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The Evolutionary Perspective
Tag Archives: islands
Posted: June 27, 2016 at 6:33 am
Seychelles is an African country in the Indian Ocean. Its capital city is Victoria. The official languages are Creole, English, and French.
The country is to the east of the African continent. The islands of Madagascar and Mauritius lie to the south. The republic is made up of 115 islands. The biggest part of the population is a mix of freed slaves from the African Continent and Madagascar and European settlers. They make up about 90%. There are small minorities of immigrants from Europe, China and India. Most people are Roman Catholics, about 90% of them. About 8% are Protestants.
Other nearby island countries and territories include Zanzibar to the west, Mauritius, Rodrigues, Agalega and Runion to the south, and Comoros and Mayotte to the southwest. Seychelles has an estimated population of 86,525. It is the smallest population of any African state.
Seychelles is to the northeast of Madagascar and about 1,600km (994mi) east of Kenya. The number of islands in the archipelago is often given as 115 but the Constitution of the Republic of Seychelles lists 155.
According to the president of Nauru, the Seychelles has been ranked the ninth most endangered nation due to flooding from climate change.
Some of the cities in Seychelles include: Anse Boileau, Takamaka and Cote DOr.
Seychelles is divided into twenty-five administrative regions. Eight of the districts make up the capital of Seychelles. They are called Greater Victoria. Another 14 districts are considered the rural part of the main island of Mah. There are two districts on Praslin and one on La Digue which also include satellite islands. The rest of the Outer Islands are not considered part of any district.
During the plantation era, cinnamon, vanilla, and copra were the main exports. In the 1960s, about 33% of the working population worked at plantations, and 20% worked in the public or government sector. In 1971, with the opening of Seychelles International Airport, tourism became a serious industry.
Like many fragile island ecosystems, the Seychelles had loss of biodiversity during early human history. This included the disappearance of most of the giant tortoises from the granitic islands. There was also the extinction of species such as the chestnut flanked white eye, the Seychelles Parakeet, the Seychelles Black Terrapin and the saltwater crocodile. However, extinctions were far fewer than on islands such as Mauritius or Hawaii. This was partly due to a shorter period of human occupation being only since 1770. The Seychelles today is known for success stories in protecting its flora and fauna. The rare Seychelles Black Parrot, the national bird of the country, is now protected.
The granitic islands of Seychelles are home to about 75 endemic plant species. There are a further 25 or so species in the Aldabra group. Particularly well-known is the Coco de Mer, a species of palm that grows only on the islands of Praslin and neighbouring Curieuse. The jellyfish tree is to be found in only a few locations on Mahe. This strange and ancient plant is in a genus of its own (Medusagynaceae). Other unique plant species include the Wright’s Gardenia Rothmannia annae found only on Aride Island Special Reserve.
The freshwater crab genus Seychellum is endemic to the granitic Seychelles. There are a further 26 species of crabs and 5 species of hermit crabs that live on the islands.
The Aldabra Giant Tortoise now lives on many of the islands of the Seychelles. The Aldabra population is the largest in the world. These unique reptiles can be found even in captive herds.
There are several unique varieties of orchids on the Islands.
The marine life around the islands, especially the more remote coral islands, can be spectacular. More than 1,000 species of fish have been recorded. Since the use of spearguns and dynamite for fishing was banned in the 1960s, the wildlife is unafraid of snorkelers and divers. Coral bleaching in 1998 has damaged most reefs, but some reefs show healthy recovery.
The main natural resources of the Seychelles are fish, copra, cinnamon, coconuts, salt and iron.
