Nature is a legal entity in Ecuador, and people can sue on behalf of it!

Nature is a legal entity in Ecuador, and people can sue on behalf of it!

Ecuador enacted a new constitution in 2008 and in it, it became the first country in the world to codify the Rights of Nature. The constitution recognizes the rights of ecosystems to flourish and it allows people to take legal action on behalf of the environment.

Ecuador had a history of abuse with the oil industry, including a class-action lawsuit against Chevron, which led to the adoption of Nature Rights in the country. The concept that resonated in this argument was called Buen Vivir, or good living. Buen Vivir meant to live a good life in a communal sense, and the community includes Nature.

There have been a number of legal disputes that have invoked the Rights of Nature. Check the source to read more about them!


from OMG Facts

The handshake holds a lot of meaning–and history.

The handshake holds a lot of meaning–and history.

Fist bumps, head nods and secret hand maneauvers crowd the way many people greet each other these days, but nothing beats the good, old fashioned handshake.

Though it may feel like a way to assert your dominance when you squeeze the other hand as hard as possible, it actually originated from a very peaceful gesture in a tumultuous time.

The first time a handshake was documented appears on the Kalhu monument, which shows the Assyrian king, Shalmaneser III, and Babylonian Marduk-zakir-sumi, shaking hands in public to show friendship between the nations.

It’s believed to be practiced all the way back to the 5th century BC in ancient Greece. Archeologists have found pottery with soldiers shaking hands in many of the ruins.

The thought behind the handshake was as a gesture of peace and trust. A soldier would present a hand that doesn’t have a weapon.

Today, handshakes mean many things other than an almost universal greeting. They now convey anything from congratulations, to respect, to a binding agreement.


from OMG Facts

Can’t get away for the summer? Let your stuffed animals do the traveling for you with this travel agency!

Can’t get away for the summer? Let your stuffed animals do the traveling for you with this travel agency!

People stuck at the office all summer with no vacation time to speak of must look out of the window and just dream of the far off places they could be adventuring.

Well, now you can pay the cost of such an adventure and send someone—or something—else in your place: your stuffed animal!

The last few years, a travel agency in Tokyo, Japan has made a decent living taking travel plans for stuffed animal owners.

All it costs for the Tokyo tour is $45 or $55 for the onsen (hot spring) trip plus the cost of shipping the toy to the agency. There is a weight limit though: No stuffed animals over 0.55 pounds allowed. Sorry, Fatty the Bear!

As weird as it sounds, the agency does do a lot of good. It’s geared toward people who can’t make the trip themselves due to handicaps and illnesses.

Some have even mustered up the inspiration to rehabilitate after seeing photos of their stuffed animal having a good time, wanting to visit the place themselves.

So if you can’t get out and see the world, at least your playthings can!


from OMG Facts

Artist Launches Bonsai Trees And Other Lovely Plant Arrangements Into Space

We’ve heard that outer space is, visually speaking, a pretty majestic experience. Yet although the galaxy beyond is undoubtedly filled with stars and misty clouds for days, there aren’t any decorative touches around to spruce up the space.

Enter Tokyo-based artist Azuma Makoto, aka the official interior decorator of outer space. For Makoto’s recent artistic endeavor, entitled “EXOBIOTANICA,” he launched a 50-year-old Japanese white pine bonsai, along with an arrangement of orchids, hydrangeas, lilies and irises, into the great beyond.


The carefully arranged greenery was expelled from planet earth from Black Rock Desert, Nevada — also the location of the Burning Man Festival. The whole project was taped, thanks to the six GoPro cameras strapped to the balloons which carried the plants. As you could probably guess, the juxtaposition of crisp floral arrangement and the empty wilderness of outer space is a surreal sight to behold.

“I went to Amazon, Brazil last year and created art pieces with plants that were full of aliveness in dense forest where I could hear groan from the earth,” the artist explained to the Huffington Post. “This was a mind-blowing experience since I really felt that I was arranging the plants onto the earth. For this EXOBIOTANICA project, one of my inspiration sources was curiosity – I asked myself, ‘what would it happen when I arrange plants on the globe, from up in the sky?’ as a concept that is completely opposite of what I did in Brazil.”

The goal was simple: “I wanted to explore how flowers and plants would bloom, decay and change outside of the earth. I wanted to seek and tell how their beauties will look with the earth as its background.”


Before actually launching the flora into outer space, Makoto, in collaboration with John Powell of JP Aerospace, “experimented number of times under low-temperature and did rehearsals for camera’s angles beforehand so that we would able to estimate what would happen to some extent.” Despite all the preparations that took place, nothing could predict the staggering beauty that results from the strange and enchanting vision of a domesticated floral arrangement floating through the unbridled Milky Way.

Now that he’s tackled outer space, Makoto has set his sights on artistic destinations closer to planet earth, though just as visually compelling. “For the next steps I would like to try various conditions such as the bottom of the sea, volcano, the Arctic and the Antarctic to see what kind of expressions flowers and plants would display. These challenging concepts make me excited by only thinking about it.” We cannot wait to see where Makoto brings his lucky bouquets next.

See the breathtaking photos below and let us know your thoughts in the comments:

from Green – The Huffington Post

In Indonesia Manta Rays are worth 2000 times more alive than dead and Indonesia’s ocean is now the largest sanctuary for manta rays in the world

In Indonesia Manta Rays are worth 2000 times more alive than dead and Indonesia’s ocean is now the largest sanctuary for manta rays in the world

Indonesia has been the world’s largest fishery for rays and sharks for almost 30 years.

A dead manta ray is worth $40-$500 in Indonesia. Manta ray tourism, however, can bring in $1 million during the life span of a single ray! Mantas can live to become 50 years old and can travel in groups of up to 50.

