From Johannesburg South Africa, a window on the world
The BBC Online reports that the Bush VS Kerry election fight is breaking new ground when it comes to the creation of new games. This includes computer and mobile phone games ranging from earnest educational efforts to the most partisan propaganda. At last count more than 20 US election themed games had been created.
WWF has released their Living Planet Report 2004.
Recent audits expose serious failures in American oversight of Iraq's revenues and U.S. reconstruction funds, said a report by the Open Society Institute's Iraq Revenue Watch project. The audits-released in late July by the Coalition Provisional Authority Inspector General (CPA-IG)-paint a picture of disorder and negligence. Contractors made little effort to control costs, while the Coalition Provisional Authority, which was in charge of managing Iraqi reconstruction funds, failed to adhere to federally mandated procedures for awarding and overseeing contracts.
I am reading The Complete Reference HTML Second Edition by Thomas A Powell. Hopefully my desire to improve the boring appearance of my blog will be stronger than my inbuilt resistance to learning anything technical. Also, maybe blogging about my progress will help keep me on track. My husband is delighted that I am finally taking an interest, he is sick of looking at the the blank expression and glazed over eyes that overcome me when he expounds on his favourite topic. He has offered to give me books on visual basic and C sharp when I have finished this one, but I told him that I am not that ambitious and just want to fix up my blog. I have finished reading chapter one and now understand terms like elements with attributes, nesting, and alphanumeric tags. I will soon be able to tell the difference between logical and physical HTML, and why HTML is not a WYSIWYG design language. From now on I will no longer be wasting my evenings in mundane pursuits like television, I will be hunched over a thousand page textbook of biblical proportions learning a valuable skill.
Transparency International (TI) has released it's annual global corruption report. Corruption costs businesses and governments more than £220 billion a year, with a number of oil producing states among the worst offenders. Amazingly enough, the Corruption Perceptions Index showed that 106 out of 146 countries scored less than 5 against a "clean" score of 10. Wow, that's a lot of corrupt countries out there. Sixty countries scored less than three, indicating "rampant" levels of bribery. The oil-rich states of Angola, Azerbaijan, Chad, Ecuador, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Kazakhstan, Libya, Nigeria, Russia, Sudan, Venezuela and Yemen all scored "extremely poorly".
Got this in my inbox today:
10 streets in Newtown, JHB have been renamed in honour of South African performers.
* Becker Street to Gerard Sekoto Street. (Newtown/Ferreiras Dorp)
* Minaar Street to Mahlathini Street. (Newtown)
* West Street to Ntemi Piliso Street. (Newtown/Ferreiras Dorp)
* Pim Street to Gwigwi Mrwebi Street. (Newtown)
* Goch Street to Henry Nxumalo Street. (Newtown)
* Wolhuter Street to Margaret Mcingana Street. (Newtown/Ferreiras Dorp)
* Sydenham Street to Noria Mabasa Street. (Newtown)
* Avenue Road to Dolly Rathebe Road. (Newtown/Fordsburg)
* Park Road to Barney Simon Road. (Newtown/Fordsburg)
* Bezuidenhout Street to Miriam Makeba Street. (Ferreiras Dorp)
Well it seems that when it comes to fact twisting and distorting the truth in the presidential debates, both Bush and Kerry are equally at fault. Factcheck.org is a great site for, well, checking the facts. Bush lied about his tax cuts and Kerry wasn't much better when it came to distorting the truth on Bush's education spending.
I was recently chosen as part of a project being worked on, as one of the team members to go for DNA Ancestry testing, some of you may be familiar with this from a Carte Blanche documentary broadcast not too long ago. It turns out that my most famous ancestor is none other than Oetzi the Iceman. (Heh heh)
I was sorting through a pile of papers earlier, and came accross a quote that I had printed out. I don't remember what I printed it for, what I was working on at the time, or even who the quote was written by. But I think it has a lot of relevance to Africa's present situation, because in the light of the African Union, and the Pan African African Parliament, it seems to me, to point out one of the greatest failings of the leaders of the African continent.
"An unexplained and unprecedented rise in carbon dioxide in the atmosphere two years running has raised fears that the world may be on the brink of runaway global warming.
"Science journalists have accused drug companies of issuing misleading information to inflate perceptions of disease threats and maximise profits from drug sales, and have called for greater journalistic scrutiny of the companies' activities. Speaking at the 4th World Conference of Science Journalists (WCSJ) today (5 October), freelance journalist and author Ray Moynihan warned that journalists risk being used as promotional tools. Instead, said Moynihan, journalists should be reporting on the pharmaceutical companies' tactics. But the conference also heard that for many science journalists in developing countries, big companies are an important source of access to the stories they cover — whether they accept the companies' public relations material or not." (More)
Kenyan environmentalist and human rights campaigner Wangari Maathai has won the Nobel Peace Prize. She is the first African woman to be awarded the peace prize since it was created in 1901. The prize committee says Mrs Maathai, Kenya's deputy environment minister, is an example for all Africans fighting for democracy and peace.
I've decided on Friday's to do mainly history and culture stories, so for today from the University of the Free State:
The BBC online reports on a photographic exhibition with a difference. Photo-journalist Robbie Cooper is showcasing photographs of ordinary people alongside their online gaming avatar personalities. Cooper says he wanted to see if people's real lives were echoed in their digital alter egos in role-playing environments.
What does it mean to live in a society when marketers are aggressively targeting children as young as 9 to be brand conscious and to go out and spend? I think it's horrible. When I was 10 I was busy climbing trees and pretending to be Little Joe from Bonanza, I didn't care how I looked or what other people thought of me because I didn't have the right label on my jeans. When you start to worry about how you look it takes away from the unselfconscious innocence that's part of the beauty of childhood. You hear or read stories about little girls who are already worried about being fat and going on diet and I think that's sad. Of course it can be argued that childhood is a modern construct, certainly in the Middle Ages children were taught the skills of adulthood from an early age, and married very young - then again, people didn't live as long then as we do today. I suppose even up until the mid 19th century poor children went to work, and child labour exists to this day.
Let's get them spending and into debt from as young an age as possible.
From Wikipedia, an etymology of company names. Did you know?
Irin reports, unsurprisingly, that South Africa is Africa's largest foreign investor. According to a report by the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), we accounted for 60 percent of Africa's Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) outflows for 2003.
The BBC online reports that many scientists believe that we are currently undergoing the sixth mass extinction to affect life on Earth. In 2003 the World Conservation Union's Red List said more than 12,000 species (out of 40,000 assessed) faced some extinction risk, including: