Tuesday, July 28, 2015

"One of the most beautiful.."

"Until we have the courage to recognize cruelty for what it is--whether its victim is human or animal--we cannot expect things to be much better in this world."-- Rachel Carson, American conservationist

            "He was one of the most beautiful animals to look at." stated Johnny Rodrigues, head of the Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force. Cecil, a gorgeous majestic male lion was well known by park guides and tourists for his demeanor and distinctive dark mane. After living in the national park for thirteen years Cecil was lured away from the protected grounds and viciously killed. Cecil was first injured with a bow and arrow and later found shot to death.  According to the Zimbabwe Professional Hunter and Guides Association, bow hunting is permissible in private hunting concessions or communal hunting areas only but NEVER in a national park or government-controlled safari area. Zimbabwean conservationists have emphasized recently that hunting by bow and arrow is on the increase. Bow hunting is silent, allowing unethical or illegal hunting to go undetected by authorities.
           American dentist and avid trophy hunter, Walter James Palmer from Eden Prairie, Minnesota is now being sought and held accountable for illegal hunting. In a statement he made to authorities earlier this week, Palmer said "I had no idea that the lion I took was a known, local favorite, was collared and part of a study until the end of the hunt. I relied on the expertise of my local professional guides to ensure a legal hunt."  The GPS collar which Cecil wore for research tracking purposes was destroyed before his beheaded remains were found.
           According to the International Fund for Animal Welfare,  60% of the African lion population has been destroyed in the last three decades alone. The poaching and trophy hunting deaths of lions, elephants, rhino's and tigers has reached critical levels. Trophy hunting and poaching are big business in Africa resulting in international crimes. Hunters will pay as much as $300,000 dollars to track and kill an animal with legal permits to make it appear an ethical sport. What most people, conservationists and animal advocates want to understand is- why? Unbridled greed, ego-driven violence and an arrogant photo opportunity seem senseless in the face of so many beautiful animals being endangered. Poaching contributes to the corruption and intimidation of government officials and local communities, increases the sale of illegal fire arms and drug distribution where the activities take place. Taking full responsibility for their part in cruel and pointless poaching crimes is long overdue for the United States. Laws need to change now.

Friday, July 24, 2015

"The moment you think of a joke.."

"The moment you think of a joke is the best moment."
- writer, producer, director, comedian, Judd Apatow

             How well do you know writer, producer, director and comedian, Judd Apatow?  You may not immediately identify his face but you will certainly recognize his extensive body of work. He is the creative genius behind the movies The 40-Year Old Virgin whom he co-wrote with the films star, Steve Carrell, Funny People featuring Adam Sandler and Eric Bana, and the memorable Knocked Up with Seth Rogen and Katherine Heigl. He is the producer of Bridesmaids, Superbad and currently HBO's Girls.

            Apatow's latest offering is Trainwreck, in theaters now, starring comedians Amy Schumer, Bill Hader, with a special appearance by Akron, Ohio's own Cleveland Cavalier, LeBron James. As if that were not enough, in June, Apatow released a new book titled, Sick in the Head: Conversations About Life and Comedy ( Penguin Random House 2015). Beginning with transcripts from 1983 when he was a mere 14 years old, Apatow documents a surreal  interview with a young Jerry Seinfeld. (Apatow discusses some of the comedians in the video above). The entire book contains brilliantly entertaining, insightful excerpts with the most successful comics of a generation.  If you're looking for a summertime read with large doses of thoughtfulness and incredibly amusing anecdotes,  your prescription is staying "Sick in the Head".

Read a preview of the book here:


Monday, July 20, 2015

" Life among the stars."

