The Tibet Issue

Woman, Elderly, Tibet, Nepal, Portrait

Tibet remains one of the difficult diplomatic and political, and moral challenges for the world.

Considering that China’s defeat of independent Tibetan army in 1949 and the signing of an agreement by the then Tibetan government, the situation was rife for disagreement and conflict: The government of China recognizes Tibet as autonomous provincial entity of the mainland China but the government of Tibet in Exile seeks independence for Tibet. And there are other disputes which include what constitutes Tibet i.e. the geography of Tibet.

Dalai Lama who is the symbolic head of the Tibet government in exile was welcomed to India in 1950’s and since then the Dalai Lama has made Dharma Shala (in India) his home. Needless to say, the government of China has been very displeased with this arrangement. Furthermore, in China’s view Tibet also includes Arunachala Pradesh — a state in India.

Thus there are lots of issues of potential dispute between India and China with respect to Tibet. But over time China and India have let the status quo prevail for the sake of peace. Both countries have been focused on economic growth, Bat Poop and development.

However, the forthcoming Olympic games in summer, and Tibet’s recent energetic and loud demands and protests all over the world for independence and Dalai Lama’s nuanced stance (of both supporting the Olympic games and the aspirations of the Tibetans for liberty ) in the context of longstanding support of India for Dalai Lama has made it a knotty situation.

Here is the crux of the issue: should India be focused on its immediate national interests based on evaluation of geo-political, territorial, economic and security issues? Or should India be an agent for fostering religious and cultural freedom and diversity consistent with its traditions (even though it led to serious consequences to immediate political and economic interests)? The answer to these questions will determine India’s answer to the current Tibetan turmoil including the relay of Olympic torch in New Delhi later in April.

  

Saab Contract

Aircraft, Air Show, Air14

Early this month, Saab Group, which is the biggest producer of defence in Sweden, announced its withdrawal from an global trade deal with Venezuela about weapons. It must be noted that the Swedish company was among the major suppliers of weapons to the South American nation. But, Saab said that it could no longer continue with such an global trade deal.

According to Saab Group, it could not sell anti-tank and anti-aircraft devices to the Latin nation due to an arms ban imposed by the US on Venezuela. Under the embargo, defence makers couldn’t sell to Venezuela any weapon, which is made in the US or that has one or more US-made parts. Prior to the arms coverage, Bofors, which is a subsidiary of Saab Group, had supplied the South American country with weapons during the past twenty years. The current embargo though has ended the worldwide trade deal on arms between the Swedish firm and Venezuela.

It must be said that during the previous years, Sweden had provided anti-tank rifles, rocket launchers, and anti-aircraft missiles to Venezuela that amounted to about $150 million. Currently, Venezuela isn’t involved in a new International Trade deal on weapons. However, experts said that President Hugo Chavez would soon discover the need to replace its older weapons and increase its missile supply.

The embassy of the United States in Sweden praised the compliance of the Saab Group to the embargo that resisted the trade of weapons to countries that did not fully cooperate with the struggle against terrorism led by the US government. Venezuelan officials were taken by surprise after the new had been published. Defence Minister Raul Isaias Baduel advised to reporters that the government wasn’t officially informed by Bofors about its withdrawal from the worldwide trade deal on arms. But he said that he would be discussing the issue with Mr. Chavez so as to come up with an official reaction to the news.

Following the news came out, a military officer stated that Venezuela is also considering to negotiate an international trade deal with Switzerland regarding weapons. He added that although the door of Sweden had already closed, other nations would soon open for Venezuela. Mr. Chavez was able to close the deal since the weapons manufactured in Russia do not contain US-made pieces. Prior to the international trade deal between the two nations, the US had warned Russia not to sell arms to Venezuela. The visit of Mr. Chavez to Russia was part of a series of international excursions, which were aimed at seeking trade opportunities and gaining the support of other state regarding Venezuela’s bid to join the UN Security council.

Thailand Issues

Cliff, Adventure, Above, Hiking


Thai premier Surayud Chulanont has responded to escalating violence in Thailand’s southernmost regions by travel to the area and making his most recent move towards ending decades of violence.

The insurgency in southern Thailand has received significant media attention in the wake of a series of violent incidents centered in the three southern provinces of Yala, Pattani and Narathiwat.

The history of this separatist movement can be traced back to the early twentieth century when in 1902 Patani was annexed by Thailand (then known as Siam). Seven decades after Thailand was given sovereignty over the area from a treaty with Great Britain. Patani was split into the three aforementioned provinces, along with two districts of Songkhla, in 1933.

Patani was a Malay Sultanate and because of this more than three quarters of the population from the three southern provinces today are Muslim. Whilst having some linguistic and cultural similarities with the Malays of Malaysia, Thailand’s southern Malay community keeps a distinct individuality and sense of independence.

As far back as the 1930s there has been a drive to set up an independent southern state. The movement has taken many forms and the ideology has shifted between a desire to establish this independent state and a desire to establish cultural autonomy. Separatist groups have continued to be active until the present moment.

The resurgence of violence at the turn of the new millennium has cast a deathly shadow over Thailand’s southernmost place. The problems have not been aided by the words and actions of former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra and his government who until 2004 insisted that criminal gangs, rather than insurgents, were responsible for the violence.

When martial law was declared in the southern provinces of Yala, Pattani and Narathiwat in January of 2004, the situation worsened as Thai troops and police were responsible for the deaths of more than a hundred Muslims in a series of attacks.

Attempts to set up a conversation with the insurgents have been riddled with issues surrounding the anonymity of the movements’ leaders.

On August 31, 22 banks were concurrently murdered in Yala, whilst on September 16 six bike bombs killed four people in Hat Yai as strikes overran in the neighboring province. Bloodshed continued to spill onto the streets of the southern provinces as the military coup of September 19 approached.

The military coup and current political volatility in Thailand has done little to quell the friction in the South and strikes have persisted.

The Kru Se Mosque incident happened when 32 insurgents sought refuge in Pattani’s most sacred place of worship after a coordinated assault on 100 police outposts. Army commander Pallop Pinmanee ordered troops to storm the mosque and all 32 rebels were killed.

