August 26, 2013

The Serengeti Lion: An Exquisite National Geographic Project




This story and pictures also too good not to share!


Venture into the wild with the National Geographic photographers as they capture The Serengeti Lion, AKA the Vumbi pride, with the help of a robot tank, night-vision goggles, and tons of love and dedication.

Introducing: The Serengeti Lion

The Serengeti Lion project allows you to enter the world of the Vumbi pride. Photographer Michael “Nick” Nichols and videographer Nathan Williamson were determined to break new visual ground when they made several extended trips to the Serengeti between July 2011 and January 2013. 


A remote-control toy car and a rugged robot tank gave them an unobtrusive way to make images up close and at low angles. They took their time, letting the pride get used to these little machines. Night-vision cameras and goggles were used to capture images of the lions stalking prey. But most of the images and videos here were made using old-fashioned, camera-in-hand technology.

In this multimedia presentation Nichols and Williamson re-create the feast and famine of the plains; the purring, bleating, and roaring of these cats; the fragile balance of lion survival.

Nichols shot 242,000 images and Williamson recorded 200 hours of video, often while lying on the floor of a specially outfitted Land Rover. It’s only a slight exaggeration to say that Nichols learned to think like a lion, to game their moves, and to photograph them with an intimacy that comes from an undisguised feeling of kinship.


The National Geographic Society’s Big Cats Initiative is dedicated to halting the decline of lions and other big cats around the world. 

Lions have disappeared from 80 percent of their African range. Where once they presided over vast ecosystems, now their roars are silenced, their prides dispersed, their fierce grandeur dimming into memory. The extinction of lions is likely but not inevitable. Preventing it will require action. 


The more we understand about lions, the more likely we’ll be able to save them.

Find out how you can support the Serengeti Lion Project.

Story and pictures with many thanks to AllMyFaves Blog


More information here. 

Some related posts: 

Buddhist Monks and The "Tiger Temple" of Kanchanaburi

Lion Cub Triplets Raise Hope for The Endangered Asiatic Lion

The Siberian Tiger

Bornean Marbled Cat: An Ultra-rare Cat Species Captured On Camera

Iranian Cheetah Sighting Gives Hope To Conservation Efforts

Cincinnati Zoo Cheetah Sets New World Speed Record!

Snow Leopard and Cubs at Magdeburg Zoo

Swimming Tigers at Australia Zoo

Clouded Leopard Cubs At Houston Zoo

Another Chance for Three Orphaned Tiger Cubs

Golden Tabby Tigers

Lion Protector, Shivani Bhalla Helps Big Cats and People Coexist

Surprising Facts About Our Favorite Big Cats

Asher Jay: Art Of The Matter

India’s Wild Tiger Population Has Increased 30% Since 2010

Clouded Leopard Born at Florida Zoo

World Lion Day: Some Stunning Images Of The King Of The Jungle

White Lions - A Royal Family         

Lions Gain New Endangered Species Protections

Leopard Hunting Banned in South Africa For Remainder of 2016

A Hidden Population Of Up To 200 Lions Has Been Found In Ethiopia

Africa’s Big Five Animals

Tigers Are Coming Back!

30 Tiger Zoos In Thailand Face Nationwide Checks

The Truth Behind The Tiger Temple

The Black Panther

Russia's 'Extinct' Persian Leopards Reintroduced To Black Sea Mountains

Why Big Cat Rescue Doesn’t Have Cheetah or Jaguars 

Pallas's Cats To Get Their Own 'Palace' In Siberian Mountains

Amur Tiger Release 

August 25, 2013

The Seven Deadly Sins of Happiness


By Dr. Mercola

Virtually every parent wishes for their children to be happy, but as adults many of us find happiness to be elusive.
One recent Harris Poll found that, despite an ostensibly recovering economy, only one in three Americans said they’re very happy,1 which means, of course, that two out of three are not.
Unlike concrete achievements such as graduating high school or college, getting a promotion at work, or even getting married, achieving happiness is much more abstract, and, contrary to popular belief, not based on such worldly accomplishments.
You may have material wealth, even power or fame, yet still be unhappy. Or you may have little more than the shoes on your feet yet overflow with joy, because happiness is a state of mind.
I recently reviewed 22 habits of happy people, and they are overwhelmingly positive changes that prompt you to work on yourself, first. If you want to be truly happy, you’ve got to look to yourself because true happiness comes from within.

Are You Guilty of These 7 Sins of Happiness?

