South Africa’s Youngest Doctor

At only 20 years of age, Sandile Khubeka is South Africa’s youngest doctor.
He’s completed Bachelor’s degrees in medicine and surgery and will receive his certificates in April.

Newcastle Advertiser - “His sisters jokingly call him South Africa’s Doogie Howser. While he is familiar with the name Doogie Howser, Dr Sandile Kubheka admits that he doesnt even know what the leading actor looks like, having never watched a single episode of the 90s sitcom that aired its final season the year he was born.

“I guess I have to do a Google search and find out,” he laughs.

Like Doogie (a child genius who joins the medical fraternity played by Neil Patrick Harris), Sandile excelled academically and was subsequently promoted to Grade 7 after spending just three months in Grade 6 at Jobstown Primary in Masondeza in Madadeni, Section 7.

He matriculated at Siyamukela High School in Madadeni, Section 2, at the age of 15 and went on to study towards a Bachelors degree in Medicine and Surgery (MBChB) at the University of KwaZulu-Natal Nelson Mandela School of Medicine.

“In high school, I enjoyed helping people and I also really liked computers. My teachers said I would be better in medicine, but I still applied for a qualification in computer engineering just in case I wasn’t accepted for medicine. When I started doing medicine, I enjoyed it so much that there was nothing else I wanted to do. It felt like this was the only thing I could have done,” said Sandile.

“In my first year at university, I was teased a lot for being the baby in the class. My peers called me ‘the neonate’ (a newborn). In my second year, they called me ‘the infant’, but I acted mature and I made friends and eventually I was selected for the Good Fellowship Award and received a bursary for compassion, empathy and caring shown to other students over the previous five years. In the end, people actually felt sorry for me because I was the youngest in the class and really went out of their way to help me. During the finals, someone had stolen my laptop and all my work was gone, but everyone was so supportive, offering to help and asking if I needed assistance with the typing to catch up on assignments.”

At age 20, Sandile is South Africas youngest medical practitioner and has been employed by Greys Hospital in Pietermaritzburg.” Full Article

Scenes & Tunes From An African Ghost Town

Question: What creates a ghost town?

Answer: Rapid population, rapid depopulation.

Dangerous Minds – “Ghost towns are the residue of booms and busts, expectations of substantial monetary gain that for whatever reason failed to materialize. Wherever resources can be exploited and depleted, there you will find, at some point, ghost towns. In the United States we have ghost towns where the Gold Rush happened, where railroads or interstate highways suddenly diverted opportunities elsewhere.

The modern story of Africa is largely one of exploitation at the hands of the European powers, so it’s probably not surprising that they have ghost towns there, too. One of the most remarkable exists in Namibia. It’s called Kolmanskop; the Germans who created settlements to mine the diamonds there called it “Kolmanskuppe.”

The 1910s were a big decade for Kolmanskop: the Germans created a veritable German Gesellschaft there, complete with a hospital, a ballroom, a power station, a school, a theater, even an ice factory, no small luxury in balmy Namibia. World War I put an end to all that; the town crept along until 1954 before becoming abandoned for good.

At that point, the sands started to take over the town and those sands are transforming Kolmanskop into a haunting, beautiful artifact.

French photographer Romain Veillon has a jaw-dropping series of photographs of Kolmanskop called “Les Sables Du Temps”—“The Sands of Time.” The title is a cliché, of course, but something about the material demands a cliché of that sort. In addition to whatever fleeting political point they evoke, the images are really about man’s transience in the face of implacable nature…”

Full Story + More Breathtaking Photographs

Serenading Ghosts, recorded overnight at Kolmanskop Ghost Town in Namibia, April 2012…

Fighting for Biodiversity in the Central African Republic

Dialogue WorldwidePolitical instability in the Central African Republic affects the region’s wildlife as well. Following a coup, the Dzanga-Sangha reserve can no longer be properly run. That’s opened the door to rampant illegal poaching. 

