anthropology

Kenya’s Graffiti Train Seeks To Promote A Peaceful Election : NPR

English: Slum Kibera in Nairobi, Kenya.
English: Slum Kibera in Nairobi, Kenya. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Just as the decision for Kenya’s election is being determined, a look at an artistic and playful way to promote democracy:

Kenya‘s peace train is ready to roll.

Kenyan graffiti artists received permission from the Rift Valley Railway to spray-paint a 10-car commuter train with peace messages and icons. It may be the first train in Africa with officially authorized graffiti.

The train will travel through the massive Nairobi slum of Kibera, one of the largest in Africa, where young gangs torched, looted and killed in the spasms of violence that followed the 2007 Kenyan presidential election.

“What we’re doing with the train here now, it’s part of a civic education and a way to advertise peace,” says Uhuru B, a 27-year-old graffiti artist.

via Kenya’s Graffiti Train Seeks To Promote A Peaceful Election : NPR.

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Kenyan study shows possible benefits of ADHD

A study of nomads in Kenya found that nomadic Kenyans with the 7R allele associated with ADHD are overall healthier than their non-ADHD peers. It was also found that men from the same tribe but who are now living sedentary lives are not as healthy as their non-ADHD peers who were sedentary.

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Activists the world over

Activists in Washington State are trying to pass an initiative that would annul weddings in Washington after three years if no offspring had been produced (it is in reference to arguments made by the state supreme court): http://www.queerty.com/queer/news/wash-state-gay-activist-put-marriage-to-the-test-20070206.php
They acknowledge it’s silly, and even some gay activist groups have said they won’t sign the petition, but even as a straight person who will probably someday get married and have kids, it’s damned amusing.

Evangelical Churchies in Kenya are protesting against a skeleton uncovered by Richard Leakey in the 80’s, who is claimed to be the most complete prehistoric skeleton ever found, and it’s release to the public this month BECAUSE…they think it would disprove the church on creationism: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/17029155/.

Jeez, these people are driving me CRAZY! “No, don’t release hard science, because it’ll hurt our poor little fragile egos that have to be constantly fluffed by all our adoring fans, um, I mean worshippers, um, I mean GOD’s worshippers. It is God’s will we close our ears and eyes to actually see how the earth is put together!” Argghhdsdlafj! I don’t believe in God, but did it every occur to these people that, assuming there was a god, he might have made the earth a little bit differently than some pompous humans living 1000 years ago wrote it down? Or whenever the first written versions of the Bible came out.

*takes a few deep breaths to regain composure*

In other news, refugees are seeking asylum in Mauritania: http://www.alertnet.org/thenews/newsdesk/IRIN/2dd8d8fec300efb17f98d99c3f7554e4.htm
Last I heard Spain finally talked Mauritania into letting them dock. My first thought was: why in the world would you want to seek refuge in Mauritania? They say most of the refugees are from Pakistan or India, and unless they’re Muslim it’s going to get real awkward real fast. And after listening to Tarn’s stories of the place, why aren’t they going anywhere else on the West Coast of Africa? I mean, yes, they were trying to get to Europe first, but why would anyone pick Mauritania as their second choice?