Two translations of a Setswana train poem

“Rhinoceros of the highlands / Beast coming from the South, it comes along steaming, / It comes from Pompi and from Kgobola-diatla.” With excerpts from oral poetry about cattle and other domestic and wild animals, marijuana, bicycles and the 2nd Boer War; with Kipling and other European South African railway poetry; and with Hugh Masekela as uitsmyter.

Steam locomotive graveyard at De Aar Junction (or Touws River?), South Africa.

Iran’s Night of the Zionist cows

The news (via Normblog) that the Iranian justice system has strung up a mentally incapable and unrepresented 16-year old girl for getting to know a boy shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise to anyone who has heard the stories of those who escaped the revolution or the various officially sanctioned torture and murder…

Brewery produces BSE-resistant cow

Says the FT: Kirin Brewery of Japan on Monday said it had genetically engineered a cow that was immune to bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) in a joint project with Hematech, a US biotechnology company. Bet it still won’t be able to walk straight.

Banning bullfighting is worse for cows than the status quo

If you want to save a beefmobile from a horrible death, the best way is to keep bullrings open. These are the numbers: According to The Scotsman (which knows about these things), 100 bulls are killed annually in the Monumental ring in Barcelona. Bullrings which get closed invariably become shopping malls. A shopping mall the…

Animals in mediaeval visions of the hereafter

In the Middle Ages anyone of any commercial talent (and his/her mum) had visions and stored some human bones in the new toilet chapel extension of the pig shed nave of the temple next to that handy spring holy source on the hillside. Here, extracted by moderately cunning device from Amazon, is the relevant part of the ToC of Eileen Gardiner’s (not completely exhaustive) Medieval Visions of Heaven and Hell: A Sourcebook:

One born a minute

As the barking of the mad dogs of Mechelen recedes, Hispanic PR Newswire mutters in our ear that its market is suffering from a severe case of the proverbs: Often, excuses come disguised as popular wisdom… Unfortunately, the sayings nearest and dearest to us, those passed on through generations, have also culturally conditioned us to…