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Did Pinochet-era deregulation cause Chile’s worst-ever wildfires?

After the fires killed 11 and devastated vast swaths of land in January many are asking if subsidised timber plantations are to blame

The smoke has almost cleared, the blazes that raged over half a million hectares of woodlands, shrub and grassland largely extinguished, but the air is still thick with recriminations against Chiles eucalyptus and pine plantation owners who are accused of putting profits before safety.

Following the worst fires in the countrys history, activists are asking whether the unregulated expansion of the forestry industry for the purposes of the despot Augusto Pinochet will lead to more problems in a future that is likely to be hotter and drier as a result of climate change.

Eleven people were killed and close to 1,600 dwellings were lost to the flames which erupted in January, along with hundreds of thousands of hectares of woodland and farmland.

Fire chiefs said that multiple factors caused the flame, but environmentalists say the toll was higher than it should have been because plantations had expanded to the edge of communities and companies had failed to insert firebreaks.

Weve been advising the forestry sector for the last eight years about the growing threats; and these plantations are never subjected to environmental assessment of risks theyre entirely unregulated, said Sara Larran, former presidential candidate and director of the environmental NGO Chile Sustentable.

The US Forest Service deems eucalyptus plantations highly flammable and recommends that they should always be separated from human settlements by firebreaks. With respect to Monterey pine the most common species planted in Chile the same body states that fire is a particular hazard to young, thin-barked trees and can be disastrous in dense plantations where persistent lower limbs become festooned with dead needles, resulting in an ideal situation for crowning fires.

Residents watch the forest burn in Portezuelo on 29 January. Photo: Esteban Felix/ AP

In Chile, however, many plantations perimeter villages, towns and even cities.

And the summer months fires are not the first time that such proximity has caused problems. A devastating 2014 flame in Valparaso which destroyed 2,400 homes and killed 15 people began on a farm and spread through a eucalyptus plantation to the outer suburbs of the city.

Activists say that the seeds of the problem were sown decades ago, when Chiles forestry industry was established in the early years of the Pinochet dictatorship. A 1974 government decree subsidised 70% of plantation costs, and over the next 40 years and after the return to democracy the sector received around$ 800 m in taxpayers fund. Three-quarters of the money went to the two companies that predominate the industry: Arauco and CMPC.

Araucos senior vice-president, Charles Kimber, said the industry had been unfairly demonised despite its important role in rebuilding Chile after what he called communist-socialist regime, dictatorship a reference to the democratically elected Salvador Allende government subverted by a military takeover in 1973.

When asked why plantations werent adequately separated from urban sectors, Kimber told: Undoubtedly there needs to be a much better endeavor considering interurban zones, by government, by municipalities, by companies, by individual woodland owners.

Managed by two of Chiles richest industrialist families, Arauco and Forestal Mininco-CMPC enjoy combined annual sale of over $10 bn, much of it from pulp and lumber sales to the US.

The general manager of Forestal Mininco, Eduardo Hernndez, told local media that according to Chilean statute as administered by the Forestry Commission-Conaf, plantation companies only need to present a management plan for the prevention and control of fires, with no specifications required for including firebreaks.

The sector as a whole contributes 2.6% to the countrys GDP and employs about 300,000 workers( 5% of Chiles labour force ).

However, many critics in Chile argue that the huge wealth generated by the plantations doesnt genuinely benefit the regions where they are located, two of which, Maule and La Araucana, have some of Chiles highest levels of poverty and unemployment.

A young couple remainder in a football field after a forest flame devastated Santa Olga. Photo: Pablo Vera Lisperguer/ AFP/ Getty Images

Santa Olga, a village that was razed to the ground in January, illustrates this disparity: of its 1,500 homes, only 350 had a direct potable water supply and were connected to a sewage system, the other homes utilizing a cesspit and asking their neighbours for water. Electric power was directly to submit to less than half of the homes.

The big companies claim that 90% of plantations were planted on degraded land, but environmentalists and local inhabitants disagree.

Santa Olgas fire chief, Carlos Hernndez, lost his home, fire station and the sawmill where he worked in Januarys mega blaze. Now aged 33, he remembers how his home region, including the city of Constitucin, was surrounded by vast native woods of Roble beech.

Wed collect diguees fungus from the trees and use them in a nice little salad; and people would collect forest mushrooms, to eat and sell to a local tomato sauce manufacturer but those timbers have all disappeared now.

The fate of the native woods : wood chips for export.

Dr Mary Kalin-Arroyo, biologist and director of the Institute of Ecology and Biodiversity at the University of Chile, said that people should be encouraged to move away from the plantations and into better-planned, greener and more spacious small towns and cities.

Rural land, she argued, should be divided between industrial woods, other areas allowed to recover their native vegetation, and the remaining native woodlands.

Kalin-Arroyo used to say due to global warming, all of Chiles woodlands are at a greater danger. Were going to have to live with the increased occurrence of woodland fires, she said.

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'Frogs' and 'mushrooms' bubble up in quantum fluids – Phys.Org


'Frogs' and 'mushrooms' bubble up in quantum fluids
The simulations have produced some unusual shapes, including 'mushrooms' and this frog-like shape. …more. Bose Einstein Condensates are gases made of atoms that are so cold, all of their motion nearly ceases. As the Indian physicist Satyendra Nath
“Frogs” and “mushrooms” bubble up in quantum fluidsThe Ohio State University News

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How demise got cool

The long read: The latest demise tendency is a cross between hygge and Marie Kondo: a sign that dying well has become one of the defining preoccupations of our times

Last spring, at Green-Wood cemetery in Brooklyn, where the artist Jean-Michel Basquiat is interred, another conceptual artist, Sophie Calle, launched an installation called Here Lie the Secrets of the Guests of Green-Wood Cemetery. For the next 25 years, anyone pas by will be able to write down their most intimate secrets and inter them in a grave designed by the artist. The cemetery also hosts moonlit tours, cocktail parties, dance performances, and even yoga classes.

