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No More Fireflies? 9 Ways We Can Help Before It’s Too Late | Care2 Healthy Living

No More Fireflies? 9 Ways We Can Help Before It’s Too Late

Diane MacEachern


Fireflies may be Nature’s most magical animals. You can be walking down a street at night, or sitting on your porch, or camping out, and there they are, flitting about right next to you, blinking on and off like tiny fairies. But they’re not fairies – they’re fascinating and vulnerable insects that play an important role in the web of life while reminding us that Nature is a special place.

Sadly, firefly populations are quickly shrinking. Some companies actually pay people to capture thousands of these animals so they can harvest the chemicals in fireflies that produce their light, even though the same chemicals, called luciferase or luciferin, can be made in a laboratory synthetically. Urban and suburban development destroys the places where fireflies live and breed. Light pollution also disorients fireflies, making it difficult for them to reproduce over time.

Here’s how you can help keep Nature’s little light bulbs shining bright:

* Don’t capture fireflies! Fireflies are very easy to capture because they fly so slowly, and they usually hover within range of an eager hand. Resist the urge to grab them. And whatever you do, don’t try to capture them to ship them off for research. The research kills them in the end, which is totally unnecessary.

* Turn off outside lights at night. Fireflies flash their lights to signal to each other, attract mates, and warn when they sense danger. Artificial light could throw off their sense of where to flash when. Turn off porch and yard lights, and draw your blinds at night to darken your landscape.

* Let logs and organic litter accumulate. Some fireflies lay their larva in rotten logs and the organic matter that builds up under trees and bushes. If you’ve got the space, leave sections of logs or thick branches on the ground where they can host fireflies as they decay.

* Set up a fountain, bird bath, or pond. Most fireflies thrive around water and marshy areas. While you don’t want standing water that will attract mosquitoes, a gently moving fountain or a bird bath or pond could help a lot. Plus, you’ll attract bees, birds and butterflies, as well.

* Garden organically. Fireflies and their larvae can ingest poison from plants that have been sprayed with toxic chemicals. They may also eat other insects that are contaminated. Organic gardens will breed healthy fireflies!

* Use natural fertilizers. Like pesticides, fertilizers that contain toxic chemicals may fell fireflies. Use organic compost below bushes and trees and in garden and flower beds. Fertilize lawns with a very slow releasing product and the minimum amount needed to grow a healthy lawn without posing a threat to wildlife.

* Let your lawn grow a little longer. Fireflies stay mainly on the ground during the day, so mowing the lawn short and frequently can disrupt their life cycle. Let your lawn grow a little longer between mowings, or convert a part of your lawn to taller grasses that will be both beautiful and beneficial.

* Plant trees. Fireflies do best in pine and native trees and in the litter (pine needles, bark pieces) that fall onto the ground below their canopy.

* Create a firefly friendly community. As much as you do around your own home, you can magnify the benefits to fireflies by getting others in your neighborhood to do the same thing. Invite your neighbors to a firefly party – no flashlights allowed! – to enjoy these special creatures and talk about how, together, you’ll do your part to keep them blinking.

You can get more information fromFirefly.org.

Related Posts:

Top 10 Endangered Species
5 Things You Can Do To Help Monarch Butterflies Migrate
Do Wild Horses Need Endangered Species Protection?


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The Oracle Report | Monday, September 1, 2014



NEW AUDIO REPORT August 22, 2014 –

“Holding the Line: Virgo 2014 Cycle”

Click to play…

Monday, September 1, 2014

Crescent Moon Phase: expand

Moon in Libra

Ruling Mahavidya: Shodashi (The Goddess Who Fulfills Highest Desire) and Matangi (Goddess Who Clears The Way)

The Oracle Report will be on Vacation through Tuesday September 2 – though you can check back for new pictures daily.

Thank you for supporting the Oracle Report. Blessings to all!

Copyright Oracle Report 2009 – 2014. All Rights Reserved.

