Illegal Logging Has Become More Violent Than Ever

Criminal loggers and land snatchers are committing more murders around the world, but they almost always escape justice.

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After a productive day—they’d encountered a gang of illegal loggers and confiscated six chain saws—the four patrollers in Cambodia’s Preah Vihear Protected Forest strung up their hammocks and settled in for the night. Come morning, they’d return to the nearest Forestry Administration station, just 2.5 miles away.

But at 1 a.m. on November 7, 2015, two intruders slipped into the campsite. They approached the hammock where Sieng Darong, 47, a leader of the Forestry Administration’s law enforcement team, lay sleeping, drew their weapons, and fired two shots—one into Darong’s head, another into his throat.

Sab Yoh, 29, a provincial police officer, was next, receiving a shot in the stomach.

The commotion woke Phet Sophoan, 30, a member of the border police, who leaped from his hammock just in time to feel a sudden, searing pain as a bullet grazed his buttock. Still, he managed to drag himself about 300 feet away, where he hid in the brush.

After the killers’ shadowy silhouettes retreated, Sophoan located the fourth member of the group, Koem Chenda, a soldier with Intervention Brigade 9’s Battalion 391. Chenda had escaped unharmed. They could hear Yoh’s groans but decided not to attempt a rescue. “We were afraid that we would be shot dead if we went back,” Sophon would tell thePhnom Penh Post. “I felt sorry for [Yoh], but I couldn’t help him.”

Hours later, when Chenda led patrolmen back to the campsite, Yoh was dead.

It was the latest in an ongoing series of violent crimes associated with illegal logging, a global contraband industry that accounts for up to 10 percent of all timber trade.

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New NASA Spacecraft Will Be Propelled By Light

05solar_sail.adapt.1190.1In 1418, European sailing vessels left their ports to explore the Atlantic Ocean, initiating a great Age of Discovery.

 

In 2018, a small space probe will unfurl a sail and begin a journey to a distant asteroid. It’s the first NASA spacecraft that will venture beyond Earth’s orbit propelled entirely by sunlight. This technology could enable inexpensive exploration of the solar system and, eventually, interstellar space.

The $16 million probe, called the Near-Earth Asteroid Scout, is one of the 13 science payloads that NASA announced Tuesday. They will hitch a ride on the inaugural flight of the Space Launch System—the megarocket designed to replace the space shuttle and, one day, send the Orion spacecraft to Mars.

It will take 2.5 years for the NEA Scout to reach its destination, a smallish asteroid named 1991 VG. But it won’t be a leisurely cruise. The continuous thrust provided by sunlight hitting the solar sail will accelerate the probe to an impressive 63,975 mph (28.6 km/s) relative to the sun.

Given enough time, a spacecraft equipped with a solar sail can eventually accelerate to higher speeds than a similarly sized spacecraft propelled by a conventional chemical rocket.

“A sail wins the race in terms of final velocity because it’s the tortoise and the hare,” says Les Johnson, the Technical Advisor for NASA’s Advanced Concepts Office at the Marshall Space Flight Center. A chemical rocket provides tremendous initial thrust, but eventually burns up its fuel. “Since the sail doesn’t use any fuel, we can keep thrusting as long as the sun is shining.”

The light stuff

Solar sails are made of ultrathin, highly reflective material. When a photon from the sun hits the mirror-like surface, it bounces off the sail and transfers its momentum to the spacecraft—the same way that a cue ball transfers its momentum when it smacks into another ball in a game of pool.

The solar sail concept has been around since 1924, when Soviet rocket pioneers Konstantin Tsiolkovsky and Friedrick Tsander speculated about spacecraft “using tremendous mirrors of very thin sheets” and harnessing “the pressure of sunlight to attain cosmic velocities.” Forty years later, science fiction author Arthur C. Clarke popularized the idea in his influential short story about a solar sail racing tournament, Sunjammer.

NASA began investing in solar sail technology in the late 1990s. In 2010, it successfully launched a small, sail-propelled satellite into Earth’s orbit, where it remained for 240 days before reentering the atmosphere.

