Twenty years ago, the number of animals dying of tortures through the practice of vivisection was astronomical, estimated at 400,000 per day world wide, and growing at an annual rate of five percent. Today that number is almost beyond comprehension. 19,000 per minute. 10 billion per year.

“An enlightened person looks at a learned person, an outcast, even a cow, an elephant, or a dog with an equal eye.”

the first casualty of war is truth

A picture began circulating in November. It should be “The Picture of 
the Year,”… or perhaps, “Picture of the Decade.” It won’t be. In fact, 
unless you obtained a copy of the U.S. paper which published it, you 
probably would never have seen it.

The picture is that of a 
21-week-old unborn baby named Samuel Alexander Armas, who is being 
operated on by surgeon named Joseph Bruner. The baby was diagnosed with 
spina bifida and would not survive if removed from his mother’s womb. 
Little Samuel’s mother, Julie Armas, is an obstetrics nurse in Atlanta. 
She knew of Dr. Bruner’s remarkable surgical procedure. Practicing at 
Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, he performs these 
special operations while the baby is still in the womb.

During 
the procedure, the doctor removes the uterus via C-section and makes a 
small incision to operate on the baby. As Dr. Bruner completed the 
surgery on Samuel, the little guy reached his tiny, but fully developed 
hand through the incision and firmly grasped the surgeon’s finger. Dr. 
Bruner was reported as saying that when his finger was grasped, it was 
the most emotional moment of his life, and that for an instant during 
the procedure he was just frozen, totally immobile.

The 
photograph captures this amazing event with perfect clarity. The editors
titled the picture, “Hand of Hope.” The text explaining the picture 
begins, “The tiny hand of 21-week-old fetus Samuel Alexander Armas 
emerges from the mother’s uterus to grasp the finger of Dr. Joseph 
Bruner as if thanking the doctor for the gift of life.”

Little 
Samuel’s mother said they “wept for days” when they saw the picture. She
said, “The photo reminds us pregnancy isn’t about disability or an 
illness, it’s about a little person” Samuel was born in perfect health, 
the operation 100 percent successful.

Frozen Tsunami Waves in Antarctica caused by earthquakes

A dramatic picture taken by Michael Nolan has been dubbed the face of Mother Nature crying on a canvas of melting ice and cascading water on a Norwegian Glacier. Michael Nolan is a marine photographer and environmental lecturer. He has captured this picture while on an annual voyage to observe the glacier and surrounding wildlife. It’s best to quote Nolan’s words on this:

“This is how one would imagine mother nature would express her sentiments about our inability to reduce global warming. It seemed an obvious place for her to appear, on a retreating ice shelf, crying.”

Rhino poaching has increased 2000% in 3 years.

Africa’s rhinos face their worst poaching crisis in decades with sophisticated organised crime syndicates killing more than 800 animals in the past three years, conservationists said yesterday.
The two horns on each rhinoceros sell for high prices on the black market in South-east Asia, where they are believed to have medicinal properties.
Vietnam, where the horn is ground down for medicines, is repeatedly implicated in the South African poaching trade.
The Swiss-based International Union for Conservation of Nature said poaching of the two different species of African rhinos is on the rise in South Africa, Zimbabwe and Kenya. South Africa alone lost 333 rhinos last year and has lost more than 70 this year so far, according to IUCN.

Every year in America, without mercy, we murder 10 billion land animals, and 18 billion marine animals. Not for health, survival, sustenance or self-defense.

Someone’s sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago

While we patiently await the commercial availability of the device that turns drawings into toys, Child’s Own Studio has taken matters into its own hands — literally — designing stuffed animals from crudely-drawn illustrations sent in by children.

Cost depends on how labor-intensive the doll is, and is provided on a case by case basis. Each toy takes approximately 2-to-4 weeks to produce, but can be rushed if you absolutely must have it yesterday.

A sudden surge in traffic has the company’s site down for the count, but, mercifully, their Flickr photostream is still online.

There is one important thing the Child’s Own Studio FAQ page neglected to answer: What does Maddox think about all this?

Boo the Pomeranian — the Web’s favorite disturbingly cute animal — has already been the subject of one book, ”Boo: The Life of the World’s Cutest Dog.”

“Boo’s popularity is completely deserved. He smiles for the camera and is so easy to work with,” [Gretchen LeMaistre, the photographer behind the book], told us by phone, presumably with a straight face… “He has some angles that are better than others; we primarily shoot him from the front,” LeMaistre admitted.

The Pom has become so popular, in fact, that the identity of Boo’s owner and even his state of residence are being kept secret for “safety reasons.”

This Roman couple’s been holding hands for 1,500 years.

The couple’s skeletal remains, side-by-side, hands locked in eternal union, were discovered during construction work in Northern Italy.

Reports say Moammar Gadhafi amassed a $200 billion worldwide fortune, making him possibly the world’s richest man, while average Libyans earned just $12,000 each year.

The latest estimate of the strongman’s net worth, reported in the Los Angeles Times, is the largest yet, and suggests that the former dictator spent decades stockpiling lucrative holdings in foreign investments while the average Libyan earned just $12,000 each year.

Gadhafi’s massive portfolio included everything from lavish hotels in London and Russia to stock in Goldman Sachs and Italian soccer teams.

None of those assets, of course, helped Gadhafi on Thursday when he was dragged from a drainage pipe in his hometown of Sirte and shot dead to end what was for many Libyans a 42-year nightmare. According to multiple reports, the garishly opulent dictator was carrying his storied golden pistol when he died.

 

 

“Good evening,

I’m writing to tell you that all US troops will return home from Iraq by the end of December. After nearly nine years, the American war in Iraq will end. Our servicemen and women will be withtheir families for the holidays.

The war in Iraq came with tremendous cost. More than a million Americans served in Iraq, and nearly 4,500 gave their lives in service to the rest of us. Today, as always, we honor these patriots.

When I came into office, I pledged to bring the war in Iraq to a responsible end. As Commander in Chief, I ended our combat mission last year and pledged to keep our commitment to remove all our troops by the end of 2011. To date, we’ve removedmorethan 100,000 troops from Iraq.

This is a significant moment in our history. For more information, including video, please visit WhiteHouse.gov/BringingTroopsHome.

The end of the war in Iraq reflectsa larger trend. The wars of the past decade are drawing to a close.

As we have removed troops from Iraq, we have refocused our fight againstalQaeda and secured major victories in taking out its leadership–including Osama bin Laden. And we’ve begun a transition in Afghanistan.

On the first day of my Administration, roughly 180,000 troops were deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan. By the end of this year that number will be cut in half, and we’ll continue to draw it down.

As we welcome home our newest veterans, we’ll enlist their talents in meetingourgreatest challenges as a nation—restoring our economic strength at home. Because after a decade of war, the nation that we need to build is our own.

Today the United States movesforward,from a position of strength.

Thank you,

President Barack Obama”

Text of a letter from the President.A war, ended; a promise kept.

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