Science

Nature Hates Boating, and You Should, Too

In the U.S. alone, there are more than 12.5 million boats. From small fishing boats on inland lakes and rivers to giant cruise ships and yachts sailing the high seas, Americans love their boats. After all, a day on the water, with the wind in your hair and the sun on your face is an enjoyable pastime.

Unfortunately, it isn't great for the environment. Every time we take a boat out on to the water, it contributes to environmental harm.

It might not seem like it at the time, but putting modern boats into the water has an incremental effect on the environment - and over time, those tiny impacts can add up to big damage. In fact, once you realize what kind of damage your boat is doing, there's a good chance you'll want to donate your boat to a charity and take up a less damaging hobby.

Coastal Erosion and Other Damage

Whenever you use your boat, you create a wake - and in many coastal, river, and estuary environments, wake waves are a major contributor to shoreline erosion. This is most common in areas where the waters don't see much wave action and tend to be calmer and more tranquil, such as remote rivers and lakes. Wakes aren't as much of a contributor to erosion in many coastal areas where there is significant wave activity or regular flooding, but if you are boating through quiet waters, over time the waves created by your vessel can do a great deal of damage to the shore.

In addition to coastal erosion, boats can disturb and damage other delicate ecosystems in the water. Boats anchors, for instance, are a leading cause of damage to coral reefs. You might think that it's only larger cruise ships and freighters that are causing damage, but smaller boats anchoring on reefs are also a problem. Not only are the reefs themselves damaged, in some cases, irreparably, but anchoring on reefs and in other shallow areas can upset the balance in sea grasses and other habitats for aquatic species.

Pollution

Pollution is another significant environmental concern when it comes to boating. Not only are there the obvious concerns about harmful chemicals, including gas and oil, entering waterways, but many boats also leach small amounts of other toxic chemicals into the water, such as zinc and mercury, which can have a detrimental effect on water quality.

For example, many boat owners treat their vessels with antifouling to prevent barnacles, mussels, and other sea life from attaching to the bottom of the boat and causing friction, which reduces fuel efficiency. Although the regulations regarding the content of antifouling agents have been significantly tightened over the years, the newer agents are also harmful. Not only do they kill living organisms on the vessel, but they also leach into the ecosystem, causing harm to wildlife.

Boating can have a significant impact on water quality in other ways, as well. Waterways that have a lot of boat traffic have higher levels of sediment and algae growth due to the constant churning of the water. These higher levels limit the amount of sunlight and oxygen in the water, inhibiting the growth of healthy organisms and changing wildlife habitats.

Wildlife Impacts

Boating can have other serious effects on wildlife beyond disturbing habitats. Chemicals in the water from boats can seriously harm or kill delicate species. Some animals have even seen their numbers decline significantly as a direct result of boats. Manatees, for example, have seen their numbers drop precipitously since boaters have taken over the shallow waters they call home. Many manatees have met their deaths due to run-ins with propellers, despite regulations calling for caution.

Boaters have also been known to change wildlife behaviors. In areas where boating is common and humans interact with wildlife (such as coral reefs were individuals feed animals to draw them closer) many fish have changed their behaviors, often becoming more aggressive. That is, if the fish even stick around; in some high traffic areas, the native species of wildlife have all but disappeared.

Boating is undoubtedly enjoyable, but it's also important to consider the long-term impacts of the activity. Changes to water quality can affect our ability to access clean drinking water, and the risks to wildlife can't be overstated. It's still possible to enjoy the great outdoors, but perhaps it's best to choose less harmful activities.

Nature

Are You Brave Enough For The World's Highest Cliff Jump?

This is an intense, undie staining, adrenaline stimulation activity achieved by launching yourself from a cliff, 109m over the famous Shotover River.

The uniquely designed system allows you to swing 200m with a 60m vertical freefall down a steep rocky cliff face. Throw their amazing staff into the mix and you've got the experience of a lifetime.

Science

Total Solar Eclipse: Prepare Yourself For The “Big One” In 2017

The year has only just begun and yet people across the world are already gearing up for the biggest astronomical event to take place in North America in almost forty years.

