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Racism: The Fight for Liberty, Justice and Equality

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‘Racism’ is on the World Stage :

And has been from the moment of George Floyd’s tragic death. (2020)

Racism is still present within the UK, England, EU, and USA and many other Countries.

The Black Man George Floyd was “restrained” around the neck with the police officers leg and died as a result.

All whilst struggling to breathe and saying “I can’t breathe”.

This Tragedy took place In Minneapolis a city in USA state Minnesota in mid May 2020.

Anti-Racism groups have been protesting furiously ever since the tragedy, and there have been new movements, left in the wake of Floyd’s death, battling to fight against racism and social injustice in remembrance of George Floyd.

Since then, there has been a unified movement for REAL CHANGE and the Black Lives Matter movement has taken off with real speed given the shocking video of George Floyd’s death in the USA.

The unbearable to watch video almost immediately went Viral across the World.

And in the World of Sports most players and teams take a knee before playing, as a sign to remember George Floyd, Black Lives Matter and The Fight Against Racism.

Marcus Rashford: Taking a Knee in the Fight Against Racism.

The debates have been ongoing in the UK about whether or not we should use the acronyms of BAME (Black Asian and Minority Ethnicities) to refer to ethnic minorities.

Zamila Bunglawala, Deputy Head of Unit & Deputy Director Policy and Strategy, Race Disparity Unit, Cabinet Office said about the BAME debate in July 2019 that:

“Personally, I have never referred to my ethnicity using BAME or BME, and I don’t like it when they are used to describe me. Like many ethnic minorities, I proudly refer to my specific ethnic identity – my background is Indian. That’s obviously my personal preference, but the fact that the acceptability of BAME and BME has been called into question by The BBC, The Times and The Guardian, suggests I am not alone.”

The USA was left angry and protests in reaction to the death of Mr George Floyd shook many states within the USA with many weeks and nights of witnessing fires and burning of vehicles, businesses and a police station in Minneapolis where Mr George Floyd was residing.

140 cities in USA saw protests in the name of George Floyd and Black Lives Matter, many of these protests ended similar to the nights in Minneapolis. The National Guard was brought into 21 states to try and get the protesters to calm down and go home.

President Trump did absolutely nothing to help the situation and even drove back protesters at a Black Lives Matter rally which then officially led to the street (leading up to the White House) being renamed to ‘Black Lives Matter Plaza’. And the street was also painted on with big yellow letters, reading: ‘Black Lives Matter’.

Society faces a problem in eradicating Racism.

There is a real demand for Social Change, Justice and Equality; to fight against social injustice and to move away from ‘White Privilege’ and ‘White Supremacy’.

Ethnic and Black people are all tired of being treated unfairly simply due to the diversity of nature. All over the World.

There are many factors that have yet to be overcome as Racism is prevalent everywhere and on a big scale; Racism has become and has been Institutionalised for a very long time now.

People have also become more racist with figures like Trump and Nigel Farage boosting racism and sending the wrong messages to the public.

Donald Trump was elected President, due to his promises on building a wall on the border of Mexico and the USA.

Trump also promised on cutting down on immigration and even tried to controversially ban Muslims from travelling into the USA.

REUTERS/Yuri Gripas

The Politics, of fear, of the other, is the message, that has been used, to spread fear, so far; And has seen a rise in support due to a focus on the difference between Race, Origin and Religion;

Institutional Racism / Systemic Racism is a huge Problem:

Police stop and search keeps happening to more Black and Ethnic Minorities, compared to White people, who are less likely to be stopped and searched, in the UK and USA. Police brutality keeps happening and George Floyd’s death has awoken many to the social injustice in the World.

In Sports; Black Footballers have been targeted in racist attacks and for decades there have been no changes, rather an increase in incidents.

Names such as Raheem Sterling and Anton Ferdinand have been racially discriminated against and yet football and racism are still seen as the norms especially amongst so called fans who bring the beautiful game into disrepute with racist chants and behaviours. Also the lack of Black and Asian players in Football is underrepresented.

Raheem Sterling being discriminated against because of his colour.

Schools and Education need to include factual history and incorporate new Black and Minority Ethnic curriculums to educate generations fairly and correctly about the realities of the World.

And the change that is required, whilst teaching children about others and their lost heritage and culture. And a realistic history of slavery, should feature, on the curriculum. And Children should be taught who is responsible for the slave trade and the racism that exists, still, today.

Even the Governments around the World and the rise of Political Racist parties and many similar institutions such as the BNP and National Front in the UK, and the KKK in the USA, are big and longtime operators in Big Institutional Racism.

Above : Different Labels given to Racism: explained.

The systems in place within these institutions are racist and need to change.

Due to ones differences in colour and creed, ‘Racism’ is being legitimised and the divisive far right hate groups are making a mockery of Human Rights, Equality, Liberty and Justice by trying to make Racism acceptable and continue with today’s norm.

The list of racist organisations in the USA are extensive; White nationalist hate groups in the US have increased 55% throughout the Trump era, according to a 2020 report by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), and a “surging” racist movement continues to be driven by “a deep fear of demographic change”. (the Guardian)

In the USA, there were 155 such groups counted last year, and they were present in most states. These groups were counted separately from Ku Klux Klan groups, racist skinheads, Christian Identity groups, and neo-Confederate groups, all of which also express some version of white supremacist beliefs. (the Guardian)

Racism has got to the boiling point and is overflowing with Protests taking place all over the World.

The KKK has been around since 1865 and still has members in groups around the USA and is still active to date.

In England influential Protests have occurred at Hyde Park (June 2020) with Black Actor from Star Wars, John Boyega, voicing his concerns on the rise of racism and his disappointment in Institutions.

Racist groups in the UK have been dated back to as early as the 1940’s. The list of racist groups/organisations in the UK are too many to mention here.

John Boyega – Black Lives Matter Protest at Hyde Park 2020.

On 3rd June 2020: Boyega made a rallying speech through his megaphone at a Black Lives Matter Protest which was held recently after George Floyd’s death.

John Boyega said at the rally : “Black lives have always mattered. We have always been important. We have always meant something. We have always succeeded regardless. And now is the time. I ain’t waiting.” The Star Wars actor went on to say “We are a physical representation of our support for George Floyd. We are a physical representation of our support for Sandra Bland. We are a physical representation of our support for Trayvon Martin. We are a physical representation of our support for Stephen Lawrence.”

John Boyega concluded by saying: “Today is about innocent people who were halfway through their process. We don’t know what George Floyd could have achieved, we don’t know what Sandra Bland could have achieved, but today we’re going to make sure that won’t be an alien thought to our young ones. “I need you to understand how painful this s*** is. I need you to understand how painful it is to be reminded every day that your race means nothing and that isn’t the case any more, that was never the case. And Racism should not be acceptable any more.”

Many large and influential Racist institutions are still being racist and are preventing progress on a cultural shift/change towards fairness and equality.

