If you’ve got a life that so many people don’t have,” said Judith Kerr, “then you don’t waste it.” She was talking about the fact that her parents managed to escape from Germany before the Nazis took over. That thought – what a stroke of luck it is to be alive – became her great theme. A few years ago – when she must have been in her late 80s – I watched her perform to a packed house in Edinburgh. On stage, in her pink dress, she giggled away like she couldn’t believe she was still alive as she fielded questions about the nature of that tiger. “Was it an allegory of the Nazis?” “No, it’s a tiger that wants some tea.” “Is the tiger the id, disturbing the mother’s bourgeois life?” “No, it’s a tiger who wants some tea.” If you want to see how far people can take Tiger-interpretation, by the way, take a look at Andy Miller’s The Year of Reading … [Read more...] about Judith Kerr was not scared to confront death in her stories. But she helped us savour the joy of life
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Stirring Maori traditional performances including emotional hymns and passionate hakas revealed the warmth and compassion shown by locals towards grieving families who lost loved ones in the White Island volcano disaster. The high-risk retrieval of the eight bodies buried under thick ash and left behind on the island off the coast of Whakatane in New Zealand began just before 5.30am on Friday. The tight-knit community in Whakatane had taken complete strangers in and provided support during the toughest time of their lives. A haka was performed from the shore as helicopters began sweeping over the area at 5.30am on Friday (pictured: Family members of the victims waiting from the shore) Devastated and worn-out family members of those left behind on the island gathered at a marae, or Maori meeting house, near the water in Whakatane (pictured) on Friday morning Grieving family members of the victims wait at the Whakatane wharf for the specialist soldiers to retrieve the bodies of their … [Read more...] about Kia-ora, Wakakatane: How Maori warmth and community spirit have helped the families grieving the deaths of their loved ones in the White Island volcano disaster
There's nothing better than climbing into a bed with fresh sheets - but nothing worse than the job of changing them. Whether you turn the duvet cover inside out and shake or climb inside for a fully immersive experience, it never seems to get any easier. One woman who shared her hack to help speed along the whole process has really divided opinion, leaving some outraged while others branded it 'genius'. Twitter user @Shenanigans_luv wrote: "I don’t know who needs to hear this but you can put two or three fitted sheets on your bed at a time and just remove the top one when it’s dirty instead of always folding them and putting them away." The post attracted almost 15,000 likes and people had thoughts. Some were very much against it, with one replying: "So apparently you don’t sweat when you sleep? Like ever? Ewww girl you sleeping in old grime..." Another said: "Dear God I hope you are joking. This is disgusting. Do you layer your underwear too?" A third simply … [Read more...] about Woman’s hack to make changing bed sheets easier leaves people grossed out
A page is being turned in Africa's startup history. Nigeria-based e-commerce startup Jumia is going public on the New York Stock Exchange. The tech firm is considered to be Africa's first unicorn — a privately held startup valued at more than $1 billion (€890 million). The impact of Jumia's debut on the NYSE will reverberate far beyond Wall Street, where the African e-commerce giant's listing is expected to raise more than $200 million. African startups break new ground Funding for African startups hit record levels last year, reaching $725.6 million for 458 deals, according to a report by global tech media firm WeeTracker. "They were hitting their growth phase [in 2018] which is why they got a lot of money invested in them," says WeeTracker's Jha Nayantara. "I think that 2019 will also kind of keep that momentum because there are a lot of startups which were founded in 2012-2013," she adds. This is welcome news — both on the African continent and … [Read more...] about Is Jumia’s IPO setting the stage for more African startups?
Sweeping narratives can soon take hold, even if critics are already pointing to their holes. In the 1990s, two such theses quickly took root. The first was that liberal democracy had triumphed. The second was that technology would inevitably bring liberation; Bill Clinton quipped, in reference to China, that trying to control the internet would be like nailing jello to the wall. Beijing proved both wrong, helping to spell an end to the end of history, and demonstrating – ever more enthusiastically – that technology’s transformative powers can not only be curbed, but harnessed to the forces of repression. In these gloomier times, the threat that technology will lead not to freedom but to surveillance, control or disruption from authoritarian adversaries has greater resonance – and more supporting evidence. The Trump administration has been pressing its allies to ban the Chinese telecoms equipment giant Huawei from participating in their 5G networks, arguing that … [Read more...] about The Guardian view on Huawei: if May wants to trust, we must keep verifying