Kanthan's Blog

The unraveling of the EU begins today

By Krd - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=74929363

Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer,

In October 2018, German Chancellor Merkel announced that she would not be standing for reelection as leader of her party, the Christian Democratic Union.

In the December election that followed, Merkel's protégé, Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, (Germany's current Minister of Defence) was elected leader of the CDU by a narrow margin.

Today, CDU insiders have confirmed Kramp-Karrenbauer will be resigning her position as CDU leader this year and will not put her name forward to take over as chancellor in the 2021 federal election.

Why does this matter?

The erotic allure of unfamiliar books

"The Rainbow Has No Pink" by Hamish Hoosen Pillay

There's a pile of books on my bedside table in various stages of being read; ditto the guest bathroom at my home which doubles as my personal reading room every so often. 

But you will still find me prowling second hand bookshops looking for things that pique my curiosity. This is how I acquired some of David Bullard's "Out To Lunch" compilations which are long out of print.

Second hand bookshops are doomed to extinction in my country because of aliteracy – unwillingness to read even though one is able to do so.

The virus and the pangolin

Pangolin (Manis temminckii), Madikwe Game Reserve

Pangolin (Manis temminckii), Madikwe Game Reserve

When you see one strutting along on its hind legs, you might be forgiven for thinking this is a baby tyrannosaurus. 

When it rolls up into a ball, it looks like a projectile from a medieval version of pelota designed for the Spanish Inquisition. 

And then it puts forward something that looks like an earthworm the length of a domestic cat, which you realize is its tongue.

Pangolins are amazing creatures. They're mammals with scales, and they can swing from trees by their tails. In the wild, they are pretty much invincible.

To boldly go where no woman has gone before...

Christina Koch official portrait in an EMU - NASA/Bill Stafford

Christina Koch official portrait in an EMU - NASA/Bill Stafford

7 February 2020 - 7:00am

Barely 24 hours ago at 9h12 GMT, a Russian Soyuz spacecraft carrying Christina Koch safely parachuted down in Kazakhstan.

She had spent 328 days (including her 41st birthday on 29 January) on board the International Space Station. During that time, she and fellow astronaut Jessica Meir made history with the first all women spacewalk.

Then on 28 December 2019, Koch set another record; the longest continuous time spent in outer space by a woman,

Compulsory medical aid is a good thing

6 February 2020 - 7:00am

Earlier this week, someone expressed an opinion as to why he/she should be forced to subscribe to company medical aid. "The problem is companies to do not give us a choice. We are forced into joining (Discovery Health). That's what we need our government to look at. Why are we forced to join our provider"

I responded:  "You’re not forced to work for such companies. Do the honorable thing. Resign and use public healthcare.?"

Naturally, outrage ensued.

As my memory fades...

For some time now, I have had an app on my iPhone called Day One which prompts me every morning at 8h15 to write an entry in my journal.

@Anatinus asked me this morning what that was all about, and I told her that this was a way of reminding myself that someday, I needed to start writing down occasional thoughts or discussion threads that do not fit into any of the spaces where I usually publish.

So, here I sit at the Sleepers restaurant in Hoedspruit and have taken 5 minutes to configure Drupal's blog module to type these words. It's a start!