounge event at Twankey Bar in Cape Town.
Posted: 8 August 2013
The 2upGamers community casual gaming events were up and running again in July after uncontrollable scheduling problems left the event without a venue in June. Meanwhile, Trenchtown gained more recognition as a noteworthy e-sports event as teams from out of town flew in to Cape Town to participate in the games.
Posted: 1 August 2013
The 2013 reboot of the Superman film franchise offers a contemporary re-interpretation of Superman's origin story as well as engaging, interesting characters portrayed by a star-studded cast. Not everything about this film is satisfying, however, and fans need to brace themselves for some disappointments.
Posted: 5 July 2013
Although it has been running for 10 years, the Fine Brandy Fusion festival graced Cape Town for the first time this year. Complementing it is a selection of lifestyle and design initiatives and an educational campaign to put local brandy more firmly into the minds of South Africans.
Posted: 27 June 2013
Runtastic's fitness apps for mobile devices have helped millions of people lose weight and get fit. We have an infographic depicting how much carbon has been saved, how many kilometres have been logged, and some cool records that have been set, courtesy of Runtastic.
Posted: 21 June 2013
An infection has wiped out most of the population, quarantine zones keep the few remaining healthy people confined, factions emerge to claim territories, and a lone man tries to escort a teenage girl through the madness to safety in this survival-horror game by Naughty Dog.
Posted: 14 June 2013
At May's 2upGamers event in Cape Town the Wii U and PC gaming saw some action, Trenchtown was launched in a big announcement, cosplay took centre stage, Couples Doubles was a hit, and the Celebrity Challenge hit a snag.
Posted: 5 June 2013
Well over 80 cosplayers joined in the fun at this year's Free Comic Book Day events in Cape Town. Some competed in an official costume competition, while others were there just for fun. Either way, many of the cosplayers set a very high standard with their amazing costumes. Here's a showcase of some of the best.
Posted: 29 May 2013
This year local comic-book store Readers Den organised the biggest Free Comic Book Day event that Cape Town has ever seen. Thousands of fans were treated to free comics, great discounts, awesome prizes, local comics creators, and a huge cosplay competition.
Posted: 15 May 2013
Ahead of this year's Free Comic Book Day festivities, here's our roundup of the most interesting comics, graphic novels, and zines that have been produced by South Africans in the past few years.
Posted: 3 May 2013
What percentage of people have dropped their iPhones in the toilet? (It's more than you think. Also: yuck.) Do more men or women care about the brand of iPhone case they have? We have an infographic with the answers to these and other pressing questions, courtesy of Tiny Prints.
Posted: 25 April 2013
The Shining Girls, the new novel by Lauren Beukes that features a time travelling serial killer, is launching this week in Johannesburg and Cape Town! To celebrate, we have five copies of the e-book to give away, courtesy of Random House Struik/Umuzi.
Posted: 17 April 2013
An atmosphere of intense concentration and some nail-biting close calls during a number of gaming challenges were counterbalanced by four Good Hope FM DJs enjoying the first MWEB GameZone Celebrity Challenge at April's 2upGamers event in Cape Town.
Posted: 16 April 2013
A little pixelated girl plagued by nightmares of being chased by a grim reaper needs your help to find her way to peaceful dreams - so grab a sword and start running!
Posted: 12 April 2013
A new venue, tattoo professionals from all over the world, and an expanded lifestyle exhibition were on offer to curious visitors at this year's annual tattoo convention in Cape Town, South Africa.
Posted: 20 March 2013
From geeky gifts to anonymous messages, the Internet offers a 21st Century way to celebrate Valentine's Day, with a little old-school handiwork thrown in for good measure.
Posted: 14 February 2013
Presenting: an unveiling of the South African cover designs for The Shining Girls, the highly anticipated forthcoming novel by Lauren Beukes, and an in-depth interview with designer Joey Hi-Fi in which he discusses typography, Ray Gun magazine, and things that glow in the dark.
