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Another year has flown by but it's been a great one - lots of hectic, stressful deadlines; monster articles; and new contributors adding to the fun and mayhem. Here's a quick roundup of some of the highlights and a bit of what's in store for 2010.
By: The brainwavez.org Team  |  Posted: 22 December 2009  |  View Comments
Category: News


Simon's Cat, Created And Illustrated By Simon Tofield
In a relatively short time Simon's Cat has become a much-loved online animated series of shorts but this is not the first time that an Internet meme has tried to cross the divide. Is it possible for a digital sensation to be reinvented successfully in a different medium. Does Simon's Cat translate in book form?
By: Mandy J Watson  |  Posted: 15 December 2009  |  View Comments
Category: Books > Reviews


Giles: The Collection 2010
Voted Britain's Favourite Cartoonist of the 20th Century, Giles' career at the Daily Express and Sunday Express spanned almost fifty years. Giles: The Collection 2010 brings together some of his best loved cartoons in the ideal Yuletide stocking filler... and what Christmas would be complete without Grandma?
By: Paul Pregnolato  |  Posted: 9 December 2009  |  View Comments
Category: Books > Reviews


Highs And Lows Of Reunion
Réunion, a small island in the Indian Ocean, offers the fantastic contrast of a little bit of France in Africa and a little bit of Africa in France. Plus, there's great surf, strong rum, breathtaking vistas, and a very active volcano.
By: Alison Westwood  |  Posted: 26 November 2009  |  View Comments
Category: Travel > Réunion > Features


Halloween Pumpkin Carving
For Americans, pumpkin carving is an integral part of celebrating and enjoying Halloween, and has become a form of fine art. brainwavez.org presents some interesting jack-o'-lantern and carved pumpkins from a massive collection available on Flickr. We hope these will serve as a source of inspiration (for the artistically minded) or consternation (for those who are artistically inept (or undead)).
By: Jase Luttrell  |  Posted: 19 November 2009  |  View Comments
Category: Culture > Features


Stubbs The Zombie In Rebel Without A Pulse
Satisfy your inner zombie's craving for B-R-A-I-N-S, find the ghoul of your dreams, and take your revenge on society at large in an ode to gleefully over-the-top carnage and bad taste. Our anti hero feasts on brains, has a real problem with authority, and turns everyone he meets into a zombie - and if that isn't bad enough, he (shock! horror!) even smokes....
By: Paul Pregnolato  |  Posted: 13 November 2009  |  View Comments
Category: Games > Mac > Reviews


Black Hills By Nora Roberts
Black Hills is a well-written, intriguing modern love story with an underlying plot of suspense. It cleverly weaves itself tighter and tighter until your focus has shifted to looking for a killer instead of rooting for the relationship.
By: Lenina Rassool  |  Posted: 9 November 2009  |  View Comments
Category: Books > Reviews



The 2009 FNB Whisky Live Festival, South Africa
The 2009 FNB Whisky Live Festival is the largest whisky festival in the world. It's running in Cape Town and Johannesburg, South Africa, this month so we went along on the opening night to bask in warm, golden glows and determine just how much whisky one can sample in an evening. (The answer: not nearly enough!)
By: Mandy J Watson  |  Posted: 6 November 2009  |  View Comments
Category: Culture > Features


Yokai Attack!: The Japanese Monster Survival Guide by Hiroko Yoda and Matt Alt
The variety of monsters, called yokai, in Japan is astounding - and many of them are very bizarre. Should you find yourself face to face (or, erm, worse) with one, this fully illustrated, very handy guide will be indispensable: use it to learn how to spot yokai and how to survive the attack. Plus, it's filled with fascinating cultural observations that will astound and delight. You'll never leave home without it! (You may also never want to go to Japan after reading it....)
By: Mandy J Watson  |  Posted: 30 October 2009  |  View Comments
Category: Books > Reviews


brainwavez.org Zombie Shorts Festival - The B Roll
What do you end up with once you're picked the best? A lot of weird stuff. Here's a selection of zombie shorts that didn't make it into our recent film festival. In these, "horror" really stands for "horrorble" (including that joke) but if you're open to it there's still lots of fun to be had watching this crazy selection. Once again, you need to be an adult to access these videos.
By: Mandy J Watson  |  Posted: 28 October 2009  |  View Comments
Category: Screen > Shorts > Features


