Category: Musings

The equinox!

Have you seen the moon?

It’s a particularly beautiful moon and more so because it coincides with the equinox.

Taken from here.

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Full supermoon at March 2019 equinox

By in

Photo above: Bruce Tennant captured the March 2014 full moon rising over Santiago Peak, Alamitos Bay, Long Beach, California.

The March 20-21, 2019, full moon ushers in the first full moon of spring for the Northern Hemisphere, and the first full moon of autumn for the Southern Hemisphere. This full moon is also a supermoon, particularly close to Earth. It comes less than four hours after the arrival of the March 20 equinox.

This is the closest coincidence of a full moon with the March equinox since March 2000 – 19 years ago. The full moon and March equinox won’t happen less than one day apart again for another 11 years, or until March 2030.

March 2000 full Moon: March 20 at 4:44 UTC
March 2000 equinox: March 20 at 7:35 UTC

March 2030 full moon: March 19 at 17:56 UTC
March 2030 equinox: March 20 at 13:51 UTC

This month’s full moon also presents the third and final supermoon of 2019. Will it appear bigger in your sky? No, not unless you happen to catch the moon just after it has risen in the east, around sunset. Then its larger-than-usual size has less to do with the supermoon, but more from a psychological effect known as the moon illusion.

Supermoons don’t look bigger to the eye to most people, but they do look significantly brighter. If you’re in the suburbs or a rural area, notice the bright moonlight cast on the landscape at this full moon.

Also, supermoons have a stronger-than-usual effect on Earth’s oceans. Watch for higher-than-usual tides to follow the supermoon by a day or so, especially if a coastal storm is happening in your part of the world.

This March supermoon isn’t 2019’s closest supermoon, by the way. That happened last month. See photos of last month’s supermoon.

The Virtual Telescope Project will show the March 20 supermoon live, as it rises above the skyline of Rome. Click here for more info.

At U.S. time zones, the equinox arrives on March 20, at 5:58 p.m. EDT, 4:58 p.m. CDT, 3:58 p.m. MDT, 2:58 p.m. PDT, 1:58 p.m. AKDT and 11:58 a.m. HST.

At U.S. time zones, the full moon falls on March 20, at 9:43 p.m. EDT, 8:43 p.m. CDT, 7:43 p.m. MDT, 6:43 p.m. PDT, 5:43 p.m. AKDT and 3:43 p.m. HST.

In Universal Time, the equinox arrives on March 20, at 21:58 UTC, and the full moon comes on March 21, at 1:43 UTC. Here’s how to convert Universal Time to your local time.

At the equinox, the sun is at zenith (straight overhead) at the Earth’s equator. Because the Earth’s atmosphere refracts (bends) sunlight, a tiny bit more than half of the globe is covered over in daylight.Generally, the first full moon of a Northern Hemisphere spring heralds the imminent coming of the Christian celebration of Easter. Since Easter Sunday – by proclamation – occurs on the first Sunday after the first full moon in spring, some of us might expect the upcoming Sunday on March 24 to be Easter Sunday. However, by ecclesiastical rules, the equinox is fixed on March 21, so that places this year’s Easter Sunday (for Western Christendom) on April 21, 2019.

By the Gregorian calendar, the last time that an ecclesiastical Easter and an astronomical Easter didn’t occur on the same date was 38 years ago, in 1981. The next time won’t be until 19 years from now, in 2038.

(Easter Sunday for Eastern or Orthodox Christendom actually falls on April 28, 2019. That’s because the Eastern Church bases Easter on the old style Julian calendar, instead of the revised Gregorian calendar used by Western Christianity and most of the world.)

For our friends in the Southern Hemisphere, this March full moon counts as your Harvest Moon. The Harvest Moon is the full moon occurring closest to the autumnal equinox. On the average, the moon rises about 50 minutes later with each passing day. But for several days around the time of the Harvest Moon, the lag time between successive moonrises is reduced to a yearly minimum. For instance, at 40 degrees south latitude, the moon now rises some 30 to 35 minutes later (instead of the average 50 minutes later) each day for the next several days.

Like Earth, Saturn has equinoxes too! The ringed planet last had an equinox in 2009, and will have its next equinox in 2025. From Earth, Saturn’s rings disappear from view at a Saturn equinox, because these rings are then edge-on from our vantage point. But this near-equinox view of Saturn’s rings is readily visible from the Cassini spacecraft, because it’s 20 degrees above the ring plane. Image via NASA.

