Thursday 30 August 2012

Medical & News: Tick & Lyme Disease

Tick from Italy?? (Came out from a parcel from Italy)
Image from Locky's English Playground
In the same episode of House as mentioned in the entry Medical: How To Use a EpiPen, the girl who was played by actress Michelle Trachtenberg was found to be poisoned by a tick. Few days ago, a parcel from Italy came and when I opened it, a tick came out!!! Illegal immigrant!!! It was immediately caught and flushed down the toilet of course (sigh... I hate killing), and this is a photo taken before its swim.

But what if this is not just an individual case? What if actually, little ticky has a whole family in living inside the cargo from Italy and now they have successfully found root in Hong Kong?

If you have been reading US version of Google's Health News, you are surely not a stranger to the term Lyme Disease.

Ixodes scapularis, the primary vector of Lyme disease
in eastern North America
-- Image and Caption from Wikipedia
In short, a certain kind of bacteria belonging to the genus Borrelia get passed onto the host amid a tick bite, causing possible headache, fever, fatigue, depression, and a characteristic circular skin rash called erythema migrans (EM) in human, or a bullseye rash, while the tick itself happily detach itself after sucking a belly-full of blood and is rested for months before making another bite.

Common bullseye rash pattern associated with Lyme disease
-- Image and Caption from Wikipedia
Lyme disease is a treatable tick-borne disease, and like many other treatable disease, the earlier the better, but that's not all of the story.

Tick bite can also bring about parasitic co-infections, such as babesiosis and human granulocytic anaplasmosis (HGA). The following video explains a case of the former.

Told you that Monsters Inside Me is a great TV programme!

Lyme disease can also afflict dogs, with the retrievers particularly prone to it. According to Washington Post,
Retrievers seem prone to Lyme disease in the States
Image from Washington Post

"With its bull’s-eye rash, achy joints and flulike symptoms, Lyme is a concern for humans. Most dogs exposed to the disease show no signs of infection and recover on their own. But a small percentage run fevers, become lame, lose their appetite or, in rare instances, die. And some of America’s favorite breeds — golden retrievers and Labrador retrievers — seem to be particularly at risk."

According to sources from Wikipedia, Lyme disease is the most common tick-borne disease in North America and Europe, and one of the fastest-growing infectious diseases in the United States.

Countries with reported Lyme disease cases.
-- Image and Caption from Wikipedia
In Hong Kong, Lyme disease is rare (if not yet to be reported). The Centre for Health Protection under the Department of Health in Hong Kong discussed this issue in March 2012 in a casual manner as far as I can tell from their scope of advice, but seeing a tick like that coming out from a parcel makes me feel sooner or later, we'll be hearing it.

If you are buying products from overseas, check them carefully. If you have dogs, do check their fur after every walk in the bushes and woods. As a tick can attach to its host for more than 72 hours (Sood SK, Salzman MB, Johnson BJ, et al., 1997), if a dog really has a tick attached to it, you will most likely be able to find it.

Take good care of yourself and your lovely doggies!

For other entries about Monsters Inside Me, do visit Medical Vocabulary: Medical Words from House M.D. Food, Dining & TV: Sushi, Sashimi & Monsters Inside Me .

tick -- (n)[C] [C] a very small creature like an insect which lives on and sucks the blood of other animals
-borne -- suffix carried or moved by a particular thing
parasitic -- (adj)  (also parasiticalcaused by or connected with a parasite
co-infection --(n)[C] In parasitology, coinfection (/ˌkoʊɪnˈfɛkʃən/) is the simultaneous infection of a host by multiple pathogen species. In virology, coinfection includes simultaneous infection of a single cell by two or more virus particles.
afflict -- (vb) [T] If a problem or illness afflicts a person or thing, they suffer from it
lame -- (adj) (especially of animals) not able to walk correctly because of physical injury to or weakness in the legs or feet