Society has entangled itself so long in notions of white supremacy and their racist views towards colour/race/gender/religion and sexuality that we are only now starting to try and untangle and break these remnant invisible shackles of slavery/colonialism/and racism. There is still much to do in the fight against racism. And of course no one should be in shackles of any sort or ever kept from their right to freedom.

Samuel L Jackson stars in a documentary called ‘Enslaved’ and he recalls the lives of slaves on ships from Bristol, USA, and other European ships where approximately 12 million slaves were brought and sold within the Trans-Atlantic slave trade which went on for several centuries.

In this documentary they mention Edward Colston who was a slave merchant and his statue was toppled and thrown into the Bristol Harbour, by anti racism protesters who only recognised him for his involvement in the slave trade whilst others argued he had been a very rich and charitable man for Bristol and England.

Monuments all over the world have been targeted due to the racists connections they hold and governments across the World are confused as to what to do about this particular issue of statues and monuments that are offensive due to their racist contexts.

Edward Colston’s riches’ came from the slave trade and there is still a lot of controversy in the UK about monuments like Edward Colston (his statue was recovered from the Harbour) and Winston Churchill’s statue who is seen as another figure who had racist views and involvement in racism through comments he has made has been targeted next with anti racist protesters graffitiying his statue.

A Graffitied Statue of Winston Churchill in England.

Hate in the form of Racism has sadly been a reality for everyone all around the world for a very long time and people want a Change to happen Now! REAL CHANGE! No more Racism! No more social injustice!

Countries like the UK and USA have a role in bringing about this change;

As before the abolition of slavery;

There were lucrative fortunes made from the slavery business. Countries were robbed of their riches and citizens’ their freedoms and human rights whilst often being taken from their homeland Africa/West-Indies/Jamaica and for example Barbados, Trinidad and Tobago, Gambia, Senegal, Congo, Ghana, Nigeria and Cameroon to name a few, of course there were other countries/islands too which have not been mentioned. (As the list would be exhaustive.)

History shows that the UK/USA/Europe, all exploited mass amounts of Black people throughout a 400 year span that slavery lasted, possibly even longer and was abolished in the UK in 1807 and 1865 in the USA.

Slavery was so lucrative that it made the UK and USA rich and the economies came to be based mainly around slavery; And countries like the UK/USA were subsequently built by slavery and its unfortunate victims.

Therefore primarily they should take responsible action against tackling racism and racists who spread hate in the name of White Supremacy and often glorify figures like Hitler and the Nazi Flag.

In the UK political scene the BNP has been gaining more support, evident from vote results. There are also a lot of members of groups such as the National Front who are notorious for Racism.

BR-EXIT was also a major dividing point with most of the ethnic groups within London voting to remain in the EU which exemplifies the need for multiculturalism and diversity within society.

Instead the UK left the EU at a loss and plans to halt and stop immigration into the UK.

Over 80% of the UK population is White. Racism has been on the rise since the BREXIT vote to leave the EU and this has been happening since the decision to have an EU Referendum, each year the rise in racist crime goes up and a recent report shows that racial discrimination has gone up even further since the EU exit.

Pro racist groups and Far right groups’ demonstrators protested against the Black Lives Matter movement and many other hate groups. A sad but true reality. Making the Black Lives Matter, an even more important, voice, to keep, on the agenda.

In the USA President Trump has been popular amongst those with Nationalist and Racist views – usually the two go hand in hand – and during his presidency he has caused a divide between Hispanic, Black, Asian and Oriental people by alienating them through comments and policy against them.

Corona and Racism towards minorities

President Trump has caused his supporters to become dangerously confident and has referred to the Corona Virus as a Chinese virus and went about the handling of George Floyd’s death all wrong sending in the wrong signals to the World and the USA.

Confederate flag – Banned and removed.

Racism is on the rise in America and this is evident with the distancing of the US Administration of the Confederate flags.

In stark contrast to those who have ‘confederate flags’ a symbol from the days of civil war and unrest in the fight for freedom and abolishment of slavery, where many lives were lost in battles on both sides, Black and White.

The White Confederates eventually lost the Civil War and the once enslaved people gained freedom, a human right, on June 19th 1865 when USA President Abraham Lincoln used the Emancipation Act and ratified the 13th Amendment of the USA constitution.

Much of the USA are trying to ban and remove the flags although some are still visible as people are claiming to have the flags as part of their heritage.

Coronavirus has effected many people around the World and is Racist for many reasons. Chinese people all over the World have been subjected to Racism and Discrimination and even President Trump referred to the virus as The China Virus.

Also Black and ethnic minorities have been subjected to the virus which is intrinsically linked to the World of racism we live in:

The Corona virus has bulldozed its way into our lives and has drastically changed the way we live; The number of deaths has just surpassed two – million at the time of writing.

Current graphs show that Black and Ethnic Minorities in the UK and USA are dying more than White people. (This has been the situation since the beginning of the Pandemic.)

The main contributor to the virus link with racism is the factor of inequality due to the way the system was, is, and has been designed, to keep the Black and Minority Ethnics poor and the White rich.

Many Black and ethnic minorities do not have the standards of living that they would need in order to fight off a challenge from the Corona virus.

The significantly poorer Black and Minority Ethnic communities are often in a poor housing situation, and this makes it easier to contract the virus in closely housed accommodation.

The system that is at fault is the system that has slowly and carefully been put together over time with a clear divide in wealth and opportunities and senior positions.

A graph from 2016 : have things changed since then?

In the UK and the USA, Black and Minority Ethnic are still in considerably lower wealth and lower income and lower positions than the White demographic. The virus is thus inadvertently intertwined and linked with Racism.

The Black and Minority ethnics are dying as a result of less income and less wealth than the White people who can afford proper care and well spaced out accommodation, many others can’t and end up dying from the virus, due to, being unable to manage, especially with lockdowns and job losses. The current climate of racism along with the virus is unhelpful at the least.

Conclusion:

We’ve seen examples of explicit racism above, also to mention is unconscious bias this is when people have underlying attitudes and unconscious stereotyping going in their mind about others and is a pre-conceived way of thinking or pre-conceived attitude to others.

These are pre-formulated ideas in the mind and can be corrected by being aware and self conscious of your unconscious stereotyping and learning through practice to remove these thoughts.

This article also discussed Institutional Racism/Systemic racism which is present in Prisons, Education, Policing, Politics, History, Sports and other fields/departments/categories.

The racism is wrong and is coming in from every angle in many ways subtle and discreet and overt and extreme at times as well as intrinsically patterned into society through racist agendas. Structural racism.

This article also discussed the Racist statues/monuments around the UK. And instead of remove statues that are offensive and have their past in racism the UK government is looking to find further ways to protect these statues / monuments through law in parliament.

Racism is still here, which is the sad truth, hopefully and through being educated and aware and anti-racist we can unite to see the end of this disease called racism. Let’s stand against social injustice and racism!

