Flag Counter Singing from the Shadows
Singing from the Shadows

sassy-spoon:

When friend is clearly upset but they don’t wanna talk about it but you wanna help but don’t know how and you just kinda

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What YOU Can Do To Reduce Plastics

marine-conservation:

"Is plastic bag okay?"

I am sure you have heard this question asked before while checking out at the supermarket. The vast majority of customers will likely answer “yes” without thinking twice about it.

However, once it reaches our oceans, plastic is probably one of the most dangerous and devastating pollutant. Unlike other types of trash, plastic does not biodegrade; instead, it photo-degrades with sunlight, breaking down into smaller and smaller pieces, but they never really disappear. These plastic pieces are eaten by marine life, wash up on beaches, or break down into microscopic plastic dust, attracting more debris. 

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See this infographic in full resolution here.

Plastic poses a significant threat to the health of sea creatures, both big and small. Over 100,000 marine mammals and one million seabirds die each year from ingesting or becoming entangled in plastic.

It takes 500 to 1,000 years for plastic to degrade. Even if we stopped using plastics today, they will remain with us for many generations, threatening both human and ocean health.

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While plastic pollution is a very extensive topic, I have chosen to focus here on what each person can do to to help reduce the use of plastic bags and plastic items in their daily lives:

  • Drink from a reusable water bottle - they are sturdy, come in many designs and colors, and will reduce your use of plastic bottles drastically.
  • Bring your reusable bags to any store, or use paper bags - they will save you a few trips up and down the stairs with a billion plastic bags in your hands. Many stores actually give you a small discount if you bring your own bag (Target is one of them!). And realize you really don’t need that plastic bag for the 3 items you are going to carry to your car. I often get funny looks in when I go shopping and refuse their plastic bags, but stand proud and know you are doing it for our planet. 
  • Purchase produce bags - I have recently bought some really cute produce bags at The Container Store, and I have never felt happier. Instead of putting my fruits and vegetables into smaller plastic bags at the store, I use those little bags that are easily washable and reusable. And the cashier can easily see what’s in the bag and hence shouldn’t cause any delay at the counter. Win-win for everybody!image
  • Clean up the oceans and your local beaches! If you are simply strolling on the beach or doing a fun dive, please pick up any trash you see. You will feel super accomplished knowing you probably have saved a few marine organisms. The amount of beer cans, solo cups and plastic bags I have brought up from my dives is absolutely ridiculous. You can also sign up for clean-up days: Sign Up To Clean Up. 
  • Bring your own mug with you to Starbucks or your local coffee shop, smoothie shop or restaurants that let you use them. It is a great way to reduce lids, plastic cups and/or plastic-lined cups, and many will probably give you a discount.
  • Recycle.  If you must use plastic, try to choose #1 (PETE) or #2 (HDPE), which are the most commonly recycled plastics.  Avoid plastic bags and polystyrene foam as both typically have very low recycling rates.
  • Refuse single-serving packaging, excess packaging, straws and other ‘disposable’ plastics.  Carry reusable utensils in your purse, backpack or car to use at bbq’s, potlucks or take-out restaurants.
  • Spread the word. Tell your parents, your friends, your co-workers, and lead by example. The boat I work on didn’t use to recycle at all, and I took it on myself to set up a recycling bag and to empty it every day. Now, my coworkers recycle even when I’m not physically present on the boat that day. Ah, the small things!

Just remember, each one of us can make a difference. You may think “well if I am the only one doing this, will it really change something?”. Yes, it will. And you will never be the only one (I’ll always be there ;) ), and the more of us take actions and do such easy steps in our daily lives, we can really make a big difference. 

Make sure to check out this awesome info graphic from the Huffington Post about how plastic ends up into our oceans and create massive garbage patches. 

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globalvoices:

A photo series offers a glimpse of Fiji’s “Pacific climate warriors” as they prepare to fight for their very existence against climate change.

