Kanthan's blog

Why we all should support Aung San Suu Kyi: Part 1

31 January 2022 — After World War II, the British Empire confronted the law of diminishing returns with regard to their looting and pillaging of their colonial territories. So, they pulled out, but divided those territories in a manner that was generally certain to provoke sectarian...

The BS detector: why you should not trust your local media

30 January 2022 — My commentary last week on how the Ukraine conflict is likely to play out evoked a question from a reader : "How is it possible in ZAs media landscape that the best analysis commentary is from a private blog, and in media houses the only international news are Reuters...

China's not-so secret weapon against the US

29 January 2022 — Here's a question where the answer might seem obvious, but is not: If you were going to buy a Tesla in Japan, what's the best way to do that? If you answered, "I would import it from Shanghai," you would be correct. If you get your news analysis from the likes of CNN, BBC...

Things to do before you turn 30: Lessons from Alexander the Great

28 January 2022 — A photorealistic representation of Alexander III of Macedonia (more familiarly known as Alexander the Great) depicting how he may have appeared in life, was published on the World History Encyclopedia website a year ago. The internet being what it is, I only got to see it...

Israel and South Africa: emotion versus realpolitik

27 January 2022 — A terse announcement on Twitter two days ago from my country’s president: His Excellency President @CyrilRamaphosa receives Letter of Credence from the Ambassador of the State of Israel, His Excellency Mr Eliav Belotsercovsky, on the occasion of the Credentials Ceremony at...

Is it flirting or is it harassment?

26 January 2022 — I stumbled across a meme doing the rounds recently. It depicts two men: one is young, svelte, and nattily dressed; the other is older, corpulent, with a receding hairline, and a double chin. Both are quoted saying: “That dress looks sexy on you”. The first man is captioned...

The benefit of social conventions

25 January 2022 — I was stuck in a rush hour traffic jam in Harare, Zimbabwe. The reason? The busy intersection of Samora Machel Avenue and Enterprise Road had traffic lights out of action. As a result, every motorist simply piled into the intersection hugging the bumper of the vehicle in...

There's a quiet revolution in nuclear energy: 10 recent signs

24 January 2022 — There's a quiet revolution going on in the quest for green energy.  You won't see much of this as headline news, but check this out: 1.     On 20 December 2021, China brought online the world's first operational modular nuclear reactor. It's a two-step process; a second...

Here's how the Ukraine conflict is likely to play out...

22 January 2022 — (If you missed my tirade yesterday, you should probably start there. Otherwise, read on:) 1.     The United States and Russia are both nuclear powers, capable of wiping out entire cities in each other's territories; this through a combination of intercontinental ballistic...

What a Blinken idiot…

21 January 2022 — Let's make one thing clear before I start on my tirade. I love the United States of America. The country embraced me, gave me an education second to none, and the wonderful friendships I made then endure to this day. If I start going through a list of influential people I...

China’s middle finger to Biden

20 January 2022 — Data from the General Administration of Chinese Customs shows China imported more than 1,78 million barrels of Iranian crude oil last month.  Some perspective: China’s daily consumption is 14,23 million barrels . The fuel bought from Iran is amounts to 3% of one day’s...

It's okay...

19 January 2022 — It's okay to not carry a gun but support gun rights. It's okay to not be gay but support gay rights. It's okay to be an atheist but support religious freedom. It's okay to believe in charity but oppose a welfare state. It's okay to be anti-abortion but support a woman's...

The theme from Harry's game

19 January 2022 — Harry, grandson of the UK monarch,  is challenging a government decision that he should not receive police protection when in the UK — even if he covers the costs himself. As a result of reading that story, I've got an earworm of the theme from Harry's Game.  (Lovely...

The problem with news censorship

18 January 2022 — Did you know that Donald Trump held a rally in Florence, Arizona, on Saturday night?  I only knew this because I briefly logged in to Gettr to check updates from people who have been deplatformed on Twitter.  (Fas est et ab hoste doceri, as Ovid put it.) I was curious as to...

Most labour laws are too old for the gig economy

16 January 2022 — It's been a while since I made use of any ride hailing service — late 2019 to be exact. That changed in December 2021 when I dropped my mother's car off for a valet service and needed a lift back home. This time around, I used Bolt. It turned out that my Bolt driver also...

