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Africa

Three Scenarios For My Valentine’s Date With Idris Elba to Support Girls’ Education

Listen, Idris, you don't have to impress me. I'd let you be my Valentine without you having to do anything for it. But you just can't help being socially conscious AF, can you? *sigh* Well, I'll tell you something right here and now, Mr. Elba...nothing gets me hotter than raising money for girls' education.

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Feminism Around the World: 21 Nigerian Girls Kidnapped by Boko Haram Released…Only to Deal With Sexist Shaming at Home

Back in 2014, a militant Islamic fundamentalist group called Boko Haram kidnapped 276 schoolgirls from a school in Chibok, Nigeria. Fifty-seven of them escaped within hours of being captured, and one additional girl was rescued in May. Sadly, about six died in captivity, leaving just over 210 girls remaining. Last week, Nigerian officials, in conjunction with international mediators, negotiated the release of 21 girls, who were finally reunited with their families after two and a half years.

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Aurion: Legacy of the Kari-Odan RPG Getting Movie Treatment, Bringing African Mythology to Big Screen

Critically acclaimed RPG Aurion: Legacy of the Kori-Odan, is getting the movie treatment from studio Good Fear Films.

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The Walking Dead‘s Danai Gurira’s New Play Eclipsed Brings the Stories of African Women to Broadway

We all know Danai Gurira as the indomitable Michonne on AMC's The Walking Dead. What you may not know is that Gurira is also an accomplished playwright! Her latest effort, Eclipsed, is starting previews on Broadway tomorrow after a successful off-Broadway run at The Public Theater.

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Things We Saw Today: This Spider-Gwen Fanimation Makes Us Wish She Had a TV Show

Allegra Town, a small animation studio, has created some fantastic video clips showing their take on an animated Spider-Gwen.

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John Boyega Attracts New Nigerian Fans to Star Wars

When we talk about representation being important, it's not just to do with gender or ethnic representation here in the States. Film is a global medium, and blockbuster films that allows countries not usually represented in mainstream film to see themselves are equally important. Now, Star Wars is finding all sorts of new fans in Nigeria thanks to The Force Awakens' John Boyega.

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Nigerian Short Film Oya: Rise of the Orisas Stars Female Superhero Based in West African Folklore

Oya: Rise of the Orisas is a short film from Nigerian writer and director Nosa Igbinedion that's already gotten tons of fan support online. Probably because the world really wants to see more female superheroes of color. But what do I know? Anyway, check out the short film after the jump!

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Misty Copeland Launches MindLeaps Girls’ Program in Rwanda, Which Uses Dance to Prepare Disadvantaged Youth for School

American Ballet Theater principal dancer, Misty Copeland, knows what it's like to grow up poor and what it feels like to have dance be an escape for the harsh world around you. Recently, she was in Kigali, Rwanda to help MindLeaps, a non-profit that "uses dance as a way to attract street youth into formal education," launch its first girls program there. She recounts some of her experiences in the vlog above.

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Facebook and Eutelsat to Bring Space-Internet to Africa in 2016

For all of the hate people love to pile on Facebook (myself included at times), some of the things the company is doing that don't involve leveraging photos of your friends' babies, well-plated lunches, or re-imagined Disney princesses to target ads are pretty great. They've been working on helping out developing areas by providing Internet access for a while, but it's a lot closer to reality under a new initiative.

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Taylor Swift’s “Wildest Dreams”: A Small Change Would’ve Made All the Difference

The thing is, it's a hot song. And the video is beautifully shot. And Taylor Swift looks great as a brunette. It sucks that one tiny shift - one small decision to go left instead of right - could've prevented Swift's "Wildest Dreams" video from being the least bit problematic.

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Disney’s Sudanese Princess Movie Will Have White Main Characters, Be Egregiously Racist

What fresh hell.

Yesterday The Hollywood Reporter wrote that screenwriter Stephany Folsom had been tapped to write Disney's latest princess movie, a "unique princess tale inspired by the true account of an American [white] man claiming a territory in Africa and proclaiming himself and his family its royal rulers," which, uh...where to begin?

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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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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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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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Meet Nancy Hafkin, Internet Accessibility Pioneer

million dollar lady

For many people, communication has become so instantaneous and accessible via smart phones and computers that they have all but abandoned land lines, fax machines, and most of all, snail mail. Hell, I know 20-somethings that don't even know how to address a letter. I don't blame them, 3 days is a long time to wait for a message to be delivered across the United States when an e-mail takes seconds to appear in the recipient's inbox. But imagine if letters had taken up to 9 years to arrive -- that is a glimpse of how painfully slow data exchange could be between countries of Africa until Nancy Hafkin made a dent in the lack of interconnectivity by launching the Pan African Development Information System.

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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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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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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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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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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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