Search brainwavez.org (Powered By Google)




2010 Roundup: Happy Holidays From The brainwavez.org Team
Season's greetings to all our visitors and contributors. Thank you for your support, comments, retweets, and Facebook shares, and for helping us add even more great content to the site this year (as well as a trophy on the virtual mantlepiece!).
By: The brainwavez.org Team  |  Posted: 24 December 2010  |  View Comments
Category: News


Crime: Fact Or Fiction
Everyone loves a well-written crime thriller, but in a country such as South Africa where crime is rampant, how exactly do local crime writers spin their yarns and at the same time captivate an audience that has become inured to violence? This was the topic of a Cape Town Book Fair panel discussion hosted by local author Andrew Brown. Best known for his Sunday Times Fiction Prize-winning work Coldsleep Lullaby, Brown is also an advocate at the Cape Bar as well as a South African Police Services reservist. Joining him were authors Margie Orford, Antony Altbeker, and Deon Meyer.
By: Paul Pregnolato  |  Posted: 24 December 2010  |  View Comments
Category: Books > Features


The Recurring Supersleuth Of Crime Fiction
Mike Hammer. Ed McBain. John Rebus and Inspector Morse...a veritable pantheon of fictional supersleuths. To these can be added Benny Griessel, Clare Hart, and David "Kubu" Bengu. Their respective creators - Deon Meyer, Margie Orford and "Michael Stanley" - discussed their characters' virtues and vices with Mike Nicol of UCT's Department of English at this year's Cape Town Book Fair.
By: Paul Pregnolato  |  Posted: 23 December 2010  |  View Comments
Category: Books > Features


2010 Gift Guide
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  |  View Comments
Category: Shopping


10 Classic Speculative-Fiction Works Reinterpreted As Word Clouds
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).
By: Mandy J Watson  |  Posted: 3 December 2010  |  View Comments
Category: Books > Features


Win Ovi Music Vouchers
Update: The competition is now closed and the winners have been chosen. Thanks to all who entered!

We've got vouchers for free MP3s from Ovi Music to give away, courtesy of Nokia South Africa. Read on to find out how to enter.
By: Mandy J Watson  |  Posted: 23 November 2010  |  View Comments
Category: Competitions


An Introduction To Ovi Music And Ovi Music Unlimited
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.
By: Mandy J Watson  |  Posted: 23 November 2010  |  View Comments
Category: Tech > Features


Editing The Dead
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.
By: Mandy J Watson  |  Posted: 18 November 2010  |  View Comments
Category: Screen > Interactive > Reviews


Win A Scotland From Home Hamper And Whisky Live Tickets
We've got great Scotland From Home and Whisky Live Festival prizes to give away - read on to find out how to enter.
Update: The competition is now closed and the winners have been chosen. Thanks to all who entered.
By: Mandy J Watson  |  Posted: 10 November 2010  |  View Comments
Category: Competitions


The Finer Points Of Whisky: A Connoisseur And Renegade Face Off
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.
By: Mandy J Watson  |  Posted: 10 November 2010  |  View Comments
Category: Culture > Features


A Nightmare On Elm Street (2010)
Freddy's back, creepier than ever - but not in a good way. An updated story with a tweaked origin for the 21st century makes this horror remake more serious than most of its predecessors and it ventures into territory most audiences wouldn't want to think about while enjoying a slasher film.
By: Robert Lemmer  |  Posted: 9 November 2010  |  View Comments
Category: Screen > Film > Reviews


Keeping It Weird: The 2010 Portland Zombie Walk
The following is a photographic journey among some of Portland's hungriest, braaaaaainnnn-starved zombie citizens who wandered around the city in their effort to "Keep Portland Weird" (the city's unofficial motto), as well as an (obscured) experience of their comedic attempt at reviving Michael Jackson by dancing to "Thriller".
By: Jase Luttrell  |  Posted: 8 November 2010  |  View Comments
Category: Culture > Features


The 2010 Whisky Live Festival, South Africa
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.
By: Mandy J Watson  |  Posted: 5 November 2010  |  View Comments
Category: Culture > Features


