Polar Warmth

Ursus_maritimus_us_fishOver time, polar bears have adapted themselves to freezing cold climates as low at -20 degrees Fahrenheit. Polar bear’s utilize a thick fur and fat layer to insulate themselves and can at times overheat because their insulation techniques have evolved to be extremely efficient for such low temperatures.

Polar bears have two types of fur: long oily guard hairs and short insulating hairs. The oily long hair keeps the polar bear protected from the ice cold temperatures of the water by repelling the water. The oily long hairs pull in the heat for the short insulating hairs to snatch up and trap right next to the skin.

The polar bear’s fat layer, or “blubber,” covers the bear’s whole body and can range from 2-4 inches in thickness. This fat layer may also be used as a source of energy when food is scarce.

polar6Another technique used by polar bears to keep warm is known as “winter sleep,” a state in which the polar bears metabolic process slows creating lower energy demands on the body so that the bear may be kept warm. This process differs from hibernation in that in winter sleep the bears can still be woken up.

Polar Bear Facts:

  • The hair of a polar bears’ fur is hollow.
  • Polar bears have been known to swim 100 miles in one stretch.
  • Polar bears spend most of their life on sea ice.
  • Polar bears are an endangered species as of 2008.
  • Adult male polar bears can weigh up to 1,700 lbs.
  • Baby polar bears are called cubs.
  • At birth, cubs are about 12-14 inches long and weight about 1 pound.
  • The scientific name for polar bear is “Ursus Maritimus” which translates to “sea bear.”

(These are by far the cutest bears to ever exist.)

(more…)

Advertisements

Is Evil Funny?

In today’s modern media, particularly in the movies, evil ideas are morphed into funny, laughable situations and ideas. One of the more prominent examples of this phenomena is in the Austin Power movies, with focus on Dr. Evil. In these movies, Dr. Evil threatens to destroy the world, kill all those who oppose him, and destroy society as we know it, all of which are real world threats and problems, in the present day and in history. Regardless of the severity of Dr Evils threats and actions, the audience laughs, chuckles, and giggles in response. Do we as Human beings really think that world domination and extermination is humorous, or do we try to pick out the lighter, less serious points of things? Another example of how we as humans think evil is funny is the Scary Movies, which make farces of scary movies which frighten audiences with ideas of evil and terror. When we see the devil attacking someone in a horror movie, we scream and cringe, but when we see it in the Scary Movie series, we laugh until we cry. I sincerely do not think that humans find anything about evil to be funny, but rather we as humans try to look at the lighter points of films and media only because we deal with evil so much in our own society and need a break. Gang wars, kidnappings, murders, school shootings, and  global threats occur regularly, and to balance out this evil, we need to make fun of it or poke holes in it, if only to keep sane.   For example “The details of my life are quite inconsequential… very well, where do I begin? My father was a relentlessly self-improving boulangerie owner from Belgium with low grade narcolepsy and a penchant for buggery. My mother was a fifteen year old French prostitute named Chloe with webbed feet. My father would womanize, he would drink. He would make outrageous claims like he invented the question mark. Sometimes he would accuse chestnuts of being lazy. The sort of general malaise that only the genius possess and the insane lament. My childhood was typical. Summers in Rangoon, luge lessons. In the spring we’d make meat helmets. When I was insolent I was placed in a burlap bag and beaten with reeds- pretty standard really. At the age of twelve I received my first scribe. “. In this quote alone, a man described his childhood being raised by a drunk womanizer and a french prostitute,  and being shoved in a burlap bag and being beaten with reeds. Out of context, these actions would be viewed as criminal, evil, and negligent.  But read it in context, and you will find yourself laughing hysterically.  Child abuse for gods sake is being described in the above passage and all we can do is laugh. In my view this is  because we need an escape, a way to make fun of what truly disgusts and offends us.

