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Saturday, April 30, 2011

Deadly form of mercury found in Arctic waters!


  Aerial view of a tailings pond north of Fort McMurray, Alberta, Canada. One of the chief human health concerns associated with oil sands development is the leakage of contaminated wastewater into drinking water supplies. (Source: NIEHS; Credit: Jiri Rezac.



According to an article entitled, "Deadly form of mercury found in Arctic waters: researchers" which you can read by clicking on the following link:


"A University of Alberta-led research team says its findings show a relatively harmless, inorganic form of the element mercury changes into a potent neurotoxin when it's in sea water."

"After two years of testing water samples across the Arctic Ocean, the researchers found that inorganic mercury, released from human activities like industry and coal-burning power plants, undergoes a process in the water called methylation and becomes deadly monomethylmercury."

"Monomethylmercury is a neurotoxin that accumulates in marine organisms, with serious implications for human health."

The greatest exposure for humans to monomethylmercury comes through eating seafood.


This certainly is alarming news for those of us who live in Canada and those who live in  and near the Arctic!
Mercury has some very toxic effects on all life. I did some research on-line to find out how Mercury enters the arctic and I found the following statements:

 Mercury may enter the Arctic via a number of pathways.For example, gaseous Hg(0) released
by industrial processes such as coal combustion and waste incineration is relatively stable in the atmosphere
and can be transported to the Arctic on air currents (Shroeder and Munthe, 1998).
Gaseous Hg(0) can flux into or out of waterbodies, such as lakes and oceans, depending on where concentrations of Hg(0) are higher. Inorganic Hg(II) and MMHg may also enter Arctic marine ecosystems in precipitation, river inflow, and glacial melt, as well as via ocean currents."  

 Source:http://pubs.aina.ucalgary.ca/arctic/Arctic59-1-108.pdf

 At the following link : http://oilsandstruth.org/mercury-eggs-downstream-tar-sands-grows-50-cent-study

I found another article entitled, "Mercury in eggs downstream from tar sands grows 50 per cent: study
"   In this article it is stated:   A study by Environment Canada indicates levels of toxic mercury in the eggs of water birds downstream from the oil-sands industry seem to have grown by nearly 50 per cent over the last three decades." If this mercury is finding its way into the tissues of birds we also must believe that this  toxic compound is now in the tissue of humans who live in this Province!    “Contamination from oil-sands development is one possibility,” the report says.  The mercury contamination is still too low to threaten the health of the birds, he said, but the current levels are “a significant increase.  Studies published earlier this year by University of Alberta biologists also found toxic heavy metals and some hydrocarbons at levels already harmful to fish. Those studies claim to establish a firm link between contamination and industrial development."  
   "Mercury is a trace component of all fossil fuels, including natural gas, gas condensates, crude oil, coal, tar sands, and other bitumens. The use of fossil hydrocarbons as fuels provides the main opportunity for releasing emissions of the mercury they contain into the atmospheric environment, but other avenues also exist in production, transportation, and processing systems. These other avenues may provide mercury directly to air, water, or solid waste streams." (source:http://www.epa.gov/nrmrl/pubs/600r01066/600r01066.htm )

 "The mercury associated with petroleum and natural gas production and processing enters the environment primarily via solid waste streams (i.e., drilling and refinery waste) and combustion of fuels. In total, the amount may exceed 10,000 kilograms yearly, but the current estimates are uncertain because of a lack of statistical data. The amount of mercury in solid wastes versus atmospheric emissions from combustion is estimated to be roughly equal. Solid waste streams likely contain a much higher fraction of mercuric sulfides or other insoluble compounds than water soluble species and thus the bioavailability of mercury from this category is more limited than that which is derived from combustion." (same source as above).

I think it is time the Governments which operate in Provinces and states where oil and Gas production is occurring  do some serious investigation of the amount of mercury which is entering the environment in North America due to the actions of the Oil and Gas industry on this continent!

