Constitution Hill is a window on a brutal past

first_img“The Hill, as it is fondly known, is an engine of growth and transformation for downtown Johannesburg and a place where residents and visitors can interact in a space that takes the country’s history forward in a respectful but progressive manner,” explains Petal Thring, the chief executive officer of Constitution Hill. (Image: Melissa Jane Cook• Petal ThringCEOConstitution Hill+27 11 381• ConHill is preferred heritage destination • Experts unpack meaning of human rights memorial • Gandhi’s memory lingers in South Africa• Values, heritage can be learnt here • ConCourt art tells South Africa’s storyConstitution Hill is home to the Constitutional Court, the foundation of all that is democratic in South Africa. It is a reminder to all who visit that dignity, democracy, freedom and equality are entrenched in the Constitution.For decades, South Africa was an international pariah, notorious for its apartheid policies. Today, Constitution Hill, in Braamfontein has undergone a phenomenal transformation, a microcosm of the changes the country as a whole has undergone. Once a place of inhumanity and brutality, it is now a place of justice and learning. A commanding presence, Constitution Hill overlooks Johannesburg and provides a unique perspective on the City of Gold and its rich history. This site is home to the Constitutional Court, Women’s Gaol museum, Number Four museum, and the Old Fort museum.“The Hill, as it is fondly known, is an engine of growth and transformation for downtown Johannesburg and a place where residents and visitors can interact in a space that takes the country’s history forward in a respectful but progressive manner,” explains Petal Thring, the chief executive officer of Constitution Hill.A living museumIt is a living legacy of a very complex, tumultuous past going back to 1892, when the Old Fort was built by the Zuid Afrikaanse Republiek (ZAR), under president Paul Kruger. It was built as a prison, but for a brief period during the South African War, or Anglo Boer War, of 1899 to 1902, it served as a military defence post.In the late 1800s and early 20th century, new buildings were added to the fort-like prison. These included the Natives’ Section and isolation cells known as sections Four and Five, where black male prisoners were held, a Women’s Goal in 1907, and an Awaiting Trial building in the 1920s.Collectively, these buildings were known as the Fort, infamous for its brutal treatment of prisoners. Common criminals and ordinary men and women who had contravened colonial and apartheid legislation were imprisoned here in abhorrent conditions.Old FortBefore it took on its role as apartheid prison, the Old Fort was used to defend the ZAR capital, Pretoria. Kruger’s soldiers walked its ramparts in the war, until the British marched into town in 1900, and took over the structure.The ramparts were built to protect the ZAR from British invasion, as well as intimidate migrant miners and keep an eye on them as they crowded into the village in search of gold. Reverting to a prison after the war, initially only white male prisoners were held here, except for Nelson Mandela, who, before the Rivonia Trial in 1962, was given a bed in the hospital section.It is a living legacy of a very complex, tumultuous past going back to 1892, when the Old Fort was built by the Zuid Afrikaanse Republiek (ZAR), under president Paul Kruger. It was built as a prison, but for a brief period during the South African War, or Anglo Boer War, of 1899 to 1902, it served as a military defence post. (Image:’s JailThe Women’s Jail was a charming, Victorian brick building. A space of such grace, yet it humiliated and brutalised its female prisoners, which included criminals and murderers, as well as anti-apartheid activists. The infamous murderess Daisy de Melker was held here, as were prominent political stalwarts such as Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, Albertina Sisulu and Fatima Meer. The women were particularly vulnerable. An information board in the museum today quotes political activist Barbara Hogan: “I could hear a doctor screaming at her saying, ‘You say your baby is sick, but if you cared about your baby, you would carry a pass.’”Number FourThe sign above the entrance to the Natives’ section, Number Four, is a quote from Mandela: “It is said that no one really knows a nation until one has been inside its jails.”Built to house 997 prisoners, it housed 2 200. Here, thousands of black men were imprisoned and brutalised; yet many survived and defied their jailors. Walking down a dark corridor on to a concrete courtyard on a drizzly, gloomy day gave a minute glimmer into what the prisoners must have felt when they arrived at the frightening Number Four. For many, this was their last journey. During the apartheid era, police would arrive numerous times a day with prisoners, who were given a prisoner number; this