Medical: How To Use a EpiPen @ Locky's English Playground

Lyme Disease @ Wikipedia

Parasite Infiltrates Bloodstream @ YouTube

Lyme disease can afflict dogs as well as humans @ Washington Post

Duration of tick attachment as a predictor of the risk of Lyme disease in an area in which Lyme disease is endemic -- Sood SK, Salzman MB, Johnson BJ, Happ CM, Feig K, Carmody L, Rubin LG, Hilton E, Piesman J @ PubMed

Medical Vocabulary: Medical Words from House M.D. @ Locky's English Playground

Food, Dining & TV: Sushi, Sashimi & Monsters Inside Me @ Locky's English Playground

Tuesday 28 August 2012

Science & Environment: The Fujiwhara Effect VS Li's Force Field

Typhoon Bolaven near Seoul and Typhoon Tembin near Taiwan
Image from HKO
I've always been fascinated by typhoons (tropical cyclones / hurricanes) and tornadoes -- mother nature's wind tricks, but it was just recently that I learnt about The Fujiwhara Effect, thanks to Typhoon Tembin and Bolaven.

My first picture in my head when I heard this term, and I believe that many of you would agree, is this...

Everyone around my age knows the famous characters of the Initial D, talented son Takumi Fujiwara and legendary racer dad Bunta Fujiwara. The manga and anime swept from Japan all cross Asia, Europe (Italy and Spain in particular) and America. Here are some YouTube videos of the anime in English, Spanish and Italian

But of course, it has nothing to do with Initial D. It was named after Japanese meteorologist who described the motion of vortices (whirling or spinning) in water. 
Typhoon Tembin made a Boomerang Turn due to the interaction with Typhoon Bolaven
Image from HKO
In simple words, Fujiwhara Effect is the interaction between two typhoon systems, when the larger one will control the movement the smaller one by changing its course or in rare cases, merge together with the larger one. 

Image from HKO
In some cases, there could be 3 typhoons in the interactions! Interesting!

Typhoons of 2010
Image from Wikipedia
What could be even more interesting is if we all get typhoolidays in the weekdays, which hasn't been the case  for at least two years, which is the reason why the term Li's Force Field has made its way to Wikipedia, describing the phenomenon that Hong Kong seem to be protected by an invisible force field created by Hong Kong tycoon Li Ka-Shing such that no typhoon can enter, thus preventing possible typhoolidays on weekdays and financial losses.

Image from Wikipedia

If you are interested in learning more, you can read the references below, or visit Educational Material on Tropical Cyclone from Hong Kong Observatory.

vortex -- (n)[C]  (plural vortices) a mass of air or water that spins around very fast and pulls objects into its empty center
typhooliday -- (n)[C] (n)[C] A word created by Locky, meaning a holiday brought about by the hoisting of high intensity Typhoon signals
Li's Force Field -- (n)[U] Li C Lik-cheung (Chinese: 李氏力場, LCL, Li's Force Field, Lee's Force Field) is a kuso that is very popular among the Hong Kong society, which states that Li Ka-shing (李嘉誠) invented a machine that could create an invisible force field over Hong Kong and prevent any Typhoon from entering Hong Kong territories. As a result, the Hong Kong Observatory would only issue a Strong Wind Signal No.3 or lower.
phenomenon -- (n)[C] (plural phenomenasomething that exists and can be seen, felt, tasted, etc., especially something which is unusual or interesting


Fujiwhara Effect @ Wikipedia

Initial D (3rd challenge)- AE86 vs EG-6 Civic (English) Part 1  @ YouTube

Initial d (Takumi Vs Bunta) @ YouTube

Initial D il Film in Italiano Parte 1 @ YouTube

Li C Lik-cheung @ Wikipedia

Educational Material on Tropical Cyclone

Culture: "Typhoo-lidays", Britons and Weather @ Locky's English Playground

Friday 24 August 2012

Young Learners & News: Babies' Do Talk??

