5.Ethiopias tilewet yihon?…..171days to go

Now, Betty is supposed to be the animal lover and Tilaye is the one who has been a fan of National Geographic since its ETV days. And me? Well, my last post had zebras on it! But this time I really have got something to say about an animal, among other things.

The clouded leopard of Borneo ( Neofelis diardi) was given species status a few weeks ago. When I heard the news I thought a never before-seen creature was discovered and wondered how it remained hidden for so long. Later I realized that clouded leopards (Neofelis nebulosa) have been scientifically described since1821.Recent genetic tests revealing that the clouded leopard of Borneo and Sumatra islands is a unique cat species and not the same one found in mainland Southeast Asia, was what was making the headlines. Some 40 genetic differences were seen between the two (as compared to 56 genetic differences between the common leopard and lions), indicating that they had diverged about 1.4 million years ago. Moreover the results of skin tests showed that the Borneo clouded leopard is darker than the mainland species and has many distinct spots within its small cloud markings. It also has a greyer fur, and a double dorsal stripe.

A conservationist exclaimed “Who said a leopard can never change its spots?!….”.

Are humans capable of speciating? I knew from my undergraduate evolution course that geographical isolation (given enough time) was one way of achieving this. I also knew that even though humans live on different continents, there had been continuous mixing through the millennia .Moreover, had enough time elapsed after migration of the first primates from Africa to other continents and the separation of these continents? I did not know. While reading on the subject, I came across an article that drew my attention to another mode of speciation I had looked over. Check it out here ; you will find it amusingly enlightening.

The verse from The Bible referencing the leopard also talks about an Ethiopian not changing his/her appearance. Last few minutes, I have begun suspecting: what if it is talking about not our complexion but our never changing poverty? what if we are damned to live in eternal misery?

Just a thought and maybe a distorted interpretation of the verse .But here is some undistorted data.

Ethiopia was ranked 170th out of 177 countries in the 2006 Human Development Report (no. 8 =U.S.A and no. 18 =U.K.)

Ethiopia’s Human Poverty Index ranks 98th among 102 developing countries

Life expectancy at birth= 47.8 years (153rd)

People without access to improved water source in 2004 =78% (125th )

Combined primary, secondary and tertiary gross enrolment ratio=36% (163rd )

Children underweight for age=47% ages 0-5 (131st)

GDP per capita in 2004=113$
.
31 million people live below the national poverty line (on less than half a dollar a day) and between 6 and 13 million people are at risk of starvation each year
Not only is Ethiopia poor but it is equally poor: 81% of the population of 77 million live below a poverty line of $2 a day
.
.
.
.

Ena min yitebes?

I just wanted to say how screwed we are. The big news in Addis Ababa today was about the corpse of Ethiopian soldiers being dragged through the streets of Mogadishu. No disrespect to them and their families; but I believe that the above numbers are more shaming.

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P.S. Watch how the new U.N. secretary general got a taste of Iraq.

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enena alem endet senebetin………… I survived, but the kids in cambodia ????,

There is a time for many words, and there is also a time for sleep.
Homer (800 BC – 700 BC), The Odyssey , what does Homer mean by this? ( this is for you Tibe and Tilish, )

What a week it has been. I am still sleep deprived, “ betam endetechemaleku new yegebagn” I mean I used to sleep only for 4 hours so many times and I always felt energetic. But now, losing that one-hour, because of daylight saving time (DST) has got me sleeping all over the place. I mean when I think about it where does that hour go.Does it simply disappear, or will it be conserved like mass,( shows how I suck at physics) Shame on you Benjamin Franklin for coming up with the idea of it, do you think it is fair? Don’t get me wrong, I admire this guy, he is a very interesting character, there is nothing he hasn’t done, no wonder he doesn’t need to sleep. According to the information I got from wikipeidia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Benjamin_Franklin), he has been author, politician, printer, scientist, philosopher, publisher, inventor… (I am running out of breath)… civic activist and diplomat. I like him and because I will be saying, hello Benjamin( like Eddie Murphy) , welcome whenever I see a $100 bill. But most of all his virtues are really amazing, 13 of them, read it on the link above. I read that the idea for the DST came from his essay “ An economical project” in the spirit of his earlier proverb “Early to bed and early to rise / Makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.” But he did not propose that clock be changed.

