10 years is an estimate

anonymous asked:

My dream dog is a Newfoundlander, and I have a responsible breeder already picked out for when I have a big enough yard and a steady job, but I'm finding it hard to find much info on them. Opinions?

They are a relatively rare breed owing to their size, fur and drool, but I have known a few of them over the years.

These dogs are just… messy.

(Image Source)

They are big they seriously shed and they drool like a running tap, which essentially sticks that shed hair to every available surface like glue. This is a breed so fundamentally unsuitable for my personal lifestyle that I swiftly change the topic every time the boyfriend brings up that he wants one. Speaking of changing topics, lets look at them from a medical standpoint. You may want to make yourself a cup of tea, this will be a long post.

Hips are a major issue with this breed. The Orthopedic Foundation for Animals ranks their hips, as a breed, as worse than the notorious German Shepherd. Worse again, symptoms of hip dysplasia are often aggravated by the increased size or weight of the animal, and this breeds is one of the largest ones. This causes pain and suffering. 25% of them are estimated to have dysplastic hips, with only 8% estimated to have ‘good’ hips.

Elbows are another weakness for this giant breed. Again around 20-25% of these dogs are estimated to be afflicted with elbow dysplasia. Some unfortunate individuals with have both elbow and hip dysplasia, leaving them without a good leg to stand on. Problems often develop by18 months of age, and will cause pain for the dog for the rest of its life.

Tears of the cranial cruciate ligament are also fairly common, due to sheer size and probably other orthopedic dodginess. If not treated surgically this will cause severe lameness and arthritis in the joint.

By the way, if you were wondering about the costs of these surgeries to patch up a Newfoundland skeleton, you’ll probably spend $2.5-3k on the dysplastic elbows, $2.5-3.5k per cruciate tear, and between $1.4k and $7k each side for the dysplasitc hips, depending whether they are diagnosed young, or so late that only a total hip replacement will help. Just so you know.

The consequences of leaving these conditions untreated is arthritis far sooner in the dog’s life than is fair. Some dogs will be unable to walk without daily medication from 4 years of age. Many will be put to sleep simply because their  mobility has become so impaired that they can no longer to doggy things.

Do you need a break? Because we’re not even halfway through yet.

Originally posted by sternenpalast

Personally, I have a thing against bad eyes. I can’t stand eyes that look painful, it gives me the heebie-jeebies. These poor dogs, as you probably have guessed, are prone to multiple eye conditions.

While they do get cataracts, 3rd eyelid gland prolapse and ectropion, the biggest one that concerns me is entropion. This means that the eyelids rolls inwards towards the eye. This means that instead of lovely, soft, moist conjunctiva touching the eyeball, you have prickly eyelashes or haired skin. These prickly hairs rub against the eyeball, constantly, and will cause pain, inflammation, corneal ulcers and secondary effects of healing them.

That’s just constant irritation and pain. It requires surgery to fix, again.

They also get subaortic stenosis (SAS) far too frequently.This heart condition is congenital, it’s present at birth but is often not apparent until 4+ months of age, just long enough to get that puppy well loved in a new home. While it can be managed with medication or heart surgery, only 25% of affected dogs live for more than 4 years. It can cause fainting and sudden death.

(Thanks Richard for picture)

That’s not a great disease to have running through the breed. If they don’t succumb to that heart disease young, they may also get dilated cardiomyopathy when they’re older. You know, because one heart disease wasn’t enough.

Also located under that shaggy mess of drool covered fur is another genetic disorder that can cause them to excrete cystine into their urine, resulting in urinary crystals or great big bladder stones that may require more surgery.

And of course these big, deep cheted dogs are a classic breed that gets Gastric Dilatation Volvulus (GDV aka Bloat) which can happen without warning, leaving you with a choice of either major, expensive surgery or euthanasia.

Working towards the outside of this giant breed, their thick fur might look cute, it it takes maintenance. Prepare for everything you own to be liberally coated in dog hair.

They are also profuse droolers. Their flappy jowls produce some of the most drooly dogs I’ve been, often soaking their own chest fur.

