Robber fly - Nature photographer Thomas Shahan specializes in amazing portraits of tiny insects. It isn't easy. Shahan says that this Robber Fly (Holcocephala fusca), for instance, is "skittish" and doesn't like its picture taken.

Nature by Numbers (Video)

"The Greater Akashic System" – July 15, 2012 (Kryon Channelling by Lee Caroll) (Subjects: Lightworkers, Intent, To meet God, Past lives, Universe/Galaxy, Earth, Pleiadians, Souls Reincarnate, Invention: Measure Quantum state in 3D, Recalibrates, Multi-Dimensional/Divine, Akashic System to change to new system, Before religion changed the system, DNA, Old system react to Karma, New system react to intent now for next life, Animals (around humans) reincarnate again, This Animal want to come back to the same human, Akashic Inheritance, Reincarnate as Family, Other Planets, Global Unity … etc.)

Question: Dear Kryon: I live in Spain. I am sorry if I will ask you a question you might have already answered, but the translations of your books are very slow and I might not have gathered all information you have already given. I am quite concerned about abandoned animals. It seems that many people buy animals for their children and as soon as they grow, they set them out somewhere. Recently I had the occasion to see a small kitten in the middle of the street. I did not immediately react, since I could have stopped and taken it, without getting out of the car. So, I went on and at the first occasion I could turn, I went back to see if I could take the kitten, but it was to late, somebody had already killed it. This happened some month ago, but I still feel very sorry for that kitten. I just would like to know, what kind of entity are these animals and how does this fit in our world. Are these entities which choose this kind of life, like we do choose our kind of Human life? I see so many abandoned animals and every time I see one, my heart aches... I would like to know more about them.

Answer: Dear one, indeed the answer has been given, but let us give it again so you all understand. Animals are here on earth for three (3) reasons.

(1) The balance of biological life. . . the circle of energy that is needed for you to exist in what you call "nature."

(2) To be harvested. Yes, it's true. Many exist for your sustenance, and this is appropriate. It is a harmony between Human and animal, and always has. Remember the buffalo that willingly came into the indigenous tribes to be sacrificed when called? These are stories that you should examine again. The inappropriateness of today's culture is how these precious creatures are treated. Did you know that if there was an honoring ceremony at their death, they would nourish you better? Did you know that there is ceremony that could benefit all of humanity in this way. Perhaps it's time you saw it.

(3) To be loved and to love. For many cultures, animals serve as surrogate children, loved and taken care of. It gives Humans a chance to show compassion when they need it, and to have unconditional love when they need it. This is extremely important to many, and provides balance and centering for many.

Do animals know all this? At a basic level, they do. Not in the way you "know," but in a cellular awareness they understand that they are here in service to planet earth. If you honor them in all three instances, then balance will be the result. Your feelings about their treatment is important. Temper your reactions with the spiritual logic of their appropriateness and their service to humanity. Honor them in all three cases.

Dian Fossey's birthday celebrated with a Google doodle

Dian Fossey's birthday celebrated with a Google doodle
American zoologist played by Sigourney Weaver in the film Gorillas in the Mist would have been 82 on Thursday (16 January 2014)

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Jungle school pushes danger message on mercury

Duncan Graham, Contributor The Jakarta Post, Palangkaraya, C. Kalimantan

Anyone wanting to learn about the environmental issues and impacts of mercury could refer to students at Bina Cita Utama (BCU) in Palangkaraya regency, Central Kalimantan.

And this is not just because staff at the province's first and only National Plus school have set assignments to research the damaging effects of the heavy metal; there's a pragmatic side also, for the school is in a province where mercury is a real threat, and factual information is sparse.

Alluvial miners, working in the Bornean mountains that feed the broad rivers in the area, still use mercury in large quantities to separate the gold from the sand by forming an amalgam. The used mercury is then dumped in the water.

So far, analysis of water from the nearby Rungan River has not given cause for real alarm, though swimming in the water and eating the carnivorous fish species that ingest and store the poison isn't recommended. But that is not the situation with other waterways.