Posted: 25 January 2013
Mix sailors, sirens, creatures from the depths, nautical superstitions, and a few skulls and crossbones with Levi's Trucker Jackets and wine bottles and you have the recipe for Homeward Bound, this year's art showcase at the Cape Town International Tattoo Convention.
Posted: 24 January 2013
The rollercoaster ride of your life is calling but do you have the skill the keep the coaster, and its crazy thrill-seeking occupants, on the track while thumping music elevates your heart rate and cheering crowds pop up to distract you? Probably not - but give it a try anyway.
Posted: 18 January 2013
The sun has turned into a red giant so you need to jump from asteroid to asteroid performing tricks to build combos that will award you extra points as you try to outrun the red, burning death - for as long as you can because sun, sun, sun, here we come, come, come....
Posted: 11 January 2013
A tale of high school, and growing up, The Perks Of Being A Wallflower features strong performances by an ensemble cast that results in endearing portrayals and a sensitive exploration of difficult subjects that will resonate with many viewers.
Posted: 4 January 2013
It's the (absolute) end of the year and we want to wish you well for the new year, as well as update you on the outcome of the 2012 South African Blog Awards.
Posted: 31 December 2012
is a variation on the launcher-game genre by Canadian development company Juicy Beast, which made Burrito Bison
and Burrito Bison Revenge
. You can definitely see the evolution of both gaming and interface concepts from the Burrito Bison games but Knightmare Tower
is dissimilar enough that it feels fresh and fun and is incredibly addictive.
Posted: 28 December 2012
The public-voting phase of the 2012 South African Blog Awards is now open. We need one minute of your time to help brainwavez.org make it to the finalist stage.
Posted: 19 December 2012
We've had LEGO, Peanuts, Woodstock, Star Wars, and Pac-Man themed notebooks, among other pop-culture treasures. Now Moleskine has added The Hobbit to its collection of special limited-edition notebooks.
Posted: 11 December 2012
Happy festive season! Whatever you are celebrating (or not) you'll probably need gifts. After all, isn't celebrating commercialism what holidays are all about? Therefore, here's our 2012 selection of stuff you'll definitely want to buy for yourself (and might considering giving to other people too).
By: The brainwavez.org Team | Posted: 30 November 2012
In part 2 of our coverage of the 2012 Cape Town Zombie Walk the shuffling becomes more realistic, a forcefield is encountered, ice-cream makes an unexpected appearance, and several children become traumatised (probably for the rest of their lives).
Posted: 5 November 2012
The sun beat down on the horde. Thirsting for braaaaiiiinnnsss, the zombies lurched across the grass as waves crashed ominously against nearby rocks. No passersby were safe. Here, in pictures, is part 1 of this annual Horrorfest event.
Posted: 1 November 2012
A drug-dispensing and monitoring system, a crowd-funding platform, an online meal-booking system, a digital forensics case-management system, a traffic-incident monitoring system, and a health-data capturing and monitoring system were some of the student projects showcased at this year's Information Systems Expo at the University Of Cape Town.
Posted: 24 October 2012
Independent artists, illustrators, comics creators, and comics publishers gathered to participate in panel discussions and introduce and sell their books, comics, and artworks at a special day-long event called Co/Mix, held as part of this year's Open Book Festival in Cape Town.
Posted: 18 October 2012
Single-malt Scotch lovers should be particularly happy with this year's selection at the annual Whisky Live Festival. Here's our roundup of what to expect, as well as specific whiskies to look out for and tasting notes of many of the highlighted whiskies.
Posted: 9 October 2012
Protect your small tablet or e-reader with a designer form-fitting neoprene case by Built NY. It's light, has two pockets, and is available in designer styles.
Posted: 2 October 2012
At a lively session entitled "The Future Of Print Media: Does It Have One?", held as part of the 2012 Open Book Festival in Cape Town, four journalists from three continents debated whether print and quality journalism as we know it are still going to exist in a few years.