The Indonesian government did the math, figuring a ray is worth 2000 times more alive than when it is dead!

This prompted the Indonesian Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries to ban fishing and export of mantas in 2014. Indonesia’s 2.2 million square miles of ocean is now the largest sanctuary for manta rays in the world.

This could not have come at a better time for mantra rays whose population has declined in the last ten years and the ray is now listed as “Vulnerable to Extinction" by the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

Manta products are mostly sold in the Guangzhou region in southern China as part of a scam, proclaiming the gills can cure everything from chickenpox to cancer and infertility.

But it has no curative properties and are not considered a formal component of Traditional Chinese Medicine. In fact, they are not even recognized by traditional medicine practitioners!


from OMG Facts

Blackberry Smoke’s Charlie Starr on Working With Springsteen Producer

This week Blackberry Smoke released the scorching double-live album and DVD Leave a Scar Live in North Carolina but it looks like Smoke fans won’t have to wait long to hear new music from the Southern rockers Singer-guitarist Charlie Starr tells Rolling Stone Country the band just wrapped sessions on…

from All News
via RollingStone

Puppy Trapped In Kennel During Devastating Apartment Fire Found Alive And Well Days Later

Despite a devastating fire that consumed her entire home and most of her possessions, Sarah-Elizabeth Graham Harbison doesn’t feel as if she has lost anything at all.

That’s because Harbison and her then-fiancé, Anthony, thought they had lost their 8-month-old black Labrador puppy named Lily in a blaze at Oak Ridge Apartments in Cullman, Alabama, earlier this month. As it turns out, they were wrong.

The couple was told that there was nothing left in the wreckage of their apartment. But last week an insurance adjuster told them he would try to retrieve the remains of their beloved puppy for them to bury, according to a post on Harbison’s Facebook page. When he got there, he found the dog was alive and in the apartment.

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The insurance adjuster could hear whimpering and cries coming from the debris, which led him to find the puppy and pull her out of the rubble, The Cullman Times reported. She was trapped in her kennel the whole time, which may have protected her from falling debris and saved her life. She was a little singed, but otherwise alright.

“We were just wanting to get her body so we could bury her, but there she was,” Harbison told the outlet. “I’ve never been happier.”

The fire, which broke out on July 11, started in a bottom unit and rapidly spread across the complex, NBC 13 reported. Harbison tried to get to Lily before escaping the burning apartment, but the floor collapsed and prevented her from doing so, according to The Cullman Times. Harbison’s son, Noah, was not at the house at the time.

The couple lost everything they owned and suffered from some burns and smoke inhalation, but are expected to make a full recovery according to Harbison’s Facebook post.

I don’t feel like we’ve lost anything, really,” Harbison told The Cullman Times. “We’re just so happy to have her back.”

Harbison and her fiancé have since gotten married, and the whole family, including Lily, are now settled in a new apartment.

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from Green – The Huffington Post

Dog Passes Out From Overwhelming Joy When This Girl Comes Home After Two Years

When this schnauzer saw a familiar face after two whole years away, the pet could barely keep it together.

Watch the video above posted by Rebecca Ehalt to see what happiness looks like. It really is too much to handle for the little pooch who whimpers with pure joy until it’s time to lie down.

A description of the video, which was uploaded on Thursday, notes “the schnauzer was taken to the vet, the vet saw the video, and everything is fine.”

from Green – The Huffington Post

Disabled Chihuahua Gets Wheels Made From Toys. Yes, It’s OK To Squeal With Delight

Turbo the Chihuahua was born without his two front legs, but he doesn’t seem to notice. The feisty little dog won’t let anything hold him back.

The two-legged pup was brought to The Downtown Veterinarian in Indianapolis, Indiana, about two weeks ago, reported. Turbo’s owners brought him to the clinic because when he was 4 weeks old his littermates made it difficult for the disabled pooch to get any food. At 1 month old, he weighed just 10 ounces.

After visiting other vets who said there was nothing they could do for him, his owners were distraught.

The couple was besides themselves,” Amy Birk, the practice manager of The Downtown Veterinarian told the outlet. “They didn’t want the dog to be euthanized.”


The owners agreed to sign the puppy over to the staff so that he could get the care that he needed.

A small dog can do well with a cart,” Birk told ABC 7. “So, unless he had another medical condition, there was no way we were putting him to sleep.”

Turbo began to eat regularly and gain weight, and the staff set about creating a cart for him to get around more easily. Dogs can’t be fitted for a regular cart until they are 6 months old, so they were forced to get creative.

At first, according to Fox 59, the staff assembled a device using parts from a Fisher Price helicopter.


Next, they made this one below out of straws but it proved too flimsy. His current cart is made of pipes from a toy welding kit, but the staff fears he will grow out of it soon.

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We need the cart so he can get support on his front end, so he can move around more naturally and use legs more naturally and his back,” Dr. Trish Wiggers told Fox. “So, there is not stress put on all his other joints.”

Currently, the veterinary clinic is raising money for a cart specially designed for the little dog. The starting price is $200.

But Turbo, now 6 weeks old and weighting in at less than 1 pound, isn’t concerned with his lack of legs. The spunky Chihuahua spends his days doing physical therapy to strengthen his back legs at the practice, and is going home at night with veterinary technician Ashley Looper who has decided to adopt him.

He definitely has a different personality because he is handicapped,” Looper told the outlet. “He is just spunkier. In the morning, he is alert and ready to go and you see him walk and he is just happy!”

The Downtown Veterinarian is accepting donations for Turbo’s special cart at their office and by phone. To keep up with Turbo and his progress, visit his Facebook page or Instagram account.

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from Green – The Huffington Post

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