Weird & Wacky Road Signs

posted in: General 0

What would we do without road signs? I would get lost, very lost (although I have managed to do that even with road signs helping me along), who actually thinks about road signs? They are just an accepted norm, you drive along, you look for the sign that indicates how fast you allowed to go, you approaching a town…..where are we? Need to take the next turn after the white house, next to the elephant waterhole by the spaza shop….you look for a road sign as confirmation that you are heading in the right direction. Who invented them? What purpose do they serve (besides the obvious)?

According to most accounts available, the Romans were the first to invent road signs which were milestones, and they were used by ancient Romans in the Bronze Age. The very first road in Rome was the Via Appia, or also known as the Appian Way. This road was built in 312 B.C. At regular road intervals, milestones were placed, and these often stated who was in charge of the maintenance of that road portion and as well as the completed repairs. The Romans also built mile markers at intersections to specify the distance to Rome. I wonder if that is the origin of the saying….” all roads lead to Rome”?

The first modern road signs erected on a wide scale were designed for riders of high or “ordinary” bicycles in the late 1870s and early 1880s. Cycling organisations began to put up signs that warned of potential hazards ahead (particularly steep hills), rather than merely giving distance or directions to places, thereby contributing the sign type that defines “modern” traffic signs. In 1686, the first known Traffic Regulation Act in Europe was established by King Peter II of Portugal. This act ensures the placement of priority signs in the narrowest streets of Lisbon, stating which traffic should back up to give way. One of these signs still exists at Salvador street, in the neighbourhood of Alfama.

Eventually, with traffic on the roads increasing all the time, some form of standardisation regarding road signs was needed and after some debate, it was agreed on some distinct shapes to be used for various situations. The shapes were as follows:
Round: Railroad crossing warning
Octagon: To stop
Diamond: To show that precautions need to be taken in a specific area
Square: To show some care needs to be taken occasionally
Rectangular: For directional or regulation information
Star-Shaped: A unique shape used to mark highways
In Britain, before the 1950s, road signs were a disaster. It took graphic designers Jock Kinneir and Margaret Calvert to create standard and easy-to-read road signs. After testing different versions, they created new signs based on the European standard that triangular signs warn, circles command and rectangles provide information. They used drawings or pictograms more than words as a picture can convey a message a lot quicker than words. These pictograms have resulted in some hilarious road signs.

Turning left is usually a straightforward affair, but not at this intersection. You’ll first need to turn right and then go left. But be careful not to get confused, as you shouldn’t block the intersection, either.

Photo by Flickr user Paul Heaberlin

This sign is probably warning motorcyclists about an upcoming downhill turn, but it really just looks like a kid showing off on a rainbow.

Defensive Driving

 

Buzz Nicked

I had the opportunity to visit the beautiful country Namibia a few years ago and the images below are some of the pictograms we photographed:

Sources:
Did you Know Cars
Degemill
Wikipedia


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About Debbie Wessels

Juggling a energetic, full of surprises life, working full time with two teenagers and hoping to still be sane and normal by the time I retire.

OPINION: SA Construction Industry during COVID-19

posted in: General 0

An opinion piece on Construction in South Africa during Covid

26 March 2020, the day that everything changed. Hard lock-down. The entire country sequestered to their homes and not permitted to leave, it was called Lock-down Level 5. The ramifications of this decision will still be felt by everyone in all industries and walks of life for a long long time. We were entering the unknown, fearful of everything and everyone and if you listened to the various news broadcasters masquerading as prophets of doom and gloom, the world as we knew it had come to end, normal did not exist any more and life would never ever be the same again. I eventually made the conscious decision to change the TV channel from any and all news broadcasts and limited myself to one broadcast of news per day, this was for my own sanity as the bombarding of constant fear-mongering was powerfully eroding away at me. But this unknown scary time was going to be for 21 days, I would survive. Oh, how little did I know…..

But not all was doom and gloom, I was going to work remotely. I had subscribers that were depending on me to obtain information that was not readily available, they needed this information to assist in their business, they needed to keep their business going which in turn keeps our business going, it seems like an endless circle, but actually makes sense. Gosh, information was very scarce initially, no one knew what was happening (and if they did they did not want to say anything because who knew what tomorrow would bring…) Town planning and environmental notices (where we get a lot of our very new projects) “dried up” and no new notices were being posted, new tenders being published dwindled down to almost nothing, in fact, I noted that most of the tenders that were still going out were for various Eskom entities that needed repairs, Eskom’s procurement department was still hard at work. It was very slow going in the beginning, could not contact professionals, some were on leave, some did not have mobile numbers.