"To confine our attention to terrestrial matters would be to limit the human spirit."- Stephen Hawking


                       The search for extraterrestrial intelligence  has always been a part of human  contemplation. Since the dawn of existence we have turned our gaze upward towards the stars. What lies beyond the spectrum of the human eye and telescopes? Our search and understanding of space is one of the most fascinating areas of human study. We were made for exploration. For scientific and historical purposes SETI or the Search for Extraterrestrial  Intelligence officially began with astronomer Frank Drake in 1960. Drake used an 85-foot radio telescope in the first attempt to detect interstellar radio transmissions sent by beings outside our solar system.  

          Today, July 20th 2015,  a major announcement was made regarding a new global science initiative by Russian entrepreneur Yuri Milner, along with the internationally renowned physicist, Stephen Hawking.  The link below provides detailed information: 


 The video above is narrated by the multi-talented writer,  Seth Mac Farlane who produced the highly successful series, Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey, hosted by astrophysicist,  Dr.Neil deGrasse Tyson.   

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

" Please, don't let this happen..."

"The dog has seldom been successful in pulling man up to its level of sagacity, but man has frequently dragged the dog down to his.” ― James Thurber, author

      It may seem like common sense but with the most sizzling days of summer approaching pet owners are repeatedly reminded not to leave dogs in cars. Several petitions circulating on Change.org are specifically geared to enact laws which will make leaving pets in vehicles during sweltering temperatures illegal. Why do senseless pet deaths continue to happen?  Do pet owners realize how deadly hot the temperatures are in a vehicle even with windows cracked? Do pet owners understand the full effect this type of stress places on an animals system and how quickly this stress can escalate to death? 
 Important facts to know about vehicle temperatures and your pet:
 A dog’s normal resting body temperature is between 101 to 102.5 degrees. Imagine lying on a Florida beach at noon in the middle of July wearing a fur coat and stocking cap. Dogs can only tolerate a high body temperature for a few short minutes before suffering heatstroke, heart and nerve problems, liver failure, brain damage or even death. 

        Research studies have determined that cracking a window has little effect on a car’s internal temperature.  Check out the videos above. A study at Stanford University showed that  even when it's 72 degrees outside, a car’s internal temperature quickly rose to 116 degrees within an hour. 

    What should you do if you see a dog in distress inside a vehicle? Call 911. Wait for an officer to arrive unless the dog is in obvious panic which includes excessive panting or near collapse. If the vehicle is parked outside of a store go inside and ask the manager to make an announcement. Don't allow any animal to suffer this summer. Breaking the glass of a vehicle to remove a child in heat distress is legal. Animal advocates and responsible dog owners would like to extend laws to include compassion for all suffering. If dogs could speak they would plead with their owners, "Please, don't leave me. I wouldn't leave you."

Thursday, July 9, 2015

"One step closer to a dream..."

"If I wanted to take a more activist or journalistic slant in work, I should probably just go be an activist or a journalist. But I'm happy being a comedian"
John Oliver, comedian and host of  Last Week Tonight with John Oliver



            If you're a fan of comedian, John Oliver, Last Week Tonight  http://www.hbo.com/last-week-tonight-with-john-oliver or just want to support the amazing Team Rubicon http://www.teamrubiconusa.org/organization, dream makers Omaze has an incredible once in a lifetime opportunity for you. Join John Oliver in New York City, who will be flying you and a friend to enjoy all the backstage antics at Last Week Tonight.  You and your guest will stay at a four star hotel and be the VIPs for a taping of the show which includes a commemorative photo at John’s desk to prove  it wasn't all a dream. What do you need to do? Simply enter to win or donate the amount of your choice for entries.

     Each entry donation will benefit Team Rubicon. $10 dollars gives you 100 chances to win. The more you donate the more opportunities to make a dream reality and more importantly support Team Rubicon. TR unites the skills and multi-dimensional experiences of military veterans with first responders by rapidly deploying emergency response teams. TR is providing disaster relief during our most crucial times, the moment a disaster happens Their mission is not only to help disaster-stricken areas, but assist the entire veteran community. Read more about their story here: http://www.teamrubiconusa.org/         Be a force for good in more ways than one.  

