(Montana State University) In an effort to prevent some of the world's most lethal diseases, an international research team spanning five continents and led by Montana State University will study bats in Australia, Bangladesh, Madagascar and Ghana.
ZIMBABWE international defender Kevin Moyo has been ruled out of FC Platinum’s decisive leg of their Champions League preliminary round encounter against CNaPS Sport of Madagascar at Mandava this afternoon after failing to recover on time.
Dr. Vikash Tatayah, the conservation director of the Mauritian Wildlife Foundation, has a decidedly morbid picture hanging on his office wall. It’s a copy of a wood cutting from 1604, etched just a few years after Dutch explorers first arrived on this secluded, unpopulated island in the middle of the Indian Ocean. In the foreground, sailors lure Mauritian grey parrots from the treetops, then grab them by the wings. Further down the beach is pile of dodo corpses, with more birds being clubbed to death beside them. Ships wait on the horizon, harbingers of the destruction to come. Less than a century later, the dodo would be extinct.
Tatayah’s office décor is appropriate for someone devoting their career to saving the island’s remaining native species. But it stands in stark contrast to the near-ubiquitous image of the dodo, displayed across Mauritius, as a kind of jolly national mascot. Its roly-poly, beaked visage is given place of pride on the country’s currency and customs stamps and national seal. The dodo lends its name to pizza parlors and coffee shops, its likeness to beach towels and backpacks. There are giant dodo statues in public parks and mall food courts. Countless tourist shops hawk tiny carved dodos for a few dollars. If you’d like a more rarefied version, you can pick up a pair of figurines from Patrick Marvos, an upscale jewelry shop near the botanical gardens, in sterling silver, price upon request.
Despite the polar images of the dodos dying on a beach and the dodos grinning in a shopping mall, it would be reductive to plot Mauritius’s relationship to the creature along a binary axis of shame and pride. The dodo has become a symbol of national identity in Mauritius, a kind of synecdoche for the island and its relationship to its colonial past.
Some Mauritians traveling abroad find the extinct giant pigeon is the only thing people know about their homeland. In 2015, Mauritian Rick Bonnier came to the United Status as part of a State Department exchange program for young African leaders. On his travels through North America, he often encountered people who couldn’t find Mauritius on a map.
“I told them ‘the dodo birds,’” he says. “And then it kind of comes back.”
Though the dodo may be now synonymous with a kind of cursed stupidity (“going the way of the dodo” is a cliché on Mauritius as much as it is elsewhere) it did not waddle dumbly into extinction. They were naïve, but not without reason; after all, they had never met a predator. There were, aside from fruit bats, no native mammals on Mauritius. The Dutch did become dodo predators, but contrary to the popular perception, did not hunt the bird into extinction. When they did eat them, it was not very happily; the meat was, according to contemporaneous reports, tough and unappetizing. The Dutch called it “walghvoghel,” which translates roughly as “tasteless” or “sickly” bird, because the flesh was so unctuous that it made the sailors ill.
The real problem was less the humans than what they brought with them. Cats, rats, monkeys, pigs, and other animals the colonists imported by accident or design were likely the ones who killed the bird off by feasting on its eggs and competing with it for food and resources. At a time when species around the world are facing similar threats, the dodo remains a bracing metaphor for ecological degradation—just not the way that we think. As is often the case, the dodo died not primarily from overt human villainy—blood-thirsty sailors thwacking birds on the beach—but rather by the all too human failure to consider the secondary effects of our actions—stowaway cats and rats—until it is too late to reverse them.
Dr. Tatayah and his organization have taken the lesson of the dodo to heart. Overshadowing the cautionary woodcut in Dr. Tatayah’s office are images of the other species Mauritians have brought back from the brink, with their growing numbers written beneath their pictures. But humans are still driving creatures to extinction on Mauritius, or at least coming close. Martine Goder, who works with Dr. Tatayah on the Island Restoration program, explains that even today, with biosecurity checks and public education, human settlement still poses dire, if accidental, threats to native ecosystems. Within the past decade, for example, shrews snuck in with construction materials onto Flat Island off the north coast of Mauritius, home to the last remaining population of orange tail skinks. The reptiles are tiny, skinny as an adult’s thumb with a long, snaking body that fades from brown to bright orange along their eponymous tail.
