Category Archives: Causes

Snowflake: The White Gorilla

I just finished watching this delightful but sad Nature video about the albino gorilla, Snowflake, who died in 2003. It was a really interesting look at our history and relationship with gorillas but it didn’t make me like humans more, that’s for sure. I was stoked to find out about the Congo Gorilla Forest at the Bronx Zoo. It’s a 6.5 acre recreation of the native rainforest of the western lowland gorillas. Gorillas are under great threat of extinction due to logging and the bushmeat trade. You can help to preserve these amazing apes by contributing to organizations such as the Wildlife Conservation Society.

Click to watch via Nature


Helping Haiti

Photo by Matthew Marek/American Red Cross

My heart is really hurting for the people of Haiti. Imagine that you are pulled from the rubble that was once your home only to find that you have no access to medical care, food, water or shelter and that a quarter of your friends and family are either dead or missing. It’s hard for me to wrap my head around.

Photo by Pan-African News

Donate what you can, even if it’s only $10. Remember that everything counts in large amounts. Small donations from millions of people make all of the difference.


Here’s a list of reputable charities:

International Foundation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies

Doctors Without Borders




Operation USA

International Medical Corps

Partners In Health

Direct Relief

Seamount Expidition: Sea Creatures!

Juevenile Oreo Fish

The IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) recently completed a six-week expedition to the southern Indian Ocean. The crew studied six seamounts with the goal of  developing “ecosystem approaches to fisheries management for biologically-globally significant and commercially-important areas beyond national jurisdiction, the high seas.” They collected nearly 7,000 species, many of which are new discoveries and delightfully odd!

Check out their blog for an account of their adventures and additional photos.

Also, you can support IUCN and projects like this one by donating here.

Sea Toad

Unidentified Octopus

Unidentified Fish

Hatchet Fish

Unidentified Fish

Barreleye Fish

More about the Barreleye from a previous post.

All photos by Sarah Gotheil

Help Urangoo

h3Urangoo Baartarkhuyag is a 24 year old Mongolian woman living in Provo, UT. She was recently diagnosed with AML (Acute Myeloid Leukemia) and must have a bone marrow transplant… like, NOW. Without the transplant she will die within the next 6 months. The transplant weighs in at a hefty $350,000.

Just yesterday I had an experience where I almost had to choose to go untreated for a hickup concerning my thyroid cancer because it would cause me to be booted from the study which pays the bill for my $4,000/month leukemia medication. Ultimately I did not have to be treated and therefore make that choice. I honestly can’t believe that our country just allows people to go untreated to the point of dying.

So let’s give the system the middle finger and help Urangoo get that transplant. Stop what you’re doing and donate some dough. If you’ve got $20 bucks to spare, awesome. If you’ve only got $5, that’s awesome too. Be part of something bigger than yourself.

KSL articleFacebookBlog

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Traveling Moleskine


Today is the final day for the Traveling Moleskine® project, organized by Culture Vulture and The Big Draw.  The project involves a number of notebooks which were assigned a theme and then sent out into the world to be passed from one artistic hand to another. Once the notebooks are returned, a fundraiser dinner and exhibition will be held to view the completed pages and raise funds for The Campaign for Drawing.

Below are a few photos from participants who posted on the project’s Flickr site. My favorite is Owen Gatley’s Secrets and Lies. But I was already a fan of his before this.

Posted by Owen Gatley

Secrets and Lies - Posted by Owen Gatley

Invisible Ghost - Posted by kubox

Invisible Ghost - Posted by kubox

Posted by Dan Usiskin

Posted by Dan Usiskin

Chinese Whispers by sanityjuice

Chinese Whispers - Posted by sanityjuice

Motorway 2a - Posted by pencillines

Motorway 2a - Posted by pencillines

She was WonderWoman - Posted by littleskyred

She was WonderWoman - Posted by littleskyred

Obama’s Health Care Speech

Just in case you missed it…

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The Secret Lives of Seahorses

Dwarf_seahorseaI’ve been dying to go to the Secret Lives of Seahorses exhibit at the Monterey Bay Aquarium.

Seahorses are such strange and romantic little things. They perform courtship dances (lasting up to 8 hours), hold tails, swim snout to snout and bond monogamously for a season.

Then to top that, the males carry and birth the babies! What gentlemen. The female deposits her eggs into his pouch, using a tube called an oviduct, where he fertilizes and incubates the fry until they are ready to swim out fully developed. The pouch provides nutrients, oxygen and regulates salinity.  The male even produces prolactin (a hormone found in pregnant women) and has contractions during the birthing process.

Pigmy SeahorseYou can find an archived webcast here of Monterey Bay Aquarium experts discussing seahorses, pipefish and sea dragons. It’s about an hour long but has some really great photos and videos.

If you’d like to aid in the conservation of one of America’s only species, you can send a note to Governor Schwarzenegger of California asking him to support legislation which will help protect marine areas. Monterey Bay Aquarium makes it easy by providing a form which can be personalized and delivered from the site.

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Goats 4 Hockey

ethiopian-kids15I caught this awesome story while listening to NPR on the way to work this morning.  Joel Nagtegaal and a couple of other Vancouver Canucks fans decided to donate a goat to Kenya to mark each win, hoping to donate 16 goats total. But after the creation of a facebook page and website, others got involved and the effort quickly spun out of control, bringing their current goat count to 956!  According to their post on Monday, you can still get involved.  Oh and I love their slogan: Facial Hair For World Peace.

From their ABOUT US section:

With the Vancouver Canucks set to make a deep run into the play offs, we are looking for something that will help drum up support in areas of the world where they play hockey with one piece sticks that are literally just sticks… and use empty turtle shells as pucks. Well… probably. Anyways, since it is tradition that during the play offs we grow a play off beard or a goatee, the goal is to buy a goat for a family living in poverty for every Canucks win. That’s 4 goats per round x 4 rounds = 16 goats. Each goat is $25 for a total of $400. A small price to pay for winning the Cup. The more people that get in on this, the cheaper it will be. Also, if Vancovuer wins the cup we are buying a village an elephant. If you don’t have money, or facial hair, that’s okay. Then just join the group for fun and support.

Stem Cells: Federal Funding Ban Lifted!

Stem Cell research is important to me not only because I have CML, but because my little brother has Type 1 diabetes (which also took my fathers life). Stem cell research looks very promising in that area (and hundreds of others). It’d be really nice to see the poor kid throw away his syringes and eat a big fat bowl of candy.

(Looks like you’ll have to click through to youtube to see the video)

Emu Thugs on Sanctuary Sunday

Apparently I accidentally deleted my post about the Ching Farm Animal Rescue & Sanctuary from last week.

Here’s a summary.

1. Geese are bullies.

2. Emus are assholes.

3. All of the other farm animals are wonderful little critters and can be fabulous pets.

4. They’re doing wonderful work at the sanctuary but its expensive and laborious. You can help by volunteering, adopting, sponsoring an animal  or donating money.