Yes, we have more pandas
China has just announced the findings of its once-a-decade census of wild pandas and the numbers are up.
3/5/ 2015 16.43 GMT Last modified on Saturday 28 February 2015 19.22 GMT
It’s official. There are now 1864 adult pandas in the wild, according to an announcement made by China’s State Forestry Administration at a long-awaited press conference in Beijing this morning.
For the past 40 years, China has conducted a survey of adult pandas in the wild, at roughly ten-year intervals. The 1970s estimate was 1100. In the 1980s, it was 1120. The third census, conducted between 1998 and 2002, gave us 1596 pandas. The latest figure of 1864, revealed this morning, suggests that the number of adult pandas in the wild has increased by 268 over the last decade, a gain of 16.8%.
The total area inhabited by wild giant pandas is estimated at 2,577,000 hectares, an expansion of 11.8% since the last report. With the number of dedicated panda nature reserves increasing from 40 to 67 over the same period, it’s reckoned that 1246 pandas or two-thirds of the entire population now resides in a protected area.
“The increase of both the wild giant panda population size and habitat area over last ten years is a significant conservation achievement,” says Xiaohai Li, executive director of programmes at WWF-China in a press release.
For all those who want a conservation success story, stop reading now. But if you can tolerate a bit grey in the place of black-and-white, you might want to digest just one more paragraph.
As I pointed out in an earlier post, China has changed the method of monitoring pandas over the years, making it difficult to know whether panda numbers really have risen. I also noted that if it were up to politicians to put a figure on the wild panda population, they’d be happiest with precisely the kind of modest increase we’ve seen today. It’s enough to claim that support for panda conservation is paying off, but it’s not so great as to take the panda away from the limelight that comes with being classified as “Endangered” (which would occur at a population size of 2500). In spite of these niggling caveats, I am prepared to state, with some certainty, that the number of pandas in the wild - whatever that figure really is - is either going up, going down or staying the same.
If pandas and politics are your bag, you might be interested in my second book The Way of the Panda: The Curious History of China’s Political Animal (Profile Books, 2010).
CORRECTION: Over at Nature, Jane Qiu has written an excellent piece on the survey results in which she points out that IUCN can downgrade the status of a threatened species from “Endangered” to “Vulnerable” if a population of less than the 2500 is on the increase. This, it would seem, is the case for pandas.
on: Today at 06:22 AM
|Started by Rad - Last post by Rad|
on: Today at 06:20 AM
|Started by Rad - Last post by Rad|
Weasel takes a ride on a woodpecker
March 4, 2015
Brett Smith for redOrbit.com
It’s a weasel. On a woodpecker.
Now that #Llamadrama and #TheDress are distant memories (what were those about again?) – the latest Internet meme/social media sensation is this image, supposedly snapped by amateur photographer Martin Le-May from Essex in the United Kingdom.
How it all went down
Le-May said that he was out on a nature walk with his wife when he heard shrieking out in a nearby field and, using binoculars, spotted what looked like a woodpecker. Just after getting out his camera equipped with a telephoto lens – the bird took flight and Le-May snapped a few pictures, including the one that eventually went viral.
“I think I realized there was something potentially special as I took the photograph – this idea that you’re almost snapping an image in your head as you take it,” Le-May recently told the BBC. “But it wasn’t really until we got home and I downloaded the photograph, connected the laptop to the TV and looked at it on the TV and thought: Actually, this really is something quite dramatic as well as a nice picture.”
Le-May said he did suspect that there was some kind of small mammal on the bird’s back while out in the field. He said the tiny weasel probably ran off after the woodpecker landed.
“I think we may have distracted the weasel as when the woodpecker landed it managed to escape and the weasel ran into the grass,” the amateur photographer said.
Weasels might eat woodpeckers
Wildlife expert Lucy Cooke told the BBC that the photo is truly unusual.
“The green woodpecker is a ground-feeding bird, but weasels normally attack rabbits,” Cooke said. “The woodpecker is not its usual prey.”