Written by Raj

January 19, 2021 at 11:45 pm

Theresa May’s Urgency for an ‘Emergency Brexit’

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eam22

Hasty and feisty :

This article looks at the Brexit and how Article 50 will be triggered now it has been made possible by the Supreme Court ruling which indicated the correct process, and looking at the timeframe of the deadlines and how they’ve been kept on track to meet these through haste on the UK governments part.

Theresa Brexit and Trump:

The process for Brexit seems to have been an emergency Brexit with the Government going about the process with so much urgency that it’s as if the panic button had been pressed, so much for remaining calm whilst under pressure.

Or is this rather an Emergence Brexit – an emergence of Brexit and Trump on their new found relationship. Or has Theresa May chose to ignore the large amount of people who voted to remain, do they no longer mean anything? Given that they almost nicked it to the finish line too. Why the early deadlines then? Similar to Trump and his crazy ban on Muslims he has not shown any concern and shown a lack of liberty for many; social inclusion is important and for a leader of an international country and being an international man how can he make such a devastating call. He too seems to have ignored the vast swathes of the public. Protests, Protests, and more Protests is what he got in return.

Damage:

Brexit has caused much chaos financially with the estimated EU bill between €40bn and €60bn; big companies leaving the UK, but also the economy is suffering and the evidence is in the weakened Pound. Triggering Article 50 after putting a bill together within days even before the Brexit Plan had been announced is unexpected and shocking.

The Brexit bill was voted for in a landslide majority, but there were a lot of resignations and the debate prior to the vote, was heated with many MP’s scrutinising the bill for being put together poorly in order to meet Prime-Minister May’s deadline for triggering Article 50.

brxthree

Deadlines:

The date set out by the PM is March 31, 2017 and by then she will have requested that Article 50 should be triggered; by notifying the European Council of Britain’s intention to leave the EU. She is on-course to meet the deadline given and this just goes to show the intent for setting things in motion and with haste, a Brash and Bold Brexit no time for Brexit Banter.

So what has all this urgency been about by the Conservative Government and the Prime-Minister Theresa May on pressing for an early BREXIT.

We are sure to find out soon when trade negotiations will take place and President Trump is sure to play a role with the UK the USA’s closest ally.

History:

The UK joined the EU in 1973 and are now set to leave it via the Emergency exit via an ill thought out bill. Is the UK trying to keep pace with President Trump and follow his quick succession of executive orders and enforcement of a new beginning by being bullish about the Brexit and do things fast like Trump.

It certainly seems like Theresa May was out to fight when she presented her speech on her terms for Brexit which was in direct contrast to her message of a new partnership with the EU, she said she would walk away with no deal if the EU tried to impose a poor deal and not co-operate further with the EU.

Philip Hammond, the UK chancellor, told the German newspaper Welt am Sonntag this week that he wanted the UK to remain “a recognisably European-style economy with European-style taxation systems and European-style regulation systems”, trading freely with the EU on something close to current terms.

Public opinion:

The public are key and more far right views are taking to the stage – with the UK its been a close call on public opinion on remaining or leaving the EU and in the US its been close too on whether to vote for Hillary or Trump.

Now we have ongoing protests against Trump and ongoing protests again Theresa May, and also Trump’s divisive policy on Muslims entering the US. What will be Theresa May’s move after Brexit?

balloon

Conclusion:

The Government were stalled in triggering Article 50 although it was short-lived. The difficulty initially began when the Supreme Court ruled on Article 50, on 24 January 2017.

The Supreme Court’s ruling on whether Theresa May has the power to trigger Article 50 using a royal prerogative would not get the go ahead.

This was a major ruling and has set a precedent for future rulings in similar situations.

Instead the Supreme Court ruling ensured that Parliament had a vote as to when Britain will begin the formal process of exit negotiation and trigger Article 50.

The Government’s efforts in trying to secure an exit without needing a vote from Parliament proved to be a temporary problem. The Government went about producing a bill which was passed through in Parliament by a majority vote.

This bill could have proved much more problematic if it had been contested and lots of amendments requested; however Theresa May managed to get the bill through although it has been called a mockery and simplistic and there may be a few more legal requirements for the Governments involved in the Brexit from the UK to take into consideration.

Many now want the Government to work with Parliament more closely and obtain votes on key negotiations.

The UK was divided on leaving or remaining in the EU and in London the majority voted to remain. Also because it was a close call there should have been more  sense about the Government’s attempts to try and execute the exit as soon as possible.

The vote in parliament over triggering article 50 happened very quickly and was a slick move by Theresa May to further keep the breeze in the Brexit going.

Scotland’s stance in this process will be interesting to keep an eye on, as they had shown on many occasions a want to remain in the EU.

Northern Ireland and Wales along with Scotland had been firm on their position that they wanted more of a role in the Brexit negotiations which could have lasted up to two years, yet it was resolved within a short amount of time.

The EU’s chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier has put forward his time framework to have terms finalised for the exit from the EU by the end of September 2018.

It seems as if time is of the essence and Prime-minister May will be looking to meet her other deadlines including- March 31, 2019 the Date by which Theresa May wants to wrap up negotiations over Brexit and by May 2019 Britain to formally exit the EU, following ratification of Brexit by all other member states of the EU.

Perhaps there is no hidden agenda and the urgency is because the PM wants to get this crisis of Brexit out of the way as soon as possible. More is bound to be revealed during the next couple of weeks as there is still outstanding controversy over why this bill has been bulldozed through in such a short amount of time and seemingly a lack of preparation of the bill and lack of time for all sides.

 

Galapagos Island Volcano Erupts!

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A dark plume estimated to be 10km (6.4 miles) high was reported from the Volcan Wolf as its known on Monday 25/05/2015 when it first started spewing lava in the early morning.

Isabela Island is where the volcano has erupted, on the largest of the Galapagos Islands. The elevation of the Volcano is 5,600 feet above sea level, which makes it the Island’s highest point.

There was initial concern for the people residing on the island, however it was later found that the islands residents are safe from the eruption, yet some of the ash cloud could descend upon them. The Volcano and island drift along the Equator and the erupting Volcano is directly on the Equator.

The Wolf Volcano has not erupted for the past 30 years, 33 years to be precise.

isabela

The island was formed by the merger of 6 shield volcanoes – Alcedo, Cerro Azul, Darwin, Ecuador, Sierra Negra and Wolf, the island is aged at approximately the 1.5 million year old mark . All of these volcanoes are still active, except Ecuador, which means Isabela is evidently the most volcanically active place on Earth.

isabela2

The island is shaped like a seahorse resulting from the merging of six large volcanoes into a single landmass.

The island which is home to the world’s only Pink Iguana a new species (only discovered in 2009) which lives at the top of the Volcano North crater.

Isabela Island is also home to more Tortoises than any other island, they roam there in mass numbers with no threat of predators, carving out paths amongst the fauna that grows on Isabela.

