In March 2015, by far the largest reported mass mortality of baleen whales took place in a gulf in Southern Chile. At that moment, researchers discovered 367 dead whales, from the sector of Gulf of Penas and Puerto Natales, in Magallanes region.  

In May the scientific journal PeerJ published the final study on the mass stranding event, most of them sei whale (Balaenoptera boreal), whale species which is endangered. According to the research, led by Vreni Häussermann, the event was related to the proliferation of toxic algae during the El Niño phenomenon.

While large mass mortality events are well known for toothed whales, they have been rare in baleen whales due to their less gregarious behavior. Although in most cases the cause of mortality has not been conclusively identified, some baleen whale mortality events have been linked to bio-oceanographic conditions 

According to the study if the frequency and magnitude of mass mortality events increase due to climate change this would have a significant impact on the local population and threaten the recovery of this endangered species, which in the Southern Hemisphere was reduced by whaling from about 100,000 to 24,000 individuals by 1980.

  • Reference:  Häussermann et al. 2017. Largest baleen whale mass mortality during strong El Niño event is likely related to harmful toxic algal bloom. PeerJ
Five Ways the International Space Station’s National Lab Enables Commercial Research

A growing number of commercial partners use the International Space Station National Lab. With that growth, we will see more discoveries in fundamental and applied research that could improve life on the ground.

Space Station astronaut Kate Rubins was the first person to sequence DNA in microgravity.

Since 2011, when we engaged the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS) to manage the International Space Station (ISS) National Lab, CASIS has partnered with academic researchers, other government organizations, startups and major commercial companies to take advantage of the unique microgravity lab. Today, more than 50 percent of CASIS’ experiments on the station represent commercial research.

Here’s a look at five ways the ISS National Lab is enabling new opportunities for commercial research in space.

1. Supporting Commercial Life Sciences Research

One of the main areas of focus for us in the early origins of the space station program was life sciences, and it is still a major priority today. Studying the effects of microgravity on astronauts provides insight into human physiology, and how it evolves or erodes in space. CASIS took this knowledge and began robust outreach to the pharmaceutical community, which could now take advantage of the microgravity environment on the ISS National Lab to develop and enhance therapies for patients on Earth. Companies such as Merck, Eli Lilly & Company, and Novartis have sent several experiments to the station, including investigations aimed at studying diseases such as osteoporosis, and examining ways to enhance drug tablets for increased potency to help patients on Earth. These companies are trailblazers for many other life science companies that are looking at how the ISS National Lab can advance their research efforts.

2. Enabling Commercial Investigations in Material and Physical Sciences

Over the past few years, CASIS and the ISS National Lab also have seen a major push toward material and physical sciences research by companies interested in enhancing their products for consumers. Examples range from Proctor and Gamble’s investigation aimed at increasing the longevity of daily household products, to Milliken’s flame-retardant textile investigation to improve protective clothing for individuals in harm’s way, and companies looking to enhance materials for household appliances. Additionally, CASIS has been working with a variety of companies to improve remote sensing capabilities in order to better monitor our oceans, predict harmful algal blooms, and ultimately, to better understand our planet from a vantage point roughly 250 miles above Earth.

3. Supporting Startup Companies Interested in Microgravity Research 

CASIS has funded a variety of investigations with small startup companies (in particular through seed funding and grant funding from partnerships and funded solicitations) to leverage the ISS National Lab for both research and test-validation model experiments. CASIS and The Boeing Company recently partnered with MassChallenge, the largest startup accelerator in the world, to fund three startup companies to conduct microgravity research.

4. Enabling Validation of Low-Earth Orbit Business Models 

The ISS National Lab helps validate low-Earth orbit business models. Companies such as NanoRacks, Space Tango, Made In Space, Techshot, and Controlled Dynamics either have been funded by CASIS or have sent instruments to the ISS National Lab that the research community can use, and that open new channels for inquiry. This has allowed the companies that operate these facilities to validate their business models, while also building for the future beyond station.

5. Demonstrating the Commercial Value of Space-based Research

We have been a key partner in working with CASIS to demonstrate to American businesses the value of conducting research in space. Through outreach events such as our Destination Station, where representatives from the International Space Station Program Science Office and CASIS select cities with several major companies and meet with the companies to discuss how they could benefit from space-based research. Over the past few years, this outreach has proven to be a terrific example of building awareness on the benefits of microgravity research.

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Drive east from Washington and eventually you run smack into the middle of the Chesapeake Bay, the massive estuary that stretches from the mouth of the Susquehanna River at Maryland’s northern tip and empties into the Atlantic 200 miles away near Norfolk, Va.

The Chesapeake is home to oysters, clams, and famous Maryland blue crab. It’s the largest estuary in the United States. And for a long time, it was one of the most polluted.

