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Best Defense Mechanisms in the Animal Kingdom

30 Jul

animal defense - fulmar chick

Octopus – Besides having a beak with a venomous bite, the octopus can also camouflage itself by changing colors to match its background, and shoot a cloud of ink into the water to escape its enemies. This cephalopod releases a proteolytic enzyme in its saliva which can cause swelling and necrosis (death) of tissue.

 

Walking Stick – The walking sticks defensive strategy is quite simple. It does not move. However, when you blend into your back ground as well as it does, not moving may be the best defense.

 

Iguana – The iguana has several rows of razor-sharp serrated teeth and claws to fend off predators, but it also has a great escape plan. When the tail of an iguana is severed by a predator, it automatizes and wiggles on the ground for up to 4 hours to distract the predator and allow the lizard to retreat.

 

Opossum – Opossums can deliver a nasty bite when cornered and they are known carriers of rabies, however their best defense strategy is to play dead. When an opossum is stressed, the animal faints, it drools, and its body releases a foul stench from its anus. The limp body, the saliva, and the smell convince predators that their next meal

Basilisk – This small South American lizard has an unique escape tactic when it is being attacked by a predator. When any animal attacks the Basilisk, it springs from its hiding place and runs across water to get away from the threat. Its light weight and large feet give the Basilisk the necessary tools to tread on top of ponds for short distances.

 

Skunk – Everyone knows what the skunk’s defense mechanism is, right? They spray a really foul odor on predators and run away. This works really well at least partially because most members of the animal world generally have a superior sense of smell to humans. So, the pungent odor from the spray of skunk is unbearable to most predators. But, the spray that is produced from glands in the skunk’s anus can also cause blindness if it lands in the eyes of animals, and skunks aim for the eyes. They can spray that putrid liquid up to ten feet away and hit their target while aiming essentially with their butt.

 

Platypus – The platypus is already a strange animal. It has a duck bill, a beaver tail, and a furry body. It is the only mammal does not give live birth and lays eggs. But, it is also one of the few poisonous mammals. The platypus also has a poisonous spur behind his fin that can be used to kill predators that grab it.

 

Slow Loris – The Slow Loris is a small primate that lives in Southeastern Asia. It secretes poison from its elbows, but it licks that poison and puts it on the fur of its body and the fur of its babies. Any animal that attacks a Slow Loris will endure a lot of pain before its eminent death. But, because the Slow Loris orally distributes the poison across its body, it also has a poisonous bite. And, people have gone into anaphylactic shock because of the bite.

 

Fulmar Gulls – One would think that Fulmar gull chicks are at the mercy of any large bird that can get to its nest. Most baby birds are dependent on their mothers and incredibly vulnerable to hungry predators. But, any bird that attempts to eat a Fulmar is in for the surprise of a lifetime. These gulls projectile vomit an orange liquid at their attackers that sticks to their feathers. This vile substance is so thick that it sticks the attackers feathers together so that it can not fly. But, if the attacker happens to fall into the ocean, the same gut potion makes birds sink in water. Any bird that attacks a Fulmar gull faces being drowned by vomit.

 

This little ball of cuteness is a killer.


Brief Thoughts on Trayvon Martin

18 Jul

trayvon martin - george zimmerman trial

July 18, 2013

No one should be surprised that George Zimmerman was found “Not Guilty” of the murder of Trayvon Martin. Zimmerman followed Martin, was recorded by his own 911 call saying “fucking punks” referring to the 17 year old boy, said that Martin looked like he was “up to no good”, and stated in the same conversation that “these assholes, they always get away”. Zimmerman disregarded the dispatcher that said that it was unnecessary to follow Martin and confronted, but that was not enough to convict him. He shot him in the chest, but that is not enough for a conviction either. Martin was found unarmed with nothing but a package of Skittles on his person, but that is not enough for a conviction. Zimmerman will not be imprisoned for murder and no one should be surprised.

There are quite a few technical reasons why Zimmerman should have been acquitted for the murder of Trayvon Martin. The fact that there was a scuffle between Zimmerman and Martin gives credence to the self defense argument, and Zimmerman did accrue a few wounds to the back of his head from the alleged fight. He could have been fearful for his life after having his head banged against the pavement by the teenager and overreacted. None of Zimmerman’s blood or DNA was found in Trayvon Martin’s clothes, on his body, or under his fingernails, and none of Trayvon Martin’s DNA was found on the gun, but Zimmerman was probably terrified. Martin was shot at close range in the chest by Zimmerman’s gun under these circumstances, but no one should be surprised that he has been acquitted. Then, Florida law is written in a way that could only convict a sociopath killer.

