Saturday, May 18, 2002

Today's Geography Lesson: Burkina Faso

Since I like to bitch about the quality of publik ed-you-kay-shun here in the US, I thought I'd invest a little time in putting my money where my mouth is.

So, as a public service, c'mon everybody, let's learn about Burkina Faso!

To Americans, an itty-bitty Colorado-sized country with a weird name, somewhere in Africa -- that's the big scary continent Joseph Conrad said had a "Heart Of Darkness", somewhere in your senior year of high-school English. To residents, Burkina Faso is home.

The French settlement formerly known as Upper Volta burst onto the fashion scene and into its independence in 1960, setting new trends in population density v. low natural resources, in a neo-classical subsistence agriculture mode highly vulnerable to variations in rainfall.

Wearing Mali and Niger as a hat, Burkina Faso has consistently flaunted fashion ideals -- detractors argue that sporting landlocked savannah year-round leaves little room for flexibility in times of drought. Several hundred thousand residents head south to Ghana and Cote d'Ivoire annually for the relentlessly trendy lifestyle of the migrant farm worker, some waving at the nation's highest point, Tena Kourou (749 m), on their way.

Though lacking coastline, Burkina Faso has close ties to Lake Volta to the south, and is frequently seen in the company of the lake's 3 principal rivers, the Black, Red, and White Voltas.

With a daring religious distribution amongst the Burkinabe of indigenous beliefs [40%-ish], Islam [50%-ish], and a touch of Christianity [10%], Burkina Faso is a country obviously serious about its cosmopolitan mix of culture and language. French is the nation's official language, and 90% of the population speak native African tongues of the Sudanic family.

For governmental affairs, the Burkinabe step out in an always-appropriate-for-evening French-influenced parliamentary system, deftly accessorized with a native constitution and legislative, judicial, and executive branches all their own. Ouagadougou, like all national capitals, drips with a plethora of acronymed political parties and pressure groups.

A regular exporter of cotton, animal products, and gold, Burkina Faso imports machinery, food products, and petroleum from nearby Cote d'Ivoire and not-so-nearby France.

Burkina Faso's flag, two equal horizontal bands of red (top) and green with a yellow five-pointed star in the center; uses the enduringly popular pan-African colors of Ethiopia.

The well-dressed web Burkinabe can often be seen in the sleek ".bf" Internet country code, so be sure to say "bonjour" when you meet them!

Boring Statistics and Facts The CIA World Factbook

Attitude and Fashion Commentary Sidra Vitale

Thursday, May 16, 2002

Speaking For Everyone

As I'm frequently asked to speak for All Women Everywhere®, I thought I'd just go ahead and let you all know what All Women Everywhere® like, since, as you know, we're all completely interchangeable, and one woman [me] is fully capable of successfully interpreting to you not only what she likes but what All Women Everywhere® like. This, way, you'll NEVER have to WONDER AGAIN! Wow!

So all 8 gazillion of us would like to set the record straight --

Our Favorite Color is Blue. Very nice.
Our Favorite Ice Cream is Rocky Road.
Our Favorite Drink is the crystal-clear, refreshing water that comes from Secret Woman Springs. Two X chromosomes required for purchase.
Our Favorite Muffin is Banana with Almonds.
Half of the time we like our steak medium rare, the other half of the time we like it medium well, we flip a coin right before ordering in a restaurant, and yes, we do it that way just to piss you off.

Monday, May 13, 2002

Pardon The Hysterical Laughter

I'm not making this up, I swear.

Sherlock Holmes in the 22nd Century .

What, I should expound? Like that wasn't funny enough by itself?

It's some kids cartoon. Holmes was cryogenically frozen, thawed out in the 22nd century by a descendant of Inspector Lestrade and her assistant robot with human head? features? called Watson. It seems Holmes' nemesis Moriarty has been cloned and so Holmes must return to business.

I swear to god, I was stunned for the first minute, then laughing hysterically for several minutes further. Y'see,

you see

All I could think of was Duck Dodgers in the 24th-and-a-half Century . So now I have this weird cross-pollinated image in my head of Sherlock Holmes going up against Marvin the Martian, with Porky Pig as Watson.

See? This is what comes of channel surfing.