Around the World in Nine Photos


The Blog

It’s in the grip of North American winter that I often dream of escape to warmer climates. Thanks to the Reader and the street photography tag, I can satisfy my travel yen whenever it strikes. Here are just some of the amazing photos and photographers I stumbled upon during a recent armchair trip.

My first stop was Alexis Pazoumian’s fantastic SERIES: India at The Sundial Review. I loved the bold colors in this portrait and the man’s thoughtful expression.

Photo by Alexis Pazoumian Photo by Alexis Pazoumian

Speaking of expressions, the lead dog in Holly’s photo from Maslin Nude Beach, in Adelaide, Australia, almost looks as though it’s smiling. See more of Holly’s work at REDTERRAIN.

Photo by Holly Photo by Holly

In a slightly different form of care-free, we have the muddy hands of Elina Eriksson‘s son in Zambia. I love how his small hands frame his face. The gentle…

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12 Struggles Only People In Their Early Twenties Will Understand

The Perfect Piece


I went to visit my friend yesterday. I thought I was in Kent but I was really in Uxbridge (new lows of ignorance for me). It was so refreshing to get away from my world for the day; this week has been a challenging one in many ways. I haven’t been on a campus in almost two years so it felt strange being around students again. You know how students are just ‘up’ until the early hours of the morning without any real concern for the next day? Yeah, there’s a lecture but attendance is still a choice and there are no real consequences if the lecture is missed. I dare not sleep after 12pm these days (even that is living life on the edge) because my alarm is going off at 6.45am and my train is leaving at 7.40am and I need to be on it.

When did life become…

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Greater, as it was known, was the most famous flamingo in Australia’s Adelaide Zoo when it was put to sleep at age 83.

The bird was suffering from severe arthritis and was nearly blind; zookeepers decided that putting Greater down was the most humane thing they could do.

Most of us are impressed when our pets live merely into the low double digits. But there are creatures out there that put in some serious time on Earth, especially compared with us humans.

Here are Six of the most famously long-lived individual animals:

  1. Dynastic Clam

You may have heard of Ming, the deep-sea clam named after the Chinese dynasty during which it was born. When it died in 2006, it was believed to be the oldest living animal ever recorded.

This ocean quahog, scientifically known as Arctica islandica, lived for 507 years and came to an inglorious end.

In 2006, scientists accidentally killed the clam when they dredged it out along with many others, for transport back to the lab for climate change research.

There may be older specimens out there hiding in the mud, but Ming was the lucky one that won postmortem fame.

  1. Great-Great-Grand Whale

The whale was 130 years old when it died in 2007. Eskimos harvested the whale that year during a subsistence hunt monitored by the International Whaling Commission.

Scientists were able to estimate its age because the animal had carried a harpoon point in its neck for more than a hundred years. Experts dated the weapon to a New England factory active around 1880.

Scientists believe bowhead whales have the capacity to live about 200 years in part due to their slow metabolism—an adaptation to an icy-cold but food-rich Arctic environment.

  1. Golden Oldie Fish

The Golden fish passed on in 1977 was said to be the ripe old age of 226. Fish scales can be read like tree rings, which is how the estimate would have come about.

These ornamental pets are prized in Asia, and the highest-quality koi can cost thousands of dollars. Normally the fish live about 47 years.


  1. Bird Named Wisdom

An albatross named wisdom may be the oldest mom in the bird world. In 2012, at the age of 62, she hatched a new chick, possibly her 35th, and she’s still going strong in the Midway Atoll Wildlife Refuge in the Pacific.

Other avian elders include an 82-year-old Siberian white crane, captive parrots that can live into their 80s, and flamingos. Don’t forget flamingos!

  1. Slow and Steady 


Giant tortoises are famously long-lived: Thomas, the oldest ever known in Britain, died last year at age 130 after a rat bite on its leg got infected.

But there have been older known tortoises.

Tu’i Malila of Tonga Island passed away at 188, while Adwaita in India was at least 150—possibly as old as 250—when he died in 2006. The “Darwin’s tortoise,” survived to around age 176. She passed away in 2006 at the Australia Zoo in Queensland.

  1. Immortal Jellies


Although I can’t point to an old individual named Gus or Penelope (both great handles for marine creatures, no?), it would be a shame to leave out the species Turritopsis dohrnii, a jellyfish discovered in the Mediterranean in the 1880s that actually never dies.

Instead, this jellyfish recycles itself, “aging” backward from adult stage to an immature polyp stage over and over again. Hanging out with T. dohrnii may just be the closest we humans ever come to immortality.

Amazingly Funny Creatures


star-nosed mole

This is a small mole mostly found in wet low areas of eastern Canada and the northeastern U.S. it’s actually the only member of the tribe Condylurini and the genus Condylura. Its distinctive features include the twenty-two pink fleshy appendages ringing its snout, this is their touch organ, it has over 25,000 minute sensory receptors. With the receptors it can identify food by touch. It feeds on worms, insects and crustaceans.

The mole is covered in thick, blackish-brown, water-repellant fur. The feet are long, large and scaled. It has a thick tail which functions as a fat storage reserve for the spring. Spring is their breeding season.

The Aye-aye


They are only found on the island of Madagascar. They look less like primates but they are actually related to humans, apes and chimpanzees

They are dark brown or black in color. Their distinguishing factor is the bushy tail that is larger than their body. They have big eyes, large ears which are very sensitive and slender fingers. Their claws are pointed except for the opposable big toes. This makes it easier for them to dangle from branches.

The Aye-ayes spend most of their lives in rain forest trees. They literally fear the earth. They are nocturnal and spend their day curled up in a ball like nest in the branches .The nests have single entry holes.



