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Almost Human is the personal story of a charismatic and visionary palaeontologist, a rich and readable narrative about science, exploration, and what it means to be human.
In 2013, Wits University reasearch professor Lee Berger caught wind of a cache of bones in a hard-to-reach underground cave near Johannesburg. He put out a call around the world for collaborators – men and women small and adventurous enough to be able to squeeze through 8-inch tunnels to reach a sunless cave 40 feet underground. With this team of ‘underground astronauts’, Berger made the discovery of a lifetime: hundreds of prehistoric bones, including entire skeletons of at least 15 individuals, all perhaps two million years old. Their features combined those of known pre-hominids with those more human than anything ever before seen in prehistoric remains. Berger's team had discovered an all new species: Homo naledi.
The cave proved to be the richest pre-hominid site ever discovered, full of implications that challenge how we define ourselves as human. Did these ancestors of ours bury their dead? If so, they must have had an awareness of death, a level of self-knowledge: the very characteristic we used to define ourselves as human. Did an equally advanced species inhabit Earth with us, or before us?
Addressing these questions, Berger counters the arguments of those colleagues who have questioned his controversial interpretations and astounding finds.
In 1977, RW Johnson’s best-selling How Long Will South Africa Survive? provided a controversial and highly original analysis of the survival prospects of apartheid. Now, after more than twenty years of ANC rule, he believes the situation has become so critical that the question must be posed again.
‘The big question about ANC rule’, he writes, ‘is whether African nationalism would be able to cope with the challenges of running a modern industrial economy. Twenty years of ANC rule have shown conclusively that the party is hopelessly ill-equipped for this task. Indeed, everything suggests that South Africa under the ANC is fast slipping backward and that even the survival of South Africa as a unitary state cannot be taken for granted. The fundamental reason why the question of regime change has to be posed is that it is now clear that South Africa can either choose to have an ANC government or it can have a modern industrial economy. It cannot have both.’
Johnson’s analysis is strikingly original and cogently argued. He has for several decades now been the senior international commentator on South African affairs, known for his lucid analysis and complete lack of deference towards the conventional wisdom.
There are no villains here. Award-winning journalist Paul McNally finds corrupt cops, drug dealers, vigilante residents, addicts, torturers, murderers and cops partnered with drug dealers. But no villains.
Raymond is a shop owner on Ontdekkers Road, in Johannesburg, who takes a baseball bat to the dealers when they break his rules. He systematically records in his notebook the police officers who come – all day, every day – to collect their bribe money from the dealers, and is looking for someone to trust. Khaba is a middle-aged police officer who wants a quiet life but whose demons will not leave him in peace. He is trying to regain his trust in what he once regarded as an honourable profession. Wendy is a petite, ageing police reservist who can handle an R5 rifle with confidence, but not the sadness that accompanies her in her daily life – the loss of her police officer husband, brutally murdered by a drug lord, and the addiction that has her adult son in its grip. She is looking for respect and affirmation and for her own life to have meaning.
Through different paths, the lives of Raymond, Khaba and Wendy intersect on the street as their attention is focused on the current power couple – a drug dealer named Obi and Lerato, a police officer. Seemingly untouchable, Obi and Lerato terrorise Ontdekkers, and in the process upset the balance of this already lawless world.
Who are these Guptas who are so powerful, they’re distributing cabinet posts like matrons handing out condoms at a brothel? Who do Americans think they are, accusing Trevor Noah of ‘stealing’ a joke from one of their comedians? Is Sizakele MaKhumalo Zuma’s spaza shop a National Key Point?
In #ZuptasMustFall, And Other Rants, Fred Khumalo runs riot, contemplating the pressing issues that continue to confound, infuriate and exasperate the nation – or to sink it into further controversy. Covering a wide range of topics, including politics, history, current events and celebrity gossip, this compilation of recent and new writings contains Khumalo’s trademark blend of humour and shrewd analysis, as well as his treatment of everyday issues from a uniquely South African perspective.
This is an entertaining collection of thoughts from one of the country’s most seasoned journalists, offering many questions, and tongue-in-cheek answers, on who we are as a nation, where we are going, and how we compare to the rest of the world.
In 1990 two South African mothers were faced with an impossible choice, one that no mother should ever have to make. Should they surrender the child they had lovingly raised in order to get back the baby they had given birth to?
Megs Clinton-Parker and Sandy Dawkins chose nurture over nature, simply unable to give up their two-year-old sons who were switched at birth at an East Rand hospital. Instead they decided to try to make their strange relationship work, although they lived in different cities, 500km apart. And they decided to sue the South African state, whose negligence had altered the fates of two families forever. Robin Dawkins and Gavin Clinton-Parker grew up living each other’s lives, brothers-but-not-brothers, acutely aware that their mothers’ hearts were torn.
