The failure of biotech.
"In June 1996, the University of California, Davis, began an unprecedented effort to help the West African nation of Mali, using the promising and controversial new tool of agricultural biotechnology... Eight years later, no help whatsoever has arrived... In the hopes that inspired the effort - and the missteps that stifled it - lies a drama larger than the sum of its parts, one that shows both the promise and pitfalls of the largest technological leap in American agriculture since the tractor: biotechnology." The start of a five-part series in the Sacramento Bee
: long, but well worth it. (Via MonkeyFilter
A history of Malian pop music.
Confused by the interlocking names and associations of the stars of West African music? This lively account by Lisa Denenmark should help (and a follow-up is promised). Via the indispensible Afropop Worldwide
Eight hundred years ago,
the Empire of Mali
was the West African equivalent of Byzantium (succeeding Ghana
's Rome), and its legendary
founder was Sundiata