Permission to repost is granted provided credit is given towww.oraclereport.com.



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A short update on the energies

Thank you Aisha!

aisha north

The anticipation is starting to grow yet again, as you once again approach an interesting bisection of energetic pathways. For now, the river you have been following for such a long time will start to split up into smaller sections, while at the same time the interaction between them will increase. This may sound more than a little contradictory, but let us explain. For as you have all been carried along on this mighty river of light, you have all been imbued with the same frequencies, but this in turn has sparked some very individual responses within your own systems, and rightly so. For as you all came to be in your current bodies, you also came in with your own unique sets of blueprints as we have discussed earlier, and now as those bits and pieces of blueprints have been activated and set into motion, you will all be…

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What to Do About ISIS David Swanson with introduction from Tikkun

I think it’s important for everyone to consider the multitude of options we all have for dealing with-even violent-problems other than using violence. I’m very grateful to Tikkun and Rabbi Lerner for consistently providing a peace and spirit based perspective on alternatives to business as usual.

Editor’s Note: Tikkun seeks to present a range of views that you wouldn’t hear in the mainstream media, without necessarily endorsing those perspectives. Please remember that Tikkun’s own position is articulated only in our editorials.

In my view, the important article by David Swanson that I’m sharing below may be underestimating the venality and murderous nature of the ISIS coalition that he describes. Unlike Hamas and unlike the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, ISIS appears to have genocidal intent toward Christians and Shia Muslims (and possibly also toward Sunnis who don’t share their perspective and almost certainly toward Jews).

On the other hand, I know that I don’t know who they really are or even what they are really doing. I’ve read enough lies about previous run-up to wars in the Western media to know not to believe anything I read, but only to consider that the media’s account is one possible way of viewing the reality.

I also know that the gruesome accounts of murders committed by ISIS are shocking to a U.S. audience in part because the far greater number of people killed by the U.S. interventions in the Middle East, South East Asia, Central and South America have never been presented in an honest way to the American people. Most of us have not heard the gruesome details or stories of the families that have lost loved ones as a result of U.S. military and CIA actions.

Accounts of how ISIS members used waterboarding on their captives have been told in a way that dramatizes the inhumanity of a tactic that was used on many, many of those held by the United States in Guantanamo and in more secret detention and torture facilities run by or contacted by the United States around the world.

Yet U.S. feelings of rage about waterboarding were never directed at those who perpetrated and those who approved that torture, so people like George W. Bush and former vice president Cheney and the many under them in the chain of command who carried out these outrageous acts have never been brought to trial.

When it’s ISIS that commits these abuses, we are encouraged to think of their actions as reasons for war; when it’s our U.S. leaders who commit the same abuses, we don’t even think it sufficient reason to put them in prison!

“On the other hand”, my outrage at acts that we in the U.S. have committed does not diminish my outrage at what ISIS is doing, if the media accounts are even partially correct, and my desire to want to stop them before more people are murdered. But how? Not in a way that will have even worse consequences, in the way that the U.S. ouster of Saddam Hussein’s (who should have spent the rest of his life in prison) led to the growth of ISIS.

Our inclination always at Tikkun is to ask the following question of any group espousing hateful ideas (including haters among Christian, Jewish Muslim, Hindu, and Buddhist fundamentalist movements; followers of secular right-wing or fascist groups; and those who adhere to the ultra-nationalistic, ultra-militaristic tendencies within American and Israeli nationalism, as well as any other kind of nationalism): *What are the underlying needs that these movement are speaking to that might be legitimate needs of the people who respond to them? And how do we then develop strategies to separate those legitimate needs from the fascistic, racist, or irrational ways that people seek to meet those needs through these hateful and sometimes violent movements?*

These are the questions that I’ve answered in some detail in my books “The Politics of Meaning”,” Spirit Matters”, and “The Left Hand of God: Taking Back our Country from the Religious Right”. The goal is not to excuse outrageous and murderous acts, but to figure out how to disempower the murderers, whether they be American, Iraqi, Chinese, Russian, Israeli, or from Hamas. The goal is to ensure that their followers don’t move on to some other equally terrible movement or murderous sect or religion or nationalism once these particular murderers are gone.