On Monday, August 21, 2017 a total solar eclipse will sweep across the United States, darkening skies from the West coast all the way to the East coast.

Sky watchers, sun chasers, moon gazers, astronomers, and just about everyone else will turn their attention to the cosmos and get a chance to witness this rare and spectacular celestial event!

The 2017 eclipse is already being called the "Great American Total Solar Eclipse" and many people are extremely excited for this one, some have even been waiting decades to see it.

If you want to get the most out of the mid-August eclipse, you'll need to plan ahead first and know all about what to expect from the experience.

During a total solar eclipse the moon appears to completely and totally cover the sun. With the sunlight blocked out, it's prevented from reaching Earth, day suddenly turns into night and darkness falls upon parts of the planet.

This occurs when the moon passes between the sun and Earth and like all solar eclipses, it must happen during a new moon. Furthermore, the alignment of the sun, moon, and Earth all must enter into syzergy, meaning they are in conjunction and aligned both straight and evenly.

Because the moon's orbit is slightly tilted and elliptical, rather than circular and on an even orbital plane to that of the Earth, its shadow at new moon almost always misses Earth.

However, when syzergy occurs and the new moon is at a place in its orbit where it's close enough to appear just as large as the sun is, a total solar eclipse can occur.

Yet even still, in order to view it here on Earth, a person needs to be at a location in what is called the path of totality. That is the area where the moon's shadow tracks along on the Earth's surface below as it sweeps across the sun. It's also where viewing is the best and darkest because the sun is totally blocked out by the moon!

For this upcoming great American total solar eclipse the path of totality happens to pass beautifully across a number of states in a narrow arc which will be approximately 75 miles wide.

It starts up on the Pacific Northwest coast of Oregon and travels over and down on a southeasterly bend crossing over parts of Idaho, Wyoming, Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, North Carolina, and Georgia, before ending in South Carolina.

According to Space.com skywatching columnist Joe Rao, approximately 12 million people live in the narrow path of totality and a further 220 million live within a one day drive of it.

Those who are lucky enough to experience the eclipse in the path of totality will have anywhere between a few seconds and 2 minutes and 44 seconds of it, which is the longest period of totality according to data provided by the US Naval Observatory on their official eclipse page. In case you're wondering, the exact spot with the greatest duration is located somewhere within the Shawnee National Forest in Southern Illinois.

Of course, all views of the eclipse hinge on two important factors, one being the weather and two being eye protection. Proper eye wear is essential and critical for anyone who plans on looking up at the eclipse.

You should only do so with special solar viewing glasses on at all times which allow you to safety look at the eclipse. Sunglasses, even layering several pairs of them, will not provide adequate protection and don't even think about using binoculars!

We all know the general rule of thumb which is to never stare at the sun, but during solar eclipses extra special care needs to be taken. Because the sun is partly covered by the moon, people find it easy to look and stare at.

They feel the need to blink less and their pupils are also less likely to contract instinctively, like how they otherwise would do on a normal bright day. Instead they may even dilate, allowing infra red light waves into the eyes, which can seriously burn the retina and even fry it.

We've all heard the warnings and horror stories about how someone went blind during a solar eclipse and while it may seem far fetched or exaggerated, the risk is real.

Gazing directly at the sun's photosphere, the bright disc, for any amount of time can and will result in damage to our fragile eyes. So please invest in a pair of specially designed eclipse glasses that filter the sun and can easily be found online for cheap.

These should be worn for the entire duration of the eclipse, especially for the vast majority of us who are not in the path of totality and who will instead experience a partial solar eclipse. The only real safe time to look directly at the sun without protection is during the fleeting window of totality when it's completely covered by the moon.

Now that you know more about the August 2017 solar eclipse you can mark your calendar and have something really neat and astronomically cool to look forward to!

This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to experience first hand but if you want to view it in the path of totality, plan accordingly because hundreds of thousands of other people are doing exactly that. In the end, it all comes down to being in the right place at the right time. Be prepared, plan ahead, and be sure to check out the helpful eclipse maps to find out more specific details.

