Boing Boing 

Hip Deep Angola: 4-part radio series exploring music in southern Africa

Ned Sublette shares word of a new Afropop Worldwide radio series premiering this month, and continuing in four episodes through November: HIP DEEP ANGOLA, "an unprecedented exploration of the history and contemporary reality of this southern African nation -- a story told in music."

Angola is not an easy place to report from even now, but until recently, it was almost impossible. From 1961 to 2002, it was at war on its own territory, emerging with little in the way of infrastructure. Now, fueled by oil revenues, it’s undergoing a massive national construction project unlike anything else in the world. Produced by HIP DEEP co-founder Ned Sublette, who traveled to Angola in July, and featuring commentary by leading musicians and distinguished scholars, HIP DEEP ANGOLA will air on public radio stations around the country via Public Radio International.

The first episode goes up today and will be available at It will air on WNYE 91.5 FM in New York Saturday at 11 p.m. and Monday at noon. You can also hear it (right now) at SoundCloud.

Supercomputer built from Raspberry Pis and Lego

A team of computer scientists at the University of Southampton in the UK created a supercomputer out of 64 Raspberry Pi matchbox Linux-on-a-chip computers and Lego. The team included six year old James Cox, the son of project lead Professor Simon Cox, "who provided specialist support on Lego and system testing."

Here's a PDF with instructions for making your own Raspberry Pi/Lego supercomputer.

Professor Cox comments: “As soon as we were able to source sufficient Raspberry Pi computers we wanted to see if it was possible to link them together into a supercomputer. We installed and built all of the necessary software on the Pi starting from a standard Debian Wheezy system image and we have published a guide so you can build your own supercomputer.”

The racking was built using Lego with a design developed by Simon and James, who has also been testing the Raspberry Pi by programming it using free computer programming software Python and Scratch over the summer. The machine, named “Iridis-Pi” after the University’s Iridis supercomputer, runs off a single 13 Amp mains socket and uses MPI (Message Passing Interface) to communicate between nodes using Ethernet. The whole system cost under £2,500 (excluding switches) and has a total of 64 processors and 1Tb of memory (16Gb SD cards for each Raspberry Pi). Professor Cox uses the free plug-in ‘Python Tools for Visual Studio’ to develop code for the Raspberry Pi.

Professor Cox adds: “The first test we ran – well obviously we calculated Pi on the Raspberry Pi using MPI, which is a well-known first test for any new supercomputer.”

Engineers Build Supercomputer Using Raspberry Pi, Lego [Parity News]

Southampton engineers a Raspberry Pi Supercomputer [Press release]

(Images: Simon J Cox 2012)