Mancala Boards - Some Unique Ones

In the United States, Europe and elsewhere, board game players are typically used to seeing one standard type of Mancala board, the folding light-colored wooden Mancala board.

Before these, most familiar to many players, Mancala boards went into mass production, the game had been played for hundreds and hundreds of years. The earliest archaeological evidence of Mancala gameplay, dates to between the years 500 and 600 A.D.

Because of the long history of Mancala games, I felt an urge to display some unique Mancala boards.

For your viewing pleasure ...

Somewhat Regal Looking Mancala Board

This looks like a nice spot for a Mancala game. I can't tell if the Mancala board is somewhat oversized or if the table and drinking vessels are somewhat small.

Hand-Carved Mancala Board from Dark Wood

Here we have a hand carved board that has seen many fun games of Mancala. You can see the evidence of many many deposits and removal of the well-polished Mancala stones.

Close Shot, Colorful Beads

The wood grain showing through the paint of this Mancala board give it a nice look.

Hand-Shaped Clay Mancala Board

A game of Mancala in progress on what looks to be a board shaped out of clay. The board has a pretty nice looking crack in it, but it seems to be holding together well. It appears beans are functioning as the pieces for this game. An item no doubt used in games early in the history of Mancala.

Green & Red Painted Mancala Board

Here is an ornately decorated Mancala board, with small seashells being used for the Mancala game pieces. Brilliant!

Photos Courtesy
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African Wood Carvings are Beautiful

The people of Africa have produced many extraordinarily beautiful wood carvings.

Here are some African wood carvings I feel like sharing today -

Carved Wood Giraffe Head

Giraffes are just cool animals, besides being the tallest living land species, their coat also has that cool pattern.
It's no surprise the influence of the giraffe can be found in the art of the African people.
The Giraffe's favorite source of food are Acacia trees.

African Carved Goat Head

An animal playing a more intimate role in the lives of some Africans is the goat.
Here is an African artist's interpretation of the head of a goat carved in wood.
This wood carving is housed in the the De Young Museum in San Francisco, CA.

Life-Like Human Head Wood Caving

This Human head wood carving is striking in its life-likeness.
The face of the species that carved the above works turns the focus on itself.

Ashanti Female Fertility Statue Ghana

Among the culture of Ghana this is recognized as an "Ashanti Mother" / "Ashanti female fertility statue" carved by an artisan of the Ashanti people.

N'tomo Mask from Mali

This is impressive, known as a N'tomo Mask, it is carved by the Bambara People of Mali and worn by dancers in Male initiation
This masked was carved around the turn of the last century and can be viewed at the Art Institute of Chicago.


Acacia Tree of Africa

A quintessential African image, an Acacia tree spreading its branches on the African Serengeti.

Acacia trees are found in warm-temperate regions throughout the world.

There are around 1300 known species of Acacia, most of these being native to Australia, around 960 Acacia


Though Australia harbors the majority of Acacia tree varieties, Africa is well known for the Acacia tree.

The horizontal branching posture of the Acacia tree on the African Serengeti is a popular photographic subject

and enjoyable to look at.

Acacia xanthophloea

This Acacia xanthophloea growing in Lake Nakuru National Park in the Rift Valley of Kenya is roughly as tall as it is wide.

Known as the Fever tree, a name derived from this Acacia species perceived connection to malarial fever.

This connection results from the tendency of Acacia xanthophloea to grow in wet, swampy areas, also the home of malaria carrying mosquitoes. Before mosquitoes were determined to transmit malaria, people

believed this tree and the yellow powder on its bark that can be seen to float in the air as small powdery clouds played a role in the contraction of the malaria fever and so it was known as the Fever tree.

Acacia and Animals

Zebra, giraffes, and wildebeests like the Acacia too.

Acacia trees play a part in the giraffe's diet.

A trio of cheetahs atop a termite hill, below an Acacia tree with an eye out for lunch, a vulture waits overhead to clean up.

Yellow grass, green Acacia leaves, blue sky and Blue Wildebeest in this nice panorama.

This picture was taken in the South African grasslands.

It might surprise you to see a pair of Acacia among the desert dunes.

Acacia Trees and Sunsets

The Acacia tree and sunsets go together well, very well.

Glowing sunset and monochromatic hills behind the Acacia tree.

Acacia tortilis, the "Umbrella tree" provides a great foreground for the setting sun in Serengeti National Park in Tanzania.

Another Acacia in Serengeti National Park bearing witness to a soft orange sunset.


Lovely & Unique African Wood Carving

Here is an interesting African style carving.

Quite unique isn't it?

It evokes a somewhat disconcerting feeling, but at the same time seems to draw the viewer in for further study of the absent section.