Posted: 28 September 2012
Groupon South Africa recently moved into new premises in Cape Town. Take a peek "behind the green curtain" to find out more about the company and its operations in South Africa.
Posted: 21 September 2012
Burrito Bison is back and now he wants revenge! (Well, technically, he wants his wallet but there's revenge involved in the process.) So, expect to find yourself back in Candyland launching a bison, squishing gummy bears, and raking in more cash than you'll ever know what to do with.
Posted: 14 September 2012
The yellow pellets are calling a bright-yellow Dodge Challenger but the ghost squad is too close for comfort in this short film that's a nod to Pac-Man and car-racing games.
Posted: 11 September 2012
Comic panels, superheroes, art, ephemera, vintage toys, stencil art, painting, and a little bit of humour have all been mashed together by four South African artists currently exhibiting in a new show in Cape Town in which pop culture takes centre stage.
Posted: 7 September 2012
With three weeks to go before an asteroid smashes into the Earth and the world comes to an end two very different people set out to make the most of the time they have left in this comedy drama starring Steve Carell and Keira Knightley.
Posted: 6 September 2012
New uses for the skills of artisan bookbinders have been devised in the form of the beautiful DODOcase Classic For iPad 3/iPad 2 hardcover protective case that is both durable and stylish.
Posted: 29 August 2012
Instead of being the one running away from the horror you can be the horror in this action-packed casual game (that only has one worm, although the title would lead you to believe otherwise). Bonus fun: eat bazooka marines riding cows.
Posted: 13 August 2012
Bruce Wayne is broken (and broke) and Batman has forsaken Gotham, though it hardly matters as the city has triumphantly combatted crime and sees itself liberated as a result of the legacy of Harvey Dent. This is Gotham, however, and a new villain who considers himself to be the true liberator of the people is heading to town in director Christopher Nolan's conclusion of the Batman trilogy.
Posted: 27 July 2012
Freestyle urban skater Kilian Martin once again demonstrates his skills with the help of a talented director, an atmospheric location, and high-speed photography slowed down to highlight every nuanced move.
Posted: 15 June 2012
Behind every tech product and gadget is a team of industrial designers who decide every aspect, from where the buttons should be placed to what materials the product should be manufactured from. Nokia Design's Stefan Pannenbecker tells us a bit about the development of the Nokia Lumia 800.
Posted: 30 May 2012
You may not know the name unless you're particularly a LEGO fan but you'll definitely know the work of Nathan Sawaya, the artist who makes the huge, imaginative, modern-art sculptures and art pieces out of LEGO pieces. Sixty-eight of his sculptures were recently on display in Portland and here's a showcase of what visitors saw.
Posted: 22 May 2012
Tucked away behind a small storefront in the centre of Portland, Oregon, is a vast collection of pop-culture memorabilia spanning decades. Best of all, it's all for sale - much of it at very affordable prices.
Posted: 30 April 2012
Moleskine + LEGO. It was inevitable that the two would be combined. Today the new range of notebooks is officially being launched worldwide with the release of an endearing stop-motion video to advertise the range. We've got that, and more, in this roundup of the new editions.
Posted: 1 March 2012
Once the zombies start attacking will you be in the middle of the action with weapons at the ready, documenting the proceedings... or organising the survivors? This short parody looks at the rock-star social-media organisers who keep hope alive as the living dead rise.
Posted: 23 February 2012
From pillows that connect long-distance lovers to remote-controlled waterproof pleasure objects, advances in intimate technologies mean that lovers both near and far can remain connected - sometimes in very surprising (and occasionally disturbing) ways.
Posted: 14 February 2012
In this, the long-awaited second part of Rich Mulholland's tattoo experience, we visit tattoo artist Derek Baker's studio in Cape Town to watch the action and learn more about what goes on behind the scenes. Once again there's blood, colourful language, and art... which pretty much describes a day in the life of most South Africans....