I say that the Government of the Province of Alberta needs to spend some money and find out why the level of mercury found in the Environment has increased to this degree in the last 30 years! How do scientists really know at what level of contamination mercury is really toxic to birds and other life in this planet?

Earthlings:The video

  

"EARTHLINGS is a feature length documentary about humanity's absolute dependence on animals (for pets, food, clothing, entertainment, and scientific research) but also illustrates our complete disrespect for these so-called "non-human providers." The film is narrated by Academy Award nominee Joaquin Phoenix (GLADIATOR) and features music by the critically acclaimed platinum artist Moby." (source:

This documentary is  one and a half-hours long and can be watched by going to the following website:

http://www.earthlings.com/earthlings/video-full.php  Warning:This video has graphic content! (Which indicates how selfish and how irresponsible our  species has been to this planet and its plants and animals).

55 Cancri e Densest planet ever found


  (Photo: NASA Ames and SETI Institute / Jason Rowe)
A simulation of the silhouette of planet 55 Cancri e passing in front of (“transiting”) its parent star, compared to the Earth and Jupiter transiting our Sun, as seen from outside the Solar System. The MOST space telescope detected the tiny dip in starlight caused when the super-Earth planet blocked a small portion of the disk of the star 55 Cancri A, which is nearly a twin to the Sun.



Astronomers from   Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), the University of British Columbia and the University of California at Santa Cruz, have announced they have found the "densest" planet ever . This planet has been named  55 Cancri e. and it is 60 percent larger than the Earth,  and eight times as massive.  Density is a measurement of the amount of matter in a given volume of something.

Source of this information: http://www.ibtimes.com/articles/139791/20110430/astronomers-find-densest-planet-known.htm

To learn more about 55 Cancrei e. please visit the following website: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/55_Cancri_e

Friday, April 29, 2011

Black plants on other Planets?



I found an interesting article  which discusses the idea that scientists may not have been able to locate plants on other planets from our own because these plants may be black in color! You can read about this  hypothesis by clicking on the following link:

http://www.ecanadanow.com/space/2011/04/25/black-plant-life-could-be-on-other-planets/ This link
will take you to an article entitled, " Black Plant Life could be on other planets".

Here is a link to a Scientific America magazine podcast about this subject matter:

http://castroller.com/Podcasts/SecondScience/2268582-Black%20Plant%20Life%20Could%20Thrive%20On%20Other%20Planets

A text version of this podcast can be read by clicking on the following Scientific America website link:
http://www.scientificamerican.com/podcast/episode.cfm?id=black-plant-life-could-thrive-on-ot-11-04-22

Endangered species in Canada





  Photos:Two of Canada's endangered species: The Swift fox and the Canadian Showy Goldenrod

I was sadly astonished to learn that in Canada we have 516 species of plants and animals which are classified as being "endangered". I found out this fact by reading an article entitled "Endangered Species in Canada at the following website:

http://www.greenlivingonline.com/slideshow/endangered-species-canada

For a species to be labelled as being "endangered", this mean that this species is in danger of becoming extinct in Canada or it is Extirpated. Extirpated means
"a species no longer existing in the wild in Canada but occurring elsewhere in the world."
(source:http://raysweb.net/specialplaces/pages/canada-es.html

  To learn more about endangered species in Canada please visit the following websites:

http://www.naturecanada.ca/endangered.asp

http://www.sararegistry.gc.ca/default_e.cfm

http://raysweb.net/specialplaces/pages-species-ej/dwindlinglegacy-ej.html
http://www.hww.ca/hww2.asp?id=232
Here is a link to a video which shows some of Canada's endangered species:

http://redux.com/stream/item/1972637/Endangered-Species-in-Canada

Lastly, here is a link to an American website which tells us how we as individuals can help endangered species from becoming extinct:


http://www.endangeredspecie.com/Ways_To_Help.htm

Source of images: Canadian Swift fox:(endangered in Canada)

http://www.albertawildliferehab.org/about.html

Canadian Showy Goldenrod: 

http://www.oakprairiefarm.com/photos/sgoldenrodT.JPG

Bats rescued after and Australian flood



130 baby bats orphaned by a flood off the Gold Coast of Australia were saved by the Australian Bat Clinic and Wildlife Trauma Centre. 
To see some adorable photos of some of these baby bats please click on the following link:


http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/01/17/baby-bats-rescued_n_806822.html

