Natural History – The Hawaiian Bobtail Squid

Natural History – The Hawaiian Bobtail Squid

The Hawaiian Bobtail Squid

A full moon illuminates the surface of the warm waters off the Hawaiian coastline. Bobbing just beneath the silvery light spray is a dumpling shaped squid that can hide in the light of the moon.

Glowing from the inside, The Hawaiian Bobtail Squid (Euprymna scolopes) is a cephalopod with superpowers. Cute and sparkly with big eyes, a plump body, a skirt of fins and a fist of tentacles exploding from its face, this little squid, not much bigger than a lime, is like no other. 


The Bobtail, like octopus and other varieties of squid, have evolved incredible ways to avoid being eaten. Shapeshifting, colour changing, ink explosions and travelling at warp speed using jet propulsion are just a few quirks these guys have up their sleeve.

 With its eight arms and two tentacles, big eyes, and colour-changing skin, the Hawaiian Bobtail has its unique ways of fooling its foes. Unlike its soft-bodied relatives, which use iridophores to mimic sunlight to camouflage on the surface or the water, the Bobtail Squid emits its light from inside of itself. 

The Hawaiian Bobtail Squid has been dubbed “the stealth bomber of the ocean” by molecular biologist Bonnie Bassler, AKA The Bacteria Whisperer.

https://youtu.be/TVfmUfr8VPA – Bonnie Bassler: The secret, social lives of bacteria

The Stealth Bomber

The Hawaiian Bobtail Squid spends most of the time hidden underneath sand on the bottom of the seafloor, but come night-time, the googly-eyed squid switches on its invisibility device and floats to the surface of the warm Hawaiian waters to hunt. The dumpling shaped disco-ball that glows like the moon is invisible to hungry predators below, and it’s all thanks to a single microbe that lives inside its body.

Out of the billions of bacteria and viruses that exist in every litre of seawater, only one inhabits the Bobtail Squids body. A light-emitting microbe called Vibrio fisceri colonises inside the squid. It helps grow a unique light organ that the Bobtail uses to control the amount of light released inside. This symbiotic relationship has captured the attention of biologists who are curious to understand how microbes change the host they inhabit.

Studying the relationship of Vibrio fisceri and its host, the Hawaiian Bobtail Squid has revealed to scientists the secret language that microbes use to communicate. It means we could harness the power of good bacteria to enhance our bodies and perhaps one day consciously interact with our microbial buddies. Who knows, maybe one day we will figure out how to glow at night too.

 

This article is as a general guide to better health and wellbeing.
It is not intended to replace medical advice. If you are suffering from anxiety, depression or poor health, we strongly advise you to seek medical attention.

We provide resources that are selected on their relevance and believed authenticity. We do not hold responsibility for their accuracy.

We do our best to research all our content to supply truthful and supportive information. We are not responsible for fraudulent or inauthentic claims made by external resources used to create our posts nor do we support the views and opinions of third party sources included in our posts.

Copyright Horatio’s Jar, 2020
All Rights Reserved

Natural History, The Red-Eyed Tree Frog

Natural History, The Red-Eyed Tree Frog

Natural History
The Red-Eyed Tree Frog

Scientific nameAgalychnis callidryas
ClassAmphibia
FamilyPhyllomedusidae
KingdomAnimalia
Higher classificationAgalychnis

I hope my frog caught your attention.
This little guy is the poster child of environmental awareness campaigns worldwide, and it is easy to see why.

The Red-Eyed Tree Frog, sometimes also referred to as a ‘Leaf Frog’, is native to central and South America. It has striking features that include, Irridescent orange-red eyes, that bulge from a slender green body, luminous orange toes, and an inky blue underside.

We are Family

Frogs are our distant relatives. Having lived on the earth some 250 million years, these adaptive vertebrates were the first to bridge land and lake and marked the beginning of animal evolution on land.

 Frogs are an important emblem of nature, they represent the finite balance and health of the planet. Sensitive to toxins, climate change, habitat destruction, pollution and predation, the decline or extinction of frogs species indicates disease in all other areas of the biosphere.

The natural world and its abundance of rare and gorgeous creatures are fast becoming natural history. We are hurriedly trying to capitalise on the last remaining sanctuaries of rare creatures, plants, microbes, fungi, insects, reefs and wilderness  – documenting, and synthesizing natures wonder market, where compounds, and chemical used in pharmacy – are only now coming to attention as we lose time.