Decades of runoff from grassy suburban yards and farm fields as far north as New York state, plus sewage and other waste dumped by the hundreds of gallons, made the Chesapeake so dirty that by 1983, the crab population had plummeted to just 2 percent of what Capt. John Smith saw when he explored the bay in the 1600s.

For years, people tried to clean it up. States and the federal government spent millions of dollars. The first effort began in 1983 — officially launched by President Ronald Reagan in his 1984 State of the Union Address.

And each time, the cleanup efforts failed. The bay’s health wasn’t getting much better.

By 2009, when the Chesapeake Bay Foundation sued the Environmental Protection Agency in an attempt to get the EPA to do more to clean up the bay, the Chesapeake’s dead zone was so big it often covered a cubic mile in the summer.

Dead zones form when the water becomes too concentrated with nitrogen and phosphorus — allowing algal blooms to grow and block out sunlight from reaching beneath the water and causing populations of fish and crabs to plummet.

Then, last summer, scientists recorded no dead zone in the Chesapeake Bay. And wildlife was returning, too. The EPA’s new plan seemed to be working.

“When I first heard that spawning sturgeon were back in the bay, my reaction was, ‘Yes! We can get this done,’” says Will Baker, the nonprofit Chesapeake Bay Foundation’s president. “It’s really exciting. You give nature half a chance and she will produce every single time.”

Chesapeake Bay Dead Zones Are Fading, But Proposed EPA Cuts Threaten Success

Photo: Selena Simmons-Duffin/NPR
Meat industry blamed for largest-ever 'dead zone' in Gulf of Mexico
A new report shows toxins from suppliers to companies like Tyson Foods are pouring into waterways, causing marine life to leave or die.
By Oliver Milman

The global meat industry, already implicated in driving global warming and deforestation, has now been blamed for fueling what is expected to be the worst “dead zone” on record in the Gulf of Mexico.

Toxins from manure and fertilizer pouring into waterways are exacerbating huge, harmful algal blooms that create oxygen-deprived stretches of the gulf, the Great Lakes and Chesapeake Bay.

Meat Is murder for animals, the environment, your health - mind, body, & soul.

Here's your shark week reminder that sharks are nice helpful creatures that keep the ocean clean and healthy and are majorly at risk by illegal shark finning, but the toxic fertilizers, herbicides, and pesticides that we put gallons of on our yards every day in America are entering our waterways and causing major oxygen depletion and toxic algal blooms in the Gulf of Mexico, making it inhabitable for many creatures.

Prompto’s Photos, chronologically - 44/?

Glitchy Shenanigans Edition!

First I had Noctis become invisible. only for Prompto to do it instead. Then the boats. Then at one point, everyone but Prompto had the sneak +100.

After sleeping at the Leville they were back to normal, but Altissia’s waters had developed an algal bloom that made fish very easy to see.

Why Save Sea Turtles?

By Laura Todd

Photo: Comber the green sea turtle being released into the Pacific Ocean off southern California, October 23, 2016, Photo credit: SeaWorld San Diego

I’ve been asked, “What difference does one turtle make?”  

It is absolutely true that one turtle, in comparison to the entire world’s population, represents a small contribution to that population.  However, rehabilitating that one individual from an endangered or threatened population can ensure decades of offspring over a lifespan of up to 80 years.

Every turtle that strands and is treated, successfully or not, teaches us something.  The first lesson they teach us is how to successfully respond, which is vital to know if we ever have a spill or catastrophe that causes mass turtle strandings. And erratic ocean conditions like algal blooms, El Niño, oxygen depletion, and warming sea surface temperatures are resulting in greater numbers of stranded turtles.

Photo: Track of Comber, a rehabilitated male green sea turtle released back to sea on October 20, 2016. Data courtesy of Hubbs-SeaWorld Research Institute (Dr. Brent Stewart)

Additionally, many of the turtles we have treated are juveniles or very young adults.  This age group is crucial as the future breeding population, and very little is known about them.  The period between hatching and return to the nesting area is known as the “lost years” because when the turtles leave their nests, they are too tiny to track with conventional satellite equipment, and they are seldom encountered until the females return to nest 20 or more years later – unless we find them stranded.  And males are even more mysterious since they spend their lives at sea.

And each stranded turtle we successfully release has a story with important lessons.  A green sea turtle named Comber, stranded in Canada in 2015 and released in November 2016, was the first ever successful sea turtle rescue from Canada.  With a satellite tag attached, Comber was released to the sea southwest of San Diego. He shocked us by heading straight back to Canada!  When his transmitter finally failed on March 30, 2017, he was in British Columbia a few miles north of where he stranded, showing signs of normal turtle activity.   He was able to swim over 1,500 miles in frigid waters in the dead of winter, and based on another turtle released in 2011, it may be more common than we know. Two turtles can tell a story, but we need more information to develop a pattern.

