Global Quickies: Not Just a Number, Red River Women, and Coding in the Slum

#147notjustanumber: “An open-source social media campaign has begun commemorating those who died in the al-Shabaab terror assault, tweet by tweet”

Girls in a slum in the Ghanaian capital of Accra are being taught to code in a room above a mosque while their parents pray.

“France has become the latest country to ban excessively skinny models from working in the ultra-chic country’s fashion industry, joining Israel, Spain and Italy.”

SWEDEN (From Critical Dragon1177)
A debate on public television invited several anti-vaccine activists and were given ample time to spread their pseudoscientific misinformation on a public channel.

The planned Easter blessing of a public school ends up in a lawsuit in Bologna. A teacher who voted against the blessing has received threatening letters. Btw, religion is still taught in public schools in Italy, but you can opt out.

Iranian women can now attend some sporting events. In manly sports, like boxing and soccer, women are still banned as spectators. (link to autoplay audio)

Volunteers help girls escape FGM to a safe house. (link to autoplay audio)

“A medium in Puchong molested two teenage girls during an “exorcism” ceremony, reported China Press.”

A nun in religious education class reportedly stabbed a 7-year-old boy in the hand with a needle to show the class how Jesus suffered.

A Nigerian activist had her asylum appeal denied because the judge doesn’t believe she’s really a lesbian.

A ruling that prevented the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster from applying for registration as an official religion in Poland has been overturned. May they be touched by his noodly appendage.

A photographer document the stories of transgender people living in different societies.

“Each year, dozens of Canadian Aboriginal women are murdered or disappear never to be seen again. Some end up in a river that runs through the heart of Winnipeg.” Seriously, go read this.

“Malawi police are under orders to shoot anyone attacking albinos in the latest bid to crack down on a rising wave of violence against albinos in East Africa whose body parts are prized in black magic.”

“Thousands of students across Turkey have demanded that their universities build Jedi and Buddhist temples on campus, in response to a surge in mosques being built for Muslim students.”

“An Ottawa mother of seven “defected” from the anti-vaccination movement, but then her youngest — a 10-month-old son — contracted whooping cough before she could get all of her children their shots.”

“The Vatican has been dragging its feet on the approval of France’s ambassador to the Holy See, raising suspicions that it has in effect rejected the nomination of Laurent Stéfanini because he is gay.”


Featured image: Girls in coding lessons in Ghana. by Regina Agyare


Born and raised in Mexico City, Daniela has finally decided to abdicate her post as an armchair skeptic and start doing some skeptical activism. She is currently living in Spain after having lived in the US, Brazil and Italy. You can also find her blogging in Spanish at

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  1. That story from Ottawa is unsurprising. Anonymous actually catalogued as many of the missing women as they could find. It’s somewhere on the ICTMN site.

    I don’t mind religion being taught as part of the humanities. It’s when religion is taught as science that…issues come up.

    Good for those Tanzanian girls. The real difficulty with clitoridectomy is, the enemy is your family, your community, and they actually think they’re helping you.

    Funny thing about Mongolia, since Magic just had its first transgender character in fantasy-counterpart Mongolia earlier this year.

  2. On the Red River issue. Poverty, ghettoization on ‘reserves,’ domestic instability and violence, dangerous illegal sex work, alcohol, alcohol, alcohol, alcohol.

    Avoiding the latter issue is NOT ‘refraining from stereotyping.’ It is flat out denial. In the anecdotes in the story, it is obvious that the culture of Winnipeg is inured to these conditions, and the price of denial is the lives of scores of young women who should have been in school or at work, including sex work regulated and taxed.

    1. What evidence do you have for alcohol causing all these social problems? Alcohol and drug abuse are often correlates of endemic crime and poverty, but there’s no evidence that I know of that shows the problems disappear when alcohol is unavailable.

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