Learn more on frogs here 

The Sixth Mass Extinction is Now

Science says we are now in the 6th Mass Extinctions, the 5th was the end of the dinosaurs 65 million years ago where it is believed a giant asteroid struck the earth and caused the mass die out. Our extinction is unique to all others, it is the first to be caused by a species of animal wiping out all others.

To capitalise on the earth natural resources for wealth, we have soured the soil, turned the seas to acid and poisoned the air. Sounds a little dramatic, too bad. It would nice to sugar coat this article, but after learning that the entire Koala population of the Kiwarrick State Forest in NSW,( where I am from), was lost in our 2019 firestorm, I have a moral duty to make a point.

As a content writer for education I rarely share my own voice, I try to stay impartial and provide information and resources that help the reader make up their own mind. But today I am sharing a little bit of myself with you in the hopes that the project I am working with, Natural History,  might catch the attention and the imagination of you and spark your interest in saving the planet too.

This article will be one of five that will feature a combination of unique and endangered animals from around the world. The aim is to inspire you to pay attention to what is happening in your own backyard, make better decisions about where you spend your money, what you put into your body, and how you treat the living world around you.

We are totally reliant on each other and all other species of plant, animal, fungi, insect and invertebrate in the world. Tiny changes are still meaningful and your contribution however big or small could help save what precious resources and animals we have left.

This article is as a general guide to better health and wellbeing.
It is not intended to replace medical advice. If you are suffering from anxiety, depression or poor health, we strongly advise you to seek medical attention.

We provide resources that are selected on their relevance and believed authenticity. We do not hold responsibility for their accuracy.

We do our best to research all our content to supply truthful and supportive information. We are not responsible for fraudulent or inauthentic claims made by external resources used to create our posts nor do we support the views and opinions of third party sources included in our posts.

Copyright Horatio’s Jar, 2020
All Rights Reserved

The End of Emotions

The End of Emotions

The End of Emotions

Have you ever wondered what emotions are and where they actually come from? I have. In fact, the very reason I researched this article was because I wasn’t sure myself of how I feel, what I feel and how I am supposed to define my changing states.

 It was a week or so ago where I sat on my couch baffled at my state of nonchalance. I was unbothered – not flat, just present, still and curious. What do I feel? What should I feel? , and where to find the answers?.

Where are my emotions I wondered?. What are emotions and how do we know which ones to pay attention to?
I searched high and low for concrete answers to my plaguing questions, and still, it seems a little unclear as to what goes where.

Theory of Emotions

Theorists suggest that emotions – the ones that are said to be universal are a part of the survival package we get handed from birth. Experts say we have five to seven universal emotions, shared by man, woman, child and beast and that everyone understands these to be the same.

These fundamental emotions according to Dr Paul Ekman are; Happiness, Sadness, Fear, Disgust, Anger, Contempt and Surprise. Dr Paul Ekman pioneered the field of micro- expressions and mapped the 43 facial muscles used in emotional expression. Dr Ekman has influenced politics, governments and  popular culture through his research. 

Confident in his work the Dalai Lama commissioned Dr Paul Ekman and his daughter Dr Eve Ekman in a brand new interactive virtual platform called ‘The Atlas of Emotions’, where you can explore the complex dimension of feelings and their intensity.

http://atlasofemotions.org

Paul Ekman is a well-known psychologist and co-discoverer of micro expressions. He was named one of the 100 most influential people in the world by TIME magazine in 2009. He has worked with many government agencies, domestic and abroad. Dr. Ekman has compiled over 50 years of his research to create comprehensive training tools to read the hidden emotions of those around you.. (https://www.paulekman.com/blog/atlas-of-emotions/)

And Then, There Was Lisa

Experts say emotions are energy in motion – that emotions cause us to  make actions and that each emotion has its unique physiological thumbprint. Research says that there are 35,000 different emotions and each is unique. If we embody emotions and there are so so many, how would we cope with so many physiological changes?. This bothered me – imagine if there are 35,000 different available emotions, how many variable chemical cocktails, muscle movements and behaviours would we make all day?.

It also bothered me, that I could not find a reliable source to where all these emotions arise from, how we make them or even make sense of them. The information I had so far accessed seemed to be very wishy-washy, and hard to make sense with. Still, the answer remained, what is an emotion? where do they come from?, and are the ones I have real or just made up?. 

