2012 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

4,329 films were submitted to the 2012 Cannes Film Festival. This blog had 35,000 views in 2012. If each view were a film, this blog would power 8 Film Festivals

Click here to see the complete report.


World Class Psychic – a true story

My previous blog posts about Norah the “Psychic” (January Archive) seem to have struck a painful chord with some people.

In particular, one gentleman contacted me with a very unhappy story, which I will relate below (I have asked his permission to share this):

Joe (not his real name) is a pensioner. He suffered the tragic loss of his wife on Christmas Eve 2009. They had been married for 42 years. When she passed away, he was devastated, and felt there was a huge gap in his life that he just couldn’t fill.

Joe saw Norah’s advert on the internet, and responded in the hope that Norah would help him to find a way to get nearer to his deceased wife. He was desperate, lonely and in a very vulnerable state.

Like many of us, he received Norah’s seemingly heartfelt, personal communications, and like many people he was taken in by her promises.

Joe bought everything Norah asked him to buy, was deceived into spending almost all of his money on expensive “essential” purchases, and then after 10 months her “help” abruptly stopped.

He is now penniless except for a state pension, and at this writing he is in hospital. His words to me were: “How can what this woman does be legal?”

Joe, my heart goes out to you! To lose someone you have loved for most of your life, and then to be taken advantage of by this unscrupulous psychic in such a cold and heartless way….. 

Unfortunately, Norah’s first, and most exciting, email has a very tiny disclaimer printed on the bottom which states:

The information provided on Premium Astrology.com and in my readings, e-mails, e-books, or other materials you might receive from PremiumAstrology.com, is for entertainment purposes only. Obviously, we cannot guarantee the accuracy of astrological or divinatory information, and we are not responsible for how you interpret or apply it.

If you are struggling with serious problems, including chronic illness, mental instability, or legal issues, please consult with your local registered health care or legal professional as soon as possible.

In other words, please use common sense. Please also carefully read the full Terms of Service. (Emphasis mine)

This disclaimer appears AFTER no less than eight invitations to you, dear reader, to “Click Here Now” and navigate AWAY from the page with the disclaimer to register for “THE MOST COMPLETE, DETAILED AND PRECISE ASTRAL READING OF YOUR ENTIRE LIFE”. Promises of great wealth falling into your lap during your once-in-a-lifetime Transit Period, which is due to start is just a few weeks! *Gasp*

If you do manage to persevere all the way to the bottom of the page without being dazzled by the promises of luck, wealth, love and happiness, and click on the “Terms of Service” link you get a very definite re-statement of the disclaimer, and much much more…. Boy, these people are not taking any chances!

So, Joe, I’m sorry to say, I don’t think there’s much chance you’ll ever get your money back from this World Class con artist…..

Please let this serve as a warning to anyone else who is contemplating getting involved with psychics and astrologers. They are only in it for the money. They don’t care about you, no matter what their slick marketing says.

Norah KNOWS she’s duping people. She says it’s “obvious” that astrological and psychic readings should not be taken as anything but mere entertainment…..

Telling you to “use your common sense” in the same breath as she’s telling you to believe the biggest load of BULLSHIT is just so cynical, it makes me ill.

Norah, the World Class Psychic, tells my fortune

A few days ago, just for a laugh, I responded to an online advert for a personal astrological reading by Norah, the World Famous Astrologer/Psychic.

I used a false name, gave my date of birth (I could tell you too, but then I’ll have to kill you) and said I wanted to know about the money in my future.

Sure as nuts, a day later I received an email from Norah, personally, with the startling admission that she was “overwhelmed by intense revelations” when she began to focus on my specific case. A more gullible person might have thought “Ooohh, I wonder what she saw in my future that was so overwhelming?”

I, on the other hand, thought “Oh yeah?”

The link provided by my new “Devoted Friend Norah” took me to the most bizarre, woo-infested missive I have ever read (and I have read a few….*sigh*….)

Apparently I am about to enter my Transit Period, starting Monday 30th January, and going on for another 77 days. During this time I will finally have the ability to attract the abundance I deserve, and shake off the Dark Cloud that has been preventing me from gaining eternal luck and happiness, especially in the fields of Love and Money.

It seems I had asked her for help just in time, because these Transit Periods only happen once or twice in a lifetime per individual, and mine is about to happen due to the influence of my “heavenly body” Venus, and the number 4. (How does SHE know about my Heavenly Body…..?)

Dear Norah, in her meditations and deep personal connection to me, sensed that there has been some Evil pursuing me since childhood, and that I have had one problem after another, especially concerning money.

After a short, generalised, feel-good “analysis” of my character – only the nice things you would say to butter someone up – she hit me with the whole point of this ridiculous charade: she wants my money!