Please Note: Some of the images and the video may not be suitable for sensitive people.
Posted: 9 February 2012
What do you get when you combine tattoo-inspired art with tattoo artists? Putt-putt, of course. (Also, art.) The 4th annual Cape Town International Tattoo Convention is about to begin, and festivities kicked off earlier this week with the exhibition Body Of Work.
Posted: 26 January 2012
You're trapped in a shaft and the only way out is up in this one-button fast-paced wall-jumping game - but how high can you go? Will you escape?
Posted: 19 January 2012
Let's start 2012 with some tasteful, entertaining jabs at the beauty industry. Do you want "full lips, sparkling eyes, and lashes that never end"? They can be yours with the aid of Adobé's new range of beauty-regime products.
Posted: 16 January 2012
Happy holidays to all our friends and visitors. It's been a good year for brainwavez.org and we'd like to thank you all for your support, participation, friendship, and encouragement.
Posted: 23 December 2011
It's December already? That means it must be time for our 2011 roundup of stuff we have or stuff we want or (occasionally) stuff we might give to other people if they've been nice (or very, very naughty).
Posted: 12 December 2011
Zap the audio from your phone, tablet, or computer to the Verbatim Bluetooth Audio Cube for instant amplification of your favourite tracks (and the odd system alert sound but that just adds to the excitement).
24 November 2011 | Category: Tech
What does an average zombie horde look like? What would you encounter if random members of the public suddenly amassed outside your house, looking for braaaaiiinnns? We asked for your best ZombieBooth shots and here's what we received. Combined, the collection is slightly frightening. Therefore, don't forget: when confronted, aim for the head. (Then run like hell!)
17 November 2011 | Category: Tech
Turn your favourite (male) superhero or super villain on (or off) with a one-of-a-kind light switch. That's about all we're going to say as an introduction. (This post is not suitable for people with taste. Don't say we didn't warn you.)
14 November 2011 | Category: Culture
Another year, another festival celebrating whisky. How time flies! We attended the opening night in Cape Town, where the festival ran for three days. Here's a rundown of what you missed, or what to expect if you will be attending in Johannesburg, where the festival will be running until the end of the week.
10 November 2011 | Category: Culture
Somewhere, deep in a lab that's probably in Japan, some clever real-time-processing technology has been utilised for the advancement of zombies. The result? With one click of a camera button and this free zombification app you can be your own worst nightmare!
3 November 2011 | Category: Tech
Passersby screamed in terror (well, some of them; most looked bewildered and a handful looked delighted) as the Capetonian zombie horde continued on its path of mayhem towards the V&A Waterfront. Here, in pictures, is part 2 of this now annual HorrorFest event.
31 October 2011 | Category: Culture
The thirst for blood and braaaaiiiinnnnnsss led a shambling group of undead Capetonians across the city in a nightmarish zombie walk. Here, in pictures, is part 1 of this now annual HorrorFest event.
31 October 2011 | Category: Culture
Murder most foul has be committed in Legoland. The suspects? Three dodgy minifigs. CSI is on the case. After all, to find the culprit it's imperative that you follow the evidence.
27 October 2011 | Category: Screen
Phnom Penh is the capital of Cambodia, a Buddhist kingdom in South-East Asia with a tumultuous history. Here are 24 hours spent on a recent trip, captured in pictures. Please note that some of the images and text many not be suitable for sensitive people.
8 July 2011 | Category: Travel
The beauty of skateboarding is celebrated in a short piece that's expertly shot in urban and rural settings to allow colour, light, and architecture to complement the freestyle techniques.
30 September 2011 | Category: Screen
Red alien circles (and the occasional meteor) are trying to destroy your space base. What are you going to do about it? Shoot at 'em, of course! You can't destroy them but you can use physics to your advantage in this oddly Zen action game.
