This Cat Has The Most Beautiful Eyes Ever
more pics and stories at BoredPanda
China’s Giant Panda Protection and Research Centre has been looking for people who’ll “spend 365 days with the pandas and sharing in their joys and sorrows”, paying them about $32,000 a year to cuddle, feed, clean, and play with baby pandas.
If cuddling pandas isn’t your type, you might be interested in cuddling with a human instead – for a price. Tokyo, Japan’s Akihabara district is filled with cuddle cafes which lets their customers have a chance to cuddle with beautiful girls with no strings attached. The cheapest cuddle for 3,000 yen lasts for 20 minutes and some add-ons like “staring at each other” costs 1,000 yen.
A Brazilian barbecue called churrasco won’t be a legitimate churrasco in a churrascaria (restaurant) without thechurrasquerios (barbecue chef) – got it? Barbecuing meat is a serious job that churrasquerios are treated as specialized knowledge workers in the US.
Manual scavenging is a term used to describe the removing of human excrement from dry toilets and sewers using basic tools such as thin boards, buckets, and baskets lined with sacks carried on the head. Basically, those who do this job are called manual scavengers. The job has been banned in India for decades, but continues to be an inescapable job for the Dalits, also known as the untouchables, the lowest rank of Indian society.
In China, absence of tears during funerals means that the deceased wasn’t loved, and is a disgrace to the family. To show everyone that the deceased is loved, families hire actors to cry at funerals especially when the deceased’s relatives are too busy to be present. The hired actors, mostly young women, wail loudly with full makeup and wearing traditional clothing while encouraging other visitors to join the cryfest. A man n UK was inspired by this odd job that he even made his own rent-a-mourner company in the country.
full story with even more unusual jobs at:When on Earth
In a study published in the journal Neuron on Thursday, neuroscientists from the University of California, Davis studied how the brain would react if it were to be “beamed up” from one place to another using a virtual simulation.
When volunteers entered a virtual teleportation device ‒ similar to the ones made famous in the Star Trek franchise ‒ researchers found that that their brains gave off certain “rhythmic oscillations” of electric signals like the ones that a rat brain creates when the animal navigates a maze.
Arne Ekstrom, associate professor at the UC Davis’ Centre for Neuroscience, conducted the study to learn more about how people memorizes routes and learn to find our way around.
“There is this rhythmic firing in the brain during navigation and while remembering things, but we don’t know if it is triggered by sensory input or by the learning process,” Ekstrom said in a statement.
full story RT
photo credit: La Trobe University students learning how to identify plants near Falls Creek. Susan Lawler
I have recently been made abundantly aware of the lack of field skills among biology students, even those who major in ecology. By field skills we mean the ability to identify plants and animals, to recognise invasive species and to observe the impact of processes such as fire on the landscape.
My colleague Mike Clarke calls it “ecological illiteracy”, and identifies it as a risk for nature at large. While people spend more times indoors in front of screens, we become less aware of the birds, plants and bugs in our backyards and neighbourhoods. This leads to an alienation of humans from nature that is harmful to our health, our planet and our spirit.
On a more practical, academic level, I was in a meeting this week where an industry representative complained that biology graduates are no longer able to identify common plants and animals. This limits their employment prospects and hampers the capacity of society to respond to changes in natural ecosystems predicted by climate change.
Field taxonomy vs. Bloom’s taxonomy
So what is going on? Why don’t ecology students get this information during the course of their University degrees?
Practical sessions teaching scientific names of animals or plants can be perceived to be boring and dry. Students may be asked to collect and pin a range of insects or press and identify certain plants as part of their training in biological diversity, but these activities are time consuming and expensive. As we strive to be more flexible and efficient, classes and assessments relying on identification skills are quickly dropped.
ful story IFLScience
In its annual report on the worldwide state of human rights, the campaign group criticizes the Tory plan to abolish the Human Rights Act and replace it with a British Bill of Rights, excluding the UK from European jurisdiction.
As well as the British Bill of Rights, the report also examines the British government’s breach of privacy and undertaking of mass surveillance.
