Of Hurricanes And Avenging Spirits: The Origin

Where do hurricanes come from?

Have you ever noticed how all the hurricanes that devastate America start roughly in the same area on the North West Coast of Africa, and follow more or less the similar pathways across the Atlantic ocean……

Hurricane tracks

There’s a reason for that…..

Sometime early in the 16th century slavers came to the west coast of Africa beginning the dark time in Africa’s history of the Atlantic Slave Trade. Africans were enslaved and transported across the Atlantic ocean for the next 400+ years however slavery had been going on prior to this in small pockets across the continent but the Atlantic slavery was the largest in both volume and intensity.

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The slavers worked with African rulers who were willing to trade guns and other “modern” goods for the lives of captured rival tribes and also those who had committed offences punishable by death; who ended up in plantations in the Americas which produced raw materials for European markets

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By Sémhur – a (very) simplified map from this map by François Nancy

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The slaves were treated as cargo and packed in appalling conditions for months on end with an estimated mortality of less than 13% a cumulative total in the millions died from illness, murder, starvation, drowning, suicide, rape and simply just losing the will to live.

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The Myth

Hurricanes are the avenging spirits of all those who died in transit, which is why their path follows the Atlantic Slave Trade Route…..

To be specific, some believe hurricanes are the spirits of the black women, who died during this forced migration; Herricane this is her rage.

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The Anatomy Of A Hurricane

Hurricanes are basically violent storms generated by low pressure systems and driven by warm moist air; which is why they form over warm ocean waters near the equator.

Warm moist air rises causing low pressure in the area below, surrounding high pressure air moves to the low pressure area and it too warms up and rises; the rising air cools  and condenses into clouds as the cycle spins.

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Storms that form north of the equator spin counterclockwise. Storms south of the equator spin clockwise. This difference is because of Earth’s rotation on its axis.

The Sahara desert is largely responsible for the formation of the African Easterly Jets; strong high altitudes winds blowing east a result of the differences between air from the hot, dry Sahara desert mixing with the cooler, wetter air from the south and surrounding the Gulf of Guinea in west Africa.

African Easterly Jet

The African Easterly Jet undulates causing waves of tropical disturbance which move westward off the West African Coast. Combined with warm ocean temperatures they gain moisture and lift, and cluster, resulting in a hurricane.

Ocean currents also affect the direction and intensity of the storms (warm currents cause stronger storms) Ocean currents follow a well-defined paths formed by the combined effect of Earth’s rotation, pressure gradient and wind speed.

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global conveyor belt

warmer ocean surface currents (in red) and colder bottom currents (in dark blue)

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Every recorded hurricane, cyclone, and typhoon between 1850-2016

Shipping routes are also determined by the ocean currents. A ship passing through a current whose direction isn’t where the ship is headed, burns more fuel to provide the necessary thrust to counter the current; whilst riding a current’s momentum, consumes less fuel.

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Global shipping Routes

Image result for slave shipping routes

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does the hurricane track map look somewhat like the Firefox logo?

Science says hurricanes aren’t as result of any avenging spirits but hey sometimes there are forces in the universe are beyond our understanding………

~B

Day 28 Africa stories home

Photo Credits:

Atlantic Hurricane Tracks: wikimedia By Nilfanion

The Triangular Trade Wikimedia

Her-ricane KushitePrince

Where Storms are born Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

global ocean currents Physical Geography

global shipping routes wikimedia B.S. Halpern (T. Hengl; D. Groll)

Map of hurricanes, cyclones and typhoons metrocosm.com Max Galka

Firefox and Track Map comparison @kimaidou @galka_max

 

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Of Coffee, Bougainvillea and Babysitting

If you were having coffee with me we would be trying out bougainvillea flower tea.

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I was sitting outside feeling the sun on my skin and happened to look up and see the bougainvillea flowers shining red (or is that purple) in the morning light.

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Inspiration and curiosity struck, hmmmm what if I crushed those flowers and drank them. Thank Google for knowing everything because I checked the internet if drinking bougainvillea was as a thing or if it was poisonous to drink and according to the internet it’s a herbal tonic that is claimed to be good for colds and flu so here we go…

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The smell of the tea is a bit strong and leafy. If you smell it with your eyes closed you can easily tell yep this is definitely a leafy beverage. And the taste of it, I wouldn’t say vile but let’s just say I won’t be having a second cup thank you very much. Curiosity sated

If you were having coffee with me, we would be babysitting my twin nephews who are 18 months old. Picture a hurricane of pure energy and then imagine there being two of them, it’s definitely more than a handful.

They still don’t talk yet (except saying mama) but they can cry, why can’t babies be born talking; life would be oh so much easier if they could tell you what’s bothering them, you know basic stuff, feed me, change me, entertain me……

Feeding time is such a messy affair, you know what I think would be great idea, to simply dress kids in the colours of the foods they are about to eat that way the stains won’t be as visible or better yet, you could just cut out the middle manchild and spit out butternut and let it dribble over your favourite scarf, spill juice all over the carpet and grind potatoes into your shirt sleeves then finish off by sprinkling bread crumbs into your hair…Bon appétit

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Oh yes question, when you are feeding kids and you make aeroplane noises do you imagine the are people on board the aeroplane, no? And you know what; it makes kids grow up with an unrealistic expectation of the tastiness of planes. FYI they taste like steel rubber and jet A1 fuel, don’t ask me how I know this, suffice it to say I am a curious busy body with one heck of an imagination.

If you were having coffee with me I would tell you that if you are babysitting be careful not to feed them sugar rich snacks. The Sugar Rush is brutal if you think twin hurricanes of pure energy are destructive picture twin hurricanes of energy tripping on sugar. Books are being ripped apart, drawers are being opened, and everything is on the floor, some of it broken.

 

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Placing the coffee table on top of chair on top of the of the dining room table was a bad idea, because one of the twins is now on top of that stool clapping hands and giggling and trying to give me a heart attack in the process I mean what if they fall and break their brains what would I tell their mother.

“Watch the kids for a little” while she said, “it’s easy” she said, “they aren’t fussy at all” she said, “it will be fun” she said and “I will be back just now” she said…. Feels like she has been gone forever, you know how time doesn’t fly when you aren’t having fun?

If you were having coffee with me you would help me babysit keep an eye on the kids make sure they are playing nicely and not biting each other or grabbing toys from each and screaming for no good reason, and when they are silent and out of sight, RUN and find them that’s when they are being the most naughty.

If you were having coffee with me I would ask you if you dance. If you say you don’t I would tell you are lying (to yourself and me) Kids grow up knowing you can dance to music before they can even talk, play them good music and watch them dance like no one is watching I think we just grow up and become way too self-conscious, to enjoy the little things in life, laughing when someone makes a funny face, giggling when tickled and clapping when entertained.

If you were having coffee with me I would ask you does it hurt to feel sleepy because the twins are at their most fussiest just before they sleep, irritable and crying yet they won’t just lie down and sleep. It’s a bit of a struggle to get them to calm down, can’t keep calm when you have got all that energy.

Shhhh they are finally sleeping they look like little tiny angels when they sleep…..aaaawe

~B

 

PS imagine you ask someone to bake a cake for the twins and that they should write happy birthday on both and this is what they do:

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happy birthday on both

have a great week ahead and Go Team Olympics