culture

Photographer Captures Shaggy Dogs’ Avant-Gard Japanese Grooming Make Over

Animal photographer Grace Chon’s newest and adorable series Titled “Hairy” captures the cuteness and quirkiness of a dog’s grooming transformation. Each shaggy furry friend was in desperate need of a haircut. Their long, dull look required a drastic change. Each pet was given a Japanese grooming makeover, which doesn’t follow the conventions of dog’s standard cuts. So what you get is funk and avant-gard haircuts, which are works of art!

The results are heartwarming and funny! Since the majority of hairstyles are constructed with scissors, they can take up to hours!

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Try as she might, MacKenzie Bubel just couldn’t satisfy the baby comb jellies.

The aquarist was attempting to spawn a species called Mnemiopsis leidyi—a ghostly-looking little creature native to the Gulf of Mexico—in the Aquarium’s Jelly Lab. She tinkered with variables like water temperature, salinity and light exposure.

“We did some wacky stuff to get the conditions perfect,” she says, “but they weren’t doing as well as we’d hoped.”

Combing through the science, Senior Aquarist Tommy Knowles first began culturing ctenophores—or “comb bearers”—in 2012. His early attempts were mostly unsuccessful, but they provided a foundation for his team to build on.

Since the mid-90s, the Aquarium’s jelly team has learned how to raise nearly two-dozen species of cnidarian jellyfish—the “classic” jellies we often think of, like sea nettles and moon jellies. Comb jellies, in the phylum Ctenophora, represented a very different challenge to culture.

Figuring out how to grow jellies in-house is a big deal in the scientific world. Not only does it allow aquariums to display these animals for public education without impacting wild populations, it opens the door for labs and researchers to study these elusive, fragile and seasonal animals in greater detail. 

“We don’t know what all their ecological roles are in the wild because comb jellies are so under-studied,” Senior Aquarist Wyatt Patry says.

In wild studies, scientists can only observe “snapshots” of comb jelly life. But in a lab, they can study the animals through their whole life cycle. This start-to-finish overview of ctenophore development can help researchers better understand comb jelly behavior in places like the Black Sea, where invasive Mnemiopsis have decimated fish populations.

And beyond the ecological benefits of understanding how comb jellies make more of themselves, learning about what makes a comb jelly may help improve our picture of how life on earth began.

“Comb jellies are getting much more attention these days because of work in the past 10 years tracing the ancient ancestor to all living things,” says George Matsumoto, senior research and education specialist for MBARI,  “We don’t have a good idea of what this ancestor looked like, but the first group of animals diverging from the tree of life looks like the ctenophores.”

For these scientific reasons and to satisfy their own curiosities, MacKenzie and the jelly team continued to toil away behind the scenes on the combination to unlock the comb jelly code. 

Then, like a pulsating row of cilia, a chance encounter at sea sent the dominos of ctenophore culture falling, one after the other…

Stay tuned for Part 2 and the thrilling conclusion!

Can’t handle the suspense? Click here to watch MacKenzie and co. crack the code of comb jelly culture. 

Why do we sometimes feel like we’re falling right before we fall asleep?

Originally posted by gameraboy

Do you ever have the inexplicable feeling that you’re falling just as you’re drifting off into a deep sleep? Like us here at Bright Side, you’ve probably often wondered why this occurs. Luckily for you, we’ve found the scientific explanation for this phenomenon.

Most people who have experienced this describe it as the sudden sensation of tripping, leaping or falling into a void. Some might just keep on sleeping, but the majority of people wake up with a rapid heartbeat feeling scared.

Perhaps you’ve heard explanations like your soul is leaving your body or you’ve been possessed by dark forces when it happens, but none of this is true.

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Dazzling Mermaid Crowns Inspired by Ariel by Chelsea Shiels

Twenty-seven-year-old Melbourne-based florist Chelsea Shiels was always keen of composing stunning flower crowns, until she came up with the ingenious idea to construct seashell crows.

