Video: Inside Togo’s Voodoo Fetish Market

Bryan Christy at the the fetish market in Lome, Togo. Image courtesy of National Geographic Explorer.
Bryan Christy at the the fetish market in Lome, Togo. Image courtesy of National Geographic Explorer.

“One of the unique aspects about Togo is that voodoo is real and alive,” says investigative journalist Bryan Christy in this outtake from the National Geographic Explorer show “Warlords of Ivory.”

Christy visited the fetish market in the capital city Lome as part of his investigation in Africa’s ivory trade. In the video he explains the presence of dead, dried animals on display and why.

Wildlife onside in the Lone fetish market. Image courtesy of National Geographic Explorer.
Wildlife onside in the Lome fetish market. Image courtesy of National Geographic Explorer.

He also tells about going behind the scenes with vendors and seeing live animals and wonders if there is elephant ivory among the “behind the scenes” specimens for sale.

Christy was on a groundbreaking mission to expose how the ivory trade funds some of Africa’s most notorious militias and terrorist groups. Working with one of the world’s top taxidermists, he concealed a sophisticated GPS tracker inside an incredibly realistic faux ivory tusk and dropped it in the heart of ivory poaching country and monitored its movements to track down the kingpins of the ivory trade.

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Watch This Corpse Flower Bloom Or Else Wait Another 5 Years

This is one popular attraction for something that totally reeks.

Stinky Phil, a corpse flower that blooms once every five years, drew more than 1,000 sniff-seeking flower fans over the weekend to its greenhouse at the Virginia Tech College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

The college released time-lapse footage recorded over 36 hours of the rare blooming.

Before the weekend, Virginia Tech News described the expected odor as a “primordial stench akin to rotting flesh.” The giant flower, native to Sumatra, Indonesia, can reach 7 to 12 feet high, with a diameter of 3 to 4 feet.

Corpse flowers are known to draw large crowds. Spike, a titan arum plant in Glencoe, Illinois, recently attracted 50,000 people around the time it was expected to bloom. Unfortunately, Spike failed to open without some help from scientists and did not release the terrible odor fans were hoping for, The Chicago Tribune reported.

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Tropical Storm Erika Delayed Blastoff for US Navy set for Sept. 2 on Most Powerful Atlas V Rocket: Watch Live

MUOS-4 US Navy communications satellite and Atlas V rocket at pad 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, FL for launch on Sept. 2, 2015 at 5:59 a.m. EDT. Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com

MUOS-4 US Navy communications satellite and Atlas V rocket at pad 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, FL for launch on Sept. 2, 2015 at 5:59 a.m. EDT. Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com

CAPE CANAVERAL AIR FORCE STATION, FL – Blastoff of an advanced communications satellite for the US Navy is set for early Wednesday morning, Sept. 2, using the most powerful variant of the United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket-following a 48 hour postponement due to terrible weather expected from Tropical Storm Erika, which pounded islands in the Caribbean causing destruction and over 20 deaths.

The threat of strong winds and heavy rains forced Florida Gov. Rick Scott to declare a state of emergency in every county in Florida last (…)
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Three Americans on a Train to Paris: The Roots of Heroism

What enabled the three young Americans to attack and stop the well-armed man on the train from Amsterdam to Paris, most likely saving many lives, including their own? The man on the express train from Amsterdam to Paris had a number of weapons, but when Airman First Class Spenser Stone awoke from a deep sleep, what he saw was the AK-47 the man was holding. Stone said later it looked like the weapon wasn’t working, and he was trying to charge his weapon. Stone was on a European vacation with Alek Skarlatos, a specialist in the Oregon National Guard who just returned from service in Afghanistan, and Anthony Sandler, the three of them friends since middle school.

Skarlatos hit Stone on the shoulder as Stone was waking up and said “let’s go.” Stone did go, tackled the man, pushed him down and held him on the ground, even though the man cut him with a box cutter. Skarlatos grabbed the AK-47 out of his hand. He had more weapons, and the three friends hit him and tied him up. Three other people also acted; one helping the three Americans, one earlier attacking the man in another railroad car and was shot by him, the role of the third one unclear. But I won’t discuss the other people, since media reports gave little information about them.

A central influence leading a person to take action is a feeling of responsibility for others’ welfare — and presumably one’s own. In a number of studies, my students and I found that people who feel more responsible for others’ welfare help more when someone is in either physical distress, or in psychological distress. A feeling of responsibility can be the result either of the way parents socialized the child, or of experiences in —> Read More

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