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'Artist. Designer. Writer. Committed -yet preoccupied- citizen of the world.
And much more, I guess.
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World


Out of Africa: The minerals that make the world go round

How Africa's resources fuel the world

From laptops to cell phones, cars to airplanes, all kinds of everyday products are made using minerals that come from Africa. It’s no exaggeration to say that the world depends on Africa’s natural resources.

Those resources are crucial exports for many African countries, and while resource wealth doesn’t always benefit ordinary people, there is no doubt that the global commodities boom is helping to power the economies of Africa’s resource-rich nations.

Click on the categories to the left, or use the arrows on the side to see just a few of the countless products that use Africa’s natural resources, and how those raw materials fuel African economies.

Full article on CNN.


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Environment


The mass movement that will take down the fossil fuel industry

Marissa Solomon is a student at the University of Michigan studying climate and energy policy and women’s studies, she is active in the Divest and Invest Campaign at UM along with other environmental and social justice groups.

She wrote a story part of PolicyMic’s Millennials Take On Climate Change series:

A few weeks ago, on June 25, I stood outside President Obama’s climate address along with 100 other young environmental activists. We chanted “Yes we can, comprehensive climate plan,” and “Fired up, ready to go, fossil fuels have got to go!” Our protest came right off the heels of a letter to the president from over 150 of his former campaign staff, coordinated by the Energy Action Coalition. The letter called on the president to keep his promise on dealing with climate change, starting by rejecting the Keystone XL pipeline.

As a former staffer for the Obama campaign, I worked to elect the president because I knew that he would make the right call on tough decisions dealing with climate. We had all been waiting for his speech, because climate change is a big deal.

Even if you forget about all of the economic and human devastation caused by disasters like Superstorm Sandy, and the fact that pipelines are breaking and covering towns like Mayflower, Arkansas in nasty tar sands oil, climate change is STILL a big deal.

Full article on PolicyMic.


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Misc.

Bill Clinton meets President Kennedy

Future-President Clinton shaking hands with President John F. Kennedy on July 24, 1963


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World




NSA Says It Can’t Search Its Own Emails…

... Because it doesn’t have the technology, says the agency.

Justin Elliott writes in an article published on ProPublica:

The NSA is a “supercomputing powerhouse” with machines so powerful their speed is measured in thousands of trillions of operations per second. The agency turns its giant machine brains to the task of sifting through unimaginably large troves of data its surveillance programs capture.

But ask the NSA, as part of a freedom of information request, to do a seemingly simple search of its own employees’ email? The agency says it doesn’t have the technology.

“There’s no central method to search an email at this time with the way our records are set up, unfortunately,” NSA Freedom of Information Act officer Cindy Blacker told me last week.

The system is “a little antiquated and archaic,” she added.

Full article here.


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World


7 Things You Need to Know About South Sudan’s Government Crisis

Who just got fired? Who is left running the government? What about negotiations with Sudan?

On July 23, South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir  issued a decree  dismissing his longtime vice president, Dr. Riek Machar, along with all the ministers and deputy ministers in his cabinet. In a statement read on national television late Tuesday evening, Kiir also suspended Pagan Amum, the Secretary-General of South Sudan’s ruling political party, the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement, or SPLM. Social media reports that 17 brigadier generals have also been removed from their posts.

Full article on Enough Project.


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Design / Art




Graffiti Rock 30th Anniversary on Kickstarter

Soon, it will be the 30th Anniversary of the airing of Graffiti Rock and through your contributions, we will re-master the 1 inch broadcast video tape of the show (on to DVD) as well as produce a new, feature length film called Graffiti Rock: The Untold Story. Graffiti Rock: The Untold Story will be an in-depth documentary that captures the memories and reactions of today’s Hip Hop celebrities to first seeing Graffiti Rock, and how it impacted their lives. The documentary will also capture the “behind the scenes” making of Graffiti Rock, as well as my own personal experiences and accomplishments as a Hip Hop Pioneer, helping to introduce Hip Hop Culture to New York’s Downtown Art Scene and eventually to the rest of the world.

Support on Kickstarter!


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Design / Art


Shamsia Hassani: ‘Art is stronger than war’

Hassani is Afghanistan’s first female street artist, and is a spokesperson for women’s rights in Kabul

Shamsia Hassani, Afghanistan’s first female street artist, emerges as a spokesperson for women’s rights in Kabul. Art Radar spoke with the artist to find out more about visual arts in the post-conflict capital and her drive to prove art is stronger than war. Throughout history, Afghanistan has withstood various assaults from outside nations due to its prominent location amid Central Asia’s trade routes. In contemporary times, the country has faced military advances from Russia (1978-1989) and currently, the United States (2001-present) in response to terrorist attacks by Al-Qaeda and the Taliban.

