5 things you need to know in SA business today and the 10 oldest jokes in human history
1. Gavin Watson, CEO of the controversial company formerly known as Bosasa, was killed in a suspect car crash near O.R. Tambo airport yesterday. There are many questions about the crash, which saw his car colliding with a concrete bridge pillar at high speed. His death has sparked many conspiracy theories, ranging from an "assisted suicide" to being followed and/or chased and losing control over the vehicle, to Watson suffering a heart attack shortly before the accident. A post-mortem is scheduled for today. He was scheduled to appear before a SARS inquiry into his and Bosasa’s tax affairs today.
2. Overnight, global markets received a boost after US president Donald Trump said he believed China wanted to make a trade deal, and that they contacted US yesterday to say China wanted to return to the negotiating table. The rand was last at R15.29/$.
3. Yesterday, Naspers reported on the financial performance of its newly formed tech-focused company Prosus, ahead of its listing in Amsterdam on September 11th. The company is worth around $120 billion. Prosus will own Naspers’ 13% stake in the Chinese online behemoth Tencent, which contributed $1.2 billion in trading profit over the past quarter. But on the whole, Prosus reported a $119 million operating loss.
4. Sasol fell another 2% yesterday after it cut its expected profit from its embattled Lake Charles Chemicals Project. While for the next year it initially expected earnings of between $300 to $350 million, this has now been lowered to between $150 to $300 million.
5. This morning, Imperial Logistics, which transports freight in African and Europe, reported its results: its profits fell by 7%. Restructuring costs – including for the closure of its local packaging unit – took a large bite out of its earnings.
The 10 oldest jokes in human history
Reported by Bill Bostock
In 2008 a group of historians from the UK were commissioned to unearth the oldest joke ever written down.
The study was led by humour expert Dr Paul McDonald from the University of Wolverhampton.
The list reveals that humour has changed a lot in some respects, but, as the world's oldest joke shows, that toilet humour is here to stay.
10. A joke about a haircut, Ancient Greece, 300-400 AD.
The 10th oldest joke was found in the world's oldest "joke book," called "Philogelos" (or "Laughter-Lover"), written by Greeks Hierocles and Philagrius in the 4th century.
"Asked by the court barber how he wanted his hair cut, the king replied: "In silence"."
9. One about a donkey, Ancient Greece, 300-400 AD.
Also from "Philogelos" the 9th oldest joke in the world goes like this:
"Wishing to teach his donkey not to eat, a pedant did not offer him any food."
"When the donkey died of hunger, he said: 'I've had a great loss! Just when he had learned not to eat, he died'."
8. An ancient "your mom" joke, Ancient Rome, between 63 BC to 14 AD.
"The Emperor Augustus was touring the Empire, when he noticed a man in the crowd who bore a striking resemblance to himself.
"Intrigued he asked: 'Was your mother at one time in service at the Palace?'
"'No your Highness,' he replied, 'but my father was.'"
7. A sex joke, Ancient Egypt, 30 BC.
"Man is even more eager to copulate than a donkey. His purse is what restrains him."
6. A joke which is also a riddle, Ancient Greece, 429 BC.
In "Oedipus Tyrannus," by Greek playwright Sophocles, a character gives the following line, which is less of a joke and more of a brainteaser.
"Question: What animal walks on four feet in the morning, two at noon and three at evening?
"Answer: Man. He goes on all fours as a baby, on two feet as a man and uses a cane in old age."
5. A pun on a name, Ancient Greece, 800 BC.
In Homer's "The Odyssey" - written 2,800 years ago - Odysseus indulges in some dark humor.
"Odysseus tells the Cyclops that his real name is "nobody"."
"When Odysseus instructs his men to attack the Cyclops, the Cyclops shouts: "Help, nobody is attacking me!"
"No one comes to help."
4. A joke about an old married couple, Unknown, 1100 BC.
"A woman who was blind in one eye has been married to a man for 20 years.
"When he found another woman he said to her, 'I shall divorce you because you are said to be blind in one eye.'
"And she answered him: 'Have you just discovered that after 20 years of marriage?'"
3. A joke about livestock, Sumeria, 1200 BC.
This one from Sumeria in 1200 BC, is another brainteaser.
"Three ox drivers from Adab were thirsty: one owned the ox, the other owned the cow and the other owned the wagon's load.
"The owner of the ox refused to get water because he feared his ox would be eaten by a lion; the owner of the cow refused because he thought his cow might wander off into the desert; the owner of the wagon refused because he feared his load would be stolen.
"So they all went.
"In their absence the ox made love to the cow which gave birth to a calf which ate the wagon's load.
"Problem: Who owns the calf?"
2. Another sex joke, Ancient Egypt, 1600 BC.
The world's second oldest joke was found in the Ancient Egyptian story book known as the Westcar Papyrus
"How do you entertain a bored pharaoh?
"You sail a boatload of young women dressed only in fishing nets down the Nile and urge the pharaoh to go catch a fish."
1. A fart joke, Sumeria, 1900 BC.
"Something which has never occurred since time immemorial..."
"A young woman did not fart in her husband's lap."
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