Crafting For The Homeless

With colder weather coming soon. If you have a hobby like knitting, crocheting or tailoring or quilting. Many people have become homeless due to the pandemic. They’ll need Scarves, hats, gloves, blankets and warm clothing.

They’re struggling to provide for themselves and family.

Help them by making these items and donating to Goodwill, Salvation Army, food pantries. Or directly to the homeless shelters in your areas.

There are tons of free crocheting, knitting, tailoring and quilting patterns on the web and Pinterest and Even Instagram.

When donating food it must be shelf stable. Something that will last awhile. Non-perishables.

It may not be much yet every little bit helps.

Humane Society president discusses the surge of pet ownership during the pandemic — and what animals can teach us – The Washington Post

Kitty Block, 56, is president and chief executive of the Humane Society of the United States and CEO of Humane Society International, an affiliate. Trained as a lawyer, Block has spent decades advocating on behalf of animal welfare, domestically and around the world.

During the pandemic, there’s been a huge surge in adopting pets. What do you think are the benefits of that trend, and also, maybe, the potential perils?
In a time of crisis, when people feel things are uncertain and people feel isolated or scared, to be able to bond with an animal is so important. For so many people, it wasn’t just: Oh, it’s convenient. I’m working from home. It’s: I need to have this kind of connection, this unconditional love. And [animals] provide that. That’s who they are. That’s what they do.
— Read on www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/magazine/humane-society-president-discusses-the-surge-of-pet-ownership-during-the-pandemic–and-what-animals-can-teach-us/2021/04/27/198f5bcc-9269-11eb-a74e-1f4cf89fd948_story.html

Glaciers are melting faster than they did 15 years ago, study shows | PBS NewsHour

Glaciers are melting faster, losing 31% more snow and ice per year than they did 15 years earlier, according to three-dimensional satellite measurements of all the world’s mountain glaciers.
Scientists blame human-caused climate change.

Using 20 years of recently declassified satellite data, scientists calculated that the world’s 220,000 mountain glaciers are losing more than 328 billion tons (298 billion metric tons) of ice and snow per year since 2015, according to a study in Wednesday’s journal Nature. That’s enough melt flowing into the world’s rising oceans to put Switzerland under almost 24 feet (7.2 meters) of water each year.

The annual melt rate from 2015 to 2019 is 78 billion more tons (71 billion metric tons) a year than it was from 2000 to 2004. Global thinning rates, different than volume of water lost, doubled in the last 20 years and “that’s enormous,” said Romain Hugonnet, a glaciologist at ETH Zurich and the University of Toulouse in France who led the study.
— Read on www.pbs.org/newshour/science/glaciers-are-melting-faster-than-they-did-15-years-ago-study-shows

WHO urges halt to sale of live wild animals in markets, citing disease risk – CBS News

Geneva — The United Nations’ health agency on Tuesday urged countries to suspend the sale of live animals captured from the wild in food markets. The World Health Organization recommended it as an emergency measure, saying wild animals are a leading source of emerging infectious diseases like the coronavirus.
 
The WHO, backed by key partners, issued new guidance saying that animals – particularly wild animals – “are the source of more than 70 percent of all emerging infectious diseases in humans, many of which are caused by novel viruses.”
— Read on www.cbsnews.com/news/wet-markets-world-health-organization-coronavirus-live-wild-animals-sale-disease/

President-elect Joe Biden has pledged to ban new oil and gas leasing

President-elect Joe Biden has pledged to ban new oil and gas leasing on America’s federal public lands and waters on Day One of his administration.

Nearly a quarter of the country’s total greenhouse gas emissions come from public lands due to coal mining and oil and gas drilling. We can’t keep leasing public lands to the fossil fuel industry and have any chance of reducing emissions or seriously confronting the climate crisis.

And due to Trump’s executive orders of undermining the Environmental Protection Act, along with the Water Protection Act. Big companies such as BP and Keystone, are free to muddy our waters with chemicals. Whilst also spewing poisonous gases into our ozone layer.

Just because Biden pledged to halt and undo Trump’s actions doesn’t necessarily mean he’ll DO. Let’s make him keep his words. By using our voices and signature.

Sign the petition and share.

Urge President-elect Biden to keep dirty fossil fuels in the ground

A Melting Antarctica Could Raise the Sea Level More Than Expected

Rounding Error

As rising global temperatures continue to melt the ice in Antarctica, scientists predict that we’ll face serious problems in the coming decades — from rising sea levels to devastating storms to temperatures rising even faster because there’s less ice to reflect heat.