Bats are very important to this World! These animals consume tons of pounds of harmful insects each and every day and this reduces damage which plants would otherwise suffer due to these insects. They also play a key role in the ecology of caves. You can read more about this function of bats by clicking on the following links:

http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2008-04/stri-srs040308.php
http://wildlife.state.co.us/WildlifeSpecies/Profiles/Mammals/BatsofColorado/TheImportanceofBats.htm

Here is a link to a video in which bat expert Tom Hastings is interviewed:


http://youtu.be/qgSe9J4sp1o
Here is a  link to a short video about  the roles of bats on our World:

Source of image:http://www.animalliberationfront.com/News/AnimalPhotos/Animals_361-370/361BabyBatsRescued.htm

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Kids meet sharks


I found this video on Youtube. It is wonderful that children are learning how important sharks are to our own survival and the survival of other life in the oceans of this planet!


Here are some links to some websites which discuss why sharks are important to the ocean ecosystem and this planet:

http://ohia.org/ohia/roadshows/ocean/tony/foodchain.htm

http://www.sharksavers.org/education/why-sharks-are-important/710-sharks-role-in-the-oceans.html


http://www.oceanicresearch.org/education/wonders/sharks.html

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

RAP Star' Species: Insect Edition: Slide Show



Conservation International's Rapid Assessment Program has just named its Top 20 "RAP" Stars.
"These species are among the most remarkable and/or threatened animals that Conservation International has encountered in its history" To see what species are on this list please click on the following link:


http://news.discovery.com/animals/insects-rap-star-species-110414.html#mkcpgn=rssnws1

One of these "stars" is the "fish-hook" ant which you see above.
Source of image:http://photogallery.thestar.com/975016
This ant grows to 1.5 cm in length. They get the name "fish-hook" from the fact that when a predator attacks their nest these ants grab each other and this makes it more difficult for a predator to plunder or destroy their nest! Anteaters beware!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Introducing genetic changes into mosquitos to control their disease transmission ability



The results of a very interesting science research project have been published this week online. In this research experiment scientists were for the first time able to show that genetic changes can be introduced into large laboratory mosquito populations over the span of a few generations by just a small number of modified mosquitoes.

These findings if replicated could provide science with a wonderful means of reducing the likelihood that mosquitos could transmit some very deadly diseases to humans and other species. To read about this discovey please visit the Science Digest website:
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/04/110420143616.htm 


To see an abstract of this research please click on the following link which will take you to part of the "Nature.com " website:

http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/nature09937.html
"Anopheline mosquitoes (like the one pictured above)  are the species of mosquito that primarily transmit malaria. These mosquitoes bite during the nighttime hours".  (source:http://www.tinymosquito.com/malaria.html ) 
Only females of any species of mosquito bite humans.They do this in order to facilitate the breeding of eggs within their bodies.

Source of image:
http://www.broadinstitute.org/files/blog/images/2010/7861_lores%20mosquito.jpg

To learn more about Anopheline mosquitoes please visit the following websites:


http://www.cbwinfo.com/Biological/Vectors/Anopheline.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anopheles http://www.anobase.org/

Here is a video I found at Youtube which shows how humans become infected  with Malaria:




Source of video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OEDhe4MPEMc

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Raoul du Toit wins Goldman Environmental Prize for his work with Black Rhinos



Raoul du Toit  (pictured above) has won a Goldman Environmental Prize for his 30 years of tireless work to protect black rhinos in Zimbabwe.




