Photo: Wikimedia

Monday Menu: Bottled water and human rights

Have you ever thought about the fact that bottled water might be having an impact on one of man’s most basic human rights – access to water? It’s all about commodification and boils down to money, says Maria Macarena Pereda of the University of Pretoria, in a mini-thesis she completed as part of her LLM…

The yellow presba. Photo: John P Simaika

John Simaika’s fascination with dragonflies

Stellenbosch University water ecologist Dr John Simaika has spent lots of time around dragonflies since one serendipitously landed on his dinner plate while he was discussing his honours degree project. Along with his former postgraduate supervisor, the renowned insect conservationist Prof Michael Samways of the SU Department of Conservation Ecology and Entomology, he has recently…

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Monday Menu: What happens when athletes have to quit?

So what happens to former elite athletes once they become too old to chase their Olympic dreams, or have to retire because of forced injuries? Many of those who develop injuries such as osteoarthritis don’t take it well. This can lead them to feel distress and suffer from sleep disorders and alcohol problems. This is…

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Coconuts can give nesting terns the edge

When it comes to the breeding success of common white terns, “artificial” seems to be better than “natural”. This is the results from a study conducted by researchers from the University of KwaZulu-Natal and colleagues in the Seychelles. Their findings about how well hollowed out coconut husks work as nests are published in African Journal…

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Monday menu: are SA youngsters up to date with the ABC’s of abortion?

So how much do South African youngsters know about abortion legislation, and what it all entails? Most know that it is legal to get an abortion, but their knowledge about the actual details are quite limited. That was some of the findings in a study by Devashnee Ramiyad and Cynthia Patel of the University of KwaZulu-Natal.…

Waterpipes for sale. Photo: Pixabay

Monday Menu: WCape students and their waterpipes

Is waterpipe smoking a “passing fad” among young people, and especially students, or is it the start of a different strain of the tobacco epidemic? The literature is divided on this issue, says Lara Kruger of the University of Cape Town’s School of Economics. “Some researchers argue that it is too early to comment, whereas…

Photo credit: Flickr

Night-time shots shed light on what works after 2010 FIFA World Cup in SA

  German economics researchers used satellite photographs taken at night to calculate the economic impact of the large-scale building of infrastructure ahead of the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa. What they saw made them realise that it makes more long-term economic sense to invest in transport than in building large event venues. The…