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 71 
 on: Mar 04, 2015, 02:46 AM 
Started by Romana - Last post by Romana
Sorry, Rad, I was getting some error, and didn't know it was posted at all.

Thanks for the info Linda and Skywalker. It answers my question to some extent.
I'm not very attached to the idea of my gender, and I'm more or less okay with playing (or playing with) the gender role that goes with it in this culture while in my inner life I hold it as something arbitrary.
This body is what god gave me and it's all I've got to work with. I do understand how one gets to hate ones body having history of bulimia, but I struggle with imagining one would go through so much hassle as to be surgically changed even. It looks like wanting to be who you are, yet not accepting who you actually are (could it be down just to hating ones body, with there being an individual reason for the focus on sexual signs?), this combined with the social pressure to fit into the binary, could probably make someone feel like changing the body is the best option. This gives rise to another question - I guess it would produce some consequences to be dealt with in the next life times; what could those be?

My experience (I admit that I have very little) with people with the signature of souls who have made a recent gender switch is of people who have often equal views on both genders and who don't put much weight on having a particular gender.

I hope this makes sense. I don't even know how to formulate the questions as it's something I have really no understanding of.

 72 
 on: Mar 03, 2015, 05:20 PM 
Started by Romana - Last post by Skywalker
Hi Romana, Rad and Linda,

When you say "relate to their gender as something fluid" do you mean as relating to themselves in ways that enables them to express their masculine and feminine sides? In other words they accept themselves as being a combination of both energies.

In essence we are both and in my understanding as we evolve we learn how to integrate them in a way that allows for a fuller expression of ourselves and identify less with a specific gender.

Specific reasons for any given circumstance or experience are generally on a case by case basis.

Souls who cannot relate to their current gender can be for various reasons but in EA we learn about recent gender switches in which a Soul lives a few lives as one gender and then takes some time, possibly more than an entire lifetime, getting used to the other gender after a switch. I believe in Pluto Vol 1 Jeffrey Wolf Green compares the experience to getting a new pair of shoes...it can take a while to get used to them.

Generally Pluto in the Fourth and Tenth Houses can indicate a recent gender switch just as the Nodal axis of the Moon in these Houses or corresponding signs (Cancer/Capricorn axis) and also the conjunction of the Moon and Saturn can all indicate recent gender switches.


Rad,

Is there a way to see in the chart how recent it was, if the switch was one or two or three lives ago? I was thinking about this recently actually. Using the example of Pluto in the Fourth House, if Pluto would be very close to the IC, would it indicate the switch would of been quite recent and further away from the IC it would mean it would be less recent?

Thank you

All the best

 73 
 on: Mar 03, 2015, 04:48 PM 
Started by Romana - Last post by Linda
Hi Romana,


ANDROGYNY


The following quotes should help in answering your questions:


Wolf taught, as well as many others, that all Souls are inherently androgynous. And this is because all Souls are reflections of the Creator who is the Origin of the male and female principles in the first place. Yet all Souls choose to be in one gender, preponderantly, over the other gender for their own reasons: a choice to be made by all Souls. Yet, at the same time, for evolutionary reasons all Souls must of course, at times, manifest themselves in the opposite gender in order for a very long evolutionary journey to occur which finally leads back to where all Souls started: their inherent androgyny. And, remember, that the ‘ego’ itself is but a reflection of the Soul: it does not, and cannot, exist of itself. The wave manifests from the ocean: it cannot exist of itself. So the ego of any Soul then reflects the gender of the Soul.

Example: the Soul of John Lennon preponderantly chose to be female most of the time in its prior lives due to the fact that his natal Pluto in his 4th and in opposition to his 10th house MOON. And, of course, his Pluto being conjunct his natal Vesta, with the North Node of Vesta also conjunct his natal Pluto, and Vesta itself.

