South African photographer Paul Shiakallis produced a series of photos, "Leathered Skins, Unchained Hearts," of the "queens" of Botswana's heavy metal "Marok" scene, mostly in their homes. Read the rest
In South Africa, scientists have unearthed a humanoid species from what appears to be a burial chamber hidden deep inside a system of caves. They discovered 15 partial skeletons, with evidence leading researchers to believe the hominids had enough intelligence to conduct rituals. This is the single largest discovery of its kind ever in Africa, and scientists claim it will change our ideas about our human ancestors. More on the findings in the journal Elife.
The species, which has been named naledi, has been classified in the grouping, or genus, Homo, to which modern humans belong. The researchers who made the find have not been able to find out how long ago these creatures lived - but the scientist who led the team, Prof Lee Berger, told BBC News that he believed they could be among the first of our kind (genus Homo) and could have lived in Africa up to three million years ago.
Here's the abstract:
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Homo naledi is a previously-unknown species of extinct hominin discovered within the Dinaledi Chamber of the Rising Star cave system, Cradle of Humankind, South Africa. This species is characterized by body mass and stature similar to small-bodied human populations but a small endocranial volume similar to australopiths. Cranial morphology of H. naledi is unique, but most similar to early Homo species including Homo erectus, Homo habilis or Homo rudolfensis. While primitive, the dentition is generally small and simple in occlusal morphology.
The tourist who was mauled by a lioness at a South African safari park was 29-year-old Katherine Chappell, an American who worked as a special effects editor on Game of Thrones. She was snapping photos from her car with her window down and was unaware that a lion was approaching. Other cars honked, trying to warn her, but the lion attacked before she was able to react. Chappell was in South Africa on an anti-poaching mission. Read more of the story here. Read the rest
Al Jazeera and The Guardian are set to publish "the Spy Cables," a massive trove of South African intelligence cables detailing the over-classification of information and the corruption of post-Apartheid South Africa by US political interference. Read the rest
The 3-day, $2750/person Rovos Rail train safari from Pretoria to Durban is pulled by 1930s steam trains; features giant, luxurious staterooms with their own bathtubs; offers high tea; and, true to its Edwardian time-warp, passengers are prohibited from working in public areas, lest this break the atmosphere of idle wealth and privilege. Read the rest
Al Billings writes, "Jacob Appelbaum discusses the fallacy of Americans thinking that they won't be targeted, passive and active surveillance methods, AI and human analyst systems working together, satellite networks, deep packet inspection & injection, military contractors getting special access to surveillance programs, proprietary vs open source software, OTR messaging, hoarding exploits for self-gain." Read the rest
Nathaniel Stern straps modified document scanners to his body and then walks around, producing beautiful, glitched out art-images. Now he's taken his scanners to the bottom of the ocean. Read the rest
This morning, as I listened to the BBC World Service on Mandela, I found myself pondering what it meant that he was South Africa's "first democratically elected leader."
This is undoubtedly true. The apartheid regime held elections regularly, but only white people were given the vote. The systematic, arbitrary denial of the franchise to a large fraction of the population makes those elections "undemocratic" and their leaders illegitimate. I think that this is indisputable. Read the rest
"In August 2012 we ran a crowd-sourced design competition on 10and5.com (a local design design website) and invited creatives from around the world to design a unique chocolate wrapper for us. In just 6 days we received over 115 local and international entries from Cape Town, Johannesburg, Durban, Namibia, Amsterdam, Toronto and Paris.
The winning design came from Cape Town based illustrator, Miné Jonker. She runs an agency called Studio Muti."
Chris sez, "I'm helping to arrange a conference on 3D printing/additive manufacturing in South Africa. We have some world-renowned professors on the subject coming and its being held in a game reserve so it should be fun!"
Rapid Prototyping remains a key technology in the Rapid Product Development suite of technologies. However, over the past decade we have experienced growing acceptance of this powerful technology in the manufacturing industry, not only as prototyping tool, but increasingly as niche manufacturing technology. The inherent ability of the technology to accommodate part complexity and customization, coupled with an ever-increasing range of materials, has provided industry with unprecedented flexibility in design and production. Resulting from this, Additive Manufacturing has replaced Rapid Prototyping as internationally accepted terminology for this technology. Also in South Africa the uptake of Additive Manufacturing by industry has been breathtaking.
In the calm and pristine environment of the South African Bushveld, the conference programme will offer a variety of opportunities for participants from industry, R&D institutions, academia and government to listen to presentations, engage in discussions, visit exhibitions and just interact informally during the three days of the event.
[Video Link] This just hit the internet today. TEN$ION, the South African band's new album scheduled out February 7, will be their first release since breaking up with Interscope.
Die Antwoord leave Interscope, will release "TEN$ION" on their own ... Die Antwoord: "Fok Julle Naaiers" (music video) - Boing Boing A farewell to Leon Botha from Die Antwoord's Ninja and Yo-Landi ... In memoriam: Leon Botha, South African artist, DJ, and wonderful ... Die Antwoord: "Rich Bitch" (video) - Boing Boing Die Antwoord's US debut at Coachella: interview, photo gallery ... Read the rest
An open letter from Archbishop Desmond Tutu to New York's Trinity Church urges the church to allow the Occupy protest in Duarte Park, which is owned by the Episcopalian parish:
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Yours is a voice for the world not just the neighborhood of Duarte Park. Injustice, unfairness, and the strangle hold of greed which has beset humanity in our times must be answered with a resounding, "No!" You are that answer. I write this to you not many miles away from the houses of the poor in my country. It pains me despite all the progress we have made. You see, the heartbeat of what you are asking for--that those who have too much must wake up to the cries of their brothers and sisters who have so little--beats in me and all South Africans who believe in justice.
Trinity Church is an esteemed and valued old friend of mine; from the earliest days when I was a young Deacon. Theirs was the consistent and supportive voice I heard when no one else supported me or our beloved brother Nelson Mandela. That is why it is especially painful for me to hear of the impasse you are experiencing with the parish. I appeal to them to find a way to help you. I appeal to them to embrace the higher calling of Our Lord Jesus Christ--which they live so well in all other ways--but now to do so in this instance...can we not rearrange our affairs for justice sake? Just as history watched as South Africa was reborn in promise and fairness so it is watching you now.