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Phonetic Clues Hint Language Is Africa-Born
Quentin D. Atkinson, a researcher at the University of Auckland in New Zealand, by analysing the sounds in languages spoken around the world , has detected an ancient signal that points to southern Africa as the place where modern human language originated , not by looking at words , but rather at phonemes — the consonants, vowels and tones that are the simplest elements of language.
“What’s so remarkable about this work is that it shows language doesn’t change all that fast — it retains a signal of its ancestry over tens of thousands of years,” said Mark Pagel, a biologist at the University of Reading in England who advised Dr. Atkinson. Dr. Pagel sees language as central to human expansion across the globe.“Language was our secret weapon, and as soon we got language we became a really dangerous species,” he said.
Excerpt from article in New York Times, New York Edition, April 15, 2011
The most secretive and elusive of the large carnivores, the leopard is also the shrewdest. Pound for pound, it is the strongest climber of the large cats and capable of killing prey larger than itself. Leopards come in a wide variety of coat colors, from a light buff or tawny in warmer, drier areas to a dark shade in deep forests. The spots, or “rosettes”, are circular in East African leopards but square in southern African leopards.
Dense bush in rocky surroundings and forest rivers are their favorite habitats, but leopards adapt to many places in both warm and cold climates. Their adaptability, in fact, has helped them survive the loss of habitat to increasing human settlement. Leopards are primarily nocturnal, usually resting during the daytime in trees or thick bush. The spotted coat provides almost perfect camouflage. The best way of spotting them is to look for their curved tail dangling downwards.
Leopards are solitary creatures and predominately nocturnal. Each individual has a home range that overlaps with its neighbors; the male’s range is much larger and generally overlaps with those of several females. Leopards continually move about their territory, seldom staying in an area for more than two or three days at a time. Ranges are marked with urine and claw marks and leopards announce their presence to other leopards with a rasping cough. Leopards also growl, roar and purr.
A litter includes two or three cubs, whose coats appear to be smoky gray as the rosettes are not yet clearly delineated. The female abandons her nomadic wandering until the cubs are large enough to accompany her. She keeps them hidden for about the first 8 weeks, giving them meat when they are 6 or 7 weeks old and suckling them for 3 months or longer.
The most elusive of the large carnivores, the leopard is a cunning, stealthy hunter, its prey ranges from strong-scented carrion, fish, reptiles and birds to mammals such as rodents, hares, hyraxes, warthogs, antelopes, monkeys and baboons.
Predators and Threats
The most widespread of the felines, leopards occur in regions across both Africa and Asia. Indeed, their adaptability to both warm and cold climates has helped them survive the loss of habitat caused by increasing human settlement. However, leopards have long been preyed upon by man. Their soft, beautiful fur has been used for clothing. The tail, claws and whiskers of the leopard are popular as fetishes. In some areas, farmers try to exterminate them, while in others, leopards are considered symbols of wisdom.
Both lions and hyenas will take away a leopard’s kill if they can. To prevent this leopards store their larger kills in trees where they can feed on them in relative safety.
The Passengers’ Airplane Behavior Bill of Rights
Article I: The right to remove shoes
Passengers shall be allowed to remove shoes from their feet, but only if the aforementioned feet don’t stink or present health risks to other passengers. The right of the passenger to go to the lavatory without shoes shall not be infringed, as it is really your own business should you want to stand in the urine of others.
Article II: Freedom from unreasonable aromatic assault
No passenger shall, in the time of flight, be subjected to unreasonable aromas, be it from powerful perfume, foods redolent of onion, or other fragrance wholly unnecessary whilst on an airplane.
Article III: The right to reasonable light
All passengers shall be allowed the right to use their own overhead light to read when the cabin lights are turned off, as that is its intended use. No passenger shall be unwillingly bothered by the thoughtless opening of window shades during this period; window seat passengers are not delegated the power to blind their fellow passengers.
Article IV: The article of reclension
A well-justified act of reclining one’s seat shall not be prohibited at all times, apart from meal time and other times specified by the flight crew. All instances of reclension shall be preceded by a rearward glance so as not to unwittingly crush the patellas or portable electronic devices of the affected passenger.
Article V: Freedom of no speech
There shall be no requirement for other passengers to listen to you drone on about your child, cat or other subject not directly germane to an immediate inflight emergency situation. The right of other passengers to give you the ‘book-off’ shall not be infringed, nor shall you assist with the answer to 14-across if unprompted.
Article VI: The right to bear armrests
In all cases where an armrest is shared by two adjacent passengers, both parties must respect the right of the other to keep the armrest down. Passengers relegated to a middle seat shall be afforded special status, and aisle and window passengers shall endeavour to accommodate.
Article VII: Conditions of passenger quarters
Passengers shall not be subject to the rubbish of others crammed thoughtlessly into seat-back pockets, or tossed onto the floor in a cavalier fashion. Chewing gum shall not be pressed to any surface affixed to an aircraft.
Article VIII: The right to heed the call of nature
A well-organised attempt to use the lavatory, being necessary for inflight calm and gastrointestinal health, shall not be impeded by aisle passengers sleeping or otherwise. The rights of others waiting to use a lavatory shall supersede the frankly ill-advised wishes of current lavatory users to waste time poking around said lavatory.
Article IX: Provisions concerning use of electronic devices
The assurance of safety shall not be infringed by the desires of others to make one last phone call, update their social network status to brag about their impending holiday, or to plant cauliflower in their virtual farm. Whilst MythBusters and others have debunked most potential dangers of using common electronic devices on planes, safety and calm shall take precedence.
Article X: Cruel and unnecessary aisle clogging
No passenger shall, in the time of disembarking, hastily grab their bag and congest the exit route before actual movement is possible. Likewise, when it comes time to exit, no passenger shall unaccountably act surprised that it is their turn to leave.
Article XI: Freedom from feral children
The right of passengers not to be kicked in the back, have their hair pulled, be presented with unasked-for mucous-moistened objects, or be otherwise assaulted by feral children shall not be infringed. Crying babies cannot be held accountable for their actions, and are therefore exempt.
Article XII: The right of reasonable alcohol consumption
No person, apart from those who are drunk and obnoxious or minors, shall be prohibited from imbibing an alcoholic beverage should they feel that it is a good idea, despite all indications to the contrary.
Article XIII: The right to private media
Reading over others’ shoulders shall not be inflicted, unless achieved in a particularly stealthy fashion causing no annoyance to the book holder. The same shall be true for films and other non-private media.
(Reprinted from Lonely Planets website )
Leopard – “ Chui”
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Edmonton/ Leduc , “How To Best Safari Africa” Presentation
7:00 pm September 24,2011 (Changed from September 18 )
Days Inn and Conference Centre
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7:00 pm September 25, 2011 ( Changed from September 11, 2011)
Cochrane Ranche House ( Map at this link)
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7:00 pm October 11,2011
Comfort Inn and Conference Centre
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Vancouver , “How To Best Safari Africa” Presentation
6:30 pm October 12, 2011
West Vancouver Memorial Library
Elizabeth Musto Room
1950 Marine Drive West, West Vancouver, B.C., Canada
Kelowna , “How To Best Safari Africa” Presentation
7:30 pm October 13, 2011
Kelowna Rotary Centre For The Arts
421 Cawston Ave, Kelowna B.C., Canada
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