Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Probably the most important videos you will ever watch!

We only have one small planet to take care of, and we are killing it. We need to change our ways immediately, if all living things that depend on our beautiful world, including humans, are to survive. A must-see!

Another video about mother earth, similar to the first video in this post, but with other important factors and information covered.

A stunning video showing the diversity and wonder of the amazing planet, we call home.

Koko the Gorilla Meets Robin William - Touching and insightful video!

Koko is extremely proficient in (human) sign language. 'Carers for the world's most intelligent gorilla claim she was 'close to tears' following news of Robin Williams' death - 13 years after video captured the two becoming fast friends." Story here.

Who says other animals, other than human animals, don't feel emotion?!

Amazing video! Orangutan and deaf girl sign to each other, talking together over the internet!

During this conversation, they even talk about the #palmoil industry! Worth watching and sharing!

Saturday, September 12, 2015

The Inspiring Story of Tiny Belle (video). She suffered 12 Years in a Puppy Mill

But now she lives in a loving forever home, has learned that life can be full of kindness and adventure. Ten minute video (accompanied with beautiful music) to make you cry with joy.

Excellent #Elephant Documentary - Video duration: 50 Minutes

A wonderful documentary on elephants. These amazing animals are funny, intelligent, social, sensitive and nurturing. Definitely a documentary worth checking out. By the way, this documentary was made BEFORE Rupert Murdoch bought National Geographic! Murdoch buying National Geographic is another nail in Nature's coffin! :(

200 Horses Rescued From Horrible Abuse, Now Living a Happy Life (video)

Many of the horses seen here, were rescued from the horror of the HRT industry, kept pregnant and in tiny stalls, before usually being shipped off to slaughterhouses for pet food. The HRT industry uses these horses for their pregnant horse urine to create drugs for women with menopause. Basically, these HRT industry horses are kept in the horse equivalent of battery hens, or factory farmed pigs.

Duchess Sanctuary—operated by The Fund for Animals in partnership with The HSUS—is a 1,120-acre facility located outside of Oakland, Ore., that was established in 2008 as an oasis for about 200 formerly abused, abandoned, neglected, and homeless horses.

Below are several photographs showing the abuse poor horses, used to produce menopause drugs, suffer. These horses also have every foal they give birth to, taken away and sent to a slaughterhouse; just like dairy cows who have every baby calf they give birth to, taken away from their grieving mother within hours of birth, their tiny babies sent off to be slaughtered for veal/profit).

Sunday, August 30, 2015

A Must-See 19 Minute Video on Climate Change & Extreme Weather by ABC Catalyst

Find out how climate change works and why it causes extremes, hot and cold weather. A clear explanation of how our weather is changing. This video and transcript is included here, courtesy of ABC television and Catalyst (science program)


This special report looks at the domino effect of environmental and atmospheric factors that drive the globe to wetter, hotter, drier and colder extremes.

Heat waves that kill tens of thousands. Apocalyptic floods. Blizzards in the Middle East. How is it that a slightly warmer atmosphere can create weather that swings from one extreme to the next? From lazy jet streams to baking soils, in this report we explain the mechanisms behind some of the most catastrophic events of the decade.

Anja Taylor
Understanding exactly how a warmer world drives weather wild is crucial to predicting just how bumpy a ride we're in for.

In 2003, a heatwave settled over Europe. But this was no ordinary heatwave. By the time it was over, more than 40,000 people were dead.

Dr Erich Fischer
So 2003 was remarkable in many aspects. It was far warmer than ever before - two to five degrees on average over the whole summer.

It was likely the hottest weather event in Europe in 500 years. Yet, just seven years later, an even more intense heatwave hit Russia, setting the country on fire. Summer temperatures reached up to 13 degrees above average, and the death toll from heat stress and respiratory illness was estimated at more than 50,000.

Dr Erich Fischer
It was much larger in spatial extent, so it covered almost two million square kilometres. Really, we're not that used to such extremely hot summers. So it is surprising to see a clustering of such strong events. It wasn't only the two, there were three other very warm summers within the same decade.

Anja Taylor
Global average temperatures have only increased by 0.8 of a degree Celsius. One would think that this would just lead to slightly warmer summers. But, actually, it's greatly increasing the chances of extremely hot weather.

