Texas Liberal

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Saturday Thanks & Links—Dwarf Hippo Edition


Thanks to everybody who linked to Texas Liberal this week or who added the blog to their blogroll.

Rakoto’s Rants: The Malagasy Dwarf Hippo linked to my Martin Luther King Reading & Reference List.

This blog is in Madagascar! Can you beat that? I hope these folks visit Houston someday so I can show them around town.  

The Malagasy Dwarf Hippo is now extinct. Though there are two living Pygmy Hippo species in the world.

The drawing above is of the pre-historic Cretan Dwarf Hippo that lived on the island of Crete. (Photo below of Crete. I wish I could tell you I was blogging from Crete–But I’m not.)


Unusual Music’s Journal also linked to the King post.

georigaism linked to my post about the self-destructing palm tree.

Thanks to both these fellow-bloggers.

My friend Diane in Maryland linked to a post about Bush, Grant & Jefferson  from her blog Bean and Bee. Thank you Diane. Always excellent to hear from you.  

The very good people at Panhandle Truth Squad in Amarillo linked to my post asking why Obama does not say it would be okay if he really were a Muslim.   

This week I added the Collin County Observer to my blogroll. These Texas bloggers seem serious about what they are doing and no doubt the area in which they live merits the scrutiny.  

I also added the Bay of Fundy Blog. This blogger lives near the Bay of Fundy and sees the big tides roll in and out. It sounds great. Her latest post is about an odd looking lobster.

Thanks to everybody who reads Texas Liberal.

January 26, 2008 Posted by | Blogging | , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Self-Destructing Palm Tree & Madagascar Blog Links

Above is a picture of the newly discovered exploding self-destructing palm tree from Madagascar.

Here are some details from the Associated Press—

“It’s spectacular,” said Mijoro Rakotoarinivo of the Royal Botanical Gardens in Madagascar. “It does not flower for maybe 100 years and can be mistaken for other types of palm. But then a large shoot grows out of the top and starts to spread, a bit like a Christmas tree.” Those branches then become covered in hundreds of tiny white flowers that ooze with nectar, attracting insects and birds.

But the effort of flowering and fruiting depletes the tree so much, said John Dransfield, a botanist and the author of the study, that within a few months it collapses and dies. The palm tree, which grows to 66 feet, is found only in a remote region in the northwest of the country. Puzzling Mr. Dransfield is how botanists had missed such a ”whopping palm” until now, adding that there appear to be only about 100 in existence. He suggests that the tree has been quietly living and dramatically dying in Madagascar for 80 million years.”

Here is a link to The International Palm Society.

Here is an article on taking care of your palm tree from TreeHelp.com

Here is a link on the evolution of palm trees from The Palm Society of Florida.

Here is the palm in Christian symbolism from the Catholic Encyclopedia.

Here is information of the severe problem of tropical deforestation from NASA.

Here is information about Madagascar from the BBC

The Malagasy are thought to be descendants of Africans and Indonesians who settled on the island more than 2,000 years ago. Malagasy pay a lot of attention to their dead and spend much effort on ancestral tombs, which are opened from time to time so the remains can be carried in procession, before being rewrapped in fresh shrouds.

After sometimes harsh French colonial rule, which included the bloody suppression of an uprising in 1947, Madagascar gained independence in 1960. The military seized power in the early 1970s with the aim of achieving a socialist paradise.

This did not materialise. The economy went into decline and by 1982 the authorities were forced to adopt a structural adjustment programme imposed by the International Monetary Fund.

The World Bank has estimated that 70% of Malagasy live on less than $1 per day. Poverty and the competition for agricultural land have put pressure on the island’s dwindling forests, home to much of Madagascar’s unique wildlife and key to its emerging tourist industry.

The island has strong ties with France as well as economic and cultural links with French-speaking West Africa.

Here is a blog from Madagascar called Blog Maivana

Here is Rakato’s Rants—The Malagasy Dwarf Hippo

Here is foko.

Here is Madagascar information from the great folks at Global Voices.

Here is Purple Corner.

Some more facts about Madagascar

Full name: Republic of Madagascar

Population: 17.2 million (via UN, 2006)

Capital: Antananarivo

Area: 587,041 sq km (226,658 sq miles)

Major languages: Malagasy (official), French

Major religions: Indigenous beliefs, Christianity

Life expectancy: 54 years (men), 57 years (women) (UN)

Monetary unit: Ariary

Main exports: Vanilla, coffee, seafood, cloves, petroleum products, chromium, fabrics

GNI per capita: US $290 (World Bank, 2006)

Here is a sunset photo of the capital city of Antananarivo

January 21, 2008 Posted by | Blogging, Uncategorized | , , | 4 Comments