News from a World gone mad

yet there is still so much beauty



20 Shocking Illustrations Reveal How Animals Feel By Switching Them With Humans


Truthfully, some of these are downright gut wrenching. You’ve been warned. Compiled by Bored Pandathis series of illustrations was designed to get us to think differently about the way humans treat animals by having us trade places with them, creating a horrific parallel universe where humans are caged, tortured, and slaughtered.

It’s a terrifying premise, but sadly, also represents the reality for hundreds of millions of animals each day.

These images have the potential to open up so many discussion topics which perhaps people are already thinking about but have never dared explore out loud. These are the uncomfortable truths that hide just beneath the surface of world. We use animals for our entertainment, we eat them, we wear them, we experiment on them, and we use them to curb our own loneliness.

People can argue for and against animals rights ’till the cows come home, but that doesn’t change the fact that we as a species see animals as ‘less than’ or as inferior to us. There is plenty more I could say on this issue, but for now, let’s just have a look at these images and take some time to reflect on how they make us feel. If you are uncomfortable, it may because they hit closer to home than you’d like.



Source  CE







New Fossil Discovery Suggests Unicorns Might Have Been Real

A new fossil discovered in Kazakhstan confirms that a one-horned creature walked on Earth at the same time as humans, according to a studypublished in the American Journal of Applied Sciences.

The fossilized skull discovered by scientists reveals that the one-horned creature, known as a Siberian unicorn, last roamed the planet 29,000 years ago, at the same time as humans, meaning it may have inspired its mythical namesake.

It was previously believed that the unicorn-like creature died 350,000 years ago, while humans evolved around 200,000 years ago.

The Siberian unicorn, known scientifically asElasmotherium sibiricum, is most closely related to the rhinoceros, but its horn is thought to have been much longer — probably several feet long.

There’s no evidence that the Siberian unicorn had magic powers, but it was clearly a powerful creature. It stood 6½ feet tall, was 15 feet long, and weighed 4 tons.

Originally published:








South Koreans Kick Off Efforts to Clone Extinct Siberian Cave Lions

By: The Siberian Times reporter

Samples taken from cubs frozen in permafrost for at least 12,000 years.

Two infant prehistoric big cats – dating from Pleistocene times – were found in a ‘sensational’ discovery last year, as disclosed by The Siberian Times . The cubs were dug from their icy grave ‘complete with all their body parts: fur, ears, soft tissue and even whiskers’, said Dr. Albert Protopopov, head of the mammoth fauna studies department of the Yakutian Academy of Sciences.

Now cloning expert Hwang Woo-suk, a South Korean scientist who is already pioneering research work to bring the extinct woolly mammoth back to life, is in Yakutsk to obtain samples of one of the cave lion cubs. These laboratory pictures show skin and muscle tissue being extracted from the ancient creature “Dina’s” remains.

These laboratory pictures show skin and muscle tissue being extracted from the ancient creature Dina's remains.

These laboratory pictures show skin and muscle tissue being extracted from the ancient creature Dina's remains.

These laboratory pictures show skin and muscle tissue being extracted from the ancient creature Dina's remains.

These laboratory pictures show skin and muscle tissue being extracted from the ancient creature Dina’s remains. Pictures: Galina Mozolevskaya/YSIA

Dr. Protopopov said: ‘Together with the Mammoth Museum, we took samples for cell research.’ The museum’s experts will study these for the presence of living cells suitable for cloning.

Hwang came to Yakutsk – capital of the Sakha Republic – specifically for this purpose. But there was dispute between the Siberian and Korean scientists over the size of the sample.

The Korean professor wanted a large section, such as part of the skull or a leg but this was opposed by the local experts who are anyway withholding one of the cubs from any research – the better preserved of the pair, called Uyan – confident that more advanced techniques in future years will ensure more is gleaned from it than if research is done now.

read the full story at:Ancient Origins



Tilikum the killer whale is dying, announce SeaWorld

Tilikum the killer whale is dying, announce SeaWorld

SeaWorld have announced that it’s not looking too good for Tilikum the killer whale.

The orca, who is the subject of documentary BlackFish, is becoming ‘increasingly lethargic’ and has reached ‘the high end of the life expectancy for male killer whales’.