All Souls are male and female in their essence: essentially androgynous. As Souls evolve back to their Creator they must shed the limitations of conditioned gender definitions that emanate from the consensus of whatever societies they live within. As this occurs the Soul begins to remember, in some way, the fact that it is essentially androgynous. On the other hand it is also true that any given Soul will manifest predominately in one gender over the other but when this inner androgyny is progressively realized, remembered, then the NATURAL expressions of the masculine and feminine archetypes manifest which then makes such women and men VERY different as compared to the conditional gender identifications, thus roles emanating from the consensus of whatever society. God is the Origin of All Things: thus male and female while itself is inherently androgynous. (Rad)


Another thing that has been taught here, is that as a Soul evolves further into the Spiritual stages gender switching becomes MORE commonplace as the Soul is itself androgynous. Progressively over many life times, the human ego, as it becomes more identified with the Soul itself, becomes less identified with the form of the body it inhabits. (Ari Moshe)


What is interesting to me is that I am finding this deeper feminine energy within myself and it feels great and truer to my essence. It seems to reflect the North Node of Pluto in Cancer and that we all need to re-discover the divine feminine within, so we can evolve past the patriarchal rigidity and false beliefs, which lead to judgements and distortions of what we truly are. (Skywalker)


Thanks,

Linda

 74 
 on: Mar 03, 2015, 04:22 PM 
Started by Romana - Last post by Rad
Romana,

You only need to post your question once. One of the moderators will answer you as soon as they can.

Rad


 75 
 on: Mar 03, 2015, 01:44 PM 
Started by Romana - Last post by Romana
I'm curious if there is a general view in EA on people who relate to their gender as something fluid rather than fixed or people who think they were born into the wrong body and are willing to undergo treatment to change their gender.
Are they some kind of pioneers pawing the way for humanity's realization of the arbitrariness of socially conditioned gender roles? Or is it different from case to case?

 76 
 on: Mar 03, 2015, 11:53 AM 
Started by Rad - Last post by Rad

Why Nemtsov Was Murdered

By John E. Herbst 3/2/15 at 8:16 PM

The prominent Putin opponent was about to prove Russian troops were fighting in Ukraine. Tatyana Makeyeva/Reuters

The professional killing of Boris Nemtsov on February 27 confronts us with two facts that Western policymakers ignore at great cost in the Russia-Ukraine war.

First, Vladimir Putin’s war in Ukraine is potentially a great domestic political liability for him. Second, it is central to his campaign to crush all democratic inclinations so as to force Russia back under into the authoritarian rule it bore for centuries under tsars and Soviet commissars.

Putin’s vulnerabilities in this war may be obscured by his surge in popularity last year after he “annexed” Crimea. But while Russians have applauded his nationalist posturing, polls have shown that most Russians (as many as 58 percent) oppose sending Russian troops to fight in Ukraine. Given that Putin already is doing this, he is trying at great cost to hide that fact from his people.

Former Deputy Prime Minister Nemtsov was a fading political figure. Alexander Navalny had long ago replaced him as the face of the opposition. But Nemtsov was preparing a paper documenting the role of Russian troops in Putin’s war against Ukraine, according to close associates, and had taken the lead in organizing the March 1 rally against that war. Since the rally turned into a memorial for Nemtsov instead of a possible exposé of the Kremlin’s war of aggression, at first glance the hit looks like a win for Putin.

Hiding the War From Russians

While Nemtsov was no threat to the Kremlin as an opposition leader, his effort to inform the Russian public about the use of Russian troops in the war was a danger. The Kremlin is burying its war dead in secret and ordering the wounded, on penalty of losing military benefits, to not say where they received their injuries.

In August Putin had the Committee of Mothers of Russian Soldiers labeled a “foreign agent” and therefore subject to onerous restrictions after its leader declared that Russian soldiers were fighting in Ukraine. Nemtsov was dangerous because he was still a high-profile figure and his laying out the evidence for the presence of regular Russian troops in Ukraine would have pierced Putin’s propaganda curtain, at least in Moscow.

Properly understood, this means that Western policies that help inform the Russian people that Russian soldiers are fighting in Ukraine make it harder for Putin to continue his war of aggression. This is an argument both to increase substantially the budgets for broadcast stations like Radio Liberty, and to provide defensive military weapons to Ukraine. Providing weapons would either deter further aggression, or, by leading to more Russian casualties, make it harder for the Kremlin to hide its war from its own people.

Nemtsov’s assassination also underlines that the fight for Ukraine is simultaneously a struggle for the freedom of the Russian people. The great Russian historian Vasiliy Klyuchevsky wrote in the late 19th century that “the foreign territorial expansion of the Russian government moves in inverse proportional relationship to the development of the internal freedom of the people” (Russian History, Volume II, Lecture XLI). Since returning to the presidency in 2012, Putin has introduced an increasingly authoritarian regime. 