Unable to escape the consequences of the swap, Robin decided at the age of 15 that it was time to claim what was rightfully his, adding a further twist to this bitter saga.
South Africa has been called the 'rape capital'. Is this label accurate? What do South Africans think they know about rape? South Africa has a complex relationship with rape. Pumla Dineo Gqola unpacks this relationship by paying attention to patterns and trends of rape, asking what we can learn from famous cases and why South Africa is losing the battle against rape. Gqola looks at the 2006 rape trial of Jacob Zuma and what transpired in the trial itself, as well as trying to make sense of public responses to it. She interrogates feminist responses to the Anene Booysen case, amongst other high profile cases of gender-based violence. Rape: A South African Nightmare is a necessary book for various reasons. While volumes exist on rape in South Africa, much of this writing exists either in academic journals, activist publications or analysis pages of select print media. This is a conclusive book on rape in South Africa, illuminating aspects of South Africa's rape problem in South Africa, illuminating aspects of South Africa's rape problem and contributing to shifting the conversation forward. It is indebted to insights from available research, activism, the author's own immersion in Rape Crisis, the 1 in 9 Campaign and feminist scholarship. Analytically rigorous, it is intended for a general readership.
Combining thought-provoking graphic imagery with truly alarming information culled from some of the most authoritative sources around the world, "The Little Book of Shocking Food Facts" is literally jam-packed with essential truths you need to know about global food politics, fast food culture and healthy nutrition. This startling yet visually stunning book is guaranteed to alter the way you think about food production, while also changing your personal eating habits for the better. How is it that malnutrition is so widespread in the developing world, while obesity is rife in the developed world? What exactly is the nutritional value of junk food versus the health benefits of fresh fruit and vegetables? Do you know what really goes into the production of the food on your plate? "The Little Book of Shocking Food Facts" will help answer these and many other questions surrounding food production and consumption today. The crucial information presented in this book through specially commissioned, state-of-the-art graphic design has been meticulously and painstakingly gleaned from some of the world's most authoritative and up-to-date scientific studies and government reports. Extended footnotes at the back provide full citations for all information sources, as well as easy-to-understand texts that explain the facts in concise detail.
The new international bestseller from the Pulitzer Prize winner and author of The World is Flat - this is an essential and entertaining field guide to thriving in the twenty-first century. 'As a guide for perplexed Westerners, this book is very hard to beat ...Thank You for Being Late is a master class in explaining ...After your session with Dr. Friedman, you have a much better idea of the forces that are upending your world, how they work together - and what people, companies and governments can do to prosper' John Micklethwait, The New York Times Book Review 'The globe-trotting New York Times columnist's most famous book was about the world being flat. This one is all about the world being fast ...His main piece of advice for individuals, corporations, and countries is clear: Take a deep breath and adapt. This world isn't going to wait for you' Fortune We all sense it - something big is going on. You feel it in your workplace. You feel it when you talk to your children. You can't miss it when you read the newspapers or watch the news. Our lives are speeding up - and it is dizzying. In Thank You for Being Late, a work unlike any he has attempted before, Thomas L. Friedman exposes the tectonic movements that are reshaping the world today and explains how to get the most out of them. Friedman's thesis is that to understand the twenty-first century, you need to understand that the planet's three largest forces - Moore's law (technology), the market (globalization) and Mother Nature (climate change and biodiversity loss) - are all accelerating at once, transforming the workplace, politics, geopolitics, ethics and community. An extraordinary release of energy is reshaping everything from how we hail a taxi to the fate of nations to our most intimate relationships. It is creating vast new opportunities for individuals and small groups to save the world - or perhaps to destroy it. Thank You for Being Late is a work of contemporary history that serves as a field manual for how to think about this era of accelerations. It's also an argument for 'being late' - for pausing to appreciate this amazing historical epoch we're passing through and reflecting on its possibilities and dangers. He shows us how we can anchor ourselves as individuals in the eye of this storm, and how communities can create a 'topsoil of trust' to do the same for their increasingly diverse and digital populations. Written with his trademark vitality, wit, and optimism, and with unequalled access to many of those at the forefront of the changes he is describing all over the world, Thank You for Being Late is Friedman's most ambitious book - and an essential guide to the present and the future.
Byung-Chul Han is one of the most widely read philosophers in Europe today, a member of the new generation of German thinkers that includes Markus Gabriel and Armen Avanessian. In The Agony of Eros, a bestseller in Germany, Han considers the threat to love and desire in today's society. For Han, love requires the courage to accept self-negation for the sake of discovering the Other. In a world of fetishized individualism and technologically mediated social interaction, it is the Other that is eradicated, not the self. In today's increasingly narcissistic society, we have come to look for love and desire within the "inferno of the same." Han offers a survey of the threats to Eros, drawing on a wide range of sources -- Lars von Trier's film Melancholia, Wagner's Tristan und Isolde, Fifty Shades of Grey, Michel Foucault (providing a scathing critique of Foucault's valorization of power), Martin Buber, Hegel, Baudrillard, Flaubert, Barthes, Plato, and others. Han considers the "pornographication" of society, and shows how pornography profanes eros; addresses capitalism's leveling of essential differences; and discusses the politics of eros in today's "burnout society." To be dead to love, Han argues, is to be dead to thought itself. Concise in its expression but unsparing in its insight, The Agony of Eros is an important and provocative entry in Han's ongoing analysis of contemporary society. This remarkable essay, an intellectual experience of the first order, affords one of the best ways to gain full awareness of and join in one of the most pressing struggles of the day: the defense, that is to say -- as Rimbaud desired it -- the "reinvention" of love. -- from the foreword by Alain Badiou
Combining startling graphic imagery with truly shocking facts gathered from the world's most authoritative sources, "The Little Book of Shocking Global Facts" is a powerful visual manifesto by the world's most respected graphic designer, Jonathan Barnbrook and his studio. How is it that the developed world spends billions of dollars annually on weaponry, while the poor of the developing world have no access to education, medicines or even clean drinking water? What exactly is the relationship between cheap goods on the high street and the wage-slavery of sweatshops? How have large corporations branded the world in which we live?. "The Little Book of Shocking Global Facts" addresses these questions and many more besides, through its thought-provoking imagery and the persuasiveness of its first-rate research. This landmark publication demonstrates compellingly through words and pictures that unfettered globalisation is a highly destructive force when used for profit or political power, and that a new compassionate world order needs to be instigated. This important manifesto for global change will undoubtedly change its readers hearts and minds.
From the Pulitzer Prize winner and No.1 international bestselling author of The World is Flat, an essential and entertaining field guide to thriving in the twenty-first century. We all sense it - something big is going on. You feel it in your workplace. You feel it when you talk to your children. You can't miss it when you read the newspapers or watch the news. Our lives are speeding up - and it is dizzying. In Thank You for Being Late, a work unlike any he has attempted before, Thomas L. Friedman exposes the tectonic movements that are reshaping the world today and explains how to get the most out of them. Friedman's thesis is that to understand the twenty-first century, you need to understand that the planet's three largest forces - Moore's law (technology), the market (globalization) and Mother Nature (climate change and biodiversity loss) - are all accelerating at once, transforming the workplace, politics, geopolitics, ethics and community. An extraordinary release of energy is reshaping everything from how we hail a taxi to the fate of nations to our most intimate relationships. It is creating vast new opportunities for individuals and small groups to save the world - or perhaps to destroy it. Thank You for Being Late is a work of contemporary history that serves as a field manual for how to think about this era of accelerations. It's also an argument for 'being late' - for pausing to appreciate this amazing historical epoch we're passing through and reflecting on its possibilities and dangers. He shows us how we can anchor ourselves as individuals in the eye of this storm, and how communities can create a 'topsoil of trust' to do the same for their increasingly diverse and digital populations. Written with his trademark vitality, wit, and optimism, and with unequalled access to many of those at the forefront of the changes he is describing all over the world, Thank You for Being Late is Friedman's most ambitious book - and an essential guide to the present and the future.
This is shortlisted for the 2013 Orwell Prize. The story continues: two new chapters for the paperback edition. In 1986, Kris Maharaj, a British businessman living in Miami, was arrested for the brutal murder of two ex-business associates. His lawyer did not present a strong alibi; Kris was found guilty and sentenced to death in the electric chair. It wasn't until a young lawyer working for nothing, Clive Stafford Smith, took on his case that strong evidence began to emerge that the state of Florida had got the wrong man on Death Row. So far, so good - except that, as Stafford Smith argues here so compellingly, the American justice system is actually designed to ignore innocence. Twenty-six years later, Maharaj is still in jail. Step by step, Stafford Smith untangles the Maharaj case and the system that makes disasters like this inevitable. His conclusions will act as a wake-up call for those who condone legislation which threatens basic human rights and, at the same time, the personal story he tells demonstrates that determination can challenge the institutions that surreptitiously threaten our freedom.
