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Toast to the Welsh Language


At the end of January, the BBC published an article about the pub The Seven Stars in Wrexham, the largest town in North Wales. This pub was renamed Saith Seren, a direct translation into Welsh, and is being run by the newly-formed Wrexham Welsh Centre.

Wrexham has become the first location in Wales chosen to be a “bilingual town” in a scheme to promote the use of the Welsh language. The project, drawn up by the Welsh government and the Welsh Language Board, hopes to encourage more people to use Welsh in everyday life in the town.

People are also welcome to drop their suggestions for a name for the new beer, which is being brewed with the help of Pene Coles from the Sandstone Brewery, who sits on the centre’s board of directors.

This pub features regular live music by Welsh-language bands and local bands with poetry, film and theatre, and serves as a focus for hundreds of Welsh learners in the area.

Although the aim is to promote the use of Welsh, the centre is open to all members of the public, and as well as food, drink and entertainment, the centre hopes to offer meeting rooms, community facilities and office space. Phase two of the project, the upstairs renovation of the listed building, is expected to be completed by June.

If you are interested in the Welsh language, you can also read Can Wales Really Trust Google Translate?

By | March 6th, 2012|Blog|0 Comments

Dive into the Great Barrier Reef from Home


Google Street View, in collaboration with the Catlin Seaview Survey, will soon let you explore the Great Barrier Reef. The Seaview Survey is a scientific expedition which aims to carry out the first comprehensive study to document the composition and health of coral reefs on the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea across an unprecedented depth range (0-100m) – addressing a series of important questions regarding the changes associated with the rapidly warming and acidifying oceans.

The shallow survey will use a panoramic camera to generate images of the reef, at 20 sites across the entire length of the 2,300km Great Barrier Reef. The University of Queensland will participate in the project using an image recognition software to conduct a visual census of corals, fish and other organisms. The deep water survey will use robots to study the health, composition and biodiversity in the deep-water reefs. Finally, a team led by Richard Fitzpatrick, a cinematographer and shark researcher, will track 50 animals with satellite tags that continuously monitor their geographic position, temperature and depth. The aim is studying the migratory behaviour of tiger sharks, green turtles and manta rays in response to increasing seawater temperatures.

If you are interested in Google Street View, you can also read Google Maps Goes Indoors.

By | March 5th, 2012|Blog|0 Comments

BongoHive

In the ten years from 2000 to 2010, six of the world’s ten fastest-growing countries were in sub-Saharan Africa: Angola, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Chad, Mozambique and Rwanda. In eight of the past ten years, sub-Saharan Africa has grown faster than Asia, according to The Economist. In 2012, the International Monetary Fund expects Africa to grow at a rate of 6%, about the same as Asia.

Technology plays an important part in the new African boom, especially the communications revolution. Mobile phones have brought instant communications to hundreds of millions of Africans, and text messaging and digital money-transfer services, such as Safaricom’s M-pesa in Kenya, have transformed ordinary life.

BongoHive is based in Lusaka (Zambia) and was set up in 2011. It is a place where technology entrepreneurs can talk about their experiences, exchange ideas and attend training. This Zambian tech hub has created a user-generated online map of the tech business incubation hubs across Africa.

The map, entitled Hubs in Africa, uses Ushahidi, the open-source platform that allows users to report and track information in crisis situations via email, SMS, Twitter and the web. Its aim is to create a picture of the technology hubs developing across the continent. You can filter the map by different categories, including business incubators, hackerspaces, technology hubs and university tech labs, and view a timeline of when the different organisations were added to the map. There are already 16 tech hubs from 13 different countries, including a Cairo HackerspaceiHub NairobiCo-creation Hub Nigeria and Jakkolabs in Senegal.

By | March 5th, 2012|Blog|0 Comments
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