north territory

What a special night to be out on the ice watching the aurora flicker across the sky. I could still hear the beat of drums from the New Year’s Eve drum dance celebration in town. Happy New Year - I can’t wait to find out what 2016 has to offer. Tulit’a, Northwest Territories, Canada.

4

The Most Dangerous Island on Earth - North Sentinel Island

Throughout human history a typical theme has been the domination of more technologically advanced societies over “simpler” or “more primitive” ones. In fact in the past 500 years, European societies would come to dominate the world, spreading their culture, often through force of arms or outright genocide.  More often than not, the meeting of Old World peoples with New World natives tended to end very badly for the natives. Many cultures were wiped out, many more assimilated or adapted their cultures with European culture. Today there are few places where people living have not in some way been touched by the modern world. One notable exception is North Sentinel Island, located in the Bay of Bengal.

Officially North Sentinel Island is territory of India, part of the Andaman Islands. In reality the people of North Sentinel Island are their own people, free from any known government or modern organization.  Apparently, the Sentinelese are very much happy to keep it that way. Throughout their entire known history, the Sentinelese have been known to viciously fight against any trespass or incursion on their small island. Going back to ancient times the Indians called the island “Cannibal Island”, and told many tales of the dangerous and ruthless natives who inhabited it. Those tales were passed on to the ancient Greeks after the invasion of northern India by Alexander the Great, and thus the infamous legends of the island were mention by Ptolemy. Marco Polo recieved word of the island during his travels to China, writing about the islanders, “They are a most violent and cruel generation who seem to eat everybody they catch.” 

Since then, every expedition to island has been met with extreme hostility, and as a result the island has been left untouched to this day. Throughout the 16th-18th centuries many an explorer or shipwrecked sailor met their end on the island at the hands of the Sentinelese. In 1867 a British merchant ship shipwrecked on the island, and its surviivg 110 man crew spent several days fighting off the islanders with guns and swords. Many were killed and wounded in the battle before rescue. This prompted an expedition of reprisal by the Royal Navy who landed marines on the island a short time later. Most of the Sentinelese had disappeared into hiding, knowing that they couldn’t fight a battle against such overwhelming force. In the end the British left in frustration with two elderly Sentinelese and four children.

Today the idea of angry natives attacking shipwrecked sailors or explorers might be something you’d only see in a Pirates of the Caribbean movie, however Sentinelese resistance to the outside world continued so that even in the 20th century people tended to steer clear of the island. In 1974 a film crew from National Geographic landed on the island in modern boats in an attempt to make contact with the islanders with peace offerings of a box of coconuts, a baby doll, and a live pig. The Sentinelese met the crew fully armed and ready for war. As a result, a the National Geographic director took an arrow to the knee, the pig was mutilated alive, and the crew was forced to bug out under a hail of arrows and spears. 

In 1981 the cargo ship Primrose shipwrecked on the island, and the Sentinelese immediately surrounded the ship, shooting at the crew with bows and several times attempting to board the ship. The crew not only radioed for help, but asked for an urgent airdrop of firearms so they could defend themselves. The drop was delayed by weather but the crew were able to fend off the attacks with a pistol, firefighting axes, and flare guns. They were rescued after a week long siege. The Sentinelese dismantled much of the ship and used the scrap iron for arrow and spearheads. It’s remaining hull can still be seen from google earth.

The only known man to peacefully visit the island was an anthropologist named Trilokinath Prandit in 1991, who several times landed on the island with gifts which he left upon the beach.  When he did meet the natives they shot arrows at him and waved their genitals at him. However at one point he was able to make peaceful contact with some of the natives. However as as he left the island, the natives had a change of heart and began shooting arrows at him once more, he hasn’t been back since.

Today North Sentinelese Island is protected by the Indian Government and it is illegal to land there. The reasons for this are to keep the Sentinelese culture intact, and prevent the spread of disease from the island. Note that in history native peoples often suffered deadly diseases after making contact with newcomers. Another reason for creating a 3 mile exclusionary zone around the island is because in 2006 two drunk fisherman landed on the island and were murdered. Thus the Indian Government set up the contact ban to protect outsiders from the Sentinelese as much as protecting the Sentinelese from the outside world. In 2004 an Indian Coast Guard helicopter flew over the island to see if the Setinelese were OK after the 2004 Indian Ocean Earthquake, and to offer help if needed. The helicopter found that the Sentinelese were not only OK after the tsunami, but didn’t want anything any aid at all as they fired arrows at the helicopter.