She confesses to Cosmopolitan: “I’ve always wanted to be Ariel, under the sea. I’m a real beach bum. That was where my obsession with the sea and shells came from.

The royal and bohemian crows are inspired by the rustic beauty found under the sea, its aquamarine colors and the glittering hidden treasures we wish to find in the ocean’s depth. Find them in their Etsy shop.

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theguardian.com
Gaiutra Bahadur: 'How could I write about women whose existence is barely acknowledged?'
The author of Coolie Woman explains how research into the life of her own great-grandmother exposed a hidden history of exploitation

“History had left these women voiceless. The existing archives that document indenture contain biases and elisions. I found a rich paper trail in India Office and Colonial Office records in London: statistical reports and diaries by captains and surgeons aboard the ships that transported the indentured; transcripts of inquiries into uprisings on the plantations; confidential dossiers on overseers who slept with Indian women. These documents allowed me, partially, to reconstruct the texture of the women’s lives.

But what the archive didn’t do, and could not do, was reveal their thoughts or their feelings: indentured women appear in the records only when something goes awry, in moments of tragedy or scandal. They are only described by others, by the various white men who held power over them; the ships’ surgeons and captains, planters and overseers, immigration agents and magistrates. I could read the women only through the often sexist, racist eyes of government and plantation officials who had vested interests – economic, careerist, sexual – in telling the story from their own perspectives. Since indentured women were, for the most part, illiterate, they didn’t leave behind written traces of themselves. Just as there isn’t a single existing narrative from a woman or girl who survived the Middle Passage, the rare first-person accounts of indenture – there are three – are all by men. The stealing of the voices of indentured women, born into the wrong class, race and gender to write themselves into history, was structural.” - Gaiutra Bahadur

anonymous asked:

If I have Nahua ancestry (my bisabuela is from a community of Nahua peoples in Puebla) is that the "same" as Aztec, or is that only Mexica?

It actually would be neither Aztec nor Mexica. The reason is a little complicated and requires some explanation.

Aztec is the term historians and archaeologists use to identify the pre-Columbian and Contact peoples living in the Triple Alliance cities of Tenochtitlan, Texcoco, and Tlacopan. It is a term based on the semi-mythical homeland of the Mexica, Aztlan. It’s not a term that would have been used by the Mexica themselves.

Mexico, with an o, is one part of the name of Tenochtitlan. The whole name is actually Mexico Tenochtitlan. It is why Mexico City is called Mexico City and where the country of Mexico gets its name. Tenochtitlan was the more powerful city of the three and after the Conquest became the staging ground and seat of power for the Spanish colonial government.

Mexica are the people of Mexico. So the only people who are Mexica are people from Tenochtitlan during the pre-Columbian period.

Puebla, to the south of Tenochtitlan, in pre-Columbiain times was made up of a variety of different ethnicities and towards 1519 had come under the sway of Aztec rule. To quote Wikipedia as a handy source,

The regions of Acatlán and part of Chiautla were dominated by the Mixtecs. Tepexi was dominated by the Popolocas. The central part of the state was dominated by the Olmec-Xicalancas and Nahuas, with strong cultural links to the Toltec-based culture at Cholula. The north was populated by the Totonacas, the Mazatecos and the Otomi, whose cultural center was in El Tajín. In the 14th century, Nonoalca ruler Xelhua, came to dominate almost all of the territory of Puebla. In the 15th century, Aztec domination took over the same area and more. Initially, the center and south areas were under the control of Tenochtitlan with Texcoco dominant in the north. Aztec domination continued until the Spanish Conquest.

But that’s pre-Columbian times and the make up of Puebla, like almost all parts of Mexico, was drastically changed during the colonial period as people died of disease, were recruited to conquer other Natives, or simply saw other economic opportunity in other parts of the country. It’s possible your bisabuela is Mexica if her pre-Columbian or even early Contact ancestors were from Tenochtitlan and settled in Puebla. But it’s more likely that she is part of another cultural/ethnic group that was already in Puebla.

