Gannets are the bird world’s Olympians, capable of plunging a hundred feet through the air, then slicing through the ocean to chase down fish.BY DAVID GESSNERPublished: July-August 2014
The wind blows a low glinting light over the white chop of the sea, spouts of water kicking straight up in the air. Hundreds of Northern Gannets, with six-foot wingspans, gather above the frothy ocean before tucking in their wings and dropping from the sky, hitting the water like white arrows. The birds cloud the air, dozens diving each second as if pulled from above toward some invisible vortex on the seafloor. It’s amazing they don’t collide with one another. Once they hit the water they don’t stop; they tunnel below it like a cormorant or loon, chasing down fish. These pursuits can last from five to seven seconds, occasionally more than 10, and take the birds down as far as 70 feet. The gannet’s plunge is almost three dives in one: the dive from the air, the slice into the water, and then the third dive, when they turn submariner.
Northern Gannets breed only in a few large colonies on rock cliffs, in fewer than 40 places in the world. They range across Quebec, Newfoundland, and the Gulf of St. Lawrence in North America, and from Brittany north to Norway in Europe. Their homes are remote, storm-tossed, and, at times, almost vertical, some nests held to the cliffs only by the bird’s own dung. You could build a poem just from the names of these great craggy rocks on both sides of the Atlantic: Bass Rock, Gullcliff, Bird Rock, Little Skellig, Sula Sgeir, Ailsa Craig. The largest of the single-island colonies, Bass Rock, holds more than 50,000 nests, and while there is something wild and singular about a gannet’s dive, the bird’s life, both in the air and on the ground, is a crowded one. We humans, upon seeing gannets plummet, usually reach for a metaphor and come up with words like “arrows,” “knives,” even “lawn darts.” But the similes are more consistent upon seeing their rocky homes: Almost everyone comes away from the experience saying that it looks as if the rocks were covered with snow.
To breed among thousands of neighbors is tricky, and violence can break out at any moment, particularly between males, with sword-like bills stabbing. But what may at first look like a great blob of birds is actually ordered by an elaborate system of spacing and ritual, including courteous bows and not-so-courteous bites, and beautiful gestures like “sky-pointing,” when a gannet points its bill upward to indicate its imminent departure to its mate. It turns out that even gannets need their space, and if you measure the distance between nests, you will find exactly two for every 10 square feet.
There is nothing more difficult than waiting. This father carried his son to Al. Aqsa Hospital in Gaza after he was hit in the bombing of his house. He waits the fate of his son if he is still alive or not !!
LTMC: Does anyone really wonder why so many Palestinians resent the Israeli government after Israeli bombs cover them in the blood of their own children? This man could easily have been staunchly anti-Hamas before his son was wounded by an Israeli bomb. Now, it’s quite possible that he views rocket attacks as morally permissible in light of what he’s suffered. This kind of collateral damage is the most effective recruitment tool the militant wing of Hamas could have ever devised.
Not a fan of the whole “Real men don’t <abusive activity>.” These are real men who do it. They are real. They are very much real and if you look at data on sexual harassment, trafficking, domestic abuse, etc you’ll see that these very much real men are very much enacting real male violence on…
While many may consider the increasing involvement of Muslims in the corridors of US empire to be a positive development for American Islam, especially in terms of the role they may play in changing US policies towards Muslim communities at home and abroad, the ways in which this is occurring…
Let’s talk about this quote for a second.
I remember I attended a college lecture about what feminism means in America and how imperial politics and economic gaps between the West and East render what women want and consider pivotal to their feminism as conflicting and even antagonistic to each other.
My feminism, first and foremost, will always be anti-imperialism.
Imperial politics are dangerous and the very essence of narcissism. Imperial politics demonstrated within a feminist frame usually goes as follows: the most privileged women, ie. those who have access to technology, representation, occupy a particular media-friendly image or ideology and have access to those in higher slots in society are allotted platforms to speak about their experiences as women and without question, this gets presumptuously labelled “women’s experiences”. Being that women who are globally bestowed the highest tier are usually allowed such room to speak, their minimal struggles are then homogenized as the quintessential female experience and misogyny is wholeheartedly announced a tangible issue that can be easily eradicated out of modern Western society.