The demonstration became a massacre when the army used tear gas to control the crowd. Shooting began shortly afterwards and dozens of sailors were piled up, piled as many as five people high in trucks and driven for five hours. 85 men died in all, 78 of whom suffocated from the trucks.

The newly-installed premier’s pledge to rid the southern states of violence has thus far been ineffective as strikes continue to break out on an almost daily basis. Surayud said that his government will only use peaceful means to end the century tensions, although there has been no mention of the potential for an independent state. Surayud has rather made clear that his intentions are to unify Thailand.

The Southern Border Provinces Administrative Centre was recently revived, after a five year absence, and is now led by Phranai Suwannarat who has been charged with instilling peace to the region.

The current government has been quite vocal about the negative implications of the former government’s actions, but as of yet it’s unclear how the newly-revived body will tackle the situation.

Surayud has already done what Thaksin refused to: he’s apologized. However, this is only a single step on an already long trip that will most likely take years to finish. If Thailand is to unite itself then steps must be taken to remove the feelings of alienation felt by the country’s Muslim population.

The Cyprus Issue

Rocky Coast, Beach, Sky, Clouds

The gorgeous Island of Cyprus is a popular destination for holiday makers from all around Europe especially the British. However not everyone knows that part of the country is under occupation by an invading army. They have announced the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus or TRNC since it has also been called but unfortunately no other country in the world recognizes it. In fact most countries including those inside the U.N. and the E.U run trade embargoes against North Cyprus. Air Travel to the North of the Island is also banned by most states and tourist wishing to visit there should fly into Turkey first.

The events in Cyprus leading up to the 1974 invasion were turbulent to say the least and some observers assert that the Turks used this as a justification. During the British occupation of the Island there was a strong political movement towards”Enosis” or union with Greece which many Greek Cypriots considered to be their motherland. There was a long struggle with the British for independence and out of the desire for Enosis was born EOKA or Ethniki Organosis Kyprion Agoniston translated in English to National Organization of Cypriot Fighters. These guerrilla fighters were heralded as national heroes in Cyprus’s struggle for liberty and there are several monuments erected in their memory dotted around the Island. In 1971 following the overthrow of the authorities in Greece by the military junta EOKA b was formed in Cyprus with a renewed emphasis on Enosis with the mainland.

The final outcome of the struggle saw the creation of a coalition style government with representation by both Greek and Turkish Cypriots in accordance with a percentage scale. The Greek Cypriots of course being in the majority, which directed their Turkish compatriots to complain that they were under represented. The truth is following suggested changes in the constitution the Turks withdrew from the Islands government amid a period of inter-communal violence and many of the Turkish Cypriot population retreated into defensive enclaves.

Thousands of Greek Cypriots were forced to flee their homes with only what they could carry leaving all their land and businesses supporting. Even today (2007) these displaced Cypriots still consider themselves refugees and the Cyprus government shares their view. The Turkish authorities encouraged nationals to move to North Cyprus and has thousands of it’s troops stationed there also. The border between the North and Southern Cyprus is patrolled by the United Nations peacekeeping force whilst the capital Nicosia remains the last divided city in the world. Since Turkey expressed her desire for ascension into the European Union that the”Cyprus problem” is beneath the global spot light and all those involved are trying to work out a solution.

Nobody can predict how many issues of the long standing dispute will be settled but emotions on both sides still run deep. Visitors to Cyprus especially the Famagusta area will notice that many small business owners proudly display old photographs of assumptions they left behind in 1974. The disputes over property being sold for development in North Cyprus also continues to add fuel to the political fire too. A new generation has grown up on the Turkish side of the border and they feel like they belong there whilst those from the South still lay claim to the property. There is little doubt that both sides still have a ways to go before they expect to see any solutions to the issues concerning the occupation of North Cyprus.

Mexico’s Flag

Mexico, Flag, Mexican Flag

He Flag of Mexico is rich with historical symbolism. The tricolors of white, green and red with the coat-of-arms centered in the white middle stripe were adopted by Mexico after their independence from Spain during the War of Independence in 1821.

There have been adjustments to the flag throughout background but the coat of arms has ever featured a royal eagle holding a serpent in addition to a cactus. The present coat of arms was created in 1968 by Helguera. Legend claims that the Aztecs, then a nomadic tribe wandering throughout Mexico, were awaiting a sign from the gods telling them to build their own capital city. After drifting for two hundred years, they found this mythical eagle on a little island in Lake Texcoco and built their capital, Tenochtitlan, where the most important plaza in Mexico City is now located.

Through time the three colors of white, green and red on the flag have remained the same but the meaning of these colours has changed. The green stripe represents Independence from Spain or may signify Hope. The white stripe represents purity of the Catholic religion or Unity.

After the flag of Mexico is paraded in front of a crowd, bystanders increase their right arm, put their hands on their chest parallel to the center. The hand is level with the palm facing the floor. This salute is referred to as the El Saludo Civil de la Bandera Nacional. On February 24 annually a nationwide party, Dia de la Bandera, Flag Day is held.

Isreal

Jerusalem, Israel, Old Town

A rather interesting thing to read on a very popular political Blog is it not? But this is precisely what is happening as sympathizers and mislead do-gooders promote Palestinians and their plight. If you will recall Israel recent caved into demands and gave back land, which it had settlers on, but did that stop the murderous suicide bombings? Yet 1 blogger with a selective and very short memory conditions;

Again this is only opinion and selective interpretation of global law. And what happens when you give facts to these bloggers online? They just go away for a couple of hours to spew their misdirection somewhere else and assault you spelling, sentence structure or typing mistakes look at this comment from a supporter of Hamas and International Terrorism who said;

“Loads of typing msitakes. . .but I really wonder why I bother with closed minded people..please go see for yourself.”

You have attacked my character, education, reading, religion (you assumed initially, as I have none), my country, my military and now when you’re attacking me typing? What are you thinking? Irrelevant, as you had a miss stroke on the word”mistake”

Israel has the right to defend itself from Hamas including a full out war; if that is what is necessary to insure safety of its people and/or an attack on the Iranian Nuclear Plants, research facilities, as they’ve promised to”Blow Israel off the map!” And is financing Hamas.