10 things you need to know about the Vagina Spice

16 January 2022 — 1. It's the second most expensive spice in the world, hitting a high of $600 per kilogram in 2018 and currently trading at around $567/kg. 2. The Totonac people native to the east coast of Mexico cultivated the pods from which the spice is derived around the 15th century....

'Judge not, lest ye be judged'

15 January 2022 — I had a flashback earlier this week to the killing of Trayvon Martin. It was at the point at which the United States could potentially have degenerated into the type of chaos that followed the murder of George Floyd. Why did this not happen? I'm convinced it was the...

The 10 things you need to know about Nigeria's New Year massacres...

14 January 2022 — Nigeria yesterday lifted a ban on Twitter  which has been in place since 4 June 2021. The ban came about because Twitter removed this tweet by President Muhammadu Buhari: "Many of those misbehaving today are too young to be aware of the destruction and loss of lives that...

Want to get rid of your reading glasses? R50 per day will do it.

13 January 2022 — Most of us might not know the word "presbyopia", but most of us will suffer from it at some point. As we get older, our eyes lose elasticity of the lens, which makes focussing on near objects more difficult. The solution to this problem for most us is to get reading glasses...

The ten second rule of the microwave

12 January 2022 — If your office has a shared kitchen, chances are that the microwave oven is in use for most of the day; warming up food, warming up coffee, making noodles… I've noticed a pattern; most of the time when I get to the microwave, the timer shows 9 seconds left. Why? My theory...

The top ten things you need to know about Kazakhstan right now

11 January 2022 — We are not seeing much of this in western media, but this is the most important story in the world right now. Here's why: 1.     Riots broke out following removal of price controls on fuel which saw prices of petrol, diesel, and LNG double. 2.     These are “mostly...

It's a gift: Use it, or lose it

10 January 2022 — Twenty years ago, when I clocked 40, my mother gave me a cheque for R1 000 as a birthday present. I never cashed the cheque because the sentimental value of hanging on to that piece of paper was worth more to me than the pleasure I would have gotten from spending it on my...

On The Matrix Resurrections

9 January 2022 — If you search for reviews of The Matrix Resurrections, here are some of the titles you will see: "The Matrix Resurrections: An Embarrassing Failure"; "The Matrix Resurrections: Genius or Garbage?";  "How The Matrix Resurrections Perfected the Legacy Sequel"; "The Matrix...

Farewell, "Mr Tibbs"

8 January 2022 — I woke to the news that Sidney Poitier had passed away and had an immediate flashback to my pre-adolescence when I saw "In the Heat of the Night". It was a 16mm print projected onto a bedsheet in someone's house. (This was South Africa in the height of grand apartheid in the...

The best source of advice...

7 January 2022 — Still on the subject of New Year resolutions: If you want to lose weight, ask a thin person If you want to stop smoking, ask a non-smoker who quit If you want to defeat high blood pressure / cholesterol / diabetes, ask someone who doesn't have those problems If you want...

If the shoe doesn't fit...

6 January 2022 — I've never been one to make New Year resolutions, but it's one of those questions that almost everyone asks me when exchanging greetings. So, I decided to take a bugbear and turn that into a resolution. I want a new pair of shoes. It's not a complicated ask; except it is. I...

The silent threat of technology

5 January 2022 — I was in Beijing in 2017 and came close to being wiped out by a scooter. The previous time I visited China's capital, this would not have happened, because I would have heard it coming. This time, I did not, because the scooter was electric, and almost completely silent as a...

Name your price

4 January 2022 — Driving home this evening, I came across a sight which is not unfamiliar to my fellow South Africans: cars parked on the side of the road with "for sale" signs and numbers to call.  Neither of them had a price tag. My fellow South Africans, help me understand, why do we do...

The Science of hookups

3 January 2022 — It’s the new year. I see a lot of y’all pouring your hearts out on various platforms about your desire to extricate yourself from Covid-induced self-gratification. Not to worry; I have the two-step solution right here: If you’re a woman, you need to signal availability If...

The hazards of driving in Johannesburg

2 January 2022 — Driving into Gauteng this evening with a magnificent thunderstorm in full glory over Johannesburg in the distance, and (of course), my fellow Gatties,1 at the slightest hint of a cloudburst, slow to a crawl in the fast lane of the freeways, and put on their hazard lights. If...