Death is hot right now, and upbeat collects in graveyards are just a small part of the trend. One of the chief desires of our time is to turn everything we touch into a reflection of who we are, how we live and how we want others to view us- and demise is no exception. Once merely the inevitable, death has become a new bourgeois rite of passage that, much like bridals or births, must now be minutely schemed and personalised. Not since the Victorian era’s fetishisation of demise, with its all-black attire, elaborated mourn jewellery and seances, has death been so appealingly packaged. Every demise must be in some way special and on-trend. Finally, the hipster can die as he lived.

If you fancy an environmentally friendly burial, you can choose to be wrap in a biodegradable artisanal shroud, decorated to your specifications by the bespoke company Vale for $545.( It’s just $ 68 for pets .) Or you can be buried, as the celebrated California chef Alice Waters says she wants to be, in a burial pyjama suit seeded with mushrooms that help your body decompose more quickly. A few years ago, artist Jae Rhim Lee delivered a Ted talk while wearing one such suit- a black hooded one-piece threaded with white veins infused with mushroom spores. On stage, Lee cheerfully explained that she is train mushrooms to feed her when she dies by feeding them her hair, fingernails and dead scalp so they recognise her body.

Artist Jae Rhim Lee dedicating a Ted talk in a special burial suit seeded with pollution-gobbling mushrooms. Photo: TED

For people less worried about the environment and more worried about the scaring prospect of succumbing alone, there are now solutions( or at least partial ones ). You can hire a demise doula, a trained professional who will assist at the end of life in the same catch-all way that birth doulas are there during labour. You can request a home funeral, in which your friends and family pay their respects to your corpse in the consolation of your living room, with every detail as carefully planned as a wedding. And before that day arrives, you can discuss the facts of demise with like-minded souls at a Death Cafe, a session of the global motion started by Jon Underwood in 2011( who died last summertime of acute promyelocytic leukaemia) as a route for people to gather and reflect on mortality.

One of the people pioneering this new style of approaching death is Caitlin Doughty, a young, Los Angeles-based mortician who looks like a lost member of the Addams Family. She has written a bestselling memoir, hosts a YouTube series called Ask a Mortician and has founded a” death acceptance collective” called The Order of the Good Death, whose youthful members promote positive approaches to mortality.

” It’s OK to be openly interested in demise practises ,” Doughty told me while driving through LA one afternoon last autumn.” It induces you an engaged human who cares about all aspects of life. Ghettoising it as an interest particular to goths, weirdos or people obsessed with murder creates a dearth of honest dialogue about death in the western world .”

This growing interest in alternative” demise practices” began as a way to skirt the commercialism and uniformity of the funeral industry. And it appeals to a diverse situated of people.” This desire for a pine box in the ground brings together hippies and libertarians, stay-off-my-land handgun proprietors, certain religion people, Trump voters who don’t want big business dismissing what they want ,” Doughty told.” They might not all have the same back-to-the-earth vision, but it’s the same fight for their fundamental rights. They don’t want a bland corporate infrastructure to dictate what happens to their mortal remains and what represents their life .”

Given that the idea of rethinking death connects with millions of people who are tired of the rampant commercialism and homogeneity of modern life, it was only a matter of time before commercial interests caught on. Just as the Danish concept of hygge was sold- in the form of scented candles and hand-knitted woollen socks- to customers go looking for convenience in distressed days, there is gold, too, in our obsession with a good death.

Publishers, including with regard to, have latched on to the trend. Volumes about demise are nothing new, of course, but the pace at which they’re arriving seems to have accelerated. Last year assured the arrival of a stack of literary memoirs about death by writers such as Edwidge Danticat and Robert McCrum. In his memoir, My Father’s Wake, the writer Kevin Toolis explains why the Irish get demise right, while Caitlin Doughty’s new volume, From Here to Eternity: Travelling the World to Find the Good Death, investigates the route cultures across the world, from Indonesia to Bolivia to Japan, approach death.

But perhaps it is not the Irish or the Bolivians who have perfected the art of succumbing well, but the Swedish. In recent months, thanks to a publisher-led information campaign, you may have come across the concept of dostadning , the Swedish practise of” demise clean “. Death cleaning applies a simple formula to the process of dealing with our possessions before we succumb. In Marie Kondo‘s The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying, a bestselling guide to tidying up your home, and thus their own lives, the essential question is whether a dedicated object” triggers elation “. In death cleaning, it is” Will anyone I know be happier if I save this ?”

Death cleaning addresses many of the aspects of contemporary life that make us most anxious. Photograph: Alamy Stock Photo

It is easy to see the appeal. Death cleaning address many of the aspects of contemporary life that induce us most anxious. For the individuals who was of the view that they have accumulated too much stuff and that all this stuff is get in the way of their spiritual growth, it offers a practical guidebook to de-cluttering. For those who worry about their privacy or the prospect of relatives detecting their secrets, it offers sensible precautions. For the individuals who fear a long, bewildered, incapacitated old age, it is a way of coping through clear-eyed preparation and understanding.

