THE BALANCE OF FACTS
THE BALANCE OF FACTS
THE BALANCE OF FACTS
THE BALANCE OF FACTS
The Dreamtime, or the Dreaming, portrays the Aboriginal beliefs in spiritual existence. According to the tribes that first settled down in the continent, the Dreaming's roots date all the way back to the very begging of the creation of the world. The meaning and ideology of the term is generally not so well-understood by non-indigenous people as it is referred to as part of the culture of one of the early nations, which differs from modern perceptions.
The Spirits were the creators of everything. They made the land and the seas, the rocks and the plants, the sky and the earth. They were the higher power and the Australian Aborigines spent their lifetimes honoring this power, which guided their path and shaped their way of thinking. Not only creators of everything, which could be seen as well as felt, the Spirits also gave the Aborigines the Dreaming.
The time when everything started existing according to the initial Australians, was called the Dreaming. This is the foundation of the continent's culture. The origin of the Dreaming goes way back - 65 000 years back in time to be exact. The Ancestors of the nation shaped the land, forming some parts of it as sacred. The Aborigines were very careful and overprotective of those places, strongly believing in their significance.
The Australian Aborigines are known to have believed that the world didn't have any shape and was therefore empty. Darkness dominated, and life was simply asleep, but this changed when the creation began happening. After the Dreaming and the influence of the Spirits, objects began taking shapes and came to be. They created the four elements: water, earth, air and fire, as well as all the planets, the Sun and the Moon. The Dreaming therefore is a continuous process, which never ended. It is a small cosmos on its own, unifying the past, present and the future into one.
The Australian Aborigines' home riches so many vivid areas of the continent, including Fraser Island, Tasmania, Palm Island, Groote Eylandt and Mornington Island. The Aborigines had very strong believes in relation to the powers of the land, claiming that they never owned it - it rather owned them. The only reason they were able to call it their home is because they were looking after it and the land was taking care of the people in return.
Equally important to the Dreaming was the tribes' understandings of the disappearance of the Spirits. There came a time, when the creators of everything vanished from sight. Some of them were thought to have started living in sacred places, which is why the Aborigines perceived their homeland to be so sacred. The ancestors of today's Australians used to believe that the creators started living in rocks, in water holes and some went up to the sky to guide the people from above and keep them safe. Others transformed completely, taking the forms of the rain, the lightnings and the thunderstorms so they could be part of peoples' life.
Among the hundred's different Aboriginal languages, there isn't a word to describe 'time', because to them this simply doesn't exist. Dreaming and Dreamtime are used to replace it and summarize the ideologies of the Aborigines about everything they knew, everything they could see, feel and experience. This is why the Dreaming has such a vivid, and overwhelming meaning and has survived the obstacles of time. For the past couple thousand years, the Dreaming has built a rich cultural heritage that can identify a whole nation.
Read more about the Land, its connection to people and the way it has been perceived from different generations in the very first print issue of ORIGIN. The Land Issue covers varied topics, most of which remain related to cultural aspects of the land and its importance.
A lot of people travel to explore places and learn about them which is the message that ORIGIN wants to spread. With traveling, however, comes certain responsibilities that we should all be aware of. Elephants riding has become a popular way to explore locations by land. People have been doing this as part of their trips, mostly to places such as Thailand, Nepal, Cambodia and other parts of Asia. It is a common thing to see in certain places in Africa as well. We investigated the activity to explain why it is wrong and riding elephants should be banned everywhere.
Our first print issue studies culture and traveling represented through the land. We explored various location around the globe and learned what makes the land so valuable, which nations cherish it and how it helps us establish an identity. Traveling is important to us but traveling responsibly and making an impact is what we feel proud to stand behind. This is why riding elephants as a way of amusement should be reconsidered.
Let’s talk about the details. Elephants are very caring and extremely intelligent animals. It is a well-known fact that they never forget anything. When kept in captivity instead of spending their life in the wild, elephants die younger. Unlike in other species, this is common for the gentle giants and is often a result for stress.
Many African cultures respect elephants, believing they symbolize strength, loyalty and power. However, power can be a very tender concept. Elephant used as a tourism tool suffer from great pain daily. Elephants can be hurt very severely from the weight of carrying people and a trainer on their backs. The reason for this is the design of their spines. They have sharp protrusions, extending upwards from their spine instead of having round spinal disks. The protrusions and the tissue that serves to protect them can be harmed easily from weight pressure. Once a damage to their spine has been made, there is no going back and sometimes the harm can be irreversible. While this can’t be physically seen, the harm that the chairs can do to the elephants’ skin is. It is often the case that the chairs and the weight on their back can damage the animal’s skin and cause pain to their body. The chair, called Howdah, that gets attached to their backs, rubs on their skin and can cause blisters, which can sometimes get infected.
The training that elephants are required to go through when in captivity sometimes adopts a traditional Thai ‘phajaan’ or ‘crush’ technique. Explaining the technique would compare it to the animals’ spirits constantly and continuously being broken by the means of torture and social isolation. This is done in order to tame them. Elephants are wild animals, this is their nature as they are born in such conditions. Making them safe and obedient around people requires them to go through such training. As horrible as it sounds, in some places young elephants are taken away from their mothers to be abused with nails, bull hooks and bamboo sticks to make them obey rules, given by people. The animals often lack sleep and are starved to become submissive.
Actions from such nature are cruel and harmful as the technique is used to crash the animals’ spirit. Once wild and free, elephants become a source of tourism and entertainment. Nobody, who cared about sustainable tourism should ever ride an elephant.