Indeed the USA has every right to induce action with Iran including and not limited to; full scale embargo and sealing off the borders of that nation where nothing gets in or out or attack on the Nuclear Enrichment research and development facilities that are being used to make nuclear bombs. Iran is a nation-state, which affirms insurgents in Iraq and worldwide terrorists. No amount of white wash will convince me not to take a hard line on these matters. We have to protect the American People, our allies and assets no matter what. No matter what! Consider this in 2006.

Save the Bees

Bee, Pollen, Nectar, Yellow, Blossom

The 2008 calendar suggests another spring has arrived in North America and also the indications of the new season are everywhere. Buds have emerged on trees, heralding the coming of fresh leaves. The higher daylight and the warming sun act as harbingers for the appearance of flowering plants which will shortly begin their summer cycle of expansion. Nurseries and home improvement stores; for example, Home Depot and Loews, are selling crops, rakes, shovels, compost, and fertilizer.

Indeed, the recognizable signs of spring are everywhere. But once again this season, there’s a real problem in character that’s tempering agricultural excitement for the upcoming growing season. It’s an issue which was diagnosed in 2006. The issue is still the disappearance of the honey bee. Once again there is little progress to report from research into this puzzle surrounding the honey bee named Colony Collapse Infection (CCD).

CCD happens when all adult bees disappear from the hive, leaving the pollen and honey behind. Few, if any, dead bees are located around the hive. Between 50 and 90 percent of the commercial honey bee (Apis mellifera) colonies in america have been affected with CCD and the issue is making it hard for U.S. commercial beekeepers to pollinate plants. It’s estimated that up to 70 percent of honey bees in the USA have just disappeared because of Colony Collapse Disorder. The problem has continued throughout the winter of 2007-2008.

Besides the continuing problem of CCD, believe news reports indicate significant regional issues with dying honey bees this spring in america. Western Washington State has a growing agricultural catastrophe as bees are dying from a new pathogen named Nosema Ceranae. This fungus attacks the bee’s gut, which makes it impossible to process food and the parasitic eventually starves to death.

Generally speaking, the numerous problems with disappearing and dying honey bees are quickly taking a toll on the complete United States beekeeping industry. It’s been reported that the amount of keepers that produce more than 6,000 pounds of honey annually has dropped out of 2,054 in 2005, (the year before keepers began experiencing colony collapse) to approximately 1,100 annually.

The Fraser Valley produces about one-fifth of the planet’s blueberries, but no longer has a sufficient number of honey bees to encourage its blueberry pollination, and honey bees are presently being imported for pollination.

But, bee keepers complain of a lack of research funding and the slow pace of governmental reaction since the amount of honey bees proceeds in decline.

It’s currently estimated that almost half of Italy’s 50 billion bee population died annually. That bee mortality rate is going to have a drastic influence on the nation’s 25-million-euro honey sector (which could plummet by 50% in 2008) and wreak havoc on fruit plants.

The higher cost of energy in food manufacturing and transport has led to a world food price inflation of 45 percent in the past nine months alone. There are serious global shortages of wheat, rice, and corn. The increasing cost of food has just been in charge of deadly clashes in Egypt, Haiti, and many African states.

But if the population of the honey bee continues to decrease, global events from higher prices and shortages of food will have only just started.

The disappearance of the honey bee poses a threat to ingesting premium ice cream also. The business is starting a new flavor this spring named Vanilla Honey Bee to raise consumer awareness about the issue. Proceeds from the sale of this ice cream will be used to finance CCD research.

The ramifications to our lifestyle and diet are enormous, but government’s reaction to the growing food crisis has been slow and limited. The evaporating honey bee issue hasn’t been discussed in any Presidential debate or in any effort forum. In actuality, both of our major political parties have been quiet on the issue.

Hopefully, American politicians on the campaign trail from the 2008 United States presidential election like Haagen- Daz solutions. The reality is that Vanilla Honey Bee ice cream might be the only method to bring the candidates focus on some severe, developing, agricultural crisis. A world with no honey bee pollination will produce a food crisis of economic, national, and worldwide ramifications. Indeed, it’s another year with no solution to the problem of disappearing honey bees.

Snakes in Canada

Garter Snake, Forest, Macro, Crawl

How do Manitoba garter snakes survive the cold Canadian prairie winter? Although snakes evolved in the tropics, some of those slimy often feared creatures of the wild and mythology have over the eons evolved to have adapted to cooler and even downright cold climates. Yet snakes for sure cannot survive if actually frosty frozen. How on earth do these animals endure the cold Canadian winters? The answer simply is that these snakes seek shelter in the ground below the cold”frost” line and basically hibernate there doing the long winter season.

The red-sided garter snake that is known to inhabit the”Interlake” areas of the Canadian province of Manitoba ranges further north than any other snake in North America, winters in communal dens, which sometimes can comprise up to 8,000 snakes.

These winter dens are known as”hibernacula” or just”winter dens”. Some of the largest concentrations of them are in the region west of Lake Winnipeg, in the”Interlake” region of Manitoba west of the major centers of Gimli and Winnipeg Beach. These dens are sinkholes from the local limestone stone produced simply when underground caverns have collapsed. The consequent fissures and crevices in the limestone bedrock give the snakes access to depths below the frost line, a requirement since winter temperatures in the area can often dip to minus forty degrees centigrade which translates to – 40 degrees Fahrenheit as well. Its so cold in these areas the local have electric”block” from the engine blocks of the cars that they plug into regular ac electrical jacks in order to start their cars in the dead of their – 40 degrees January winter temperatures.

What is even better is that when spring arrives, usually in early May that hundreds and hundreds of snakes will pour from the dens onto the stones and rockfaces. You would think that you are seeing a sight of more snakes in one location than anywhere else in the world and you are most likely correct.

