The rise of stay-at-home dads

BY Nkosazana Ngwadla

Gone are the days when women were expected to be barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen, while the men go out to work. Nowadays, we see more and more men opting to stay at home and take care of the children, while the women go out to “get the bacon”.

A study by the Pew Research Center shows that the number of fathers who are at home with their children for any reason has nearly doubled since 1989 when 1.1 million were in this category.

Women earning more than men is also becoming quite the norm in our society now, so much so that one African woman recently spoke out about paying for her own lobola (dowry payment for the bride) on Twitter.

Her tweets sparked a conversation where even more women came out with similar stories.
Of course, it wouldn’t be Twitter if there was no debate about this issue. While others commended the women for their futuristic thinking, others condemned them for not following the practices of African tradition.

Whatever side you’re on, however, you must admit that the world is changing and so are the cultures of society. How far you’re willing to push boundaries is completely up to you (thank goodness for the gift of choice!).

On a lighter note, here are some of our favorite stay-at-home Tik Tok dads:

Squid Game Is Memecoin Warning With Wipeout After 230,000% Gain

(Bloomberg) – Investors drawn to cryptocurrencies can be forgiven for having an expectation of high returns, especially lately. After all, even as the S&P 500 Index more than doubled in the past five years, Bitcoin rocketed more than 80-fold — albeit with much of the rally occurring in the past year. “Memecoins” such as Dogecoin and Shiba Inu have also surged, often for no particular reason.

Big gains aren’t a given, though, especially in a market as untamed, sprawling and speculative as crypto. And the inflation in value is often ephemeral. For evidence, there’s Squid Game, or SQUID, the latest memecoin sensation, inspired by the Netflix hit. It surged more than 230,000% in the past week to $2,861.80, according to CoinMarketCap pricing — only to plunge 100% to less than half a cent as of Monday in New York.

“Betting on the right coin can lead to jaw-dropping riches,” said Antoni Trenchev, co-founder of crypto lender Nexo, in an email Sunday. “The problem is, what goes up in a straight line tends to retreat in a similar fashion.” He added, “you hear that some memecoin investors don’t care about the losses. They are in it for the ride,” but that “once the selling starts, a cascading effect can play out, so it’s wise to only use money you can afford to lose.”

Some digital assets have had eye-popping gains, with the past year’s bull market spreading beyond the likes of Bitcoin and Ether to other tokens, decentralized finance projects and more. Dogecoin, which started in 2013 as a joke, has soared 10,000% in the past year, according to CoinGecko pricing. Shiba Inu, which was created just last year, has soared more than 90,000,000%; it soared 800% in October alone.

Squid Game’s boom and bust reveals another side of the crypto frenzy: The potential for demand to suddenly dry up, or worse, for developers to abandon a project and abscond with the funds in a scam known as a rug pull. Whether that’s what happened with Squid Game is still unclear, but even before the drop, there were inconsistencies around trading. CoinMarketCap posted a warning that it had received “multiple reports” that users weren’t able to sell the token on PancakeSwap, a decentralized exchange.

“Please do your own due diligence and exercise extreme caution. This project, while clearly inspired by the Netflix show of the same name, is not affiliated with the official IP,” it says at the top of the SQUID page, referring to intellectual property.

Indeed, the Squid Game white paper says it “will implement an innovative anti-dump mechanism.” Buying in the market releases “selling credits,” it says, but adds that if there is no selling credit left “in the pool,” someone won’t be able to sell any more.

“The reality is that very few retail buyers of these memecoins actually spend the time to read the white paper or try to understand the tokenomics and governance frameworks of these coins,” said Henri Arslanian, PwC crypto leader and partner. “And that comes with risks.”

It can even be hard to know what one is investing in, with crypto opportunists creating tokens that have similar names to high-fliers. A search for “Floki” (that’s the name of Tesla Inc. founder Elon Musk’s puppy) on CoinGecko comes up with Floki Inu, Floki Musk, Shiba Floki, Baby Moon Floki, FlokiSwap and FlokiMooni.

Some have suggested that there are broader societal reasons for the moves, which dovetail with the Reddit-fueled rides in stocks such as GameStop Corp. and AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc. this year, as well as the breakout prices of many non-fungible tokens, or NFTs.

All of these have benefited from a grass-roots enthusiasm that spurns the old order and has little to do with the type of fundamental analysis that justifies more traditional investments.

