Daily Archives: July 29, 2010

ca 140 killed in Congo boat sinking

Up to 140 people are feared dead after a boat carrying passengers and goods capsized on a river in the Democratic Republic of Congo, officials say.

The accident happened on the Kasai river – a tributary of the Congo River – in the western province of Bandundu.

Information Minister Lambert Mende told the BBC the boat had been overloaded and 80 people had been confirmed dead.

After decades of conflict, DR Congo has few roads or rail links and many people travel on often overloaded vessels.

Continue reading ca 140 killed in Congo boat sinking

The end is near

So, do you think there is any connection between this:

9 months, 23 days

Mark your calendars! The end of the world is nigh, and we’ve got a specific date: the Rapture will occur on 21 May, 2011, and the world ends on 21 October 2011. How do we know this? As near as I can tell, it’s pure numerology…

and this:

That Killer Asteroid You Heard About Yesterday? We Knew About It Last Year

… there’s a giant asteroid out there called 1999 RQ36, and there’s a small chance it might hit us …

Certainly not, but both are interesting reads.

Barry Glassner, Fear, Poor people and their babies: Friday!

I’ve been interested forever in human perceptions of risk and culturally mediated fear. I got to work with some of the cook risk perception people at the Kennedy School of Government for a while (as a bystander), and as an archaeologist, I find the question of risk and fear important in human foraging (and other) decisions. For instance, humans can specialize or not as foragers, and they can include or exclude certain kinds of resources. Did early humans in southern Africa avoid dangerous bovid prey and prefer allegedly less dangerous antelopes? Did various groups that avoid fishing (East African pastorals and, of course the Tasmanians) do so for any reasons related to risk? And so on.

Continue reading Barry Glassner, Fear, Poor people and their babies: Friday!