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Posted: June 19, 2016 at 3:46 am
Sovereign: Queen Elizabeth II (1952)
Governor-General: Dame Marguerite Pindling (2014)
Prime Minister: Perry Christie (2012)
Land area: 3,888 sq mi (10,070 sq km); total area: 5,382 sq mi 13,940 sq km)
Population (2014 est.): 321,834 (growth rate: 0.87%); birth rate: 15.65/1000; infant mortality rate: 12.5/1000; life expectancy: 71.93
Capital and largest city (2011 est.): Nassau, 254,000
Monetary unit: Bahamian dollar
More Facts & Figures
The Bahamas are an archipelago of about 700 islands and 2,400 uninhabited islets and cays lying 50 mi off the east coast of Florida. They extend for about 760 mi (1,223 km). Only about 30 of the islands are inhabited; the most important is New Providence (80 sq mi; 207 sq km), on which the capital, Nassau, is situated. Other islands include Grand Bahama, Abaco, Eleuthera, Andros, Cat Island, and San Salvador (or Watling’s Island).
The Arawak Indians were the first inhabitants of the Bahamas. Columbus’s first encounter with the New World was on Oct. 12, 1492, when he landed on the Bahamian island of San Salvador. The British first built settlements on the islands in the 17th century. In the early 18th century, the Bahamas were a favorite pirate haunt.
The Bahamas were a Crown colony from 1717 until they were granted internal self-government in 1964. The islands moved toward greater autonomy in 1968 after the overwhelming victory in general elections of the Progressive Liberal Party, led by Prime Minister Lynden O. Pindling, over the predominantly white United Bahamians Party. With its new mandate from the black population (85% of Bahamians), Pindling’s government negotiated a new constitution with Britain under which the colony became the Commonwealth of the Bahama Islands in 1969. On July 10, 1973, the Bahamas became an independent nation.
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Posted: March 20, 2015 at 3:51 pm
A Navy veteran and his wife are challenging a ban on handguns in Saipan, arguing in federal court that the Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands is bound by the U.S. Constitutions Second Amendment.
Ive always been a firm believer in our constitutional rights, whether thats freedom of speech, religion or the right to keep and bear arms or right to privacy, and Im pretty sure that what Im doing in this case is in defense of those convictions, said David J. Radich, 44, a former petty officer third class.
His wife, Li-Rong Radich, was severely beaten by an intruder in 2010, a trauma that her husband says might have been prevented if she had a handgun.
While the islands citizens can receive permits for a select few long guns, the law prevents them from possessing those for self-defense, even at home. Regulation of handguns varies in the four other inhabited U.S. territories. With differing degrees of regulation, they are allowed in Americas only other commonwealth territory, Puerto Rico, as well as in Guam and the Virgin Islands, but handguns are banned in American Samoa.
Born in California, Radich, a former boatswains mate, served aboard the USS Vandegrift, a guided-missile frigate that participated in Operation Desert Shields Maritime Interception Operations in 1990. After a ships rope crushed his right hand, Radich lost his pinky and required extensive physical therapy. Although he was subsequently found fit for duty, he left the Navy in 1993 and enrolled in college, earning a degree in history and education. He taught school in the Detroit area.
Radich said he became comfortable around handguns after a doctor suggested that holding and firing one would be therapeutic for his hand. He bought one and used it for target practice.
Radich said he eventually wearied of the cold weather and general decay of Detroit and in 2006 took a job teaching earth science to seventh- and eighth-graders in Tinian, a sparsely populated island near Saipan thats part of the Northern Marianas. He took a job as an environmental consultant on Saipan in June 2008.
Shortly thereafter, he met Li-Rong and they were soon married.
About 45 minutes after he arrived at work one morning in 2010, his wife called, sobbing, saying shed been attacked. Radich called 911 and rushed home.
I found my wife on the floor of the apartment in really bad shape, Radich said. Her face was unrecognizable.
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Navy veteran takes on Saipan's restriction on handguns
Posted: March 10, 2015 at 3:44 am
A genome study of the famed Darwin finch species on the Galapagos and Cocos islands has unveiled a gene behind the 15 species’ remarkable variation of beaks, a feature that helped inspire the father of evolutionary theory.
The study of 120 individual birds from across the South American island chain finds that a single species radiated into more than a dozen others over the past million years, a change fueled by hybridization.