The rainforest of the Central African Republic is home to rare wild elephants, marsh antelopes and lowland gorillas which are protected by international organizations. But the country is one of the most politically instable places in the world. Following a coup, poachers and armed militias stormed the base of the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) in the Dzanga-Sangha reserve earlier this year. The station was destroyed and around 30 elephants were killed. Until today, environmental activists and conservationists are unable to return to the park because the situation remains dangerous and chaotic.

It’s not just the local population that is suffering as a result, but also the region’s elephants, antelopes and gorillas. Poaching remains a highly lucrative business in the region as well as in the protected reserves in the neighboring states of Cameroon and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Poor equipment, corruption and weak political will have complicated efforts to halt species loss in the DRC. However, there’s no dearth of funds to help protect biodiversity in the region. The International Climate Initiative (IKI), Germany’s government-owned KfW bank and other organizations have set aside millions to protect deforestation, illegal poaching and the exploitation of natural resources.

 

Teaming up to protect the Congo Basin

DW- “The Congo Basin has been called the “Green Heart of Africa,” a place where wildlife roams free among a vast and varied landscape of forests, savannas and swamps. Stretching across six countries, the basin boasts rare species like the bongo antelope and lowland and mountain gorillas, and it’s also one of the largest water and carbon storage reservoirs in Central Africa. But the region is also rich in valuable resources, from minerals to tropical timber, and the changing climate has put the entire basin at risk. Now, three countries – Cameroon, the Central African Republic and the Democratic Republic of the Congo – have come together to save the precious region from ruin. The International Climate Initiative and Germany’s development bank are providing the funds and support to help them do so.”

Walking the Walk: What Sharks, Honeybees and Humans Have in Common

A research team led by UA anthropologist David Raichlen has found that the Hadza tribe’s movements while foraging can be described by a mathematical pattern called a Lévy walk – a pattern that also is found in the movements of many other animals.

The Hadza people of Tanzania wore wristwatches with GPS trackers that followed their movements while hunting or foraging. Data showed that humans join a variety of other species including sharks and honeybees in using a Lévy walk pattern while foraging. (Photo by Brian Wood/Yale University)

UA News – “A mathematical pattern of movement called a Lévy walk describes the foraging behavior of animals from sharks to honey bees, and now for the first time has been shown to describe human hunter-gatherer movement as well. The study, led by University of Arizona anthropologist David Raichlen, was published today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The Lévy walk pattern appears to be ubiquitous in animals, similar to the golden ratio, phi, a mathematical ratio that has been found to describe proportions in plants and animals throughout nature.

“Scientists have been interested in characterizing how animals search for a long time,” said Raichlen, an associate professor in the UA School of Anthropology, “so we decided to look at whether human hunter-gatherers use similar patterns.”

Funded by a National Science Foundation grant awarded to study co-author Herman Pontzer, Raichlen and his colleagues worked with the Hadza people of Tanzania.

The Hadza are one of the last big-game hunters in Africa, and one of the last groups on Earth to still forage on foot with traditional methods. “If you want to understand human hunter-gatherer movement, you have to work with a group like the Hadza,” Raichlen said.

Members of the tribe wore wristwatches with GPS units that tracked their movement while on hunting or foraging bouts. The GPS data showed that while the Hadza use other movement patterns, the dominant theme of their foraging movements is a Lévy walk – the same pattern used by many other animals when hunting or foraging.” Full Story on UA News

 

Paradise Lost: Ascension Islanders Uprooted For American Military Use

A tiny remnant of the British Empire in the middle of the Atlantic – Ascension Island used to be home to barely a thousand people. But even their dwindling numbers are in jeopardy. David Lindsay’s family originates from the Island, he says it’s outrageous that British citizens could be forced out on the whim of the US military.

 Published on Sept. 25, 2013

JBLM helps transform Ascension Island into Pres. Obama Island

July 25, 2013 at 9:52am Excerpts, Northwest Military.comMore than 170 mobility Airmen from Travis Air Force Base, Calif., Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J., and Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash., descended on Ascension Island in the South Atlantic aboard four U.S. Air Force C-17 Globemaster III aircraft, June 14.