 

 

 

 

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0118655/quotes

http://www.rolexwallpaper.com/villain-dr-evil-mr-bigglesworth-2-8001067-2.html

Benefits of Anxiety

workplace_bully

 

school_test_anxiety

 

While anxiety usually produces negative effects on people, however, psychologists have found that a little stress could bring out the best. There is a point on the anxiety meter, between checked out and freaked out, a sweet spot where motivation thrives from a small amount of anxiety. The anxiety level is not at a point where performance is compromised but where it enables people to multi task and give forth their best effort. For example, someone who is a procrastinator perfectionist, strives from anxiety induced situations, to the extent that it acts helps them get work done faster and more efficiently. In fact, the idea that moderate anxiety can be heavily beneficial dates back to 1908. According to online.wsj.com, in that same year, Harvard psychologists Robert Yerkes and John Dodson posited that arousal enhances performance-but to a point.” I think this proposal can relate greatly to the mindset of driven students. Those who strive to achieve good grades in school often feel the stress of the work load, and possible difficulties managing it. Instead of this dragging their work quality down, the desire to do good under the work load induced anxiety actually has beneficial effects shown through improved productivity and better management of time. The same idea can be seen in athletes; “ We’ll say to athletes, ‘You’re going to be anxious. Great. Channel it and use it,” Dr. Josephson says.” (online.wsj.com) Channeling feelings of anxiety and nervousness can be used as ways of getting exited about a game and help improve performance. From an evolutionary standpoint, anxiety has been the key to human survival. Fear and stress causes adrenaline to rise and our heart rate to increase so we can run away, fight or stay. Anxiety is shown to be beneficial in two scenarios; dangerous situations, and friendships. The people who always worry about the what-ifs in situations, are better in dangerous situations or situations they deem dangerous. “ The anxious person is usually best at calculating risks and coming up with solutions  before a problem occurs. In dangerous situations, the anxious person has probably already pondered the situation beforehand and will most likely be a driving force in implementing the solution.” (the-anxiety-tips.com) The benefits of anxiety in friendship are positive as well. According to the-anxiety-tips.com, people who have anxiety, have a better understanding of what it is like to need support and are more inclined to dish it out when needed. They also tend to be less judgmental and more accepting.

 

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702303836404577474451463041994.html

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2072863/LIZ-JONES-Can-anxiety-GOOD-you.html

http://www.yummymummyclub.ca/sites/default/files/styles/large/public/field/image/school_test_anxiety.jpg?itok=nGPaBnZC

 

Comfort Food

Global Warming

Though many people specially seek out warm locations in order to enjoy their vacation time on a hot beach or an iceless landscape, warmth is not welcome on all ends of the globe. Climate regulates its inhabitants’ ability to survive. When that climate is threatened, we see a dramatic decrease in survival on specific animals. Polar Bears have been threatened by Global Warming due to thinning ice and glaciers. While the temperatures of the massive bodies of water continue increase, ice also continues to melt and threatens the existence of Polar Bears. Melting ice and Polar Bears cannot coexist, one must go. With warmer water temperatures and thinning ice comes with many issues for the Polar Bear. For starters, Polar Bears are not swimmers. They are able to swim for short periods of time while hunting seal and other prey, however, they are not equipped to swim in large bodies of water for long periods of time. With melting ice, Polar Bears will have no platform or solid foundation to rest and live on, Polar Bears are faced with the possibility of drowning due to exhaustion. Also, with a decrease in solid ice surface Polar Bears will experience a shortage of food. Seals become less accessible to the bears because the resting ground for seals is ice. If the ice melts, the seals will have to reside in the water or search for land in other places; leaving Polar Bears with a shortened hunting season as well.

Warmth can be both a positive and negative experience. For Polar Bears, greenhouse gases will cause a rapid decrease in ice. A previous Nasa study found a 2.9% decline in total Arctic sea ice extent over the last decade. The bears will be either forced into extinction, or must migrate otherwise.

Warmth can be a positive survival technique for many other animals though. Many animals depend on warmth in order to live. Many reptiles, that are cold blooded, depend on the sun’s warmth to revive them after a cold swim or not being in the sun for a while. Otherwise, they would die due to lack of warmth.