Now we’ll take a slightly different slant, which is identifying the seven ‘sins of happiness,’ which author Trent Hand compiled for Lifehack.2 That is, the seven habits or attitudes that make happiness very hard to come by. Hand explained:
These “sins” are so deadly that we often don’t notice we are falling into their trap until we wake up one day and wonder why we are glaring at ourselves in the mirror.”
1. Comparing Yourself to Others
This will either make you feel guilty for living more comfortably than others who are struggling, or make you feel inadequate compared to those who have more. As Mark Twain said:
“Comparison is the death of joy.”
2. Talking About Your Dreams Instead of Going to Work on Them
Talking about your dreams is great, but only if you eventually follow through with them. Make a point to set short-term action steps that will help you achieve your long-term goals – and act on them.
3. Listening to People With Nothing Positive to Say
Spending time around consistently negative people will drain your energy and bring down your mood. It’s generally nearly impossible to cheer a negative person up, you’re better off avoiding them as much as possible and surrounding yourself with positive people instead.
4. Focusing on the News
Watching the news is virtually guaranteed to bring you down and create feelings of helplessness and a lack of hope, as there’s not much you can do to improve the problems you’re seeing. Instead, focus on positive steps you can make in your local community, such as mentoring a child or delivering meals to the elderly.
5. Deciding Someone Else Needs to Change
Finding fault in others, and letting them know what they’re doing wrong, is easy. Much more difficult is looking inward to see how you can improve yourself instead. The latter will pay off by leading to a better you, while trying to fix others will likely be futile and interfere with your relationships.
6. Thinking “Happiness” is a Destination You Can Reach
If you think you’ll be happy once you accomplish a certain goal (like getting married or paying off your house), this is a myth. You must learn to find happiness during the journey, on a daily basis, rather than waiting to somehow find happiness at the end.
7. Forgetting to Say “Thank You”
It’s easy to take for granted all that you have to be thankful for – friends, family, loved ones, your health, your job … By focusing on all that you have to be grateful for (jot down whatever comes to mind on a notepad, for starters), you’ll instantly feel happier.

Living in the Moment: Another Key to Being Happy

Groucho Marx may not be the first person who comes to mind for a philosophy by which to live your life, but his words come with a definite air of wisdom:
“I, not events, have the power to make me happy or unhappy today. I can choose which it shall be. Yesterday is dead, tomorrow hasn't arrived yet. I have just one day, today, and I'm going to be happy in it.”3
How often your mind wanders is frequently a predictor of how happy you are. One study found, in fact, that the more often you take yourself out of the present moment, the less happy you are.4 The researchers concluded:
“ … people are thinking about what is not happening almost as often as they are thinking about what is and … doing so typically makes them unhappy.”
So … allow yourself to be immersed in whatever it is you’re doing right now, and take time to really be in the present moment. Practice mindfulness and avoid replaying past negative events in your head or worrying about the future; just savor what’s going on in your life now.

Center Your Life Around Doing What You Love: 12 Quick Tips

Life is too short to wait to be happy. It’s very important to prioritize your life so that you have time each and every day – or at the very least several times a week – to do the things you love. More often than not, it’s the small, simple things in life that bring the most joy, which is perfect because these are also the things that are oftentimes easy to fit in on a daily basis.
You know what makes you feel good, but here are some simple ideas for making your day a bit more joyful. And remember, when you’re doing these things don’t worry about tomorrow or what needs to get done when you’re finished – allow yourself to fully enjoy the moment:

With many thanks to Dr Mercola and thanks to Jared for sending me this.

August 22, 2013

Wolves Howl Because They're Social, Not Because They're Stressed


I love wolves just about as much as I love tigers. They are the ancestors of all breeds of dog. We once owned a German Shepherd who was a truly amazing creature.
Our family will never forget her, her puppies and the impact she had on our family. 

She was about as close to owning a wolf as I will ever come.

Incredibly intelligent, intuitive and highly protective of all of us. Enjoy the documentary!

WOLF howls mark stressful scenes in any number of mountain dramas and horror movies. But European zoologists have found that the animals howl to keep in touch with their friends, not because the adrenalin is pumping.
Scientists from the Wolf Science Centre, near Vienna, found that wolves’ howls are not related to stress. Rather, they function more as a “long-distance contact call” with close companions.

Experiments revealed that the centre’s wolves rarely howled when one of the pack was moved out of sight into a nearby holding pen. But they almost always howled when handlers took one of the group for a long walk on a lead – particularly if it was a partner or pack leader.

While this could indicate the animals were stressed by the absence of key companions, saliva tests revealed no link between the amount of howling and levels of the stress hormone cortisol.

The findings reinforce theories that vocal production in animals is not “hardwired”, according to a report today in the journal Current Biology.
  Scientists have long debated how much control animals have over the sounds they make. Marmots and macaques have been shown to make fewer “alarm calls” if levels of certain hormones are reduced, suggesting the calls are automatic responses to physiological changes.