Photo: Tucker in the hyperbaric oxygen chamber at the Virginia Mason Center for Hyperbaric Medicine with a team of experts that included Seattle Aquarium veterinarian Lesanna Lahner and Jim Holm, MD, medical director of hyperbaric medicine. Photo credit: Seattle Aquarium

Hopefully, the pattern will fill in a bit more brightly this fall. Three sea turtles, stranded in December 2014 and 2015, are returning to the Pacific Ocean on September 11!  All three will be equipped with satellite transmitters to map their travels.  And all three have already provided us with valuable information, teaching us lessons in treatment of cold-stranding and buoyancy.

Keep reading

carnovalesque  asked:

Hi Najia! I read your poetry book a few weeks ago and I absolutely loved it! I write prose but have never been able to write poetry, and I was wondering, when you write poems, do you tend to churn out a crappy Draft Zero and then go back and revise heavily? Or do you have a different writing process?

thank you!

  1. I start with a scrap (an idea, a phrase that I like, an interesting image). when something like this comes into my head I’ll make a note of it on my phone or in a “scraps” document on my laptop. for this poem, that scrap was “a clogged drain / sending back its rubbish / in a backwash of [word I hadn’t decided on yet] / like coagulated pearls.” for “extremophile” it was “glowing like glass, / repugnant with ash, / a thing that would break / if you handled it / at all.”
  2. ruminate on this phrase until it grows into something bigger–until you can add more to it, or figure out what you want to say with it, or even combine it with other scraps. for example I wrote the poem “cruor” by writing the scrap “but blood will out. / and blood will out. / and blood will out / and out / and out,” and then, months later, writing the scrap “neither stain nor contagion / but the very innermost / guts / of the thing— / the thick, dark, / sure roots of it,” seeing that they fit in well together (both talking about “blood” as a metaphor for race), and writing the rest of the poem around them.
  3. be patient! sometimes I sit on scraps for a long time before figuring out what I want to do with them (though of course this process is perforce expedited right now because it’s napowrimo). my first question is always, “does this bit want to be at the beginning, middle, or end of a poem? does it have a ring of finality to it? is it a good opening? or does it need both an introduction and a closing to be added?” and then “what is it saying? what mood / tone / emphasis does it have? what can I use this to say?” and I sort of write a poem around it like forming a pearl around an irritant.
  4. don’t be afraid to revise heavily! maybe where you first tried to go with this poem isn’t working out–go back to the drawing board. maybe this scrap that you thought would work at the end of a poem actually fits better in the middle of what you ended up writing (this is what happened with “cruor”). sometimes I end up cutting the original image that I wrote the poem around out of the poem entirely!! it breaks my heart but if omitting something makes for a better poem, then omitted it must be. I’ll also change the order of things–”an Arabian sonnet” started with the rhyming couplet “dense, fizzing tufts of green like algal blooms— / as sleepy as the downy crowns of mushrooms” and throughout the course of writing it, I ended up switching the rhyme scheme from a Petrarchan sonnet, to a Shakespearean sonnet, to a series of rhymed couplets, before I figured out what I wanted to do. each one of these changes involved switching a lot of lines and even stanzas around. this also necessitated changing “dense” to “in,” and I was sad to lose that image but it was syntactically necessary. I was very proud when that one finally came together, lmao.
  5. so that’s what I do to get a first draft. then I read over the poem closely about 1600 times and probably end up paring it down a lot! I cut any word that doesn’t add anything, or anything that can be inferred from the rest of the poem. I change or cut any word that’s not pulling its weight, and change stock expressions and cliches unless they’re adding something. I’ll sometimes cut entire stanzas–there’s nothing I hate more than when a poem overstays its welcome. I look at every word and ask “is this the right word here? is it saying what I need it to say? is there a reason for it to be here? would something else serve me better?” if you’re writing in a metered form you can also ask yourself if you’re using the meter well–if your deviations from it mean something, if it means something when you stick to it (as in Sonnets for the Sickly where the very regular meter of “wake and doze and wake by turns in restless fits and halts” mimics the action that it’s describing, and, contrarily, the meter is often less regular than usual during points of high emotion in the poem, such as the beginning of the fourth sonnet.) I’ll often put words that aren’t quite right in (parentheses) so that I can come back to them later. I like every word in my poems to say at least one thing but preferably two or three. thesauruses are your friend but make sure that you know the exact meaning of any word that you’re getting from them!! here’s an example of the result of this process.
  6. I’ll also change punctuation, line spacing, stanza order, and wording back and forth about 20 times at this stage, sometimes leaving it and coming back to it later, before I’m sure that I have everything just the way I want it. 

this is just one process out of many (I’m sure many people figure out what they want to say first and then find the language to fit it, rather than working backwards like this) but that’s what I do!

anonymous asked:

Someone just got at me cause apparently if everyone went vegan there would be no plants because we wouldn't have manure. I know this is a stupid argument but I couldn't think of anything to defend myself with, and now I just feel stupid. What would you use to argue against this?