That being said identity, ethnicity, and heritage, while intertwined, is not a simple thing to tease out. Culture and ethnicity is not based on genetics and can be adopted and used by anyone. A lot like languages. And genetics is not always reliable in terms of tracing ancestry because, contrary to what people might think, ancient people moved around. A lot. Sure, it may have taken longer and was more riskier, but that didn’t stop a lot of people.

I’ve noticed that people are becoming more and more concerned about who they are. I think this ties in with globalization and how it makes us all more similar than different. Whether globalization is a good or bad thing can be debated for ages and still not be resolved. And as people try to look back at their roots and figure out that identity based on heritage for themselves they run into tangled issues like this.

I can’t tell you to not be hung up on where your ancestry comes from, because it’s obviously important to you. I’m afraid I don’t have any good advice on sorting this thing out because it’s not something I’ve dealt with. That isn’t to say I know my family history well, and I don’t, but that any remnants of past cultural practices are long forgotten. My family has simply changed too much to have any claim to any culture or ethnicity. We’re now simply American and even then the label is inadequate at times.

I guess all I can really tell you is to use a broad label like Nahua for now, but continue to do some research. Look into the history of the town or part of Puebla your bisabuela is from. Start with recent history and begin to work your way backwards until you reach the pre-Columbian period. Maybe that will help you whittle the label down to something more specific. What you find might surprise you. There is a town in Puebla that I’ve visited called Chipilo and is made up of a large community of Italian-Mexicans. You might find out some of your roots are Italian.

BOOK OF THE DAY:

The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger

“Niffenegger creates real characters with flawed, human, loving characteristics and with real and extraordinary problems….Niffeneger succeeds in telling a tender tale of love and allows the reader to rediscover an old fascination with the idea of time travel.” —Winnipeg Free Press

Although romance novels are not our forte, we were extremely curious to read about a great love story in the setting of time travel. Enter The Time Traveler’s Wife, which has been named many times one of the best love stories in literature. Meet Clare, a stunning young art student, and Henry a carefree librarian who met each other when Clare was six and Henry was thirty-six. Henry has a unique ailment called Chrono-Displacement Disorder, which resets his genetic clock into random periods of time at a spontaneous and unpredictable rate. Overall Audrey Niffenegger’s romantic plot is an unconventional science-fiction story,which is emotionally compelling and unique.

Don’t be thrown off by the chick lit label the book has gathered by many harsh critics. This is one of the most read books of the 21st century for a reason. It is odd, yet beautiful. Although we do have our complains, at times we found the novel melodramatic, we applaud Niffenegger’s for creating the ultimate spellbinding formula. Henry and Clare’s love story is epic and undeniable. If you are not a romance reader by nature, The Time Traveler’s Wife has exceptionally more power and sophistication to offer than many of its contemporary counterparts.

Read excerpts from the book here!

FREE BOOKS: 100 LEGAL SITES TO DOWNLOAD LITERATURE!

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How Disney Princesses Would Look If They Were Mothers

Artist Isaiah Stephens has created an illusory world, where he has transformed our beloved and innocent Disney Princess into mommy’s to be. Everyone from Princess Jasmine to Elsa are seen with a bun in the oven, spending quality time with their newborn are absolutely adorable.

Stephen confesses to Bored Panda: “I’m a 90s kid, so I’m absolutely a Disney princess fan! I think because Disney princesses are so varied, both appearance and personality wise, they are an easy group to garner inspiration from.

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digmandarin.com
Things Chinese People are Tired of Hearing
Recently, my friend Jenny wrote an article about things foreigners in China are tired of hearing. Can you guess the number one response? “Your Chinese is so good! 你中文真好! (nǐ zhōngwén zhēn hǎo!)” As the article states, a foreigner need…

All about communication!The top phrases Chinese people are tired of hearing from foreigners. Let’s talk about that today.

More: http://bit.ly/2axR2cc