I love BOOBIES!

I wanted to share with you something which I do not make a habit of saying out loud. Sure, there are those who say it proudly while some others are more embarrassed to admit it publicly. Some of their fans are male. Some are female. But let’s be completely honest. BOOBIES are great!

Am I right?

Am I right?

A booby is a type of seabird in the genus Sula, part of the Sulidae family. Boobies are closely related to the gannets (Morus), which were formerly included in Sula.

This is a blue footed booby

Boobies hunt fish by diving from a height into the sea and pursuing their prey underwater. Facial air sacs under their skin cushion the impact with the water. Boobies are colonial breeders on islands and coasts. They normally lay one or more chalky-blue eggs on the ground or sometimes in a tree nest.

Their name was possibly based on the Spanish slang term bobo, meaning “stupid”, as these tame birds had a habit of landing on board sailing ships, where they were easily captured and eaten. Owing to this, boobies are often mentioned as having been caught and eaten by shipwrecked sailors. Poor birds!

They are also incredibly cute!

This looks like me and a friend on the sauce.


Here are some photos of other type of booby. 

A masked booby

A brown booby

A red-footed booby

 

Oh and by the way, if you thought from the title I was referring to breasts, then SHAME on YOU!

SHAME ON YOU!


Climate change deniers

I read a very interesting article this evening from the Guardian that underlined the very real and very frightening reality that there are still many people whom haven’t come to grips with or who still refuse to acknowledge that climate change is a real and hugely problematic thing. 

Some of them follow the Donald Trump argument that goes along the lines of it being something developed by China to prevent the United States from competing with them in the global market. Others will claim that it is all part of a “natural” cycle that would happen regardless of what we did. There are also those that say they don’t believe in climate change, not because they have studied the facts or that they have any real interest in climate change but because they have some deluded idea that it is the cool and heroic thing to do; that by doing so they are annoying people who they deem irritating. Some are just attention seekers while there are too those that just have a skewed understanding of science. This goes back to the whole thing about people basing their “facts” on things they’ve picked up on Facebook rather than from a book or a scientific article. 

But I don’t think these people are bad people per say. I mean, to deny it at this point of time is concerning but even so. Nor are all the people who disagree with climate change Breitbart loving Republicans or UKIP followers. And indeed, there are still some people who acknowledge that climate change is happening but who think that the outcome is inevitable and therefore not worth acting on. 

The truth is that climate change is happening with the ice caps melting, more frequent flash floods, droughts and wildfires. This isn’t going to change overnight and indeed, as the temperatures creep up on us, these events will be more common. Anyone living in the United Kingdom would be foolish to deny that these past few years have brought with them more floods than in previous years. 

And as the article says, climate change happens by degree, and every fraction of a degree celsius matters. Last month’s report saying we’re already 1.2C above pre-industrial levels is bad. But 1.2C is less risky than 1.5C, which is less risky than 2C. That might not sound so bad but the reality is every bit matters. The hopeful bit is that all is not lost at 1.2C or 1.5C and there is always something worth fighting for. 

People will say things like reducing carbon emissions won’t help much but if reducing them even partially could mean that there is a drop in temperatures and so less extreme weather, surely that is a good thing. What isn’t a good thing is saying that we can take the increases for granted. What isn’t a good thing is saying that nothing is happening or there is nothing we can do. You can see what is happening before your very eyes are saying there isn’t is just burying your head in the sand. Don’t take it for granted. Think about your children. Let’s take care of our home. 

Protect our Sharks – they’re not as scary as you’d think

Dun dun…dun dun…dun dun dun dun dun dun dun. Yep! You’ve all heard the famous theme song from Jaws, the movie that based on the hit Peter Benchley novel of the same name in the 1970s. It’s a classic movie (shame on you if you haven’t seen it) that bore famous lines such as “we’re going to need a bigger boat”. The story it tells is that of a small sea side town called Amity. A town that rarely experiences any form of crime. In fact, nothing ever happens. That is, except for the summertime when the beaches fill up as holidaymakers enjoy the sun sea and sand. That is, until a Great White Shark arrives, turning the lives of all that live there upside down. 