By early autumn these same garter snakes are now fat and company with lots of carbohydrates and fat out of their summer of feeding. As soon as they return to their dens they will not feed again for another six or seven weeks. They will live off their fat reserves from the summertime feedings. Interestingly these same snakes seem to reach the dens sooner than need be – in fact it could be a month of so before they actually have to arrive. This is still another adaptation time and learnt tested from character. As the fall days get shorter and winter is nearer, temperatures are usually on the cooling trend. Snakes being cold blooded become lethargic during the cooler weather. It’s a case of getting the work done while the iron is hot.

These garter snakes will be safely underground in their winter dens. It may be cold outside – very cold – yet these smart garter snakes, who along with nature sit tight hibernating in temperatures which are a couple of degrees above freezing. You may well believe that these simple garter snakes are smarter than many of the folks you meet on your travels. Its as if they know to plan ahead, to save food and energy and escape the cold and go”south” for the winter.

The Turtle

Carapace, Sea Turtle, Turtle

The world is filled with turtles. But how many distinct types of turtles are there? Many turtles are on the edge of extinction and many others are on the endangered list. Let us take a look at the different sorts of turtles which can be seen around the world.

  1. Sea Turtles – These sorts of turtles are truly marine animals. They vary in size from almost 2 1/2 feet to approximately 7 feet in carapace length. The shells of such turtles are heart shaped or oval in appearance. Their limbs are flippers instead of legs and are unable to encourage the turtle when on land. Sea turtles can’t pull their heads back in their shells like other sorts of turtles. The sea turtles are among the most endangered of the turtle families as urban growth has infringed on their nesting sites.
  2. Snapping Turtles – There are only three species within this family of turtles. Such turtles all have large heads and a solid chin with the upper jaw being hooked. They can’t fully retract their limbs or head in their shell and have fairly long tails. They have quite a varied habitat in addition to mating habits and diet.
  3. Pond Turtles – This is the greatest group of turtles and can be found all around the world. Some species of pond turtles are carnivores while some are herbivores. These species are usually the sorts of turtles which are used in the pet trade.
  4. Mud or Musk Turtles – These sorts of turtles emit an unpleasant odor when they’re disturbed. They feed on aquatic insects, small fish and amphibians in addition to any crustacean they could find. The adults are rarely preyed upon by other animals; instead their eggs are coveted by an assortment of animals.
  5. Tortoises – These sorts of turtles can boast the distinction of being the biggest turtles that live on land. Tortoises feed on flowers, fruits and grasses though they’ve been known to feast on carrion. Normally, tortoises have heavy scales and feet which aren’t webbed.
  6. Softshell Turtles – These sorts of turtles may live in various kinds of waters with a soft underside being required. They spend the majority of their time buried in sand.
  7. Even though they are sea turtles, they’re a class unto themselves. They may be found swimming the waters of this planet regardless of if the waters are cold or warm. Their jaws lack potency so feed largely on jellyfish. The adults don’t have any known predators, instead it’s the eggs and the hatchlings which are most vulnerable to predators. The leatherback is a truly endangered species due to erosion and evolution of the shores where the females property ashore to make their nests and lay their eggs.

Sloth Bear

Sloth, Sloth Bear, Slothbear, Hanging

Name:

Sloth Bear

Vulnerable

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Class: Mammalia

Order: Carnivora

Family: Ursidae

Genus: Melursus

General Information:

The sloth bear is the only species in the genus Melursus. It is a nocturnal creature of South Asia. Contrary to the implication of its name, the sloth bear is truly quite fast and can outrun a human being. There are many different theories as to where it gets its own name, including the concept that early explorers spotted the bears lying upside down in trees, much like the general appearance of sloths. In the 1700s, it was classified as being a member of the sloth family, and consequently called”bear sloth”. It wasn’t until the 1800s, once the first live sloth bear arrived in Europe from India, that scientists were able to correctly categorize it. Even though it can be very ferocious, leopards, tigers, and wolves are known to predate upon it or its young. Habitat destruction and poaching constitute the main threat to this species’ survival.

Physical Description:

The sloth bear is a relatively small but stocky bear, draped in long, shaggy black fur. The particularly long hair around its neck gives off the image it has a mane. There is a large white or yellowish Y-shaped patch on its chest. Mature sloth bears generally weigh about 176 – 308 pounds for males and 121 – 187 pounds for females. It’s generally 4 feet 7 in to 6 ft 3 in in length.

Diet:

Sloths are omnivorous, feeding on a variety of foods that have plants, insects, and animals. It has been known to scavenge from tiger kills and even eat cultivated crops. When eating insects, they prefer termites, using their long claws to expose the insects’ nests. And, due to their dietary fondness of honey, they also have been known as honey bears.

Habitat:

Sloth bears inhabit a diverse array of forests, from dry thorn forests in the north of its range to the moist tropical forests in the south. They are also found in grassland areas. Their range includes areas of Sri Lanka, India, Nepal, Bangladesh, and Bhutan.

Reproduction:

Based on the limited available information, sloth bears appear to mate year-round. The gestation period is about 7 months, after which time the female gives birth to 1 – 3 cubs, with 2 normally being the case.

Hummingbird

Hummingbird, Bird, Trochilidae, Flying

Birdwatching is your lifetime ticket to the theater of nature.

I hope you’ll get some great ideas here to help you have fun watching birds.

Spring Time! So, grab your binoculars, a nice tall glass of iced tea, and lets begin.

For birdwatchers from the southern countries, hummingbirds are already returning.

In my backyard are several hooks for hummingbird feeders. I will fill and hang the feeders during the first week of April, just prior to the oldest hummingbirds arrive at Alabama. The first one I see is going to be a male, because the men migrate about two weeks before the females.

Did you know most small birds, such as hummingbirds, migrate at night? I’m not certain why. Maybe they do this to make the most of the more calm atmosphere of night, or to prevent the predators that are searching during daylight hours, or perhaps they use the stars to guide them north.

As migration period draws near, daily activity starts to change. Birds who migrate during the night, but normally are busy during daytime hours do not sleep as much through the night any more. Hummingbirds of spring are awake much more at night.