That same year, the Japanese space agency demonstrated the feasibility of solar sails for interplanetary travel. A test craft hitched a ride aboard the Venus probe Akatsuki. The solar sail, dubbed the Interplanetary Kite-craft Accelerated by Radiation Of the Sun (IKAROS), was released into space by the probe when it was 4.3 million miles away from Earth. Six months later, IKAROS made history when it successfully flew by Venus.

Famous Giant Turtle Dies

turtulehe called Cu Rua, or “Great Grandfather it weight 360-pound (160-kilogram) Its dark gray-brown head, nearly the size of our toddler’s, was raised above the muddy, polluted water as the 4-foot-long (1.2-meter-long) beast cruised slowly near shore, seemingly struggling to breathe.

The stately Cu Rua (pronounced “koo zu-ah”), which was estimated to be more than a hundred years old, had become a distinguished citizen in this city of four million.

World’s Biggest Tortoise Can Live Up to 120 Years

MONSTER – SIZE CROCODILE

crocodile

The biggest sea-dwelling crocodile ever found has turned up in the Tunisian desert. The whopper of a prehistoric predator grew to over 30 feet long (nearly ten meters) and weighed three tons.

Paleontologists have dubbed the new species Machimosaurus rex and describe it Monday in the journal Cretaceous Research.

Although the recovered remains are fragmentary, enough remained in the 120-million-year-old rock to identify the reptile as the largest known member of a peculiar lineage of crocodiles that spent their lives almost entirely at sea.

“This is a neat new discovery from a part of the world that hasn’t been well-explored for fossils,” says University of Edinburgh paleontologist Stephen Brusatte, who was not involved with the new study.

Like a Hole in the Heart

wow thislovely

An Odd Geography

I felt comfortable calling myself a writer after being published for the second time in a national magazine (the first time, well, that could’ve been a fluke). The piece in question was about enduring a run-in with bed bugs, an event that I noticed activated the ‘writer’ part of my brain – a distancing, observational part that realises what’s happening to me will make for a good story. I write mostly autobiographical stuff, so experience trumps imagination, and when I fret about my place in the memoir landscape, I compare my clutch of life stories to those who have triumphed over greater odds than me. Bed bugs? Try losing your bed down a sink hole.

I watch as memoirs come out about a writer’s fight with <<terminal illness>>, how they grapple with race, deal with a legal system set against them – all of the “journeys” imaginable – and I…

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Like a Hole in the Heart

I felt comfortable calling myself a writer after being published for the second time in a national magazine (the first time, well, that could’ve been a fluke). The piece in question was about enduring a run-in with bed bugs, an event that I noticed activated the ‘writer’ part of my brain – a distancing, observational part that realises what’s happening to me will make for a good story. I write mostly autobiographical stuff, so experience trumps imagination, and when I fret about my place in the memoir landscape, I compare my clutch of life stories to those who have triumphed over greater odds than me. Bed bugs? Try losing your bed down a sink hole.

I watch as memoirs come out about a writer’s fight with <<terminal illness>>, how they grapple with race, deal with a legal system set against them – all of the “journeys” imaginable – and I go over my own positioning in this field: white, male, Australian, gay, brushes with depression and anxiety, many broken bones, that colonoscopy-as-a-result-of-haemorrhoids-but-getting-in-early-because-of-family-history-of-bowel-cancer, travel-savvy… It’s not too middling, but not so unique, either. There hasn’t been any adversity beaten down to a satisfying, sympathetic round of applause, nor lofty height of achievement that people might be curious about if I deign to share what-goes-on behind the curtain. I never witnessed a murder, nor sued big business; I’m too… timid? Lazy? Broke? Boring? Sometimes the things I’ve done that my friends call “brave” aren’t anything compared with the stories of soldiers, or barefoot mothers, or karaoke singers on reality TV. I tend to keep my head down. What I’ve achieved that has been anything like conquering a mountain is getting published, which is a redundant story arc if shared on a shelf with other writers.

*

“You seem stagnant. I hate seeing stagnant Sam,” a friend said. We hadn’t caught up for a few years.

“Yeah,” I said. I was happy. We were at an all-you-can-eat Korean buffet in the city.

