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.

Eye-popping bug photos

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)

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Foreign Forestry Companies Blamed for Depletion

Jakarta Globe, Tunggadewa Mattangkilang, April 28, 2012

Ironwood tree trunk diameters can grow to more than 200 centimeters
in East Kalimantan, but they are under threat from human encroachment.
(Agency Photo)

Related articles

Balikpapan. Primary forest cover in East Kalimantan has been depleted from 19 million hectares in the 1960s to just 4 million hectares today due to legislation allowing foreign companies into the local forestry sector, a researcher said on Friday.

Bernaulus Saragih, head of the Natural Resources Study Center at Mulawarman University in Samarinda, the provincial capital, said on Friday that the massive deforestation in the province was triggered by 1967’s Law on Foreign Investment (PMA).

“The degradation of primary forests in East Kalimantan was drastic after 1967. That was because the PMA law allowed the rate of degradation to increase significantly” by allowing foreign loggers and plantation companies in, he said.

While Indonesian firms are the No. 1 concession holders in the province, the US Department of Agriculture noted last year that “Malaysian companies have collectively established over 1 million hectares of active oil palm plantations in Indonesia and own a further 1 million hectares of land [that] has official permits allowing its development in the future.”

Bernaulus said other policies that had contributed to the high rate of deforestation included zoning regulations to assign large tracts of forests for plantation, logging and mining operations as well as for human settlement.

Should the opening up of the province’s forests continue at current rates, he warned, there would be no more primary forest cover left in just a few years.

Izal Wardana, executive director of the East Kalimantan chapter of the Indonesian Forum for the Environment (Walhi), said the loss meant the province no longer complied with a zoning regulation requiring 30 percent of the total land area of 20.45 million hectares to be forested.

He warned that the province was losing 500,000 hectares of forest each year and that new infrastructure projects were threatening previously untouched tracts of virgin forest.

Izal urged the provincial administration to freeze the issuance of new forestry concessions and evaluate existing operations, including exhausted mining and plantation operations that have left behind an estimated 8.1 million hectares of degraded land.



Thursday, April 26, 2012

Indonesian Conservationists Release 3 Orangutans Into the Wild

Jakarta Globe, Fidelis E. Satriastanti, April 25, 2012

Casey was one of the orangutans released on Tuesday in the Kehje
Sewen forest in East Kalimantan. (Photo courtesy of BOSF)
 

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Conservationists have released three more orangutans into the wild in East Kalimantan, the third such release this year.

The three endangered primates — Casey, Lesan and Mail — were flown by helicopter from the Samboja Lestari Orangutan Reintroduction and Rehabilitation Program in Samboja subdistrict, run by the Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation, to the Kehje Sewen forest straddling East Kutai and Kutai Kartanegara districts.

Before their release at 8 a.m. on Tuesday, they were placed in a cage overnight to adapt to the new environment, the BOSF said in a statement on Wednesday.

The release was attended by several senior government officials, including Forestry Minister Zulkifli Hasan, Environment Minister Balthasar Kambuaya and Hatta Rajasa, the coordinating minister for the economy.

The three orangutans were the first batch of six orangutans from East Kalimantan scheduled to be released in April and May. The other three orangutans — Abbie, Hamzah and Berlian — will be released next month.

The BOSF plans to release 30 orangutans this year and next from the Samboja Lestari rehabilitation center. It has already released 15 orangutans from its rehabilitation center in Nyaru Menteng, Central Kalimantan — four in February and 11 in March — into the Batikap protected forest in Murung Raya district.

The foundation plans to release a total of 40 orangutans from Nyaru Menteng.

There are still 160 orangutans at Samboja Lestari waiting to be released back into the wild, and at least 70 others that cannot be released because of illness or injuries, or waiting for available land for a suitable habitat.

“If there is sufficient land for them, the target to release all the orangutans from the rehabilitation center by 2015 can be achieved,” said Aschta Boestani Tajudin, the Samboja Lestari program manager.

The 2015 target date, she added, is in line with the Orangutan Conservation Action Plan 2007-17, announced in 2007 by President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Pesticide Use on Indonesia Farms ‘Alarming’: NGO

Jakarta Globe, Alina Musta’idah, April 19, 2012

A farmer sprays pesticide in a paddy field in Ngoro village in Mojokerto,
 East Java, in this file photo. According to the People’s Coalition for
Food Sovereignty (KRKP) Indonesian farmers use pesticides with alarming
frequency — an average 5.7 times per growing season. (Antara Photo)
               
Related articles

Indonesian farmers use an alarming amount of pesticides — including some with illegal toxic chemicals — on their crops, the People’s Coalition for Food Sovereignty (KRKP) said on Thursday.