Image from Daily Mail
Interesting article from the Daily Mail titled, Hey mum! I'm trying to tell you something: The faces babies pull aren't just adorable - they're trying to communicate. Here's what they're saying...
A really lengthy title indeed, the article itself is pretty short though, as most details are only available in the author's book, The Blossom Method.

The article introduces some of the patterns that psychotherapist and body language expert Vivien Sabel has discovered about baby's language. Although the viewpoints introduced in the article are pretty "blindingly obvious" as the Daily Mail reporter wrote, we should remember that books are meant to be for those who seek knowledge, something which is blindingly obvious to one may not be that obvious to another, thus any books will have their audience.

Image from Daily Mail
Actually, can babies really talk / communicate? Instead of thinking in terms of human, how about looking at other mammals such as the whales, giraffes and elephants? Their newborn not only instantly walk or swim, they also recognise their mothers and "communicate" with their parents through body language (or even animal speeches). Evolution has pushed these intelligent species to acquire such amazing abilities in order to survive, as the first couple of hours after birth are high time for the cubs to become predators' meals. Human babies need not fear such danger and may not have develop such basic instants, but parent-child communication remains highly possible.

Image from fanpop
Any parent, let alone rationality, can tell you that they do communicate with their children in one way or another. No doubt about that. My question though, is that if the patterns observed are indeed what the author has claimed, then what does the baby mean when all these "decoded" expressions appear one after another? This is highly possible.
Image from Daily Mail
Babies seldom maintain one single expression when they are awake, then how should their changing expressions be interpreted?
Image from Daily Mail
The last thing is, even if one really can read babies' mind, does that imply the babies' wish must be fulfilled in order to help their development? You see, some parents often choose to ignore their babies' crying for food or hugs so as not to let the babies "get used to obtaining what they want too easily". If the parents can really see what their babies want now, will the babies benefit or suffer more? If babies really are that highly intelligent even at very young age, will more parents assume that the babies should also understand why their parents are not giving them food when they are hungry or hugs when they feel lonesome?
Albert Einstein
Image from paulocoelhoblog
Babies language interpretation does help, but I do hope that parents not to imagine their babies as Einstein. Consult experts if there are doubts.

blossom -- (n) [C or U] a small flower, or the small flowers on a tree or plant, hereby refer to as the process of growing up
blindingly -- (adv) extremely
predator -- (n)[C] an animal that hunts, kills and eats other animals
infant -- (n)[C]a baby or a very young child

Hey mum! I'm trying to tell you something: The faces babies pull aren't just adorable - they're trying to communicate. Here's what they're saying... @ Daily Mail

Wednesday 22 August 2012

Environment: What Giant Trees Are These?

Tree along Haiphong Road, Tsim Sha Tsui
Image from PE 傅@ Sina
Every time when I walked past, Haiphong Road in Tsim Sha Tsui, I will be fascinated by the monstrous trees which spawned majestically from the narrow slope of Kowloon Park. I always feel that if one day, one of these tree fell down, hundreds of people will suffer. Yet they survived through numerous typhoons and have in fact stood there for more than 130 years. They have lived longer than any Hongkongers in history.

Image from Google Map
From the photo, it may look small, but the diameter of the tree trunk of some of these trees are wider than 1 metres and estimated to be 5-6 storeys high. Just look at the size of that trunk compared to the size of a human body!

Image from Google Map
Years after years, they stood there, covering the hot summer sun from thousand and thousands of pedestrians, they have served Hong Kong citizens better than any government parties on this land. They truly deserve my deepest respect, and I hope you think the same.

I have always wanted to know their names, and after some researches, I finally confirmed their identities with my wood expert uncle, they are Cinnamomum camphora (樟樹).

Image from LCSD

In Hong Kong, it is the oldest tree species and also very rare. The two largest ones in Hong Kong are AFCD/LK/009 in Lai Chi Wo, near Sha Tau Kok and AFCD/TPK/010 in She Shan Tsuen, Tai Po. Both are 3m in diameters!!!

