Category Archive 'Africa'
01 Aug 2016

Customized Assault Weapon

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NativewAK47

16 May 2016

Cambridge Africa-Themed Dinner Provokes SJW Wrath

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QueensCollege
Queens College, Cambridge

The menu didn’t even include missionary!

Heat Street:

Students at Cambridge University have been branded racist – for organizing an African-themed dinner.

Invitations to the formal dinner asked if guests would like to “escape college” and “travel far away” and used Swahili phrases from Disney film The Lion King, including “hakuna matata”, which means “no worries”.

The menu at the Queens’ College event, organized by senior students, included Senegal fish balls in a spicy tomato sauce, chicken tagine from Morocco, Nigerian delicacy fried plantain, South African malva pudding, and Cape wine.

In response, undergraduate Alice Davidson wrote a 525-word blog titled “Africa Isn’t Yours To Appropriate” accusing organizers of “inappropriately borrowing elements of a minority culture” and using them as “fashion accessories”.

Ms Davidson said it would have been better “if the initiative had come from members of the African Society Cambridge University themselves, who could then determine the menu and terms of cultural exchange.”

Pointing out that the dinner was held in the Cripps Dining Hall, which is “only” filled with portraits of white people, she added: “Or maybe if the [dinner] was more honestly named ‘West African’ or ‘South African’ themed, rather than attempting to reduce an entire continent into three courses.”

She went on: “Cultural appropriation is the adoption of elements of one culture by members of another culture, specifically adoption of the minority culture by the majority. Whether it be hairstyles, music, ‘fancy dress’ or food, what’s key is the power dynamic by which the majority has historically oppressed the minority.”

Another student supported Ms Davidson, accusing organizers of lumping together 50 countries without giving any thought to their cultural differences – which they would never have done with European states.

Cambridge University African Society president Halimatou Hima confirmed the group withdrew its support for the event over historical prejudices.

06 Apr 2016

I Know AKs Are Supposed to Be Low Maintenance, But This is Ridiculous

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PoachersAK2-375
I don’t know much about these things, but I’m told this Kalashnikov is a Type 56. The CEO of Underground Tactical reportedly took it away from a poacher somewhere unspecified in Africa. And, even in this condition, it still shoots!

Jon Wayne Taylor on Instagram was the original source.

The typical Gun Broker dealer would rate it as NRA Good, and say: “Has light patina.”

PoachersAK1-375

18 Sep 2015

Atlantropa, a 1920s Plan to Dam the Med

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Atlantotropa

IFLScience has the story of Atlantropa, a colossal 1920s plan by German architect Herman Sörgel to dam the Mediterranean and create an African-European supercontinent.

Dams across the Strait of Gibraltar, the Dardanelles, and eventually between Sicily and Tunisia, each containing gigantic hydroelectric power plants, would form the basis for the new supercontinent. In its final state the Mediterranean would be converted into two basins, with the western part lowered by 100 meters and the eastern part by 200 meters and a total of 660,200 km2 of new land reclaimed from the sea – an area larger than France.

Later plans for Atlantropa also included two dams across the Congo River and the creation of a Chad and Congo Sea, which Sörgel hoped would have a moderating influence on the African climate making it more pleasant for European settlers. In line with the colonial and racist attitudes of the times, Sörgel envisaged Africa with its resources and its land to be entirely at the disposal of Europe, a continent with plenty of space to accommodate Europe’s huddled masses.

While Sörgel’s proposal may sound absurd to our ears, it was taken seriously by architects, engineers, politicians and journalists at the time. The extensive Atlantropa archive in the Deutsche Museum in Munich abounds with architectural drawings for new cities, the dams and bridges of the future continent as well as letters of support and hundreds of articles about the project, which appeared in the German and international popular press as well as in specialised engineering and geographical magazines.

What made Atlantropa so attractive was its vision of world peace achieved not through politics and diplomacy, but with a simple technological solution. Atlantropa would be held together by a vast energy net, which would extend from the gigantic hydroelectric plant in the Gibraltar dam and provide the entirety of Europe and Africa with electricity. The power plant would be overseen by an independent body who would have the power to switch off the energy supply to any individual country that posed a threat to peace. Moreover Sörgel calculated that the construction of the supercontinent would require each country to invest so much money and people power that none would have sufficient resources to finance a war.

Read the whole thing.

10 Sep 2015

Avoid Snakebite in Africa Starting Next Year

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BlackMamba

IFL Science

If nothing is done, then by the middle of next year the world will run out of one of the safest and most effective treatments for snakebites. This could lead to tens of thousands of preventable deaths, warns the international medical organization Doctors Without Borders (MSF), which urges the global health community to take action in tackling one of the planet’s most neglected public health emergencies.