The NGO cited a 2011 survey of 306 farmers in Central Java that found that farmers used pesticides an average of 5.7 times per growing season.

“That is a very high use for farms,” KRKP official Said Abdullah said in Jakarta on Thursday.

Pesticides are big business in Indonesia. The local market reaches about Rp 6 trillion ($654 million) a year, Said said. That market includes 350 brands of fungicides, 600 brands of herbicides and 800 brands of insecticides registered with the Indonesian authorities, according to Ministry of Agriculture’s Pesticide Commission numbers.

And these figures don't even include products that enter the country illegally, Said said.

“Between 10 and 12 percent of pesticides circulating [in Indonesia] are illegal,” he said.

Many of these chemicals contain harmful substances like organochlorine and organophosphate, Said said.

The one chemical, organophosphate, is considered hazardous, even in low doses, and its use is highly-regulated, or banned outright, in 23 counties. Organochlorine was present in the pesticide DDT, a chemical that caused massive ecological damage in the United States before its use was banned in the 1960s.

He called on farmers to adopt more environmentally-conscious and sustainable farming methods. 

BeritaSatu

Farm group seeks U.S. halt on "dangerous" crop chemicals

Reuters, by Carey Gillam, Wed Apr 18, 2012

(Reuters) - A coalition of more than 2,000 U.S. farmers and food companies said Wednesday it is taking legal action to force government regulators to analyze potential problems with proposed biotech crops and the weed-killing chemicals to be sprayed over them.

Dow AgroSciences, a unit of Dow Chemical, and Monsanto Co. are among several global chemical and seed companies racing to roll out combinations of genetically altered crops and new herbicides designed to work with the crops as a way to counter rapidly spreading herbicide-resistant weeds that are choking millions of acres of U.S. farmland.

Dow and Monsanto say the new chemical combinations and new crops that tolerate those chemicals are badly needed by corn, soybean and cotton farmers as weeds increasingly resist treatments of the most commonly used herbicide - glyphosate-based Roundup.

"They (farmers) need this new technology," said Dow AgroScience Joe Vertin, global business leader for Dow's new herbicide-protected crops called "Enlist."

But critics say key ingredients in these new herbicides - 2,4-D for Dow and dicamba for Monsanto - already are in use in the marketplace and have proved damaging to "non-target" fields because they are hard to keep on target. Wind, heat and humidity can move the chemical particles miles down the road, damaging gardens, crops, trees. Many farms have suffered significant damage in recent years even though the chemicals are currently sprayed under tight restrictions.

"These are the most dangerous chemicals out there," said John Bode, a Washington lawyer hired by the Save Our Crops Coalition. Bode served as assistant Secretary of Agriculture in the Reagan administration.

Unlike many other protestors of new biotech crops, the coalition comprises many grower groups that use and support biotechnology. This is not a biotech complaint, they say, but one focused on the danger of the chemicals to be used with the biocrops.

"The danger that 2,4-D and dicamba pose is a real threat to crops...nearly every food crop," said Steve Smith, director of agriculture at Red Gold, the world's largest canned tomato processor, and a leader of the Save Our Crops Coalition.

The coalition represents more than 2,000 farmers and groups such as the Indiana Vegetable Growers Association, the Ohio Produce Growers and Marketers Association, and major food processors Seneca and Red Gold.

Over the last four years, more than $1 million in damages have been filed in lawsuits and insurance claims by Midwestern growers who have suffered crop losses due to 2,4-D and dicamba that has drifted onto their farms, Smith said.

Those losses would increase with the new herbicide-tolerant crops because farmers would then be spraying more of the herbicides and later in the growing season, the coalition says.

In their legal petitions, the group is asking the Department of Agriculture (USDA) to conduct an environmental impact study on the ramifications of a release of a new 2,4-D tolerant corn that is to be accompanied by Dow's new herbicide mix containing both 2,4-D and glyphosate. It wants a similar environmental impact statement on the dicamba and glyphosate herbicide tolerant crops being developed by Monsanto.

The coalition is also demanding the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) conduct a Scientific Advisory Panel (SAP) meeting and appoint advisors to the panel to address herbicide spray drift.

