[image description: a photo (or screencap) of King Peggielene Bartels of Otuam, Ghana. She is a robust, broad-shouldered, plump Black woman with a medium-brown complexion and short, tightly-curled, reddish-brown hair. In the photo, she is wearing kohl-style eyeliner, dark lipliner, deep-pink lipstick, and possibly other makeup; she has on a modest golden crown and two long, thick necklaces, one gold-tone in various shapes and textures and the other alternating golden-yellow “trade”-type beads with black-and-white-striped beads, but does not appear to have pierced earlobes; and she is wearing a traditional Ghanaian garment, made of traditional West-African woven fabric in geometric patterns of green, fuchsia and white, which is wrapped so as to cover her left shoulder but leave the right bare; there is also what seems to be a strap crossing her chest from her right shoulder downward, made of some reddish material with adornments in golden-yellow and goldtone circles. And, she appears to be either smiling, in mid-word, or both, and is turned slightly towards and looking at someone or something out-of-frame to her left.]
(76# Ghana) King Peggielene Bartels: Why she kicks ass
“To be a king in an African village or some places like this, it’s not like European queens where everything is on a silver platter for them … I have to really work hard to help my people. I have to give myself to people to better their lives..”
- She is currently the King of Otuam, Ghana and one of only three female kings in Ghana. She has maintained her work in Ghana’s embassy in Washington, D.C. while making education affordable in Otuam, installing borehead wells to produce clean drinking water, enforcing incarceration laws to deal with domestic violence, providing the village with its first ambulance, replenishing the royal coffers by taxing Otuam’s fishing industry to improve life in the village, and appointing three women to her council.
- When she encountered corruption and the threat of embezzlement to the royal funds, she declared “I’m going to squeeze their balls so hard their eyes pop!”
- For 11 months out of the year she’s regular Peggy, secretary for the Ghanian Ambassador. She works, keeps in touch with her advisors via phone every night, saves her money and accumulates her vacation time into one month-long period — where she then takes off to Ghana to fulfill her duties in-person.
- When she discovered that male chauvinists wanted her to only be a figurehead, she said: “They were treating me like I am a second-class citizen because I am a woman. I said, ‘Hell no, you’re not going to do this to a woman!’”
- King Penny’s tale has been documented in a book written by her and author Eleanor Herman and is to be made into a film after Hollywood star Will Smith bought the rights to the book.
I love the phrase “only three female kings in Ghana.”
For those not familiar with Ghana, it’s a West-African country with the Atlantic Ocean as its southern border, approximately 240,000 square kilometers in area (roughly intermediate in size between the Philippines and the Hunan Province of China; roughly equivalent to the size of the UK, plus or minus Northern Ireland; intermediate in size between the U.S. states of Michigan and Minnesota) and with a population of approximately 24 million people (about as many as live in the four major countries of Scandinavia — Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden — taken together; right between the populations of Afghanistan and Yemen, or of the Chinese autonomous region of Inner Mongolia and the Chinese city of Shanghai; and a million-odd fewer than live in the U.S. state of Texas). Most of those places listed in the above parentheticals for comparison, of course, don’t have even one male king (or a queen, or any royalty for that matter).
And Ghana has only three female kings…
Also, where is that film, Will? I want to see it! (Not nearly just because Queen Latifah will be playing King Peggy, BUT. Mmmm.)
[Trigger Warning: Dead Baby Animals] PETA’s secret slaughter of companion animals
1. A pile of garbage bags, mostly black with a few white or transparent, in what appears to be a commercial Dumpster-type waste receptacle with rusty-crusty metal walls and floor. The context implies the bags are full of the corpses of companion animals, but the bags’ contents are not visually discernible.
2. In a field, on a sunny day, a human wearing a white “clean suit” and some sort of rebreather-type mask is holding a dead puppy by its hind legs at arm’s length over a black garbage bag. Someone out-of-frame except for part of their nitrile-displosable-glove-clad left hand is pointing down at the open garbage bag. (The other human is wearing what appear to be latex disposable gloves, as they are off-white, whereas the out-of-view human’s glove is purple, a color typically used for nitrile gloves so they’re readily distinguishable from latex ones for latex-allergy reasons.) Several vehicles are parked in the background, at least one of which has a blue law-enforcement light (turned off) on its roof.
