Images of Africa

8 11 2007

Visualize peace and security through these images

Wonderful flashes of peace embedded with beauty – the environment on the African continent from A to Z (Source: Unknown)

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Pygmies march on the World Bank

18 10 2007

Pygmies negotiate their situation with World Bank Chief

The rumble of giant machinery heralds the arrival of loggers deep in the heart of the Congo rainforest. For the pygmy tribes which have inhabited this thick jungle for millennia, the sound of the advancing column is the sound of encroaching hunger and the loss of a way of life stretching back hundreds of generations. “They bring with them huge machines which go deep into the forest and make noise which frightens all the game animals away,” says Adrian Sinafasi, the man seeking to alert the outside world to the plight of central Africa’s pygmies. “When the loggers arrive, they bring with them many workers who are needed to fell the trees. They also need to eat and start hunting but, rather than use traditional weapons in the right season, they hunt with firearms and don’t care about seasons or how much food they take.”

Mr Sinafasi, who was displaced from his ancestral home in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, is leading a delegation of pygmies to meet the new head of the World Bank in Washington this week. He hopes the talks could lead to deal to safeguard the world’s second-largest rainforest. There is mounting optimism that when the representatives of some of Africa’s most remote tribes arrive in the US capital today, they can capitalise on international outrage over the bank’s plan to turn 60,000 sq km of pristine forest over to European logging companies. Forty million people in the Congo depend on the rainforests for survival. Among them are up to 600,000 pygmies who are engaged in a David and Goliath battle over plans to allow millions of hardwood trees to be felled, many to make garden furniture and flooring for European homes.






The top 100 reasons for the war between the sexes

7 09 2007

These 100 reasons for being a guy leads inevitably to conflict and war between the sexes :

  1. Phone conversations are over in 30 seconds flat.
  2. Movie nudity is virtually always female.
  3. You know stuff about tanks.
  4. A five day vacation requires only one suitcase.
  5. Monday Night Football.
  6. You don’t have to monitor your friends sex lives.
  7. Your bathroom lines are 80% shorter.
  8. You can open all your own jars.
  9. Old friends don’t give you crap if you’ve lost or gained weight.
  10. Dry cleaners and haircutter’s don’t rob you blind.
  11. When clicking through the channel, you don’t have to stall on every shot of someone crying.
  12. Your ass is never a factor in a job interview.
  13. All your orgasms are real.
  14. A beer gut does not make you invisible to the opposite sex.
  15. Guys in hockey masks don’t attack you.
  16. You don’t have to lug a bag of useful stuff around everywhere you go.
  17. You understand why Stripes is funny.
  18. You can go to the bathroom with out a support group.
  19. Your last name stays put.
  20. You can leave a hotel bed unmade.
  21. When your work is criticized, you don’t have to panic that everyone secretly hates you.
  22. You can kill your own food.
  23. The garage is all yours.
  24. You get extra credit for the slightest act of thoughtfulness.
  25. You see the humor in Terms of Endearment.
  26. Nobody secretly wonders if you swallow.
  27. You never have to clean the toilet.
  28. You can be showered and ready in 10 minutes.
  29. Sex means never worrying about your reputation.
  30. Wedding plans take care of themselves.
  31. If someone forgets to invite you to something, he or she can still be your friend.
  32. Your underwear is $10 for a three pack.
  33. The National College Cheerleading Championship
  34. None of your co-workers have the power to make you cry.
  35. You don’t have to shave below your neck.
  36. You don’t have to curl up next to a hairy ass every nite.
  37. If you’re 34 and single nobody notices.
  38. You can write your name in the snow.
  39. You can get into a nontrivial pissing contest.
  40. Everything on your face stays its original color.
  41. Chocolate is just another snack.
  42. You can be president.
  43. You can quietly enjoy a car ride from the passenger seat.
  44. Flowers fix everything.
  45. You never have to worry about other people’s feelings.
  46. You get to think about sex 90% of your waking hours.
  47. You can wear a white shirt to a water park.
  48. Three pair of shoes are more than enough.
  49. You can eat a banana in a hardware store.
  50. You can say anything and not worry about what people think.
  51. Foreplay is optional.
  52. Michael Bolton doesn’t live in your universe.
  53. Nobody stops telling a good dirty joke when you walk into the room.
  54. You can whip your shirt off on a hot day.
  55. You don’t have to clean your apartment if the meter reader is coming by.
  56. You never feel compelled to stop a pal from getting laid.
  57. Car mechanics tell you the truth.
  58. You don’t give a rat’s ass if someone notices your new haircut.
  59. You can watch a game in silence with you buddy for hours without even thinking (He must be mad at me)
  60. The world is your urinal.
  61. You never misconstrue innocuous statements to mean your lover is about to leave you.
  62. You get to jump up and slap stuff.
  63. Hot wax never comes near your pubic area.
  64. One mood, all the time.
  65. You can admire Clint Eastwood without starving yourself to look like him.
  66. You never have to drive to another gas station because this one’s just too skeevy.
  67. You know at least 20 ways to open a beer bottle.
  68. You can sit with your knees apart no matter what you are wearing.
  69. Same work….more pay.
  70. Gray hair and wrinkles add character.
  71. You don’t have to leave the room to make an emergency crotch adjustment.
  72. Wedding Dress $2000; Tux rental $100.
  73. You don’t care if someone is talking about you behind your back.
  74. With 400 million sperm per shot, you could double the earth’s population in 15 tries, at least in theory.
  75. You don’t mooch off others’ desserts.
  76. If you retain water, it’s in a canteen.
  77. The remote is yours and yours alone.
  78. People never glance at your chest when you’re talking to them.
  79. ESPN’s sports center.
  80. You can drop by to see a friend without bringing a little gift.
  81. Bachelor parties whomp ass over bridal showers.
  82. You have a normal and healthy relationship with your mother.
  83. You can buy condoms without the shopkeeper imagining you naked.
  84. You needn’t pretend you’re “freshening up” to go to the bathroom.
  85. If you don’t call your buddy when you say you will, he won’t tell you friends you’ve changed.
  86. Someday you’ll be a dirty old man.
  87. You can rationalize any behavior with the handy phrase “F*#k it!”
  88. If an other guy shows up at the party in the same outfit, you might become lifelong buddies.
  89. Princess Di’s death was almost just another obituary.
  90. The occasional well-rendered belch is practically expected.
  91. You never have to miss a sexual opportunity because you’re not in the mood.
  92. You think the idea of punting a small dog is funny.
  93. If something mechanical didn’t work, you can bash it with a hammer and throw it across the room.
  94. New shoes don’t cut, blister, or mangle your feet.
  95. Porn movies are designed with your mind in mind.
  96. You don’t have to remember everyone’s birthdays and anniversaries.
  97. Not liking a person does not preclude having great sex with them.
  98. Your pals can be trusted never to trap you with: “So…notice anything different?”
  99. Baywatch
  100. There is always a game on somewhere.