The legal petitions are provided for as part of the regulatory process and require a response from the agencies before petitioners can file suit to force a response.

Dow's plans to roll out as early as 2013 its 2,4-D tolerant corn and new 2,4-D based herbicide as the "Enlist Weed Control System" is a hot button issue for many groups because of high profile problems in the past with 2,4-D, which was a component of Agent Orange defoliant used in Vietnam.

A separate petition started by the Center for Food Safety says that 2,4-D, will "likely harm people and their children, including farmers, and the environment" and says USDA has not properly assessed the impacts of Dow's plan for a new 2,4-D based crop system.

Dow AgroSciences executives say the fears are unwarranted as their herbicide formulation does not have the problematic "drift" and volatility problems that other 2,4-D formulations have that cause farms even miles away to be impacted when one farmer sprays the herbicide on his fields.

Dow says as long as farmers use their formulation under their specifications, they would not have the same problems associated with current versions of 2,4-D on the market.

"We're highly into stewardship and want to be sure the farmers get this right," said Dow spokeswoman Kenda Resler-Friend.

"Nobody wants trouble with their neighbor. They want to do the right thing." Kenda Resler-Friend.

Coalition members say no matter how good Dow's formulation might be, generic versions of 2,4-D on the market will be much cheaper and many farmers will use those more volatile versions on the new 2,4-D tolerant crops.

(Editing by Ryan Woo)


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"Recalibration of Free Choice"–  Mar 3, 2012 (Kryon Channelling by Lee Caroll) - (Subjects: (Old) SoulsMidpoint on 21-12-2012, Shift of Human Consciousness, Black & White vs. Color, 1 - Spirituality (Religions) shifting, Lose a Pope “soon”, 2 - Humans will change react to drama, 3 - Civilizations/Population on Earth,  4 - Alternate energy sources (Geothermal, Tidal (Pedal wheels), Wind), 5 – Financials Institutes/concepts will change (Integrity – Ethical) , 6 - News/Media/TV to change, 7 – Big Pharmaceutical company will collapse “soon”, (Keep people sick), (Integrity – Ethical)  8 – Wars will be over on Earth, Global Unity, … etc.)  New !  
 


Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Spain's King Juan Carlos under fire over elephant hunting trip

Juan Carlos's expensive trip to Botswana – from which he was flown home injured – arouses anger in recession-hit country

guardian.co.uk, Giles Tremlett in Madrid, Sunday 15 April 2012

Spain's King Juan Carlos poses in front of a dead elephant on a hunting
trip in Botswana, Africa. Photograph: Target Press/Barcroft Media

While ordinary Spaniards cope with harsh austerity, recession and soaring unemployment, the country's royal family has been enjoying expensive hunting trips, one of which resulted in King Juan Carlos ending up in hospital.

The 74-year-old monarch's fall in a park in Botswana provided an excuse for Spanish newspapers, who normally treat their royal family with kid gloves, to plaster their pages with photos of the king standing proudly in front of a dead elephant.

The photograph came from the website of Botswana-based Rann Safaris, which had been taken down by Sunday. The pictures, taken before the latest hunting trip, also showed the king with two dead water buffalo.

Shoots with Rann Safaris cost upwards of $8,700 (£5,500) a week, with an elephant costing a further $15,000 to kill. A day out with professional hunter Jeff Rann, pictured with the king, costs a further $2,000.

The king's accident, after which he was flown back to Madrid for a hip operation, came days after his grandson, 13-year-old Froilán Marichalar, shot himself through the foot while hunting in Spain.

The child also had to be hospitalised after doctors removed the contents of a 36-calibre shotgun cartridge from his foot. Newspapers reported that it was illegal for a 13-year-old to handle that type of gun.

The king's hunting trip, which officials described as "private", has caused a storm of angry comment from animal lovers and those wanting to know how much it had cost.

A promotional video on YouTube shows Rann shooting elephants – which can be killed with licences bought at auction from the Botswana government – in the Okavango delta.

"You have to manage the world's animal populations, to their betterment," says Rann, who did not answer queries from the Guardian. "We are trying to improve their habitat."

King Juan Carlos has been involved in hunting scandals before. Six years ago officials dismissed as "ridiculous" allegations that he had shot a drunken Russian bear that had been plied with honey and vodka.

