Forget About That Corny Corner-Ribbon's Drivel! The Real Secret is HERE Indeed - not over there!

Saturday, October 01, 2005

1912 - as the Titanic sank...
This 1912 photograph released by the Metropolitan Museum of Art is titled "The Medium Eva C. with a Materialization on Her Head and a Luminous Apparition Between Her Hands," by Albert von Schrenck-Notzing. (AP Photo/Metropolitan Museum of Art, Albert von Schrenck-Notzing)
Just felt like it was appropriate - for The Luminous Blog!
We are history buffs here, after all...!
AND Masters of the Macabre too...!
Plus: we bask in the Light.  :-) 
See? With three criteria met, it means that this is more than appropriate!
Of course this is not what we would *normally* call a ''Luminous Apparition''... 
But then again, it is anything but normal; it is all paranormal... in full bloom here!
For more on the exhibit of these luminous photographs - Click Here
and also check out -as per usual- our luminous comments section! 

Check the third comment in particular folks - for an announcement. 
God Bless

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Friday, September 30, 2005

words to emulate in our lives - for us all

I am not bound to win, but I am bound to be true. I am not bound to succeed, but I am bound to live by the light that I have. I must stand with anybody that stands right, stand with him while he is right, and part with him when he goes wrong. - -- Abraham Lincoln
If the United States ever had a President that was closer to sainthood by his deeds, words and example he provided for his fellow man -and woman, of course- then I do not know who it is... No one comes close to Abe - absolutely no one! Certainly not Dubya, that is for sure... Just like Abe, I want to be truthful. Just as Abe did during his time on Earth, I must live by the light that is within me; that which was granted to me by the Lord God Himself. And, just like Abe, I shall stand with those who do what is right - and will part from them when what they do is wrong in the eyes of God. I encourage everyone to do exactly the same as Abe used to do.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

... not for Boston, no...
It's Bert in a Vancouver Canucks uniform, for crying out loud!

Pics ©2005 W.O.T.*

Roughly one week to go before the NHL hockey season starts!

It is something that some, at least, have been looking forward to since October 2004!

What do you most look forward to this season? How your favorite team survived the salary cap? How all the rookies will do? Countdown to the playoffs? Or maybe something completely different?

Me... I'm looking forward to the NEXT lock-out actually...

Seriously - with parity running rampant in the league, rooting for your favorite team is like devotedly praying to hit the jackpot when playing the lottery - so... what I do is, I observe with mild scrutiny my LEAST favorite team - and watch them trip all over themselves and fumble the puck with great... ah... "un-enthusiasm"?

Yeah - that's it - unenthusiasm describes it to a T!

*W.O.T. = Whoever Owns Them!

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

statistics sundays side-effects; as weird as wednesdays get these days...

To continue to celebrate Sea Otter Awareness week, we've been asked to learn about sea otters and the threats they face. Unfortunately, there's a brand new set of bad news: the U.S. House Resources Committee is expected to pass a new energy bill today that takes aim at our pristine coastlines under the guise of helping the oil industry recover from hurricane damage.

This new bill proposes to open the Arctic Refuge to oil drilling, sell off 15 national parks for development, and lift a ban on offshore oil drilling. Oil spills from offshore dilling operations are a major threat to the health of sea otters and their kelp forest homes.

As a final celebration of Sea Otter Awareness Week, consider adopting a sea otter today and help Defenders of Wildlife fight this latest attack on our coastlines and the sea otters' homes.Click Here

As an extra bonus today:
(and, boy, is this kitty kat weird indeed...!)
Today's Big Cat Fact:
Most exotic cats exhibit white patches on the backs of their ears called Ear Spots or Flashes. In the moonlight, these spots reflect the light, looking like eyes on the back of the cat's head, protecting it from an attack from the rear by other predators, who generally prefer to attack from behind. It also allows cubs to follow their mother on her nightly patrol, but if she goes into a stalking position, with ears flattened back, the cubs cannot follow her and ruin her chance of securing a kill.
And...Today's Big Cat Trivia:
What mood does a cat convey when its tail is low and swinging?
Usually, a cat with a low swinging tail is feeling playful or nervous.
Me, I always thought they were readying themselves to attack!
Goes to show that, even when you're luminous, you can be wrong!
Blessings, all!