Monday, July 6, 2015

" What kind of future are we giving children? "

"We need to save the Arctic not because of the polar bears, and not because it is the most beautiful place in the world, but because our very survival depends upon it."
Lewis Gordon Pugh- author, environmentalist


     Without sea ice, we lose an entire ecosystem and losing that sea ice ecosystem results in losing polar bears. Arctic temperatures are increasing at least twice as fast as the global average and sea ice cover is diminishing by almost 4 % each decade. This is not just fear mongering among scientists and environmentalists. A disturbing new report from the US Fish and Wildlife Services warns that unless greenhouse gas emissions are decreased significantly polar bears may cease to exist in the next 35 years. Primary habitat for polar bears are ice shelves and ledges covering the Arctic Circle, Melting has destroyed a large portion of polar bear habitat in recent years. Unbelievably, The US government, under the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, has recently given preliminary approval for Royal Dutch Shell to conduct exploratory drilling in an area where polar bear populations are suffering most. An oil spill could mean the extinction of not only the polar bear but an entire sea ice ecosystem our planet depends upon. Even without the threat of oil spills, the projected future sea ice losses means a stunning two-thirds of the world’s polar bear population could disappear within this century. Our current generation of children may never get to see or understand the life cycle contributions  of a polar bear. Many more animal species are next.

      According to Polar Bear International http://www.polarbearsinternational.org/our-work polar bear habitat loss and reduced access to primary prey due to climate change is the primary polar bear conservation issue. Polar bears also face increased pollution, disease, commercial activities, and inadequate habitat protection. Most polar bears live north of the Arctic Circle to the North Pole with some populations south of the Arctic Circle in Hudson Bay, Manitoba, Canada. Polar bears live in Greenland, Russia,and Alaska as well as islands in the north owned by Norway. So what is being done globally to prevent them from extinction? With polar ice melting population sizes are decreasing, ice platforms are moving farther apart creating hazardous swimming conditions and fewer hunting opportunities results in increased scarcity of food. The Office of Naval Research said the past eight years have had the eight lowest amounts of summer sea ice on record. In order to save the sea ice ecosystems we must reduce our greenhouse emissions. Governments need to do more. Corporations need to be held accountable. If not for ecosystems and our planet then for your children and your children's children who will suffer most. Demand action.

 For more information about how all of us can reduce greenhouse emissions visit :

Friday, July 3, 2015

"United we stand."

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--

                     How well do you know the history of the Declaration of Independence
                                                  No cheating. Answer key is below.

 A. How many signers of the Declaration of Independence were born in America?

 B.  How many copies of the Declaration of Independence exist?

 C. Who was the oldest  person to sign?

 D. Which two future presidents signed the document?

 E. In what year was the 4th of July declared a Federal  holiday?

 F. Where did the first public reading of the Declaration of Independence take place?

 G. Who is credited with writing the documents?

 H. Earn a 1,000 bonus points if you can name the Committee of Five 

 I. Earn another 1,000 bonus points if you can describe what being an American means to you.

 J. Who was the first woman to sign the Declaration of Independence?

 A.(0 - Not one signer of the Declaration was technically born in the United States. The USA didn't even exist until after it was signed.) 

 B. ( 26- John Dunlap who was a printer from Philadelphia was asked to create 200 copies. 26 have

 C. (Benjamin Franklin, 70)

 D. (Thomas Jefferson, John Adams)

 E. (1941)

 F. (Philadelphia, PA  July 8th, 1776) 

G. (Thomas Jefferson)

H. ( The Committee of Five composed the Declaration of Independence consisted of:
 Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Roger Sherman, Robert Livingston, Benjamin Franklin

 I. ( Congratulations.You are correct)

 J. (Can't fool you! Women weren't allowed a say or vote let alone a signature on a proclamation.)

                                                            Progress and change are beautiful.