number was how they were identified.Detainees were strip-searched and hosed down, in summer or winter, and forced to perform the dehumanising “tausa”. This was a diabolical movement that allowed the prison warders to check whether the inmates were smuggling any weapons or contraband up their rectums. Political prisoner Indres Naidoo describes it: “When performing ‘tausa’ the naked person would leap in the air, spinning around and opening the legs wide while clapping his hands overhead and then in the same moment coming down, making clicking sounds with the mouth and bending his body forward so as to expose his open rectum to the warders’ inspection.”Bob Gosani, a photojournalist, secretly managed to photograph the “tausa” from the top floor of a nurses’ home overlooking the prison.Living conditions at Number Four were excruciating and barbaric. In the food area, where prisoners collected their food from trolleys before moving off to eat in the yard or cells, today food drums display the ghastly prisoners’ menus. African National Congress stalwart Joe Slovo describes the drums in his unfinished autobiography: “The first drum, marked ‘Congress One’, contained cooked chunks of beef or pork for white accused. The ‘Congress Two’ drum, for coloureds and Indian prisoners, contained either porridge or boiled vegetables on top of which floated a few pieces of fatty meat that were most probably from the discarded cut-offs from ‘Congress One’ drum. The ‘Congress Three’ drum (for black prisoners) was always meatless and the contents alternated between a plastic-textured porridge and a mixture of boiled mealies and beans.”There were only eight, eastern style toilets that offered no privacy and were in close proximity to the food area. Writer and political prisoner Alex La Guma wrote: “One of the reasons for my disease [typhoid] is found in this jail. Filth. The mats are filthy, the blankets are filthy, the latrines are filthy, the food is filthy, the utensils are filthy, and the convicts’ clothes are filthy. The latrines overflow and make a stench.”Showers were allowed once a week, but prisoners were often denied a wash for months. The allocated shower time was 30 minutes for the 2 000 prisoners, and the gang members took most of this time. The inmates would then be forced to use the toilet to wash their faces, or would rub soap on themselves and wait for it to rain.The communal cells housed between 60 and 70 prisoners; they were only built for 30 and as a result were overcrowded, dirty and badly ventilated. They were lit by a small window, but ironically, as authorities tried to break the spirit of the prisoners, these communal cells became an area to build courage and discuss resistance. The inmates gave each other strength and sang resistance songs to entertain, comfort and maintain solidarity.As if life inside was not harsh enough, made worse by the hostility of the prison wardens, there was also a hierarchy in the cells. You slept according to status: the gang leaders in the place of most comfort. The bod guards protected them and then the bush, or slaves, were near the toilet. It was a stinking space, where the slaves, the lowest in the cell food chain, were abused. These unsanitary conditions created perfect conditions for diseases, including typhoid and enteric fever.Emakhulukhuthu, an isiZulu word meaning the “deep dark hole”, was reserved for the harshest punishments. These were the isolation cells, where “lunatics, juveniles and those with infectious diseases” were kept. Prisoners here spent 23 hours a day inside, subsisting on a diet of rice water. “They could officially be held here for 30 days but some spent over a year in these cells,” states one of the information boards.Emakhulukhuthu, an isiZulu word meaning the “deep dark hole”, was reserved for the harshest punishments. These were the isolation cells, where “lunatics, juveniles and those with infectious diseases” were kept. (Image: To pass the time, the inmates were creative and did blanket sculpting. At the end of each week, the prisoner with the most artistic blanket sculpture won a reward. “The conditions here were so depraved that when the prisoners were moved to Diepsloot Prison, known as Sun City, they said it was like moving to a hotel, and was utterly luxurious compared to the horrific conditions they had to previously endure,” said Thring.Number Four is now a stark museum and memorial to the thousands of men who were confined within its walls, deprived of the most rudimentary of human rights. Photographic, audio and video material captures the rich heritage of the site. Artefacts of prison life are also on display, including recreations of the blanket and soap sculptures. It remains as it was when it was closed in 1983.Jailed for fighting for freedomMahatma Gandhi was the first to apply the concept of non-violent civil disobedience in South Africa, against the racial segregation laws of the time. The