Zombie Haiku by Ryan Mecum
It seems only fitting that brainwavez.org focuses on zombies, as they have an unnatural (or natural) penchant for braaaiins. With that, we present to you the guts, gore, mayhem, and poetic beauty of Zombie Haiku: Good Poetry For Your... Brains.
By: Jase Luttrell  |  Posted: 21 October 2009  |  View Comments
Category: Books > Reviews



brainwavez.org Zombie Shorts Festival: Selections From Rockstar Games Social Club TV
What better way to kick off our Halloween festivities this year than with zombies? We lumbered around the Rockstar Games Social Club TV web site to find the undead lurking in sometimes surprising places and, therefore, we compiled a film festival, as one does when confronted with horror! Watch in order, or pick and choose - either way, we hope you enjoy it! (Although there are no brains in this showcase it's still not suitable for minors. If you fall into this category, we recommend a few years of growth and, in the meantime, "A Tale Of Terror: The Boise Zombie Walk".)
By: Mandy J Watson  |  Posted: 19 October 2009  |  View Comments
Category: Screen > Shorts > Features


House Of War by Hamilton Wende
Intelligent, well-crafted and multi-layered, Hamilton Wende's latest work manages to straddle both the spy-thriller and psychological genres with a healthy dollop of history, drama, and romance thrown in for good measure.
By: Paul Pregnolato  |  Posted: 16 October 2009  |  View Comments
Category: Books > Reviews



Vaux's Swifts At Chapman Elementary, Portland, Oregon, USA
If you are in the Portland, Oregon, area in September, you have the option of viewing Vaux's Swifts during their annual migration, a marvel of nature, which is either inspiring or vaguely Hitchcockian, depending on how paranoid you are.
By: Jase Luttrell  |  Posted: 8 October 2009  |  View Comments
Category: Travel > US > Oregon > Activities



Marketing District 9: The Web
Many web sites were launched as part of the online viral-marketing effort to promote District 9. In this showcase we will look at those sites (collectively referred to as "The District 9 Movie Experience"), and more, to see how they related to, and complemented, the real-world marketing campaign. (Plus, for fans, find out about some amazing items and downloads you may have missed on each site.)
By: Mandy J Watson  |  Posted: 1 October 2009  |  View Comments
Category: Screen > Film > Features


Marketing District 9: The Real World Campaign
The marketing campaign for District 9 was one of the most extensive ever seen... if you lived pretty much anywhere but in Africa, where it didn't exist. Simultaneous campaigns were run in the real world, using traditional marketing techniques that included billboards and posters, and online, using social-networking sites and web sites. This article focusses on the real-world campaign, most notably as was seen in key cities in the US in the run-up to the movie's release.
By: Mandy J Watson  |  Posted: 18 September 2009  |  View Comments
Category: Screen > Film > Features


District 9 - ZA Perspective
District 9, aliens and all, is an intrinsically South African tale but with themes distilled for international audiences. In this, the second of brainwavez.org's District 9 reviews, we present a South African perspective of what has become a global phenomenon. We encourage you to compare it to our previous review, written from an American perspective, and then let us know your thoughts in the comments.
By: Mandy J Watson  |  Posted: 10 September 2009  |  View Comments
Category: Screen > Film > Reviews


District 9 - US Perspective
It's very difficult not to have an opinion about District 9 so we thought we'd write two, independently, from different sides of the globe. In this review we feature the perspective from a member of the audience for which the movie was created, America, although other nationalities are certainly welcome to read it and are encouraged to comment (though they are also kindly asked to accept that the inadequacies of the film are an attempt to appeal to American audiences).
By: Jase Luttrell  |  Posted: 10 September 2009  |  View Comments
Category: Screen > Film > Reviews


Alive In Joburg
brainwavez.org is taking a step away from reality to explore the alternate, alien-filled world of Neill Blomkamp's Alive In Joburg, the short film shot in 2005 that forms the basis for this year's blockbuster film District 9. Hopefully, if you can see past the poncho-wearing, grotesque aliens and the abundant anachronisms of the short, you will enjoy the splendid squalor of stranded aliens. Or something.
By: Jase Luttrell  |  Posted: 1 September 2009  |  View Comments
Category: Screen > Shorts > Reviews


News > Moxyland Short-Story Competition Details
Specific details on the Moxyland short-story competition, such as how to enter, what to enter, and the closing date (11 25 September 2009 - it's been extended), have been posted. Read Lauren Beukes's post at Book Southern Africa for the details. To learn more about Moxyland read brainwavez.org's interview with Lauren here.
By: Mandy J Watson  |  Posted: 21 August 2009  |  Add Or Read
Category: News


2009 North American Organic Brewers Festival
brainwavez.org is taking a slight detour from a focus on books but is keeping the alliterative spirit alive by shifting to beer. It's summer in the United States, which means there are ample beer festivals aimed at quenching thirst, surviving heat waves, and making ugly people beautiful. The first festival of the summer in the Portland, Oregon, area was the North American Organic Brewers Festival, a delightful and sustainable romp through some of the best organic beers available today.
By: Jase Luttrell  |  Posted: 13 August 2009  |  View Comments
Category: Culture > Features


