Philadelphia’s Holocaust Memorial Plaza combines previous with brand-new technology

In 1964, the very first public memorial to the Holocaust in the United States was unveiled in a solemn event in Philadelphia. The bronze-on-black granite sculpture called “6 Million Jewish Martyrs” was the work of artist Nathan Rapoport, who left his native Poland when the Nazis got into Warsaw. It was commissioned by a group of Philadelphia-area Holocaust survivors and Jewish civic leaders. The sculpture, which portrays pictures of resistance, innocence and faith, has sat unchanged on its perch along the Benjamin Franklin Parkway ever since.Now, after over half a century, the Holocaust Memorial Plaza has actually been broadened and enhanced to focus on both remembrance and education. With new screens and an interactive app, visitors can hear testaments from survivors, liberators and witnesses associated with the Philadelphia community.The brand-new plaza opened

Monday at an event including local dignitaries and Holocaust survivors.Some highlights of the expansion: The plaza’s focal point is called the “Six Pillars.”Organized in pairs, the pillars contrast atrocities of the Holocaust with American constitutional defenses and worths. The idea is to remind visitors that if America is loyal to the Constitution, a genocide like the Holocaust will not occur here, stated Eszter Kutas, the acting director of the Philadelphia Holocaust Remembrance Foundation.For example, one pillar is devoted to human equality, and features a quote from the Declaration of Independence, and is contrasted with a pillar explaining the Nazis’ idea of a master race.The 6 pillars feature quotes from figures like George Washington, Dwight Eisenhower and Philadelphia native and prisoner-of-war camp liberator Leon Bass.CONCENTRATION CAMP LIBERATOR, BLACK PHILADELPHIAN Leon Bass was 20, an Army corporal who had actually matured in Philadelphia embittered by the embarrassment and

degradation of bigotry. Buchenwald changed his life.He helped liberate the Nazi death camp in April 1945, and stated that for the very first time, he recognized that bigotry, and the human suffering it generates, is a universal evil.

“Some of them simply wanted to touch you, be near you, “Bass recalled of the survivors in an Associated Press interview in 1985.”They loafed and simply took a look at you with those gaunt

, deep-set eyes.”Bass, who died in 2015 at age 90, was silent about Buchenwald for more than twenty years, opening up for the very first time in 1968 when a Holocaust survivor came to speak at Benjamin Franklin High School, where he

was the principal.From that day forward, for decades, he spoke out about the atrocities he witnessed.TRAIN TRACKS TO TREBLINKA A portion of the original train tracks that led to the Treblinka extermination camp in Nazi-occupied Poland is embedded in the paving of the plaza.”It’s to remind visitors of the countless deportations that occurred,”Kutas said.The Nazis built six main death camps, all in

occupied Poland: Auschwitz, Belzec, Chelmno, Majdanek, Sobibor and Treblinka. Nazis murdered an approximated 700,000 and 900,000 Jews in Treblinka’s gas chambers throughout

the war.The camp is possibly the most outright example of the “Final Option,” the Nazi plot

to rid Europe of its Jews. It was created with the sole intent of annihilating Jews, instead of other centers that had at least an exterior of being jail or labor camps. Treblinka’s victims were transferred there in cattle vehicles

and gassed to death nearly instantly upon arrival.Only a couple of lots detainees handled to get away Treblinka.SAPLING FROM THERESIENSTADT TREE”Kid locked up at the Theresienstadt camp received a sapling from a teacher in the camp, and supported it, knowing they may not see it fully grown,”Kutas stated. Those children were later deported to Auschwitz and killed, she said, but the tree continued to thrive at the concentration camp in what was then the German-occupied Czechoslovakia.A sapling from that tree was planted 2 weeks earlier in the plaza,

to represent life and wish for the future,”a tip of how we should support our children, “Kutas said.She stated there are about half a lots to a dozen saplings from the Theresienstadt tree planted around the world, with some in Israel, Germany, San Francisco and Chicago.The Philadelphia Holocaust Remembrance Foundation partnered with the USC Shoah Foundation to bring educational material and technology to the renovated plaza.An app specifically developed for the plaza will allow visitors to utilize their mobile phones to link to video testimonials of Holocaust survivors and witnesses.

