Archive | March 8, 2014

You Won’t Believe the Risks This Nepalese Tribe Takes to Collect Honey

Pic: Andrew Newey (C)

Pic: Andrew Newey (C)

The next time you’re buying a nice jar of organic honey at your local farmer’s market, think of the Gurung peopel of Nepal. This tribe of daredevils cling to rope ladders and use enormous poles called tangos to collect honey from cliff-side hives. Documentary photographer Andrew Newey documented this dying art while on a trip to central Nepal.

See all of his amazing photos at MyModernMet.com.

 

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Money Makes Parenting Less Meaningful

310px-K.V.Lemoh_(d.1910)._Parent's_Joy

Pic: “Parents’ Joy” by Karl Lemoch (PD)

According to this study, having a higher socioeconomic status makes parents value the experience of raising children, particularly so for women. In contrast, poverty is associated with an increased risk of child abuse.

Via EurekAlert!:

Money and parenting don’t mix. That’s according to new research that suggests that merely thinking about money diminishes the meaning people derive from parenting. The study is one among a growing number that identifies when, why, and how parenthood is associated with happiness or misery.

“The relationship between parenthood and well-being is not one and the same for all parents,” says Kostadin Kushlev of the University of British Columbia. While this may seems like an obvious claim, social scientists until now have yet to identify the psychological and demographic factors that influence parental happiness.

New research being presented today at the Society for Personality and Social Psychology (SPSP) conference in Austin offers not only insight into the link between money and parental well-being but also a new model for understanding a variety of factors that affect whether parents are happier or less happy than their childless counterparts.

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The Delightful Art of the Macabre: An Interview With Gigi DeLuxe and Ugly Shyla

(L) Gigi Deluxe (R) Ugly Shyla. Gigi pic (c). Ugly Shyla Pic courtesy of Alas Vera.

(L) Gigi DeLuxe (R) Ugly Shyla. Gigi pic courtesy of the artist (c). Ugly Shyla Pic courtesy of Alas Vera (c).

Gigi Deluxe and Ugly Shyla made names for themselves as artists who give us a glimpse into the macabre and delightfully dark corners of art. Their work grants us a perspective into subject matter that is often imitated, never replicated. Gigi DeLuxe lives in Chicago, where she is a tattoo artist, painter and jeweler. Ugly Shyla originally hails from Louisiana and has now moved to Austin, Texas, where she continues to craft dolls and jewelry.

Aonie Anfa: What is your personal mission statement or mantra as an artist? Both of you work in the realm of the occult or traffic in the delightfully strange. What recurring themes or images present themselves in your work and how do those subjects resonate with you personally?

Gigi DeLuxe: I don’t have a personal mission statement or mantra but I do have a favorite quote from Gustave Flaubert that I set as an ideal goal for my daily life.… Read the rest

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Die-Off of India’s Vulture Population Creates Crisis for Zoroastrian Sky Burials

Pic: Cornelius Brown (PD)

Pic: Cornelius Brown (PD)

India has always been a land with a robust vulture population, owing to its 500 million cattle population (almost half of the world’s 1.3 billion) and the taboo associated with eating beef (80% of the country is Hindu).  However this situation has drastically changed in just a generation.

From 1992 to 2007, the Indian population of some 400 million vultures of 9 species has dropped 99.9% due to the widespread use of a drug used to treat inflammatory disorders and pain in cattle called diclofenac.  The indigenous White-rumped Vulture alone, with a population of some 80 million, was described in 1985 as “possibly the most abundant large bird of prey in the world.”  Today the White-rumped Vulture is listed as Critically Endangered.  Tragically, a vulture that eats the flesh of a cow to whom diclofenac was recently administered quickly perishes from acute kidney failure.

This vulture population collapse has led to severe problems in India from undisposed cattle corpses.  Whereas previously a bull could be cleaned in as little as 20 minutes by a pack of vultures, now the carcass putrifies and may cause water contamination from runoff.  Moreover, the open niche has led to a sharp rise in the numbers of roaming wild dogs.  Whereas vultures are an ecological dead-end for pestilence owing to their super-acidic digestive system, dogs and rats are much more liable to spread disease.  Anthrax, plague, and the most fatal disease known to man: rabies, have seen a marked rise since the beginning of the vulture crisis.  Today in India, 30,000 people die from rabies each year, more than half the world’s total.… Read the rest

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Preview Chapter of Rick Strassman’s ‘DMT and the Soul of Prophecy’

Seems like Dr. Strassman is taking a new turn in and analyzing how endogenous DMT experiences may be behind some of the reports described in the Hebrew Bible, among other things.

