Language of Afrikaans and Khoisan Two of 24 Spoken in South Africa

Khoisan engraving in a riverbed on a farm in the Kalahari
Not many people know that 24 living languages are spoken in South Africa today. Of these, according to some estimates, Afrikaans is spoken by around 23 million people, or 46% of the population of nearly 50 million people.

At the other end of the scale, an almost extinct Khoisan language known by various names, including Ng’uki, is spoken by just 12 known individuals. These rare Ng’uki speakers are scattered about South Africa in isolated ‘ones’ and ‘two’s’.

The next smallest group numbers just 87 persons. They speak a marginal Khoisan language called Xiri. Also known as Grikwa or Griqua, it will soon join the other now extinct Khoisan languages of Seroa, Korana and Xam. The Khoisan were the original inhabitants of Southern Africa. The Bantu migrations from Central and East Africa towards the south eventually reached the southern African region, replacing the Khoisan as the predominant population. Today the largest Khoisan language group numbers 50 900 (2006) Continue reading “Language of Afrikaans and Khoisan Two of 24 Spoken in South Africa”

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Dan Balsam Emails-Anti-Spam-Crusader. This Man Is My Hero

Dan Balsam Anti-Spam Crusader
Dan Balsam, Anti-Spam Crusader

Eight years ago Dan Balsam received one too many emails inviting him to take advantage of an offer to enlarge his breasts. The rest is history. Dan launched a web site called, quit his job in marketing to go to law school and is now making a living suing the authors of emails offering miracle drugs, free sex and mail order brides.

Spam now accounts for 90% of all email, upwards of 200 Billion emails a day, according to Cisco Systems Inc. That’s a lot of email. ” I feel like I’m doing my bit to clean up the internet” says Dan.

Starting in 2000 Dan used the small claims court system with considerable success. Six years later he was graduating from the University of California Hastings College Law School. By then, some of his cases were being heard in the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. He was now taking on the big guys such as Valueclick Inc and, the latter after they sent Dan four emails to four different accounts all with the same subject line: “Hello my name is Rebbecca and I love you”. Continue reading “Dan Balsam Emails-Anti-Spam-Crusader. This Man Is My Hero”

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Records On Xray Film: Propaganda Video of Cuban-Missile-Crisis Era

In common with America in the Cold War era of the 1950s, Soviet authorities tried to prevent the evil spread of rock and roll and to save the youth from it’s moral dangers. The video shows a bunch of youths “stiljagi” who are dealing in black-market records behind Continue reading “Records On Xray Film: Propaganda Video of Cuban-Missile-Crisis Era”

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Was 3 BC Venus “Star of Wonder” the Real Christmas Star?

The "Star of Wonder" - the Christmas Star
The "Star of Wonder" - the Christmas Star

A week ago, one morning after a restless night, I was up before dawn. There in the predawn blue-black sky was a burning “star”. So startling in it’s intensity and so bright it was that it seemed unreal.

I stared at it for a long time thinking that I had never seen anything quite so astonishingly brilliant  in the sky. Well, apart from the Sun and the Moon, that is.

Days later my friend Bill, who is an amateur astronomer, solved the mystery for me. “Venus is exceptionally bright in the sky right now”, he said. That got me to thinking about the Christmas Star, it being Christmas and all. Could there really have been a “Star of Wonder”.

In ancient Roman times Astronomy was indistinguishable from Astrology. The ancient records throw some light on this question but not without controversy. Nonetheless, based on the evidence, it is generally accepted that the birth of Jesus must have occurred Continue reading “Was 3 BC Venus “Star of Wonder” the Real Christmas Star?”

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