Here in the Northern Hemisphere, where it’s the closest full moon to the spring equinox, the lag time between successive moonrises is at a yearly maximum. At 40 degrees north latitude, the moon now rises around 70 to 75 minutes later daily. In the Northern Hemisphere, we ‘ll have to wait for the September full moon to bring forth our procession of early evening moonrises.

Last but hardly least, this March 2019 full moon gives us the first of four full moons in one season (between the March equinox and June solstice). Most of the time, a season – the time period between an equinox and a solstice, or vice versa – only harbors three full moons. But since this March full moon comes very early in the season, that allows for a fourth full moon to take place before the season’s end.

March 2019 equinox: March 20 at 21:58 UTC

March 2019 full moon: March 21 at 1:43 UTC
April 2019 full moon: April 19 at 11:12 UTC
May 2019 full moon: May 18 at 21:11 UTC
June 2019 full moon: June 17 at 8:31 UTC

June 2019 solstice: June 21 at 15:54 UTC

Some people call the third of four full moons in one season a Blue Moon. So our next Blue Moon (by the seasonal definition of the term) will fall on May 18, 2019.

The next Blue Moon by the monthly definition – second of two full moons in one calendar month – will come on October 31, 2020.

Resources:

Astronomical and Gregorian Easter Sunday
Phases of the moon: 1901 to 2000
Phases of the moon: 2001 to 2100
Solstices and equinoxes: 2001 to 2100
Equinox and solstice calculator

Bottom line: Enjoy the equinox full moon on March 20-21, 2019. It’s the third and final full supermoon of 2019, and the first of four full moons in the upcoming season (spring for the Northern Hemisphere, autumn for the Southern Hemisphere).

Bruce McClure has served as lead writer for EarthSky’s popular Tonight pages since 2004. He’s a sundial aficionado, whose love for the heavens has taken him to Lake Titicaca in Bolivia and sailing in the North Atlantic, where he earned his celestial navigation certificate through the School of Ocean Sailing and Navigation. He also writes and hosts public astronomy programs and planetarium programs in and around his home in upstate New York.

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It’s not about dogs. But then again maybe it is. For I’m thinking of dogs howling at the moon.

The Age of Denial

A fascinating programme on BBC Radio 4

All of this week BBC Radio 4 have been transmitting a very interesting programme. It is about denial and it is fascinating.

As the website for the first episode states:

From credit cards to climate change, we bury our heads in the sand. Isabel Hardman investigates our capacity to deny what’s in front of us.

It is counter-intuitive. But you be the judge!

The Age of Denial

And if you want all five episodes then they are here.

 

Mera, a peak dog!

This is an astounding story of bonding.

This is an amazing story. Utterly amazing! Taken from Mother Nature Network.

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This stray tagged along with mountain climbers and set an elevation record for dogs

Mera, a street dog, climbed 23,389 feet to the top of Baruntse in Nepal.

By MARY JO DILONARDO

March 6, 2019

Mera seemed to have little trouble in the snow and ice. (Photo: Don Wargowsky)

When Seattle-based mountain guide Don Wargowsky was leading an expedition to Mera Peak and Baruntse in Nepal’s Himalayas last November, he picked up an extra member on his team. A stray dog noticed the climbers somewhere around 17,500 feet and decided to stick around with the group.

The climbers had just summited Mera Peak, and when they were coming down around Mera La pass, they saw the pup going up.

“What struck me was to get to that pass, there were a few hundred feet of fixed rope which means the terrain was so difficult that most climbers need rope to help themselves up,” Wargowsky tells MNN. “To see a dog up there just running by all these climbers in their $2,000 down suits and crampons was very unusual. When she came up to me, I gave her a bit of beef jerky and she didn’t leave for 3 1/2 weeks.”

The team dubbed their newest four-legged member “Mera” and she tagged along on the way back down the mountain. Wargowsky realized he had seen her in the town of Kare a few days earlier, but she had made no effort then to get close. He thinks that’s because street dogs aren’t treated very well in Nepal due to the fear of rabies.

“Dogs are shooed away pretty aggressively,” he says. “So, she was naturally pretty shy.”