 I congratulate Raoul on your wonderful service to this World and its animals!To read an inteview of Raoul du Toit  at the Yale University Envrionment 360 website, please click on the following link:

http://e360.yale.edu/feature/against_the_odds_saving_rhinos_in_a_troubled_land/2389/

"Raoul du Toit is a Zimbabwean. He commenced his professional career in the field of Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), having undertaken post-graduate training at the University of Cape Town. He has been particularly involved in EIA’s of large hydroelectric schemes on the Zambezi and Cunene Rivers. He diverted into rhino conservation work through his appointment in 1985 to the IUCN African Elephant and Rhino Specialist Group, as Scientific Officer. For three years, he coordinated the conservation efforts of this group within Africa. In 1988, Mr. du Toit developed a WWF project to survey the status of black rhinos in the Zambezi Valley and since then has worked as a Project Executant with WWF.He is theSenior Ecologist, Rhino Projects/Conservancies with the World Wildlife fund. (source:http://www.wcs-ahead.org/bios/bio_dutoit.html )

Here is a video I found at Youtube which discusses Raoul du Toit's work:


To learn more about Black Rhinos please visit the following websites:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Rhinoceros

http://www.awf.org/content/wildlife/detail/rhinoceros

http://animals.nationalgeographic.com/animals/mammals/black-rhinoceros/

http://wwf.panda.org/what_we_do/endangered_species/rhinoceros/african_rhinos/black_rhinoceros/

 The International Union for Conservation of Nature presently classifies the Black Rhinoceros species as being "Critically Endangered". This is the highest risk category assigned by the IUCN Red List for wild species. Critically Endangered means that a species' numbers have decreased, or will decrease, by 80% within three generations!!







"A major market for rhino horn has historically been in the Middle East to make ornately carved handles for ceremonial daggers called jambiyas. Demand for these exploded in the 1970s causing the Black Rhinoceros population to decline 96% between 1970 and 1992. The horn is also used in traditional Chinese medicine, and is said by herbalists to be able to revive comatose patients, cure fevers, and aid male sexual stamina and fertility. The purported effectiveness of the use of rhino horn in treating any illness has not been confirmed by medical science!!!!  Once again we see  some Asians involved in the decimation of a wild animal bringing it near to extinction!! What is with you people who do this? How can you be so selfish, and so greedy???

 
(source:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Rhinoceros )

Source of image of  Raoul du Toit:http://e360.yale.edu/digest/interview_forging_a_defense_for_rhinos_in_troubled_zimbabwe_/2894/

Source of image of the Black Rhino:Justin Sullivan at

http://justin.justnet.com.au/dubbozoo/black-rhino.php
Justin thank you for allowing me to use your photo!

Bolivia to grant Nature all and equal rights granted to humans

 Image:Jaguars are found in the Chaco region of Bolivia. (see map below)

According to an article entitled, Bolivia’s “Law of Mother Earth”
which you can read by clicking on the following link:
http://vivirlatino.com/2011/04/12/bolivias-law-of-mother-earth.php, the country of Bolivia has created
new law  which, "when passed, will grant Nature all and equal rights granted to humans!. In this article the writer, Bianca Laureano states:

"The law is said to establish 11 new laws for Nature which include:
  • the right to life and to exist;
  • the right to continue vital cycles and processes free from human alteration;
  • the right to pure water and clean air;
  • the right to balance;
  • the right not to be polluted;
  • the right to not be affected by mega-infrastructure and development projects that affect the balance of ecosystems and the local inhabitant communities;
  • the right to not have cellular structure modified or genetically altered"
Let us hope that the Bolivian parliament passes this into law.It certainly would set a very good standard for other countries to follow! Humans have done enough interfering and damaging of other life forms, including putting other species on the brink of extinction or into extinction itself!




Source of image:
http://www.boliviaweb.com/postcards/animals.htm

Stop the trade of Shark fins in Australia


An Australian customs officer displays drying shark fins found on board a suspected illegal fishing boat near Darwin, Australia. Source of image:Getty Images


Please watch this video you can help stop the trade of shark fins in Australia!

