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Rare Snow Leopards Seen on Mount Everest

by David Braun

The Everest Snow Leopard Conservation Center is a partnership initiative of Vanke Foundation and Qomolangma (Mt. Everest) National Nature Reserve. The 34,000-square-kilometer (13,000-square-mile) sanctuary protects the highly unique and diverse ecosystem found along the border of China and Nepal, centered around the world’s highest mountain.

“It is home to many endangered species including the snow leopard. But very little is known about the distribution and population status of snow leopards in this area,” according to a statement released with these photos by the Everest Snow Leopard Conservation Center…

(read more: National Geographic)

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The Tentacled Snake: A Fisherman of Note

by Richard Bartlett

The fat shiner swam the 6’ length of the 125 gallon aquarium in less than a second. It disappeared from this earth about 5 seconds later.

First I was watching it and thinking how gracefully it sped through and around the waterlogged snags. And even knowing the fish’s purpose in the tank, I was unprepared for the speed and dexterity of that strike by the nearest tentacled snake, Erpeton tentaculatum.

For those of you not familiar with the tentacled snake, it is a fully aquatic homolopsine species that occurs widely over Southeast Asia. It attains a length of two to two and a half feet and inhabits quiet, often silted waters. The genus contains only a single species with two distinctly different patterns, a blotched and a striped…

(read more: Kingsnake.com)

photographs by Richard Bartlett

japanese militancy and denial of world war 2 crimes

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Article

As I was emphasising how people considered “POC” by US standards can very much be racist and oppressive (and which is why the term “POC” shouldn’t be used outside the Western context because this solidarity means nothing to us when it comes to intra-Asian issues), here’s a reminder. Nazism is associated with white supremacy, yes, but during WW2, Hitler bestowed upon Japanese the status of honorary Aryans and openly praised them in Mein Kampf. Unlike Germany, which has apologised for the crimes of Nazi Germany and makes it compulsory for schoolchildren to learn about the Holocaust, Japan has engaged in a consistent campaign of history textbook whitewashing, outright denial and open glorification of the Empire of Japan’s militancy despite its numerous well-documented war crimes. The present Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, visited the Yasukuni Shrine, where not just ordinary soldiers, but Class A Japanese war criminals are enshrined- an act regarded as particularly insulting by countries like China and Korea, which suffered heavily during WW2. He is one in a long line of Japanese PMs who have consistently done this, despite the fact that the Japanese emperor and Japanese imperial family have refused to visit the shrine precisely because of that. 

The result of this accumulated atmosphere? Groups with neo-Nazi links flourish in Japan and many members of the Japanese government associated with them- unlike Germany where Holocaust denial and neo-Nazi groups are cracked down upon. Many members of the Japanese government are on committees urging revisionist history to further put a gloss on Japan’s World War 2 history. Which means, while every child in neighbouring countries conquered by Japan is intimately aware of Japanese war crimes, Japanese students themselves aren’t.

What’s more? Japanese politicians just seem to like visiting the shrine just right before there is a visit or meeting with a country that suffered under the Empire of Japan’s rule.

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That flag btw? The war flag of the Empire of Japan, used during WW2.

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