Credit: Sun Gazing

Animals

Hairless Hamster Gets A Tiny Sweater To Keep Her Warm

When Silky's family decided to move, they were unfortunately unable to bring her with them to their new home. She was brought to the Oregon Humane Society in Portland, Oregon, where staffers immediately fell in love with the unique little hamster.

Silky is a little different — because she has no hair.

"Silky is hairless due to a genetic mutation," Diana Gabaldon of the Oregon Humane Society told The Dodo. "While she isn't fluffy like a normal hamster, she is just as cuddly and playful as any other hamster. She does need to be kept in a heated environment, especially during the winter, and have a higher protein diet to keep her warm."

Due to her lack of hair, Silky definitely has a tendency to get cold easily. When animal care technician Selene Mejia saw Silky huddled in the corner of her cage, she felt bad for the little hamster, and decided she had to do something about it.

Credit: The Dodo

Animals

This Couple Thought They Adopted A Mini-Pig, But It Grew Up Into 670 Pounds Of Cuteness

Life can sometimes give you a blessing in disguise! When Steve Jenkins and Derek Walter in Canada adopted Esther the pig, they thought she was a pygmy piglet.

Two years and 667 lbs later, their "tiny piglet" turned out to be a full-size commercial pig, but the love and friendship that they experienced from Esther had already changed their lives for the better.

When they realized how intelligent and friendly Esther was (pigs are as smart as dogs, and considered by many to be cleaner animals), they couldn't stomach the idea that they were eating other pigs that were just as smart and friendly, so they became vegans.

They were so deeply affected by their life with Esther, in fact, that they were inspired to devote their loves to building an animal shelter.

Credit: Bored Panda

Science

Giant Rare Super Moon In Gemini: Get Ready For A Huge Energy Shift On December 14, 2016

You are going to want to make sure that you're more than ready for this next major shift.

As Gemini sets itself in the constellation of Gemini, this is a time where we must find all of our imbalances and figure out a way as to where we can make ourselves whole again.

The energy from this major shift is going to compel you to find all of the cracks or crevices within yourself that need the most improvement.

This major shift will grant you the necessary wisdom to move forward from past mistakes that you would otherwise dwell on. Consider this to be a sort of detox of all the negative emotions that you've been feeling for the past however long.

Something else that you might want to consider with this full moon is meditation. Meditating will give you the clairvoyance you need to see all of the things that you want to change about yourself.

Perhaps you already know about the things that need improving, you just have been avoiding them for a while now because you know it's going to take a lot of time and effort in order to balance those things about yourself.

This is why it's a good thing to allow yourself to meditate so that you know deep down what it is you desire most out of happiness. There is only one answer and there isn't going to be anyone else to give you that answer.

Science

You Are About To Witness a Record Breaking Supermoon – The Biggest of The Century

Like the Hunter's Supermoon of October, the Beaver Supermoon receives its name from the old world practice of hunting and trapping animals for food.

In particular, the beaver was an important resource animal for pre-industrial society because of their thick, warm pelts. The full moon is named in honor of what the noble beaver has to offer.

It also coincides with a period of time in which beavers are preparing themselves for the winter, indicating that we humans need to be doing the same.

During this time, they reinforce their dams, stockpile food, and prepare to ride out the cold months ahead.

This year's Beaver moon is actually a Supermoon. "Supermoon" isn't exactly a scientific term, but more a visual description coined by Richard Nolle in 1979.

The scientific term is "perigree-syzygy," meaning the moon is at its closest to the Earth during its monthly orbit.

Science

Rare Hunter's Supermoon In Aries Will Light Up The Sky This Weekend. THIS Is What It Means For You!

This weekend, star gazers and lunar enthusiasts alike will be treated to the sight of a rare Hunter's Supermoon.

Best seen Saturday and Sunday night, this supermoon will dazzle with a orange red hue, and it will appear larger and brighter than a normal moon.

The Hunter's moon arrives almost always in the month of October around the autumn equinox.

Its brightness comes from the fact that it's at its closest point in its orbit to the Earth and it appears closer to the horizon, making it appear larger and brighter.