But studies on monkeys and meerkats found that they called less when they were alone, while male chickens stopped calling completely when all of the females in the group had responded. Such studies suggest “fine-tuned communication”, today’s paper says.

Co-author Friederike Range, of the University of Vienna, said howling was more a reflection of wolves’ social relationships than their emotional states. “(It) may be used to maintain contact and perhaps to aid in reuniting with allies,” Dr Range said.

By John Ross

With many thanks to The Australian for story and top picture.

Other picture credit MoviewriterNY


Mother wolf teaching her cubs how to howl.
Picture credit:@Swildlifepics

August 15, 2013

Russell Foster: Why do we sleep?


 The good news and the bad news for insomniacs like me!

Russell Foster is a circadian neuroscientist: He studies the sleep cycles of the brain. And he asks: What do we know about sleep? Not a lot, it turns out, for something we do with one-third of our lives.

In this talk, Foster shares three popular theories about why we sleep, busts some myths about how much sleep we need at different ages -- and hints at some bold new uses of sleep as a predictor of mental health.

TEDTalks is a daily video podcast of the best talks and performances from the TED Conference, where the world's leading thinkers and doers give the talk of their lives in 18 minutes (or less). Look for talks on Technology, Entertainment and Design -- plus science, business, global issues, the arts and much more.
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August 14, 2013

Robert Mitchum: Film Noir Legend


Robert Mitchum is a Film Noir legend. He and Richard Widmark would easily rate as my all time favourites of this genre.

Robert Mitchum's Film Noir movies include some eighteen titles listed here.

That is not to say that he didn’t perform in other movie genres. 
One of my favourites is “The Sundowners”.

Although his “Aussie” accent leaves a bit to be desired it is still a perennial favourite with me as is “River of No Return” and  “Heaven Knows, Mr Allison”.

This really doesn’t do his filmography justice. 
It is quite extensive indeed.

He sang also, and recently I re-watched “Thunder Road”. 

Interestingly enough Richard Widmark was also in a movie related to bootleg booze or moonshine.
It was called The Moonshine War.


I agree with You Tube user Rick Deevey.

It also strikes me as a prequel to “Copperhead Road” which falls into that long list of my all time favourite songs. The theme is so very similar: running illegal bootleg booze and then illegal drugs.

Thanks to  Rick Deevey for this upload and the additional information:

“A video I cut together with car chase scenes from the 1958 Robert Mitchum movie, Thunder Road. The background music track is a theme song for the movie, written and sung by Robert Mitchum (though his version wasn't used in the movie).

The movie had a lot of influence for a B-rate feature. 

It was the inspiration for Bruce Springsteen's song "Thunder Road" (though the song and the movie have nothing much to do with each other; The Boss saw a poster for the movie and liked the name); some aspects of the design of the car led to the design of the Batmobile later on the TV series; the movie could be considered a prequel to the Steve Earle song "Copperhead Road"; and it was an influence in the creation of "The Dukes of Hazzard" TV series (but don't hold that against it).”

“Copperhead Road” was a huge hit for Steve Earle and I think the album art of the CD easily fits the bill of all time iconic record covers like, for example, “Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band”.


Steve Earle Vinyl Reissues Announced For May

Daniel Day-Lewis Receives A Knighthood

Tina Turner: What’s Age Got To Do With It? 
Sylvester Stallone: Not Feeling Old!
Hedy Lamarr - Beauty And Brains in Abundance
Charlie Chaplin: The Birth Of The Tramp
Alfred Hitchcock: Mysteries Of The Master Of Suspense
Carlos Gardel And The Tango In Movies  Audrey Hepburn Quotes
Poll: John Wayne 7th Most Popular Star - Still!
Clint Eastwood - A True "Renaissance Man" - Updated
John Wayne 7th Most Popular Star - Still!
How Marlon Brando Almost Missed His Defining Role
"Rush" - An Under-rated Ron Howard Movie
A Look at a Legend: Elizabeth Taylor
Paul Newman - Hollywood Legend
Top 10 Best Actress Oscar Winners Ever?
The Book Every Movie Lover Should Own:David Thomson’s New Biographical Dictionary of Film
Hollywood's 100 Favorite Films
10 Historical Movies That Mostly Get It Right

The 100 Greatest Movie Characters
A Look at a Legend: Rita Hayworth
The 100 Most Iconic Movie Lines of All Time
The Importance of Costume in Films: Some Iconic Images of our Culture
Hollywood Costume Exhibit In Los Angeles
Orry-Kelly:The untold story Of A Hollywood legend - "Women He's Undressed" Review
Top 10 Movie Sets Ever Built
A Look at a Legend: James Dean 



July 1st, 2016