AppAfrica: The Future Exists for Africa, Too

Nothing here in this post but a fanboy’s love for Mr. Jonathan Gosier‘s always interesting blog AppAfrica.  May I nudge you all to go and pick up one of the above t-shirts?  (Naturally, it’s on Zazzle so you can get it customized.) Appfrica facilitates, mentors and incubates entrepreneurs in software in East Africa. Entrepreneur projects are refined and prepped to help them secure funding and launch sustainable, profitable businesses. This project is loosely modeled after Paul Graham’s Y Combinator, providing small amounts of seed capital to startups. Appfrica Labs has also started an International Fellows Program which brings developers from all over the world to work alongside local Entrepreneurs as peers and mentors. That program can be learned about here. Combine that with Afrigadget and AfroCyberPunk and you’re .071% of the way to countering the mass media impression of Africa as a hopeless eternal backwater.  More on that thought coming […]

This is some useful crap: toilet energy

It’s a natural reaction of just about every animal to flee the scene once digestion reaches its inevitable, fragrant conclusion.  The distance one keeps from contact with feces is something of an unspoken yardstick of development.  While India has more mobile phones than toilets (and the street center streams of sewage that comes along with no place to crap), the more genteel among the Japanese have magical robot toilet seats that squirt and air dry your nether regions while playing a jaunty ringtone. Not having to wipe yourself is the gold medal in the development Olympics. But could our aversion to our own waste be cheating us?  Perhaps a great re-think is in order for this “brown gold”. The U.S. military is investigating the potential of turning troops’ poops into reactor fuel, saving the expense and environmental impact of burning all those digested MREs (and Tim Hortons).  While making shit […]

Only NanoBot STDs Can Save the Whales!

Whale penises are big these days.  (Pun!) Perhaps the greatest metric of humankind’s power is that not only have we trashed fat tracts of the 30% of the Earth that we run around on but we’ve somehow managed to screw up the 70% we can’t even live in.  Yes friend, the ocean’s got problems.  Human impact has crashed populations of sea life, leaving us in a situation where once common fish on the menu may be extinct within our lifetimes.  Meanwhile, sushi is more popular than ever, especially among the well-informed and well-meaning types most likely to cry while watching The Cove. While river dolphins are undeniably fucked, ocean dolphins are plentiful enough to use as jet ski ramps, if that’s your cup of tea, without danger of wiping them out.  The most compelling reason not to eat dolphin is that they are a high-end predator and thus accumulate dangerous […]