Wikipedia says that it "is native to Taiwan, southern Japan, southeast China and Indochina", meaning that it could well be a native tree in Hong Kong as well. The trees give out a strong odour which prevent insects from attacking them, which is another reason why they are being over-harvested. The wood expert uncle told me that if we can find some wooden beads with strong insect-repelling smell available for sale in shops, those are fake for sure, but the smell could well came from the real wood of Cinnamomum camphora tree, for the manufacturers put the rare wood in water and then put fake wooden beads to soak up the fragrant.

What a cunning plan! But this plan helped to reduce the chopping of such valuable tree. Next time when you do walk past Haiphong road, try to recall the tree name and give it a strong sniff, see if you can smell the tree! (Make sure there are no smokers next to you though.)

Image from Google
Another species of tree which wows me are those which stood high and pointy along Causeway Road, outside Victoria Park's basketball court, diagonally opposite to Central Library in Causeway Bay. Look at the size of that root compared to the height of passersby. I went right in front of that root some years ago and I felt like I was a rat beneath a giant's foot! There are sharp spikes at the bottom near the root and I think that is to prevent animals from climbing up their trunks.

It was a shame that I never tried to find out their names earlier, now that I know, they are called Ceiba pentandra (吉貝(美洲木棉)). The oldest one there is LCSD E/24, with a diameter (at 1.3m off the ground) of 1.6m!!! WOW!!!!

Similar Tree along Causeway Road (Opposite Central Library)
Image from database.prota
But what is even more astonishing, is how big this tree can actually grow, a quick search through Google Images and I found this one below at the Barro Colorado Natural Monument, Panama.

Image from
Absolutely spectacular!!! Don't you think so? The one in Hong Kong still has millions of years to live on. Let's hope the road will give way by then. You know how bad the city planning is in Hong Kong.

Image from LCSD
If you want to learn more about these old and valuable trees, do visit LCSD's Register of Old and Valuable Trees website and then select any tree species, then the website will show you where you can find them in Hong Kong. Not bad for photography day at all!

I do hope that tree visits will become popular in Hong Kong and so more people will be aware of the importance of woodlands. With more visits, more people will care about these rare trees and so poor AFCD/TPK/010 in She Shan Tsuen, Tai Po will not be burnt and dug for its wood.

Cinnamomum camphora -- (n) [C] (commonly known as Camphor tree, Camphorwood or camphor laurel) is a large evergreen tree that grows up to 20–30 metres tall.
repell -- (vb) to force something or someone to move away or stop attacking you
sniff -- (n) [C] a quick breath in through the nose to smell something, or to stop liquid in the nose from coming out
diagonally -- (adv) A diagonal line is straight and sloping, not horizontal or vertical, for example joining two opposite corners of a square or other flat shape with four sides
passerby -- (n) plural passersby someone who is going past a particular place
spike -- (n)[C] a narrow thin shape with a sharp point at one end, or something, especially a piece of metal, with this shape
Ceiba pentandra -- (n)  [C] or Kapok,  is the most used common name for the tree and may also refer to the fibre obtained from its seed pods. The tree is also known as the Java cotton, Java kapok, Silk cotton or ceiba. It is a sacred symbol in Maya mythology.The tree grows to 60–70 m (200–230 ft) tall and has a very substantial trunk up to 3 m (10 ft) in diameter with buttresses.

Cinnamomum camphora @ Wikipedia

Cinnamomum camphora(Camphor tree) @ HKTree


Ceiba pentandra @ Wikipedia

Register of Old and Valuable Tree @ LCSD

Monday 20 August 2012

Techonology: New Samsung Device Is Coming!!!

When a new Samsung Mobile UNPACKED teaser is out, you know there is going to be an earth-shaking device soon. Last time when I wrote Technology & News: Samsung Galaxy S3 Has Finally Arrived!!!!, the Samsung Galaxy S3 came out and become the most hackable (or the most preferred developers' phone) phone in the world! This time, what could it be?