A new climbing partner

Climbing is hard work. (Photo: Don Wargowsky)

But once Mera decided to join the expedition, she gradually lowered her guard. The first night, Wargowsky tried to encourage her to sleep in his tent, but she wouldn’t come inside. The next morning, he found her curled up outside the flaps covered in a layer of snow. After that, he was able to coax her inside. He gave her one of his sleeping pads and a coat to keep her warm.

Wargowsky was in a difficult position with his uninvited guest. The elements were unforgiving, and he was worried about the dog who had no protection for her paws or her body in conditions that likely reached minus 20 or minus 30 degrees Fahrenheit at times. But he had no luck getting her to leave … and where would she go?

“Obviously my responsibility was to the group, but I was super happy to have her with us. I didn’t encourage her to come along, but I wasn’t going to have her starve, so I would feed her,” he says. “I really tried to persuade her to stay at camp as we got into steeper and more dangerous terrain. Where we were was a more remote part of Nepal. If we didn’t feed her, she was going to starve.”

Mera stuck with the expedition the entire time, never venturing far from Wargowsky’s side. Or technically, his knee.

“She would walk with her nose almost in the back of my knee when we would walk,” he says. “But she wanted to be up front. If I would drop back to hang out with a slower client, she would go up and walk with whoever was up front. She didn’t get out of sight pretty much the entire time we were there.”

‘No clue what her motivation was’

Mera celebrates with her fellow climbers. (Photo: Don Wargowsky)

There was only one time when Mera was gone for several days.

While Wargowsky was working on training with some members of the expedition, showing them how to climb the ice with rope, Mera followed the team’s sherpas instead. They were working to set up ropes to “camp one” at around 20,000 feet. She scrambled up the steep terrain but seemed afraid to go back down and wouldn’t return with them to base camp.

“She ended up spending two nights alone on a glacier at 20,000 feet. I really thought she was going to freeze to death,” Wargowsky says. The sherpas went up to continue working and she was there. But instead of going back down right away, she followed them to 22,000 feet as they continued working before going back to base camp.

The next day when the entire team went to make the climb, Wargowsky tried to keep her at base camp because he didn’t want her to make the steep climb again. He tied her up but she got out of her rope and quickly caught up with them. Wargowsky couldn’t leave his human clients to take her back, so Mera was allowed to stay with the group.

“I have no clue what her motivation was,” he says. “We were feeding her at base camp, so it wasn’t the food. It’s not like there was anything up there for her, but it was amazing to see.”

Tackling the ice and snow

Mera often trotted ahead of the climbers, waiting for them to catch up. The temperatures didn’t seem to faze her. (Photo: Don Wargowsky)

Early on, Mera started to slide and Wargowsky was able to catch her and save her from what could’ve been a dangerous fall. When the team moved to camp two at around 21,000 feet, they were sidelined there for four days because of bad weather. Mera stayed with Wargowsky, who shared his tent and his food with the pup.

“I split all my meals with her 50/50 so we both lost weight,” he says. He guesses the scruffy brown-and-tan stray weighed probably 45 pounds to start with but lost maybe five or 10 pounds during the trip. Wargowsky says Mera looked like a combination of a Tibetan mastiff and a Nepali sheepdog.

Wargowsky was impressed with how well Mera navigated the snow and ice and handled the cold.

“She did very very well like 98 percent of the time. There were certain slopes very early in the morning or late at night when the snow was very crusty and icy when it was very slippery and you could see her kind of struggle with it,” he says. “Her paws got beat up and it was hard to see her paws bleeding a little. But everything healed up that evening and it was all superficial.”

He says it was also hard to believe she didn’t go snow-blind. The humans were all wearing expensive glacier goggles while she trotted along with no protection.

The highest a dog has ever climbed

In one particularly harrowing descent, Mera was clipped to a rope to keep her safe. (Photo: Don Wargowsky)

There was only one part of the descent where she was assisted by a rope. Somehow, she had climbed the vertical 15-foot-tall section without incident but when it was time to go back down, she didn’t want to do it. The humans were rappelling, so to coax the dog down safely, they tied a rope harness to her so she could half-run, half tumble. You can see it in the photo above, but Wargowsky points out that the truly harrowing part of the mountain isn’t even visible in the shot.

In the end, when the team — along with their canine mascot — had come down from their completed 23,389-foot climb of Baruntse, Mera was hailed as a bit of a hero. Word had spread about her alleged feat and Wargowsky had to show off photos from his phone to prove she had been with them.

