Did Neanderthals and Humans ever interbreed?

It is probably trite to question whether they could have but we must also enquire whether they would have. Stating the obvious, they could have subject to the caveat that they only would have if they were members of the same species as different specious refuse to mate. 

How and why did these other species of humans disappear? The answer to the “same species” question will determine which theory takes primacy: Interbreeding or Replacement? 

Main picture: Theoretically the DNA of the Neanderthals & Homo Sapiens should be so far apart that they never should be able to interbreed. However is that correct?

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Middle Class Woes

Today’s road race was at the Elkah Stadium adjacent to Thokoza Park in Soweto. While driving home listening to 702 Talk Radio listeners airing their humdrum concerns, it struck me forcefully that many of the denizens of Moroka now face a different foe from one endured during the turbulent 1970’s, the dreaded middle class woes.

 Never fatal but its symptoms are overwork, stress and a lack of free time. 

Main picture:  Soweto is a symbol of the New South Africa, caught between old squatter misery and new prosperity Continue reading

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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