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We Review: Sleeping Dogs

I know Vancouver-based studio United Front Games for its less-cuter-than-LBP racer, ModNation Racers. They show that they’re nothing if not versatile with their latest game, the open-world action-adventure game Sleeping Dogs. With many of the game’s mechanics reminiscent of Grand Theft Auto, Batman, and Assassin’s Creed, does the developer combine these ingredients into a hearty tale of crime and punishment? Or is it more of a dog’s breakfast? Find out as my review continues after the jump.

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Gimme Your Cash! A Collection of Bank Robbery Notes

Aside from winning the lottery and nicking a few gold bars from the national reserve, robbing a bank is definitely part of my get-rich-quick scheme. One of the stumbling blocks comes in handing over the ultimatum to my victims – having seen so may witty deliveries in the movies, I’m afraid I won’t be as powerful – what if I get my tenses wrong? Or put the emphasis on the wrong syllable? Heaven forbid I dish out the order in the squeaky voice that I talk to the cats with. I should probably stick to writing a demand note…

Bank Notes 365 seeks to capture the notes used in actual bank robberies. From the verbose to the succinct, from the geniuses that got away to the fools who got caught, each note is accompanied by data related to that robbery. Have a look at some of them after the jump.

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The Most Homicidal Countries

In South Africa, we have a lot of things to be proud about. On the sporting front, our rugby team is top of the IRB World Rankings and the Proteas are ranked the third best cricketing team in the world. I have conveniently left out the national soccer side but I’m sure they hold a record for something – perhaps having the most coaches hired/fired.

We have some of the most “entertaining” politicians (see Julius Malema), and whilst no list will ever be able to graph it, our love for braai and beer is unparalleled. We also have the dubious distinction of topping a list that most countries would try to avoid being a part of.

In a local-is-not-so-lekker situation which most of us are aware of (but don’t tend to bring up in normal conversation), South Africa leads the world in homicide rates. The Guardian reports that, according to United Nations data from 2004, South Africa has 69 murders per 100,000 people, with Colombia in second place with 61.1 and El Salvador taking third with 57.5. That UN data was visualized by GOOD magazine’s “Transparency” department into an infographic that I am hard-pressed to find visually appealing.

These kind of traits obviously shape peoples’ perceptions of countries, but for the most of it, South Africans really are a nice bunch of people. If you ever visit Cape Town, drop us a line and we’ll happily let you buy us beer ;-)

[Thanks to PS3ZA member RA1THE for the tip]

Cautionary Tales

Sibusiso Duma and The South African Crime Spree

What the what? 24-year old Sibusiso Duma has more than a few screws loose. reports that the man who is accused of six murders knocked down two of his victims and then reversed over them!

Duma is alleged to have kidnapped a 17-year-old girl, gang-raped her and repeatedly drove over her. If that wasn’t enough, he set her on fire. The woman was found in a cemetary and taken to hospital, she has since recovered.

Here’s the run-down of Duma’s crime spree:

  • Six murders
  • Four aggravated robberies
  • Four rapes
  • Two attempted murders
  • Three kidnappings

And get this – all these crimes were allegedly between September 9th and 24th, 2007! 16 days, 19 crimes – that must be a South African record!

His trial started yesterday in the Pietermaritzburg High Court and continues today.

Cautionary Tales Featured Photoworthy

The Big Picture: Mexico’s Drug War

In 2006, Mexican president Felipe Calderón declared war on drug cartels and committed government more resources to stop the violence and stem the flow of drugs. Since then, the government has made some gains, notably arresting “disposal expert” who dissolved over 300 victims for a Tijuana drug cartel. However, there have been heavy losses as well – gun battles, assassinations, and fights between rival cartels have resulted in over 9,500 deaths since December 2006 – over 5,300 killed last year alone. takes you through a series of photos (34 in total) of Mexico’s drug war on The Big Picture.

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High as a Kite: Top 10 Common Myths About Cannabis

Doobie, dope, roach, reefer, weed, Mary Jane, boom, splif, ganja – 10 common names for cannabis. Now here are the 10 common myths about Cannabis.

10. Fat Storage

Myth: Cannabis’ active ingredient THC gets stored in body fat and its effects can last days or even weeks.

Fact: It is true that cannabis (like many other drugs) enters the body’s fat stores, and it is for this reason that it can be detected long after use, but that is the only part of this myth which is true. The fact is, the psychoactive aspects of the stored cannabis are used up quickly and while the residue of the drug remains, it no longer has any effect on the person. Furthermore, the presence of THC in body fat is not harmful to the fat, the brain, or any other part of the body.

9. Memory Loss

Myth: Cannabis use causes memory loss and a general reduction in logic and intelligence.

Fact: This is another myth which has elements of truth to it – no doubt the reason it is believed by so many. Laboratory tests have shown that cannabis diminishes the short term memory – but only when a person is intoxicated with it. A person who has taken cannabis will be able to remember things learned before they took it but may have trouble learning new information during intoxication. There is no scientific evidence whatsoever to suggest that this can become a long-term or permanent problem when sober.

8. Scientific Proof

Myth: Cannabis has been scientifically proven to be harmful.

Fact: Let us start with a quote: “the smoking of cannabis, even long term, is not harmful to health.” This quote comes from the peer-reviewed British medical journal The Lancet (founded in 1823). There is certainly no scientific consensus on cannabis use, and certainly no scientific proof that casual use is dangerous to health.

Hit the jump for more myths or go to The List Universe.