News-in-Transition

18 October 2017

 - They work together, talk to each other and use tools. A new study links the complexity of Cetacean culture and behavior to the size of their brains.

Whales and dolphins (Cetaceans) live in tightly-knit social groups, have complex relationships, talk to each other and even have regional dialects – much like human societies. A new study, published in Nature Ecology & Evolution on October 16, 2017, has linked the complexity of Cetacean culture and behavior to the size of their brains.

The study created a large dataset of information on brain size and social behaviors of 90 different species of dolphins, whales, and porpoises. It found overwhelming evidence that the animals have sophisticated social and cooperative behavior traits, similar to many found in human culture.

According to the study, these societal and cultural characteristics are linked with brain size and brain expansion, known as encephalisation, defined as the amount of brain mass related to an animal’s total body mass.

Read more...

27 August 2017

 - When I became a father for the first time, at the ripe old age of 44, various historical contingencies saw to it that my nascent son would be sharing his home with two senescent canines.

There was Nina, an endearing though occasionally ferocious German shepherd/Malamute cross. And there was Tess, a wolf-dog mix who, though gentle, had some rather highly developed predatory instincts. So, I was a little concerned about how the co-sharing arrangements were going to work. As things turned out, I needn’t have worried.

During the year or so that their old lives overlapped with that of my son, I was alternately touched, shocked, amazed, and dumbfounded by the kindness and patience they exhibited towards him. They would follow him from room to room, everywhere he went in the house, and lie down next to him while he slept. Crawled on, dribbled on, kicked, elbowed and kneed: these occurrences were all treated with a resigned fatalism.

Read more...

23 August 2017

 - “Have you ever felt that your cat or dog can see something you don’t? Well, you may be right, according to a new study. Cats, dogs, and other mammals are thought to see in ultraviolet light, which opens up a whole different world than the one we see, the study explains.

UV light is the wave length beyond the visible light from red to violet that humans can see. Humans have a lens that blocks UV from reaching the retina. It was previously thought that most mammals have lenses similar to humans.

Scientists studied the lenses of dead mammals, including cats, dogs, monkeys, pandas, hedgehogs, and ferrets. By researching how much light passes through the lens to reach the retina, they concluded that some mammals previously thought not to be able to see UV actually can.”

However, I believe there is something more to this phenomena that delves into the metaphysical realm.

Read more...

7 August 2017

 - It was recently brought to my attention that even mainstream science recognizes cats, dogs, and other animals can see frequencies humans can’t.

After reading about it a little bit, it makes sense scientifically in a separate way from spiritually. It’s simple really: the scientific explanation is that cats and dogs can see UV light and a few other rays, which human retinas don’t have the ability to see.

It was previously believed that all mammals had similar eyes to humans, incapable of seeing UV rays, but scientific evidence suggests many mammals can.

A study conducted a few years ago by biologists at City University London, UK provided evidence for this differential in sight between species.

Read more...

28 July 2017

An underwater photographer has captured a rare and enthralling set of images of a pod of sleeping whales. More pics and info at this link

24 May 2017

 - Crows are incredibly clever birds. Some species use tools, for example. Some also recognize human faces, even "gossiping" about who's a threat and who's cool. Crows can hold long-term grudges against people they deem dangerous, or shower their allies with gifts. Oh, and they can solve puzzles on par with a 7-year-old human.

With wits like this, it's little wonder crows have adapted to live in human cities around the world. Yet despite all their uncanny displays of intelligence, a recent example from Japan is eyebrow-raising even for these famously brainy birds.

Wild crows had learned to raid a research building in Iwate Prefecture, stealing insulation to use as nest material. But as the Asahi Shimbun reports, they abruptly quit after a professor began hanging paper signs that read "crows do not enter."

The idea was suggested by a crow expert from Utsunomiya University, and has reportedly worked for the past two years. This doesn't mean the crows can read Japanese, but it may still shed light on their complex relationship with people.

Read more...

25 April 2017

 - A caterpillar commonly used as fishing bait has been shown to have an extraordinary appetite for plastic, which scientists say could help tackle pollution.

