Updated: 54 min 13 sec ago
I am a meerkat whisperer. Well, at least according to my daughter. I kind of believe her because it is true that no matter the zoo, when I start talking to the meerkats, they'll often abandon their digging, sentry duty or naps and scurry over to where I am and look at me. It never seems to matter how many other people are talking to them, I somehow have the meerkat shinin'. It's probably because the meerkat is my spirit animal. What's that? Doesn't everyone have a spirit animal? You definitely have one, you might just not know it.
If you don't know, a spirit animal is one that you feel a special connection with - one that represents you and your personality. Basically, it's the animal you would be if you weren't a human. The topic came up during lunch with my colleagues a while ago. The coworker who brought it up said his was a red fox for as long as he could remember and that his entire family had them. I think he even said his room was decorated to reflect this. (Or maybe I just dreamed that...) Quickly, most people could identify theirs - a house cat, a flamingo, a horse, honey badger and, of course, the meerkat. One coworker couldn't decide on hers and relied on an online quiz - but that's just wrong. No quiz can tell you, it just has to come to you.
When my father first heard that I would be conducting my master's research in Tanzania, he was excited because he felt this would give me the opportunity to explain my research in "proper Kiswahili."
Having grown up in Nairobi, Kenya, I was more used to a variation of Kiswahili, which borrows words from English and other dialects in Kenya. People in many regions of Tanzania speak a more pure Kiswahili.
Thus, my time here in Ruaha has forced me to brush up on my language skills. After spending time with the staff at Ruaha Carnivore Project, I now know the Kiswahili common names of most species of animal in Ruaha and my Kiswahili vocabulary is improving greatly.
This week, all of this progress was put to the test.
Arrests of women increased dramatically in the past two decades, while domestic abuse laws meant to protect female victims have put many behind bars for defending themselves, an MSU criminologist argues in a new paper.
A photographer captures a squirrel on the MSU campus. Photo by Derrick L. Turner
MSU men and women's track and field teams ended the season ranked in the top 15 in the USTFCCCA NCAA Division I Program of the Year Standings, as announced by the U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association.
With bee populations in startling decline, the Michigan Pollinator Initiative, an effort spearheaded by Michigan State University, will work to solve many of the issues facing the state's pollinator populations.
Harold and Edythe Marshall's gift of their 300-acre farm to MSU has been a major boon to understanding the ecology of new biofuel crops, producing research results with national impact by scientists at MSU's Kellogg Biological Station.
Here's today's MSU High 5 - a morning hello and the fastest way to get you up to speed with what's happening at MSU.