Musings on Africa, Politics, Technology, Love, Life and Trifles...

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dimanche, juillet 20, 2008

Quick Hits : Technology in Nairobi, Vivre a Paris, Obamania

  • Inside Nairobi, the next Palo Alto? (via International Herald Tribune)
    "Still, Nairobi is home to a digital brew that invites optimism about its chances for creating unusual innovations. The city has relatively few wired phone lines or networked personal computers, so mobile phones are the essential digital tool. Four times as many people have them as have bank accounts. Text messages are far more popular than e-mail. Safaricom, the dominant mobile provider, offers a service called M-pesa that lets customers send money with text messages."
  • How to enjoy la vie parisienne (via the Economist). Tips for a successful business trip in Paris. Très juste et assez instructif pour moi aussi.
  • Welcome, Mr would-be President (via the Economist), should we temper the Obamania?
    "IF THE business of electing the most powerful man in the world were up to the world, rather than just those pesky Americans, Barack Obama would face no contest [...] On all these fronts, in fact, there are doubts: doubts as to just what Mr Obama’s positions as president would actually be, and doubts over what he could get through Congress. Those doubts will not stop the crowds turning out for him, even if he fails to commandeer the Brandenburg Gate as his backdrop. But the fans should bear in mind that what they see is not precisely what they will get."


Cure d'amaigrissement pour les compagnies aeriennes

Article intéressant sur le blog de Paul Kedrosky sur la course au "slim fast" engagées par certaines compagnies aériennes dans le but d'avoir des avions plus légers et donc consommer moins d'essence.
Revue de détail:
  • One airline saved over 17 gallons/year per pound of weight per airplane after shedding inflight phones, ovens, excess potable water, and some galley equipment on an older fleet
  • In removing seatback phones from its MD-80s and B737-400s, another airline shed 200 pounds per airplane, translating into 3,400+ gallons saved annually
  • Alaska Airlines indicated in March 2004 that removing just five magazines per aircraft could save $10,000 per year in fuel; also, the airline has reduced the weight of catering supplies
  • Air Canada considered stripping primer and paint from its 767s to save 360 lbs. per plane
  • JetBlue and US Airways and others have moved toward a paperless cockpit
  • By removing six seats, JetBlue reduced A320 weight by approximately 904 pounds
  • Airlines have been able to remove ovens, trash compactors, or even entire galleys, due to the elimination of hot meals on selected flights; others are using lighter seats; they have also removed magazine racks and replaced hard cabin dividers with curtains
  • AirTran ordered carbon fiber Recaro seats for its 737-700s to shave 19.4 pounds per row, resulting in estimated fuel savings of $2,000 per year per aircraft
  • Alaska’s new beverage cart, at 20 lbs. lighter, could save $500,000 in annual fuel costs
  • Some airlines flush lavatories during extended ground delays to minimize takeoff weight
  • A transmettre aux dirigeants de notre chère défunte-mais-pas-tout-a-fait-mort Cameroon AirLines. Economiser les sur excédents de kilos dont raffolent certains de ces passagers pourrait contribuer à l'allègement de la facture finale d'essence. CQFD...

    mardi, juillet 15, 2008

    bon, et où va t'il le sieur Eto'o?

    Il y en a beaucoup qui se le demandent, mais la chaîne de sports ESPN croît savoir qu'il défendre le maillot vert-rouge-jaune aux prochains jeux olympiques à Pékin. “I think I am going to be called, but because I’m here, I don’t have all the information,” said Eto’o, a striker from Cameroon, on Saturday to the New York Times.

    I have heard rumors that they want me,” Eto’o said. “Whether I want to or can go or not is not yet certain. It is always an honor to defend the jersey of your country in a tournament like the Olympics. It’s not something for every day. And you know I have won there, against Ronaldinho."


    Concernant cses intentions de rester au Barça l'année prochaine, Eto'o a été plus qu'évasif préférant contourner la question délicate de son avenir en répondant qu'il était off et en vacances.

    Eto’o, too, who has scored 77 goals in 108 games for Barcelona since 2004, could be ticketed out of Spain after the club’s new coach, Pep Guardiola, said that Eto’o and Ronaldinho did not figure into his plans.

    Eto’o responded: “I’m on vacation, I don’t think about those things now.” “I don’t even look at the Internet until I go back to work,” said Eto’o, who has been linked with moves to England and Italy.

    “The new trainer has the right to make the team he wants, you have to respect that, and that’s it. I am in no situation to say anything because I am on vacation, and here in the U.S., I’m disconnected from the whole soccer world. Football to get here takes three days!”


    affaire à suivre...

    L'ambassadeur renvoyé parce qu'il portait le mauvais oeil ?