This is also known as “sea cow”, it has close relations to the Mantee. They both belong to the order sirenia. The Dugong is a marine animal and can be spotted in warm coastal waters of the Red Sea, East Africa, Australia, Philippines and Japan.

Chemical pollution has decreased their numbers. Uncontrolled hunting and accelerated coastal development are also contributing factors to their decrease. It has a slow reproduction system.

The Dugong can reach a length of 11 feet and weigh up to 2000 pounds!!Their tails are flat and they have flippers like the Whale. It has evolved from an elephant like creature for approximately 60 million years.

It has a large mouth with upper lip for bristling sea grass. It’s a vegetarian and can eat up to 90 pounds of seaweed daily.

There are other funny creatures

tufted deer
The Tufted Deer
Naked mole rat
The Naked Mole Rat

The Golden Retriever Breeds

The world of dogs is vast. We have so many types of dogs raging from the French bulldogs to the golden retriever puppies. This makes it harder for people planning to rear or adopt pets to choose their best. You find most people turning to friends for ideas and end up being mislead on the qualities and advantages of the different breeds.


The golden retriever breeds are unique and that’s what makes them get more customers. People book the golden retriever puppies from rescue centers or from people who actually breed the dogs. The golden retriever is medium to large in size with a strong athletic body.

The breed is known as the most intelligent and gentle of all the breed types. They have thick coats that are either straight or wavy. The Retrievers actually shed all year round. They should be brushed regularly. Most of them actually shed at least two times during the year. They are also unique in that regularly washing them removes their natural oils.

The breed, being very intelligent and socially active, requires more attention so as to keep them busy. They need mental stimulation. They usually enjoy swimming, playing hide and seek and playing fetch. A pat on them as a reward maintains their hyper activity. Taking them for a walk is also key in keeping them busy.

When it comes to owning a golden retriever, there are arguments on whether to adopt an adult or the puppy. A golden retriever puppy is very fond of biting. They tend to bite on almost everything. Stuffed animals suffer most. The puppies are tiny but destructive. The adults on the other hand are calmer and more mature. They are actually very friendly to children.

The golden retriever puppies have no much control of their bladder. They can only hold for one hour and so need to be regularly taken out. This is actually a bother to many people as there are other jobs to be done at home. The end point is that if you are busy and have no time to rear another child, the golden retriever puppies, then adopt or buy a full grown retriever.

The other problem with the golden retriever is that it’s highly prone to cancer. Hemangiosarcoma is the most common type. The retrievers are also affected by hip and elbow dysplasia, the heart disease and also eye diseases like glaucoma. Skin disease are also prevalent the common being Allergies.

This all comes down to the conclusion that if you plan and decide on either buying or adopting a golden retriever puppy or an adult, then you must be committed to them to the very end of their lives. Don’t abandon them in shelters.


The IR1

Today I have something new that I too didn’t know,

Its about the Tsavo Trust.

The trust works closely with the KWS and the their research partners Save the elephant.It monitors the elephants with specific emphasis on the large TUSKERS.

The trust has an aircraft that helps them in transmitting real life data to KWS.elephant


“Despite having just one tusk IR1 is still considered as one of the awesome ‘hundred pounders’ still alive in Tsavo today – his one tusk weighs at least 55kg or 120Ibs. Historically, elephants carrying tusks weighing in excess of 100lbs (45kg) per side were known as ‘hundred pounders’. Elsewhere, these elephants have been wiped out due to poaching and sport hunting. Today, at least 12 of these giants remain in Kenya’s greater Tsavo Conservation Area, and it is their protection from ivory poachers (alongside the protection of other impressive bulls that will become Tsavo’s ‘hundred pounders’ of the future), which provide the rationale for TSAVO TRUST’s Big Tusker Project.

IR1 is a solitary bull and is at least 45 years of age. If he could, he would undoubtedly have many a story to tell, like the huge hole on his forehead, how did he get it – was it a wound sustained during a fight with another elephant or could it have been a bullet hole from a poaching attempt?3

For more details check out their site..

The Rhino

I am proud to be in a country where we all know about our Wildlife. We don’t do poaching and we are actually very active about sensitization and creating awareness on the importance of wildlife. I actually think all of us have visited the magnificent reserves and game parks found in our country.

In this whole article am telling you all that you know, boring right? I’ll be brief.

The Black Rhino

Black rhinorhino

It’s a species of rhinoceros native in East and Central Africa. The Black Rhino is not actually black but vary from brown to grey. It’s also called the

hook-lipped rhinoceros

The species of rhinoceros are classified as critically endangered .Actually the Western Black Rhinoceros was declared extinct in 2011.Its very sad!!

The adult black rhinoceros is 132-180cm high at the shoulder and 2.8-3.8m in length. The tail is about 60cm in length. The adult weighs around 800-1,400kg.There are other unusually larger males weighing 2.2-2.9kg.The females are smaller than the males.

The rhinos have two horns; this is what poachers go for, which are made of keratin. The front horn is approximately 50cm long and others go up to 140cm.The longest horn in history measured 1.5m in length. In rare occasions, a smaller third horn may appear.

The black rhino is a browser. This is illustrated by its hooked lip to adapt to browsing. They have a very thick layered skin that protects them from thorns and sharp shrubs. They are actually good breeding grounds for ticks and mites.

The black rhinos have poor eyesight and rely more on hearing and smell. Their ears are wide rotational range to detect sounds. They actually small predators!!

I know you have all this information. I don’t even have to tell that OLPejeta is the largest Black rhino sanctuary in Kenya. The government has also translocated other black rhinos to the Masai Mara-Serengeti System. Ruma National Park and Ngulia Rhino sanctuary (Within Tsavo West National Park).There is also the Solio Game reserve that neighboring the OlPejeta.

Twendeni tujivinjari!!!!