“She was the first dog to ever have climbed that mountain,” he says. “We can’t find anything that says a dog has ever been that high. I believe that is the highest that a dog has ever climbed ever at any point in the world.”

“I am not aware of a dog actually summiting an expedition peak in Nepal,” Billi Bierling of the Himalayan Database, an organization that documents climbing expeditions in Nepal, told Outside. “I just hope that she won’t get into trouble for having climbed Baruntse without a permit.” Bierling told Outside that there have been a few reported cases of dogs at Everest Base Camp (17,600 feet) and some who’ve trailed teams through the Khumbu Icefall up to Camp II (21,300 feet) on Mount Everest, but Mera’s adventure is perhaps the highest-recorded elevation by a dog anywhere in the world.

‘This dog wants to climb mountains’

Wargowsky shares his food with his climbing buddy. (Photo: Don Wargowsky)

After all that climbing and bonding, Wargowsky was tempted to bring his new friend home with him to the U.S.

“I really would’ve loved to adopt her. But I live in a 700-square-foot unit in Seattle and this dog wants to climb mountains. I gave it a lot of consideration. I didn’t care what it cost. Despite how much I loved this dog, I thought it would’ve been a very selfish thing to do to bring her to such a small space.”

But he didn’t want to leave what he calls “this hero of a dog” out on the streets. Fortunately, the expedition’s base camp manager was also smitten with the adventurous dog. Because dogs can’t fly, NirKaji Tamang paid someone $100 to walk three days to pick her up until they could get her on a bus and get her to his home in Kathmandu.

After what she had accomplished on Baruntse, Tamang changed the athletic dog’s name to Baru. He took her to the vet to make sure she was healthy. Her injuries quickly healed, and she gained weight.

Wargowsky, who told his remarkable Mera story online, was thrilled recently to receive photos of her. He will be back in Nepal several times this year for expeditions, and he plans on visiting his canine climbing partner.

“With what we had available, I don’t know what more I could’ve done to prevent her from climbing. She was definitely there of her own free will,” he says. “I truly loved that dog.”

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This is such a wonderful account of a stray dog coming into contact with a group of such loving people. Plus, the photographs are wonderful especially the fourth one; just following the Tackling the Ice and Snow sub-heading. I could look at that photograph for ever!

Dogs are the most amazing creatures ever!

Awesome, just awesome!

This young girl’s wishes are truly special.

This is from Mother Nature Network and I’ll quickly get out of the way!

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Terminally ill girl’s wish is a letter from your dog

A 7-year-old Wisconsin girl with a brain tumor asks for photos and letters from pups to help her feel better.

By MARY JO DILONARDO
February 28, 2019.

Emma Mertens really loves dogs. (Photo: Geoffrey Mertens/GoFundMe)

There’s a little 7-year-old girl in Wisconsin who is dealing with a rare and inoperable brain tumor. To help deal with the pain of her disease, Emma Mertens is asking people to send her letters and photos from their dogs.

A GoFundMe account has been set up to help the family cover medical expenses and in the comments, people from all over the country and in many parts of the world have shared notes and photos from their four-legged friends. They have sent hugs, kisses and tail wags. They’ve written about their favorite hobbies, movies and treats. Most of all, they’ve told Emma she is in their thoughts and she is loved.

Emma has diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma, an aggressive, hard-to-treat tumor found at the base of the brain. So far, she’s had two surgeries and radiation therapy.

According to her GoFundMe page:

Last weekend she was having a normal weekend playing with friends, playing in the snow, and wrestling with her brothers. On Sunday though, she got a headache and started having flu like symptoms. By Wednesday, she was rushed into surgery to reduce swelling on the brain. She has had a second surgery now and is preparing for 6 weeks of daily radiation therapy. She is a fighter and she and her family along with everyone on Team Emma are here to fight for her.

While she fights, dogs everywhere are showing their support.

Burley and Babette in Ottawa, Ontario. (Photo: Tania Calverley)

Tania Calverley sent a photo of her two snow-covered pups with the note: “Burley and Babette send lots of love and doggie kisses from cold Ottawa, Ontario Canada.”

Daisy and Tymber send love from Michigan. (Photo: Megan Janofski)

Megan Janofski wrote from Michigan. “Hi Emma! Our names are Daisy and Tymber and we live in Michigan. We love cuddling and playing fetch. Our owner told us you aren’t feeling good. We are sending all our love to you! We think you’re pretty incredible for going through this. Stay strong and brave. Love, Daisy and Tymber.”

