accredits

  • radical animal rights activists: animals are going extinct we HAVE to do something to save them!
  • accredited zoos and aquariums: *dedicate massive amounts of money to preserve endangered species in captivity so they can be saved and educates the public to their plight*
  • radical animal rights activists: no not that

Do you ever just think about how the guy who made Katara the feminist character she was and steered her character away from the one dimensional trophy Bryke originally wanted,

the guy who rewrote Toph to become a strong revolutionary girl instead of another stereotypical jock to reinforce the “Nice Guy™” message by competing with Aang for Katara,

the guy who developed Uncle Iroh into the supportive and wise guide for Zuko instead of another villain vying for the throne,

the guy who gave us the amazing untouchable redemption arc of Zuko instead of another forgettable villain,

the guy who suggested an evil Azul become the clever tactician Azula corrupted by mad expectations,

the guy who wanted a fourth season of ATLA with more plots explored and loose ends fixed and characters given satisfying endings instead of a rushed third season for a crappy movie,

the guy who wrote more than Bryke

Shipped Zutara??

10 Questions About the 2017 Astronaut Class

We will select between eight and 14 new astronaut candidates from among a record-breaking applicant class of more than 18,300, almost three times the number of applications the agency received in 2012 for the recent astronaut class, and far surpassing the previous record of 8,000 in 1978.

The candidates will be announced at an event at our Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas at 2 p.m. EDT on June 7. You can find more information on how to watch the announcement HERE.

1. What are the qualifications for becoming an astronaut?

Applicants must meet the following minimum requirements before submitting an application.

  • Bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution in engineering, biological science, physical science, computer science or mathematics. 
  • Degree must be followed by at least 3 years of related, progressively responsible, professional experience or at least 1,000 hours of pilot-in-command time in jet aircraft
  • Ability to pass the NASA Astronaut physical.

For more information, visit: https://astronauts.nasa.gov/content/faq.htm

2. What have selections looked like in the past?

There have been 22 classes of astronauts selected from the original “Mercury Seven” in 1959 to the most recent 2017 class. Other notable classes include:

  • The fourth class in 1965 known as “The Scientists: because academic experience was favored over pilot skills. 
  • The eighth class in 1978 was a huge step forward for diversity, featuring the first female, African American and Asian American selections.
  • The 16th class in 1996 was the largest class yet with 44 members – 35 U.S. astronauts and 9 international astronauts. They were selected for the frequent Space Shuttle flights and the anticipated need for International Space Station crewmembers.
  • The 21st class in 2013 was the first class to have 50/50 gender split with 4 female members and 4 male members.

3. What vehicles will they fly in?

They could be assigned on any of four different spacecraft: the International Space Station, our Orion spacecraft for deep space exploration or one of two American-made commercial crew spacecraft currently in development – Boeing’s CST-199 Starliner or the SpaceX Crew Dragon.

4. Where will they go?

These astronauts will be part of expanded crews aboard the space station that will significantly increase the crew time available to conduct the important research and technology demonstrations that are advancing our knowledge for missions farther into space than humans have gone before, while also returning benefits to Earth. They will also be candidates for missions beyond the moon and into deep space aboard our Orion spacecraft on flights that help pave the way for missions to Mars.

5. What will their roles be?

After completing two years of general training, these astronaut candidates will be considered full astronauts, eligible to be assigned spaceflight missions. While they wait for their turn, they will be given duties within the Astronaut Office at Johnson Space Center. Technical duties can range from supporting current missions in roles such as CAPCOM in Mission Control, to advising on the development of future spacecraft.

6. What will their training look like?

The first two years of astronaut candidate training will focus on the basic skills astronauts need. They’ll practice for spacewalks in Johnson’s 60-foot deep swimming pool, the Neutral Buoyancy Lab, which requires SCUBA certification. They’ll also simulate bringing visiting spacecraft in for a berthing to the space station using its robotic arm, Canadarm2, master the ins and outs of space station system and learn Russian. 

And, whether they have previous experience piloting an aircraft of not, they’ll learn to fly our fleet of T-38s. In addition, they’ll perfect their expeditionary skills, such as leadership and fellowship, through activities like survival training and geology treks.

7.  What kinds of partners will they work with?

They will join a team that supports missions going on at many different NASA centers across the country, but they’ll also interact with commercial partners developing spaceflight hardware. In addition, they will work with our international partners around the globe: ESA (the European Space Agency, the Canadian Space Agency, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency and the Russian space agency, Roscosmos.

8. How does the selection process work?

All 18,353 of the applications submitted were reviewed by human resources experts to determine if they met the basic qualifications. Those that did were then each reviewed by a panel of about 50 people, made up primarily of current astronauts. Called the Astronaut Rating Panel, that group narrowed to applicants down to a few hundred of what they considered the most highly qualified individuals, whose references were then checked.

From that point, a smaller group called the Astronaut Selection Board brought in the top 120 applicants for an intense round of interviews and some initial medical screening tests. That group is further culled to the top 50 applicants afterward, who are brought back for a second round of interviews and additional screening. The final candidates are selected from that group.

9. How do they get notified?

Each applicant selected to become an astronaut receives a phone call from the head of the Flight Operations Directorate at our Johnson Space Center and the chief of the astronaut office. They’re asked to share the good news with only their immediate family until their selection has been officially announced.

10. How does the on boarding process work?

Astronaut candidates will report for duty at Johnson Space Center in August 2017, newly fitted flight suits in tow, and be sworn into civil service. Between their selection and their report for duty, they will make arrangements to leave their current positions and relocate with their family to Houston, Texas.

Make sure to follow us on Tumblr for your regular dose of space: http://nasa.tumblr.com

fruitkink  asked:

hey i was wondering how you feel about zoos and aquariums? ive been seeing a lot of people (idk if theyre vegan) trying to support them by saying theyre non profit, accredited animal rehabilitation centers, & that makes them okay? i have a problem with this cos most zoos i know definitely arent for that purpose, they just seem to cage animals up&like ones with zoos r killing polar bears cos its not their natural habitat, & i know many actual rehabilitation centers tht never call themselves a zoo

Hi there fruitkink! 🐙

I totally agree with you on that, Zoos are businesses! Sanctuaries, Natural Reserves, National Parks and such are truly for conservation and nature’s well-being. 

p-dots  asked:

I was wondering if you knew anything about the situation with Billy the Asian Elephant at the LA Zoo? I just received an email from the Zoo that a city council motion was filed to remove Billy from the zoo, and they're still trying to fight to keep him. A lot of people claim he appears stressed which is why there's been a big fight to get him moved. I don't really know a lot about elephants so I don't really know what side is best to take or what sources to take seriously (other than the Zoo).

I’ve been following the story of Billy pretty closely. I’m glad you asked - it’s the sort of thing I think is really important to talk about, because people need to understand what’s going on behind the nicely framed stories about animal activism you hear in the media, but I’m never sure how much of that sort of animal industry politics followers are interested in reading. 

The reason this specific instance is so important is because it’s a hell of a lot more complicated than ‘sanctuary vs zoo, which is better for the animals’. The decision to go after Billy - and only Billy, and only right now - looks to me like a really strategic political decision from the animal rights movement, and it falls in line with what I’ve been researching the history, evolution, and MO of the animal rights movement. As I’ve been learning more and more about how animal rights organizations and their partnered sanctuaries conquer and divide to achieve the change they want to see, a very specific pattern of action has started cropping up and this situation exemplifies how they’ve learned to use legislation, the legal system, and the good intentions of the general public to remove animals from zoos. This explanation is going to seem a little bit like jumping at shadows, but this method of petitioning cities to seize zoo animals as assets - and the really conveniently timed fallout that would result from their success - is textbook animal rights organization planning. 

So here’s what you need to know - if Billy is sent to a sanctuary, the LA Zoo would lose their AZA accreditation. They’d likely then be subject to the new wild animal performance law that’s got major support in LA right now, because only AZA institutions would likely have an automatic exemption. The combination of loss of accreditation, potential inability to do public education and outreach, and the ability of the AR groups to spin the situation as ‘AZA kicked them out for being abusive to their elephants’ would massively damage the viability of the zoo as an institution for the foreseeable future… at which point AR groups could easily petition the city to seize more animals from the collection and send them off to sanctuaries, because it’s now “well known” what a horrible institution the LA Zoo is. That would normalize the idea that animal rights organizations and city officials with no professional animal experience know more about animal welfare than the best zoological institutions in the country, and would set a scary precedent regarding what sorts of institutions the public will accept the animal rights organizations condemning and removing animals from. With that sort of potential fallout - and all of the pieces of the puzzle having been successful, individually, within the last decade or so in regards to other animal rights campaigns - this really is not about a single elephant at all. 