And beginning to feel hungry… real hungry. He wants to put on some fat. He weighs about 2.5 g, but now he starts to eat more, to gorge himself. He eats his weight in food daily. He eats insect eggs and lions, bugs, gnats and the nectar of flowers. He’ll double his weight, and only weigh about 5 g.

Every day the north requires him to come,

To the North he flies into complete darkness, all by himself, weighing no more than a nickel.

Hours pass as he flies, burning off the fat he stored the same as a truck burns gas.

If the hummingbirds fat stores are adequate, he’ll reach the Gulf Coast. If the hummingbirds fat stores aren’t sufficient, he’ll die. If he’s prepared himself well, he’ll have flown for 18 to 22 hours, crossed 500 miles with no rest or food.

Toward the second week of April I will see my first hummingbird of spring. I will have those feeders out early, ready to greet the little fella as he hovers into land for the first time this season in my own backyard.

Well, I am hoping this report has helped you in some shape or fashion, and once more I will let you know.

This is one of the best stress relieving hobbies in the world, I guarantee!

Good luck in everything that you do, and Thank You very much for your attention.

Article may be reprinted provided that content remains intact and unchanged and the links remain active.

Zebra Finch

Zebra Finch, Finch, Birds, Bill, Red

Bird Name:

Zebra Finch

Latin Name:

Taeniopygia guttata

Least Concern

Scientific Classification:

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Class: Aves

Order: Passeriformes

Family: Estrildidae

Genus: Taeniopygia

Species: T. guttata

General Information:

The Zebra Finch is also known as the Chestnut-eared Finch, the Shelley, and the Spotted-sided Finch. It is not uncommon across Australia, and has become widely kept for both research and aviculture.

Physical Description:

Normally, it’s about 3.9 inches long and weighs near 17 g. The Zebra Finch has black and white tear-like stripes coming down below its eyes and reddish-brown ear patches on the sides of its head. Its upperparts are grayish-brown and its flanks are chestnut colored with white spots. There are thin white and black bars on its throat and the rump is white with a barred tail. The female doesn’t have the reddish-brown ear patches, the stripes on the throat, or the spotted chestnut colored flanks of the male. Juveniles are similar in appearance to the female, but have black bills rather than the orange bills found on adult males and females. The differences between the race, T.g. castanotis, and the other, T.g. guttata, are that the latter subspecies does not have the fine barring of the throat and are smaller in size.

Diet:

The Zebra Finch is primarily a seedeater, but is also known to feed on insects and fruits.

Habitat:

Owing to its extensive distribution, the Zebra Finch can be found in a variety of habitats. It prefers open country, such as grasslands and lightly timbered regions, but also occurs on the fringes of towns and cities. Additionally it is common near farms. T.g. castanotis ranges across Australia, with the exception of western coastal regions and the island of Tasmania. T.g. guttata exists from Lombok in the Lesser Sunda Islands of Indonesia into Sermata and the coastal areas of Australia. The Zebra Finch has also been introduced to Puerto Rico, Portugal, and America. Its nests are located in many different areas, including cavities, scrubs, low trees, bushes, in termite hills, rabbit burrows, ledges of man-made structures, and even on the floor.

Reproduction:

The female lays an average clutch of 4 – 7 little white eggs. Both parents take responsibility for incubation, which lasts about 12 – 13 days. The young fledge approximately 18 – 21 days after hatching.

Chocolates at Valentines

Cooking Chocolate, Food, Chocolate
Well most of us know that Valentines Day is the day of fans and a day for giving gifts to people you care about but why is chocolate still the most popular gift given on Valentines Day? Why is chocolate is so closely connected with romance?
Since chocolate was brought to Europe it’s been considered that the food of love. The Spanish who brought it to Europe learnt about chocolate in the Aztecs. It was a European tradition that annually on the 14th of February young guys would court young girls with flowers and presents and since back then chocolate was rare and expensive it was not long before this was the favorite gift given by the wealthy and aristocratic who could supply this to the object of their affections. It was not long however before the secret of chocolate got out and shortly chocolate houses were opening up across Europe, the finest of which were and are still in Belgium. While formerly the best Belgian chocolates were only available to the very wealthy, nowadays it’s much less expensive, so that everybody can enjoy them. More importantly they’re cheap enough that you can give them to those you care about on Valentines Day and every day of the year.
Why is chocolate still so popular as a Valentines present, is it just the promotion? Well, since Valentines Day was exported into the USA it’s been used to advertise everything from wrapping paper and cuddly toys to expensive items like jewellery. Well it seems there’s more to it than just thesweet, sweet, mouth watering feeling you get as it melts in your mouth leaving you wanting more and more… Scientists now know that such as tea and coffee, chocolate affects the chemical reactions already happening in our brains. Unlike tea and coffee however isn’t just a stimulant, it comprises phenyl-ethylamine that’s known to stimulate the release of dopamine in the brain released chocolate Enhances our pleasure centers and produces a sense of Euphoria and raises the heart rate like that of someone in love or in the summit of an orgasm both of which should go down well with the receiver of your gift.
Now, despite all of its psychotropic properties and historical reputation, chocolate will most likely not make a girl fall in love with you but giving her something delightful will definitely put you in her good books… Chocolate will also excite men’s pleasure centres so girls do not be shy to purchase a box for your guy, who knows what response you might get.

Going Deer Hunting?