Shelby and Nikki send kisses from Virginia. (Photo: Maria Emilia)

Maria Emilia sent greeting from her two dogs in Virginia Beach. “Hi sweet and beautiful Emma! My two Aussie pup pups want to send you tons of hugs and kisses – little Shelby and big brother Nikki boy say that you are AWESOME!”

Lola wrote the note, but included photos of her canine siblings. (Photo: Ursula Bedeaux)

Ursula Bedeaux’s dog Lola sent the message: “Hi Emma, our mom told us about you and how brave you are. She also told us that you love dogs, so Harriett, Maggie, and I (Lola), thought we would send you some hugs and kisses from Minnesota!!! ❤️❤️❤️”

She included photos of Harriett and Maggie, too.

Harriett and Maggie (Photo: Ursula Bedeaux)

If you (or your dog) want to send a message to Emma, you can post them to a special Facebook page.

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Emma, you are in our thoughts and, we have no doubt, in the thoughts of all those that read this. Paul & Jeannie xxxx, plus Brandy, Pedi, Sweeny, Oliver, Cleopatra and Ruby! Woof, woof.

This is just so beautiful!

A wolf and a bear!

It’s fair to say that whilst people send me a whole range of items, as yesterday’s post demonstrated, what I am about to republish is the high-water mark for everything! Well it is for me!

But you be the judge!

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Unusual Friendship Between Wolf And Bear Documented By Finnish Photographer

By ​Dainius

“It’s very unusual to see a bear and a wolf getting on like this” says Finnish photographer Lassi Rautiainen, 56, who took these surprising photos. The female grey wolf and male brown were spotted every night for ten days straight, spending several hours together between 8pm and 4am. They would even share food with each other.

“No-one can know exactly why or how the young wolf and bear became friends,” Lassi told the Daily Mail. “I think that perhaps they were both alone and they were young and a bit unsure of how to survive alone…It is nice to share rare events in the wild that you would never expect to see.”

“It’s very unusual to see a bear and a wolf getting on like this”

This unlikely pair was spotted by Finnish photographer Lassi Rautiainen

He photographed the female grey wolf and male brown bear every night for ten days straight

“No one had observed bears and wolves living near each other and becoming friends in Europe”

The two “friends” were even seen sharing food

“No one can know exactly why or how the young wolf and bear became friends”

“I think that perhaps they were both alone when they were young and a bit unsure of how to survive alone”

“I came across these two and knew that it made the perfect story”

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“It seems to me that they feel safe being together”

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Taken from here but I wouldn’t have known about this beautiful story if Margaret K. hadn’t sent me the link. Thank you, Margaret!

This is really great news!

Reproduced in full from the BBC.

There are so many times when a loving dog just has to do what it has to do.

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Camp Fire: Dog missing from Paradise wildfire found after 101 days

21 February 2019

Kingston is believed to have survived by hunting skunks

A dog called Kingston has been reunited with his owners 101 days after he went missing during the deadliest wildfire in California’s history.

The Ballejos family last saw Kingston, an Akita, during the devastating Camp Fire in November.

Kingston, who is 12 years old, had jumped out of their truck as they fled their home in Paradise.

A local animal rescue volunteer caught Kingston on Sunday, and the family believe he survived by hunting skunks.

About 18,000 homes were destroyed and 86 people killed after the Camp Fire broke out and spread rapidly on 8 November north-east of San Francisco.

“When I found out, [it] just about brought me to tears,” Gabriel Ballejos told Associated Press (AP) after being reunited with his dog. “I’m so proud of him. I can’t believe it. He’s a true survivor.”

The family posted flyers and contacted shelters in the hope Kingston would be found. He was eventually recognised by someone who saw a post online.

Over the weekend, animal rescue volunteers spotted a large dog on surveillance cameras before setting up a trap to secure Kingston.

“When I went to check [the trap] on Sunday, there he was,” local dog-trapper Ben Lepe told AP. “It was awesome to see him and know he would be fed and warm.”

Kingston, who the family say was known to hunt skunks before the fire, smelled so strongly of the pungent odour that volunteers spent several hours washing him before reuniting him with the Ballejos family.

