It’s frightening to see that people are opposing Hurst’s initiative not thinking about the children.
(Mirror Daily, United States) – We’ve all seen the touching Oscars performance that Lady Gaga gave. Sexual abuse survivors of all ages appeared on the scene next to her while trying to choke back tears. “Until it happens to you” reverberated around the still, touched audience. It’s obvious that the victims are left scarred for life. But what happens to the offenders? An Alabama legislator proposed chemical castration as punishment for child rapists.
Steve Hurst is proposing that sexual offenders that target children under the age of twelve be castrated (surgically or chemically). And the world is turning against him.
According to the bill that Hurst is trying to push, sexual molesters would have to be 21-year-old or more, they would have to finish their sentence and, the rapists must also pay for the procedure themselves.
It sounds like a harsh sentence, but as the Alabama legislator puts it, “the punishment must fit the crime”. He defends his bill against the people attacking his lack of humanity saying that he is not a monster for proposing such drastic measures.
The real monsters are those people who take advantage of an innocent, defenseless child. For a couple of minutes of pleasure, they scar the infant for life. Why should they serve some years in prison and then go back to minding their own business, free, on the streets while their victims go through hours of therapy, some ending up committing suicide?
And Hurst is not proposing something that out of the ordinary. States like Florida, California, Louisiana, Georgia, Oregon, Montana, Wisconsin and Texas already allow surgical or chemical castration for those found guilty of repeated sexual offenses.
This is not the first time when the Republican state representative tried to introduce the new legislation.
The Civil Liberties American Union and other groups that focus on defending fundamental human rights are opposing the bill qualifying it as being unusual and cruel.
In response, Hurst asked them who is more inhumane, the individual trying to impose a severe punishment that will make molesters think twice before robbing children of their innocence, or the monster that looks at a minor and gets aroused? A person who pushes a young child into having suicidal thoughts triggered by a sexual assault is not a human being and should be treated in accordance.
An Alabama legislator proposed chemical castration as punishment for child rapists, and the world seems more focused on defending the offenders rather than the victims.
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One of the biggest fans of the Sumatran orangutan was Terry Pratchett, the famous fantasy writer.
(Mirror Daily, United States) – There are only two orangutan species in the world, one of which is critically endangered. Or so the experts believed until they did a total count of the population. It seems that the Sumatran orangutans have a larger population than expected, but that doesn’t mean that they are out of harm’s way. Severe deforestation is threatening their natural environment, and the number of individuals is still declining rapidly.
The latest nose count revealed that there are approximately 14,600 Sumatran orangutans on the island. It may sound that they have plenty of specimens, but the orangutans are native to the northern part of the Indonesian island, and they cannot be relocated.
Even though the Sumatran orangutans have a larger population than expected, they are still severely threatened by deforestation and poaching. The beautiful, fire-kissed apes are being slowly pushed into extinction because the Indonesian authorities want to expand agricultural practices on the island.
And according to the researchers, if the current forest loss rate will continue, more than 4500 orangutan individuals will die by 2030. With this in mind, scientists are urging the local authorities to implement protection measures for the red-haired mammals.
The complete nose count was conducted because the researchers need an accurate estimation of the size of the Sumatran orangutan population to plan conservation measures. In order to obtain a result as precise as possible, the team of scientists that participated in the nose count conducted various surveys.
In the end, they counted over 3000 nests on a 300 kilometers territory. According to the calculation, this means that there are roughly 14.600 Sumatran orangutans in the Indonesian forests. The previous estimate was of 6600 individuals.
This remarkable difference was not given by a spike in the number of the apes, but because last counts did not include certain areas like logged forests, some areas situated on the west side of Lake Toba and the red-haired mammals that lived at higher elevations.
But the news that Sumatran orangutans have a larger population than expected is only good until the researchers present their estimates for the future numbers of individuals belonging to the native Indonesian species.
According to their calculations, the orangutans will dramatically decrease in numbers if the current deforestation plans are respected. The fire-kissed apes have very few natural predators, but, unfortunately for them, humans are among them.
Both the foreign researchers from the Max Plank Evolutionary Institute and the local Indonesian scientists are fighting against the construction of new buildings that will significantly affect the apes.
Sumatran orangutans have a larger population than expected, but it seems that it will not last long without serious conservational efforts.
Image source: www.flickr.com
The solar eclipse will theoretically start Wednesday, the 9th and it will end Tuesday, the 8th.
