A South African Embarrassment [Hans Rosling on HIV – TED talk]

As a South African I get dismayed and embarrassed when I watch this incredible TED talk detailing the status of HIV/AIDS around the world in today’s age. Hans Rosling explains using beautiful visuals how, amongst other things, South Africa has become, well, a rather large blotch on the map of HIV infections, and has completely and utterly fallen behind even our neighbouring african countries in this area. Is our garlic and beetroot perhaps not working so well?

If you like what you see, you can go and play with the tool he is using at Gapminder World.

“Hans converts the best available data from UNAIDS and WHO into understandable Gapminder bubbles.

The two key messages are that the global HIV epidemic has reached a “steady state” with 1% of the adult world population infected and that there are huge differences in HIV occurrence between and within African countries. Many African countries have the same, relatively low, HIV levels as can be found in most of the world, whereas 50% of the world’s HIV infected persons live in a few countries in Eastern and Southern Africa (with 4% of the world population).

Hans Rosling closes his speech by summarizing probable reasons for the high HIV burden in parts of Eastern and Southern Africa and he also claims that the focus must be on preventing further HIV transmission in these highly affected populations.”

[Update: Also read “The Doctor Will Sue You Now“, about the vitamin therapy treatment deception in South Africa (via BoingBoing)]

Ah, and I’ll tag ChampagneHeathen just in case she hasn’t seen it.


Riding Bikes Keeps Me Young

Al's Heathens Motorcycle Club
Al’s Heathens Motorcycle Club by Shaun Dewberry

Well, all of a sudden there’s a little bit of a scientific study that I must admit, I quite like the results of:

“Riding motorcycles helps keep riders young by invigorating their brains, the scientist behind popular “Brain Training” computer software said on Wednesday, citing a new scientific study.”

In truth, any biker probably knew that inherently all along…

“The group that rode motorbikes posted higher marks in cognitive function tests”

Yes indeed, the perfect excuse to head out on the ‘blade tomorrow. Rockstar, Hacker, Biker. My identity fits like a glove.