How sharks keep us Breathing


To read a very interesting and informative article which discusses why sharks are essential for  the survival of the human species please click on the following link:

http://www.greenprophet.com/2011/04/filmmaker-jonathan-ali-khan/


Please download this factsheet to learn more about the important aspects of sharks:

http://www.aqua.org/downloads/pdf/Sharks.pdf

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Russia bans Polar bear hunt for this year!



Russia has banned the hunting of polar bears this year! Polar Bears have been classified as "endangered"
because of our species  excessive hunting  of them for their hide and meat. "Scientists  "predict that as the Arctic continues to warm due to climate change, two-thirds of the world's polar bears could disappear by mid-century—although hope remains if action is taken to greatly reduce greenhouse gas emissions"  (source:http://www.polarbearsinternational.org/polar-bears/faq  ). Polar bears were the first species of animal to become endangered because of Global Warming. Polar Bears are found in these areas of our planet: Canada (Manitoba; Newfoundland; Northwest Territories; Nunavut; Ontario; Quebec; Yukon), Greenland, Norway (Svalbard), Russian Federation (Krasnoyarsk; Magadan; North European Russia; West Siberia; Yakutiya), United States (Alaska). (source:http://www.worldwildlife.org/species/finder/polarbear/polarbear.html ).

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

On this day in History:The Canadian army takes Vimy Ridge.




Official photo of  Vimy Ridge in 1917
Photographer: Jack Turner
Source. Digital Collections website operated by the Government of en:Canada.
www.collections.ic.gc.ca/turner/a_162.html



On this day on  April 12th, 1917 during  World War I  Canadian forces successfully complete the taking of Vimy Ridge from the Germans. Thank you to all the brave Canadian troops who fought in this battle and this "War to End all wars" in order to perserve my freedom!  My Grandfather was one of the brave soldiers who fought and was seriously wounded in the Battle for Vimy Ridge. 10,602 brave Canadian soldiers were injured in the Battle for Vimy Ridge and 3,598 Candians were killed during this battle!   Today marks the 94th anniversary of the Battle for Vimy Ridge.   To learn more about the capture and Battle of Vimy Ridge please visit these websites:

http://wwii.ca/page9.html
http://www.warmuseum.ca/cwm/exhibitions/vimy/index_e.shtml

http://www.veterans.gc.ca/eng/sub.cfm?source=memorials/ww1mem/vimy

http://www.cbc.ca/news/background/vimy/

http://www.firstworldwar.com/battles/vimyridge.htm

A National Film Board of Canada documentary about the Battle for Vimy Ridge has been posted to Youtube. To access these videos please click on the following link:

http://www.youtube.com/view_play_list?p=D624FE47FB3AA36B

Monday, April 11, 2011

Help insects out!



Please read the following article  (by clicking on the link) which tells you how you can help pollinating insects by providing them with a habitat in your yard: Provide a habitat for pollinators 

Friday, April 8, 2011

Volokitin-Reinderman, 2011 European Chess Championship



Analysis of Volokitin-Reinderman 2011 European Chess Championship












I have analyzed another chess game for my blog. This game comes from the 2011 European Chess Championship and is between Grandmaster Andrei Volokitin (top left photo) and Grandmaster Dimitri Reinderman (pictured in the photo on the right above) . Grandmaster Volokitin lives in the Ukraine and has an elo rating of  2677, which makes him the 63rd highest-rated player in the World.  Grandmaster Reinderman lives in the Netherlands and has an elo rating of  2601 which makes him the 219th strongest chess player in the World. The opening played in this game is the Classical variation of the King's Indian Defense. This opening was a favorite of deceased former World Chess Champion Bobby Fischer and retired ex-World Chess Champion Gary Kasparov. I hope you enjoy playing through this game which will be the next blog post in my blog!!