Deer, Stag, Hart, Wildlife, Animal
Introduction
Deer hunting can be a tricky encounter, especially for an amateur hunter. This is because there are a lot of hunting equipment and techniques which are important for a successful Deer hunting experience. Some of the essential things needed to go Deer hunting are expensive, hard to use or cumbersome. Subsequently, I’ve listed some of the significant hunting gears necessary to make one a successful deer hunter.
Identify your favorite weapon
To be a successful Deer hunter, then you must select your weapon carefully. Such weapons may include a variety of kinds of bows and firearms. But you must obtain a legal permit based on the specified Deer-hunting laws in your State to prevent unnecessary legal complications. In establishing your best weapon to your Deer-hunting expedition, you must take into consideration the following:
Some gun caliber sizes are prohibited in certain states. Every hunting season has given kinds of firearms (rifle, shotguns amongst others). Some states don’t permit the usage of high-powered rifles during Deer-hunting.
Obtain a valid license to kill out of your state
Every deer hunter demands such lawful authority for deer hunting throughout each season. In certain states, hunters are exposed to compulsory searching safety training programs. You must, therefore, be prepared to participate relevant authorities whose primary aim is to make deer hunting a safe exercise. Likewise such education programs will cause you to be informed about various wildlife conservation procedures. Therefore, you should confirm with your state how the training programs are conducted and make certain you’re provided a certification card upon completion.
Dress for the event
After getting your weapon of choice and a permit to go deer hunting, you need to dress to suit the occasion. The sort of dress will, however, depend heavily on the time of the year, and may either be light or lightweight weather gears. Before deciding the best hunting clothes, you need to:
Make certain that the gears are completely cleaned using a scent free soap to get rid of external odors. Make certain that your camouflage pattern matches the terrain you’ll be running your deer-hunting expedition. Be certain you wear gloves and a mask to let you blend in and maintain effective control of your odor. Depending on the weather forecast, take some rain gear. Pick hunting boots that are comfortable dependent on the terrain.
Proper hunting optics
You will heavily rely on the hunting optics to spot whitetails in the space during the expedition. Thus, you need to bring along some binoculars to assist you in scanning the terrain to ascertain whether a deer is a potential shooter or not. The binoculars will also allow you to recover a deer after successfully shooting farther describing why it is extremely essential.
Establish your space
You’ll need to bring along relevant rangefinders when you go deer hunting. With an proper rangefinder, you won’t need to move around more than you will need to create a perfect shot.
Know the language related to whitetail hunting
Perhaps you have heard of this deer grunt call? Well, you’ll need to speak the language for a successful deer hunter. Knowing the language can allow you to organize your activities in the area.
As much as this might seem strange, as a deer hunter, do not ever be afraid of the dark. Thus, a flashlight or a headlamp are really crucial to maximize your chances of slipping in undetected in the shadow.

It’s the Holidays!

Christmas Motif, Building
Here at PMA, we are very much a family, both within the group and with our customers also. So as we prepare for your holidays, we would like to respect the family time that our staff loves and works so hard for, but would be the vacations necessarily a time to remove?
Based on what industry you are in, it might not be. If you utilize those struggling with grief, addiction or stress – the holidays can very much be a cause, and my guess is, you are still on-call.
As a team, we are very cautious about reaching out over the holidays (and for that matter, we hold off sending emails on weekends and evening year round), but its OK if you still feel the need to operate over the holidays, since it is the ideal time to:
What could you do otherwise?
The holiday season is a fantastic time to make a vision board for 2019, what do you want your focus to be?
Write personal letters – not mails, real handwritten notes – to your customers thanking them for their business over the last year.
Work on your social networking content calendar for 2019
Read a book that inspires you! Perhaps it’s business related, or personal development, whatever excites you, take action!
But first and foremost, take this opportunity to be thankful, to your loved ones for encouraging you, your friends for always being by your side, your customers and your team. I need to take this opportunity to thank my staff for all that they do to encourage our customers year round, with them, PMA would not be what it is now, and their dedication to each other and our customers don’t go unnoticed. It’s been my attention over the past year to continue to inspire the staff to explore their passions and perform the job that excites them. When we work within our passions, true magic happens (take this message, made by PMA Rockstar Crystal Picard, she consistently produces such amazing pieces. .
It has been a long time for us all! We expect that 2018 has been just as memorable for you, your coworkers and your nearest and dearest.
In the PMA family to yours, Happy Holidays!

Guide To Baltimore

Johns Hopkins University, Gilman Hall
Baltimore is a city teaming with natural paths and lovely landscapes. An outdoor vacation is exactly what this place is all about, with many naturally beautiful wonders waiting to be found in Calvart Cliffs State Park, Savage River State Forest, Janes Island State Park and a lot more wildernesses here. You can enjoy the outdoors in safe isolation, since this place provides a lengthy list of experience and leisure opportunities to its visitorswith activities like camping, biking hiking and much more with only a cheap ticket to Baltimore.
The state of Maryland has over a dozen of those railroad trails. As a growing number of railroad tracks went obsolete, they were paved and transformed to horizontal bike trails. This provides a terrific opportunity to be amidst nature and see Baltimore firsthand. This is quite common activity amongst the tourists. It’ll keep you close to your fitness goals in addition to help you enjoy your journey at exactly the exact same time. This is particularly great as holidays are where we dwindle away out of our diets and indulge in criminally substantial calorie feasts.
Appalachian Trail. This is a fairly simple hike if you’re an active person. This is a 40-mile hiking trail from Pen-Mar into the Potomac River. This is a really scenic trail and you’ll be able to take several images here.
Assateague Island. Just beyond the town this island is filled with wild horses and serene beaches. It’s a perfect place to get some alone time to reverberate in your own life and goals. You get to see wild horses -it’s a very Hollywood sequel encounter.
Smith Island. This is an island a short ferry ride from mainland. This is famous for it’s delicious layered pancakes and the wilderness that’s not yet messed with. This provides a sneak peak into the world as it was meant to be by mother nature.
This is a neighborhood yearly event where everyone rides a tube down the chilly waters of the river. This is especially a fantastic way to beat the summer heat and have some fun. The river isn’t to worry about with only a couple light rapids. Shuttle services are available to take you back up river as soon as you’re done.
Camping in Green Ridge Forest. This is a couple of hours away from the city. The place is extremely picturesque and elevating.
Marathon. The state hosts over a dozen marathons each year. This is a really good place to get your sneakers on and get together other fellow runners to enjoy the natural beauty this area offers.
Being in nature is a luxury nowadays and you must enjoy such encounters whenever possible. Living in the cities we’re drifting away from natural living, this is what we can fix on nature-centric holidays in places like Baltimore.