In a sense, elephants have a human soul. They socialise and feel everything – pain, happiness, grief, sadness etc. They spend their life building families and finding friends. The largest land animals are a gift from nature and it is our responsibility to take special care of them and make sure they live according to their nature. Many animals, who are kept in captivity, are forced to live in isolation and carry heavy loads all day long, which is a wrong way to treat them. Their strength and power shouldn’t be abused but treated gently and celebrated by people. Elephants require minimal care to stay happy and healthy, which comes from giving them freedom to behave naturally and socialise. It is our responsibility to be culturally aware while traveling and make sure to spread awareness about the problem.
You can read the rest of the article as published in the LAND issue.
HURRICANE SEASON: THE MOST VIOLENT STORMS ON EARTH
We explain how hurricanes are fueled, monitored and the damage caused by 3 of the most violent storms of the 21st century
Words: Aleksandra Georgieva
Photography: Andrew Seaman, Giancarlo Revolledo
10 September 2019
The scientific term for the violent storms, known as hurricanes, is tropical cyclones. Hurricanes form only over the eastern Pacific Ocean or over the Atlantic Ocean. The 2019 Atlantic Hurricane Season officially started on April 4th and is expected to end on November 30th. So far there were 13 storms that have been predicted, 5 tropical cyclones and 2 hurricanes which caused significant destruction - Barry (category 1; approximate amount of the damage: $600 million) and Dorian (category 5; approximate amount of the damage: $7 billion).
Arguably, global warming could be given as the main reason the recent hurricane seasons have been more destructive than before. This would be due to the fact that there has been a gradual increase in the temperatures of the global oceans and air. Yet, this has not been scientifically proven. This is why, we are taking a closer look into how tropical cyclones are formed and which hurricanes have been named the most destructive storms of the century.
A Recipe for Disaster
Hurricanes require specific conditions to occur, such as thunderstorm activity that creates ocean heat. The water temperature over a depth of at least 50m must reach a minimum of 26.5°C. Such devastating storms can be weakened when the surrounding area has a large difference in the direction and the wind speed.
Often beginning as tropical waves, hurricanes form the same way. Air from low pressure areas begins to move through moisture-rich tropics. Tropical cyclones use warm waters as fuel, which is why hurricanes only occur near the equator. Due to the Earth's rotation on its axis, the storms that form south of the equator spin clockwise and the hurricanes north of the equator have a counterclockwise spin.
When the warm, moist air over the ocean rises upward and away from the surface it causes areas of low air pressure below. The surrounding air has higher air pressure until it pushes into those low-pressure areas where it becomes moist and warm and starts to rise too.
When this process repeats more and more surrounding air swirls in. The warm air above the ocean surface begins to cool down and water evaporates, creating clouds and thunderstorms. Storms gather power as the ocean’s heat swirls the clouds and powers the winds. High pressure air flows towards the very calm and clear centre.
Tropical storm occurs when the winds in the rotating storm spin with the speed of 39 mph.
Tropical cyclone (or hurricane) happens when the wind speed reaches 74 mph.
Facts and Figures
There are two GOES satellites, built by NASA and operated by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Their purpose is to detect hurricanes by predicting weather forecasts and giving warnings from 22,300 miles above the surface of Earth.
Tropical cyclones weaken by reaching land as the warm ocean water is no longer near to fuel them. However, they are often powerful enough to bring severe rain and to cause damage far inland before dying down. Hurricanes are globally referred to as the most violent storms on Earth.
Did you know that: The fury of the winds during a single hurricane can channel equal energy as the electrical generating capacity of the entire world.
3 of the Most Violent Storms of the 21st Century
Katrina was a 2005 Category 5 hurricane, which caused catastrophic death and destruction. The storm was particularly deadly in New Orleans and other parts of the Gulf Coast where engineering flaws in the cities’ flood protection system lead to the loss of many lives. On August 26 Katrina looked like it was losing strength, until the warm water in the Gulf rapidly fuelled a storm. By August 28 the residents of New Orleans were facing a Category 3 hurricane and mandatory evacuation. The floods left locals trapped in their homes and 40% of the deaths were the result of drowning. By the time Katrina died out, 80% of New Orleans was underwater and 1,833 people had lost their lives. The Federal Emergency Management Agency described it as "the single most catastrophic natural disaster in US history"
Sandy started as a slow-moving storm. It passed through Jamaica, Cuba (turning into a Category 3 storm) and Haiti before it decreased in strength. It was the deadliest and most destructive hurricane of 2012. It took the lives of at least 233 people in the 8 countries it passed through. In October 2012 when Sandy reached the United States, it had turned into a post-tropical cyclone. It caused serious damages to beaches in Queens, to Staten Island and the Jersey Shore. “Superstorm Sandy” flooded areas of lower Manhattan and left locals without power for days. When it got to New York City, it resembled a winter rather than a tropical storm.
Maria was the second Category 5 hurricane of 2017. Just two weeks after the devastating Irma, it raged through some of the same areas. On September 18 hurricane Maria brought destruction to the small island of Dominica. It passed through Guadalupe and the U.S. Virgin Islands before weakening to Category 4. Still, the 155mph of winds and the 10 inches of water destroyed the island of Puerto Rico on September 20. After a while 90% of the island was lacking electricity and the recovery process was very slow, while some citizens moved to the US mainland permanently. An entire year later, in 2018, an independent investigation concluded that the death toll of hurricane Maria had reached 2,975 people.