In an official statement, SeaWorld say: ‘We are saddened to report that over the past few weeks, Tilikum’s behavior has become increasingly lethargic, and the SeaWorld veterinary and animal care teams are concerned that his health is beginning to deteriorate.’

full story at:Metro








This Cat Has The Most Beautiful Eyes Ever





more pics and stories at BoredPanda







Could You Stomach the Horrors of ‘Halftime’ in Ancient Rome?by Cristin O’Keefe Aptowicz,

The Christian Martyrs' Last Prayer by Gérôme

“The Christian Martyrs Last Prayer” by Jean-Leon Gerome (1824 – 1904).
Credit: Courtesy of Walters Art Museum, Wikimedia Commons

The enormous arena was empty, save for the seesaws and the dozens of condemned criminals who sat naked upon them, hands tied behind their backs. Unfamiliar with the recently invented contraptions known aspetaurua, the men tested the seesaws uneasily. One criminal would push off the ground and suddenly find himself 15 feet in the air while his partner on the other side of the seesaw descended swiftly to the ground. How strange.

In the stands, tens of thousands of Roman citizens waited with half-bored curiosity to see what would happen next and whether it would be interesting enough to keep them in their seats until the next part of the “big show” began.

With a flourish, trapdoors in the floor of the arena were opened, and lions, bears, wild boars and leopards rushed into the arena. The starved animals bounded toward the terrified criminals, who attempted to leap away from the beasts’ snapping jaws. But as one helpless man flung himself upward and out of harm’s way, his partner on the other side of the seesaw was sent crashing down into the seething mass of claws, teeth and fur.

The crowd of Romans began to laugh at the dark antics before them. Soon, they were clapping and yelling, placing bets on which criminal would die first, which one would last longest and which one would ultimately be chosen by the largest lion, who was still prowling the outskirts of the arena’s pure white sand.

And with that, another “halftime show” of damnatio ad bestiassucceeded in serving its purpose: to keep the jaded Roman population glued to their seats, to the delight of the event’s scheming organizer.

The Story of our Christianity by Bird and Harrison
The Story of Our Christianity” by Frederic Mayer Bird (1838-1908) and Benjamin Harrison (1833-1901)
Credit: The Library of Congress, Wikimedia Commons

Welcome to the show

The Roman Games were the Super Bowl Sundays of their time. They gave their ever-changing sponsors and organizers (known as editors) an enormously powerful platform to promote their views and philosophies to the widest spectrum of Romans. All of Rome came to the Games: rich and poor, men and women, children and the noble elite alike. They were all eager to witness the unique spectacles each new game promised its audience.

To the editors, the Games represented power, money and opportunity. Politicians and aspiring noblemen spent unthinkable sums on the Games they sponsored in the hopes of swaying public opinion in their favor, courting votes, and/or disposing of any person or warring faction they wanted out of the way.

The more extreme and fantastic the spectacles, the more popular the Games with the general public, and the more popular the Games, the more influence the editor could have. Because the Games could make or break the reputation of their organizers, editors planned every last detail meticulously.

Thanks to films like “Ben-Hur” and “Gladiator,” the two most popular elements of the Roman Games are well known even to this day: the chariot races and the gladiator fights. Other elements of the Roman Games have also translated into modern times without much change: theatrical plays put on by costumed actors, concerts with trained musicians, and parades of much-cared-for exotic animals from the city’s private zoos.

But much less discussed, and indeed largely forgotten, is the spectacle that kept the Roman audiences in their seats through the sweltering midafternoon heat: the blood-spattered halftime show known asdamnatio ad bestias — literally “condemnation by beasts” — orchestrated by men known as the bestiarii.

Super Bowl 242 B.C: How the Games Became So Brutal

The cultural juggernaut known as the Roman Games began in 242 B.C., when two sons decided to celebrate their father’s life by ordering slaves to battle each other to the death at his funeral. This new variation of ancient munera (a tribute to the dead) struck a chord within the developing republic. Soon, other members of the wealthy classes began to incorporate this type of slave fighting into their own munera. The practice evolved over time — with new formats, rules, specialized weapons, etc. — until the Roman Games as we now know them were born.

In 189 B.C., a consul named M. Fulvius Nobilior decided to do something different. In addition to the gladiator duels that had become common, he introduced an animal act that would see humans fight both lions and panthers to the death. Big-game hunting was not a part of Roman culture; Romans only attacked large animals to protect themselves, their families or their crops. Nobilior realized that the spectacle of animals fighting humans would add a cheap and unique flourish to this fantastic new pastime. Nobilior aimed to make an impression, and he succeeded. [Photos: Gladiators of the Roman Empire]

With the birth of the first “animal program,” an uneasy milestone was achieved in the evolution of the Roman Games: the point at which a human being faced a snarling pack of starved beasts, and every laughing spectator in the crowd chanted for the big cats to win, the point at which the republic’s obligation to make a man’s death a fair or honorable one began to be outweighed by the entertainment value of watching him die.