“Within 15 months,” Goder says, “all the reptiles had disappeared.” Conservationists managed to save some remnant of the population that used to number in the tens of thousands and move them to a nearby predator-free island. “But if this hadn’t been done,” Goder says, “we would have lost a species in 2011 in Mauritius.”
The loss of the skink would have carried a different emotional valence than the disappearance of the dodo. Like the dodo, it would have died not so much through direct human villainy as a kind of carelessness or neglect. But it would have been the “fault,” so to say, of the Mauritians themselves, rather than distant colonists. Perhaps this is why Goder and others, even those in the conservation world, don’t have that same ferocity when discussing the dodo as they do other Mauritian species.
Sidharta Runganaikaloo co-founded SYAH (Mauritius), an environmental NGO, on the island and acknowledges the dodo bird as a symbol of her country. She says when she first saw a link to The Dodo, the American site providing, in its words, “visually compelling, entertaining, highly shareable animal videos and stories,” she at first assumed it had to be a new Mauritian news site, based purely on the name.
But even with the close association between her country and this creature, she still feels a kind of distance.
“I’ve learned about the dodo in history class,” Runganaikaloo says. “You know that it’s the national animal of the country and… it’s just that. At the end of the day, I don’t feel any emotional belonging.”
Mauritians are all the descendants of immigrants. There were no ancestral myths about the dodo, no home remedies made from their flesh, no superstitions around their sightings, no one passing down any stories at all, other than European colonists arguing over whether or not it existed.
This dearth of a mythological record is because, when the Dutch touched down in 1598, they found an uninhabited island, unusual in the dark history of colonialism. Mauritius wasn’t fully settled until 1638, when it became an outpost of the Dutch East India Company. Their plan was to harvest the ebony forests by the sweat of imported slave labor, mainly from Madagascar, since there were no native Mauritians, aside from the forests and the animals, available for exploitation.
The last dodo sightings were reported in the 1680s. Less than 30 years later, the Dutch abandoned the island. By the time the French claimed Mauritius in 1715, the dodo was gone. Even the descriptions that survived were not granted much respect: The bird’s location was so remote and its physical appearance so unusual, that people dismissed sightings of it as mere fantasy, on par with “the Griffin or the Phoenix,” as the British naturalist H.E. Strickland notes in his 1848 book The Dodo and its Kindred. It was only in his account, written well after the British had seized Mauritius, that the dodo’s disappearance was truly recognized.
“These singular birds,” he writes, “[…] furnish the first clearly attested instances of the extinction of organic species through human agency.”
Though Strickland ultimately couched his description in the language of religion, it was still a significant admission of human guilt. While the dodo was not the first species we had eradicated, it was the first one to enter, albeit belatedly, the popular consciousness as a source of human shame.
“This is the bird of conservation,” says Dr. Tatayah, the Mauritian ecologist who keeps the aforementioned 17th-century woodcut pinned up by his desk. “Previous to that it was ‘nature is abundant, nature provides for man, nature is bountiful.’ But this was the first time that man realized well, actually you can drive things to extinction.”
Perhaps it is the distancing effect of Mauritius’s colonial history—the idea that “they” killed the dodo and not “us”—that makes the popular image of the bird so mordantly jolly. Perhaps any animal that is dead for that long inevitably feels too distant to elicit much feeling. But there was one dodo reference, out of the dozens one sees across the island, that may best encapsulate the island’s relationship with its original resident.
At the end of the tour through the L’Aventure du Sucre, the museum in Mauritius dedicated to the long history of sugar cultivation on the island, there is a cartoon. In it, a tourist couple stares, panel by panel, at meeting places for Hindus, Muslims, Creoles, Chinese, whites, the full melting pot of Mauritian heritage. In the final panel, seemingly exasperated, they ask a man where they can find “the real Mauritians.” He tells them, in so many words, that they’re looking at them. There are no “real Mauritians.” That’s just a sales pitch for tourists.
But behind him, a little gray dog pipes up: “Les vraies Mauriciens ont été mangés par les Hollandais il y a longtemps.”
The real Mauritians were eaten by the Dutch a long time ago.
