Category Archives: Did you know?

The most famous idols ever

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Idols through the Centuries

Sir Isaac Newton


He invented the reflecting telescope and explained why and how every single macroscopic object in the entire Universe moves as it does. He also invented the pet door.

Leonardo di ser Piero da Vinci


He could do anything. Engineer, inventor, anatomist, architect, mathematician, geologist, musician, cartographer, botanist, writer, sculptor. He invented the sniper rifle, the parachute about 300 years before Louis-Sebastien Lenormand claimed the honor in the late 1700s, the  hang glider about 400 years before it really took off.  The design was based on a bird’s wings, the helicopter, but couldn’t figure a method for getting it airborne, the tank, the pivoting scissors by bolting two knives together.

His sculptures are not as well known as those of Michelangelo, da Vinci sculpted a 24 feet high gigantic horse out of poured bronze that was completed in 1998.

Da Vinci was a good painter.

William Shakespeare


The man with the lion’s share and a great writer in English.  Famous quote in English literature.  “to be or not to be.”

He only had a grammar school education and worked as an actor before becoming a playwright. Shakespeare’s seamless blend of the finest poetry.  Hamlet and King Lear are universally acclaimed masterpieces which all other drama, before and after, is judged.


  1. 1300–c. 1180 B.C.

Moses is regarded as the greatest prophet of the Old Testament.

The Pharaoh’s daughter, named Bithiah, found the infant Moses in a basket floating in the Nile and took him as her own son. She named him after the Hebrew verb “to draw,” since she drew him out of the river.

Moses met God for the first time and God showed himself in the form of a burning bush. Moses returned to Egypt.


This article originally posted on and re-posted here with permission.

Author: Ester Byleveldt

Ester is a freelance writer and is available for guest posts.

References:  Top 10 Most Famous People – Listverse


Punctuality and Madiba Month

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The virtues of punctuality

This month we celebrate Mandela month and one of the issues that received the spotlight is punctuality. Mr Mandela was a stickler for punctuality. He repeatedly stated his belief that tardiness in this department is a clear indication of a weak character. It is rude to be late. If you are late for an appointment you are actually saying to the other party that you have no respect for their own schedules and that you deem their time to be of no importance.

Tardiness seems to have become a common phenomenon in South Africa. We even have a term for it: Africa time. Adherents to Africa time think nothing of making others wait for hours. In their arrogance they justify themselves by arguing that they are busy, important, superior even and that their time is much more valuable than other people’s time. Strange that a really important and busy man such as Mr Mandela deemed the time of other people to be precious. He was never late for an appointment and he often took tardy people to task.

Punctuality is not just about being on time for appointments. It is also about turning up at work on time, delivering work on or before target dates, paying accounts on time and using time productively.

Many cases of tardiness can be ascribed to sheer arrogance, but lack of planning also play a very big role. If you have to drive to an appointment, plan for the possibility of heavy traffic or a hold-up. If you have a project to complete, be realistic when you set target dates. Do not make promises that you know very well cannot be kept. Do not cram your diary with appointments (doctors are often guilty of this).

Punctuality is a virtue and nobody has the right to waste the time of another. Cultivate a reputation for punctuality. You will earn the respect of others and you will show others that you have respect for them and that you deem their time to be as valuable as yours.


This article originally posted on re-posted here with permission.

What Is Self Mastery?

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What Is Self Mastery?

Merriam Webster defines selfmastery as “the power to control one’s actions, impulses, or emotions”. Self mastery is important as it teaches you to limit your fears and the beliefs that create unhappiness in your life and relationships. Lao-tzu said: “He who controls others may be powerful, but he who has mastered himself is mightier still”.

Selfmastery can be attained by making certain cognitive changes in your life – basically by learning to think differently. St. Dominic once said: “A man who governs his passions is a master of the world. We must either command them, or be enslaved by them. It is better to be a hammer than an anvil.”

Who uses self mastery?

From CEOs and other professionals, to athletes and students, self mastery can be used in all walks of life to help you grow as a person. Self mastery, by changing your thought patterns, can help to improve your self esteem and help you to become more mindful and present at every moment of your life.

How do I learn self mastery?

It is so easy to fall into thought patterns which are negative or detrimental to you. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and learning mindfulness can help you to break out of these thought patterns and learn how to see yourself in a different – and better – light.

Learning how to change your thought patterns can be done in various ways and many courses are available to help you to learn self mastery. There are also many websites that have exercises and motivation to help you on your path to self mastery. Whatever road you choose to take to learn self mastery, remember that you needn’t do it overnight. By taking small steps you can change your life bit by bit and, one day when you look back, you will be able to see just far you have actually traveled on your road to selfmastery.