Manure does make a good fertilizer, but basically the only reason we use it so intensively is that we have an overabundance… because we’re farming so many animals; in fact, this manure is so overused that it’s washing away into rivers and oceans and causing algal blooms, which causes oxygen-depleted “dead zones” where no aquatic life can thrive. There are many plant-based solutions on the market currently, one great example being compost. 

There is also a growing movement for vegan agriculture that some farmers are endorsing, because it focuses on maintaining soil fertility rather than quick fixes. Also, consider the fact that we grow so many of our crops because of animal agriculture, because it takes a lot of feed to raise an animal to slaughter weight. Not only does this strain the nutrients in the soil, but it’s causing habitats such as the Amazon rainforest to be mowed down at an alarming rate to make way for grazing or growing crops for animals. If we were in a vegan world and we simply ate all the crops we needed ourselves, we would need only a fraction of what we’re growing now.

Don’t worry anon; sometimes I get frozen in the headlights too. The biggest thing that helps is just knowing the facts. 

15 Ways the International Space Station is Benefiting Earth

With astronauts living and working aboard the International Space Station, we’re learning a great deal about creating and testing critical systems, maintaining efficient communications and protecting the human body during a deep space mission. While these are critical to our journey to Mars, it is important to also note all the ways in which research conducted and technology tested aboard the orbiting laboratory help us here on Earth.

Here are 15 ways the space station is benefiting life on Earth:

1. Commercializing Low-Earth Orbit

An exciting new commercial pathway is revolutionizing and opening access to space, fostering America’s new space economy in low-Earth orbit. For the first time, the market is expressing what research can and should be done aboard the microgravity laboratory without direct government funding. Our move to purchase commercial cargo resupply and crew transportation to the space station enables U.S. businesses to develop a competitive capability they also can sell as a service to others while freeing our resources for deep space exploration. Private sector participation provides a new model for moving forward in partnership with the government.

2. Supporting Water Purification Efforts Worldwide

Whether in the confines of the International Space Station or a tiny hut village in sub-Saharan Africa, drinkable water is vital for human survival. Unfortunately, many people around the world lack access to clean water. Using technology developed for the space station, at-risk areas can gain access to advanced water filtration and purification systems, making a life-saving difference in these communities. The Water Security Corporation, in collaboration with other organizations, has deployed systems using NASA water-processing technology around the world.

3. Growing High-Quality Protein Crystals

There are more than 100,000 proteins in the human body and as many as 10 billion in nature. Every structure is different, and each protein holds important information related to our health and to the global environment. The perfect environment in which to study these structures is space. Microgravity allows for optimal growth of the unique and complicated crystal structures of proteins leading to the development of medical treatments. An example of a protein that was successfully crystallized in space is hematopoietic prostaglandin D synthase (H-PGDS), which may hold the key to developing useful drugs for treating muscular dystrophy. This particular experiment is an example of how understanding a protein’s structure can lead to better drug designs. Further research is ongoing.

4. Bringing Space Station Ultrasound to the Ends of the Earth

Fast, efficient and readily available medical attention is key to survival in a health emergency. For those without medical facilities within easy reach, it can mean the difference between life and death. For astronauts in orbit about 250 miles above Earth aboard the International Space Station, that problem was addressed through the Advanced Diagnostic Ultrasound in Microgravity (ADUM) investigation. Medical care has become more accessible in remote regions by use of small ultrasound units, tele-medicine, and remote guidance techniques, just like those used for people living aboard the space station.

5. Improving Eye Surgery with Space Hardware

Laser surgery to correct eyesight is a common practice, and technology developed for use in space is now commonly used on Earth to track a patient’s eye and precisely direct the laser scalpel. The Eye Tracking Device experiment gave researchers insight into how humans’ frames of reference, balance and the overall control of eye movement are affected by weightlessness. In parallel with its use on the space station, the engineers realized the device had potential for applications on Earth. Tracking the eye’s position without interfering with the surgeon’s work is essential in laser surgery. The space technology proved ideal, and the Eye Tracking Device equipment is now being used in a large proportion of corrective laser surgeries throughout the world.

6. Making Inoperable Tumors Operable with a Robotic Arm

The delicate touch that successfully removed an egg-shaped tumor from Paige Nickason’s brain got a helping hand from a world-renowned arm—a robotic arm, that is. The technology that went into developing neuroArm, the world’s first robot capable of performing surgery inside magnetic resonance machines, was born of the Canadarm (developed in collaboration with engineers at MacDonald, Dettwiler, and Associates, Ltd. [MDA] for the U.S. Space Shuttle Program) as well as Canadarm2 and Dextre, the Canadian Space Agency’s family of space robots performing the heavy lifting and maintenance aboard the International Space Station. Since Nickason’s surgery in 2008, neuroArm has been used in initial clinical experience with 35 patients who were otherwise inoperable.