“The UK is setting a dangerous precedent to the world on human rights. There’s no doubt that the downgrading of human rights by this government is a gift to dictators the world over and fatally undermines our ability to call on other countries to uphold rights and laws,” Amnesty’s UK director, Kate Allen, said.
read more at RT
The Health Ministry has declared a water emergency in five districts in the vicinity.
According to state-owned regional Petroperu, there were two separate breaks in January and early February, which have halted transportation of 5-6,000 barrels of crude per day. According to Petroperu president German Velasquez, the first rupture appears to have been caused by a landslide. The cause of the other is still being worked out.
The oil is now in the Chiriaco and Morona rivers in northwest Peru, Reuters reported OEFA, the national environmental authority, as saying. There are at least eight native-populated villages now under threat, an indigenous leader told the agency. Petroperu has estimated the amount of the spilled oil at 3,000 barrels.
The company now says it will take “some time” before operations return to normal. But its efforts have been hampered by pouring rain, which led to oil containment walls bursting and the crude flowing into the rivers.
If Petroperu, which is responsible for refining and transportation, is found to have hurt the locals’ health in any way, the company faces 60 million soles ($17 million) in fines.
The OEFA told Petroperu earlier that its pipeline was in need of maintenance and repairs. “It’s important to note that the spills…are not isolated cases. Similar emergencies have emerged as a result of defects in sections of the pipeline,” the environmental agency said in a statement.
Velasquez says an evaluation is currently being carried out on the 1970s pipeline. But the process could take up to two months.
Allegations emerged that Petroperu was using children to help clean up the spill, something Velasquez has denied, but added he was considering firing four officials, one of whom was linked to allegedly getting children to work on the spill.
Update from Dan in Lesvos:
“After a quiet period on the Island, during which we got our heads down in preparation for what we knew was coming; the inevitable has occurred and boats have started arriving, en mass, on the shore of southern Lesvos again.
This picture was taken at about 7am, after a nightmare of a night. And when I say nightmare, I mean a night that will surely be haunting my sleep for years to come. I will share what happened that night with you guys at some point, but first I need to get my own head around what happened, what I experienced, what I saw.
Anyway, this picture.
We had been sitting at the lookout point, the cliff known as Katia, when we noticed a small wooden fishing boat rapidly approaching an extremely dangerous area at the foot of the cliff.
Our team raced along the coast to meet it as fast as we could, jumped out of the car and started running down the rocky path towards where the boat had been heading…but somehow we had lost sight of it. The refugees in that boat were approaching the rocks, alone….
I left the team there to continue searching and jumped back in the car on my own, deciding to drive round to the other side of the cliff and see if i could approach the same area from the opposite direction, to ensure we covered any possible eventualities.
I abandoned the car once it had taken me as far as it could, and started running. I ran for a good 10 minutes, back along the waterfront, my heart exploding in my chest. I was exhausted but the adrenaline kept me going.
In the distance I could see the boat again. My team had found it and were already in the water attempting to take control of the situation, helping people off as calmly as possible, whilst also tending to the needs of the people once off, freezing cold, soaking wet, and often traumatised. As I got closer I estimated about 40 people, many of them young families.
I had a few emergency blankets on me, but not enough, so I proceeded to wrap them around the smallest children first, having to prioritise.
Once everyone was safely on dry land and ready for it, we began to lead the way along the base of the cliff for the long walk back to the road. It was rocky and difficult and many people were struggling either with children, with injuries, or just putting one foot in front of the other on solid ground after the traumatic crossing.
This little boy was handed to me by his mother as she was struggling with her two other children and a few heavy bags. I had already slid the emergency blanket under his clothes, against his skin, pulled it up and tied it to form a little hood around his head for warmth.
He giggled as we walked and enjoyed a biscuit given to him by the other volunteers who had now joined us. By the time we got to the road and I handed him back to his Mamma, we were friends, and he gave me a kiss on the cheek, leaving me covered in crumbs.
I am so grateful for my team. We were the first on the scene and dealt with the situation in a controlled and compassionate manner. The people on this boat arrived to Europe happy, calm, and most importantly safe.