This article originally posted on and re-posted here with permission.

Winter is here!

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Oh boy, Winter is really here!

My cup of steaming warm and generous hot chocolate is standing close to me where I sit in front of the warm orange and yellow glow of the crackling fire dancing away inside the fireplace … yes; I think to myself, winter is here.

And boy oh boy, how much do I love winter? Well, I struggle to find the words, and that people, is very rare being a writer and all.

Some people out there might and will disagree with me, but hey that’s fine. That is why we as the human race are unique. We all have our own favourites in life. My favourite season is winter and with winter comes warm and cosy fires in the fireplace, steaming cups of hot chocolate, incredible delicious curries and stews and yes, let us not forget the Glüwein!

But there are more reasons for me why I love winter so much.

There is the cosy – comfort feeling of togetherness. It brings people together. In front of fires, groups basking in the sun on bright days, hours in bed under warm and fluffy duvets watching movies and those angels out there busy spending hours in soup kitchens paying it forward in kindness to the less fortunate.

Also for me there is the excitement of new possibilities and new beginnings to come in spring after the winds of change have blown.  Winter always make me reflect with dearness on the words of the famous song, The Rose, made into a hit by the equally famous and fabulous Bette Midler.

“Just remember in the winter

 Far beneath the bitter snows

 Lies the seed that with the sun’s love             

 In the spring becomes the rose”

Just like we need to embrace and enjoy the seasons we also need to embrace the changes that the seasons in our lives bring forward. Yes, we all will experience cold and lonely winters from time to time, but we should never lose focus. Those winters are there for a reason. They allow our souls to take a step back, reflect on our situations, fill our lungs with breathes of crisp winter air and once the winter have passed start our new journeys set out for us.

I dare say winter is a celebration for me. A celebration of life, love and kindness.

Having said that, I do realise that there are those among us for whom the winter cold is nothing but a bleak and lonely desert where the cold winds of sadness keep on blowing them of course. My advice? Reach out to those souls. Embrace them with kindness and love and let them share in the loving warmth and comfort of our crackling fires, let them see they are not alone. Help them to see that after the cold there is life and hope.

I must admit we did wait a bit longer this year for the winter to arrive and when it did knock on the front door it made sure we know it is here. But judging on what I have just shared with you I hope that you will join me in my celebration to welcome winter with open arms, even though my arms will be open under the warm duvet. And join me to see the beauty of winter and reach out and spread the love, and warmth, of new things to come.

I want to conclude with this thought. We have so much to be grateful for. Whether it is the cold, crisp air in winter or the warm and lazy sun in summer, remember that if you can feel any of these things, you are still alive. And that my peeps, that alone will help to you to see the beauty in everything!

For now winter is here, so embrace enjoy and stay warm!


This article originally posted on re-posted here with permission.

Author: Philip J Nel

Short bio: The author contributes articles to websites as a guest writer and specializes in the following topics: life’s trials and tribunals, people and their stories, animals, nature and religion. He is also a proud cancer survivor and that has also taught him more about life. The author started writing at the age of 16 and has written several poems, short stories and even a novel.

Contact details: Email address

Seven Tips for Everyday Road Safety

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The 7 Most Important Tips for Everyday Road Safety

Better road safety in South Africa is extremely important; as there are thousands of deaths on our roads every year. The amount of accidents and deaths soar every year during the Easter and December holidays, but road safety should be a part of every day. Here are some basic road safety tips to keep in mind when you venture onto the roads.

Drivers and pedestrians must follow the rules of the road. This sounds simple enough, but there are many who break the rules to disastrous results.

1 Seatbelt

Wear your seatbelt and place children in appropriate car seats to ensure their safety. Airbags are designed to work with seatbelts, not to replace them, so you still need to wear your seatbelt if your car has airbags.

2 Exhaustion

Don’t drive when you are exhausted or intoxicated. You can always make use of a taxi service when you go out to ensure that you get home safely.


Never ever drive when you have consumed too much alcohol.

4 Roadworthy

Vehicles should be roadworthy at all times. Be sure to have your car checked before you drive long distances or go on holiday.

5 Electronic Devices

Don’t use your cell, tablet or other devices while you are driving or walking.

6 Children

When traveling with children, it is important to keep them seated safely in a vehicle. Try putting on CDs or playing an audiobook when you’re on a long trip. You can also give them board games or colouring books. When you are walking with children, hold their hands when you cross the road. This will not only keep them from running ahead (or being left behind on a busy street), but also make them more visible as motorists can more easily spot an adult than a child. Children should also be taught how to cross a road safely.

7 Speed

It is better to arrive somewhere a few minutes late than to cause an accident.

By keeping these road safety tips in mind, you can better ensure your safety – and the safety of those around you – when you travel.