Monday, September 26, 2005

today is her birthday...

Yes - is, present tense... Don't you know that no one ever dies - that the soul is what matters and that it lives on, beyond corporeal life, into infinity...

Sisi Austin is, thus, celebrating her birthday in the spiritual world rather than the material world wherein her body was born several decades ago... Her soul was ''born to this world'' then - but it had been created before just as it lives beyond her body's demise.
Sisi's daughter has divulged some information on the great lady's departure:
<<.Her cause of death was Atherosclerotic Cardiovascular Disease. Mom had many ailments, but no one knew heart disease was one of them. So the cause of her death was just as much as a surprise to me as her death was. Although, in hindsight, her symptoms screamed heart disease.

I have been playing with the idea of quitting smoking for a while, but Mom's death has been a wake up call. So, in honor of Mom, I quit smoking today.

The top controllable risk factors for heart disease are:
High LDL, or "bad" cholesterol and low HDL, or "good" cholesterol
Uncontrolled hypertension (high blood pressure)
Physical inactivity
Obesity (more than 20% over one's ideal body weight)
Uncontrolled diabetes
High C-reactive protein article
Uncontrolled stress and anger.

If you would like to do something for Mom's birthday today, I ask that you choose one of the above that may be a risk factor for you and start doing something about it today.>>
I pass this on to you today, l.o.v.s - tis seems, verily, like the right thing to do.
Happy Birthday Sisi.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

statistics sundays

Today's Big Cat Fact:
It takes 20-30 minutes of rest for the cat's breathing rate to return to normal after a high-speed chase.

Today's Big Cat Trivia:
How many subspecies of tigers have become extinct in the past 60 years?

Disheartening Answer: 3 out of the 8 subspecies of tiger have become extinct in the past 60 years.

On a far more uplifting note now...
This coming week is Sea Otter Awareness Week. This week-long event is being held to educate the public about the integral role that sea otters play in the nearshore marine ecosystem as well as the importance of respecting biological diversity. Defenders of Wildlife, the Monterey Bay Aquarium, and sea otter researchers, zoos, aquariums, and museums through California and North America are participating.

Sea Otter Frequently Asked Questions - FAQs
Where do sea otters give birth?
On land or in water, and for the northern sea otter in Alaska, occasionally on ice floes.

How do sea otters give birth?
Like all mammals, they give birth to live young. Otter babies are called pups.

When do sea otters give birth and how many pups are born?
Sea otters generally give birth to one pup a year. If they give birth to two, they will abandon one of them, as they can't care for two at a time. This is how pups are orphaned. Orphans rescued by trained wildlife rehabilitators can survive to adulthood and, in fact, all three otters at the Monterey Bay Aquarium were orphans. Otters are full-grown at about 3 years of age and generally they are weaned between 6 months and 1 year of age.

How big are pups when they are born?
3-5 lbs.

How do they grow?
Through drinking the very fat, rich milk that the mother provides for the first two months of the pups’ life. Solid food is gradually worked into the pups’ diet as they mature.

How do sea otters communicate?
Through body contact, nosing one another, head-jerking and vocalizations. Sea otters, in comparison to sea lions, for example, are not extremely vocal animals. However, adults use a soft, low cooing sound, and grunts to exhibit "contentedness," among other things. Pups use a high-pitch squeal to communicate with their mom. Some other sounds in the vocal repertoire of sea otters include whistles, whimpers, squeaks, whines, growls, snarls and hisses.

How are sea otters listed under the Endangered Species Act?
The southern sea otter is listed as "threatened." If the population decline continues, this listing could be changed to "endangered." The northern sea otter, which consists of sub-populations in Alaska, Canada and Washington, isn’t listed as a whole subspecies. The different sub-populations have different status classifications. Currently there is no federal or state Endangered Species Act listing for Alaska and Washington. As of 2003, there are petitions and threatened lawsuits to force U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to list certain otter populations in the central Aleutian chain in Alaska. Washington has listed the sea otter as state endangered. In addition, in Canada, the otter population in British Columbia is classified as "threatened" by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC).