“This is just a waste,” he continued. “Just look at you.”

I shovelled down my third plateful of bulgogi and japchae, glorying in the low, low price of $13 per person. “Are you going to get more?” I asked.

“I’m okay.”

He had a point.

“Wait… what’s wrong with me?” I asked.

“How are you not with someone, or at least breaking hearts all over the place?”

I filed away the compliment.

“I’m not a self-starter,” I joked. “I don’t know,” I added.

I got up, I went to work. I cleaned, I exercised, I ate. I repeated. Sometimes I slept badly. Sometimes I got overwhelmed by frustration. But bad days weren’t too bad. I had recently given my heart a workout by allowing myself to fall for someone when the bungee cords weren’t all attached, and I was still repairing the elastic strings. My heart felt weak, and I was annoyed that I had allowed a power imbalance because I was bored and frightened that I couldn’t make my life interesting alone.

My friend hugged me goodbye. “Go overseas. Remember yourself. You’re more than this.”

“Okay,” I said, and walked home. And cleaned. And slept.

*

I have theories. I’m more than happy to concede their arbitrary nature, but when they are supported by cold, hard facts™ it only reinforces my conviction in them. Maybe because my life isn’t leaping off the page, I notice a rhythm to my working week. Mondays aren’t so bad. Tuesdays are the worst. And: something surprising always happens on Thursdays.

I don’t go looking for something outlandish on Thursdays; I’m no televangelist. Some Thursdays don’t toe the line, that’s cool. Sometimes surprising things happen on, say, Sundays (don’t be absurd).

But it happened on a Thursday.

Around the time Venus nestled next to Jupiter in the twilight sky. Love and luck!

I woke up and felt it. Something was going to happen today. Something good.

I went about my day – exercise, clean, eat. I decided to go to the city early and browse books, but by the time I got there my feelings of positivity were muddied by the usual synapses of stagnation: apathy and nihilism. My mind worked overtime running away from this grey swirl to the point of distraction. My centre – or my calm, turquoise lagoon, as I like to think of it – ran in and out of doorways like the Benny Hill chase, making illogical leaps through time and space, sometimes the pursuer, otherwise pursued. With stagnation comes boredom. With boredom comes an overactive imagination, which, if not stimulated, attacks my mind.

As I was making my way out of the bookstore, I reached into my bag for my phone with my right arm (cursing myself for looking at it, again, like it was some magic 8 ball directing my life), and suddenly felt nothing. I looked at my arm. It moved from my shoulder like a mannequin – I noticed a dissonance in my circuitry: I didn’t know how to make my arm function. And that’s when my right cheek twinged. It felt droopy. It felt numb, without the pins and needles.

I knew the signs of a stroke. Mum’s a nurse.

I thought: what the fuck?

I could still walk, so I started walking. Up ahead on the street I could see traffic police booking jaywalkers, and decided that if I was about to pass out, I would do so at the feet of responsible people.

I think I was “quietly panicking”. I sat down at a bus stop and called my boss. I explained the symptoms to her, and without second-guessing me, she said she’d call the paramedics, and hung up. I sat there looking at my arm, which was regaining feeling. Oh man, I thought, this is embarrassing. People suddenly rushed around me. A bus had come. I got up and moved to a seat opposite, outside a coffee shop. My phone rang. It was the emergency operator. She wanted to know my situation and where exactly I was. “On the corner of Park and Pitt, outside the Gloria Jeans, I’m wearing blue shoes.”

The paramedics arrived. My right hand was still half-numb and looked a little blue – though I could’ve been projecting. I could move my arm. A paramedic asked me to squeeze her hands and push and pull her arm. “Does it feel the same on both sides?” she asked and tapped me on both arms and along my cheeks. “No? Yes? Sorta?” I felt awkward. I couldn’t tell if one side was slightly paralysed or not. By now, having not fallen over and losing my speech, I was doubting the whole episode. How much was psychosomatic, born of my overactive imagination?

I followed them to the ambulance, upright, seemingly coherent. Curious pedestrians didn’t know what to dramatise. I felt like a drug addict, or worse, a fraud.

