BURN THIS MAGAZINE.
But only after you’ve memorised all the useful survival information. Or better yet buy two, one for reference and one to rip apart to stuff into your shirt for insulation or get the fire going. Then again, you’re a Popular Mechanics reader and probably have a bunker to hunker down in when the world goes belly up. If that’s the case you need to spread the good word for the sake of humanity. Be an evangelist and get the wayward back on the path to righteousness. When the internet goes down or we get struck with an EMP, this analogue method of spreading knowledge will be the only reliable thing left in the world. A snapshot of a time before we knew it could get a lot worse. A time capsule filled with hope.
If that sounded like a sales pitch from a man who has just taken over a predominantly print brand in a perennially plugged-in world, it’s because it was. Welcome to the first issue under new leadership. You’ll notice a few changes which bring us more in-line with the international brand, but with plenty of local flavour sprinkled on top. If you don’t like what’s happening, please don’t burn the magazine; rather engage me at email@example.com. To me, you’re the most interesting person in the world and I am at your service with any request or query. Things need to change if we want to keep you informed about the ever-changing way the world works.
This issue is saturated with US content because the “Incredibly Special Effects Awards” is a great Popular Mechanics look at cinema, awarding the innovative people pushing the boundaries of what can be made possible on screen. And also because the survival stories are universal thanks to our shrinking world, climate change and North Korea’s expanded ballistic missile range. On the home front, our poor planning and resource management brood has come home to roost in the form of a terrible water crisis. As it turns out, we (South Africans) are the only people who can help us out of this mess. It will take some fresh thinking but we can turn this thing around. Yes, Joburg, this affects you too… We’ll see how well you cope if it doesn’t rain for the rest of the year. JZ’S friends delayed the Lesotho Highlands Water Project completion until at least 2020.
I definitely won’t be burning this issue. I’ll probably frame it and keep it nearby. A reminder that my tenure is merely another footnote in the chronicles of human advancement. I don’t plan to be the last editor of Popular Mechanics South Africa and that means a commitment to keep you informed and entertained so that the next generation will seek inspiration in these pages. Please, tell me when you think I’m getting it wrong.