To build up support for his aggression in Ukraine, Putin’s propaganda campaign has sounded increasingly hard nationalist themes including shrill attacks on alleged "fifth columnists,” or traitors in the midst of the Russian nation. While it is quite likely that we will never know who ordered the killing of Nemtsov, the stark atmosphere against “traitors” certainly created the atmosphere for it and for further attacks on the liberties of those who do not agree with the Kremlin’s policies in Ukraine or elsewhere.

By helping the reformers in Kyiv blunt Moscow’s aggression and develop a democratic and prosperous Ukraine outside of Donbass and Crimea, the West also will be dealing a shot at the authoritarianism that hinders the liberty and prosperity of the Russian people. (The re-acquisition of Crimea and the Donbass can be better addressed at a later stage.)

In this light, stronger sanctions and military support for Ukraine are tools that either persuade Putin to cease his aggression or oblige him to face increasing problems at home—problems that at some point may usher in a government, under Putin or someone else, better disposed to the freedom and well-being of the people of Russia. Those advocating kid-glove treatment for Putin are doing the Russian people no favor.

John E. Herbst is director of the Dinu Patriciu Eurasia Center at the Atlantic Council. He served as the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine from 2003 to 2006. This article first appeared on the Atlantic Council website.

 77 
 on: Mar 03, 2015, 11:47 AM 
Started by Rad - Last post by Rad
CIA Veterans Finger Putin in Nemtsov Assassination

By Jeff Stein 3/3/15 at 12:40 AM

It was a professional job, they say, Soviet-style.

Anton Golubev/Reuters

Four shots, expertly placed. A perfectly timed getaway car. Nearby security cameras turned off “for repair.”

The murder of prominent Russian opposition leader Boris Nemtsov, say CIA veterans, many with long experience in Moscow, was obviously a professional job, inspired, if not explicitly ordered, by Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Putin’s allies and Russian-controlled media, rejecting any state hand in the affair, have floated a variety of alternate villains responsible for the murder of Nemtsov, a former deputy prime minister and an outspoken critic of Russia’s annexation of Crimea. They range from fellow reformers who wanted to create “a martyr” to personal rivals to “fascists” in Ukraine.

CIA veterans with long experience with Russia were having none of it. Nearly all spoke only on terms of anonymity to discuss such sensitive issues.

“Clearly the Putin government either ordered this, or accepted it, as in the case of Thomas Becket – ‘Will no one rid me of this turbulent priest?’” says one former top CIA operative, alluding to the plea attributed to Henry II, England’s 12th-century monarch, for someone to kill the archbishop of Canterbury.

The absence of any nearby close-circuit video recordings of Nemtsov’s murder, which occurred just a few hundreds yards outside a Kremlin wall just after midnight on Friday, Feb. 28, also suggests official complicity in the crime, he and other CIA veterans say.

Government-controlled media has said that all the nearby security cameras were turned off for repairs or pointed the wrong way when Nemtsov was killed by a lone gunman, who then jumped into a passing car and sped off.

Only a grainy, long distance video of the murder, taken from a close circuit security camera far across the Moscow river has surfaced, on city-owned Channel 3. The scene was further obscured by a snow-removal truck that stopped near the 55-year-old Nemtsov, who was walking across the Great Moskvoretsky Bridge with his 23-year-old girlfriend, Ukrainian model Anna Duritskaya. She was not injured in the shooting.

The  area is usually swarming with military and police personnel, says former Deputy CIA Director John McLaughlin. “This part of Moscow, the vicinity of Red Square, is undoubtedly crawling with security personnel, so it's hard to believe that this single grainy video is the primary piece of forensic data available to the authorities,” he says.

The Russians also possess cutting-edge facial recognition technology—the better to identify anti-government protesters, who are under constant surveillance, one of the former operative says. “If I were to hazard a guess, the Putin government figured that no one would believe that no video records existed—so they pawned off this low quality one as the only one available but not good enough for identification purposes.”


 78 
 on: Mar 03, 2015, 07:56 AM 
Started by Steve - Last post by Rad
USA

Senate Democrats Block Boehner’s Last Chance At Escaping His Homeland Security Crisis

By: Jason Easley
PoliticusUSA
Monday, March, 2nd, 2015, 5:55 pm      

Senate Democrats blocked the motion to negotiate with the House on the Homeland Security funding bill that means that John Boehner is both out of options and quickly running out of time on his Homeland Security crisis.

The final vote 47-43. Republicans were 13 votes short of the number needed to move forward.