Which brings me back to Hot Spots, (aka moist dermatitis). Persistently wet skin, especially on a thick coated breed that loves water like the newfoundland, A hot spot can be huge and they spread rapidly, sometimes affecting the whole neck. Because these dogs often have some degree of skin folding there, that makes the problem even worse. The same issue happens at the other end if they have diarrhea. And being in Australia, in Summer, when more people than usual take their dogs swimming, there is also a high risk of flystrike in that constantly wet fur with infected skin. Don’t think about that too much.

These dogs are far from being an ‘easy keeper’ and in my experience the estimates lifespan of 10-12 years that one often sees on the internet s a bit optimistic. I do know people who are addicted to this breed and just can’t live without one, but it’s important to know what you’re getting into and I would strongly recommend looking into pet insurance for this breed.

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anonymous asked:

Will I be able to ejaculate from my penis after phalloplasty?

As current medical science stands the answer is: rarely.
If the skenes gland is kept intact then there is a chance that you will be able to ejaculate after bottom surgery. It would be a clear fluid that dribbles out rather than forcefully ejaculating, but that’s about it.

Let’s work through this so that it’s clear why this isn’t possible right now. It’s helpful when you can logically understand it instead of getting a short “yes” or “no” answer. To ejaculate in the way that a cis male does you’d require functioning testicles and you’d require vas defrens. The testicles would produce semen, the stuff you’d be ejaculating during orgasm, and the vas defrens is the passage way for semen to go from the testicles to the urethra. Once the seminal fluid is in the urethra the body also needs a mechanism for the bladder neck to close off, preventing retrograde seminal movement which would allow the semen to go into the bladder. It’s amazing how complicated an orgasm is and how quickly all of this happens. After that contractions of the pelvic floor force the semen out and that’s where the ejaculation occurs. The prostate, bulbourethral gland, and a few others things are all involved in this but I narrowed it down to what would most likely be the bare minimum for ejaculation (I could be wrong).

So with this in mind let’s consider what is and isn’t possible right now in medical science. With phalloplasty we can create an aesthetically pleasing, fully sensate penis of average size that one can use to urinate from and can achieve orgasm with. It can’t get hard on it’s own and it you can’t ejaculate from it, but otherwise you’ve essentially got all of your bases covered. Creating the urethra itself is difficult enough as is and that’s where 95% of complications from phalloplasty happen, so forming vas defrens and connecting this to the urethra at this time isn’t possible. Neither is the mechanism to close off the bladder or the ability to create functioning testicles. That would require an incredible amount of microsurgery. However, that doesn’t mean it won’t ever be possible. Medical science is advancing by lightyears all the time and there is a team who was recently (last year, I believe) given grants necessary to conduct 5 years of research into medical procedures for veterans, including growing penises. At this time we have the technology to grow full urethras, functioning livers, functioning kidneys, etc. - It won’t be long before this is part of our future. If the research by the medical team I listed just a moment ago goes well it could be as little as 10-15 years (though current estimates are about 15-20+ years).

This is my adorable rescue doggie, Hattie. (She’s not spoiled or anything). She’s been with me for 10 years. Love her to pieces! She was estimated to be around 4 years old when I adopted her. She’s my sweet baby girl!

We’re pooped, as you can see. I just started a hospital job and have worked two 12-hour shifts over the past two days with another one tomorrow. They’re breaking me in right, I guess.

I apologize for not being on here as much, but when I get home, I have to crash in order to do it again tomorrow. I’ll be back soon, I promise. Till then, happy scrolling to you all! Thanks for following me. 🤗


A Mosaic of East Asian Brazilians from the city of São Paulo

East Asian Brazilians are Brazilians who descend mainly from Japanese, Chinese, and Korean immigrants that began entering Brazil in significant numbers at the end of the 19th century. The city of São Paulo has the largest concentration of East Asian Brazilians.