Murder Section 782.04

The unlawful killing of a human being, when perpetrated by any act imminently dangerous to another and evincing a depraved mind regardless of human life, although without any premeditated design to effect the death of any particular individual, is murder in the second degree and constitutes a felony of the first degree, punishable by imprisonment for a term of years not exceeding life ….

So, the prosecutors also made a mistake by attempting to convict Zimmerman on second degree murder instead of the more appropriate charge ‘manslaughter’.

Manslaughter Section 782.07(1)
The killing of a human being by the act, procurement, or culpable negligence of another, without lawful justification according to the provisions of chapter 776 and in cases in which such killing shall not be excusable homicide or murder, according to the provisions of this chapter, is manslaughter, a felony of the second degree ….

However, regardless of all the valid reasons that led to the discharge of George Zimmerman from a Florida prison, everyone should have expected that he be released from confinement unscathed. In my lifetime, I have yet to see a Black man who was injured by a White man be jailed because of his crime. Last year, a Bellaire, Texas resident was shot in his own driveway by a White policeman because he looked suspicious, and the officer was found ‘not guilty’. He nearly died because of the gunshot wound and it cost him a professional baseball career. In just the past five years, the news has covered an elderly White man who shot a Black robber in the back while he was fleeing from his neighbor’s house. The elderly man was not charged with a crime even though he called 911 to report the break in and they explained to him that shooting that man was punishable by law. He was advised him not to leave his house, but barked at the robber who fled anyway. The man shot the robber and the entire conversation and shooting was recorded through his call to the police. In the past ten years, newspapers reported a man walking home from the store, being stopped by the police department, and being shot 22 times when he tried to pick up his wallet. They claimed that they thought it was a gun, and no one was convicted of a crime. Rodney King took a beating so severe from the police in 1991 that he almost died from the wounds. It was videotaped by an amateur cameraman, but every cop was found innocent of police brutality. 50 years ago, Black people were being lynched in the streets by Klansmen and many of those men were never charged. Acquittals for White men who maim, injure, or kill Black men is not a new occurrence, and you should not be surprised by it.

This guy being found innocent was a foregone conclusion.

What should surprise you is the ignorance that was shown by some of the members of the Black community once the verdict was announced. People began to riot and break into the homes and the stores of people in their own communities. Because this small selection of people were enraged by an unfair, but easily-predicted outcome, lives have been torn asunder. White people and even Latinos are being attacked in the streets behind this verdict, and that is unreasonable. People have made a martyr of Trayvon Martin because of his tragic death, but he is not a martyr. His parents should be consoled for their loss because no person should have to bury their children, but people lose their kids everyday to violence. And, though this crime has an apparent racial tone, most of these types of deaths do not. The truth is that Trayvon Martin is a kid that fell victim to the stereotypical ignorance and maliciousness of one man, George Zimmerman. And, no should be surprised that he was found not guilty because most White males are acquitted of their crimes against Black men. But, no one should allow the poor decision of a 12 person jury to propagate the same type of ignorance that Zimmerman showed Trayvon in the streets of the inner city. Ignorant acts reinforce stereotypes, and stereotypes kill. Ask Trayvon Martin.


A Guy We Admire: Theodore Roosevelt

8 Jul

theodore roosevelt

The 26th President of the United States gave Americans a lot to be proud of. Theodore Roosevelt was both a gentleman and a cowboy. He was privileged and salt of the Earth. He was a war hero that became the leader of the free world, and ultimately he became one of the most beloved Presidents of all time.

Theodore Roosevelt was born into the aristocracy. He was the heir to the fortune of his land baron forefathers, and was expected to be educated and dignified in a time when most Americans dropped out in grade school. The family had money from his mother’s side from plantations in Georgia and the Roosevelt’s were believed to have made a fortune selling industrial glass and hardware. However, despite an advantaged upbringing Theodore Roosevelt endured a difficult childhood. He suffered from asthma as a child and was home schooled. Under the strict tutelage in his home, Roosevelt flourished in the sciences and went on to school at Harvard University. He majored in biology there and began a career in politics shortly after graduation. With the culmination of different experiences in his childhood and young adulthood, Theodore Roosevelt became well versed in politics, hunting, and the military. Theodore flourished as a politician and with his book, The Naval War of 1812, he became a respected historian. He continued to write books about hunting and the frontier until tragedy struck him in 1884.