The family also has a troubled history with guns. The king shot and killed his own brother in an accident when he was a teenager.


Spanish duke Inaki Urdangarin to appear before judge

Protesters jeer Spanish king's son-in-law as he walks into court


Iñaki Urdangarín and Princess Cristina in 2004.
Photograph: Tim Graham/Getty Images
.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Unilever to phase out factory-farmed chicken

RNW, 15 April 2012

Anglo-Dutch food giant Unilever has announced it will phase out the use of factory-farmed chicken in its products.

In Dutch, factory-farmed chickens are commonly known as plofkip - blown-up chicken – because they are bred and drugged to grow so large so fast that they are ready for slaughter in just 42 days. Their organs and legs cannot keep up with their accelerated rate of growth, so heart attacks, organ failure and leg deformities are common.

Unilever informed animal rights organisation Wakker Dier that it plans to start phasing out the use of factory-farmed animals in the first quarter of next year, beginning with its chicken hot dogs and later following with its soups and other food products.

Unilever has told Wakker Dier that the industrially farmed chicken will be replaced with chicken which qualifies for at least one star in the Dutch ‘better life’ meat production rankings. One-star chickens are not bred as quickly and have access to a covered outdoor area.

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Friday, April 13, 2012

Aceh Earthquake Surprises Scientists

Jakarta Globe, April 12, 2012

Soldiers stand along the Indian Ocean coastline following a tsunami warning
 in Somalia’s capital Mogadishu on Wednesday. The powerful 8.6 magnitude
 earthquake and a series of strong aftershocks struck off Indonesia on Wednesday,
 sending people scurrying from buildings as far away as southern India. (Reuters Photo)

Related articles

The massive earthquake off Indonesia surprised scientists: Usually this type of jolt isn’t this powerful. The biggest earthquakes tend to occur in subduction zones where one plate of the Earth’s crust dives under another. This grind produced the 2004 magnitude-9.1 Indian Ocean disaster and the magnitude-9 Japan quake last year.

Wednesday’s magnitude-8.6 occurred along a strike-slip fault line similar to California’s San Andreas Fault. Scientists say it’s rare for strike-slip quakes, in which blocks of rocks slide horizontally past each other, to be this large.

“It’s clearly a bit of an odd duck,” said seismologist Susan Hough of the U.S. Geological Survey in Pasadena, Calif.

As one of the world’s most seismically active places, Indonesia is located on the Pacific “Ring of Fire,” an arc of volcanos and fault lines encircling the Pacific Basin. Pressure builds up in the rocks over time and is eventually released in an earthquake.

Wednesday’s quake was followed by a magnitude-8.2 aftershock. Both were strike-slip quakes.

“A week ago, we wouldn’t have thought we could have a strike-slip earthquake of this size. This is very, very large,” said Kevin Furlong, a professor of geosciences at Penn State University.

So large, in fact, that the main shock went into the history books. Record-keeping by the USGS National Earthquake Information Center ranks Wednesday’s shaker as the 11th largest since 1900. It’s probably the largest strike-slip event though there’s debate about whether a similar-sized Tibet quake in 1950 was the same kind.

A preliminary analysis indicates one side of the fault lurched 70 feet past the other — a major reason for the quake’s size. By contrast, during the 1906 magnitude-7.8 San Francisco earthquake along the San Andreas — perhaps the best known strike-slip event — the ground shifted 15 feet.

The Sumatra coast has been rattled by three strong strike-slip quakes since 2004, but Wednesday’s was the largest.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Tsunami Warning for Sumatra Indonesia After Magnitude 8.5 Earthquake

Jakarta Globe, April 11, 2012

Tsunami warning. (BMKG Graphic) 
       
Related articles

Indonesia issued a tsunami warning Wednesday after an earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 8.5 hit waters off westernmost Aceh province.

Said, an official at Indonesia’s Meteorology and Geophysics Agency who goes by only one name, said a tsunami warning has been issued for Aceh, West Sumatra, North Sumatra, Lampung and Bengkulu. The tsunami was expected to reach Aceh at 4:31 p.m.

According to Metro TV, traffic was chaotic Wednesday afternoon in Banda Aceh as people flee coastal areas for higher ground in the east. Power and internet is reportedly down in the provincial capita.

In Padang, hospitals are reportedly evacuating patients from the building.

Thailand issued an evacuation order Wednesday for its Andaman coast, a popular tourist destination, after a massive earthquake off Indonesia triggered a tsunami alert.