Read full article on Art Radar Asia


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World


Darfur in 2013 Sounds Awfully Familiar

Darfur, 10 years later. And nothing changed.

Asiya Tahir, 20, had her 4-month-old baby, Mariam, on her back in April when three armed men in Sudanese military uniforms seized her and her sister at a well in Darfur.  The soldiers beat Asiya and then — according to both sisters who were interviewed separately — pulled Mariam off her back and laughingly checked to see if she was a boy or a girl. Grabbing Mariam by one arm, a soldier flung her into the distance. “You’re lucky she’s a girl,” Asiya remembers one of the soldiers saying. “If that were a boy, we would have cut his throat.” Mariam survived the throw but still has health problems from it. That’s Darfur this year, as Sudan’s state-sponsored genocidal machinery revs up again.

Full article here.


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Misc.




President Obama’s remarks on Trayvon Martin

'Trayvon Martin could have been me 35 years ago...'

President Obama discussed the George Zimmerman acquittal in the killing of teenager Trayvon Martin during a surprise appearance at the White House briefing on Friday.

“You know, when Trayvon Martin was first shot, I said that this could have been my son. Another way of saying that is Trayvon Martin could have been me 35 years ago. And when you think about why, in the African- American community at least, there’s a lot of pain around what happened here, I think it’s important to recognize that the African- American community is looking at this issue through a set of experiences and a history that — that doesn’t go away…”


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Music


Jazz musician Carline Ray dies at 88

Ray was a Jazz guitarist and activist who championed for better recognition of women in jazz...

I would rather be taken seriously as a musician, and the fact that I’m female — I just happen to be female, that’s all.


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Design / Art




Syrian artist, Youssef Abdelke, arrested

Youssef Abdelke is an internationally acclaimed Syrian artist. He is of revolutionary stock – his father was imprisoned many times during the ‘60s and ‘70s. Abdelke himself, a member of the Communist Labor Party, spent the best part of 1978 to 1980 incarcerated. Following this he spent years in self-imposed exile in Paris, until his nostos in 2005. On his return, he remained candid about his disenchantment with the Syrian condition: “There’s a false image of openness now. The authorities are still controlling everything, and you can’t even hire a cleaning woman without the security services’ permission.”

Source: NOW.


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World


Tackle tax evasion to fuel Africa’s development

The continent loses more in illicit financial outflows than it receives in international aid...

Put an end to the secret, murky and exploitative deals that have robbed Africans of the gains of their natural resource wealth.

As G20 finance ministers meet in Moscow, Kofi Annan urges their governments to seize the current opportunity to stop illicit tax practices. Source: The Elders


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Science


Neutrino ‘flavour’ flip confirmed

This might help explain the matter-antimatter conundrum!

The fact that we have matter in the Universe means there have to be laws of physics that aren’t in our Standard Model, and neutrinos are one place they might be.

Prof Dave Wark, of the UK’s Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) and Oxford University. Source: BBC


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Science


Don’t use ‘dark matter’ to mean ‘something we don’t understand’

Matthew R. Francis is right, 'dark matter of the genome' is a really bad metaphor.

Matthew R. Francis – Writer of science, blogger of physics and astronomy, director of CosmoAcademy, writes:

“Physicists are serial offenders when it comes to cross-disciplinary meddling. Whether it’s a theoretical cosmologist claiming to solve consciousness or a professor smugly claiming all other sciences are “soft”, physicists are too often quick to pass judgement on other fields. So, I’m a little worried about coming off that way when I criticize a bad habit in biology of referring to the “dark matter of the genome” or other similar phrases.”

Read more here.


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World




Teenager plans ‘hacker school’ to help Africa build next Google

Martha Chumo, a 19-year-old self-taught programmer, was supposed to be in New York right now, honing her coding skills and mastering cutting-edge technologies in the company of fellow software enthusiasts. Instead, she’s thousands of miles away, in her hometown of Nairobi, Kenya.

A few months ago, Chumo was accepted into the summer intake of Hacker School, a U.S.-based “retreat for hackers,” where budding programmers come together for three months to write code, learn new languages and share industry insights.



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