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  • US psychologists claim social media 'increases loneliness'

    Social media sites like Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest are causing more people to feel alone, according to US psychologists.

    A report suggests that more than two hours of social media use a day doubled the chances of a person experiencing social isolation.

    It claims exposure to idealised representations of other people's lives may cause feelings of envy.

    The study also looked at those using Instagram, Snapchat and Tumblr.

    "We do not yet know which came first - the social media use or the perceived social isolation," co-author Elizabeth Miller, professor of paediatrics at the University of Pittsburgh, said.

    "It's possible that young adults who initially felt socially isolated turned to social media. Or it could be that their increased use of social media somehow led to feeling isolated from the real world."

    Theories in the report suggest the more time a person spends online, the less time they have for real-world interactions.

    Usage can also encourage feelings of exclusion, such as seeing photos of friends enjoying an event to which you have not been invited.

    The team questioned almost 2,000 adults aged 19 - 32 about their use.

    Professor Brian Primack, from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, said: "This is an important issue to study because mental health problems and social isolation are at epidemic levels among young adults.

    "We are inherently social creatures, but modern life tends to compartmentalise us instead of bringing us together.

    "While it may seem that social media presents opportunities to fill that social void, I think this study suggests that it may not be the solution people were hoping for."




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  • The man who shook the world: “Cancer can be treated in less than 3 minutes!” This man demonstrated it!

    Gregg Braden is the author of “The Theory of Cancer”, which says that our emotions can change our DNA and that they can also help us treat numerous diseases including cancer. Braden says that cancer is not just a physical thing – it is a spiritual and emotional problem as well. According to him, by changing our way of thought, we can cure cancer in only 3 minutes!

    This theory was explained in an article in “The Nature” magazine in 1996. Many studies have also demonstrated how our emotions and thoughts are important things in the electromagnetic field, with their waves reaching up to one meter in front of us. According to scientists, people in the future will produce energy by expressing their thoughts.

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  • International Finance Corporation expresses interest in funding Ethiopia Djibouti fuel pipeline project

    The International Finance Corporation, IFC, the investment arm of the World Bank has expressed interest in financing the planned Ethiopia Djibouti fuel pipeline project.

    The South Africa- based infrastructure investment group, Black Rhino, has proposed to the Ethiopian government to build a 550-km long pipeline to transport diesel, gasoline and jet fuel from Djibouti port to central Ethiopia. The project is estimated to cost $1.5 billion. The Ethiopian government has reviewed and accepted the proposal in principle.

    Backed by the US investment group Black Stone, Black Rhino has undertaken a feasibility study on the project, which is going to be the first fuel pipeline in Ethiopia. 

    Chief investment officer with IFC Kalim M. Shah said that IFC has an interest in financing the Djibouti-Awash fuel pipeline construction project. Shah said experts of IFC and executives of Black Rhino had discussions.   

    “We have been in discussion with Black Rhino but the project is at its early stage. It did not progress to the point where I would have something to announce right now but definitely that is a project we are interested in financing. We are looking at it and had some deliberations with Black Rhino,” Shah said.

    He said that it was too early to further comment on the project adding IFC was also looking at the textile, leather and cement industries in Ethiopia as well.

    Ethiopia’s annual fuel import, which is growing at a rate of ten percent, has reached 3.6 million metric tons. The country so far uses tanker trucks to transport the fuel from the Port of Djibouti to central Ethiopia costing the country dearly. 

    The governments of Ethiopian and Djibouti signed a framework agreement on the planned pipeline construction in 2015.  

    Black Rhino has finalized the feasibility study and it has been confirmed that the project is feasible. The company is now working on the implementation study. It is set to present the final feasibility study to the Ethiopian government, which in turn will review the study and give the green light to proceed with the project if it finds it acceptable.  

    Once an agreement is signed with the Ethiopian government another agreement will be inked with the government of Djibouti on the modalities of the pipe construction.