Thailand’s National Disaster Warning Center advised people in the area to move to higher places and stay as far away as possible from the sea.

People on Twitter said tremors were felt in Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia and India. High-rise apartments and offices on Malaysia’s west coast shook for at least a minute. In Bangalore, India hundreds of office workers left their buildings, workers there said.

The U.S. Geological Survey said the powerful quake was centered 20 miles (33 kilometers) beneath the ocean floor around 308 miles (495 kilometers) from Aceh’s provincial capital.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration issued a tsunami warning for the following 27 countries: Indonesia, India, Sri Lanka, Australia, Burma, Thailand, Maldives, United Kingdom, Malaysia, Reunion, Seychelles, Pakistan, Somalia, Oman, Madagascar, Iran, United Arab Emirates, Yemen, Comores, Bangladesh, Tanzania, Mozambique, Kenya, Crozet Islands, Kerguelen Islands, South Africa and Singapore.

Indonesia straddles a series of fault lines that makes the vast island nation prone to volcanic and seismic activity.

A giant 9.1-magnitude quake off the country on Dec. 26, 2004, triggered a tsunami in the Indian Ocean that killed 230,000 people, nearly three quarter of them in Aceh.

JG/ AP/ Reuters/ AFP


Residents of Banda Aceh flee shortly after a powerful
 earthquake hit the western coast of Sumatra in Banda Aceh
on Wednesday. (AFP Photo)


Sunday, April 8, 2012

(Official Movie) THRIVE: What On Earth Will It Take?






THRIVE is an unconventional documentary that lifts the veil on what's REALLY going on in our world by following the money upstream -- uncovering the global consolidation of power in nearly every aspect of our lives. Weaving together breakthroughs in science, consciousness and activism, THRIVE offers real solutions, empowering us with unprecedented and bold strategies for reclaiming our lives and our future.



The Large Families that rule the world


"Recalibration of Free Choice"–  Mar 3, 2012 (Kryon Channelling by Lee Caroll) - (Subjects: (Old) SoulsMidpoint on 21-12-2012, Shift of Human Consciousness, Black & White vs. Color, 1 - Spirituality (Religions) shifting, Lose a Pope “soon”, 2 - Humans will change react to drama, 3 - Civilizations/Population on Earth,  4 - Alternate energy sources (Geothermal, Tidal (Pedal wheels), Wind), 5 – Financials Institutes/concepts will change (Integrity – Ethical) , 6 - News/Media/TV to change, 7 – Big Pharmaceutical company will collapse “soon”, (Keep people sick), (Integrity – Ethical)  8 – Wars will be over on Earth, Global Unity, … etc.)  New ! 

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Endangered Borneo Orangutans Returned to Wild

Jakarta Globe, Fidelis E. Satriastanti, April 01, 2012

A worker feeds orangutans at the Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation
 in this file photo. Eleven endangered orangutans were released into the
wild in Central Kalimantan on Saturday. (Antara Photo)
   
         
Related articles

A total of 11 orangutans aged from 8 to 24 years old were released into the wild at Batikap forest in Murung Raya district of Central Kalimantan on Saturday. It was the second release by the Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation, which was also joined by the provincial forestry agency and the local administration.

The foundation aims to return 49 orangutans to the jungle this year, foundation spokeswoman Meirini Sucahyo told BeritaSatu on Saturday.

“There are 25 orangutans left that will be released in the next months ,” she said.

The Saturday release was performed by two teams. Beforehand they were tested for TB, hepatitis, HIV, herpes and other sexually transmitted diseases as a precaution. The first team transported Bang Jagur, Bunga, Kali, Mama Tata and Tata in the morning and the second team went with Ompong, Jojo, Heldi, Komeng, Yaya and Ika. 

“They are all anesthetized first and transported on helicopters,” Meirini said, adding that 15 people were involved in the release.

Afterwards, the foundation tracks the animals two to three times a week in the jungle. The monitoring team will  observe for behavioral changes among the primates and see how they are adapting to their new environment.

Experts say there are about 50,000 to 60,000 orangutans left in the wild, 80 percent of them in Indonesia and the rest in Malaysia.

They are faced with the threat of extinction from poaching and the rapid destruction of their forest habitat, driven largely by palm oil and paper plantations.

Conservationists in the region have been raising awareness about the plight of the endangered orangutans for some time.