Friday 7 November 2008

Introducing Monifa: Baby Pygmy Hippo

Conservationists have been celebrating the birth of a rare pygmy hippopotamus at Australia's Taronga Zoo in Sydney.

There are less than 3,000 of the endangered animals left in the wild, and zoo keepers say every hippo born is "extremely important" for the species' survival.
Monifa, who weighs 13 pounds (six kilos) and is the size of a puppy, was born after a breech delivery.

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Thursday 6 November 2008


That's right, Movember has come round again, so its time for all you men to start growing a killer handlebar, dali, fu manchu, imperial, toothbrush or even the walrus.

So whats it all about?  Well it was set up to raise awareness and money for mens health issues.  Myself and Simon have taken up the challenge here in the office and will be posting our results on the blog at the end of the month.

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Kenyan Baby Obama's

Mothers in Kenya have marked Barack Obama's historic win in the US presidential elections by naming their newborns after him and his wife.

More than half of the babies born in a Kisumu Hospital on the day after the election were named either Barack or Michelle Obama.  Kisumu is close to the village where Mr Obama's father was born and raised and Mr Obama is a local hero.

Out of 15 babies born in the New Nyanza Provincial Hospital in the western city of Kisumu on Wednesday, five boys were named Barack Obama and three girls were called Michelle.  Pamela Adhiambo, who gave birth to twins – a boy and a girl - on the night after the elections, even named them Barack and Michelle!

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Apologies, Backstreet never left

I know that I am going to regret this! In 2000 I and the rest of the team thought it be a good idea to try and impress the locals with a Boy Band dance. The sad thing is at the time we thought we were really good.

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Wednesday 5 November 2008

Oooooooooh! Aaaaaaaah!

The English, among other talents, are adept at nurturing their grudges. How else does one explain the enduring enmity toward Guy Fawkes, a conspirator in a plot to blow up Parliament in 1605? Some four centuries after Fawkes was caught, tortured and executed for his role in a scheme that never came to fruition, Britons still celebrate his demise each Nov. 5 by burning his likeness in effigy and setting fireworks ablaze.

Politics aside (!) - If you are attending a fireworks display or having a few of your own then please BE SAFE and have fun too!

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Tuesday 4 November 2008

Peru's Andean Songbird

Yma Sumac, the suprano known as the Peruvian Songbird for her vast vocal range, has died at the age of 86.

Famed for her modern versions of South American folk music, Sumac died of colon cancer in Los Angeles, where she had lived for 60 years, an aide said.  Yma Sumac stunned audiences with her soaring, warbling voice which spanned more than four octaves.

With her costumes giving her the appearance of an Inca princess, she was a technicolour musical fantasy,  The singer played heavily on her Andean roots, claiming to be descended from the Inca Emperor Atahualpa.
And in the land of her birth, glowing press tributes have been paid to the only Peruvian to have been written into Hollywood's Walk of Fame.  Born Zoila Augusta Emperatriz Chavarri del Castillo in Cajamarca, northern Peru, she changed her name to Yma Sumac - which means "How Pretty" in Peru's indigenous Quechua language.

She stunned audiences from Europe to Japan, starred in Broadway musicals and played exotic roles in several Hollywood films, including The Secret of the Inca alongside Charlton Heston.
Her fame faded in the 1960s, but was revived in the 1990s through its use in the cult Coen Brothers' film The Big Lebowski, which brought her music to new fans.

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Monday 3 November 2008

Obama Musical opened Yesterday

This weekend saw the opening of 'Obama the musical' in the Kenyan capital of Nairobi. Kenya's love for Obama stems from his Kenyan father and this can be seen and heard in the form of chants, songs and t-shirts. Even a beer has been named after him!

The musical is 'hotly awaited' and after much discussion over who should play the villain, John McCain was chosen. I must make clear that McCain will not be played by himself. The musical is set to be a huge success and a sequel has not been ruled out. I guess that will depend on what happens on election night!

More on Obama the musical
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Photos of Summer Villa Maria Team

A selection of photos from the construction project in Lima earlier this year, the guys in Peru definitely know how to pull on the heart strings...! Great work though.

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