And then I came across Dr Lisa Feldman Barrett and bit by bit the elusive construct of metaphor and allegory started to make sense. Dr Barrett in her research literally annihilates claims made by contemporaries in the field of emotional sciences and psychology, by stating that most of the published works rely on unsubstantiated evidence and bogus claims. 

Lisa Feldman Barrett is a university distinguished professor of psychology at Northeastern University, where she focuses on affective science. She is a director of the Interdisciplinary Affective Science Laboratory. Along with James Russell, she is the founding editor-in-chief of the journal Emotion Review. Wikipedia

She has written a book called –  How Emotions Are Made: The Secret Life of The Brain.

In The End

In my quest to uncover the reality of emotions I discovered a lot of different theories, emotional charts and diagrams, character stereotypes and contradictions.

In the end, understanding your emotions is a skill, emotions are difficult to define, how we feel is unique to us and sharing emotions at the right time, is magic.

This article is as a general guide to better health and wellbeing.
It is not intended to replace medical advice. If you are suffering from anxiety, depression or poor health, we strongly advise you to seek medical attention.

We provide resources that are selected on their relevance and believed authenticity. We do not hold responsibility for their accuracy.

We do our best to research all our content to supply truthful and supportive information. We are not responsible for fraudulent or inauthentic claims made by external resources used to create our posts nor do we support the views and opinions of third party sources included in our posts.

Copyright Horatio’s Jar, 2020
All Rights Reserved

The Magical Pangolin – A Rare Ancient Treasure

The Magical Pangolin – A Rare Ancient Treasure

The Magical Pangolin

A rare ancient treasure

Ages 5+ 

Video Links Require Adult Supervision 

3 minute reading  + additional video links 1hr

The Pangolin is, “the world’s only truly scaly mammal”, says Sir David Attenborough in the ABC documentary, Pangolins.

The Pangolin is a prehistoric and mythological looking being somewhat similar in appearance to an Aardvark but with scales like pine cones covering nearly all of its body. Slow-moving, shy and defenceless, the Pangolin is the most hunted mammal on the planet and because of black market poaching also one of the rarest.

Living on planet earth for more than 40 million years, The Pangolin are almost extinct because of the demand for their meat and scales in the Asian pharmaceutical and restaurant trade. Pangolin scales are worth more than ivory on the black market, and with dwindling supplies of the rare animal on the Asian continent, poachers now source Pangolin illegally from Africa.

 

Extinction is imminent.

In Africa and Vietnam, amazing wildlife warriors are working to save the pangolin in the wild, establishing conservation and rehabilitation projects which are leading the way to understand and protecting the dwindling Pangolin species.

Education and community are crucial to saving our very precious planet and the gorgeous and rare creatures that inhabit it. All over the world animals are being lost forever, never to be seen or heard again. Animals that have lived here for millions of years, before the time of humans are vanishing before our eyes and it is our fault.

To find out more: 

Watching Pangolins: Narrated by David Attenborough in iview

https://iview.abc.net.au/show/pangolins-narrated-by-david-attenborough?isMobile=iOS

Conservation

REST’s number one aim in being a good wildlife centre is to practice good conservation first. Founder, Maria Diekmann feels strongly that although research and education are key, conservation of a species must take priority. Extinction makes all other aspects irrelevant to survival. Of course research and education benefit from such efforts.

https://www.restnamibia.org

Breaking Bad Habits – Mindfulness Changes Your Brain

Breaking Bad Habits – Mindfulness Changes Your Brain

Habits

One of the greatest developments in contemporary psychiatry and behavioural psychology is the knowledge that the mind and the brain are in fact two separate things and that with the power of your awareness you can change the structure and the chemistry of your own brain.

With the knowledge that you can use mindfulness to rewire your brain, the treatment of behavioural disorders and mental illnesses like obsessive-compulsive disorder, (a debilitating mental illness that is a result of faulty brain circuitry) can now be undone and managed in a way that may no longer require the use of pharmaceuticals.

There is still so much to be learned on the illnesses of the mind, so much so, that contemporary psychiatry is at least 100 years behind general medicine. Research into mental illness has shown that in 30 years there has been no improvement in the use of pharmacology for the treatment of anxiety and depression, mood disorders or addiction and human happiness has not improved either.

 

Breaking Bad Habits

The more often you repeat a behaviour the stronger the urge to do it again becomes, this is because you are strengthening the neurological pathways that connect the impulse to the action in the brain.  If you stop feeding the impulse the urge will eventually die.

