otherPriorities.com was supposed to become a site for texts and think pieces, written exchange and debate on Africa, the West, and the Rest of the World. It didn’t work. I will now use it to offer bits and pieces of text which might grow into a book, one day, and invite you to follow the evolving story.
Throughout her history, the Earth’s climate has been fluctuating between hot and cold, ‘greenhouse’ Earth and ‘icehouse’ Earth. When the asteroid hit our planet 65 million years ago, Earth was in a greenhouse period but with the continents moving into their current positions, it started cooling. A new geological era opened. Flowering plants evolved. The main new feature, however, appeared in the fauna: After the Age of Reptiles with its dinosaurs and crocodiles, the Age of Mammals began. – That’s us. And 36 million years ago, the Earth slipped into an icehouse period with the Arctic and Antarctic ice
At age nineteen, after I had finished high school and enrolled at the University of Bern for my studies of law, my parents left Switzerland. My father had become the Swiss Ambassador to Ethiopia. 1974 was not only the year of my last visit to them there, two other events drew the world’s attention to Ethiopia: Haile Selassie, Emperor of Ethiopia, was removed from his throne in a communist coup d’état. And in the northern end of the Ethiopian Great Rift Valley, the Awash, the bone fossils of a female hominid were found. Worldwide, this lady became known as
The film ‘King Kong’ was shot in 1933, sixty years before ‘Jurassic Park’, but has a much more refined plot. It plays between the Great Depression in New York and a mysterious island with the life of 200 million years ago, a Jurassic park. Adventurers travel to this island to film and capture an oversized ape named Kong. Kong falls in love with a woman amongst the adventurers, Ann, and abducts her. The group searches the jungle for her and is attacked and decimated by vicious dinosaurs. They find Ann and rescue her. On their way back, Kong pursues
My smallest crocodile is golden and only 13 millimeters long. It is actually a pin on the head of a Zairean fetish, holding together a piece of real leopard skin with a synthetic ancillary. I was in Zaïre, today the Congo, in 1981/82. I had passed the diplomatic examination of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs the year before. My father who was a career diplomat and, at that time Ambassador of Switzerland to Tunisia, asked me, “Are you sure?”, my brother said, “You’re crazy”, but I still became a diplomat and Kinshasa was my first posting abroad. After