Emotional Support Animals on Planes

An emotional support animal (ESA) is a companion animal that a medical professional has determined provides benefit for an individual with a disability. This may include improving at least one symptom of the disability. Emotional support animals, typically dogs, but sometimes cats or other animals, may be used by people with a range of physical, psychiatric, or intellectual disabilities. In order to be prescribed an emotional support animal the person seeking such an animal must have a verifiable disability. To be afforded protection under United States federal law, a person must meet the federal definition of disability and must have a note from a physician or other medical professional stating that the person has that disability and that the emotional support animal provides a benefit for the individual with the disability. An animal does not need specific training to become an emotional support animal.

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The Air Carrier Access Act establishes a procedure for modifying pet policies on aircraft to permit a person with a disability to travel with a prescribed emotional support animal, so long as they have appropriate documentation and the animal is not a danger to others and does not interfere with others (through unwanted attention, barking, inappropriate toileting, etc.

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CNBC

Want to travel with an emotional support dog, duck or miniature horse? Starting next month, United Airlines will want passengers to show they can behave.

The airline is setting more stringent requirements for emotional support animals, joining Delta Air Lines in cracking down on a sharp increase in such animals in the cabin. Delta complained that some of the animals soiled cabins or bit travelers.

United said the number of customers bringing emotional support animals on board has risen 75 percent over the past year.

“The Department of Transportation’s rules regarding emotional support animals are not working as they were intended to, prompting us to change our approach in order to ensure a safe and pleasant travel experience for all of our customers,” United said.

Late last month, a Brooklyn artist tried to bring a peacock on board a cross-country United flight, but was turned away by the airline because of the bird’s weight and size.

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“As a reminder, animals currently prohibited from traveling in the cabin include hedgehogs, ferrets, insects, rodents, snakes, spiders, reptiles, sugar gliders, non-household birds, exotic animals and animals not properly cleaned or carry a foul odor,” said United.

The animals below are not on the prohibited list.

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Last 2 images above courtesy of Markozen photoshop.

Smoking Rates by Country

76 percent of men in Indonesia smoke!

Data is for 2015.