The story paints a clear picture. A picture of a monster, a feeding machine that has blood lust for human flesh. It was at this point that sharks got widespread coverage as monsters of the deep. But there is a fundamental problem here. The fact is, sharks are extremely misunderstood. The picture portrayed by the book and by the movie was quite inaccurate. Indeed, the author Peter Benchley himself regretted the impact that his story had on sharks. 

Sharks have been on Earth for around 400 million years. They have evolved to become the top predator in our oceans. Without them, our marine ecosystems would collapse. Sharks are amazing creatures but the often get overlooked because they aren’t as friendly as dolphins, whales or seals. These animals are seen as cute and fluffy. But who will stand up for the shark?


The movie “Jaws” is a simple movie, who’s concepts were fictional and depictions of shark behaviour – inaccurate, has now led to generation upon generation handing down a baseless fear of these amazing creatures. 

“If I have one hope, it is that we will come to appreciate and protect  these wonderful animals before we manage, through ignorance, stupidity and greed, to wipe them out altogether.”

– Peter Benchley (author of ‘Jaws’)

Shark populations face the threat of extinction in every part of the world primarily due to overfishing driven by the high demand for shark fins. However there are additional threats facing sharks that include by-catch, where sharks are killed when other seafood is being targeted, recreational fishing, sharks being used for ingredients in cosmetics or health supplements, destruction of habitat and more.
And did you know that shark fins are obtained by removing the fins of the shark while they are still alive before they are thrown back into the water leaving them helpless to other predators if they do not bleed out beforehand in absolute agony.


According to Oceana, of the nearly 500 species of sharks, only about a dozen are potentially dangerous to humans. Even for those species that are, humans aren’t preferred prey. Furthermore, they don’t attack people that often—certainly not enough to warrant their stereotype.


More needs to be done to protect these beautiful creatures from extinction. Educate yourself. Be wary of the products you purchase and what materials they are made from. Only support sustainable fishing if you eat fish (fishing is so cruel!!). Do not support companies that sponsor recreational shark hunts!


Please, do what you can before it is too late!

Rhinos and their horns


I wanted to talk about something that is close to my heart. I wanted to talk about rhinos and the ridiculous and cruel rhino horn trade. 

Let’s be clear about something. 

Rhino horns are similar in structure to horses’ hooves, turtle beaks, and cockatoo bills. They are made of keratin – basically the same stuff that’s in your hair and fingernails. Yet, despite their being no empirical evidence to suggest otherwise, certain cultures, such as is in China with traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), it is regarded as something of a magical elixir. But the reality is that it is no better for you than chewing on your fingernails. 


 There are also those that just find it looks nice on the mantlepiece.

But what are the facts?

There are five species of rhinoceros and, with the exception of one subspecies of African white rhino, all are in danger of being hunted to extinction for their horns. Furthermore,  the scarcity of rhinos today and the corresponding intermittent availability of rhino horn only drives the price higher, and intensifies the pressure on the declining rhino populations. For people whose annual income is often far below the subsistence level, the opportunity to change one’s life by killing an animal that they don’t value is overwhelming.
Poachers will directly respond to demand. And now they are now being supplied by international criminal gangs with sophisticated equipment to track and kill rhinos. Often they use a tranquiliser gun to bring the rhino down and hack of its horn leaving the rhino to wake up and bleed to death very painfully and slowly. Let me reiterate. These poachers cause these beautiful animals to die PAINFULLY AND SLOWLY. Poachers are also often armed with guns making them very dangerous for the anti-poaching teams who put their lives on the line to protect rhinos.

FINAL THOUGHTS

I’m scared that one day, if I ever have kids (which I would willingly but you know – I kinda need a wife for that), I will have to tell them about rhinos through a picture book because they will no longer be around to see. And for what? It’s tragic that these amazing creatures are dying over a myth that the rhino horn has some therapeutic benefit. And if you have any doubts about how cruel this trade is, a google image search will highlight the cruel reality. 

So what can you do?

A good place to start is Save the Rhino (https://www.savetherhino.org/) which is an organisation that looks to act before it is too late. You should also report any suspicious activity to the authorities, if you suspect someone is selling/buying rhino horn products.  

Do what you can!