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Category: Humour

Winston the Pigeon is the champion in a most unusual race.

A company in KwaZulu-Natal, The Unlimited, decided that they were a little sick and tired of the unreliable internet connectivity they were getting from Telkom. They have to regularly send 4GB of data from their Howick office, near Pietermaritzburg to their head office in Hillcrest, Durban – a distance of 80km.

Someone had a bright idea that it would probably be faster to send the data between the office using a carrier pigeon than using their broadband connection, and thus was born Pigeon Race 2009.

Today, at 10:00 or so the race began, and Winston, the carrier pigeon did not disappoint. the download is still underway at the time of writing, while Winston has landed already, and the data has already been copied off the memory disk they attached to its leg. A recent test by the company showed it took over 2 days to transfer the 4GB over broadband. Winstons trip took 2 hours 6 minutes.

There is some talk that the company might employ more carrier pigeons after the success of this little experiment.

Many people who were trying to watch the live internet feeds struggled due to inadequate internet bandwidth. I love the irony.

This just goes to prove that Telkom IS as bad as they are made out to be….I just hope this contest spurs on our local communications companies to pull up their socks and offer us a real service.


I came across a very interesting story on Reddit today.

A team of mathematicians, Philip Munz, Ioan Hudea, Joe Imad and Robert J. Smith, from the University of Ottawa and Carleton University, have published a paper entitled When Zombies Attack!: Mathematical modelling of an outbreak of zomie infection.

Normally, the world tends to view mathematicians as a staid, humourless bunch of nerds hiding away in a musty office playing with numbers all day. I think this goes to prove otherwise…or at the very least, they have a sense of humour.

The research paper is written in a serious way, and for those who are braver than most, it includes a lot of mathematical formulae describing the infection rate when a zombie bites a human, taking into account factors such as susceptibility, quarantine and treatment.

The paper is not pointless though. Even though these guys have chosen a topic featured in just about every B-grade horror film since the 50′s, the paper does model how an infectious disease would be able to propagate through a population. So, for example, you could replace Zombie infection, with Swine flu infection. The principle remains the same, but I certainly think it makes for a much more fun to read research paper when we talk about zombies.