“We are now facing a real crisis,” said Dr Gabriel Alcoba, MSF snakebite medical advisor, in a statement. The anti-venom in question, called Fav-Afrique, is one of the most effective, treating 10 different snake bites that occur in sub-Saharan Africa. Manufacturer Sanofi Pasteur ceased production in 2014, and the last batch is due to expire in June 2016. Even with immediate action no replacement product would be available for at least two years. This could lead to countless deaths and amputations for those who cannot access the appropriate health care. …

Sanofi Pasteur says it has been priced out of the market by cheaper competitors and is instead focusing on rabies treatments. But MSF warns that the safety and effectiveness of these alternatives have not yet been properly established. The pharmaceutical company announced its intention to stop making the product way back in 2010, and has offered to share its anti-venom recipe with others. “It’s very strange that the relevant stakeholders are only realising this problem five years later,” said Sanofi Pasteur spokesman Alain Bernal.

The main threat of this shortage is to those living in sub-Saharan Africa, where 30,000 people a year die from snake bites. Envenomation by snakes is primarily a problem for those in poorer rural populations, who already have a limited access to medicine, due to cost and remoteness. It is these communities that will bear the brunt of this lack of anti-venom.

Unfortunately, according to the WHO, donors are largely uninterested in funding snakebite programs.

18 Nov 2014

Baby Elephant Attacked by Fourteen Lions

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Filmed at Norman Carr Safaris‘ Chinzombo Camp in Zambia.

14 Jul 2014

Virginia Father Claims Bit of Africa as Kingdom For His Daughter

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Heaton
Jeremiah Heaton and Princess Emily display the flag of the Kingdom of North Sudan.

The Telegraph reports that the Age of European Reconnaissance is not yet over.

A father from Virginia has gone to extreme lengths for his daughter, flying to Africa and claiming a “kingdom” between Egypt and Sudan so that she can be an actual princess.

Jeremiah Heaton began his unusual quest for the unclaimed piece of land sandwiched between the two countries after making a promise to seven-year-old daughter Emily that she would one day be royalty.

After reaching the desert region of Bir Tawil in June, the father-of-three planted a flag his children had designed, and made the first steps towards claiming the land.

On his return Mr Heaton and wife made a crown for their daughter and asked friends and family to refer to her as Princess Emily.

Her kingdom covers about 800 square miles of desert that has never been claimed by Sudan or Egypt.

Mr Heaton found Bir Tawil, one of the last unclaimed pieces of land on the planet, after searching for how he could fulfill his promise to Emily.

Several attempts to claim ownership of the region have been made online, but Mr Heaton believes that by actually traveling to the site and planting the flag gave his claim an edge.

Read the whole thing.

26 Feb 2014

Anti-Hunting Bigots Cost Namibian Conservation a Lot of Money

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Black rhinoceros (Diceros bicornis)

The rhinoceros is a traditional member (along with the elephant, lion, leopard, and Cape buffalo) of the dangerous game Big Five of African big game hunting. The rhino, and especially the black rhino, has been off the available game list for years and years, due to reduced numbers of animals as the result of their continual persecution by poachers. Rhinoceros horns bring lots of money on the black market, being in demand in Arab states as the traditional prestige material for dagger (jambiya) handles and in even more demand in the Orient for use as an aphrodisiac.

The Dallas Safari Club, an affluent and elite organization of experienced hunters, recently made a dramatic effort to do something for the black rhino. They arranged with the government of Namibia for a special permit to be issued to allow one hunter to harvest one black rhino, the permit to be auctioned with the proceeds going for rhino conservation. The animal to be harvested would be a carefully-selected aged bull and a problem animal needing to be harvested for the good of the remainder of the herd. This auction was meant to illustrate in the clearest possible way the direct link between sport hunting and the conservation of endangered game species.

But, despite the generosity of those Texas hunters, a vicious publicity campaign vilifying the auction and its participants and finally threats of violence, was believed to have significantly depressed the bidding, resulting in a much smaller than intended conservation payment.

Diana Rupp, at Sports Afield, told the story in this month’s issue.

In January, at a banquet at the Dallas Safari Club (DSC) convention, something historic and important happened in the annals of hunting as a conservation tool. A permit to hunt a black rhino was auctioned to the highest bidder, fetching a cool $350,000–100 percent of which went straight back into the rhino conservation program in the nation of Namibia, where the hunt will take place.

You probably heard about the controversy surrounding the auction. In the real world of scientific wildlife management, there actually wasn’t much controversy at all about the idea–every important international scientific wildlife organization, including the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS), Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), and the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), agreed that auctioning the permit was a sound idea for conservation and that the money it would raise would be of tremendous importance to Namibia’s rhino conservation program. The hunt would target a specific old male—one that was past its breeding prime and had become dangerous to the young rhinos in its herd—and the money raised from hunting this single, selected rhino would contribute to saving the overall black rhino population.