What other protections are afforded to sea otters?
All sea otters in the United States are classified as "depleted" under the federal Marine Mammal Protection Act. The California sea otter is also listed under state law as a "fully protected mammal."

What do sea otters eat?
Abalone, squid, snails and other molluscs; clams; mussels; crabs; lobster; urchins; sea stars; sea cucumbers; chitons; marine worms; and about 40 other marine invertebrates; and on occasion, marine birds; and in Alaska, certain fish.

How do sea otters forage for food?
Sea otters generally do not spend more than two or three minutes diving for food. They use their sensitive paws, whiskers and vision to make their way through the water to find food. Sea otters then return to the surface with their prey, lie on their backs, place the food on their chests and break open the prey using a tool of some kind (rock, bottle, etc.).

Where are sea otters on the food chain?
Sea otters are considered to be "opportunistic feeders" – that is, they feed on many prey items. They are carnivores, and, at times, omnivorous, meaning they feed on both animal and plant food. They are the top-end predator in the nearshore marine ecosystem.

What are the natural predators of sea otters?
Great white sharks are the primary predator in California. Ongoing studies in Alaska recently revealed that orcas (killer whales) are eating more and more sea otters in that region, possibly because the usual prey (seals and sea lions) are in decline. Other factors that may be influencing the orcas to eat more sea otters may include natural disturbances to the ecosystem that occur over space and time, as well as overfishing. Other reported predators that feed on sea otters include stellar sea lions, coyotes, bears and eagles.

How do sea otters protect themselves?
Sea otters have three basic ways to escape predators: fleeing; taking refuge in the kelp where they live; and coming up on land. They also have strong teeth they can use in interactions with other sea otters.

What is the lifespan of a sea otter?
Sea otter males generally live up to 10-15 years, while females live 15-20 years.

What is the habitat of a sea otter?
Sea otters live in the nearshore marine ecosystem, which consists of rocky shores and kelp forests. In California, many sea otters spend a considerable amount of time in an estuary called Elkhorn Slough that is located near Moss Landing. A large part of their day is spent in the kelp forest and rocky areas, where much of their prey is found. And, the kelp canopy provides shelter and protection for sea otters from storms and predators.

Do sea otters have personalities, specifically with their interactions with humans?
Sea otters are wild animals, which means their behavior towards humans can be unpredictable. Like people and other animals, they all have individual personalities. Some may be aggressive towards humans and other otters may be friendly. There have been occasional reports of sea otters messing around with divers (e.g., pulling at their dive caps and other things).

How do sea otters use their forepaws and forelegs?
Sea otter forepaws are quite dexterous and sensitive, allowing sea otters to extract their prey from tight spots and to sense the prey they do handle. The pads of their paws are different from those of dogs -- sea otters have a continuous pad that covers the whole bottom part of the paw, while a dog’s paw is not fused.

What is the size and weight of sea otters?
California sea otters average 4 feet in length and 50-60 pounds in weight. Northern sea otters are slightly larger.

What information do we know about the sea otter fur trade?
Aboriginal people hunted sea otters for many thousands of years. Coastal North American Indians, northern Aleuts and the Japanese valued otters for their warm fur. In some areas, the Aleuts over-exploited otters and substantially reduced their populations. However, it wasn't until the mid-1700s that widespread commercial hunting of sea otters took place, leading to the near-extinction of the species. The extremely profitable sea otter fur trade began in 1741, when a shipwrecked Russian expedition led by Vitus Bering discovered sea otters on one of the Commander Islands. ("Sea Otters" by Marianne Riedmann, 1997, published by the Monterey Bay Aquarium). You can obtain more information about the fur trade from this book.

What is the range of the California Sea Otter?
The California sea otter is found from Half Moon Bay in the north to, as of 2003, just beyond Point Conception (in Santa Barbara county) in the south.

What is the classification for sea otters?
Specific Epithet-lutris
Species -Enhydra lutris

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