This past year in Australia, we've seen plenty of heat. At the Bureau of Meteorology, forecasters have been watching record after record tumble.

Dr Karl Braganza
January was the hottest month on record. The summer was the hottest on record. And the sea surface temperatures around Australia were the hottest on record. We had temperatures in Bass Strait, south of Melbourne and south of Adelaide, up to six degrees above average. But, in terms of heatwaves, what we find is the elevated ocean temperatures reduce the amount of cold outbreaks we get. And, particularly during April, we had a prolonged heatwave with very hot night-time temperatures, and those sustained night-time temperatures are indicative of warmer waters to the south of Australia, and that's what we saw.

Although an exceptional year, it's not outside the range of what's now considered normal. If you plot temperature records, they fall in a typical bell-curve pattern, with the majority only a small deviation from the average, and the outliers representing extreme hot or cold events. With a 0.8 degree rise in temperature, a much larger portion now sits in the warmer-than-average section, and hot to extremely hot days are far more frequent.

Dr Karl Braganza
Suddenly, you've actually doubled the frequency of those events - and, in Australia's case, up to five times an increase in the frequency of extreme heat compared to the middle of last century. And that has all sorts of implications. Just in January alone, we did about 1,600 spot-fire forecasts. That's this very detailed forecast for the firefighters. And that's the equivalent of the last several years.

Worldwide, heatwaves have been increasing in duration and frequency since the 1950s.

Dr Lisa Alexander
What we thought as kind of exceptional in the past has really started to become the norm.

But even in the context of global warming, the European and Russian heatwaves are way off the charts. Is this just natural variability, or is something else happening to make temperatures soar? The Swiss Institute of Technology is a world leader in climate modelling. Here, Dr Erich Fischer has focused intensive research on the causes of the 2003 scorcher and other recent severe heatwaves in Europe.

Dr Erich Fischer
What's mainly the key factor is always the atmospheric circulations, so there needs to be a high-pressure system in place to get such an extreme heatwave.

But there was something else they all had in common - dry soils.

Dr Erich Fischer
All of them were actually preceded by very dry conditions in the spring. So we think that these conditions were already preconditioning the later heatwave.

Low rainfall in the spring months led to an early and rapid loss of soil moisture. And dry soils can be a double whammy on an evolving heatwave.

Anja Taylor
When the sun's rays hit the land surface, a lot of their energy goes into evaporating moisture from the soil and from plants as they transpire. But when soils dry out and plants stop transpiring, the sun's energy is no longer channelled into that process. Instead, it's free to heat the surface.

The result is a jump in temperatures. It was dry soils that turned the European heatwave of 2003 into a deadly scorcher.

Dr Erich Fischer
With the very same conditions in the atmosphere, but wet soils rather than dry soils, the 2003 summer would have still been a very warm summer, but much less extreme, with much less devastating impacts.

An early snow melt and dry soils also amplified the Russian heatwave of 2010. What's disturbing is that many regions appear to be trending to patterns of lower rainfall in winter and spring months, making those areas more prone to mega heatwaves.

Dr Erich Fischer
Europe and central Europe was always thought to be always humid basically. So, it was a surprise that in that event more dry conditions was actually enough to amplify the heatwave - something that usually only occurs over dry regions, such as the Mediterranean or the central US or Australia, for instance.

Anja Taylor
From where I'm standing, heatwaves seem a long, long way away. So do dry soils. And although this summer has been the hottest on record, it's also had some torrential downpours. So how is it that it can be getting hotter, drier and wetter at the same time?

It's simple physics. When air gets warmer, it can carry more water vapour - much more. So any rise in temperatures should lead to considerably more moisture being sucked from the Earth's surface. But what goes up must eventually come down.

Dr Susan Wijffels
Rainfall, as we all know from personal experience, is really spotty. I mean, it can be raining, you know, in your suburb, and next door not raining at all. And so that spatial sort of graininess of rainfall makes it an incredibly hard thing to measure - and, in particular, to measure over larger areas accurately.

To find out if a warmer climate is cranking up the water cycle, scientists have been searching for clues in the restless, churning oceans.

Dr Susan Wijffels
Most of the evaporation and most of the rainfall in the world actually cycles through the ocean surface, not through the land. Because it covers 75 percent of the Earth, most of the action's actually happening over the ocean.