Roughly 80 million tons (metric) of polyethylene are produced on the planet each year, a large percentage of which ends up in countless landfills around the world. The substance is notoriously hard to break down and can take centuries to degrade.

The wax worm seems to be nature's own solution to the problem and scientists have a chance discovery to thank for it.

Read more...

8 April 2017

 - New research shows that octopuses and other cephalopods have a tremendous capacity to alter and edit their own genes, which scientists believe to be the reason behind their shocking intelligence and ability to learn.

An octopus really shouldn't be intelligent by all rights. Their brains have 1/20th the amount of neurons as humans, and it isn't centralized in their body. Instead, they have a miniature brain in the bases of their arms.

And yet the octopus has both short and long-term memory. It can solve mazes and other simple problems. They've been observed using tools and building things. While their intellect is well-known, scientists have struggled to understand why such prodigious intelligence manifested in such an unlikely creature.

Read more...

5 April 2017

 - Man’s best friend is known for being capable of amazing feats. For years dogs have been trained to do many extraordinary tasks. They have been trained to assist people with disabilities in a number of different ways or to become therapy animals. Our four-legged furry friends are also often taught how to sniff out bombs, drugs or people in need of rescue, to boot. Researchers have also found that our beloved canines can even help to detect cancer with their super-sensitive noses.

Impressive results from a diagnostic trial found that a pair of specially trained German Shepherds could detect breast cancer with 100 percent accuracy. The technique is described as “simple, non-invasive and cheap” and could replace mammograms, particularly in areas where the diagnostic method is hard to come by. Project Kdog, the name the initiative goes by, has shown marked success and could stand to shake up current diagnostic practices.

Read more...

7 February 2017

 - With up to 300 million scent receptors (compared to our 6 million), dogs can smell things that seem non-existent to our senses. While we all know about their ability to find missing people and sniff out hidden drugs or bombs, they can actually detect so much more. With their extraordinary sense of smell, dogs can pick up on tiny chemical changes in the human body.

From cancer to diabetes, dogs can give us a heads up about a range of human diseases long before the test results come in, potentially saving lives due to early detection. While most dogs have an exquisite sense of smell, not all dogs are gifted with the same disease detecting qualities. According to True Activist, dogs bred for detection and hunting purposes are the best choices for the job.

Read more...

4 January 2017

 - Humans have long thought themselves to be the smartest animals on the planet, but evidence continues to reveal that even with little shared DNA – animals are catching up, and perhaps even surpassing our own evolutionary intelligence.

Some philosophical perspectives suggest that this anthropomorphic egocentrism is misplaced, since all creatures, not just people have ‘mind,’ which is capable of evolving toward higher levels of consciousness. We share a quarter of our DNA, after all, with a single grain of rice, but there is something even more intelligent in our design, and many believe it permeates everything.

Read more...

17 October 2016

 - Most elephants that SOS Wildlife India has rescued never had the chance to form elephant friendships. Their previous lives in chains deprived them of the simple joy of bonding with other elephants. Seeing the deep connection elephants develop when they are finally free makes it just heartbreaking to think of their past isolation.

Providing the chance to form these friendships is a dream of theirs for all of India’s lonely elephants. But their current elephant care center is nearly full, and they desperately need to expand. Their Field of Dreams campaign is working acquire land to help bring 50 more elephants to a place of freedom and friends. They already have the land picked out. It’s perfect.

This week the goal is to raise $100,000 to go toward procuring that land. Timing is critical; can you help to get them on the road with a donation today?

Read more...

12 August 2016

 - Today on World Elephant Day seven companies, including eBay, Etsy, Gumtree, Microsoft, Pinterest, Tencent and Yahoo! have united to adopt a new policy framework that will help protect animals from illegal online trade.

The International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) has been battling online wildlife crime since 2004 and I personally have led the fight for the last five years.

During that time we have seen company after company step up and change their policy but now we have reached a crucial tipping point. Today we are building a strong, steadfast wall designed to keep wildlife criminals out of these online platforms and prevent illegal trade being displaced onto other online sites.

Read more...

Calendar of Events

Our next three group distant healing events:

21 December 2017 - Solstice

20 March 2018 - Equinox

21 June - Solstice

Boycott Israeli Goods