The bracelet and earring are nice touches adding to this wood carving's intricacy.

At the base of the photo, you can see some a portion of some small carved African masks, they look interesting, due in part to their size.


Sand Castle on Grand Cayman

A sand castle involving squares show its form in the sand on Sevenmile Beach, Grand Cayman Island.

Should the builders of this sand castle get hungry, they can work their ways back a bit from the beach and if they want cross the road remembering that cars drive on the left, if they hail from the U.S. or Canada or any other drive on the right side of the road area.

Once off the beach, sating the castle constructors hunger should be easily accomplished in one the many restaurants in the Seven mile Beach area.

Or, if not wanting to leave the beach a spear could be fashioned from a piece of wood, a fish gleaned from the ocean, and a fire built if you like your fish cooked.

Or, one could speak to one of the hotels or residents in the Seven Mile area and suggest they plant some fruit bearing trees, so a future beachgoer can harvest a snack from land or in the shade.

While many people visit the Cayman Islands to spend time off the land in the water
I'm sure some on the would be eager to do a little "rewilding."

Little Cayman and Cayman Brac as well, I imagine.

Djembe all around

Djembes and humans have a lot in common, like uh...

Hailing originally from Africa and having since spread throughout the world is a characteristic of both the djembe and human beings.

...and, that's all i got...


and of course, humans have heads and djembe drums have drumheads.

In light of these quite curious similarities. Nearly stunningly, amazingly, interesting similarities perhaps.

Presented now are some pictures of Djembes and their human counterpart laying down some nice djembe rhythm.

From Africa, to the snowy north.

The Djembe has a bright future in Canada

Canadian Children standing by and playing many djembes

as evidenced by this photo of children playing the djembe in a Toronto, Ontario park.

Another Black & White Djembe Photo

people playing djembes
In this image of a Djembe drum circle we have an interesting perspective. Additionally we can see what is a common type of cord to secure and tune modern day djembe drum heads.

A man utilizes his Djembe in an intelligent manner

man playing djembe
more Djembes are visible in the background along with their presumptive percussive masters.

Abdoulaye Sylla playing the Djembe Drum

Abdoulaye Sylla djembe

Well known djembe percussionist Abdoulaye Sylla surely enjoys playing his djembe!

Lots of great places to play the Djembe

Byron Bay Djembe playing

this is surely one of them, Djembe players along with other instrumentalists gathered at a Byron Bay, Australia beach.


Bahamas - the Islands & about Them

The Bahamas, or by the official name, the Commonwealth of The Bahamas, is an island nation, or more specifically a nation of islands.

Bahamas Flag
Flag of the Bahamas

The Bahamas are located in the Atlantic Ocean to the east & south of Florida and to the north & east of Cuba.

bahamas map
Map depicting location of the Bahamas relative to neighboring landmasses.

Inhabited since roughly the 600s AD, today The Bahamas are an independent nation.

The official language of The Bahamas is English.

Since 1964 The Bahamas have been self-governing and on July 10, 1973 full independence from the United Kingdom was realized for the nation of Bahamanians.

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The Bahamas is of course, a fairly familiar term to many people, this owing mainly to the connotations of holiday, vacation, and travel associated with this island nation's name.

Bahamas Travel Tips

Traveling in the Bahamas can cover both ends of what is often seen as the traveler type spectrum. From relaxing in a beautiful Bahamas resort to exploring enchanting natural landscapes, whether you see yourself as a vacationer, traveler, or just eager to have a magical Bahamas holiday. Most everyone drawn to the charm of these islands spread across the Atlantic Ocean should find something to suit their tastes.

Nightlife in the Bahamas

If you are after some Bahamas nightlife you should have some luck looking in the cities of Nassau and Freeport.

Bahamas Resorts

The Bahamas of course are often regarded as a quintessential resort land.

If lying poolside or on the beach, strolling through and admiring beautiful, lush tropical flowers and foliage, and dining on professionally prepared Bahamas cuisine - or if Bahamas food doesn't do it for, any of a number of other quality edibles - floats your yacht, then you my friend are in luck.

Those looking for the Bahamas resort experience should be served well by beginning their search in the areas surrounding the cities of Freeport/Lucaya and Nassau.

Bahamas Green / Nature / Eco-Friendly Travel

For those who eschew the luxuries and pampered environments provided by many Bahamanian resorts, fret not, what are typically referred to as the "Out Islands" can provide travelers to the Bahamas a fix to their yearning for a holiday in the sun, enjoyment of tropical environments, or just lying naked on a beach with no one around.

Travelers of this nature, will also likely find the National Parks of the Bahamas to be an attractive destination. Three of the Bahamas national parks are located on the island of Grand Bahama, the same island as the town of Freeport / Lucaya, allowing for an easy combination of a resort vacation with the enjoyment of natural beauty.

