Somalia, Scholarship, and Stone

YouTube: K'naan, "Somalia"

First of all: If you haven’t heard K’Naan, then stop whatever you’re doing and go listen. Superb hip-hop from Somalia, with references to John Lennon and Gandhi and a special appearance from Chubb Rock. (His album Troubadour is just $6.00 on Amazon.) I found out recently that his song “Wavin’ Flag” has been chosen as the theme song of the 2010 World Cup. (I prefer the album version, but whatever.)

I’ve been meaning to post this piece from Johann Hari about Somali pirates. For a while we heard a lot about Navy SEALS popping heads, but it’s important for us to know the background about that sort of conflict.

Yes: nuclear waste. As soon as the government was gone, mysterious European ships started appearing off the coast of Somalia, dumping vast barrels into the ocean. The coastal population began to sicken. At first they suffered strange rashes, nausea and malformed babies. Then, after the 2005 tsunami, hundreds of the dumped and leaking barrels washed up on shore. People began to suffer from radiation sickness, and more than 300 died. Ahmedou Ould-Abdallah, the UN envoy to Somalia, tells me: “Somebody is dumping nuclear material here. There is also lead, and heavy metals such as cadmium and mercury – you name it.”

Comics

I recently bought a poster of this glorious comic from TheOatmeal. And yet the students seem unimpressed — mostly because they haven’t read it. Vomiting pandas!

Also be sure to check out these three superb xkcd comics.

TimeWaster™

Thanks to Hannah T for linking us to Ivoryboy, who made some nifty “find the differences” games, as well as a shoot-em-up that’s worth a look.

Today I’m listening to: K’Naan!

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