CountryTotal Smoking Rate Male Smoking RateFemale Smoking Rate
Kiribati52.40%63.90%40.90%
Nauru47.50%43.00%52.00%
Greece42.65%52.60%32.70%
Serbia41.65%43.60%39.70%
Russia40.90%59.00%22.80%
Jordan40.45%70.20%10.70%
Indonesia39.90%76.20%3.60%
Bosnia And Herzegovina38.60%47.20%30.00%
Lebanon38.20%45.40%31.00%
Chile38.00%40.00%36.00%
Latvia36.60%48.90%24.30%
Croatia36.45%39.40%33.50%
Sierra Leone36.00%60.00%12.00%
Bulgaria35.30%42.40%28.20%
Cuba35.25%52.70%17.80%
Austria35.15%35.50%34.80%
Czech Republic33.20%37.40%29.00%
Estonia33.05%41.20%24.90%
Laos32.85%56.60%9.10%
Andorra32.50%37.20%27.80%
Georgia31.70%57.70%5.70%
Ukraine31.70%49.40%14.00%
Germany30.35%32.40%28.30%
Israel30.25%41.20%19.30%
Tonga30.15%47.30%13.00%
Lithuania30.15%38.10%22.20%
Samoa29.95%41.00%18.90%
Romania29.80%36.90%22.70%
Albania29.40%51.20%7.60%
Spain29.20%31.30%27.10%
Slovakia28.65%39.70%17.60%
Belarus28.40%46.20%10.60%
Hungary28.40%32.00%24.80%
Bahrain28.20%48.80%7.60%
Poland28.05%32.40%23.70%
Lesotho27.75%55.10%0.40%
France27.70%29.80%25.60%
Kyrgyzstan27.00%50.40%3.60%
South Korea27.00%49.80%4.20%
Armenia26.90%52.30%1.50%
Kazakhstan26.60%43.90%9.30%
Mongolia26.50%47.70%5.30%
Turkey25.95%39.50%12.40%
Seychelles25.90%43.00%8.80%
Philippines25.75%43.00%8.50%
Fiji25.55%38.70%12.40%
Moldova25.55%45.70%5.40%
Namibia25.15%38.90%11.40%
Egypt25.10%49.90%0.30%
Netherlands25.05%26.20%23.90%
Malta24.95%29.70%20.20%
China24.70%47.60%1.80%
Vietnam24.20%47.10%1.30%
Nepal24.10%37.10%11.10%
Italy24.00%28.30%19.70%
Argentina23.95%29.50%18.40%
Mauritania23.85%44.00%3.70%
Bolivia23.80%30.50%17.10%
Luxembourg23.60%25.80%21.40%
Azerbaijan23.45%46.50%0.40%
Cambodia23.45%44.10%2.80%
Morocco23.40%45.40%1.40%
Switzerland23.30%26.90%19.70%
Belgium23.25%26.50%20.00%
Uruguay23.05%26.70%19.40%
Portugal22.60%31.50%13.70%
Republic Of The Congo22.45%43.20%1.70%
Pakistan22.45%41.90%3.00%
Cameroon22.35%43.80%0.90%
Norway22.25%22.40%22.10%
Malaysia22.20%43.00%1.40%
Japan22.15%33.70%10.60%
Ireland22.15%22.40%21.90%
Thailand21.85%41.40%2.30%
Mauritius21.70%40.10%3.30%
Finland20.85%23.20%18.50%
Sweden20.60%20.40%20.80%
Burkina Faso20.25%36.00%4.50%
Bangladesh20.25%39.80%0.70%
Slovenia20.20%22.30%18.10%
Mali20.00%36.80%3.20%
United Kingdom19.15%19.90%18.40%
Myanmar19.00%31.60%6.40%
South Africa18.95%31.40%6.50%
Mozambique18.65%31.40%5.90%
Paraguay18.10%28.30%7.90%
Jamaica17.90%29.90%5.90%
Honduras17.70%33.30%2.10%
United States17.25%19.50%15.00%
Denmark17.00%17.60%16.40%
Zimbabwe16.65%31.20%2.10%
Singapore16.50%28.00%5.00%
Brunei16.20%29.30%3.10%
Iceland16.05%17.00%15.10%
Niue15.85%20.30%11.40%
Malawi15.70%25.40%6.00%
Tanzania15.65%27.50%3.80%
Zambia15.55%26.50%4.60%
Saudi Arabia15.40%27.90%2.90%
Brazil15.30%19.30%11.30%
Liberia15.00%27.60%2.40%
Canada14.95%17.70%12.20%
Australia14.90%16.70%13.10%
Comoros14.55%23.10%6.00%
Sri Lanka14.40%28.40%0.40%
Dominican Republic14.10%18.80%9.40%
Mexico13.70%20.80%6.60%
Costa Rica13.40%18.50%8.30%
Kenya13.35%24.60%2.10%
Uzbekistan13.10%24.90%1.30%
Cape Verde12.85%22.20%3.50%
Haiti12.30%22.10%2.50%
Senegal12.05%23.40%0.70%
India11.15%20.40%1.90%
Colombia11.10%16.00%6.20%
Iran11.10%21.50%0.70%
Oman11.00%21.00%1.00%
Eswatini10.60%19.00%2.20%
Uganda9.65%16.40%2.90%
Niger9.40%18.60%0.20%
Benin9.35%17.70%1.00%
Nigeria9.25%17.40%1.10%
Ecuador8.65%14.00%3.30%
Barbados7.00%13.10%0.90%
Ghana6.75%13.10%0.40%
Panama6.60%10.60%2.60%
Ethiopia4.70%8.90%0.50%

Source: World Population Review 2021

Snakebite Epidemic

Snakebites kill tens of thousands of Africans a year

SIMON ISOLOMO AWOKE around 5 a.m., said goodbye to his wife and seven children, and climbed into his dugout canoe. That Tuesday in December 2018 had begun like many others in Isolomo’s 30 years of fishing in the province of Équateur, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Paddling on the Ikelemba River toward his fishing camp with a couple of friends, Isolomo, a 52-year-old French teacher, snacked on kwanga, a popular manioc dish, and enjoyed the cool morning air.