The abundance of species on Isabela is astounding there are also other wildlife such as penguins, cormorants, marine iguanas, blue-footed boobies, pelicans and crabs. Galapagos land iguanas, finches, Galapagos hawks, Galapagos doves are all on the island too, where Charles Darwin studied on the theory of evolution.

At Present the Volcano has been oozing lava on the South face, so potentially the Pink Iguanas (an endangered species) may have had time to escape danger. The Wolf is said to be between 0.7 and 1.5 million years old. Island officials say there is no danger to tourists as yet.

Galapagos Pink Land Iguana (Conolophus marthae) new species described in 2009, open mouth threat display, Isabella Island, Galapagos Islands, Ecuador

Teleporting experiment on the Brain!

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brainThis experiment shows how the brain constructs an identity or sense of self when posed with the situation of being teleported.

Teleporting – What did the Scientists do?

Scientist Arvid Guterstam is a neuroscientist at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden and worked with his team to find out through this perceptually illusory experiment what and how parts of the brain process, produce and react to teleporting their body to somewhere else.

Fifteen people were experimented on to learn the brain activity that goes on in there heads when faced with Scientists Guterstam’s illusion which gives the experimented participants a realistic teleporting experience with visuals and the sense of touch is applied in this experiment to provide the full teleporting feel.

And how did they do it?

The fMRI (Brain scanner) machine scanned the participants whilst they were laying on their backs, whilst attached to them was a visual display screen which was attached to a camera on a mannequin in the same room. The experiment allowed the person to look through the eyes of the dummy, which shows the room (and themselves in the scanner) in the dummy’s point of view. Then the sense of touch is brought into the experiment when simultaneously the dummy is stroked alongside the person in the scanner. Providing the teleporting experience.

dummy

What happened?

The Scientists found that the brain experiences an out of body experience and they were able to see the parts of the brain that were working when this happened, a key finding was learning the brains sense of the self through body and the sense of self location. Identifying the parts of the brain that were being stimulated was key and this happened through comparing the results of the participants with a map like study of brain patterns which were analysed and then compared.

arvid

What part of the Brain lights up in a fMRI Scan whilst in a teleporting experience?

The posterior cingulate cortex, a region deep in the middle of the brain, near the back of the head lit up when faced with the teleporting experience and combined the ability to perceive sense of self through the body and the sense of self location.

Before the experiment little was known about the uses of the posterior cingulate cortex in the latter functions; “We normally discover a lot about brain function by studying people who have had a stroke, but the cingulate cortex is located in between stroke-prone areas and is rarely affected itself. “This means we know little about its function, it’s a very mysterious area.” Said Neuro-scientist Arvid Guterstam (above).

What the Scientists knew before the experiment:

“What Scientists did know was that the cingulate cortex was already linked with emotion formation, memory and learning, and that any abnormal activity in the cingulate cortex has been linked to depression and schizophrenia and (as they expected from previous and other experiments/studies/findings) the parietal lobe and premotor cortex were also involved in generating the teleporting illusion.

“These parts of the brain are known for integrating information from different senses to build higher representations of the body,” says lead author of the study Guterstam. Other areas, known to house specialised place and grid cells that help us navigate, were also active during the illusion.

“This finding is particularly interesting because it indicates that place cells are not only involved in navigation and memory encoding, but are also important for generating the conscious experience of one’s body in space,” says principal investigator Henrik Ehrsson, professor at the Department of Neuroscience, Karolinska Institutet.

Brainstorm

Social Context:

The teleporting experience shows the beginnings of study into the perceptual self and the mapping in the future of the brain to provide a succint picture of the brains functions. This study came about in inspiration of the Studies in rats which has shown that specific regions of the brain contain GPS-like ‘place cells’ that signal the rat’s position in the room – a discovery that was awarded the 2014 Nobel Prize in Physiology of Medicine. To date, however, it remains unknown how the human brain shapes our perceptual experience of being a body somewhere in space, and whether the regions that have been identified in rats are involved in this process.

“The sense of being a body located somewhere in space is essential for our interactions with the outside world and constitutes a fundamental aspect of human self-consciousness,” says Arvid Guterstam. “Our results are important because they represent the first characterization of the brain areas that are involved in shaping the perceptual experience of the bodily self in space.”

diabrain

Conclusion:

The experiment of the rats was a key point in this type of Science and this teleporting experiment is also a key point and a stepping stone to the beginning of this kind of scientific study which links so well with the social aspect and study of our perceptions of the self in a social context. Future studies like this are likely to occur given the buzz around the field for Mind mapping and whether they will identify key factors in the functioning of the brain as did Arvid Guterstam and his team is likely to take place over time, however the race seems to be on to Map the mind as soon as possible.

Indian Air Force: Boeing Transporter makes flight work of things!

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IAF C17

The Indian Air force are making light work of things by bringing in their third Boeing Transporter aircraft. Ten of these Transporter aircraft have been purchased from the US at a cost of billions, $5.1 billion to be precise, the deal was arranged in 2011.

The aircraft is capable of easily transporting military tanks, the media have reported that these aircraft will be transporting tanks to the Indian borders; the reason for the spreading of tanks to the border is to act as a deterrent, and China have sparked India into a response.

China has at the ‘line of actual control’ built up a military infrastructure presence and this has instigated India into a speedy response with their purchasing of the largest of Indian Air Force transporters. As mentioned before the Indian Air Force have three of these planes and by the end of this year the air force is expecting a delivery of two more and in 2014 another five more Boeing Transporters will have arrived amounting to ten large transporters for the Indian Air Force.

The transporter plane’s title is ‘The C-17 Globe Master III’ and it has already made its debut with a test flight at the Hindon base in Uttar Pradesh, India it is set to help replace its outdated Russian IL-76 airlifter fleet.

The C-17 can carry 150 military personnel, can land on forward make shift runways and has a short turn around time, it can lift up to 70 tonnes in one go and will be used for the transportation of tanks, machines and personnel, it can also refuel whilst in the air.

“The C-17 Globemaster transport aircraft will change the way we deploy forces in the North and North East,” said Air Chief Marshal NAK Browne.

India are now enabled to deter threats of encroachment upon their territory, although they will still be working on developing their own infrastructure along the borders.

The C-17 will certainly be making light work of things in the development process and help by transporting tanks to act as a deterrent.

C17

Himalayan Lake Bursting: Risk Very High!

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South Lhonak Glacier

A scientific study reveals that a lake may fall from the sky, well … from a very serious height … about 7,000 metres from the top of the Himalayan mountains, this lake poses a serious and dangerous threat.

The location of the Lake is The South Lhonak Glacier on the Himalaya’s, which drains east from Lhonak Peak into Sikkim from the Nepal-Sikkim border.

This lake will cause a lot of destruction if it bursts and flooding will be inevitable on the ground. The risk of this happening has been put at highly likely. The Lake has formed at the top of a mountain through melted water from the ice which is atop of the mountain in Sikkim. This is said to be evidence of global climate change and the rising temperatures around the world which is also happening in India causing ice to melt in the Himalaya’s at what is said to be an alarming rate.

