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.


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

3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Anonymous
    Mar 27, 2007 @ 18:21:00

    this leopard looks mad. lemindinew yetenadedew? but seriously he/she is beautiful.sometimes i look at my cat and imagine what would happen is she was enlarged to a big tiger. she no longer would have to beg me to let her out! lol.yesantistoch neger. one time they say something is 100% correct but then hey its a new finding. it appears that A was wrongly classified as B but it was found that D and E …. and then something unexpected becomes 100% sure. don’t get me the new findings are good. we’re progressing, correcting our mistakes. but the thing i don’t like is they speak as if they are sure about whats going on. for instance, i think instead of saying “there is no animal like this one on earth”, its better to say first “To the best of our knowledge…”. aderequachihu? enkuan.the figures. yes they’re shaming. wacha gonna do bout it?


  2. betty
    Mar 24, 2007 @ 22:52:00

    mastekakeya new le previous post.”I mean rubbing off on you”. Well you know me ” siwkakabign”.


  3. betty
    Mar 24, 2007 @ 22:47:00

    hey papiyeWell I am glad some of my passion is rubbing off to you.I heared about the leopard on some news. It is amazing stuff.As for what mr. christopher Mims said, well I kind of lost him some where in the middle. he talks too much, so I decided to read it again some time.( mind you I am not saying that he is “a morlock”, got the definition from him)Ye Emiye Ethiopia negerima yasazinal, but unless we really find out where the problem lies, there is no solving it. I know I canot do that sitting here. I hate to say this but I think it is a lost case. One thing I know is, it is the best place for any Abesha, despite being the poorest country.


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