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Author: prawn1 (page 2 of 210)

Importing With Aramex Global Shopper

Aramex Global Shopper (henceforth referred to as AGS) is a shipping service that enables you to buy items from online websites that don’t (or won’t) ship to a specific country, South Africa, for example. By signing up to AGS, you have access to 14 physical forwarding locations spread between New York, USA and Shanghai, China. When you buy any item from an online retailer, you simply have the item sent to the nearest AGS location, and when the item reaches that location, it is forwarded to the AGS facility in your country (Johannesburg in our case), and then delivered straight to your door. Well that’s the theory. Conveniently, it’s how the service works in practice too.

In October of last year, mystery gift box service Loot Crate started shipping to South Africa , and we rejoiced. We have come to expect that packages from the USA usually take some weeks to get here using the normal shipping channels, but there’s always the dread that the parcel will get lost in transit, or worse: get stuck in the black hole that is South African customs. This is what happened to a local whose Loot Crate packages took so long to be delivered that he cancelled his subscription.

So that got me thinking: could AGS guarantee a safe, reliable, convenient way to get one’s Loot Crate to South Africa? I decided to test this by ordering February’s Loot Crate (the 1 month plan) and getting AGS to ship it to me. For science, I kept track of the shipment.

On February 22nd, Loot Crate shipped the parcel from Los Angeles and it arrived at my selected AGS forwarding location, New York, on February 27th. AGS promptly notified me of my parcel’s arrival. It was put on a scale and shipping charges to South Africa were calculated based on the parcel weight. These details were clearly visible on my AGS online profile. Oddly and out of place, at the bottom of the page, there was a link to a randomly-numbered JPG file. That, as it turns out, is actually the photo of my parcel as it was captured at the AGS operations facility.

Aramex Global Shopper profile

I had an option to pay for the shipping at the time, or wait until the parcel arrived at the AGS Joburg facility. I opted to wait. The parcel got shipped regardless. On March 2nd, I was contacted by AGS customer support asking for a commercial invoice to have my parcel cleared at customs. AGS does provide the option to upload an invoice, but I had forgotten to do so, my bad. I e-mailed the required documentation to AGS, and *SIX* days later on March 8th, customs released the parcel. On March 10th, I was contacted by AGS customer support requesting payment for the shipping charges and the customs duties. There were NO duties, what luck! Payment was made, and the parcel arrived at my door on the morning of March 11th.

Let’s talk about the costs. I paid R339.16 for Loot Crate (including shipping to New York) and R274.00 for AGS to ship and courier the 0.7 KG parcel to me in Cape Town. There were no customs duties to be paid, so the total was R613.16. Bear in mind that using AGS is obviously more expensive than just having Loot Crate ship the parcel to me, and in this case I paid approximately R150.50 extra to use AGS. Personally, that is a price that I would happily pay for peace of mind in knowing where my parcel is at any time, having the customs process sorted on my behalf, and having it personally couriered to my home.

Aramex Global Shopper

If you’re looking for a reliable shipping service that gives you 14 18 personalised shipping addresses across the world, I would recommend Aramex Global Shopper. You’ll need to register once for a lifetime membership, which costs USD 45.00 (about R690 at the current exchange rate; just be aware that this figure will obviously fluctuate). If you’re interested, here’s a code that will net you the lifetime membership for just USD 10.00 — AGS10OLP (it expires on 31 October 2017).

For more info, check out www.aramexglobalshopper.com.

Hell’s Club: Another Night

Hell’s Club: Another Night is a quite possibly the greatest movie mashup of all time. Editing whizz Antonio Maria Da Silva creates a fictional nightclub where characters from disparate movies meet and interact. Outside of time. Outside of all logic.

Blade is the bouncer at the entrance. Daft Punk, the resident DJs, are banging out the killer tunes. Multiple James Bonds are at the bar. RoboCop is enforcing the no smoking rules. John Travolta is feeling the Saturday night fever, and so is the terrible dancer Jean-Claude Van Damme. Naturally, cocktails are being served by Tom Cruise.

Everyone’s having a great time until a bunch of Xenomorphs crash the party (via the ventilation shafts, obvs). It’s…madness, glorious mashup madness.

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Wintergartan’s Musical Marble Machine

Swedish musician Martin Molin built the Wintergartan Marble Machine, a wonderful Rube Goldberg contraption to play out a rather uplifting ditty. It’s an intricate music box made up of specially crafted pulleys, funnels, and tracks that guide some 2000 metal marbles through the machine to play the different musical instruments. Molin started building the machine in 2014.

[via @dev_za]

Paper Army vs Ginger Cat

The murderous Ginger Cat has struck again. The Paper Army cannot stand idly by as more of their people are (literally) torn to pieces. This time, it’s all out WAR.

[via @WhoopseyDaisy]

The Most Satisfying Video in the World

Don’t know about you but my Monday kinda feels like this:

Mondays

If you’re in need of motivation to kickstart the week or just the strength to survive it, you might like this video. The Most Satisfying Video in the World treats you to a 5-minute compilation of ingenious engineering, ball-run contraptions, and perpetual motion machines. The visual feast awaits.

[via Ufunk]

Watch: Spinning Blooms

University lecturer John Edmark creates spinning sculptures that come to life when they’re lit by a strobe light or captured by a video camera using an extremely fast shutter. Edmark calls his 3D-printed sculptures Blooms and says they’re designed using the same method nature uses in pine cones, sunflowers, and artichokes. You may know this method as the Fibonacci sequence — it is nature’s numbering system.

Check out the hypnotizing animations created by Edmark’s spinning Blooms.

[via Business Insider]

Fun Factoids

Did you know that giraffes can clean their ears with their tongues? Or that in the 1800s, opium was marketed as a way to pacify fussy babies? If you like that, then you may enjoy the other fun factoids cutely drawn by children’s book illustrator Mike Lowery.

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“Uncanny Valley” Blurs the Line Between Virtual and Reality

Virtual reality is set to take off next year. The Facebook-owned Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, and PlayStation VR are all set to debut in 2016. While there’s a certain amount of excitement about it, this beautifully-shot short film from 3dar takes a look at when VR is so prevalent that it has becoming habit-forming.

In Uncanny Valley, VR addicts (much like drug addicts) live in dens, closed off from others, and find more connection to their VR experiences than they do to their real lives. One such addict starts to notice an anomaly in digital sanctuary and decides to explore further…

[via Digg]

The Most Delicious Imperial Star Destroyers You Ever Did See

Artist Roland Tamayo combines Star Wars and food to create the most delicious Star Destroyers you ever did see.

Tamayo takes keeps bridge part of the iconic class of warship intact but replaces the familiar triangular-shaped wedge with treats like pizza, birthday cake, cherry pie, strawberry cheesecake, and a quesadilla. It’s a combination that looks good enough to eat. Check them out below.

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David Tennant Explains Einstein’s 100-Year Old Theory of Relativity

A century ago yesterday, Albert Einstein published his greatest work, the theory of relativity. His mind-bending idea forever changed how we think about the cosmos. It has stood up to intense scrutiny all this time.

If you’ve wanted to know what the theory of relativity is about but were thrown off by the oft complex science-y jargon, you might like this succinct 3-minute explanation. The cutesy animation features the talents of David Tennant, a sock, and two rather seedy characters, messieurs Dark Energy and Dark Matter to explain the relationship between space and time and mass.

The short film was created by Eoin Duffy.

[via SA Techie]