the african house

Beyond the obvious beauty and grace of our First Lady, one must consider the historic importance of this photo. Our history books sweep under the rug the fact that the White House was built by African American slaves. For the next 150 years the majority of the serving staff of the so called “people’s house” were African American. In 1901 Booker T. Washington was the first African American to be received there as a guest by Theodore Roosevelt, to the horror of Washington society. They are all at last vindicated in our first African American first family. Note…It is my humble opinion that no matter what family should occupy the White House after January 2017, and the following generations for that matter, they will never equal the style, debonair, and class as that of the Obamas.

Bo Kaap - South Africa

Situated on the slopes of Signal Hill, Bo Kaap is the historical center of Cape-Malay culture in Cape Town. The area has a deeply rooted Malaysian, Javanese, Indian and Sri Lankan cultural identity, and was the first Islamic settlement in South Africa. 

 It is easily identified by its colourful homes, and cobblestone streets. A number of walking tours are available to explore Bo Kaap’s unique streets, visit the best restaurants, and the Bo Kaap museum. 

charmanderriere  asked:

What kind of cage/enclosure is the best to keep a hedgehog in?

I prefer terrariums (aka vivariums/vivs) from coated wood or glass. But there are several things to keep in mind when buying an enclosure:

- Heating
- Size
- Safety
- Ventilation
- Price

Heating: pygmy hedgehogs need to be kept at a pretty constant temperature (around 75F/24C) without a heat gradient (so no colder or warmer sides). An open enclosure, like a wire cage, doesn’t hold heat very well. If you have a heated room this isn’t much of an issue, but if your room temperature is quite low a less open enclosure (like a viv) will hold in heat better.

Size: obviously the enclosure should be large enough. What’s considered large enough isn’t the same everywhere - the minimum size in the US is 4 sq feet, in my personal opinion this is way too small for a hedgehog which is why I prefer the Western European minimum of 6-8 sq feet.
A larger enclosure can require more heating; to distribute the heat evenly, you might have to use two or more heat lamps especially if you have a wire cage.

Safety: the enclosure should be safe for the hedgehog. Wire cages with horizontal bars should be avoided, or something should be added to the sides (like coroplast or plexiglass) to prevent climbing. Climbing can lead to injuries like broken legs.

Ventilation: the enclosure should have enough ventilation, so when using a tub, it should have a well ventilated lid and possibly holes in the sides too.
Most vivs have several ventilation strips which allow for air flow.
For some reason there’s a very persistent myth going around about aquarium glass tanks not being suitable for hedgehogs due to them not having enough ventilation, even if the top is completely open or has a wire lid. A glass tank doesn’t have less ventilation than a plastic tub - the only difference is you can drill holes in the sides of a tub (or at least more easily), but even with just the open top/lid a large glass tank will have enough ventilation.
The downside of a glass tank is they’re heavy and can be difficult to clean because they don’t have doors on the front.

Price: most enclosures simply aren’t cheap, but there are ways to save some money, like buying something second hand or making your own enclosure.
In some countries plastic tubs are a popular choice because they are very cheap and easy to come by (sometimes easier than vivs) but in my opinion they are not big enough unless you connect two of them with a pvc pipe or get a large Christmas tree tub.

On multiple level cages: they need to be safe (so the hedgehog can’t fall off) and one needs to keep in mind that many hedgehogs don’t really like using multiple levels. I feel like there should always be enough floorspace and a second level should add to that floorspace, not make up for the lack of it.
Multiple levels can also be more difficult to heat so most of the time it’s not really worth it.

So there are quite some options - terrariums/vivariums, rabbit cages, plastic tubs (if large enough/connected), C&C cages, DIY cages (made from furniture for example), etc.

Reasons why I like terrariums/vivs so much are:

- Come in all kinds of sizes
- Hold heat well
- Ventilation strips on several sides (sometimes customizable when ordering)
- Safe (hedgehog can’t climb them)
- Easy to clean
- Access from the front which is less threatening to a prey animal
- You can throw in your feeder insects without worrying about them escaping (happy hunting time for hogs!)
- Very durable
- Aesthetically pleasing

They really are worth the extra bucks, imo. My vivs cost me an arm and a leg but I would buy them again in a heartbeat. In some places it’s quite easy to get them second hand, in others they’re hard to get, but they are worth it.


Midnight, my Black House Snake! This species looks so derpy sometimes… At least she’s adorable!