From the time of their first arrival to Brazil in 1908, the Japanese formed the largest single national group of non-European immigrants. In 1890 the government prohibited Asian and black immigration unless specifically authorized by an act of Congress. Under pressure from powerful planters who saw Asian immigrants as a way of cheaply filling their labor shortage, the Brazilian government lifted the restriction in 1907. On June 18, 1908, the Japanese vessel Kasato Maru docked in Santos, the port for the city and state of São Paulo. The ship carried 165 families, a total of 786 people, who had come from Japan to work as “colonists” in the coffee fields of Brazil. Over the next six years, approximately 14,200 immigrants, referred to by the Japanese word nikkei (Japanese-American) were brought under similar contracts. Most left the plantations after fulfilling their labor contracts and moved to the city and suburbs of São Paulo. The flow of immigrants from Japan was interrupted at different points because of wars (especially during the 10 years surrounding World War II) and other restrictions, but continued until 1961. The estimated more than 250,000 nikkei settled in São Paulo (73 percent) and Paraná (20 percent), with a scattering to other states: Mato Grosso (2.5 percent) and Pará (1.2 percent). Originally concentrated in agriculture, especially in truck farming, the community spread to many social niches, in particular commerce and, since the influx of Japanese investment beginning in the 1960s, into industry. Although there have been two state ministers in the government of Japanese background, most of the nikkei have concentrated in business and in the intellectual and artistic strata. They have had little impact on Brazilian political life. Through natural increase the Japanese Brazilian community is estimated at approximately 800,000 and is now in its fourth generation. It is the largest concentration of Japanese outside of Japan.

Nowadays, among the 1.4 million Brazilians of Japanese descent, 28% have some non-Japanese ancestry. This number reaches only 6% among children of Japanese immigrants, but 61% among great-grandchildren of Japanese immigrants. Being that most Japanese Brazilians settled in predominately white areas of Brazil, the majority of intermarriages involving them have been with descendants of post-colonial white immigrants namely: Italians, Spaniards, and Lebanese people in São Paulo & Germans, Italians, Poles, and Ukrainians in Paraná.

The two groups of East Asians with the largest diasporas in Brazil after the Japanese, are respectably the Chinese and Koreans. Despite the fact that Chinese people have had a presence in Brazil since at least the late 18th century, no significant waves of immigration occured until the 1950’s. São Paulo has the largest Chinese Brazilian population, in particular on the district of Liberdade. Besides being an area famous for its strong Japanese presence, a significant number of Taiwanese immigrants have settled in Liberdade, and many Chinese immigrants have come to Liberdade following the Communist revolution in 1949. Many Cantonese from Hong Kong and Portuguese-speaking Macau, including some Macanese of mixed Chinese and Portuguese descent, have also settled in Brazil. Korean immigration to Brazil also began in the 1950’s. The Korean descended population in Brazil is the largest in all of Latin America with the majority (around 92%) being centered in the city of São Paulo. Most Korean Brazilians in the metropolitan area live in the neighborhoods of Liberdade, Bom Retiro, and Aclimação. On 6 January 2010, the São Paulo City Council officially recognised Bom Retiro as Koreatown.

Self-reported East Asian ancestries of inhabitants of São Paulo include:

665,000 of Japanese descent, 

120,000 of Chinese descent, 

44, 550 of Korean descent. 

Trump to propose big cuts to safety net in new budget this week
The president will deliver his most detailed look at how he wants to change government.

Damian Paletta at WaPo

President Trump’s first major budget proposal on Tuesday will include massive cuts to Medicaid and call for changes to anti-poverty programs that would give states new power to limit a range of benefits, people familiar with the planning said, despite growing unease in Congress about cutting the safety net.

For Medicaid, the state-federal program that provides health care to low-income Americans, Trump’s budget plan would follow through on a bill passed by House Republicans to cut more than $800 billion over 10 years. The Congressional Budget Office has estimated that this could cut off Medicaid benefits for about 10 million people over the next decade.

The White House also will call for giving states more flexibility to impose work requirements for people in different kinds of anti-poverty programs, people familiar with the budget plan said, potentially leading to a flood of changes in states led by conservative governors. Many anti-poverty programs have elements that are run by both the states and federal government, and a federal order allowing states to stiffen work requirements “for able-bodied Americans” could have a broad impact in terms of limiting who can access anti-poverty payments — and for how long.