The compulsion to repeat negative behaviours usually proceeds an uncomfortable sensation in the body. Uncomfortable feelings are the result of your body releasing chemicals and hormones that make you feel intense sensations of uneasiness, stress, fear, panic or anxiety. Our natural response to these sensations is to make them go away as soon as possible.

Becoming aware of your feelings and understanding that the physical discomfort you are experiencing is short-lived will help you to overcome the need to feed your beast. Uncomfortable sensations and emotions are a part of being a human and knowing that they come and go will help you to reduce their impact on your life.

Once you are aware of the sensations and emotions that drive your behaviour you can begin inserting a positive action, consciously and lovingly when they occur, actively reframing your focus and rewiring your brain.
Suggested interventions that are simple and effective at the time the negative or intense feelings arise could be; having a glass of water, taking a walk, jumping up and down or practising a breathing exercise.

Giving yourself this little bit of space between the impulse and the action will draw light on your ability to navigate the mind away from your brain. The space created helps you to unlock the brain from the mind and dissolve the patterns that are embedded into your psyche.

Top Tips For Making Changes

  • Recognise the sensation the impulse creates in your body – normally negative impulses make your body feel tight and constricted and good ones make you feel open and relaxed.
  • Make the choice to sit through uncomfortable sensations for 90 seconds
  • Make a plan – have a strategy in place for when urges arise for example – when you want to eat chocolate consciously have a glass of water instead so that over time when you have the impulse to eat chocolate your action will be to drink a glass of water.
  • Practice meditation and mindfulness – becoming attuned to your inner self, thoughts, feelings and emotions will help you tackle pre-programmed habits that no longer serve your greater purpose in life.
  • Positivity practices like mantra and mindfulness help to repattern the brain as you manually and thoughtful train yourself to be kind, compassionate, self-loving and aware.
  • Mediation and yoga help you to relax and refocus the mind away from the negative and reframe it to the positive, this repeated practice helps to strengthen the positive pathways in your brain and weaken the negative ones.
  • Deep breathing exercises help you to rebalance and refocus the mind and body and reduce the stress hormones that generate uncomfortable feelings.

Dr Joan Rosenberg | TEDxSantaBarbara

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EKy19WzkPxE&t=690s

Uncomfortable Feelings Are Short-lived

The urge to repeat a behaviour – or the compulsion only lasts approximately 90 seconds according to Dr Joan Rosenberg a clinical psychologist and motivational speaker.

Dr Rosenberg has the formula to help people with deal with uncomfortable sensations and feelings which she calls the “Rosenberg Reset” – it is 3 steps to approaching uncomfortable feelings:

Step 1. Making a choice

Step 2. Dealing with the 8 uncomfortable feelings

Step 3. 90 Seconds of separation – meaning waiting out the feelings for a minute and a half.

She says the key to happiness and success is our ability to manage uncomfortable feelings and also make accurate and meaningful decisions moment to moment.

Dr Jeffrey M Schwartz ‘You are not your brain’ at Mind & Its Potential 2011

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qcrGlUHlu4M&t=1480s&list=PL9uvtvecXuuD8zWM_rpxIccJRmzYfjJa1&index=3

Jeffrey M. Schwartz, M.D. is an American psychiatrist and researcher in the field of neuroplasticity and its application to obsessive-compulsive disorder. His research has significantly impacted the treatment of serious compulsive disorders like OCD and confirms that contemplative practices like yoga and meditation change the brain.

In his 20 years of research into the compulsive disorders of the mind, DR. Schwartz confirmed that the mind – the immaterial can change the material meaning that the adage ‘Mind over Matter’ is on point. It confirms that our self actually exists beyond the physical body and is an intelligence that is unseen and immaterial, yet very real.

You are not your body but a spiritual being inhabiting the body just got very real.

This article is used as a general guide to better health and wellbeing.

It is not intended to replace medical advice.

If you are suffering from anxiety, depression or poor health we strongly advise you seek medical attention.

Copyright Horatio’s Jar, 2018

All Rights Reserved

Tears of Shiva – The Beads to Enlightenment

Tears of Shiva – The Beads to Enlightenment

The Tears of Shiva

Yoga is a philosophy and science of the mind, and it’s teaching are tens of thousands of years old. The Vedas are said to be the earliest written spiritual text known to a man still controversy overshadows the authorship and origin. No one source can clarify how old the Vedas are or even who wrote them, thought to have always existed, the speculated age is 12,000 years old.