AZA has this one really important rule in their accreditation standards, and it boils down to: any zoo they accredit must be considered the experts and have final say over the care of their animals. If anyone external to a AZA accredited zoo overrules that zoo’s choice of care for their animals in any way, that zoo loses their AZA accreditation because they are no longer viewed as having ultimate control over the welfare of their charges. This is really important when it comes to elephants, as the Toronto Zoo lost their AZA accreditation over exactly this situation: animal rights activists caught wind of TZ’s plan to transfer their elephants to a facility in Florida where they’d live in a bigger herd, and petitioned the city council to send the elephants a the Performing Animals Welfare Sanctuary (the same one they want Billy to go to, which has a known history of uncontrolled tuberculosis infections on the property to this day). The Toronto Zoo is a municipal zoo - which means its animals were city property - and the city council chose to claim the elephants as assets, ignore the evidence of animals with active TB already living at the chosen facility, and then overruled the Toronto Zoo staff’s due diligence about what choice would provide the best welfare for their elephants and sent them away to PAWS. Having been overruled by the city council and having lost control of animals in their collection, the Toronto Zoo lost their AZA accreditation. (They later reapplied and were re-accredited). 

So, if the animal rights activists can convince the city council to claim Billy as an asset and remove him to PAWS, it would really damage the LA Zoo as an institution. Their credibility in the eyes of the public would be destroyed, they’d lose exemptions from federal legislation due to losing their AZA status; they’d be forced to pull out of multiple major SSPs (because only AZA institutions are allowed to house animals in the Green level programs, of which LA zoo has number); they’d likely lose grant funding. What’s more, the zoo would then be subject to the recent law banning the use of any exotic animal in “entertainment”in LA, because if has the same structure as similar legislation we’ve seen in other states, only AZA facilities get an exemption. If true, that would mean the zoo would no longer be able to do education and outreach programs with their animals (and this law was backed by PAWS, the organization that runs sanctuary they’re trying to send Billy to). 

There’s a very specific reason that this whole campaign centers on Billy, not all three elephants, which is part of what makes it so clear this is a campaign with an end goal of damaging the LA Zoo’s AZA accreditation. Billy’s two elderly companions, Jewel and Tina, would be far better candidates to be sent to a sanctuary if welfare is really the concern driving the advocacy. They’re rescues from a private owner who were massively underweight and had chronic medical conditions, and it’s not as important for them to stay within AZA’s management as other elephants because they’re too old to contribute to the Asian Elephant SSP. The LA zoo has previously been willing to send older elephants to the PAWS sanctuary without needing intervention from the city council (that story is discussed below), so why is this newer campaign ignoring the elderly females and bypassing the zoo entirely by going to the city council when their welfare would likely be more improved by that sort of move? Jewel and Tina don’t belong to the LA Zoo - they’re officially part of the San Diego Zoo collection and on loan to LA - which means the city council can’t claim them as assets and forcibly remove them. The only elephant at the LA zoo that the LA city council has the ability to control is Billy, and so it’s pretty clear this is about getting the city council to overrule the zoo’s choices in caring for their collection and not about which elephants would benefit most from leaving the zoo environment. 

This is an attempt by the animal rights industry to undermine the LA Zoo as an organization - that much is clear. Billy is just a convenient figurehead and an animal that the public will empathize with while being completely unaware of the the ulterior motives behind the advocacy effort. It comes at a delicate time, too, as the LA Zoo is currently in the process of developing a new master plan for the future of the facility. That’s a future that would be massively impacted by a loss of accreditation and all the potential fallout that would go along with it. 


So that’s the context to the Billy situation, and why people are fighting so hard on both sides of the issue. But what the public really cares about here isn’t the politics, it’s the animal welfare, so here’s a look at history and the welfare of the elephant at the center of all this furor. 

Billy at the LA Zoo. (Photo Credit: San Diego Blogs)

Billy is one of three elephants at the LA Zoo - he’s the youngest, at 32, and the only male. Billy is kept separated from his two elderly female companions, Jewel and Tina, because he’s young enough to still want to reproduce and would injure the elderly ladies if he tried to mount them. However, while the elephants are always separated by a barrier, the exhibit was designed with heavy-duty wire fences that meant the elephants could always be able to see, hear, and touch each other through it. The LA Zoo Asian elephant exhibit is one of the biggest elephant habitats in the United States at 6.5 acres (with almost four acres of yard space), and was opened in 2010 - the construction of a state-of-the-art habitat was part of the resolution from the first time animal rights activists demanded the elephants move to a PAWS sanctuary. 

In 2006, an elderly Asian elephant named Gita died at the LA Zoo. It’s not clear what led to her ending up in position she did, but she was found laying on her back legs with her front legs stretched in front of her. Nothing they did could entice her to stand back up, and she eventually died as her body weight crushed her own tissue and the toxins released during that process overloaded her kidneys. (While this sounds brutal, it’s worth keeping in mind that this is likely how many elderly large animals die if they lay down for the last time in a position that puts their weight on their own body). Animal rights activists had already been agitating for the LA Zoo’s elephants to be sent to a sanctuary, and they used Gita’s death as momentum to push for Billy and the other female housed there at the time, an african elephat named Ruby, to be transported to a sanctuary where it was claimed her welfare would be much higher than at the zoo. The LA Zoo eventually caved to public pressure and chose to send Ruby to PAWS (keeping their AZA accreditation by doing so voluntarily) where she was immediately housed with other animals without a proper quarantine period, exposed to animals who were TB positive and were not diagnosed until after death, and eventually died herself in 2011 from an unknown disease that looked suspiciously like TB (PAWS declined to send out samples for testing, despite what appeared to be physical symptoms observed during the necropsy). 

Gita at the LA zoo in 1999 in the old exhibit. ( Photo Credit: Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

Billy remained at the LA Zoo after Ruby left, and the organization undertook a 42-million-dollar elephant exhibit renovation with the intention of bringing in another breeding male and a number of females as part of the Asian Elephant SSP. In 2007, local activists sued to halt construction of the exhibit with the goal of removing elephants from the LA zoo permanently and forcing Billy into a sanctuary - after a case that was drawn out for a number of years and repeatedly stalled exhibit construction, the judge assigned instead that the LA Zoo was allowed to continue exhibiting elephants but was required to exercise them frequently, make regular exhibit improvements such as tilling the soil, and banned the use of tools such as bullhooks and guides at the facility. When the new elephant exhibit opened in 2010, the LA zoo decided to put breeding plans for Billy on hold in order to house a pair of bonded female Asian elephants - Jewel and Tina - who had recently been removed from a private owner who had neglected their medical care. 

The three elephants share access to the large, heated elephant barn and have 24/7 access to five unique outdoor yards. Each yard has a substrate of soft sand that is tilled regularly to keep it from becoming compacted and hard - the shifting motion of the sand helps keeps the elephants in shape as they walk over it - and each yard has unique features like puzzle feeders, bathing pools and waterfalls. 

Browse and treats are placed at unique locations around all the yards each day, encouraging the elephants to explore their environment anew each morning. In addition, a comprehensive environmental enrichment program makes sure the elephants always have novel objects and stimuli to interact with and a daily training session (which the public is able to watch as a demonstration most days a week) keeps them mentally engaged by practicing foot care, grooming, practice for any veterinary behaviors that might be needed, as well as strength- and balance-focused exercises.

The AZA accreditation standards - which cover general animal policy in 34 pages, and use another 12 to cover animal interactions with the public or use in education programs - have dedicated 32 pages specifically to the regulations regarding elephant husbandry, training, nutrition, body condition, enrichment, and welfare assessments. As a large AZA-accredited zoo that frequently falls under the celebrity-studded, critical eye of the local populace, it’s inconceivable that Billy’s care (and that of Tina and Jewel) is not in accordance with these highly detailed requirements. 

Photos of the new LA Zoo elephant exhibit. (Photo credits: The Portico Group).

The LA Zoo’s elephant exhibit, finished in 2010, was designed by The Portico Group, a design firm founded in Seattle, WA in 1990. The Portico Group’s exhibit designs consistently awards every year within the industry for their incorporation of the newest animal welfare science and management technologies as well as educational and interpretive options. Their design for the LA Zoo is on par with the quality of the rest of their designs, and features a similar amount of yard space for the elephants as the design they created for the widely-praised Cheyenne Mountain Zoo’s Africa expansion that opened in 2013. 

Billy in his habitat at the LA Zoo. (Photo Credit: AP Photo/Richard Vogel)


One of the biggest reasons people express a concern for Billy is a head-bobbing behavior he’s been known to perform his entire tenure at the LA Zoo. The public is aware that repetitive behaviors (called stereotypies) can be signs of low quality welfare, and often worry that means that Billy isn’t being well taken care of at the zoo. However, one thing that isn’t commonly known about sterotypical behaviors is that once developed, they rarely go away once the animal is in a better welfare situation - which leads guests to often misunderstand an animal’s behavior as it relates to their current care. 

The LA Zoo has studied Billy’s head bobbing behavior over the years, and concluded that it appears to be an anticipatory behavior rather than one brought on by stress, as it mainly occurs when the elephant is awaiting the arrival of food, expecting a keeper interaction, or getting ready for movement into another area of his habitat. They also found that Billy had been noted to be displaying the head bobbing behavior when he came to the zoo at age 4 and that it was not something not something he developed during his life at the facility. 

Just because the behavior doesn’t mean that Billy has low welfare in his situation at the LA Zoo doesn’t mean the staff just want to leave him to bob and sway: to help decrease the amount of head-bobbing Billy does and engage him in a range of other behaviors, the keeper staff change their husbandry routine slightly each day and provide enrichment at different times in order to keep him investigating his environment instead of standing and waiting for regular occurrences. 


