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The problem of ocean debris: Group saves seals from horrible entanglements

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The ocean seems so big and that little fishing line seems so small, but a lost recreational fishing line can create horrible entanglements for animals.

No one knows that better than Naude Dreyer, founder of Ocean Conservation Namibia. Dreyer knows it isn’t only a recreational fishing line. It’s everything. Nets and lines from commercial fishing. A cap blown into the ocean. Discarded rubber gaskets. Hard plastic rings from containers.

All these things cause horrible entanglements to marine life, such as seals, and can prevent them from swimming, walking, or eating.

In Namibia, off the east coast of southern Africa, all seal entanglements are caused by human negligence, Naude says. In 2019, Naude and his group freed more than 150 seals from entanglements around the beaches of Pelican Point. In 2020, that number rose to 600 seals rescued. Hundreds more have been rescued this year.



The entanglements are troubling. Recently a small seal was found completely wrapped in a large trawler net, covering his whole body, head to toe. Other seals have extreme cuts from small strands of fishing line that dig deep into the flesh.

In one case, a baby seal was tied to a dead baby seal in an entanglement of fishing line. Seals are strangled by plastic bags or trapped in discarded hats. They have been found with huge hooks through their tongues. Even discarded t-shirts can trap and strangle marine life.

Naude and his crew make rescues using custom-made nets shaped like a cone. They throw the net over the seal’s head, and the seal wiggles nose-first into the smallest part of the net. The seal can breathe through the net, but the small tip holds the head tightly, limiting the possibility of bites (but not entirely). The nets have zippers that open to expose the body, where lines are cutting deep into the seal’s flesh. Using special tools, the crew can hook thin lines out of the flesh, then cut the lines with scissors.
After each rescue, they record the type of entanglement and take the cut lines off the beach.

The seals, already in pain and distress, are often angry and scared, and rescuers must struggle to save them. But sometimes, a little pup freed from a line will stay a moment and accept a pet — a little ‘thank you’ that the crew loves.

See their amazing rescue videos on YouTube or Facebook.

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Global seaborne shipping carries vast quantity of goods

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If you have seen empty shelves at your local stores in the last few months, that might be because of the traffic jam in ocean shipping, which is responsible for much of what we buy.

Maritime shipping networks transport an estimated 80 percent of goods. Roughly 90 percent of bulk dry manufactured goods, including electronics and clothing, are transported across the oceans.

Many goods are shipped in standardized ISO shipping containers that typically measure 8 feet wide and either 20 or 40 feet in length. That said, shipping containers may vary in size depending on the goods shipped. Ultimately, container trade is responsible for roughly 60 percent of seaborne trade.

Shipping is often measured in Twenty-foot Equivalent Units with one 8 x 20 container counting as a single unit, or TEU. In 2000, global container port traffic measured just under 225,000,000 TEUs. As of 2018, worldwide container port traffic came in a bit under 800,000,000 TEUs.


Shipping company Costamare reports that there are 5,461 container ships currently in service, with a total capacity of 24.6 million TEUs as of August 2021. The Organization of Economic Development believes that maritime trading volumes will triple by 2050.

Container ships aren’t the only type of ocean cargo ships. In some cases, special ships are built to transport specific products, such as automobiles. With roll-on roll-off cargo ships, you can drive cars directly into covered cargo holds, where they are then secured. Upon reaching the destination port, cars can be driven off the ship and prepared for overland transport.

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7 cell phone etiquette tips

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In today’s world, cell phones are everywhere you look. However, sometimes using your phone can be distracting, rude, and even dangerous. Here are seven ways of minding your mobile manners.

1. Put your phone away during meals. If it rings, ignore it or excuse yourself and take the call in another room.

2. End conversations before you pay. It’s rude to expect to be served by a cashier or restaurant worker while you’re talking on your phone.

3. Lower your voice. Never shout when you’re on the phone, especially when you’re in public.


4. Never text and drive. It’s dangerous to take your eyes off the road for even a few seconds. There are laws against this practice for a reason.

5. Don’t use your phone in meetings. It’s distracting and shows that you’re not pay¬ing attention to what’s going on.

6. Turn your phone off when required. There are certain places where you shouldn’t use your phone like the movies, hospitals, waiting rooms, libraries, and churches. At the very least, remember to turn your ringer off to avoid disrupting others.

