Speeding Along on Digital Bullock Carts

It was in the early nineties. Having decided we would create a platform for local photographers, it made no sense to set up our agency in the conventional marketplaces of London, Paris or New York. We had to be where the storytellers were, here in Dhaka. But we also needed to be connected with our buyers. International phone lines were difficult to get, and the calls were expensive. Sending photos by courier was clumsy, slow and prohibitively costly. Alternatives needed to be found. The judging of World Press Photo in Amsterdam provided an opportunity to link up with TOOL, an NGO in the Netherlands that specialized in providing appropriate technology in Majority World countries.

Traditional bullock cart race in Bangladesh. Photo: DrikNews

Together we decided to set up a South-South network of like-minded organisations using off-line Email. We assembled our own scanner. We also developed an electronic postbox which allowed us to link up with the Internet. Other providers, Pradeshta and Agni were also trying to get onto the digital highway. Each of us found our own solution, but our off-line email using FidoNet technology became one of the precursors of the digital revolution in Bangladesh. We called it DrikTAP (Drik TOOL Access Point). Continue reading “Speeding Along on Digital Bullock Carts”

If Sophia shed tears

Sophia, UNDP’s first-ever non-human Innovation Champion for Asia and Pacific and Mr Haoliang Xu of China, assistant secretary-general, assistant administrator and director of the Regional Bureau for Asia and the Pacific, at the Responsible Business Forum in Singapore. — Shahidul Alam/Drik/Majority World

THE lack of paper, meatless meals and complete recycling of waste, were refreshingly different, though not everyone appreciated the paperless culture. It’s a while to go before squinting at a small screen becomes the norm. The absence of pop up banners and local branding was also refreshingly more soothing for the eyes. Singapore does have a culture of putting people in a deep freeze. Not having to shudder in ridiculously cold temperatures in this equatorial country, because the air-conditioning was for once, not making things intolerably cold, was a delight in itself. I was still not expecting an event with a low ecological footprint. The ambitious agenda of Singapore’s Marina Bay Sands’ first-ever ‘Zero Waste to Landfill’ event promised just that. The Responsible Business Forum hosted by the United Nations Development Programme and Global Initiatives involved over 600 international business, government and NGO leaders inviting them to engage with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals in at MBS from 22-24 November 2017. Continue reading “If Sophia shed tears”

A Planet Made of Diamond

The 6 Most Mind-Blowing Things Ever Discovered in Space

It’s actually really easy to think of space as boring. The planets in our own solar system all seem to be empty rocks or balls of gas, and you find a whole lot of nothing before you get to the next star. Meanwhile, Hollywood’s most creative minds can’t get past populating the place with planets that look a whole lot like Earth (and specifically, parts of California) featuring monsters, rapey aliens or Muppets.

But real space is far, far stranger. You just have to know where to look to find things like …

Science fiction writers have this annoying thing they do where they can only think of like five different types of planets. You know, there’s the ice planets (like Hoth in The Empire Strikes Back) and the forest planets (like in Avatar), desert planets, lava planets, etc.

But scientists have studied almost 700 real planets outside the solar system, and some of them are downright gaudy. Case in point: PSR J1719-1438 b. Planet Fancy isn’t having any of that rocky gassy stuff. Because it’s straight up made of diamond:

Via?Inewp.com
It’s a wedding gem worthy of Jesus or the Sultan of Dubai.

How Is This Even Possible?

The universe’s biggest showoff actually used to be a star, and sometimes the debris that’s left over after the star dies starts a second career as a planet. In this case, Blingworld started off life as one of two parts of a binary star. The larger twin made like a bomb and supernova-ed. What was left behind was a pulsating star, or pulsar, and a white dwarf. The dwarf stabilized just far enough away from its former brother to lose matter to the bully but to keep its carbon core.

Via?Spaceflightnow.com
What a dick!

Carbon is just a shitload of heat and pressure away from becoming a diamond. On Earth, that happens underground and creates little shiny bits for people to dig up and cram into their jewelry. But in this particular spot in space, the conditions were just right for the entire interior of that former star to harden, crystallize and turn into a planet-sized gem.

Damn it, mankind’s single goal should now be to assemble a mission to tow this bastard back to Earth. There’s one pawn shop owner who’s going to be in for a big fucking surprise.