exhibition in the Old Fort, “Gandhi: prisoner of conscience”, focuses on the years Gandhi spent in Johannesburg, from 1902 until 1914, when he left South Africa at the age of 46.Of his experiences in South Africa, he said: “Truly speaking, it was after I went to South Africa that I became what I am now. My love for South Africa and my concern for her problems are no less than for India.” Mandela is quoted on the walls of the exhibition: “The spirit of Gandhi may well be a key to human survival in the 21st century.”Mahatma Gandhi was the first to apply the concept of non-violent civil disobedience in South Africa, against the racial segregation laws of the time. The exhibition in the Old Fort, “Gandhi: prisoner of conscience”, focuses on the years Gandhi spent in Johannesburg, from 1902 until 1914, when he left South Africa at the age of 46. (Image: Constitution Hill has witnessed it all: South Africa’s history of injustice, detention and imprisonment, as well as democracy at work. People who passed through the complex include Gandhi, Mandela, Albert Luthuli, Walter Sisulu, Joe Slovo, Ahmed Kathrada, Treason trialists of the late 1950s, and students and schoolchildren from the 1976 Soweto uprising, as well as thousands of others active in the apartheid struggle, alongside common criminals.This multipurpose complex functions as a national symbol of a new South Africa and a public space where South Africans, and others, can debate and define the democratic order and this new world.last_img read more

What Advantages Does Your Startup Really Have?

first_imgWhen describing some of the common mistakes he’d seen in recent pitches for the incubator Capital Factory, Smart Bear Software founder Jason Cohen listed “invalid unfair advantages” as something that many startups needlessly tout. These include having a certain feature, having a team full of PhDs, being passionate and hard-working, and having strong SEO skills.Today, Cohen wrote a post describing “unfair advantages” that actually do make a difference. Unlike the “invalid” advantages, these “unfair” ones are not easily copied. While your competitor can add the same features as you or hire more PhDs and SEO gurus, the things that give you a substantive advantage are not as readily attainable. “The only real competitive advantage is that which cannot be copied and cannot be bought,” writes Cohen.Cohen lists the following as real advantages:1. Insider information: Although the phrase is linked to the illegalities of Wall Street insider trading, there are obviously many (legal) ways in which having deep and intimate knowledge of an industry, along with an understanding of what the “specific pain points” within that industry can boost your advantages.2. Single-minded, uncompromising obsession with One Thing: Cohen points to Apple’s obsession with design, Google’s obsession with search, 37signals’ obsession with simplicity as examples. “To remain un-copyable,” he contends, “your One Thing needs to be not just central to your existence, but also difficult to achieve. Google’s algorithm, combined with the hardware and software to implement a search of trillions of websites in 0.2 seconds, is hard to replicate; it took hundreds (thousands?) of really smart people at Microsoft and Yahoo years to catch up.”3. Personal authority: Akin perhaps to having insider information, personal authority is more than having expertise in a particular field. It’s about being recognized as a leader, and while it takes both time and effort to develop, the advantage is gives is almost unrivaled.4. The Dream Team: Having a Dream Team doesn’t guarantee success, but for a startup, having well-established, well-networked, reputable players on board can help mitigate some of the risks associated with startups. (The disadvantage to the Dream Team advantage, of course, is that members can always be hired away.)5. (The right) Celebrity endorsement: Cohen doesn’t mean here that it’s important to shell out big marketing bucks to have sports celebrities or rockstars endorse your product. Rather, he means having celebrities within the tech community – well-known investors or CEOs, for example – announce their support for or promote the use of your service.6. Existing customers: Cohen argues that every customer – even those who only took the trial offering, but abandoned your product – can offer insights and information that will be invaluable to you. Researching customers will help you continue to innovate and stay ahead of the competition.Don’t despair if you don’t have an unfair advantage, Cohen concludes, admitting it took him time to develop these advantages for his own company. Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Tags:#start#tips center_img audrey watters Related Posts A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai…last_img read more

5 Unexpected Gaming Tech Innovations That Can Improve Your Office