3. A hard-plastic pet carrier, large enough to hold a medium-sized dog or two adult cats who like one another, is situated on some sort of metal grating. The carrier’s metal-grate door is open, and a tabby-striped kitten, appearing roughly three to five months old, is lying on its side on the floor of the carrier, its tail towards the viewer. The kitten is wearing what appears to be a paper identification collar, similar to hospital wrist-IDs for human patients. From its unnatural position and stiffness, and the peculiar way its fur is mussed, it is clear that the kitten is dead… or possibly “merely” comatose.
End of image descriptions.]
I reblogged this as text because the great big triggery photos show up before the trigger warning, otherwise. Those who want to see the photos, click through here (or click any of the next four links).
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) is an organization that publicly claims to represent the best interest of animals — indeed their “ethical treatment.” Yet approximately 2,000 animals pass through PETA’s front door every year and very few make it out alive. The vast majority — 96 percent in 2011 — exit the facility out the back door after they have been killed, when Pet Cremation Services of Tidewater stops by on their regular visits to pick up their remains. Between these visits, the bodies are stored in the giant walk-in freezer PETA installed for this very purpose. It is a freezer that cost $9,370 and, like the company which incinerates the bodies of PETA’s victims, was paid for with the donations of animal lovers who could never have imagined that the money they donated to help animals would be used to end their lives instead. In fact, in the last 11 years, PETA has killed 29,426 dogs, cats, rabbits, and other domestic animals.
Source: The Huffington Post
[image description: A close-up of f2fag’s boxer shorts, which are black and emblazoned with numerous Batman logos, taken by f2fag. The fly is unbuttoned, exposing the glans and some of the shaft of his cock, as well as part of his lips where they meet the underside of the shaft.]
Damn, I want those boxers and that cock. (Yes, Te, I have Batman boxers of my own, but they’re different.) Mmm, mmm, mmmm.
[image description: a plate of miniature jelly doughnuts, red jam leaking from each’s fill-hole, and each dusted modestly with powdered sugar across their tops only.]
OMG I want some oliebollen now. Want them so bad.
And despite what the About.com writer says, the apple ones are the best.
[IMAGE DESCRIPTION: A photograph of a manatee, bending over backwards in the water and looking at the photographer with its right eye. TEXT: “Things are tough for you right now, I know. But it will get better. It won’t always be this hard. Take things one step at a time. Everything is going to turn out great. You’ll see.”]
[image description: A deep-space telescope image, showing, at the bottom of the image, a cavernous nebula with stars visible inside; the upper half of the image, “above” the nebula from our perspective, contains several very large and very bright stars, surrounded by increasingly smaller and less bright stars, against a backdrop of deep black peppered with the lights of still-smaller and more-distant stars.]
This was NASA’s Astronomy Picture of the Day on the 18th of November 2012. The text of NASA’s write-up accompanying the image:
NGC 6357: Cathedral to Massive Stars
Image Credit: NASA, ESA and Jesús Maíz Apellániz (IAA, Spain)
Explanation: How massive can a normal star be? Estimates made from distance, brightness and standard solar models had given one star in the open cluster Pismis 24 over 200 times the mass of our Sun, nearly making it the record holder. This star is the brightest object located just above the gas front in the above image. Close inspection of images taken with the Hubble Space Telescope, however, has shown that Pismis 24-1 derives its brilliant luminosity not from a single star but from three at least. Component stars would still remain near 100 solar masses, making them among the more massive stars currently on record. Toward the bottom of the image, stars are still forming in the associated emission nebula NGC 6357. Appearing perhaps like a Gothic cathedral, energetic stars near the center appear to be breaking out and illuminating a spectacular cocoon.
ESA is the European Space Agency, a multinational cooperative that has increasingly stepped in to pick up the slack as the U.S. guts NASA’s budget.