7. Be present. It’s common for people to turn to their mobile devices in uncomfortable situations and when they don’t know what else to do. Using your phone as a crutch will prevent you from engaging with others.

Being courteous applies to how you use your cell phone. Always be polite and respectful, and try to set a good example for others to follow.

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December Celebrity Birthdays!

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Garrett Wang, 53, actor (Star Trek: Voyager), Riverside, CA, 1968. Lieven L. Litaer, CC BY 3.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0>, via Wikimedia Commons


Do you share a birthday with a celebrity?

1 – Riz Ahmed, 39, actor (The Night Of), rapper, London, England, 1982.

2 – Nelly Furtado, 43, singer, Victoria, BC, Canada, 1978.


3 – Patrick Chamoiseau, 68, author (Chronicle of the Seven Sorrows), Fort-de-France, Martinique, Dec 3, 1953.

4 – Cassandra Wilson, 66, jazz singer, Jackson, MS, 1955.

5 – Margaret Cho, 53, actress (All-American Girl), comedienne, San Francisco, CA, 1968.

6 – Craig Newmark, 69, founder of craigslist, Morristown, NJ, 1952.

7 – Tom Waits, 72, singer, songwriter, actor (The Ballad of Buster Scruggs), Pomona, CA, 1949.

8 – Nicki Minaj, 37, singer, rapper, Onika Tanya Maraj, St. James, Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, 1984.

9 – Reiko Aylesworth, 49, actress (24), born Chicago, IL, 1972.

10 – Melissa Roxburgh, 29, actress (Manifest), Vancouver, BC, Canada, 1992.

11 – Mo’Nique, 54, actress (Precious), talk show host, born Monique Imes, Woodlawn, MD, 1967.

12 – Lucas Hedges, 25, actor (Manchester by the Sea), New York, NY, 1996.

13 – Jamie Foxx, 54, actor (Ray), producer, born Eric Marlon Bishop, Terrell, TX, 1967.

14 – Vanessa Hudgens, 33, actress (Spring Breakers), Salinas, CA, 1988.

15 – Garrett Wang, 53, actor (Star Trek: Voyager), Riverside, CA, 1968.

16 – Krysten Ritter, 40, actress (Jessica Jones), Bloomsburg, PA, 1981.

17 – Milton “Lil Rel” Howery, 42, actor (Get Out), comedian, Chicago, IL, 1979.

18 – Steven Spielberg, 75, producer, director (Schindler’s List), Cincinnati, OH, Dec 18, 1946.

19 – Jake Gyllenhaal, 41, actor (Brokeback Mountain), Los Angeles, CA, 1980.

20 – David Cook, 39, singer, television personality (American Idol), Houston, TX, 1982.

21 – Ray Romano, 64, comedian, actor (Everybody Loves Raymond), Queens, NY, 1957.

22 – Jerry Pinkney, 82, children’s book illustrator (John Henry), Philadelphia, PA, 1939.

23 – Susan Lucci, 72, actress (All My Children), Westchester, NY, 1949.

24 – Louis Tomlinson, 30, singer (One Direction), born Louis Austin, Doncaster, England, 1991.

25 – Jimmy Buffett, 75, singer (Margaritaville), Pascagoula, MS, 1946.

26 – Kit Harington, 35, actor (Game of Thrones), born Christopher Catesby Harington, London, England, 1986.

27 – Masi Oka, 47, actor (Heroes), Tokyo, Japan, 1974.

28 – John Legend, 43, singer, born John Stephens, Springfield, OH, 1978.

29 – Ross Lynch, 26, singer, actor (Austin & Ally), Littleton, CO, 1995.

30 – Michael Nesmith, 79, singer, songwriter (The Monkees), Houston, TX, 1942.

31 – Ben Kingsley, 78, actor (Gandhi), born Krishna Bhanji, Yorkshire, England, 1943.

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Buying local for the holidays: a gift to your community

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The holiday season is the busiest time of year for many merchants and service providers in your area. But did you know that if you buy local this Christmas, you’ll help support your community?

Here’s what you should know.

A small gesture with a big impact
In addition to endorsing the merchants in your area, buying local allows you to contribute to your region’s economy by keeping jobs in the community. Plus, it’s a great way to invest in your neighborhood’s businesses. After all, your support is what makes it possible for them to offer a wide variety of products and services.