This first wave was followed by 92 more C-17 and KC-10 Extender aircraft performing an aggressive 24/7 stage operation over the next 24 days. The normally tranquil island transformed into a major military aircraft hub during the month-long operation moving equipment and passengers to and from Africa in preparation for President Barack Obama’s official state visit to the African continent.

During the six-day visit, the president and first lady traveled through Senegal, South Africa and Tanzania, meeting with government and business leaders to promote democracy and reinforce the United States’ commitment to expanding economic growth, investment and trade in the African continent.

In addition to the deployed Airmen, the operation was supported by a small but capable team of permanent party military from the 45th Operations Group, Detachment 2. Additionally, a detachment from the Royal Air Force’s 1st Air Mobility Wing as well as contractor personnel provided round-the-clock support to ensure mission success. The island’s small civilian population was also supportive of the operation, graciously welcoming the influx of deployed troops. 

“Ascension Island usually receives three aircraft per week,” said Maj. Michael Campbell, Detachment 2 commander. “It took the combined efforts of every agency on Ascension, as well as the deployed Airmen to support the heightened operations tempo and make this mission a success.”

A contingency response element consisting of 33 Airmen from the 621st Contingency Response Wing at Travis augmented Ascension’s existing airfield infrastructure, providing command and control, communications and aerial port services for the massive operation…

…Overall, this operation set several milestones with more than 4.4 million pounds of cargo, 1,600 passengers and 103 aircraft transiting the island. On average, one military aircraft arrived or departed Ascension’s airfield every 3.5 hours for 24 straight days, making the operation the largest movement of military equipment and personnel through Ascension Island since the Falklands War in 1982. At the peak of the operation, the influx of deployed troops increased the island’s population by over 25 percent.” Full Article

U.S. Air Force Space Command – Ascension Island

(Idaho National Laboratories) Personnel from the Power Systems Engineering Department, in conjunction with the U.S. Air Force, U.S. Navy, and other partners, designed a combined, 7-MW prime power, diesel power and desalinization plant to support mission operations at Ascension Island for the U.S. Air Force Space Command. This project also included installation of a 60,000-gal/day flash evaporator desalinization plant. 

*

Personnel from the Power Systems Engineering Department, in conjunction with the U.S. Air Force, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Pacific Industrial Electric, DIFKO, and other partners, developed and designed a hybrid wind farm at Ascension Island. It is currently operating in parallel with the prime power diesel plant with great performance and stability.

Like A Phoenix: Power Beyond The Fall

So…you want a revolution, eh? Pissed off…fed up…you know bad things are going bump in the night but don’t know which way to turn for help when officers are murdering people – and pets – all over the place. Your government representatives have gone deaf and blind. Your online activity is not only not private, but can and will be used against you in court…doors are getting bashed in, your milk is no longer legal, your neighbors can vanish and be indefinitely detained & families are being terrorized by armed and masked SWAT men in the middle of the night…

It is time to do something…NOW!!

Enough is enough!! Our founding fathers would not have stood for this and neither should we!! 

The time for a revolution is at hand…!

Or is it..?

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The Girl Who Was Raised With African Wildlife

via Easy Oops- “Born in Africa to French wildlife photographer parents, Tippi Degré had a most unusual childhood. The young girl grew up in the African desert and developed an uncommon bond with many untamed animals including a 28-year old African elephant named Abu, a leopard nicknamed J&B, lion cubs, giraffes, an Ostrich, a mongoose, crocodiles, a baby zebra, a cheetah, giant bullfrogs, and even a snake. Africa was her home for many years and Tippi became friends with the ferocious animals and tribespeople of Namibia. As a young child, the French girl said, “I don’t have friends here. Because I never see children. So the animals are my friends.”

Parents Alain Degré and Sylvie Robert documented Tippi’s life and relationships with the African wildlife and transformed those moments into captivating books and movies. Tippi of Africa, published in 1998, told Tippi’s story of she and her parents, and Tippi’s close bonds with wild animals made her quite famous. Her mother said, “She was in the mindset of these animals. She believed the animals were her size and her friends. She was using her imagination to live in these different conditions.”

