Not Quite Squared Away

Squaring the circle...
Squaring the circle…

The other week I tried to find a way on Photoshop how to crop a photo into a circle. I could only find one way to crop with straight lines but I did not want that option. I wanted specifically, a circle… I exhausted all the other options that looked a possibility to solving the solution but none actually would do, the job.

In the end, I succumbed from being so determined to asking my husband on how to crop a circle. He kept placing a circle ring on top of the picture… I felt perplexed but remained patient to see if there was a method in his madness but to no avail. I exclaimed, “A circle but without any corners! Hence a cropped circle just not a squared one.”

He laughed his head off and was adamant that, “It cannot be done.”

Me: What do you mean it cannot be done? Of course, it can, just do a circle and make the corners transparent then you have a cropped circle!

Once again he laughed. He then satisfied my curiosity by showing me on Photoshop how to make layers and then another transparent layer before saving the file safely away.

Me: That is a cropped circle!

Him: No, (laughing) it is not a cropped circle.

Me: Then what is it? A circle in a square, a squared circle or a circle with transparent corners?

Him: The work-space where the circle is a file cannot be a circle due to the X & Y axis; it has to be a straight lined file.

Me: But why not a circle?! Surely, a circle could fit into that axis too…

Him: But mathematically it is not possible.

Me: But why not?!

A week later… I mischievously asked him “Why, with all the advanced software technology around today, one cannot crop a circle? If the aliens can do it then so can we!” 😛

He just laughed again albeit in exasperation I might add… Oh, how I do like to wind people up at times and I hope you too, enjoyed the laugh.

Vitruvian man may also give us an insight into another problem that occupied Leonardo for much of his life; that of ‘squaring the circle’. This involves drawing a circle and square that have the same area without measuring. Some argue that this diagram shows that Leonardo had a sophisticated understanding of the problem, which other mathematicians would not develop until much later.”

So… there has got to be a way to programme an alternative option to a ‘cropped square’ (or anything else with straight lines) as in a ‘cropped circle’?

It’s not impossible. 🙂

~ SJ (Sara Jae)

An Italian Abroad

Ever since I was a teenager, I have had this joke pinned up on my bedroom door, of which I very much find rather humorous.

“An Italian Abroad,

One day I go abroad to bigga hotel. Inna morning I go down to eata breakfast. I tella waitress I wan two pissas toast. She brings only one piss. I tella I wan two piss. She say go toilet. I say you no understand, I wan to piss on ma plate. She say you betta no pissa onna plate you dirty sonna bitch. I donna even know lady and she call me sonna bitch.

Later I go to café. The waitress brings me knife but no fock. I tella I wan fock. She say everyone wan fock. I say you no understand, I wanna fock on table. She say you betta no fock on table you dirty sonna bitch. I fed up so I go back to hotel to sleep.

At hotel I find no shets on bed. I call manager and tella him I wanna shet on bed. He say you betta no shet on bed you dirty sonna bitch. I go to reception and man say ‘Pease on you’ I say piss on you too farter of bitch.

I gonna back to Italy, pronto!”


Our Top Fifteen Pet Hates.

Quite a few people detest hearing the chalk scrape on the blackboard, my son really dislikes the sound polystyrene makes and just how it feels to the touch. Here, during a supposedly full moon which explains why some of the Tree House dwellers were stirring, listed are some of our pet hates.

1, First and foremost: Tinnitus – this is extremely draining and in some cases debilitating.

2, Negative body language – Keep your chins up luv.

3, People relentlessly tapping on our arms or shoulders – Surely once is enough?!

Do's and Don'ts by Matt Daigle
Do’s and Don’ts by Matt Daigle

4, Regional signs such as “middle fingers stirring the sky” which could mean “available” or “holiday” to others. Some deaf people think this is only deemed rude by the hearing while some deaf people also find this sign offending – Each to their own.

5, The sound of “Applause” apparently tends to drive some deaf people nuts. *Hands waving*

6, Static shocks – There are those who are full of static shocks but take pleasure in shocking others (!)

Comic Strip by Jim Davis
Comic Strip – Garfield.

7, Visual noises i.e. Feet twitching in the corner of our eyes whilst trying to watch a film or read something.

8, People adamantly tapping on the table which is ultra-loud to a deaf person due to our other senses being enhanced.

9, We might not be able to hear them but we can still smell them – Trumping and in some cases flapping!

10, The wind noise from within our cars due to the rear car window being open whilst driving as the wind vibrates on our hearing aid microphones. Who seconds wind noises?

SJ: I was once travelling back down south by coach with the kids and in the distant we spied a wind farm. My daughter seemed puzzled and asked me what they were, I explained it was a wind farm. She then asked why there was one? To which I answered most innocently “because too many people keep eating beans.” A moment later the penny dropped. The most priceless grin – ever!

Wind Recycling.
Wind Recycling.

11, The feeling of catching our fingernails, the vibrations via the blackboard or garage doors only for the paint flake off and get wedged inside our nails.

12, Not being able to cut our nails when we have broken it – which is why I now carry a nail clipper on my set of keys. Light-bulb moment.

13, The touch of the newspaper or magazine due to its texture is enough to make some deaf people break out into goose pimples and make their hands shake!