Furthermore, a business that earns more money from transactions made by local citizens contributes a greater amount of tax revenue to the government. This money can then be reinvested in services that benefit the entire community.


Finally, buying local products helps protect the environment. This is because fewer greenhouse gases are emitted when locally made goods are transported to stores in the area.

Think outside the box
Buying local isn’t just about the products you can put in a shopping cart; it’s also about investing in your region’s many services. For example, think of the various offerings provided by regional businesses in the arts such as museums, theaters, galleries, and more.

This year for Christmas, consider giving an experience as a gift. It may turn out to be the perfect way to spend quality time with a loved one.

Special deals and great opportunities
During the holiday season, it’s not uncommon to see city officials and business organizations implement initiatives to encourage people to buy locally. This may include posting online directories that list all the businesses in the area. In addition, sometimes stores will offer special promotions, gifts, and discounts to local residents.

This year for Christmas, give yourself and your community the gift of buying local.

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The benefits of shopping on Black Friday

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Black Friday is just around the corner, and for many, this kicks off the holiday shopping season. Are you wondering whether it’s worth braving crowded stores to take advantage of incredible deals? Here are three major perks to shopping on November 26, 2021.

1. You get more bang for your buck. Black Friday is a prime opportunity to stock up on all the items you need at a reduced price. Not only will you pay less than usual, but the deals offered will likely allow you to afford high-quality models of the items you want.

2. You get to finish your holiday shopping. With the right preparation, you can check most gifts off your shopping list before December even starts. This will reduce your stress in the coming weeks and allow you to focus on spending time with loved ones.

3. You get to be more generous. With so many items on sale, you don’t have to think twice about spoiling family and friends. You’ll also find plenty of well-priced products for co-workers, children’s teachers, and other people on your gift list.



While it does have its benefits, Black Friday can be a tumultuous event. Keep in mind the spirit of the season, and remember to be courteous toward other shoppers and retail staff.

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Tularemia and how to prevent it

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Do you enjoy hunting or trapping small game? If so, you must take a few precautions to avoid contracting tularemia. Here’s an overview of what you need to know.

What’s tularemia?
Tularemia is a rare infectious disease that affects wild animals such as hares, beavers, muskrats, and squirrels. Humans can contract this potentially fatal disease in a variety of ways, including:

• Coming into contact with the droppings of an infected animal
• Handling the carcass of an infected animal
• Consuming the undercooked meat of an infected animal
• Getting bitten by certain species of ticks, mosquitos, and flies
• Inhaling or ingesting airborne tularemia bacteria

Animals infected with tularemia usually exhibit unusual behavior and may have visible sores and swollen glands.


How to prevent infection
There are several ways you can protect yourself from tularemia. You should:

• Avoid coming into contact with wild animals that appear ill
• Wear gloves and goggles when handling or preparing game meat, and sanitize any surfaces and equipment with a diluted bleach solution
• Avoid eating organ meats that are swollen or have whitish spots
• Cook game meat thoroughly
• Wash your hands with soap and water after handling game

In addition, it’s a good idea to use insect repellent and wear long pants, long sleeves, and socks to prevent bug bites.

The symptoms of tularemia
The symptoms of tularemia vary depending on how the affected person was exposed to the bacteria. Possible indicators include fever, muscle and abdominal pain, fatigue, headache, skin ulcers, throat inflammation, and vomiting. If you experience any of these symptoms after being bitten by an insect or coming into contact with a wild animal, immediately consult a doctor to receive the appropriate antibiotic treatment.

 