Human beings are the same way. Most humans enjoy warm weather as opposed to cold weather. Warmth is more comforting to us. From the first moments of life in the womb we experience warmth and comfort. We are warm blooded animals, therefore, we seek out warmth.

Unfortunately for the Polar Bears, who do not seek out warmth, it is being thrust upon them and threatens their very existence.

Warmth in the Household

The warmth of the home is a very significant and comforting necessity that most children cling to as adolescents until adulthood and beyond. Books that represent the warmth of the household have been published all around the world. Having a safe haven that you can always return to is extremely comforting to most individuals. After a long, and possibly unhappy day, a home is always the place you can return to in order to feel physically and mentally warm in your element. Unfortunately, household warmth does not exist in every home. Domestic abuse can occur in many families which turns the elements safety and comfort of a place to return to after a long day into a terrifying and horrible experience to come back to. Once the warmth and comfortability of that household has been shattered, it is very difficult to restore that safety for a child. These books talk all about the importance of including warmth in your family’s typical routine and home.

Warmth in the household can also be thought of as physical warmth. Having a roaring fire, comfortable temperature, and a nice cup of tea and a blanket can do wonders for a person’s mood and temperament. Mentally, having a loving and caring family around will always comfort you and make you feel like you belong.

Uncertainty in Life and Fine Arts

Here are some examples of artists, filmakers, writers, who all used uncertainty as the basis for their work.

This movie was released in 2009, and exemplifies the feeling of being uncertain in relation to human emotion.

 

Uncertainty

By: The Fray

 

“Learning the Art of Uncertainty

I teach people how to cultivate awareness of uncertainty in their lives, then how to know the difference between uncertainty and panic, anxiety, stress and worry. From that they learn some simple skills and techniques in applying this newly found capacity to their daily lives. These skills and techniques are designed around your own needs and experiences. In learning how to do this, you are not pushed around by uncertainty, but know how to extract the benefits of uncertainty, whether it be in their work or work-whatever they do, in their personal and inner lives as well. Learning the art of uncertainty can increase your experience of prosperity. You can learn how to take opportunity and energy out of seemingly nothing to improve your lot in life and then learn how to pay it back, for uncertainty requires that which is borrowed , or used must be returned. Uncertainty if understood out of your own experience can be a life- enhancing experience, every day, and in every situation that you find yourself in.”

This, amusingly enough, is a guy who believes he can teach a person how to be uncertain.

 

 

(This was just amusing…)

 

     There is a reason that authors, writers, filmmakers, artists, all use the idea of uncertainty. Humans connect to the feeling of being uncertain. All the time we feel uncertain of the future, of our own feelings, of life in general. We can never make up our minds half the time, and the other half, we just can’t know yet. The future of our world sometimes seems ambiguous as well. With the economy falling, the seasons in reverse order and all the natural disasters occurring, people question the future of the planet itself. It feels as if everything is at a tipping point, and it no one can see what is on the other side of the downfall. Global warming is truly messing with our plant, along with the exponentially increasing population of man. We reached seven billion people estimated on earth. The planet cannot support so many people. Scientists believe that the population will reach its peak at around 2050. But of course, no one knows what happens when it reaches its peak. Some say a big die off will happen naturally, others say there will be so little food that people will just be starving in the streets. Overall, such a future and what could happen with that impending future is extremely uncertain.

    I, personally, am extremely uncertain in my life right now. I am uncertain about my future. I have absolutely no idea where I am going to be in a year or even six months. I have no idea what colleges will accept me, what colleges I will want to go to over others, and what state I will even end up in. But when I see the music, the art, the films that represent uncertainty, I do not feel as alone, as scared of uncertainty. I realize that everyone feels such uncertainty for the future. As corny as it is, such art comforts me and helps me not to fall over in a pure panic attack half the time. Thus overall, uncertainty can be quite common and fearful, but it often can be utilized by artists and filmmakers in order to help bring together human emotions. Because we feel such emotions, we connect better with others.  

~Kelsey