They took me to St Vincent’s hospital in Sydney’s inner east suburbs. I sat in emergency between two meth junkies who hadn’t slept for a few days, while my paperwork was being processed. I was then transferred to a bed where one doctor after another spoke to me asking for the story. I was told to undress and then nurse after nurse came and connected me to a monitor, and inserted cannulas in both arms, while I squeezed, pushed and pulled the stroke ward registrar’s limbs. By this stage, my thoughts were now observational. A disembodied voice bemusedly started the narration, “Well, this wasn’t expected. Thursday surprise indeed. Nothing to do but ride all this out. I’m sure it was nothing.”

I had a CT scan, where they inject a contrasting liquid into you so your juices reveal more on the screen. The nurses warned me it would feel like I’d peed myself. It actually felt like being filled with adamantium. I was now a mutant! And then it felt like I’d peed myself. I returned to the emergency ward and was joined by my friend, Sam, who greeted me with, “Way to end up in hospital, ya dickhead.”

We waited for my results, rating the attractive staff, and repeating how random and strange it all was. I posed for hospital bed selfies. The registrar came and in her “I’m-just-on-my-way-out” demeanour told me the scan revealed nothing out of the ordinary, but that they’d like to keep me for an MRI.

“OK,” I said.

“You can have hospital food, or your friend can go get something else and bring it back for you, which is what I’d do.”

“What? I’m staying the night?”

“Yes. We can’t get you in for an MRI until tomorrow.”

“I feel normal now, though. Can’t I come back?”

“It’s best you stay. The scan isn’t conclusive. We’ll move you to the stroke ward in a bit,” she said, and left.

I called my parents. My mother was not nonchalant.

Sam brought us burgers and as soon as we were finished eating, I was wheeled away to the stroke ward. I was parked in a section with three other bays, two of which were occupied with much older men. One quietly watched television, while the other noisily mumbled in his sleep, occasionally thrashing around and attracting the attention of the nurses.

I continued having my blood pressure taken every hour or so and I was given a portable heart monitor, the wires of which stuck to five points on my torso. I called out wildly for a phone charger, the nurses hearing the rising desperation in my voice as the night wore on and Masterchef started to seem endless. Around nine o’clock a nurse attached intermittent pneumatic compression sleeves around my calves and for the entire night they inflated alternately, squeezing my leg for ten seconds, then deflating. It felt kinda nice to begin with – little hugs for your legs – but by morning, after absolutely no sleep, it was like torture.

The night was also punctuated with hourly check ups: “What is your name? Can you tell me where we are? What year is it? When were you born?” My blood pressure, blood oxygen levels, and temperature were taken, and my pupils checked. Some time during the night a phone charger was brought to me and I stared at the last few messages on my phone tempted to send replies even though it was three in the morning. “Oh that’s interesting, take a seat! Hurrumph!” said the sleep-talking man opposite me, then started snoring.

In the morning I saw a physio, bug-eyed, completing all the tasks she asked me to do without trouble. I gave blood and had another cannula inserted for the MRI. Besides the tiredness, I felt fine. I laid upright in my bed watching the Noisy Captain (as it transpired he had been in the navy) have his family fuss around him (they’d brought a humidifier that pumped out lavender to “help him sleep”), and the physios helping him with walking practice. My irritation with him changed to compassion, and watching professionals do a good job gave me some hope for humankind, which the news cycle can all but destroy in me.

Around lunchtime, I went to get the MRI. It was almost relaxing in a way, but I was getting impatient – I’d told my story so many times that I felt like a hypochondriac, using the hospital setting to start complaining about the poor circulation in my hands and knees, and Seasonal Affective Disorder – I just wanted to go home, get back to normal. Max waited for me in my bay as I was wheeled back from the MRI. He’d brought a laptop, a charger, magazines, and some food. After a while, the registrar, a nurse, and an intern came and closed the curtain around us. They asked if I minded my friend hearing the news, and I said it was fine, I felt fine.