At the end of the day, Billy’s welfare does not appear to be the impetus pushing this current furor around “rescuing him” - he’s a convenient figurehead for what appears to be a well-coordinated attempt to undercut the LA Zoo’s credibility and accreditation status. 

But even though the actual welfare of the elephant is irrelevant to the organizations pushing this agenda, the general public is now very invested in understanding Billy’s welfare in regards to the outcome of this situation. 

The sanctuary animal rights activists are recommending Billy be sent to has multiple issues with basic elephant husbandry and medical treatment. PAWS was unable to evacuate their elephants in when threatened by a massive wildfire in 2015, due to their policy against doing even the most basic husbandry training with their animals that would have allowed them to be walked into a trailer or crated for transport. Instead, the animals were sheltered on site as the fire came within a few miles of the facility, putting them through massive amounts of stress and resulting in probable smoke inhalation. PAWS frequently take in animals that are reported as healthy upon transport, only to report having to euthanize them within a few years due to crippling chronic conditions. Most concerning is that PAWS appears to be plagued by frequent tuberculosis outbreaks among their elephants, potentially with multiple strains of the disease, despite their stated adherence to biosafety protocols -and that they have had at least one animal die while sick with active, contagious TB infections that were only discovered post-mortem. 

Billy is currently housed in a modern elephant habitat that was created in accordance with best practices for elephant management by outstanding architects - a remodel that was done specifically in response to the original welfare concerns about LA Zoo’s elephants in the late 2000′s. He has access to state-of-the-art veterinary medicine and is cared for by a dedicated team keepers who practice medical treatment behaviors, like foot care, with him daily to ensure that he can quickly receive treatment in a stress-free setting if it becomes necessary in the future. LA Zoo’s elephant keepers work hard to keep Billy active, mentally stimulated, and make sure he has plenty of positive social interactions with both the human and elephant members of his herd. 

If the goal of the general public is Billy’s welfare, he is far better off in a habitat designed for him to inhabit with the staff he has known for a better part of two decades than being sent across the country to a facility with massive red flags in their elephant management program just to fulfill a political movement’s agenda of damaging the facility that holds him. 


Citations under the cut. 

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i--probably--hate--you  asked:

I would also like to point out that not all AZA accredited zoos are good and live up to the AZA standards. The Memphis, TN zoo is one of them. They're very lacking in terms of space for their animals. The cats are often in small enclosures and pace around so much that the ground has ruts in it from their pacing. I know that repetitive behavior isn't always a bad thing, but to the point of having ruts in the ground? The elephants also look malnourished. They have very saggy skin.

So, yesterday we were talking about how as a guest it’s really hard to make judgement calls about the animals in a zoo because you don’t know anything about their history or how they’re being cared for, and that that’s why it’s really important to ask staff when you’ve got concerns? This ask is a pretty good example of that. 

I reached out to some Memphis staffers after receiving this ask, and was totally honest about why: I said we’d been discussing zoos on my blog and that someone had written in with a couple of specific concerns. Within a day or two, I’d been put in contact with the correct keepers to get answers to my questions.  

What you’re likely seeing as abnormal pacing in the big cats is anticipatory behavior, since that’s a very common thing their animals do when they can see or hear keepers near their exhibit. Trails do wear down naturally in exhibits if animals have preferred walking paths, more so in wet periods such as spring, and in older exhibits the routes most commonly taken by residents are fairly well developed. Since you didn’t specify what species of big cat you were referring to, I wasn’t able to get more specific information, except that there is one big cat who does display some abnormal pacing behavior due to some of her history and that the staff are aware of it and actively working on it. 

I couldn’t find any good photos of their cat exhibits to embed in this post as an example, but what I did see when searching google for images is that almost all of the photos of their cats are taken on perches in the exhibit, such as logs or rock outcroppings. It’s important to remember that for large cats, vertical space is just as important a factor as horizontal space - an exhibit that seems too small in square-footage may in fact have a large amount of usable space comprised of climbing structures, hammocks, and hidden perches. 

As to the elephants, they have saggy skin because they’re, well, elephants - and in one case, one of the oldest elephants in North America. AZA also recently did a large elephant welfare survey that’s being used to improve their elephant care standards, and according to the scale for that study the elephant at Memphis are in good body condition for their age and size. What’s more, they’re in phenomenal health: the Memphis Zoo staffers have been running a metabolic study on the three elephant ladies at their facility, so they’ve got the data to back up that claim. 

I would hazard a guess that if you’d taken the time to ask any Memphis staffers while on grounds, or to reach out to their social media team with questions after leaving, you’d have gotten the same information that I did. I know people really want to think they can make informed judgement calls about the welfare of animals in zoos, but unless you happen to have personal animal management experience with that specific species, it’s probable that you’re going to be completely off-base. Especially at AZA zoos, assume there’s information you don’t have and something you’re probably seeing, and ask a keeper for clarification. 

a bit about the rankings of angels

seraphim (singular: seraph): these are the angels closest to God, in charge of guarding His throne. they help to rule over heaven and maintain order. usually, they are depicted as beings of pure and radiant light or fire - though many do have a human form as well. seraphim are often known for their voices, be it for the gorgeous songs they sang or the terrifying holy screeches they unleashed. though these may be some of the most orderly and composed angels, they can also be some of the most emotional. 

cherubim (singular: cherub): these angels are most often remembered for being the guardians of Eden. Now, however, they are said to be guardians of holy places on earth. they typically have many wings, eyes, faces, limbs etc., though, like seraphim, they may also have a more human form. cherubim are responsible for keeping harmony in heaven, and providing power to those in His kingdom. these angels are more likely to be peaceful and docile than confrontational, but of course there are exceptions.

thrones: usually depicted as beings of fire and many eyes, these angels are the ones who carry out God’s orders. they are most known for their inhuman forms, often described as being wheels. thrones are the bringers of justice in heaven, and, on earth, likely retain their strong moral compass. these angels are secretive and tend to keep to themselves and other thrones, so they have a lot of mystery surrounding them.

dominions: dominions were the leaders of the lower angels, offering advice and direction. they are very tied to heaven, and not likely to interact with humans. they are described as divinely beautiful, often with glowing skin, eyes, hair, or wings. their true forms tend to be more human-like than the angels above them in rank, and are usually remembered for their appealing appearance (to other angels, humans would of course be startled by them). these angels are thoughtful and determined, though friendly.

virtues: these angels are those who bring God’s grace to earth. though they do not interact directly with humans usually, they bring miracles and enlightenment to the world and its inhabitants. they are brilliant and powerful, though almost always benevolent and peaceful. virtues are angels of choice, and accredited with keeping earth moving forward and developing further. though they are naturally good and kind, virtues can be fierce fighters if necessary.  

powers: these are the angels in charge of defending heaven from hell and providing balance in the universe. they are often depicted as warriors and soldiers of God, though they are usually on the defensive rather than offensive. powers are wise, and it is said that they are the keepers of history. they are immensely loyal to heaven, and some believe no power has ever fallen. 

principalities: principalities are protectors of certain places, nations, cities, or groups of people on earth. they usually derive their physical characteristics and personality from the place/people they are watching over (for example, a principality of a lake may have blue or green tinted wings, wear pearls or water plants, and have a calm and peaceful personality). they also teach valuable lessons to those on earth, and are said to be the ones who inspire humans to create or invent. 

archangels: these are the warriors and protectors of human life. they are the commanders in God’s armies, and the ones to relay his most important messages to humans. they are incredibly loyal to their cause in heaven, but also show empathy towards humans and fallen angels. they show a great deal of understanding towards others, and because of that can be persuaded to join a cause even if it goes against heaven - although this is rare. archangels tend to be very complex, but their dedication and ferocity is constant.

angels: common angels are the ones most concerned with humans. there are different types of these angels, such as messengers to humans and personal guardian angels. it is difficult to categorize these angels as a whole, as there are so many of them. they are highly diverse, and the most like humans in both personality, morality, and appearance. 

fallen angels: these are angels who no longer serve heaven, and now reside on earth. typically it refers to angels who have sinned or rebelled and are then cast out of heaven by God, but there are other ways in which angels can become “fallen” as well. angels who desire free will, or fall in love with a human/humans can also be cast out. fallen angels can originate from any of the ranks above.

