2018: The Year Of The Dog

2018: The Year Of The Dog

It's time we adopt some of the traits of our most beloved fur-babies, and what better timing than the Chinese Year of the Dog.
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In recent years, the popularity of dogs has sky-rocketed, especially in regards to social media accounts. Dogs now have Instagrams, twitters, snapchats, etc. I even have an Instagram account for one of my dogs. Why is this? Because dogs consistently make people happy just by being their loving selves. Just looking at a picture of a dog can instantly brighten anyone's day. Plus, our little angels never fail to greet us with wagging tails and slobbery kisses every single time we come home.

They manage to routinely make us feel loved and special. Dogs are the most precious creatures to grace this planet, and we should acknowledge this and adopt some of the characteristics of our loving canines as 2018 is their year. That's right, welcome to the Chinese Year of the Dog.


Their platform.

Whether you are scrolling through Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, or Snapchat, one thing is guaranteed: your feed will be laden with adorable, furry faces belonging to the world’s most precious species.

Heart-melting content.

As of 2018, the United States comes in at number one for the country with the most dogs at 69,929,000. This makes sense as in recent years, social media has exploded with accounts dedicated to our furry family members, making dogs more popular pets overall.

The love for these extraordinary canines does not stop at U.S. borders, people from all over the world have taken to the internet to give their dogs the fame and attention they deserve. Posts range from videos to pictures to gifs. Each post is unique and has its own way of melting your heart. Content varies from dogs walking themselves, walking each other, eating, falling asleep while standing, running into things, playing in the snow, and most importantly loving on their owners and fellow furry friends.

From internationally acclaimed Twitter accounts such as @weratedogs to the wildly popular and awe-inducing Instagram accounts such as @thedogist, dogs are making their climb, and the world is a better place for it.

What does the Year of the Dog even mean?

On a more literal platform, the Chinese Year of the Dog brings loyalty, honesty, kindness, and love. They describe dogs as animals that “just need a quiet life and a good family and, therefore, [they] forget the ugliness and evil on Earth.” Furthermore, “dogs are always ready to help others and do not care about their own interests,” making them some of the most selfless creatures.

Real-life application.

During a time when our nation is so torn apart and separated, we could seriously benefit from adopting some traits of the dog. Let us put others before ourselves. Let us keep quiet when our words will do no good. Let us love other people for who they are. Let us not criticize, point fingers, or try to change the unique diversity that our country is blessed to have. Let us forget the evilness in the world, and create an environment that is worthy of our dogs.

Embrace the Year.

According to Chinese zodiac legend, 2018 is the perfect year to start eating healthier, exercising, and ridding your life of bad habits. So, if you let your New Year’s resolution die this year, this is your second chance! Embrace the year of the dog, and make it your most healthy, prosperous year yet.

Cover Image Credit: Berkay Gumustekin

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20 Of The Coolest Animal Species In The World

Animals that almost seem imaginary.
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The world is full of amazing animals. So amazing, that narrowing them down to 20 felt nearly impossible. To determine who made the cut for this list, I used very important factors such as, cuteness and how much some of them looked like Pokémon . I know, very official. So here are some of the coolest animals in the world.

1. Pink Fairy Armadillo

The pink fairy armadillo is the smallest and cutest species of armadillo. It is on the list of threatened species and is found in the sandy plains, dunes, and grasslands of Argentina. The pink fairy armadillo is a nocturnal creature that survives mostly on insects and plants.


2. Okapi

The okapi is an animal native to the Democratic Republic of Congo in Africa. Although the stripes make many people believe okapi are related to zebra, they are actually closer to giraffe. Okapi are solitary creatures and come together to breed. They are herbivores, mostly eating leaves, grass, and other plants.


3. Glaucus Atlanticus or "the Blue Dragon"

These little dragon-like creatures are often only about a few inches long and can be found in the Indian Pacific Oceans. The blue dragon floats upside down in order to blend the blue side of them with the water, and the silver side with the surface of the ocean. This tiny dragon feeds on creatures like the man o' war and can even deliver a sting similar to it.


4. The Maned Wolf

The maned wolf is often found in the grasslands of south, central-west, and southeastern parts of Brazil. It is neither related to wolves nor foxes despite its appearance and name, but is actually closer to dogs. The maned wolf hunts alone and primarily eats both meat and plants (about 50% of its diet).


5. Fossa

The fossa is a carnivorous animal located in Madagascar. Despite having many traits similar to cats, it is more closely related to the Mongoose. The fossa is only found in forest habitats and can hunt in either daytime or night. Over 50 percent of its diet happens to be lemurs.


6. Japanese Spider Crab

As the name suggestions, the Japanese spider crab inhabits the waters surrounding Japan. In many parts of Japan, this crab can be considered a delicacy but can be considerably difficult to catch. The Japanese spider crab can grow to 12 feet long from claw to claw. There is only one sea creature-- amongst similar species (aka crustaceans)-- that beats the weight of a Japanese spider crab: the American Lobster.


7. Pacu Fish

Look closely at the teeth, do they look familiar? This fish is found in the waters of South America. This fish, while related to the piranha, can actually grow much larger. They can also be found in rivers like the Amazon and is an aid to the fishing industry. Unlike the piranha, pacu mostly only eat seeds and nuts, though can still create nasty injuries to other animals if need be.


8. Slow Loris

The slow loris is a nocturnal creature found in Southeast Asia. While very adorable, the loris's teeth are actually quite venomous. The toxin on their teeth can also be applied to fur through grooming to protect its babies from predators. Often times these creatures forage and spend time alone, although can on occasion be seen with other slow lorises. Apart from their toxic teeth, the slow lorises have another defense mechanism, in which they move nearly completely silently in order to prevent discovery.