Twenty-two years later, in 167 B.C., Aemlilus Paullus would give Rome its first damnatio ad bestias when he rounded up army deserters and had them crushed, one by one, under the heavy feet of elephants. “The act was done publicly,” historian Alison Futrell noted in her book “Blood in the Arena,” “a harsh object lesson for those challenging Roman authority.”

The “satisfaction and relief” Romans would feel watching someone considered lower than themselves be thrown to the beasts would become, as historian Garrett G. Fagan noted in his book “The Lure of the Arena,” a “central … facet of the experience [of the Roman Games. … a feeling of shared empowerment and validation … ” In those moments, Rome began the transition into the self-indulgent decadence that would come to define all that we associate with the great society’s demise.

Christian martyrs of the world by John Foxe
Foxe’s Christian Martyrs of the World” by John Foxe (1516-1587)
Credit: The Library of Congress, Wikimedia Commons
Full story and images at Storigami History section










10 Uncomfortably Odd Stories Of Exotic Pets

The Naked Hoarder


John Pilotti Jr.’s response to Fox 29 reporter Chris O’Connell seemed downright feral. As the newsman stood outside a Philadelphia home for a 10:00 PM broadcast, Pilotti pounced, assailing O’Connell and his cameraman. The incensed 35-year-old was in no mood to have the press buzzing about his father’s home, perhaps because John Pilotti Sr. had nakedly perched himself on the front porch earlier that night. Or maybe it was because his naked father had been stockpiling a huge assortment of animals.

SPCA spokesman George Bengal suggested that Pilotti Sr. had amassed “every kind of species known to man.” It probably wasn’t much of an exaggeration. His home had become a grim Noah’s ark of living, dead, and mummified animals which included rats, roosters, turtles, tarantulas, cats, dogs, frogs, iguanas, and even an alligator. Junk strewn about the house made some of the poor creatures difficult to access.

As one might expect of a house that’s equal parts zoo, graveyard, and junkyard, Pilotti Sr.’s home stank to high heaven. Neighbors had purportedly lodged complaints about the noxious odor for years but were ignored. It was only after Pilotti Sr. began flaunting his naughty bits to the world and claiming to be part of the CIA that authorities decided to investigate the olfactory torture chamber lurking behind his front door. He was subsequently charged with animal cruelty.

9 more stories over at Listverse

Smelling Flowers

Flowers have the most alluring smell, and not only to the impressionable bees. We have made a list of photos that show animals enjoying a whiff or two from a petal or bloom. Kittens, nature’s cuddliest critters, look even better when they’re enjoying the sweet scents of flowers. Same goes for bunnies!

Flowers use scent to attract various small critters to carry around their pollen and help them reproduce. Some plants will take any comers, while other have developed an almost symbiotic relationship which certain species. As far as I know, no flower depends exclusively on kittens… yet.

Smelling Flowers

lots more pictures at BoredPanda








Small migratory birds were found stuffed into crevices by Eleonora's falcons so that they could not escape. Abdeljebbar Qninba

photo credit: Small migratory birds were found stuffed into crevices by Eleonora’s falcons so that they could not escape. Abdeljebbar Qninba

Falcons in Morocco’s Essaouira archipelago have been observed “imprisoning” other birds and holding them for several days before feeding them to their young.

The unusual behavior was observed by Abdeljebbar Qninba from Mohammed V University in Rabat, Morocco, while conducting a census of falcons on the island of Mogador in 2014, and reported in the latest edition of the journal Alauda. Among the species residing on the island is Eleonora’s falcon (Falco eleonorae), which normally eats only insects but has been known to feed on other migratory birds such as the common whitethroat, the tree pipit and others during the breeding season.

For this reason, Eleanora’s falcon colonies tend to synchronize their chick-rearing with the height of the annual migration, in order to ensure that prey is at a maximum when their young hatch.

Typically, this dietary switch from insects to other birds occurs a few days prior to laying their first eggs in late summer, as the falcons begin catching prey in anticipation for the arrival of a few extra mouths to feed. However, by killing their food so early they risk it drying out or rotting before it can be eaten.

To get around this, the birds were seen keeping their prey alive for varying periods, thereby ensuring its freshness when it came time to feed it to the chicks. This was achieved using a number of cunning tactics, such as stuffing small birds into small crevices, ensuring they were tightly wedged in and unable to escape.

full story at IFL








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