Contents and Excerpts

 TABLE OF CONTENTS Preface Introduction: The Scales of History Wave Fault-lines Fort Continent Stone Volcano Archipelago Hurricane Prison Sand Straits       EXCERPTS Some Questions Why does an…

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Caribbean Whales Have an Accent

Repeating Islands

aagn_header.jpgResearch shows Caribbean sperm whales share a unique regional call, Geoffrey Giller reports for Haiku Magazine. Go to the original report to hear the whale’s call.

If you want to know where someone comes from, you might listen to how they speak. Their accent or use of particular words may give you clues to their provenance. As it turns out, the same is true for whales. In a new study, scientists show how sperm whales from the Caribbean share a distinct call that whales from elsewhere in the world don’t make. And that’s not all: besides saying where they’re from, these whales also have specific calls for their family units, and even unique calls for themselves—names, of a sort.

Shane Gero, the lead author of the study and a research fellow at Aarhus University in Denmark, has been recording sperm whale calls in the Caribbean for more than…

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The Colonial Roots of African Nationalist Homophobia

Madness and Monsters

LGBTI, Africa from Eusebius McKaiser, click-through to link

Aggressive homophobia has become a distressingly familiar trope in African nationalist rhetoric.  A recent surge in anti-gay legislation across the continent has attracted media and activist attention, from the imprisonment of the Malawian gay couple in 2010 to Uganda’s ‘kill the gays’ law, as well as draft legislation in Nigeria and Cameroon.  Homophobia is characterised as a defence of African cultural authenticity—and has been too easily taken by horrified Western onlookers as proof of African barbarism.  The roots of this African nationalist homophobia can be traced, however, to the apparently opposed ideologies of colonial and white settler regimes, particularly in southern Africa.  These intertwined ideologies have not only helped to impose harsh heterosexist strictures; they have also had dangerous misogynist implications, where ‘loose’ women are as much to be feared and repressed as ‘effeminate’ men.

“Homosex is not in black culture”: so read a…

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