(Mirror Daily, United States) – If you’re an astronomy buff, and you want to check out the solar eclipse that will take place on the 8th, or 9th (depending on your location) of March, then you will have to travel to the northern part of the Pacific Ocean. The reason for your trip is given by the fact that next week’s solar eclipse will only be visible in Indonesia.
The solar eclipse that will take place next week is a rare thing indeed. The astronomical phenomenon will start on the Wednesday on the 9th and end Tuesday on the 8th. This is because the eclipse will first be visible on the western side of the date line, where it will already be Wednesday, and will continue towards the Est where it will cross the international date border into the previous day.
The first shadow will cross the western part of Sumatra. Two minutes into the eclipse, the moon will start to throw its shadow on the central and eastern part of the country, enveloping the islands of Belitung and Bangka.
If you’d rather trade Indonesia for a cruise ship, then you’re in luck. There will be one waiting in the Makassar Strait. The sun will be totally covered for almost 3 minutes, give or take fifteen seconds.
The best part of boarding a cruise ship in order to watch an eclipse is the fact that the vessel will be able to chase a good viewing spot in the case in which the sky will be covered with clouds. So the only people that are guaranteed a good show are those who chose water over land.
After performing above the Makassar Strait, the eclipse will move even further east towards the southern parts of Borneo and the northern parts of Sulawesi.
Then it’s on to the Molucca Sea, Halmahera and the South Pacific. The inhabitants of the southern parts of Guam will be able to see roughly 84 percent of the phenomenon.
But the maximum duration will be experienced by the people in the Philippines, more precisely the ones who live on the eastern side of Manila.
The shadow of the moon will leave the Earth somewhere near the northeast part of the Hawaiian Islands. The total duration of the phenomenon on all of the Earth’s surface will be of a bit of three hours and twenty minutes.
It’s a shame that next week’s solar eclipse will only be visible in Indonesia and some other few isolated parts of the world. But the good news is that the Slooh Observatory will host a live webcast of the phenomenon.
Image source: www.wikimedia.org
Everglades alligators are smaller because they feed only on crabs, small fish and birds.
(Mirror Daily, United States) – The expression “if you scratch my back, I’ll scratch your” takes a whole new meaning in Florida. The researchers have found that there is quite an unusual relationship growing between two very different animals. It seems that birds make quite a team with alligators in the Everglades and the scientists have found out why.
When you have to feed yourself and the younglings in the nest, you usually tend to find an appropriate place where you’re sure to find your hatchlings when you return. This is exactly what is happening in Florida at the moment.
Birds make quite a team with alligators in the Everglades. The presence of the long, fearful reptiles keeps the raccoons at bay while the avian members of the unusual inter-species duo discard some of their unwanted hatchlings into the water.
While the alligators do have more to win from this fruitful, unspoken bond, the birds are in a good position, too.
Nest-raiders are an immense problem among the bird population, a vast majority of them being raccoons. When a winged mother senses the presence of a furry thief it alerts all the other nest inhabitants, and an entire generation is lost in the greedy paws of the trash pandas.
But things run differently in the Everglades. The avian population of the marshes noticed that raccoons tend to avoid the places populated by alligators, so they started to build their nests right above reptile-infested waters.
Of course, the American reptile species is not playing bodyguard for free. Birds have the tendency to drop one or two hatchlings from the nest when food is scarce, or the place is overpopulated. So basically, they just look tough in front of the furry nest-raiders and in return, food falls from the sky.
But there are other advantages of this collaboration. Bird feces and undigested food that usually come with such a large population of winged animals make algae and water plants flourish. This means more food for invertebrates that are preferred by small fish that is on the menu of the long, fearsome reptiles.
It’s a vicious natural circle that somehow is keeping the alligator well nourished. And that is a good thing seeing as the American Everglades alligator is the smallest one on the continent due to scarce food present in the Florida waters.
Researchers found that alligators that live in areas highly populated by birds were bigger and healthier than those who don’t. So the relationship benefits both the participants.
As long as the birds build their nests high enough so that the alligators don’t eat them too.
Birds make quite a team with alligators in the Everglades, proving us that we still have a lot to learn about nature’s mysterious ways.
Image source: www.wikimedia.org
The bald eagle is the national bird symbol of the United States. It is also an endangered species.
(Mirror Daily, United States) – Last week, on the 24th of February a specimen of the national bird of the United States, was found murdered in Georgia. There is a substantial reward waiting for he who uncovers the bald eagle shooter as the authorities are far-reaching when it comes to our national emblem.