So the blame or the gratefulness for the idea of DST doesn’t lie on Benji only, there is this other guy, a builder and outdoorsman William Willett invented DST in one of his pre-breakfast horseback rides. He had been dismayed by how many Londoners slept through the best part of a summer day. An avid golfer, he also disliked cutting short his round at dusk. ( I cannot imagine , if Tiger Woods ever proposes another hour to be deducted ). So two years later this Watson guy published a comprehensive proposal for DST… I got this from wikipedia too.( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daylight_saving_time), Any way beneficial or not, “ enkilfam hognalew

Well, as for the weather, it still is teasing us, one day it rains, another day it is bright and beautiful. I am not gonna complain though, I hear NY got some snow. As much I wanted to see snow, being my first time and all, but it really sucked when all of us in my family got into an accident at the same day. It was a terrible experience. I have had enough.

And finally by the end of the week, I realized my problems are nothing compared to what some kids go through in the other part of the world. I went down to the basement to wake my cousin, who unusually sleeps with the TV on, then what was on the TV got my attention , it was really horrible, I still cannot even swallow the thought. It was about sex trafficking in Cambodia. Who in his right mind would exploit children of age 5,6,7…….., this is sick, this is slavery at its worst, like Colin Powell put it “It is a sin against humanity, and it is a horrendous crime” . (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/4038249/). See also the story of Dalyn, 17,(http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/programmes/this_world/6422729.stm)

In the part of this universe that we know there is great injustice, and often the good suffer, and often the wicked prosper, and one hardly knows which of those is the more annoying.
Bertrand Russell (1872 – 1970)

It made me think of my little cousins, those kids are the same age as them, and I thanked God that they are all safe from all this. The worst of it all is, this is a crime supported by many visitors to the country, read the story of the American Doctor. I like what Colin Powell said when he was asked,

Why should Americans be concerned about the sex trade in Cambodia?
SECRETARY POWELL: How can we turn away? If we want to have friends in the world, if we want to have better relations with the countries of the world, we have to help them with this kind of problem.
You know, can you imagine the spread of disease that is taking place with this kind of activity? Can you imagine what will happen to these girls when they’re 15 or 20? What will become of them? They’ll have no education. They will be — they will have been used and tossed away and ruined.
And that affects not just these girls, it affects that country. It affects the family life in that country, it affects society development, it affects income, and, therefore, it affects foreign policy.
So, as the Secretary of State, why is the Secretary of State worried about trafficking in persons? Because it deals with foreign policy. It deals with economic and social development within a country. And a country that does not treasure its youth and protect its youth is not going to be moving in the right direction in the 21st century.
And a nation such as ours, which says we are a moral nation, and that we have a value system, that we would allow our citizens to go over and fuel that trade, by their presence and by their money and by their rotten exploitation of these children, we wouldn’t be living up to our values if we didn’t do something about it.

It made me think about those guys in our country, that bring children and make them work “ Yeshimena sira”, but the one in Cambodia is worse, this is exploitation of innocence. But who knows what goes on in our country; no one even bothers to look into such problems. It is frustrating, saddening, unfathomable. Any way I hope, it will be a past some day.

Now gotta go and see Barak Obama on Larry King. I love this guy, the first black to run for president, and smart too. I like what
he said when asked about his not having that much experience… this may not be his exact words, but the meaning is more or less the same
” Chenny and Rumsfeld have so much experience and look what happend”
So long every one,
ciao

