Gavin Foster

On idiots and aliens

So, how many of you have ever been abducted by aliens? I first realised I might have been when I googled “aliens” after hearing that July 2 was World UFO Day. Up popped a story on Metro.co.uk headed “I was abducted by aliens — and they put a machine in my body” where a fellow…

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Homo naledi, Piltdown and a lesson in African prehistory

Professor Lee Berger and his team of scientists caused a huge stir when they unveiled the skeletal remains of not one, but at least 15 members of a previously unknown hominin species they’d discovered at the Cradle of Mankind. While the team had made no claim to have found the missing link between man and…

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Scotland 5. Donald Trump 0. What price America?

Author and humourist PG Wodehouse once wrote that “it is never difficult to distinguish between a Scotsman with a grievance and a ray of sunshine”. He was absolutely right when it came to American presidential hopeful and property mogul Donald Trump’s attempts to insinuate himself into the Scottish culture with his £750 million (R15.9 billion) golf estate…

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Give your car a hug

So here we are, little more than a century later, and the car is as welcome in every home as the chamber pot was before inside toilets arrived. It wasn’t always so, though. When the first adventurers took to the roads in steam and electric and clockwork and petrol-engined cars in the 1890s only the…

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Lost causes

Okay, I might as well get it out in the open. I’m a loser. Luckily, most of the things I misplace turn up somewhere, sometime, and then it’s like Christmas at chez Foster. Some of my items that go AWOL are repeat offenders, and my bunch of house keys with the large magnesium and flint…

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Is the motor industry killing the goose that lays the golden eggs?

So there you are, an ordinary guy with an ordinary job who wants to buy the best car that you can afford. It has to be reliable and economical rather than have a “WOW” factor, so you’ve pretty well set your mind on a boring new 1.3-litre hatch for R160 000 when up pops a pristine…

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Goodness gracious! This Dacia is a Nissan!

So poor old Sydney Gordon (65) of Johannesburg is suing Nissan South Africa because he bought a Nissan NP 200 from them for R131 342 on February 22 2012 and a year later discovered that it had “Renault” stamped all over it. He must have gone to a lot of trouble stripping the bakkie to identify…

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Driven by necessity? You be the judge

It was interesting to note that at last month’s Judicial Service Commission interviews for the post of KwaZulu-Natal deputy judge president, Judge President Chiman Patel chose to grill Judge Isaac Madondo over the fact that he was the only judge in the division to enjoy the services of a dedicated driver. Judge Madondo responded that…

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Take a bow, Alan Smithee

So there go 87 minutes of my life, wasted on a deplorable movie called 2010: Moby Dick, compliments of DStv. Based very loosely upon the 1851 Herman Melville classic, it ramps Captain Ahab and his ferocious nemesis, a gigantic albino man-eating sperm whale, straight into the 21st century. The unrepentant mariner is once again hell-bent…

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Superman se gat! Here comes SuperVaclav!

The comic book superheroes we grew up with could do no wrong. They leapt over tall buildings with aplomb, sliced through steel girders with laser-beam eyes, and stopped runaway locomotives by holding up the palm of one hand. Policemen applauded them, ordinary folk adored them, and when they slipped back into anonymity by replacing their…

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