Zydeco Beat

Zydeco is a music genre that evolved in southwest Louisiana by French Creole speakers which blends blues, rhythm and blues, and music indigenous to the Louisiana Creoles and the Native people of Louisiana. Though distinct in origin from the Cajun music of Louisiana, the two forms frequently influenced each other, forming a complex of genres native to Louisiana.

Animal Islands

Sable Island is a small island situated 300 km (190 mi) southeast of Halifax, Nova Scotia, and about 175 km (109 mi) southeast of the closest point of mainland Nova Scotia in the Atlantic Ocean. The island is staffed year round by four federal government staff, rising during summer months when research projects and tourism increase. Notable for the Sable Island horse, the island is protected and managed by Parks Canada, which must first grant permission before anyone may visit. Sable Island is part of District 7 of the Halifax Regional Municipality in Nova Scotia. However, the Constitution of Canada specifically names the island as being under the authority of the federal government. The island is also a protected National Park Reserve.

The island is home to over 550 free-roaming horses, protected by law from human interference. This feral horse population is likely descended from horses confiscated from Acadians during the Great Expulsion and left on the island by Thomas Hancock, Boston merchant and uncle of John Hancock. In 1879, 500 horses and cattle were estimated to live on the island, and the island vegetation was described as covered with grass and wild peas. In the past, excess horses were rounded up, shipped off the island, and sold, many used in coal mines on Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia. In 1960, the Canadian Government, under the Canada Shipping Act, gave the horse population full protection from human interference.

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Tashirojima (田代島) is a small island in Ishinomaki, Miyagi Prefecture, Japan. It lies in the Pacific Ocean off the Oshika Peninsula, to the west of Ajishima. It is an inhabited island, although the population is quite small (around 100 people, compared to around 1000 people in the 1950s). It has become known as “Cat Island” due to the large stray cat population that thrives as a result of the local belief that feeding cats will bring wealth and good fortune. The cat population is now larger than the human population on the island. There are no pet dogs on the island due to the large cat population.

The island is divided into two villages/ports: Oodomari and Nitoda. Ajishima, a neighbouring island, used to belong to the town of Oshika, while Tashirojima was a part of the city of Ishinomaki. On April 1, 2005, Oshika merged with Ishinomaki,so now both islands are a part of Ishinomaki.

Since 83% of the population is classified as elderly, the island’s villages have been designated as a “terminal village” which means that with 50% or more of the population being over 65 years of age, the survival of the villages is threatened. The majority of the people who live on the island are involved either in fishing or hospitality.

The island is also known as Manga Island, as Shotaro Ishinomori planned to move to the island. There are manga-themed lodges on the island, resembling cats.

 

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Ōkunoshima (大久野島) is a small island located in the Inland Sea of Japan in the city of Takehara, Hiroshima Prefecture. It is accessible by ferry from Tadanoumi and Ōmishima. There are campsites, walking trails and places of historical interest on the island. It is often called Usagi Shima (うさぎ島, “Rabbit Island”) because of the numerous feral rabbits that roam the island; they are rather tame and will approach humans.

Ōkunoshima played a key role during World War II as a poison gas factory for much of the chemical warfare that was carried out in China.

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Many rabbits live on the island that are descended from rabbits intentionally let loose when the island was developed as a park after World War II. During the war, rabbits were also used in the chemical munitions plant to test the effectiveness of the chemical weapons. Those rabbits were killed when the factory was demolished and are not related to the rabbits currently on the island. Hunting the rabbits is forbidden, and dogs and cats are not allowed on the island.

The ruins of the old forts and the gas factory can be found all over the island; entry is prohibited as it is too dangerous. Since it is part of the Innland Sea National Park system of Japan, there is a resource center and across the way is the museum.

In 2015, the BBC presented a short television series called Pets – Wild at Heart, which featured the behaviours of pets, including the rabbits on the island. The series depicted various tourists coming to feed the rabbits.


 

Ilha da Queimada Grande, also known as Snake Island, is an island off the coast of Brazil in the Atlantic Ocean. It is administered as part of the municipality of Peruíbe in the State of São Paulo. The island is small in size and has many different types of terrain, ranging from bare rock to rainforest, and a temperate climate. It is the only home of the critically endangered, venomous Bothrops insularis (golden lancehead pit viper), which has a diet of birds. The snakes became trapped on the island when rising sea levels covered up the land that connected it to the mainland. It has 90,000 snakes on it This left the snakes to adapt to their environment, increasing rapidly in population and rendering the island dangerous to public visitation. Queimada Grande is closed to the public in order to protect this snake population; access is only available to the Brazilian Navy and selected researchers vetted by the Chico Mendes Institute for Biodiversity Conservation, the Brazilian federal conservation unit.