Go here for the current day’s Astronomy Picture of the Day (APoD homepage) or scroll down to browse the archives or search for a particular kind of image.
[image description: A photo of a light-skinned human with black or dark-brown hair, lying on their left side. Their right hip and thigh, torso, right armpit, left shoulder and upper arm, and part of their face — chin, mouth, part of right cheek — are visible, though the focus is sharpest on their chest, and the face is out of focus. The person’s groin is in deep shadow. They have a narrow, rounded chin; full, well-curved, reddish lips; and what looks like A- or B-cup breasts with areolae approximately 1-1.5 inches / 2.5-4cm in diameter. They also have thick, mostly-straight hair in their visible underarm, and slightly sparser hair across their collarbone, down their sternum, and across to encircle each nipple and areola. There may or may not also be hair on the lower abdomen meeting the pubic bush, but the lighting and less-sharp focus in that area makes it difficult to be certain.]
Self-portrait by Phoenix Floe (phoenixfloephotography is her self-portraiture journal) who identifies as a woman and apparently does not take any androgen supplements. (For any trans*guys who might be feeling jealous, consider that she began growing hair on her face, neck and chest in middle school, i.e. at 11-13 years old, and her classmates were as nasty about it as you’d expect.) She talks about what her experiences being a hairy woman have been like in this post, and at greater length in this other post.
When I first spotted this photo on sexisnottheenemy (which is a great tumblr you should all follow if it’s legal for you to look at naked people in your jurisdiction), I honestly couldn’t tell whether I was looking at a hairy woman, a very pretty man with gynecomastia, an intersexed person, a trans* man, a trans* woman, or some other category of person entirely. I’m glad I went looking for information instead of guessing, because #1, there are many more gorgeous photos of Phoenix Floe on both her tumblrs, and #2, there’s a goodly amount of other interesting stuff there, including at least one cute kitty video (hosted on vimeo).
purple glossy starling, also known as purple starling
photossecond photo by aj havercamp)
Correction: The first photo, of a starling looking directly at the camera, is by Brian Scott; link to original flickr post is here.
Only the second photo, of a starling in profile facing to our right, is the work of Arjan Haverkamp / A.J. Haverkamp; link to original flickr post is here.
(For those who can’t view the photos: both depict the head, throat / upper chest and shoulder(s) of yellow-eyed birds with sharp, dark-gray beaks, and iridescent purple feathers on their heads shading through iridescent blue to iridescent turquoise on their shoulders and below their throats. The bird in the upper photo has its head tilted off the horizontal, giving it the appearance of a quizzical expression.)
Though both photos depict birds from the same genus, the glossy starlings or Lamprotornis, they might not be the same species within that genus. Brian Scott’s identification of his subject as a purple glossy starling (Lamprotornis purpureus) appears to be correct, or at least consistent with the purple starling’s eye color and as much of its plumage as is visible. M. Haverkamp’s identification of the bird in the bottom photo as a superb glossy starling (Lamprotornis superbus), however, doesn’t seem to match that species’ description as given on Wikipedia, as the bird in the photo has yellow-irised eyes, not white or red. As there are over a dozen species in the glossy starling genus, many of them very similar in appearance to one another, a definitive identification with only the head and neck visible is impossible.
The two photographers didn’t both capture portraits of the same individual bird, in any case; their two photos were actually taken in different countries, England and the Netherlands, respectively, even though all the glossy starling species are native to Africa. Their vibrant coloring makes them popular with aviaries, botanical gardens and zoos on other continents, as these two photos demonstrate.
Most importantly, starlings are pretty to look at. ;)
One of my favorite female people: Princess, the cat who chose us when we went to the local Humane Society shelter to adopt a new owner.
(Yes, there’s something wrong with her eyes. She’s visually impaired, though not completely blind, due to an untreated infection when she was a kitten, long before she came into our lives. She has other health issues, too, including GERD and severe food allergies, particularly to chicken. And we wouldn’t trade her for a fully-able-bodied cat and a million dollars.)
Photo by me.