By Felicity Duncan
Worrying about our valuables is as old as the notion of owning valuables. today, we rely on bank vaults, burglar bars, and alarm systems to keep our jewellery and electronics safe. Centuries ago, however, few things were more valuable than books, which were unique, handcrafted objects that took hundreds of hours of work to create. Book owners accordingly took extreme measures to protect them.
Researchers in Denmark recently discovered three rare old books that are liberally coated in arsenic as an anti-pest device – only the bravest rats would nibble on those deadly tomes. And, to protect books from human pests, many early libraries used to chain the books to the wall to prevent light-fingered readers from pilfering their favourite works. Human beings, it seems, haven’t changed much when it comes to protecting the things they love.
In Premium today, you can listen to Alec Hogg break down McKinsey’s too-little, too-late apology for its role in corruption in SA. You can read about mounting problems at Twitter and you can learn about the titanic battle between the Western tech giants, the FAANGs, and their Eastern rivals, the BATs. You can also read about how SA stocks are taking strain as emerging markets slump.