13 Aug “Intellect Without Experience Or Experience Without Intellect?”, I ask HR as she throws the burnt #palomitasAF into the #basuraAF. She replies, “so what should I do to grow?” I reply as I sigh, “look at your fears–address those, Yo.” #bottlesAF (2.4k)
“That will be 27 pesos for the pizza”, the guy in the uniform informs me as he puts his hand out.
I hand him the bill; he replies with change; a #monedaAF drops onto the ground and rolls down the walkway before we can catch it; eventually, it continues rolling into the street where it drops into a storm drain.
“I’m sorry, man”, the guy in the uniform replies as he reaches into his pocket to scrounge up another #monedaAF.
He looks up at me as he pulls his hand out, “I’m sorry but I guess that was my last coin, Yo. Can I offer you a free pizza next time you order to make up for it?”
“Nah”, I reply as I turn my head from the street to the guy, “I really needed that to hail the spacejet taxi to get to my meeting with my book publisher, Yo.”
“Hmm”, the guy in the uniform replies, “well let me call the store and have them send somebody out here with a coin for your change, ok?”
I turn to HR and then him, “yes, I’ll wait, Yo.”
He dials the number on his videotelepathy device; mumbles a couple words; turns to me to assure that someone is on the way; puts his device back into his pocket and starts twiddling his thumbs.
“So”, he asks me as he looks away, “where you from, Yo?”
“Ah”, he replies as turns his head back to me, “you go to college there?”
“Hmm”, he replies as he looks down at the ground, “which school?”
“Is that the school where”
“Yup”, I cut him off before he can finish; heard this before, I think.
“Where they found the cure for stage 3 cancer?”, he finishes his sentence.
“Yup”, I reply; that’s all anyone ever wants to talk about, I think.
The second spacejet from the pizza place arrives; the women in a uniform gets out; walking over to me, she reaches her hand out to give me the coin.
“Thanks for the change”, I reply as I put my thumb out to try and catch the next spacejet taxi as the two pizza drivers drive off.
Chimps with everything: Jane Goodall’s 50 years in the jungle
Through detailed observations of Tanzanian apes, Jane Goodall revolutionised our knowledge of chimpanzee behaviour
Fifty years ago, a slender young Englishwoman was walking through a rainforest reserve at Gombe, in Tanzania, when she came across a dark figure hunched over a termite nest. A large male chimpanzee was foraging for food. So she stopped and watched the animal through her binoculars as he carefully took a twig, bent it, stripped it of its leaves, and finally stuck it into the nest. Then he began to spoon termites into his mouth.
Thus Jane Goodall made one of the most important scientific observations of modern times in that remote African rainforest. She witnessed a creature, other than a human, in the act not just of using a tool but of making one. “It was hard for me to believe,” she recalls. “At that time, it was thought that humans, and only humans, used and made tools. I had been told from school onwards that the best definition of a human being was man the tool-maker – yet I had just watched a chimp tool-maker in action. I remember that day as vividly as if it was yesterday.”
Goodall telegraphed her boss, the fossil-hunter Louis Leakey (father of Richard), with the news. His response has since become the stuff of scientific legend: “Now we must redefine man, redefine tools, or accept chimpanzees as humans.” Leakey was exaggerating but not by much. Certainly, there is little doubt about the importance of Goodall’s discovery five decades ago. As the distinguished Harvard palaeontologist Stephen Jay Gould put it, this was “one of the great achievements of 20th-century scholarship”.
Goodall’s subsequent observations found that not only did Pan troglodytes – the chimpanzee – make and use tools but that our nearest evolutionary cousins embraced, hugged, and kissed each other. They experienced adolescence, developed powerful mother-and-child bonds, and used political chicanery to get what they wanted. They also made war, wiping out members of their own species with almost genocidal brutality on one occasion that was observed by Goodall.
This work has held up a mirror, albeit a blurred one, to our own species, suggesting that a great many of our behaviours, once thought to be uniquely human, may have been inherited from the common ancestors that Homo sapiensshared with chimpanzees six million years ago. We therefore have much to commemorate 50 years after Goodall began her strolls through Gombe. These celebrations began yesterday at the Berlin film festival with the premiere of Lorenz Knauer’s documentary about Goodall, Jane’s Journey – which includes a walk-on part for Angelina Jolie – and will continue throughout the year.
Today, Goodall is a gracefully aged replica of the young woman who first set foot at Gombe five decades ago. Her long blond hair, tied back as usual, has turned silvery grey. Now aged 76, she exudes a calm confidence as she travels the world, promoting green causes established by the Jane Goodall Institute, which she set up in 1977 in order to promote research at Gombe and to protect chimpanzees and their habitats.
But in 1960, she looked an unlikely scientific pioneer. Goodall had no academic training, having grown up in the middle-class gentility of Bournemouth in the postwar years, a time when women were expected to be wives and little else. However, she burned with two passions: a love of animals and a love of Africa. “I got my love of animals from the Dr Dolittle books and my love of Africa from the Tarzan novels,” she says. “I remember my mum taking me to the first Tarzan film, which starred Johnny Weissmuller, and bursting into tears. It wasn’t what I had imagined at all.”
A friend took a job in Kenya, and Goodall decided to join her, working as a waitress to raise funds for her trip. In Nairobi, Goodall was introduced to Louis Leakey, the scientist whose fossil discoveries had finally proved mankind’s roots were African, not Asian, as had previously been supposed.
At this time, Leakey was looking for someone to study chimpanzees in the wild and to find evidence of shared ancestry between humans and the great apes. Previous studies of primates had been confined to captive animals but Leakey believed, presciently, that much more could be learned by studying them in the wild. More to the point, Goodall would make a perfect observer, he believed, coming – as she did – “with a mind uncluttered and unbiased by theory”, a point that is acknowledged by Goodall.