Namibia hoped that auctioning a permit in the USA would push the price of the permit (and the money going back to its conservation program) to extraordinarily high levels. Unfortunately, it also brought the antihunters out of the woodwork. No amount of explaining the science behind using carefully controlled hunting as a conservation tool could placate the screaming masses who poured their energies into thousands of virulent Internet posts. They were not attempting to raise money to help rhinos–far from it. They were only attempting to stop the hunt.

The online attacks escalated into death threats to DSC members and their families. Whoever purchased the auction tag, it was made clear, would be the target of threats not just to themselves, but to their families and businesses.

Understandably, many potential high-dollar bidders pulled out. You can’t blame them for not wanting to put their family members and employees at risk. And suddenly a tag that at one point might have sold for as much as a million dollars had almost no takers.

Fortunately, several brave and generous DSC supporters stepped into the breach, and the hunter who did purchase the tag (for what is still a record-setting amount), should be considered a conservation hero. One of the loudest detractors of the rhino hunt was Bob Barker, the anti-hunting former host of The Price is Right. Responding to him on CNN’s Piers Morgan Live a few nights after the auction, the hunter said he wanted to tell Bob that, with regard to the rhino permit, “the price was wrong.”

He was correct. This auction should have raised a lot more for conservation, and the only reason it didn’t is because of the shortsighted tactics of closed-minded people who don’t understand wildlife management.

25 Mar 2013

David Chancellor’s “Hunters”

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South African photographer David Chancellor’s new book on African Big Game trophy hunters, Hunters was scheduled for publication on March 15, but must have been delayed since Amazon does not have copies yet.

Slate recently published a preliminary review, offering a sample of Chancellor’s photographs which are certainly worth looking at.

Big Game trophy hunting is an extremely expensive activity, and its end result is commonly the personal trophy room, a grandiose display of taxidermy testifying to levels of wealth and superbia which almost inevitably provoke a negative reaction. Today’s popular culture is pathologically hostile to both, and is even more predictably hostile to hunting, especially the hunting of large, charismatic, and commonly classified as “endangered” Big Game species. So the cards are obviously stacked against the human subjects of Chancellor’s photography from the beginning.

I get the impression that Chancellor succumbed a bit by contagion to some understanding of the hunting instinct, but his careful phraseology seems determined to maintain an “objective,” supposedly neutral, perspective on all this.

I suppose the photographer must have found himself on the horns of a grave dilemma. On the one hand, it would obviously be totally unacceptable to the community of fashion to be found unreservedly celebrating killing animals for sport, and, worse, for trophies! Yet, who but the members of the Dallas Safari Club and others of the same ilk are going to be buyers of such a book? Describing his subject matter in terms agreeable to PETA would not be such a good idea either. So Mr. Chancellor is clearly obliged to walk a very careful prose line.

David Chancellor’s book, Hunters, is a collection of work from photographer, who is based in South Africa, on the world of tourist trophy hunting.

“For many years I’ve been interested in the increasing overpopulation of man and how that clashes with wildlife,” Chancellor said about his initial interest in photographing Hunters.

Hunters examines the actual hunts as well as the end result, where hunters return to their homes filled with their “trophies.”

He also examines local African communities who benefit from the large amounts of money hunters pay to go on these hunts. Chancellor’s images bring to life a hot topic that has divided hunters, conservationists, and animal-rights activists. He isn’t making any judgments about any of the groups and hopes his images will allow for a better understanding of the process from all sides.

“I was working with hunters who were saying hunting and conservation go hand-in-hand, and that was when things got interesting to me,” he said.

To gain access to the hunters, Chancellor needed the help of individuals who accompanied mostly Americans and Eastern Europeans on hunts around Africa. …

Chancellor quickly discovered while trailing the hunters that he needed to be present with them throughout the entire length of the hunt in order to create the most accurate and emotional images.

“You need to be there the second after they’ve done what they’re going to do because that is the moment they will react to an animal after a kill,” Chancellor said. …

To complete the cycle, Chancellor wanted to photograph the trophy rooms of the more seasoned hunters and spent time in Dallas with members of the Dallas Safari Club.

“I found myself documenting these guys who say they’ve hunted for 25 years and want to hunt a leopard or lion, and I photographed them … but at best what I’ll produce from that hunt is an individual with a lion … the only way (to complete the book) was to go back to where he actually has all of his trophies and produce a portrait that would complete the task, to show his entire career in one portrait,” Chancellor said.

23 Aug 2012

Shooting An Elephant

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An elephant hunting video in which the professional hunter very competently stops an unexpected charge. I’d call that a pretty good moment of excitement. It would be nice to know in what country they were hunting, what caliber rifle (probably a .458) that professional was carrying, but they never properly annotate these.