7. Preventing Bone Loss Through Diet and Exercise

In the early days of the space station, astronauts were losing about one-and-a-half percent of their total bone mass density per month. Researchers discovered an opportunity to identify the mechanisms that control bones at a cellular level. These scientists discovered that high-intensity resistive exercise, dietary supplementation for vitamin D and specific caloric intake can remedy loss of bone mass in space. The research also is applicable to vulnerable populations on Earth, like older adults, and is important for continuous crew member residency aboard the space station and for deep space exploration to an asteroid placed in lunar orbit and on the journey to Mars.

8. Understanding the Mechanisms of Osteoporosis

While most people will never experience life in space, the benefits of studying bone and muscle loss aboard the station has the potential to touch lives here on the ground. Model organisms are non-human species with characteristics that allow them easily to be reproduced and studied in a laboratory. Scientists conducted a study of mice in orbit to understand mechanisms of osteoporosis. This research led to availability of a pharmaceutical on Earth called Prolia® to treat people with osteoporosis, a direct benefit of pharmaceutical companies using the spaceflight opportunity available via the national lab to improve health on Earth.

9. Developing Improved Vaccines

Ground research indicated that certain bacteria, in particular Salmonella, might become more pathogenic (more able to cause disease) during spaceflight. Salmonella infections result in thousands of hospitalizations and hundreds of deaths annually in the United States. While studying them in space, scientists found a pathway for bacterial pathogens to become virulent. Researchers identified the genetic pathway activating in Salmonella bacteria, allowing the increased likelihood to spread in microgravity. This research on the space station led to new studies of microbial vaccine development.

10. Providing Students Opportunities to Conduct Their Own Science in Space

From the YouTube Space Lab competition, the Student Spaceflight Experiments Program, and SPHERES Zero Robotics, space station educational activities inspire more than 43 million students across the globe. These tyFrom the YouTube Space Lab competition, the Student Spaceflight Experiments Program, and SPHERES Zero Robotics, space station educational activities inspire more than 43 million students across the globe. These types of inquiry-based projects allow students to be involved in human space exploration with the goal of stimulating their studies of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. It is understood that when students test a hypothesis on their own or compare work in a lab to what’s going on aboard the space station, they are more motivated towards math and science.

11. Breast Cancer Detection and Treatment Technology

A surgical instrument inspired by the Canadian Space Agency’s heavy-lifting and maneuvering robotic arms on the space station is in clinical trials for use in patients with breast cancer. The Image-Guided Autonomous Robot (IGAR) works inside an MRI machine to help accurately identify the size and location of a tumor. Using IGAR, surgeons also will be able to perform highly dexterous, precise movements during biopsies.

12. Monitoring Water Quality from Space

Though it completed its mission in 2015, the Hyperspectral Imager for the Coastal Ocean (HICO) was an imaging sensor that helped detect water quality parameters such as water clarity, phytoplankton concentrations, light absorption and the distribution of cyanobacteria. HICO was first designed and built by the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory for the Office of Naval Research to assess water quality in the coastal ocean. Researchers at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) took the data from HICO and developed a smartphone application to help determine hazardous concentrations of contaminants in water. With the space station’s regular addition of new instruments to provide a continuous platform for Earth observation, researchers will continue to build proactive environmental protection applications that benefit all life on Earth.

13. Monitoring Natural Disasters from Space

An imaging system aboard the station, ISS SERVIR Environmental Research and Visualization System (ISERV), captured photographs of Earth from space for use in developing countries affected by natural disasters. A broader joint endeavor by NASA and the U.S. Agency for International Development, known as SERVIR, works with developing nations around the world to use satellites for environmental decision-making. Images from orbit can help with rapid response efforts to floods, fires, volcanic eruptions, deforestation, harmful algal blooms and other types of natural events. Since the station passes over more than 90 percent of the Earth’s populated areas every 24 hours, the ISERV system was available to provide imagery to developing nations quickly, collecting up to 1,000 images per day. Though ISERV successfully completed its mission, the space station continues to prove to be a valuable platform for Earth observation during times of disaster.

14. Describing the Behavior of Fluids to Improve Medical Devices

Capillary Flow Experiments (CFE) aboard the space station study the movement of a liquid along surfaces, similar to the way fluid wicks along a paper towel. These investigations produce space-based models that describe fluid behavior in microgravity, which has led to a new medical testing device on Earth. This new device could improve diagnosis of HIV/AIDS in remote areas, thanks in part to knowledge gained from the experiments.

15. Improving Indoor Air Quality

Solutions for growing crops in space now translates to solutions for mold prevention in wine cellars, homes and medical facilities, as well as other industries around the world. NASA is studying crop growth aboard the space station to develop the capability for astronauts to grow their own food as part of the agency’s journey to Mars. Scientists working on this investigation noticed that a buildup of a naturally-occurring plant hormone called ethylene was destroying plants within the confined plant growth chambers. Researchers developed and successfully tested an ethylene removal system in space, called Advanced Astroculture (ADVASC). It helped to keep the plants alive by removing viruses, bacteria and mold from the plant growth chamber. Scientists adapted the ADVASC system for use in air purification. Now this technology is used to prolong the shelf-life of fruits and vegetables in the grocery store, and winemakers are using it in their storage cellars.