The videos will draw from the USC Shoah Foundation’s Visual History Archive that has over 54,000 eyewitness accounts of the Holocaust, along with pictures, files, maps and other

educational materials.(Copyright © 2018 WPVI-TV. All Rights Scheduled.)


Doddie fund raises 250k for MND research

Image caption George “Doddie” Weir revealed last year that he had motor neurone disease

A foundation set up by former rugby star Doddie Weir has raised £250,000 for research into motor neurone disease (MND).

The money will allow scientists in Edinburgh to study whether drugs already used to treat other conditions could help people with the disease.

The former Scotland international announced last year that he had MND.

He launched the My Name’5 Doddie Foundation with the aim of finding a cure for the terminal condition.

Own voice

The name of the foundation is a reference to his rugby shirt number.

He said: “This is our second significant investment in research and we are delighted to be working with the respected Euan MacDonald Centre at the University of Edinburgh.”

Euan MacDonald is a Scottish entrepreneur who was diagnosed with MND in 2003. He has helped establish a voicebank for people with disabilities wanting to preserve their own voices, and produced a disabled access guide for Edinburgh.

Image caption Euan MacDonald has been awarded an MBE for his work to help those with motor neurone disease

Doddie added: “Euan and his family have done a great deal in the fight against this devastating disease and we hope that by pledging funds to this new initiative, we can help make a difference.

“This commitment has only been possible through the incredible help and fund raising efforts of the fine people who have supported us over the past 10 months.

“The response to my diagnosis and the launch of the foundation has been inspiring and we will continue to do all we can to help find a cure.”

MND is a progressive condition that affects the brain and spinal cord. There are no treatments and most people die within one year of diagnosis.

The team at the Euan MacDonald Centre for MND Research will take samples of blood cells from people with the condition and convert them into brain cells in the laboratory.

Brain cells

These will have all the characteristics of the patients’ own brain cells, including signs of their condition.

Scientists will then use advanced automated laboratory drug testing technology, developed at the University of Edinburgh, to screen scores of existing medicines on the cells.

They hope to identify drugs that might have beneficial effects on MND symptoms and prioritise those that could be fast-tracked for clinical trials.

Prof Siddharthan Chandran, director of the centre, said: “We’re specifically investigating drugs that are already licensed as treatments for other diseases.

“If we find something that looks promising, it can be taken into clinical trials far more quickly than an unlicensed drug.

“As well as testing individual medications, we’re looking at combination therapies as we’ve learned from cancer research that these are often more effective for fighting complex diseases such as MND.”

Read more:

He grew up around oppressed women. Now he’s fighting for their rights in a brilliant way.

Growing up in rural Kenya, Nick Oketch became acutely aware of how differently women and men were treated there.

In his small village in Siaya County, which is in the western part of Kenya, things like forced arranged marriages, wife battering, and polygamy were commonplace. Oketch’s own two sisters were married off when they were only 12-years-old.

It wasn’t hard for him to see how all these patriarchal practices undermined young women’s development, and stifled their ability to become empowered.

This oppressive environment also didn’t provide adolescents with many outlets where they could learn about reproductive healthcare. So unsurprisingly, Siaya County has the second highest HIV prevalence rates out of Kenya’s 47 counties.

When Oketch made that connection, he knew he had to do something to help break the cycle.

“I had always been dreaming of a world where each and every person has the freedom to exercise their reproductive health rights without discrimination or stigmatization,” writes Oketch in an email.

So in 2008, as a senior in high school, he launched the Paradigm Youth Network Organization, a nonprofit dedicated to advocating for the sexual, legal, social, and cultural rights of marginalized women, children, and men in Kenya. By challenging outdated societal traditions and attitudes, it aims to build a safer environment for the people of Kenya, especially the marginalized groups who are most threatened by the status quo.

The organization offers services like training and empowerment workshops, access to reproductive health information, and support for communities who may not have access to sexual and reproductive healthcare.

And since adolescents are the most at risk when it comes to the effects of lacking sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR), Paradigm targets them specifically. They’ve reached over 8,000 adolescents to date.