The Hunter's moon gets its hue from the atmosphere.

Being near the horizon, the atmosphere is thicker between you and the moon, thus causing different shades of orange and red to discolor the moon.

Science

Prepare For A Huge Energy Shift On September 30, 2016 – Rare Black Moon Rising In Scorpio

What's so special about a black moon? Well, black moons are very similar to blue moons as well as being the exact opposite. Black moons only appear if there are two new moons in the same month.

Since we already had a new moon on the first of September, this next new moon that is suppose to rise in Scorpio on September 30th is considered to be a black moon since it is the second new moon of the month.

Blue moons only ever occur whenever you have two full moons in the same month, meaning that the second full moon would be considered the blue moon.

So, what can you do in order to prepare yourself for this astronomical event?

Uplifting

Add Living Art To Your Walls With These Circular Framed Planters

Traditionally, when you put plants in your home, they're potted in soil and set in a place where they'll look nice. They get a good amount of sunlight, and aren't in the way of anything.

As you can imagine, some plants are absolutely massive, making it hard to find room for them. Others are tiny and only take up a bit of space, but still get in the way from time to time.

But what if you could put plants on your walls? Not hanging from your ceiling, but actually set on the sides of the walls of your home? Kim Fisher, floral designer and avid gardener, has given us a way to do just that.

Her creation? Vertical planters that create lovely ornaments for your walls instead of your tables, window sills, and floor space.

Fisher's use of minimal aluminum framing means more attention on the plant life inside, rather than the bulky pots that they usually call home.

The foundation in each planter is made up of rocks and moss instead of dirt. Each planter is about 22 inches across and incredibly lightweight.

These beautiful, easy-to-hang planters can be purchased at Fisher's Etsy shop. And each planter you order comes with two plants included, so you're already one step ahead of the game.

What do you think of these unique planters?

Science

In Canada, Animals Are Now Considered "Sentient Beings" And NOT Property

Animal abuse found in Quebec is starting to dwindle with their new bill, issued in 2015, stating that animals are now to be considered as "sentient beings" opposed to being labeled as property.

As people would know that the Canadian province of Quebec has been boasted as the sanctuary of puppy mills. The new bill states:

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Uplifting

7 Photos That Will Brighten Your Day & Restore Your Faith In Humanity

Everyday adversities get to us every now and then. It's okay to admit defeat, be vulnerable, and even expose a little bit of those sensitive feelings from time to time.

However, we have something that is going to reverse those sensitive feelings all together!

Even though there are a variety of things in this world that would love to see you cry, we like to combat those things with these amazing events that are happening all over the world as we speak!

Unemployed But Have An Interview?

No problem at all! This dry cleaning business has got your back as well as your suit. If you have little to no money to spare for a quick dry clean for a job that you really need, then stop on by to get your brand spanking new business suit!

No charge, no questions, and everyone is ready to make you an employed person once more!

The Amazing 100-Year-Old Maker Of Dresses

That's right, Lillian Weber who is the age of 100 has been making one dress per day for young girls who are in dire need of some clothes.

She has made over 1,000 dresses so far and plans to keep making many more! That's pretty freaking amazing.

With Love, Not War

At a protest in Romania, this little one offers the police a heart-shaped balloon as a symbol of peace.

We need more brave heroes like this little friend. It's important to remember that love surely does conquer all in the end.

Prosthetics For Elephants

This elephant lost it's entire leg from stepping on a land mine. Fast forward a little further into the future, this elephant has a brand new leg and foot all together!

It will still take some time for this elephant to get use to the changes but at least there was a solution to this horrible problem.

Seagull Down!

An injured seagull had little to no energy at all to fly anywhere. Luckily, this rollerblader that was passing by saw the struggling bird and decided to give it a very much deserved drink from the water fountain.

I would like to think that anyone would do this for an injured animal they were just so happened to be rollerblading by. What a nice guy!

Save The Lamb!

These guys saw a lamb that was trapped deep in the raging rapids of a river and immediately became the rescue team that lamb so desperately needed.

Putting themselves into the dangerous rapids and hoisting the lamb out from certain doom just in time. I am really happy to know these guys are out there saving helpless wildlife!

