When dealing with the sizes of continents and social/cultural issues within them it’s easy to look at a map like the one below and see Africa as a fairly large place.
It’s interesting to me then, that Africa alone seems to suffer from a certain ‘sameness’ when I think of its many countries. I am absolutely sure this is only encouraged by my limited knowledge from TV, movies and old National Geographic’s. I suppose my general impression is that it’s big, but not that big, and that the complex issues of the people living there must be pretty standard across the breadth and width.
Thankfully there’s this nice graphic over at Information is beautiful showing just how impressively huge Africa is by jamming a bunch of other countries inside it to illustrate the point:
Yep, there’s the USA, China, Japan, the UK, India and a bunch of Eastern Europe. What I really like about this graphic though, is that it’s a beautiful analogy for the extremely non-same people, places and issues that make up Africa, just like in the countries shown.
Browsing The New York Times online I came across this interesting story about honeybees in Brooklyn.
“Cerise Mayo expected better of her bees. She had raised them right, given them all the best opportunities — acres of urban farmland strewn with fruits and vegetables, a bounty of natural nectar and pollen. Blinded by devotion, she assumed they shared her values: a fidelity to the land, to food sources free of high-fructose corn syrup and artificial food coloring.”
Unfortunately for Cerise (whose name means cherry in French) this was not the case. She discovered that her bees were returning to their hives “…with mysterious stripes of color. Where there should have been a touch of gentle amber showing through the membrane of their honey stomachs there was instead a garish bright red. The honeycombs, too, were an alarming shade of Robitussin.”
After some investigation it was found that her honeybees were frequenting Dell’s Maraschino Cherry Company some distance away and gorging on the sweet artificially colored and flavored runoff from the site.
Now striking red honey sounds like a winner to me but disappointingly, Ms Mayo found that the taste was overly sweet and metallic. With a season of honey lost at least something special came of the strange bee/cherry relationship: “When the sun was a bit down, they glowed red in the evenings, they were slightly fluorescent. And it was beautiful.”
Dear loyal readers…Thank you for your patience over the past week as I married my beautiful fiancee, while each of our That’s Ace! contributors gave up their time to help us celebrate.