Jacob Zuma: president of South Africa

By |  Feb 3, 2010  | zuma, anc, politics
Jacob Zuma has made no meaningful stamp on the history of South Africa. I have blogged about Jacob Zuma’s rise to power in the ANC before. I am reminded of Winnie Mandela’s response when asked for comment about Thabo Mbeki’s re-election bid in 1999 - she said he “deserved another chance”. I am sorry - “deserve” is a strange modern word like “it’s not fair!” -creation of a concept that did not exist 100 years ago.
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Jazz in Cape Town

By |  Jan 2, 2010  |
Cape Town boasts a wide variety of Jazz, with the calendar centred around the Cape Town Jazz Festival, on the 3rd and 4th April thisyear. My introduction was via Monday Night Jam sessions at Swingers, which I found in late 2006. (Others have blogged about Swingers as well). Swingers can be found at 1 Wetwyn Road, Ottery - such a short road that you cannot miss it. GPS location :- 34.
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Climate change and personal responsibility

By |  Dec 4, 2009  |
The Copenhagen Climate Change conference opens next week. It is the 15th major meeting since the start at the Earth Summit in1992 in Rio de Janeiro. Along the way we had the Kyoto Protocolin 1997 and an attempt to extend the Kyoto Protocol at the Earth Summit in Montreal in 2005. Copenhagen Very few of the meetings around the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change have produced any tangible results - but next week’s conference in Copenhagen is shaping up to be a bruiser.
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Offline copies of wikipedia

By |  Nov 25, 2009  | kiwix, shuttleworth, wikipedia
I have been involved for a number of years with Hilton Theunissen and the Shuttleworth Foundation and their efforts to bring computers to township schools. A part of that software suite was an offline copy of wikipedia. Early attempts I have blogged before about my own project Wizzy Digital Courier putting thin client labs down in South African classrooms. That also included a copy of the english language wikipedia. Initially in 2003 I took the whole of the then-existing English wikipedia, installed a copy of the mediawiki software in conjunction with mysql and apache as database and webserver respectively.
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Ukweshwama - Zulu bull-killing ritual

By |  Nov 25, 2009  | zululand
Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini has a number of ceremonies conducted at his palace in Nongoma, his only traditionally-built palace. Zulu ceremonies Zwelithini, the sixth zulu king since Shaka and his brothers carved out a piece of South Africa for themselves in the mid-1800’s, is the first one to have to deal with the modern media and concepts like Human Rights. He has a bull-killing ritual, scheduled this year for December 5.
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What is a racist?

By |  Nov 23, 2009  |
Living in South Africa, this is a much-overused term, derogatory, harking back to the Apartheid era. In my opinion, it indicates a strange paucity of the English language in a very necessary area. Let me start with a lot of my own opinions of words I have used in Africa, starting at primary school in Kenya. kali Aged 6, a critical, central word in our vocabulary was kali, loan word from kiSwahili, that (like most swahili words) had broad, multiple meanings.
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Gugulethu taxis

By |  Nov 1, 2009  |
Toyota Cressidas are nursed into longevity serving as taxis in Gugulethu township, Cape Town. I have blogged about Mzoli’s Meat before. we went there yesterday for a birthday celebration for Lerato, and this time I made an effort to photo the ubiquitous Gugulethu taxis. In the township proper, it seems that every other car is an aging Toyota Cressida - recognisable by the square rear lights and the grille badge in front.
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Arithmetic Processing using Associative memory

By |  Oct 6, 2009  | computers
Associative memory is capable of performing highly parallel arithmetic computation on large datasets in constant time. Associative memory is a type of computer memory that is accessed by virtue of its contents, not its location. Rather than saying What is the value at location 42? it says All memory locations with the value 43 please stand up. Why is this useful, and when is it used ? It is used whenever a fast search must be made through a list of candidates- for a CPUcache, or a fast network switch.
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AIMS Graduation 2009

By |  Jun 25, 2009  | aims, muizenberg
The African Institute for Mathematical Sciences held the graduation dinner for the class of 2009 at the Muizenberg Pavilion on June 25, 2009. Present were Vice-Chancellors from three of Cape Town’s Universities, and the Kenyan Ambassador Tom Amolo. I was invited to attend this years graduation of the 2009 AIMS postgraduate diploma on what was forecast to be a stormy day, but it cleared up in time. I have blogged about AIMS before - on the opening of their Research Centre.
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Computers in schools in Gabon

By |  Jun 11, 2009  | computers, gabon, nigeria, education
I visited Gabon for the last two weeks of May 2009 by invitation of Yoan Anguilet, who has a business and NGO there promoting ICT and Science literacy in schools. We had met previously when setting up AUST, a new university in Nigeria. Yoan had invited me to set up a similar system at two schools in Gabon, as a precursor to a larger effort later in the year. Flight Our flight was delayed for 2 hours, circling over Libreville, as we had the misfortune of arriving at the same time as the body of the recently-deceased First Lady, Edith Lucie Bongo.
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