Basil Pao (鲍皓昕) is a photographer, among other things. He's probably most famous for his involvement with Michael Palin's travel series. He was featured in the fifth episode of Michael Palin's Around the World in 80 Days*. After that, he became the stills photographer for subsequent series of Palin's travels (Pole to Pole, Full Circle, Sahara, Himalaya, New Europe and Brazil, so far). [more inside]
First noticed by westerners in 1965, when the Gemini-4 spacecraft flew over northwest Africa (alternate source, with link to uncompressed TIF | in Earth photographs from Gemini III, IV, and V on Archive.org), the Richat Structure in the Sahara desert of west–central Mauritania resembles an impact crater or a circular target (or a possible Atlantis, or Plato's circular city, or maybe an open-pit mine), but is a naturally occurring 40-50 km (25-30 mi) geologic dome that has eroded over time. It's large enough that, when seen in person, the scale of the geography is hard to capture. But it is quite impressive when seen from space (mentioned previously)
Alfonso Calza created this video from photographs he took of the streets, desert, ocean, mountains, and ruins of Morocco.
It is the hottest place in the world, and the driest. It is home to thriving commerce and to desperate, hopeless poverty. It is the Sahara, an eternal source of fascination and terror. Part 2. Part 3. [Hat tip: Longform]
Libyan Desert Glass is strewn over an area of hundreds of square kilometers in the Great Sand Sea, a region desolate even by the high standards of the Sahara. As one account of a recent trip to acquire Libyan Desert Glass puts it: "Out there, death sits on your shoulder like a vulture." While some would have you believe that Libyan Desert Glass is evidence of ancient atomic warfare, it is probably evidence of a massive meteorite or comet explosion nearly thirty million years ago, similar to Tunguska, but much bigger. The stone age Aterian peoples made tools from it, but the remoteness and inhospitality of the Great Sand Sea has ensured that until recent times it has mostly been undisturbed. However, a breast ornament buried in Tutankhamen's tomb has a scarab made from Libyan Desert Glass, the only piece made of the material to have been found by Egyptologists, and how Tutankhamen's jewelers acquired it has remained a mystery. Until now. [Previously]
Markus Kayser has designed and built The Solar Sinter, a solar powered 3D printer which creates glass objects out sand. Needless to say, the ability to create objects out of sand using solar power will be welcome in deserts. He took his machine into the Sahara desert to test it. Previously in the Sahara Kayser tested a similiar machine, The Sun Cutter, which uses a ball lens to create a kind of laser cutter.
"It's...it's across the entire horizon." Inside a sandstorm in the Sahara. "It seems like they've been transported to Mars."
Sahel Sounds is the blog of ethnomusicologist Christopher Kirkley, a.k.a. MeFi's own iamck. It's about the contemporary music of the Sahel, which is the Southern border of the Sahara, focusing on West Africa. It has long been a region of great musical ferment. The most famous musicians today are Tinariwen (previously), but there's a great deal more out there. Kirkley travels around trading music, Western songs in exchange for Saharan, which he mostly receives off cellphone memory cards. Kirkley has made three compilations, Sahelsounds, the Promo CD and Music from Saharan Cellphones volumes 1 and 2 (the numbers link to downloads). Kirkley has also collected and recorded videos. The Guardian interviewed Kirkley on the subject of cellphones' effect on Saharan music, which he has written about. Mark Richardson of Pitchfork was prompted by one of Kirkley's collections to write about musical scarcity in today's infoglut society. Besides the collections, there are a lot of other songs on the blog, the entire archive is wonderful and worth reading through.
Lost Tribes of the Green Sahara. "How a dinosaur hunter uncovered the Sahara's strangest Stone Age graveyard."
The rock art of the Tassili culture is found throughout North African mountains, the Tassili n'Ajjer. The rock art of Europe is well known around the world. Lesser known but just as amazing and less well-understood is the rock art of North Africa. (prev.,prev.) This tradition is thought to have developed independently of European rock art although researchers agree about very little else about it. This art hearkens back to a time when the Sahara's climate was milder and more wet. This rock art has often been compared to the pre-Nguni San rock art of Southern Africa. There are of course people who believe that aliens did it. The more research that is done about this area and its archaeology, the more we may have to rethink our ideas about the Sahara. . Sadly enough, like many archaeological sites it is becoming endangered.
The Penitent Yanks are a team of Americans driving a school bus 3, 600 miles from Plymouth, England to the Gambia. They're part of the 2007 Plymouth-Banjul Challenge, an annual road rally to benefit charities in Gambia. Their bus has broken down in the Sahara, and they need help.
Rock art tour in the Sahara.
Africa. Whether you think of it as The Heart Of Darkness, the Dark Continent, or as an ecological laboratory, Africa is ultimately home to us all. But Sub-Saharan Africa is in peril of spiraling into chaos: the scourge of AIDS, near-continuous unrest, and a lamentable inability of most African countries to maintain anything like a modern civil society are precursors to what might become a humanitarian catastrophe unlike anything we have ever witnessed. Do we still blame the ghosts of colonialism for this, or is it time for Africans to take the responsibility for their own problems?
River found under Sahara Russian satellites have discovered a river flowing 700 feet under the Sahara. It carries enough water to supply 50,000 people and is said to surge with "colossal power". ---the thing that interests me most about this is the economic impact that this will have on the area. seeing as how wars are being fought over water supplies in the area, what do you see as the most likely result of this discovery??
Phallic sandstorm leaving Europe, headed for US. More news at 11.