Before the vote Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) told House Republicans that Democrats weren’t going to take part in Boehner’s charade:

Senate Democrats do not support going to conference because it will be counterproductive. Republicans have no intention of using a conference to craft legislation that will pass both Houses of Congress and prevent a shutdown of Homeland Security. House Republicans want to take a bill that they negotiated, a bill that was written by House and Senate Republicans and Democrats – a bipartisan, bicameral bill – and turn it into something that cannot pass.

Senate Democrats will not be a party to yet another Republican charade that will inevitably shut down the Department of Homeland Security and put our nation at risk. The Senate should reaffirm our bipartisan vote last Friday for a clean bill to prevent a shutdown. We had 68 votes and we can do it again. We should do it again.

Despite Boehner and the House Republican leadership’s claims that no deal has been made, House Democrats are telling their members that they will be voting on a clean funding bill for Homeland Security this week. Democrats have the option of using an obscure House rule to bring the bill to the floor for a vote, but it is more likely that Speaker Boehner is going to cave.

Even if Boehner doesn’t put the bill on the floor himself, it is clear that an agreement has been reached between House Democrats and Republicans. Speaker Boehner is running out of escape routes. Boehner doesn’t want to shut down Homeland Security, but the clock is ticking, and Democrats aren’t going to budge.

**************

Al Franken Joins 52 Other Democrats Who Have Announced They Will Skip Netanyahu Speech

By: Jason Easley
PoliticusUSA
Monday, March, 2nd, 2015, 7:31 pm   

Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) has joined eleven more Democrats in announcing that they won’t be attending Netanyahu’s speech to Congress. The total of Democrats who are not attending the speech has jumped to 53.

In a statement, Sen. Franken said, “This has unfortunately become a partisan spectacle, both because of the impending Israeli election and because it was done without consulting the Administration. I’d be uncomfortable being part of an event that I don’t believe should be happening. I’m confident that, once this episode is over, we can reaffirm our strong tradition of bipartisan support for Israel.”

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) also announced that he will be skipping the speech, “I do not plan to attend the prime minister’s speech. I’m concerned that behind it was a mischievous effort to manipulate domestic politics in both countries, which should not be the terms of engagement between friendly allies.”

Franken and Whitehouse join five other Democratic senators who are skipping the speech. Forty-six House Democrats are also skipping the speech. A few of the House Dems have other commitments, but the vast majority are not attending because of the way that Speaker Boehner and Prime Minister Netanyahu disrespected President Obama.

There are still dozens of House and Senate Democrats who have not made up their minds about attending the speech. If you member of Congress or Senators is not on the list below there is still time to contact them and express your position. Netanyahu’s speech has become a partisan affair, as the attempt to disrespect the president has backfired on both Boehner and Netanyahu as Democrats are staying away by the dozens.

Here is the fully updated list via The Hill of those who will not be attending:
HOUSE:

Rep. Karen Bass (Calif.)
Rep. Earl Blumenauer (Ore.)
Rep. Corrine Brown (Fla.)
Rep. G.K. Butterfield (N.C.)
Rep. Lois Capps (Calif.)
Rep. Andre Carson (Ind.)
Rep. Katherine Clark (Mass.)
Rep. Lacy Clay (Mo.)
Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (Mo.)
Rep. James Clyburn (S.C.)
Rep. Steve Cohen (Tenn.)
Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-N.J.)
Rep. John Conyers (Mich.)
Rep. Danny Davis (Ill.)
Rep. Peter DeFazio (Ore.)
Rep. Diana DeGette (Colo.)
Rep. Lloyd Doggett (Texas)
Rep. Donna Edwards (Md.)
Rep. Keith Ellison (Minn.)
Rep. Chaka Fattah (Pa.)
Rep. Marcia Fudge (Ohio)
Rep. Raúl Grijalva (Ariz.)

Rep. Luis Gutiérrez (Ill.)
Rep. Denny Heck (Wash.)
Rep. Ruben Hinojosa (Texas)
Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (Texas)
Rep. Marcy Kaptur (Ohio)
Rep. Barbara Lee (Calif.)
Rep. John Lewis (Ga.)
Rep. Zoe Lofgren (Calif.)
Rep. Betty McCollum (Minn.)
Rep. Jim McDermott (Wash.)
Reps. Jim McGovern (Mass.)
Rep. Jerry McNerney (Calif.)
Rep. Gregory Meeks (N.Y.)
Rep. Gwen Moore (Wis.)
Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D.C.)
Rep. Beto O’Rourke (Texas)
Rep. Chellie Pingree (Maine)
Rep. David Price (N.C.)
Rep. Charles Rangel (N.Y.)
Rep. Cedric Richmond (La.)
Rep. Jan Schakowsky (Ill.)
Rep. Bennie Thompson (Miss.)
Rep. Mike Thompson (Calif.)
Rep. John Yarmuth (Ky.)