Woven to the fabric of the worlds oldest living philosophy are stories, allegories, and metaphors in creation of the universe, the values and ethics of humanity and the theory of our origin and our journey to guided emancipation.

Rudraksha – Tears of Shiva

Rudraksha – Tears of Shiva
The name Rudrā is one of 1008 names of the Hindu deity Shiva and the word Akśa means tears in Sanskrit. After 1000 years of meditation, tears began to fall from the eyes of Shiva in compassion for humanity, and the tears became the Rudraksha Tree.

It is said in the Rudraksha Upanishad (an ancient Hindu text that is included in the Vedas, humanities oldest spiritual and philosophical book), that those who wear the Rudraksha close to the skin will absolve their sins.

The Rudrakśha Upaniśhat is one of the 108 scriptures of the Upanishad, (which are the final scriptures of the Vedas), and it says that even uttering the name itself – “Rudraksha” holds pranic and Karmic merit and wearing the beads is akin to wearing the sacred ash, Bhasma.

 

The name Rudrā is one of 1008 names of the Hindu deity Shiva and the word Akśa means tears in Sanskrit. After 1000 years of meditation tears began to fall from the eyes of Shiva in compassion for mankind, the tears became the Rudraksha Tree.

Rudraksha Mala

Rudraksha is the small earth coloured seeds that sometimes resemble an apricot kernel worn on the necks and wrists of practising yogis, spiritualist and fashionistas alike. Wearing a wreath or mala (garland) of beads is popular among western spiritualists. The mala is meant to protect you from bad vibes, balance your karmic debts and enhance your psychic powers.

The beads are strung together into a mala, (wreath) of 108 beads + 1, or 111 +1 depending on your sources. There are some texts that state in the time of Kaliyuga – which is now – 111 beads are worn. (The plus 1 accounts for the guru bead and is not included in the mantra or prayer count). Japamala is the practice of using beads in mantra, meditation and prayer. The user sits quietly and work thumb and middle finger across each bead in a clockwise direction, one mantra for each bead.

Mala can be made of other organic materials that include lava, mineral rocks and semi-precious stones, precious metals, bone, shells, pearl and wood. Different organic compounds compose different resonant frequencies – just like a medical prescription, different compounds suit different needs. But it is the Rudraksha, and Tulsi beads that remain the favourite amongst Sadhus, Yogis, devotees of Shiva and aesthetics.

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Not All Beads Created Equal

The Rudraksha plant itself is a very potent healing plant, (Ayurvedic Medicine), the seeds, berries, bark, leaves, and even ash are used to treat inflammatory diseases, measles, dermal problems and skin rashes, mumps, measles, schizophrenia and cancer. There are 360 species of Rudraksha found across Australasia, and 25 are unique to India alone. The different strains appear to have various medicinal properties, as well as a different energetic and spiritual value.

The value of the beads is given based on their Mukhi – the number of individual segments counted inside the seeds. The number influences how the beads work and their spiritual value. The number of Mukhi range from 1 up to 27, 1 being the rarest. Single Mukhi Rudraksha is of the highest importance and is meant to enhance your spiritual development. The warning to someone who wears the single Mukhi is they are likely to renounce all worldly possessions and leave his family within seven days.

Rudraksha beads also have the ability to determine the difference between negative and positive energy and can tell if water has been contaminated and is undrinkable. Sadguru demonstrates this in the online video posted here. There are other mystical qualities that set the Rudraksha beads apart from other types of Mala Beads including the electromagnetic properties of the seeds and the the ayurvedic quality they poses.

For the beads to work, they need to be activated, which means you somehow switch them from inert compounds to active and receptive to the wearer and the mantra they have chosen. It might be the same as when you buy activated grains or Vitamin B12, I think!?.

You can buy activated  Rudraksha mala online or buy them directly from stores, suppliers and even gurus in India (if you go there). I am not too sure how one would know what qualifies for fraudulent or counterfeit beads, I guess only a true Yogi can understand that.

This article is used as a general guide to better health and wellbeing.

It is not intended to replace medical advice.

If you are suffering from anxiety, depression or poor health we strongly advise you seek medical attention.

The views and opinions in the supplied source material, including videos are independent of Horatio’s Jar and platforms content is provided on.

We do not hold responsibility for their accuracy.

Copyright Horatio’s Jar, 2018

All Rights Reserved