In 1884 on the same day, Theodore Roosevelt lost both his first wife, Alice Lee Roosevelt, and his mother. Heartbroken, Roosevelt left his position in the New York State Assembly and went to the frontier to become a rancher. His first foray in the “Badlands” of the Dakotas failed miserably and he was often ridiculed by the neighboring farmers. He was an outcast there, a mediocre rider and a bad shot. He spoke like a dignitary amidst people who were salt of the earth, but eventually won them over because he worked hard. Roosevelt was resilient and he gained the respect of the frontiersmen. He learned to till the land, hunted game, and even caught an outlaw in the “Badlands.” Theodore became well-respected amongst his peers, and his ranch began to flourish as he learned to adjust to a simple life. Feeling accomplished, Roosevelt returned to New York where he reasserted himself in politics.

Roosevelt ran for mayor upon his return, but after a third place finish in the polls he instead took charge of the city police. By the time that the Spanish-American War broke out, he was in charge of the Department of the Navy so he volunteered for the military. Theodore always thought that it was cowardly that his father Franklin D. Roosevelt bought his way out of service, so he fought to reconcile the honor of the family name constantly. The younger Roosevelt formed the Rough Riders, a cavalry regiment that rode in and fought in Cuba. His experiences in the Badlands prepared him for the type of battle that he faced in South America. He served as a lieutenant colonel with the Rough Riders and led them into the Battle of San Juan. Roosevelt returned a war hero.

When “Teddy Roosevelt” reached his home state, numerous scandals surrounded the governing bodies there. They needed a figure head that New Yorkers could trust. He was promptly elected governor in 1898, and then Roosevelt energized the GOP and ran for the office of Vice President under William McKinley Jr. in 1900. McKinley was elected but was assassinated and Roosevelt ascended into the presidency under duress. But once again, Theodore Roosevelt excelled under terrible conditions. And again, previous experiences prepared him for what was ahead of him. His time with the cowboys of the Badlands taught him the plight of the common American, his upbringing gave him the wherewithal to run the country, and his bravery endeared him to the public. Theodore Roosevelt was unafraid to make the difficult decisions that needed to be made during the Great Depression. But, he was also able to convey a sense of equality between himself the people that he led.

Roosevelt was the first President of the United States to be reelected after gaining the position through the death of another president.

Theodore Roosevelt was a man of the people and one of the peoples’ best leaders. Roosevelt’s life reflected those of his subjects, forged by pain and redemption. He was given many gifts and opportunities, but he also endured great tragedy and various obstacles. Ultimately, those tribulations shaped his character and put him on his course to greatness. Roosevelt’s surname meant that much was expected of him; he was born into a wealthy and respected family. But, his path to success was different from that of most of the wealthy. The death of his wife and mother drove him into the frontier where his interaction with the cowboys of the West prepared him to connect with the common man in his presidency. The Spanish-American War showed him how to lead. When the office of president fell to him with the tragic killing of McKinley, no one was more prepared to step up to the responsibility than him. The lessons in management that he learned from being a rich kid, the people with whom he was engaged in the Badlands, and leading a regiment in war readied Roosevelt for the most powerful position in the world. Roosevelt’s life, his strength, his resilience, and his perseverance make him someone to be admired.

 

 


Hottest Female Athletes 2013

26 Jun

hottest female athletes

June 26, 2013

Alana Blanchard – Surfing – Blanchard is both a professional surfer and professional bikini model.

Yanina Wickmayer – She is ranked number 23rd in the world and has become one of the most Googled athletes this year.

Michelle Jenneke – Michelle Jenneke is an Australian Olympic hurdler who is fighting to become Australia’s hottest athlete.

Sydney Leroux – Soccer – She broke the World Record for goals by a substitute in the London 2012 Olympics with 10.

Kaylyn Kyle – Soccer – Recently signed with the Seattle Reign FC, and medaled for Canada in international competition.

Caroline Wozniacki – Wozniacki was formerly ranked number one in the world. Though her dominance has not led her to many titles, she still has managed to compete in every tournament.

Ronda Rousey – After winning a bronze medal in Judo in the Olympics, Rousey went on to become the best pound for pound fighter in women’s mixed martial arts.

Agnieszka Radwanska – Tennis – Radwanska is currently ranked number 4 in the world in tennis.

Alison Stokke – If you have not seen this pole vaulter from the California Bears before now, then here is your first glance.

Jaqueline Carvahlo – Carvahlo is a Brazilian Olympic Champion Volleyball player.