Photos.com
“Yeah, that’s cute. Get your telescope and come with me.”

#5. A Gigantic Rain Cloud

Here’s another thing you never see in space movies: water. The Millennium Falcon doesn’t have windshield wipers. The Enterprise’s huge display screen doesn’t get fogged up because they flew through a space cloud. If you saw that in a sci-fi movie (with the pilot all “Damn, I can’t see due to all of this space rain!”), you’d laugh your ass off. “Have these people even been to space?”

But, guess what: Scientists have found a big-ass pool of water just floating out there in the cosmos. This massive reservoir of floating space water vapor is in fact the biggest collection of water in the universe that we know of.

Photos.com
With the smallest concentration of child urine.

And when we say “big” we’re not talking Pacific Ocean big. We’re talking 100,000 times larger than the sun big. This is a vapor cloud so large it holds 140 trillion times more water than all of our oceans.

Photos.com
And you know what that means …?space sharks.

How Is This Even Possible?

As with everything else on this list, scientists are doing a lot of shrugging and guesstimating at what we’re actually looking at. After all, the water cloud is 10 billion light-years away, so it’s not like the next generation of astronauts are going to be packing their swimming trunks or anything. But they think that what’s going on is that there’s this massive black hole that’s chomping down on everything around it. Instead of spewing out energy like a normal black hole would, the black hole is excreting water vapor. Somehow. They’re still figuring it out.

Basically, picture the big black spot as a gaping mouth and the ring of water around as drool, and you get the idea:

Via?Universetoday.com
And all like, “Duuuuhhhh,” because black holes are stupid.

Or, if that image is disturbing, pretend the big black hole in the center is a space water park and the gassy ring around it is the universe’s most kickass lazy river.

OK, so you could totally wind up flying your spaceship through a rain cloud. But it’s not like flying through a thunderstorm. After all, there’s no lightning in space. Right?

#4. Lightning!

Wrong!

Scientists have known for a while that lightning isn’t unique to Earth. They’ve observed lightning on Mars and Saturn. What they didn’t know is that lightning could occur in the middle of goddamn space, with a force equal to a trillion lightning bolts, or to use the proper scientific terms, 50 million fucktons of electricity.

Via?Newscientist.com
Yeah, where’s your kite now, Benjamin?

That insane electrical current was discovered near galaxy 3C303. But is this huge electrical current serving as an outlet for God to plug in his blow dryer? No, it’s not doing anything that cool … it’s just firing a massive jet of electrified matter 150,000 light-years into outer space.

OK, so maybe referring to this as a lightning storm was underplaying it a bit. Instead, try imagining a single bolt of lightning 50 percent longer than the entire Milky Way galaxy.


Add a skull and the silhouette of a graveyard and you have yourself an ’80s metal album cover.

How Is This Even Possible?

Like most cool things in space, this electrical current is caused by a black hole, the prima donna of the universe. Astronomers speculate that a giant black hole in the center of 3C303 has an unusually strong magnetic field, which in turn generates a ridiculous amount of electricity.

Photos.com
Which in turn makes a wicked T-shirt design.

In fact, it’s the biggest burst of electrical current ever detected in the universe. Maybe that’s how we were able to pick it up from two billion freaking light-years away.

Inspiring a Better Future

The only thing more amazing than our technology is what the world does with it

Intel Corporation USA signs contract with Majority World CIC to document Intel’s CSR projects in Haiti, Honduras, Guatemala, UK, Poland, Kenya, India and Hongkong.
One or more Intel employees volunteer at these project locations. The employees recently won an internal contest winning their project a technology package to help the projects more effectively achieve their goals. This assignment is about telling the project story, Intel’s effort and capturing the humanity of it through a Photo Journal.
Watch this space for updates on our photographers at each location.