Source of image of GM Volokitin:http://www.chessvibes.com/reports/six-teams-still-on-100-at-european-club-cup/

Source of image of GM Reinderman:http://www.chessvibes.com/reports/13-year-old-nyzhnyk-wins-groningen-open-timman-beats-van-kampen-2-5-1-5/

Insects discovered to boost the yield of crops

According to an article entitled, "Termites and ants boost crop yields" which you can read by clicking on the following link: http://www.australiangeographic.com.au/journal/termites-and-ants-boost-crop-yields-.htm, ants and termites have been found  to "boost crop yields in the dry areas of Australia's wheat belt by more than one-third!!" "The results suggest that ants and termites not only increase grain yields but can cut fertiliser bills and decrease the need for pesticides."

"These insects are able to re-colonise untilled wheat fields that have 'crop stubble', which they use for nourishment as they establish their underground nests. The activity helps more rainwater soak into the ground where plants need it most. The insects also increase the amount of nitrogen - a nutrient needed for plant growth - by a quarter."

So the next time you are walking and see ant or group of ants or termites stop to say a big "Thank you" to these insects, rather than viewing them as pests or not having any importance to humans!!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Dragonflies are amazing athletes!!



According to an article entitled, "Discovering dragonflies that cross oceans" which you can read by clicking on the following link: http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/punctuated-equilibrium/2011/apr/06/1 a Marine Biologist named Doctor Charles Anderson has discovered that a species of Dragonfly known as the globe skimmer,  (Scientific name: Pantala flavescens) (pictured above)  has been found to migrate 18,000 km   back and forth across the Indian Ocean!!!  Doctor Anderson  "found that the migration begins in India and proceeds via the Maldives (a mystifying stopover, because freshwater is scarce on these low-lying atolls) continues through the Seychelles and then extends on to East Africa"

Wow isn't this an amazing athletic endeavor!!  I wonder how many other insects which can fly engage in such migration? Of course we have all heard about the migration of Monarch Butterflies haven't we? Monarchs "have been known to fly more than 600 kilometres (375 miles) over water non-stop in 16 hours. Their 5,000 kilometre migration takes them eight to ten weeks, travelling only in daylight."
(source:http://www.answersingenesis.org/creation/v20/i1/monarch.asp ).
And now we have learned that a species of Dragonfly migrates over 3 times the distance that Monarchs do! There are some amazing insects in this World! Dragonflies are  also very beneficial because they hunt and eat harmful insects such as mosquitoes in great numbers! Here is a link to an interview of Dr. Anderson I found online in which he discusses this  amazing dragonfly species:

http://www.ted.com/talks/charles_anderson_discovers_dragonflies_that_cross_oceans.html
To learn more about this dragonfly species please visit the following websites:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pantala_flavescenshttp://news.bbc.co.uk/earth/hi/earth_news/newsid_8149000/8149714.stm

Here is an interesting video I found at Youtube which shows the flight pattern of these dragonflies in slow-motion: (source:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jNZb2BSd9qE )


Source of image:
http://i793.photobucket.com/albums/yy217/mangust3/bizzare/pantala-flavescens.jpg

Insects are such an interesting species to study and learn about!

Humans causing massive changes to Marine life!




"Researchers at UH Manoa's Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology (HIMB) have examined the genetic structure of a common, non-harvested sea star using a spatially explicit model to test whether the largest sewage discharge and urban runoff sources were affecting the genetic structure of this species.
They found that these large pollution sources are not only increasing genetic differentiation between populations (presumably by limiting the dispersal of larvae between them) but also decreasing the genetic diversity of populations closest to them."
"In short, human beings are directly affecting the ecological and evolutionary trajectory of a species that is relatively free of any direct human impacts."

To read the entire content of this very important and revealing news article please click on the following link: http://www.sify.com/news/pollution-forms-an-invisible-barrier-for-marine-life-news-international-ldlqOidfiie.html

Wow we Humans have really done something awful  this time  to this Planet (with our selfish and irresponsible polluting of  this planet!!)  Let us hope we can find a way to solve this serious problem we have created! I hope all of my readers practise recycling of  garbage to as great an extent as you can.

