Word association time: I say "peat", you say… "Scotland", right? Not necessarily! Peat is found around the world, including in many African countries
. Earlier this year, scientists trekked through a Congo swamp, braving gorillas, elephants, crocodiles, and more. Their reward? Discovery of a peat bog the size of England
. The team estimates
that the bog covers between 100,000 and 200,000 square kilometers (40,000 to 80,000 sq miles), with the peat-layer reaching up to 7m (23ft) beneath the ground.
posted by Lexica
on Jul 11, 2014 -
"Ariane Kambu Mbenza grew up with her uncle in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. When she was seven years old, he asked her to be in charge of preparing food. Sure, Uncle. No problem. She had grown up watching her mother cook and played kitchen plenty of times. "In Africa, you know how to cook automatically." Now a mother herself, Ariane showed me how to make what in Congo would be called, " Riz aux legumes avec poisson grillé avec la sauce tomate à l'ail." Text Via
followed by Congolese mini Waffles
as seen in the photo in the linked newspaper.
posted by infini
on May 31, 2013 -
A trip like this may seem strange to you. You could reasonably accuse us of a kind of exoticism. But people travel for lots of reasons. There’s beach tourism, sex tourism, wine tourism. This trip, for me, offered something a lot more interesting: a chance to feed our long fascination with the idea of pre-agrarian society. For 40,000 years, from the rise of behaviorally modern humans until the development of agriculture 9,000 years ago, all of our ancestors had lived somewhat like the Mbuti do today. More than anything, Dan and Chris and I just wanted a glimpse of what that past might have looked like.
Of Men, Okapi, and Rebels
, or, looking for Mbuti hunter-gatherers in the Okapi Wildlife Reserve.
posted by the man of twists and turns
on Jan 1, 2013 -
Perched high up above the Thames in downtown London
every month this past year a different writer has spent four days living in a replica of the Roi des Belges, the boat Marlow travels up the Congo in Joseph Conrad's The Heart of Darkness
. Each author would write a short text during their stay "which explores London, rivers, the work of Joseph Conrad, or even all three." They would be visited on the last day by a journalist from The Guardian who recorded them reading their essay, poem or short story. Among the poets, historians and novelists were Adonis, Jeanette Winterson, Teju Cole, Michael Ondaatje and Kamila Shamsie. These recordings, each prefaced by a short interview, are all available on the Guardian website, to stream or download. Below the cut there is a link to each recording, with a short description. [more inside]
posted by Kattullus
on Dec 31, 2012 -
"Decades ago, the Mbuti typically sold about half the meat they captured; now they sell nearly every carcass, saving only the prized entrails and heads for themselves. The hunt, in essence, has devolved into an all-out commercial endeavor, staged not for subsistence, but to feed growing regional markets. And the impact is clear.
posted by Scientist
on Nov 13, 2012 -
A new monkey species, known to locals as the 'lesula' (Cercopithecus lomamiensis), has been discovered
in a largely unexploited rainforest within the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).
posted by Wordshore
on Sep 12, 2012 -
"The Act of Killing
is about killers who have won, and the sort of society they have built. Unlike ageing Nazis or Rwandan génocidaires, Anwar Congo and his friends have not been forced by history to admit they participated in crimes against humanity. Instead, they have written their own triumphant history, becoming role models for millions of young paramilitaries." [more inside]
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates
on Sep 1, 2012 -
Mount Nyiragongo in the Democratic Republic of Congo is one of the world's largest active volcanoes. The Boston Globe presents photographer Oliver Grunewald's amazing photo essay
of a June 2010 expedition to the lava lake sheltered inside the crater. [more inside]
posted by Joe in Australia
on Mar 5, 2011 -
Democratic Republic of Congo: Lubumbashi to Kinshasa.
We made the decision to tackle this part of Democratic Republic of Congo when we were in Egypt. It would take us about 4 months to drive from Cairo down to the Zambia/DRC border. We immediately started our quest for information. It would soon become clear that very little information was available. We did not know of a single traveler that did this in the last 20 years. We knew of two who tried (both on motorbikes) in recent years. One crashed after a few days and got evacuated. The other got arrested and deported. Both didn't get very far.
So we had to be creative and think of other sources of information. If there is one thing you can find anywhere in the world it is Coca-Cola. They should know how to get their goods in the country. We had no response via email, so we called them up. Their answer was pretty short: They do not have a distribution network outside the major cities in Congo. And it proved to be true, Congo is the first country we have visited were Coca-cola is hard to get once you leave
the major cities.
The moral of the story was: nobody knew anything about the road conditions.
posted by bluesky43
on Nov 15, 2010 -
A Glimpse of the World
All across Africa, new tracks are being laid, highways built, ports deepened, commercial contracts signed
-- all on an unprecedented scale, and led by China, whose appetite for commodities
. Do China's grand designs promise the transformation, at last, of a star-crossed continent? Or merely its exploitation? The author
travels deep into the heart of Africa, searching for answers. [more inside]
posted by kliuless
on Apr 26, 2010 -
General Laurent Nkunda
is a Tutsi warlord in Katanga
who was recently interviewed
by the Huffington Post. The BBC
believe he is nothing more than your standard African rebel with a long list of atrocities to his name. An opinion supported by the UN and some human rights groups. The War Nerd
has come to his defense
, however, suggesting that he's just angered the UN by refusing to disarm and allow the Hutu "refugees" from the Rwandan Genocide to terrorize the lands under his control. [more inside]
posted by Pseudology
on Jan 11, 2009 -
The other day I happened to come upon a music video that is just so grooving, so human and so real
, that, well, it moved
me, darling. Just check it out
. After watching the clip, I learned that these guys are mostly disabled by polio (that's why several of them are in those rather unusual wheelchairs) and that they were living on the grounds of the Kinshasa zoo, which is where the clip was filmed. Then I learned that last year they were seeking to bring a lawsuit against the UN
. Then I found some other clips
. And now I am a major
fan of Staff Benda Bilili
. [more inside]
posted by flapjax at midnite
on Apr 26, 2008 -
The full-on, amped-up sanza
sounds of Konono No. 1
have been celebrated here at MeFi not once
, and they are indeed wonderful. Björk
's been working with them a bit lately, too. But let's go back a few decades, and take a listen to the unplugged version of this type of music: mesdames et messiurs, Papa Kourand
, the grand old man of the sanza! [more inside]
posted by flapjax at midnite
on Oct 10, 2007 -
I am a Swiss Banker currently in possession of over $ 1 Billion in funds stashed away by the late dictator Mobutu Sese Seko of the Congo. Our Swiss Confederation President Micheline Calmy-Rey said her government is holding just $6.6m frozen in accounts.
"We discussed the question of Mobutu's funds and my government is prepared to restore the money to the DR Congo as soon as possible," Ms Rey told reporters
in the DR Congo capital, Kinshasa, after talks with Mr Kabila.
But we can help you get the rest of the 92.4 million dollars if you will just send us your bank account number and call to confirm your ID and pin number.
posted by infini
on Jul 17, 2007 -
There is a remote part of the Congolese jungle, called the Bili forest, where local legend has long told of a breed of giant apes that eat lions, catch fish and howl at the moon. To his surprise Dutch researcher Cleve Hicks found them
. In fact they are large chimps but they appear to have a number of behavioural differences from other groups seen in the wild. (More information from Wikipedia
posted by rongorongo
on Jul 16, 2007 -