Raoul Pal, the co-founder of crypto investment platform Real Vision Group, said in a recent Twitter thread that this is part of a “seismic” shift driven by younger people who aren’t looking for modest returns, but are instead willing to take huge risks in order to make huge amounts of money.

These new investors aren’t interested in your love of oil or commodities or 1950’s V8’s or your Contemporary art of the 1990’s and 2000’s. Your Jeff Koonz is just a stupid ballon sculpture. It is not their cultural reference. JPEGS are and memes.

Others trace the speculative frenzy to the mountains of cash floating around the global financial system as the Federal Reserve and other central banks keep monetary spigots open to counter the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. But these easy-money policies have an eventual expiration date.

“There’s just a lot of money looking for the best theme. Silly or otherwise! The ‘hot ball of money’ effect,” said Jonathan Cheesman, head of over-the-counter and institutional trading at crypto derivatives exchange FTX.

One consequence is that crypto projects that have invested significant time and energy from knowledgeable people who want to apply the technology to create utility — whether it’s in financial tools like with DeFi, or ownership rights like with NFTs, or myriad other potential areas — find themselves outranked by tokens that were seemingly created with almost no effort at all.

“It is somewhat intellectually insulting to see a meme coin like #SHIB have a higher market cap than other projects like #Algorand, #Avalanche #Polygon #Stellar (just to name a few) where years of R&D, innovation and PhD talent and time has been dedicated to advancing this space,” PwC’s Arslanian said.

Crypto has delivered some wild rides, and not just memecoins. This reality may be easy to forget with Bitcoin and Ether both trading near all-time highs. Bitcoin, for example, dropped more than 80% from high to low between December 2017 and December 2018. And one need not go back that far to find an example — just look at Dogecoin earlier this year.

“On April 13 it was priced at 7 cents; 25 days later it peaked at 74 cents, and raced into the top 10 cryptos before slumping almost 80% in the next six weeks,” Nexo’s Trenchev said. “That’s how fast the crypto market can turn against you.”

Investment history is strewn with examples of booms and busts. The verdict on this current craze has yet to be determined, but individuals who are piling in now risk learning a hard lesson somewhere down the line. Squid Game investors already did. 

South Africa Faces Increased Outages Due to Eskom Maintenance

(Bloomberg) – South Africa faces an increased risk of power outages because maintenance needs to be carried out at deteriorating coal-fired power stations, the state energy utility said.

The availability of electricity from Eskom Holdings SOC Ltd.’s plants was lower overall this year than the previous financial year and the current performance is below target, Group Chief Operating Officer Jan Oberholzer said in a presentation on Monday. The utility, which provides most of South Africa’s power, expected earlier this year to show an improvement in generation from September.

“However painful in the short term, this maintenance we have to do in order to ensure future reliability,” Oberholzer said.

Read more: Why a Broke Utility Is Maiming South Africa’s Economy: QuickTake

Eskom’s poorly maintained coal-fired plants are an average of 42 years old, with the exception of its two newest facilities that are under performing and riddled with defects. Recent unplanned breakdowns have resulted in ongoing power outages and the increased use of diesel-burning turbines.

That requires spending money that indebted Eskom doesn’t have, Oberholzer said. Maintenance efforts to improve reliability will continue, while as much as 6,000 megawatts is needed to properly meet demand, he said.

The utility over a longer term is planning a 400 billion rand ($27 billion) transition from reliance on coal power to low-carbon technologies. In the meantime, a government program to quickly add capacity from private developers has been delayed by court challenges.

© 2021 Bloomberg L.P.

China Expects New Covid Outbreak to Worsen in Coming Days

(Bloomberg) – China’s new Covid-19 infections will increase in coming days and the areas affected by the epidemic may continue to expand, a health official said.

The current outbreak in China is caused by the delta variant from overseas, Wu Liangyou, an official at the National Health Commission, said at a briefing in Beijing Sunday. 

The wave of infections spread to 11 provinces in the week from Oct. 17, Mi Feng, spokesman for the commission, said at the briefing. Most of the people infected have cross-region travel histories, Mi said. He urged areas that have been affected by the pandemic to adopt “emergency mode.” 

Some cities in the provinces of Gansu — including its capital Lanzhou — and Inner Mongolia have halted bus and taxi services because of the virus, according to Zhou Min, an official at the transport ministry. 

Ejina, a county in the western part of Inner Mongolia, asked all residents and travelers to stay indoors starting Monday to contain the spread of coronavirus, the local government said in a statement.