Masaai young women in Kenya. Photo by Ninara/Flickr.

However, sexual health is a delicate subject, and Oketch knew there were many more youths who were afraid to ask for help. So he utilized technology and social media to bridge that gap.

He named his creation LucyBot. LucyBot is a bot that lives in Facebook Messenger and offers sexual and reproductive health information and advice to young people who might otherwise not seek it out. She’s filled with verified facts that she then relays to users who can ask her whatever questions they might have on the subject.

Oketch actually developed the idea out of conversations he had with leaders from Women Deliver — a nonprofit that bolsters people who are fighting for gender equality and focused on SRHR — of which he is also a member.

“Chatting with Lucy is just like chatting with any other friend on the platform [except she’s probably much more knowledgable], and it is important for us to make the user experience fun and informative,” explains Oketch.

What are the most common sexually transmitted infections? Click on this link and #ask LucyBot:

Posted by LucyBot, Your Sexual Health Rights Buddy on Thursday, August 23, 2018

So far, LucyBot’s reached over 1,5000 Kenyan adolescents, and it’s still only in beta testing.

LucyBot is now in final stages of development, but the last test is perhaps the most important one.

They’re testing her on 1,000 students from three counties in Kenya through a project called the `De-stigmatizing Sex Education in Kenya through Artificial Intelligence (AI) Initiative.’ The project involves training 30 other students to conduct research and perform community outreach to gather a range of questions that adolescents might ask LucyBot. They’ll then populate the bot with as much relevant information as possible, and see if she’s able to answer the 1,000 students’ questions satisfactorily.

If all goes according to plan, they’ll officially launch, targeting the 18-25 demographic via Facebook and other media campaigns.

Oketch’s hope is that LucyBot will encourage adolescents to speak up and demand the sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights they deserve, but he also recognizes the responsibility shouldn’t all be on them.

“We need to work on training the health workers to create a friendly environment in the health facilities so that young people can be more comfortable visiting to get the services they need,” he writes.

“Also parents should be enlightened to be more free in talking about reproductive health topics to their adolescent children, so that they don’t resort to getting information from peers which can be misleading.”

While LucyBot is poised to make a huge difference in the lives of Kenyan adolescents, many in rural Kenya don’t have regular access to the internet. So Paradigm’s doing something about that, too.

“We are starting a youth resource center with computers and mobile phones  to ensure that youths who don’t have mobile phones or internet can interact with LucyBot for free,” explains Oketch. They’re currently running a fundraiser to help pay for the equipment. (You can donate to it here.)  

In the meantime, Oketch is continuing to advocate for sexual and reproductive health and rights by imploring policymakers to improve access to family planning options for Kenyans in rural areas.

On the ground, he’s aiming to positively impact the sexual and reproductive health of 2,000 Kenyans each year. And now that he’s got an innovative information bot in his corner, he should have no problem reaching his goal.

Photo via Oketch.

Read more:

Virtual reality can help make everyone more empathetic

File photo: A woman tries on earphones and a headset used for virtual reality at the Venice Virtual Reality a competition during 74th Venice Film Festival in Venice, Italy, August 29, 2017. (REUTERS/Alessandro Bianchi)

Virtual reality can make humans more understanding to realities different from their own, according to a new study.

Research participants who tried out a VR experience about losing your job and becoming homeless showed stronger and longer-lasting empathic attitudes toward the homeless versus those who just read an article about homelessness. The findings were recently published in PLOS ONE.

“Experiences are what define us as humans,” Jeremy Bailenson, a co-author of the paper, said in a statement. “So it’s not surprising that an intense experience in VR is more impactful than imagining something.”

Virtual reality proponents have long advocated for the benefits VR can have on boosting someone’s empathy through the technology’s ability to literally place you in another person’s experience. But little research had been conducted and what did exist were small, sample-sized studies consisting of mostly college students. These studies also didn’t examine the long-term effects a VR experience can have on empathy.

So for the latest study, researchers at Stanford University conducted two two-month-long studies with over 560 participants between the age of 15 and 88 who represented at least eight different ethnic backgrounds.