 Today we still no nothing about the language, culture, and ethnicity of the Sentinelese Islanders. The only pictures we have of them are from the occasional illegal drone which buzzes over the island, and is typically met with a hail of arrows. It seems that despite seeing things such as ships, helicopters, and robotic drones, the Sentinelese don’t want fuck all to do with the modern world.

Tuesday night did not disappoint! I checked for aurora just before 1am and was so happy to see some activity! I quickly rushed to get my mom up (who is visiting from Wisconsin) because she hadn’t yet seen any really good aurora. We got outside just in time to see the sky come alive! I didn’t even have a chance to get my camera ready as we watched bright whites, greens and pinks absolutely fly across the entire night sky - rippling, arcing and exploding. The first 10 minutes were some of the best aurora I have ever seen. There was then a small lull and I ran back in to get my camera. This is the first shot I took when I got back outside. Since I have a 5 month old baby who often needs to be fed at night, I couldn’t go far from the house. But I still managed to get some nice shots that night while also taking a 15 minute nursing break! That’s a first for me. 😁 I’m so glad my mom and I got to see such a great display - and it will likely be one of the last we will see before the midnight sun dominates the night sky. Tulit'a, Northwest Territories, Canada.

Are You Not Alarmed?

Donald Trump told The Washington Post that he may have military parades in America like this one in North Korea in 2015. Ed Jones/AFP/Getty

By Charles M. Blow for The New York Times. January 19, 2017 [x]

Donald Trump may push us into another war.    

I continue to be astonished that not enough Americans are sufficiently alarmed and abashed by the dangerous idiocies that continue to usher forth from the mouth of the man who will on Friday be inaugurated as president of the United States. 

Toss ideology out of the window. This is about democracy and fascism, war and peace, life and death. I wish that I could write those words with the callous commercialism with which some will no doubt read them, as overheated rhetoric simply designed to stir agitation, provoke controversy and garner clicks. But alas, they are not. These words are the sincere dispatches of an observer, writer and citizen who continues to see worrisome signs of a slide toward the exceedingly unimaginable by a man who is utterly unprepared. 

In a series of interviews and testimonies Donald Trump and his cronies have granted in the last several days, they have demonstrated repeatedly how destabilizing, unpredictable and indeed unhinged the incoming administration may be. Their comments underscore the degree to which this administration may not simply alter our democracy beyond recognition, but also potentially push us into armed conflict. 

Last week, Trump’s secretary of state nominee, Rex Tillerson, said during his confirmation hearing that the United States had to “send China a clear signal that, first, the island-building stops, and second, your access to those islands also is not going to be allowed.” 

The only way to do this is with some sort of naval blockade, which China would undoubtedly interpret as an act of war. 

Indeed, as Business Insider reported, Chinese state-run media responded in an editorial, “Unless Washington plans to wage a large-scale war in the South China Sea, any other approaches to prevent Chinese access to the islands will be foolish.” 

Business Insider quoted Bonnie Glaser, a senior adviser for Asia and the director of the China Power Project at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, who pointed out that Tillerson’s position could easily result in war. 

If the United States put “a cordon of ships around one or all of the islands, and the Chinese flew in aircraft to one of their new islands, what are we going to do? Shoot it down?” Glaser asked. “We’d certainly end up in a shooting war with China.” But even short of the conflict over the islands, The Wall Street Journal’s Andrew Browne suggested Tuesday, Trump’s talk on trade alone could escalate into an armed conflict with China. Trump has said he will make continued adherence to the “one China” policy — which recognizes Beijing as the sole government of China — conditional on negotiations over what he sees as currency manipulation and other unfair trade practices by China. 

As Browne points out: 

“The gambit has profound security and military implications. Taiwan is a regional flash point. Beijing regards the island as an inalienable part of Chinese territory; ‘One China’ expresses not just its political desire for unification but a core part of Chinese identity. Chinese leaders will fight for it. They can’t lose Taiwan.” 

Make no mistake: As bad of an actor as China is, the United States actually depends on China. It is one of our biggest trade partners, but furthermore it is one of the last remaining checks on an erratic North Korea. China could simply stop using its influence to make North Korea behave. 

And as you may recall, during the campaign Trump suggested that the way to contain North Korea was for nuclear proliferation in the region. In March, Trump said of nuclear weapons: “You have so many countries already — China, Pakistan, you have so many countries, Russia — you have so many countries right now that have them.” He continued: “Now, wouldn’t you rather, in a certain sense, have Japan have nuclear weapons when North Korea has nuclear weapons?” 

Then there is the destabilizing and downright frightening random rhetoric. Trump has suggested that he equally trusts America’s friend-in-arms Angela Merkel and his friend-in-spirit Vladimir Putin. 

