Kanthan's blog

Have you watched these banned films?

8 March 2020 — Did you know that Wonder Woman (2017) is banned in countries belonging to the Arab League? (The 22 members of the Arab League are Algeria, Bahrain, Comoros, Djibouti, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia,...

I'm grateful for the SANDF

7 March 2020 — There are some things in life that help me sleep easier, and one of those things is that we have a singularly incompetent South African National Defence Force. Think about it. Half of our 26 fabulous Gripen fighter jets don't fly because of lack of funding. Ditto our frigates...

The Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence at Home is over, for now

6 March 2020 — Some 21 years ago, when I was managing editor of the Cape Times, I had acquired as my desktop computer at work an Apple Power Macintosh G3 with its matching Sony Trinitron monitor. It was both beauty and beast by the standards of the day; blue and white polycarbonate clocking...

Here's how to look at our budget deficit properly

5 March 2020 — South Africa's budget deficit for this year is R370 billion. (That's the difference between the money government receives in taxes and the amount government spends by borrowing.) This triggered a thought as to what we could have spent that money on as a nation, and as I...

Remembering Fela Kuti because music

4 March 2020 — Driving my 12 year old daughter to school this morning, and the iPhone god of randomness popped by Shakara by Fela Kuti. And I told 12 that Fela had been beaten to death by Nigerian dictator Sani Abacha, and she asked why, and I said that's what dictators do. But that I would...

My Super Tuesday prediction

3 March 2020 — Today is Super Tuesday in the US. This is the day when the greatest number of states within that country hold primary elections to determine who is going to be the presidential candidate later this year. More than a third of the voting delegates to that presidential...

Israel goes to the polls... again!

2 March 2020 — Israel goes to the polls today for the third time in less than a year. Here's what this is about: Early last year, Benjamin Netanyahu was on track to become Israel's longest serving Prime Minister, but he had a fragile coalition with a one seat majority in the Knesset (...

The real value of Boomers

1 March 2020 — The United States is braced for the single biggest transfer of wealth in history. "Boomers" make up about 45 million households, worth about US $68,4 trillion, according to Cerulli Associates. an asset management research group. As they die over the next 25 years, their heirs...

'I can't believe it's not butter!' redux

29 February 2020 — The Black Soldier Fly, Hermetia illucens, was once only found in South America, but today is quite ubiqutous. The United States Spain, Portugal, southern France, Italy, Croatia, Malta, the Canary Islands, Switzerland, the Black Sea coast of Russia... Yes, and right here in...

My budget takeaways

27 February 2020 — Finance Minister Tito Mboweni delivered his 2020 budget speech yesterday. Brief highlights for me: No major tax increases. Fuel levies increase by 25c per litre. A 60 litre tank will cost R15 more. A R16,4 billion allocation to South African Airways for "guaranteed...

Should some religious groups be barred from foster care because of their beliefs?

26 February 2020 — A fascinating case has made its way to the US Supreme Court.  In 2018, Catholic Social Services, an arm of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, took the city to court accusing it of violating the U.S. Constitution’s First Amendment rights of freedom of speech and religion....

RIP, Shaun Johnson

25 February 2020 — Woke up to the news that founding editor of the Sunday Independent, Shaun Johnson, had passed away and was momentarily incredulous. Born November 1959, he is just two years older than I am.  I have a flashback now to sitting across from him at his desk circa October 1999;...