While Silicon Valley billionaires search for cures for death, the rest of us are just seeking ways of accepting demise, ordering a long and messy old age and making peace with our relatives, who are already frightened at the idea of looking after us in our incontinent, incoherent dotage. The fact of living longer doesn’t simply devote us time to think about death, but also plunges us into chaos, sickness and confusion, and death clean seems a valiant attempt to counter this.

Death cleaning is a concept that has had passing mentions in Sweden, but it is not a well-known part of the national culture. In truth, it seems to be more talked about by foreigners who like to imagine Scandinavia as a place where people have life sorted out than it is by Swedes themselves. But even if Swedes rarely talking here dostadning, there is something authentic about the underlying doctrine. The Swedish diplomat to the US, Karin Olofsdotter, recently told the Washington Post that death cleaning is” almost like a biological thing to do”, the natural product of a society that prizes living independently, responsibly and thoughtfully, and whose homes reflect that ideal.

A friend of mine who works as a radio producer in Stockholm told:” My mother is dostadningincarnated. She has been in the mode of frenetic cleaning for couple of years now- she is 65-[ and thinks] throwing stuff out will make it easier for us infants when she is no longer with us. She doesn’t want us to be left with difficult decisions about what to do with it and she doesn’t want personal stuff to get in the wrong hands. And ever since I was a teen she has forced me to get rid of stuff- my earliest paints, old clothes, volumes I read as a child, memorabilia. Keeps telling me that it’s the best for everyone. I don’t know if it’s typically Swedish, but it is very, very rational and unsentimental .”

The well-funded Swedish welfare state enables elderly Swedes to live independently.” Perhaps this also adds to the sense that they feel they must get their things in order before they die, so that no one else should be responsible for it ,” tells Michael Booth, author of The Almost Nearly Perfect People, a cultural tour of Scandinavian countries.” Swedes are deeply, deeply responsible people. It is very important for a Swede to do things properly , not to be a burden on others, to take responsibility in this route. Swedes are very’ proper ‘.”

According to Booth, the decluttering element of demise clean” chimes with the general parsimony and minimalism of Lutheranism, which you find traces of throughout many aspects of Scandinavian culture. In Sweden especially, they value the’ modern’ and’ new ‘, and so, if you visit a council dump or recycling centre, you watch some somewhat eye-popping items discarded- stuff Brits would never throw away .”

Others are more sceptical about the idea that demise cleaning is the product of a distinctly Swedish sensibility.” It sounds like a mind-body-spirit thing that could have come from anywhere ,” tells Robert Ferguson, author of Scandinavians: In Search of the Soul of the North, another book that tries to figure out the roots of our fascination with Scandinavia.” Actually I’m still waiting for the world to discover the joy of kalsarikanni , a Finnish term that means’ drinking brew on your own at home in your underpants with no intention of going out ‘.”

The book responsible for spreading the death-cleaning gospel is by Margareta Magnusson, a Swedish artist who describes herself as between” 80 and 100″. The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning: How to Free Yourself and Your Family from a Lifetime of Clutter came out in English a few months ago. It is part practical guide to getting your affairs in order, portion discourse on accepting the reality of demise. Over the course of 38 very short chapters with titles such as If It Was Your Secret, Then Maintain It That Way( or How to Death Clean Hidden, Dangerous and Secret Things ), Magnusson sets out her pragmatic and upbeat approach to mortality.” Life will become more pleasant and comfy if we get rid of some of the abundance ,” she writes.

” The message was: we just have to accept that one day we will die ,” said her literary agent, Susanna Lea.” Either our loved ones will begrudge us, or they will hold on to this wonderful memory and love us for sorting everything out. Which one do you want ?”

As soon as Lea sent the book proposal out, publishers eagerly snapped it up. A German editor made an offer after only four hours. A couple of weeks later, it was sold to a publisher in Sweden, and then Lea took it to the 2016 Frankfurt book fair, the marketplace for international marketings, and sold it to the UK, US and Australia. It is now being translated into 23 languages.

” Interestingly enough, the eastern Europeans have been the slowest to buy it ,” told Lea.” They told:’ We merely don’t talk about demise .’ I thought the Latin countries might not talk about death, but they totally got it .”

Margareta Magnusson, the author of The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning. Photo: Stina Stjernkvist/ TT News/ PA

The title has been a challenge. Some countries balk at having demise in the title of a volume that is slim and small, and packaged like a gift book be available at check-out counters. Others struggle with translating the phrase itself. The Swedish just call their edition Dostadning( the subtitle translates as” not a sad narrative “). However, nettoyage de la mort does not work in French- they are going to call it instead La Vie en Ordre. The Germans get around it by dedicating it a title that translates as” Frau Magnusson’s Art of Putting Her Life in Order “.

As the book proposal appeared in the year that hygge and the decluttering guru Marie Kondo subdued the world, it’s not surprising that a volume that could be pitched as” Marie Kondo does hygge” was a big hit with publishers. But Jamie Byng, head of Magnusson’s UK publisher, Canongate, strenuously rejects the comparing.” We were not looking for another Marie Kondo, fuck no ,” he told me.” I was taken by the idea that this elderly Swedish lady had written a book about leaving this world gracefully and with as little mess as possible. There’s something of Swedish zen about it .”

Magnusson lives in an apartment in a large development in the Sodermalm neighbourhood of Stockholm , not far from the upmarket raincoat brand Stutterheim( whose motto is” Swedish melancholy at its driest “), and shops that sell elegant, spare Scandinavian furniture. She’s tall and slender, wearing a striped French sailor-style shirt, faded jeans and trainers, with a gray bob and a long, oval-shaped face. Her most striking feature is her large, round, wet blue eyes. She seems healthy and spry and fashionable without trying hard, which fits the image of her as a mellow, slightly kooky but wise Scandinavian grandma who writes things such as:” Maybe Grandfather had dames’ lingerie in his drawer and perhaps Grandma had a dildo in hers. But what does that matter now? They are no longer among us; if we liked them it actually should be nothing for us to worry about .”

