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Friday, October 29, 2010


1.  Every so often you stumble across a worthy opportunity.  I was sufficiently impressed with Curator Sambeta Ikayo, while disappointed with the Oldupai Gorge presentation, that I would like to help him upgrade his facilities.  I don't know much about the relationship between the Royal Society (United Kingdom) and the Oldupai Leakeys.  However, I do know that they funded them.  I am thus mystified that the origins of Homo sapiens here at the Oldupai Gorge--one of the top ten, if not among the most important three scientific discoveries of humanity--has largely been ignored by the RS.  I challenge them to visit the museum there and be embarrassed at the state of this opportunity to educate the world.

2.  Tanzania, with a population of 44 million, having twice the area of California (with 37 million people), is the original cradle of civilization.  Many millennia later, around the time of Jesus Christ, Zanzibar had already become a major trading center.  Compared with the scattered tribes of Africa, the region that is now Tanzania featured cities and advancements that transcended even Egypt for that period.  I wondered why there were so many German tourists there, but learned that the European countries starting in the 1874/5 Berlin Conference just unilaterally divided the continent as their territories, and Germany assumed control over Tanzania and Namibia.  Losing World War I, however, resulted in British takeover.  Thus, we have an English speaking (meaning they drive on the left side) democracy, where the Frankfurt Zoological Society created the Serengeti National Park.  I suspect that these politics resulted in the British discovery of human life in the Oldupai Gorge, was ignored by Germany.  In any case, the country non-violently became independent in 1961, started with socialism, but realized that this type of government did not work, thus converting to capitalism in the late 70's and in 1995 became a democracy.  Unfortunately, the result is that the unemployment rate is 30% and life expectancy is 54.  This country is #169 with a GDP/capita of only $1400.  Luxembourg and Qatar (my next stop) are at the top at $78,000 (more than $121,000 with Lichtenstein according to the CIA), while the U.S. at $46,000 (#5, #6, #8, depending on who you believe).  Kenya is #162 at $1600.

3.  I placed Pearl's ashes at the Ngorongoro Serena and the Mount Kilimanjaro International Airport, then left for Kenya.  The fragrant Jacarandas, certainly #2 on Pearl's list of favorites, were at peak.  Kilimanjaro is 19,298 feet tall, the highest point of Africa and 4th in the world.   While supposedly dormant (the last eruption was more than a third of a million years ago), magma is  suspected to still be present at 18,000 feet.

4.  Nairobi has a population of around 4 million, while that of Kenya is 39 million.  The Mount Kenya Safari Club in Nanyuki is about a hundred miles north of Nairobi.  Started as a club by actor William Holden and friends, this is now a Fairmont Hotel and is home to Holden's animal orphanage.  The hotel is right on the equator at an elevation of 7,000 feet.  This reminds me of the Four Seasons Lodge at Koele.

5.  A Nairobi, Kenya stop was to the Karen Blixen house.  She wrote as Isek Dinesan because females were not taken seriously before World War II.  Her most popular book was Out of Africa, which became a movie starring Meryl Streep and Robert Redford.  Nothing noteworthy about the exhibit, but there was an interesting tree.

Please go the right for the Dow Jones Industrials and price of crude oil.

There are four storms in the Atlantic, none posing any serious threat to land, and Typhoon Chapa, still at 85 MPH, will weaken, and could just skirt the western side of Japan.


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