first_imgFollow the Puck Related Posts Trends Driving the Loyalty Marketing Industry Tags:#AR#ergonomics#gaming#Office#tech#technology Gaming industry innovations can make your office a healthier, better place to work.Building a great workplace takes more than ping-pong tables and arcade games. But fun and games certainly don’t hurt.In fact, casual gaming might actually make workers more productive. In a study published in Human Factors, researchers found that participants who paused work to briefly play a video game restored their cognitive and affective abilities. In turn, they responded better to stress.Not every entrepreneur can afford, of course, to pay team members to play video games on the job. A surprising number of gaming industry innovations, however, can make your office a healthier, more comfortable place to work.1. The most comfortable chairs you’ll ever sit inSitting may be the new smoking, but it’s still a welcome break for workers who’ve been standing all day. If your teammates are often on their feet — or you want to give those with standing desks the option to sit — think about getting gaming chairs. Which gaming chair should you choose? In its review of 30 top options, Rave Reviews argues the DXRacer FD101/N is the chair to beat. The review platform explains it’s made sturdily, with high-density foam, breathable fabrics, and an imitation leather cover. Because it supports the head, neck, shoulders, and wrists, DXRacer’s chair keeps workers comfortable for eight or more hours. For a chair that looks like it belongs in an office, Rave Reviews suggests Herman Miller’s Aeron, a mesh-backed chair with specialized padding to reduce blood clots. 2. Glasses for staring at screens all dayIf you often leave work with watering eyes, a headache, a sore neck, or the feeling that you can’t keep your eyes open, it might be more than fatigue. The Mayo Clinic notes those are all symptoms of eyestrain, commonly caused by extended use of digital devices. Short of forbidding workers from using their computers, which they likely need to do their jobs, what can you do? Optometrist Gary Heiting, senior editor of AllAboutVision, suggests a gaming industry innovation: computer eyewear. Digital Trends’ top choice for computer eyewear actually comes in a two-pack for just $30 — a steal at $15 per employee. That’s very affordable when you consider that a University of Birmingham study showed correcting vision issues can improve productivity up to 20 percent. 3. Headphones for crystal-clear conference callsIn an ideal world, every worker who needed to take a call would have a quiet place to do so. In reality, chatty co-workers, construction noises, and background music can make it tough for remote participants to hear. Rather than build more conference rooms or crack down on office banter, get everyone a gaming headset. TechRadar just published its list of best gaming headsets for 2019, and there’s an option for every budget. Of the 15 listed, the best value might be Logitech’s G Pro headset, focusing on comfort and sound over style. TechRadar’s editors particularly liked the G Pro’s passive noise-isolating capabilities, which reduce background noise to let the listener focus. Some, like HyperX’s Cloud Flight, even offer a detachable noise-canceling microphone, which minimizes background sounds on the speaker’s end.4. Keyboards that kill any chance of carpal tunnelAnyone who lives at his keyboard will recognize the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome: persistent numbness, pain, or tingling in the hand or arm. The condition occurs when one of the major nerves of the hand is squeezed between the bones of the wrist.While you can’t keep workers who rely on a computer from using it, you can make them more comfortable. Ergonomic keyboards, another invention of the gaming industry, help minimize stress on the hands and wrists. Of Lifewire’s eight best ergonomic keyboards for 2019, we like Microsoft’s Sculpt and Fellowes’ Microban keyboard. With a domed design and arced keys, Sculpt is an all-day keyboard at a reasonable price. Although Fellowes’ keyboard is a budget offering, its antimicrobial coating makes it a great choice for shared spaces.5. Augmented reality for seeing the potential in your spaceFor augmented reality, Pokémon Go was the shot heard ‘round the world. Not only was it the most popular AR application when it debuted in 2016, but it broke user records this past summer. Not long after, IKEA debuted its AR-infused IKEA Place app. The application shows users how more than 2,000 furniture items might fit in their own homes. Although IKEA’s app works only with its own furniture, other AR firms have built office-planning tools with the technology. Commercial developer American Life, for instance, lets prospective tenants tour planned offices before the first brick is laid. Once the space is built, Evara VR’s app enables users to explore combinations of desks, filing cabinets, and conference tables. Even if your workers don’t consider themselves gamers, they can appreciate the parallels with how gamers spend their time. Loud conversations, uncomfortable chairs, and sore wrists get in the way of monster-slaying just as much as they hurt number-crunching. And who knows? With all the time your team saves, it might have time for some video games after all. Brad is the editor overseeing contributed content at He previously worked as an editor at PayPal and Crunchbase. You can reach him at brad at Brad AndersonEditor In Chief at ReadWrite Why IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaces What it Takes to Build a Highly Secure FinTech …last_img read more