21 days came and went and lock-down continued. Come 1 May 2020 and the country moved down to level 4, this meant a slightly different set of rules, we still could not leave our homes unless it was an essential service, but we could exercise within a 5km radius of our homes between 6am and 9am. It was still dark at 6am and dangerous to leave your home but that didn’t worry me, I am not an exercise person anyway! But I digress, back to work….looks like some construction could start again, essential infrastructure projects and repairs but still the tenders had not really picked up as most of the municipalities remain closed, and they are the ones that put out the tenders according to their budgets…. Great excitement….we are moving to level 3 on 1 June 2020..hooray…many more sectors can open up and construction will definitely pick up now, slowly and surely tenders starting picking up and there was much speculation about all the field hospitals that were being planned (these projects were shrouded in secrecy and very little information was being released) but we persevered and were diligent in our research and managed to add 13 of these Covid 19 hospital projects to our database. Half of the office was still working remotely and the other half were coming to the office under strict hygiene and sanitising conditions. The joy of sitting at my desk, with the familiar all around me was soothing to the soul, maybe, just maybe things are going to be okay, no wait, I know they going to be okay, it might be different, it might be hard but it will be okay. I felt the construction industry was starting to look up and gain a little traction, majority of the projects in various sectors that were under construction when the lock-down was announced were prepping their sites and educating their staff on how to take precautions so that construction could recommence in earnest. Our L2Q department started getting new bills from contractors that required coding and pricing, there was a definite movement in the industry.

Level 2 was the next stage and that momentous day was 18 August 2020, 145 days since the National Lock-down was implemented. Additional industries have been permitted to start again and the number of tenders has increased, in all the different trades that we capture. Even though life might not be the same and the old normal has evolved into a new normal with a face mask and copious amount of sanitiser, there are signs of the Private Construction Sector is moving ahead and the larger privately funded projects are being awarded and construction is starting, new developments are being marketed and researching for updated information is moving at an increased pace.

We entered Level 1 on 21 September 2020 and there has been a substantial increase in public tenders as well as the progress and movement in privately funded projects.

Even though the effects on the construction industry and economy in the whole will likely have long term consequences Leads 2 Business will strive to continue sourcing viable and beneficial information for our subscribers as we did through the entire lock-down.


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About Debbie Wessels

Juggling a energetic, full of surprises life, working full time with two teenagers and hoping to still be sane and normal by the time I retire.

Featured Project: Limpopo Central Hospital – Building

Limpopo

Description
Construction of the Limpopo Central Hospital, (LCH) in Polokwane, Limpopo Province. The new hospital will cater for the residents of Polokwane and the surrounding area. The main hospital will have 3 floors catering for 488 beds and will be the major teaching hospital for the University of Limpopo Faculty of Health Sciences and School of Medicine. The proposed site is currently situated between Edupark and the Northern Academy Secondary School on the remainder of Erf 6861 of Pietersburg Extension 30, to the north of the N1 (Polokwane Bypass), south of Suid Street and to the east of Webster Street. The land is approximately 30ha (30 000m²).

 

Status Region
Design Polokwane (Pietersburg)
Category Value
Building R 100 million+
Industry Timing
Healthcare 2020 onwards
Sector Class
Public Private Partnership Open Tender

 


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About Debbie Wessels

Juggling a energetic, full of surprises life, working full time with two teenagers and hoping to still be sane and normal by the time I retire.

Featured Project: Selati Railway Bridge

Mpumalanga

Description
Development of a 48 bed Kruger Shalati tourism facility comprising of 12 railway carriages and a lounge carriage on the Selati Railway Bridge over the Sabie River adjacent to the Skukuza Rest Camp in the Kruger National Park, Mpumalanga. The scope of works could also include the refurbishment of the existing Waterkant Guest Houses as a upmarket tourism accommodation comprising of 12 beds with associated lounge and dining facilities, these two guest houses will be replaced by the development of a 12 bed guest house available for use by the general public just to the west of the existing Nyati Guest House. The development as a whole will reflect the historical and heritage value of the Selati Railway Line. Approximate GPS co-ordinates: 24°59’28.93″S 31°35’48.71″E

 

Status Region
Underway Skukuza
Category Value
Infrastructure R 31 Million – R 60 Million
Industry Timing
Hospitality & Leisure Anticipated completion December 2020
Sector Class
Private Invited / Negotiated

 


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About Debbie Wessels

Juggling a energetic, full of surprises life, working full time with two teenagers and hoping to still be sane and normal by the time I retire.

Clever Marketing Strategies Retail Outlets use

Clever Marketing Strategies Retail Outlets use

Many years ago, my uncle had a general trading store in a little town called Komga in the Eastern Cape, South Africa. He was building his store up from scratch and had many items for sale. One particular item, a box of pens, had been sitting on the shelf, not selling and were priced at 99c each. He made a sign, wrote the word “Special – R 1.00 each”, put the box on the counter and all the pens were sold within a week.