source – Celticagent’s Blog

Muriella’s Corner





Disappearing habitats, displaced pygmies

12 08 2007

Aka pygmy habitats threatened by logging

In the late 1980s I had the good fortune to drive through the forest in Central African Republic and interact with the pygmies there.

There was one sedentary village where the pygmies were gathered as there was the hope of sedentarizing them and integrating them into mainstream society.

Pygmies are by nature forest nomads and have been so for hundreds of years.  Their division of labor is clear – men responsible for fauna, women for flora.  They usually move around the forest, settling in one area until it no longer can accomodate their waste, etc., and move into another area – this is done in a regularized fashion so that when they return to a given area it is usually regenerated and they can live there again.

The Aka “Pygmies” have been named the world’s best fathers, dedicating the most time of all the globe’s peoples to active fathering.  For more information read here

That was when the forest was the forest, with trees and animals within, with the music that is known as pygmy music lilting through the atmosphere.

Fast forward to 2007 – the forest is disappearing, many of the trees are cut down, and as such the nomadic nature of the pygmy is forced to undergo a radical cultural change to a sedentary lifestyle, with the attendant disease, lack of sanitation, and other socio-economic issues that they have not had the capacity to understand, much less overcome.

In addition, being different, they are mocked and ridiculed by the larger population and have lost the forest cover which held them intact over the years.

What can be done to help this group of people?

The men know the animals of the forest intimately; the women know the plants of the forest intimately and could treat any disease that might have occurred.  Now they are thrust into a sedentary lifestyle without the cover of the forest, they are at a total loss as to how to regain the dignity that was theirs under cover of the forest.

The destruction of a habitat for gentle, non-threatening people is forcing them to undergo scorn, ridicule, hate – they have no idea how to interact with sedentary people, how to do societal work.  They kept the forest intact and helped keep us intact.  Now that they are thrust into a space in which they have no idea how to behave, they have become the scorned, despite all the knowledge they have about the flora and fauna of the forests, about the plants necessary to treat illnesses – no one is caring about this knowledge.  The only concern is how to get them added to a workforce and treat them as slaves and third-class citizens.

Help the Aka pygmy! How? I do not know – maybe someone out there does.  Their security assures our security.





Peace is Possible: Israel and Palestine

25 05 2007

I had the opportunity recently to view a documentary on possibilities for peace and security in Israel and Palestine.  The path to peace and security is led by women in the two countries. 

Lilly Rivlin, documented writer and film maker took almost three decades to make the film.  Just about three days after it was released, peace was again compromised by the Israel/Lebanon confrontation.

However, the film rivets in that it shows no matter what efforts are made on both sides to work on issues towards a peaceful resolution of the conflict, in face-to-face discussions it seems that neither side listens.

 Hence the fitting title of the documentary “Can You Hear Me?”





Hello world!

25 05 2007

Welcome to WordPress.com. This is your first post. Edit or delete it and start blogging!