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Archive for April 1st, 2012

Video: 72 hours in the beautiful land of Kenya

Posted by Administrator on April 1, 2012

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Bee Fence: Stopping marauding elephants in Kenya using bees…with video

Posted by Administrator on April 1, 2012

In recent years, a successful conservation programme has seen the number of elephants rise in Kenya.

But there is a problem – marauding gangs of elephants are increasingly raiding farmers’ crops and destroying property.

Already, some farmers have resorted to extreme measures including poisoning and shooting them.

But how do you stop elephants raiding crops without harming the environment or the elephant? The solution – to exploit a surprising fact: elephants are terrified of bees.

In 2009, experts from the University of Oxford and the charity Save the Elephants set up a trial project to test whether hives containing African honey bees could prevent elephants breaching farmland boundaries.

Monitoring elephant raids over three crop seasons, they discovered that 97 per cent of raids were aborted if the field was protected by a fence containing a beehive every 10 metres.

The beehives are suspended on wires between posts with a flat thatched roof above to protect from the sun in the traditional Kenyan style. So far, boundaries have been created for 17 farms, incorporating 170 beehives into 1.7 kilometres of fencing.

Russell Beard travels to the village of Voi located between two wildlife reserves, which often received unwelcome visits from hungry elephants.

Project leader Lucy King explains how the cunning fences were devised, and invites Russell to help build a beehive.

Source: http://www.aljazeera.com/programmes/earthrise/2012/03/201233091836815733.html?utm_content=automateplus&utm_campaign=Trial6&utm_source=SocialFlow&utm_medium=MasterAccount&utm_term=tweets

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Why is Kenya not attracting prime music artists?

Posted by Administrator on April 1, 2012

By 2pm on Friday, I had received tens of calls and SMSs from friends both close and those not so close asking for one small favour: There was the Joe Thomas concert in town, and they wanted to know if I could get them tickets – complimentary, of course.

Welcome to Kenya’s socialite; we like getting into events free and then go ahead to spend thousands, sometimes tens of thousands, on booze. For those who have ever been in event organisation will tell you for free that this kind of person is an event organiser’s worst nightmare. How is one to recoup their costs, if all of you want a freebie ticket?

No wonder that Kenya continues to struggle to attract top-drawer performers compared to our neighbours Tanzania and Uganda. There the corporates don’t mind splashing the dollars because they know they will get the cash back from ticket sales as well as sales for beverages in case its a beverage company.

Joe Thomas is a respected artiste who has wowed many for two decades. But also it is true that he is not at his prime right now. The same can be said be of Donnel Jones who visited Kenya the other day. In Tanzania, the list reads with names like Jay-Z and when Rick Ross bypasses Kenya to visit a country like Gabon, which has the population of about 1.5m people – or a third, the size of Nairobians!

Mind you, those two artistes I have mentioned above were sponsored during their visits by a corporate but it is also fair to imagine that they are comparatively affordable. Another thing, their target market is slightly mature and predisposed to paying up two or three thousand shillings for a concert. Until the day we all agree to save up or invest in having a good time, instead of hoping for complimentary tickets, Kenya will always be treated as an afterthought by artistes; something you do later in the day during your career.

Ship sails into showbiz history

Some 100 years ago, what was the most advanced passenger liner ever assembled set out for its maiden voyage.

She had been declared virtually unsinkable, with a popular myth holding that one of the crewmembers had commented on her infallibility saying that even God himself cannot sink the Titanic.

She sank on her maiden voyage on April 15, 1912, killing almost 1,500 passengers.

Invincibility turned into frenzy, triumph into tragedy and pride into outrage as the then known world came into terms with just how small they were still in the grand scheme; Titanic sank after hitting an iceberg that the captain had been warned about, the ship continued to steam at full speed, because it was generally believed that ice posed little danger to large vessels and Captain Smith himself had declared that he could not imagine any condition which would cause a ship to founder adding that “Modern shipbuilding has gone beyond that.”

The tragedy became subject to myths, like the one about the ship’s band that reportedly continued singing even as the ship sank or the captain who went down with his ship. Phrases like ‘down like the Titanic’ became common literature.

Hollywood, of course could not be left behind. Aside from the Hollywood classic A Night to Remember, the 1997 movie Titanic is the second highest grossing movie of all time and was for long in the number one slot. It won 11 Oscars.

This coming week sees a re-release also known as Titanic in 3D which was created by re-mastering the original 1997 movie as and post-converting to 3D (3-dimensional) stereoscopic format.

The Titanic 3D version took 60 weeks and a reported cost of $18 million to produce.