Good vanilla is more precious than most gemstones right now. Believe it or not, demand for this everyday extract is skyrocketing while supply of the genuine article is plummeting due to devastating cyclones in Madagascar, poor harvests, and labor shortages. Some unsavory companies are resorting to questionable shortcuts, using spent, ground vanilla bean pods to… Continue reading →
Madagascar presidential hopeful Marc Ravalomanana has said he is confident of closing the gap for a second round victory over his rival who narrowly beat him in the first leg of presidential polls. Andry Rajoelina got 39.23 percent of votes and Ravalomanana 35.35 percent in last month's poll, according to final results, setting up the pair for a ...
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Zimbabwe international defender Kevin Moyo has been ruled out of FC Platinum’s decisive leg of their Champions League preliminary round encounter against CNaPS Sport of Madagascar at Mandava this afternoon after failing to recover on time.
El tono de las ballenas azules cambia según la temporada
Un reciente estudio descubrió que las ballenas azules han cambiado sus hábitos de canto durante años y que el hielo marino se está rompiendo.
Los investigadores que estudian los cantos de las ballenas descubrieron que las ballenas azules macho, las hembras no cantan, han ido disminuyendo poco a poco durante décadas. No están solas. Las ballenas de aleta y las ballenas pigmeas de Madagascar también han estado bajando el tono de su canto, descubrieron los científicos.
A la Manufacture de Chocolat Alain Ducasse, l’empreinte olfactive de la torréfaction des fèves éveille les réminiscences heureuses de l’enfance. Le savoir-faire des grands maîtres chocolatiers et la modernité d’une inspiration sans cesse renouvelée sont célébrés. Dans l’atelier traditionnel ouvert sur la boutique, l’artisan dispense son grand art, de la torréfaction des fèves au façonnage, sous l’œil fasciné des visiteurs. Ce lieu magique et singulier tout embaumé des parfums de cacao nous révèle des secrets de confection, dans un ballet rigoureux, ode aux sens. Le Chocolat Alain Ducasse revendique la singularité du travail à la main dont les bonbons et autres divines créations gardent le souvenir dans l’imperfection des formes. Moment privilégié, les fêtes de fin d’année sont l’occasion de redécouvrir la virtuosité des artisans de la gastronomie, d’aiguiser nos curiosités en s’ouvrant aux délectations des nouveautés. Pour Noël, Le Chocolat Alain Ducasse dévoile une collection aux lignes épurées placée sous le signe d’une intense gourmandise.
Les créations de Noël du Chocolat Alain Ducasse évoquent la quête perpétuelle du grand chef étoilé qui se passionne pour les origines, la variété des terroirs et les identités gustatives. A la Manufacture, le choix des fèves de cacao, du Venezuela, de Madagascar, de Papouasie, du Pérou, de Trinidad, du Vietnam, et la rigoureuse sélection des grands crus répondent à un souci d’authenticité. Le travail du torréfacteur, qui œuvre rue de la Roquette à partir des matières brutes, révèle les parfums, les arômes, sublime les infinies nuances de ces ingrédients d’exception.
La collection des fêtes de cette belle maison explore les codes traditionnels des fêtes nuancés de touches résolument contemporaines. Le design élégamment épuré des Sapins rappelle à la fois le roi des forêts et le symbole de la France. Cet hexagone de chocolat, noir ou lait au choix, révèle un onctueux praliné amande crumble châtaigne, ébouriffant jeu de textures et subtilité des accords. Déclinée en deux tailles, cette douceur est à partager ou à déguster en solo sans aucun remord ! Reprenant la géométrie de leurs grands frères, les petits sapins en coffret de douze plantent le décor d’une forêt de bouchées pralinées.
L’iconique étoile de Noël se décline en Chocolat noir du Cameroun 75% ou Chocolat au lait Madagascar lacté 45%. Enserrée dans un délicat sachet auquel est attachée une petite carte, celle-ci trouvera une place de choix parmi les décorations du sapin.
Succès jamais démenti, l’arbre de Noël entre cette année dans sa sixième édition. Vendus à plat dans une boîte et accompagné de gants blancs pour le montage, les disques de chocolat parsemés de muesli, céréales bio et fruits séchés, sont à assembler soi-même. Cette création exclusive de Pierre Tachon pour la Manufacture, sorte de meccano cacaoté, ne manquera pas d’éveiller l’enfant en chacun de nous. Le bloc de Noël Mendiant à partager, chocolat noir ou lait au praliné amandes, garni en abondance de fruits secs et confits, se présente dans un coffret en bois assorti d’un maillet pour briser la monumentale tablette.