29 July 2011 | Category: Games
With sleek racing-car looks the Verbatim GT Portable Hard Drive brings a fresh visual aesthetic to the average grey and beige computing environment. We took it for a spin to if what's under the hood is up to speed.
5 July 2011 | Category: Tech
In Burrito Bison you play a famous wrestler who is captured while at the supermarket and sucked into Candyland where the gummy bears expect you to wrestle for their entertainment... but you have other ideas in this amusing variation on the launcher game genre.
23 June 2011 | Category: Games
Tiaras and tucking take centre stage in this documentary by husband-and-wife team Matthew Brown (producer) and Lauren Beukes (director) that follows three contestants who are preparing for the 2010 Miss Gay Western Cape pageant.
15 June 2011 | Category: Screen
In the interests of serious scientific enquiry, a dinosaur is placed on a treadmill and forced to face unfathomable horrors. Only you can wear silly party hats and jump over spikey balls as the ultimate treadmillasaurus rex!
27 May 2011 | Category: Games
This compact hub from Apacer is designed to be portable and to take up as little space as possible in your bag and on your desk, while still making four ports available to you so that you can plug in and access multiple USB devices at once.
25 May 2011 | Category: Tech
Today we debut a new feature on the site in which we ask someone five zombie questions. Author Sarah Lotz, who has zombies crawling out of all sorts of places in her back catalogue, kindly allowed us to use her as our inaugural guinea pig. Here are the results of the experiment.
17 May 2011 | Category: Books
Much like Mimobots and other designer USB storage devices, the Minksters are a combination of form and function and would look equally at home in your collection of miniature vinyl toys.
5 May 2011 | Category: Tech
Thor, another comic-book star, makes his debut on the silver screen as part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe in director Kenneth Branagh's special-effects-laden blockbuster, which stars Natalie Portman and Anthony Hopkins.
29 April 2011 | Category: Screen
There have been many musical TV show episodes over the past few years but few fictional music acts have released their own music videos. We've tracked down a few of our favourites, starting with three that debuted in the 2010 TV season. Plus, two words: Robin Sparkles!
11 April 2011 | Category: Music
The LEGO Club Show is a show for kids that's produced a number of amazing music videos that can be appreciated by all ages. Here's season one's collection of LEGOfied rock, pop, metal, and rap, along with a whole lot of great animation.
2 March 2011 | Category: Music
It's the last day of the Design Indaba 2011 conference, which is being held in Cape Town, South Africa. This is a live blog transcript of the day's events, with speaker information and talk highlights, and featuring Mexican textiles based on indigenous designs and knowledge; redesigning bikes; changing perceptions of what African art and design is; pupunha plywood and sustainable eco design; interface design; typoplastic surgery; biotypography; computational informational design; Google Creative Lab; Hugh Masekela; and much, much more.
25 February 2011 | Category: Culture
We're on to the second day of the Design Indaba 2011 conference, which is being held in Cape Town, South Africa. This is a live blog transcript of the conference events, featuring social design; Coca-Cola modular design systems; Alessi; stationery for imperfect people; eco design and redesigning products; teaching kids to believe in themselves; quirky experiential design with a basis in science; interpreting Xhosa beadwork into knitwear; and much, much more.
24 February 2011 | Category: Culture
The Design Indaba 2011 conference starts today in Cape Town, South Africa. This is a live blog transcript of the day's events, featuring QuaDror; Improv Everywhere; social design; Harley-Davidson; sustainable environmentally-friendly building construction in Burkina Faso; title-sequence design; branding and product design; a special session of Michael Wolff with the simulcast attendees; and much, much more.
23 February 2011 | Category: Culture
At the 2011 Southern Ink Xposure tattoo convention in Cape Town, South Africa, Rich Mulholland sat with local tattoo artist Derek of Metal Machine Tattoo & Body Piercing to get the first half of an elaborate tattoo done, which is based on a design by US graphic designer Hydro74. We documented the process in this photo essay and video presentation. (There's blood, colourful language, and art - what more could you hope for?)