The first thing to note about Magnusson’s home is that it is not in any way minimalist. In her living room there are shelves of hundreds of books, and gentle abstract paints by Magnusson herself on the walls. There are a surprising number of stuffed toys and masks from Asia( her late husband was Swedish but born in Japan, and the family lived in Singapore and Hong Kong as he moved frequently for run ), presumably all of which have passed the making-people-happy test. The flat is packed with objects of sentimental value that have accrued around an elderly person who once lived in a larger home. It’s all cheerful and very, very neat.

Magnusson noted that Sweden used to be a country of big, quality companies that constructed things you might want to pass on to your children, or at the least that lasted a very long time.” Swedish safety matches and Volvo- the safest auto. Now, Sweden is just H& M and Ikea, stuff that doesn’t last more than five years if you’re lucky. It must have changed the culture in the country in a manner that is, I suppose .”

She has a large collage of family photos hanging in her bedroom: a sister and friend, who are both dead, and her husband, who died in his mid-7 0s. Her volume been shown that sorting through photo is not the place to begin your death-cleaning process- too many memories to get swept up in, and too much sentiment. Better to start with the kitchen. But when it’s time to declutter your photos, she advises, be ruthless. One of her points is that if you don’t know the names of the person or persons in a photo, feed them to a shredder.

Magnusson has a style, when talking about their own lives, to assume the mode of a literary narrator. Everything she says sounds like a first line to a self-consciously ruminative memoir.” I grew up in Gothenburg on Sweden’s west coast, and was born on New Year’s Eve ,” she told me.” I think I was born in a happy style. It was happy, I don’t know. It started happy .”

An ecological coffin under building. Photograph: Luis Robayo/ AFP/ Getty

Her pragmatic nature is such that she seemed nearly frustrated explaining simple notions about demise and decluttering to a non-Swede such as me. She plans to be cremated when she succumbs, which is common in Sweden, and for there to be a memorial plaque her family can visit.” I don’t believe in life after death. When I’m dead, I will be dead ,” she said.

” To think that you cannot manage yourself, that you think you don’t know what’s going to happen- that must be terrible. I don’t have that anxiety. I almost died some years ago .” She had woken up in the middle of the night with some kind of heart difficulty.” On the way to the hospital, I was just gone ,” she said.” Then I really realised that I didn’t see any illumination in tunnels. I was so happy when I woke up, but I realised that nothing will happen .”

There’s a tipping phase in your life, she told, when you start attending more funerals than weddings.” Maybe in the 50 s or 60 s it starts to happen: my parents, my mother-in-law, my husband and friends ,” she told. By that point, Magnusson’s daughter Jane, who lives just across the road, had come over.

” We had a funeral on Friday. It was actually very pleasant ,” said Jane.

” Yes, it was very nice. You fulfill a lot of friends that you had together ,” told Magnusson.

” You get to have a good cry ,” Jane said.

” Yeah, you have a good scream ,” told Magnusson.” But you have also a good laugh .”

Swedish death cleaning has detected a kind of American counterpart in the rise of a pair of young men from Ohio who call themselves the Minimalists. When one of the duo, Joshua Fields Millburn, lost his mother in 2009, he was left wondering what to do with everything she had amassed in her small apartment. In the end, he decided to donate it all to charity. It was something of an epiphany for Millburn, who began throwing out one thing he owned every day for a month. What would go on to become the foundational principle of his brand of minimalism dawned on him:” Our memories are not inside of things; they’re inside of us .” From that moment almost a decade ago, Millburn and his friend Ryan Nicodemus have built a Minimalist empire- volumes, podcasts, documentaries, speaking tours- based on the idea that amassing stuff is simply what we do to confuse ourselves from our real problems: lack of satisfaction with run, love, life and, ultimately a way to deny the inevitability of death.

Isn’t all decluttering about demise? I asked Doughty, the mortician.” It is a little death to give away a keepsake or an item ,” she agreed.” For most people to admit that they should be keeping track of stuff and getting rid of things is exceedingly threatening to their sense of self and idea as mortal .”

For many of us, the main style we try to look at death is by not looking at it. My own parents constantly talking here how they want their dead bodies to be dealt with- my mother has gone from wanting her cremains to be flushed down the lavatory to wanting her corpse fed to dogs- and yet the elaborate plans for death are a way around dealing with it. My father won’t even write a will, instead preferring to telephone me at odd hours from California to get me to make solemn promises that, after he is gone, I will do or will not do certain things( such as maintaining his house in the family, or stimulating sure to invite specific people to his funeral ).

This highly developed awareness of their own mortality and careful consideration of how to dispose of their remains, combined with a complete lack of planning for what happens in the weeks, months and years after the funeral, sometimes feels like my parents’ way of ensuring that their large personalities will gently haunt me from the afterlife. Or, to set it more politely, it seems like a way to guarantee their presence in my life as long as possible.

‘ Even surrounded by loved ones, you check out alone’ … mortician Caitlin Doughty. Photograph: Sammy Z

But I also sympathise with them. Both of my mothers are 66, and will hopefully be around for some time. Dealing with one’s own legacy is a stark business. It involves accepting that you are the one who cares most- or perhaps the only person who cares at all- about your own legacy. At the same period, it means tackling hard questions about the people you will leave behind. Will your last gift to your loved ones be to leave them a few valuable possessions, or a photo album full of memories, or simply the great favour of adopting not burdening them with having to sort through all the stuff you accumulated over your lifetime?