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Golden Lancehead pit viper, very very dangerous snake.

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Saudi Arabia’s ban on women driving officially ends

Saudi women are officially allowed to get behind the wheel, after a decades-old driving ban was lifted.

The change was announced last September and Saudi Arabia issued the first licences to women earlier this month.

It was the only country left in the world where women could not drive and families had to hire private chauffeurs for female relatives.

However, the move comes amid an intensified crackdown on activists who campaigned for the right to drive.

At least eight women’s rights activists are being detained and could face trial in a counter-terrorism court and long prison sentences for their activism, human rights group Amnesty says.

They include Loujain al-Hathloul, a well-known figure in the campaign for women’s driving rights.

Amnesty has also called for wider reforms in Saudi Arabia, where women remain subject to male guardianship laws.

Excited Saudi women up early to go for a drive

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Human rights groups in the kingdom have campaigned for years to allow women to drive.

Dozens of women were arrested for driving in Riyadh in 1990 and some Saudi women began posting videos of themselves at the wheel in 2008, and between 2011 and 2014.

Thousands of women could soon take to the roads.

“It is a historic moment for every Saudi woman,” Saudi television presenter Sabika al-Dosari told the AFP news agency

She said she was behind the wheel minutes after the end of the driving ban at midnight local time (21:00 GMT Saturday).

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Insurance companies are bracing! I kid I kid.

Trump wants to deport American Indians to India

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Washington (dpo) – As part of his plan to improve national security and combat illegal immigration, US President Donald Trump intends to send around 3 million American Indians back to where they came from – India. He is to sign an executive order to this effect this week.

In an interview with Fox News, President Trump described Indians living in the USA as lawless warriors with a history of attacking and killing US citizens. He claimed, “I’ve seen it in all kinds of TV documentaries. Horrible attacks on good Americans using hatchets or bows and arrows. You can’t trust these Indians.”

President Trump consulted with the appropriate members of the government and found that most Indians do not possess the relevant immigration documents. “That means they are here illegally. I had to act.”
The White House has announced that Indians will be given a three month period in which to leave the country. India is to pay for their flights.

High Times Abound

Now that my home country of Canada is for sure legalizing marijuana in October, I decided I needed to educate myself on the subject. Tongue in cheek here.

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Unlike Bill Clinton, I have smoked the stuff, and I inhale every time.

To get the lowdown on the pot scene in North America I am subscribing to High Times.

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Fake cover above.

High Times is a New York–based monthly magazine founded in 1974 by Tom Forçade. The publication advocates the legalization of cannabis. The magazine has been involved in the marijuana-using counterculture since its inception.

The magazine was founded in 1974 by Tom Forçade of the Underground Press Syndicate. High Times was originally meant to be a joke: a single-issue lampoon of Playboy, substituting weed for sex. The magazine was at the beginning funded by drug money from the sale of illegal marijuana. But the magazine found an audience, and in November 2009, celebrated its 35th anniversary. Like Playboy, each issue contains a centerfold photo; however, instead of a nude woman, High Times typically features a cannabis plant.

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The magazine soon became a monthly publication with a growing circulation, audited by ABC as reaching 500,000 copies an issue, rivaling Rolling Stone and National Lampoon. In 2014, its website was read by 500,000 to 5 million users each month. The staff quickly grew to 40 people. In addition to high-quality photography, High Times featured cutting-edge journalism covering a wide range of topics, including politics, activism, drugs, sex, music and film. Tom Forçade was quoted as saying “Those cavemen must’ve been stoned, no pun intended.” Tom Forçade’s previous attempts to reach a wide counterculture audience by creating a network of underground papers (UPS & APS) had failed, even though he had the support of several noteworthy writers, photographers and artists. Yet, through High Times, Forçade was able to get his message to the masses without relying on mainstream media.

In January 2017, the magazine announced it would be relocated to an office in Los Angeles permanently. This followed the legalization of marijuana in several west coasts states including California.

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Another fake cover.

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The Art of Shepard Fairey

Frank Shepard Fairey (born February 15, 1970) is an American contemporary street artist, graphic designer, activist, illustrator and founder of OBEY Clothing who emerged from the skateboarding scene. He first became known for his “Andre the Giant Has a Posse” (…OBEY…) sticker campaign while attending the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), which appropriated images from the comedic supermarket tabloid Weekly World News.

He became widely known during the 2008 U.S. presidential election for his Barack Obama “Hope” poster. The Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston has described him as one of the best known and most influential street artists. His work is included in the collections at The Smithsonian, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art in New York City, the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C., the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond, and the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.

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