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Upcoming Events

Dec
4
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10:00 am Senior Painting Class with Dottie @ Strokes of Creativity
Senior Painting Class with Dottie @ Strokes of Creativity
Dec 4 @ 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
Senior Painting Class with Dottie @ Strokes of Creativity
Senior Painting Class with Dottie at Strokes of Creativity. Tickets: CLICK HERE Cost: $80 for 6 weeks Dates: Thursdays – Oct 21, Oct 28, Nov 4, Nov 11, Nov 18, Dec 4 Time: 10 am[...]
1:00 pm The Nutcracker 2021 @ Skyline High School
The Nutcracker 2021 @ Skyline High School
Dec 4 @ 1:00 pm – 7:00 pm
The Nutcracker 2021 @ Skyline High School
Italia Performing Arts is pleased to announce its own student production of the seasonal ballet The Nutcracker, to be presented in Front Royal, VA, on Saturday, December 4th, 2021. 1:00 and 5:00 pm Tickets: $35[...]
4:30 pm Astronomy for Everyone @ Sky Meadows State Park
Astronomy for Everyone @ Sky Meadows State Park
Dec 4 @ 4:30 pm – 7:30 pm
Astronomy for Everyone @ Sky Meadows State Park
Meets in the Historic Area behind Mount Bleak. Discover our International Dark Sky Park! Our evenings begin with a half-hour children’s “Junior Astronomer” program, followed by a discussion about the importance of dark skies and[...]
Dec
5
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4:00 pm Sweeter, Still… Holiday Concert @ First Baptist Church of Winchester
Sweeter, Still… Holiday Concert @ First Baptist Church of Winchester
Dec 5 @ 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm
Sweeter, Still… Holiday Concert @ First Baptist Church of Winchester
Sunday, December 5, 2021 4:00pm First Baptist Church of Winchester 205 West Piccadilly St. | Winchester, VA 22601 COVID-19 Guidelines: Masks are required for attendees Friday, December 10, 2021 7:30pm Front Royal United Methodist Church[...]
6:30 pm Annual Christmas Concert @ Riverton United Methodist Church
Annual Christmas Concert @ Riverton United Methodist Church
Dec 5 @ 6:30 pm – 7:30 pm
Annual Christmas Concert @ Riverton United Methodist Church
Riverton Church Symphonic Winds present their Annual Christmas Concert at Riverton UMC on Sunday, December 5, 2021, at 6:30pm. Donations collected to benefit local homeless ministry.
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6:30 pm Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Dec 8 @ 6:30 pm – 9:30 pm
Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Bingo to support the American Cancer Society mission, organized by Relay For Life of Front Royal. Every Wednesday evening Early Bird Bingo at 6:30 p.m. Regular Bingo from 7-9:30 p.m. Food and refreshments available More[...]
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10
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7:00 pm Clara, Little Mouse, and the Gol... @ Skyline Middle School
Clara, Little Mouse, and the Gol... @ Skyline Middle School
Dec 10 @ 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Clara, Little Mouse, and the Golden Key @ Skyline Middle School
Dancing By His Grace Classical Ballet Ensemble presents Clara, Little Mouse, and the Golden Key, featuring selections from Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker Ballet, at the Skyline Middle School in Front Royal, Virginia. Join us for our original[...]
7:00 pm Glory Bea: A Shenandoah Christma... @ LFCC's William H. McCoy Theatre
Glory Bea: A Shenandoah Christma... @ LFCC's William H. McCoy Theatre
Dec 10 @ 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm
Glory Bea: A Shenandoah Christmas Story @ LFCC's William H. McCoy Theatre
GLORY BEA: A Shenandoah Christmas Story, by Rich Follett and Larry Dahlke, set in the 1930’s in the Shenandoah Valley and the Depression has hit the valley residents. This story is being presented by Selah[...]
7:30 pm Sweeter, Still… Holiday Concert @ Front Royal United Methodist Church
Sweeter, Still… Holiday Concert @ Front Royal United Methodist Church
Dec 10 @ 7:30 pm – 9:30 pm
Sweeter, Still… Holiday Concert @ Front Royal United Methodist Church
Friday, December 10, 2021 7:30pm Front Royal United Methodist Church 1 West Main Street | Front Royal, VA 22630 COVID-19 Guidelines: Masks are required for attendees Sunday, December 12, 2021 4:00pm Trinity Episcopal Church 9108[...]
Dec
11
Sat
2:00 pm Clara, Little Mouse, and the Gol... @ Skyline Middle School
Clara, Little Mouse, and the Gol... @ Skyline Middle School
Dec 11 @ 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm
Clara, Little Mouse, and the Golden Key @ Skyline Middle School
Dancing By His Grace Classical Ballet Ensemble presents Clara, Little Mouse, and the Golden Key, featuring selections from Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker Ballet, at the Skyline Middle School in Front Royal, Virginia. Join us for our original[...]