The Killing of Cecil

“Hunting is not a sport. In a sport, both sides
should know they’re in the game.”
Paul Rodriguez

Cecil The Lion

This week we all learned about the cold-blooded murder of Cecil the lion. Cecil was shot and killed by American dentist, Walter James Palmer.

When the story first hit the airwaves, Palmer was interviewed and said that he was unaware the lion was from a National Park and was a local tourist favorite. He said he would cooperate with authorities to find out how this happened. However, now the Feds report they are looking for the dentist and he is nowhere to be found.

In the news today we learned that Wildlife officials accuse two men of taking over $50,000 from Palmer in order to coax Cecil out of the Hwange National Park and onto private land, where he was beheaded and skinned. Johnny Rodrigues, chairman of the Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force, said Palmer is the one who fatally shot the creature.

The news of Cecil’s killing made me sick to my stomach. The thought that an animal living for years on a National Park could be shot down in cold-blood makes me angry. How can Palmer find sport in killing animals in the wild let alone ones that are basically in a San Diego Wildlife Park.

Conservation experts who have been tracking the lion for seven years told NBC News on Wednesday that Walter James Palmer’s actions could spark a “cascade of effects” — leading to rival lions killing many as 10 cubs in Cecil’s pride.

The outrage over Cecil’s slaughter has ignited the world to take notice about what is happening to wild life in Africa and throughout the World. A petition was recently started to demand justice for Cecil the lion in Zimbabwe. This petition requires 1million signatures and would help put an end to trophy hunting.

Hunting isn’t the only threat to wild animals, nor is it the biggest. Conservationist also point to loss of habitat and poaching is as big a threat. Animals such as the Rhino are in danger. More than 1,200 Rhino’s were killed last year. African elephants population is down more than 64% in the last decade, and it’s estimated that poachers kill 100 elephants daily.

It’s no doubt that Cecil’s death has touched a nerve throughout the world. The fact that a lion such as Cecil can be slaughtered so easily just shows what a slippery slop we are on when it comes to protecting Africa’s amazing wild life.

No amount of money can replace the wild life that is killed each day by sport hunters and poachers. We can only hope that this sad news will not be forgotten as well as the outrage about the killing of Cecil.

Shine On

The Search For Our Past

“Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known.”
Carl Sagan

The Search For Our Past

Artist’s drawing of close cousin of Earth.

NASA announced that they have discovered a close cousin to the Earth. The discovery of this planet and its star closely resemble the Earth and our Sun.

“This discovery brings us one step closer to finding an Earth 2.0” said John Grunsfeld, head of NASA’s Science Mission Directorate. “The sun that orbits this tiny planet is the same temperature as our own sun. The planet’s orbit takes 385 days. Essentially, it’s as close to an Earth twin as astronomers have ever discovered.”

But what does the discovery of this tiny planet mean? Will the discovery help us to learn more about the Earths beginning?

For thousands of years humans possess an innate need to explore. Whether through exploring and discovering new continents, or finding cures for diseases, humans will continue to explore. This is how we’ve built our civilization.

Science, curiosity, the need to think and study and explore our surroundings – these are quests that drive us to be who we are. We believe in these endeavors and we feel enriched and fulfilled by answers to our questions. Like ancient civilizations that took off to search for other worlds, we too are looking over the next hill. That next hill is space exploration and other galaxies.

Humans have always been a thinking, wondering entity. To establish understanding of our origins is a part of our evolution. Part of human and scientific progress has been the ability to evolve our thinking to include not just simple trains of thought, but larger concepts. Scientists are modifying their roles as astronomers, physicists, planetary geologists, and space engineers to incorporate the visions of historians, anthropologists, paleontologists, biologists and genealogists to help analyze the details, clues and evidence of basic questions such as:

  • Where did we, as humans, come from?
  • What is the fate of life as we know it?
  • Are we alone in the Universe?

Scientists seek to observe the birth of the earliest galaxies in the universe, to detect all planetary systems in the solar neighborhood and to find those planets that are capable of supporting life, and to learn whether life began elsewhere in the solar system. They do this in order to understand and explain the origin of galaxies, stars and planetary systems, and life itself.

Wanting answers to these questions is just part of human nature. Part of the never-ending search for our past.

Shine On

Erma Bombeck, The Bomb

“Insanity is hereditary. You can catch it from your kids.”
Erma Bombeck

Erma Bombeck, The Bomb

Erma Bombeck   2/21/1927 to 4/22/1996

Most of you won’t remember Erma Bombeck. She was famous in the 1960s to the 1990s with her writing about everyday life and down home humor.

She began her career writing for a local Ohio newspaper and quickly moved up to having her own column. She had a talent for writing good clean humor and knew what successful column writing entailed.

Hook ’em with the lead
Hold ’em with laughter
Exit with a quip
They won’t forget

She released her first book, At Wit’s End in 1967 to moderate reviews, but between her lecturing and successful column her book became a big hit.

Bombeck published 15 books, most of them best sellers, and wrote over 4,000 newspaper columns. Her silver-tongued humor chronicled her ordinary life of a midwestern suburban housewife.

I was introduced to her writing in the late 1960’s after reading her articles in Reader’s Digest, Family Circle, RedbookMcCall’s and other magazine’s my mom had lying around the house. Her articles were always short, sweet and packed with humor. She inspired me to read and write more.

If you’ve never heard or read Bombeck’s work, you might enjoy reading one of her books. You can find her books at the library, on Amazon and even through eBooks.

Erma’s writings always brings back fond memories of my youth and she will always be Erma Bombeck, the Bomb.

Shine On