Sixty Percent of Large Herbivores Face Threat Of Extinction

Sixty Percent. More than half… The bad news from the BBC:

Populations of some of the world’s largest wild animals are dwindling, raising the threat of an “empty landscape”, say scientists.

Black rhino

Black Rhinoceros by Matthew Field (CC)

About 60% of giant herbivores – plant-eaters – including rhinos, elephants and gorillas, are at risk of extinction, according to research.

Analysis of 74 herbivore species, published in Science Advances, blamed poaching and habitat loss.

A previous study of large carnivores showed similar declines.

Prof William Ripple, of Oregon State University, led the research looking at herbivores weighing over 100kg, from the reindeer up to the African elephant.

“This is the first time anyone has analysed all of these species as a whole,” he said.

“The process of declining animals is causing an empty landscape in the forest, savannah, grasslands and desert.”

Prof David Macdonald, of Oxford University’s Wildlife Conservation Research Unit, was among the team of 15 international scientists.

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Nam’s Mission

137

Monday

4:15am:
I awake groggy from the weekend. And I want to call in sick. (ZzZzzzzzZZzzz.)

4:20am:
Ugh! I should work! (ZzzZZZzzz.)

4:25am:
Besides, the road might be a good distraction from my mental state. (ZZzzZZzzz.)

4:30am:
Okay! Okay! I’ll get up!

5:05am:
It’s a (now) rare foggy day in ‘ol San Francisco. I’m slogging up through the Citizen’s Cab lot and headed towards the office.

As I near, Sammy – the new office guy who’s taken over Kojak’s morning shift, passes me. He’s leaving the office with some new West African driver. They’re heading out to the lot … with a jump starter.

Note: Kojak has been moved to the afternoon office shift for some unknown reason. (Unknown to me, anyway.) This is how the cab biz works. Drivers, office workers; one day ya see ‘em. And the next, they’re gone.

Anyway, hmm.

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Getting Far-Out In The Jungle w/ Rak Razam ~ ATTMind Radio ep. 6

ep 6 w rak razam

Author and film producer Rak Razam is a special guest for a special show this week. This is not an interview but a conversation recorded between the two of us while we were both in the Peruvian Amazon on a plant ‘dieta’ retreat at Dios Ayahuasca Sanciones. 

This episode, (recorded September 17, 2014 in Peru) is admittedly one of far-out ideas, speculation, and heavy vernacular. From Terrence McKenna as a pattern of potential consciousness analogues to The Christ, to navigating the experience of entities in altered states to the fundamental nature of reality as a play of archetypal patterns in divine consciousness, this is an interesting conversation. Enjoy.

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Relavant Links

Rak’s Website

Aya Awakenings Movie
Aya Awakenings Retreats
***In A Perfect World (Rak’s Podcast)***

*originally published on Adventures Through The Mind

 

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The Questions People Asked Advice Columnists in the Early 1700s

abfd02514Apparently people were slightly less banal in 1703 than they are today. At least, the folks who felt compelled to write-in questions.

Adrienne Lafrance at The Atlantic compiled her favorite questions and answers found in The Athenian Mercury Oracle, printed in 1703.

Here are a few (via The Atlantic):

Q: What is anger?
A: Anger is a passion of the irascible appetite caused by apprehension of a present evil, which may be repelled, but with some difficulty.

Q: Why is thunder more terrible in the night time?
A: In the dead of night, noises are rendered more distinct and consequently more terrible by the universal stillness everywhere else.

Q: In what space of time do you think the whole mass of blood circulates through the body!
A: ‘Tis probable in much shorter time than many have imagined… It will be circulated six or seven times over through the heart in the space of an hour.

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Corporations are NOT people: Exclusive Move to Amend [Interview]

David Cobb and George Friday lay shit on the line – why corporations aren’t people, why money isn’t free speech and why we NEED to amend the constitution. And by we, they mean all of us. This fight is everyone’s fight – George explains how and David explains the myriad of ways you can get involved.

Parts of this interview will also appear on Act Out! which airs each Wednesday on occupy.com and each Friday, Saturday and Sunday on Free Speech TV!

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The X-Men are Sooo Gay

"Resolution" by Ponderosa http://destiny.ponderosa121.com/art-resolution/

“Resolution” by Ponderosa http://destiny.ponderosa121.com/art-resolution/

You might not have noticed through the dense fog of fantastic abilities, leather and spandex outfits, hot celebrity portrayal, general mayhem, and multiple future storylines, but X-Men represents the landmark queer literature of popular culture. Complete with secret identities, powers that awaken during puberty, viscous social and government oppression, as well the constant struggle for equality—there are few ongoing works that so totally embody the struggles of others, outsiders, revolutionaries, and other such nonconformists as wholly as X-Men does.