Some participants were shown “Becoming Homeless” — a seven-minute VR experience that takes a viewer through the realities of losing your job and everything you own. Some of the scenes include choosing items from your apartment to sell to pay rent, finding shelter on a public bus and figuring out how to protect your belongings from strangers.

Other participants were either given an article to read that asked them to imagine being homeless, or a 2D desktop version of the VR to interact with.

The participants who experienced the “Becoming Homeless” VR showed enduring positive attitudes towards the homeless. These participants were more likely to agree with the statement “Our society does not do enough to help homeless people,” as well as saying they cared “very much” about the plight of homeless people.

Additionally, VR participants in the first study were 82 percent more likely to sign a petition in support of affordable housing compared to 67 percent who read the article. In the second study, 85 percent of VR participants signed the petition while 63 percent of article readers signed and 66 percent of those who were given the 2D version signed.

“Taking the perspective of others in VR produces more empathy and prosocial behaviors in people immediately after going through the experience and over time, in comparison to just imagining what it would be like to be in someone else’s shoes.” Fernanda Herrera, the lead author of the study, said. “And that is an exciting finding.”

This story originally appeared in the New York Post.

Read more:

Heres How Chinas Social Credit Score Punish And Reward Citizens, And Its Terrifying

George Orwell’s 1984, Black Mirror S03E01, Psycho Pass, The Orville and many others have all theorised how technology can make our lives better… or worse.

The future is now.


Read more:

New Technology, Transactional Client Experience and The Next Chapter for The Hotel Market

< div data-min-width=

1100 data-float-color=#ffffff data-float= left data-float-mobile =bottom > 468 Shares This is the time where we as Hoteliers need to be bold and innovative with new innovation, transactional customer experience and get ready for the next chapter for the Hotel Industry.Is your Hotel all set to make a blast with new transactional client experiences?Being an ingenious and imaginative Hotel brand name has been something needed intelligence, insight, and a bit of daring to take the essential transfer to achieve a big payout.And it has not been uncommon that some of the independent Hotels been the pioneers embracing brand-new technology. Why this is the time to purchase brand-new innovation To be successful in today’s hyper-competitive world

, Hotel brands need to fix progressively complex

issues and seize new and amazing chances faster than their competitors.We have for numerous years seen that Hotel brand names focused on service excellence as a vital enabler of their development strategies.After studying research study, reports, and trends several brands today is now starting to focus on producing compelling client experiences.The customer experience, that is, making each of its consumers feel special, is significantly the key element for a Hotel to stand out from its competitors.One important factor here to truly comprehend is not confusing the idea of client experience and customer service.The truth is that the scope of client experience extends far beyond the standard definition of customer care that is, the transactional minutes when Hotel staff member are supplying direct service to customers.Customers believe that Hotel brand names have access to their data, the power has actually shifted to the

consumer. They anticipate brand names to provide relevant and prompt promos, products, or services based upon new innovate transactional experience permits the visitor to be part of a motion that is larger than themselves and the Hotel.Guests and consumers want Hotels to utilize innovation to include brand-new worth to the transactional Consumer Experience.Hotel leaders need to both allow themselves and their employee to react to increasing expectations and the speed new technology.If you do not begin the journey today, you will be left behind! Today we are simply experiencing the idea of the iceberg of disruptions.Make sure you concentrate on both value development and technology development as you prepare your Hotel for the chapter.New technology is so much more than simply the technology itself. It requires brand-new skill and skillset,new facilities, humanness, brand-new culture, and innovation.I have actually liked with all of my heart and soul serving customers, guests, and Hoteliers. As a Hotel Experience Ambassador, I gained a brand-new enthusiasm for

being an agent and messenger providing brand-new profound and delightful experiences.