This article originally posted on and re-posted here with permission.

3 Proven Ways to get back in shape

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3 Proven Ways to get back in shape after the Festive season

The festive season has come and gone but a lot of people still experience the after-effects of long lazy days, too much food and drink and disrupted routines. If there is one thing you should not do it is to embark on a draconian diet and a punishing exercise regime. The chances are very good that you will become discouraged and nobody likes to feel as if they are being punished. So, don’t punish yourself but rather resolve to get back in shape by being more creative. Here are a few ideas:

  1. Exercise moderately

Many people see exercise as a form of punishment from which they cannot escape if they want to stay in shape. If this is the case you are doing the wrong type of exercise. Why jog if you hate it? Why go to the gym if it is inconvenient and boring? Be creative about exercise. Just think about it: are there not things that you enjoy that also requires exercise? Gardening, for example, can be an excellent way to get back in shape. It involves a lot of aerobic movement and common tasks such as preparing a flower bed can be an excellent cardiovascular workout.

  1. Eat healthier

 Millions of people will testify that they have tried numerous diets, almost always without lasting success. Perhaps it is time to see dieting from a different perspective. Measuring portions and following punishing diet instructions can be counter productive because dieters feel as if they are paying penance for past transgressions. Why not rather learn to cook healthy food that also taste great. There are numerous websites with mouth-watering recipes that are also healthy. Discovering new recipes can become an exciting adventure and may even lead to much more satisfying gastronomic feasts and you will get back in shape before you know it!

  1. Become happier

Happy people live longer and they get much more satisfaction from life. No-one can make someone else happy. Each person must find his own happiness within himself. Resolve, therefore, to be happy. It is a decision that you have to make. Resolve to enjoy the small things in life. Resolve to feel joyful and grateful each day. Once you make the decision to do so, you will see joy and beauty everywhere and you will experience gratitude all the time. Before you know it you will be happy.



This article originally posted on and re-posted here with permission.


You and your GOALS

Does meeting your goals equal success?

“This above all: to thine own self be true,
And it must follow as the night the day,
Thou cannot then be false to any man.”

It is a bit annoying that one of my favourite quotes was originally uttered by a rather odious character, preachy, platitudinous old Polonius in Hamlet. Remember though, that in the Elizabethan consciousness he meant that one’s own interests come first. He did not mean self indulgence or some New Age self realization quest.

I suspect he was referring to making sure that you are solvent, strong, healthy and sensible, so that you can look after others. At a deep level we have to take responsibility. There is no escaping that basic fact of being in the world.

The delights of dope may delude you into thinking your purpose is great, but humans have only these three things in common: we defecate and we die, and we don’t get away with anything. I am not a space cadet, but this I know: At the deepest esoteric level we get what we deserve.

Who am I?

A fulfilling life as a goal, has at its core self-realisation. Material or worldly success may very well be one of the goals you set out to achieve, may be a true expression of your innermost self. But say you have all this and the trappings thereof by the time you are thirty; the yuppie dream come true, and you find yourself not happy, what then?

The increase in white colour recreational drugs is telling, no? If you define yourself only by the things you can buy, what happens when you suddenly lose it all? If physical beauty is your goal, what happens if you get old or you are the statistic of plastic surgery failures? This is the trick question of our age.

To be the person you want to be

How can I be the person I really want to be unless I know who that person is? the goal of living only for others can be as much of a denial as an entirely selfish life. Mothers know this give-take conundrum intimately. The empty nest syndrome is a big ‘who am I?’

However, freely chosen selflessness is not the same as self-negation – Self indulgence is not the same as owning your identity, being able to “impart meaning and direction to your life of yourself.” This is a question of ‘who you are’, nobody can answer for you, but I think it is in the realm of the heart. Ambitions are great drivers of action, but the goal of the soul is a subtler prompt. Yet, if unmet, it can have dire consequences.

In the Western world, identity is tied up with what one does, one’s work. The Dalai Lama was stumped by the question “What do you consider your primary job?” in an interview. His final answer was, “I just take care of myself. That is my main task.”

How to be the person you want to be? I don’t have the foggiest. But I shall leave you with a Langston Hughes poem, as there is something there that rings true when thinking about goals, not in the mind, not in the practical arena, but somewhere in the region of the heart chakra:

“Hold fast to dreams,
For if dreams die
Life is a broken-winged bird,
That cannot fly.”

One of your most important goals should be to Insure all your valuables!



This article originally posted on and re-posted here with permission.


The TOP 10 Bad Driving Habits

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Bad Driving Habits

Bad driving habits that annoy other drivers

South Africa and the UK have something in common; the bad driving habits of tailgating and failing to use indicators especially when overtaking another vehicle or going into and exiting a traffic circle. Actually people all over the world don’t know how to indicate at a traffic circle.