Doughty says that any parent who is” unwilling to have a basic dialogue about demise with your desperate children- that’s a profound unkindness “. At 33, she has a will and a plan for what will happen to her business and the small cabin she owns when she succumbs. That has brought her comfort, she tells. At 40, I don’t have any schemes in place for my own death, unless you count drunkenly asking various friends to promise they would take my puppy in the event that she becomes an orphan. Perhaps I am more like my parents than I would like to think.

Planning for demise is hard, because it means that one must accept that you are the one who cares most, or at all, about your own legacy. To plan for demise is to accept both notions simultaneously.” There might be no one at your bedside. You might not be found for two days and feed by cats. That’s all in the realm of potential ,” Doughty told.” But even surrounded by loved ones, you check out alone. This is your personal journey to go on .”

The idea of demise as a solo journey is redolent of the language of wellness: the route people talk about get into their fitness or diet or mindfulness routines. This new view of demise borrows heavily from another trendy notion: self-care, the idea that looking after oneself is a political act, shoring yourself up to be able to keep struggle and facing the world. Self-care, too, has been co-opted to be about treating yourself to bath products, massages, face masks and yoga retreats- awarding yourself an excuse to make it OK to buy stuff. The commercialisation of demise is the inevitable sequel to the monetisation of every other part of life.

Death cleaning is perhaps more potent than other wellbeing trends in that it taps into deep emotions: dread, guilt, unhappines. The demise industry exploits people’s fears of inadequacy. You can’t just succumb- at the very least, you’ll need to invest in a house-tidying consultant, a death doula, an environmentally sound bespoke shroud, and a home funeral, to prove just how well you lived.

Main image: Getty/ iStockphoto/ Guardian Design

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Moroccan street food: 10 things you’ll want to try

( CNN) There are two things you can be sure of when it comes to your taste bud in Morocco:

1. You’ll drink enough sugary mint tea to send your dentist into a spin.

2. After a couple of days, you’ll be sick to your back teeth of tagine( if you have any left ).

Bourdain tries a Moroccan pigeon pie

Rolling Stones recorded with these guys

Bourdain explores the souk in Tangier

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‘ Who knows what we’ll find next ?’ Journey to the heart of Mozambique’s hidden forest

Since it was identified on Google Earth in 2005, the woodland of Mount Mabu has amazed scientists with its unique wildlife. Jeffrey Barbee joins explorer Professor Julian Bayliss on the first journey to its green heart

The soggy boots of the team slide backwards in the black mud as they fight up towards the ridge line dividing the forest edge from one of the last unexplored places on Earth.

The rain is an incessant barrage of watery bullets firing down through the tree canopy. Thunder crashes. Tangles of vines and spider webs make for a Hollywood movie scene of genuinely impenetrable jungle.

Near the front of the 7 hikers is a Welshman carrying a billhook, a backpack virtually the same size as him, and what appears to all intents and purposes to be a briefcase. The slope is so immerse that the heavy briefcase clatters against the ground at every step, so he swings it in front of him clonk like a ship use an anchor to warp out of harbour against the green, vertical tide. He takes two steps up and swingings the occurrence up the hill again. Clonk.

On this wet March day in Mozambique, Professor Julian Bayliss, naturalist, explorer, fellow of the Royal Geographical and Royal Entomological societies, is heading deep into the green heart of the Mabu forest for the first time. The forest, also known as the Google forest after the route he detected it using Google Earth in 2005, has more recently been called the butterfly wood, after the butterflies that congregate around the summit of Mount Mabu at certain times of year. Many of the species since identified here carry Baylisss name. These include Nadzikambia baylissi , the sleek little chameleon with the prehensile tail, and Cymothoe baylissi , the graceful wood gliding butterfly, both of which exist only here within the largest rainforest in southern Africa.

One other thing we have discovered on this trip, wails Bayliss, with a huge grinning over the audio of yet another downpour on another day on another seemingly unending hillside ascent, Mabu is not flat.

The scientific discovery of Mount Mabu was a huge breakthrough. Running with Kew Royal Botanic Gardens, the Mozambique governments institute for agricultural research( IIAM) and the Darwin Initiative, Bayliss was sitting at his laptop looking at Google Earth in 2005, when he wondered whether mountains in Mozambique might also harbour some of the species he was uncovering in nearby Malawi. So he and a Malawian botanist named Hassam Patel decided to take a look.

As reported by the Observer , over the years Bayliss and the Kew Gardens team have since identified three new species of snake, eight species of butterfly, a at-bat, a crab, two chameleons and many plants, as well as a trove of rare birds that are critically endangered.

However , no one has ever journeyed into the heart of the forest until now. Previous discoveries came from the forest base camp, the peak and a small spacecraft camp, all on the lower eastern edge. To investigate Mabus secrets further, an expedition has been undertaken this month by the international scientific and environmental reporting initiative Alliance Earth.

The Alliance Earth squads objectives were to create a 3D map, uncover new species, check on the health of the forest, publish an ethno-botanical study, seek out potential non-timber wood products, make a feature documentary and movie a 360 -degree virtual reality experience for museums and science centres around the world, so everyone can explore the mountains mysteries.