China reported 26 new local confirmed Covid-19 infections on Saturday, including seven in Inner Mongolia, six in Gansu, six in Ningxia, four in Beijing, one in Hebei, one in Hunan and one in Shaanxi, according to the National Health Commission. Another four local asymptomatic cases were reported in Hunan and Yunnan.

The spread of the delta variant in Asia is slowing efforts by governments to re-open their economies. Singapore announced Saturday that only employees who are fully vaccinated, or have recovered from Covid-19 in the past 270 days, can return to the workplace from Jan. 1. The government last week extended other virus restrictions for another month because cases continue to rise even with more than 84% of the population fully vaccinated.

Beijing Restricts Tourism; Singapore Work Access: Virus Update

In China’s capital city of Beijing, the epidemic has expanded to three districts including Haidian, a scientific hub, Pang Xinghuo, vice head of the Beijing Center for Disease Prevention and Control, said at a briefing Sunday. 

Five new confirmed local Covid cases and an asymptomatic one were reported between Saturday midday to Sunday 3 p.m., Pang said.

Beijing will cancel a marathon originally scheduled for Oct. 31 due to the virus, the Beijing Daily reported. People in cities where infections have been found are banned from visiting or returning to the capital at present, the newspaper said. 

(Updates with Inner Mongolia county asking people to stay indoors.)

–With assistance from Philip Glamann.

© 2021 Bloomberg L.P.

Shiba Inu Up 50% to Record, Becomes 11th-Biggest Crypto Coin

(Bloomberg) – Shiba Inu soared to record highs over the weekend to become the 11th-biggest cryptocurrency by market value.

SHIB, as it’s known, was up 50% in the 24 hours through 10:10 a.m. New York time on Sunday, according to pricing from, and reached a record earlier in the day.

A petition on imploring Robinhood to list SHIB on its platform has garnered almost 300,000 signatures. The token has gained more than 40 million percent in the past year.

“Memes have value and have been an investible thesis in 2021,” Jonathan Cheesman, head of over-the-counter and institutional sales at crypto-derivatives exchange FTX, said in an email Sunday. “Lower dollar-price tokens are attractive to retail” because investors can still buy more than 20,000 SHIB for $1, he said.

The SHIB ecosystem has also dropped a number of non-fungible tokens, or NFTs, and a page for them says they’re currently sold out, though it promises other packs are coming soon.

“With such memecoins it’s hard to speculate on the actual reasons for price movements, in all honesty,” Vijay Ayyar, head of Asia-Pacific with crypto exchange Luno Pte., said in a message Sunday. But “there are some interesting communities being built around them.”

History shows caution may be warranted.

“At this moment attention seems to have converged on SHIB” and speculation is the primary driver of the price surge, Ben Caselin, head of research and strategy at crypto exchange AAX, said in a message Sunday. Prior patterns and dynamics in crypto indicate that SHIB is “likely to be challenged by other projects and shed much of its value” further along in the market cycle, he added.

Shiba Inu was founded in 2020 by an anonymous person going by the name Ryoshi, and the coin’s website refers to it as “a decentralized meme token that evolved into a vibrant ecosystem.”

It appears to have been made in the vein of Dogecoin, a cryptocurrency that was created as a joke in 2013, and also has a Shiba Inu theme, fashioned after the Japanese dog breed. Dogecoin has since become a popular token that’s used for payments by some sports teams, AMC theaters and others.

Dogecoin has also gained in the past 24 hours, according to CoinGecko. Its market value is about $34 billion, while Shiba Inu’s is around $21 billion. Both can be quite volatile.

“Yes, that’s right — there are two doggy meme coins in the top 10” cryptos, excluding stablecoins, Cheesman said. “Don’t short things Millennials think are funny.”

© 2021 Bloomberg L.P.

Myanmar Prisoner Release

Smiles, hugs and tears of joy: A mass release of imprisoned protesters took place in Yangon after amnesty was granted by Myanmar’s military rulers. Political inmates like ousted leader Aung San Suu Kyi remain in detention

Apple Event Wrap 18 Oct 2021

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Ut elit tellus, luctus nec ullamcorper mattis, pulvinar dapibus leo.These are the Apple upgrades you need to know about from the company’s “Unleashed” event: – Revamped MacBook Pros – $179 AirPods – $4.99 Siri-only music plan.

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