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More from Easy Oops- “Looking past some fairly obvious and natural parental worries, Tippi had the most amazing upbringing. Not many of us can say that we lived a real life adventure where we rode ostriches in our free time or that our best friend growing up was an African elephant, one of the largest animals to walk the earth! You can see a video of Tippi, below, with some of the animals as well as a trailer for the Bridging the Gap to Africa documentary.”

See More Stunning Photos of Tippi Here 

Tippi: My Book of Africa

 

 

Lost River Guided Early Humans Out Of Africa

“As they walked down the river, early humans would have had resources they could use immediately at the Irharhar’s far end,” he says. Any humans who followed the other two rivers would have been left stranded in inhospitable surroundings. “The other two rivers deliver you to the central parts of Libya, which we think were quite arid then.”

New Science – “Ancient rivers, their remains now lying beneath the Sahara desert, once formed green corridors at the surface which our ancestors followed on their great trek out of Africa.

A climate model has given us an image of what the landscape would have looked like around 100,000 years ago, suggesting that early humans went west out of sub-Saharan Africa and followed a vast and fertile river system to the Mediterranean.

For decades, there has been speculation that three now-dry North African rivers once served as green pathways for our early ancestors. The waterways would have supported lush flora and fauna to supply early humans with food as they trekked across the continent to the Mediterranean and on to Eurasia.

“But no one has been able to work out how much water was in these rivers, when and where exactly they flowed, and how far they reached across the desert,” says hydrologist Tom Coulthard of the University of Hull, UK.

Coulthard and his colleagues modelled the climate of the last interglacial period to see how the monsoon rains would have run down the trans-Saharan mountains’ north face and flowed across the landscape. Even after accounting for ground absorption and evaporation, the model indicated that there was enough water to have carved green corridors through the desert.

The most promising of the three reconstructed rivers, says Coulthard’s colleague Michael Rogerson, is the Irharhar, which flowed 800 kilometres due north to humid regions along the Algeria-Tunisia border.” Full Story on New Science

Archaeological remains (green dots) support the hypothesis that our ancestors walked north along the now buried Irharhar river, before migrating out of Africa to the east via the Middle East (Image: Coulthard et al.)

African Elephants: Their Struggle To Survive Against Poachers And The Illegal Ivory Trade.

Protecting Elephants Is A Globally Shared Responsibility.

From Wesman Todd Shaw “Now there is no real need to go on here about just what an African elephant is, the African elephant is one of the most easily identifiable creatures on planet Earth; literally everyone with the gift of sight knows what one is. Oh I suppose some persons may not realize there are elephants that are NOT African elephants, but that is another story entirely.

I’m going to take a bit of a guess here, and please forgive me should I be wrong, but I’m thinking most persons do NOT realize there are not just one, but TWO species of African elephants; the African bush elephant, and the slightly smaller African forest elephant. Both of these species of elephant are facing slaughters in the tens of thousands right now, as their ivory can be converted to cash at unprecedented rates.

Were the entire nation of the USA polled, then the percentage of persons who would like to see the African elephants extinct would be so extraordinarily small as to be a statistical irrelevancy, yet the African elephants are in real danger just the same.

What does the USA have to do with the survival of African elephants?

Well, I just used the imaginary USA poll as a bit of example. I don’t think much of anyone wants to see African elephants get remotely close to extinction, but yet it is heading that way for them just the same. If you happen to buy into the notion that the USA is the most powerful nation on Earth still, then the USA should definitely lead the way towards making absolutely certain the elephants of Africa in no way become more threatened than they already are.

It’s a global responsibility we have, we only have one planet.

Tons Of Elephant Ivory – Confiscated And Destroyed In Gabon.

Who Is Killing The Elephants?