SENATE:

Sen. Al Franken (Minn.)
Sen. Tim Kaine (Va.)
Sen. Patrick Leahy (Vt.)
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.)
Sen. Brian Schatz (Hawaii)
Sen. Martin Heinrich (N.M.)
Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (R.I.)

***********

Republicans Are Paying For Making a Deal With Koch Devils

By: Rmuse
PoliticusUSA
Monday, March, 2nd, 2015, 10:35 am   

Republicans were so certain that if they allowed the Koch brothers to buy them control of Congress, no matter how extreme their new allies were, they would show Americans what it means to govern Republican style. Thus far they have failed miserably due to ceding control of the party to Koch-funded extremists who are more than willing to endanger the homeland and the American people to prove they hate President Obama.

There has been no dearth of commentary on the ineptitude of House Speaker John Boehner’s attempt to lead House Republicans, but it is important to note that Boehner himself continues to incite the extremist wing to jeopardize the safety of the homeland. One has to wonder if Republican leaders in both the House and Senate regret making a deal with the devil (Kochs) to gain control of Congress, and although there are some Republicans complaining they are squandering a golden opportunity to show Americans they can govern, there does not appear to be any sane conclusion to a dangerous situation.

This latest manufactured crisis is due to xenophobic conservative opposition to President Obama’s immigration action in November. It is apparent that they are more than willing to let funding for Homeland Security lapse to demonstrate their rejection of the President, or as Republican Representative Walter B. Jones of North Carolina said, to “show that the Constitution still matters.” If Jones was not an imbecile, he would understand that primary duty of Congress according to the Constitution is “to lay and collect taxes to pay the debts and provide for the common defense and general welfare of the American people.” Withholding funding for Homeland Security is in no universe “showing that the Constitution still matters.”

This crisis has nothing to do with the Constitution and everything to do with continuing Republican opposition to anything an African American President does that was constitutional and legal when white Republicans did it; and Boehner is just as guilty as the anti-immigration maniacs in his caucus. Maniacs, by the way, serving due to the Koch brothers heavy spending to buy  the epitome of dysfunction; a Republican majority in Congress.

This most recent Republican dysfunction began long before this week. It started the day the President issued his executive order on immigration enforcement and was solidified in December when Boehner’s teabagger caucus set themselves up to fail by funding the government for a year except for Homeland Security. The plan, advertised by Ted Cruz shortly after Obama’s immigration order, entailed funding DHS for only two months and then holding funding hostage for the rest of the year unless the President’s immigration actions were abolished.

Boehner cannot possibly blame the extremists in his caucus for the House’s dangerous actions. From the moment the President announced his immigration enforcement order, Republicans did exactly what they naturally do with Boehner leading the pack of fools; claim it is overreach, unconstitutional, and illegal. In fact, despite the humiliation of only funding Homeland Security for seven days, Boehner went on television and blamed the President for “unconstitutional overreach” that prevented his caucus from protecting Americans homeland security for more than a week. Whether Boehner will admit it or not, he knows the President’s actions were not unconstitutional or overreaching according to the Roberts’ Supreme Court.

When the conservative Supreme Court struck down Arizona’s immigration law, two of the Court’s Republican justices disagreed with Boehner’s assertion that Obama is overreaching. Still, the extremists are willing to shut down the DHS over their claim the President acted illegally issuing his immigration enforcement order. It is possible the Koch-funded extremists are unaware that the President’s actions are identical to those both conservative demigod Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush took without Republican outrage. When the Roberts’ Court struck down most of the provisions of Arizona’s controversial immigration law, SB 1070, Justice Anthony was joined by fellow Republican Chief Justice John Roberts in writing for the majority opinion citing the President’s “broad prosecutorial discretion” in deciding enforcement of immigration laws.  Kennedy wrote language into the Arizona decision laying out the breadth of the executive branch’s discretion that Boehner knows full well is within the President’s purview as head of the Executive Branch.