14, Wooden ice lolly and ice cream sticks. The texture and how we have to be careful not to bite on it or scrape it against our teeth to avoid the feeling, the noise it makes, the taste and the risk of splinters. The worst has to be the ones the doctors uses to look down our throats which terribly dries out our mouths.

Wooden sticks.
Wooden sticks

15, Sudden police sirens which our hearing aids amplify – Try living in Central London?!

Compiled by SJ (Sara Jae)

To laugh or not to laugh?

Laugh: (lăf, läf) to make the spontaneous sounds and movements of the face and body that are the instinctive expressions of lively amusement and sometimes also of derision.

Media will do anything these days for money and this advert by LiveLens is the latest insult to the deaf world. Why? Thamsanqa Jantjie appears in it. He is the one who managed to fool the South African Government into thinking he was a qualified sign language interpreter. While I and others do not wish to give him any more publicity, I feel saddened and extremely frustrated for my South African friends because I can see and feel the extent of these insults it is having on them. It is a complete mockery of their precious language, culture, their loyalty and shows the extent or rather lack of, understanding and empathy the companies and “comedians” have for them (and us) whilst making money out of it all.

I would like to seize the day by voicing through this medium to show my support, for my friends. One of which exclaimed “Unbelievable, today is our election day and now #fakeinterpreter spoilt the important day like he did to Mandela’s funeral!! He has no respect. We will keep fight and stop him!” hence their new campaign called “#stopfakeinterpreter”.

Braam Jordaan
Braam Jordaan

Here is why:


Captioned version here: Mandela’s sign language interpreter’s return to fame: Livelens

Extract from Huffington Post UK.
Extract from Huffington Post UK.

Oh please?!…. Choose someone who did not mar Nelson Mandela’s service for Deaf people worldwide as described by Limping Chicken who broke the very first story. Jantjie claims to be suffering from a mental illness such as schizophrenia. I for one never bought this claim as it seems to be a “get out of jail” card. It is the only way he managed to get so far in fooling those he could sign because others “vouched” for him. If so. they wanted him there on the stage, for a reason – was he a plant? It is feasible this has all been orchestrated (for his safety) but who really knows? A political conspiracy is my theory and I am not alone with this train of thought.

However, by making a mockery the first time around, this has encouraged other comedians to try the same tactic. USA knew not to go down this route and apologized for one of their shows making a remark. Yet several UK comedians have sadly got away with it for example Paul Whitehouse who was apparently praised for making the “funniest joke of the night” at the British Comedy Awards after bringing a fake signer on the stage. His video, ironically once again is not subtitled for the deaf audience to be feel included on.


Captioned version here: Paul Whitehouse’s fake signer in British Comedy Awards acceptance speech.

Some people would be inclined to feel as a member stated on our group, that only South African deaf people (and probably only signers) should be able to mock the whole Jantjie thing and it’s still too raw. We should focus on the issue of access and quality of communication professionals and how deaf people CAN insist on change. But, when they are using fake signs or being “comical” about our language or ability not to hear, it is more of insult not to caption, is it not? To be excluded totally… Adding captions would have gained them that bit more respect instead the respect goes to the one who actually spends their time to get some made to include us… Thank you to Sara of Subtitle YouTube for helping to source the captioned version of the Livelens video and for transcribing/captioning Paul Whitehouse’s video. Gratefully appreciated.  🙂

Most definitely.

Meanwhile…. another member commented that we should not take ourselves too seriously, or we lose perspective. Yet it is the hurt he (Jantjie) has caused our friends and potentially the deaf world by making a mockery. Humour of this nature is extremely controversial and rather subjective to each and every one’s own interpretations and personal experiences. Comedy which suggests one rule for themselves and another for others along the lines of… “Comedians using racism as potential comedy material because it isn’t their oppression and possibly isn’t their place to laugh at that… All too often comedians will make poor jokes which are oppressive and then claim “It’s comedy” as an excuse for why it shouldn’t be challenged” – This comment was made on our Facebook group and I wholeheartedly agree with that perspective. Yet, is this not a form of bullying at somebody else’s expense and/or misfortunes?

Here is a video by an American comedian, Brad Williams which is captioned:

“READ MY LIPS” Comedy, or Deaf-Bashing? You be the judge. (As stated on the YouTube page)


I was asked if I found this video above offensive. I was unsure simply because I had seen this video before and the first time I watched it I think I was offended and could empathise with his frustration at the derogatory sign for his height. That video actually reminded me of a time when I volunteered with a charity who one night had a comedian. The whole room went silent and I could not understand why… It was not until afterwards when a hearing friend kindly explained to me, the comedian was making jokes about the deaf (because he knew I was there with a couple of other deaf friends) and the jokes just weren’t funny, I then understood the reason behind the silences. I felt rather embarrassed yet supported knowing other hearing people there did not encourage this nature of humour.

There is a lot of signs still which the younger generations find offensive so most of the signs have in time evolved to be PC (Politically Correct). It is the same for spoken language, different generations will speak different regional dialects or street languages.

 “First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.”

by Mahatma Ghandi.

I would prefer to laugh with respect. Not laughed at, without respect. As it is not impossible for one to be funny and kind without hurting anyone’s feelings.

To laugh or not to laugh? That is the question.

~ SJ (Sara Jae), dedicating this post to her South African friends who also happen to be deaf.