Every time rain falls or water evaporates from the sea, surface salinity changes.

Dr Susan Wijffels
When we look at the ocean salinity field right now, we see this beautiful reflection of what happens in the atmosphere. So the places that are very rainy - say, the Tropics, where there's a large amount of rainfall all the time - the surface salinity field is very fresh. When we go to the parts of the atmosphere where we find deserts on land, there are desert equivalents over the ocean, where evaporation dominates, and that's where we find the surface of the ocean is very, very salty.

Keeping track of how salty seas change, more than 3,000 ocean robots called 'Argo floats' have been bobbing about on the global currents, beaming back data over time. The oceans are always mixing, so results are smoothed out instead of patchy like land records. Argo data and long-term records from research vessels reveal an unmistakable trend.

Dr Susan Wijffels
Over the last 50 years, that contrast has gone up quite markedly. So, for instance, the Atlantic Ocean is becoming saltier and saltier and saltier. And the Pacific is becoming fresher and fresher. Essentially translates to the fact that the wet areas have become wetter and the dry areas have become drier.

The big surprise is how fast the change is occurring. For every degree rise in air temperature, the water cycle is intensifying by percent. That's double the climate-model predictions.

Dr Susan Wijffels
The intensity of the storms are likely to go up, because the moisture in the atmosphere is actually the feeder energy stop that drives storms. And we expect droughts and floods to amplify as well.

And that's what's happening. These days, when it rains, it really pours. In January 2011, Toowoomba set a terrifying example of what can happen when too much water comes down too fast.

The house... We are moving!

The town experienced an inland tsunami as 100mm of rain fell in under an hour.

Dr Lisa Alexander
You get very intense rainfall events in a very short period of time, like you did in Toowoomba. The soil just can't absorb that much water. And then you do start getting these very large inland flooding events.

By studying over 8,000 rain gauges across the world, Australian scientists have confirmed that extreme rainfall events have also been intensifying. That means we're getting more water from a big storm than we would have 30 or 40 years ago. Around 7 percent more per degree rise in temperature.

Dr Lisa Alexander
It surprised us all, I have to say, that we got the answer we expected. So... Because usually, in science, you don't always end up with the answer you expect. So, to sort of see this coming out consistently in the data, was... was somewhat of a surprise.

Dr Susan Wijffels
We're already starting to detect and see big changes in the extreme events. And we've only really warmed the Earth by 0.8 of a degree. If we were to warm the Earth by 3 or 4 degrees, the changes in the hydrological cycle could be near 30 percent. I mean, that's just a huge change, and it's very hard for us to imagine.

Anja Taylor
Well, that explains heatwaves and floods, but it doesn't take a genius to work out that higher temperatures don't set the scene for blizzards. In marked contrast to a sweltering March last year, this year the US suffered through nailbiting cold. In fact, much of the Northern Hemisphere was buried under record-breaking snowfalls. How can global warming possibly explain that?

To understand how, you need to consider the basic drivers of climate. As the sun heats the Earth unevenly, it sets up temperature gradients on many different scales. These create the winds and currents that influence weather.

Dr Karl Braganza
All the ocean currents are driven by basically the temperature gradient between the Equator and the Pole, and it's the same in the atmosphere.

The atmospheric gradient between the Tropics and the Poles creates the major westerly winds called 'jet streams'. Wind rushes down a slope from a warm, puffed up atmosphere to a cold, compressed atmosphere.

Dr Jennifer Francis
The stronger that gradient, the stronger the force that that wind is being pulled by, if you will, and then, because the Earth is spinning, instead of flowing directly from the south to the north, it actually gets turned to the right by the spinning of the Earth.

These fast-moving wavy winds encircle the Northern and Southern Hemispheres and mark the divide between cold, polar air and warm, tropical air.

Dr Jennifer Francis
They swing north and then they swing south, and the weather that you experience is completely related to where you are relative to one of these waves.

But what happens when you mess with a temperature gradient? It's a hotly debated topic, and, right now, we're running an extraordinary real-world experiment by turning up the thermostat in the Arctic.

Dr Jennifer Francis
It's hard to get your mind around how fast the Arctic is changing. It's really mind-boggling - even to someone like me, who's been studying it for decades now.