If I am to get the best of the Great Change that is about to overtake my life, sort out my money problems and my love-life, all I have to do is hand over $79 for my Complete Detailed Astral Reading (plus three freebies worth $280 which will allow me to cultivate my Own Extra-Sensory Abilities).

AND, just to top off this incredible life-changing offer:

Along with your “TRANSIT PERIOD GUIDE TO LUCK AND HAPPINESS” you’ll receive,as a free gift on top of the $280 worth of bonuses that I have already described: “MY MAGIC WISH-FULFILLING PENTACLE”.

This Pentacle seems to be impregnated with a mysterious secret that contains POWERFUL ASTRAL FORCES. It is reputed to trigger the RAPID REALIZATION OF YOUR SECRET WISHES. Many men and women who have had the privilege of owning a MAGIC PENTACLE during a period of luck, have seen their SECRET WISHES come true, often in less than 7 days. It is urgent that you use it as quickly as possible, so that you are prepared for THE GREATEST CHANGE YOU HAVE EVER KNOWN IN YOUR LIFE.

A Magic Pentacle! What the hell is a Pentacle? Off to Wikipedia: “A pentacle is an amulet used in magical evocation, generally made of parchment, paper or metal…. on which the symbol of a spirit or energy being invoked is drawn”.

Nice! Is she going to send me a paper gold star with a dollar sign drawn on it?

Those who know me well will know that by that stage I was nearly paralysed with boredom by the whole Norah marketing machine. Not to mention the obvious wrongness of her deep, psychic insights into my life: I am extremely happily married to a man I have loved deeply for years, I have a FANTASTIC, well-paid job, loads of money, precious friends and family, a stimulating intellectual life, interesting hobbies… I could not be happier or more content if I wore a pentacle ;-p

I clicked “unsubscribe” and a day later received a response from someone called Pat, telling me I would not receive any further communications from Norah and politely asking whether there was anything else they could help me with? I responded that they could help me, and the rest of the world, by not publishing such blatant Bullshit. They should be ashamed of themselves. Gullible people might actually believe it and make decisions based on it – decisions that could be harmful or cost them money – just because some mass-mailed “psychic reading” told them to.

Don’t they have a conscience?

Astrology, for those who don’t already know it, is not true. The planets do not influence your life. The Gynaecologist who delivered you had a stronger gravitational influence on you at that moment than the relative angle of the planets that happened to be overhead at the time.

Astrologers were mightily embarrassed when it was discovered that the Earth actually revolved around the Sun, and when new planets (other than the Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn) were discovered that they had not taken into account in their charts (Neptune, Uranus and Pluto). Do only certain “planets” (including the Sun and the Moon!) influence humans, and not others? Why not? How could the astrological charts have been right up until then?

Psychics can’t sense your problems from the other side of the world. If any one psychic had any “extra-sensory” ability, they would have accepted the Million Dollar Challenge and proved it.

Not one psychic has EVER demonstrated real extra-sensory abilities under controlled conditions. It’s easy to do it on stage, with common magic tricks, and an assistant in the audience communicating with you through your “hearing aid”. That’s not to say no psychic will EVER demonstrate that ability under controlled conditions – but if Norah is an example of a World Class Psychic, then I don’t hold out much hope…..

Fortunately, if I didn’t realise my Earth-shattering Potential with Norah’s Reading, the Extra-Sensory Help Pack and my Magic Pentacle within 30 days, there was a 100% money-back guarantee – now that’s a psychic prediction I CAN believe in!


Hello World!

That sounds very ordinary, and right now I don’t FEEL very ordinary. This is my first tentative step into the blog-o-sphere – I must admit it feels pretty good.

By way of introduction: I am a South African woman, happily married, and thoroughly enjoying life. I work as a Financial Manager.

I want to use this blog to share my many and varied interests with anyone who is interested.

At the moment, I’m very involved in photography so I’ll share some of my best images here.

I am a technophile of note – I love having the very latest geeky toys, so I’ll probably rave on a bit about my iPad and my new Canon DSLR. The Canon is my biggest challenge at the moment – it’s new, it’s heavy and it’s Com-pli-ca-ted. I can’t wait to learn all the ins and outs of the machine, and hopefully take some good, creative shots…

I read a lot, so I will also post some book reviews. My tastes in books range between science, philosophy, astronomy, economics, management, history, politics….the list goes on.

There is a lot happening in my life at the moment. I will probably talk about that too, eventually.

To wind up, I’d like to dedicate this first blog to my lovely daughter, Angela.

Angie, you are an inspiration to me. I hope to one day be as prolific and intelligent a writer as you!