Aries are described as brash and offensive, egocentric and reckless..but they are exploring life with the bare innocence of a child, chartered by brilliant imagination, they are putting together a personality, so they are learning at every moment. Taureans are gluttonous, obsessed with food and overeat comes up a lot… I think it’s more the expression of a high sensory sensitivity, a longing for gourmet and culinary delight… Taurus is the enjoyment of good food and good wine … wellness and pleasure… Gemini is not so ‘split’ in the sense of being purely binary, but rather very adaptable and multiple, they can wear a thousand faces with some sort of chameleon magic… Cancer is not merely an obedient mother, but more the zodiac’s most powerful, enchanted protector, guardian, and creator. Cancer is how we find God, through the channel that bought us life. Cardinal energy can be a great assault and Water is no weak element… Leo is as egocentric and grandiose as he is self conscious and self contemptuous. In his mirror is not always a royal lion but also a frightened child… Virgo not so much compulsive in cleanliness but more the individual needs to structure the environment in an order that makes some sort of sense in her mind, doesn’t have to for the rest of us… there are patterns they make no one else can see…Libra is not avoidant or always threatened by conflict, some of the world’s most formidable leaders are Libras…many pioneering female leaders in history. Saturn, the sign of social standing and prestige exalts in Libra. Scorpio information centres around their brutality, envy, and violatily. But Scorpio is also the great healer, the underworld sorceress, the wise mystic. Sagittarius is not an air headed backpacker nor a simple clown… Sagittarius is a sign of tremendous spiritual potential, intuition for symbolism, and deep psychological work. There is a guru that rests inside Sagittarius. Capricorn is not always so cold and self interested in professional ascension. Often there is a significant human concern and conscience. They cherish the accreditation and recognition of people more than others realise. Aquarius is not always bizarre and eccentric but rather a direct expression of a purely individual spirit, this isn’t always flamboyant and grand, but an Aquarius walks to his own beat in life, and he wouldn’t even notice or try to be eccentric… Pisces can be regarded as weak and melancholic, although the greater benefic Jupiter rules Pisces… fortune is found where they seek with the spirit… much power can be wielded by the Pisces sign

newt-fruit-main  asked:

Hey! I am very pro-AZA facilities, but I am a little bit concerned about your recent comment on sanctuary breeding. Sanctuaries and rescues are NOT receiving genetically valuable animals, usually they come with no genetic history, and are inbred for color morphs or mixed species (i.e. tigers)! This wouldn't be smart breeding for conservation like the SSPs! (1/?)

The animals they receive should essentially be considered like the excess domestic dog/cat populations in the US (only big and dangerous), because there truly are more than there are available suitable homes for. The argument of breeding for conservation in captivity has to be done in line with responsible breeding that’s part of a larger networked plan, because roadside zoos breed all kinds of animals irresponsibly (filling up the sanctuaries) and claim conservation.

Most of what you’re saying is true, and what you’re most concerned about re: the SSP mention is going to be an issue in the future. However, there are a couple things I want to respond to because they’re going to be super important for people who care about big cats to understand in the near future, in regards to conservation and the sanctuary industry and animal rights interactions. I’m gonna break those down below, but it’s not intended as a smackdown - you just gave me a great opening to talk about something I’ve been realizing I need to write about. To give you some context: I’ve spent the last couple months digging into the histories of sanctuaries and rescues as an industry and studying a lot of the exotic animal legislation that has been proposed/passed in the last couple decades. That means I’ve been researching the evolution of legislation and how animals move (both around the US, and between types of placement) in response to it, and what legal actions or public petitions influence those movements. The holistic picture is… interesting. 

First, though, I want to talk about a couple of the statements you made - because they’re super common in sanctuary messaging right now and, most importantly, have started showing up in legislation and lobbying regarding big cats recently. 

The lack of known lineage for big cats coming into sanctuaries and rescues was really only accurate in the 90s and potentially early 2000s, and from what I can really was at latest an issue up until 2007. The 90s was the period when the big cat population in private ownership in the US was out of control and rescue began to be a big deal - hence the formation of the current major big cat sanctuary organizations. The last large number of big cats of “unknown origin or lineage” left private hands and went into sanctuaries between 2004-2007, as people prepared for the full enforcement of the Captive Wildlife Safety Act (which, among other things, prohibited moving cats across state lines). After that point in time, the need for rescue - by which I mean hoarder situations or animals that truly were not receiving appropriate care, not exotic pet politics framed as abusive - dropped off sharply because anyone who hadn’t given up their big cats prior to 2007 was very aware that the CWSA meant that they were responsible for keeping those animals for life because they could no longer be easily transported to a new owner or another facility. So, a decade after that, animals coming into rescue are generally coming from either pet situations or are confiscations from private facilities. The people who are currently breeding big cats outside of AZA accreditation - regardless of what else you think about them or their practices - are smart enough to understand that inbreeding can occur and that tracking bloodlines is important. All of the exotic pet communities are pretty small and tight-knit in the US, so I can’t believe that there’s no known lineage for the animals currently ending up in sanctuaries. It might not go back more than a couple generations, or might not be something the sanctuaries are given, but it’s got to exist. 

I’m also really skeptical about the whole “there are more big cats than there are suitable homes for” messaging that’s omnipresent in the rescue and sanctuary industry right now, for two reasons. One, there’s no agreement on what a “suitable home” for a big cat is: the Animal Welfare Act is the federal set of requirements for appropriate care, but sanctuaries and animal rights groups consistently condemn places that meet that criteria, and only AZA likes the idea of AZA standards being a requirement for a suitable home, since most facilities don’t have the funding and mission to become part of the AZA. This means there’s no other set of standards that sanctuaries and rescues can point to to back up a claim about a situation for a big cat being ‘not good enough’. Since sanctuaries continue exist because they house confiscated animals, in the absence of data or concrete standards used to quantify a bad situation, any statement they make about big cat quality of care is inherently embroiled in politics. 

Two, the current numbers for captive big cats in the US just do not make sense. They’re all over the place and appear to be estimations because there aren’t primary source citations in any document - legislative or media - that I’ve found past 2003, and even that’s iffy. 

Let’s just look at tigers, for instance. In 2003, a paper Nyhus and Tillson estimated that there were anywhere between 5000-12,000 captive tigers in private hands alone in the US. The excuse given for such a huge potential range: the authors think most pet tigers would be kept illegally and not reported. It goes on to say the most likely estimates are between 7000-9000, but following up on those sources simply gives me news articles where the one of the authors is quoted about those numbers - there’s literally no data or study cited to support that. Okay, so, hold on, we’re guesstimating in a scientific paper about the existence of multiple thousands of tigers, multiple times more than exist in the wild, because of an utter absence of data and the determination that people lie? That doesn’t seem right.  But, then, in 2008 a report on tiger trafficking done by Fish and Wildlife said there are “as many as” 5000 tigers in the US - total, including in zoos and sanctuaries as well as private hands. They were using data from a single 2005 study, which estimated 3349 tigers in “private” hands (2120 in USDA licensed facilities that were not considered zoos or sanctuaries and 1129 in non-exhibition situations). That’s a drastic difference from 2003-2005, and only the 2005 citation shows evidence of actually having data backing it. Now, fast forward to the last couple of years. In 2014, the World Wildlife Fund states that of the 5000 tigers it thinks are in the US, 4700 of those tigers are in private hands. In 2015, the founder of the sanctuary group Tigers in America stated that he thinks there are actually upwards of 7000 tigers in the US with no mention of location. Neither of these statements have any sort of citation, and those numbers don’t make sense. It’s been a decade since the last mention I can find of an actual study of the locations of big cats in the US, so does that mean the numbers that are now being used in legislation and advocacy efforts are simply estimates based on how many pet tigers these organizations think people aren’t reporting? Not to mention, the numbers don’t make sense - the Captive Wildlife Safety Act, as well as many pieces of state-and local-level legislation restricting big cat ownership have majorly restricted the ownership, transport, and breeding of big cats. How are the numbers going up as legislation gets more restrictive? If anyone can show me actual data on the number of big cats in captivity in the US post-2005, I’ll happily update this post - until then, I remain pretty skeptical about this supposed surplus of big cats because after months of searching I’ve found no primary data anywhere to support it. 

Next, let’s chat about roadside zoos for a second. If you’re not aware of why I think that appellation is outdated and meaningless to the general public, please take a second to read this article I wrote about the topic. This is especially pertinent to this discussion, as many facilities outside of AZA (frequently referred to as roadside zoos) directly contribute to the success of SSP programs - see Mill Mountain Zoo’s success with Pallas Cats and Red Wolves, and Tanganyika Wildlife Park’s success with Clouded Leopard breeding. Not all non-AZA places are of the same quality - some do still promote breeding color morphs or talk about white tigers as a separate subspecies - but it’s inaccurate to say that all roadside zoos don’t contribute to conservation or just “fill up sanctuaries” with excess animals. 

Okay. Now, on to the SSP and sanctuaries comment. Most of the cats coming into sanctuaries right now are either previous pets or animals confiscated after animals rights investigations, as mentioned above. Right now, AR groups aren’t going after places that participate in SSPs… but that’s not going to last. For years, HSUS has been campaigning to close down every zoo that isn’t AZA. You can see that in their rhetoric, and in the fact that in every single piece of legislation and media they right they directly contrast how AZA does things with the horrors of roadside zoos. As of earlier this month, the CEO of HSUS made a statement indicating that AZA is partnering with them to help police the rest of the zoo industry - and the biggest focus that HSUS wants to see from AZA is help shutting down roadside zoos, according to a representative who spoke on HSUS’ behalf at the 2016 AZA national conference. It’s convenient that there’s no operant definition for “roadside zoo” published anywhere in HSUS literature since 1980, isn’t there? (See the linked article above for that discussion). This leads us to the question of what happens to the big cats in external facilities that participate in SSPs when animal rights organizations start going after facilities they deem “roadside zoos” or those they condemn for simply not being AZA. Somehow I sincerely doubt they’ll deviate from the long-term plan of shutting them all down just because they happen to support a decent big cat conservation program. When HSUS lobbies to have a facility investigated, and the Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF, the legal branch of the AR organizations) get involved with advocating to have animals removed from a facility, there’s always a sanctuary or two ready and willing to take those poor animals -  and they’re all ones that are tightly associated with the animal rights organizations and decry the breeding of their residents. So yes, I do think we’re going to see genetically valued animals “rescued” from facilities where they were part of legitimate, planned breeding programs in the near future and put in sanctuaries where they can no longer contribute to the conservation of their species. 