The bald eagle that was found in the northern part of Cedartown, near the Lewis Road was mature. There were unmistakable signs that the endangered bird was killed by a gunshot.
At the present moment, both the Natural Resources Department in Georgia and the United States Wildlife and Fish Services are investigating the death of the national emblem of the US.
The departments are actively seeking for any relevant information connected with the death of the bald eagle, and they declared that there is a substantial reward waiting for he who uncovers the bald eagle shooter.
There are currently two acts that protect the predatory bird. According to the Golden and Bald Eagle Act of Protection and the Treaty Act of Migratory Birds, it is illegal to harm or to kill such a specimen. This kind of violent behavior is fined with up to $100,000 and a whole year in prison.
There is a $2,500 reward waiting for he who uncovers the bald eagle shooter. So if you have any information about the incident you can contact Brian Roland, a special agent for the United States Fish and Wildlife Services (404 763-7959) or the Ranger Hotline of the Natural Resources Department in Georgia (1-800-241-4113). The Ranger Hotline is free of charge.
The bald eagle is the only eagle who can only be found in North American territories. His distinct color pattern makes it very easily identifiable even from a considerable distance. Even its flight pattern is unique as the bird rarely flaps its brown wings, but instead, it glides in the air.
Their diet consists mainly of fish. They either hunt the fish themselves, plucking them out of the water when they get near the surface, or they steal the fish caught by other birds.
One interesting fact about the bald eagle is that they get they get their distinctive look with the white tail and head only when they reached maturity. That means somewhere between four or five years of age.
The Haliaeetus Leucocephalus was adopted as the national bird of the United States in 1782. It was chosen mainly due to the fact that is native to the northern part of the continent, but also due to its great strength and majestic beauty.
Image source: www.wikimedia.org
The spotted owl is significantly smaller than the barred owl.
(Mirror Daily, United States) – Humans are an invading species, but they spend their time studying other “bully” animals that endanger smaller, defenseless ones. They find radical solutions against predators they forced to behave badly in the first place. This is exactly the case of the biologists who restored spotted owl population by massively murdering barred owls.
An experiment made by a biologist who is also a contractor for a lumber company is ironic, to say the least. Lowell Diller, a biologist who is on the payroll of the Green Diamond Corporation, a lumber managing company in Humboldt decided that the only way in which he can restore the population of a local endangered owl is to shoot another one out of existence.
It’s funny how people complain that there are too many mice in the rural areas, that there are too few trees and animals are disappearing one by one, but then they decide to shoot some owls because they’re big and they’re bothering the smaller ones.
While it is true that the barred owl migrated into the Californian area from the eastern part of the United States, thus driving the spotted owl population to the north, we should examine the reason behind this massive relocation before using them as target practice.
Diller learned to differentiate between the two species from the curator of ornithology at the Sciences Academy in California, Jack Dumbacher.
After spending some time with Dumbacher, Diller applied for a permit and the rest is history, or, at least, a great number of barred owls are.
The biologist lumberjack devised a scientific experiment that will soon be published in the Wildlife Management journal. Diller divided an area of the forest in two. One he left alone while in the other he shot every barred owl he could find.
After four years of continuously shooting the barred owls, Diller came to the conclusion that the spotted owl population was restored and even started to flourish once again.
But what was the cost of this spotted owl population restoring? Maybe if the biologist in question wasn’t also working with a lumber company he would have thought of a better preservation method that did not involve the massive murder of an owl species, like the conservation of the owl’s territory.
This whole problem wouldn’t have existed if the natural territories of the barred owls wouldn’t have been destroyed. It’s ironic that the first idea that crossed Diller’s mind was to shoot the invasive species.
Biologists restored spotted owl population by massively murdering barred owls. Maybe owls, bears, pumas, deer and all other species that are affected by the constant spread of human settlements should apply for a permit as well.
Image source: www.wikimedia.org
The Aedes aegypti is a carrier not only for the Zika virus, but also for the Dengue fever.
(Mirror Daily, United States) – Mosquitos have, are and will be one of the most dangerous, pesky, annoying and darn right useless insects in the world. Of course, not all of the 3000 species, only the 200 that bite humans and spread terrible diseases like Zika. People have tried to keep their population under control and avoid being bitten, but we presently have the technology of eradicating them altogether. So the logical question is are mosquitos that important in the environment?
So are mosquitos that important in the environment? Is that one single species, the Aedes aegypti so crucial to nature’s design that we can’t obliterate it out of existence and forget about awful life-altering diseases like Zika?