Please Note: Some of the images and the video may not be suitable for sensitive people.
21 February 2011 | Category: Culture
Tucked away slightly in the Wikimedia Commons is a 3D anaglyph of the sun that was taken by NASA in 2007 and spruced up on 9 February 2011 by a Wikipedia user to give it more depth and impact. Get out your red-cyan glasses!
10 February 2011 | Category: Tech
In Love you play a polyamorous square who derives happiness from being near others (the closer the better and the more the merrier). Yet one cannot have love without tragedy and actually touching one of the other blocks will end your game - and your shot at happiness - quite abruptly.
14 February 2011 | Category: Games
You're a ninja on a mission to scale an infinite wall. Why? Who knows - it's a ninja mystery. Do not let that philosophical conundrum stop you, however. Instead, use your favourite finger to jump past obstacles and progress ever upwards.
3 February 2011 | Category: Games
A secret highway in Kentucky is the setting for the magical realist adventure Kentucky Route Zero, an independent game that is being developed by a small team in the US. The game's artist recently released a few screenshots of character and object renderings, some of which we are featuring in this showcase.
4 February 2011 | Category: Games
Black Swan, directed by Darren Aronofsky, tells the story of a ballet dancer whose single-minded, emotionally stunted focus and psychological fragility threatens to derail her career when she is picked as the principal dancer in her company's production of Swan Lake, which means portraying both the innocent white swan and the seductive black swan.
2 February 2011 | Category: Screen
The online shopping sites NetGifts and NetFlorist offer South African consumers a wide range of gift items that are perfect for special occasions or emergency gifting situations. Read about our experiences trying out the site and placing an order.
1 February 2011 | Category: Tech
Protect your notebook with a stylish, eye-catching neoprene-based cover designed by Paul Frank Industries for the MacBook Pro - but is it robust enough?
24 January 2011 | Category: Tech
Much like last year
, we're kicking off this year's posts with a fun short film. This one is appropriately named Smile
and there's no talking - everything is expressed purely with visuals, which makes the sentiment instantly universal and very endearing.
14 January 2011 | Category: Screen
Here's a roundup of some of our favourite things from the past few years, all of which would make excellent gifts. A few have been reviewed or featured on brainwavez.org but many haven't so, among the familiar, expect some surprises that we think you'll love.
By: The brainwavez.org Team | Posted: 10 December 2010 | Category: Shopping
What happens when you take the text from 10 classic pieces of literature and use it to generate word clouds? The short answer is: some hits, some misses, and a few surprises. The longer answer is: rather attractive results (in most cases).
3 December 2010 | Category: Books
The Nokia Music Store, which is now called Ovi Music, and the Nokia Comes With Music service, which is now called Ovi Music Unlimited, have gone through some huge changes since their launch in 2009. Here's a look at what's on offer and what to expect if you are interested in either of the services.
23 November 2010 | Category: Tech
What if you could influence the events that unfold in Night Of The Living Dead by making choices to direct the characters in the story? That is the premise of the interactive movie Editing The Dead.
18 November 2010 | Category: Screen
Last week, a few hours before the Whisky Live Festival kicked off in Cape Town, Brandhouse hosted a whisk(e)y tasting for members of the media and whisky aficionados, which was a great way to set the mood for this year's festival. The tasting was led by two experts in the field, South Africa's Rynard van Der Westhuizen and Scotland's Bruce Campbell.
10 November 2010 | Category: Culture
In South Africa, November means whisky festival time. Once again the three-day event is being held in Cape Town before it moves to Johannesburg and we attended the opening night event, sampled a variety of whiskies from around the world, and learnt more about the culture of whisky making.