If your Hotel wants to carry out new reliable success elements then now is the time to be part of a brand-new initiative.When your Hotel serves your community they will reward you back with serving you.From a Hotel and Social network Consultant’s standpoint, the Social Media Community can provide Hotels a one-stop-shop for handling their Social Media marketing such as the community infrastructure, database, listening performance, about Social Media Mastery for Hotel(Click Here to Open )5. FREE access to our Facebook Group– Hospitality Gone Social(Click On This Link to Unlock)
About the author Are Morch is the creator and owner of Are Morch– Hotel Blog Writer and Social Network Expert. Get morefrom Are on Facebook|Twitter |< a href= > Google Plus|LinkedIn|Pinterest|Instagram 468 Shares

May’s mission to woo Africa after Brexit

Image copyright AFP
Image caption On her trip to Africa, Theresa May is hoping to promote what she describes as a “truly Global Britain”

The UK’s historical relationship with many African countries still counts for something, but, as Prime Minister Theresa May will find on her trip to the continent, the UK now vies for attention with larger economies offering greater riches.

Mrs May is travelling to South Africa, Nigeria and Kenya this week on her first African visit as prime minister as she looks to boost Britain’s post-Brexit trade.

Britain’s aim after leaving the European Union in March next year is to “deepen and strengthen its global partnerships”, Mrs May said in a statement.

“This week I am looking forward to discussing how we can do that alongside Africa to help deliver important investment and jobs as well as continue to work together to maintain stability and security.”

But it might be a hard sell.

Image copyright Michael Khateli
Image caption Chinese loans financed Kenya’s new railway linking the capital, Nairobi, to the coast. What will Britain be able to offer?

The UK is introducing legislation that should mean that African businesses will access the UK market on the same terms as they do now.

Nevertheless, African countries, many of them former British colonies, will need to redefine their relationship with Britain in the wake of Brexit.

The continent’s leaders need to decide who to prioritise: an ambitious but friendly China, the huge European Union bloc, the potential riches of the United States, or the historically-linked United Kingdom.

In 2015, total trade (imports and exports combined) between Africa and the UK amounted to $36bn (£28bn), but that figure for the EU as a whole was $305bn. In the same year, trade between China and Africa totalled $188bn, and between the US and Africa is amounted to $53bn.

To sweeten her offer, the prime minister is bringing along a delegation of 29 business leaders to promote “the breadth and depth of British expertise in technology, infrastructure, and financial and professional services,” Downing Street says.

First stop: South Africa

Mrs May begins her trip to Africa in her country’s largest trading partner on the continent, South Africa, where she will sit down with President Cyril Ramaphosa.

She will use a speech in Cape Town on Tuesday to lay out her plans to partner with Africa using private sector trade and investment after the United Kingdom leaves the EU.

“The UK has long been an important trading partner for South Africa and certainly in the current economic climate, where many South African businesses are struggling, numerous entrepreneurs are looking to the UK to expand their reach,” Rachel Irvine, who runs a public relations and marketing agency, told the BBC.

She has recently expanded her business, Irvine Partners, in London and sees significant potential in the prime minister’s visit. But she says that it is ultimately about which country offers the best deals.

‘We welcome both Mrs May and the Chinese, and like any other developing economy we’ll do the business that suits us best.”

The prime minister’s trip comes a week before the huge Forum on China-Africa Cooperation in Beijing. Dozens of African heads of state are expected there and China may offer new trade and finance deals.

The summit comes after Chinese President Xi Jinping’s second tour of Africa when he visited Senegal, Rwanda, Mauritius and South Africa.

Mrs May’s trip seems rather low key in comparison.

Second stop: Nigeria

The British prime minister is also set to meet Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari in Abuja, just four months after they held talks in London.

Nigeria is Britain’s second largest trading partner in Africa, but should the country be so focused on the UK?

Tunji Andrews, an economist based in Nigeria’s commercial hub Lagos, believes Nigeria should concentrate more on its relationship with the European Union.

“The diversity of demand of the EU market makes it slightly more attractive.

“I think it’s impossible not to look at the British market at this point, but I’ll also say that while Britain remains a viable trade partner, it just doesn’t hold the same value to Africa as China and to a lesser extent, the US.”

Nigeria’s top export to the UK is crude oil and its largest import is refined oil, a structural inefficiency that leads to regular fuel shortages as the populous West African nation lacks a properly functioning refinery.

Third stop: Kenya

Mrs May concludes her maiden African trip in Kenya, becoming the first British prime minister to visit the East African country in over 30 years.