Now, it turns out all those problems could be even worse than scientists predicted, according to research published in the journal Climate Dynamics. Existing models tended to predict ice melt based on average conditions over time, but accounting for fluctuating extremes paints a far more dire picture.

Accelerated Timeline

Climate models need to represent how chaotic weather patterns can be, study author and Penn State climate researcher Chris Forest argued in a press release. Accounting for those fluctuations, Forest’s work shows that the Antarctic ice sheet could retreat 20 years sooner than expected.

Factoring that in, the melting ice could raise the sea level by an additional 2.7 to 4.3 inches on top of the 10.6 to 14.9 inches that simpler models predict by the year 2100.

We know ice sheets are melting as global temperatures increase, but uncertainties remain about how much and how fast that will happen,” Forest said in the release.

Read more: https://futurism.com/the-byte/melting-antarctica-raise-sea-level-more-than-expected

No More Starving Farm Animals: Petition

Farm Animal Rescue started this petition to Managing Director, Meat and Livestock Australia Richard Norton and 1 other

In 2018 the public were mortified by hundreds of images of starving animals on Australian farms in yet another year of drought.

The Bureau of Meteorology has issued a statement to say that they are expecting lower than average rainfall and higher than average temperatures through Spring into early Summer, resulting in a “low chance of recovery for drought-affected areas”.

Despite these forecasts there is no indication from either the meat or dairy industry that breeding programs will be restricted to accommodate much lower feed availability in the coming year. Instead farmers are culling Australian wildlife in a hope that this will allow sufficient pasture to remain.

We call on Meat & Livestock Australia and Dairy Australia to significantly restrict breeding programs to avoid a repeat of the mass starvation of farm animals seen this year and to preserve Australia’s wildlife. Farm animals are sentient beings who suffer dreadfully if not adequately fed and it is simply immoral to breed an animal that you cannot feed.

We ask that Meat & Livestock Australia and Dairy Australia take firm action to bring breeding under control so that they can guarantee that no animal suffers from starvation on any Australian farm in 2019.

Image credit: cnn.com

Petition: https://www.change.org/p/richard-norton-no-more-starving-farm-animals

The Dangers Of Rawhide Chews

Rawhide chews are not a good chewing supplement for any companion animal. On top of the bleach and glue chemicals in these products. You have the problem of it splintering off. This can become lodged in their throat, and or can cause damage to their mouth.

Rawhide has always been on the No-no list of veterinarians. If you want to give them a chew toy, the companies Kong and Nylabon make safe chews for companions.

The Best Dog Dental Chews and toys we have found are the following:

• Our Top Pick: Nylabone Dura Chew XL Textured Dog Chew.

• Our Runner Up Pick: Natural Balance Dental Chews.

• Best Budget Pick: Arm & Hammer Gator Dog Dental Toy.

• Best Puppy Dental Chew: Nylabone Puppy T-Rex Chew Toy.

• Best Budget Pick: Outward Hound Bionic Ball.

• Best Puppy Teething Toy: Pet Stages Cool Teething Stick.

• Best Plush Dog Chew Toy: ZippyPaws Warriorz Plush Dog Toy.

We hope this has been helpful for your future chew and toy shopping.

Amazing fossil shark skeleton is the first of its kind

Photograph by Paulo Oliveria, Alamy Stock Photo

Skulls and a nearly complete skeleton offer our best look yet at a shark that lived about 360 million years ago.

By Tim Vernimmen

Shark teeth are among the most commonly found fossils around the world, yet the cartilage-based skeletons of their owners were rarely preserved. As a result, researchers have no idea what many early sharks looked like, even if they were once very abundant.

That’s why paleontologists working in the eastern Anti-Atlas Mountains of Morocco were stunned to find several skulls and an almost complete skeleton from two species of Phoebodus, a primitive shark genus that, until now, was known only from its three-cusped teeth. Described this week in Proceedings of the Royal Society B, the fossils reveal that Phoebodus had an eel-like body and a long snout, which makes it look a lot like the frilled shark that still roams the deep sea today. (Explore our interactive showcasing the sizes of the world’s sharks.)

And while these two animals are only distantly related, the teeth of Phoebodus and those of the frilled shark look really similar as well, suggesting that their feeding modes didn’t differ drastically.

“Many modern sharks have serrated teeth that allow them to cut up their prey before ingesting the pieces,” says study coauthor Christian Klug of the University of Zurich. By contrast, the cone-shaped, inward-pointing teeth of Phoebodus and the frilled shark are only good for capturing prey and then swallowing it whole.