I'm pretty sure this time, it is the Galaxy Note 2. Please don't mix up Galaxy Note 2 with Note 10.1, Note 10.1 is called Note, but it is actually a tablet. A bit of confusing caused, but not difficult to find out that the Note we are talking about comes with an S Pen, which is and will continue to be, a killer feature in the smartphone industry.

The phone is expected to come with a 5.5" Super AMOLED touchscreen and runs on Quad-Core processor. I'm guessing it will need a 2Gb RAM and Pop Up Play function.

Oh, by the way! S3 can use Pen as well! But it's called C Pen/Stylus,

If you have an S3 and you also want to try out some pen fiddling, you can get a C Pen easily in most of the gadget shops in Hong Kong.

hackable -- (adj) (slang) can be / have lots of potential to be hacked / further develop
fiddle -- (vb) [I] to move things about or touch things with no particular purpose
gadget -- (n) a small device or machine with a particular purpose


[Samsung Mobile UNPACKED 2012] Teaser @ YouTube

Technology & News: Samsung Galaxy S3 Has Finally Arrived!!!! @ Locky's English Playground

Samsung Galaxy S III (Galaxy S3) C Pen/Stylus Unboxing & Demonstration @ YouTube

Samsung Galaxy Note 2 – Specs Review Release Dates & More @ WiMO News

Friday 17 August 2012

Food & Restaurant: Hainanese Chicken Rice -- Food Republic @ CityPlaza

Hainanese Chicken Rice  @ Food Republic
Image from Locky's English Playground
Haven't done any restaurant recommendations for a long long while, I actually don't remember which one was the last I recommended. (After a quick check, it was Mutekiya Wan Chai.)

Today, I have finally found one, and it was closer to me than I thought. A store called Hainanese Chicken Rice under Food Republic at CityPlaza.

Food court had always not been my choice of food source. It is crowded, there is zero romance, and most importantly, there aren't any good to eat.
Teppanyaki @ Food Republic
Image from Locky's English Playground
Why did I even go there? I guess I miss Singaporean food too much.

Food Republic, I used to suspect, is owned by Singaporeans, or maybe the boss is a Singaporean food lover, otherwise, from a economic consideration, he should simply open a huge Japanese-themed food court. HongKongers simply love Japanese food, seldom visits Singaporean food.

Later after researching, I've confirmed that it is run by BreadTalk Group, which is based in Singapore.

Food Republic also has Taiwanese food
Image from Locky's English Playground
But surprisingly, Food Republic managed to survive and expand. Maybe the having other Asian cuisines like Hong Kong, Taiwanese, Vietnamese or Japanese food in the food court help, but the main theme is still Singaporean food.
Long-missed Iced Milo
Image from Locky's English Playground
Side Fact: Many HongKongers I know dislike the Cantonese way of pronouncing the Chinese name of Food Republic, 大食代, because it doesn't make any sense. The secret lies on the fact that it should be read in Mandarin pinyin -- Dàshídài, and "shí" can mean "eat" as well as "time", so it actually means "Big Era" in English. It's a small wordplay in both Mandarin and English.

Hainanese Chicken Rice Set (HK$47) with Iced Milo ($20)
Image from Locky's English Playground
Okay, finally, here's my actual recommendation! Hainanese Chicken Rice Set (HK$47) and Iced Milo (HK$20) -- not included in the set.

At a total of HK$67, one of my friends from Singapore told me over Whatsapp,

Sing $4 for milo? I go set up stall in HK!!!

Actually, she forgot to mention that the chicken rice doesn't cost HK$47 either, back in the good old days in Singapore, it only cost S$2-4, at most HK$24. But this is Hong Kong, unfortunately...