The country re-exports some of its products to the EU through the UK and there are concerns that a hard Brexit might jeopardise that.

Kenya’s trade split between the UK and the rest of the EU “is almost 50-50 and the country will have to strike a good deal with both the UK and the EU because it depends on both markets to sell its tea, fresh produce and other agricultural products,” says economist Tony Watima.

Kenya supplies more roses to the European Union than any other country and is the world’s third largest exporter of cut flowers.

The country sends 17% of its flowers sold in the EU to the UK. With 500,000 people supported by the flower industry, according to the Kenya Flower Council, every market is critical.

But with direct flights from Nairobi to New York beginning in October, the country may be looking to tap into the larger US market for its goods.

President Uhuru Kenyatta will meet Mrs May in Nairobi on Thursday just three days after discussing trade with US President Donald Trump at the White House.

Image copyright AFP
Image caption Kenya will be keen to keep its UK market for its roses, but other EU countries are also important customers

Overall, there is a sense that Africa is being wooed from many sides.

Mrs May’s trip to the continent is part of her mission to create a “truly Global Britain”. She goes with the hope of offering a new partnership in which both the UK and Africa can benefit, but there are those who want the continent to drive a hard bargain.

“Markets are global, why should Africa have to pick just one?” asks South African businesswoman Rachel Irvine.

“It is therefore decidedly in the interest of both parties to play nice with each other.”

Read more:

The Trump Administration Is Going to Kill People, According to the Trump Administration

Another week, another tragic juxtaposition in our nations decades-long history of failure to address global climate disruption. At the same time as a vast field of ice north of Greenland has just broken apart, for the first time in recorded history, the Trump administration announced new, lax rules for coal-powered plants that they themselves admit will kill over a thousand people each year.

And for what? The cost-benefit analysis of that new rule is pretty depressing.

On the benefit side, there is more profit for coal companies, and short-term jobs for coal miners. Those jobs will all be gone within a few decades, of course, because technology will render them obsolete. But in the short term, they help Trump stay in power and help some people feel important.

On the cost side, 1,400 estimated deaths per year from all that extra coal-powered pollution. Thats not some figure put out by environmental groups. Its from the Trump administrations own EPA.

Even those thousand deaths a year though is nothing compared to the ultimate cost of climate change. Just recently, the World Health Organization estimated that between 2030-2050, climate change will cause approximately 250,000 deaths every year from malnutrition, malaria, diarrhea, and heat stress. And that was before Trump pulled out of the Paris climate accord, making matters worse.

That number doesnt even include deaths caused from massive migration and refugee crises. Consider Syria, where the drought of 2007-2010 forced farmers to abandon their farms for the cities and caused food shortages, riots, overcrowding, instability, and civil unrest. That led to a brutal war, and thousands of refugees fleeing for Europe.

Scientists know what caused the Syrian drought. That same WHO report concluded that climate change made the occurrence of a 3-year drought as severe as that of 20072010 2 to 3 times more likely than by natural variability alone.

Now multiply the Syrian refugee crisis by a thousand.

Same with wildfires devastating California, which were made more likely by extremely hot weather conditions, but which Trumps lackeys have blamed on trees that shouldve been clear-cut instead of left standing. Expect more of that in the very near future as well.

Theres no doubt as to why all this happening.

According to NASA, the 10 warmest years on record have occurred since 1997. Based on carbon samples, the NOAA says that the last three decades have, on average, been the warmest on 1,000 years.

The problem isnt that the data is unclear. Its that it hasnt prompted enough political action. Columns like these are written routinely after the latest, outrageous, demoralizing discovery. But we still havent done anything about climate change. Why? Is it because were still using plastic straws? Not composting? Still taking airplane flights for vacation?

No. We have failed at addressing climate change because there is no single human we. And at present, there are other people fighting against "us," people with billions of dollars at stake, and millions to spend on the fight: energy companies, extreme libertarians who dont want to protect the weak from the strong, pro-business Republicans who depend on energy industry money, and fake scientists who whore themselves out for cash.

