Who else is moving into Djibouti?

A lot of news has been made about China’s new base in Djibouti, but it looks like other countries might also be moving in soon, or at least nearby. Why?



Germany: home of board games

Ever played Settlers of Cataan? Ever wondered how it was developed? This article describes the difference between European and American board games, and how and why the former genre is very much over-taking the latter.


On Black Panther

Black Panther was stunning in every sense of the word.

Not just for the gorgeous visuals, powerful story, and great humour. But also for its political impact, for the US, for African-Americans, for Africans, for Africa, for Hollywood, and beyond.

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Climate change: Another threat from the permafrost

The melting of the permafrost leads to all sorts of bad outcomes: starving animals and anthrax to name only two. Looks like there is more bad news: permafrost may hold more mercury than any other environment on the planet, and when it melts, this toxic element will likely come back too.

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On Guns

A group of grandmothers is a tapestry. A group of toddlers, a jubilance (see also: a bewailing). A group of librarians is an enlightenment. A group of visual artists is a bioluminescence. A group of short story writers is a Flannery. A group of musicians is — a band.

A resplendence of poets.

A beacon of scientists.

A raft of social workers.

A group of first responders is a valiance. A group of peaceful protestors is a dream. A group of special education teachers is a transcendence. A group of neonatal ICU nurses is a divinity. A group of hospice workers, a grace.

Humans in the wild, gathered and feeling good, previously an exhilaration, now: a target.

A target of concert-goers.

A target of movie-goers.

A target of dancers.

A group of schoolchildren is a target.

School shootings – and mass shootings at other venues – only seem to be increasing across the United States, as the poem above shows, with little legal change in the offing. Beyond the obvious culprit of guns that are too easy to access, are societal standards of masculinity, and a lack of unity on how to solve the problem also to blame?



Russian Nationalism: Cheese?

Russia’s invasion of Crimea prompted international sanctions and retaliatory sanctions from the West. One Russian’s response has been to upend his whole life and devote himself to a new mission: making Western-style cheeses, but with purely Russian devotion and ingredients.



China bugged the African Union HQ?

Recent reports have surfaced that from 2012 when China paid for and bought the new AU headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, until 2017 when it was discovered, all the data in the AU was sent to the Chinese every night. So far everyone has denied it, but in the meantime, new servers have been bought and the data transfers seem to have stopped. More interestingly, perhaps, than whether China did it, was how much did Ethiopia know about it at the time?

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