My uncle’s strategy was visual (no mobiles and social media invented yet) but today’s retailers have many more options at their disposal. Many people are bargain hunters and the words “special” or “sale” are like homing beacons, calling us, tantalizing and convincing enough that sometimes, even if we don’t really need the item, we buy it cause we are getting it on “special”!

In this consumer driven world that we live in, we are bombarded from all sides with marketing ploys and adverts, specials, etc to convince you that THIS is the store, THIS is what I need. To draw the foot traffic into their stores, retailers have many options at their disposal and how they use them will determine if their strategies are working……

Retailers need to ensure that their STOREFRONTS are relevant and enticing, when it is a sweltering 40 degrees outside, gorgeous fur coats draped over the mannequins with lace up boots and scarfs will not set the right tone. INCENTIVES TO RETURN and a LOYALTY PROGRAM, this marketing strategy is widely used and is very successful. If I am faced with two shops, side by side, selling the same merchandise but one is offering me an incentive to enter, boy oh boy, that is the one I am going to choose, I mean, who does not want a free coffee while I browse through wonderful stuff that I don’t really need? And if buying something results in a “kickback” to me (loyalty points etc) that’s the way I am gonna go. SOCIAL MEDIA is a powerful tool utilised in retailer’s marketing strategies, promoting their in-store goods on line and even better when there is a limit to the special e.g. buy 2 leggings for R50, Special ends Monday. Goodness, best I get there right now, good price and it ends soon and I don’t want to miss out! Advertising on FACEBOOK, INSTAGRAM and pinning your goods to a PINTEREST board is always a good idea. REVIEWS! Personally I like to check reviews and they most certainly have an influence as to whether I wish to patronise that retailer or not. BRANDS, lets face it, a lot of people are brand conscious and a brand name beats a no-name brand any day! Retailers have a multitude of options at their fingertips and in order to succeed they need to stay one step ahead of their competitors.

Leads 2 Business takes great pride in producing relevant, comprehensive and updated information in the Construction Industry by publishing new tenders and projects on a daily basis. Our up-to-date, user friendly website is a breeze to operate and will save you time when looking to increase your order book. Do not miss out on this opportunity! For further information on our services please contact me on DebbieW@L2B.co.za , I look forward to hearing from you!

 

 

Sources:

Vendhq
Fitsmallbusiness.com
Wordstream
Shopify
CampaignMonitor
Pixabay


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About Debbie Wessels

Juggling a energetic, full of surprises life, working full time with two teenagers and hoping to still be sane and normal by the time I retire.

Featured Project: Stimela Crossing

Featured Project: Stimela Crossing

Description
Construction of the Stimela Crossing Shopping Mall, Barberton, Mpumalanga. The centre will be single level and semi enclosed with a gross lettable area of 11 878m² with external parking. The centre will have two anchor tenants and a wide range of national retailers.

 

Status Region
Underway Mpumalanga
Category Value
Building Unknown At This Stage
Industry Timing
Retail October 2018 to August 2019 (10 months)
Sector Class
Private Invited / Negotiated

 

 

 

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About Debbie Wessels

Juggling a energetic, full of surprises life, working full time with two teenagers and hoping to still be sane and normal by the time I retire.

Featured Project: Karoshoek Solar Valley Development

Karoshoek Solar Valley Development

Karoshoek Solar Valley Development

Description
Construction of a commercial Solar Thermal Plant, located approximately 30km east of Upington, Northern Cape.

 

Status Region
Underway Northern Cape
Category Value
Infrastructure R 100 million+
Industry Timing
Power Grid October 2015 – October 2018
Sector Class
Private EPCM 

 

Karoshoek Solar Valley Development

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About Debbie Wessels

Juggling a energetic, full of surprises life, working full time with two teenagers and hoping to still be sane and normal by the time I retire.

What does Google mean to me?

posted in: Did You Know 0

What does Google mean to me?

The title made me giggle…it should say “what does Google not mean to me?”

Google is my “go-to person” for EVERYTHING that I am looking for information about, be it something I already know, or want know, or need confirmation about, or to settle an argument, anything and everything, there is pretty much nothing that Google cannot help you with.

The above got me thinking, Google has always just been “there” and I have never really thought about how it got its name, how the information gets there (for me to find) and what it all means…hmmm…this means I get to do some research (on Google of course)….

How Google did gets its name?

Turns out Google was born from a spelling mistake! What? The Grammar-nerd firmly instilled in me was horrified, turns out that Google is a misspelling of a real-life mathematical term, googol.

Back in the late 90’s, Larry Page and Sergey Brin were working on a search engine and they had called it “Backrub”……thank goodness they were smart (they were grad students at Stanford after all) and went on a brainstorming session to rename their search engine and with the help of a fellow student Sean, came up with the name “Googolplex”.