This picture was taken by a photographer called Cesar Lopez Balan. I’m having a little trouble seeing the pain in my face. I hardly recognised myself, but I wanted to mention that way Carlos conducts himself photographing what is happening right on the front line. He actually helps out, always ensures he puts the people first and still takes wonderful, emotional photos. I wanted to mention this as not many photographers conduct themselves in this way, so thank you.
from the Worldwide Tribe at:The World wide Tribe
As study recently published in the British Medical Journal by researchers at the Nordic Cochrane Center in Copenhagen, has strongly reaffirmed the disturbing corruption that plagues the medical industry.
In the past, we have brought you a number of reports that have highlighted the level of corruption in the medical industry—Monsanto being one of the largest corporations known to influence research, medical studies and university professors.
In this most recent example, the study showed that the pharmaceutical companies had not disclosed all the information regarding the results of their trial. According to reports, “pharmaceutical companies were not presenting the full extent of serious harm in clinical study reports, which are detailed documents sent to regulatory authorities such as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the European Medicines Agency (EMA) when applying for approval of a new drug.”
After examining the documents of 70 double-blind, placebo-controlled trials of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI) and serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRI), researchers discovered that the full extent of serious harm in clinical study reports went unreported.
“We found that a lot of the appendices were often only available upon request to the authorities, and the authorities had never requested them,” said Tamang Sharma, a PhD student at Cochrane and lead author of the study. “I’m actually kind of scared about how bad the actual situation would be if we had the complete data.”
“[This study] confirms that the full degree of harm of antidepressants is not reported,” said Joanna Moncrieff, a psychiatrist and researcher at University College London. “They are not reported in the published literature, we know that – and it appears that they are not properly reported in clinical study reports that go to the regulators and from the basis of decisions about licensing.”
The harsh reality is these large multinational corporations have their finger in almost every pie in the medical industry. The reason for this: no one in the medical industry has any money. The governments do not have any money, universities don’t have any money and the health organisations don’t have any money. These large multinational corporations are the only ones who have money. As a result, these corporations use their money to influence the medical establishment. But at what cost?
More than 1 out of 10 Americans over the age of 12—roughly 11 percent—take antidepressants, according to a 2011 report by the National Center for Health Statistics. Once you parallel this statistic to the findings that were not disclosed to regulatory authorities—the occurrence of suicidal thoughts and aggressive behaviour doubled in children and adolescents who used the medications previously mentioned—you can grasp the seriousness of this undoubtable game of corruption.
“We really don’t have good enough evidence that antidepressants are effective and we have increasing evidence that they can be harmful. So we need to go into reverse and stop this increasing trend of prescribing [them],” said Moncrieff.
In 2001, a trial of the antidepressant drug Paxil (paroxetine), funded by GlaxoSmithKline, concluded that the drugs were safe to consume. The results of this trial were then used to market Paxil as safe for teenagers; however, just a few months ago, an independent review of the drugs found that they were not safe for teenagers.
To make matters worse, the corrupt practices that often infringe on a large percentage of the medical studies that take place, have been common knowledge to those in the industry for more than a decade.
In fact, in his article Why Most Published Research Findings Are False—the most widely accessed article in the history of the Public Library of Science—John Loannisis, an epidemiologist at Stanford University School of Medicine and co-author of the study, states that “most current published research findings are false.” Since its publication, which was more than 10 years ago, the level of corruption has only increased.
“The case against science is straightforward: much of the scientific literature, perhaps half, may simply be untrue. Afflicted by studies with small sample sizes, tiny effects, invalid exploratory analyses, and flagrant conflicts of interest, together with an obsession for pursuing fashionable trends of dubious importance, science has taken a turn towards darkness,” said Dr. Richard Horton, the current Editor-In- Chief of one of the most reputable reviewed medical journals in the world.
Over the past few year, Dr. Peter Gotzsche, co-founder of the Cochrane Collaboration (the world’s most foremost body in assessing medical evidence), has been working to inform the world about the dangers associated with several pharmaceutical grade drugs—antidepressants being among them.
Since conducting his research, Professor Gotzsche has estimated that 100,000 people in the United States alone die from the side-effects of correctly used prescription drugs each year.
According to Professor Gotzsche, here’s a list of things you want to avoid:
Feature Image: Wikimedia Commons, Takkk
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