The Arctic is warming faster than anywhere on Earth, largely to do with the feedback effect of melting sea ice. White, bright ice bounces the sun's rays back into space before they have a chance to warm the surface. But when a small rise in temperatures melts some of the ice, the dark ocean below is exposed. This absorbs almost all the sun's energy, and heats up, causing more ice to melt, leading to more warming and so on.

Dr Jennifer Francis
What we're seeing is the Arctic sea ice disappearing at just an amazing rate. This is the ice that's floating on top of the Arctic ocean. This past summer, it was half as big as it was only 30 years ago.

Research by Dr Jennifer Francis has shown that Arctic summers with a low sea ice extent leads to a gentler atmospheric gradient.

Dr Jennifer Francis
The force that's creating those winds in the jet stream is getting weaker as well.

Like fast-flowing mountain rivers meander when they slowly cross the coastal plain, Jennifer predicted a weaker, slower jet stream would display a much wavier pattern.

Dr Jennifer Francis
We were able to determine that, in fact, these waves are actually getting larger in the north-south direction, which we know through weather theory that those waves then tend to move more slowly from west to east.

And a lazy, meandering jet stream can have an extraordinary effect on weather.

Dr Jennifer Francis
A big dip south, for example, will allow that cold air from the Arctic to plunge farther south. And, conversely, if you have a big swing northward in one of what we call a 'ridge', then that allows the warm, tropical air to extend farther northward. So, in both of these cases, we tend to get more unusual weather patterns setting up.

That's exactly what happened when frigid Arctic weather plunged into Europe and south-eastern US this March, bringing record snowfalls and leading many to wonder what happened to global warming. The year before, the US was caught in a jet-stream upswing. Unprecedented heat smashed over 1,000 temperature records and set the scene for a staggering drought and massive agricultural losses. This decade the Northern Hemisphere has seen some catastrophic results from a highly deformed jet stream. While a big, stagnant high settled over Russia in 2010, cold air from Siberia plunged into Pakistan, colliding with warm, wet air from the Bay of Bengal. As Russian burned, Pakistan drowned under a deluge that lasted nearly two months.

Dr Jennifer Francis
As the jet stream takes on this wavier character, what this means is that the weather that you're experiencing in your location is going to stick around longer. It's going to feel like those weather conditions just won't give up and bring something else. It feels like it's stuck.

How jet streams are being affected by a warming Arctic is still highly unpredictable, with many other interactions affecting their speed and movement. But one thing's certain - we'd better get used to wacky weather.

Dr Karl Braganza
And we talk about climate change in the future of 1, 2, 3 degrees - that's actually hard to imagine.

Dr Jennifer Francis
It's going to be a difficult next few decades, I think.

Anja Taylor
When it comes to extreme weather, the connection is pretty clear. The warmer the world, the wilder it gets. And, with the speed that emissions still enter the atmosphere, we're right on track for an unrecognisable future.
, Others
• Reporter: Anja Taylor
• Producer: Anja Taylor
• Researcher: Anja Taylor
• Camera: Kevin May, Scott Ross, Jodi Silver, Anja Taylor, Dirk Frenkel
• Sound: Steve Ravich, Markus Graber, Allen Freeman, Dave Fraser
• Editor: Andrew Glover

Story Contacts
Dr Erich Fischer
Institute for Atmospheric and Climate Science, ETH
Dr Karl Braganza
Bureau of Meteorology
Dr Lisa Alexander
Climate Change Research Centre, UNSW
Dr Susan Wijffels
Marine and Atmospheric Research, CSIRO
Professor Jennifer Francis
Institute of Marine and Coastal Sciences, Rutgers University

Related Info

Dr Erich Fischer Heatwave Research
Heatwaves increasing
Water cycle intensifying
Rainfall extremes intensifying
Jet stream changes linked to sea ice
Evidence linking Arctic amplification to extreme weather in mid-latitudes – geophysical research letters
Deformed Jet stream linked to extreme Pakistan floods/Russia Fires
Frozen jet stream links Pakistan floods, Russian fires
Met office meeting about jet streams
Has global warming brought an early summer to the US?

More here.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Pesticides killing bees, killing off birds too!

