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Africa

  1. Science

    Ancient Coin Proves China Was Into Dominating Foreign Markets Before It Was Cool

    The Europeans get all the press. They've got all that history of old empires and discoverers and globe-spanning explorers. Columbus, Copernicus, Magellan. Ah, but who's writing the history? It may just be that Europe's got all the PR. There's two sides to every coin. What if the history books are wrong sometimes? What if, for example, China was out and about discovering stuff decades before Christopher Columbus even boarded a ship? Anthropologists have just unearthed a 600-year-old coin near Kenya that proves that China was hip to trading a long, long time ago.

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  2. Weird

    Google Maps Quashes Rumors That They’re a Bunch of Remorseless Donkey Killers

    Google was in the news yet again this past Monday when the internet community bore witness to a disturbing picture of what appeared to be a donkey that was struck by a roving Google Maps Street View car in the Kweneng region of Botswana, Africa. News of the donkey-related vehicular homicide spread quickly and caused quite the uproar on various social media outlets -- despite what others may say, the Internet truly does care for the welfare of pack animals -- demanding that Google stop hiding behind its money piles and explain itself. Caving from the heat brought down on them, the company made a statement today to deny any and all allegations that they're a bunch of monstrous donkey slayers.

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  3. Science

    Science Just Discovered a New Monkey; Meet the Lesula

    Pictured here looking for all the world like it just wants to hear about your day and maybe fix you a cup of tea, the lesula, or Cercopithecus lomamiensis, has been known to locals in the Democratic Republic of Congo for generations, but was only described by science this week in the journal PLos ONE. The study is the culmination of six year of work by an international team of researchers. That work, which ranged from tracking down lesula carcasses left behind by leopards to trapping live specimens for study to the comparatively simple job of sequencing and comparing DNA, has all paid off, marking the first discovery of a new primate species in Africa in 28 years.

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  4. Weird

    Man Gets Face Slashed by Machete Protecting Kenyan Orphanage, Reddit Raises $70,000 for the Children

    A mere 19 hours ago, shocking photos of a man named Omari were posted to Reddit. Omari had just been released from the hospital after having his face slashed by roving thugs while single-handedly defending the Faraja Orphanage in Ngong, Kenya. The original post asked for $2,000 to help build a security wall around the orphanage. Since then, the collective power of the Internet has raised some $70,000. Wowie zowie, Internet!

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  5. Weird

    Three Kenyan Men Snatch Meat From 15 Hungry Lions

    In the video above, three Kenyan men armed with nothing but wooden spears bows manage to scare fifteen hungry lions away from a wildebeest carcass, butcher it on the spot as the lions watch, and walk away without conflict. How do they do it? Animal psychology. And nerves of steel. (BBC via Reddit)

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  6. Science

    Peace In Sudan Could Mean an End to Guinea Worm Parasite

    Humanity might be on the brink of completely eradicating the guinea worm parasite from the face of the Earth. According to the New Scientist, the hope for a worm-free world hinges upon continued peace in the southern Sudan, a region that has been wracked with conflict for decades and is now on the verge of independence with a vote next week. New Scientist quotes Makoy Samuel Yibi, who oversees the country's guinea worm eradication program, as saying, "If the political situation remains stable, we can stop it in 2012."

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  7. Science

    The True Size of Africa

    Very good, very well-researched illustration by Kai Krause illustrating just how mammoth Africa is. You could fit China, the US, India, Mexico, and Japan in it and still have room for a good chunk of Europe!

    Krause:
    In addition to the well known social issues of illiteracy and innumeracy, there also should be such a concept as "immappancy", meaning insufficient geographical knowledge. A survey with random American schoolkids let them guess the population and land area of their country. Not entirely unexpected, but still rather unsettling, the majority chose "1-2 billion" and "largest in the world", respectively. Even with Asian and European college students, geographical estimates were often off by factors of 2-3. This is partly due to the highly distorted nature of the predominantly used mapping projections (such as Mercator). A particularly extreme example is the worldwide misjudgement [sic] of the true size of Africa. This single image tries to embody the massive scale, which is larger than the USA, China, India, Japan, and all of Europe....... combined!
    Click to see full-sized. (via @stephenfry)

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  8. Tech

    I Took My iPad On Safari. Or, Look At These Lions!

    Yeah, so I took my iPad to Africa. Contrary to what Gizmodo's Joel Johnson considers, don't go selling your laptop just yet. But you know who liked it? The lions. I realize just how gratuitous that photo is. But the lions were legitimately interested in the iPad's multi-touch technology. (Probably. I didn't really get out of the truck. They seemed interested in it.)

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