Pop culture personalities and their associated memes are generally pretty banal and fleeting, but the latest Russell Brand polemic deserves a mention, if not for its ludicrousness, then Brand’s accidental position as the obtuse canary in the coal mine of modern politics.
Recently, in a rambling 4,700 word essay for the New Statesman, the British stand-up comic and actor conjured up his own notion of what is wrong with the world and launched a fervent plea for a Spiritual Revolution. Marc gives his take on la revolución de Russell. » Read more »

Tilting at windmills: Power politics and Wind farms in South Africa

This is a long article, a very long article. It needs to be long because it addresses a critical issue that affects us all, be it as concerned environmentalist, tax payer, business owner or civic minded individual. The earth is heating up, polar bears are falling through the pack ice and Cape Town may soon be under water. On the other hand, energy generation is critical to a country’s development and the creation of employment. How we balance those two priorities will determine our quality of living for generations to come. In this article we try to understand the issues at stake, with special reference to the burgeoning wind farm industry in South Africa.

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Over the past few years there has been increased mention of an ‘African century’. Much of the renewed optimism for the continent has been based on Africa’s average growth rate of over 5% during the 2000s. Admittedly many African countries are experiencing accelerated growth from a low base, but there are other positive signs that may auger well for Africa’s future generations » Read more »

Type ‘self-help book’ into Google search and 640,000,000 results pop up. Compare that to that timeless classic, the Bible, which garners 407,000,000 results, or the Quran at 206,000,000 results. With the major difference that you pay for the ‘wisdoms’ espoused in self-help books as opposed to Bibles and other religious tomes which are often distributed free of charge. » Read more »

The 21st century has retained its fair share of cultural tyranny, exacerbated by the integrated and fast moving global economy on the one hand, and the vast disparities in access to information and education on the other hand. Culture as a benevolent factor in societal cohesion and stability has in many cases been usurped as a handy tool to further repression and economic rapaciousness. » Read more »

Rare Earth Elements (REEs) are a group of 17 chemical elements in the periodic table that share many similar properties. As science progressed new applications for REEs were discovered, to such an extent that they have become some of the most common ingredients in modern technology. Today, REEs are vital to two of the world’s fastest growing industries: clean energy and high technology. » Read more »

The rise of coffee culture and its mass consumption has made the beverage an intricate part of modern society. To such an extent that it is now the second most traded product in the world after petroleum. And just as controversial … » Read more »