“The rate of growth of the lake indicates possible developments of the hazard situation” the study report says and this may come as a surprise when places like Jammu and Kashmir have seen record levels of snowfall and India in places such as Delhi has become chilled and foggy at times; it would seem that the world is certainly bringing about some spectacular changes such as dust storms in Australia and frozen over landscapes in Europe due to rising temperatures, sea levels, and wind.

The study has been conducted by The National Remote Sensing Centre in Hyderabad and researchers say in a report published in the journal Current Science that the glacial lake is approximately 630 meters wide and 20 meters deep. It covers an area of 98.7 hectares and is filled with 19.7 billion liters of water. It is said that a sudden outburst “can create devastating floods downstream”.

Although the researchers have given warning of a highly likely outburst of water, further studies are to be conducted via the same method of using satellite technology. It has been discovered also that in the past century the glaciers on the North Side of Mount Everest have lost 100 metres of height due to the disappearance of the glaciers which have been melting (also said to be quickened by soot particles); where there used to be a lot of snow topped covered mountains in the Himalaya’s there is now rock and dirt.

soot_particles_in_brown_cloud_-_himalayan_glaciers_melting_small

“Experts worry that climate change is at work here and could, eventually, reduce freshwater supplies for billions of people who use the Ganges, the Yangtze, the Indus and other rivers fed by the glaciers.” Source: http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=a-sherpas-view-of-melting-himalayan-glaciers

It is feared by many that the Sacred Himalaya’s believed by Hindu’s to be a residence of Lord Shiva and by Buddhists to be the God of all females will soon be without snow all together. If the glaciers disappear there will inevitably be an effect on the eco-system and people who go to the rivers will not be able to have access to freshwater supplies as they do now. Based on the study the scientists according to estimates knew that the Lhonak glacier had receded 1.9 km between 1962 and 2008.

ganktoksikkimearthquake

Sikkim where this Lake waiting to burst is situated, was where an Earthquake (6.9 magnitude) took place in 2011 and affected India, Nepal and Tibet killing more than 90 people through landslides and huge boulders falling from the mountains. The Himalayas have over the past few years been subjected to earthquakes, however it was the latter one that caused most damage, it is believed that if more earthquakes are to occur they could cause lakes to burst and thus cause flooding, this is a situation which is being looked at closely by scientists, especially as the lake is only bound by loose soil and debris and is expanding all the time due to the glacier melt.

GlaciallakeHimalaya

Eye on the Tiger!

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WWF work towards Saving Tiger Numbers

in the Terai Arc with the

help of India and Nepal

wwf_tigers-logo2

India has revered the Royal Bengal Tiger for a long time and the tiger is affectionately referred to as the Indian Tiger. The Royal Bengal Tiger’s scientific name is Panthera tigris tigris.

The conservation of Tigers in the wild has been a difficult fight and a constant struggle for Conservation groups like the World Wild Fund for Nature (WWF) and the Indian government. The fight is not off as yet though, as India and Nepal backed by the WWF keep their eyes on the tiger! The trio are planning on a census to document the amount of Royal Bengal Tigers within India and Nepal through the use of planted trap cameras in both India and Nepal. The Royal Bengal tiger’s numbers have said to be dwindling and therefore they have been given the status of an endangered species since 2010 which was the year of the tiger in the Chinese horoscope, the next year of the tiger is 2022 and WWF’s gobal tiger campaign aims to have doubled the number of Tigers by then, the global campaign is being led by Hollywood actor Leonardo Di Caprio.

tigercameratrap

The WWF, India and Nepal are all set to meet their objectives of putting a number on the tigers and also helping in a conservationist aspect through many objectives such as:

  • Protect, restore and manage corridors to ensure connectivity between tiger habitats while ensuring that human-tiger conflicts are reduced.
  • Reduce pressures on tiger habitats by promoting alternative livelihoods for local communities.
  • Create incentives for local communities as well as state and regional government and opinion-makers to support tiger conservation.
  • Enhance capacities of the Forest Department to control poaching of tigers and prey species.
  • Promote the political will as well as popular support within all sectors of society for tiger conservation.

illegaltigertrade

Source : WWF

WWF began in 1960 and in 2010 they had been around for 50 years, they are a prestigious organisation and global in their efforts being present in 100 countries where they have offices working at a local level to ensure conservation for the countries’ species.

India’s Project Tiger was launched in 1972 by WWF, and saw a six-year national tiger conservation plan and 15 new tiger reserves. The county’s tiger population increased by 30% in just seven years.

Although due to poaching and encroachment upon the tigers habitat by man, tiger conservation is important as ever as numbers are said to be low and the Indian Tiger an endangered species. The following video is WWF’s Indian Save the Tiger campaign video:

WWF’s mission statement on the joint partnership between India and Nepal for Tigers is:

“WWF-India’s goal is to restore and maintain tiger habitats, protect the tiger and its prey base in important tiger landscapes in India.”

WWF have been working to conserve the tiger since on a large scale since 1972 and throughout their campaigns they have always sought to raise awareness of the danger of the Royal Bengal tiger becoming an extinct species. The following is a poster by WWF highlighting the danger of extinction to the tiger in the countries listed below (where they can be found), extinction is a possibility that is very real if tigers do not stop being hunted and their habitat being continually destroyed by Humankind:

wwfpostertiger

The announcement for the joint tiger survey was made on the 8th January at the 6th Indo-Nepal consultative meeting organized between the two governments, India started work on the project in November 2012 and Nepal are working on the project between January 2013 to March 2013. The project will cover 15 areas within the Terai Arc located between the two countries and at the bottom of the Himalaya’s.

The names of the Protected Areas in India in the Terai Arc are as follows:

Sonanadi Wild Life Sanctuary, Corbett National Park, Kishanpur WLS, Dudhwa National Park, Katarniaghat WLS, Sohagibarwa WLS, Valmiki National Park and Valmiki Sanctuary, those are a few of the main tiger territories. The Survey will also look at the availability of prey for the tigers, which will also be captured by motion sensitive camera’s of which there will be many hundreds in both India and Nepal. There will be a more accurate census for the tigers as the teams working alongside WWF will ensure that no tiger is counted twice as this will be confirmed by photographs on both sides. India is said to have the most densest of Royal Bengal Tigers with the number at around 500.

The names of the Protected Areas in Nepal in the Terai Arc are:

Three national parks (Chitwan, Bardiya, Banke) and two wild life reserves (Shuklaphanta and Parsa).

TERAIARCINDIAANDNEPAL 

Source: Report by : The Terai Arc Landscape in India:  Rajeev L. Semwal

In India the Terai Arc Landscape is an 810-km stretch that extends from the river Bhagmati in the east in the state of Bihar to river Yamuna in the west near India’s Capital Delhi.