The wide variety of beak shape and size among finches on the archipelago has become an iconic foundational story behind Charles Darwin’s “On the Origin of Species,” published in 1859 — even though he misidentified them at first and gave them scant mention in the treatise. But they have come to represent a textbook example of how species develop through random variation and the forces of natural selection.
“He wrote that it looked like this was one species that changed into multiple species, and particularly through the change of the beak shape to utilize food,” said Uppsala University geneticist Leif Andersson, co-author of the study published online Wednesday in the journal Nature. “Our data fit perfectly with that.
British biologist Peter and Rosemary Grant, of Princeton University, have spent 40 years studying the subtle changes in the birds, and published a startling example of natural selection unfolding among a pair of species on one of the islands. The two areco-authors of the current report, which used some of the DNA samples they collected.
“You can imagine how satisfying it is for us after all those years in the field to be able to discover a gene that underpins our findings of evolution by natural selection,” Peter Grant said.
The gene, called ALX1, is located on a swath of the genome whose coding has been remarkably consistent for ages, until changes altered the production of four proteins, and that gene variation came to dominate.
“As many changes that have occurred over 300 million years have occurred during the last million years on the Galapagos, said Andersson.
The finches are descended from a sharp-billed South American tanager that arrived on the islands about 1.5 million years ago, according to the study. Warbler finches split earliest, about 900,000 years ago, with ground and tree finches constituting the most recent radiation, about 100,000 to 300,000 years ago, according to the study.
But during that time, there was much interbreeding that allowed genes to flow across species, leaving them with a wide variety of beak sizes and shapes, the study suggests.
Posted: October 1, 2014 at 8:49 am
Sep 30, 2014 by Bob Yirka The Land of the Long White Cloud. Credit: Associate Professor Ian Goodwin
(Phys.org) Two teams of researchers describe new developments in understanding early Polynesian migration. One group suggests early Polynesians may have been able to make their way southwest to New Zealand and northeast to Easter Island because of a temporary shift in wind patterns. Another group describes a sophisticated voyaging canoe found recently in New Zealand that appears to have Polynesian origins. Both groups have published papers describing their research in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Scientists agree that early Polynesians were able to migrate across vast stretches of ocean in canoes, what has been a cause of curiosity, however, was how they managed to make their way to places that would have entailed sailing into the wind. In one of the studies, a team from Australia suggests that for a small window of time, the prevailing winds in the area around Polynesia would have shifted, allowing relatively easy passage to places that before were unreachable. They looked at ice cores, tree rings, stalagmites, and even sediments from across the region and used what they found to create a computer model to mimic conditions from the 800s to the 1600s. When running the simulation, the researchers found evidence of a change in prevailing winds for short, decades-long periods. During some of these periods, the prevailing winds would have shifted east, allowing migration to Easter Island, during others the winds would have shifted southwest, allowing travel to New Zealand. After 1300, the simulations show, the prevailing winds shifted back to their current direction, preventing further migration to such places.
Researchers in the other study describe wood fragments from a canoe found on a shore in New Zealand (high winds removed the sand that was covering it)they’ve dated its last use to approximately 1400. They’ve also found the wood it was made from is native to New Zealand, but not Polynesia. But, they’ve also found an etched sea turtle image on it, a creature not normally found in New Zealand art. Sea turtles are featured prominently in Polynesia art, however, and the boat is also similar in design to another boat from the same time period found in the Society Islands, suggesting a Polynesian connection. The researchers believe the boat was approximately 20 meters long and was either double-hulled or had an outrigger, which would have allowed for the addition of a shelter.
Taken together the papers suggest that early Polynesians built sophisticated canoes and used them to sail to new places in the Pacific when prevailing winds shifted allowing them to do so.