Stories

Bangladeshi blog Infolady wins Global Media Forum Award

This year’s Global Media Forum Award went to the project Infolady from Bangladesh. Finalists in the category addressed issues tied to the Deutsche Welle Global Media Forum 2013, which looks at “The Future of Growth – Economic Values and the Media.” The Infolady project helps equip women with digital cameras, mobile phones and solar-powered laptops to travel by bike to rural areas and answer questions related to health, agriculture and development. “Infoladies brings life-saving information about health, education and a number of other services to the poorest people in Bangladesh,” the jury said.
Infolady
Continue reading “Bangladeshi blog Infolady wins Global Media Forum Award”

Global Wind Day photo competition

Global Wind Day discover the power of wind energy
Recharge

Global Wind Day photo competition – Discover the power of wind energy
The theme of the photo competition is wind energy. It is open to all photographers in any country, who want to capture images of wind energy from a new perspective. The challenge is to show the technology as it has never been seen before, for example by showing wind energy with seasonal colours, people, animals and landscapes in a new and unique way. Let your imagination take the lead!
Terms and Conditions?(PDF)
 

Register and upload your pictures!

The Decline of Marriage and the Rise of Unwed Mothers: An Economic Mystery

The real mystery here isn’t “Why so many babies?” The real mystery is “Why so few marriages?” And we have an answer.

The Atlantic
800 single mom.jpg

Reuters

This was the most shocking statistic I read this weekend:?58 percent?of first births in lower-middle-class households are now to unmarried women. Meanwhile, two in five of all births are to unwed mothers, an all-time high, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Continue reading “The Decline of Marriage and the Rise of Unwed Mothers: An Economic Mystery”

Changing audience behaviour and changing media response

Workshop by David Brewer

Photo david_brewer_march_2011

How technology has empowered the consumers to be the producers and what?that means for traditional mainstream media.

Venue: Broadcast & Multimedia Department, Pathshala
Address: TK Bhaban (12th floor), Kawran Bazar, Dhaka
Date: Saturday, 16 February (1:30pm to 3:00pm)
About David Brewer:
David Brewer was launch managing editor of BBC News Online and of CNN.com?International EMEA and CNN Arabic as well as the launch consultant for Al Jazeera English. Brewer started his professional life as a journalist working in print, radio, TV and online.
Brewer focuses on the workflows and content offerings, in particular creating converged/integrated newsrooms and workflows delivering multiplatform content to whatever devices the target audience turns to in order to consume news and information.
For registration call: +8801818333315 or mail to: info@pathshala.net
Registration fee: BDT 200 (free for Pathshala students)
Seats are limited

Chris Rainier and Chris Riley at Chobi Mela VII

Photo by Chris Rainier

Chris Rainier and Chris Riley – Book launch: Cultures on the Edge
Wednesday, 30 January, 11AM, Edward M. Kennedy Center

Chris Rainier and Chris Riley – Workshop: Technology and the Future of Culture
Tuesday, 29 January, Pathshala

Chris Rainier

Chris Rainier is considered one of the leading documentary photographers working today. His mysterious images of sacred places and indigenous peoples of the planet have been seen in  the leading publications of  the day including:  Time, Life, National  Geographic publications, Outside, Conde Nast Traveler, The New York Times, Smithsonian, Mens Journal, Islands, The New Yorker, German and French Geo, and the publications of the International Red Cross, The United Nations, and Amnesty International. Rainier, a Canadian citizen is a photographer for the National Geographic Society and specialises in documenting indigenous cultures for the Societies Cultures Initiative.

Visit Chris Rainier’s website: www.chrisrainier.com

Chris Riley

Chris Riley has worked as a strategist and researcher in advertising, design and marketing since 1983. Riley ran his own strategic planning consulting practice, Studioriley, between 2002 and 2005 working out of Portland, Munich, Helsinki and Singapore.

Between 2005 and 2010 he was head of Strategic Planning in Apple Inc’s Graphic Design and Marketing Communication Group in Cupertino, California. Riley has learned from successes such as Apple, Nike, Coke, Audi, Amazon.com, Nokia, Uniqlo, Samsung and Nikon as well as a few failures. It’s true: failure is as valuable as success.

Visit Chris Riley’s website: http://www.studioriley.com

Nikon Files Patent That Could Turn 35mm Film Cameras Into Digital SLRs

How would you like to convert your Nikon FM2 to digital?

BY TIM BARRIBEAU ON Popphoto.com

It’s one of the holy grails of photography ? a practical, easy way to switch between digital and film for all the incredible analog 35mm cameras that are already in circulation. And while we don’t know if it’ll ever be produced, Nikon has recently patented a way of doing exactly that ? a replaceable digital back for 35mm film cameras. Continue reading “Nikon Files Patent That Could Turn 35mm Film Cameras Into Digital SLRs”