Alliance Earths 360 -degree look at the Google forest. Copyright: Jeffrey Barbee/ Alliance Earth

This is a new species of Dipsadoboa, Bayliss says, holding the poison tree snake with a twinge of obvious concern. As it writhes, he holds it farther away from his torso. This is currently undescribed, it doesnt have a name yet. Stretching out imploringly, the serpent tries to reach the perceived safety of my video camera. To find an actual new species of snake is extremely exciting, and very rare. He has now found three new serpents in Mabus forest.

According to Bayliss, on this trip the team have identified at least one new butterfly species, and quite possibly more, once genetic testing confirms them. They have also discovered a Caecilian, one of the rarest animals on Earth, which is sort of a cross between a reptile and amphibian, and may be a new type of its kind.

But these precious determines arent the only new discoveries that have him aroused. Under a huge tree he airs his wet boots, squeezing his socks dry before putting them on again. Yesterday was great. We discovered a new waterfall, which is fantastic. Weve never been here before, and because its the rainy season the water was only crashing through the rocks.

More discoveries have come daily, such as the valley of giants, an open canyon with a central created ridge surrounded by the largest grouping of big trees yet received. Their vast trunks stretch upwards like a cathedral, blending into the green nave of leaves hundreds of metres above. These waterfalls, huge trees, deep canyons, and riverside camping spots are important geographical discoveries that Bayliss hopes will assist bring tourists here.

At days the forest guidebooks are clearly as perplexed about directions as the team, looping round in ever-widening circles in search of a way across the labyrinth of folded valleys, often climbing up and down one penalise ridge after another in order to make headway.

Bayliss holds what is possibly yet another previously unidentified species of butterfly. Photo: Jeffrey Barbee

Senior hunter turned guide Oflio Cavalio, 41, and his son Bartolomeo, 26, joined the expedition one morning before breakfast, hiking from their home many kilometres away. They heard through the grapevine that Bayliss had returned and so tracked him down. Cavalio and Bayliss have worked together on every visit he has made to Mabus forest. The local hunter and famous scientist have developed a friendship and deep respect for one another.

Once Cavalio arrived, the team started to push deeper into the most unexplored parts of the eastern forest, following the tops of the ridges and inducing better time.

Guides such as Cavalio have an intimate knowledge of the region, building the outside discovery of Mabu a strictly scientific designation. According to him, the local people have benefited from the forest for generations. It even saved their lives during the back-to-back conflicts that started in 1964 with the war of freedom against Portugal, before segueing into the civil war that finally ended in 1992.

His friend, 38 -year-old guide Ernesto Andr, concurs. He grew up in the forest, sheltered from the ravages of war, with dozens of other people in small forest camps. Not far into the undergrowth, holes the size of unfilled tombs are clearly man-made. Standing in one, Andr explains that these sheltered whole families and were the only route to hide the voices of screaming children from the Portuguese soldiers who tried to hunt them down.

On a remote ridge line with another potential new butterfly in his net, Bayliss talks about the future of the mountain. Every new discovery helps stimulate the case for the mountain to be officially protected, he says.

But time is of the essence. The squad detects the forest intact, yet still not officially protected. A recent report in the Guardian told how, despite a two-year ban on timber exportations, corruption and organised crime are still stripping Mozambique of woodlands such as this. According to the independent Environmental Investigation Agency, as much as $130 m worth of hardwoods are stolen from Mozambique annually. Much of it is sent to China.

Ecologically aware guests could help build a tourism industry here that protects the forest and benefits the community in a sustainable way, while safeguarding the unbelievable biodiversity, according to Justia Ambiental, the Mozambican environmental justice group that has been working at Mabu since 2009 to create and implement an eco-tourism plan for the mountain.

Mount Mabu expedition 2017. Produced by Alliance Earth. Edited and written by Jeffrey Barbee. Camera Jeffrey Barbee and Julian Bayliss. Copyright: Jeffrey Barbee/ Alliance Earth

The groups forestry specialist, Rene Machoco, explains that its vision is for Mabu to be legally designated as a community conservation area.

Andr says that before Justia Ambiental went, his community didnt believe the wood was particularly valuable, but then it was explained and we knew the truth. The forest is life and the wood is wealth.

Tourism is merely one route to help people like Ernesto benefit from their home. Expedition team member Ana Alecia Lyman is a non-timber forest products specialist based in Mozambique who runs Bio leos de Miombo. Non-timber forest products, such as honey or mushrooms, can be sustainably derived from the landscape to generate income in rural communities without jeopardising local biodiversity, she says.

After insuring the forest first-hand, she is enthusiastic and feels that the more people who are engaged in these sustainable value chains, the more local investment there can be in the health of the forest.

Under the tree canopy, Bayliss is hunting an elusive butterfly that eventually flutters and remainders on the leafy forest floor in a scattered beam of sunlight. Butterflies use solar energy to fly. Their wing veins are usually dark in order to channel energy from the sun to engage their muscles. This is why when they are find slowly folding their wings while perched in the sunlight, they are getting ready to take to the air. But the shy brown butterfly with the spotted wing commemorates is no match for the speedy scientist from Wales. A deft swaying loops the net closed, I believe I got it!

This is probably a new species, he says, seeming through the net and walk-to over to a sunny spot. Extracting it gently he examines the wing places. This is probably the one we have been looking for. He appears closer. With a breathless voice he violates with his usual understatement. This is very exciting this is the first time I have ever seen this butterfly.

What else awaits discovery in the remote wood of Mabus basin? Potential their responses to that topic sit snugly in Baylisss anchor-like briefcase: motion-sensitive video cameras, the first ever to be deployed at Mabu. Encased in steel boxes and strapped to trees, the four high-definition cameras will be left running at secret locations deep in the foliage for two years.