As Justice Kennedy wrote for the conservative majority; “A principal feature of the immigration removal system is the ‘broad discretion’ exercised by immigration officials. Federal officials, as an initial matter, must decide whether it makes sense to pursue removal at all.” It is precisely what Obama did, and  in 1987, it was exactly what Reagan did in issuing an executive order granting relief from deportation to minor children of parents benefitting from the 1986 “sweeping amnesty” immigration legislation; even though the legislation did not apply to immigrants’ children.  Within three years, another Republican president, George H.W. Bush, granted precisely the same relief to approximately 1.5 million “family members living with an immigrant who were in the U.S. before passage of the 1986 law.”

Obviously, many Republicans are aware that not funding Homeland Security over executive action Republican presidents enacted is an ill-advised action. Senator Mark Kirk (R-IL) lamented that “We should have never fought this battle. In my view, in the long run, if you are blessed with the majority, you are blessed with the power to govern. If you’re going to govern, you have to act responsibly.”

Republican Senator Lindsey Graham said on Friday that “2015 is about us, but there’s nobody to blame but us now. If we can run the place more traditional, like a business, so to speak, I think we flourish. If we self-inflict on the budget, and the appropriations process, and we can’t get the government managed well, then I think we’re in trouble.” Well said, and if this latest debacle is any indication, they are in serious trouble because if the extremists can jeopardize something as crucial as defending the homeland over a presidential action Republicans countenanced since Dwight D. Eisenhower, there is little this Koch Congress will accomplish.

Even a House Republican, John Fleming of Louisiana said Friday that, “Our leadership set the stage for this. Finally at the last hour we hear, ‘O.K., well give us three weeks and we’ll try to fire the base up and get something done.’ Well what have we been doing for the last eight weeks? We’ve not been doing anything.” But you did Representative Fleming, you demonstrated to Americans that the best you had to offer was funding Homeland Security for seven days; not a shining example of devotion to protecting America or governance.

Fleming is not completely wrong, but he is certainly missing an important aspect of what Republicans have been doing for the past eight weeks; coddling the extremists and in great part inciting them to endanger Americans by claiming the President’s immigration action is overreaching, unconstitutional, and patently illegal. And Speaker John Boehner has been as vocal as any of the extremists in the House; including yesterday when he blamed the Republican dysfunction on President Obama’s immigration enforcement directives.

Republicans, including John Boehner and Mitch McConnell, so desperately wanted a majority in their respective Chambers that they embraced whichever fanatics the Koch brothers could fund to victory. The Republican establishment made a deal with the devil by agreeing to take every possible opposition stance against President Obama regardless how beneficial it is to the country. It is worth reiterating, that when Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell pledged to the Koch brothers that if they bought control of Congress, Republicans would “go after the federal government, all of it.” That is the deal they made with the Koch brothers and John Boehner has dutifully held up his end of the bargain by inciting Koch extremists to hold Homeland Security hostage.

Boehner has no-one to blame but himself. In fact he has taken the lead in antagonizing the extremists to threaten homeland security. Americans should be terrified at what Republicans will impose on the country over the next two years because if they are willing to endanger every man, woman, and child in America over one legal executive action, there is little chance they will fund the government or pay the nation’s debts which is actually exactly what the Koch brothers likely planned all along.

 79 
 on: Mar 03, 2015, 07:45 AM 
Started by Rad - Last post by Rad
Are lizards necrophiliacs?

March 2, 2015
RedOrbit

Necrophilia might be one of the last remaining taboos in our society, but for some male Brazilian lizards, a dead female lizard doesn’t mean she’s not DTF.

Zoologist Ivan Sazima first observed the behavior while on a nature walk in search of interesting animal interactions. What he probably didn’t expect to find was a male black-and-white tegu getting his freak on with a long-deceased female companion.

“I felt a sense of wonder, because I did not observe this behavior in lizards before, only in frogs,” Sazima, from the Zoology Museum of the University of Campinas in São Paulo, told National Geographic.

This ain’t their first rodeo

To be clear, necrophilia has been seen in some lizard species before, but not in Salvator merianae, the lizard’s scientific name which doubles as a a future 50 Shades of Grey character.

Sazima said he looked on as the male tegu started the courtship ritual by flicking his tongue at the unresponsive female. He then proceeded to mate with the female for around 5 minutes. A gaggle of geese then happened upon the scene – sending the copulating male running for the underbrush.

