The Right to Ruin

News of the Kangaluwi mines, owned by a Dubai conglomerate, reasserting its ‘right’ to ruin the Zambezi National Park, the southern portion of the Zambezi River Basin and all subsequent rivers flowing to the Indian Ocean as well all the land in between is beyond distressing. Sign the petition to stop this carnage now. InContinue reading “The Right to Ruin”

Beautiful Ankole Cattle

I first met Dr. James Patrick Manyenye Ntozi back in 1989, when he defied the conventions of his department to recruit me as a lecturer in Makerere University’s Institute of Statistics and Applied Economics. I was the only woman and the only non-African on that faculty and he did his best to make this brashContinue reading “Beautiful Ankole Cattle”

Cobalt in the Congo? Where have you been, New York Times?

You know I love you, New York Times, but I had to wonder after reading yesterday’s front page, five-column story “Power Struggle Over Cobalt Rattles Clean Energy Revolution” where have you been all these years? The coverage is great, but what took you so long? While you’re pointing fingers at American officials, diplomats and politiciansContinue reading “Cobalt in the Congo? Where have you been, New York Times?”

Numba Your Days!

“Numba Your Days!” the small man thundered from the makeshift pulpit, exhorting World Vision staff in Zambia to come to grips with the fact that our time on earth is limited, so we’d better make the best of it while we can. I was transfixed by the man’s rich, resonant bass voice and the forceContinue reading “Numba Your Days!”

Back in the Game, Thanks to Bob Brezsny: Master Healer, Subversive Stargazer, All-Around Friend of Mine!

In 1997, renown astrologer Bob Brezsny invited his followers to mail him a symbol of their most exquisite pain. 900+ fans responded with everything from Dear-John letters to bottles of whisky. When he immolated their contributions in a beachside bonfire, many reported that it expunged their wounds. We all have psychological wounds, sometimes more thanContinue reading “Back in the Game, Thanks to Bob Brezsny: Master Healer, Subversive Stargazer, All-Around Friend of Mine!”

The Father of American Taxidermy Tackles the World’s Largest Elephant

Jumbo the Elephant is DEAD!!! Struck by a train! Ringling Brothers is wringing its hands! A star attraction is gone! But wait! Not forever! P.T. Barnum, who’d made $1.5 million in the first year after he bought Jumbo for $10,000 from the London Zoo, never missed a beat. A dead elephant could be exhibited justContinue reading “The Father of American Taxidermy Tackles the World’s Largest Elephant”

God is in the Details, Even in Taxidermy

It’s critical in taxidermy that every detail be exactly right. It takes years of study and a huge commitment to craft to be a great taxidermist. The slightest off-note will send people running from — worst of all, laughing at – your work. Unless, of course, if you’re into the whimsy of what Robert MarburyContinue reading “God is in the Details, Even in Taxidermy”

Is it Real? It Sure Looks It!

Bernadette’s in a tizzy. There’s a speck of dust on the spotted fawn’s eyeball! She notices another bit of dust on the roebuck. “Good God!” She curses. “How did that get in the case? I just cleaned!” She may sound like your average housewife, but she isn’t. When she goes home each day from herContinue reading “Is it Real? It Sure Looks It!”

The Maiden and the Lynx

After 20 years, Flag Acres Zoo in Hoosick, NY closed its doors in 2008. Bernie Hoffman, now Museum Educator with the Pember Museum in Granville, NY, was the keeper. Not your ordinary pet shelter. There were lions, tigers, and bears. Two lynx. Jaguars, monkeys, exotic birds and apes. Most of the animals found homes atContinue reading “The Maiden and the Lynx”

Spider-Man Has Nothing on Me!

My friend Lorraine wants to know why I didn’t have carpal tunnel surgery on both hands so I can shoot webs from both wrists just like Spider-Man. Good question! Once my stitches were removed, the slit on the underside of my right wrist, while barely visible, might yet let me shoot lopsided webs and hangContinue reading “Spider-Man Has Nothing on Me!”