Night Of The Living Dead: Reanimated
The zombie apocalypse is just as scary when it is presented in a mixed-media format, as is the case for Mike Schneider's tasty, undead brainchild, a reconceptualisation of George A Romero's landmark film from 1968.
By: Jase Luttrell  |  Posted: 29 October 2010  |  View Comments
Category: Screen > DVD > Reviews


Retro Review: Night Of The Living Dead (1968)
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.
By: Mandy J Watson  |  Posted: 29 October 2010  |  View Comments
Category: Screen > Film > Reviews


Saturday At Rocking The Daisies 2010
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.
By: Mandy J Watson  |  Posted: 19 October 2010  |  View Comments
Category: Music > Features


Eduardo Gouveia: Monkey Island Rocks (Two Versions)
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.
By: Mandy J Watson  |  Posted: 15 October 2010  |  View Comments
Category: Music > Music To Note


Tom Smith: Zombie Pirates In Love
Break out your rum and eye patch, and train your parrot to groan for "braaaiins", because zombie pirates are searching for love on the high seas in this crazy composition in which their ultimate buried treasure is a zombie bride.
By: Jase Luttrell  |  Posted: 1 October 2010  |  View Comments
Category: Music > Music To Note


Chick Lit Or Women's Fiction: Is There A Difference?
Have you ever found yourself wondering what all the fuss is about when it comes to chick-lit novels, more precisely known as women's fiction? At this year's Cape Town Book Fair four South African writers demystifed the topic and why this type of literature is so thoroughly enjoyed.
By: Anne Taylor  |  Posted: 29 September 2010  |  View Comments
Category: Books > Features


The Most Awesomest Thing Ever
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).
By: Mandy J Watson  |  Posted: 27 September 2010  |  View Comments


The 2010 South African Blog Awards were presented last night in Cape Town at an event that was very different from that of previous years. Thanks to your support we have won the Best Post category and I also won the other category in which I was nominated. Thank you, thank you, thank you!
By: Mandy J Watson  |  Posted: 26 September 2010  |  View Comments
Category: News


It's been two weeks of intense voting, lots of support from amazing friends (and strangers!), and all sorts of crazy fun. The voting phase of the 2010 SA Blog Awards is now over and it's been announced that we've made it into the top two. The winners are being announced on Saturday but for now - thank you!
By: Mandy J Watson  |  Posted: 20 September 2010  |  View Comments
Category: News


Pirates vs. Ninjas vs. Zombies vs. Robots
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.
By: Mandy J Watson  |  Posted: 17 September 2010  |  View Comments
Category: Screen > Shorts > Reviews


Music From The Motherland - Souvenirs To Take Home
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.
By: Mandy J Watson  |  Posted: 8 September 2010  |  View Comments
Category: Music > Features


Wole Soyinka Urges Children To Fight For Access To Books
There is a Nigerian saying that "an old man is there to talk". Seventy-six-year-old Nigerian literary giant Wole Soyinka is never afraid to give his candid opinion. According to the Mail & Guardian newspaper, at a gala dinner hosted by the department of arts and culture during the Cape Town Book Fair, guest of honour Soyinka began his speech with an anecdote about what has always remained an important issue to him - access to books for the youth.
By: Anne Taylor  |  Posted: 7 September 2010  |  View Comments
Category: Books > Features


We've made it! brainwavez.org has officially been nominated in the "Best Post" category of the 2010 SA Blog Awards and is now a finalist. Thanks to everyone who nominated us. Now we need your help to win. Please read on to find out how.
By: Mandy J Watson  |  Posted: 2 September 2010  |  View Comments
Category: News


Please help us with a nomination in the 2010 SA Blog Awards. We're aiming for one in the category "Best Post On A South African Blog". Details of the procedure and instructions are in the news post. Your help can make all the difference!
By: Mandy J Watson  |  Posted: 26 August 2010  |  View Comments
Category: News


Nokia N8 First Look (Hands On) - With Screenshots!
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.
By: Mandy J Watson  |  Posted: 19 August 2010  |  View Comments
Category: Tech > Hardware > Features


Bid On The Zoo City Bares
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.
By: Mandy J Watson  |  Posted: 4 August 2010  |  View Comments
Category: Books > Features