Source: http://www.standardmedia.co.ke/InsidePage.php?id=2000055291&cid=521&currentPage=1

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Kenya Takes First Ever Digital Emmy Award for ‘Well Told Story’

Posted by Administrator on April 1, 2012

The International Academy of Television Arts & Sciences started a new chapter for Kenya by awarding multi-media communications project “Well Told Story” with a Digital Emmy Award, the country’s first, at a ceremony in Cannes on Sunday night.

The Academy’s President & CEO Bruce L. Paisner joined more than 300 executives from the television, broadband and mobile industries for the ceremony organized in partnership with Reed Midem to kick off this year’s MIPTV market.

Educational project Well Told Story (Shujaaz Fm), designed to inspire and motivate millions of Kenyans to take action to improve their lives, won in the Children & Young People category.

Transmedia episode Endgame Interactive: Facebook Episode created to extend the Showcase TV drama Endgame online, won in the Fiction category.

Live from the Clinic earned the Non-fiction prize for producers Maverick Television for Channel 4. The medical series allows viewers to apply through the show’s website to be seen live via webcam by the show’s resident doctors and specialists.

“The awards are important because there’s just an explosion in digital programming taking place. We had 20 entries when we began seven years ago and today we had more than 100,” Paisner told The Hollywood Reporter. He added: “It’s going to grow and grow and grow.”

The stars of Cinemax series Femme Fatales–Nikki Griffin, Christine Donlon, Madison Dylan, Catherine Annett, Shani Pride and Tiffany Brouwer–added some color when they took to the stage to host the private ceremony at the Hotel Martinez.

Source: http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/digital-emmy-awards-well-told-story-kenya-femme-fatales-306659

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Karua won’t take pay after December

Posted by Administrator on April 1, 2012

Gichugu MP Martha Karua. Photo/FILE

Gichugu MP Martha Karua. Photo/FILE

Mombasa
Narc-Kenya party leader Martha Karua has vowed that she won’t accept any salary after December 2012 if Parliament will not have been dissolved to pave the way for polls.

Speaking in Mombasa during a Diva’s Tea Afternoon at the weekend, the Gichugu MP said any salary after December would be illegal, according to the Constitution.

She reiterated her call to President Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga to dissolve Parliament in October to allow for a December 2012 General Election.

“The elections have always been (held) after five years. So what is the difference this time that we have to extend to the sixth year? If Parliament is not dissolved by December, any salary accorded to an MP thereafter will not be legal, and since I don’t like what is illegal, I am not going to accept it,” she said.

She called on leaders to lead by example in respecting the Constitution to prevent a repeat of a trend where individuals bend the law to achieve their selfish interests.

Directing her comment to the National Council of Churches of Kenya that has asked leaders to respect the decision of the electoral commission on polls date, Ms Karua said that the Constitution allowed Kenyans to correct even independent institutions where they go wrong.

“If we let a few individuals disregard the Constitution right now without correcting them, then future leaders will do the same and our Constitution will end up being like the previous one,” she said.

She advised Kenyans to select their representatives carefully to prevent selfish individuals from taking over the counties and the country as a whole.

“Look out closely for those whose actions do not tally with their words for land grabbers will always be grabbers and the corrupt will remain corrupt.”

She reiterated that she would not drop her presidential bid and encouraged women to vie for seats other than the women representative in order to reach the one third representation in Parliament.

Source: http://www.nation.co.ke/News/politics/Karua+wont+take+pay+after+December+/-/1064/1378224/-/n2pa1/-/index.html

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Night blaze guts section of Nairobi’s Kimathi House

Posted by Administrator on April 1, 2012

Fire gutted a section of Kimathi House in Nairobi’s city centre on Sunday evening.

The inferno is said to have started shortly before 7pm. It took some 30 minutes for the firefighters arrived at the scene.

Witnesses told the Nation that the blaze started on the building’s northern corner that faces Barclays Bank.

“I saw smoke coming from that floor. When I checked, I saw flames but they were still just in the corner,” said a security guard on the building.

The entire sixth floor was razed and the fire leapt to the upper floors.

Towed vehicles

City Council firemen arrived at the building situated at the junction of Kimathi Street and Kenyatta Avenue, but took another 15 minutes to start dousing the blaze.

Council officials and members of the public towed vehicles that had been parked building as the owners had left.

However, the ill-preparedness of the City Council’s fire department was evident when they failed to push the water high enough to reach the affected floors.

Moments later, fire fighters from the G4S security firm arrived to assist.

They took about seven minutes to find the right position to hurl the water high enough.

The 10-storey building is significant as it hosts a number of key firms such as Kenya Commercial Bank, Metropolitan Teachers Sacco, Pergamon Group, chemists, Leaders Institute, a fashion store, several M-Pesa agents, and stores, among others.

The fire was eventually contained at about 10pm.

Source: http://www.nation.co.ke/News/guts+section+of+Nairobi+Kimathi+House+/-/1056/1378090/-/6s6h7d/-/index.html

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