“He still smelled even though they used stuff that neutralises the skunk smell,” Suzanne Maxwell, a local resident and volunteer for Friends of Camp Fire Cats, told the BBC.

She described a “heart-warming” reunion between Kingston and his family.

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I bet that heart-warming doesn’t do it justice!

Saturday reflection

This is a supremely clever young man.

I’m splitting this post in two.

Today, I will republish the story and then tomorrow I will reproduce the wonderful photographs.

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Woodland animals leap from the screen in Finnish photographer’s work

By JACQUELINE GULLEDGE,  January 1, 2019.

The red fox is one of Saarinen’s favorite subjects. (Photo: Ossi Saarinen)

When most people think of Finland, they likely imagine a country of sprawling forests and winter wonderlands where everyone is content and has a respectful relationship with wildlife.

Helsinki University student and photographer Ossi Saarinen has lived in Finland his whole life, and his work reveals his passion for nature and animals.

“I’ve always been interested in animals. Somehow I find their behavior and all very interesting,” Saarinen, 22, tells MNN. “Even being in the nature without seeing any animals is very enjoyable for me.”

Saarinen has been interested in nature since he was a little boy, but it wasn’t until he started taking photos of a family of foxes in 2015 that he realized this love of animals could frame his life’s work.

“When I was just starting my photographing career I met a fox family with four tiny cubs. I managed to get some photos and in one of them, it looks like they’re all walking towards the camera. It’s my favorite not only because I like it as a photo but also because it was the day when my career really started and I felt like it was something I wanted to do in the future as well.”

Since then, Saarinen has honed his craft into a beautiful collection of photographs featuring different wild animals in their natural habitats. What sets his work apart is the sense you get of just how much he loves animals.

“I try to show the emotions and feelings of the animals and that way also make the people watching the photos to feel something.”

Not only is the raw beauty of animals captured in his images, but they also shine a spotlight on the gorgeous Finnish setting. Saarinen wants people to know how Finnish people take care of the land and respect it.

“Finnish nature looks almost like untouched, which is very rare thing in developed countries. It’s clean, full of different kinds of plants and animals. It has four beautiful seasons over the year. Even if you live in the center of our biggest city, Helsinki, you don’t have to go far away to see beautiful nature and animals. Actually most of my animal photos are taken less than 10 km from the center of Helsinki.”

“I like to tell and show people how clean and beautiful the nature here is. How it can look when people really take care of it.”

You can see more of his photography below, follow him on Instagram or check out his website, where his photos are available for purchase.

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Come back tomorrow to experience Saarinen’s photographs.

Save the African Pangolin

It’s World Pangolin day tomorrow.

I confess to not having heard of this endangered species before.

But my son, Alex, sent me an email earlier in the week hoping I would post something on the blog.

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Dear Alex

Creating widespread awareness of the four African pangolin species is an important part of our mission, because if people don’t know what a pangolin is, why would they care enough to help save it?

It’s World Pangolin Day this Saturday and here are two easy ways you can get involved right now:

Share this newsletter

Forward this email to all your friends to encourage them to sign up and receive our updates too.
Tag10ForPangolins

Share our latest Facebook campaign tagging at least 10 friends in your post, and help us reach our target of telling 100,000 people about pangolins by Saturday. We’ve just passed the 51,000 mark and with your help we can reach our goal!

With thanks,

Catherine and Team Pangolin

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Every little helps!

And guess what I found:

PANGOLIN – The Most Poached Animal in The World

Pangolins are the most heavily poached animal in the world, despite the fact that most people don’t even know that they exist.

The Pangolin is a small mammal, covered in large overlapping scales. It’s mainly a nocturnal animal with a diet consisting of insects such as ants and termites.

They may look like weird-scaly anteaters, but they are actually not part of the anteater family at all. The 2 most unique features of this animal are, that it is covered in plate armor scales from head to toe, and even though it has four legs, it walks predominantly on it’s hind legs, and uses it’s front legs for griping & digging.

So why are these creatures being so heavily poached? Well It’s all to do with their scales. The Pangolin’s scales & meat are used in traditional medicine, fashion and even eaten in high-end cuisine.

Thanks for watching

And then on Wednesday the BBC News had an extensive item about Pangolins. It’s a long article with a video. Please read it.

How Do You Know I’m Real?

More than that how do you know if anything is real?

