"All 53 women competing start off with a sassy tagline. (Miss Delaware, showing off her biceps: ‘Our official state beverage is milk, and yes, it does a body good.’) But we have to give the win to Miss D.C. Teresa Davis, who announced ‘From the home of ABC’s hit TV show ‘Scandal,’ it’s handled.’"

The opening lines from the Miss America pageant (via washingtonpost)

Teresa is our former intern and she’s doing us proud

(via washingtonpost)

Around the World with the BBC: How Africa’s first education tablet computer was created

The idea is simple; transfer a country’s entire education curriculum onto a digital format, along with sounds, animations and interactivity, and you no longer need a satchel crammed with school books.

The 36-year-old Thierry N’Doufou from the Ivory Coast teamed up with a designer and then managed to find an investor to build a prototype.

This month his Qelasy tablet is going into schools for the first time. “This is a day I’ve been waiting for,” Mr N’Doufou says.

The Ivorian government will be introducing the tablets to 5,000 students in public schools, while some private schools in both Ivory Coast and Morocco will be running pilot projects

"An elderly Chinese man came to the bureau and tried to hand me classified documents. He strongly implied he wanted to pass secrets to the British government, and wanted me to help him do it. I’m pretty certain it was a provocation of some kind, someone dangling secrets at me to see what I’d do. I sent him packing. But in the months and years that followed, I kept thinking about him sitting there on the sofa, clutching his documents and spouting these ludicrously dangerous suggestions, and I found myself spinning a story around him. As the story took shape, the elderly man morphed into a rotund, sharp-eyed rogue named Peanut, and the story became “Night Heron.”"

Q. and A.: Former BBC China Correspondent Adam Brookes on China, Secrets and Spies - NYTimes.com

Gun debate in Colorado

bbcpopup:

image

Hi. I’m Franz Strasser, a BBC News video journalist based in Washington, DC. I’m spending this week with Matt and Ben in the Pop Up house in Boulder.

When recreational hunters in America ask me why we cannot shoot guns in Germany, my home country, I bring up the following statistic: In the US you have 84 people living in a square mile on average. In Germany that number is 609.

The chance of hitting someone when you fire a gun in Germany is exponentially higher, and with an avid hiking population it’s simply too dangerous for people to go hunting.

This morning I left Washington, DC and arrived in Colorado, which ranks 37th out of 50 in population density. Once you leave Denver you can hike for hours without meeting a soul. Hunting in the Centennial State is a religion for some, a family activity for others, a simple hobby for the rest.

But it isn’t just hunting that makes people buy guns here. Self-defence, second amendment rights, blowing off steam at the local shooting range - these are all reasons why in 2012 more than 400,000 background checks from Colorado were processed by the FBI, according to the National Shooting Sports Foundation and The Denver Post.

In the wake of the mass shootings in a movie theatre in Aurora here in Colorado and an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut, the state passed laws in 2013 limiting ammunition magazines to 15 rounds and requiring background checks even on private gun sales.

Local sheriffs sued the state, an ammunition plant left Colorado and moved across the state border to Wyoming, and gun supporters who voted for the Democratic governor vowed not to do so again.

So here we are, in a purple state - a battleground where “blue” Democrats and “red” Republicans are roughly evenly split - that is turning left on many social issues, but where its geography and frontier history ensure that conservative and libertarian values remain strong.

Trying to tell this story presents some challenges. Gun owners here have been burned by media over the years and feel misrepresented.

One nearby shooting range, for example, decided not to allow the BBC to film and talk to its members after extensive deliberations. The ammunition plant that left the state declined as well. Many interview requests went unanswered.

The last is a phenomenon I have not encountered very often since I started working for the BBC in the US five years ago, and am attributing to the sheer sensitivity that comes with this debate.

But there are people who want to talk, who want to show off their guns, and others who want to explain why banning high-capacity magazines is exactly the right thing to do. I’ll meet them all in the upcoming week.

"When I saw the photo I was quite alarmed because I looked like Peter Capaldi"

— Guess that correspondent!

"When you think at where we are at now and what we can make and how much freedom we have. We still dress the same. All of us."

What do the clothes a person wears say about an individual? And what about those garments left relatively untouched in the back of their wardrobe?

That is what US photographer Yassine El Mansouri wondered before he began what became a week-long photography and video experiment.

In his project, Observation 001, the Moroccan-born photographer explores the relationship his subjects have with their clothes, as well as addressing issues of identity, self-confidence and consumption.

What the clothes in your wardrobe say about you

"I’ll be Mr Sonia Van Meter for the rest of my life, showing up to cut the ribbon at Sonia Van Meter High School and telling her story here on Earth."
 Wife on Mars: A love story - what happens when your spouse signs up for a one-way trip to Mars

"I’ll be Mr Sonia Van Meter for the rest of my life, showing up to cut the ribbon at Sonia Van Meter High School and telling her story here on Earth."

Wife on Mars: A love story - what happens when your spouse signs up for a one-way trip to Mars

Thanks for the pizza bbcpopup ! 
You’ve made our Friday. Our Follow Friday.
Tumblr followers, go see what our friends at bbcpopup are up to in beautiful Boulder, Colorado

Thanks for the pizza bbcpopup ! 

You’ve made our Friday. Our Follow Friday.

Tumblr followers, go see what our friends at bbcpopup are up to in beautiful Boulder, Colorado

Around the World with the BBC: China’s Island Factory
by Rupert Wingfield-Hayes
New islands are being made in the disputed South China Sea by the might of the Chinese state. But a group of marooned Filipinos on a rusting wreck is trying to stand in the way.

Around the World with the BBC: China’s Island Factory

by Rupert Wingfield-Hayes

New islands are being made in the disputed South China Sea by the might of the Chinese state. But a group of marooned Filipinos on a rusting wreck is trying to stand in the way.

What happens if Scotland leaves the United Kingdom? There’s a lot of open questions - but we’ve asked, and readers have delivered 25 designs for a new union jack

(#noflagnocountry)