“But weasels are fearless,” she added. “A female weasel weighs less than a Mars Bar but is as ferocious as a lion, so this is why the woodpecker would have been able to take off with it on its back.”
The cinnamon challenge
Internet memes or viral videos and images can be a great way to waste time or take a mental break from the work day, but sometimes the viral spread of internet memes can be a dangerous as an IRL communicable disease.
A study published in 2013 revealed that the highly-popular “cinnamon challenge” meme was actually somewhat dangerous and was responsible for an increase in choking and aspiration incidents.
The challenge involved people in online videos attempting to ingest a spoonful of cinnamon. The challenger typically coughs and hacks as the cinnamon is eventually spewed into a cloud of orange-brown dust.
“I think the cinnamon challenge is something that has been around for some time; however, I don’t think we’ve really appreciated what the potential medical implications may be,” Kent Pinkerton, director of the University of California Davis (UCDavis) Center for Health and the Environment, said in a web video.
Discussion / Evolutionary Astrology Q&A / Re: Volunteer ~ "Eos" ~ EA Personal In-depth Chart and Transit Analysis
on: Mar 04, 2015, 09:23 PM
|Started by Linda - Last post by Linda|
Thanks for sharing the details of the first few weeks in your new position.
So, the first thing we ask in EA is, Why is the Soul creating this situation? Since any symbol in the birth chart can only be understood within the context of your primary/evolutionary karmic axis, it seems to me that your Pluto in Virgo in the 10th house is right on cue!!
The following quotes are from Jeffrey Wolf Green's EA Glossary:
Pluto polarity point – 4th house (or Cancer)
The person must learn to develop internal security and sense of identity not bound up in the social position or role. They are also learning emotional lessons. They commonly receive shocks delivered by parents, children, or spouse. For example, the death of a parent, or having judgmental parents. The necessity is for self-examination. The shocks force deep self-examination. This helps them understand the nature and basis of their emotions, and to create the necessary sense of inner security not tied to social function. Problems experienced through their own children can force self-examination as never before. Sometimes they may neglect their own children due to career obligations and never get to know them. This can produce guilt, leading to self-examination. Sometimes the desired social position is denied to enforce the lessons. Other times this can happen due to previous abuses of power. Being held down again forces the self-examination.
The reflection gradually causes them to form a new self-image not dependent on career or anything external. They begin to develop an attitude that even if they lose everything, they will still be okay. As they develop these attitudes, the roadblocks to the social position will be released. They can then achieve the social recognition they desire. They learn to balance work time with private time. They learn that their values are subjective, and apply to them alone. They learn to not judge others. They learn to fulfill their ambitions in non-manipulative ways and encourage others to do the same. They learn to become responsible parents.
Pluto polarity point – Pisces (or 12th house)
The intent is simplification, dissolving old barriers that prevent the understanding of the individual’s self-concept. It shows the person that they are part of a larger force, a realization that begins to fill the existential hole left by the popping of the Leo balloon of ego. Many will deny a cosmic connection, dismissing it as impractical or irrational. There is a tendency to embrace spirituality during a crisis and to abandon it when the crisis ends, until the next crisis. Pisces facilitates the development of the holistic, intuitive approach to life, to counter Mercury’s left brained logical orientation. Becoming aware of the connection to Divinity fosters self-forgiveness, and appreciation of the imperfections in others. The holistic view helps develop inner peace that puts the worrying mind at rest. They come to see the work function that is best aligned with their true purpose rather than working any old job. These people are natural karma yogis, serving God through the work and service that they perform. Those who resist can live lives of pain, illness, and a sense of being imprisoned. Those who follow the intent will surrender to the spirit and transform. They will be quite humble and serve anyone who truly needs their help. Those who go from resistance to surrender and back again will alternate between times of great clarity and times of crisis and discouragement. These people have keen minds, are self-effacing, willing to help others, naturally timid, self-conscious, critical or forgiving of others depending on the circumstances, always busy, dealing with endless crises, good organizational skills.
