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Australia The Almighty Buck Science

SKA Might Be Split Between South Africa and Australia 110

gbrumfiel writes "The Square Kilometre Array will be the world's most powerful telescope, assuming the nations involved can agree on where to build it. A scientific panel recently backed South Africa over Australia to host the project, but neither side has conceded defeat. Rather than splitting the partners, project leaders are now thinking about splitting the telescope between the two countries. There's little scientific advantage, but the thinking is that a split telescope would be better than no telescope."
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SKA Might Be Split Between South Africa and Australia

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 11, 2012 @09:21AM (#39643063)

    I live in South Africa so I can give some context...
    For a few years around our first democratic elections many people were scared the country is going to go downhill etc. They left in droves to places like the UK, Australia, Canada, NZ. Hundreds of thousands of people emigrated. The best part is that the country didn't go downhill and many of the people who left are having a hard time justifying why they left. We've had the longest period of economic growth in the country's history since the 1994 elections and anyone who attended the 2010 soccer world cup can tell you what a beautiful friendly place South Africa is.

    I think the biggest problem we have in terms of our image is that the hundreds of thousands of people who left for other countries feel a constant need to justify why they left and talk about SA is if it were some sort of war zone. People who actually live in South Africa (like me) often are not sure how to respond to Australians and others who we meet. Their perceptions of SA are so badly warped by the nonsense spouted by those who emigrated from SA 10 to 17 years ago. The amusing part is those returning from London to SA in search of better economic and career prospects here. Those of us who stayed here just smile knowingly.

  • Re:SA too risky (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 11, 2012 @09:30AM (#39643147)

    Ask anyone who is a resident or ex resident of S.Africa..
    It is simply a matter of time until the place descends into chaos.
    And yes, i have lived there.

    Since you're asking... I live in South Africa and I'd like some of whatever it is you've been smoking. We have the longest period of economic growth since the 94 elections and our democratic institutions are functioning pretty darn well thank you very much.

    When did you last live here? 15 years ago?

  • Re:SA too risky (Score:4, Interesting)

    by dkleinsc ( 563838 ) on Wednesday April 11, 2012 @10:30AM (#39643877) Homepage

    For what it's worth, my father and step-mother are in the north-eastern area of the country right now as a Peace Corps volunteer, and since they've settled in has had no real concerns about safety or riots or anything like that.

    The basic problem in South Africa is that there are no jobs. And I don't mean 'no jobs' like the 20% unemployment that's common in US cities right now, I mean 'no jobs' like 80% unemployment, most people surviving off of government aid, and no startup capital available for investment. The private industries that have any presence at all in the area are tourism (hunting, safari adventures, etc), mining, and a few general stores. Now, the economy is growing, but it has a very very long way to go.

FORTUNE'S FUN FACTS TO KNOW AND TELL: A giant panda bear is really a member of the racoon family.