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US Diversity Visa lottery 2008 starts Oct 3rd
2006-10-16 02:34:08Group: US Immigration
For more info, please visit the following URL: 

U.S. Department of State


Last updated on
2006-10-16 02:34:08
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Secure your personal identity
2006-03-07 23:44:17Group: General
1. The next time you order checks have only your initials (instead of first name) and last name put on them. If someone takes your checkbook, they will not know if you sign your checks with just your initials or your first name, but your bank will know how you sign your checks.

2. Do not sign the back of your credit cards. Instead, put "PHOTO ID REQUIRED."

3. When you are writing checks to pay on your credit card accounts, DO NOT put the complete account number on the "For" line. Instead, just put the last four numbers. The credit card company knows the rest of the number, and anyone who might be handling your check as it passes through all the check-processing channels will not have access to it.

4. Put your work phone # on your checks instead of your home phone. If you have a PO Box, use that instead of your home address. If you do not have a PO Box, use your work address. Never have your SS# printed on your checks, (DUH!). You can add it if it is necessary. However, if you have it printed, anyone can get it.

5. Place the contents of your wallet on a photocopy machine. Do both sides of each license, credit card, etc. You will know what you had in your wallet and all of the account numbers and
phone numbers to call and cancel. Keep the photocopy in a safe place. Also carry a photocopy of your passport when traveling either here or abroad. We have all heard horror stories about
fraud that is committed on us in stealing a name, address, Social Security number, credit cards.

6. When you check out of a hotel that uses cards for! keys (and they all seem to do that now), do not turn the "keys" in. Take them with you and destroy them. Those little cards have on them all of the information you gave the hotel, including address and credit card numbers and expiration dates. Someone with a card reader, or employee of the hotel, can access all that information with no problem whatsoever.

Unfortunately, as an attorney, I have first hand knowledge because my wallet was stolen last month. Within a week, the thieve(s) ordered an expensive monthly cell phone package,
applied for a VISA credit card, had a credit line approved to buy a Gateway computer and received a PIN number from DMV to change my driving record information online. Here is some critical information to limit the damage in case this happens to you or someone you know:

1. We have been told we should cancel our credit cards immediately. The key is having the toll free numbers and your card numbers handy so you know whom to call. Keep those where you can find them.

2. File a police report immediately in the jurisdiction where your credit cards, etc., were stolen. This proves to credit providers you were diligent, and this is a first step toward an investigation (if there ever is one). However, here is what is perhaps most important of all (I never even thought to do this.)

3. Call the three national credit reporting organizations immediately to place a fraud alert on your name and Social Security number. I had never heard of doing that until advised by a bank that called to tell me an application for credit was made over the Internet in my name. The alert means any company that checks your credit knows your information was stolen, and they have to contact you by phone to authorize new credit. By the time I was advised to do this, almost two weeks after the theft, all the damage had been done. There are records of all the credit checks initiated by the thieves' purchases, none of which I knew about before placing the alert. Since then, no additional damage has been done, and the thieves threw my wallet away this weekend (someone turned it in). It seems to have stopped them dead in their tracks.

Now, here are the numbers you always need to contact about your wallet and contents being stolen:

1.) Equifax: 1-800-525-6285
2.) Experian (formerly TRW): 1-888-397-3742
3.) TransUnion: 1-800-680-7289
4.) Social Security Administration (fraud line): 1-800-269-0271

We pass along jokes on the Internet; we pass along just about everything. Nevertheless, if you are willing to pass this information along, it could really help someone. 

Last updated on
2006-03-07 23:44:17
Hits: 157  
Chinese African Music Video
2005-11-01 23:28:41Group: Fun
The dance is called Assiko, and the clip includes Chinese artits.... Hilarious!


Last updated on
2005-11-01 23:28:41
Hits: 121  Replies: 1
2007 DV Lottery Instructions
2005-11-01 23:20:59Group: Immigration

See also: 

Last updated on
2005-11-01 23:20:59
Hits: 118  Replies: 1
How to Survive in an Earthquake
2005-10-10 02:37:34Group: General
EXTRACT FROM DOUG COPP'S ARTICLE ON THE "TRIANGLE OF LIFE" Edited by Larry Linn for MAA Safety Committee brief on 4/13/04.