After the consultation meeting between India and Nepal took place Dr S. P. Yadav, Deputy Inspector General of the Government of India’s National Tiger Conservation Authority said of the strengthening partnership to save the tiger that the – “bilateral meetings between India and Nepal have resulted in positive outcomes for wildlife conservation. Our governments need to continue strengthening trans-boundary ties for protecting tigers and enabling their free movement between India and Nepal.”

The number of Royal Bengal Tigers in the wild has been put at approximately a minimum of 1,576 to a maximum of 1,875, this number comes from The National Tiger Authority and included numbers of tigers within 17 states within India from 41 tiger reserves. India has the largest population of the Indian Tiger and as for the estimated remaining population within the World that number is at a meagre 3,000, when 100 years ago there were 100,000 tigers in the wild.

The problems that have caused tiger numbers to decline are due to many reasons and those that have mainly been responsible are those who have in the past culled tigers, and consumers of tiger products, there is also the problem of poachers/criminal networks who deal in selling tiger products to places like China where tiger parts are highly prized. Another few key responsible parties are tiger farm operators who breed tigers and sell their parts, which leads to a higher demand for tiger products, also Governments that are not working hard enough to protect tigers from poachers and their habitat and they’re not upholding the laws against illegal trafficking. Even the everyday person is responsible as people who waste paper are often responsible for the loss of the tigers forest habitat where trees are cut down for the demand of paper, of course this responsibility also lies with large corporations who are not considerate of the tigers habitat and cause deforestation on a mass scale.

The ones that are responsible are up against the non-stop global scale tiger campaign to preserve the tiger with the help of pro-active governments and organisations such as WWF who are working to bring about solutions to the problems posed (mentioned above).

The solutions to these problems are simple although require action to solve the problem there needs to be an end to the tiger killing for their skins and other parts and countries like China are where these products are often in high demand for traditional believed to be healing medicinal reasons and as status symbols of power, these are some reasons as to why some tigers have been driven to extinction and numbers have fell. Poaching is a major part of the problem which needs to be met head on and stopped governments like India and China are looking at ways to stop this with options such as armed tiger personnel, tigers should be monitored more closely and effectively in the wild and in captivity. There needs to be a continuity in maintaining tiger reserves and new ones should be established to ensure successful flourishing of tiger numbers. Sustainable living is another solution which will save the trees and thus the tiger habitats and it is not just individuals who need to do this but also corporations. Educating people about tigers and their dire situation is an essential part to the tigers success, an increase in political campaigning and will and funding is as always ever needed.

A good reason to protect the tigers is that their environment is just as essential to us as it is to them and if there were no tigers that would it is suggested more than likely lead to deforestation and the loss of the important features of the forest such as cleaner air and countering climate change and fresh clean water. Tiger tourism can benefit poor communities by providing a source of income through local tourism consumerism.

SOURCE:  http://www.savetigersnow.org/problem

tigerdeclinegraph

The following is a map of where the tigers can be found roaming, it has been produced by the Wildlife Protection Society of India:

maplatesttiger

The compilation of the results is said to take up to about 4 months and then an accurate census on tiger numbers should be available. WWF India says:

“The shared monitoring results between India and Nepal will enable the development of a comprehensive management approach for tigers across the TAL for the first time.”

As for both governments this initiative for the tiger will continue to be focused on the aim to double tiger numbers by 2022. Mr. Bishwo Nath Oli, head of the Nepal delegation and Joint Secretary of the Government of Nepal’s Ministry of Forests and Soil Conservation said “The survey results will play an important role in shaping strategies to get us to our ultimate goal of Tx2, doubling the number of wild tigers, which was set during the historic Tiger summit in 2010.”

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:

India spends about US$75 million a year to provide protection for its tigers.

The Bengal can live as long as 15 years in the wild.

The five surviving subspecies are:
1. Bengal Tiger – Panthera tigris tigris
2. Siberian (Amurian) Tiger – Panthera tigris altaica
3. Sumatran Tiger – Panthera tigris sumatrae
4. Indo-Chinese Tiger – Panthera tigris corbetti
5. South China Tiger – Panthera tigris amoyensis

The three extinct subspecies are:
1. Javan Tiger – Panthera tigris sondaica – extinct since early 1980’s
2. Bali Tiger – Panthera tigris balica – extinct since the 1940’s
3. Caspian Tiger – Panthera tigris virgata – extinct since the early 1970’s

Source: http://www.wpsi-india.org/tiger/tiger_facts.php

Swedish owned IKEA: the introduction of another global giant within India

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IKEA

IKEA the home-furnishings company are to open 25 stores across India. The Swedish company had initially been set back by India’s foreign investment agency, the foreign investment promotion board (FIPB), and after putting forward an appeal to their proposal, the company was given access to the Indian market which they have been trying to enter for years. Currently IKEA are present in 40 countries with 338 stores. It is owned by the richest man in Sweden, Ingvar Kamprad, who started the company when he was just 17 in the year 1943. IKEA will be approximately investing Rs 10,500 crore (€1.5 billion – euros).

IKEA are also known in India for the ‘IKEA Foundation’ which has partnered up with UNICEF in India. “For more than ten years, UNICEF has partnered with the IKEA Foundation to deliver tangible results for millions of children and women in India.  By the end of 2012, funding from the IKEA Foundation will have enabled UNICEF to help over 74 million children in India create a better future for themselves and their families.”

The delay for IKEA stores to enter the Indian market has been that the Indian Foreign investment board (and The Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion in India) November 2012 had cleared the IKEA proposal to operate in India, yet however put restrictions on IKEA selling only furniture and not products it does not brand such as office supplies, food and beverages, textiles, books and a cafeteria. IKEA sells these products all around the world without any restrictions and may have found this restricted proposal unusual. They appealed to the board with a re-submission of their proposal.

India soon accepted the proposal due to changes in their Foreign Investment Law which has been amended to counter the slowing economy, Juvencio Maeztu, IKEA country manager said of the accepted proposal and new venture in India “We consider this as a very positive development.”

“After FIPB’s clearance, the proposal will have to be finally approved by the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) as the board can clear investment applications worth up to Rs 1,200 crore only.” Source: economictimes.indiatimes.com

IKEA still had concerns about going through with the proposal even though they were being given a 100% subsidiary (ownership was previously capped at 51%) as India had a 30% sourcing clause, the government however relaxed the mandatory 30 per cent sourcing clause in September to attract more foreign investment and keep the economy growing. The final proposal which went through was sent by IKEA in November 2012.

The argument on the other side of IKEA being good for the Indian economy is that it could damage the income of farmers and local businesses who do not have the means to compete with the global giant IKEA. The Swedish company are also a cause of concern as they may make workers work unfair amounts of hours, as the story goes, and with little pay, this remains to be seen, the rumours have stemmed from other stories that IKEA is an unfair company in many aspects, including their charity work (they are seen as not giving even a little amount of the massive profit they total).