Turquoise Water and Green Travel, oh yeah!

Bahamas Money

The Bahamanian dollar is linked in value to the United States dollar at a 1:1 ratio.
The U.S. dollar is widely accepted, this means people traveling to the Bahamas from the United States will have no need to change their currency.

Unless they'd just rather see Bahamanian dollars in their pocket instead of U.S. dollars.

To see what Bahamas money, dollars and coins, look like, see below.

Currency of the Bahamas


Bahamas Population & Cities

The population of the entire nation of the Bahamas is just a scant ~ 330,549 people. As is the case in many places around the world, the majority of these people are located in cities, and in fact the two most populous cities in the Bahamas, Nassau and Freeport are home to roughly 84% of the country's inhabitants.

Though being an island chain, if you visit the Bahamas you can still find plenty of uninhabited(by humans) space and rural areas to explore during your Bahamas vacation.
The Bahamas is actually nearer to the bottom than the top on a list of countries as ordered by population density of each country.

Cities in the Bahamas

Bahamanian cities in order of largest population.

Nassau is the largest city in the Bahamas as well the Capital of the Bahamas ~ 226,000 residents of the Bahamas.


Freeport a.k.a. Freeport / Lucaya is a Free Trade Zone located on the island of Grand Bahama ~ 50,000 Bahamanians.


Coopers Town is the northernmost settlement on Great Abaco island, the second largest island in the Bahamas after Andros Island. Coopers Town is home to around 7,200 people who call the Bahamas their home.


Marsh Harbour - 4,600


Freetown - 4,100


High Rock - 3,900


Andros Town - 3,500


Clarence Town - 2,200


Arthur's Town - 1,700


Dunmore Town - 1,500

As mentioned above the Bahamas is a nation of islands, many many islands in fact. Islands and cays to be precise.


Root Beer Recipe - Home Made is Best

homemade root beer

The quest for the rootiest of the rootiest and fizziest of the bubbliest the taste to best all Root Beers having come before, begins here.

Homemade root beer recipes to knock your socks off!


Clackers by any other name...


Clacker you say?

Just what is a clacker?

"Objects termed 'clackers' can be many things."

The big green cat says today.

Clacker this, Clacker that, Clacker over your welcome mat.

Called a Clacker mainly owing to the sound it emits.

A bird is a chirper,

That - ... , those my friends are clackers!

Here we have a clacker toy, constructed purely for the sake of joy.

clacker toy

A clacker like this, moves where it is taken, the water flows smoothly, and is never shaken.

water clacker
bamboo water fountain clacker

Some luminescent toy clackers, refecting on a reflective surface.

red orange toy clackers

Another toy clacker from days of yore, having spawned so much joy, it gets its own doily.

antique toy clacker
antique wooden toy clacker


Sea Turtles of the World

Found in the oceans and seas around the world, with the exception of the Arctic,

Sea Turtles are typically held inn high regard by us humans

and many of us hold a curiousity toward these ocean creatures.

The are seven types of living sea turtles in the world.

Seven types of Sea Turtles


Flatback Turtle


Green Turtle


Hawksbill Turtle


Kemp's Ridley Turtle


Leatherback Turtle


Loggerhead Turtle


Olive Ridley Turtle

Some captured Light exposition


Okmok Caldera Volcano

Panoramic Photo Detailing the Width of the Okmok Caldera

7 / 12

The caldera volcano atop the summit of Mount Okmok erupted Saturday July 12, 2008.

The caldera began spewing ash to an elevation of over 30,000 feet at around 11:43am

local time.

In the above photo, the indented ring is the Okmok Caldera you can then see inside this caldera are numerous pyroclastic cones and lava domes, appearing as volcanoes inside the Mount Okmok volcano.

It was one or more of these 'interior volcanoes' that erupted recently.

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Steve McNutt, a geophysicist and volcanologist in the area advised not getting into

a 10 mile radius of the Okmok Caldera, an instruction that should be easily

complied with owing to the human population density of the area.

Okmok Volcano

The Okmok volcano is located on Umnak Island in the western half of the Aleutian

Island archipelago.

Umnak Island Map

View Larger Map

Umnak Island is about 860 miles out from Alaska's most populous city, Anchorage.

Mount Okmok Caldera Volcano emitting steam in 2002


Mount Okmok

The Caldera Volcano spread across the summit of Mount Okmok erupted July 12, 2008


Dashiki - Coolest of the Cool!

I always knew this type of shirt existed, but I never knew what to call it.

Well, I do now!

Meet the

African Dashiki Shirt

girl in dashiki
A young girl posing in her many-colored dashiki!