The Rungan is relatively short; but bigger rivers nearby, like the Katingan and Kahayan, have high levels of mercury. The waters rise in the distant Muller and Schwaner Ranges, where gold is sought by hundreds of miners and their families, mainly from Java. A reported 240-square-kilometer expanse of native jungle has already been plundered.

Yadi Mihel, 40, lives on the Rungan riverbank near BCU with his three children.

"We know there is mercury in the river, but we don't know the percentage," he has been here from the government to tell us. All I know is what I've read at the school, where I've seen warnings saying it can affect the brain and the skin."

The school walls are cluttered with posters produced by the students giving chapter and verse on the dangers of mercury. And as locals are free to come and go, the students' message about the hazards is becoming widely known.

Using resources provided by the Global Mercury Project, funded by the World Health Organization and relevant United Nations agencies, the students have learned that mercury used in mining is a problem with no easy solution.

The miners are poor and although they eventually get sick, they have no other work -- without the gold, they'd starve. At best, they make only Rp 100,000 (US$11) a day. If the use of mercury were made illegal, the processing would continue out of sight of government officials.

The BCU students agreed that the only practical solution appeared to be the creation of other work that paid better than panning for the precious metal. But what "other" work? Tourism is seen as one possible answer, but Central Kalimantan does not have an international airport.

The more the students looked at the issues, the more complex they became.

Bina Cita Utama -- which means nurturing noble ideals -- is an unusual school. It is based in a Subud community called Rungan Sari, about 35 kilometers northwest of provincial capital Palangkaraya. Kalteng, short for Kalimantan Tengah, is the local name for the province.

Subud was started in the 1920s by a Javanese Muslim seer, Muhammad Subuh Sumohadiwidjojo, and claims to be an awakening of the inner self; a spiritual movement and not a religion. People of all religions and no religions are said to be followers of the movement.

The name Subud has been distilled from the Sanskrit words susila (morality), budhi (reason) and dharma (duty). Subud followers define the name as "the possibility for human beings to follow the right way of living".

In most cities, supporters live in their own homes and get together at a center; but in Kalteng, they have built a well-resourced community on leased land in a jungle clearing.

Many homes are palatial, reflecting the affluence of those Subud followers who are professionals and businesspeople from overseas. Two houses have been converted into classrooms. Not surprisingly, the school has plenty of teaching and playing space, and good facilities.

BCU, which is associated with the U.S.-based education charity Susila Dharma International, started in July 2005 as a bilingual, multicultural school with 28 children from ages 5 to 16. Its student body has now expanded to almost 40 -- and most are Dayak, the indigenous inhabitants of Kalimantan. Dayak students live outside the Subud community and are bussed to the school. The plan is to increase enrollments to 200.

The school has only six students of foreign backgrounds -- five Australians and one Portuguese -- who live in the Subud community.

The National Plus concept was introduced to Indonesia in the late 1990s, and bridges the gap between national and international schools. Expatriate children are allowed to study at National Plus schools, where the teaching medium is often English and the students follow an international curriculum.

BCU is a fee-paying school that offers scholarships to Indonesian nationals and is open to the public. It is run by a nonprofit foundation and has two principals: Dr. Gunarjo S. Budi, a physics lecturer at Palangkaraya University who teaches mathematics and science at BCU, and Australian educator Karsten MacDonald, who carries the title "principal counterpart".

MacDonald said the local education system in Kalimantan was based on rote learning, with classes of up to 60 students. Primary school teaching hours lasted from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m., and teachers were frequently absent. Corporal punishment was not unusual.

"A newspaper reported that 53 percent of students in Kalteng failed the national exams," he said. "The local government knew the system was failing, but weren't sure how to proceed."

MacDonald said Kalteng officials responded positively to the establishment of BCU.

"When they heard about the community here planning a National Plus school, they were highly supportive. They now believe that a school like BCU could become a model for others in the province," he said.

"We provide a learning environment which is non-threatening and high quality. At the same time, we maintain the integrity of the indigenous culture. All children learn the Indonesian language and culture, so they will not lose their cultural identity."

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