~ ~ ~
A few thoughts:
I find it interesting that the very thing we don't want to happen, happens! This is because we are here to learn our lessons through those very dynamics that can be painful and that are sometimes avoided. It could be that you desire - via Pluto-Uranus-Venus-Part of Fortune in Virgo in the 10th, Leo ruling the MC, Sun in Libra 11th, and your Pluto polarity point in Pisces - to create reasonable harmony within "the dream job." I have learned that since the PPP is such a new area, that mistakes can be made. It could be said that you have suffered disillusionment because the uncooperative workmates are certainly pushing you to emotional extremes!! We should also look to your 6th house to understand your relationship with workmates in general.
Your 6th house is ruled by Mars in Leo in the 9th house. Who is boss here? Here you come in direct contact with patriarchal distortions in the workplace. Since Mars works closely with Pluto - all desires really coming from the Soul itself - then Mars is very important as it provides the fuel and energy that works to fulfill the Soul's desires. Honesty would be very important for you, and you probably expect it from others in the workplace too. Your Moon in Cancer in the 9th house is in a very auspicious position conjunct the North Node of Pluto (for you and everyone on the planet!): dishonesty would certainly create an emotional reaction! The Soul desires to work directly on evolving the egocentric structure in this lifetime as well as the current egocentric structure working directly on evolving the Soul itself - they evolve together - your Moon conjunct the North Node of Pluto. (Actually your Moon is exactly conjunct my Moon in Cancer in the 9th! but this is not about me )
So, why is the Soul creating these situations that are driving you nuts, yet you are able to keep your Leonine cool, self-respect and dignity on the job. I see that you have the South Node of Chiron (the wounded healer) in Taurus in the 6th house, that interacts with the current life Chiron Pisces 4th conjunct the PPP, and the North Node of Chiron Libra 12th in order to advance healing potentials/resources for yourself and the collective. Just in the Chirotic trinity alone, the water element is repeated several times, bringing opportunities for evolution via the emotions. Chiron is conjunct your PPP:
Pluto polarity point – conjunct planet
Development of the planet conjunct the Pluto polarity point, by house and sign, is a crucial part of the Soul’s ongoing evolutionary process. It’s one of the most intense placements a planet can have. Review what Jeffrey had to say about Mars opposing Pluto and how extreme that is. Now substitute for the Mars archetypes that he described, the archetypes of the planet that is opposing Pluto. One thing that can often occur with this placement is people and events in the outer reality will occur in intense Plutonian ways. The person often sees this as external, as things that are happening to them. They have forgotten that everything that occurs externally is an out-picturing of the Soul’s internal reality. Thus they can feel victimized, until they finally come to understand the evolutionary reasons these intense experiences have been necessary for the Soul’s ongoing evolutionary needs. Then the lights start coming on. In the potential lack of awareness of external reality reflecting internal reality, the person may “own” one side of the opposition and project the other. That is one way it could play out. They would be projecting the parts they could not own. (Steve)
From the above, I am able to gauge "why" the Soul has created such emotional upheaval in your first weeks on the job.
You say: "I will be able to let my worth and my work stand for itself . . ." I'm sure you will! Good luck!
I would be interested in reading your astrological correlations to what you have shared.
Looking forward to your next update.
Thanks so much!
on: Mar 04, 2015, 08:46 PM
|Started by Romana - Last post by cat777|
And here is some support from Hollywood :-)
Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie are reported to be very supportive of their young daughter who wants to be a boy. They allow her to dress like a boy and are open to her changing her name to "John."
Here is a link to her chart:
Discussion / Evolutionary Astrology Q&A / Re: NASA'S Dawn nears Ceres – Approach images, movies and animations
on: Mar 04, 2015, 08:07 PM
|Started by Rad - Last post by Linda|
". . . the first spacecraft to explore a dwarf planet . . ."
All I can say is: WOW!!
Thanks, Rad, for posting this news item and the videos.
on: Mar 04, 2015, 08:00 PM
|Started by Sabrina - Last post by Linda|
Ooops! I made a mistake earlier on.
The Moon actually moves faster than Dark Moon Lilith.
The Moon orbit is about a month, while DML takes about 4 months.
I have edited the list with the above correction.
