Origin of the Stone Walled Structures of Mpumalanga

One of the oddities on the Suikerboschfontein Hiking Trail is a number of stone walled structures, one of which is grandiosely referred to as the Dying Sun Chariot. By implication, the function of that circular settlement is alluding to some religious or astronomical function much like Stonehenge in Wiltshire, UK.  The only explanation that is proffered for their existence is transparently “exotic” with apparently no credible evidence to substantiate the assumptions. 

Even the Kaapsehoop Hiking Trail has its own stone circle too small to function as a settlement known as Adam’s Calendar after its supposed function . 

Who constructed these little-known structures and when but, more importantly, why?  

Will a new publication by Tim Maggs and Alex Schoeman finally settle this enigma and usher in a revised postulation? 

Main picture: An aerial photograph of these structures reveals their extent

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Is this Future Here Already?

Kodak is one of the first megacompanies to face extinction when technological advances caught them off-guard. This phenomena is about to overtake many such companies, industries and even countries.

Here is a non-definitive list of those technologies which are on the cusp of this modern tsunami.

This will now happen with Artificial Intelligence, health, autonomous and electric cars, education, 3D printing, agriculture and jobs. Welcome to the fourth Industrial Revolution. Welcome to the Exponential Age

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Reminiscences of the Kruger Park of Yore

To celebrate the 90th birthday of the Kruger National Park (KNP) on May 31, management encouraged guests and staff to share memories on various social-media platforms. Visitors and Kruger lovers eagerly responded to this call and shared various memories. Some have been visiting the Kruger since the ‘60s.

Main picture: With a paucity of bridges, pontoons were the only way to cross the many rivers
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Royal Divorce down the Ages

At the dawn of humanity, marriage was deemed to be sacrosanct. Divorce in most societies – especially at the instigation of a female – was not permitted. Royalty – men only – were usually entitled to have a lover as their wife was usually married for political and not affection reasons. In these circumstances, divorce was never considered as the wife was the baby production machine whereas romantic love was reserved for their mistress. What happened when the wife could not deliver a male heir or, like in more modern times, when mistresses were no longer tolerated, how did the king or the royalty get their divorce? 

This blog dissects four vastly different royal divorces each of which exposes much about the milieu in which each occurred. Included in this blog will be the vignette on how [Bessiewallis] Wallis Simpson obtained her divorce from her second husband in order to marry King Edward VIII.

Main picture: Anne Boleyn in the Tower awaiting execution by Edouard Cibot (1799–1877)

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Brilliant but Low Tech Ideas

Whenever one hears of innovations, computers, cellphones, GPS and other high tech gadgets come to the fore. Whilst these inventions undoubtedly have made life convenient and more pleasurable, one must not only be captivated by technology. 

These photographs illustrate an array of low tech solutions to everyday problems that would also enhance our lives.

 Main picture: This holder for McDonald’s fries will resolve my problem when eating and driving. Naturally not eating while driving would be another solution but who wants to eat while parked at a McDonald’s

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Only in South Africa

None of these photos require a caption as they are all self-explanatory. Not all of them were taken in South Africa as some were taken north of our borders. Once one leaves the metropolises, the real Africa intrudes. The target audience of this blog is those who never leave the malls or their housing estates as these photos capture the essence of what is means to an African as we all are.

Perhaps this blog should have been entitled, “Getting to know one’s fellow Africans”, or maybe not.

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Should South Africa still drive on the Left Hand Side of the Road?

In the latest edition of the Heritage Portal, Peter Ball presents a concise, lucid and fascinating account of the history of why and how the various countries in the world elected to drive on which side of the road. 

With the majority of the countries driving on the right – 161 – versus 75 on the left, would or should there be standardisation to driving on the right. 

Main picture: Map of the world indicating which side every country drives on

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Celebration of the work of Laurent Schwebel

Laurent Schwebel was an internationally renowned nature photographer. At 8am on 8th February 2012, he was stabbed to death in Plaza San Martin, a main square in Buenos Aires while taking picture of a memorial statue. When a thug attempted to garb his camera, Laurent tackled the thief who stabbed him repeatedly.

Main picture: One of the many evocative photographs by Laurent Schwebel

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Amazing Historical Coincidences

I do not believe in luck, I certainly do not rely on providence and, contrary to some narratives, I place no significance on these highly improbable coincidences. Furthermore I scoff at and am extremely sceptical of accepting any correlation between these events. My only reaction is amazement. All of these events bear no significance other than the fact that of the millions of actions occurring throughout the world on a second by second basis, a minute percentage will bear the appearance of serendipity or coincidence.

 That is how these examples of coincidence must be viewed; amusing sometimes, interesting certainly but never prophetic.

Main picture: World War I began with the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria. The license plate of the car in which he was riding at the time of his death was AIII 118. WWI officially ended on Armistice Day: 11/11/18.

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