cajun music preservation

An important appeal for help preserving Cajun and Creole culture. Longtime readers know I’m a proud south Louisiana Cajun, and it kills me to hear about this.
Considered by musicians (including the Mamou Playboys, Zachary Richard, and Beausoleil among others) and scholars to be one of the most important audio collections in the world, hundreds of tapes in the Archive of Cajun and Creole folklore are in danger of permanent loss caused by aging and environmental damage.
The recordings were stored without climate control during three years of renovations on the University of Louisiana Dupr

zambian aids

I’ve spent the last week learning all I can about the AIDS crisis in Zambia. (This is for a future project that may or may not happen.) Official advice: If you want to be a happy person, do not spend a week learning all you can about the AIDS crisis in Zambia.
To recap: 21 percent of all Zambian adults are HIV-positive. 61 percent of Zambian teenaged girls think you get AIDS from mosquito bites or witchcraft. About 15 percent of the nation’s children are AIDS orphans. Seven percent of Zambian households are led by a child 14 or younger. Reports of rapes and sexual assaults have more than doubled in the last two years, particularly among young girls. The nation’s educational system, health system, and economy are all bordering on collapse. Average life expectancy has dropped by 11 years since 1990.
The really scary thing: Zambia’s not the worst off country in sub-Saharan Africa. In Botswana, the adult infection rate is almost 40 percent. Of the 15-year-old boys in Botswana today, between 65 and 90 percent will die of AIDS. (Take a look at Figure 7.)
I need a beer.