La collection de Noël s’affirme au diapason gourmand des créations classiques de la maison. Texture infiniment fondante, les truffes origines ou truffes natures sont enrobées de chocolat puis saupoudrées de poudre de cacao. Leur forme irrégulière évoque le travail et le savoir-faire de l'artisan. Leur pendant parfumé, intensément gourmand, se décline en trois recettes originales, Ganache noire, Praliné Orange et Ganache Vanille. Les tablettes grands crus, pureté et provenances rares, célèbrent le cacao. Origine, tradition, mendiant, fourrées, bonbons pralinés, ganaches, alliances subtiles, fondant, croquant, les bonbons du Chocolat Alain Ducasse sauront enchanter vos fêtes.
Créations de Noël Le Chocolat Alain Ducasse - Sapin chocolat noir ou lait : sapin individuel 70g - 14 euros ou sapin 6/8 parts 335g - 48 euros - Coffret de petits sapins 12 pièces - 190g : 32 euros - Etoile chocolat noir ou au lait - 25g : 5 euros - Arbre de Noël à monter soi-même, chocolat noir ou lait - 480g : 58 euros - Bloc de Noël Mendiant à partager, chocolat noir ou lait - 1100g : 125 euros - Coffret truffes origine, 27 pièces - 275g : 30 euros - Coffret truffes, 24 pièces - 255g : 31 euros - Coffret truffes origines, 15 pièces - 155g : 19 euros - Coffret truffes, 15 pièces - 155g : 20 euros
La Manufacture de Chocolat Alain Ducasse 40 rue de la Roquette - paris 11 Tél : 01 48 05 82 86 Horaires : du mardi au samedi de 10h30 à 19h Ouvertures exceptionnelles pour les fêtes - Dimanche 9 décembre de 10H30 À 19H00 - Du vendredi 14 au dimanche 23 décembre, ouverture tous les jours - Dimanche 16 décembre de 9h30 à 20h - Lundi 24 décembre de 9h30 à 17h - Dimanche 30 décembre de 10h30 à 19h - Lundi 31 décembre de 10h30 à 17h
Join Nekea Frisbee, massage therapist, for a talk on Tuesday, December 11th at 11am. at West Falmouth Library on the benefits of massage for all ages and many medical conditions. Free. The Library is located at 575 West Falmouth Highway.
Best-selling author Paul Kemprecos will present a free talk at West Falmouth Library on Thursday, Dec. 13 at 6PM. Kemprecos is the author of the Aristotle “Soc” Socarides mysteries. His latest, the 8th in the series, is “Shark Bait”. Books will be available for purchase. The Library is located at 575 West Falmouth Highway.
Join us at West Falmouth Library for "Bertha Goes Whaling" - A Choral Reading on Thursday, December 20th at 5:30pm. Bertha May Hamblin Boyce was a West Falmouth legend. She joined her mother and father (along with her little brother) aboard a whaling ship at age 5. Her mother gave birth to another brother on the whaler somewhere between Africa and Madagascar the day before Bertha turned 6. Enjoy “hard gingerbread” (her recipe) and cider after the reading. This event was made possible in part with grant funds from the Institute of Museum and Library Services and administered by the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners. The Library is located at 575 West Falmouth Highway.
FC Platinum will be looking to fire themselves into the next round of the Caf Champions League qualifiers when they host CNaPs of Madagascar in their second round preliminary tie at Mandava Stadium this afternoon.
In Episode 42 we head to Madagascar, as Steve/Megatron joins TFG1Mike once again. DISCLAIMER: Neither Host has seen Madagascar 3, as it is still in theaters, or not yet on DVD. We do however say that the third film might be the best outta the franchise Geeks: Mike “TFG1″ Blanchard Steve “Megatron” Phillips Subscribe to ...
Un joc decisiv al Căpitanilor va face ca una dintre echipele din Ultimul Trib să dispară. Căpitanii care vor ieși pe locurile 1 și 2 la proba cu cea mai mare miză vor putea să își aleagă noi coechipieri din cea de-a treia echipă, astfel că toți concurenții din Madagascar au început deja să își […]