Is Toxic Lake Gas Rwanda's Energy Future?

As if Rwanda needed more troubles, a toxic lake south of the city of Goma contains enough methane gas that, were it to seep to the surface, could fatally asphyxiate thousands of people. Or, it could revolutionize Africa's alternative energy infrastructure.


Lake Kivu, 480 mt deep and 48 km wide, on the border of the Congo and Rwanda, holds billions of cubic meters of methane below its surface. Gas concentrations have been steadily increasing in the year from subterranean volcanic activity and some vulcanologists predict a gas release may not be too far off. The region certainly is no stranger to disastrous lake events. In 1986 Lake Nyos in Cameroon released an invisible cloud of methane killing 1,700 people.

Enter ContourGlobal, a New York energy firm that has its sights set on underserved markets. Countour plans to install a floating platform in the middle of the lake from which they will extract gas deposits that lie dissolved over 200 mt below the surface. Contour promises to extend electicity to five percent of Rwanda from a generation depot they will establish on the south end of the lake. So, where some see toxic gas, others see alternative energy.

Antimicrobial resistance is a growing threat to good health and well-being

Antimicrobial resistance is growing worldwide, rendering many "work horse" medicines ineffective. Without intervention, drug-resistant pathogens could lead to millions of deaths by 2050. Thankfully, companies like Pfizer are taking action.

Image courtesy of Pfizer.
  • Antimicrobial-resistant pathogens are one of the largest threats to global health today.
  • As we get older, our immune systems age, increasing our risk of life threatening infections. Without reliable antibiotics, life expectancy could decline for the first time in modern history.
  • If antibiotics become ineffective, common infections could result in hospitalization or even death. Life-saving interventions like cancer treatments and organ transplantation would become more difficult, more often resulting in death. Routine procedures would become hard to perform.
  • Without intervention, resistant pathogens could result in 10 million annual deaths by 2050.
  • By taking a multi-faceted approach—inclusive of adherence to good stewardship, surveillance and responsible manufacturing practices, as well as an emphasis on prevention and treatment—companies like Pfizer are fighting to help curb the spread.
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22 months of war - condensed in a 1-minute video

No, the Syrian civil war is not over. But it might be soon. Time for a recap

Strange Maps
  • The War in Syria has dropped off the radar, but it's not over (yet)
  • This 1-minute video shows how the fronts have moved – and stabilised – over the past 22 months
  • Watching this video may leave you both better informed, and slightly queasy: does war need a generic rock soundtrack?
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Bespoke suicide pods now available for death in style

Sarco assisted suicide pods come in three different styles, and allow you to die quickly and painlessly. They're even quite beautiful to look at.

The Sarco assisted suicide pod
Technology & Innovation

Death: it happens to everyone (except, apparently, Keanu Reeves). But while the impoverished and lower-class people of the world die in the same ol' ways—cancer, heart disease, and so forth—the upper classes can choose hip and cool new ways to die. Now, there's an assisted-suicide pod so chic and so stylin' that peeps (young people still say peeps, right?) are calling it the "Tesla" of death... it's called... the Sarco! 

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How to bring more confidence to your conversations

Entrepreneur and author Andrew Horn shares his rules for becoming an assured conversationalist.

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Videos
  • To avoid basing action on external validation, you need to find your "authentic voice" and use it.
  • Finding your voice requires asking the right questions of yourself.
  • There are 3-5 questions that you would generally want to ask people you are talking to.
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