IKEA2012

The Indian venture is not the only development on IKEA‘s global strategy, in August 2012, they announced the plan to open 100 hotels in Europe, which will be operated by a group of anonymous hoteliers, and the hotels will not carry the IKEA name. IKEA also have a few hotels in Scandinavia bearing the IKEA name.

IKEAFoundationSmall

IKEA have a campaign every holiday season, since 2003, which has seen IKEA selling soft toys, the funds from these sales have gone to helping children all over the world in 40 countries. “To help educate children around the world – already helping 8 million children with over 35.2 million EUROS raised.”

“These funds support UNICEF and Save the Children projects aimed at creating child-friendly schools with well-trained teachers for all children, girls and boys, including those from ethnic minorities and those with special needs.” IKEA have 338 stores in total around the world in 40 countries.

IKEA have a sustainability policy which involves taking care of people and the planet a recent example of this is “a plan to install solar panel arrays on 150 stores. They also use geo-exchange heating and cooling systems on several stores to reduce energy consumption.”Source: http://www.buildingmygreenlife.com/is-ikea-sustainable/

IKEA have made a statement on their policy and also a list of 77 improvements they have made to be more sustainable:

We have decided to help create a world where we take better care of the environment, the earth’s resources, and each other. We know that sometimes we are part of the problem. So, we are working hard to become a part of the solution. We are weighing the pros and cons, continually examining and changing things. All these steps, in lots and lots of areas, add up to something big … and noticeable. The job has already started, and it is a never-ending one.

The list of improvements can be found on this link:

http://www.ikea.com/ms/en_US/about_ikea/our_responsibility/the_never_ending_list/index.html

This decision by India to allow foreign investors in the form of multi-branding superstores is certainly a first and announcements have been made by Commerce and Industry Minister, Anand Sharma, that the Indian government will see them through their entry into India with clarity and assurance on the Indian policy of Foreign Direct Investment. Whether the country will move in a new direction with this policy and whether it works is what the government will be hoping for.

Additional Information & Links:

Walmart is a US superstore already within India although it is under investigation for corruption. Walmart entered a 50:50 joint venture with Bharti Enterprise.

Tesco’s is set to enter the Indian market too.

IKEA may see legal battles in India due to copycat companies who have used the IKEA name, of which there are three. “There is IKEA Home Decor Private Limited, which carves out a living by making and selling furniture in India. Then, there is IKEA Constructions and IKEA Furniture Private Limited.” Source: blogs.wsj.com

“Thanks to IKEA’s dedicated co-workers and customers, 100 million children will benefit from our currently funded programmes by 2015. In 2011 alone, we:

  • donated €65 million
  • supported 15 partners with 47 grants benefitting children in 33 countries
  • raised €12.4 million through our Soft Toys for Education campaign for UNICEF and Save the Children.”

http://www.ikeafoundation.org/About-Us

IKEA is the 3rd largest consumer of wood in the world.

To view IKEA’s different advertising campaigns in different countries follow this link: http://adhibition.tumblr.com/post/17950628838/ikeas-internationalization-advertising-in-different-coun

BBC Documentaries Funded by China & Sir Attenborough refers to Humans as a Plague…

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BBC Worldwide

It may come as a surprise but China has been funding BBC Factual Documentaries since 2008 and as a result has full rights over the footage and this material can be further used to be broadcast by the Chinese state run Broadcaster China Central Television9 (CCTV9), which is exactly what is scheduled for this year in China.

The relationship between the BBC and CCTV9 began in 2008 in the run up to the Beijing Olympics, which was being broadcast by the BBC, in the UK, also airing in the UK was a documentary on China, which you may recall was called ‘Wild China’.

There have been approximately four projects which have been invested in by CCTV9 for the commissioned BBC programmes such as ‘Africa’ which have seen the world renowned Sir David Attenborough front as presenter and narrator.

The Africa series will be sold to channels Chinese and non for rights to television airing and for any broadcast on a mobile devices and to video-on-demand services. The Independent newspaper reports some figures: “BBC executives expect it will be sold to more than 200 countries and are hopeful that it will exceed the popularity of Attenborough’s Planet Earth which was bought in 245 territories, a BBC record.”

Africa

The Chinese will be certain to purchase these rights too and the BBC has kept a permanent representative in Beijing (China) as the business partnership continues to grow with CCTV9 and future projects come to light. This does not however mean that the BBC has stopped working with other partners, in fact Sir Attenborough is heading to China for the BBC’s latest documentary series in 3D called the Rise of Animals (the title is still provisional and subject to a change), Atlantic Productions another partner of the BBC is producing the series. Other major investors include their long term partners of DISCOVERY and The National Geographic.

A good quote to put matters into perspective is from a BBC Spokesman who spoke of the relationship with other investors aside from CCTV9, “Co-production funding on big natural history, science and drama programmes is the way TV is made now. The BBC has a global sales team in all different markets and if you relate it (the partnership with China) with the work we do with other broadcasters around the world the amount is not that great.”

The names of the other three programmes that CCTV9 have invested in are ‘Wild China’ (presented by Bernard Hill), ‘Generation Earth’ (which shows how life has been transformed on the planet by humans) presented by Dallas Campbell (from Bang goes the Theory) and The Wonders of Life’ presented by Brian Cox which looks at the relationship between life and physics. The Chinese State-run broadcaster also invested in BBC1 science series ‘Supersized Earth’, presented again by Dallas Campbell, and aired in November 2012 looking at humans and the making of the modern world.

These have all been large projects and are on the schedule to be broadcast in the UK and China, under the category of Factual/Documentary programming. The Director of the Factual department at BBC Worldwide, Mark Reynolds said of the partnership between the BBC and CCTV9 that they are “really quite an important partner in terms of factual programming”. Mark Reynolds also commented on future investment for the BBC from China, “We are going to talk to them about other projects coming up in the future because with the cost of these big productions we are always looking to bring in new partners where it’s the right editorial fit for them.”

CCTV-9 channel director Liu Wen said: “The BBC is world-renowned for its factual programming, and we’ve had great success (showing) titles such as Human Planet and Frozen Planet, so we’re very pleased to be partnering with them.” Recently CCTV (which has a 22 channel network including CCTV9) opened 60 new bureaus worldwide, in a race to be an influential presence in the world and are competing with the BBC to do this as well as Arabic, and Russian broadcasters.

Chinese cable channels Chunghwa and Wasu have signed digital deals with BBC Worldwide to air their shows, and BBC Worldwide have Chinese video-on-demand sites Qiyi and BesTV  also airing their shows.

africamap

China’s economy is currently slowing and they have been viewed as a country built on steel (as they are number one in the world for producing steel), the problem now is they are producing so much of it that they do not know what to do with it and also do not have enough to pay workers, yet cannot let them go, due to China’s governmental laws. Africa is a developing Country and China is playing a massive role there in working to build up development in all areas, they are investing a lot of money there since the past 10 years; Africa has 54 countries and is one of the places where nature flourishes so openly and freely in good numbers.