What is a Dashiki?

Well it is this stylish fabric shirt you see here of African Origin.

Let's face it, the suit and tie, khakis or 'casual wear' are not for everyone.

Sometimes you just want to say "You know, I'm just not comfortable in those clothes."


"I don't really see why everyone should wear the same the clothes."

You can still say those things and now you can say them visually as well by wearing your

own African Dashiki.

I'm glad I can do that after I buy a dashiki now that the all important step of

knowing what this garment is called has been taken care of.

I will now present to you the definitive guide to being a 21st century style machine!

  • Step 1 - Buy Dashiki

  • Step 2 - Wear Dashiki

  • Step 3 - Success!

3 people wearing dashikis
Three people chillin' in their dashikis.

Beyond the Dashikis obvious visual appeal, there are some added benefits a Dashiki

can provide you.

- The loose fit of a dashiki makes it an exceptionally comfortable piece of clothing.

- The sophisticated look of a dashiki along with their availability in a range of

colors and embroidery patterns makes it a piece of clothing appropriate for a wide

range of events.

- Perhaps a benefit some people will really like, because of the unique it's look

you're sure to attract some attention when wearing your dashiki. ;)

Just a few things to keep in mind when looking for a dashiki for sale!





Ladybug Pictures

Ladybug pictures are a great thing to look at when you are interested in seeing some natural beauty from the insect world.

Below is a selection of pictures featuring ladybugs and the environments in which these beautiful Lady Bugs can be found.

Ladybug on finger about to fly away
Ladybugs fly, and this ladybug sitting at the tip of a finger with wings outstretch, looks like it wants to prove it.

More Sizes:

Lady bug on flower petal
Yellow and Black Ladybug crawling outward along the petal of many-petaled pink flower.
More Sizes:

Ladybug on leafing admiring the veining pattern

Beautiful Closeup of a ladybug showing 3 and half of its ladybug spots with its red ladybug shell contrasting against a green leaf.

More Sizes -

Ladybug Crawling on Flower Petal
Ladybug with interesting red spots on its head crawling on a purple flower petal in San Diego, California.

More Sizes -

Hope you enjoyed the Lady Bug Pictures!





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One Day in July

You may have recently seen the posts on what ants eat or ant facts, if so, you may have found them particularly interesting or more so than you would imagine they'd be.

That was certainly the case for me. In fact, the unexpected interestingness of creature culinary consumption will likely serve as inspiration for future posts.

Right now I'm thinking What do Iguanas Eat!

Have a day.


Ichthyologist who is down with Ichthyology.

Ichthyologist what is that? I hear some imaginary voice cry out.

Well, a definition of Ichthyology that is as explanatory as it is concise could be said as follows -

Ichthyology is the branch of zoology dealing with the study of fish.

An Ichthyologist of course being one who practices the study of fish.


People having been studying fish for a long, long time, or should I say practicing Ichthyology.

Some theorize that our early homo-sapien ancestors before even leaving Africa were ardent Ichthyologists.

The theory goes, with archaeological evidence to back it that, that early man was drawn to areas along the African coast due to the abundant food supplies of the ocean.

So it was these ancient ancestors of ours who had to study the fish, in order to catch them.

It is then theorized that this high-protein diet along with the unique fatty acids contained in the fish contributed to early mans brain development, as the constituents of the fish diet were particularly nourishing to the brain and spurred it's development.


Thoughts on Things and Littlefield, Arizona

Recently, you may seen the post on what ants eat, if so, you may have had some of the same thoughts or feelings as me.

In particular, all of us on this planet and in this universe, being made of essentially the same stuff, yet there is so much apparent variety.

So no surprise should necessarily be had at what ants eat and the vast array of things they consume and the manner in which they do so. But, I certainly found it to be interesting nonetheless, even likely inspiration for future posts. The huge number of different ant species also was appealing to my interests.

and on another note...

Littlefield, Arizona is an interesting town having come to my attention.

Littlefield is located the absolute northwest corner of Arizona.

What is unique about Littlefield, is that although it is located in Arizona, if you want to travel to another part of the state, Phoenix for example, you must first cross into one of the adjacent states, either Nevada or Utah.

This requirement is due to the town of Littlefield being located just northwest of Grand Canyon National Park and there being no roads connecting the town to other areas of the state without first crossing the state bounds into Nevada or Utah.

Littlefield is located west of the Virgin River, a tributary to the Colorado River.

Littlefield is also the only city in the state of Arizona to be located along Interstate highway 15, you can follow I-15 a little ways out of town and you will soon enter the Virgin River Gorge.

In the winter, when the climate is more suited to such activity, the Virgin River Gorge is a popular area for rock climbing.