Source of image:
http://planetphilippines.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/01/corals-marine-life.jpg

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Wolves are bloodthirsty monsters that kill for sport??



According to an article entitled,"Wolf Emergency Measure Moves Forward", which you can read by clicking on the following link: http://www.fox12idaho.com/Global/story.asp?S=14390970, some members of the Idaho House of Representatives  (ie.Politicians) actually have been quoted as saying that "Wolves are bloodthirsty monsters which kill for sport?"!! How can anyone,especially someone who has been elected to represent a large group of voters ascribe to such a belief as this?? Wolves are extremely intelligent animals which live in extremely complex social structures which rival those of our own species. Wolves kill to survive, and they usually kill the weak or diseased members of other species.This keeps other species strong within their gene pools. For a member or members of the Idaho House of Representatives to have actually been quoted  as saying :"Wolves are bloodthirsty monsters which kill for sport" and for them to believe this notion, indicates to me that there is either a great deal of ignorance about wolves among the Human species or these politicians are using inflammatory comments to try and get attention for themselves and their rationalization of killing all the wolves in Montana! Neither of these reasons for engaging in the use of this phrase are going to make people in Idaho who understand the important role of wolves in the ecosystem, change their view of wolves one bit! These people who are saying that "Wolves are bloodthirsty killers" assert they are doing so because they fear that their children may be attacked and possibly killed by wolves when these children are playing or doing other things outside. However, what facts do they use to support this view of theirs? How many recorded instances of children or adults being killed in Idaho have occurred?  I could only find research which suggests one person in Saskatchewan was killed by wolves in all the available resources online: See:http://www.hcn.org/issues/315/16084 .
And experts who examined the tragic death of this person in Saskatchewan  assert that this death was
at least partially due to the behavior of humans in the region of these wolves!



I did some online research and found the following article: ,"Idahoans weigh in on ending wolf protections" which was published on the MSNBC website in 2007 (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/17500060/ns/us_news-environment/)

As stated in this article:
"Wolves were reintroduced to the northern Rocky Mountains after being hunted to near-extinction, and now number more than 1,200 in the region. The region where wolves would no longer have federal protections would include all of Idaho, Montana, eastern Washington and Oregon and a small sliver of northeastern Utah."

If wolves are causing problems in these states in the United States, I assert that it is because humans
and our behavior, which has caused  wolves to chose to prey on cattle and other animals of humans which live in Idaho. This assertion of mine seems to be supported by scientific research:





Impacts of Wolves and Mountain Lions on
Deer and Elk in Eastern Idaho

Dr. Dennis Murray, University of Idaho

"Dr. Murray studied impacts of wolves and mountain lions on deer and elk in eastern Idaho. Predator/prey theory says additive predation would eventually eliminate prey completely. Compensatory predation is "taking only those animals who are doomed anyway." If predators also take viable healthy animals it can result in better food and conditions for remaining prey, which may result in increased offspring." (source:http://www.westernhunter.com/Pages/Vol04Issue09/predators.html )


These cattle ranchers as parents are no doubt truly concerned that their children or themselves might become prey for these wolves. However, as Cattle ranchers   they have moved into the habitat of wolves in Idaho. Why should wolves be killed in order to allow these farmers to make their incomes (and protect their children from being killed by a wolf? ) No one told the farmers to move into these areas where wolves were already well established! And no one told these Cattle Ranchers that they should become Cattle ranchers. Entering a business always entails risks (and it is the risk of wolf predation that is one of the risks that the Cattlemen of Idaho and other regions have to face to run their business.
.
The wolves were in these habitats first!! It is the Cattle ranchers who have caused this problem with the wolves!  If Cattle ranchers want to live in these areas then they should be required to have their cattle in buildings or areas where wolves cannot predate on their cattle! If Cattle ranchers can prove that such an undertaking would be financially difficult then the Government of the United States should provide funding for these cattlemen so that these cattle and other animals are protected from predation !! Maybe if the Government of the United States and the Governments of the various states in the United States were  more interested in the people who live in the country  and their way of life, and maybe if the  Federal Government of the United States  spent more  money within the confines of the United States instead of  spending it fighting wars this situation may not have happened at all! If these cattle ranchers are fearful for the fact that their children or themselves might be attacked and killed by a wolf during a normal day of activity, then certainly they can take precautions regarding this possibility rather than  feeling that wolves are bloodthirsty,  kill humans for sport and should therefore wiped out as a species in Idaho!!