For more information on the International Space Station, and regular updates, follow @Space_Station on Twitter. 

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an Arabian sonnet

you might as well demand I stop the dew
as ask me to explain the heft and hue
of teeming life that chokes the water through—
that close, slow-budding love that grew for you

in mounding cowslips dripping in the gloom—
in reeds and rushes rustling up their plumes—
in fizzing tufts of green like algal blooms—
as sleepy as the downy crowns of mushrooms—

spore-flourishing with cap and stem and stalk—
ubiquitous and soft and white as chalk—
my body the marshland, my heart the loch

that bore you, host-like, as you blew. don’t fall
to reasoning love’s exuberant sprawl—
might as well ask life why it thrives at all!

The seven other seas

1. The first of the seven other seas is initially difficult to distinguish from the more commonplace seas near its entrance, which some say is in the North Pacific. Navigation, however, is almost impossible. One can usually tell that one has entered the first other sea by the complete malfunction of GPS, compasses, celestial navigation, etc. at the same time. At night the stars are blurry smears across the sky. Generally the advice to those who have entered an other sea is to get out as quickly as possible, so the navigational problems pose a grave difficulty and few people have come back from the first other sea. Because it is near the North Pacific Gyre, great washes of plastic are sometimes seen near the entrance and this can be a way to navigate out. The nature of its actual hazards is rather vague. Some speak of just escaping the rising of unusually violent storms; others of drifts of fog they felt compelled to avoid. One must assume those who did not make it back learned somewhat more.

2. The water of the second sea is sweet and cherry-scented. It falls in extravagant waterfalls from steep, rocky islands thick with stinging plants (maybe there is some kind of fruit-based filtering system within?). Needless to say, the sweet water is clogged with vast algal blooms and the sort of extraordinary insectile forms one might expect near-infinite sugar to attract. The sky over the second sea is a thick, luminous yellow, as if a ferocious sun were doing battle with an enormous cloud bank. It is an awful place. Those who have come back from it are generally not fond of cherries.

3. The water in this sea seems to become thicker as one ventures further in. It grinds together like ice, although the weather is only moderately cool. Sailing into it is incredibly perilous and should only be undertaken for short distances and with a reinforced hull. There are many tales of ships who have entered unknowingly and their unfortunate ends. Needless to say, a swimmer could not last long in the milling waters, half-transformed to stone. They say if you could get through the transition zone this sea would be walkable on, and maybe it does not count as a sea at that point, even if one can still over the centuries feel the movements of great stone whales below.

4. There is no light here; no sun or moon or stars and (as far as we know) no phosphorescent seaweeds of the like. One can bring one’s own light sources, of course, but so far none have shown anything but a black, brackish sea against a black sky. The longest a boat has stayed here and returned is an hour. Depth soundings have yet to reveal evidence of a sea bed.

5. There is a perpetual smell of peat on the air; much more than the occasional small islands could produce. This is perhaps the friendliest of the seven other seas and there are some travellers who claim to have stayed here for weeks with little ill-effect. It is still notable that maybe one in three of those who have been in fail to come out. Therefore there must be some hazard, even if we are unable to say what it is.

6. We do not know anyone who has been to the sixth sea. Some say that it was invented to make sure that there were seven other seas and not six. Alternatively the entrance may be very remote or very small, or its waters peculiarly hostile.  

7. It is a shallow sea, and can be waded in in places. The sun shines very hot on its nearer parts, which are windless and smell strongly of the thick red seaweed that grows there. It is not known how far this sea stretches, though no-one has found an end of any sort other than a few lonely sandbanks. But one cannot sail here other than in tiny rowboats or punts, so it is hard to travel far. There have been explorers who were determined to prove that some miraculous feature existed, somewhere deep beyond the bland inner reaches of this sea. We waved them off, and we have not seen them since. I suppose if they found their utopia they might have stayed, and be still living.

anonymous asked:

I don't understand how vegan doesnt harm life on earth? Plants die? Your causing deforestation for your farming needs? If you care so much about animals why are you allowing their homes to be torn down because your hungry? Your causing more damage than needed. You eating a steak is one cow Out of millions But you eating a tropical fruit kills thousands of animals natural habitat. You vegetarians and vegans are the reason half our oxygen will be depleted, your breathing and your habits .js

First of all, what you need to understand is that just by you being human you’re impacting negatively this planet and its ecosystem. Being vegan just means that you’re trying to minimize the harm we inflict upon this planet and its earthlings. 

Now, let’s break this down: 

Your causing deforestation for your farming needs?

