Health

The bitter sugar debate

At a kid’s birthday party recently someone remarked how thin I looked. I told the lady I was following Tim Noakes’ low-carb-high-fat Banting diet. I told her I ate butter like it’s cheese. She gasped a little. I told her I cut sugar completely out of my diet, which made some of the guests stop…

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Unaccompanied migrant children: Why we need to close the legal gaps to protect them

By Anjuli Maistry According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, almost half of the world’s forcibly displaced people are children. A number of factors lead to the migration of foreign children to South Africa. Some flee conflict and unrest, natural disaster or recruitment as child soldiers, while others leave their countries in the…

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How to survive dinner party small talk

If you or anyone close to you has ever made the big move of relocating between the Cape and Gauteng you are probably aware of the stereotypes around their divergent social cultures. Residents of the northern twin cities, after moving south, often describe the social scene in their new home town as clique, and the…

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‘The Life of I': Narcissism and (of course) you

“Paranoia is the self-cure for insignificance … the paranoiac is at the centre of a world which has no centre … to be hated makes him feel real: he has made his presence felt. To be unforgiveable is to be unforgettable.” (Emphases mine.) Australian social philosopher Anne Manne shrewdly begins The Life of I: the…

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Relax, you’re not going to die of Ebola

Quite a number of things are killing South Africans at the moment. High salt diets. Farm attacks. Tuberculosis. Cardiovascular diseases. Giant rats on the loose in Alexandra. Viagra-induced heart attacks. Oscar … The list is endless. What’s not really a threat to most people, however, is Ebola. Take this from a self-confessed germaphobe like myself…

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Nuclear power carries risks that are simply not worth taking

In the wake of President Jacob Zuma’s recent lone ranger escapade to Russia, evidently to secure Russian President Vladimir Putin’s assistance regarding South Africa’s energy needs — the status of which seems to be uncertain at present because of accusations and denials of him acting unilaterally flying to and fro — the question, whether one…

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Tanaquil Le Clercq and the possibility of resurrection

“I’m not a dancer anymore, who am I?” – Jacques d’Amboise When prima ballerina Tanaquil Le Clercq (1929-2000) played the part of a stricken polio victim in Resurgence (1944) when she was fifteen, little did she know that she was rehearsing her own sad fate. The biographical documentary Afternoon of a Faun (2013) tells the…

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Let’s talk about suicide

Today is World Suicide Prevention Day. About five years ago, as my family and parents and siblings celebrated Christmas Day together, we received a call from the UK. My uncle, my father’s twin brother, a larger-than-life man in his mid-seventies, with a large family of his own, and ostensibly in good health at the time,…

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Ebola lays bare the fragile nature of the ‘Africa rising’ narrative

The “Africa rising” narrative of the past couple of years is emotionally compelling for anyone living here. Not because such a rise would be deserved, but because it happens to be true. Investment in sub-Saharan Africa has been booming and the middle-class is burgeoning. Although not everywhere triumphant, democracy has taken vigorous root. On the…

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Depression never leaves you

By Sifiso Yengwa With Robin Williams’ death still fresh in the minds of many, the issue of depression has once again come to the fore. Nowadays it is generally accepted that depression is a clinical condition that is manageable with drugs and other forms of prescribed treatment. Sadly the majority of people still hold a…

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