I also don’t think it’s a stretch to say that the animal rights organizations will eventually start going after AZA, once all the other zoos have been driven out of business or had their animals confiscated. The head of BCR has said publicly that she wants to see all cats removed from zoos and in sanctuaries by 2025 - and that she plans on doing it by first turning the public against roadside zoos, and then by taking in all the big cats the zoos abandon after she convinces the public that they’re fundamentally immoral for having them. That lines up pretty neatly with the current rhetoric coming out of sanctuaries and animal rights organizations about zoos right now, and hey, BCR and HSUS and ALDF are all sponsors of all the recent big cat welfare petitions to the USDA and heavily involved in lobbying for congressional legislation like the Big Cat Public Safety Act. Still not convinced? In the newest iteration of the BCPSA, AZA-accredited facilities are no longer accorded their historical exemption from the proposed regulations. 

Big cat sanctuaries may currently only have cats who aren’t considered valuable to conservation programs, but I don’t think it’ll stay that way. All of the animals who came into the sanctuaries because of the Captive Wildlife Safety Act in 2007 (along with a ton of funding, because pretty faces and sob stories are great for fundraising) are reaching the end of their natural lifespans. If the sanctuaries want to continue to exist, they have to get new animals from somewhere - and you can see them beginning to turn against the zoo industry and demand ownership of their animals. It’s scary, but it’s real, and it looks like it’s starting already - in late 2016, ALDF notified Landry’s Downtown Aquarium (an AZA facility) of their intent to sue for removal of their tigers under the Endangered Species Act if Landry’s did not send the cats to an accredited sanctuary. 

Some of the relevant citations:

Frank-Walter Steinmeier Next President of Germany

Today, February 12, 2017, Frank-Walter Steinmeier was elected by the Federal Convention (Bundesversammlung) as the next president of Germany. He will assume office on March 18, 2017.

Steinmeier, member of the SPD, was the candidate of the Great Coalition consisting of CDU, CSU, and SPD currently governing Germany. He was also supported by the Green Party and the FDP.

Dr. Frank-Walter Steinmeier grew up in a carpenter’s family in the rural Lippe area in North-Rhine-Westphalia. He studied law and political sciences in Gießen and received a doctoral degree in law in 1991. He was hired at the office of the prime minister of the state of Lower Saxony, Gerhard Schröder, in Hannover, where he quickly advanced his career. He followed Gerhard Schröder after his appointment as chancellor to Berlin, where he soon became chief of the Chancellor’s Office. In this position, he was one of the driving forces of the Agenda 2010 reforms, which are generally said to be the foundations of Germany’s current economical success, but were (and still are) controversially discussed with regards to their impact on social affairs and the coherence of the German society.

After Angela Merkel assumed Chancellorship of a Great Coalition in 2005, Steinmeier was appointed as foreign minister. In 2007, he became vice-chancellor. He was appointed again as foreign minister in the third cabinet of Angela Merkel and resigned in January 2017 after he was nominated as the joint presidential candidate of the Great Coalition.

In 2010, Steinmeier donated a kidney to his wife, Elke Büdenbender, to save her life.


Unlike in many other states, the president of Germany, as the official head of the state, has a mostly ceremonial and representative role. The duties of the office involve:

  • to represent Germany in the world under international law (signing international contracts, accrediting German diplomats, receiving international leaders and letters of accreditation of foreign diplomats, etc.)
  • to propose a chancellor candidate to the German parliament
  • to appoint and dismiss the chancellor (after parliamental vote) and the ministers of the federal government; the president does not have the right to reject the resignation of a chancellor
  • to appoint and dismiss high federal officials and military (requiring counter-signature of chancellor or the relevant minister)
  • to regularly meet with the chancellor and the ministers for confidential consultations
  • to sign and promulgate the law, with the right to reject his signature (happened only eight times so far)
  • to dissolve the Federal Diet (Bundestag, German parliament) under certain circumstances
  • to declare war, after the the government has determined a state of defense
  • to exercise the power of pardon on the federal level (but he has no right to issue an amnesty)
  • to declare a state of legislative emergency by request of the cabinet if no chancellor could be elected. During this period, bills submitted by the government become law after his signature even if the federal diet rejects them, but the Federal Council (upper chamber of parliament representing the sixteen states) has to approve them. Legislative emergency does non suspend basic human rights, nor does it give the executive branch exceptional power. Legislative emergency has never been declared so far.
  • to assume the patronage over projects and initiatives that have a positive impact on the German society. He is the regular patron of the German red cross and the German maritime search and rescue sevice.
  • to decide upon the national symbols after counter-signature of the chancellor
  • to occasion state ceremonies
  • to confer the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany and other minor decorations

The Federal President does not have the right to issue decrees without counter-signature of a member of the Federal Government; that means that he cannot execute political power against the will of the government, with the sole exception of the strictly regulated state of legislative emergency.

The Federal President, committed to political neutrality, usually acts by the power of the word. He is independent of daily politics and free to set his topics. This way, a number of presidents have by speeches initiated public debates that materialized in law some time later. Notable examples are the speech of Richard von Weizsäcker on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the end of world war II, and the “Ruck-Rede” (”Jerk Speech”) by Roman Herzog. The former speech substantially shaped Germany’s current culture of remembrance, the latter initiated the debate that eventually led to the Agenda 2010 reforms by the government of Gerhard Schröder.

In case the office of the president falls vacant, the president of the Federal Council (Bundesrat) temporarily assumes the duties of the office until a new president is elected, which should be done within 30 days.

The president enjoys immunity from prosecution and cannot be voted out of office. The Federal Diet can revoke the immunity in case the president is offended of willfully violating the law. The Federal constitutional court has then to determine whether the president is guilty of the offense and has the only authority to remove the president from the office.

The president resides in Bellevue Palace in Berlin and has a second office in Hammerschmidt Villa in Bonn. His car carries the number 0-1, and the aircraft carrying the president has the call sign German Air Force 001.

The president assumes a honorary godfathership for the seventh child of a family. He helps German artists in need by a single donation or by giving the a honorarium. He offers his congratulations for special anniversaries, such as the hundredth birthday of a German citizen.

anonymous asked:

God damn why is Redline such a perfect film. Me and my girlfriend have watched it once every year since 2011, usually because we're showing it to someone new every year.

Reasons Why Redline Is 10/10

  • Completely over the top and aware of itself, but doesn’t patronise the viewer with winks and nods
  • Every frame is absolutely gorgeous (heavily accredited to the magnificent use and awareness of the colour black)
  • The soundtrack is absolutely banging
  • Characters talk like they’ve lived actual lives and have had experiences instead of being generic cutouts you see in a lot of anime
  • machineHEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEAAAAAAD
  • Excellently paced, the film knows when to slow down and then ramp things up again
  • That fucking pompadour (and interesting character designs in general)
  • Story is simple and functional enough the carry the drama and action seamlessly

anonymous asked:

@consult Jess, I live in Australia too and am looking into getting an assistance dog for autism. My question is, did you train your dog yourself, or obtain them through an assistance dog organisation? And was it difficult to qualify for a dog for psychiatric reasons as an adult? And how much did they cost?


I owner trained my assistance dog - which means I did it myself. I did consult 2 trainers, one of which is my sister who happens to be a trainer and she assisted in the process. 

The first thing I would recommend you do is join the facebook groups Aussie SD/AD and Australian Assistance/Service Dog Handlers Support Group. There you will be able to get feedback and responses from a variety of people in the Aussie AD community, with experience with a whole range of issues. Their is a screening process for these groups to ensure the safety of members so you will be sent a message with some questions. Existing members are also usually asked to vouch for new members as being legit (because as you may know fake service dog teams is a big issue in our community) so if you wish to join you can PM me your fb name at chronicallyspoonless.tumblr.com or if you want to have a more ongoing conversation about this you can contact me there. 

I would also recommend you start following some service/assistance dog teams on social media- a lot of us have fb pages. This will give you more insight into what life with a AD is like. Many of the members of the groups I mentioned above have pages. I will give you some links to good ones down the bottom 

Marvelous Mutts Dog Services also posts some really good information and is run by the person who runs one of the AD groups and is a big advocate in the OT community. The infographic of costs comes from her. 

In terms of qualifying as an owner trained team - basically you just need to be disabled by your illness. In Australia Assistance Dogs (AD’s) are covered under the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (commonly referred to as the DDA). This covers both owner trained and program dogs. Your state will also have its own laws about assistance animals. 