“So the results show that you did have a stroke. It’s called a Transient Ischemic Attack, which isn’t too uncommon among young people. It can happen once, and then you can be fine for the rest of your life. But we want to do more tests to find out what caused it. We want to do a TOE – send a scope down your oesophagus to look at the back of your heart. Sometimes there’s a hole there, which could’ve released a clot, and instead of going to your lungs and dissolving, it went to the left hemisphere of your brain. We can’t get you a TOE until Monday, however.”

“That’s okay, I can come back,” I said.

“Uh, no, it’s best you stay here so we can keep an eye on you. We just don’t know what caused it at this stage. We’ve got a private room you can stay in. Get your friends to bring books, it could get boring. Okay?”

“Yeah… okay. Guess I have no choice.”

They left.

“Huh,” I said to Max. “I had a stroke.”

*

My housemate brought my clothes and toiletries, another friend brought me books and chocolate, my cousin came, and my parents drove across from Adelaide. Sam and Max returned a few more times, keeping me company watching movies and getting takeaway (the hospital food lived up to its reputation, but I looked forward to its health-conscious precision by the end). It wasn’t boring at all, and I barely had any time to myself, let alone privacy. I got to know the nurses by name, and was low-key upset to overhear some of them bitch about a coworker one time, breaking the illusion of a stroke ward utopia.

The TOE wasn’t possible until the Tuesday, so I stayed another night. My parents made sure to come in the mornings, and while it unsettled my independent “I’m-a-big-boy-now” sense of self, I was grateful nonetheless. Everyone empathised with my mum’s inflated concern, but I was trailing behind, keeping myself buoyant by dismissing the seriousness of what had happened. I felt fine.

After the TOE, the registrar and her cohort came again.

“You have a small hole in your heart. One in five people have it. We’re all born with it, but for the majority, it closes as our bodies develop. I don’t think it’s necessary to close it up – there’s no evidence that the plastic we put there won’t assist another clot forming. But we have to check with the specialist first. You’ll have to stay another night.”

The next morning dragged. My parents and I played games and my mum told me about an old lady she once nursed who had a massive cyst on her neck. Not being squeamish about such things, my mum asked permission to squeeze it.

“Well!” my mum said, gesturing dramatically. “It hit the wall. It just kept coming.”

I laughed.

“And the funniest thing,” she continued, “was she died a few days later. Poor, old dear. She was on her last legs anyway, but I think I squeezed out the last of what was holding her together.”

Soon my parents and I were asked to vacate my room and wait on some couches near a nurse’s station for aspirin and B12 needles (my blood tests revealed I wasn’t absorbing it), and my discharge letter. We were soon joined by a middle-aged lady who looked very tired. She made some small talk, and then noticed that of the three of us, it was me with the plastic bracelet. I told her my story. My mum asked hers.

“My son-in-law is here. Has been for four months now. He was surfing and had the stroke on the board. He was without oxygen for too long by the time they resuscitated him. He’s in a coma. Permanent brain damage.”

My parents gave sympathy. I felt dumbstruck. I mumbled something along the lines of being lucky.

“My daughter and the kids are grieving him, but I keep saying he’s not dead. And it could’ve been worse. He could’ve had the stroke driving them somewhere, killing them all and another family on the road.” She looked at me. A dart of profound hope and accusation hit me between the eyes. “But you’re young. You got better!”

I don’t know, I don’t know, I don’t know, I don’t know, I don’t know.

I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry.

An intern came to discharge me.

We said goodbye and left the hospital.

I got into my parents’ car. We were going to have lunch in a restaurant to celebrate, but as we pulled out of the hospital car park, a wave of anxiety hit me. There were too many people outside, too many cars going too fast. The controlled, comfortable environment of the hospital slipped away from me. My heart beat faster, my breath got shallower. I gripped my seatbelt strap.

I tried pulling myself together. We sat down at the restaurant and I wanted to fold in on myself. I covered my eyes with a hand and leant on the table.

“I can’t stop thinking of that woman. That awful hope.” I’d found the root of my panic.

Mum held my free hand and told me to breathe.