Filmmaker, comic book writer, and pop culture maniac Kevin Smith famously remarked: “Little kids walk out of the movie they’re all like, ‘That Wolverine! Snikt! Snikt!’ I’d go ‘Come here, little kid. Do you like Wolverine? That means you love cock. Nevermind Snikt, Snikt. Dick. Dick.'”

Wanna know more about the queer parallels in the X-Men universe? Here are a few time-vampirig papers, chapters, and articles on the subject.… Read the rest

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Faking Disease for Online Fame Now a Recognized Medical Condition

Apparently unaware or dismissive of the consequences, there is an epidemic of sorts of people faking serious illness and advertising it on the internet. The Guardian reviews the case of wannabe cancer victim Belle Gibson and beyond:

How would you fake cancer? Shave your head? Pluck your eyebrows? Install a chemo port into your neck? These days you don’t need to. Belle Gibson’s story is a masterclass on faking cancer in the modern age. She fooled Apple, Cosmopolitan, Elle and Penguin. She fooled the hundreds of thousands who bought her app, read her blog and believed that her story could be their story.

Section from Elle magazine, which called Belle Gibson "the most inspiring woman of the year."

Section from Elle magazine spread, which called Belle Gibson “the most inspiring woman you’ve met this year.”

 

Diagnosed with a brain tumour aged 20, Gibson had four months to live. She blogged her journey of radiotherapy and chemotherapy, treatments she shunned after eight weeks. Instead, she cut gluten and dairy and turned to oxygen therapy, craniosacral treatments and colonic irrigation.

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The Weird, Wild World of Micronations Where Anybody Can Be King

Fancy being a king or queen? Just start your own micronation, which is easier than you might think per Bloomberg Business:

The e-mail was signed “Regards, His Excellency. President Kevin Baugh, Republic of Molossia.”

His Excellency, President Kevin Baugh of Molossia

His Excellency, President Kevin Baugh of Molossia

 

Come again?

No, you’re not forgetting your ex-Soviet bloc geography. Molossia is not on any world map. But what does exist—”everything a country has,” Baugh asserted earlier in his missive, “a bank, a post office, a railroad, and an active navy”—you’ll find on a dusty, sagebrush-pocked sliver of Nevada desert. It’s a “sovereign, independent nation” as far as “His Excellency” is concerned, and a bizarre, strange lark to most anyone else.

Welcome to the world of micronations, where everyone can be a benevolent dictator.

MicroCon 2015

There was even a conference earlier this month, the first in the actual U.S. of A., held amid chalkboards and school chairs in a public rec room of Anaheim, Calif.’s Central Library.

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The Automation Loop and its Negative Consequences

GlassCage250I’m currently reading Nicholas Carr’s book The Glass Cage: Where Automation is Taking Us. I think it is an important contribution to the ongoing debate about the growth of AI and robotics, and the future of humanity. Carr is something of a techno-pessimist (though he may prefer ‘realist’) and the book continues the pessimistic theme set down in his previous book The Shallows (which was a critique of the internet and its impact on human cognition). That said, I think The Glass Cage is a superior work. I certainly found it more engaging and persuasive than his previous effort.

Anyway, because I think it raises some important issues, many of which intersect with my own research, I want to try to engage with its core arguments on this blog. I’ll do so over a series of posts. I start today with what I take to be Carr’s central critique of the rise of automation.… Read the rest

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Space travel may be bad for your brain – here’s why

I really hope this is the right flag. NASA/flickr, CC BY

I really hope this is the right flag. NASA/flickr, CC BY

Magdalena Ietswaart, University of Stirling and Paul Dudchenko, University of Stirling

There is bad news for those planning to go to Mars in the near future: a study in mice has suggested that radiation in space could cause cognitive decline in astronauts. However, we know from past research that mental, social and physical exercise can boost cognitive functions. With planned Mars missions moving ever closer, it might be be worth exploring activity as a way to counter radiation damage.

There are many hurdles to overcome to get to Mars. The obvious one, of course, is the amount of time it takes – about eight months. But for those brave enough to attempt such a journey, this may well be acceptable. What could be harder to accept, however, are the harmful galactic cosmic rays you’d be subjected to, produced by supernovae far away from Earth.… Read the rest

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