Fiji’s Pacific Climate Warriors Are Ready to Stand Up for Climate Change Action

micdotcom:

The Miss Indian World pageant is the answer to Miss America we’ve been looking for

When Kira Kazantsev was crowned the new Miss America on Sunday night, a feeling of déjá vu set in.

Not only was she white — like all but nine of the 94 winners before her — she also fit snugly into a narrowly defined standard of Western female attractiveness: early 20s, long flowing hair and a thin, painstakingly tanned physique that would not seem out of place in a Victoria’s Secret catalog.

In many ways, the Miss Indian World pageant’s definition of what American beauty truly entails is the ideological antithesis to Miss America. Indeed, since 1984, this five-day competition based in Albuquerque, N.M., has honored Native American woman for their contributions to their communities, not their bikini bodies. The top award is given to the contestant who “best represents her culture,” according to Al Jazeera.

Why this pageant is world’s better 

earthlynation:

(via 500px / Foxy Love: A Happy Valentine by Roeselien Raimond)
New artwork from FFXV. Pretty far cry from what we’ve seen in the past, huh?
One thing I read as part of the press-releases that made me a little sad was to hear that Nomura is no longer directing it. I understand that S-E wants him to focus on Kingdom Hearts III, but it seems like this game was like his baby, and I really wanted to see the story he sounded so excited to make, so I really hope he wasn’t forced to step down and have all his ideas get scrapped.
I’ve been seeing people take issue with the supposed changes in the battle system, but this is only a trailer for the demo of the very, very beginning of the game. S-E said last year that the trailer we saw last year at E3 was showing a really high-leveled Noctis and that the gameplay won’t be as complex in the beginning of the game in order to allow players to get used to it, so I’m guessing/hoping we’ll still see the things we saw in the previous trailers (I remember one of the previous trailers had Prompto or Ignis telling Noctis that “his body isn’t used to his new power yet” so maybe Regis dies or something and that’s what gives Noctis the full extent of the royal powers).
I’ve also seen people say that it doesn’t look like “the darkest Final Fantasy yet” anymore. Again, this is only the very beginning of the game, before the war has started, etc. Yes, I still hope that this will be the darkest entry in the series, yet, but for me, dark moments need contrast in order to make them more effective, just as those jaw-dropping city-battle scenes we saw in the previous trailers will need more quiet and natural moments out in the wilderness to make them effective and exciting. 
Let me illustrate what I mean. In The Lion King, Mufasa’s death was a really dark, powerful, and highly tragic scene (sorry to use such as random example) that followed what had, up until that point been a pretty fun, happy movie about cute lions running around in Africa. Would that scene have been as effective if the entire movie was full of nothing but heartbreaking moments like that? I don’t think so. It was the fact that we got to see the happiness beforehand that made the death all the more tragic-because we understood what had been lost and how precious it was.
This world looks so beautiful and these friends look so happy…I know it’s going to hurt to see it getting ravaged by war and their lives get ripped apart (and it looks as though Stella may be leading Noct and the gang into a trap).
We’re due to receive more news in Famitsu and Dengeki (and hopefully more in TGS, too)! 

New artwork from FFXV. Pretty far cry from what we’ve seen in the past, huh?

One thing I read as part of the press-releases that made me a little sad was to hear that Nomura is no longer directing it. I understand that S-E wants him to focus on Kingdom Hearts III, but it seems like this game was like his baby, and I really wanted to see the story he sounded so excited to make, so I really hope he wasn’t forced to step down and have all his ideas get scrapped.

I’ve been seeing people take issue with the supposed changes in the battle system, but this is only a trailer for the demo of the very, very beginning of the game. S-E said last year that the trailer we saw last year at E3 was showing a really high-leveled Noctis and that the gameplay won’t be as complex in the beginning of the game in order to allow players to get used to it, so I’m guessing/hoping we’ll still see the things we saw in the previous trailers (I remember one of the previous trailers had Prompto or Ignis telling Noctis that “his body isn’t used to his new power yet” so maybe Regis dies or something and that’s what gives Noctis the full extent of the royal powers).