A fascinating and easily accessible insight into the differences between organic and non-organic food quality. This landmark book redefines the nature of the debate concerning food quality. Revolutionary use of high quality magnifications of over 50 organic and nonorganic foodstuffs makes the comparison between the two instantly clear. The visual evidence is compelling to readers of all ages and levels of interest and expertise. Children, gardeners, farmers, parents and anyone interested in nutritional quality will find this book compelling and informative, as well as a beautiful addition to their library. Alongside the exquisite images are explanations from the author, who encourages the growth and consumption of organic foodstuffs as beneficial to health and vitality. The striking differences in the photographic comparisons are presented to encourage readers to reassess the effects of their life choices concerning culinary options and nutritional well-being.
Despite our culture's proclaimed respect for scientific reason, we live in a society that is no less bedazzled-and bedevilled-by myth than those of our remote ancestors. Roland Barthes first examined the mythical resonances of consumer products in the 1950s. Far from being demystified, consumerism has since morphed into a universal religion, its compulsory ritual of shopping essential to our economic survival. Myth has also invaded the political realm, as terrorists brandish black flags and recite theological mantras as they martyr themselves. Peter Conrad's exhilarating book exposes the absurdity and occasional insanity of our godforsaken, demon-haunted contemporary culture. Conrad casts his brilliant beam upon subjects from The Queen to the Kardashians, via Banksy, Nando's, vaping, the vogue of the cronut, the mushroom-like rise of Dubai, the launch of the Large Hadron Collider, the growth of the Pacific garbage patch...In Judge Judy, he shows us a matronly Roman goddess dispensing justice with a fly swatter. In the metamorphosis of Caitlyn Jenner from Olympic athlete and paterfamilias into idealized female form, he sees parallels to the deeds of the residents of Mount Olympus themselves. Finally, after surveying advances in biomedical engineering and artificial intelligence, he asks whether we might be on the brink of a post-human world.
Could extinct species, like mammoths and passenger pigeons, be brought back to life? The science says yes. In How to Clone a Mammoth, Beth Shapiro, evolutionary biologist and pioneer in "ancient DNA" research, walks readers through the astonishing and controversial process of de-extinction. From deciding which species should be restored, to sequencing their genomes, to anticipating how revived populations might be overseen in the wild, Shapiro vividly explores the extraordinary cutting-edge science that is being used--today--to resurrect the past. Journeying to far-flung Siberian locales in search of ice age bones and delving into her own research--as well as those of fellow experts such as Svante Paabo, George Church, and Craig Venter--Shapiro considers de-extinction's practical benefits and ethical challenges. Would de-extinction change the way we live? Is this really cloning? What are the costs and risks? And what is the ultimate goal? Using DNA collected from remains as a genetic blueprint, scientists aim to engineer extinct traits--traits that evolved by natural selection over thousands of years--into living organisms. But rather than viewing de-extinction as a way to restore one particular species, Shapiro argues that the overarching goal should be the revitalization and stabilization of contemporary ecosystems. For example, elephants with genes modified to express mammoth traits could expand into the Arctic, re-establishing lost productivity to the tundra ecosystem. Looking at the very real and compelling science behind an idea once seen as science fiction, How to Clone a Mammoth demonstrates how de-extinction will redefine conservation's future.
Life is a gift that includes powers to be used and celebrated, but that doesn't necessarily justify the use of every new power that comes along. This volume appeals to both secular and religious readers in the centre of the great debate over our new genetic powers. These essays affirm many traditional Christian perspectives and virtues, while also introducing new insights. transfer, genetic manipulation, patenting, health insurance and the moral status of embryos. They conclude that it is naive to either to reject outright or wholeheartedly embrace the new genetic powers. In fact, sometimes the best we can expect is to learn how to cope with moral uncertainty.
Whether by accidental keystroke or deliberate tinkering, technology is often used in ways that are unintended and unimagined by its designers and inventors. In this book, Jessa Lingel offers an account of digital technology use that looks beyond Silicon Valley and college dropouts-turned-entrepreneurs. Instead, Lingel tells stories from the margins of countercultural communities that have made the Internet meet their needs, subverting established norms of how digital technologies should be used. Lingel presents three case studies that contrast the imagined uses of the web to its lived and often messy practicalities. She examines a social media platform (developed long before Facebook) for body modification enthusiasts, with early web experiments in blogging, community, wikis, online dating, and podcasts; a network of communication technologies (both analog and digital) developed by a local community of punk rockers to manage information about underground shows; and the use of Facebook and Instagram for both promotional and community purposes by Brooklyn drag queens. Drawing on years of fieldwork, Lingel explores issues of alterity and community, inclusivity and exclusivity, secrecy and surveillance, and anonymity and self-promotion. By examining online life in terms of countercultural communities, Lingel argues that looking at outsider experiences helps us to imagine new uses and possibilities for the tools and platforms we use in everyday life.