Via The Nexian:

Dr. Rick Strassman is widely known for his pioneering study on the effects of DMT on human volunteers, chronicled in his book, DMT: The Spirit Molecule, that played a key role in jump starting psychedelic drug research after a 20 year hiatus. In addition to later co-authoring Inner Paths to Outer Space in 2008, he has finished a new book, DMT and the Soul of Prophecy, and released this sneak peak of the first chapter.

The DMT-Nexus plans to interview Dr. Strassman for a future issue of the e-zine. But, in the meantime, take a gander at what his upcoming book DMT and the Soul of Prophecy holds in store

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Russia Today’s Beast Of Burden: Shoot the Messenger and Obscure The Message

Liz_Wahl_on_RT_AmericaJames Kirchick is just the neutral reporter the Daily Beast would assign to report on the ideological controversy surrounding the Russian backed RT-TV Channel’s coverage of the crisis in the Ukraine.

The Beast lives up to its name by sending a hardcore polemical ideologue to uncover what he predictably labels as ideological media bias.

Kirchick is a veteran of the anti-communist wars, now revived as the anti Putin wars, not some neutral journo crusading for democracy.

According to Wikipedia, he is a fellow with the Foundation for Defense of Democracies in Washington,  prior to this he was writer-at-large for Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. He is a graduate of the New Republic, Murdoch’s Weekly Standard and writes for Azure, a magazine that described itself as pro-Zionist and free market.

Ok, just so we know who are dealing with here.

And now, to bolster his “credibility” he presents himself as a victim in his latest article that exposes himself, far more than his target, asserting that his rights as a journalist were somehow compromised because of a gutsy quest for truth.… Read the rest

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Why Everyone from the Mormons to the Muslim Brotherhood is Desperate for a Piece of Tutankhamun

Buste de Toutânkhamon (musée du Caire Egypte) (1815597310)We can’t get enough of magical Egyptian Pharaoh Tutankhamun. After telling us how Mormons want to posthumously convert Tutankhamun to their religion, Jo Marchant writes at Medium:

…The possibility that Mormon researchers were trying to convert the ancients was a particular, peculiar threat to Egypt’s sense of self, but it soon became apparent that it wasn’t just the Mormons that the Egyptians were worried about: it was all foreigners.

In 2000, Sakuji Yoshimura, the respected director of the Institute of Egyptology at Waseda University in Japan, secured the permission of Egypt’s antiquities service to test Tutankhamun’s DNA. He hoped to determine the king’s lineage by comparing his genetic code to that of several other royal mummies thought to be his relations. But Yoshimura’s project, too, was cancelled, reportedly, just an hour before he was due to take his samples in the Valley of the Kings. The excuse given by the authorities was brief and vague: security reasons.

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Study Shows Children Can Be Better Than Adults at Figuring Out New Gadgets

Yasmin Anwar at UC Berkeley:

Preschoolers can be smarter than college students at figuring out how unusual toys and gadgets work because they’re more flexible and less biased than adults in their ideas about cause and effect, according to new research from the University of California, Berkeley, and the University of Edinburgh.

The findings suggest that technology and innovation can benefit from the exploratory learning and probabilistic reasoning skills that come naturally to young children, many of whom are learning to use smartphones even before they can tie their shoelaces. The findings also build upon the researchers’ efforts to use children’s cognitive smarts to teach machines to learn in more human ways.

“As far as we know, this is the first study examining whether children can learn abstract cause and effect relationships, and comparing them to adults,” said UC Berkeley developmental psychologist Alison Gopnik, senior author of the paper published online in the journal, Cognition.

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Global War on Education? Schools Worldwide Have Been Subjected to 10,000 Violent Attacks

Pic: Unknown (PD)

Pic: Unknown (PD)

Sean Coughlan writes at the BBC:

There have been almost 10,000 violent attacks on places of education in recent years, according to the biggest ever international study of how schools and universities are targeted by acts of aggression.

These included the murder of staff and students and the destruction of buildings in bomb and arson attacks, in countries including Pakistan, Colombia, Somalia and Syria.

This stark account of violence against education between 2009 and 2013 has been published by a coalition of human rights groups, aid organisations and United Nations agencies.

The Education Under Attack report, published in New York on Thursday, reveals the extent to which education has been subjected to deliberate acts of violence.

These are not cases of schools and their staff “just caught in the crossfire”, says Diya Nijhowne, director of the Global Coalition to Protect Education from Attack.

“They are bombed, burned, shot, threatened, and abducted precisely because of their connection to education.”

Thousands of death threats

There were 9,600 attacks worldwide, with incidents recorded in 70 countries, with the worst problems in Africa and parts of Asia and South America.

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