If you read those books you’ll see why I’m inclined to think that Swanson is moving in a good direction but lacks some of the psychological and spiritual tools necessary to make his strategy successful. One of those tools is a Global Marshall Plan (please download it at tikkun.org/GMP and read the full 32-page brochure). The problem with mentioning the GMP is that people immediately think it’s primarily about giving money. But it’s not. It is predicated on a strategy of showing respect and genuine caring for the well-being of all people on the planet. This caring would be conveyed partly through money, but more importantly through a fundamental transformation brought about by the Western world in adopting the New Bottom Line laid out in detail at tikkun.org/covenant.

Without that approach, the United States will have no tools for dealing with ISIS, and so inevitably the people of this country will fall back onto violence and war making.

“Fine,” you may say, “but what are we supposed to do NOW? Don’t you realize that these people are a real menace?” That may be true, but the reason it’s true is because people always go to that formulation-the one that led us into a war to overthrow Saddam Hussein in the first place without having any idea of what could replace him. Without that alternative, Swanson’s point is that we created the preconditions for the rise of ISIS.

So, truth is, I don’t know what we should do with ISIS in the short run, except to follow some of the steps that Swanson proposes, other steps that are defined in the Global Marshall Plan and in the Network of Spiritual Progressives’ Spiritual Covenant atspiritualprogressives.org, and yet others that I’ll propose in a subsequent article within the next few weeks.

While these steps may not be sufficient, I know for sure that taking any other path that doesn’t “also” include these steps is bound to simply recreate the set of circumstances that have led us into the current mess. The one thing I’m sure about: if some kind of intervention is justified, and I think it may be, it should be genuinely led by the United Nations and “not” by the United States. And it should not occur solely at the initiative of the United States.

If the people of the world are ready to take some action, let us follow their leadership rather than intervene alone-U.S. hands are, as they say in law, “dirty hands” and hence not able to provide ethically credible leadership. So please do read Swanson’s insightful article. And then please also read David Sylvester’s post on Tikkun Daily [ http://www.tikkun.org/tikkundaily/2014/08/28/pope-francis-lesson-the-abrahamic-religions-need-a-spiritual-summit-meeting-not-dialogue-by-press-statements/ ] with its call for the Abrahamic religions to lead an international summit of religious forces to develop a response to the increasingly murderous realities we face.

*Meanwhile, have a joyous Labor Day 2014! Wouldn’t it be great if this year working people used this day off to figure out how to take back control of our country from the super-rich and powerful so that we too could participate in the discussions that the elite have about which wars to drag us into? Maybe next year?*

-Rabbi Michael Lerner (RabbiLerner.tikkun)

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Truthout Daily Digest Saturday, 30 August 2014

Fast-Food Workers Challenge Stereotypes, Globalize Question of Fairness

Jeffrey Nall, Truthout: Fast-food workers are disrupting slick corporate ad campaigns by challenging consumers to do something more revolutionary than “think outside the bun.” They want them to “think outside of the self” about the economic conditions and lives of the people behind the logos, catchy slogans and dollar-menu selections.

Read the Article

Seafood Produced by “Modern Slaves” Leaves a Bad Taste

Jeffrey McCord, Truthout: US seafood producers are competing already with at least some imports caught, farmed or processed by slaves. So why is the Obama administration pushing for the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement, which will exacerbate the existing situation?

Read the Article

More Subversive Than You Think

Paul Buhle, Truthout: Rick Perlstein’s The Invisible Bridge: The Fall of Nixon and the Rise of Reagan is a significant book that details the rise of the right wing in the United States.