The bee-harming pesticides are worse than we imagined. Research suggests that neonicotinoids aren’t just decimating bee colonies -- they’re hurting birds too. Researchers found that in areas with high concentrations of neonicotinoids, bird populations declined every year. This means our worst fears are coming true -- neonicotinoids may be moving up the food chain and killing our birds and our bees.

(This post is courtesy of SumofUs.org)

For the sake of the birds, the bees, and the whole food chain, we are challenging one of the biggest neonicotinoids producers of them all: Bayer. In two weeks, we’re going straight to Bayer’s door with our massive petition -- and we hope to have your name in our massive petition box. Please sign and share this vital petition here.

It's not just the bees anymore. Neonicotinoids are killing our birds too. It’s time to get Bayer to stop producing these chemicals.

We already knew that bees, insects, and small creatures that consume neonics are facing a decline in population. But the researchers are suggesting that Bayer’s neonicotinoids are even more harmful: Birds that eat food that consumed neonics are dying too.

The researchers searched extensively for any other outside cause that could account for the declines: urbanization, other environmental factors, land use changes. They couldn't find one. The only plausible explanation? Bee-harming neonicotinoids.

As expected, Bayer is trying to write off this scientific study. Why? Because for companies like Bayer, profits trump saving our food chain. By speaking up, we're changing the equation for these companies and making sure they protect the bees.

Here’s the scary part about all this: until more research is done, there's no way to tell how far up the food chain neonics can reach.

Thanks to all of us, we've convinced major American retailers Home Depot and Lowe's to stop stocking neonics. And we've pooled our resources to challenge Bayer's lawsuit against the EU for banning this chemical -- over a million of us have spoken out against the lawsuit. We've made a lot of progress together, but we're far from done.

We are going straight to their headquarters to deliver our message for Bayer to save the birds and the bees. Will you add your name to the petition?

More information:

Not just bees: Controversial pesticide linked to decline in birds, Wired, July 9, 2014
Neonicotinoids linked to recent fall in farmland bird numbers, The Guardian, July 9, 2014

Monday, July 20, 2015

Fabulous Cheetah Documentary (Complete)

Get a glimpse into the amazing life of the beautiful and extraordinary Cheetah. Duration: 48 minutes.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Cora's Pet Project: Healing South Africa, one animal at a time

A moving story about an amazing, courageous woman who works tirelessly to help animals, and people in need, in South Africa.

Cora Bailey ventures into some of South Africa’s most deprived townships to treat people’s animals, but she also has to confront the even more urgent needs of their owners.

“There’s hardly a day goes by when you don’t see some kind of suffering,” she tells Dateline's Amos Roberts. “Sometimes you see suffering that’s almost indescribable.”

In the tough townships where she works, people can’t afford animal care, but she just can’t say no to treating the ill, injured and abused animals that come her way.

Cora’s work started 25 years ago, after she became frustrated by the lack of concern for animal welfare in the townships.

“I had to raise the money myself and it was all at my own risk and there was a lot of negativity about it,” she says.

Now, her Community Led Animal Welfare (CLAW) clinic is backed by an animal charity.

But violence is still a daily reality that she’s witnessed firsthand – the area where she works has one of the highest murder rates in the province.

And that divide between rich and poor in modern South Africa angers her.

“Political freedom hasn’t put food on the table for everyone, political freedom hasn’t meant decent housing or sanitation,” she says.

“I can be in the townships for weeks on end, going daily and never see another white. Sometimes just a bus with tourists and they are all foreign and what a shame that is.”

“We South Africans aren’t a bad lot and I think a lot more people would do things if they got over their fear - you know people in this country fear each other.”

Story By Amos Roberts. Aired on Channel SBS One Tuesday, May 19, 2015 - 21:30 . You can view the video of this story - duration 25 minutes here. Definitely worth watching!

Beautiful footage of a mother whale and her calf

Goes to show, drones can be used for something positive. This video footage of a mama whale and her baby taken by a drone, is stunning.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Put an End to Killer Whale Shows at Seaworld!