 Section 9 of the DDA states that:  

(2)  For the purposes of this Act, an assistance animal is a dog or other animal: 

  • (a)  accredited under a law of a State or Territory that provides for the accreditation of animals trained to assist a persons with a disability to alleviate the effect of the disability; or  
  • (b)  accredited by an animal training organisation prescribed by the regulations for the purposes of this paragraph; or   
  • ( c) trained:      
  •       (i)  to assist a person with a disability to alleviate the effect of the disability; and      
  •       (ii)  to meet standards of hygiene and behaviour that are appropriate for an animal in a public place. 

Section 9c is the part that allows for owner trained assistance animals. To decode the legal stuff: basically this means that to be a real assistance dog protected by the DDA there are 3 main components: The handler must have a disability The dog must be trained in tasks specific to needs arising from that individual’s disability. The dog must be able to behave appropriately in public, be toilet trained, non-aggressive, clean and healthy. 

So in terms of your question about qualifying - from an OT perspective - its not hard if you have a disability all you need is a doctor who knows you well to agree that you are disabled by your illness and that an assistance dog would assist you in dealing with your disability, and the doctor has to be willing to sign their name to it basically. 

In terms of qualifying for a dog from a program - that is almost certainly more difficult but as I have not had a program dog (yet - i am currently looking into it as an option for my next dog), I would say your best source of information is to check those FB groups I mentioned and ask there - there are many people with program dogs in there, including people with program dogs for autism.

I’d also like to mention there is a middle ground category - there are some organisations (orgs) that allow you to train a suitable dog (may be your own dog, you may purchase a dog, they may assist you in finding a suitable dog) and have the dog tested and qualified by the org to say yes this dog meets legal standards. The org will provide you with legal support and will help when there are access issues. MindDog is one of the best know orgs that does this for people with mental health conditions and although autism is a neurodevelopmental disorder it is covered by the DSM and still covered by MindDog. 

In my opinion, assistance dogs are fantastic tools and I owe my life to one, but fair warning that it is not an easy solution or a cure all. They take a lot of work and its not something you can do on a whim - Im not saying you are like that - I tell everyone this because these are living creatures not a piece of technology or a medication that you can just trial and throw away if it doesnt work.

LINKS (to access the youtube links, hover over the names):

  • Jaquie Blake - Has an OT service dog for many illnesses - she is autistic. Instagram (IG): Helper Dog Harlow AND Chronically Jaquie 
  • Tatyana Schneider - Multiple severe illness but not autistic - owner trained dogs. Follow her on facebook on that name or on youtube (particularly watch her older videos when she was less sick and able to post more)
  • Service Dog Colt - Janaye has a TBI and Colt is an amazing example of an OT service dog. IG: Service Dog Colt
  • Paws and Love are another fantastic OT team - NJ also post training videos of tasks like DPT that you may find useful (if you would like a tasks post send in another asks and I’ll make a separate post as this is quite long already). IG: nerdkidanddoge 
  •  The Service Dog Life - Another OT dog - Hazel is trained primarily for severe allergy alert 
  • The Frey Life - Mary has a service dog for cystic fibrosis however he is not the focus of their vlog, however they do have some videos specifically about service dog stuff. IG: The Frey Life 
  •  And finally - us - I don’t post public access so much any more and this is mixed as my personal and AD account but you are welcome to check it out - I do have task posts you just need to scroll through if you want. Tumblr, IG: adventures_with_bindi 
  • Marvelous Mutts Dog Services:  

I hope this ridiculously long post is helpful - feel free to contact me through asks on here or my personal blog if you have more questions.

- Jess (and Bindi)

anonymous asked:

How vital of a role do accredited zoos play in the role of wildlife conservation?

I really believe in the role that zoos play in wildlife conservation - you only have to visit one to see the wonder in people’s faces as an ancient connection is retriggered with an animal, insect, or bird. It’s a place where people can connect with nature - and a really important one for those people who might not have the opportunity to do it in the wild. The best zoos do this really well - not just triggering wonder, but following through with conservation results on the ground in the wild. I partner with Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle a lot, and it really does feel like a conservation organization first and foremost. They support great research and education work all over the planet and see it as one of their most important roles. But not all zoos are equal, so it is up to visitors to help push the needle in the right direction, making sure that zoos are seen as places to learn and to take action. Then of course the role of zoos for captive breeding of endangered species is essential. What a lot of people don’t realize is that there is a large and essential body of professionals from the zoo world that carefully monitors the genetic ‘stud books’ for countless species as a part of the international conservation picture.

Why does this galaxy spin so fast? 

To start, what kind of galaxy is this? It’s hard to tell.. It has dark dust lanes like a spiral galaxy but a large diffuse bulge of stars like a lenticular galaxy. 

Surprising observations show that UGC 12591 spins at about 480 km/sec, almost twice as fast as our Milky Way- the fastest rotation rate yet measured! The mass needed in order to hold a galaxy together that is spinning this fast is several times the mass of our Milky Way. Scenarios as to why this is happening with UGC 12591 include slow growth by accrediting ambient matter, or rapid growth through a recent galaxy collision or collisions. Future observations may be able to help us tell. 

The light we see today from UGC 12591 left about 400 million years ago, when trees were first developing on Earth!

Image Credit: NASA, ESA, Hubble

Thesis on Morgoth and Sauron and their roles as Dark Lords (Part 1/4)

For my Tolkien project, I decided I was going to explore the dynamics of Morgoth and Sauron and see if I could make an estimate as to whether or not one was more effective as dark lord than the other. I did this in regard as I would not be able to debate whether or not one was more powerful (seeing as the Valar are higher beings then the Maiar, and seeing that Melkor was the eldest, he of course is indisputably stronger than Sauron).

However, just because you’re more powerful doesn’t always mean you’re more effective. We see this all throughout history in examples where generals themselves might not be very capable in battle but are able to gain mastery by being clever strategist. Therefore that inspired me to research if one could argue whether or not Morgoth or Sauron came closer to accomplishing their goal—dominion over Middle Earth (or Beleriand).

I did this by looking at a few key characteristics—longevity of rule (but more importantly, what was achieved), servants (those who served under them and attributed to their victories), their primary enemies (or the state of those they fought against), as well as their defeat (and what caused the finale fall). Then I concluded with their legacy and the impact they have throughout the legendarium.

 

General Disclaimer

  • I am not at all an expert, just a very passionate individual in Tolkien’s lore. Therefore some of what is stated throughout this essay may be based upon faulted research and weighed heavily by personal interpretation and opinion. So please do keep such in mind. Most of the information here was found within The Silmarillion, The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, The Unfinished Tales, as well as Tolkien Gateway and Wikipedia.

 

Longevity of rule

  • Important note to make here. Just because you are in power for a long majority of time doesn’t necessarily mean you used that time wisely. I’m sure most of us are very familiar with procrastination. Therefore I did not look simply at length of ‘reign’, but more so the accomplishments (and losses) experienced throughout the span of their rule.

 

Morgoth

Approximately 590 years (Years of the Sun)

  • Melkor is incredibly hard to estimate the exact length of time he was in power. This is because the majority of the Valian Years are left without date. The first primary experience of time is with the Years of the Trees, but even then how time is recorded will be drastically different when the Valar raise the sun and the moon
  • Therefore it is often argued as to whether or not the First Age is the longest or shortest of ages. If you try to make an assumption over the span of the Valian Years and couple it with the First Age, you are left with it being nearly 50,000 years in length. However, if you are to attribute the First Age with the rising of the sun to the defeat of Morgoth, it is around 590 years.
  • I took liberties here and for the sake of sanity, decided to account the beginning of Morgoth’s dominion in Beleriand being with the awakening of man and therefore the rising of the sun, equaling more so to the 590 years it would take until he is defeated. However, anyone can argue that his reign could be anywhere between 50,000 to 590 years, give or take a few.

Sauron

Approximately 6,462 years (Second to Third Age)

  • Sauron is easier to calculate in terms of authority than Melkor, seeing as recorded dates were more of a thing when he was around. However, it is still slightly difficult, as Sauron’s reign tended to act like that of a heartbeat; having its occasional rises and falls. Therefore to give one total of years in power is a little vaguer, seeing as he came and went throughout the second and third ages.
  • However, he was still present in Middle Earth for around 6,462 years (from the start of the second age to his eventual fall in the third age). Therefore that is the timeline I am going to associate with his rule. You could deduct 500 years, seeing as it wasn’t until S.A. 500 he began to rise in might in Middle Earth following the end of the First Age. You could also deduct years from the duration of his defeat in the Battle of the Last Alliance of Elves and Men as well as the time spent as being the Necromancer in The Hobbit.
  • But as I did so with Morgoth, I decided to take some liberties and simply to go with the start of the Second Age to his fall in the Third, seeing as he was still a threat for 6,462 years. However, this to can be reasonably debated and argued.

 

Accomplishments and Losses

  • Like stated, longevity doesn’t accredit to a successful reign. Therefore it is important to understand what each individual did in the time that they were given. However, it is also important to note: Just because you accomplished a lot, didn’t mean these accomplishments had long lasting effects or were of any significance in the long run. Losses themselves may even outweigh what was accomplished in terms of being effective or attributing to the finale victory.