I was sitting in the living-room yesterday and watching Cleo dream. She was on the floor in front of the lit fire and happily involved in her dream.

Young Cleo, May 12th, 2012.

She was such a beautiful dog. It was natural of me to wonder of what she was dreaming. I could see her feet twitching and her eyelids flicking as though she was dreaming of chasing. But any more than that was pure speculation.

Then I mused about how the world looked for Cleo, and for the rest of our dogs come to that.

Then I went back to a philosophical article that I read quite recently.

What does it all mean? Are we real? What is reality?

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3 philosophers set up a booth on a street corner – here’s what people asked

By 

Research Fellow Center for Philosophy and History of Science, Boston University

February 6th, 2019

Greek philosopher Socrates. Nice_Media_PRO/Shutterstock.com

The life choices that had led me to be sitting in a booth underneath a banner that read “Ask a Philosopher” – at the entrance to the New York City subway at 57th and 8th – were perhaps random but inevitable.

I’d been a “public philosopher” for 15 years, so I readily agreed to join my colleague Ian Olasov when he asked for volunteers to join him at the “Ask a Philosopher” booth. This was part of the latest public outreach effort by the American Philosophical Association, which was having its annual January meeting up the street.

I’d taught before – even given speeches – but this seemed weird. Would anyone stop? Would they give us a hard time?

I sat between Ian and a splendid woman who taught philosophy in the city, thinking that even if we spent the whole time talking to one another, it would be an hour well spent.

Then someone stopped.

At first glance, it was hard to tell if she was a penniless nomad or an emeritus professor, but then she took off her hat and psychedelic scarf and came over to the desk and announced, “I’ve got a question. I’m in my late 60s. I’ve just had life threatening surgery, but I got through it.”

She showed us the jagged scar on her neck. “I don’t know what to do with the rest of my life,” she said. “I’ve got a master’s degree. I’m happily retired and divorced. But I don’t want to waste any more time. Can you help?”

Wow. One by one, we all asked her to elaborate on her situation and offered tidbits of advice, centering on the idea that only she could decide what gave her life meaning. I suggested that she might reach out to others who were also searching, then she settled in for a longer discussion with Ian.

And then it happened: A crowd gathered.

At first I thought they were there to eavesdrop, but as it turned out they had their own existential concerns. A group of teenagers engaged the philosopher on my right. One young woman, who turned out to be a sophomore in college, stepped away from the group with a serious concern. “Why can’t I be happier in my life? I’m only 20. I should be as happy as I’m ever going to be right now, but I’m not. Is this it?”

It was my turn. “Research has shown that what makes us happy is achieving small goals one after the other,” I said. “If you win the lottery, within six months you’ll probably be back to your baseline of happiness. Same if you got into an accident. You can’t just achieve happiness and stay there, you have to pursue it.”

“So I’m stuck?” she said.

“No…” I explained. “Your role in this is huge. You’ve got to choose the things that make you happy one by one. That’s been shown from Aristotle all the way down to cutting-edge psychological research. Happiness is a journey, not a destination.”

She brightened a bit, while her friends were still puzzling over whether color was a primary or secondary property. They thanked us and moved on.

Suddenly, the older woman who had stopped by initially seemed satisfied with what Ian had told her, and said that she had to be on her way as well.

Again it was quiet. Some who passed by were pointing and smiling. A few took pictures. It must have looked odd to see three philosophers sitting in a row with “Ask a Philosopher” over our heads, amidst the bagel carts and jewelry stalls.

During the quiet I reflected for a moment on what had just happened. A group of strangers had descended upon us not to make fun, but because they were carrying around some real philosophical baggage that had long gone unanswered. If you’re in a spiritual crisis, you go to your minister or rabbi. If you have psychological concerns, you might seek out a therapist. But what to do if you don’t quite know where you fit into this world and you’re tired of carrying that burden alone?

And then I spotted her … an interlocutor who would be my toughest questioner of the day. She was about 6 years old and clutched her mother’s hand as she craned her neck to stare at us. Her mother stopped, but the girl hesitated. “It’s OK,” I offered. “Do you have a philosophical question?” The girl smiled at her mother, then let go of her hand to walk over to the booth. She looked me dead in the eye and said: “How do I know I’m real?”

Suddenly I was back in graduate school. Should I talk about the French philosopher Rene Descartes, who famously used the assertion of skepticism itself as proof of our existence, with the phrase “I think, therefore I am?” Or, mention English philosopher G.E. Moore and his famous “here is one hand, here is the other,” as proof of the existence of the external world?