Hainanese Chicken Rice Set (HK$47) with Iced Milo ($20)
Image from Locky's English Playground
Then I suppose once in awhile, it is acceptable, and the taste, is surprisingly good!!

The set comes with the chicken, chicken oil rice, some daily fresh vegetable and soup. To my surprise, the soup was the first to catch my attention, it looked usual, but smelled unusual, in fact, it smelled ... like Bak Kut Teh! It definitely doesn't look like Bak Kut Teh, but it smelled like one and tasted like one!!

Bak Kut Teh-like chicken soup
Image from Locky's English Playground
There was no lazy cooking about the rice because it tasted so rich and it was cooked just right. It may not be the best chicken oil rice I've had, but at that moment, I really felt it was!

Image from Locky's English Playground
Finally, moving to the chicken. I must say HongKongers are very lucky to have really good chefs in Hong Kong, because most of them understand the importance of the presentation of the chicken when it's chopped, so they will always ice the entire chicken after boiling to make the skin crunchy and sharp when cut. My experience of chicken rice in Singapore in the old days and in Bangkok told me that presentation isn't necessarily the priority.

Zoomed in at the "jelly" in between the skin and the meat
Image from Locky's English Playground
Another angle looking at the gelatin under the skin
Image from Locky's English Playground
But after you get the good cuts, the crunchy skin, the tender and juicy meat, I look for the "jelly" layer between the skin and the meat, because that is an indicator of whether the chicken has been cooked just right. Too much boiling and not enough cooling, the jelly will leak out; too little boiling and too much cooling, the "jelly" won't look translucent and should appear white instead.

Gelatin from chicken stock ( chicken bone soup)
Image from restaurantwidow
Quoting from Wikipedia,

Gelatin is a mixture of peptides and proteins produced by partial hydrolysis of collagen extracted from the skin, boiled crushed bones, connective tissues, organs and some intestines of animals such as domesticated cattle, chicken, horses hooves, and pigs. The natural molecular bonds between individual collagen strands are broken down into a form that rearranges more easily. Gelatin melts to a liquid when heated and solidifies when cooled again.

Cheapening the chicken by using these sauces
Image from Locky's English Playground
All these point to a really nicely cooked chicken, making all those sauce unnecessary and redundant.

Image from Locky's English Playground
Lastly, the meal is completed with a glass of Iced Milo, a signature Singaporean drink. The HK$20 was not well-deserved, but my craving for a full Singaporean lunch told me otherwise, at least at that moment.

Overall, it was an truly satisfying meal, if only the price could be cheaper, it would be perfect!

Look:            ★★★★★ 5/5
Taste:            ★★★★★ 5/5
Smell:            ★★★★★ 5/5
Textures:       ★★★★★ 5/5
Temperature: ★★★☆☆ 3/5
Overall:         ★★★★★ 23/25

era -- (n) [C] a period of time of which particular events or stages of development are typical
wordplay -- (n)[U] when you joke about the meanings of words, especially in a clever way
translucent -- (adj) often approving If an object or a substance is translucent, it is almost transparent, allowing some light through it in an attractive way
redundant - (adj) (especially of a word, phrase, etc.) unnecessary because it is more than is needed
craving -- (n)[C] a strong or uncontrollable want


Food & Restaurant: Mutekiya (無敵家) @ Wan Chai Grand Opening Day @ Locky's English Playground

Food Republic @ Wikipedia

Gelatin @ Wikipedia

Wednesday 15 August 2012

Sport & Technology: Downloading The Olympics

Image from YouTube

How many of you are as frustrated as me when it comes to watching the Olympics on TV? I don't have Cable TV, I watched it on TVB and ATV English channels like all of you, didn't get to watch the events I wanted to watch, both full or part of the event.

Like the Tennis Men's Singles Gold Medal Final of Federer VS Murray!!! Why didn't they show it???

Now, some of you will say, yeah, we can BT them, some people must have uploaded it somewhere on the internet, but instead of looking too far, you can simply watch the replays on YouTube!

