Sunday, August 17, 2008

The marvels of radio and buffalo tongue

Here are two fun stories that happened a few weeks back, but I still think they are worth sharing.

When we first moved in with Norma in Pine Ridge, we wanted to keep listening to Kili radio so we moved a boom box from a bedroom into the kitchen. We plugged everything back in and discovered that it was only working on and off... Some further experimentation revealed that the problem was the antenna -- if one of us was touching it, or even had our hand near it, it worked perfectly. If we took our hand away, it cut out. Check it out in the following video:

I was quite impressed, first that the human body makes such a good antenna, and second by how far the electric field could travel from us to the actual antenna through air.

Obviously, though, we needed a larger antenna, preferably something other than ourselves, since it would get rather tedious to stand next to the radio all evening. We proceeded to try larger and larger metal objects -- a clotheshanger, a piece of aluminum, a deep frying basket, with no success until finally we got a long metal pole, which seemed to do the trick [see photo]. Of course, now the only problem are the dogs who routinely knock it over.

Buffalo Tongue
The other fun story is when we went over to Mike Her Many Horses house to eat buffalo tongue. He had boiled two tongues and let us watch him prepare them. First you boil them, then peel off the top layer of skin with a knife, then slice the meat. You eat it by itself like a steak or with mustard.

The meat was absolutely amazing. And this coming from someone who is a vegetarian at home. It was definitely the best meat I have ever had in my life -- imagine the most tender steak you have ever eaten and make it three times as tender with just as much flavor.

As Mike mentions in the video, the sad thing is that historically huge quantities of buffalo were hunted and killed just for their tongues, others for hides, and others just to deprive various American Indian tribes of their source of sustenance and force them to surrender. It is hard to overstate the tragedy and injustice of the slaughter of buffalo by white Americans, especially when contrasted with the tribes' practice of killing only what they needed using every part of the animal. [Photo: Allison tries out the very tip of the buffalo tongue]

There are some free range buffalo farms out here, and we've been told that buffalo are much easier on the land and creeks than cattle -- they don't trample through and destroy the same stream bank the way cattle do. [If you are interested in the history of Buffalo, see this page]. It is as if bison still have the knowledge of how to live in harmony with their environment, in a way that cows (imported from Europe) do not. Of course there are many ways to make cattle farming easier on the land as well, which is something that many groups are working on promoting.


Who me? said...

Those antennas are tricky items! Do not forget a good ground.

El Esquincle said...

un taquito de lengua...con salsita