 

Morgoth

Major Accomplishments

  • Destruction of Arda (V.Y. Unknown): Known also as the First War. Melkor assaults his brethren and disrupts the ordered symmetry they seek to build within Arda, causing cataclysmic events and shaping much of the geography
  • Destruction of the Two Lamps (Y.L. 3450): Melkor destroys the two lamps, ending the Spring of Arda
  • Destruction of the Two Trees (Y.T. 4995): Known also as the ‘Darkening of Valinor’ Manwe hosts a festival in Valimar to heal the feud of the Noldor. Melkor and Ungoliant destroy the Two Trees.
  • Capturing of the Silmarils (Y.T. 4995): Morgoth assaults and kills High King Finwe and steals the Silmarils. Feanor becomes High King and his sons swear an oath against Melkor and he is renamed Morgoth. The Noldor depart from Valinor, and the First Kinslaying occurs with the slaughtering of the Teleri and the sieging of their ships
  • Doom of Mandos (Y.T. 4996): Noldor are banished from Valinor and face great doom
  • Fall of Man (F.A. 60-c. 200): Morgoth is absent from Angband, after discovering Men. Persuaded by Melkor, Men stop worshiping Eru and turn to evil but some revolt. According to legend, Men now lose the gift to die at will as the result of divine punishment, and are doomed to lead short-life spans at the end of which death takes them by force.
  • Curse of the House of Hador  (F.A. 472-500): Morgoth chained Húrin to a chair on the slopes of Thangorodrim for not revealing the location of Gondolin, and from there– through Morgoth’s sorcery– he could watch the tragedies that would befall his family and the curse destroy his children, Nienor and Túrin.
  • Fall of Gondolin (F.A. 510): Gondolin, the Great Hidden City of Turgon and the Noldor, was betrayed by Maeglin and sacked by Morgoth’s forces. Resulted in the deaths of Turgon and the Lords Glorfindel and Echelion, but the defeat of Gothmog as well. Tuor and Idril escape.

Conclusion

  • Many of Morgoth’s accomplishments were ineffective in the longevity of Middle Earth. While Morgoth became close to victory after the Fall of Gondolin, much of what he achieved was often worked around.
  • When Melkor raised Arda, the Valar rebuilt it, when the lamps were destroyed, the Valar built the Trees, when the trees were destroyed, the Valar raised the sun and the moon. When the silmarils were stolen, only Feanor and his sons rallied an oath against him and such resulted in their own doom.
  • Morgoth’s curse and the fall of Hador had little impact in Morgoth’s overall goal of conquest. It was very much an issue of personal spite and achieved only the demise of one household.
  • However, the Fall of Man and Gondolin could very well be considered long lasting achievements. Men wouldn’t be restored until Numenor, and even then only a selected were given the longevity of lives. Gondolin allowed for Morgoth to draw close to a finale victory and was, in all terms; a success.
  • Therefore, only two of his eight achievements supported his overall goal.

 

Major Losses

  • Intimidation of Tulkas (Y.L. 1500): Tulkas arrives, the last of the Valar to descend into Arda. Melkor flees from him and hides in the halls of Ea
  • Siege of Utumno (Y.T. 4590): The Valar march to war against Melkor on behalf of the Elves and lay siege to Utumno in 4592. Known as the War of the Powers
  • Chaining of Angainor (Y.T. 4599-900): Melkor is captured, and bound in the great chain Angainor, Utumno is destroyed. Melkor is taken to Valinor in chains and sentenced to serve a term in the Halls of Mandos for three ages and then later freed from his sentence by Manwe.
  • Betrayal of Ungoliant (Y.T. 4995?): Melkor withheld the Silmarils in his right hand, having desired them too greatly to allow the Great Spider to devour them. In response, an enraged Ungoliant wrapped Melkor in her webs, and poised to devour him as punishment for his perceived betrayal. Having grown far larger and stronger than before by absorbing the light of the Two Trees, the Gloomweaver would have killed Melkor had not his cry of desperation been heard by his Balrogs, who took flight and saved their master
  • Siege of Angband (F.A. 60-455): Battle of Dagor Aglareb, the Noldor defeat Morgoth’s forces and start the Siege of Angband. Known also as the “Long Peace” it lasted hundreds of years in the early expanse of the First Age when the Noldor sieged the fortress of Morgoth. It was a time of plentitude, peace and happiness for Elves and Men and was when the Noldor reached the peak of their power. However the siege was not complete and Morgoth was able to send out forces through secret passages from the towers of Thangorodrim.
  • Battle of Fingolfin (F.A. 456): Fingolfin challenges Morgoth to single combat and is slain but cripples Morgoth in response for the remainder of the First Age.
  • Quest of the Silmarils (F.A. 466): Beren and Luthien come to Angband and achieve the Quest of the Silmaril by gaining a silmaril from Morgoth’s iron crown. They return to Doriath but Carcharoth ravages the land.
  • Slaying of Glaurung (F.A. 499): The first worm of Morgoth is slain by Túrin though later results in the death of he and his sister Nienor.
  • War of Wrath (545-587): will be discussed in The Finale Defeat (stay tuned for section 4)

 

Sauron

Major Accomplishments

  • Lieutenant of Angband (Y.T. 4599): Destruction of Utumno. Sauron escapes capture and remains in Angband, breeding orcs and trolls for Melkor
  • Corruption of Tol-in-Gaurhoth (F.A. 455-465): Finrod’s fortress of Minas Tirith is taken by the forces of Sauron; Tol Sirion is renamed Tol-in-Gaurhoth, “Isle of Werewolves”. Beren sets out for the Quest of the Silmaril. Receives the aid of Finrod Felagund. Here they are imprisoned in Tol-In-Gaurhoth following the duel or duelet of Finrod and Sauron. Finrod is slain by a werewolf but Beren is rescued by Luthien.
  • Creating the Rings of Power (S.A. 1200-1600): Sauron seduces and deceives the Noldor in Eregion in the guise of Annatar but Gil-Galad and Galadriel mistrust him. The Noldor under Celebrimbor are instructed by Sauron, and begin forging the Rings of Power. Sauron forges the One-Ring in secret and completes the building of his fortress Barad-dur. Celebrimbor begins fighting Sauron
  • Fall of Eregion (S.A. 1697): Eregion destroyed ending one of the last great elven strongholds in Middle Earth and Celebrimbor is slain, thus ending the line of Feanor. The doors of Moria are shut and Elrond establishes Rivendell in secret.
  • Fall of Númenor (S.A. 3255-3319): Ar-Pharazorn the Golden weds his first cousin Miriel, and seizes the throne of Numenor. Ar-Pharazorn sails to Middle Earth and takes Sauron captive. Sauron is taken prisoner to Numenor but begins corrupting the Numenoreans and becomes court advisor to Ar-Pharazorn. Sauron establishes himself as High Priest of Melkor, the Faithful are openly persecuted and sacrificed to Morgoth. Ar-Pharazorn sets foot on Aman.
  • Atheism in Númenor (S.A. 3300): Sauron convinces the Numenoreans that Eru was a lie created by the Valar to keep the children of Arda complicit. Melkor was then the giver of freedom, for he wished to empower man and not chain them as the Valar desire. Atheism = a disbelief in Eru as the Valar were not true ‘gods’
  • Recovery of the One-Ring (S.A. 3320): Gondor founded, Sauron returns to Mordor.

Conclusion

  • Sauron’s accomplishments were dramatically more long lasting within the longevity of Middle Earth then that of Morgoth.
  • The creating of the Rings of Power would continue to cause numerous incidents of greed, war and temptation, lasting well into the Third Age until his finale defeat. Those that wore the rings were bound to them and twisted into creatures called Ringwraiths, whose fates would forever be depended upon them. Those that possessed the One-Ring would find themselves becoming mad on its power and some even had to take leave to Valinor in a hopes to recover from its taint
  • Eregion was considered one of the last great elven kingdoms in Middle Earth, alike to the glory of those in the First Age. Upon its fall, nothing of similar power would be created by the elves in Middle Earth beyond those of pocket realms held by lords and ladies.
  • Much of the same, Numenor was considered to be the greatest kingdom of man and nothing in its likeness would be found in Middle Earth again. Upon its fall, Valinor was removed from the earth and Arda itself became round and foreign.
  • Lastly the recovery of the One-Ring allowed for Sauron to grow in malice and might once more, and he would return twice again to lay siege to Middle Earth.
  • Therefore five of his seven accomplishments attributed to his succession towards domination and the former two allowed for Sauron to gain much needed experience before allowing his aggression to stretch outward.