Numerous social-welfare programs grew after the financial crisis, leading to complaints from many Republicans that more should be done to shift people out of these programs and back into the workforce. Shortly after he was sworn in, Trump said, “We want to get our people off welfare and back to work. . . . It’s out of control.”

Trump’s decision to include the Medicaid cuts is significant because it shows he is rejecting calls from a number of Senate Republicans not to reverse the expansion of Medicaid that President Barack Obama achieved as part of the Affordable Care Act. The House has voted to cut the Medicaid funding, but Senate Republicans have signaled they are likely to start from scratch.

The proposed changes will be a central feature of Trump’s first comprehensive budget plan, which will be the most detailed look at how he aims to change government spending and taxes over his presidency. Although Trump and his aides have discussed their vision in broad brushes, this will be the first time they attempt to put specific numbers on many aspects of those plans, shedding light on which proposals they see making the biggest difference in reshaping government. Congress must approve of most changes in the plan before it is enacted into law.

Trump offered a streamlined version of the budget plan in March, but it dealt only with the 30 percent of government spending that is appropriated each year. In that budget, he sought a big increase in military and border spending combined with major cuts to housing, environmental protection, foreign aid, research and development.

But Tuesday’s budget will be more significant, because it will seek changes to entitlements — programs that are essentially on auto­pilot and don’t need annual authorization from Congress. The people describing the proposals spoke on the condition of anonymity because the budget had not been released publicly and the White House is closely guarding details.

The proposed changes include the big cuts to Medicaid. The White House also is expected to propose changes to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, though precise details couldn’t be learned. SNAP is the modern version of food stamps, and it swelled following the financial crisis as the Obama administration eased policies to make it easier for people to qualify for benefits. As the economy has improved, enrollment in the program hasn’t changed as much as many had forecast.

An average of 44 million people received SNAP benefits in 2016, down from a peak of 47 million in 2013. Just 28 million people received the benefits in 2008.

SNAP could be one of numerous programs impacted by changes in work requirements.

Josh Archambault, a senior fellow at the Foundation for Government Accountability, a conservative think tank, said that giving states the flexibility to impose work requirements could lead to a raft of changes to programs ranging from Medicaid to public housing assistance.

“One of the encouraging things about putting this in the budget is that states will see if it works,” he said. “States will try it.”

SNAP already has a work requirement, which typically cuts benefits for most able-bodied adults who don’t have children. But states were given more flexibility during the recent economic downturn to extend the benefits for a longer period, something that split conservatives at the time.

Michael Tanner, a welfare expert at the libertarian Cato Institute, said the U.S. government spends between $680 billion and $800 billion a year on anti-poverty programs, and considering wholesale changes to many of these initiatives is worthwhile, given questions about the effectiveness of how the money is spent.

‘We’re not seeing the type of gains we should be seeing for all that spending, and that would suggest its time to reform the system,” he said.

Many critics have said work requirements can include blanket ultimatums that don’t take into account someone’s age, physical or cognitive ability, or limitations put in place by the local economy. Benefits from these programs are often low, and hardly replace the income someone would earn from a job. And critics of stricter work requirements also believe it could pave the way for states to pursue even stricter restrictions, such as drug tests, that courts have often rejected.

After The Washington Post reported some of the cuts Sunday evening, Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) said Trump was pulling “the rug out from so many who need help.”

“This budget continues to reveal President Trump’s true colors: His populist campaign rhetoric was just a Trojan horse to execute long-held, hard-right policies that benefit the ultra wealthy at the expense of the middle class,” he said.

The proposed changes to Medicaid and SNAP will be just some of several anti-poverty programs that the White House will look to change. In March, the White House signaled that it wanted to eliminate money for a range of other programs that are funded each year by Congress. This included federal funding for Habitat for Humanity, subsidized school lunches and the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness, which coordinates the federal response to homelessness across 19 federal agencies.

Leaked budget documents, obtained by the think tank Third Way, suggested other ways the White House plans to change anti-poverty funding. These documents show a change in the funding for Social Security’s Supplemental Security Income program, which provide cash benefits for the poor and disabled. It’s unclear, though, what those changes might look like. A White House official said the Third Way document was out-of-date and would not comment on specifics in their files.