Having finished securing the last camera above a river, Bayliss washes his hands in the clear water among the mossy boulders, seeming satisfied. Every day we come to Mabu we discover something new. Who knows what we will find next?

The question hangs in the air as he turns around and starts back on the long hike to base camp with his butterfly net in hand, his briefcase empty, and his wet boots squishing merrily.

Alliance Earth paid for Jeffrey Barbees transport and accommodation .

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13 Little-Known Food Hacks That Are Ensure To Build Your Life Easier

ood is a part of everyone’s life. Whether you love food, or simply eat it to keep surviving, there is a food hack out there for you. These tips-off run across dishes and offerings from all sorts of cuisines, so whether it’s Jell-O or tacos or burgers, we’ve got a tip-off for you!

( OK. We don’t actually have any Jell-O hacks for anyone in this list, but maybe…add Cool-Whip? Sorry. That’s the best we can do for Jell-O fans .)

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20 Alternatives To Standard Pasta That You Will Utterly Love To Cook And Eat

If there’s one thing we all love to eat, it’s pasta. But with all the carbs and heavy sauces, the experience always leaves us sitting in unhappines, staring at the empty bowl. Fortunately for pasta lovers everywhere, there are healthy alternatives that are just as satisfying.

They’re incredibly tasty, and your waistline will thank you.

1. Baked Spaghetti Squash with Mushrooms and Parmesan Cheese

2. Avocado Pasta

3. Spicy Carrot Peanut Noodles

4. Roasted Beet and Garlic Pasta

5. Zucchini Noodles with Turkey Meatballs

6. Zucchini Pasta with Avocado Sauce

7. Baked Spaghetti Squash with Garlic and Butter

8. Chicken Enchilada Stuffed Spaghetti Squash

9. Curvy Carrot Pasta Puttanesca

10. Zucchini Noodles in a Low-Carb Spaghetti Meat Sauce

11. Bacon Parmesan Spaghetti Squash

12. Spaghetti Squash Carbonara

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13. Beetballs

14. Twice-Baked Spaghetti Squash

15. Chicken Alfredo Spaghetti Squash

16. Zucchini Pasta with Beet Marinara Sauce

17. Spaghetti Squash Lasagna Boats

18. Zucchini Spaghetti with Goat Cheese and Sun-Dried Tomatoes

19. Beet Pasta with Lemon-Creme Sauce and Salmon

20. Zucchini Pasta with Shrimp

Find one you love? I didn’t either( because I want all 20 of them ). I guess it’s time to head to Whole Foods.

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22 Insanely Delicious Pizza Bagels That Will Completely Blow Your Intellect

I guess most people would agree both pizza and bagels are fairly fantastic on their own.

So, whichever Frankenfood genius decided to put these two things together to invent the almighty pizza bagel deserves a lot of credit.

Growing up, pizza bagels were my all-time favorite snacks, and no matter how old I get, these cheesy disks will always hold a special place in my heart.

In fact, my love burns so strongly for these tasty treats I’ve managed to set my kitchen on fire in the process of stimulating them on more than one occasion.( Long narrative short, you should probably avoid employing the oven when you are drunk .)

If you ask me, it’s no coincidence both National Pizza Day and National Bagel Day happen to fall in the same week.

So in honor of these eating occasions, I set out to find a bunch of ways you can upgrade your beloved bagels by turning them into all sorts of insanely delicious pizzas that will blow your mind.

You can’t go wrong with the classic cheese pizza bagel…

…and pepperoni is always a solid topping of choice.

You can upgrade those mouthwatering halves to Margherita status…

Crush your hunger with a Hawaiian pizza bagel…

Swap out the tomato sauce for some Alfredo…

Hide a layer of pesto beneath that melty mozzarella…

…or step up your pizza bagel game with some Buffalo chicken and blue cheese.

You can stifle your pizza bagel in melty mac and cheese, plus a fried egg to boot…

Add some spicyjalapeopeppers…

…or sink your teeth into a barbecue-chicken rendition.

You can spruce up your pizza bagel with some sausage and onions…

Add some heavenly ham and cheese…

…or pile on some prosciutto for the perfect Italian meal.

You can transform your pizza bagel into a delectable breakfast dish…

…or start your day off with a smoked-salmon snack.

You can add some greens totake your pizza bagel to the next level…

Throw on some mushrooms…

Dress your whole wheat bagel up in spinach, mozzarella and chickpeas…

…or make a badass vegan version of this tasty treat.

Plus, you even can satisfy your sweet tooth with a fruit pizza bagel.

There’s no wrong way to eat these bad boys…

…so the pizza bagel prospects are pretty much endless.

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The Dark Net narcotic market that survived Ukraine’s civil war

The medications were wrapped in Ziploc purses, covered in duct videotape, and hidden below a balcony right near a crowded sidewalk in Kiev, Ukraine.

The package was left there by a dealer known online as Brooklyn Flea Shop. The product was easy to find for the buyer, someone who goes by the alias of Mahadeva, the name of both the Great God of Hinduism and a legendary evildoer in Buddhism.

Bending below a balcony like this didnt appear natural at all, Mahadeva worried. Someone must have thought it was strange. The treasures place was not very good, he wrote afterward. Oh well.

One gram of speedamphetamine sulfate is the kind of stuff that can induce euphoria, drench you in sweat, and skip your heartbeatcosts 250 Ukrainian Hryvnia ($ 11 U.S .) pay money in Bitcoin, a cheap buy for a big high.