Killer whales are beautiful and incredibly intelligent animals that deserve so much more. Whales in captivity are subjected to conditions that are not only unnatural but also cruel. They spend their day swimming around a concrete pool when whales in the wild often swim 100 miles a day. It is a known fact that animals in captivity used for performing are subject to depression, frustration, and lack of energy. Often times whales are seen floating at the surface for hours on end which would never happen in the open ocean. Though SeaWorld has denied it, there is footage describing how they have separated mothers and calves which sadly only adds to their whales' depression. Roughly 95% of killer whales in captivity experience collapsed dorsal fins while this only occurs in 1% of orcas in the wild.
Orcas have highly developed brains which allows them to have strong family bonds and heightened emotions. Captivity deprives them of so much and their quality of life is at an extreme low which too often results in aggression.
These are just a few reasons why I strongly urge you to help me give killer whales the life and freedom that they so greatly deserve.

Update #1 May 28, 2015
SeaWorld is continuing their efforts to increase ticket sales and so far they have been successful. After the release of Blackfish, attendance declined as audiences realized that keeping whales in captivity for entertainment is wrong. However with their new commercial drawing people back in, now is the time to act and put a stop to this.

Petition Author: Jenna Riddensdale

Please sign and share this petition.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Retire kidnapped Dolphins and Sea Lions to a sanctuary!

Thank you to Joseph Knight for this crucial animal welfare petition. "Dolphins who were swimming hundreds of miles a day, are now confined to tiny tanks at Parc Astérix Theme Park. Sea Lions who migrated hundreds of miles a year are living their entire lives in a pool almost the size of a plunge pool. With noisy rides close by and music blaring out of speakers, this is no environment for some of the most intelligent species on the planet to live. These animals have now sadly been torn from their natural environment, so it is impossible for them to survive in the open sea. So the only escape from this prison, is to a sea sanctuary.

These dolphins and sea lions are often trained using food deprivation, so their only motive to perform tricks is to receive food. I saw many dolphins who refused to perform being denied food by the trainers.

Three weeks ago I had seen dolphins and sea lions in the wild. The wild Dolphins were clearly engaged, jumping and swimming as a group. These dolphins however looked depressed and swam separately. The wild sea lions were socially interacting and almost constantly calling. These sea lions only called under their trainers instructions and I didn't see them socialise once.

It is obvious that these kidnapped animals are extremely unhappy here, so please join me in calling on Parc Astérix to retire the dolphins and sea lions to a sea sanctuary.

Thank you for your support,


To sign and share petition, please click on this link.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Wonderful documentary "The Emperor Elephant & the Butterfly Tree"

Refreshing, sometimes amusing, BBC documentary on elephants and the diverse and extensive ecosystem in Botswana.

BBC Documentary on Chimpanzees

It is disturbing to see these amazing, intelligent animals, stolen from their natural world and families, to become objects of research. All scientists curious about these animals, should they take a leaf out of Jane Goodall's "book" and observe chimpanzees living the way nature intended.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Guest Blog Post - "Writing From Within" by Dr Bob Rich

Writing from within

Here are two ways of writing about a person:

Outside view
Horrified, Geordie watched the rope snake past him, down, down… until the weight of it tugged on his harness. He looked like a tiny spider hanging onto the cliff face. His fingers were like the claws of an anchor as they desperately grasped tiny crevices in the rock. Beads of sweat were visible on his brow, and his legs trembled.

Inside view
Horrified, Geordie watched the rope snake past him, down, down… until the weight of it tugged on his harness. He felt like a tiny spider hanging onto the cliff face. His fingers were so rigid they hurt as he desperately grasped tiny crevices in the rock. Sweating, trembling with tension, he asked himself, Why did that rope come loose?

What’s the difference?

The first version is clearly from the point of view (POV) of someone watching Geordie. The only indication of his inner reality is the first word. The rest is a description of what he looks like.

The second version is what Geordie experiences. Here, you are invited into his reality, to BE the person on the rock face with the rope now tugging him down instead of holding him up.

Does it matter?

As you read a story in the outside view, you are continuously given subliminal messages that this is only a story, something someone is telling you. You are given information to allow you to see the character from the outside, as in a movie or play.

In the inside view, you are given the tools to go far beyond that. A book in words can be very much more compelling than a movie, because the potential is there for receiving information that camera and microphone cannot capture: bodily sensations, smells, tastes, thoughts, emotions.