    The fuel pipeline project, known as the Horn of Africa Pipeline, includes an import facility and 950,000 barrels of storage capacity in Damerjog, Djibouti, linked to a storage terminal in Awash, Ethiopia. According to Black Rhino, the 20-inch (51-centimeter) line is capable of transporting 240,000 barrels of fuel daily. The total cost of the project is estimated at 1.55 billion dollars.

    The project is a 50-50 joint venture by Black Rhino and Mining, Oil and Gas Services (MOGS), a unit of the Johannesburg-based Royal Bafogeng Holdings. Financial close is expected in 2017, with construction scheduled for completion after two years. The developers need to raise at least one billion dollars debt financing.    

    If everything goes according to plan, the project will be awarded to Black Rhino on a build, operate and transfer (BOT) terms. The developers will build the facility, operate it for 30 years and transfer it to the Ethiopian government. It is believed that the developers need to raise at least one billion dollars debt financing.

    A non-oil producing country, Ethiopia annually imports 3.6 million metric tons of refined petroleum products, most of it via the port of Djibouti, at a cost of $2.8 billion. 

    Although the investment cost is high, pipeline is the safest and cheapest mode of fuel transport per one ton of oil. It is also technologically advanced as it uses IT-based monitoring systems.  

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  • The 3 mln Year Old Lucy who can Tell a lot about Africa

    “Lucy, you want to see Lucy?” young, would-be tour guides prompt in Ethiopia’s capital, Addis AbabaLucy stars in tourist brochures as one of the East African country’s great attractions. She also appears in the cultural history collage at the entrance of the Ethiopian National Museum. Ethiopians are clearly proud of Lucy, a hominin specimen of special renown, a cultural heritage attraction.

    You meet Lucy, or Dinknesh, meaning “you are marvellous” in Amharic, in the lobby of the Ethiopian National Museum. “Hi, I’m Lucy,” greets a sketch ofAustralopithecus afarensis. “I am almost 3.2 million years old, but am walking fully upright.” It goes on to suggest: “Please meet my world-famous ancestors and descendants, all from Ethiopia,” prompting a visit to the palaeoanthropological exhibit in the basement.

    This is striking. Lucy, an ape-like creature, becomes a human-like cultural ambassador for African archaeological heritage in Ethiopia. What does it mean to humanise the remains of our ape ancestors? What kinds of things are they made to say about the countries that display them? And what do they say about Africa as a place of scientific “discovery”?


    Simplifying complicated science


    One reason why fossil remains are humanised is because it helps make confusing biological leftovers sensible. It also simplifies complicated scientific findings for the media. But this simplification of science also creates problems. These stories often hinge on the idea of “discovery”, a word linked to colonial exploitation, and recycle stereotypes about who is allowed to produce, and what counts as, new scientific knowledge.

    Let’s take Lucy. Popular media accounts state that she was “discovered” by Donald Johanson in Hadar, in Ethiopia’s Afar Valley, in 1974. He happened upon the remains by chance while walking back to his car near an ongoing archaeological dig. The team celebrated the find that night, playing music by the Beatles, which led to the specimen being named Lucy, after the song Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds.

    Told differently, we could say, the remains of a female ape-like hominin were found in a developing African country by a highly educated man from America. This white man is portrayed as having the strength, expertise and skill to recover precious female fossil remains in black Africa. He takes credit for digging up, identifying and explaining its importance, as an Indiana Jones-like hero of science.

    This is a common way of explaining how hominin fossils are recovered in Africa. Think about how Homo naledi was found northwest of Johannesburg, South Africa, and identified, and how Professor Lee Berger became the dominant voice in explaining its scientific importance. In reality, archaeology does not work like this.Nick Shepherd‘s article, “When the Hand that Holds the Trowel is Black...”, shows that simple stories like these actively erase the black labour and nous that go into recovering such finds.

    This shows that the unearthing of important fossil remains often entails the burying of important information about who should share in the prestige it brings.


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