Medicaid, SNAP and the SSI program are now classified as “mandatory” spending because they are funded each year without congressional approval.


Beyond an increase in the military budget and new money for border security, the White House is expected to call for $200 billion for infrastructure projects and an additional $25 billion over 10 years for a new program designed by Ivanka Trump that would create six weeks of parental leave benefits.


(Lin x Reader)

This is my first fanfic so sorry it’s bad. It’s not that long but I am continuing this. 

WARNINGS: Might suck

I’ve known Lin long enough to know that he is the number one person I can go to for anything and trust him with it. He was the first person I told when my parents had gotten divorced when I was only in the sixth grade. My father had been having an affair with his assistant for little over a year, and needless to say in the end he left my mom and I for her. Lin was always supportive in everything I did and I was the same way with him. We both went into theater together when we were in middle school and that’s where it all began. 

Keep reading

You know what really upsets me? It’s pretty unanimously accepted (even by conservative think tanks and policy wonks) that if you truly only care about reducing the deficit, as paul ryan pretends to, that adding a public option to the affordable care act would reduce the deficit by 100-200 billion (many preferred estimators say 154) pver 10 years. That’s no small feat. That’s amazing. Like don’t get me wrong, that’s not a game changer, but that is the most efficient way to shrink the deficit whilst maintaining the least amount of casualties when it comes to healthcare. It shrinks the deficit MUCH more than Trump’s proposed healthcare bill would, with the added benefits of being just one measure (unlike the tangled shit show that trumpcare is) and causing no coverage loss (and actually increase coverage).
My point is that it would be *trivially* easy, even if you didn’t give a shit about coverage, to take that option because it was easier and would be more successful and would have the byproduct of improving coverage.
And they’re not doing that because the absolute (and in my opinion reprehensible) goal of house republicans is huge, hundreds of billions of dollars of tax cuts for households that making over 250,000 dollars. Because, I keep trying to find an example here, and I physically cannot find a reputable and reliable source that demonstrates any other potential advantages of this bill.
Like honestly… the Cassidy-Collins bill has some interesting technical features, and it’s conservative in principle, but it isn’t a gigantic tax cut on the wealthy. and that’s partially bc bill Cassidy and Susan Collins are somewhat interested in protecting their constituents and have actual conservative principles beyond “let’s tax the rich less.” Now I may disagree with their bill on principle and on its merits and potential success, but at least it has potential merits outside of a gigantic tax cut for the rich.
The problem is that if that huge tax cut is prerequisite of your bill, then you’re far more limited in what you can do and it’s virtually impossible to improve coverage. If you agree that that tax cut needs to be In there, you can’t have healthcare.
There’s something fundamentally disingenuous of house republicans to present this as healthcare policy when, in actuality, it’s tax policy.
And I know the senate isn’t going to pass that version of the bill and that the 13 Rich white men who comprise the senate working group are going to rewrite healthcare for the whole country and it’ll magically be better than the congrsssional version, but how am I supposed to expect that with the track record? And I realize that congress is shittier than the senate and that these congressman specifically have very little policy and governance experience and were elected almost explicitly because they were meant to hurt the efficiency of politics but what the actual fuck has the senate done lately to prove that they were more than slightly less shitty than congress?
Also, The technical quality of this is so… subpar. It’s so poorly written and sloppy and poorly drafted. I could have written a more coherent document with a staff team made up of high school students. Jesus fucking Christ.
It’s literally harder to write a bill this poorly, with the recourses at their disposal, than to write something better.
This is ludicrous.
Sorry. The more I read about this the more upset I get. And there’s no one to talk to about it

anonymous asked:

How do you feel about phalloplasty?

