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!


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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.


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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!


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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!


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When Abraham Lincoln was a lawyer he got a man acquitted of murder by showing an almanac depicting the phases of the moon, to the jury!

When Abraham Lincoln was a lawyer he got a man acquitted of murder by showing an almanac depicting the phases of the moon, to the jury!

In 1858 Abraham Lincoln defended a friend’s son in court.


The young man, William “Duff” Armstrong was accused of murdering James Preston Metzker just before midnight on 29 August 1957.


Jack Armstrong, Lincoln’s friend and Duff’s father, had just passed away and Abraham offered his services without pay to help Jack’s widow during the difficult time she found herself in.


During the trial Armstrong was accused of murdering Metzker with a slung-shot – a maritime tool which consisted of a rope with a heavy weight on one end that was used to cast a line from one place to another.


The principal witness for the prosecution, Charles Allen, claimed that he witnessed Duff killing Preston from 150 feet away.


When Lincoln asked Allen how he could identify Armstrong at such a distance just before midnight in the dark, Allen said, "By the light of the Moon."


Lincoln must have anticipated his response, because he produced an almanac and paged to August 1957. Using the almanac he proved to the jury that the moon was in its first quarter and, at the exact time Allen claimed to have witnessed the murder, the moon was about to set!


The jury agreed with Lincoln that the moon could not possibly have produced enough light for Charles to clearly identify the killer at such a distance, and Duff Armstrong was acquitted!


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Guillermo del Toro lost his notebook with four years' worth of planning for 'Pan's Labyrinth' in it, in a London cab! Luckily the determined cab driver saved the day

Guillermo del Toro lost his notebook with four years' worth of planning for 'Pan's Labyrinth' in it, in a London cab! Luckily the determined cab driver saved the day

Imagine working on something for four years and then watching it drive away from you because you forgot it in a taxi in a foreign country!


Guillermo del Toro experienced that horrible, sinking feeling first hand.


The Mexican film maker has a habit of writing all his ideas down in leather bound notebooks and he did exactly that with his thoughts surrounding ‘Pan’s Labyrinth’—a movie about a child’s fantasy set in the wake of the Spanish Civil War.


The notebook contained four years’ worth of planning and sketches around the plot and character deign for the movie. It was the foundations of the entire project.


Del Toro tried to run after the British taxi, but to no avail. He jumped in another taxi and asked the driver to follow the one driving off with his hard work, but they could not catch up with it.


Luckily the cabbie noticed the journal on the back seat of his cab. He found a scrap of paper with the logo of the hotel Guillermo was staying in printed on it. There was no name or address for the hotel, but he went to work finding the owner of the leather bound journal.


Two days later he returned the notebook to Del Toro who was so delighted that he tipped the driver $900!


Until that day he was not even sure if he was going to make the movie, but after the kind act of the taxi driver, he believed it was a sign that ‘Pan’s Labyrinth’ had to be made.


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In 2012, a cat saved it's owner after awaking her from a seizure and got her son to call for assistance...the same day it was adopted.

In 2012, a cat saved it's owner after awaking her from a seizure and got her son to call for assistance...the same day it was adopted.

In 2012, Amy Jung went into a diabetic seizure while asleep. Her cat Pudding nudged her awake until she could call out to her son.


The son couldn’t hear her, though, so Pudding went into his room and pounced on him until he woke up and called for medical assistance.


That’s a great story, but it’s not what makes it stand out. The most interesting fact about this is that Jung and her son had only adopted Pudding earlier that very day!


That’s one cat that seems to be very happy with being adopted.


Dogs and cats can both do amazing things. There have been countless accounts of a pet saving its owners life, whether through alerting them to a fire or discovering a tumor.


Dogs get the label of man’s best friend, but cats can be just as helpful.


According to animal psychologist Roger Mugford, cats are as capable as dogs at detecting illnesses in humans, but are less likely to do so because they are they are “very much more selfish, solitary creatures.”


Luckily for Amy Jung, Pudding was looking out for her.


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Cats were used as live shields by the Persians

Cats were used as live shields by the Persians
During the battle of Pelusium in 522 BC, Cambyses II, the King of Persia, used cats as leverage against Egyptians. He knew that Egypt revered cats, so during various ocassions, him and his soldiers would use cats as shields knowing that the Egyptians would be too scared to strike them in fear of hurting the cats.



Other tactics included simply letting the cats loose in the battlefield, and creating chaos in the egyptian armies. It was against Egyptian law to hurt or kill attack, so in many occasions, for fear of accidentally hurting a feline, the Egyptians would surrender the city.





violin strings have been made from 5000 strands of spider silk. They produce 'a soft and profound timbre' when played

violin strings have been made from 5000 strands of spider silk. They produce 'a soft and profound timbre' when played

Most people have heard of Spider silk’s incredible strength, but there are some pretty inventive uses for it.


One Japanese researcher actually made violin strings from spider silk!


Shigeyoshi Osaki, a professor at Nara Medical University in southern Honshu, used between 3,000 and 5,000 strands of silk for each string, which produced ‘a soft and profound timbre’ when played.


A video of this can be found in the source of this fact.


Osaki bred 300 female Nephila maculata spiders to make the strands. Don’t worry, this didn’t affect the spiders’ feeding. The silk all came from strands the spiders used to hang from not their webs.


Of course, these violin strings must be pretty strong if they use spider silk. Indeed, they have a greater strength than either gut or steel strings!


This is in part because the strands of silk are not completely cylindrical, but rather have 4-6 sides, allowing the researchers to cut down on gaps between strands.


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Here is a list of the 24 countries where it is legal to be a lesbian, but illegal to be a gay man! The penalty in Mauritius for being gay, is shocking!

Here is a list of the 24 countries where it is legal to be a lesbian, but illegal to be a gay man! The penalty in Mauritius for being gay, is shocking!

In 2013 The International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association, or ILGA, has listed 81 countries where there are laws against homosexuality or homosexual acts.


But strangely enough, there are 24 countries where it is legal to be a lesbian, but illegal to be a gay man!


Here is a list of those countries and the penalties gay men face in those countries:


Ghana: Five to twenty years imprisonment Sierra.


Leone and Guyana: In these countries a gay man will be imprisoned for life!


Nigeria, Tuvalu and Seychelles: Fourteen years in prison Kenya: Fourteen to twenty-one years imprisonment, “depending on the circumstances.”


Malawi: Here gay men can face corporal punishment or fourteen years in jail.


Swaziland: In this country laws against sodomy are rarely enforced, but being openly gay can result in being turned away or evicted from AIDS clinics, which is similar to a death penalty if you think about it!


Saint Kitts and Nevis, Tonga, Belize, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and Grenada: Ten year prison sentence.


Jamaica: Hard labor for ten years.


Turkmenistan and Singapore: Two years in prison.


Uzbekistan: Three years imprisonment.


Kiribati, Nauru and Palau: Laws against gay interactions, but penalties not enforced.


Cook Islands: Seven years in jail.


Mauritius is incredibly horrifying. In Mauritius the penalty for being a gay man is death by public stoning!


None of the aforementioned countries have anything against lesbians.


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