Showing posts from February, 2021

Tobago in the Caribbean and the World

Pat Ganase is studying Dr Susan E Craig-James’ history of Tobago; and learning more about what makes Tobago so special.   Like many Tobagonians, Susan Craig went to high school in Trinidad, performing to bring credit to their families and providing markers of excellence for the whole nation. I am proud to say that Susan was Head Girl at Bishop Anstey High School when I was in fifth form. She was a role model and leader. I was not surprised to be able to acquire her history, The Changing Society of Tobago, 1838-1939 some 40+ years after BAHS. This two-volume work compiled by (now) Dr Susan E. Craig-James, was published in 2008 by the press which she founded in 1998, Cornerstone Press Limited. It is a work of art. All the values across the publishing process: research, writing, editing, layout and design and printing have been observed to the highest degree. It includes an index, extensive notes, old maps and several photographs. Here is a book that should be a watershed not only fo

Carnival transformations in the natural world

At Carnival time, humans like to think that we can be masters of disguise and transformation: men dressed like women; and women like jamettes, or birds… But throughout the world there are plants and animals disguising and transforming to ensure their survival. What would an acacia tree do to prevent its leaves from being eaten? Or an insect living near flowers to get more food? Dr Anjani Ganase looks at some specific animals and plants   Plants that behave like Animals   Ti- Marie (Mary, Mary Shut your door or Touch Me Not!), also known as Mimosa pudica was always a memorable childhood introduction into more interesting plant life, precisely because it responded like an animal when touched. This reaction is an evolutionary strategy where the plant is able to retract its leaflets upon being touched. This response to touch is known as thigmotaxis. The mechanism of the folding results from a change in the turgidity in the “hinge” where the leaflets are attached to the main stem

The Passionate Italian in Tobago

Gabriele De Gaetano, has been living in Tobago for over 30 years but he still speaks with large gestures; nor has he lost the accent or emotional responses of Italy where he was born. From his base at La Tartaruga restaurant in Buccoo, he roams Tobago, from ridges to waterfalls, uncovering water- and wind-mills, sugar factories, kilns, indigo pits and ruins on former plantations. Written by Pat Ganase and photos provided courtesy Gabriele De Gaetano and the Tobago Heritage Conservation Society Why Tobago? I have a great passion for outdoors, mountain biking, hiking and exploring what Tobago has to offer. The island is beautiful, colourful and what visitors also remember are the people of Tobago, their traditions, their warmth and how everybody will get to know you.  I was born in Milan, did extensive business travels where I met my wife who decided to return to Trinidad and Tobago and pursue the passion for good food and great cooking. We created La Tartaruga Italian Restaurant which h

Overcoming that Fear of Sharks

 In recent weeks, there have been a couple of shark attacks in St Martin and St Kitts and Nevis. Rather than try to convince readers how incredibly rare shark attacks are, Dr Anjani Ganase delves into why we fear sharks and what we can do to overcome the fear (if we wanted to). Hammerhead shark with free diver. Credit: Amanda Cotton/ Coral Reef Image Bank Why do we fear sharks? The fear of sharks that we have simply does not stem from the facts about shark attacks, as the risk is incredibly low. There are a few reasons for this fear. The first driver is evolution, where much of the fears is thought to be primal. On the most basic level, that idea of being eaten by a shark is horrifying, as no one wants to be a meal. It is a fear that dates back to our ancestors who had to protect themselves against predators. Add to this, the stories that surround shark attacks by seafarers. One well-known account came from the survivors of the USS Indianapolis who were torpedoed by the Japanese during