My name is Doug Copp. I am the Rescue Chief and Disaster Manager of the American Rescue Team International (ARTI), the world's most experienced rescue team. The information in this article will save lives in an earthquake.

I have crawled inside 875 collapsed buildings, worked with rescue teams from 60 countries, founded rescue teams in several countries, and I am a member of many rescue teams from many countries. I was the United Nations expert in Disaster Mitigation for two years. I have worked at every major disaster in the world since 1985, except for simultaneous disasters.

In 1996 we made a film which proved my survival methodology to be correct. The Turkish Federal Government, City of Istanbul, University of Istanbul Case Productions and ARTI cooperated to film this practical, scientific test. We collapsed a school and a home with 20 mannequins inside. Ten mannequins did "duck and cover," and ten mannequins I used in my "triangle of life" survival method. After the simulated earthquake collapse, we crawled through the rubble and entered the building to film and document the results. The film, in which I practiced my survival techniques under directly observable, scientific conditions, relevant to building collapse, showed there would have been zero percent survival for those doing duck and cover. There would likely have been 100 percent survivability for people using my method of the "triangle of life."

This film has been seen by millions of viewers on television in Turkey and the rest of Europe, and it was seen in the USA, Canada and Latin America on the TV program Real TV.

The first building I ever crawled inside of was a school in Mexico City during the 1985 earthquake. Every child was under their desk. Every child was crushed to the thickness of their bones. They could have survived by lying down next to their desks in the aisles. It was obscene, unnecessary and I wondered why the children were not in the aisles. I didn't, at the time, know that the children were told to hide under something.

Simply stated, when buildings collapse, the weight of the ceilings falling upon the objects or furniture inside crushes these objects, leaving a space or void next to them. This space is what I call the "triangle of life". The larger the object, the stronger, and the less it will compact. The less the object compacts, the larger the void, the greater the probability that the person who is using this void for safety will not be injured. The next time you watch collapsed buildings, on television, count the "triangles" you see formed. They are everywhere. It is the most common shape, you will see, in a collapsed building. They are everywhere.


1) Do Not Duck and Cover
Most everyone who simply "ducks and covers" when buildings collapse are crushed to death. People who get under objects, like desks or cars, are crushed.

2) Triangles Save Lives
Cats, dogs and babies often naturally curl up in the fetal position. You should too in an earthquake. It is a natural safety/survival instinct. You can survive in a smaller void. Get next to an object, next to a sofa, next to a large bulky object that will compress slightly but leave a void next to it.

3) Wonderful Wood
Wooden buildings are the safest type of construction to be in during an earthquake. Wood is flexible and moves with the force of the earthquake.

If the wooden building does collapse, large survival voids are created. Also, the wooden building has less concentrated, crushing weight. Brick buildings will break into individual bricks. Bricks will cause many injuries but less squashed bodies than concrete slabs.

4) Roll Out of Bed
If you are in bed during the night and an earthquake occurs, simply roll off the bed. A safe void will exist around the bed. Hotels can achieve a much greater survival rate in earthquakes, simply by posting a sign on the back of the door of every room telling occupants to lie down on the floor, next to the bottom of the bed during an earthquake.

5) Curl-Up
If an earthquake happens and you cannot easily escape by getting out the door or window, then lie down and curl up in the fetal position next to a sofa, or large chair.

6) Do Not Stand in Doorways.
Most everyone who gets under a doorway when buildings collapse is killed. How? If you stand under a doorway and the doorjamb falls forward or backward you will be crushed by the ceiling above. If the door jam falls sideways you will be cut in half by the doorway. In either case, you will be killed!

7) Never go to the stairs.
The stairs have a different "moment of frequency" (they swing separately from the main part of the building). The stairs and remainder of the building continuously bump into each other until structural failure of the stairs takes place.