 

Major Losses

  • Humiliation of Huan (F.A. 465): Sauron takes the guise of a great wolf and attempts to overpower the hound Huan. However, he is gravely wounded and his forms stripped of him and he flees in the disguise of a bat and is not seen for the remainder of the First Age. This allows for Beren and Luthien to succeed in the Quest of the Silmarils (see Melkor’s Losses)
  • Rejection of Eönwë (F.A. 590?): After the War of Wrath, Sauron adopted a fair form and repented of his evil deeds in fear of the Valar. Eonwe then ordered Sauron to return to Valinor to receive judgement by Manwe. Sauron was not willing to suffer such humiliation and fled and hid himself in Middle Earth.
  • Forging of the Three Rings (S.A. 1590- T.A. 3021): Celebrimbor forges the Three Rings in secret. Would later be possessed by Elrond, Cirdan/Gandalf, and Galadriel. Known also as Narya (Ring of Fire), Nenya (Ring ofWater) and Vilya (Ring of Air)– preserved the beauty of Elven lands and would ward off Sauron’s power and influence throughout his return in the Third Age.
  • Minastir’s Navy (S.A.1700): Tar-Minastir (11th King of Numenor) sends a great navy to Lindon. Sauron is defeated and his forces retreat from the coasts of Middle Earth.
  • Fruit of Nimloth (S.A. 3280): The White Tree of Gondor is said to be tied into the fates of men and should it be burned or destroyed, their empires shall fall. Isildur steals a fruit from Nimloth, the white tree is burn in Sauron’s temple thereafter. Later given to Aragorn and replanted in the Third Age following Sauron’s defeat.
  • Drowning of Númenor (S.A. 3319): Ar-Pharazorn sets foot on Aman; the World is Changed. Aman and Tol Eressea are removed from Arda. Numenor is drowned and the world is made round. Elendil and his sons arrive on the shores of middle earth. Sauron is removed of his fair form.
  • the Last Alliance of Elves and Men (S.A. 3441): Elendil and Gil-Galad face Sauron in hand to hand combat. But they perish, though Isildur takes the shards of his father’s sword Narsil and cuts the One-Ring from Sauron’s finger. Sauron’s physical form is destroyed and Barad-dur is razed to the ground. Many elves depart to Valinor thereafter.
  • The Fellowship of the Ring (T.A. 3018-19): will be discussed in The Finale Defeat (stay tuned for section 4)

 

Overall Conclusion

  • This is not at all a professional essay and therefore it may be founded upon faulted information and heavily weighed by personal opinion. However, in concerns of longevity of rule but more importantly, of accomplishments; Sauron succeeded more towards his goal of dominating Middle Earth and the free people found within. His achievements possessed greater impacts in the longevity of Middle Earth. For more on Sauron in the Third Age, please wait for section 4 which will discuss The Finale Defeat.
The Nursing Major

You’ve been going to community college for the past 4 years on and off, taking classes as you can afford them out of pocket. You’re about two semesters of credit hours away from transferring to an actual university when you get the acceptance letter to EU. You never applied. You were going to go to a state college that you can commute to from home and work, because lets face it. There’s no chance of being able to afford going away to school. The letter is found in the mailbox on Tuesday as you’re getting home from a 12 hour shift. You think it must be some kind of mistake. So you shred it and don’t give it much more thought. You get another acceptance letter the next Tuesday. And the next and the next. Finally you call the school to find out what’s going on. You’ve been randomly selected for a new and experimental scholarship program. You work at the campus hospital as an Nursing Assistant/ Nurse Technician during regular semesters and summer semesters and for two years as a Registered Nurse after you graduate and they will pay ¾ of your tuition as long as you get your nursing degree through the EU. They have a very good tuition rate for such a highly accredited institution. Working wages and the scholarships will cover everything with just enough to live off of. Dorm arrangements and meal plans are covered by the scholarship. An old Friend Of The Family recommended you for the program. They do not mention a name of the Friend Of The Family. The school is in your state even though you’ve never heard of it. You tell the Dean you are willing to take the EU under consideration for when you are ready to transfer schools. When you’re ready to apply every other school is full. None of the programs have room for you. You were accepted but then they tell you the spot doesn’t exist. You’ve applied numerous times. You’ve been waitlisted for 6 months everywhere close by when you get an acceptance letter from the EU. Congratulations you have been selected for the final spot in the program. We are in need of healers and are excited to see you on campus soon! You are too relieved to be in the program to question much until you get to orientation. Something is off about the campus. You can’t put your finger on what. The crows are friendly at least. The squirrels on your last campus were all assholes. They’d chase you down for anything resembling food. The crows seem much more polite about it. You feed them on the way to orientation. They tell you about campus life in the auditorium. The student traditions make the hairs on the back of your neck rise. Didn’t great grandma do those kinds of things too? Did you ever find out the name of that Friend Of The Family? This is all starting to seem much too good to be true. You resolve to go back over the wording of the acceptance to the program and scholarship with your counselor as soon as possible. It’s only a 2 year program. You can make it through right?

[x]

anonymous asked:

What's your opinions on these "learn self defence!" videos circulating around social media? Particularly the ones with the woman doing Krav Maga in staged scenarios, with no resistance from the "attacker"? I'm inclined to side with the majority of commenters that the moves seemed really risky for the given situations and probably would end in serious pain for the defendant. I also have been told Krav Maga was designed for anyone to be able to use effectively. Do these videos mislead viewers?

The biggest problem with the “Learn Self Defense!” videos is the idea that you can learn self defense from a video. That’s pretty much the end of it, honestly. If you want to learn self defense, you need to train in a safe environment with a professional you trust. You also need to train with other students, as that helps you learn to account for different body types, weights, and the other minutia that cannot be gained by watching a film.

Films like that are for martial artists who are in training at a school and already have a grasp of the fundamentals. The student who has been training for some time will be able to see what’s happening in these videos, in ways that someone who has never trained can’t. Videos like this can be educational, but they aren’t for raw beginners. The beginner doesn’t have the knowledge to really understand what they’re seeing and absorb the techniques, much less apply them should they encounter trouble.

When you’re looking at demonstration or how to videos on Youtube, it’s important to remember that they are, for the most part, a marketing ploy meant to attract new students to the school. They’re meant to peak your interest, so you’ll go in and check it out. They are not meant to be your only source of education, especially if you have no idea what you’re doing to begin with.

That doesn’t even begin to account for the bad advice, the risky techniques, and the vast majority of martial artists for whom practical self defense is not their primary focus and not what they specialize in. This includes martial arts like Krav Maga. Martial artists are all different, they come with a wide variety of interests and focuses. It’s important, always, to try and locate who the professionals in the field are and those considered an actual authority by the community they claim to represent.

One of the best places to go if you want to find good self defense courses is to ask at your local police precinct. Many of them run their own self defense courses and there will be those who practice martial arts outside of specific police training on the force. That’s a decent place to start when trying to navigate the overflow of martial arts schools in the area.

You want someone who will provide you with not just the technical skills and techniques, but also the knowledge of what to look for so you can avoid trouble before it begins. It helps to know what predators look for in their victims, how to be aware of your surroundings, and what to do when faced with trouble. These self defense videos, by and large, won’t teach you survival tactics like moving toward other humans when you’re under attack or feel like you’re about to be. If someone is screaming at you on the subway, don’t wait for someone else to get up and intervene. Move toward them. The vast majority of predators want victims who are alone and isolated. They don’t want to engage with numbers. You aren’t guaranteed bystanders jumping to your defense, but they’re more likely to if the guy yelling at you is suddenly yelling at them too.

You cannot learn self-defense from a video. You can sometimes get helpful tips and aids, but it’s not a foundation. Like any house, a solid foundation provides a base to build off of. If the foundation is solid, the house is solid even as you add more rooms on later.

I see it a lot on social media where someone well meaning who suffered a traumatic incident goes, “reblog to save a life, if I had known this…” and I feel for them on that. They’re trying to help others and that’s an admirable goal.

The problem is knowing isn’t enough. It isn’t enough to save you.

You need to practice. You need to train. You need a teacher who can correct all the bad habits you will inevitably create, who can adjust you when you’re going wrong. A woman can throw off a man double her own weight if she trains for it, but she can’t do it just because she knows it’s possible and saw a video where someone else did it. She has to learn how to do it herself.

My advice to social media is to get off the internet, go find an accredited school or even just a course run through your local precinct, and get to work.

-Michi

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Traditional Witchcraft vs Hereditary Witchcraft

Traditional Witchcraft is a path of witchcraft that is heavily historically based, usually centered on the medieval through the romantic periods. There is a continuity of magical tradition through textual transmission and spiritual work. Generally these witches have investigated grimoires, trade guilds, historical records, trial records, folklore and folk songs. Much of the source material is not specifically accredited to witchcraft and the term witch is used for its postmodern meaning as a person who practices a counter cultural form of spirit work and magical practice.

Hereditary Witchcraft is a folk magic tradition passed down through family traditions over multiple generations often tracing back through the romantic period. These traditions are passed orally and through handwritten family collections. Often the past family members may not have used the term witch, but the term was adopted in its post modern sense after the popularity of Wicca. Often these practices became blended with Wicca material because of the similarities by more recent descendants of the family.

Initiatory witchcraft. Lineages of traditional or hereditary witches can be passed down. Hereditary lines sometimes open up to those outside the family to survive. Initiatory forms of witchcraft have oaths and private aspects of the powers and wisdom of the traditions that they reserve for after the initiation sacraments.

Spirit initiated witchcraft is a form of witchcraft where spirits are the primary transmitters of the tradition. Powers and lessons and sacraments of initiation are given by spirits to the witches generally in ecstatic trance states.