Aspiring science-fiction authors and fans of Lauren Beukes' debut novel Moxyland are in for a treat as a great short-story competition, which she alluded to in her interview with brainwavez.org last month, has finally been announced by HarperCollins.
By: Mandy J Watson  |  Posted: 11 August 2009  |  Add Or Read
Category: News


Interview: Lauren Beukes, South African Author Of Moxyland
Your phone is your lifeline but it can also be used to control you, art is (partly) alive, and corporations control (almost) everyone in Moxyland, Lauren Beukes' debut novel in which the lives of four characters intersect in an imagining of Cape Town, 2018, that will make most very uneasy. In this exclusive interview the author talks about her influences, her writing process, and exciting projects that were birthed as the book's release gained momentum.
By: Mandy J Watson  |  Posted: 31 July 2009  |  View Comments
Category: Books > Features


Music To Note > Uh Huh Her: "Explode"
Uh Huh Her: Explode
You'd be forgiven if you find you trip over the words every time you try to pronounce the name of the band Uh Huh Her (the band members have the same problem) but don't let the tongue twisting distract you from the subtle musical layers and mesmerising electropop bass of "Explode".
By: Mandy J Watson  |  Posted: 29 July 2009  |  Add Or Read
Category: Music > Music To Note


Photo Essay: Panel Discussions At The 2009 Cape Town Book Fair
In the last in our series of photo essays on the 2009 Cape Town Book Fair we highlight some of the interesting discussions that took place during various panel sessions with authors and academics. Visitors to the fair can attend almost all the panel discussions for free, which makes them a popular feature of the fair every year. As a special bonus for this essay we have included video clips from two of the most popular sessions.
By: Mandy J Watson  |  Posted: 15 July 2009  |  Add Or Read
Category: Books > Features


Photo Essay: Authors At The 2009 Cape Town Book Fair
The opportunity to meet authors - both local and international - and hear them talk about their writing processes and experiences is one of the most exciting aspects of the Cape Town Book Fair. Here is a selection of some of the authors that were manning stands, launching books, and signing autographs for fans at the 2009 fair.
By: Mandy J Watson  |  Posted: 30 June 2009  |  Add Or Read
Category: Books > Features


Photo Essay And Report: The 2009 Cape Town Book Fair
Thousands of people braved crazy winter weather over four days to attend the fourth Cape Town Book Fair, which was held earlier this month at the convention centre in Cape Town, South Africa. Here is a showcase of some of the highlights from the stands and exhibition areas, in the first of a few reports we have compiled.
By: Mandy J Watson  |  Posted: 26 June 2009  |  Add Or Read
Category: Books > Features


Earth - The Comprehensive World Atlas
In 500 years' time what will the legacy be that we have left on this planet? With wars, clashing religious ideologies, and climate change threatening to decimate the world as we know it Earth - The Comprehensive World Atlas, with its detailed descriptions of countries and cultures as they stand today may become one of the few remaining published records of the time we spent here during one of this planet's most tumultuous periods.
By: Mandy J Watson  |  Posted: 15 June 2009  |  Add Or Read
Category: Books > Features


Johnny Golightly Comes Home: A Portrait Of Eccentricity by Pat Hopkins
Johnny Golightly Comes Home is an interwoven tale of the stories of two men: an artist buried within multiple identities and a writer tasked with the impossible assignment of getting to the core of these identities in order to write the artist's biography. The result is a riveting, engaging account of frustration and eccentricity that is rich with metaphor and symbolism.
By: Mandy J Watson  |  Posted: 10 June 2009  |  Add Or Read
Category: Books > Reviews


Is It Just Me Or Is Everything Still Kak? by Tim Richman and Grant Schreiber
Just how kak is South Africa? Well, ask any citizen about his or her particular issues and you're likely to hear that it's all pretty kak. To combat the problem South African authors Tim Richman and Grant Schreiber keep publishing new books that tackle kakness. Why? Because South Africans don't know how to fix anything but at least they can buy a book, have a laugh, and keep a local publishing company afloat during the recession. Or something. It's all so kak, who can keep track?
By: Mandy J Watson  |  Posted: 8 June 2009  |  Add Or Read
Category: Books > Reviews


Pompidou Posse by Sarah Lotz
Author Sarah Lotz's riveting debut novel is a sensational tale of two British teenagers on the run in Paris that features quirky characters, dark humour, and the seedy side of one of Europe's most glamorous cities.
By: Mandy J Watson  |  Posted: 4 June 2009  |  Add Or Read
Category: Books > Reviews