Its no accident that women of color, women in occupied regions and those who face mass political or economic repression and their words which don’t satisfy neoliberal, imperialist gaze are deemed anti-progressive, race baiters, backwards, terrorist apologists, etc. Our complex, multi-faceted struggles within a white supremacist empire tap into too many accepted status quos for the average American moderate. It forces those who legitimize the war on terror and view racism as an entity of the past to confront their own unsightly prejudices and the systematic brutality their nations enacts on various global societies, as well as within its borders. Its easier to find (and fabricate) any reason to demonize the likes of Trayvon Martin and his family for his own tragic demise or deem young Yemeni children necessary collateral damage for “the greater good” than to examine what other oppressions beyond misogyny exist that unquestionably burden the lives of otherized communities, including and especially the women in said communities.
Power feminism expects women to unanimously rejoice in the presidential election of Hillary Clinton, while her administration carries out the same murderous policies as her predecessors. Power feminism labels any legitimate criticism of influential women as inherent egregious misogyny. Power feminism devalues the loss of women’s lives abroad, while infantizling their independent resistance and stripping their agency by shamelessly declaring intervention as saving them. Power feminism within an imperialistic frame needs the hyper-demonization of otherized communities to justify its occupation. Power feminism can be even more dangerous than ruthless misogyny because of its insidious nature and lack of culpability.
THIS POST IS GOLDEN (via wocinsolidarity)
Jews, Catholics and evangelical Christians are viewed warmly by the American public. When asked to rate each group on a “feeling thermometer” ranging from 0 to 100 – where 0 reflects the coldest, most negative possible rating and 100 the warmest, most positive rating – all three groups receive an average rating of 60 or higher (63 for Jews, 62 for Catholics and 61 for evangelical Christians). And 44% of the public rates all three groups in the warmest part of the scale (67 or higher).
Hindus are right in the middle eve though people love yoga and wear Ganesh t-shirts.
Dear France: Forcing women to dress how YOU want…
how are you different than the Taliban?"
The above spoof of an advertisement by pro-Israel group the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) has gone viral after its creator, activist Daniel Sieradski, posted it on Twitter.
Here is the original ad Sieradski mocks, calling the ADL’s campaign to justify the bombing of Gaza “just the latest act in a storied history of shameful behavior”:
The point of the original ADL ad is to encourage the target audience – Americans – to identify with Israel and see Israel’s brutal violence that targets Palestinian family homes and kills children – as natural, reasonable and justified “self-defense.”
Sieradski’s subversion of the ad brings to the fore the reality that Palestinians experience, and which is rarely heard in US mainstream media.
***PLEASE STOP WHAT YOU ARE DOING AND TAKE TWO MINUTES OF YOUR DAY TO READ THIS AND THEN REBLOG***
I’m sure by now most of you have heard of the awful stuff that has been happening in Palestine. Almost 7,000 Palestinians have been killed since September 29, 2000 and the number continues to grow. Over 10,000 Palestinian men, women, and children are held in Israeli prisons. Many are tortured and brutally beaten to death - for no reason at all!
We, as a community, need to get together and try our best to raise awareness of this tragedy - because with that, we can get more help and right now these Palestinians need all the help they can get!
If you live in the US, the best thing for you to do is to reach out to your state reps and the congress, send them an email about this issue and if enough people keep telling them about this and tell them to raise awareness - they will have to eventually do something about it instead of ignoring it. [The US gives millions in financial/military aid to Israel each year: pressure your representatives to stop playing an active role in Israel’s system of occupation and apartheid]
Other things you can do to help:
- Donate money to deliver much-needed medical supplies and show support and solidarity to the people of Gaza.
- GET INFORMED ABOUT THIS CAUSE!!!!!
- Contact elected and other political leaders in your country to urge them to apply pressure to end the attacks. In the US, Contact the State Department at 202.647.5291, the White House 202-456-1111 the Egyptian Embassy 202.895.5400
- Support Palestinian farmers and workers by buying gifts and produce directly from the West Bank and Gaza
- MORE HERE and HERE
PLEASE, do not ignore this. I am begging you. One simple reblog can lead to a million things, so even if you cannot donate or send an email - just reblog this. These people need our help and we need to start giving it to them. Let’s try and change the world, one step at a time.