Underground Brilliance

When the first great human civilizations developed in Africa 200,000 years ago, Neanderthals were also socializing in Europe. Neanderthals were anatomically distinct from humans, even more than Yao Ming and Jimmy Durante. They were bigger, not necessarily taller, more robust and likely much more muscular. Their face was much different with a protruding nose and […]

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Traffic Problem

Human/wildlife conflict isn’t limited to dangerously powerful elephants walking over an impoverished Tanzanian farmer’s watermelon field. Several days ago in a thoroughly modern city in The Cape one of the world’s most endangered animals suffered a serious blow from … car traffic. There are few animals in the world as endangered as the African Penguin […]

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Trial of Tribalism

Kenya did better yesterday. Three people were killed in demonstrations near Lake Victoria. There was teargas in Nairobi; part of the city closed down in the afternoon, but the police in Nairobi seemed more restrained. Kenya’s problem is tribalism. Forget about all the momentary issues (the current is over legitimacy of the IEBC). Get to […]

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American Privilege

The African diaspora in North America is a vital component of today’s modern African societies, and Africans are now worried that Trump could change that. The possibility that a large number of Americans will emigrate to Canada in reaction to a Trump presidency is not a sarcastic joke, but a realistic threat to many Africans. […]

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When More is Too Much

What do Mother Jones and the African Wildlife Foundation (AWF) share in common? They’re always broke? Yesterday, tens of thousands of persons on Mother Jones’ mailing list received an appeal from AWF to add their signature to a petition against oil drilling in the Virunga mountains. Virunga is home to the endangered mountain gorilla and […]

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Happening Right Now, Folks!

Astounded. Shocked. No mainstream or even maincreek media covered today’s military conference in Arusha called by and hosted by the U.S. Even the Army’s own publications buried the story. Talk about a society burying its head in the sand… First, the news… General Mark Miller, head of Obama’s Africom, hosted 37 of Africa’s land chief […]

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Kenyan Crossroads

If the Kenyan police don’t clean up their act for next Monday’s protests, tourists should pull out. Yesterday’s police brutality in Kenya is unacceptable. Property can be protected and citizens safeguarded without beating to death someone who has fallen helplessly onto the street. It’s a despicable, cancerous mentality. The police action yesterday was worse than […]

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Broken Tool

Legal hunting increases poaching and damages conservation. Specifically, culling wolves in Wisconsin increases the illegal hunting of wolves, according to a breakthrough study published Wednesday. Sports hunting enthusiasts from Africa to North America are wrong: regulated hunting is not a good tool for managing wildlife populations. If it once was, it’s now broken. I once […]

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Smelly Puffball Trumpets

Today, Friday the 13th, I formally apologize to all my readers and past misinformed clients. Turns out that, in fact, elephants are related to hyraxes. Fifteen hundred rock hyraxes of average weight equals one elephant of average weight but in terms of actual volume, the tree hyraxes’ screeching call approaches the same decibel level of […]

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Finders Keepers?

Should the obelisk and Rosetta Stone in France be returned to Egypt? Should tens of thousands of artifacts held in western museums be returned to their origin? The debate is not new but acquired a new edge recently with a proposed new German law and with the upcoming ten-year birthday celebration of Paris’ Musée du […]

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Not Again, Kenya!

The news is not good out of Kenya. Not totally worrisome yet but troubling. Several public demonstrations which I see as markers of robust democracy have been met with too much government force. We all know the counter reactions this brings, and that’s what worries me. If the Kenyan authorities don’t soften their act soon, […]

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Bird That Proves Climate Change

In North America we’re currently documenting the fascinating “Spring Migration.” Almost 4,000 birds fly up here to breed as spring begins. Two months ago I was in Africa documenting a different migration. Of all the birds I’ve watched going and coming in both hemispheres of the world, one story really stands out: Africa’s carmine bee-eater. […]

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The Old Man Won’t Nod

Reading the Inyanga tea leaves, studying the day-old photographs, it appears to me that Robert Mugabe wants to turn control of Zimbabwe over to the Army but just can’t. He just can’t give up the reins of power. If he did it could avoid more bloodshed but at the same time might even further perpetuate […]

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Young Discontent

You know, it’s not just US. Enormous discontent is sweeping across the most important countries in Africa with a heavy involvement by the youth. Such generalizations are dangerous, so I’ve thought about this a lot. I’ll stop making conclusions: you make them. Let’s just survey today’s news. Yesterday was budget day in South Africa. In […]

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A Stable, Stagnant World

Trickle-Down economics slams Africa and its leaders line up like misbehaving school kids to take the paddle. President John Magufuli of Tanzania just reduced taxes. There’s no worse move at a time when Tanzania needs stimulus not austerity. All the creativity and imagination Africa has shown in the last several decades has been smothered by […]

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