Bombproof By Michael Robotham
Beat the worst of London's underworld at their game. Rescue your sister. Clear your name - and not necessarily in that sequence. A tall order for anyone - but especially for someone being hunted by every military and police agency in the United Kingdom as a suspected Al-Qaeda terrorist....
By: Paul Pregnolato  |  Posted: 30 July 2010  |  View Comments
Category: Books > Reviews


I Write Like
Do you fancy yourself the next Shakespeare, Byron, Shelley, or Palahniuk? Now you can determine which famous author your writing resembles by merely entering a sample of your text into an analyser so dust off that manuscript you've been wanting to submit and discover if you, too, could make The New York Times Best Seller list.
By: Jase Luttrell  |  Posted: 29 July 2010  |  View Comments


Jane Austen's Fight Club
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.)
By: Mandy J Watson  |  Posted: 28 July 2010  |  View Comments
Category: Screen > Shorts > Reviews


The Boy Who Harnessed The Wind By William Kamkwamba And Bryan Mealer
Most reviews of this book include the word "inspirational". While this is certainly true, there is far more to William Kamkwamba's story than inspiration, so you won't find that word in this review. Instead, you will find others that are equally glowing.
By: Jase Luttrell  |  Posted: 27 July 2010  |  View Comments
Category: Books > Reviews


As The Crow Flies By Veronique Tadjo
As The Crow Flies is a short novel that explores the individual loves of nameless characters living in urban landscapes and other unidentified locations who are unconnected to each other, yet linked through the themes of love or suffering in a world in which love finds it hard to thrive.
By: Anne Taylor  |  Posted: 26 July 2010  |  View Comments
Category: Books > Reviews


Games > Wrath v1.0.6
Wrath v1.0.6
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.)
By: Mandy J Watson  |  Posted: 13 July 2010  |  View Comments
Category: Games > Android > Reviews


Alex Hamilton's Roadtrip
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.
By: Mandy J Watson  |  Posted: 6 July 2010  |  View Comments
Category: Culture > Features


World Cupinion
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.
By: Mandy J Watson  |  Posted: 1 July 2010  |  View Comments
Category: Tech > Software > Reviews


Vuvuzela Button
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.
By: Mandy J Watson  |  Posted: 11 June 2010  |  View Comments


Nokia N97 mini (Testing Notes)
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.
By: Mandy J Watson  |  Posted: 7 June 2010  |  View Comments
Category: Tech > Hardware > Reviews


Ravens by George Dawes Green
On its jacket Ravens is described as a "terrifying, gripping, unique" work of "psychological suspense". Instead, I found an appealing but B-grade narrative with lacklustre characters and a predictable plot.
By: Lenina Rassool  |  Posted: 1 June 2010  |  View Comments
Category: Books > Reviews


Girls At War And Other Stories by Chinua Achebe
Girls At War And Other Stories is a collection of short stories written over a period of 20 years that not only celebrates the diversity of African culture but questions and explores the conflict between traditional African beliefs and modernism introduced by British colonialism.
By: Anne Taylor  |  Posted: 28 May 2010  |  View Comments
Category: Books > Reviews


Black Sunlight By Dambudzo Marechera
I had no idea what I was in for when I picked up this novel. Would it be frustrating? Captivating? Engrossing? Catastrophic? I can definitively say that it was all of these qualities, many more, and certainly far fewer. If you're confused, I am too. But then that's the nature of reading stream-of-consciousness writings, especially from one of Zimbabwe's most unconventional authors.
By: Jase Luttrell  |  Posted: 24 May 2010  |  View Comments
Category: Books > Reviews


The Hurt Locker
If you don't want to worry with complex plots and prefer your action taking place on Earth, go and see The Hurt Locker, a contemporary war film delivering good action with little need to engage the higher brain functions.
By: Robert Lemmer  |  Posted: 13 May 2010  |  View Comments
Category: Screen > Film > Reviews


Home Away, edited by Louis Greenberg
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.
By: Mandy J Watson  |  Posted: 12 May 2010  |  View Comments
Category: Books > Reviews


Apacer Handy Steno AH321
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.
By: Mandy J Watson  |  Posted: 4 May 2010  |  View Comments
Category: Tech > Hardware > Reviews


Mpemba Effect Presents Ambient Afrique
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.
By: Mandy J Watson  |  Posted: 26 April 2010  |  View Comments
Category: Music > Reviews