Read the Review

Students Step Up Efforts to Protect Youth Vote

Chris Kromm, Facing South: Access to the vote is now in jeopardy for many students and youth due to a slew of changes to state election laws passed in North Carolina, Texas and other states in recent years.

Read the Article

Boosting Resilience in the Caribbean Countries

Jessica Faieta, Inter Press Service: The upcoming UN Conference on Small Island Developing States, taking place in Samoa in early September, will provide an opportunity to increase international cooperation and knowledge sharing between and within regions.

Read the Article

Can This Undercover Nail Polish Detect Date Rape Drugs?

Crystal Shepeard, Care2: We know that when girls and women are attacked, it has nothing to do with their actions and everything to do with the men who choose to violate them. Still, there is something to be said about feeling in control in the face of potential danger. Undercover Colors is a line of nail polish that is chemically designed to detect some commonly known date rape drugs.

Read the Article

In Senate-CIA Fight on Interrogation Report, Another Controversy

Ali Watkins and Marisa Taylor, The Sacramento Bee: The background of a key negotiator in the battle over a Senate report on the CIA’s use of torture has sparked concerns about the Obama administration’s objectivity in handling the study’s public release.

Read the Article

Building Public Trust Is a Key Factor in Fighting West Africa’s Worst Ebola Outbreak

Marc-Andre Boisvert, Inter Press Service: While the attention on the Ebola epidemic that has now been declared “out-of-control” is focused on the West African countries of Sierra Leone, Liberia, Guinea and Nigeria, unaffected countries in the region, like Côte d’Ivoire, are struggling to understand what to do keep the disease away.

Read the Article

Government Surveillance Undermines Attorney-Client Privilege

Faiza Patel, Brennan Center for Justice: The government’s practice of monitoring attorney-client communications over prison email systems was on display in two New York cases this summer when prosecutors argued that inmates wanting to speak privately with their attorneys should have sent letters or arranged visits through the prison’s Byzantine bureaucracy.

Read the Article

Advancing Backwards: Bolivia’s Child Labor Law

Malavika Krishnan, Council on Hemispheric Affairs: In the midst of a global fight against child labor and poverty, Bolivia stands alone on an empty street. As the world actively seeks to reduce the exploitation of young children in the workforce, La Paz recently amended its child labor law, making it more flexible and allowing children as young as 10 years old to work legally.

Read the Article


The BuzzFlash commentary for Truthout will return soon.

Keeping the Police Honest

Read the Article at Slate

Indefinite Ceasefire in War-Battered Gaza

Read the Article at Global Voices

California Lawmakers Send Governor a Ban on Single-Use Plastic Bags

Read the Article at the Los Angeles Times

Inequality and the United States: A Nation in Denial?

Read the Article at inequality.org

CNN Attempts Actual Journalism – But Reverts to Embedded Reporting

Read the Article at FAIR

Obama Weighing Delay in Action on Immigration

Read the Article at The New York Times

LAPD Names Two Sergeants Involved in Struggle With Man Who Died

Read the Article at the Los Angeles Times

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Bárðarbunga: New Eruption in Holuhraun, w/100m Lava Fountains (x9)

(This article has lots of videos. Please click the link below the article to view them in the original post on Daily Kos. This is only the introduction-there is also more text along with the videos. )

Bárðarbunga: New Eruption in Holuhraun, w/100m Lava Fountains (x9)
Aug 31, 2014

That tricksy volcanic system – waiting for us to fall asleep before giving us a new, bigger eruption! For last night light once again appeared on the webcams pointing at Holuhraun, where the large magma dike has been fracturing the surface as a side effect of its swelling with magma. And this time, it’s an order of magnitude larger.

More details, plus pictures and videos, below the fold on today’s edition of Eldfjallavakt!


Around 5 AM local time asecond surface lava eruptioncommenced on Holuhraun. The new eruption is positioned to the north of the previous one and is larger. Its length is estimated at 1 to 1.5 kilometers long versus 600-1000 meters for the previous eruption. The southern end is about the same distance from the glacier, while the northern end stretches further north. The lava fountains are estimated at 60 meters high and most importantly the lava flow is estimated to be 50 times that of the previous eruption.


