Tag Archives: Africa

How Ancient Indonesian Cave Paintings Are Challenging Art History

A few simple cave paintings may be drastically changing how we view the history of art in the world. On the Indonesian island of Sulawesi, archaeologists have discovered cave paintings from as far back as 40,000 years ago, making them some of the oldest in the world. The paintings were actually discovered about 50 years ago – it was initially assumed that they were only about 12,000 years old. But earlier this month, archaeologists published a study in the scientific journal Nature that used exhaustive methods to show

16-Year-Old Irish Girls Win Google Science Fair With Agricultural Breakthrough

Every year, Google sponsors a global science fair in the hopes of finding young scientist with innovative ideas that could change the world. This year’s winners are no exception.  Ciara Judge, Émer Hickey and Sophie Healy-Thow (all 16) took the top prize with their project “Combating the Global Food Crisis”. The trio figured out a way to cut seed germination time in half, while also producing crop yields nearly 75% greater than normal. So how’d they do it? For starters, all three

Liberia Agrees to Completely Stop Cutting Down Trees In Exchange for Developmental Aid

In a monumental new deal, the government of Liberia has agreed to halt all logging operations within the country by 2020 in exchange for a $150 million development investment from Norway. Though Liberia’s forests are not the largest in Africa, they make up about 43% of West Africa’s remaining rainforest and are home to the last significant populations of species like western chimpanzees, forest elephants and leopards. Logging in the country has increased significantly since the end of Liberia’s civil war

New Study: World Population Set to Hit 11 Billion By the Year 2100

A study published today in the online edition of the journal Science predicts that the world’s population will continue to grow steadily throughout the 21st century, contradicting the widely-held belief that world population was getting close to leveling off. The study, a joint project between the University of Washington and the United Nations, was the first to employ modern Bayesian statistics. This more complex statistical method combines all available information to make a more accurate prediction. Traditional projections only take into account life expectancy and

Did You Know You Can Take A Virtual Tour of One of The US’s Coolest Museums!?!

The Smithsonian National Museum Of Natural History located in Washington, D.C. opened in 1910 and is still one of the United State’s most visited and celebrated museums. The museum itself is pretty massive. According to Smithsonian’s website… “The main building on the National Mall contains 1.5 million square feet of space overall and 325,000 square feet of exhibition and public space; altogether the Museum is the size of 18 football fields, and houses over 1000 employees.”   At the heart of

This Artist Used Copper Orbs to Show You the Permanent Costs of Mining (Pictures)

Dillon Marsh is a South African artist who focuses on capturing how human activity re-shapes and often scars the environment. Recently, Marsh has been focused on the impacts of mining, which is a major industry in his home country of South Africa. Marsh was also intrigued by the challenge of trying to create a visual representation of the effects of mining which, unlike many environmentally-damaging practices, happens very gradually: “Air and water pollution, acid mine drainage, toxic waste and abandoned, non-rehabilitated mines

Watching Cocoa Bean Farmers Taste Chocolate for Their First Time Really Puts Life In Perspective (Video)

The Ivory Coast is the largest producer of cocoa beans in the world, exporting around 1.6 tons of the beans annually. After being shipped off to other countries, the dried beans are crushed into cocoa powder and mixed with sugar and other ingredients to produce what we know as chocolate. However, almost none of the farmers who actually grow and harvest the cocoa beans in the Ivory Coast have ever even tasted the delicious  final product. So, the Dutch broadcasting company VPRO decided to give

Groundbreaking New Malaria Vaccine Could Receive Approval as Soon As 2015

Every minute, a child dies from malaria. According to the World Health Organization, 3.4 billion people, nearly half of the Earth’s entire population, are at risk for the disease. Though malaria rates have dropped by 42% since 2000, the disease is still expected to kill anywhere from 600,000 to 800,000 people this year, with the majority of them being children under the age of five. In fact, malaria is the third largest killer of children worldwide. And while improving medical technologies and practices

These “Hero Rats” Are Saving Countless Lives By Detecting Land-mines and Tuberculosis (Video)

As a boy, Bart Weetjens loved to play with his pet rats. One thing that always stuck in his memory was the rat’s strong sense of smell and the ease at which they could be trained. Bart recalled these skills years later as a student at the University of Antwerp in Belgium, where he was working on an analysis of the global land-mine detection problem (ie. how to find all of the unexploded mines left over from countless wars around the world).

Villagers Just Caught the Largest Ever Aquatic Insect And It’s Bigger Than Your Hand

Villagers from a village in the Sichuan province of China just collected the largest ever aquatic insect specimen. The bug, a massive dobsonfly, has a wingspan of more than 8 inches. The previous record-holder for the world’s largest aquatic insect was a South American helicopter damselfly, which had a wingspan of 7.5 inches. Though dobsonflies are relatively common (there are over 200 species across Asia, Africa and South America), one of this size had been unheard of until now. Looking at

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