Sazima said he returned to the scene the next day and found that the female’s corpse had begun to rot and stink. However, this state of decomposition didn’t prevent a different male from going at the corpse: This time for nearly an hour.

During the marathon necrophilia session, the male lizard bit the rotting, stinking corpse on the head – another classic mating behavior. Occasionally, he rested atop his decomposing companion between bouts of copulation. Finally, he finished by flicking his tongue on the corpse and rambling off.

Again, this ain’t their first rodeo…but why?

Sazima’s observations, in September 2013, are just two in a long list of lizard necrophilia records. Henrique Caldeira Costa, of the Federal University of Minas Gerais in Brazil, reported in 2010 a necrophilia incident involving a female ameiva lizard that appeared to have been hit by a car.

Despite all these records of this activity, “necrophilia in lizards is still poorly understood,” Costa told Nat Geo.

Sazima argued that the black-and-white tegus simply aren’t capable of knowing a female is dead and they simply see her as receptive to their amorous advances. If the body is still warm and releasing pheromones, the male tegus probably can’t help themselves, he said.

Costa agrees with this theory, and said the incident he observed in 2010 was probably driven by the female’s high body temperature and pheromones leaking from her crushed corpse.

Reasonable necrophilia

While humans might have a tough argument in defending acts of necrophilia for our own species, one form of necrophilia found in the animal kingdom can actually be defended. A small frog, also from Brazil, called Rhinella proboscidea practices “functional necrophilia,” in which males can extract eggs from dead sexual partners and fertilize them.

Not exactly romantic, but it does serve a purpose.

 80 
 on: Mar 03, 2015, 07:43 AM 
Started by Steve - Last post by Rad
Cluster of stars found forming at edge of Milky Way

March 2, 2015
Chuck Bednar for redOrbit.com – @BednarChuck

A cluster of stars forming at the edge of our very own Milky Way galaxy has been discovered by a team of Brazilian astronomers using data collected from the NASA Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE), the US space agency announced on Friday.

These stars live on the edge

“A stellar nursery in what seems to be the middle of nowhere is quite surprising,” said Peter Eisenhardt, the project scientist for the WISE mission at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory(JPL) in Pasadena. “But surprises turn up when you look everywhere, as the WISE survey did.”

The team of astronomers responsible for the discovery, led by Denilso Camargo of the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul in Porto Alegre, have published their findings in a recent issue of the journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.

The Milky Way has a barred spiral shape, with arms of stars, dust and gas emerging from a central bar, the researchers explained. When it is viewed from the side, the galaxy appears to be relatively flat, with the majority of the material in a disk and in the central area.

Stars form within dense clumps of gas in what are known as giant molecular clouds (GMCs). These GMCs are primarily located in the inner part of the galactic disk, and with many clumps within each of these clouds, the majority of stars are born together in clusters.

Carmargo’s team analyzed infrared survey images provided from WISE and found GMCs located thousands of light years above and below the galactic disk. They also found that one of them contained two clusters of stars, marking the first time that researchers had ever discovered stars forming in such a remote location of the galaxy.

The new clusters are located in the molecular cloud HRK 81.4-77.8, which is believed to be approximately two million years old and roughly 16,000 light years beneath the galactic disk – a tremendous distance from the traditional regions of star formation, according to the researchers. The clusters have been given the names Camargo 438 and 439.

Cluster explanation

According to Carmago, there are two possible explanations for the phenomenon. In the first, supernova explosions and other violent events eject dusk and gas out of the galactic disk. That material then falls back, merges, and forms GMCs. In the second, the GMCs formed from gas that was disturbed by interaction with the galaxy and the Magellanic Clouds.

The first explanation, also known as the “chimney model,” would need several hundred massive stars to have exploded as supernovae over the course of several generations, creating a so-called “superwind” that forced HRK 81.4-77.8 into its present position, the authors explained.

The bubbles created by these explosions would, over millions of years, themselves compress materials, forming an increasing number of stars and fuelling the ejection of material in a type of “galactic fountain,” they added. Eventually, the gas and dust would fall back down onto the disk.

“Our work shows that the space around the Galaxy is a lot less empty that we thought,” Carmago said in a statement. “The new clusters of stars are truly exotic. In a few million years, any inhabitants of planets around the stars will have a grand view of the outside of the Milky Way, something no human being will probably ever experience.”

“Now we want to understand how the ingredients for making stars made it to such a distant spot. We need more data and some serious work on computer models to try to answer this question,” the astronomer added.

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