The Olympics YouTube Channel has finally released these UK-only-previously-blocked videos to the whole world!

You can select the replays according the date of the event and or the types of sport and then download them if you have Real Player.

Image from YouTube
And here is the 2 hour and 11 mins gold medal game I wanted to watch. In fact, I am watching as I am writing this. Press the Play button and then press Watch on YouTube to watch.

Maria Sharapova's fan can watch the full 1 hour 23 mins Women's Singles Finals and watch how she lost the Gold to Serena Williams.
Maria Sharapova
Image from photobucket

Or if you want to see Sharapova wins, you can watch the First and Second rounds instead.

If you can't afford hours of time to watch tennis, you can go for some quick ones like Athletics men's 100m  Final, highly entertaining as you will see Usain Bolt scratching disc and shooting guns with his fingers before the race and his signature celebration after he set the new Olympic record.

Usain Bolt!! Who else?
Image from London2012

For the deeper meaning of the word "bolt", do read Idiom & Slang: Colors, Tool, Lightning & Sexy!

If you are not a tennis or girls' fan, then you should be a muscles' fan, there are ... for the ladies too.

In the Gymnastics Artistic Men's Parallel Bars Final, you will see your favourite Marcel Nguyen from Germany.
Marcel Nguyen
Image from musicmakesyoulosecontrol

You can watch many other sports which are not shown on local TV and even watch the Opening and Closing ceremony in several videos parts!

So what are you waiting for? Log on to YouTube!


But if you are looking forward to watching USA pole vault athlete Allison Stokke like my friends were through the Olympics, sorry, you are out of luck, because she is not even in the Olympics.

Allison Stokke
Image from the internet

be in/out of luck -- Informal to be able/unable to have or do what you want

Olympics YouTube Channel

Tennis Men's Singles Gold Medal Final - GBR v SUI Full Replay - London 2012 @ YouTube

Tennis Women's Singles First Round - Russian Fed v Israel Full Replay @ YouTube

Tennis Women's Singles Second Round - GBR v RUS Full Replay @ YouTube

Tennis Women's Singles Finals - USA v RUS Full Replay -- London 2012 @ YouTube

Athletics Men's 100m Final Full Replay - London 2012 Olympic Games @ YouTube

Idiom & Slang: Colors, Tool, Lightning & Sexy! @ Locky's English Playground

Gymnastics Artistic Men's Parallel Bars Final - London 2012 @ YouTube

Tuesday 14 August 2012

Animals & TV: Saving the Cetaceans & Whale Wars -- Animal Planets

Image from Discovery Channel
On 9th August on Facebook, I saw the following photos posted by Save Misty the Dolphin. The captions on these photos say this killing was happening exactly as I was reading. It was extreme cruelty. I felt I had to do something to let the world know about it, and so I shared it on the English Playground's Facebook page too.

Image from Save Misty the Dolphin
Hundreds of pilot whale had their neck chopped off, blood from the dead pouring out from those deadly cuts, painting the miles of sea bright red while those still alive eventually got slaughtered in their family members' blood. I know some of you might be thinking, that these whale's neck are cut first, and they will die rather quickly so it is rather painless, but who is to say that the pain does not persist after being guillotined? Only the dead can tell.

Image from Save Misty the Dolphin
It all happened on Faroe Islands, a group of island which belong to Denmark, which carries out whaling for food as a tradition since c. 1200 years ago.

It is an annual tragic, a tragic that no dolphins and whale lovers are likely to be able to stop, unless the Danish themselves realise they are killing highly intelligent mammals that are comparable with humans. We can play a part in changing the mindsets of the Faroese hunters by signing a petition organised by Animals Australia Unleashed

Petition to End the Faroe Islands' Whale & Dolphin Slaughter:

More photos of the hunt can be viewed here.