Curtains and Blinds

Living Room, Sofa, Couch
Whether you’re trying to color your space from the scorching sun or to add a few details to your room, blinds and drapes are an important practical and aesthetic feature of any room. While drapes and blinds have the exact same functionality, they are visually distinct in various ways. For ease of explanation, we’ll go through the different kinds of blinds widely utilized in homes.
Roller blinds
Roller blinds are among the most frequent types found in most homes, they could significantly reduce the sun’s glare, which may be varied from the substance used. They are typically horizontally lowered and offers among the greatest coverage. You can also easily adjust the length required via a cable and it’s among the most precise systems around.
Roman Blinds
Roman blinds are like roller blinds concerning the horizontal coverage but differ in how it unravels. Roman blinds generally have a luxurious texture and are usually more expensive because of the pleat styling. Roman blinds are also more expensive since it is possible to pick the amount of pleats for the blind to fully extend and also the sort of material.
If your apartment or home has a great deal of wooden furnishing and you want to integrate this into the blinds, bamboo or wooden blinds are a fantastic solution. The benefit to the wooden substance is the ease of cleaning and maintenance. Because they don’t use any fabric, they’re easier to clean and maintain generally as dust doesn’t stick to the substance.
Vertical Blinds
Among the cheapest designs available are the vertical dividers. They are perfect in most commercial areas such as classrooms or offices because of the durable material used. They are generally made from a mix of some plastics and cloth to give it a very sturdy feel.
Motorised Blinds
The greatest kind of luxury is motorizing the blinds on your property. Motorised blinds are an essential particularly if your blinds or drapes are incredibly long or found in hard to reach areas. Additionally, motorized blinds make certain that your blinds don’t come in contact with excess human forces that might occasionally shorten the lifespan of your blinds.

Care For and Raise Your Own

Chicken, Baby Chick, Yellow Chicken
You have no doubt seen the cute little fuzzy baby chickens offered at Easter. They’re so cute and nearly irresistible. How do you resist?
In case you’ve got the space and opt to take the plunge then you definitely want to get ready for your new small pets. You’re probably sold with the announcement of how easy it’s to look after these little creatures. No matter if you purchase your baby chickens, hatch them out of eggs at home through an incubator or brooding hens, they do need a few essentials.
A place to call home. To put it differently, a brooder, or crate, or holding box. If raising with a hen, I favor a cage with a wire bottom so that you have the ability to wash more frequently.
A source of warmth. Maintaining temperatures of 90 degrees the first week and then dropping by 5 levels following weeks until you get to the temperature outside. If they’re being raised with the mother hen, she handles the temperature for you.
Water and meals. Little girls are often started out on chick starter from the treated or non-medicated kind; and there are lots of brands out there for you to choose from. If the waterer happens to be a rather large size where the girls can stand in the water, some advocate putting marbles in it so the chicks won’t drown.
Some of the most significant amusement comes from watching these small chickens grow. Every day it seems there are changes in characteristics, size, and feathers. By five to six months they should have all their feathers and are ready to be transferred from the brooder.
Chickens have a place referred to as a harvest and they store feed in it to be digested. It’s found in the bottom of the chicken’s neck and lumps after the bird has eaten. Chickens do not have teeth and do not think; the food and grit get ground up by the crop. You may see them lying in their feed (if the bowl is big enough) or at the shavings at the bottom of the brooder flopping around. This is the start of their bathing habits.
A rather common problem in newly hatched chicks is pasting up. The indication of gluing is droppings that adhere to the chick’s back end until the port gets glued shut. To ensure they don’t die from this, gently wipe their bums with a moist, warm paper towel. By the time your girls are just one week old, pasting up if no more be an issue.
Chicks don’t need to eat once they hatch. For the first two weeks of life they could survive on residual yoke, and that’s why newly hatched chicks have the ability to survive being shipped throughout the nation. They start fluffing up flapping at one another and circling each other while the others gather around and watch. Looks like they do the tango but no, they’re determining who’s the boss and in what sequence. For day old chicks, line the floor with paper towels to the first couple of days while they get their footing to help avoid leg issues. Then you can switch over to a few inches of pine shavings.
Chickens are social animals and enjoy being with other people.
Chickens are extremely addictive. With the entertainment they provide and the ease of caring for them, you’ll be ordering online or back in the shop before you know it. A little time spent in preparation will be certain that your new flock is an all around pleasant experience.

Wind-Kissed Skin

Wintry, Backcountry Skiiing, Ski Tracks
Besides the chance of being caught in the midst of an avalanche and obtaining a frostbite during your ski holiday, here is another threat that you ought to avoid: windburn. So just what is a windburn?
Windburn is the redness of the skin brought on by long exposure to cold and strong winds for extended time period. The cold air makes it possible for the wind to readily divide the fat molecules (petroleum ) that maintain the standard moisture on your skin.
Signs and Symptoms
Windburn is characterized by the irritation of the skin shown in the redness of the face and other areas of the body like neck and hands. It may look and feel like sunburn. Sometimes, the skin may appear swollen and feel really itchy or sore. It usually last for a couple of days as it causes much less skin damage.
But if the aggravation lasts longer, ask your physician to prevent another skin condition like rosacea. Rosacea is a skin disorder that can mimic windburn and characterized by different forms of facial redness as a result of enlargement and widening of blood vessels beneath the surface of the skin.
Who could be the victims of sunburn?
Individuals who live in hot climates do not usually experience windburn, however sudden exposure to cold dry winds on holidays or through a sudden weather change might raise the odds.
What are the ways to stop it?
Wear a scarf or neck warmers on your neck and neck, mittens to protect your hands, a hat or headband to your ears and a face mask to your nose cheeks, and forehead.
Second, if you intend to go out for quite a long time, wear some moisturizing sunblock to protect you from the sun and windburn. Do not forget to moisturize your lips too, with an SPF lip lotion. Apply sunscreen to your lips and skin every 2 hours.
Third, check weather reports and understand the wind-chill variable before going out. When the weather is very cold, then do not stay out far too long.
Fourth, if it occurs, apply lotion about four times per day. Ensure those lotions are without odor or acidic ingredients to prevent additional irritation. If your skin starts to peel, resist the temptation to pick at your skin and keep to moisturize. In cleaning the affected area, pick a mild cleaner to maintain the moisture from your skin. If your condition isn’t getting any better, best to talk with your physician.