For thirty years now, these folks have worked hard to lie to the public about science, even though 97 percent of actual scientists know for sure that human-caused emissions of greenhouse gases like methane and carbon dioxide are causing global climate disruption.

They have their own television networks, like Fox News and Sinclair, and their own extremist news outlets like Town Hall and Breitbart, which call scientists climate alarmists. Theyve created an entire parallel universe of fake facts, fake science, and fake organizations.

Lets try to remember names like Senator James Inhofe or EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler, or groups like the Heartland Institute or American Petroleum Institute. In a few decades, when the bill comes due, these are the people who we can and should point to as having run it up.

And they have done an effective job doing so. Today only 64 percent of Americans believe the science of climate change (down from over 80 percent in the '90s)as if science is something to be believed. Sixty-nine percent of Republicans say climate science is exaggerated and only 34 percent believe that changes due to climate change have already begun even though those effects have already been observed.

About a quarter of Americans even disbelieve the science for religious reasons; they believe God gave us the earth to use, and it would be wrong not to use it up.

Science shouldnt be a matter of opinion, but because of the climate denial campaign, its sometimes seen that way. Real scientists tell the truth, and then fake, industry-paid scientists tell lies, and people believe what their friends believe. When they watch Fox News, they believe that science is actually some left-wing conspiracy.

But heres the depressing truth. Journalists like me have no power to penetrate this shell of lies. Conservatives arent listening to me, and if by some chance someone in their bubble shares an article Ive written, it gets dismissed with links to those same fake scientists and fake websites. Im called a climate alarmist myself.

To be honest, this feeling of hopelessness makes me want to quit sometimes. Actually, it makes me want to quit all the time. I hate whistling in the wind like this, preaching to people who agree with me, and unable to persuade anyone who doesnt already. It makes my work feel pointless. At least my baby daughter can know, decades from now, that, among all the other fights were fighting todayabout immigrants, about Russia, about the courts and the free pressmany of us did fight against the lies about climate change. I am fighting those lies. But when the government admits that a policy it is pursuing will result in 1,400 potential deaths and then does it anyway, weve lost. And for that I am so, so sorry.

Read more:

Young Narwhal Adopted By Totally Chill Beluga Whale Pod

A rare narwhal in eastern Canada’s St. Lawrence River has apparently been adopted by a band of beluga whales, scientists have revealed.

The young, gray-speckled narwhal was first spotted in the river in 2016 with approximately 100 adult belugas. But it has recently begun traveling with a pod of about ten belugas, all believed to be juvenile or young adult males. 

Narwhals have a single pointed tusk growing from their head. Their tusks can be seen in drone video footage of the whales taken by the Canadian nonprofit Group for Research and Education on Marine Mammals.

The narwhal “seems to be at home with the St. Lawrence belugas,” said a GREMM statement.

The members of the pod are in “constant contact with each other,” GREMM president Robert Michaud told the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. The narwhal “behaves like one of the boys” and seems to have been completely accepted by the belugas, said Michaud. “It’s a like a big social ball of young juveniles that are playing some social, sexual games,” he said.

The narwhal is even beginning to pick up beluga behavior, such as blowing bubbles.

Narwhals and belugas, the only species in the Monodontidae family, are closely related and are about the same size. But narwhals are Arctic creatures and are typically seen more than 600 miles north of this pod. And Narwhals hunt deepwater fish usually in areas covered with ice. Belugas prefer shallower, warmer coastal water, and tend to seek fish like salmon closer to the surface.

GREMM scientists speculated that this narwhal-beluga marriage might be linked to a changing climate.

“Due to the climate change being observed in the Arctic, there is a chance that these two related species might find themselves in one another’s company more and more frequently in the decades to come,” GREMM noted on its website. “We already see this phenomenon in other species such as the polar bear and the grizzly, which have even been observed to interbreed. Might we someday observe a narwhal-beluga hybrid in the St. Lawrence?”

“I don’t think it should surprise people,” Martin Nweeia, a researcher at Harvard University who studies both narwhals and belugas, told the CBC. “I think it shows … the compassion and the openness of other species to welcome another member that may not look or act the same.”