If we would decide to put to good use current gene-altering technology there would be no more Zika, malaria or Dengue fever in a matter of years because there would be no more carriers.
Out of the thousands of species of mosquitos we would only exterminate two or three that are already actively wreaking havoc among the human population.
The mosquitos are not the Pinta Island tortoises, nor are they white rhinos or Tasmanian tigers. They don’t have to be protected and there are plenty of other insects and other mosquitos that could fill the gap left by the Aedes aegypti or the Anopheles gambiae in the natural scheme of things.
As E.O. Wilson, biodiversity champion and American biologist said, we could store their DNA in a lab somewhere where it could be accessed by researchers and that is that. No more Zika, Dengue fever or malaria. No more unnecessary deaths or hydrocephaly.
A brilliant evolutionary geneticist at London’s Imperial College, Austin Burt, discovered the “gene drive”. It is a process that modifies certain genes of an animal and improves others. But this is old news. They just weren’t able to put the discovery to use because the process of gene manipulation and altering was extremely costly and lengthy at the time.
Lucky for all of us, a new cheap, fast, and accurate editing tool for genes, the CRISPR/Cas9 is now available on the market and they are actively working on the “gene drive” process.
Of course, they already perfected the technique on mosquitos. Furthermore, Oxitex, the creating and exploiting company of the new editing tool for genes is already experimenting in Brazil with the Aedes aegyti, the Zika and Dengue fever spreading mosquito.
According to them, they managed to modify their DNA so that after they reproduce, the larvae produced by the female do not have the chance of growing into fully developed mosquitos. Basically the scientists have rendered the mosquitos incapable of reproduction.
But it will take a lot more resources and a couple of years before the Aedes aegyti is completely eradicated. Nonetheless, it will be quicker than the 10 years it will take the researchers to develop a viable vaccine.
Image source: www.wikimedia.org
Who said a nice Parmesan, sun-dried tomatoes caprese salad is not healthy for the heart?
(Mirror Daily, United States) – Cardiovascular diseases are among the main factors that lead to US hospitalizations. But the good news is that the majority of this kind of problems are preventable if patients follow a simple set of guidelines. They just have to exercise regularly and know what the healthiest food for the heart is.
While one cannot fight with a genetic predisposition or a serious congenital defect, there are several heart-related problems that can be avoided by eating the healthiest food for the heart and exercising regularly.
When it comes to cardiovascular issues it is better to prevent than to treat. And the prevention measures have a very nice “side effect”. They keep people healthy, energetic and ready to take on the world.
But doctors are always advising patients to eat healthy without actually providing them with many examples of the healthiest food for the heart. But fear not, because we comprised a long list of groceries that will help you and your family enjoy a heart-friendly meal any time of the day.
Here is a list of the healthiest food for your heart.
Who doesn’t remember the dreadful moments in their childhood when they had to take fish oil supplements? And before the jelly tablets, there were the big bottles filled with gooey oil that children were forced to swallow.
Fish is rich in vitamins, minerals, Omega 3, Selenium and other heart-friendly substances. But not all of them. The doctors recommend the consumption of sockeye salmon (which is a bit lighter than the usual salmon found on the market), Pacific halibut, Atlantic cod, blue mussels, European anchovies, and yellowfin tuna.
Quinoa, for example, is a great source of Magnesium and Selenium. It’s also really tasty when it’s boiled with a few cloves and a half of lemon.
Another heart-healthy grain is semolina flour. The B3 and Selenium rich flour are usually used in the making of pasta, puddings, couscous and breakfast cereal.
Of course, a salad is healthy no matter what because it contains chlorophyll and fibers, and very tasty olive oil. But you can transform a regular salad into one of the healthiest food of the heart by adding some seeds to it.
Sunflower seeds, for example, have an index of heart healthy of 76.7 because they are highly rich in selenium and magnesium. Also, they add a really nice crunchy texture when they are added to a salad or a yogurt.
Other healthy seeds are sesame which has a really big calcium and magnesium concentration, chia seeds, linseeds and poppy seeds.
Even though it’s actually a spice we are going to also include cinnamon in this category because it is absolutely wonderful, especially combined with a cup of dark roasted coffee or some dark hot chocolate. Cinnamon contains a ton of calcium and a whole teaspoon features only 6 calories.
The “others” category feature tofu which has a concentration of 213.4 percent of calcium, 77.6 percent selenium and index of 88.7 when it comes to heart health.
You might also want to include more egg whites in your diet along Parmesan cheese, soybeans, liverwurst, brown rice, sundried tomatoes, Swiss cheese, shiitake mushrooms, ginger and agar seaweed.