Explore further: Chicken bones tell true story of Pacific migration
More information: 1. An early sophisticated East Polynesian voyaging canoe discovered on New Zealand’s coast, Dilys A. Johns, PNAS, DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1408491111
Abstract The colonization of the islands of East Polynesia was a remarkable episode in the history of human migration and seafaring. We report on an ocean-sailing canoe dating from close to that time. A large section of a complex composite canoe was discovered recently at Anaweka on the New Zealand coast. The canoe dates to approximately A.D. 1400 and was contemporary with continuing interisland voyaging. It was built in New Zealand as an early adaptation to a new environment, and a sea turtle carved on its hull makes symbolic connections with wider Polynesian culture and art. We describe the find and identify and radiocarbon date the construction materials. We present a reconstruction of the whole canoe and compare it to another early canoe previously discovered in the Society Islands.
2. Climate windows for Polynesian voyaging to New Zealand, Ian D. Goodwin, PNASdoi: 10.1073/pnas.1408918111
Abstract Debate about initial human migration across the immense area of East Polynesia has focused upon seafaring technology, both of navigation and canoe capabilities, while temporal variation in sailing conditions, notably through climate change, has received less attention. One model of Polynesian voyaging observes that as tradewind easterlies are currently dominant in the central Pacific, prehistoric colonization canoes voyaging eastward to and through central East Polynesia (CEP: Society, Tuamotu, Marquesas, Gambier, Southern Cook, and Austral Islands) and to Easter Island probably had a windward capacity. Similar arguments have been applied to voyaging from CEP to New Zealand against prevailing westerlies. An alternative view is that migration required reliable off-wind sailing routes. We investigate the marine climate and potential voyaging routes during the Medieval Climate Anomaly (MCA), A.D. 8001300, when the initial colonization of CEP and New Zealand occurred. Paleoclimate data assimilation is used to reconstruct Pacific sea level pressure and wind field patterns at bidecadal resolution during the MCA. We argue here that changing wind field patterns associated with the MCA provided conditions in which voyaging to and from the most isolated East Polynesian islands, New Zealand, and Easter Island was readily possible by off-wind sailing. The intensification and poleward expansion of the Pacific subtropical anticyclone culminating in A.D. 11401260 opened an anomalous climate window for off-wind sailing routes to New Zealand from the Southern Austral Islands, the Southern Cook Islands, and Tonga/Fiji Islands.
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Researchers find possible explanation of early Polynesian migration
Posted: May 8, 2014 at 12:49 pm
Paid Bitcoin @ Gili Kite Surf
In the middle of our survey for BitIslands project, we decided to visit Gili Kite Surf for a kite surfing lesson. Gili Kite Surf is the first merchant accepting Bitcoin in Gili Air Island,…
By: Bitcoin Islands
Posted: February 5, 2014 at 11:43 pm
Pani Pani and the search for Mr Lavalava Cook Islands Ep 5
Fresh Saturday 10am TV2 Web: http://www.tvnz.co.nz/fresh Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/freshtvnz Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/@freshtv2.
By: FRESH TV
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Pani & Pani and the search for Mr Lavalava Cook Islands Ep 5 – Video
Posted: October 11, 2013 at 6:41 am
200) Vietnam Censorship
HS-TS-VN …?.?.?. (Paracel + Spratly) Islands belong to Viet Nam !!! .?.?.?… V?N V?T THÁI BÌNH …?.?.?. http://vnhsts.blogspot.com https://www….
By: Lý Th??ng Ki?t
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200) Vietnam Censorship – Video
Posted: November 16, 2012 at 8:49 am
Poptrapica part 1 early poptrapica /w conker738
hope you enjoyed i will upload more if u say what island u want or ask me to show u all the islands so u can pickFrom:conker738Views:0 0ratingsTime:10:01More inGaming
Posted: at 8:49 am
Rarotonga, Cook Islands (2011)
Rarotonga, Cook Islands (2011) Snorkeling to Taakoka Island from Tiana's Beach Bungalows, then taking Ara Metua and ending up at Wigmore's Waterfall after the Cross-Island trek.From:Ryan KrasonViews:0 0ratingsTime:04:43More inTravel Events
Rarotonga, Cook Islands (2011) – Video