5 November 2010 | Category: Culture
The zombie apocalypse will be televised as the dead rise and begin to feast on the living in Night Of The Living Dead, a classic zombie horror movie that shocked audiences when it was first released and, decades later, continues to resonate with contemporary audiences and have a heavy influence on pop culture.
29 October 2010 | Category: Screen
The Rocking The Daisies music festival, which takes place over a weekend each October on a wine farm near Cape Town, South Africa, and is now in its fifth year, was three days of sensory overload and great local music. Here's our showcase of some of the artists that performed on the main stage on the Saturday night.
19 October 2010 | Category: Music
Celebrate 20 years of piratey one liners and insult swordfighting*, secret immortality**, and repeatedly falling off a cliff ("rubber tree!"), with two great remixes of the theme tune to The Secret Of Monkey Island.
15 October 2010 | Category:
Music > Music To Note
Here's a bit more frivolity before we dive back into serious subjects. It is: The Most Awesomest Thing Ever! It's a little project in progress (possibly forever) and, if you're open to it, it presents certain philosophical conundrums to keep you on your toes (mentally speaking).
The ninja-infested high seas are no place for a pirate. Well, I mean, they are, it's just not pleasant. Then, on land, zombies. Plus, the robot scourge! Or, maybe, what's a poor ninja to do? You just can't catch a break. Pirates and zombies. We'll need robots! Also, what about those zombies? Shame. Mmmmmmmm. Braaaaaaaains. The robots? Silent killers. Like the ninjas. It's cyclical.
17 September 2010 | Category: Screen
To coincide with, and in celebration of, the 2010 World Cup, Sony Music Africa released two albums of official event songs and collaborations between African artists and international headlining acts. The albums were great souvenirs, whether you visited the country and wanted to take some musical memories home with you or even if you never left your couch (or sofa) and just enjoyed the spectacle from across an ocean. However, the two albums didn't tell the whole story - here's a more comprehensive roundup of music from, and by, Africans, with a special focus on South African artists.
8 September 2010 | Category: Music
It's felt as though Nokia has been stuck in a rut, while other phone manufacturers have been zipping past with fancy features and smart services. The N8 is the phone that Nokia is hoping will change all of that. I've had a sneak peek at what's coming - and here are my first impressions.
19 August 2010 | Category: Tech
Celebrate the launch of Lauren Beukes' latest novel with a bid on an artwork in a collaborative project designed to generate funds for a very important South African initiative.
4 August 2010 | Category: Books
What do you get when you mash up Jane Austen's Regency-era characters and sensibilities with Fight Club? Well the first rule of fight club is that one never mentions fight club. (But the answer is blood on your lace and scrapes on your knees, of course.)
28 July 2010 | Category: Screen
Use your favourite finger to mow down waves and waves of inter-stellar bad guys and bosses out for your blood, then head for the space bar for a brewski. (Ok, not really, but this game could do with more variety and/or a mini drinking game to provide complexity to the challenge.)
13 July 2010 | Category: Games
Roadtrip, in the words of the artist, is "an exhibition about memory, adventure, landscape, and the car that always broke down on the side of the road". It is running in Cape Town for the whole of July before it moves to other cities in South Africa.
6 July 2010 | Category: Culture
Part of the fun of a live sports event is watching it with friends and participating in the form of fan reactions - but what if you're home alone or stuck at the office? World Cupinion, a university research project being run during the World Cup, presents a whole new interactive experience.
1 July 2010 | Category: Tech
The sound of a thousand angry bees, the bleats of a dying lamb - the vuvuzela, South Africa's traditional weapon (circa the 20th century) of mass aural destruction, is the embodiment of many things, Zen not being one of them. If you don't have one, or if you're currently out of breath from blowing your own horn a little too hard and a little too long, the Vuvuzela Button will be a vital addition to your virtual toolbox.
Nokia's N97 mini cellular phone, which runs Symbian S60 5th Edition, was released late last year. Is it an improvement over not-so-well-received Nokia N97? Have a look at our testing notes and decide for yourself.
