Guard Duty

Under the stingy glow of moonlight, my buddy and I pulled on our socks, wore our boots, hooked our garters, and tucked in our pants. We moved sluggishly. Against the not-quite silent hum of the forest – the chorus of chirps from unknown insects – the scream of velcro as we pulled open our integrated … More Guard Duty

Because I can

Following a bus tour of the SAFTI MI grounds where officer cadets are trained, one of my BMT instructors (an officer himself) asked if we saw any cadets waving to us during the tour. He leaned forward, jabbed a finger at us, and smiled wryly. “When I was a cadet, I used to wave at … More Because I can

“Once in our lives, two years of our time”

A life where cleaning a 4kg chunk of metal takes precedence over cleaning yourself, where travelling to any destination involves swinging your hands and legs in sync with 50 other people, where drinking water from your bottle must be preceded by a fiery recital of the SAF core values, couldn’t be more different from the … More “Once in our lives, two years of our time”

Consider the view that the spoken language is more important than the written word.

Among mankind’s greatest inventions, few are as useful, ubiquitous, and unifying as language. Few inventions, too, exist in two spheres, seamlessly interlocking to serve a common purpose. Indeed, the twin pillars of language – the spoken tongue and written word – are often used in tandem as vessels for human ideas. While the twin pillars … More Consider the view that the spoken language is more important than the written word.

To boldly go where no mind has gone before

Since time immemorial, romantics, scientists and explorers alike have had a common conviction – that the boundaries of our physical existence are as boundless as the human imagination. From Marco Polo’s journey to the East in the 13th century against the throes of pestilence, pirates and privation, to the 21st century rover expedition to Mars … More To boldly go where no mind has gone before

Does the book still have a future?

The world of the most cerebral intellectuals may often be characterised by disagreement and heated debate, but they all agree on one thing – the power and significance of books. They help us ‘grow stronger’, Jeremy Collier promises; they are ‘uniquely portable magic’, Stephen King proclaims; they are essential for the ‘ideal life’, Mark Twain … More Does the book still have a future?

Consider the view that mathematics possesses not only truth, but also supreme beauty

For centuries, much of our understanding of the world has been conveniently cleaved into two poles – the Mathematicians as opposed to the Romantics; the empirical world view as opposed to the emotional world view; the logical, mathematical mind as opposed to the creative, artistic mind. These dichotomies have pervaded and subtly influenced our modern … More Consider the view that mathematics possesses not only truth, but also supreme beauty