Marrakesh Moroccan Restaurant
For those who can't bear the excruciatingly long flight, customs issues, plane delays, lost baggage, and inappropriate frisking by airport security officials, sometimes it's best to leave the passport at home, and follow your nose to the source of Moroccan delicacies that are best described as tantalising, succulent, dreamy, and experiential.
By: Jase Luttrell  |  Posted: 21 April 2010  |  View Comments


Designing The Zoo City Cover
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.
By: Mandy J Watson  |  Posted: 23 March 2010  |  View Comments
Category: Books > Features


Games > Sushi Cat
Sushi Cat
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.
By: Mandy J Watson  |  Posted: 18 March 2010  |  View Comments
Category: Games > Casual > Reviews


Ella Minnow Pea: A Novel In Letters By Mark Dunn
Ella Minnow Pea was first published in 2001 and it amazes me to think that I have lived nearly a decade without this book. I promise you'll find a nerdy love for words, language, and the processes of language construction in Mark Dunn's beautiful little novel. You'll enjoy every letter (especially the missing ones).
By: Jase Luttrell  |  Posted: 16 March 2010  |  View Comments
Category: Books > Reviews


The Memory Keeper's Daughter by Kim Edwards
The Memory Keeper's Daughter focuses on some rather annoying characters and has some pretty poor editing. However it is a compelling narrative of lies, deception, and intense emotion you won't forget but you'll have to read the review to decide if you want Kim Edwards' novel - and its problems - permanently lodged in your memory.
By: Jase Luttrell  |  Posted: 9 March 2010  |  View Comments
Category: Books > Reviews


Showcase: Maemo 5 On A Nokia N900
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.
By: Mandy J Watson  |  Posted: 5 March 2010  |  View Comments
Category: Tech > Software > Features


Nokia N900 Testing Notes
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.
By: Mandy J Watson  |  Posted: 4 March 2010  |  View Comments
Category: Tech > Hardware > Reviews


Apacer Handy Steno AH161 plus
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.
By: Mandy J Watson  |  Posted: 1 March 2010  |  View Comments
Category: Tech > Hardware > Reviews


Stephen Kellogg And The Sixers: My Old Man
"My Old Man" from Stephen Kellogg And The Sixers is a profound song of loss, nostalgia, and disappointment, with a surprising and near-contradictory playfulness that will make you want to have one last word with your old man. We are not responsible for any therapy sessions that may be required, though we will take credit for introducing you to this awesome track.
By: Jase Luttrell  |  Posted: 25 February 2010  |  View Comments
Category: Music > Music To Note


A brief update in which we point out that HaloScan has been destroyed, along with some of our history, save for the fact that we rescued it in the nick of time! A success, then!
By: Mandy J Watson  |  Posted: 17 February 2010  |  View Comments
Category: News


Apacer Handy Steno AH160
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 review: Apacer's Handy Steno AH160 flash-memory storage device.
By: Mandy J Watson  |  Posted: 11 February 2010  |  View Comments
Category: Tech > Hardware > Reviews


Play With Spider
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.
By: Mandy J Watson  |  Posted: 5 February 2010  |  View Comments


Neighbours: The Story Of A Murder by Lilia Momple
Neighbours: The Story Of A Murder is a novel of tragedy and triumph concerning the history and destabilisation of Mozambique, which teaches us that other cultures and countries can offer a lesson in humanity, perseverance, and the perils of greed, while reaffirming the idea that we can become neighbours through compassion and storytelling.
By: Jase Luttrell  |  Posted: 22 January 2010  |  View Comments
Category: Books > Reviews


Fiction Generator
"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."
By: Mandy J Watson  |  Posted: 22 January 2010  |  View Comments


Butterfly Boucher: We Don't Have A Clue
Butterfly Boucher may have a quirky name and her music may be equally quirky but the free download of "We Don't Have A Clue" is a fun and uplifting song that will make you smile and appreciate the day as time flutters by.
By: Jase Luttrell  |  Posted: 18 January 2010  |  View Comments
Category: Music > Music To Note


MEOW
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.)
By: Mandy J Watson  |  Posted: 6 January 2010  |  View Comments
Category: Screen > Shorts > Reviews