Of all the bad driving habits, two out of three drivers in surveys hated being tailgated and most drivers get extremely agitated when others don’t indicate before changing lanes. Another bad driving habit is inconsideration and lack of lane discipline. In South Africa many drivers think they own the lane they are using, especially on the five lane freeway between Pretoria and Johannesburg.

As long as these misbehaviours go unpunished in both countries, it will become more common. It might seem less serious, but it is equally dangerous to other traffic offenses.

In the UK drivers are disappointed at the behavior of fellow drivers who don’t show gratitude for being let through or allowed to pass. This is the case in SA too! No more emergency indicators used to thank the driver that moved into the yellow line so he/she could pass.

South African drivers, come on, lets show some consideration to other road users again. It is up to you and me to avoid poor and dangerous driving habits.

Top 10 bad driving habits

• Tailgating, driving too close to the car in front. What became of safe following distances?

• Drivers cutting in and reducing the gap between you and the vehicle ahead. The gap that you created for safety.

• Talking on the cellphone and steering with only one hand.

• Drivers not indicating before turning.

• Drivers turning around to talk to passengers in the back or to yell at the kids.

• Driving much below the applicable speed limit. Crawling actually.

• Trucks attempting to overtake other vehicles when their speed is too low.

• Drivers scrounging for things in the backseat

• Drivers not letting you in and preventing you from moving/joining lanes.

• Drivers pushing into a parking when another driver already indicated the intention to park and was waiting their turn.

Get Excellent, Affordable Car Insurance NOW


This article originally posted on and re-posted here with permission.

To Bribe or not to Bribe

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Is it acceptable to bribe?

When I heard last week that South Africa had been accused of bribing the FIFA Decision Makers to bring the World Cup to our continent, I was shocked. The first thought that went through my mind was, ‘not another black mark against our name’.

One of our proudest moments as a nation, watching our Madiba on that field, waving to the hundreds of thousands, millions even, spectators watching both in person and on the television screen. The pride we felt as our vuvuzelas were heard across the globe. Knowing that all eyes were on us. A moment of unity, of togetherness, of Ubuntu.

Only to have it dashed, five years later, into smithereens. As South Africans, bribery and corruption is certainly not a foreign word. More like a daily occurrence. A part of our ethos and our culture. Terrible thing to have to admit to, but we all know it is true. We are taught from a presidential level how to manipulate the facts as best suits us.

Let us hope as a nation that these latest allegations prove to be false and as a nation we may hold our heads high!


This article originally posted on and re-posted here with permission.

Your Financial future is in YOUR hands

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Take responsibility for your financial future

The current global economic outlook should be considered a wake-up call to take responsibility for your financial future. The International Monetary Fund forecasts muted growth of 2.1% for South Africa in 2015.

Recently, at a post-budget breakfast hosted by Deloitte, finance minister Nhlanhla Nene reportedly stressed that “much higher levels of economic growth” is needed to curtail South Africa’s main challenges, poverty and unemployment.

The losses to the South African economy so far for the 2015 calendar year due to load-shedding is calculated at a staggering R4.6 billion, according to Dwaine van Vuuren from PowerStocks Research in a post published in the March 2015 edition of MarketViews.

The South African consumer is under severe strain and faces challenges such as high levels of consumer debt, the rising costs of electricity and fuel, and e-tolling to name a few. The rand isn’t performing optimally and is a struggling Emerging Market currency. With labour unrest almost a given and rating agencies keeping a strict eye on South Africa’s credit rating, it’s no wonder that the ordinary South African is rethinking his or her financial position.

It’s imperative that you immediately start taking responsibility for your financial future and ultimately your financial fate. The sooner you take control of your spending and start saving for the proverbial rainy day, the better off you’ll be in future.

The number one rule is to save more than what you spend. Guard your savings jealously and resist dipping your fingers in the money box when a gorgeous pair of thigh-high boots winks at you flirtatiously. Compound interest earned on your savings will add a rosy glow to an uncertain tomorrow.

Yes, you only live once and it’s understandable that you want a semblance of a social life – meaning you want to have a cappuccino with your friends when the opportunity presents itselfwithout having to always think twice before you splurge money on yourself.  By all means draw up a budget and allocate funds for the occasional treat but stick to said budget religiously.

Taking responsibility for your financial future means you need to be creative with your money. Invite friends over for coffee at your house. You’ll save a lot and if you can persuade someone to bring a sweet with, you may just have your cake and eat it too. Save every cent and think outside the box when it comes to having a great time with as little money as possible.



This article originally posted on and reposted here with permission.