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My grandfather

My grandfather was born 16 December 1903. Twenty four hours later, the Wright Brothers flew the first airplane.

In 1914 when he was 10 years old, World War I broke out. When it ended in 1918, he was 14. 22 million people were dead

From 1918 until the time he turned 16 in 1920, Spanish Flu broke out. 50 million people died. He started work.

What I wrote on this day years ago...

Latest stories

Bitcoin for beginners

12 February 2020

If you receive a monthly salary, did you ever stop to think about the meaning of the word? It goes back to the Latin word “salarium” which was the allowance paid to Roman soldiers to buy “sal” (salt).

(I’ll get to Bitcoin soon, but the story starts in the ancient times, so bear with me.)

Our earliest records of salt as money are in the Hebrew Bible dating to around 500 BC where “salt from a person” effectively meant payment. In order to keep the system going, salt production was controlled by the rulers.

My favourite writings...

Angels in desolation

6 August 1999

'In such ugly times, the only true protest is beauty,' Phil Ochs once said ...

DAWN was breaking over the magnificent desolation of the Karoo landscape as cats eyes flung themselves towards me along the road pointing toward an infinite horizon.

The butterfly that stamped

24 September 1999

This is the 9th month of the year 1999. There are 99 days to go to the last year of this century. Do you feel a sense of destiny?

A BUTTERFLY flapped his wings in East Timor, setting up gentle spirals of air currents that grew as they intersected harmoniously with others nearby. He lived gloriously for a few short hours, mated, and died. Night fell and the remnants of his wings tossed and turned, no longer with life of their own, in the now strong breeze.

The stars looked down silently upon the scene. They had seen it before.