9. Angora Rabbit

These cute, fluffy rabbits are among the hairiest breeds of rabbit of both wild and domestic types. These rabbits originated in Turkey although managed to spread throughout Europe and was even brought to the United States in the 20th century. These rabbits are often bred for their soft wool which can be made into clothing, and often get rid of their own coats every 3-4 months.


10. Axolotl

The axolotl or "Mexican salamander" (who looks like a Pokémon , if you ask me) is often spotted in lakes in various places around Mexico. These little salamanders are amphibious although often spend their adult lives strictly in the water. However, the population of these cute creatures is dwindling due to non-native predators and the continued urbanization of Mexico. The axolotl eats small worms, insects, and fish in order to survive.


11. Liger

The liger, however made up it sounds, is a real (and cute) animal created by a lion and a tiger mating. Ligers only seem to exist in captivity or zoos because the lion and tiger don't share the same habitat in the wild. Unfortunately, these animals don't live very long or are sterile despite being bigger than both the lion and the tiger. While these animals are cool and unique, they are not strictly natural or sustainable.


12. Bearded Vulture

I don't know about you all, but this vulture reminds me of a phoenix which was initially why I looked into the creature. These vultures inhabit a range of places from southern Europe to the Indian subcontinent, to Tibet. This vulture, like other vultures, typically eats dead animals, although it has been documented that the bearded vulture will attack live prey more often than other vultures.


13. Goblin Shark


This unusual shark is also known as a "living fossil" because they are the last representative of sharks that lived about 125 million years ago. It is a deep sea shark that can grow between 10-13 feet if not longer. The goblin shark has been caught accidentally in every major ocean. The goblin shark is not a fast swimmer and relies on ambushing its prey.


14. Red Panda

This cute, small panda lives in the eastern Himalayas and southwestern China. The red panda is rather small, only about the same size as most domestic cats. Its eating habits range from bamboo, to eggs, to insects, and several other small mammals. The red panda is primarily sedentary during the day and at night or in the morning does whatever hunting it needs to do.


15. Blobfish

This blobfish is, in a way, so ugly that it is cute (although reminds me of a certain Pokémon ) This fish lives in the deep waters of Australia, Tasmania, and New Zealand. The blobfish has a density only sightly above that of water. The fish primarily hunts by just floating along and letting creatures wander into its mouth, rather than expending any energy.


16. Leaf Deer

The leaf deer is usually found in dense forests in the northwest region of Putao. The adult leaf deer only stands at about 20 inches high and the males and females are nearly identical except for an inch long horn on the males. It is called a leaf deer because hunters could wrap the deer in a single large leaf.


17. Tiger

While tigers are a more common animal than many others on this list, it is still one of the coolest animals in the world. Tigers are the largest of all cats and once ranged from Russia, to Turkey, to parts of Asia — almost all over the world. These animals are fierce, powerful creatures, although they are on the endangered species list.


18. Narwhals

Narwhals are a species of whale that live in the waters around Greenland, Canada, and Russia. The narwhal's diet changes depending on the time of year: in the spring the narwhal will eat cod, while in the winter the narwhal will eat flatfish. Narwhals can live up to 50 years and most frequently die of suffocation from being trapped under the ice.


19. Cheetah

Cheetahs, while more commonly heard of then some of the other animals on this list, are still incredibly cool. They often inhabit many parts of Africa and Iran. These amazing cats can reach up to 60 miles per hour in three seconds and use their tails to make quick and sudden turns. These amazing cats also have semi-retractable claws which helps with speed. The cheetah, however, doesn't have much besides speed to defend itself.


And finally....


20. Superb Bird of Paradise

This GIF demonstrates the mating dance used by male superb birds of paradise. Typically females reject about 20 mates before selecting one they want to mate with. They are often found in New Guinea although it is unsure just how many of these birds there are. As far as scientists know, the population has remained stable.

Cover Image Credit: Tumblr

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China Is Becoming A "Black Mirror" Episode

As if technology wasn't already taking over our lives, China is now considering a ranking system.

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Recently, China has announced that in 2020 they will have a fully operational "social credit" system. People can be rewarded or punished according to their score, which seems an awful lot like "Black Mirror: Nosedive" episode. The ranking can be moved up and down based on your behavior towards others. Below are some of the punishments for having a low ranking:

1. Banning on travel

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While China has already started putting restrictions on travel towards people, they will leave luxury options towards higher ranked people. As of right now, over nine million people with low scores have been blocked from buying domestic flights.

2. Controlling internet speed

Credit systems will monitor if people pay bills on time, or if you spend too much time on a video game or posting on social media.

3. Banning you or your kids from the best schools

In July, a Chinese university denied an incoming student his spot because the student's father had a bad social credit score.

4. Losing out on better jobs

"Trust breaking" individuals would be banned from doing management jobs in state-owned firms and banks.

5. Keeping you out of nicer hotels

People who refused military services were banned from some hotels. On the other hand, the system also rewards people, those with good scores can speed up travel applications.

6. You could lose your dog

In 2017, the city of Jinan started a point deduction system if the dog is walked without a leash or causes a public disturbance. Those who lose all their point will have their dog confiscated and have to take a test on regulations required for pet ownership.


Currently, there is a blacklist that exists with people names and their social ranking. The government encourages businesses to look at the list before hiring someone. Those on the list may not even apply for credit cards or travel.

While some may see this social ranking a good thing, I feel it forces some people to be completely fake. The episode in "Black Mirror" heavily emphasized that it is only a matter of time before someone breaks. A bad ranking can ruin your life, and getting your rank back up is nearly impossible.

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