"Under normal circumstances, wild wolves are generally timid around humans. Wolves usually try to avoid contact with people, to the point of even abandoning their kills when an approaching human is  detected though there are several reported circumstances in which wolves have been recorded to act aggressively toward humans."
(source:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wolf_attacks_on_human
)


Source of image:http://howlingforjustice.wordpress.com/




Saturday, April 2, 2011

Are you ready for this: Insects on your dinner plate as the main course?



According to an article entitled,"Insects will be important part of UK diet by 2020, says scientist"

The UN's Food and Agriculture Organisation says insects are vital to meeting the nutritional needs of the world's growing population, but they hardly feature in the diets of many rich nations.

To read more about this situation please click on the following link:

 http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2011/mar/31/insects-uk-diet-2020

Anyone for some fried crickets like you see above? They are supposed to go great with a beer! :)

Visit GM Alexandra Kosteniuk's Women's Chess Blog:Please click on the image below:

Visit GM Alexandra Kosteniuk's Women's Chess Blog:Please click on the image below:
Chess needs more women and girl participants and administrators!

Thoughts worth thinking about

"Our subconscious minds have no sense of humor, play no jokes and cannot tell the difference between reality and an imagined thought or image. What we continually think about eventually will manifest in our lives."-Sidney Madwed



Laws alone can not secure freedom of expression; in order that every woman and man present their views without penalty, there must be spirit of tolerance in the entire population.- Albert Einstein Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. - Leo Buscaglia



A person's true wealth is the good he or she does in the world. - Mohammed



Our task must be to free ourselves... by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature and its beauty. -Albert Einstein



The best way to find yourself, is to lose yourself in the service of others. - Ghandi



The unselfish effort to bring cheer to others will be the beginning of a happier life for ourselves. - Helen Keller



Aim for success, not perfection. Never give up your right to be wrong, because then you will lose the ability to learn new things and move forward with your life. Remember that fear always lurks behind perfectionism. Confronting your fears and allowing yourself the right to be human can, paradoxically, make yourself a happier and more productive person. - Dr. David M. Burns



Life is as dear to a mute creature as it is to man. Just as one wants happiness and fears pain, just as one wants to live and not die, so do other creatures. -His Holiness The Dalai Lama



Mankind's true moral test, its fundamental test (which lies deeply buried from view), consists of its attitude towards those who are at its mercy: animals. And in this respect mankind has suffered a fundamental debacle, a debacle so fundamental that all others stem from it. -



Milan Kundera, The Unbearable Lightness of Being



The worst sin towards our fellow creatures is not to hate them, but to be indifferent to them. That's the essence of inhumanity. -George Bernard Shaw

Ego's trick is to make us lose sight of our interdependence. That kind of ego-thought gives us a perfect justification to look out only for ourselves. But that is far from the truth. In reality we all depend on each other and we have to help each other. The husband has to help his wife, the wife has to help the husband, the mother has to help her children, and the children are supposed to help the parents too, whether they want to or not.-Gehlek Rinpoche Source: "The Best Buddhist Writing 2005 pg. 165

The hostile attitude of conquering nature ignores the basic interdependence of all things and events---that the world beyond the skin is actually an extension of our own bodies---and will end in destroying the very environment from which we emerge and upon which our whole life depends.