4.Gudayu fikirin yimeleketal……179 days to go

Tibebe on your monitor,ya man!(and woman too)
On this post i wanted to talk about the millennium -kind of elaborate on my expectations on both a personal and an Ethiopia level.But I am struggling to get it out :may be some other time .
I desperately want to post something today.Having been writing on a two days’ basis, endi sitefa min yibalal?
I have decided on this instead .Tilaye ,you have read it before, so don’t bother (except if you fancy knowing her name).Sami, you know her name,here are the letters.Betty,I am sure you will catch on.
How is a photo of zebras in Nich Sar park(guys we should go there sometime) related to this situation?It is not!I just loved the “I got your back!” pose.The lions(not shown here) be laughing like “Yeah right!”
Does anyone have any idea about the meaning of her name?If i did,I would have looked for a more appropriate picture.
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letter 1
dear sir/madam
i hope you don’t (beg you not to) stop reading this letter when i tell u that it has got nothing to do with coffee or business.it is sort of a social call.and if u are ato – ,i would like to assure u that i don’t mean any disrespect or harm. i have been – corny as it might sound -an admirer of – for about five years . we have never talked and there is a probability that she does not even know that I exist(boo hoo).
lately, i have been having this crazy idea about e mailing her to let her know what’s up.i do not know her address so i trial and errored about twenty accounts that seemed sensible to me but to no avail.
here is the plan
u give her this message,she e mails me back,we fall in love,get married(ato -,with your consent ,of course) ,have twelve kids and live happily ever after.
just kidding.
if it is not too much trouble would u please inform her about this e mail and kindly ask her if she is willing to write me back and or even give me her e mail account so that i can write her an e mail proper.if she is spoken for,doesn’t want to wirte me or what not ,would somebody write me back and let me know. whatever the answer,i promise to be a perfect gentleman in handling it.and if no,next time u hear from me will be if i have something about coffee
i hope this letter is not unsettling because there is no reason to make anyone unsettled ,especially -.after sending this e mail your way the first thing i am going to do is check my inbox :that is how anxious i am for a reply.
thank u for your time
thank u in advance for any kind of reply.
have a nice day
p.s. how i got your e mail address is mostly internet work and no one but me was involved.

 

3. Sostegnaw tsihuf ….184 days to go

I interrupt my regular blogging to bring you a special announcement.
Happy birthday Betty!
Wishing you the best life has got to offer on both sides of the millennium and looking forward to staying on the same page with you though we might be in different continents.

Today’s is the third blog post proper that I have written on this site. And all the three posts have been influenced by things that come in threes. You know what they say, “third time is a charm ‘’. I hope to write something good this time.

The Chinese believe that the number 8 brings luck:
Telephone number 8888-8888 was sold for USD$270,723 in Chengdu
The Summer Olympics in Beijing are scheduled to open on 8/8/08 at 8:08:08 p.m
A man in Hangzhou offered to sell his license plate reading A88888 for 1.12 million yuan
Dragon Fish Industry in Singapore, a breeder of rare Asian Arowanas (which are “lucky fish” themselves, and, being a rare species, are required to be microchipped), makes sure to use numbers with plenty of eights in their microchip tag numbers, and appears to reserve particularly numbers especially rich in eights and sixes (e.g. 702088880006688) for particularly valuable specimens.

I was watching the Oscars and there was Peter O’Toole, who has been nominated eight times but had never won. Then the host (Ellen Degeneres) says that he could win this year: after all “third time is a charm”. A cruel joke, and he did not get lucky either.

Let me take you one thousand nine hundred and ninety seven digits away from the number three. Two thousand – I want to talk about the Ethiopian Millennium .It so happens that today, putting Pagume aside, marks halfway to the end of this year., I am a bit skeptical of our preparation as a nation. There are plans and talk here and there but I am not feeling the action. Why wait until Sene to start the celebrations? Given our tardiness aiming for right about now would have been probably better to start actually doing things on Sene. Better yet, why haven’t we celebrated all the thirteen months? Our mediocrity (not our poverty) is making a golden break pass us by. By the end of the year, I am afraid that there will be nothing much special to make Ethiopians feel that they have celebrated the occasion in style, as a people.

I expected a lot in terms of creative ways of marking the event but not forthcoming. 80 million people and what we have to show for 2G is a few thematic garments and jewelry? That’s where I have seen the most creativity. A national council has been established to oversee the celebration. There is the countdown clock at the gates of the Sheraton and even ETV has started counting down the days. The Diasporas have setup some websites about the subject (e.g. http://www.ethiopianmillennium.com ). Still, we need more schemes and events that can rise to the occasion.
For the sake of argument, let us assume that we have managed to come up with a decent and achievable national plan (it is not often that we do). Then three months would be too little time to cram all of the planned happenings into.
Just yesterday, a friend brought to my attention a new way of giving someone the middle finger. Raise the three middle fingers and say “read between the lines”. Nice, ain’t it?
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