Trump told The Washington Post this week that he may start having military parades in major American cities à la North Korea: 

“Being a great president has to do with a lot of things, but one of them is being a great cheerleader for the country.” He continued: “And we’re going to show the people as we build up our military, we’re going to display our military. That military may come marching down Pennsylvania Avenue. That military may be flying over New York City and Washington, D.C., for parades. I mean, we’re going to be showing our military.” 

And, Trump continues to trash NATO, calling it “obsolete.” This is insanity. But too many Americans don’t want to see this threat for what it is. International affairs and the very real threat of escalating militarization and possibly even military conflict seems much harder to grasp than the latest inflammatory tweet. 

Maybe people think this possibility is unthinkable. Maybe people are just hoping and praying that cooler heads will prevail. Maybe they think that Trump’s advisers will smarten him up and talk him down. 

But where is your precedent for that? When has this man been cautious or considerate? This man with loose lips and tweeting thumbs may very well push us into another war, and not with a country like Afghanistan, but with a nuclear-armed country with something to prove. 

Are you not alarmed? 

Mizrahi Jewish People in the Holocaust

The Israeli school system teaches the average 11th grader all there is to know about the Holocaust and World War II, yet seems to nearly neglect mentioning the Holocaust in non European countries such as Libya, Algeria, Tunisia and Iraq.
A classmate did a class presentation the other day, talking about her grandmother who’s a Holocaust survivor from Libya. My white, Jewish, American teacher’s response was “oh, i didn’t know the holocaust was there too” or something equally as ignorant.

The Nazi policy didn’t spare Jewish people outside of Europe -  the 400,000 Jewish people in France’s territories in North Africa (French Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia) were included in the number of “the Final Solution to the Jewish Question in Europe”.
Jewish people in Libya, that was under Italian rule, suffered from Anti Semitism and economic restrictions as Italy’s relations tightened with Germany. In 1942, laws of racial discrimination were activated in Libya, men were recruited to forced labor and Jews were transferred to concentration camps.
The Vichy rule in Algeria from 1940 cancelled the Jews citizenship and activated the same restrictions that applied to the Jews of France.
The Vichy rule in Tunisia was pro Nazi and in 1942, the Nazis occupied 
French Tunisia. The commander of Tunis was then Walther Rauff, who was involved in the development of death gas vans and the Final Solution in Eastern Europe and instituted anti Jewish policies.
Iraq was for a short term under the Nazi allied regime of Rashid Ali Al Gaylani. Among its results was the Farhud which was a pogrom that killed 180 Jewish people.

You will not be taught about Mizrahi Jewish people in the Holocaust, although it is as important to know.

Trajan, the best emperor?

The Justice of Trajan, Eugène Delacroix  

Although he maintained an excellent rapport with the Senate, Trajan was still considered an absolute ruler but not to the degree of Domitian or even Nerva. Cassius Dio wrote, “Trajan was most conspicuous for his justice, for his bravery, and for the simplicity of his habits.”  As an emperor who was concerned with both good government and the public welfare, he instituted an excellent domestic policy - providing for the children of the poor, restoring the dilapidated road system, as well as building new bridges, aqueducts, public baths, and a modern port at Ostia. Lastly, he continued his predecessor’s policy of undoing much of the harm done by Domitian by freeing prisoners and recalling exiles.

While historians have identified him as a thoughtful emperor, Trajan’s real passion was war (and he was very good at it).

Keep reading

anonymous asked:

Are there trios ?

There are most definitely trios

Nevada, New Mexico, Virginia: Aliens/ Government secrets trio

Vermont, New Hampshire, Quebec: Maple syrup trio

Hawaii, Alaska, Puerto Rico: Disconnected trio

California, Texas, New York: Run the world trio

Maine, Maryland, Alaska: Crabs trio

Nebraska, Iowa, Ohio: Corn trio

North Dakota, Texas, Alaska: Oil trio

California, New Mexico, Texas: Actually remember living with Mexico trio

Oklahoma, Minnesota, Kansas: Tornado trio

North Carolina, Texas, Ohio: (Space)flight trio

Theoretically more I haven’t thought of too

3

Hellbenders are normally solitary animals with a fixed home range.   Once a hellbender has established a den, it will rarely leave it except to hunt or to find a mate.  The territories of two animals may overlap, but the two hellbenders are never found in the same place at the same time; should they meet by chance, they will challenge each other.  A larger animal will chase a smaller one away, but two equally matched hellbenders will engage in a vicious fight (see bottom image).  And should one hellbender kill the other, they are not above cannibalism.  

bbc.com
How did the remote French outpost of St Pierre and Miquelon vote? - BBC News
Off Newfoundland's southern tip, French residents from St Pierre and Miquelon voted from afar.