My brother and I grew up with mum telling us never to think any of this stuff couldn’t happen to us. Life’s random. Terrible things happen to good people. Those words had stuck, and had helped me cruise through the six days I spent in hospital. The reactions from friends on social media to my news (which, honestly, I relished telling) seemed overblown: sure, I’d had a stroke, but it was a “mini-stroke”, I felt fine, I was otherwise healthy. I couldn’t help feeling attention-seeking and morbidly thrilled to add the events to my writer’s cache.

And I knew it then, in the restaurant, how perfectly timed the interaction with that mother-in-law had been. I was dealt my mortality moment right at the end. The seriousness of the stroke, and my blasé response came to a point. It became real.

Tears plopped onto my napkin.

*

Sam and I listened to a podcast on the saturday night in hospital, in which, coincidentally, the presenters talked about stroke sufferers who ended up with special abilities after rehabilitation. There was a guy who started playing piano, several cases of newly found artistic talent, a change in accent, and language acquisition. I’d gladly take any of them, but it seems more severe brain damage needs to occur first, and I’d gladly not take that risk.

To summarise that the event has instilled in me a “seize the day” mentality, and a deeper appreciation of my time on Earth would be trite, and a lie. I was already aware of how well I spent my time, and a lot of that – sleep, clean, exercise, eat, work, repeat – was for my health. I am healthy. Perhaps my special ability is that I’m a little less clueless about my heart now I know that it is physiologically disabled. It would explain why I find it hard to push through a certain amount of cardio; why my knees and hands get cold and achy; why I’m vampiric when I’m despondent – the red stuff drains and I look for the source elsewhere. I have to create that font within me, constantly. That’s clear now. Heart health is as figurative as it is literal.

Or something. Life writes itself differently for each of us. The consequences of all these moments get clearer as we move away from them. Or they don’t. What can that man with brain damage learn from his experience? In a coma, he keeps breathing. Why? Is he deeply hopeful he’ll live, or deeply afraid he’ll die? Or simply, neither? Where’s his chance to write a happy ending? I’m just glad I’ve got mine this time.

Advice for a young academic: imposter syndrome

A great deal has been written in the last few years about so-called “imposter syndrome” – the feeling experienced by many young academics that somehow they don’t really belong in their new role as a lecturer and that somehow they should never have been allowed to make the step up from being a student. The fear is that you are not good enough, that you don’t deserve this, that you won’t cope and that you will in due course be found out and exposed. There are books about it. There’s a TED Talk about it. Seeing what has already been written makes me feel like an imposter even thinking about writing this post.

If you are in that situation I have two pieces of advice to get you started:

  1. Get used to it. We all feel that way. Welcome to academia.
  2. Don’t worry. You are not an imposter. You are as good as it gets.

If you have got the job and you are now a young lecturer, well, you’re it. There is no imaginary, model super-lecturer to whom you are not matching up. Don’t imagine that you are God’s gift to academia, but equally don’t beat yourself up about being an imposter. Be realistic. Be honest. Just get on with doing what you can do and with steadily trying to develop your academic craft.

To some extent newcomers in any profession feel a little bit the same way that you do, but most professions don’t make such a big deal of it as we do. Partly this is because the very nature of academia is such that you have just been thrown into a big pool of competitive and arrogant individuals who are trying to convince the world that they are brilliant and who are trying to climb their greasy pole by seeming more brilliant than their “colleagues”. Sometimes even senior academics ease their own self-doubt by making sure they look better than their junior colleagues.  Partly imposter syndrome is worse for us because in academia the new recruits don’t just come in off the street, they convert directly from the ranks: from “the other side of the lectern”. Suddenly you go almost overnight from being a student to being a teacher. Of course you won’t feel confident right away. Of course there will be lots of things for you to learn. Of course lots of things will go wrong and make you feel inadequate. Don’t worry, this is what academic life is like. And it will always be like this, for your whole career, because you will always be able to find colleagues who are, indeed, genuinely brilliant. We can all have our heroes and heroines, but we don’t have to feel inadequate because we are not them.

You are not an imposter; you are just discovering the self doubt that is part of the territory of academic life. If you stare it in the face and turn it to your advantage it will not feel like a problem. If you are an imposter then we all are, which means that you are no less worthy than anyone else to get on with it and do your best.