Instrument-only flight has once again been banned over the region up to 6000 feet due to the risk of the eruption accelerating to an explosive phase, although there are no signs of that at present. This time, the flight ban does not include Akureyri, which is good. It’s not expected to have an impact on commercial aviation. There have been delays last night, but these were due to the remnants of Cristobal, who has been giving us a better storm than your typical post-hurricane does and made me have to rush out last night to build a windbreak around my plants..

Here’s a video of the eruption, taken during a brief gap in sandstorms:

Update, 12:00 31 august:




Update, 12:20 31 august:

Here’s some closeups of the lava from yesterday’s eruption, before the new one began:

As for the significance of this latest eruption: it’s magnitude at present appears to be faster than the rate of influx, so it could actually (unlike the previous eruption) let off a bit of pressure. However, most eruptions lose steam over time, so we’ll have to see how it progresses. The rate of flow in this eruption is about 1000 cubic meters per second, the flow rate of a reasonably large river. There are no signs of a decline at this point in time.

The concerns at this point are whether it spreads, either south into the glacier where it could cause a flood, or northward toward Askja where it could risk interactions with that system. Really, an ideal situation would be a large lava eruption or series of large eruptions exactly in this location, no further south, and no further north, until the influx dies down.

This eruption is a direct consequence of the continual widening of the rift under Holuhraun. The dike has not been lengthening for several days, simply widening instead. The more the spreading in this location, the easier eruptions here become.

As mentioned in the article yesterday, we’re also watching a lesser quake swarm under Herðubreiðartögl, east of Askja. This location was home to an earthquake swarm earlier this year; the fact that it has resumed suggests that this area is dealing with significant spreading forces as well. I have no information as to the significance of this on the area between the eruption/dike and Herðubreiðartögl. The “area between them” including Askja herself.

Update, 1:50 31 august: Andhere’s my problem with making comparisons between this and the Krafla Fires in the 1970s/1980s. They’re using the current eruption as a comparison with the Krafla Fires, pointing out that it’s very similar to the largest eruption of the Krafla Fires. Which is all fine and good,except for the fact that it took most of a decade from the first lava eruption of the Krafla Fires to get up to its largest. This happened one day after the first lava eruption.

If one wants to compare to the Krafla Fires in terms of there being steady uplift, spreading, long-range dikes, lava flowing from rift eruptions, etc, and take the Bárðarbunga caldera activity out of the picture and treat it as a totally separate event – fine, that’s a fair comparison. But when you say that “it reminds me of the Krafla Fires”, as some people have done, it leaves the public with the impression that the magnitude of the event is the same as the Krafla Fires. But nothing about what we’ve been seeing here – quake rate, quake magnitude, tremors, rate of uplift, rate of spreading, influx rate, and on and on – is the same as the Krafla Fires, it’s all far more powerful. In Krafla, the estimated influx rate of magma from the deep reservoirs was 5 cubic meters per second; here it’s estimated on the order of500. And this is a much more dangerous region.

That said, if we’re lucky, perhaps the dike may yield just a “mega Krafla Fires” over the coming months, years, or more, not advance any more (even though the Krafla Fires were defined by regular dike intrusion), and take that element of the picture. But we still better hope that none of the activity in either Askja or Bárðarbunga that’s been happening doesn’t add some color to the scene.

Update, 14:30 31 august: I just realized that I haven’t posted a webcam link in a while. So here you go. 🙂 Again, be aware that there’s bad weather right now.

Update, 19:00 31 august: The eruption, which has been described by people on the site as looking like a glowing dragon, continues unabated. Lava fountains are now reported up to 70 meters high. Here’s a video from on-site:

(Please click the link below to read full article at Daily Kos, and view multiple videos)