Googolplex is the name for 10 to the power of googol. Googol is the name used by mathematicians to reference 10 to the power of 100 or the number 1 followed by 100 zeros. (The name googol and googolplex were originally coined by Milton Sirotta, nephew of Edward Kasner, a famous American mathematician)
When Sean suggested googolplex, Larry thought that the term googol was better and thought that the definition of the word was a great fit for what they were trying to do which was to index an unfathomable number of Internet web pages.

Sean, not realizing googol was spelled with an ol at the end, searched the Internet to see if the domain google.com was available. Larry liked the new word Sean had accidentally come up with, and voila! Google was named.

How does Google find what I am looking for?
Google has several steps that they take in order to find and collate their information (so that you and I can find it easy-peasy)

1. Spiders/Crawling as much of the web as they can.
SPIDERS!!!! that is just creepy and I had an instant visual of an old movie from 1984 starring Tom Selleck called Runaway that had all these hundreds of little killer robots in the shape of spiders (shudder) running around but thank goodness my Arachnophobia is unfounded, it’s not that type of spider (cue nervous giggle) Google has millions of servers spread out across the globe and these are used to crawl, index and power Google’s search engines and are constantly trying to find new pages and check existing pages for updates. A search engine spider does the search engine’s grunt work: It scans Web pages and creates indexes of keywords. Once a spider has visited, scanned and categorised a page, it follows links from that page to other sites. The spider will continue to crawl from one site to the next, which means the search engine’s index becomes more comprehensive with endless amounts of information.

2. Indexing the information that has been sourced.
Google has an index of 100 000 000 gigabytes (might actually be more by now) and that a LOT of data. On the pages that are indexed, Google will select pages or words which are relevant to the site, this is automated and determined by all kinds of metrics including how often a website is updated, what is the theme of the website etc.

3. Determining how the information should be ranked
Google uses a trademarked algorithm called PageRank, which assigns each Web page a relevancy score. A Web Page’s “PageRank” depends on the following (a) the frequency and location of specific keywords e.g. if a keyword only appears once, this webpage will get a low score for that keyword. (b) How long the web page has existed e.g. hundreds of new web pages are created daily and sadly some of them have a very short lifespan, Google places more value on a page that is active and has an established history. (c) How many other web pages link to your webpage
Well!! It seems that Google is a very, very busy search engine that is constantly looking for new information just to please me….and I am very grateful. My life without Google would be ‘informationless’, boring and unfathomable.

Google Quotes that ‘spoke’ to me:
Google is arguably one of the greatest inventions. The search engines is one of the greatest human inventions – Franklin Foer (I hear you Frankie……Google is the best!)
People at different stages of their lives are doing different things, and they all using Google – Susan Wojcicki (So true Susie, I would be lost without Google)
If it isn’t on Google then it does not exist – Jimmy Wales (Jim, I believe it!)

I found a new love in Google. I’m a Googler now – Alan Mulally (Al, you and me both, been in love with Google for a while now, I’m a Googler too!)

Sources:

Skill Crush
Quora
How Stuff Works
Brainy Quote

About Debbie Wessels

Juggling a energetic, full of surprises life, working full time with two teenagers and hoping to still be sane and normal by the time I retire.

Featured Project: New Hospital in Middelburg

New Hospital in Middelburg

Golden Gate Dinosaur Centre

Description
Design and construction of a new hospital in Middelburg. Project Features include: 220 beds, training centre, 600 seat auditorium, 332 beds for student and staff accommodation and associated recreational facilities.

 

Status Region
Underway Mpumalanga
Category Value
Building R1 037 400 000.00
Industry Timing
Healthcare January 2018 to December 2019 (22 months)
Sector Class
Public Turnkey

 

New Hospital in Middelburg

 

Please visit Leads 2 Business for more information on this Hospital.
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About Debbie Wessels

Juggling a energetic, full of surprises life, working full time with two teenagers and hoping to still be sane and normal by the time I retire.

Featured Project: Kathu Solar Park

Kathu Solar Park

Kathu Solar Park

Description:

Construction of a 100MW plant with parabolic troughs and a thermal energy storage capacity of 4.5 hours and will be located in the town of Kathu, near Upington, in Northern Cape Province. The project is situated on Farm Kathu No. 465, Kuruman RD. The property is situated approximately 3km to the north of Kathu (town). The access turn off to the property is situated approximately 11km from the Kathu town centre (via the N14 national road).

Kathu Solar Park

Status:

Underway

Category:

Infrastructure

Industry:

Power Grid

Sector:

Private

Region:

Northern Cape

Value:

R100 Million+

Timing:

May 2016 – September 2018

Class

Invited / Negotiated / Turnkey

 

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Juggling a energetic, full of surprises life, working full time with two teenagers and hoping to still be sane and normal by the time I retire.

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