7 June 2010 | Category: Tech
It's an impressive undertaking: coordinate 24 writers to write 24 stories, each inspired by a different hour of the day and a different city of the world, and use these tales to "reflect on the nature of home", with no restriction on genre, fact, or fiction. The result? Whatever you choose to make of it.
12 May 2010 | Category: Books
The entry-level Apacer Handy Steno AH321 USB 2.0 Flash Drive features a no-loss cap design and storage capacities from 1 GB to 16 GB, as well as some impressive performance capabilities.
4 May 2010 | Category: Tech
Mix sounds and rhythms deeply rooted in African culture with Western influences and the result is the laid-back aural journey of Mpemba Effect's Ambient Afrique. Let the groove generated by this South African producing duo lull you into an altered state of consciousness.
26 April 2010 | Category: Music
Combine a lonely, hungry cat on a mission of the heart with sushi-consumption challenges, strange obstacles, a little bit of physics, and some outlandish music and you'll have an epic 45-minute(ish) tale with which to amaze no one in particular, unless you do really well, in which case you can be all, like, "Hey, I did well!"... which may, still, not exactly amaze anyone in particular.
18 March 2010 | Category: Games
In a brainwavez.org (semi) exclusive, we examine the cover design for the South African edition of Lauren Beukes' forthcoming novel Zoo City, which is published by Jacana. We talk to the artist, Joey Hi-Fi, and bring you a behind-the-scenes gallery taken from the concept document that shows the evolution of the design.
Posted: 23 March 2010 | Category: Books
Maemo 5 is a Debian Linux-based operating system that is installed on the Nokia N900 cellular phone. As it's a customised version of an operating system that is designed to run on all sorts of devices, including desktop machines and laptops, it has lots of productivity features and tools. This is a showcase of some of what the OS has to offer the phone.
5 March 2010 | Category: Tech
Nokia's N900 is a classy touchscreen phone that emphasises productivity as well as play. It runs the Maemo 5 Linux-based operating system and using it feels almost as though you have a mini desktop computer in your pocket. Almost. Our testing notes reveal the pros and cons.
4 March 2010 | Category: Tech
The design of USB flash-memory storage devices has come a long way from the grey, thumb-sized units with a company logo that were (and still are) handed out at corporate events. They've now evolved into playful fashion accessories, such as this one, that will appeal to anyone with even the vaguest aesthetic leanings.
1 March 2010 | Category: Tech
Just over four years ago brainwavez.org was launched, complete with its first (tech) article, with the intention of it being primarily a tech-review site, with a little bit of culture thrown in. Instead it became a tech-culture site and we never got around to reviewing hardware and software. Today, that all changes. Behold! A tech Apacer's Handy Steno AH160 flash-memory storage device.
11 February 2010 | Category: Tech
Spiders seem to invoke terror in all but the least faint-hearted so if you're one of those wishy-washy types you may wish to play with a hamster instead (although there's a spider there too). Meanwhile, should you possess the necessary fortitude and an interest in variables, you will probably enjoy Play With Spider.
5 February 2010 | Category: Centre For The Easily Amused
"The Metabots": "In a dragon-filled Atlantis, a young schlub with mild OCD stumbles across an otherworldly portal which spurs him into conflict with a government conspiracy, with the help of a sarcastic female techno-geek and her wacky pet, culminating in a fistfight atop a tower."
22 January 2010 | Category: Centre For The Easily Amused
This animated music short is too good to save for Halloween (although, in our minds, every day is Halloween at brainwavez.org) so I thought I'd post about it to start 2010 with some fun - may it be a reminder that the horrors of 2009 are now in the past and may it be a sign that 2010 will be filled with zombies and kittens! (Preferably at a safe distance if the two are one and the same.)
Posted: 6 January 2010 | Category: Screen > Shorts > Reviews