History of Diabetes and The Prevalence in Our Nation: by Toh Kheng Hoby Sarah PittmanEver since the discovery of diabetes clinicians knew that what you ate had a direct correlation to the progression of the disease. In the early 1900’s the only treatment for diabetes were specific diets that included the oat-cure, the milk diet, the rice cure, and overfeeding to counterbalance for the loss of fluids and weight. But with no real medicinal treatment, the average life expectancy for a 10 year old with diabetes was 1 year. “Diagnosis at age 30 carries a life expectancy of about 4 years. A newly diagnosed 50-year-old might live 8 more years” (Swidorski, 2014).Diabetic researchers in the 1920’s realized that the pancreatic enzymes seemed to help patients that were in a diabetic coma. But it wasn’t until the 1940’s that an injection for diabetic patients was the main way to control blood glucose levels.In 1959 the discovery of Type 1 vs Type 2 diabetes was discovered; this lead to clinicians being able to treat an individual more specifically according to their diagnosis. As time goes on insulin pumps are developed, HbA1c is introduced and external insulin pumps start to be used as a main treatment for the disease.So how have the rates of diabetes changed over time?Although there is minimal data on how many people accurately had diabetes in the early 1900’s, the reported death rate from diabetes for children under age 15 was 3.1/100,000/year in 1920. Today it is estimated that about 193,000 Americans under age 20 have diabetes.Currently, the American population is 323.1 million, with 30.3 million Americans having diabetes according to The American Diabetes Association; with 84.1 million Americans over age 18 having pre-diabetes.References:“November: American Diabetes Month.”, Oct. 2017, Accessed 28 Oct. 2017Swidorski, Dawn. “Diabetes History.”, 22 Jan. 2014. Accessed 28 Oct. 2017.“Overall Numbers, Diabetes and Prediabetes.” 19 July 2017. Accessed 28 Oct. 2017.“U.S Population (Live).”, Oct 2017., Edwin A.M. “The Rise of Childhood Type 1 Diabetes in the 20th Century.” American Diabetes Association, vol. 51, issue 12. December 2002, doi: 10.2337/diabetes.51.12.3353. Accessed 28 Oct 2017.This blog was posted by Robin Allen, a member of the Military Families Learning Network (MFLN) Nutrition and Wellness team that aims to support the development of professionals working with military families.  Find out more about the MFLN Nutrition and Wellness concentration on our website on Facebook, on Twitter, and LinkedIn.last_img read more

Grizzlies coach Bickerstaff gets $25,000 fine from NBA

first_imgBickerstaff was ejected with 7:41 remaining in the Grizzlies’ 92-88 home loss to the Utah Jazz on Wednesday.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSLillard, Anthony lead Blazers over ThunderSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutout Clippers handle Griffin, Pistons AFP official booed out of forum Read Next Slow and steady hope for near-extinct Bangladesh tortoises MOST READ View comments Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH Globe Business launches leading cloud-enabled and hardware-agnostic conferencing platform in PH 2 ‘newbie’ drug pushers fall in Lucena sting Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC LATEST STORIES Memphis Grizzlies interim coach J.B. Bickerstaff calls to players during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Utah Jazz on Wednesday, Feb. 7, 2018, in Memphis, Tenn. (AP Photo/Brandon Dill)NEW YORK — Memphis Grizzlies coach J.B. Bickerstaff has been fined $25,000 by the NBA for directing inappropriate comments toward a game official and failing to leave the court in a timely manner after an ejection.The NBA announced the fine on Friday.ADVERTISEMENT John Lloyd Cruz a dashing guest at Vhong Navarro’s wedding Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. NEXT BLOCK ASIA 2.0 introduces GURUS AWARDS to recognize and reward industry influencers Filipino athletes get grand send-off ahead of SEA Games PLAY LIST 01:27Filipino athletes get grand send-off ahead of SEA Games00:50Trending Articles00:59Sports venues to be ready in time for SEA Games01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon Citylast_img read more