asapscience:

“A large school of mobula rays fades into the waters of Baja, Mexico. “The rays were moving quite fast and it was hard enough keeping up with them from the surface, let alone diving down to take a closer look,” writes photographer Eduardo Lopez Negrete. Mobula rays are often referred to as flying rays due to their fondness for breaching.” — the 2014 National Geographic Traveller Photo ContestLet’s also keep in mind that a mobula ray can reach 17 foot (5.2 meter) wingspan and weigh over a ton. Freaky or cool? 
via Sploid

asapscience:

A large school of mobula rays fades into the waters of Baja, Mexico. “The rays were moving quite fast and it was hard enough keeping up with them from the surface, let alone diving down to take a closer look,” writes photographer Eduardo Lopez Negrete. Mobula rays are often referred to as flying rays due to their fondness for breaching.” — the 2014 National Geographic Traveller Photo Contest

Let’s also keep in mind that a mobula ray can reach 17 foot (5.2 meter) wingspan and weigh over a ton. Freaky or cool? 

via Sploid

nprontheroad:

In late July and August, something remarkable happens in the air above Lake Murray, South Carolina.  Around sunset, hundreds of thousands of purple martins come streaming towards the center of the lake from every direction, swirling together in a massive flock that darkens the sky. After an hour of wheeling and singing they settle down on a small island. For the past 25 years, Lake Murray has boasted the largest purple martin roost in the United States. The birds gather there in the hundreds of thousands before beginning their epic migration to South America. Every year hundreds of boats full of purple martin admirers crowd the waters around the island. Every year 500,000 birds put on a breathtaking aerial performance.But not this year. This year, the boats went out as usual. But the birds didn’t show up.And so Skunk Bear (NPR’s science tumblr) has gone mobile in search of the missing martins.  We – that’s photojournalist Maggie Starbard and science reporter Adam Cole – have vowed not to return to HQ until we’ve located the errant flock … or until Tuesday morning. Whichever comes first.We’re starting our search where the birds were last seen: in American backyards. Purple martins on the east coast rely entirely on human-built dwellings to breed, and thousands of humans have taken it upon themselves to provide these nesting colonies. We’re hoping this slightly crazy fellowship of purple martin “landlords” (that’s what they call themselves) can point us in the right direction. Maybe we’ll find out where the birds went.  Maybe we’ll find out why they are so dependent on humans. And maybe we’ll find out why all these people are so invested in their survival. Stay tuned.

nprontheroad:

In late July and August, something remarkable happens in the air above Lake Murray, South Carolina.  Around sunset, hundreds of thousands of purple martins come streaming towards the center of the lake from every direction, swirling together in a massive flock that darkens the sky. After an hour of wheeling and singing they settle down on a small island.

For the past 25 years, Lake Murray has boasted the largest purple martin roost in the United States. The birds gather there in the hundreds of thousands before beginning their epic migration to South America. Every year hundreds of boats full of purple martin admirers crowd the waters around the island. Every year 500,000 birds put on a breathtaking aerial performance.

But not this year.

This year, the boats went out as usual. But the birds didn’t show up.

And so Skunk Bear (NPR’s science tumblr) has gone mobile in search of the missing martins.  We – that’s photojournalist Maggie Starbard and science reporter Adam Cole – have vowed not to return to HQ until we’ve located the errant flock … or until Tuesday morning. Whichever comes first.

We’re starting our search where the birds were last seen: in American backyards. Purple martins on the east coast rely entirely on human-built dwellings to breed, and thousands of humans have taken it upon themselves to provide these nesting colonies. We’re hoping this slightly crazy fellowship of purple martin “landlords” (that’s what they call themselves) can point us in the right direction.

Maybe we’ll find out where the birds went.  Maybe we’ll find out why they are so dependent on humans. And maybe we’ll find out why all these people are so invested in their survival. Stay tuned.

tranquil23:

Japan hotel and temple join forces to offer gay and lesbian weddings
Draped in wedding kimonos, standing in a Zen temple built in the 1590s, gay and lesbian couples have a new option for a commitment ceremony in Japan
According to the deputy head priest at Shunkoin Temple, Japanese buddhism doesn’t have anything against homosexuality (source: Mainichi Shimbun(in Japanese))  - cool :)
More Details at:Japan National Tourism OrganizationGAY STAR NEWS

tranquil23:

Japan hotel and temple join forces to offer gay and lesbian weddings

Draped in wedding kimonos, standing in a Zen temple built in the 1590s, gay and lesbian couples have a new option for a commitment ceremony in Japan

According to the deputy head priest at Shunkoin Temple, Japanese buddhism doesn’t have anything against homosexuality (source: Mainichi Shimbun(in Japanese))  - cool :)

More Details at:
Japan National Tourism Organization
GAY STAR NEWS