Discussion / Evolutionary Astrology Q&A / Re: Volunteer ~ "Eos" ~ EA Personal In-depth Chart and Transit Analysis
on: Mar 04, 2015, 07:49 PM
|Started by Linda - Last post by Eos|
[size=10pt]...reminding you that since you have a Tenth House Pluto, you may place much of your attention on the job, social status etc, due to unconscious security needs but, that the Polarity Point actually indicates an evolutionary need of being secure from within. Essentially to redefine the self image from the inside out, to deepen and enrich the inner life in a variety of ways, to relax the emotional body and accept the self simply as is, Pisces, and depending on evolutionary level and personal desires of course, to create a relationship to the Source itself for security on an ultimate level.
It has been a very trying and yet exhilarating time these last few weeks... very busy, indeed!
Regarding the copied text above from Skywalker, this idea of keeping a strong & sane internal compass- strengthening my emotional foundation- has been manifest through the whole of this job transition. Although it has been quite challenging & I have found myself floundering in some moments, I have repeatedly referenced my true center, navigating some significantly difficult issues in taking over this office position, consistently taking the high road. I have been not so subtly threatened in many ways & held true to my self worth, allowing my integrity to speak for itself, which is much to my credit given the nature of these situations.
My retiring trainer, the woman I am replacing, has been exceedingly difficult in sharing information regarding job tasks. I have had what would ostensibly appear to be ample time to train... yet, embarrassingly, I still have questions regarding some procedures. This is due~ in no small part~ to receiving procedural documents only last week, in my 5th week of training. I have been beyond frustrated and am receiving insults from a few quarters regarding this perceived lack on my part. When asking questions to gain clarity throughout my training, I have been interrupted, misdirected and generally confounded by the actual goals of this person and the apparent disparity from what anyone would believe they should be. An example being, I ask the question: So, if I understand you correctly, A+B=C? I am met with the answer of an emphatic, "No! (virtually shouted so that any ears down the hall may deduce that I am an imbecile) then explained in many round about phrases so that in the end, yes, A+B does indeed = C.
I have had other office staff avoid meeting my eyes, others when meeting my eyes give me disparaging glances or even rolling eyes when offering input...
To wit: While discussing a problem of the counting of an inventory item consistently coming to an overage by about 20 pounds for the last 2 weeks, I suggested the obvious that the scale was off. Both my trainer and the production manager barely glanced my way but met each others eyes and mildly smirked.
Later, still seeking the "answer" I reiterated that the scale should be checked for accuracy. I enlarged on my statement, never the shy retiring type, to state that he could simply step on the scale to verify. The production manager snidely stated that his weight would not be a controlled measurement and therefore unacceptable to provide an answer. I rejoined that, "... it need not be a controlled data, merely somewhere in the ball park, as I am sure you are aware of your approximate weight & if it is off by about 20 lbs, you have your answer."
Well, about an hour later, this manager comes to my trainer and myself and says, "I solved the problem!" To which my trainer replies that she knew he would, asking what was the issue? He states that he discerned that the scale was mis-calibrated... duh. do ya think?!?
Anyway, I have kept my head up, kept hard at work learning everything I possibly can & have been able to prove myself in many ways when the occasion arises despite the setups and mis-directions of the trainer. Eventually, I will be able to let my worth and my work stand for itself and despite the fact that I start wit this new company behind the 8 ball, it will all come clear eventually.
on: Mar 04, 2015, 06:04 PM
|Started by Sabrina - Last post by Sabrina|
on: Mar 04, 2015, 02:32 PM
|Started by Romana - Last post by ari moshe|
Wow,thanks for sharing that article Rad.
First, last April, the Supreme Court of India declared the transgender community as a legal third gender, granting them minority rights and privileges to education, employment and health benefits.
It feels so good to read this. I celebrate and bow to all the small ways in which what is natural and true is becoming integrated and embraced by the consensus.
on: Mar 04, 2015, 11:09 AM
|Started by Romana - Last post by Romana|
Thank you, Rad! I'm getting some intuitive inkling of what this is about with the Moon/Saturn phrasal relationship. That's really helpful.