But tragic doesn't just happen in the Faroe Islands. In my earlier entries such as Animals: A Market Proposal for Saving Whales?Song: Please, let the dolphins goNews & Movie: The Cove (Free Legal Download: Full Length Japanese Dubbed Version), and Documentary: The Cove, I have already discussed how minke whales and dolphins are being slaughtered for their meat by the Japanese whalers "for scientific researches" as they claim, but now, looks like they have moved on to yet another species... the porpoises.

Porpoises in a Japanese market
Image from The Cove
The following video will show you how dangerous dolphins, whales and porpoises meat are to human.

However, despite the dangerous level of dolphin and porpoise meats, they continue to be sold in the Japanese supermarkets.

And why is this? Because of one word, CULTURE.

It is always extremely hard, if not impossible, to persuade people of a culture to accept the moral values of another culture. Many will argue that turkeys are being killed as food in the US, same goes for dogs in China; Buddhist worshippers don't support killing of cattle as much as Muslim worshippers are against the eating of pork.

How do we define which animal is acceptable to be killed as food and which is not? Who's rules do we use to draw the line?

The key might be on the level of sustainability. In simple English, it means whether the animals can reproduce faster than they are being killed. If the answer is yes, then it is considered as sustainable, if not, if is unsustainable.

So far, sharks, tunas, whales, dolphins, porpoises, sea turtles, and many other species, are all below the sustainable level, meaning they are severely overfished.

Image from Animal Planets
In order to protect the whales and in turn, our planet and our future generations, a group of volunteers formed the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society in 1977 and head out to the dangerous icy waters international waters annually to fight off Japanese whalers who target to kill over 1000 whales per year.

Image from Animal Planets

And this is the documentary I want to recommend, for adults and especially young children, Whale Wars on Animal Planets.

Here's a playlist of videos.

From the learning perspective, there are many speakers of English, men and women, different accents and are all speaking naturally. From the educational perspective, our future generations should learn that animals like whales, dolphins, porpoises, sharks and tunas should be respected and they should have their share of the planet just like we do. Without them, we will eventually die out too. They should also know that there are volunteers out there who are willing to sacrifice their lives for the whales -- and eventually for us.

To show your support for this non-profit organisation, your can donate or simply buy their products from their shop! (This is what exactly I will do!)

Sea Shepherd Conservation Society Shop

May Steve Irwin (also the name of one of their anti-whaling boats) be with them and with us, bless the whales!!!

Ady Gil hit and sank by the Japanese Shonan Maru No2

There are many clips of the show on YouTube and you can also find their DVDs in HMV.

slaughter -- (vb) to kill an animal for meat
guillotine -- (vb) [T] to cut someone's head off using a guillotine
Cetacean -- (n)[C] The order Cetacea ( /sɨˈteɪʃⁱə/) includes the marine mammals commonly known as whales, dolphins, and porpoises
whaler -- (n)[C] (someone who works on) a boat which is designed for hunting whales
sustainability -- (n)  is the capacity to endure. In ecology, sustainability describes how biological systems remain diverse and productive over time, a necessary precondition for the well-being of humans and other organisms. Long-lived and healthy wetlands and forests are examples of sustainable biological systems.

Save Misty the Dolphin @ Facebook

Locky's English Playground @ Facebook

Pilot Whale @ Wikipedia

Whaling in the Faroe Islands @ Wikipedia

Petition to End the Faroe Islands' Whale & Dolphin Slaughter @ Animals Australia Unleashed

Animals: A Market Proposal for Saving Whales? @ Locky's English Playground

Song: Please, let the dolphins go @ Locky's English Playground

News & Movie: The Cove (Free Legal Download: Full Length Japanese Dubbed Version) @ Locky's English Playground

Documentary: The Cove @ Locky's English Playground

Um 150 hval lagt beinini @

The Cove @ Facebook

Scaled-down Dall’s porpoise hunt resumes in Japan - EIA International @ EIA-International

Whale Wars @ Discovery Channel
Sea Shepherd Conservation Society Shop