Or, make a reference to the movie “The Matrix,” which I assumed, given her age, she wouldn’t have seen? But then the answer came to me. I remembered that the most important part of philosophy was feeding our sense of wonder. “Close your eyes,” I said. She did. “Well, did you disappear?” She smiled and shook her head, then opened her eyes. “Congratulations, you’re real.”

She grinned broadly and walked over to her mother, who looked back at us and smiled. My colleagues patted me on the shoulder and I realized that my time was up. Back to the conference to face some easier questions on topics like “Academic Philosophy and its Responsibilities in a Post-Truth World.”

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Fascinating!

It’s not just us!

That can be affected by the weather!

In posting this I must admit to not noticing any changes in our group of ‘buddies’. Correction: I don’t notice any changes in behaviour as a result of cold temperatures. Hot weather is different.

See what you make of the following article that was taken from here.

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How Changes in Weather Can Affect Your Dog’s Mood

By

Have you ever noticed that your dog’s mood shifts with the weather? Storms, heat, cold, and the changing seasons affect our dogs, just like they affect us. Understanding this behavior can help you prepare your canine companion for the forecast ahead.

Changing Seasons

When the temperature heats up, some dogs rejoice, while others seek out cool, shady spots where they can rest. Though all dogs can be susceptible to hot weather hazards, certain dog breeds are less heat tolerant than others. Brachycephalic breeds, such as Bulldogs, French Bulldogs, Pugs, and Boston Terriers, do best when staying cool in hot weather because they can have difficulty breathing in extreme heat. Large breeds are also susceptible to heat, as are longhaired breeds like the Komondor, Afghan Hound, and Alaskan Malamute. If you own a breed like these, you may find that your dog is not as active in hot weather or as willing to engage in play and other activities.

Colder climates, on the other hand, is where Northern breeds like American Eskimo Dogs, Samoyeds, and Siberian Huskies thrive. Longhaired or double-coated breeds like German Shepherd Dogs, Saint BernardsGreat Pyrenees, and Newfoundlands typically enjoy cooler weather, too. They often become more active and playful during the winter months, unlike cold-intolerant breeds such as Italian Greyhounds, Greyhounds, hairless breeds, toy breeds, senior dogs, and dogs with conditions such as hypothyroidism or Cushing’s disease.

Relocating to a New Climate

Seasons change gradually, giving your dog time to adjust. Relocating to an entirely new climate, however, can cause sudden shifts in your pup’s mood. Depending on your dog’s breed, you may notice that he becomes more or less active, and some dogs even show signs of irritation if the weather makes them too uncomfortable.

A move to a cold climate can be shocking for dogs that are not used to chilly temperatures. Some pups seek out warm places, like air vents, blankets, or human contact, and you might notice your canine companion becoming cuddlier in the cold. Understanding the cause of your dog’s sudden lethargy or increased activity can help you determine if his change in mood is circumstantial or medical. Lethargy is a common symptom of many illnesses and should be taken seriously, so make sure your dog is not exhibiting any other abnormal signs. If he is, consult your veterinarian immediately.

Helping Your Dog Adjust

If your dog gets grumpy in the heat, don’t worry. There are things you can do to make him more comfortable and lower his risk of heatstroke.

  • Avoid taking your dog for walks during the hottest parts of the day.
  • Make sure he has plenty of fresh water.
  • Raised canvas platform dog beds offer a cooling alternative to traditional beds, and you can even invest in cooling mats or kiddie pools for particularly heat-intolerant dogs.
  • If you don’t have air conditioning, adjust a fan so that your dog has access to a nice, cool breeze.
  • Never leave a dog unattended in an enclosed vehicle or in a warm environment that does not have good air circulation.

You can also help your dog acclimate to the cold. After all, who doesn’t love a pup in a sweater? With so many dog sweaters, jackets, raincoats, and booties to choose from, keeping your dog warm is easier than ever. However, it’s important to note that you should never leave an item of clothing on an unsupervised dog. And anything you do put on your canine companion should fit properly (not too tight or too loose).

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Understanding this behavior can help you prepare your canine companion for the forecast ahead.” One wonders just how one prepares our canine companions (all six of them) for the forecast.

Maybe we should go back to the drawing board!