september 22 is world rhino day, meant to raise awareness about the struggle faced by all five species of rhino, help curtail the supply of rhino horns, and highlight efforts to ensure the animal’s continued survival.
one such effort involves a four man anti poaching team tasked with guarding the ol pejeta conservancy’s four remaining northern white rhinos. with only eight left, it is the world’s most endangered species. located in the laikipia district of kenya, ol pejeta conservancy is also the largest sanctuary for the black rhino.
the rise in asia’s middle class has meant that demand for rhino horn has soared, with prices on the black market exceeding that of gold and cocaine. with an increase in poaching in ol pejeta, the anti poaching team now provides twenty four hour armed protection for the rhinos, and has developed a close relationship with the animals.
poachers will track rhinos from helicopters, darting them from above and then hacking off the horn and part of the face with a chainsaw. the animals are often left to suffer and die. the rhinos seen here were found wandering in unimaginable pain, but remarkably survived thanks to timely veterinary supervision.
to protect the rhinos and deter poachers, veterinarians will remove much of the animal’s horn (as seen in the second last photo). the rhinos are anesthetized, and suffer no trauma. the horn is not like an elephant’s tusk, and will grow back in a few years.
The Lucidum tapetum is a layer of tissue at the back of the eye of many animal vertebrates’ retina. It reflects visible light back through the retina, increasing the light available to the photoreceptors. The tapetum lucidum contributes to the superior night vision of some animals. Similar adaptations occur in some species of spiders, although these are not the result of a tapetum lucidum. Most primates, including humans, lack a tapetum lucidum, and compensate for this by perceptive recognition methods.
Photo credit: Agustina Saravii
— Humans of New York; Amman, Jordan (via filiphrivnak)
photos from dubai’s 828 meter tall burj khalifa (save the first and last photos, which show the building) by (click pic) daniel cheong, karim nafatni, bjoern lauen and dave alexander. duabai only experiences this in september and march, when seasonal changes in temperature creates an abundance of early morning fog. (see also: fog over new york, london and chicago)
False color SEM’s of various pathogens | ZEISS Microscopy
- (1) Bubonic plague bacteria (yellow) are shown in the digestive system of a rat flea (purple).
- (2) Q-fever bacteria (yellow).
- (3) Human T cell (blue) under attack by HIV (yellow).
- (4) Chlamydia trachomatis (green).
- (5) String-like viral Ebola particles emerging from a lysed cell.
Simply put, there has never been anywhere as horrific as Auschwitz. All the cruelty, sadism, indifference and psychopathy that our species is capable of reached its fullest expression between its walls, where 1.5 million people died pointlessly. Yet, even in the midst of this inferno, there were moments of humanity.
In 1941, three prisoners managed to escape the camp and consequently the deputy commander ordered ten prisoners to be starved to death in retaliation. When one of the randomly-selected men began to cry for his wife and children, another prisoner called Maximilian Kolbe stepped forward and offered to take his place.
Read that sentence again: in the middle of the most-notorious murder machine that’s ever existed, Kolbe was so moved by pity he volunteered to die in place of another man. And when the Nazis acquiesced and sent him into a bunker with the nine others, his spirit didn’t break. By all accounts, he spent the last two weeks of his life comforting the others with his Catholic faith and accepted his end with a dignity that should have been impossible in the circumstances. Nor was it a useless gesture: the man whose place he took—Franciszek Gajowniczek—lived another 53 years.
sometimes tumblr’s US-centric social justice makes me so fucking frustrated. Right now sweden’s third biggest party are literally neo-nazis and our elections couldn’t even get onto trending tags today, goddamit.
Okay, so the post is gaining notes and people are confused, so to explain what the hell is going on:
Swedish elections held were on last Sunday, 14th September. We’ve had a right-leaning government the past eight years and after this there will be a change of power. The new party, Socialdemocrats (S) gained a total of 31% percent. The old party, Moderaterna (M) gained 21%.
Sverigedemokraterna (SD) gained a total of 12.9%. Their policy is racist, Islamophobic, anti-immigration, anti-refugee, anti-diversity, anti-LGBT+, and anti-feminist. Basically, they tick every box on the douchebag lottery.
If you’re here to argue that they’re ~not actually~ Nazis: 1) Fuck you. 2) Fuck the horse the you rode in on. 3) I hope you get stepped on by a moose, you ignorant asswipe.