Edit, April of 2015 - This was posted in July of 2014. There have since been new advancements in the realm of 3D printing penises but they did not exist at the time of this post. Estimates for when this 3D printing can be utilized for trans men do not exist currently as human trials in cis men are not even ready. Human trials for cis men are scheduled to occur in 4-5 years. Current estimates from the team in charge of this research, as well as prominent surgeons performing bottom surgery, say that this research won’t be available for trans men for another 15-20 years. [End of update]

I have very positive feelings about the outcome of the operations. I’ve done about as much research as a person can possibly do right now on phalloplasty, so I can answer most questions people have about it. I spend a good amount of my time clearing up misconceptions about phalloplasty, such as the very false idea that a person loses all sensation or won’t be able to orgasm afterwards (the reality being that nearly everyone reports satisfactory sexual sensation) . There’s a lot of extremely inaccurate information out there that continues to be spread every day and it’s dissuading people from having phallo done even though they want it. The reality right now is that phalloplasty results in a penis that is of average length, that is “passable” as a cis males penis, that one can use to urinate standing up and can use for sex, that retains tactile and erotic sensation from base to tip. To spare a lot of *’s, all of that also depends on the surgeon, surgeons technique, what operations the person opted for, and how the person heals, so keep in mind that there is variation. For instance a person might not have urethral lengthening done, so they’ll still sit down to pee.

As of right now there is also an immense amount of research going into phalloplasty itself as well as various other procedures that, combined, has a large potential to result in us being able to have phalloplasty done without the need for skin grafts or erectile devices some time within the next, say, 10 years. For instance it’s estimated that in 7 years using a 3D printer and stem cells to ‘print’ skin grafts will be commonplace, which gets rid of the need for donor sites; There is research into producing urethras from stem cells, also getting rid of the need for a donor site and further minimizing the complications of phalloplasty (which at this time almost all complications are related to urethral issues); There is research into creating large scale erectile tissue, which would take away the need for an erectile device and would allow us to achieve natural erections.

When research into all of this is completed and is able to be brought together the end result is a phalloplasty that has minimal scarring, can become erect on it’s own, and has a vastly reduced risk of urethral issues that might require further operations to fix. This doesn’t mean it’s a matter of sewing a fully developed penis onto a person, don’t get me wrong. I’m optimistic but I’m not unrealistic. There is still the matter of ensuring proper blood flow, of harvesting a nerve to attach to the nerves already present in your genitals so that it can grow and you have full sensation, of ensuring there is no necrosis of tissue while healing, and various other details, but it’s still a vast improvement in terms of how intensive the operations are right now. You’d most likely still need to have glansplasty done (to sculpt the head of the penis) and you’d need to have your testicular implants put in, but that’s this would be a large improvement.

I realize I may have gone a little off tangent here. Long story short, I believe that phalloplasty is a necessary procedure for me to live my life fully and as such I’ve done everything I can to be fully informed on what results are like now and where the surgical operations are headed in the future. I believe that where results are now is incredible and I believe that improved surgical techniques are not far away.

The Family of Man

1955’s The Family of Man, an ambitious exhibition that brought together hundreds of images by photographers working around the world, was a forthright declaration of global solidarity in the decade following World War II. The exhibition, organized by noted photographer and director of MoMA’s Department of Photography Edward Steichen, took the form of a photo essay celebrating the universal aspects of the human experience. Steichen had invited photographers to submit photographs for consideration, explaining that his aim was to capture “the gamut of life from birth to death”—a task for which, he argued, photography was uniquely suited. The exhibition toured the world for eight years, attracting an estimated 10 million visitors. See the full installation and more on our website as part of our exhibition history.

Fossilization is an extremely rare event.

To appreciate this point, consider that there are 10 specimens of the first bird to appear in the fossil record, Archaeopteryx.

All were found in the same site in Germany where limestone is quarried for printmaking (the bird species name is lithographica). If you accept an estimate that crow-sized birds native to wetland habitats in northern Europe would have a population of around 10,000 and a life span of 10 years, and if you accept the current estimate that the species existed for about two million years, then you can calculate that about two billion Archaeopteryx lived.

But as far as researchers currently know, only 1 out of every 200,000,000 individuals fossilized. For this species, the odds of becoming a fossil were almost 40 times worse than your odds are of winning the grand prize in a provincial lottery.