Going Green By Simon Gear
These days we're all being encouraged to "go green" but sometimes it's a bit overwhelming knowing where to start or whether there is any point to your efforts. In Going Green - 365 Ways To Change Our World South African author Simon Gear presents bite-sized pieces of advice to help us transition to a more harmonious lifestyle.
By: Mandy J Watson  |  Posted: 2 June 2009  |  Add Or Read
Category: Books > Reviews


News > A Focus On Books And The 2009 Cape Town Book Fair
The Cape Town Book Fair is happening next weekend from 13 to 16 June so, in the run up to the fair, we will be focussing on books here at brainwavez.org. We will be publishing a number of reviews over the next two weeks, most of which are recent South African titles that are likely to be highlighted at the fair (and in some cases you may even be able to meet the authors). We hope it will encourage those of you in Cape Town to visit the fair and enjoy the celebration of books. After all, reading in a snuggly blanket is the perfect winter activity!
Posted: 1 June 2009  |  By: Mandy J Watson  |  Category: News


Photo Essay: Behind The Scenes At The South African Music Awards
The South African Music Awards are the highlight of the country's musical year and a celebration of its diverse styles and talents. The main awards ceremony is televised but fans stuck at home always miss out on all the other happenings and more candid moments. Curiosity got the better of us so brainwavez.org sent a correspondent behind the scenes, armed with a camera, to find out what happens.
By: Christine Curtis  |  Posted: 29 May 2009  |  Add Or Read
Category: Music > Features


Duncan Sheik: Whisper House
Whisper House, Duncan Sheik's enigmatic sixth studio album and a collaboration with Holly Brook is probably best described as a 10-track experimental narrative journey with a supernatural edge that touches on various themes, including World War II and grief.
By: Jase Luttrell  |  Posted: 8 April 2009  |  Add Or Read
Category: Music > Reviews


News > 2009 South African Blog Awards Report back
Alas, we did not win. (My 2008 article The Anti-Connoisseur's Guide To A Walk In The African Bush was nominated for a 2009 South African Blog Award in the category Best Post on a South African Blog, as mentioned below.) However I would like to thank everyone for their support and kind words about the article and the nomination. I really appreciate it. It gives us the warm fuzzies to know that our efforts on the site are appreciated.
Posted: 6 April 2009  |  By: Mandy J Watson  |  Category: News


News > A Post On brainwavez.org Has Been Nominated For A 2009 South African Blog Award
Awesome news, everyone! My 2008 article The Anti-Connoisseur's Guide To A Walk In The African Bush has been nominated for a 2009 South African Blog Award in the category Best Post on a South African Blog. I am totally jazzed about it and would like to thank everyone who nominated the article. You can help out by voting for it - read my blog post for more information or skip straight to the voting.
Posted: 24 March 2009  |  By: Mandy J Watson  |  Category: News


Death Dice Overdose
Overdosing is never fun, except in this game, and in playing this game so much that you take three weeks to write the review (though some might argue that that's not fun). Anyway, if you like fast-paced madness that's oddly zen and usually over in 30 seconds, Death Dice Overdose is your game.
By: Mandy J Watson  |  Posted: 6 March 2009  |  Add Or Read
Category: Games > Casual Games > Reviews


Tomb Raider: Underworld Wii - How To Deal With The Thailand Lever Bug
If you're stuck in Thailand with Lara Croft, with no lever in sight, follow our as-complete-as-it's-ever-going-to-be guide to getting her out of this very fine mess. After all, you still have about eight (less buggy?) levels to go before you finally finish this Wii game.
By: Mandy J Watson  |  Posted: 11 February 2009  |  Add Or Read
Category: Games > Wii > Features


Tomb Raider: Underworld Wii
Lara Croft's off again, raiding tombs and damaging precious archeological heritages in the quest for the truth about her mother's whereabouts. Throw in some Norse mythology and beautifully diverse environments and you have the makings of, well, another Tomb Raider game.
By: Mandy J Watson  |  Posted: 11 February 2009  |  Add Or Read
Category: Games > Wii > Reviews


Games > Snot Put
Snot Put
We're kicking off this year (a bit late, but anyway...) with some light-hearted gaming. If you sucked at sports in high school there's no reason why you can't be a dweeby champion as an adult. Well, actually, there's a good reason but don't let it stop you... we present: Snot Put.
By: Mandy J Watson  |  Posted: 2 February 2009  |  Add Or Read
Category: Games > Casual Games > Reviews