Climate change: Species climbing higher and migrating north, study says

Most interesting to me, from a land-use law perspective, is the impact on conservation easements that were written to protect certain rare species. There are conservation areas owned by government set aside to protect rare and endangered species. Well, what happens to the property when, say, a rare, protected turtle decides to move and migrate north? 

The study of 1,376 species of plant, animals, and insects found that,

“…warming climate is driving species toward higher latitudes at an average of nearly twice the pace that studies indicated in 2003. And species are migrating to higher altitudes nearly three times faster.”

Vivian Maier: Amateur with a Sharp Eye

I’ve been following the odyssey of Vivian Maier for a while now. It’s a truly remarkable story: an entire archive of wonderful amateur shots found at an auction and loving brought to light by lucky discoverer, John Maloof. Maier’s work, however, is far from amateur, and the street scenes and people she captures offer us a unique glimpse of Chicago. God bless the outsiders. 

Great article and gallery at the CS Monitor

In China, a church-state showdown of biblical proportions

Christianity is booming in China, propelling it toward becoming the world’s largest Christian nation. But as religion grows, it spurs a government crackdown.

A good (and long) read. While Christianity may be on the rise in China, continue to pray for our brothers and sisters there, many of which are still meeting in the underground “house churches." #china #Christianity#persecution #csmonitor

Palestinian 'freedom riders' board Israeli buses in protest

Drawing what they say are parallels between Israeli policies in the West Bank and the laws in the Jim Crow American South, Palestinian activists emulating the ‘freedom riders’ of 1961 attempted to ride into Jerusalem on an Israeli bus today. (Click link.)

Trivia: Bram Stoker author of Dracula

Until age seven, he was a sickly, bed-ridden boy ‘at the point of death’

Stoker was not known principally as a novelist

During his lifetime, Stoker was not known as a novelist but as the personal assistant of an actor.

Dracula’ was once titled ‘The Un-Dead,’ and Count Dracula was originally Count Wampyr

Unlike most adaptations, which typically appear years after the novel on which they are based, the theatrical adaptation of “Dracula” was written by Stoker himself and presented before the novel’s publication. It debuted at the Lyceum Theatre where Stoker worked under the title, “Dracula, or The Undead,” and was performed only once.

Sure, it’s the most famous vampire novel, but “Dracula” isn’t the first one. Nor was it the most unusual. Sheridan Le Fanu wrote “Carmilla,” about a lesbian vampire who stalks lonely young women, in 1871. “Varney the Vampire” by James Malcolm Rymer, an 1845-47 gothic horror series, also preceded “Dracula.” (In fact, “Dracula” was probably inspired by “Carmilla” and “Varney the Vampire.”) And in 1819, John Polidori penned “The Vampyre” based on the summer he spent with Frankenstein creator Mary Shelley, her husband poet Percy Bysshe Shelley, and Lord Byron. These, and many other works and life experiences, helped inspire Stoker to write “Dracula.”

Stoker invented the blood-sucking mythological creature’s modern form. As such, he is regarded as the unsung hero of the modern vampire/zombie mania that Hollywood and the publishing industry sunk its teeth into with such works as the “Dracula” movies, “Twilight,” “Vampire Diaries,” “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter,” “True Blood,” and many more. Thanks to Stoker, modern Americans can’t stop feeding on vampire culture.