I’ve also seen people say that it doesn’t look like “the darkest Final Fantasy yet” anymore. Again, this is only the very beginning of the game, before the war has started, etc. Yes, I still hope that this will be the darkest entry in the series, yet, but for me, dark moments need contrast in order to make them more effective, just as those jaw-dropping city-battle scenes we saw in the previous trailers will need more quiet and natural moments out in the wilderness to make them effective and exciting.

Let me illustrate what I mean. In The Lion King, Mufasa’s death was a really dark, powerful, and highly tragic scene (sorry to use such as random example) that followed what had, up until that point been a pretty fun, happy movie about cute lions running around in Africa. Would that scene have been as effective if the entire movie was full of nothing but heartbreaking moments like that? I don’t think so. It was the fact that we got to see the happiness beforehand that made the death all the more tragic-because we understood what had been lost and how precious it was.

This world looks so beautiful and these friends look so happy…I know it’s going to hurt to see it getting ravaged by war and their lives get ripped apart (and it looks as though Stella may be leading Noct and the gang into a trap).

We’re due to receive more news in Famitsu and Dengeki (and hopefully more in TGS, too)! 

fightingforanimals:

These are some of them, most were golden retrivers and labradors, but also included german shepherds and other breeds. Sadly most are dead now, while many people forget them and don’t spare them a thought. 

As people lay dying, trapped and hurt, a team of nearly 100 loyal and courageous search dogs put their lives on the line to help humans. Without them, many more would not have survived, yet few people consider them. 

In such a chaotic, terrifying, hot, acrid-smelling, smokey and loud environment, countless human lives depended on their ability to focus, listen, respond to their handlers, and work tirelessly. Stepping over cracked glass, hot tarmac, through flames and thick smoke, being winched over deep ravines, they battled on to seek out survivors and bring them aid. 

They worked around the clock, day and night, searching, sniffing, over and over. Not only did they search, but they comforted - many eyewitnesses speak of how the dogs would stop and sit by newly-recovered victims, giving them a sense of hope and relief, before moving on to look for the next. As the situation became desperate, and the rescue workers and fire teams became utterly distraught at the amount of people who were recovered dead, these dogs brought them comfort, sitting with them on breaks, letting them grieve.

Many of these dogs are old, and have passed away. Let us remember the courage and loyalty they showed at such a horrendous event. They didn’t have a choice, but nonetheless they did what was asked of them and helped save countless lives. Don’t let their bravery be forgotten today either, or their determination to be a ‘good dog’ despite the scary and dangerous environment around them.

geisha-kai:

All maiko of Shigemori okiya in Miyagawacho district for September 2014 (SOURCE)

1. Fukunae san

She is about 20 years old, from Chiba prefecture. She debuted as maiko in autumn 2011 with a name for “a sapling”. Her hobby is listening to music.

2. Fukucho san

About 19 years old, debuted in autumn 2012. Her name means “a butterfly” and she comes from Saitama prefecture. She likes listening to music and her most favourite thing on Earth is her music box with a melody from Kabuki play.

3. Koyoshi san

She is about 20 years old, debuted in winter 2012. She comes from Fukuoka prefecture. Her hobby is reading books. Her motto is: “I will work hard step by step”

4. Koharu san

About 17 years old, debuted in 2013 (so she is still in her first year of training). Her name means “little spring”. She comes from Saitama prefecture. Her hobby is kouta, traditional Japanese songs played on shamisen, but she is really into nagauta - another genre of traditional music.

NEW TRAILER!

NEW TRAILER!

NEW. TRAILER!

THIS IS NOT A DRILL!!!!!!!!!!

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!

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AT LAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAST! :D :D :D

Aladdin + scenery