Three hours later they arrived at the camp, and Isolomo began checking the fishing lines he’d set up the day before. Feeling resistance on one, he thrust his hand into the murky water.

A sharp pain sent him reeling. Blood oozed from two puncture wounds on his hand. Just below the surface, a yellowish snake with black rings—probably a banded water cobra—slithered from view.

Isolomo’s companions helped him into the canoe and paddled frantically back to their village of Iteli. By the time they arrived, about three hours after Isolomo was bitten, he was slipping in and out of consciousness.

“His eyes had changed color, and he was vomiting,” his wife, Marie, recalls, starting to cry. After a traditional healer applied a tourniquet, they set out by canoe for the hospital in Mbandaka, the provincial capital, some 60 miles away. But before they arrived, Isolomo stopped breathing and died.

Isolomo’s story encapsulates the global snakebite crisis: Bitten in a remote area, hours from the closest hospital, he didn’t have a chance. As many as 138,000 people around the world die from snakebites each year, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), and roughly 95 percent of those deaths occur in poor, rural communities in developing nations. Another 400,000 people survive with amputated limbs and other permanent disabilities.

One of the worst-hit locations is sub-Saharan Africa, where up to 30,000 deaths from snakebites are believed to occur each year. But some doctors and snakebite experts say the true toll may be double that. A major factor is a severe shortage of the only medicine that can neutralize the toxins of dangerous snakes: antivenom. Complicating matters is that many victims, for lack of money or transportation, or because of distrust of Western medicine, don’t go to hospitals—or don’t get there in time. Staff at many health centers are insufficiently trained to treat snakebites, and even if the drug is on hand, it’s too expensive for many victims. Additionally, most of the more reliable African antivenoms need to be kept refrigerated to stay stable and effective. With frequent power cuts, even in cities, keeping them cold can be nearly impossible.

To draw attention to the snakebite crisis and to attract funding for research and treatment, in 2017 WHO added snakebite envenomation to its roster of neglected tropical diseases, which includes rabies, dengue, and leprosy. In 2019 it announced a goal of slashing the number of annual deaths and disabilities from envenomation by 50 percent by 2030—an undertaking that could cost nearly $140 million.

Most African snakebite victims are farmers who work in remote fields barefoot or in sandals, making them particularly vulnerable. Once a venomous snake strikes, a race against the clock begins. Transport to the nearest hospital can take hours, even days. By then it may be too late.

The venom of elapids, a family of snakes that includes mambas and cobras, can kill within hours. Their neurotoxins rapidly paralyze respiratory muscles, making breathing impossible. The venom of vipers, however, can take several days to kill, interfering with clotting and leading to inflammation, bleeding, and tissue death.

Agile and arboreal, the eastern green mamba is one of four African mamba species. Mamba strikes can release a neurotoxic venom that acts quickly, paralyzing respiratory muscles and causing death by asphyxiation.

A puff adder, one of Africa’s most dangerous snakes, basks on a warm rock in Guinea. In 2017 the World Health Organization added snakebite to its list of neglected tropical diseases, spotlighting this health crisis to attract funding for research and treatment.

Nationalgeographic.com

Anti-Maskers?

Some people refuse to wear a mask to protect against covid.
I heard a university prof who said some people just don’t want to be told what to do. Libertarian individualism. Libertarians are actually very selfish. According to libertarians the only thing that matters in this world is my individual rights, me for me, the hell with the greater good. They don’t seem to understand that if the world was modeled like they want, it would be utter chaos. You would have to pack up your AK-47 to go grocery shopping.
They don’t want to wear protective masks that not only protect them, but protect innocent individuals that come near them. But that’s the greater good, they don’t care about those innocent individuals, if they die it has nothing to do with them. Yet these anti-maskers obey traffic regulations, tax rules (but that must piss em off to no end) and other societal norms like get in line at the doughnut shop.
Bottom line, it is all about them. I should be free to do whatever I want as long as I don’t hurt anyone. Irony is, not wearing a mask may hurt someone.

A sign outside a restaurant