—  Biological Science, Second Canadian Edition (Textbook); Freeman, Harrington, Sharp

Anonymous said: Yo in response to your post about how long it would take to defeat Zarkon, you estimated the time it took the gaang in ATLA as 2 years, but actually the entire series take place over the course of about 10 months. So really if you use the same math but with this time, its a bit less than 10 years, your original estimate


YOOOOOOOO I googled it and you guys are right, it was really only like a year to save the world for the Gaang…. So huh, maybe it will take only 10 years then??

Also someone highfive me cause ten years was my original guess before I tried rationalizing it 🙌🏼🙌🏼🙌🏼🙌🏼🙌🏼🙌🏼🙌🏼


One of the old favorite doomsday scenarios is that Earth’s magnetic poles will realign themselves, causing worldwide destruction and the end of humanity as we know it. While researchers say the death and destruction part of that theory is unlikely, what they are in agreement about is that Earth’s magnetic poles are realigning. 

A recent study from the European Space Agency found that Earth’s magnetic fields are actually weakening at what some might consider an alarming rate. New measurements put the rate of magnetic field decay at around five percent per year, which is about 10 times faster than previous estimates. 

The decay is also not uniform. Some spots are decaying faster, while in other areas, the magnetic field is strengthening. Researchers familiar with Earth’s magnetic field aren’t worried, though. They say these recent measurements are proof that Earth’s poles are preparing to flip. The last time Earth’s poles switched was during the Stone Age, so it’s unclear what kind of impact a flip would have on life in our modern era.

This is Toughie, the last Rabb’s fringe-limbed treefrog in the world. His voice has never been recorded, and when he dies, they’re gone. At an estimated 10 years old, this species is nearing the end. Once he lived in El Valle De Anton, Panama. Found in 2005, described in 2008, these beautiful animals were last heard in 2007, one year after chytridiomycosis appeared in the region. Their voices have never been recorded. These are the animals that you don’t hear, the ones you should care about, but don’t know.

Listening To A City: Explaining Breathtaking Decay In Havana

Miguel Coyula pointed at an open door in the middle of Old Havana. The mahogany door was ornate, the concrete facade had lost most of its paint.

“That’s marble,” Coyula said pointing to the treads of the staircase. “They are the remnants of something that was very glorious.”

We were taking a walk with Coyula, an architect and urban planner, through Obispo Street, which he called the spine of Old Havana. There the colonial buildings crowd narrow streets. It’s vibrant and filled with people.

Some buildings are in great shape, but this is an old city, said Coyula, with a housing stock that averages 70 years old. The housing authority, Coyula said, estimates that 10 percent of buildings in Havana are in bad shape, but reality tells a different story.

Most of the buildings along the main avenues are in OK shape, but as soon as you turn off into the residential streets, the decay is breathtaking.

Coyula says there are lots of reasons for the vast degradation of Havana: People don’t have money to fix their homes; the U.S. embargo makes it difficult for the government to step in; the socialist system instituted on the island is too expensive and has created a society used to paternalism.  

We stop next to an old church. It used be where sailors came to be blessed before a long journey. It’s an old building made of stone that has been blackened by time.

“The city is talking,” Coyula says.

He points toward a three-story building on the other side of the church. On the balconies, its residents have hung clothes and an old lady is hunched over the rusted rail, peering at the square. The building is in such bad shape, that it has been condemned, but there are still people living in it.

Coyula points to the apartment in the upper left corner of the building. Someone, he said, has taken the time and invested the money — not an insignificant endeavor in Cuba — to paint just the outside wall of their apartment.

“If you tell people in Havana to pay a fee for the maintenance of a building they will say, ‘No, I don’t own the building. I own the apartment,” Coyula said. So all over Havana, you’ll see buildings that look ready to crumble with hopeful splashes of paint.

In other words, at least when it comes to buildings in this socialist country, individualism has outstripped collectivism. And in a city like Havana, where most people live in apartment buildings, that’s a serious problem.

“It’s like baseball,” Coyula said, resorting to the country’s favorite allegory. Like a Texas leaguer, the overall maintenance of buildings in the city has gotten lost somewhere between the government and individual.

— Eyder Peralta