Africa and Asia lead in proportion of blind adults

By Stephanie Achieng’ [NAIROBI] Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia have the highest percentage of blind older people worldwide, a study says. The study published in the Lancet Global Health on 2 August shows that blindness affects 36 million people globally, with developing countries bearing the greatest burden. Kovin Naidoo, a co-author of the study and …

Continue reading ‘Africa and Asia lead in proportion of blind adults’ »

Gabon’s political force is its thriving hip-hop scene

Alice Aterianus-Owanga, University of Lausanne In Gabon as in other African states, rap has become instrumental in constructing political identity. On August 17, Gabon celebrated 57 years of independence with a massive free concert in the capital, Libreville. The aim: to promote national unity in a festive fashion. An impressive lineup of local hip-hop stars …

Continue reading ‘Gabon’s political force is its thriving hip-hop scene’ »

Sierra Leone mudslide was a preventable man-made tragedy

Joseph Macarthy, Njala University Sierra Leone is still reeling from the effects of a mudslide that killed nearly 1 000 people, left hundreds missing and rendered thousands homeless. After about five hours of heavy rainfall, the mudslide came down Mount Sugar-Loaf and almost wiped out Mortome. This is a relatively new settlement which emerged as …

Continue reading ‘Sierra Leone mudslide was a preventable man-made tragedy’ »

The Epic Boom and Bust of the Ostrich Feather Market

by Kelly Jensen Kelly Jensen Digital Collections Specialist, California Academy of Sciences, gives one of five Shift Ignite talks earlier this year at the Shift Forum. A fascinating tale of tulip-mania (but with feathers!), this five-minute Ignite talk reminds us all what happens when social behaviors rapidly change. Kelly Jensen: Hi, I’m Kelly Jensen. I’m …

Continue reading ‘The Epic Boom and Bust of the Ostrich Feather Market’ »

Why is it important to understand how elephants sleep?

Paul Manger, University of the Witwatersrand Humans and animals need to do several things to pass on their genes: eat, avoid being eaten, reproduce and sleep. Missing any of these biological imperatives leads to death. But when we’re asleep we can’t perform those other functions. One of modern science’s big mysteries, then, is: why do …

Continue reading ‘Why is it important to understand how elephants sleep?’ »