In fiction writing, the author’s job is to specify a reality, a cast of characters, and a progression of events. The reader needs to be supplied with enough information to imagine that all this is real. Ideally, the writer is the director. The reader is the audience, but also the character whose point of view is currently being used, and the creator of the reality of the story. That’s right. The author doesn’t do the act of creation. The reader does. This is why no two readers ever receive the same story. This is why seeing a movie of a book you enjoyed is almost invariably disappointing — someone else has done the creating, and will have done it differently from your version.

Reading something written in the inside view allows you to live the experience of the story.

Is there a place for the outside view?

Yes, it has two uses.

First, the journalist, the historian, the biographer necessarily tell their story from the author’s POV. Reporters cannot read minds, so can only state their own thoughts, insofar as these are relevant. For the rest, they need to state the words and actions of the people they write about.

Second, in any scene, there will be the person whose POV we are using, for example Geordie in the snippet I started with. While that person should be presented from the inside view, any other people cannot. Geordie can’t read minds either. When he looks up and sees Sam looking down with an evil leer and waving a knife, he doesn’t know Sam’s thoughts, bodily sensations, emotions, motives. He automatically deduces some of them from Sam’s words and actions. In this, he may be right, or completely mistaken.

So, if we make Sam the current witness, then the outside view example is just right — as long as we delete the first word. Sam cannot tell that Geordie is horrified, although he may hope so.

A good author will deliberately use inside view for the witness to the scene, whose POV we are in, and outside view for all other people. I hope you’ll now be aware of this in your reading, and more important, in your writing.

This is from my newsletter, Bobbing Around. The specific link is https://bobrich18.wordpress.com/2014/10/02/bobbing-around-volume-14-number-5/#within

Dr Bob Rich is an Australian storyteller with 15 published books, 5 of them award-winners, and a freelance editor. However, his most important activity is as a professional grandfather. You can check out what this means at https://bobrich18.wordpress.com

Thursday, March 19, 2015

BBC documentary - Elephants Without Borders (48 minutes duration)

BBC Natural World Full Documentary on the majestic, intelligent and social elephant.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Check out IFAW's free animal magazine...

International Fund for Animal Welfare does an amazing job helping animals all over the globe! Read IFAW's World of Animals magazine to get the heads up on koalas, elephants, bears, whales, pets and more, includes beautiful animal photography here.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Guest Post - "Freedom Is For The Birds" by Author, JM Sutherland

Great Mystery Publishing - Publisher's Note: We have been informed that $1 from every sale of "Freedom Is For The Birds" will be donated to wildlife facilities to help with the medical expenses and food for injured and orphaned wildlife.


The main reason behind writing this work of animal fiction was the empathy I felt about the injustices inflicted upon animals. The opening of the book about the hawks losing their nesting site and territory is absolutely true. I witnessed it and felt powerless and angry, but nowhere near as much as I imagined the hawks felt, when they showed up from their migration north.

Also, in all the news stories I have heard from around the world, I found a few constant themes.
1) Animals have needs, answers and voices that humans refuse to acknowledge.

2) There is a constant de-evolution happening to humans as a species, when we think that abusing and torturing animals is fun, entertaining, and profitable, and we do nothing to stop it.

3) Humans are not thinking about the “big picture” or the state the world is in, when we constantly destroy habitat and species that are vital to all of the ecosystems around the world.

4) There are so many examples of animals that cross-species bond to comfort and help each other in times of need. While humans have rapists, serial killers, racism, genocide, terrorism, and war, and prove we do not even like our own species let alone any others on the planet.

After witnessing and hearing about so much needless tragedy, I actually started dreaming the story and could not stop dreaming about it for years, until I started writing it. I felt compelled to write a book to give the animals of the world a voice, while also somehow giving humanity a much needed lesson in morals, manners and compassion. Little by little the story evolved, and little by little pieces of the dream disappeared.

Every year non-profit, wildlife facilities are taking on more and more cases as the number of human and animal encounters constantly increases, and always to the detriment of the animal. These facilities are not government funded, and wild animals do not come with bank accounts or medical insurance. I am donating a portion of the proceeds to help these essential wildlife facilities, because their services are ever-increasingly in demand and they rely solely on donated money to operate.