    Que ne faut-il pas entendre et encore moins lire? La nouvelle parue dans le journal le Monde m'a tout de même laissée pantoise. L'ambassadeur de France renvoyé de Madagascar pour conjurer son mauvais oeil. Le président Marc Ravalomanana a demandé le rappel de Gildas Le Lidec, ambassadeur de l'Hexagone accrédité dans la Grande île.

    "Je regrette profondément que le président de la République malgache ne m'ait pas accordé la moindre chance de pouvoir accomplir l'exaltante mission dont je rêvais depuis longtemps." C'est en ces termes on ne peut plus diplomatiques et sibyllins que l'ambassadeur de France à Madagascar, Gildas Le Lidec, a annoncé, lundi 14 juillet, que le président malgache avait demandé et obtenu son rappel prématuré à Paris.

    La raison de la défiance dont est victime le diplomate tient, selon les responsables français, à la personnalité du président Ravalomana, "un homme jeune à la fois moderne et superstitieux, voire arriéré". Le président malgache redouterait d'être victime du "mauvais oeil" de M. Le Lidec. L'ambassadeur de France était en poste à Kinshasa lors de l'assassinat de Laurent-Désiré Kabila, tout comme il était à Abidjan lorsque des rebelles ont tenté - en vain - un coup d'Etat contre le président Laurent Gbagbo. "On sait qu'il a parlé de Le Lidec avec le président ivoirien", confirme-t-on à Paris.

    La France sait désormais que, pour succéder à M. Le Lidec, il lui faut envoyer dans la Grande Ile un diplomate qui n'a connu ni coup d'Etat, ni assassinat politique.


    On leur souhaite bonne chance ...

    vendredi, juillet 11, 2008

    Qui ne pas épouser ou le guide du mari idéal

    Lecture ô combien drôle de la dernière chronique de Maureen Dowd du New York Times sur le sujet en vogue depuis la nuit des temps "an Ideal Husband". Elle y relate les conseils qu'un prêtre donne aux postulants au mariage pour repérer le "bon" époux. Revue de détail de conseils qui découlent somme toute du bon sens:
    • Never marry a man who has no friends
    • What do your friends and family members think of him? Sometimes, your friends can’t render an impartial judgment because they are envious that you are beating them in the race to the altar. Envy beclouds judgment.
    • Does he use money responsibly?
    • Is he overly attached to his mother and her mythical apron strings?
    • Does he have a sense of humor? That covers a multitude of sins.
    • A therapist friend insists that ‘more marriages are killed by silence than by violence.’ The strong, silent type can be charming but ultimately destructive.
    • Don’t marry a problem character thinking you will change him. He’s a heavy drinker, or some other kind of addict, but if he marries a good woman, he’ll settle down. People are the same after marriage as before, only more so.
    • Take a good, unsentimental look at his family (...) Is there a history of divorce in the family? An atmosphere of racism, sexism or prejudice in his home?
    • Are his goals and deepest beliefs worthy and similar to yours?
    • Does he possess those character traits that add up to a good human being — the willingness to forgive, praise, be courteous? Or is he inclined to be a fibber, to fits of rage, to be a control freak, to be envious of you, to be secretive?

    Qu'en pensez vous? Ca élimine un bon nombre d'hommes (peut-être le vôtre), mais comme le dit si bien l'article nul n'est parfait et donc votre chère moitié a autant de défauts que le reste de l'humanité - vous y compris!-. J'ai envoyé l'article à ma moitié, il en a ri, enfin je crois...


    mercredi, juillet 09, 2008

    Kingdom Come by Thomas Hawk



    Cette photo prise par Thomas Hawk, un de mes photographes favoris sur Flickr est simplement à couper le souffle. What ya'll think?

    Source image : Thomas Hawk's Flickr

    dimanche, juillet 06, 2008

    Cameroon Football Fever : a field of dreams

    Beaucoup de nos jeunes rêvent de devenir le prochain Eto'o Fils (dont l'avenir au Barça est encore incertain) et d'être la prochaine star du football Camerounais. Un article sur la fièvre footballistique qui touche notre pays, intitulé Field of Dreams dans le Time Magazine relate comment ces espoirs peuvent vite tourner à la désillusion pour des centaines de jeunes qui tentent leur chance et s'en remettent à des intermédiaires peu scrupuleux dans la perspective de se faire recruter par un grand club européen.

    Leaving. That word holds rare promise in this central African country. In a region with outsized corruption and limited opportunities, leaving Cameroon — and the continent — can transform lives of grinding poverty and rewrite an entire family's history. And among Yaoundé's one million or so residents, who live mostly in cramped shanties with patchy electricity and little indoor plumbing, it is football that holds more promise — and potential peril — than any other way out.
    [...] in europe, hundreds of african youths have told immigrant-support groups that they have been brought to the Continent by unscrupulous agents, who seemingly had acted as freelancers with no authority from European clubs.