- they literally started as neo nazis. They have used a Neo-Nazi movement as campaign slogans,
- party members have assaulted immigrants with iron pipes (tw for racialised violence),
- worn Nazi symbols
- supported and helped build Neo-Nazi group SvP.
There’s probably more, but I don’t have links on hand.
They’ve been having rallies and demonstrations all over Sweden, and people have shown up just to turn their back on them and protest (this post explains it better).
In the 2010 elections, SD were pretty much considered no better than neo-Nazis and only got 5.7% votes - it put them in 6th place and was just enough to get them into parliament. In the elections before that, they got about 2.9%. In the past four years, they’ve grown exponentially in Sweden.
They’ve also run extremely extensive PR campaigns, appealing to the youth, kicking out members “exposed” of being racist, (note: these members often end up in SvP) and picking up buzzwords from the Socialdemocrats’ ideology.
29% of votes they gained this year were from swing voters who previously voted M, and the biggest gain have been in the south, in small towns and the countryside:
This is not something that’s just going on in Sweden. Europe has seen an influx of extreme-right parties over the last decade or so, often thinly disguised as a party that puts ‘traditional values’ and ‘national interest’ first.
In Greece and Hungary they’ve already been in power. In Germany, Netherlands, Italy, Greece, Finland France and UK, extreme-right-wing parties have been voted into the EU.
Because here’s the thing: we’ve forgotten what it looks like. We’ve gotten to the point where we’ve turned Nazism into a cartoonish lampoon of goose-stepping, uniforms and moral lessons that “we’ll never be like them~”, ignoring the fact nationalism is not as cut-and-dry two ends of an extreme but exists on a scale.
People have been apologising for SD’s actions for a while now because they’re not considered “extremist enough” to be neo-Nazis, because they don’t share the same beliefs, because they’ve “publicly denounced” SvP.
But the same people still get hurt. Still SD has the institutional and systematic power and privilege to oppress, degrade and humiliate people of colour, which they already have done. Stop making excuses for them. Stop making leeways for right-wing-extremists because that is how they gain tract.
Please spread this.
North Americans don’t really appreciate how fucking terrifying the hard-right in Europe actually is.
by Rachel Grate
The benefits of writing go far beyond building up your vocabulary.
No matter the quality of your prose, the act of writing itself leads to strong physical and mental health benefits, like long-term improvements in mood, stress levels and depressive symptoms. In a 2005 study on the emotional and physical health benefits of expressive writing, researchers found that just 15 to 20 minutes of writing three to five times over the course of the four-month study was enough to make a difference.
By writing about traumatic, stressful or emotional events, participants were significantly more likely to have fewer illnesses and be less affected by trauma. Participants ultimately spent less time in the hospital, enjoyed lower blood pressure and had better liver functionality than their counterparts.
It turns out writing can make physical wounds heal faster as well. In 2013, New Zealand researchers monitored the recovery of wounds from medically necessary biopsies on 49 healthy adults. The adults wrote about their thoughts and feelings for just 20 minutes, three days in a row, two weeks before the biopsy. Eleven days later, 76% of the group that wrote had fully healed. Fifty-eight percent of the control group had not recovered. The study concluded that writing about distressing events helped participants make sense of the events and reduce distress.
Even those who suffer from specific diseases can improve their health through writing. Studies have shown that people with asthma who write have fewer attacks than those who don’t; AIDS patients who write have higher T-cell counts. Cancer patients who write have more optimistic perspectives and improved quality of life.
So what is it about writing that makes it so great for you?
James W. Pennebaker has been conducting research on writing to heal for years at the University of Texas at Austin. “When people are given the opportunity to write about emotional upheavals, they often experience improved health,” Pennebaker writes. “They go to the doctor less. They have changes in immune function.”
Why? Pennebaker believes this act of expressive writing allows people to take a step back and evaluate their lives. Instead of obsessing unhealthily over an event, they can focus on moving forward. By doing so, stress levels go down and health correspondingly goes up.
You don’t have to be a serious novelist or constantly reflecting on your life’s most traumatic moments to get these great benefits. Even blogging or journaling is enough to see results. One study found that blogging might trigger dopamine release, similar to the effect from running or listening to music.
From long-term health improvements to short-term benefits like sleeping better, it’s official: Writers are doing something right.