It is a book of animal fiction, but in the world today, there are too many real examples of humans’ hate towards animals. I use the word hate, because everything we are jealous of or afraid of we hate, and anything we hate we destroy. Irrefutable examples of this in today’s society are: constant rhino, elephant, tiger, and pangolin poaching to the point of extinction; animals like Arturo the polar bear, Nosey the elephant, Tilikum and Lolita the killer whales, and all of the animals in zoos, aquariums, circuses and roadside attractions, who suffer needlessly in man-made environments; the atrocious dolphin slaughter in Taiji, Japan that is happening right now; the Yulin dog meat festival in China that inhumanly slaughters thousands of dogs every year; all fur farms and leather manufacturers where the animals suffer because they are skinned alive; all animals that are tortured for experiments and research; the unnecessary torture of birds for the production of foiegras; and etc, etc, etc. The list is endless and every example is an animal forced, against its will, to endure torture which humans would find so cruel they would outlaw it if it occurred to any human. It is this ridiculous and insane belief that animals are not sentient beings and do not matter at all, which drives the unethical treatment of all animals around the world.

JM Sutherland

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Author - J.M. Sutherland

Friday, February 13, 2015

Elephants will become extinct if we not not make ALL IVORY TRADE illegal. (video)

If the massacre of elephants for ivory continues at its current rate, elephants will become extinct within 10 years! To save elephants from complete annihilation, we need to make the ivory trade illegal again, and quickly! Please help to protect elephants by speaking out for elephants, signing petitions, and making this message heard until world leaders listen and act! Worldwide Footage International March FOR ELEPHANTS

Pig Farm Documentary (14.54 minute video)

The following information is from the person who created and originally uploaded this video to youtube. "We shot this documentary during our final semester in Han Chiang College. The pig farm is located in Gertak Sanggul, Penang. It is a big challenge for us to shoot such documentary due to the smell and etc. By shooting this documentary, we had gone through all the process especially the cruelty one especially when they are going to be sold off."

"Pigs are an intelligent creature, they know what is going on, they know everything, they able to recognise your face. However, we would like to thank everyone who appreciate our effort."

If you feel this horrific treatment of intelligent, sensitive creatures is abhorrent, you can help by sharing this information and giving up eating animals - there are many delicious and healthy meals that do not depend on barbaric animal treatment and slaughter.

The Emotional World of Farm Animals documentary (52 minute video)

This delightful documentary is suitable for all ages, and reveals the amazing, sensitive side of farm animals. Jefferey Masson, author of When Elephants Weep and Dogs Never Lie About Love, leads viewers through the personal journey he underwent while writing his latest book, The Pig Who Sang to The Moon.

Hilarious Simon's Cat Episode: The Box (video)

Simon's Cat is a favourite with most animal lovers, particularly those who understand the fun and crazy antics of cats. If you feel like a laugh, this Simon's Cat episode will certainly bring a smile to your face.

How reintroducing wolves helped save a famous park (video)

Wolves had been absent from Yellowstone National Park for more than 70 years when they were reintroduced in the 1990s -- and their return had some surprising benefits. Wolves were once the top predator in America's world-famous Yellowstone National Park. But the population was eradicated in the 1920s, leaving the wilderness wolf-free for seven decades. - Science & Environment Animal Ecology Nature Sustainability

Monday, January 12, 2015

Journey Through the Orion Nebula - Hubble Space Video

Take an amazing journey through the Orion Nebula with Hubble. Just another example of how beautiful and wondrous our universe truly is!

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Why is Canada trading endangered animals?!

Help ban international trade of endangered species! Please sign and share the attached petition.

Canada stands alone in failing to adopt international resolutions to protect endangered species. In fact, Canada decided not to block the international trade of 76 endangered plant and animals at last year's meeting of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES).

During last year's CITES meeting, members from 180 countries voted to extend protections to endangered species, including soft-shelled turtles and tropical hardwoods. Yet, Canada chose to opt out of all but one of the motions that upgraded these important protections.

Canada's government filed "reservations" against the new resolutions, meaning that while it will consider changing the laws, trade in these endangered species will continue as normal.

There is no excuse or good reason for delaying these changes to protect vulnerable plants and animals. The Canadian government needs to hear from us now – sign the petition urging the government to immediately ban the international trade of endangered species.