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The Zambezi River's most spectacular feature is Victoria Falls, which divide the upper and middle sections of the river. (read more)

Featured Article: Kalahari Desert

Kalahari Desert
The Kalahari Desert is not really a desert, but rather a large arid to semi-arid sandy area in southern Africa, covering much of Botswana and parts of Namibia and South Africa. Though it is semi-desert, it has huge tracts of excellent grazing after good rains and is rich in wildlife. The homeland of the Bushmen for perhaps thirty thousand years, the desert was the setting for the movie The Gods Must Be Crazy, which featured a Bushman family.

A strange, yet essential feature of this region are the pans, which are shallow hollows consisting of hard, gray clay. While appearing drab and flat, these pans provide essential salt for the animals of the Kalahari. They vary in size from a few hundred meters to a few square kilometers. There are two other distinct ecosystems found in the central Kalahari region: rich savanna and grasslands.

The core area of the desert covers an area of 100,000 square miles (260,000 square kilometers). But the surrounding Kalahari Basin covers over 2.5 million square kilometers, extending farther into Botswana, Namibia, and South Africa and encroaching into parts of Angola, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. The only permanent river, the Okavango, flows into a delta in northwest Botswana, forming marshes that draw abundant wildlife. Ancient dry riverbeds—called omuramba—traverse the central northern reaches of the Kalahari and provide standing pools of water during the rainy season. Previously havens for wild animals from elephants to giraffes, and for predators such as lions and cheetahs, the riverbeds are now mostly grazing spots, though leopards or cheetahs can still be found.

Popular Article: Love

The Kiss by Francesco Hayez, 1859
Popularly, Love is any of a number of emotions and experiences related to a sense of strong affection or profound oneness. Depending on context, love can have a wide variety of intended meanings, including sexual attraction. Psychologists and religious teachings, however, define love more precisely, as living for the sake of another, motivated by heart-felt feelings of caring, affection, and responsibility for the other's well-being.

The ancient Greeks described love with a number of different words: Eros was impassioned, romantic attraction; philia was friendship; xenia was kindness to the guest or stranger. Agape love, which the Greeks defined as unconditional giving, became the keystone of Christianity, where it is exemplified in Christ's sacrificial love on the cross. Some notion of transcendental love is a salient feature of all the world's faiths. "Compassion" (karuna) in Buddhism is similar to agape love; it is represented by the bodhisattva, who vows not to enter Nirvana until he has saved all beings. Yet love encompasses all these dimensions, eros as well as agape.

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