So here is a longer list of tips for young academics suffering from imposter syndrome:

  1. Get used to it: it comes with the territory. Most good academics get this feeling.
  2. Turn it into a positive: use it to encourage reflection and development.
  3. Realise that you are actually not an imposter: you have strength and merit.
  4. Make a list of all your qualifications and strengths: recognise your virtues.
  5. Talk to senior academics and discover that they feel the same way.
  6. Talk to other young academics and discover you are all in the same boat.
  7. Helping others with their worry about this will help you with yours. Hold a workshop.
  8. You do not have to know everything, and it’s OK to say so when you don’t.
  9. It’s OK to learn on the job and to be on a learning curve.
  10. Keep asking for help and advice, keep learning, keep developing your craft.
  11. Never use “being an imposter” as an excuse for not being your best.
  12. Throughout your career a lot of people have looked at your CV and your achievements and have moved you up the ladder. Even if you have an unconventional background, or even if you are still learning the ropes, and even though – like all of us – you have a lot to learn, that does not make you an imposter. It just makes you one of us. Welcome to academia.

Partly because imposter syndrome has been openly identified and so widely discussed, more and more young academics are saying that they feel this way. In reality, there seem to be two completely separate levels of imposter syndrome. At one level, and by far the most common, I see young academics coming to terms with a challenging new career and attaching this label to their own poorly-defined portfolio of unease. At another level, and much less common, are those people for whom academic imposter syndrome is part of a broader problem of panic and anxiety issues. For this latter group, of course, I really would be an imposter if I tried to offer advice other than “seek professional advice”.

For the former group, those young academics who have picked up the idea of imposter syndrome as a neat way of defining their early-career status, I worry that in dignifying the notion with a fancy name they will allow it define them. For you I have one final piece of advice. If you have picked up the idea of imposter syndrome when in reality you are just a young academic getting started in a challenging career, just put it down again, and let it go. You are not an imposter. Don’t get a syndrome.

GALAH BIRDS

Galahs
GALAH BIRDS
Also known as the “rosy-headed cockatoo” or Rose-breasted Cockatoo in America. Its scientific name is Cacatua roseicapilla

Originally this bird resided in the arid dry interior but now mainly due to European settlement and their introduced ceral crops, the galah is found all over Australia in small and large flocks

click for info on pic

Description
The galah is a grey and pink cockatoo, very active and noisy with a shrill call Their faces have a pink eye ring and the difference between males and females is their eye colours The mature females is a “coppery”red whilst the mature males is darker

Location Habitat
As prevously stated they are found all over Australia from open plains ( grass or crops), to woodlands, shrubs and even suburban parks

click for info on picFeeding
Galahs are a seed feeding bird feeding on both native plant seeds, fruit & nut seeds as well as ceral crops of wheat, oats etc, foraging for the seeds on the ground. They do on rare occasions also eat small insects. They will travel a fair distance from their “roost”in search of food. Farmers consider them a pest because of the damage they do to crops.

Social Habits

Galahs stick together in flocks numbering up to a couple of hundred. They willl though in pairs leave the flock to nest. They are not in the main a territorial bird often sharing roosting trees with others.
feeding then flying off

Breeding
Breeding times vary upon their location but generally up North it is February to July, and down south from July to December. They nest in a tree cavity and produce on average 3 to 4 eggs which take about a month to incubate. click for info on picOften the tree is marked by removing a patch of bark near the nest, thought to be a message to other galahs that that hollow is already being used. Both parents care for the young which “fledge” after 2 months. The youngs “down” (soft early small furry feathers) are pink.