Quite literally, we are. The enemy of the planet is us, and humanity alone has that little extra something that prevents it from spreading out and finding maintainable levels within its respective ecosystems. Oh don’t get me wrong, there have been human communities that lived in harmony with the natural world, but we always label those people as “savages,” and then we take everything they have…their land, which they were wise enough to know was never really theirs to begin with, and in some cases we just have a good old fashioned genocide against them in the name of corporations and consumerism stupidity.” Story Continues Here

 

Building The Global Special Operation Forces Partnership

This is…well…unnerving…and chilling.

 

ISOF

ISOF (Photo credit: United States Forces – Iraq (Inactive))

 

(May 2012) Military assault demonstrations at the ISOF 2012 conference in Tampa bay, Florida. The participating SOF teams came from 10 allied nations: Australia, Canada, Brazil, Colombia, Jordan, Norway, Poland, Thailand, the United Arab Emirates, and included American SEALs, Green Berets, Air Force Combat Controllers, and US Marines. This year ISOF’s theme is “Building the Global SOF Partnership.” This is composed of mutually supporting partners working to identify and preemptively address problems, and helping to defeat the appeal of violent extremism.

 

 

 

Unnatural Selection

What the biotech industry doesn’t want you to know – how industry manipulation and political collusion, not sound science, allow dangerous genetically engineered food into your daily diet. Company research is rigged, alarming evidence of health dangers is covered up, and intense political pressure applied…

 

 

Scientists were offered bribes or threatened. Evidence was stolen. Data was omitted or distorted.

 

Government employees who complained were harassed, stripped of responsibilities, or fired.

 

 Laboratory rats fed a GM crop developed stomach lesions and seven of the forty died within two weeks.

 

The crop was approved without further tests.

 

The only independent in-depth feeding study ever conducted showed evidence of alarming health dangers.

 

When the scientist tried to alert the public, he lost his job and was silenced with threats of a lawsuit.

 

ConAgra: Genetically Modified Foods You Love (...

ConAgra: Genetically Modified Foods You Love (g1a2d0035c1) (Photo credit: watchingfrogsboil)

 

 

Do these GM foods impact the behavior of our children? You decide…

 

 

Watch Pt 4

 

Watch Full Length GMO Trilogy Documentary Here

 

 

 

Necessary Spending

Where oh where does our (war) money go..?

Apparently it goes where ever the hell DoD decides it should…

Who are we mere debt mules to question the great & wise (corporate owned) congressional budget committees?

What kind of legacy are we living future generations if we continue to spend beyond our means in both dollars and human lives in order & continue to feed the profiteering war mongers?

“We annually spend on military security more than the net income of all United States corporations. This conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience. The total influence — economic, political, even spiritual — is felt in every city, every State house, every office of the Federal government. We recognize the imperative need for this development. Yet we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. Our toil, resources and livelihood are all involved; so is the very structure of our society. In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist. We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together…” 

Military-Industrial Complex Speech, Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1961

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~ Nonexistent Fiscal Accountability ~

In January 2011 Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates stated: “This department simply cannot risk continuing down the same path – where our investment priorities, bureaucratic habits and lax attitude towards costs are increasingly divorced from the real threats of today, the growing perils of tomorrow and the nation’s grim financial outlook.” 

(Wiki) The US Government Accountability Office (GAO) was unable to provide an audit opinion on the 2010 (and 2011) financial statements of the US Government because of ‘widespread material internal control weaknesses, significant uncertainties, and other limitations’. The GAO cited as the principal obstacle to its provision of an audit opinion ‘serious financial management problems at the Department of Defense that made its financial statements unauditable’. 

Chief Financial Officer and Under Secretary of Defense Robert F. Hale acknowledged enterprise-wide problems with systems and processes, while the DoD’s Inspector General reported material internal control weaknesses … that affect the safeguarding of assets, proper use of funds, and impair the prevention and identification of fraud, waste, and abuse‘. Further management discussion in the FY 2010 DoD Financial Report states ‘it is not feasible to deploy a vast number of accountants to manually reconcile our books’ and concludes that ‘although the financial statements are not auditable for FY 2010, the Department’s financial managers are meeting warfighter needs’.