Most of the healthiest food for the heart is also the tastiest food on the table. So you won’t have to make compromises taste-wise when you will start your heart-friendly diet.
Image source: www.pixabay.com
The timber rattlesnakes used in the research will be fitted with special designed radio trackers.
(Mirror Daily, United States) – The Mount Zion Island in Massachusetts will be populated with venomous snakes that the researchers want to study more closely. The timber rattlesnakes will be monitored via radio trackers so they will not pose a threat to the population residing near the island.
The venomous reptiles will be fitted with radio transmitters small enough to do them no harm and large enough to send back viable information. So if one of the timber rattlesnakes involved in the experiment would try to make a run to the mainland the researchers would be able to catch it and bring it back to the island.
The Massachusetts Division of Wildlife and Fisheries assistant director Tom French stated that any wayward snake would be handled and the population will not be submitted to any risks or dangers.
Mount Zion is off limits to civilian population so there is no risk of an accidental encounter with a timber rattlesnake and an unsuspecting human.
The researchers involved in the study plan to release one to a maximum number of ten snakes on the Mount Zion island each year.
The radio transmitters only have a 2 years lifespan, so they will have to retrieve the snakes once every two years. The devices will only be fitted by the head veterinarian of the Rhode Island Park Zoo.
Since a snake can withstand three such surgeries during its lifetime, a single specimen will only be fitted with two radio transmitters, the third surgery being only one of removal.
According to French timber rattlesnakes are perfectly capable of swimming, but they need a motivation to do so. Also, besides the fact that the snakes are monitored, they would place themselves in great danger is they decided to swim towards the continent.
A swimming snake is a perfect target for a bald eagle. In the case of an escapist, it is probable that the researchers end up tracking the eagle that ate the snake rather than a free venomous reptile.
French also declared that the scientists will make one to eight visits per month to the Mount Zion Island. They will use special tracking devices to see the snake’s movements and preferred resting places.
The areas where the timber rattlesnakes prefer to spend their time in or hibernate are not yet clear for the researchers. That is why they are conducting this study.
In conclusion, the population that resides near the Mount Zion area will have nothing to fear because the timber rattlesnakes will be monitored via radio trackers and any rogue specimens will be relocated as soon as they try to make their escape.
Image source: www.wikimedia.org
Neither Zuckenberg, nor Dorsey wished to comment on the threats emitted by the CSA.
(Mirror Daily, United States) – A video released by an ISIS-supporting terrorist group, the “Sons Caliphate Army” warned Jack Dorsey and Mark Zuckerberg that their efforts against on-line terrorism are useless. The SCA threatened the social media giants that their eradication measures are futile and their “names will soon be erased”.
The hacker terrorist group behind these threats, the “Sons Caliphate Army”, made a 25-minute long video in which they presented all of their “achievements”. They also showed pictures with Twitter and Facebook’s CEO’s, Jack Dorsey and Mark Zuckerberg being used as target practice. After they were done shooting at the cardboard figures of the two media giants the terrorist group burned the pictures in order for their message to be clear.
Mythology thought us that the hydra was a magical creature that thrived when it was attacked. The reason? When you cut one head, two more took its place. The concept was later adopted by the Captain America comic books where a Nazi German group named themselves “Hydra” and munched on cyanide pills when they got caught.
The SCA took the analogy even further and threatened Dorsey and Zuckerberg that with every account they delete, they will hack ten more. This is the first serious threat that the social media moguls received after they publicly announced last month that they are actively trying to eliminate all terrorist-affiliated profiles from their platforms.
But why is the Islamic State so interested in having profiles on social media platforms that support most things Allah bans? Because Twitter and Facebook have millions of active users, a gold mine for ISIS potential recruits.
Only this month, Twitter announced that 125.000 accounts were suspended because of terrorist affiliations. According to the press release, these accounts were either threatening or promoting acts of terrorism, all in the name of ISIS.
Facebook also made it very clear that any promotion or praise linked to terrorism or terror act are strictly prohibited on the platform. Users that do not follow this rule will have their accounts deleted.
As you can see in the short version of the SCA video embedded below, the terrorist group of hackers claim that they are presently in control of 10,000 accounts and 150 groups on Facebook and over 5,000 profiles on Twitter.
Also, they deemed the two social network’s eradicating efforts as being futile because “they are not in their league”.
Neither Facebook nor Twitter representatives had anything to comment regarding the video.
Image source: www.ytimg.com