The people who get on stairs before they fail are chopped up by the stair treads - horribly mutilated. Even if the building doesn't collapse, stay away from the stairs. The stairs are a likely part of the building to be damaged. Even if the stairs are not collapsed by the earthquake, they may collapse later when overloaded by fleeing people. They should always be checked for safety, even when the rest of the building is not damaged.

8) Get Near the Outer Walls Of Buildings Or Outside Of Them If Possible
It is much better to be near the outside of the building rather than the interior. The farther inside you are from the outside perimeter of the building the greater the probability that your escape route will be blocked.

9) Get Outside That Car
People inside of their vehicles are crushed when the road above falls in an earthquake and crushes their vehicles; which is exactly what happened with the slabs between the decks of the Nimitz Freeway. The victims of the San Francisco earthquake all stayed inside of their vehicles. They were all killed.

They could have easily survived by getting out and sitting or lying next to their vehicles. Everyone killed would have survived if they had been able to get out of their cars and sit or lie next to them. All the crushed cars had voids 3 feet high next to them, except for the cars that had columns fall directly across them.

10) Choose a Void
I discovered, while crawling inside of collapsed newspaper offices and other offices with a lot of paper, that paper does not compact. Large voids are found surrounding stacks of paper.

Spread the word and save someone's life! 

Last updated on
2005-10-10 02:37:34
Hits: 148  
African Music Radio
2005-09-14 02:38:59Group: Media
Please check out the web site below for all your African Music Radio needs. It plays latest, non-stop African music. These guys are doing a fantastic job.

Another African Music Radio (a bit more retro) is

Just make sure you have your latest music player software installed and enjoy! 

Last updated on
2005-09-14 06:20:35
Hits: 121  Replies: 2
Indigo Films seeks Ki-Kongo Translator
2005-09-14 02:25:48Group: Translation
Indigo Films and The History Channel is currently developing a script for a 2-hour documentary special on the Trans-Atlantic slave trade in the 1800's. Part of our show will focus on the Africans captured in their villages and transported on slave ships. We have been advised by several African and historical experts that Ki-Kongo would be the best language to use for the characters in our script. For translation purposes, we are focusing on a few main and supporting characters that have been written into the story to be from the same village in the interior of the Congo. Ultimately, we want to bring these characters to life by using Ki-Kongo translations.

Can you help us with this project? And, if you feel this is not your exact area of expertise or interest, can you recommend another scholar-translator in the US that might be able to help?

As you may already know, television productions often have various deadlines and technical requirements. Below is a description of the main needs of our project, please feel free to call me if you have any questions regarding.

- Translate lines from modern English to Ki-Kongo (14-17 of lines, approximately 104 words)

- Create a written, email-able translation document for our producers and actors (WORD files is fine.)

- Record and send an oral translation audio file for our producers and actors (MP3 audio files are preferred and may be emailed). If you do not have the technology to create MP3's we may be able to
set-up a recording session over the phone, or you may be able to use a home video camera.

If you can help, we would also like to know your rates and the amount of time you will need for this project. We are working with a small documentary budget, and we do our very best to provide honorariums to our scholars. With this in mind, please provide:

- Your rate per word/line of translation

- The approximate amount of time needed to translate, record and email docs and files once we deliver the lines for translation.

- We hope to have the translations written and recorded by September 1st (with a week leeway for technical or delivery issues!)

It has been a tremendous journey thus far researching African history and the impact of the slave trade on its people and culture. We are
dedicated to historical authenticity, and we truly appreciate your time in reviewing this project and its possibilities. Please feel free to contact me at my numbers below if you have any questions.

Thank you in advance for your feedback and thoughts.

Very best regards,

Evelyn R. Manangan
Production Coordinator
155 North Redwood Drive, Suite 250
San Rafael CA 94903
Direct: 415-444-1716
Mobile: 415-596-8681
Main: 415-444-1700
Fax: 415-444-1720 

Last updated on
2005-09-14 06:19:28
Hits: 133  Replies: 1
Africa's First Linux Competency Centre Launched
2005-04-06 01:22:47Group: Technology
March 17 2005
Jason Norwood-Young
A plethora of partners, led by IBM, launched Africa's first Linux competency centre 15 March in Johannesburg, South Africa.