Land required to feed 1 person for 1 year:

  • Vegan: 1/6th acre
  • Vegetarian: 3x as much as a vegan
  • Meat Eater: 18x as much as a vegan

“If you care so much about animals why are you allowing their homes to be torn down because your hungry? Your causing more damage than needed. You eating a steak is one cow Out of millions But you eating a tropical fruit kills thousands of animals natural habitat. ”

Animal agriculture is the leading cause of species extinction, ocean dead zones, water pollution and habitat destruction.

Animal agriculture is responsible for 91% of Amazon destruction.  Animal agriculture is responsible of 51% of the entire gas emissions that are affecting the planet, raising the temperature levels. Understand that the animal agriculture uses a lot of fresh water for animals that are going to be killed just for a stake.

One hamburger requires 660 gallons of water to produce – the equivalent of 2 months worth of showers. No matter how they were raised, it doesn’t matter if they were grass fed or if they were in a factory farm.

It takes 1000 gallons of water are required to produce 1 gallon of milk.

“You vegetarians and vegans are the reason half our oxygen will be depleted, your breathing and your habits .”

As vegans we actually:

Reduce global warming

  • Global warming poses one of the most serious threats to the global environment ever faced in human history. Yet by focusing entirely on carbon dioxide emissions, major environmental organizations have failed to account for published data showing that other gasses are the main culprits behind the global warming we see today. As a result, they are overlooking the fact that the single most important step an individual can take to reduce global warming [faster than any other means] is to adopt a vegetarian diet.1
  • In its 2006 report, the United Nations said raising animals for food generates more greenhouse gasses than all the cars and trucks in the world combined.2

Avoid excessive CO2 production

  • According to the UN Report, when emissions from land use and land use change are included, the livestock sector accounts for 9% of CO2 deriving from human-related activities, but produces a much larger share of even more harmful greenhouse gases.3

Reduce methane/nitrous oxide production

  • Cows and sheep are responsible for 37% of the total methane (23 times as warming as CO2) generated by human activity.4 With methane emissions causing nearly half of the planet’s human-induced warming, methane reduction must be a priority
  • The livestock industry generates 64 per cent of ammonia, which contributes significantly to acid rain.5
  • The livestock industry also generates 65 per cent of human-related nitrous oxide, which has 300 times the Global Warming Potential (GWP) of CO2. Most of this comes from manure.6
  • In addition to having the advantage of immediately reducing global warming, shifting away from methane-emitting food sources is much easier than cutting carbon dioxide7:
  • First, greenhouse gas reductions through a vegetarian diet are limitless. In principle, even 100% reduction could be achieved with little negative impact. In contrast, similar cuts in carbon dioxide are impossible without devastating effects on the economy. Even the most ambitious carbon dioxide reduction strategies fall short of cutting emissions by half.
  • Second, a shift in diet can lower greenhouse gas emissions much more quickly than shifts away from the fossil fuel burning technologies that emit carbon dioxide. The turnover rate for most ruminant farm animals is one or two years, which means that decreases in meat consumption would result in an almost immediate drop in methane emissions. The turnover rate for cars and power plants, on the other hand, can be decades. Even if cheap, zero-emission fuel sources were available today, they would take many years to build and slowly replace the massive infrastructure our economy depends upon today.
  • Similarly, unlike carbon dioxide which can remain in the air for more than a century, methane cycles out of the atmosphere in just eight years. Therefore, lower methane emissions translate to cooling of the earth quickly.

Save large amounts of water

  • Estimates of the water required to produce a kilo of beef vary, from 13,000 liters8 up to 100,000 liters9. Whichever figure you use, the damage is plain when you consider that the water required to produce a kilo of wheat is somewhere between 1,000-2,000 liters.

Avoid further pollution of our streams/rivers/oceans

  • Pollution of our waterways is caused by animal waste, antibiotics and hormones entering the water cycle alongside chemicals from tanneries, fertilizers, and the pesticides used to spray feed crops.
  • Manure, or waste water containing manure, severely harms river and stream ecosystems. Farmed animals produce about 130 times as much excrement as the entire human population of the United States. Since factory farms don’t have sewage treatment systems as our cities and towns do, this concentrated slop ends up polluting our water, destroying our topsoil, and contaminating our air.10
  • Once factory farm pollutants—including nitrogen, phosphorus, antibiotics, and pesticides—reach the waterways they cause a great deal of damage to aquatic and human life. Algal blooms are a particular problem, blocking waterways, using up oxygen as they decompose and killing the natural populations of fish.11
  • • In large amounts, animal waste can present major problems to the waterways and their surrounding environment. More than 2 billion tons of animal manure was produced worldwide during the late 1990s. Assuming average nitrogen content of around 5%, this makes 100 million tons of nitrogen12 finding its way into our water system.