There was slightly more to the relationship than this, however. Leakey found the presence of this pretty, hazel-eyed blonde too much for him and although then in his late 50s, and married with three children, he bombarded Goodall with protestations of his love. “I was in a very difficult position, because on the one hand I hugely admired him,” says Goodall. “He knew so much. He also had my whole future in his hands. On the other hand, I thought: ‘No thanks.'”
Their friendship survived the incident and Goodall went off to Gombe to study her chimpanzees, while Leakey selected two other female researchers, Dian Fossey and Birute Galdikas, to study gorillas and orangutans. Galdikas, like Goodall, is still going strong. The fate of Fossey, played by Sigourney Weaver in the film Gorillas in the Mist, was to be a grim one, however. Fossey was murdered in 1985 after trying to punish local people following incidents in which several of her beloved gorillas were killed.
“Dian was a tragic figure,” says Goodall. “She was very, very tall, statuesque and really, really wanted to get married. She would say to people, ‘Do you know a man who is six foot five and loves gorillas?’ So she got a little bitter later on when I got married and Birute got married and she didn’t. And she wasn’t diplomatic. She tackled poachers by chasing them and did things that I would not have been brave enough to have done. Sometimes she was very stupid. But she brought the plight of the gorillas to everyone’s attention.”
The violent death of Dian Fossey contrasts with Goodall’s relatively peaceful time in Tanzania, although her life at Gombe – on the eastern shore of Lake Tanganyika, north of Kigoma – certainly did not lack incident. “I arrived with my mother because the local authorities were adamant that a young English girl could not live on her own in the bush without a European escort,” she says.
In fact, this ruling may not have been an altogether bad thing because the Belgian Congo had just erupted into civil war and Kigoma was filled with refuges. “There was nowhere to go so we had to put up our tent in a prison camp. They said that was the safest place for us and wouldn’t let us go to Gombe for several weeks.”
Eventually the two women (plus a cook) made it to the reserve and Goodall began the tricky business of getting Gombe’s chimps to accept her. “I remember my first day, looking up from the shore to the forest, hearing the apes and the birds, and smelling the plants, and thinking this is very, very unreal,” she says. “Then I started walking through the forest and as soon as a chimp saw me, it would run away.”
After a few weeks one male, who she named David Greybeard because of his white-tufted chin, let her approach him – tempted by the odd banana – and allowed her to observe him as he foraged for food. (It was David Greybeard who Goodall later watched making that leafy tool to obtain termites.) More and more troop members followed suit and Goodall was eventually allowed to observe their behaviour almost as if she was a chimpanzee herself.
Slowly she built up a picture of chimp life in all its domestic detail: the grooming, the food-sharing, the status wrangles, and the fights.
Don’t go looking for monsters; live your life, as you choose, and you will encounter them; slay the monsters that are there–but, if you go searching, you will turn into the monster that you fear, Yo.
To Live In Fear Is To Not Live At All
Too many people let past failures dictate their future; they believe these obstacles will determine the course of their lives. Smart people on the other hand look to their pitfalls of life to motivate them to succeed. Sometimes bad things happen to good people, but you cannot get bitter, you must get better. The difference between the strong and the weak is that the strong don’t use the past to receive pity or to guilt and manipulate; we rise above, silently and diligently.
There are some things that will happen to you over the course of your life that you will never get over; you just have to find ways to get through them. During this period of strife, you will find courage and strength you never knew existed. You must never ever give up or let anybody or anything stop you from doing what you want to do in life.
You must be fearless and powerful and most importantly, you need to remain impervious to the pain. Release all fears and doubts; positive energy will bring positive results.
“Oh, my friend, it’s not what they take away from you that counts. It’s what you do with what you have left.” -Hubert Humphrey
If you want to fly, you must give up the sh*t that weighs you down. The more anger toward the past you carry in your heart, the less capable you are of loving in the present. Heartbreak can be a motivator or your biggest enemy. Let your haters be your biggest motivators. The best revenge is showing them how much better you are doing without them.
When you have haters, it means you are doing something right. Of course people are going to become jealous of your success and as a result may try to deter you. You cannot let these kinds of inconsequential people dictate your life; the sky is the limit, do not let these negative vibes hold you back. People do not define who you are or what you do, YOU DO. When you engage the haters, you are giving them control and that is exactly what they want.
The words we choose reveal our true character.
Life is too short to take everything so seriously, so stop concentrating on the past and focus on your future. You cannot change things that have already happened to you, so there is no reason to dwell in the sorrow. Instead, put all your effort into improving your present.
Everyone in life has gone through hard times, but you are responsible for how you act no matter how you feel.
“Can I kill them now?”, I ask my wife as I look at Heatherate and Jacobate tied up to the post.
“Who said we would kill them?”, my wife replies as she looks at me with a sparkle in her eye.
“So what are you proposing?”, I ask uncomfortably, “we aren’t going to kill them, then?”
“You know what’s the freshest meat?”, my wife asks as HR turns her head to her, “the kind that hasn’t been killed, yet. Am I right?”
I gulp, “I suppose so?”
“HR”, my wife says as she turns to the window, “grab the Teriyaki, ok?”
Afterwards, we cleaned up the mess; it was delicious; my wife was right; I had never done something like that before; it had only recently been made legal on Dorinto; overall, in hindsight, I’m glad I took a chance, huh?
So how do I justify writing more when the book is done?
I’ld rather create more then I need, then less; I’ld rather give too much, then not enough; I’ld rather try too hard, then give up too soon; and, at the end of the day, I’ld rather have too much material then too little, Yo.