China is being opportunistic and resourceful in how it continues to keep the country together whether it be through steel or broadcasting. China have often come under criticism for the way that they invest in Africa (providing loans to Countries within the Continent and then with this money outsourcing work to Chinese companies to help with the building of infrastructure within Africa).

Jo Sermon is also a Director of the Factual department at BBC Worldwide who commented on CCTV9’s approach to airing many documentary programmes on their channel; “They are pitching for the best of the world’s factual they really are astute what they take. They regularly get audiences of 90 million.”

Chinese influence in BBC’s Africa documentary is not looked at, it is solely focused on the Natural aspects of Africa and aims to be groundbreaking in showing Nature in Africa, Sir David Attenborough’s passion for Nature really shines through as usual, in this Documentary. 

So the question that may be raised now: Is China being opportunistic in investing in world conservation Nature programmes, in particular BBC’s Africa for their own money making plans or are they showing a responsible approach to conserving the world through Documentary projects aiming to raise awareness? Whatever the answer, China is certainly being a competitor amongst competition and raising its profile globally through its bureaus.

DavidAttenborough

Moving swiftly on to another partner of the BBC, Sir David Attenborough aged 86, has been in the news recently for referring to Humans as a Plague. Sir David Attenborough was speaking to the Radio Times (RT) Magazine and put the matter seriously to the RT, and his exact words were ““we are a plague on the Earth” he went on to say, “We keep putting on programmes about famine in Ethiopia – that’s what’s happening. Too many people there. They can’t support themselves – and it’s not an inhuman thing to say. It’s the case.”

Sir David Attenborough stressed in the interview the importance of the environment, population numbers, and climate change. This of course is not something new, as Sir David has always promoted the need for preservation of the Earth and preventing Climate Change especially the issue of polar bears and ice-melt. He said of these issues “It’s coming home to roost over the next 50 years or so.” He is also a patron of The Optimum Population Trust which is an organisation promoting its agenda of limiting population numbers and one of their campaigns is “stop at two” pleading to people to only have a maximum of two children.  

Sir Attenborough got specific in explaining the problem that is posed by humans in their mass numbers, talking about the need for space and implied that there will not be enough space to grow food for humans, whom he referred to as being an “enormous horde”.  Sir David offered a solution saying “Either we limit our population growth or the natural world will do it for us, and the natural world is doing it for us right now.” His final point on the subject was a daunting yet serious one, “Until humanity manages to sort itself out and get a co-ordinated view about the planet, it’s going to get worse and worse.”

The presenter hailed as a super star worldwide went on to comment on the future of his presenting style which involves being in shot with his animal subjects behind him and presenting to the camera, he said it is soon to be extinct. “I’m not sure there’s any need for a new Attenborough. The more you go on, the less you need people standing between you and the animal and the camera waving their arms about.”

Although this may be the case the style of his will always be remembered and he for one will not be forgotten by his fans of whom I am one and I would hope that the style is used from time to time too!

Sir David Attenborough

SNAP! Reptile! and Croc! Thousands of Crocodiles ESCAPE!

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Nile Crocodile

You may catch more than a big fish when you go fishing in the Limpopo River, Johannesburg (South Africa). You may wish that this one would have got away as what you may catch may not be a big fish, but a sharp toothed Nile Crocodile! There is more chances of you catching a crocodile there than ever before, or rather a crocodile catching someone, and of course let’s hope that is not the case!

Approximately 15,000 crocodiles escaped from nearby Rakwena Crocodile Farm on 24/01/2013, due to torrential rains and flooding in Johannesburg, the Rakwena Crocodile Farm owner had to open their floodgates so the property would not be obliterated that is the official reported version and this opening is how the crocodiles escaped! Another rumoured version story is that the farms dams broke due to the flooding and the crocodiles escaped soon after.

The opening of the flood gates was necessary to prevent devastation to their property in the form of a storm surge; the crocodiles escaped and now a lethal predator is out in the local communities where it would present a very real and fatal risk to them.

The South African Army and the Police had to be enlisted to protect the local residents from this infestation. Warnings have been issued to the locals to stay indoors and away from the crocodiles.

The whole scene must have looked something like a scene from the movie Jurassic park, with panic and chaos spreading rapidly amongst everyone due to the presence of the crocodiles being everywhere.

As for the River Limpopo there were a few crocodiles living there already before the epic crocodile escape from the Rawkena Crocodile Farm but now there are many within the river.

Thousands of people were at risk not only from drowning but from being eaten alive by the crocodiles; some of these large reptiles have been reported to have turned up 75 miles away at Musina, more particularly at a school ready and waiting for Rugby players who would have been unfortunate enough to venture out to the Rugby pitch where one was sighted, fortunately no one was involved in an attack by the escaped party.

Some of the frightful sharp teethed reptiles have been captured but many are still at large and the locals must feel as if these hungry crocodiles are on a terrible rampage; Read on to find out more:

There are no reports of any fatalities reported involving the reptiles but 10 people are reported to have lost their lives due to the torrential rain and flooding, many have lost their homes, and many have been reported as missing. Some people climbed up on the roofs due to the flooding, this may be the safest place to be under the circumstances; taking into consideration that a crocodile may just be swimming by and may fancy someone as their dinner, the situation may have been a bit like jumping from a frying pan in to a fire. Some local residents had to be rescued by motor boat from their roof; and below them in the water were crocodiles circling around them looking for a tasty meal, the residents were however rescued from their roof. Thankful, no doubt, of their lucky escape!

The son-in-law of the crocodile farms owner, Zane Langman, informed, that the local farmers have been phoning them when they see the Crocodiles, Mr Langman says that they would then have the task of going there and catching the crocodile, not a job for the faint hearted. Much of the capturing of the Crocodiles is taking place at night when the reptiles are easier to spot due to their eyes shining red at night and reflecting back any light shone onto them.

The police, army and the local people are also assisting in recapturing the crocodiles. The owner Mr Johan Boshoff has said he has “caught a few thousand”, although that means that more than half are still at large. Mostly farmers keep the crocodiles in captivity to harvest them for the horrible trade of selling their skin and their meat, many of the crocodiles would be turned into handbags, jackets and other prized luxury outfits and products.

The floods have also hit neighbouring Mozambique where thousands of people have been affected by the weather. Mozambique is hundreds of kilometres downstream from the Limpopo River. The people there had to be evacuated from their homes in order to protect them from the extreme weather conditions.

crocfarm40-98678

Additional Information

Nile Crocodiles can grow up to 16feet long and can swim at up to 22mph and run on land at a speed of up to 8mph.

Of the escaped Crocodiles many have been seen caught in trees due to the flood waters having dropped.

Recently the Limpopo area has been hit by a series of floods.

“The Nile crocodile or common crocodile is an African crocodile which is common in Somalia, Ethiopia, Uganda, Kenya, Egypt, Tanzania, Burundi, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Gabon, South Africa, Malawi, Sudan, South Sudan, Botswana, and Cameroon.”

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