At the turn of the century, a spate of sensational trials kept French and English readers spellbound and ignited bitter tugs of war over marriage and divorce laws, women's rights, temperance, gay prostitution, and lesbian literature.
The chapters in Disorder in the Court each focus on a specific high-profile trial, and the public debates surrounding it, in order to address the role of the state in regulating sexual morality. The authors draw on police archives, records of coroners' inquests, magistrates' courts, and news coverage to bring to life social conflicts sparked by differing ideologies of class, gender, and sexuality. Also explored is the role of the police and 'scientific' methods of criminology in an era when working class marital conflicts were resolved by an axe blow, unwanted middle class spouses were dispatched with an arsenic diet, and government agents scanned sensational novels or loitered in Paris urinals in search of vice.
In his latest collection of essays, author, physician and humanist philosopher Raymond Tallis meditates on the complexity of human consciousness, free will, mathematics, God and eternity. The philosophical reflections are interrupted by the fiercely polemical essay 'Lord Howe's Wicked Dream', in which Tallis exposes the 'institutionally corrupt' deception intended to destroy the NHS, and the values that have created and sustained it.
London had many places of execution: Tyburn, of course, but also Smithfield, Wapping, Kennington, Tower Hill and Charing Cross among others. All of these venues allowed the public to participate - whether in approval or opposition - and, in the opinion of the authorities, provided deterrence at a time when even trivial offences carried the death penalty. Author Robert Bard surveys the capital's places of execution and seeks to explain the prevailing appetite of the authorities and the public for such punishment and such grisly spectacle.
Karl Williams was on holiday in Dubai, living it large with two English friends, when they were accused of drug dealing, arrested, and tortured by police. They were innocent, but the authorities didn't care. And so began their year-long nightmare as they were locked up in Port Rashid where prisoners of all nationalities were crammed into stinking cells, violence could erupt in seconds, and control of the jail was in the hands of a few powerful inmates. Unless you knew the right people and could work the system, you were screwed. Karl was a survivor and managed to rise up the prison pecking order, making friends with local gangsters, Russian mafia and other assorted murderers, drug dealers, fraudsters and hapless innocents he encountered behind bars. But it was hard to stay positive when facing life or the death penalty ...And then he was moved to the notorious Central prison, a terrifying place where HIV positive prisoners were used by gangsters to infect their enemies; and murders and rape were common. When Karl had lost all hope of finding justice, Reprieve, an organization of committed human rights defenders, took up his case ...Raw, totally gripping, and at times brutally funny, Killing Time takes you behind the shiny desert paradise to the heart of the real Dubai.
Columbia is now the 3rd largest recipient of US foreign & military aid, the justification for which is the War on Drugs. In a clear, concise and sometimes bitterly funny lecture, Noam Chomsky shows us who is getting the money, who is producing and exporting the drugs, and what the war on the ground is really about. In the ongoing debate over whether Columbia will become the 'next Vietnam, ' Chomsky's analysis will provide a great introduction to the Columbian elite, the role of the US media, how 'development' works. Imagine "Traffic" starring Chomsky instead of Michael Douglas.
Noam Chomsky teaches at MIT and lives in Boston.
A study of the moral state of the nation - the acid test of this being how we treat the weakest among us. Rabbi Julia Neuberger assesses the situation in the UK from her own unique viewpoint and draws some challenging and thought-provoking conclusions. Just as Will Hutton looked at the political landscape at a turning point in Britain, Rabbi Julia will take the moral temperature of the nation by looking at the ways in which we treat the weakest amongst us. The National Health Service, government pensions and asylum seekers all make daily headlines, and here is a writer with the moral authority and mastery of the necessary information to undertake this timely project. The way we treat the weak and vulnerable members of society has long been an established way to judge how civilised a society is. In this book, Julia looks at the extent to which the elderly are thought a burden, the way we care for the mentally ill, attitudes to asylum seekers and support for ex-offenders, as well as the care of children and the future of society in the UK. Her straight-forward approach to what has elsewhere proven highly esoteric, is here written with ease and fluidity and with a style that is highly approachable for those interested in the state of their nation with purely social, rather than academic, motivations. With her uncomplicated but extremely intelligent and candid take on the issues that make daily headlines, and with Julia's high media profile, this book is guaranteed to tap into the state of our nation. Includes exciting new sections, reviewing the past year's events, reception to her book and what - if anything - has changed in the way she sees our nation's moral predicament.
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