Stories from Quick Reads and Food
Every year on October 1, Paraguayans prepare a traditional dish named jopará or yopará, stew type broth made out of different kinds of maize with beans and plenty bovine and pork meat, vegetables, sausages, amongo other ingredients.
It's costumary that October is a feared month, the harvesting is over, the sowing has ended and everybiody has to wait until the next harvest. If the individuals haven't been provident enough and haven't saved food, they can have a hard time. That's what author Dionisio González Torres writes in his book, “Folklore of Paraguay.”
According to the tradition, Karai Octubre (Mister October), a short, bearded old man, shows up on that day with his straw hat, a bag and a long rebenque (some kind of whip) to flog all those who haven't a prepared karu guasu (big meal), as González Torres explains.
The old man goes over all the houses and takes a look at every pot with the lunch of the day. If there is little food, he takes out pains and disgraces from his bag for all those who live in that house. If there is plenty of food, the old man just walks by and the family will be safe for the year:
Menú del día : Yopará para que Karai octubre pase de largo! pic.twitter.com/tjuwAqsbWt
— Bibi Landó (@Bibilando) octubre 1, 2014
Daily special menu: Yopará so Karai octubre walks by!
— Chamigo Nac&Pop (@ChamigoF) octubre 1, 2014
All over my homeland you can already feel the scent of delicious Yopará to shoo ‘Caraí Octubre’ away.
Entonces Carlos Slim y Bill Gates quedaran pobres por no comer el Yopara? o como es el mito?
— MARLY MARLY (@Marly_Figueredo) octubre 2, 2014
So [Mexican communications mogul] Carlos Slim and [American owner of Microsoft] Bill Gates will be poor men for not eating Yopara? Or how does the myth go?
— Vaintche Rahouli (@vincraholi) August 28, 2014
Twitter and Facebook users from Madagascar's capital city, Antananarivo, have posted several photos of locusts invading the city. Locust invasions are not unusual in Madagascar, especially after tropical storms, but they are very uncommon in larger cities. Locusts can have a devastating effect on crops, especially in a country that has struggled with bouts of famine in past years.
— Afropages (@Afropages) August 18, 2014
Armed forces and dahalos (highwaymen in Malagasy) clashed in Amboasary Sud in the southern region of Madagascar on Aug. 15 over a theft of humped cattle (Zebus), a type of domestic cattle with a fleshy hump on their shoulders. Thirteen Dahalos and two members of the armed forces died during the clashes. Official reports states that 450 Zebus were stolen by about 90 armed thieves when authorities intervened.
A photograph showing crowds outside a popular Cairo liquor store is making the rounds online. On Twitter, Tom Gara shares it with his 27.9K followers:
Pic doing the rounds on FB of the scene at Drinkies, a popular Cairo liquor store, now that Ramadan is over. pic.twitter.com/VMsbiNtInH
— Tom Gara (@tomgara) July 28, 2014
Egypt, with a liberal alcohol policy compared to other Muslim countries, bans the sale of alcohol to Egyptians during the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, which ended yesterday. This explains the scene Gara tweets.
Humanitarian Associations in Burkina Faso Campaign for Revenue Sharing from the Mining Industry with “Just 1%” Hashtag
A new hashtag is trending in Burkina Faso online networks: #Justeunpourcent (Just 1 Percent in English). The hashtag refers to a campaign initiated by local NGOs to the Parliament that requests that 1 percent of the mining revenues be shared with humanitarian associations to fight poverty in Burkina Faso. Nadine Kone from Ouagadogou kickstarted the campaign on twitter :
— Nadine Kone (@NadineKone) 14 Octobre 2014
Just 1 Percent: To all the Members of Parliament in Burkina Faso, this is a way to help communities against poverty.
The curtain has just come down on the tenth “Positive and Winning Africa Oscars”, held at the Hilton Hotel in Yaoundé, the political capital of Cameroon. This year, the event organised by the NGO “Positive and Winning Africa” rewarded Cameroonian Clément Petsoko for his innovating healthcare projects. For a decade now, sponsor Hervé Mba and a jury made up of a dozen public figures to award prizes to African personalities whose innovative projects could help the progress of the African continent.
The Golden Oscar for Man of the Decade was presented to Clément Petsoko, PDG of the Morgan and Wilfried laboratories. The jury rewarded Petsoko for “his capacity to overcome the numerous difficulties he has faced in recent years”. As he was awarded his prize, the happy winner stated:
Je voudrais que mon prix serve d’enseignement à la jeunesse du monde qui doit intégrer dans son vécu quotidien le dicton qui selon lequel : « le pont qui mène au succès est fragile » et qu’il faille allier courage, abnégation et détermination dans l’atteinte de ses objectifs.
I want my prize to serve as a lesson to young people around the world, who should remember the saying “it's a rocky road to success,” and that achieving your aims requires courage, self-sacrifice and determination.
Olivia Kidula explains why breastfeeding in public should not stop:
A friend of mine recently gave birth to her first baby girl and is still getting the hang of motherhood. I began to notice she breastfeeds only when no men (besides her husband or father are around) and when she can “comfortably” hide away in a small space. When I mentioned to her that there should be no shame in feeding and nourishing her child in front of anyone, she responded,
“society would rather she starves than look at my breasts.”
The more I thought about the implications of her words the more upset I became. Who would want a child to starve? Who would truly want to deny a child nourishment and comfort at the chest of his mother?
Félix Moronta Barrios is a Venezuelan biologist who spreads scientific culture among Spanih speaking community. He recently explained the researches and biotechnologic findongs about transgenic bananas in Uganda and the United States.
The banane cultivated in Uganda has no A vitamin. That's why its modification is necessary. Moronta Barrios warns the skeptical:
Antes de que piensen cosas como “natural es mejor”, “otra vez los científicos jugando a ser dios”, “lo modificado genéticamente es malo malísimo”, etc, etc, etc. sepan que la transgénesis también ocurre naturalmente, como expliqué aquí. Que el plátano, banana o cambur que consumimos hoy en día es un invento humano, tal como explica Ciencia de Sofá en “El oscuro pasado de los plátanos“. Y para que no termine ahí la sorpresa, les cuento que es un alimento radiactivo por su alto contenido en potasio; tanto, que camiones cargados de plátanos hacen saltar las alarmas en algunas aduanas. Incluso hay una unidad de medida al respecto, la dosis equivalente a un plátano.
Before you think of things such as “natural is best”, “again scientists playing God”, “genetically modified is not good”, etc, you better know that transgenesis goes on naturally, as explained here. The bananas we eat are human creation, as stated by Ciencia de Sofá on “The dark past of bananas“. And for more surprises, let me tell you this is a radiactive fruit, due to its high content of potasium. So much that banana trucks start the alarms in some customs control. There even is a measuring unit about that, the dose equivalent to a banana.