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~ Globalization ~ 

Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta Speaking about meeting of NATO defense minsters in Brussels, Belgium, Feb. 2, 2012:

 “It was important to make clear to our European allies that even as our posture there evolves, we remain committed to NATO – the most successful military alliance in history – and we’ll continue to maintain an innovative, robust, and visible presence in Europe. As part of that robust presence, I told our allies that we will soon begin rotating a battalion-sized task force to Germany for exercises and training, as part of the rapidly deployable NATO Response Force, and we will also establish an aviation detachment in Poland to provide better training opportunities. We are also moving ahead with European missile defense – establishing land-based SM-3 missile sites in Romania and Poland, deploying Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense ships to Spain, and a radar in Turkey.”

Now is a time for every NATO nation to make the most of the fiscal and security challenges we face to become more united as an Alliance and to strengthen our collective capabilities through such initiatives as Smart Defense. We took a big step forward on this front with an agreement to fund the Alliance Ground Surveillance system – consisting of five Global Hawk unmanned aerial vehicles and a ground control station. AGS has been in the works for many years, and is the first ISR capability NATO has ever purchased as a pooled resource.

Unified Combatant Command

Unified Combatant Command is a single force composed of personnel and equipment

from at least two Military Departments, which has a broad and continuing mission.

The United States currently has 9 Combatant Commands:

U.S. Northern Command (USNORTHCOM)

U.S. Southern Command (USSOUTHCOM)

U.S. Central Command (USCENTCOM)

U.S. European Command (USEUCOM)

U.S. Pacific Command (USPACOM)

U.S. Africa Command (USAFRICOM)

U.S. Strategic Command (USSTRATCOM)

U.S. Special Operations Command (USSOCOM)

U.S. Transportation Command (USTRANSCOM)

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The Silent Colonization? 

U.S. Africa command received $274 million in Fiscal Year 2010.

The Obama administration has requested $298 million for the command for Fiscal Year 2011.

AFRICOM Mission: Africa Command protects and defends the national security interests of the United States by strengthening the defense capabilities of African states and regional organizations and, when directed, conducts military operations, in order to deter and defeat transnational threats and to provide a security environment conducive to good governance and development. 

AFRICOM  Activities & Factsheets

 Washington Times 2-6-2012 - “They train host nation’s forces, and include units from each service, such as the Green Berets, who specialize in irregular warfare and work in small teams no larger than 12. The Green Berets also build roads, schools, provide health care and live among locals, speaking their language.”

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With Liberty & Texting For All…

The article below is another example and reason why we should beware of letting the government have too big of a role in our lives – especially when they claim to be acting in the interest of our safety and personal well-being. It should also serve as a warning of the dangerous connections between our government and corporate interests. When they are completely one and the same, how we will hope to prevent a ban like this one from happening here in the US?

Africa may seem like a world away but note the similarities between the problems in their system…and the problems in ours…

Excerpts From BBC Article, DR Congo election: Deaf anger at ban on texting

By Thomas Hubert

Published 14 December 2011

Deaf people in the Democratic Republic of Congo say a ban on texting threatens their lives because they no longer receive warnings of violence.

The government banned SMS messages more than a week ago to preserve “public order” following disputed elections.

President Joseph Kabila was declared the winner, but his main rival, Etienne Tshisekedi, rejected the result. Last month’s elections were the second since the 1998-2003 war which claimed about four million lives.

Four people were killed in the capital, Kinshasa, after Mr Kabila’s victory was announced. He is due to be inaugurated for a second term next week. The official results gave him 49% of the vote against 32% for Mr Tshisekedi.

The opposition says they plan to organise mass protests, alleging the polls had been rigged.

According to the Kinshasa-based African Association for the Defence Human Rights (Asadho), the texting ban has affected all Congolese people.

It said text messages were an essential tool for communities to maintain security, as they could spread alerts cheaply, quickly and discreetly to a large number of people who may be in danger.

Other human rights groups have warned that the ban could cost human lives in isolated regions with poor mobile phone reception, as emergency services could only be alerted to rebel attacks via text message.