The centre is aimed at promoting Linux in the enterprise, and is expected to have an influence on government, academia and smaller business. It will also be used as a testing ground for local software developers.

"Many of our customers are serious about Linux, but they don't always have the resources to get going with Linux-related projects. This centre offers customers a physical environment populated with a comprehensive variety of IBM hardware and software platforms on which they can run performance checks, proofs of concepts, and any other tests necessary before embarking on a project. It's a kick-start," says Joe Ruthvern, IBM SA's Linux and OSS business development manager.

One IBM customer - a major South African bank - has already taken the opportunity to test a proof of concept based on SuSE Linux.

Novell, Obsidian and SAP are supporting the centre.

The centre is to be housed at the University of Witwatersrand, although it is still currently based at IBM's headquarters in Sandton. According to Barry Dwolatzky of Wits University, the centre will form a hub of post-graduate work spanning the university's computer science, engineering and commerce divisions.

The centre will fall under the mantle of the Johannesburg Centre for Software Engineering, a larger project expected to launch next year. "It will be a buzz of activity," promises Dwolatzky, with lectures, degree programmes and events taking place at the centre.

The City of Johannesburg is also supporting the project, as part of its "Johannesburg 2030" campaign, which identified ICT as a primary sector for development. According to David van Niekerk, representing the City of Johannesburg, the centre will drive business competitiveness by cutting costs, increasing return on investment and creating new business opportunities. "I believe that this project does all that, especially for black-owned firms, smaller firms and female-owned firms," he said.

The centre features 12 Intel blade servers configured for two- to eight-way processing, PowerPC-based blade servers, and even access to a Z-series IBM mainframe (which will remain at IBM's headquarters in Sandton). In addition a terabyte of storage will be used to store configured solutions. Currently there is no load testing, although this is available to customers in IBM's other centres in Europe.

A second centre is planned for Cape Town in partnership with the University of Cape Town, with a similar structure but on a smaller scale.

Carol Stafford, IBM's president of worldwide Linux sales, hinted that the centre could form part of a local grid computing project.

Africa's Source for open source news 

Last updated on
2005-09-14 06:09:41
Hits: 21  
US company admits Benin bribery
2005-04-06 01:15:16Group: General
A US defence and telecommunications company has agreed to pay $28.5m after admitting bribery in the West African state of Benin.

The Titan corporation was accused of funnelling more than $2m into the 2001 re-election campaign of President Mathieu Kerekou.

At the time, Titan was trying to get a higher price for a telecommunications project in Benin.

There is no suggestion that Mr Kerekou was himself aware of any wrongdoing.

Titan, a California-based company, pleaded guilty to falsifying its accounts and violating US anti-bribery laws.

It agreed to pay $13m in criminal penalties, as well as $15.5m to settle a civil lawsuit brought by the US financial watchdog, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).


The SEC had accused Titan of illegally paying $2.1m to an unnamed agent in Benin claiming ties with President Kerekou.

Some of the money was used to pay for T-shirts with campaign slogans on them ahead of the 2001 election.

Shortly after the poll, which Mr Kerekou won, Benin officials agreed to quadruple Titan's management fee.

Prosecuting attorney Carol Lam said: "All US companies should take note that attempting to bribe foreign officials is criminal conduct and will be appropriately prosecuted."

The company says it no longer tolerates such practices.

Under the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, it is a crime for American firms to bribe foreign officials.
Story from BBC NEWS:

Published: 2005/03/02 09:54:22 GMT


Last updated on
2005-04-06 01:15:16
Hits: 22  
Actively Updating this Site
2005-04-06 01:13:38Group: General
We are actively updating this site again after a short break. We have also added a blog tool, so please let us know of any addition, features, comments, or anything that would be a great addition to the Africa Homepage. Thanks for visting us often!

The Africa Homepage Team 

Last updated on
2005-04-06 01:13:38
Hits: 22  Replies: 3