During the Middle Ages, Narwhal tusks were treasured as unicorn horns. An eight-foot-long Medieval narwhal tusk identified then as a unicorn horn in on exhibit with the Unicorn Tapestries at the Cloisters of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. 

Video of narwhals last year for the first time revealed the animals using their tusks to hunt for food by spearing or stunning cod:

Read more:

New Innovation Promises to Save Marine Types from Bycatch

New Technology Assures to Save Marine Species from Bycatch

By MarEx 2018-10-13 21:15:31

Numerous countless marine creatures are eliminated every year after becoming accidentally tangled in fishing lines and nets. Unlike fish, marine mammals require to appear to breathe, so if they get knotted they drown. Bycatch, as it is known, is among the most disturbing issues associated with business fishing and one of the most significant risks to a number of iconic types.

Modern fishing equipment, which is extremely strong and typically can’t be seen, is really effective at catching basically anything in its path. As the WWF puts it, “where there is fishing, there is bycatch.”

At least 300,000 dolphins, cetaceans and whales, 300,000 seabirds and 250,000 turtles succumb to bycatch every year. It is the single largest immediate danger to cetaceans, and some marine types are now in such a precarious position they could face extinction unless things alter quickly. However, bycatch is mainly avoidable.There are at least

130 bycatch reduction agreements, policies and legislations worldwide. Progress has been far too sluggish, and lots of fishermen are less than enthusiastic about accepting them. A major hurdle to reducing bycatch to date has been the quality of available technology. Gadgets such as the acoustic pinger– which can minimize the variety of dolphins, whales and porpoises caught in nets by as much as 95 percent– have actually existed for decades, however till recently the bulk were pricey and impractical.After 25 years working in the fishing industry and sensation horrified by the state of our oceans, I set out to find a solution. In

2016, I set up Fishtek Marine with my bro, Ben– an environmental engineer. Our mission is to leader brand-new marine conservation innovation and quickly improve conservation efforts as a result. We understood we required to develop items that would work for fishermen and the environment in order to stand any opportunity of making a difference. After rapid development over the last two years, the multi-award winning Fishtek Marine is now< a href = > crowdfunding, by means of Triodos Bank, to

raise ₤ 900,000 of brand-new investment. Our objective is to expand the reach of the items we have actually already developedand to purchase establishing new ones that could have even more of a positive preservation effect (e.g. SharkGuard, OrcaGuard, Turtle NetLights and Ropeless fishing). We developed the Banana Pinger, designed to be both effective and economical. It is robust (able to withstand the severe conditions of overseas fishing)and easy to connect to the internet. The gadgets can be fitted to gillnets– a wall or curtain of netting that hangs in the water and can be 4 or 5 meters high and run for 10s of kilometers. When porpoises or dolphins are foraging on the seabed they can’t see these internet therefore they swim into them, get tangled up and pass away. Dolphins and cetaceans use echolocation to interact and discover victim so pingers work by sending a randomized frequency noise sweep every 5 seconds, which signals them to the web’s existence, enabling them to avoid it.By offering a good quality, efficient device, our objective is to make it attractive for anglers to use pingers and to encourage legislators to get the rate on reinforcing enforcement and implement new laws.In January 2022, a brand-new law under the Marine Mammal Defense Act(MMPA)will need any nation exporting fish to the U.S. to have marine mammal securities equivalent to those in the U.S., consisting of measures versus bycatch. The law could influence fishing requirements in exporting nations including Canada, Chile, China, Japan and Mexico, with the possible to considerably shake up the industry. In lots of fisheries, we think our technology uses the most efficient way for fishers to comply with the new law, taking us from a relatively niche market to a possibly huge international market in couple of years, with the added benefit of substantial conservation gain.We’re working to make industrial fishing more sustainable, however if we’re going to make a real preservation gain we have to have more than just a couple of hundred devices out there. By meaning anything that succeeds in terms of worldwide marine conservation needs to

be reliable, practical, have significant commercial uptake and be produced and dispersed in large quantities.Pete Kibel is Managing Director of Fishtek Marine.The opinions revealed herein are the author’s and not necessarily those of The Maritime Executive.