Snapping sideways

The fossilized Phoebodus remains were found in a layer estimated to be about 360 to 370 million years old, in what used to be a shallow sea basin. When the sharks died there, the limited water circulation and low oxygen levels created an environment in which their bodies were largely left alone by bacteria, scavengers, and currents, preserving them for posterity.

The resulting fossils are damaged by sediments and time, but Klug and his team were able to CT scan some of the material they recovered from the Moroccan mountains to get an even better picture of what these primitive sharks looked like during the Late Devonian period.

The quantity of data that is emerging from studies such as this is staggering,” says John Maisey, a paleontologist with the American Museum of Natural History who was not part of the study team. “We are experiencing a renaissance of anatomy.”

The scans revealed some striking similarities to the frilled shark, not just in body shape, but in the teeth as well, which offers some clues to how the more ancient predators might have hunted. (Find out why great white sharks may be responsible for the extinction of the Megalodon.)

“The frilled shark is a specialized predator, with the ability to suddenly burst forward to catch its prey,” says David Ebert, a modern shark expert at the Pacific Shark Research Center who has studied the frilled shark for decades. “The inward-pointing teeth then help to make sure the prey can only go one way: into its throat. Maybe Phoebodus did something similar.”

Because the reclusive frilled shark is so rarely observed, however, there are many outstanding questions about the way it feeds. So, for a better understanding of how Phoebodus may have gotten its food, the researchers also looked at another unrelated species with a surprisingly similar skull, jaw, and teeth, a large freshwater fish called the alligator gar. Like Phoebodus, the alligator gar has long jaws and a flat skull, which limit its bite force. Yet there are also benefits to having a head like that, says Justin Lemberg of the University of Chicago, who has studied the gars’ feeding behavior.

They hunt in open water, where they don’t have the luxury of choosing which direction their next meal will come from. And flat heads and long jaws are great for snapping sideways at prey.”

Physics of feeding

While it may seem unusual to compare the feeding strategies of species as different as sharks and gars, such analyses are often among the best ways paleontologists have to reconstruct how extinct animals behaved, Lemberg says.

Read more here Nat Geo Fossil Shark

Opossum- The Misunderstood Marsupials

Opossum is the correct name for the Western Hemisphere (United States and other regions not part of the Euro area). Opossums are so misunderstood by the majority of people who think negatively about this animal. Right, well here it is – I am not ashamed to admit that I like Opossums and I for one think they are CUTE. (So there, lump it)

Something many may have not known about the differences in the names of Opossum vs. possum
The term possum covers about 70 species of marsupials native to Australia and surrounding islands. Opossum covers over 100 species of marsupials living in the United States and other areas.
That’s practically the only difference. (The more you know).

Why do opossums have a bad rap? Maybe it is because of their defense such as the open mouth, hiss and drool mechanics. Maybe it is because people believe that because of this mechanism of defense that automatically an opossum has “rabies”. Well, in fact, opossums have not had rabies for many years frankly, it is extremely RARE for an opossum to have or contract rabies. Some say it may be due to the lower body temperature from other warm-blooded animals.

Whichever case being – Opossums should be highly respected since they can be beneficiary to your garden area, not to mention to a humans life in general seeing as Opossums kill 96.5% of ticks that may land on them, and the probability that a single Opossum may be killing/eating at least 4,000 ticks every week. Well, that is protecting us from the dreaded Lyme disease; guess people should rethink their negativity toward Opossums eh?

An Unexpected Plus
Serving as inadvertent innkeepers for opossums may turn out to be good for your health. Scientists at the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies in Millbrook, New York, have learned that opossums act like little vacuum cleaners when it comes to ticks, including those that can spread debilitating Lyme disease to humans and other animals.
Source Quote: https://www.nwf.org/News-and-Magazines/National-Wildlife/Animals/Archives/2015/Opossums.aspx

On the other hand, maybe it is because many people think Opossums are the ones who get into those trashcans. This is not the case, even though you might find an Opossum in your trashcan, he or she did not knock it over, instead they are just cleaning house. In fact a majority of knocked over trashcans are done by stray dogs and or possibly raccoons.

If you do not want Opossums in your trashcan area, then keep your cans tightly sealed and or have it where no animal can have access. If you do not want Opossums in your yard, then pick up fallen fruit and other items of interest. Yet I for one would not mind a visit from an Opossum – since they can as stated before, could be beneficial to a garden. Since Opossums enjoy at times, eating snails, slugs, insects, and sometimes even small rodents.

Therefore, before you shoo them away, just remember the benefits of an Opossum.