BILBY

click for info on picBILBY
There is acutally 2 types of Bilbys in Australia
1. Western Bilby
(Macrotis lagotis lagotis)
2. Eastern Bilby
(Macrotis lagotis sagitta)
They are a type of Bandicoot (a marsupial), and sometimes are referred to as a “rabbit-eared Bandicoot”, “Dalgyte”, “Pinkie”,

“Ninu”, “Walpajirri” or the “Greater Bilby”

DESCRIPTION
They are a rabbit size marsupial with large ears (they have great hearing, and the ears also allow the bilby to lose heat, a sort of “thermoregulation”) and their fur is soft grey with a bluish tinge. A long pointed snout and a large black and white tail with a white brush tip makes this a striking looking animal Strong claws enables this marsupial to burrow quickly through sandy soil and the Bilbys pouch faces backwards. Size wise they range from 30 to 60 cm in length with roughly a 20cm tail. The female is smaller than the male, and the species tends to be very solitary

SENSES
As mentioned earlier the Bilby has a great sense of hearing, it also relies heavily on its sense of smell, but their downfall is poor eyesight, that is why it ventures out of its burrow mostly at night time. Night is also a lot cooler for the Bilby in the desert.

SENSES
As mentioned earlier the Bilby has a great sense of hearing, it also relies heavily on its sense of smell, but their downfall is poor eyesight, that is why it ventures out of its burrow mostly at night time. Night is also a lot cooler for the Bilby in the desert.

LOCATION & HABITAT

click for info on picThese nocturnal creatures live in very arid country (desert), which have clumps of Spinifex grass and acacia shrubs preferably. There is not very many of these marsupials left and nowdays are found only in patches of Western Australia (Kimberlys), South Australia and the Northern territory (Alice Springs)and small patches in arid parts of Queensland

EATING
To help it survive in the arid conditions the Bilby inhabits, it gets most of its moisture from the food it eats. Its diet includes lots of small insects (eg termites, ants, beetles, witchery grubs, centipedes and grasshoppers) and various seeds, types of fungi, roots and seeds.
They use their sharp claws to rake a lot of their food out of the sandy soil, and their long noses and slender tongue to eat their meals mainly when the sun is down click for more info on pic

BEHAVIOUR + BURROWS
As already stated they are Nocturnal and fairly solitary only coming together to mate. They are also very territorial, building numerous burrows in their own area to shelter in. Their burrows are very deep, spirally downwards to make it difficult for predators (Lizards, Hawks & including Aboriginal man, in the past) to get to them

BREEDING
Despite the female having eight teats in her backwardly opening pouch, the usual “litter” is two The pouch is backward facing to stop dirt and soil entering when she is digging burrows or for food. Bilbies breed throughout the year, (gestation only takes 2 to 3 weeks), and after being born their young live in the pouch for about 70 to 80 days, when they are then “released” into the burrow for the mother to continue to suckle them for a further two weeks At the age of 6 months they can start to take care of themselves

DECLINE
click for info on picThe Bilby has gone from being a very prolific animal in Australia, once covering more than 70% of the mainland, to near extinction and surviving on the edges of Australia’s great arid regions
Reasons for decline include:-
1) Introduced rabbits, cats and foxes took over the land the Bilbys used to inhabit
2) Feral cats and foxes hunted and eat Bilbys
3) Hunting first by Aboriginals for food, and then Europeans for the pelts
4) Eating poison put down to control the ballooning population growth of the feral rabbit
5) Habitat destruction by cattle etc
6) Change of fire patterns, changed the regrowth patterns of the land
7) Due to competition droughts have a heavier effect

The Bilby is now a protected animal in Australia

Cadbury Chocolate
EASTER
As part of an attempt to increase awareness of the Bilbys plight and to “Australianise” Easter the long, rabbit-like eared Bilby is the new native Australian icon for Easter. In most shops in Australia you can find Chocolate Bilbys, next to the more traditional Chocolate eggs and Rabbits.
Click here for more about the EASTER BILBY

“Ninu”, “Walpajirri” or the “Greater Bilby”
The Lesser Bilby is extinct

Police searching for ‘Fake $50 Gang’ 2 people caught using counterfeit money at Walmart

The Madison Police Department is asking for the public’s help in identifying two people they believe are passing counterfeit money.

According to police, the two individuals attempted to make a purchase with counterfeit money at the Walmart on Grandview Boulevard. When confronted, they fled.

Other Walmart stores in the area reported they have received counterfeit money with matching serial numbers.

Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 601-355-TIPS. A reward up to $1,000 is available.