Your Local Free Libraries

Free libraries can be found all over a local community. Essentially what this is is a place where people can browse used books, see if they like it and take it, or leave a book that they no longer need but want others to enjoy as well.

It's a really amazing thing when people are so willing to freely share their knowledge and joy in a place such as a free library!

See? Not everything is so bad in the world. In fact, there are a variety of amazing people on this planet who only want to see good things happening everyday. The best part is is that you can be join in too!

Nature

These Gorgeous Green Roofed Homes From Scandinavia are Straight Out of a Fairytale

These stunning homes located in Scandinavia are a huge hit because of how effective their green roofs act as a big part of nature as well as shelter for people to live in.

Even though they are amazing to look at, these homes are ideal for their ability to reduce heating costs during the cold winter months and can keep homes cooler on extremely hot days in the summer. Their sound proofing of almost all outside noises is amazing and the home can maintain a roof's lifespan up to sixty years. Finally, it has the capability to reduce the crucial impact of all carbon monoxide in the atmosphere.

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Nature

This Inside Of This Psychedelic Tiny House Is Out Of This World

Some of the tiny homes that you see today are some of the most elaborately designed homesteads that anyone could ever dream about living in.

This one in particular is probably one of the most stunning, gorgeous, and simply amazing pieces of work that we have ever seen. Essentially what is not happening with this trending lifestyle is the architecture that is being created in the same flow that is nature.

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Science

Giant Whales Found Dead In Germany. You Won't Believe What Killed Them

As of January 29th, just on the shores around the North Sea, sperm whales were found stranded in the shallow area that is not meant for marine wildlife.

However, the details of the animals' necropsy that was released shows a very gruesome truth as to how the whales dyed to begin with. Scientists were very concerned and deeply disturbed as to what they found inside the unfortunate whales.

The press release that was given from Wadden Sea National Park located in Schleswig-Holstein, shows that many of the stranded whales stomachs were actually filled to the brim with plastic debris, which includes a 70 cm piece of plastic known to be apart of a car, a 13-meter-long fishing net, and a variety of other plastic debris that was found as well.

Clearly, with this much debris in a whales stomach, there is no possible way for them to digest and get the nutrition necessary in order to survive. Having a full stomach and dying of starvation is one of the cruelest ways any marine animal could perish.

Nature

This Is What Will Happen To Your Body If You Eat 2 Ripe Bananas Every Day

A favorite snack or addition to any meal, bananas are so much more than a healthy way to treat a sweet tooth. Packed with vitamins and minerals, this naturally wrapped fruit packs a fantastic boost to your health!

Like any regimen, how much you eat, how often and for how long determine the effects. The benefits you see below are attainable after thirty days of eating at least two whole bananas each day.

After you see what a difference such a simple and tasty difference this simple change can make, the monthly price of about five to ten dollars will seem a bargain!

Uplifting

Tiny Worlds Hidden Within Wooden Rings By Secret Wood

Gaze upon the unique, hand featured, tiny world tucked away on these superb rings. No two are alike each one has distinctive nuances and minute differences, they couldn't make them identical if they wanted!

These intricately designed rings are made in Canada by Secret Wood. There are a wide variety of different worlds, each one bursting with detail and intrigue.

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Spirituality

Have You Been Seeing Crows Everywhere You Go? THIS Is What It Means!

Crows are international symbols of mystery, death, magic and intrigue. They have earned a place in fiction as mostly negative elements, but traditionally they have a more dynamic and varied presence.

Crows can travel to different dimensions like the dream realm, the land of the dead, home of gods, hells and heavens with ease. They frequently carry messages to and fro the world's.

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Nature

How Good Is Your Vision? Only 10% Of Adults Can Spot These Animals In Their Natural Habitats

As adults we pride ourselves on having the fullest use of our senses. Through years of trial and error we have learned how to see what may not be obvious to a child. In each of the photographs below there are 'hidden' images of animals in the wild.

While only one in every ten adults will see the camouflaged animals, two in every five children were able to spot them. Take a glance and take your time!