And, yes, Virginia, there are a number of African countries in which elephants can legally be hunted, in which elephant numbers are excessive, elephant populations are rising, and in which elephants create serious problems by coming into conflict with human beings. Trophy fees for elephants are extremely high, and the monies raised fund the conservation departments which control poaching.

Poor jumbo did bite the dust but, before shedding big salty tears, do take note that in the seconds prior to his demise he was advancing purposefully on the humans in the video with lethal intent. The elephant initiated hostilities against people who had every bit as much right to be walking in that African bush as he did.

Shooting a charging elephant at close range is an experience most of us will never have. In many cases, I expect just as well, because not everybody could shoot as fast and as straight as that professional hunter.

31 Jan 2012

Large Croc

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The Portuguese language news story says:
African toy …… Captured and killed near the border with Angola in Namibia.

16 Sep 2011

Arabs: Always Angry, Always Crazy

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Strategy Page is probably too optimistic in thinking that there is any real possibility of Arabs ever choosing democracy and secular modernity over Islamic dictatorship.

In the last decade, the world has learned what Israelis have known for a long time; Arabs and their governments tend to favor self-destructive policies. Western nations have generally ignored this madness, or excused each instance as a momentary lapse in good judgment. But this bad behavior has spawned Islamic terrorism, and sustains it. Many Arabs believe what al Qaeda preaches, that the world should be ruled by an Islamic religious dictatorship, and that this must be achieved by any means necessary (including force, against non-Moslems, and Moslems who don’t agree.) This sort of thinking has been popular with Islamic conservatives since Islam first appeared in the sixth century. Since then, it has periodically flared up into major outbreaks of religious inspired violence. But that’s not the only problem. Arabs, in particular, sustain these outbursts with their fondness for paranoid fantasies and an exaggerated sense of persecution and entitlement.

Read the whole thing.

21 Jun 2011

Peter John Kingsley-Heath, December 4, 1926 – May 12, 2011

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Kingsley-Heath with lioness shot in Ethiopia for killing livestock.

John Kingsley-Heath was educated at Monkton Combe School and Trinity College, Cambridge. He was commissioned into the Welsh Guards at age 18. He was wounded during service in both France and Palestine during WWII. After the war, he joined the Colonial Administration in East Africa. His passionate interest in wildlife and travel led him to hunt extensively in nearly all the countries of the African Continent. He became an Honorary Game Warden and Park Warden in several countries and played a major part in opening Botswana to tourism. He accompanied many famous people on safari and was a director of Ker & Downey Safaris and Safari South. He was closely involved in securing some of the extraordinary photography in the films ‘Hatari’ and ‘Sammy Going South’. He was a licensed professional hunter for 45 years and a bush pilot for 30 with some 5,000 flying hours, and continued to lead safaris at the age of 80. He was Director of Field Operations of the East African Wildlife Heritage Fund and donated to that organization the proceeds of the sale of his rifles at Christie’s on April 24, 1996.

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The Telegraph‘s obituary recalls Kingsley-Heath’s hand-to-hand encounter with a lion:

[I]n August 1961, when Kingsley-Heath was leading a private safari along the Kisigo river in Tanganyika[, f]rom inside a blind (a shelter for hunters), he turned to see a huge, maned lion crouching behind him not 15ft away. As it gathered itself to spring, Kingsley-Heath shot it, and the lion fled. He and his gunbearers gave chase and found the wounded creature lying on its side, breathing heavily.

It was down, but not out. When Kingsley-Heath’s client opened fire, the lion made a single bound of 22ft towards the two men. Kingsley-Heath dropped to the ground and smashed the barrel of his .470 rifle over the animal’s head, breaking the stock at the pistol grip; the lion staggered. As his gunbearers and client ran for cover Kingsley-Heath struggled on to his elbows to get clear.

“Too late,” he recalled, “the lion was upon me, I smelt his foul breath as, doubling my legs up to protect my stomach, I hit him in the mouth with my right fist as hard as I could. His mouth must have been partly open as my fist went straight in.”
With a single jerk of its head, the lion broke Kingsley-Heath’s right arm; as he punched it with his left fist, the lion bit clean through his left wrist, breaking the left arm and leaving the hand hanging by its sinews. Next it clamped his foot in its jaws, crushing the bones in it by twisting his ankle.

One of the gunbearers arrived, threw himself on the animal’s back and stabbed it repeatedly with a hunting knife. With Kingsley-Heath’s foot still locked in its mouth, the lion was finally shot dead. The client reappeared, and with his rifle blew the creature’s jaws apart so that Kingsley-Heath’s foot could be removed.

“I was bleeding heavily … shaking uncontrollably, felt cold, and was likely to lose consciousness,” he wrote later. “I knew that if I did so, I might die.” Instead, after an agonising and protracted medical evacuation, followed by surgery and a bout of malaria, he eventually recovered.

15 Oct 2010

Thought-Provoking Map

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Who realized that Madagascar is as large as Britain?

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