The dog-days are almost upon us. Keep your kitties (and even goggies) safe in the heat.
Some other tips:
- Put out multiple water bowls for easy access. Consider freezing one, or adding ice.
- Tie ribbons to the grill of an oscillating fan to encourage your cat to play and cool off at the same time
- Place some frozen cooler packs in a rolled up towel, then in your pets favorite bed
- Make sure access to the bathroom is clear. All of that porcelain, enamel and cold water plumbing can keep bathrooms a few degrees cooler than the rest of the house. Basements too, if available
This gallant little boy comforted a classmate on her first day of preschool, and we’re not getting over it ever.
yao ming recently launched a public awareness campaign in china targeting the nation’s consumption of ivory and rhino horn, after having spent twelve days last august in kenya and south africa.
poaching kills more than 25,000 african elephants annually, while 668 rhinos were killed last year in south africa alone, meaning that if current trends are not abated, both species will be extinct within our lifetime.
according to shark fin traders and hong kong import statistics, yao’s previous campaign against the shark fin trade is credited with a 50-70% reduction in chinese consumption last year.
"no one who sees the results firsthand, as i did, would buy ivory or rhino horn," yao stated. "i believe when people in china know what’s happening they will do the right thing and say no to these products."
he continued, “we would be outraged if people were killing our pandas. we should be just as upset with what’s happening to rhinos and elephants in africa.”
in china, the word for ivory literally translates as elephant tooth, leading to a false sense by many in the country that no actual harm comes from its acquisition.
as demand for this status symbol grows along with the nation’s middle class, those involved in the chinese ivory trade acknowledge that there are not nearly enough elephants on the planet to meet even the demand for ivory chop sticks.
though the trade is regulated, inflated state monopoly prices (by more than 1000%) have created a black market that accounts for more than 90% of all ivory importation and sales in the country.
elephants are conspicuously expressive and joyful creatures. when celebrating a birth or reuniting with old acquaintances, elephants will intertwine their trunks together and engage in friendly trunk wrestling. when trying to console a loved one, elephants will stroke or caress each others’ heads and backs with their trunks.
demonstrations of true consolation in animals are rare, and have only been documented in the great apes, canines, and some corvids. this might be because complex cognitive abilities are required for consolation, such as the ability to empathically take the perspective of another. elephants are one of the few animals to pass the mirror test.
with their strong social bonds, it’s not surprising that elephants show concern for others. elephants get distressed when they see others in distress, reaching out to calm them down. the consistency with which elephants responded to a friend in distress is quite remarkable. rarely does an elephant give a distress call without a response from a friend or group member nearby.
Muslim leaders from across the globe paid tribute Holocaust victims this week during a visit to Auschwitz, the former Nazi concentration camp, where they prayed at the Wall of Death for those who were killed by genocide and suffered under violent anti-Semitism.
The imams, who hailed from Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Bosnia, Palestine, Indonesia, Nigeria, Turkey and the United States, performed Islamic prayers while facing Mecca as part of a Holocaust awareness visit organized in part by the International Religious Freedom office of the U.S. State Department.
"What can you say? You’re speechless. What you have seen is beyond human imagination," Imam Mohamed Magid, President of the U.S.-based Islamic Society of North America, told Agence France-Presse.
"Whether in Europe today or in the Muslim world, my call to humanity: End racism for God’s sake, end anti-Semitism for God’s sake, end Islamophobia for God’s sake, end sexism for God’s sake… Enough is enough," said Magid, who leads the All Dulles Area Muslim Society in Northern Virginia.
(via The Huffington Post.)
"elephants are legendary for their memory and intelligence, including attributes associated with grief, making music, altruism and compassion. we came across this elephant whose corpse was overcome by vultures and jackals. from a distance we heard and then saw another elephant approaching at a fast pace. she was successful at chasing away the predators and then very slowly and with much empathy wrapped her trunk around the deceased elephant’s tusk. she stayed in this position for several hours guarding her friend." - photo and text by john chaney in botswana, 2007.
"Help, I’ve fallen glamorously and I can’t get up ;]"
All of the other mannequins look like they’re so sick of his shit.
"God damn it, Jerry’s at it again.
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A team of scientists at the University of Southampton in the UK has just finished a four-year study of 2,060 people who experienced cardiac arrests at 15 hospitals across the UK, the US, and Austria. The researchers found that 40 percent of them felt ‘aware’ for the period of time that they were declared clinically dead. The medical staff at the hospitals successfully restarted their hearts so they could live to tell the tale.
One man participating in the study described the feeling that he was watching his treatment from the corner of the room, while a female participant was able to recount exactly the actions of the nursing staff that resurrected her over a three-minute period. She could even very accurately describe the sound of the machines that surrounded her ‘dead’ body.
“We know the brain can’t function when the heart has stopped beating, but in this case conscious awareness appears to have continued for up to three minutes into the period when the heart wasn’t beating, even though the brain typically shuts down within 20 to 30 seconds after the heart has stopped,” Sam Parnia, the study leader said.
“The man described everything that had happened in the room, but importantly, he heard two bleeps from a machine that makes a noise at three-minute intervals. So we could time how long the experienced lasted for. He seemed very credible and everything that he said had happened to him had actually happened,” said Parnia
Not all of the people who survived the ordeal recalled some sort of experience in clinical death, perhaps because the medication they were given was messing with their brain function. Certain trends emerged from the 40 percent that did. One in five reported feeling peaceful, and a third said they felt time either speed up or slow down. Some described bright lights, others described feeling detached from their bodies. Some felt scared that they were drowning.
Of course, any research into what actually goes on after death will always be controversial, due to the enormous difficulties in gathering enough evidence to support much of anything that’s scientifically sound, but studies like this are at least an intriguing starting point.
what a story
The fact that both of these reactions came from males
moses, a seven month old elephant orphaned by poachers, was brought to malawi’s jumbo foundation in vwazi wildlife reserve after he was found alone and starving. there, he was raised by his adopted human mother, jenny webb, who slept by his side every night.
"elephants are extremely sensitive,’ said webb. ‘it amazed me. we think of elephants as big, strong creatures but they are very emotional. moses picks up on my feelings. if i am sad, he is nurturing. if i am angry, he quickly gets upset.
elephants need to live as part of a herd, but other animals can make a good substitute. "the dogs are like his herd,’ jenny notes. “he socializes with the dogs in the day and likes going for walks with them. but at night, he herds the dogs outside. he doesn’t like to sleep with the dogs. he likes to sleep with the cats, and me."
suffering from colic and diarrhea, moses was only given a 20% chance of survival when first brought to the foundation. he would ultimately be unable to recover from his illnesses, dying in jenny’s ams several months after his rescue. photos by denis farrell