With the French presidential election just having wrapped up, I thought you might find this interesting and kinda Canada related since St Pierre and Miquelon are just off the coast of Newfoundland and are France’s last remaining North American territories. 

Submitted by @fueltransitsleep.

A MESSAGE FROM THE QUEEN

To the citizens of the United States of America from Her Sovereign Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

In light of your failure in recent years to nominate competent candidates for President of the USA and thus to govern yourselves, we hereby give notice of the revocation of your independence, effective immediately. (You should look up ‘revocation’ in the Oxford English Dictionary.)

Her Sovereign Majesty Queen Elizabeth II will resume monarchical duties over all states, commonwealths, and territories (except North Dakota, which she does not fancy).

Your new Prime Minister, Theresa May, will appoint a Governor for America without the need for further elections.

Congress and the Senate will be disbanded. A questionnaire may be circulated next year to determine whether any of you noticed.

To aid in the transition to a British Crown dependency, the following rules are introduced with immediate effect:

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1. The letter 'U’ will be reinstated in words such as 'colour,’ 'favour,’ 'labour’ and 'neighbour.’ Likewise, you will learn to spell 'doughnut’ without skipping half the letters, and the suffix ’-ize’ will be replaced by the suffix ’-ise.’ Generally, you will be expected to raise your vocabulary to acceptable levels. (look up 'vocabulary’).

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2. Using the same twenty-seven words interspersed with filler noises such as “like’ and 'you know’ is an unacceptable and inefficient form of communication. There is no such thing as U.S. English. We will let Microsoft know on your behalf. The Microsoft spell-checker will be adjusted to take into account the reinstated letter 'u” and the elimination of ’-ize.’

——————-

3. July 4th will no longer be celebrated as a holiday.

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4. You will learn to resolve personal issues without using guns, lawyers, or therapists. The fact that you need so many lawyers and therapists shows that you’re not quite ready to be independent. Guns should only be used for shooting grouse. If you can’t sort things out without suing someone or speaking to a therapist, then you’re not ready to shoot grouse.

———————-

5. Therefore, you will no longer be allowed to own or carry anything more dangerous than a vegetable peeler. Although a permit will be required if you wish to carry a vegetable peeler in public.

———————-

6. All intersections will be replaced with roundabouts, and you will start driving on the left side with immediate effect. At the same time, you will go metric with immediate effect and without the benefit of conversion tables. Both roundabouts and metrication will help you understand the British sense of humour.

——————–

7. The former USA will adopt UK prices on petrol (which you have been calling gasoline) of roughly $10/US gallon. Get used to it.

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8. You will learn to make real chips. Those things you call French fries are not real chips, and those things you insist on calling potato chips are properly called crisps. Real chips are thick cut, fried in animal fat, and dressed not with catsup but with vinegar.

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9. The cold, tasteless stuff you insist on calling beer is not actually beer at all. Henceforth, only proper British Bitter will be referred to as beer, and European brews of known and accepted provenance will be referred to as Lager. South African beer is also acceptable, as they are pound for pound the greatest sporting nation on earth and it can only be due to the beer. They are also part of the British Commonwealth - see what it did for them. American brands will be referred to as Near-Frozen Gnat’s Urine, so that all can be sold without risk of further confusion.

———————

10. Hollywood will be required occasionally to cast English actors as good guys. Hollywood will also be required to cast English actors to play English characters. Watching Andie Macdowell attempt English dialect in Four Weddings and a Funeral was an experience akin to having one’s ears removed with a cheese grater.

———————

11. You will cease playing American football. There is only one kind of proper football; you call it soccer. Those of you brave enough will, in time, be allowed to play rugby (which has some similarities to American football, but does not involve stopping for a rest every twenty seconds or wearing full kevlar body armour like a bunch of nancies).

———————

12. Further, you will stop playing baseball. It is not reasonable to host an event called the World Series for a game which is not played outside of America. Since only 2.1% of you are aware there is a world beyond your borders, your error is understandable. You will learn cricket, and we will let you face the South Africans first to take the sting out of their deliveries.

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13.. You must tell us who killed JFK. It’s been driving us mad.

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14. An internal revenue agent (i.e. tax collector) from Her Majesty’s Government will be with you shortly to ensure the acquisition of all monies due (backdated to 1776).

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15. Daily Tea Time begins promptly at 4 p.m. with proper cups, with saucers, and never mugs, with high quality biscuits (cookies) and cakes; plus strawberries (with cream) when in season.

God Save the Queen!

PS: Only share this with friends who have a good sense of humour (NOT humor)!