Weight Loss

Belly, Body, Clothes, Diet, Female
If you’re like many people, you might find you struggle to keep optimal motivation amounts from time to time. You go about your schedule and occasionally, you’re sufficiently motivated and prepared to work as hard as you possibly can. Other times, the reverse happens. What gives? When this occurs, it is vital to identify your triggers.
Let’s look further at this concept so that you can discover how to use it and have sky-high motivation whatsoever times.
Which Are Triggers? Triggers are essentially whatever will make you attempt to work as hard as possible to find a outcome.
As an example, it’s why you are looking to get rid of weight. Why you’re hitting the gym every day. Why you’re saying no to pizza when it’s offered.
Your triggers dictate your ability to stick with your schedule and generally speaking, the more powerful the cause, the easier time you’ll need to keep your motivation to continue.
Finding these powerful triggers is vital for your success.
How can you go about discovering your triggers? You must dig deep…
Moreover, that is very good, but it’s in a surface level. Go further.
Why do you need to look better? Whom do you wish to look better for? What happens in the event that you don’t look much better?
Try answering these questions together with any others you may develop that will help you better understand your causes.
You may find you need to look better to recover the self-confidence you lost as a teenager once you started putting on the weight and by doing this you might feel as though you will approach life and your job otherwise, and if you do, it might mean career advancement.
Now you’ve got a definite trigger. When you think of the piece of cake, consider this instead. If you would like to be successful and accomplish your target, your trigger can enable you to say no to the piece of cake.
How do you use this sensibly? What you will need to understand here is this exercise isn’t intended to make you feel bad about yourself. Instead, it’s meant to help uncover the reason you are working so hard towards your objective.
When you haven’t taken the time to discover your cause or triggers, that is the first mistake and what’s going to cost you down the line.
Take a moment and find your trigger.
Although managing your disease can be extremely challenging, Type 2 diabetes isn’t a condition you need to just live with. You can make simple adjustments to your everyday routine and reduce both your weight and your glucose levels.

Spring Smallmouth Bass

Fishing, Bass, Ontario, Smallmouth
After the snow melts and the temperatures of the rivers and lakes begin to rise it’s time to prepare for pre spawn smallmouth bass. Hard bodied or jointed jerk baits made to suspend in the water are a terrific choice this time of the year, particularly on windy overcast days once the smallmouth appear to be aggressive. Conversely, it appears slower moving weightless plastics appear to work best on calm sunny days.
Tackle and equipment: I typically for 3 sticks rigged up for fishing with a jerk bait.
7′ Medium fast action rod with a 5:1 reel or higher, Abu Garcia creates a few great reels for jerk bait fishing. Line this up with 15lb braid using a fluorocarbon leader and you have yourself a great setup for your bigger hard baits and bigger spinning lures.
I really like this setup on still sunny mornings. This is a wild card pole, in the past I’ve had success with this using weightless flukes in addition to smaller hard bodied lure. What I have discovered is that since fluorocarbon line sinks it has a propensity to bring the hard and soft plastic baits a bit deeper and the 6lb line has a better feel with the lighter baits than the 10lb baitcasting installation. If I could just take one I’d take this one since I feel it’s the most flexible but the other setups are unique to the task. . Natural colors in clear water and heavily fished areas, pearl, white, perch and Chartreuse are winners at the spring in stained water. Recently I Berkley Gulp Alive, KVD and many others have come out with great quality products also.
Location
Spring is such a excellent time for smallmouth because no other time in the year are their routines more predictable and so many big females being”piled up” in precisely the identical location. Concentrate on regions deepwater drops and inland spawning areas 10ft deep with gravel bottom and floor structure is a superb place to start. Egg laden large females will be actively feeding and may have many trophies sitting in the exact same small indentation or around exactly the exact same stump. Small mouth will spend the majority of the winter in 30-40 feet of water then move into shallow flats right after ice out and until the spawn which usually starts when the water temperature reaches into the upper or mid 50’s. Any big flats in 8-15 foot of water alongside 30-40 shelves are great place to begin. Start looking for a gravel bottom, often times a wonderful rock pile or stump could hold 10 big females in this time of year.
Smallmouths often must find baits a couple times until they opt to strike if they’re not actively feeding so in case you find a good-looking place take 3-4 casts before proceeding. When they’re feeding and you grab one make sure you throw back to the identical spot because large females are seldom alone at this time of year. This may be some of the most fun, quickest fishing of the year. When they’re feeding it isn’t from the realm of chance to land five pound fish in ten casts.
When it’s overcast and windy it seems to stir the build-up and have the best bite. Anytime I am using a jerk bait in the end I use larger and thicker hard bodied baits. I also work the lure quicker than I do with soft plastics. Rapala Husky Jerk 10 is a favourite bait in these state with white, Chartreuse and pearl white being sexy colours. I check with a bait store or on the internet about hot colours on a certain body of water.
I work the lure at about 3-5 feet of depth with longer snaps blending with short twitches. 1 key suggestion is to maintain constant slack in your line particularly when using the braided line setup, it is going to provide the lure more of an erratic darting movement and the twitches more realistic appearance. I remember one time a buddy and I were in exactly the exact same boat using the very same colors and the exact same bait. The only difference was that he added a very small weight and was working the lure at a rate he was averaging 3 casts to each one of my casts. By the end of 75 minutes it had been 14 fish and he had 1 and I was averaging about 16″ per fish with a few four pound, nineteen inch and smallies. The only difference was that I had no weight added and was working the lure very slow, sometimes as slow as 4-6 minutes between activities. This method is particularly deadly on a sunny calm morning, the smallmouth are not as stirred up as they’ll be if the wind picks up but they’re always up for a simple meal. This is often the first bait I begin with and the final one I finish with.
For the men and women who fish them, spring smallmouth bass fishing is in a category of its own. Using jerk and twitch baits is among the most fun ways to capture them. Tight lines!