March 5th, 2009

Cats - Sora and Nefer

(no subject)

From sub_divided, via Twitter: the Cute Cat Theory of Digital Activism. Text of a talk given at Etech 2008, focusing on cute cats, porn, and political activists, and how they're all using Web 2.0.
What happens when governments begin taking Web2.0 activism seriously? A funny example comes from Belarus. Belarussian leader Alexander Lukashenko noticed that YouTube was beginning to carry a wealth of anti-Lukashenko content, and suggested the Belarussian government might build it’s own YouTube competitor. Belarussian bloggers went one better and built LuNet, a set of parody sites designed to represent a Lukashenko-compliant read/write web. Perhaps the best of the sites was a Google parody - most searches resulted in a page telling you that the KGB was on lunch break and asking you to try again later when they could watch what you were doing. (See Global Voices Advocacy coverage of the story.)
(The text on the site links to LuNet.)
Cats - Sora and Nefer

(no subject)

In case you find a need for these (and gosh, I don't know why you would) ... FAIL stickers.

P.S. Kitten managed to turn numlock on on the laptop keyboard, instead of remapping. Feel slightly stupid for not realizing that, but as light level in living room is low and blue FN thingys on keys are, well, blue, it would have been hard to figure out what keys to press to turn it back off. :) myrialux to the rescue!
Cats - Sora and Nefer

(no subject)

coffeeandink mentioned a couple more charities to donate to regarding the whole RaceFail thing here.

I'm going to drop a word here about a charity for a cause I have a personal connection to - Nothing But Nets. The cheapest and most effective way to prevent malaria is to sleep under a mosquito net. NBN raises money to buy mosquito nets which are distributed in malarial regions of Africa.

This is especially close to my heart because, as most of you know, I lived in Tanzania as a child - my dad did his PhD research in the Serengeti National Park. And while I was there, I contracted malaria. I'm one of the lucky (actually, luckiest) ones: I had immediate access to excellent medical attention and medication, and I most likely had a very light case of it, as I've never had a relapse.* Had I contracted the worst form, I would have been immediately airlifted to a hospital in Nairobi.**

The vast majority of the African population do not have access to these things. NBN provides them free of charge, and works with the UN Foundation so that 100% of the money donated to NBN goes towards mosquito nets.

It's a worthy cause. If you've got a few extra bucks right now, consider it.


* After 12 years without a relapse, you're declared cured. Red Cross blood donation forms used to say "Have you ever had malaria?" which always led the nurse to rear back in horror and gasp "How did YOU ever get malaria?!" Now they say "Have you had a malaria relapse in the past 12 years?" which is nowhere near as fun.

** I also had access to mosquito nets, and slept under one at home, but not in the hotel in Arusha where we think I was most likely bitten. :) Mom says that we had been lax about taking anti-malarials, but we took them religiously after my diagnosis.