The exchange on the Kiev sidewalk is known as a dead fell, a drug deal where the buyer is instructed to find the drug at a concealed place inside a city. Its only one route that Kiev does the Dark Net its own way.

As Ukraine holds on to an increasingly delicate peace, the country remains divided by armed troops. There is, however, at the least one thing that moves reliably through the cities and across dangerous borders: illegal drugs sourced from the Dark Net.

The first Ukrainian Dark Net market, launched on the eve of the country’s civil war in May 2013, has so far survived the bloody combats and continues to be a recreational pharmacy for thousands of members inside a country struggling to emerge from crisis.

PsyCo, short for Psychedelic Community, is working to psychoactive substances. In many ways, PsyCo operates much like other Dark Net markets: It contains a small library of personal reports and information on medications as well as an active black market that helps traders and purchasers move the dope to Kiev and beyond.

While the national economy cratered due to civil war, Ukraine became a cybercrime behemoth. Dark Net drug dealer are a small blip on the radar compared to some of the country’s big hacking rings, whose targets range from banks to stock market to credit card giants.

Brooklyn Flea Shop is but one of several Ukrainian dealers offering a store full of drugs to be snorted or smoked, Chinese psychedelics( 25 p-nbome ), magic mushrooms, the synthetic stimulant a-PVP, and a biblical garden of marijuanawhich appears to be the most popular narcotic around, just as it is in much of the rest of the world. In most routes, Brooklyn Flea Shop fits in well in any Dark Net black market. But the Kiev dead drop-off situateds it apart.

In the West, self-styled Dark Net experts laugh at the dead drop-off. They roll their eyes and demean anyone who would move medications this way. But it worked for Mahadeva and his friend. So, with the transaction complete, they headed back to their flat, where they cut up the speed into two 50 -milligram lines and snorted it, agreeably surprised at the smoothness of the stuff.

Speed( CC BY SA 4.0) Boghob/ Wikimedia

Mahadeva had heard narratives of horrible burning and dripping mucous from others whod taken Brooklyns product, but here with the narcotic finally inside him, he experienced a heavenly anticipation.

Twenty minutes after the drug disappeared up his nostril, Mahadeva felt tingling nerves that rose into euphoria. The pair played video games, their mouths hanging open, until the stimulation they felt grew too strong, creating an insatiable desire to leave their flat. Mahadeva and his partner hurried outside to explore Kiev.

Like most Dark Net markets, PsyCo exists as a concealed website on Tor, an American-backed anonymity network that allows users to communicate behind multiple layers of encryption to protect their identity and data. Drugs are paid for with Bitcoin and delivered through the mail or, sometimes, concealed around big cities.

The Dark Nets lingua franca has always been English. But for the last three years, small but steadily surviving localized markets in Eastern Europe and Eastern Asia are opening up anonymous trade to potentially hundreds of millions of Internet users who converse in languages like Chinese, Russian, and Ukrainian. The actual active number of non-English-speaking users right now appears to be much smaller, but it’s clear the Dark Net has room to grow.

In the markets of Russia and Ukraine, dead fells have become cheap and quick alternatives to the classic Dark Net tactic of postal smuggling. When youre in cities like Moscow and Kiev, you can get a drug the same day.

Ukraines PsyCo follows in the footsteps of a Moscow-based Russian cadre of drug dealers responsible for the Russian Anonymous Marketplace( RAMP ). Founded in early 2012, RAMP has survived to become the longest-lasting Dark Net market in the world( although it lately suffered a sustained denial-of-service assault ).

In a shadowy arena where heavyweights rapidly rise and fall, the Russians built a lasting institution that reaches from the center to the edges of the Russosphere including Belorussia, Kazakhstan, and Ukraine.

At 4,500 members, PsyCo is small and simple when put up next to the biggest black markets around.

When Silk Road debuted in 2011, it was compared to massive sites like Amazon and eBay. Underneath the hood, Silk road had the code and organization to feel like a modern online shopping mall, right down to its carts and five-star reviews. Some of the big marketplaces have grown more technically advanced in the years since.

By contrast, local marketplaces like PsyCo run on old-fashioned Internet forums, where bargains are hashed out in private messages and security relies even more on trust rather than hard-coded solutions( a mistake plenty of big English-language markets have made as well ). Then again, simple code can entail less avenues of assault for hackers, so maybe there’s virtue in dropping the high-tech shopping cart.

Mahadevas speedy surge around Kiev felt like a victory. To anyone else watch, it only looked like a couple of fast-talking and quick-walking guys, smiling ridiculously as they stormed from block to block.

The pair of friends felt like they were sprinting from great notion to great notion, motivated and cheerful until they returned home. This velocity journey was more useful than merely a freaked-up stomp around Kiev.

Dark Net markets are in many ways powered by trust and word-of-mouth. After all, black markets have no government regulator, newspaper critic, or Yelp reviewer checking for quality and safety. When you’re buying drugs, the best reason you have to hope that your high will be safe and sweet is that the last guy who took these medications is still smiling and still alive.

Mahadeva’s speed high was a quality-assurance test then. In a few days, he would sit down and write a detailed blow-by-blow of how the velocity hit his body, which he published on PsyCo. Brooklyn’s future clients would be happy to read it.

Not right away though. As he laid in bed, pressure grew somewhat on Mahadevas head until he passed out at six in the morning, happy and fatigued and ready to conduct another exam very soon.

Illustration by Max Fleishman

what The real origins of piecaken, the Internet’s latest dessert fad

Piecaken is about to change Thanksgiving’s dessert game. Again.

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