25 Nov

The Zambian “Afronaut” Who Wanted to Join the Space Race

In 1964, Edward Mukuka Nkoloso wanted to join the space race. Was he for real? ILLUSTRATION BY HEIDI & GARETH CHISHOLM At the height of the Cold War, a schoolteacher launched the Zambian Space Program with a dozen aspiring teen-age astronauts. Was he unfairly mocked? by Namwali Serpell | The New Yorker My country was born on October 24, 1964. The former British protectorate of Northern Rhodesia, taking its new name from the great Zambezi River, would henceforth be known as Zambia. A week...
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11 Jan

Our Love Affair With Digital Is Over

Credit: Jackie Ferrentino (On my shortlist.) by David Sax | The NY Times A decade ago I bought my first smartphone, a clunky little BlackBerry 8830 that came in a sleek black leather sheath. I loved that phone. I loved the way it effortlessly slid in and out of its case, loved the soft purr it emitted when an email came in, loved the silent whoosh of its trackball as I played Brick Breaker on the subway and the feel of its baby keys...
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26 Nov

‘Hair Nah!’ Video Game: Don’t Touch My Hair

This Black Woman Made A Video Game After People Kept Touching Her Hair by Khalea Underwood | Refinery 29 When someone touches your hair without permission, feels happen — and not just the physical kind. It's uncomfortable. Unwarranted. Rude. Weird. Demeaning. Scary. It's easy for people to ask "what's the big deal" about the whole ordeal when they haven't experienced it themselves...
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5 Oct

Angel Rich, “The Next Steve Jobs”

BusinessWomen Angel Rich, from Washington, DC, has developed a very innovative app called Credit Stacker that teaches students about personal finance, credit management, and entrepreneurship in a fun and engaging way. The app is so popular that 200,000 people downloaded it to their smart phones and tablets within just two weeks of it's launch. Even more, Forbes has named her "The Next Steve Jobs". Remarkably, the app has been named the "best financial literacy product in the country" by the Office of...
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29 Aug

A View by David Byrne: Eliminating the Human

Drawing by Andy Friedman by David Byrne, Guest Contributor | MIT Technology Review We are beset by—and immersed in—apps and devices that are quietly reducing the amount of meaningful interaction we have with each other. I have a theory that much recent tech development and innovation over the last decade or so has an unspoken overarching agenda. It has been about creating the possibility of a world with less human interaction. This tendency is, I suspect, not a bug—it’s a feature. We might think Amazon...
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8 Aug

Africa Enters Space Race w/ Ghana’s First Satellite Orbiting Earth

by Jake Bright | Tech Crunch The GhanaSat-1―Ghana’s first satellite―began its orbit recently, with a little help from some friends. The cubesat, built by a Ghanaian engineering team at All Nations University, was delivered to NASA’s International Space Station in June on a SpaceX rocket that took off from pad 39aat Kennedy Space Center, a NASA spokesperson confirmed. The GhanaSat-1 deployed into orbit from the Center in July, and is now operational, according to project manager Richard Damoah, a Ghanaian professor and assistant research scientist...
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22 Jul

How Playing an Instrument Benefits Your Brain

Lesson Anita Collins, Animation Sharon Colman Graham | Ted-Ed When you listen to music, multiple areas of your brain become engaged and active. But when you actually play an instrument, that activity becomes more like a full-body brain workout. What’s going on? Anita Collins explains the fireworks that go off in musicians’ brains when they play, and examines some of the long-term positive effects of this mental workout. ...
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8 Jul

NASA Sent Salutations & Music Into Space to Communicate w/Aliens

by Chris Coplan Consequence of Sound We already know that space generates its own deeply beautiful music. But back in 1977, as mankind thought about its place amongst the stars and the possibility of extraterrestrial life, NASA decided to add to the cosmic symphony with the launch of the Voyager I probe. There among all the radio gear and high-end cameras is The Golden Record, a disc containing a ginormous auditory archive representing our planet’s menagerie of sounds (via Death and Taxes). From music to greetings in every language and even sorted animal grunts,...
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2 Jul

The 2017 List: 200 Black Women in Tech on Twitter

by Jeneba Jalloh Ghatt | Hackernoon To learn the story behind how this list started read “Yes We Tech (2016)” and for any additional information, visit our brand new site dedicated honoring and recognizing brilliant black women in tech, In sum, the 200 Black women In Tech to Follow on Twitter list was initially created to combat the virtual absence of the acknowledgment of the fact that there is ample Black Women working in tech. Like other social demographics in the tech space...
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7 Mar

At M.I.T., Science Embraces a New Chaos Theory: Art

Hilarie M. Sheets The NY Times | Arts & Science “Sandcastle No. 3,” drawn on a single grain of sand, part of a Vik Muniz series from 2013.CreditVik Muniz, via Sikkema, Jenkins & Co.  As a graduate student at the respected M.I.T. Media Lab, Marcelo Coelho collaborated with the artist Vik Muniz to help him achieve a poetic and technical feat that teases the imagination: drawing a picture of a castle on a single grain of sand. After two years of failed experiments with various lasers,...
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29 May

When White Gamers Are Assigned Black Avatars

The Web is not a post-racial utopia. by Megan Condis Aljazeera America Rust, a 2013 indie survival game from Facepunch Studios, plays like a cross between Minecraft and Grand Theft Auto. Players find themselves “born” into a mysterious wilderness, naked and alone, forced to forage for resources and to craft clothing, supplies and shelter for themselves. They must contend with starvation, hypothermia and animal attacks, but by far the most dangerous threat comes from other players who roam the island. When the game was first opened up,...
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10 Feb

Alviniconcha Strummeri: Deep-Sea Snail Named After Joe Strummer

(Courtesy of Anders Waren / Swedish Museum of Natural History) 'Punk rock' snail named for the Clash's Joe Strummer by Deborah Netburn Los Angeles Times  Scientists have named a spiky shelled, deep-sea snail after Joe Strummer, the late lead vocalist and guitarist from the famed British punk band the Clash. The researchers say the name highlights the "hardcore" nature of the snail, now known as Alviniconcha strummeri, which lives in one of the hottest, most acidic environments on the planet -- right up against hydrothermal vents in...
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6 Feb

A Video Game That Teaches You to Write Poetry

by Bryan Lufkin WIRED Magazine   Videogames and poetry haven’t always gone hand in hand. We’re still a long way from Master Chief breaking into a Coleridge soliloquy. But game developers Ichiro Lambe and Ziba Scott have edged us a bit closer to that day with Elegy for a Dead World, a game they Kickstarted in October and released on Steam last month. Elegy lets players write prose and poetry as they explore distant planets and dead civilizations. The player faces 27 challenges in three worlds, each riffing on...
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