Reduce destruction of topsoil & tropical rainforest

  • Thirty percent of the earth’s entire land surface—a massive 70% of all agricultural land—is used for rearing farmed animals. Much of this is grazing land that otherwise would host natural habitats such as valuable rainforests. And, of the entire world’s land suitable for growing crops that would otherwise directly feed humans, a third of it is used to produce feed for farmed animals.13
  • Livestock farming can lead to overgrazing causing soil erosion, desertification and deforestation14. Twenty percent of the world’s grazing land has already been designated as degraded due to the rearing of animals for their meat.15
  • Livestock production is responsible for 70% of deforestation in the Amazon region of Latin America, where rainforests are being cleared to create new pastures.16
  • Deforestation increases greenhouse gas emissions by releasing carbon previously stored in the trees. It is also a major driver in the loss of biodiversity – a pressing concern when one considers the fact that just a few species of livestock now account for about 20% of total terrestrial animal biomass.17

Reduce destruction of wildlife habitats & endangered species

  • The livestock industry is responsible for widespread deforestation and cultivation of vast tracks of land. Wide-spread cultivation of the land ruins animals’ natural habitat and forces millions of them to be evicted from their homes each year, causing long-term harm to our wildlife.

Reduce use of antibiotics, growth hormones, and chemicals

  • Farmed animals and fish are fed a wide variety of drugs to fatten them faster and to keep them alive in conditions that would otherwise kill them. These drugs enter the human food chain through direct consumption or through pollution of our waterways.
  • The effect on humans of consuming low levels of these drugs during a lifetime is unknown but could be serious. Antibiotics given to farmed animals include penicillin, erythromycin, and inorganic arsenic (the most toxic form of arsenic).
  • Antibiotics contain significant amounts of the most carcinogenic form of arsenic. USDA researchers have found that “…eating two ounces of chicken per day—the equivalent of a third to a half of a boneless breast—exposes a consumer to 3 to 5 micrograms of inorganic arsenic, the element’s most toxic form.” Daily exposure to low doses of arsenic can cause cancer, dementia, neurological problems, and other ailments in humans. 18
  • Antibiotics reduce the amount of bacteria in animals’ intestines and preventing infection, to which crowded, stressed animals are predisposed. Routine antibiotic use leads to antibiotic-resistant bacteria, thereby reducing antibiotics’ effectiveness when treating people suffering from food poisoning or other infectious diseases. 19
  • Farmers give hormones to animals to increase growth and productivity. Widely used in the United States, these hormones are known to cause several types of cancer and reproductive dysfunction in humans.20 While U.S. farmers claim that using hormones to promote growth is safe, the European Union has prohibited this practice since 1995.21
  • Fish farming contributes directly to the pollution of our waterways:
  • Large numbers of fish kept long-term in a single location produces a significant amount of feces concentrated in a small location, which can enter local waterways.
  • Because of parasite problems, some aquaculture operators frequently use strong antibiotic drugs to keep the fish alive. Many fish still die prematurely at rates of up to 30%.22 The residual presence of these drugs in human food products has become controversial because the use of antibiotics in food production is thought to increase the prevalence of antibiotic resistance in human diseases.
  • These drugs enter the food chain through direct consumption of the farmed fish itself and through the highly concentrated feces deposits that contaminate water supplies. Reports indicate that Scottish salmon farms alone have breached pollution limits more than 400 times in the past 3 years.23

Reduce ecological footprint

  • By choosing a vegetarian diet instead of one loaded with animal products, individuals can dramatically reduce the amount of land, water, and oil resources that they consume and the amount of pollution they otherwise might cause. Of course, reducing one’s ecological footprint should also mean causing less harm to the Earth’s non-human inhabitants. By switching to a vegetarian diet, each person can save more than 100 animals each year from the horrific cruelty of the meat industry24.

Help ensure environmental sustainability

  • There were approximately 6.5 billion people living on earth in 20052526 , and as the world’s population continues to grow, our requirement for food will also increase. Worldwide food production requires 30% of the total soil available, 20% of fossil fuel energy and a major part of the fresh water flow27. Raising cattle is one of the most damaging components of agriculture28. In addition to their gaseous emissions and manure products, it causes the most environmental damage of any non-human species through over-grazing, soil erosion, desertification and tropical deforestation. Studies on world food security estimate that an affluent diet containing meat requires up to 3 times as many resources as a vegetarian diet29.
  • Global production of meat has increased dramatically from 130 million tones in the late 1970s to 230 million tones in the year 200030. Meat is now the single largest source of animal protein in all affluent nations31 and demand for animal flesh is expected to more than double by the year 205032. In order to meet this growing appetite, animals will no doubt be reared more intensively and cheaply with factory farming and aquaculture (fish farming) causing further pollution, water demand and land usage. If nothing is done, the environmental impact of meat production can only increase.
  • Adopting a vegetarian diet is an important tool to achieve environmental sustainability.

So, yeah, maybe you should re-evaluate your life choices; I mean, if you’re truly concerned about everything you mentioned, then adopt a plant-based diet and be coherent. Actions speak louder than words. 


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