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The Slums Of Liberia Spring To Life In These Animated GIFs

What makes an animated GIF so compelling isn’t just that it’s an image in motion; it’s that it’s cyclical. It loops, and anything caught within it becomes like a gear. In a way, what makes a GIF so satisfying is that its endless motion is almost like an elaboration upon the machinery of life.

This is the aspect of the animated GIF that French photographer François Beaurain explores in Monrovia Animated, a new series of looping images that explore life in the capitol of Liberia. In his GIFs, Beaurain juxtaposes the static dilapidation of the impoverished capitol with the colorful and repetitive energy of its citizens, turning them into “a piece of the conveyor belt that animates the city.”

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An artist in Nairobi can use Soko’s platform to create a vendor profile using only her feature phone. She can use basic SMS text entry forms to upload personalized images of herself and her work, as well as product details. This information is then turned into metadata that is automatically uploaded to the Soko website, creating a virtual storefront with the entire world as her potential clientele.

An artist in Nairobi can use Soko’s platform to create a vendor profile using only her feature phone. She can use basic SMS text entry forms to upload personalized images of herself and her work, as well as product details. This information is then turned into metadata that is automatically uploaded to the Soko website, creating a virtual storefront with the entire world as her potential clientele.

Can viral videos help save war-torn Africa? That’s the question driving the Voice Project, a New York-based not-for-profit that aims to raise awareness for Ugandan women’s groups — by tapping into our shared love for music. It all started with a women’s choir in Gulu. “They sent me footage of themselves singing ‘Suitcase‚’ by [American folk artist] Joe Purdy,” says CEO Hunter Heaney, who had taught the group the tune during a 2008 trip to Uganda. “I thought, Wouldn’t it be great if we could keep this going?” So he reached out to Purdy, who covered a song by R.E.M. (seen here), whose bassist, in turn, covered a song by Billy Bragg, and so on. Today, the Voice Project website, which launched in March 2010, features videos from 41 artists, including R.E.M.’s Mike Mills and Peter Gabriel (whose daughter, Anna, is a Project cofounder). In sum, they’ve logged more than 3 million views on Vimeo and generated some $50,000 in donations — enough to fund job-training courses, an eggplant farm, and 500 microloans to Gulu residents. Heaney’s new goals: recruiting corporate sponsors, releasing an album, and expanding the Voice Project’s reach worldwide. “We’re gettin’ out there word-of-mouth style,” he says, “just like they do in Uganda.”

(Source: Fast Company)

A new statistical analysis indicates that the more Facebook  fans an African politician has, the more likely they are to be forced  from power. Who knew, right?
Ethan Zuckerman, a researcher at Harvard University’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society, discovered that having more followers on Facebook was directly proportional to regime instability:
Here are the top leaders, in terms of followers, as of December 2010:341,759 Goodluck Jonathan, Nigeria232,424 Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, Tunisia61,510 Mwai Kibaki, Kenya59,744 King Mohamed VI, Morocco57,072 Morgan Tsvangirai, Zimbabwe (Prime Minister to Robert Mugabe)21,306 Jakaya Kikwete, Tanzania15,723 Hosni Mubarak, Egypt15,377 Laurent Gbagbo, Ivory Coast14,714 Jacob Zuma, South Africa12,658 Abdelaziz Bouteflika, AlgeriaIn  that top ten, we’ve got two leaders who’ve been forced out of power  (Ben Ali, Mubarak), one struggling to retain power after losing an  election (Gbagbo), one facing protests like the ones that toppled his  neighbor (Bouteflika) and one in danger of arrest from opponents within  his coalition government (Tsvangirai.) In other words, there doesn’t  seem to be a strong correlation between Facebook friends and staying  power of a regime.

Of course, it never hurts to be skeptical. #obviousstatements

A new statistical analysis indicates that the more Facebook fans an African politician has, the more likely they are to be forced from power. Who knew, right?

Ethan Zuckerman, a researcher at Harvard University’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society, discovered that having more followers on Facebook was directly proportional to regime instability:
Here are the top leaders, in terms of followers, as of December 2010:

341,759 Goodluck Jonathan, Nigeria
232,424 Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, Tunisia
61,510 Mwai Kibaki, Kenya
59,744 King Mohamed VI, Morocco
57,072 Morgan Tsvangirai, Zimbabwe (Prime Minister to Robert Mugabe)
21,306 Jakaya Kikwete, Tanzania
15,723 Hosni Mubarak, Egypt
15,377 Laurent Gbagbo, Ivory Coast
14,714 Jacob Zuma, South Africa
12,658 Abdelaziz Bouteflika, Algeria

In that top ten, we’ve got two leaders who’ve been forced out of power (Ben Ali, Mubarak), one struggling to retain power after losing an election (Gbagbo), one facing protests like the ones that toppled his neighbor (Bouteflika) and one in danger of arrest from opponents within his coalition government (Tsvangirai.) In other words, there doesn’t seem to be a strong correlation between Facebook friends and staying power of a regime.
Of course, it never hurts to be skeptical. #obviousstatements