Monthly Archives: February 2007

How we amuse ourselves in Western Massachusetts

My Boston friends sometimes wonder aloud, “What do you people do for amusement out there in the Berkshires in the winter?” After all, it’s not like we’ve got cool bars to frequent, venues for live music or any museums to … Continue reading

Posted in Just for fun | 8 Comments

Jewels in the Jungle: Rediscovering the Afrodeutsch

Bill of Jewels in the Jungle is running a fascinating set of articles for Black History Month, focusing on the Afrodeutsche (Afro-German) identity. Bill is an African American who’s lived in Germany for many years – he’s a leading Afrophile … Continue reading

Posted in Africa, Blogs and bloggers | 5 Comments

Don’t stop using Tor.

There’s been a good deal of discussion in the online security community over the last 48 hours about vulnerabilities and attacks on the Tor anonymization service. This discussion is in reaction to a paper published by the University of Colorado … Continue reading

Posted in Blogs and bloggers, Geekery, Human Rights | Comments Off on Don’t stop using Tor.

links for 2007-02-27

Erik Emery Hanberg: The Politics of the Cactus Lovely post on Conservopedia, a wikipedia that attempts to relieve the “left-wing bias” of Wikipedia (tags: funny wikipedia uspolitics) Out of Africa – Reuters Blogs David Schlesinger’s post about Reuters’ new Africa … Continue reading

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You just can’t make this stuff up. Well, Orwell could.

My friends at Kubatana posted an interesting set of documents today, the police announcements prohibiting demonstrations and rallies in several neighborhoods of Harare. The documents are works of bureacratic genius, reaching amazing lengths in their attempts to justify constraining the … Continue reading

Posted in Africa, Human Rights | 1 Comment

links for 2007-02-25

Reuters/Second Life ? Second Life Sketches: Please stop doing that to the cat Warren Ellis: “Anyone who says that sexual activity is a tiny part of the SL experience is either stupid or knowingly lying.” (tags: secondlife humor funny)

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links for 2007-02-24

U.S. Used Base in Ethiopia to Hunt Al Qaeda in Africa – New York Times US Troops used a base in Ethiopia and made incursions into Somalia. Will the US media ever start talking about our involvement in Somalia? (tags: … Continue reading

Posted in links | Comments Off on links for 2007-02-24

Who’s happy and why?

Sometimes my hunger for new data sets gets the best of me. After staring at Adrian White’s map of global happiness, I just had to graph some data, run some regressions and try to offer some speculation on why some … Continue reading

Posted in Africa, Developing world, Geekery | 16 Comments

Food miles: green good sense, ill-considered hype, or naked protectionism?

A few years ago, as Alex Steffen (founder of, where I serve as chairman of the board of directors) and I were getting to know each other, we both attended the Pop!Tech conference in Camden, Maine. One of the … Continue reading

Posted in Africa | 10 Comments

Roger Penrose, only 550 years behind Islamic artisans

It’s very easy to cover a flat surface with a regular pattern of geometric shapes – in mathematics, this set of problems is referred to as “tiling”. It’s much harder to cover a surface with a pattern that doesn’t repeat. … Continue reading

Posted in Developing world, Geekery | Comments Off on Roger Penrose, only 550 years behind Islamic artisans