Common Misconceptions About Bats

Common Misconceptions About Bats

I'm just winging it.
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One of my favorite animals is the Fruit Bat. They can reach a wingspan of 5-6 feet long. Why do I like Fruit Bats? Because they do so much for the rain forests and the environment. They deserve to have someone on their side. But bats have had a very negative connotation that makes them seem like ugly, mean creatures. Horror movies have painted them in a bad light. Heck, even non-horror movies have done that same thing. Recall "Jumanji" (1996) and one of the first scenes where the bats engulfed the two children? Or "Eragon" (2006) the final battle scene, where the bad guy is fighting on a giant bat? There are many others. So, I am writing to give a little clarity to the bat world. I am debunking a few of the most common myths about bats.

1. All bats drink blood.

That is not true. Only three species out of an estimated 1,000 feed solely on blood. The three types of bats are the common vampire bats, the hairy-legged vampire bat and the white-winged bat. All three species live south of the United States ranging from Mexico, Brazil, Chile and Argentina.

2. Bats will drink you dry.

As it’s stated above, only three species drink blood. What they do is create a very small “v” shaped cut and lap up what comes out of it. They often drink from cattle, deer, etc. It is actually their saliva that helps the cut to bleed by working as a blood-thinning agent. That same saliva is being used in research to help clear human blood clots.

3. Bats eat only mosquitoes.

Although bats do eat mosquitoes, they eat all sorts of bugs, moths, ladybugs, aphids, etc. Bats can eat up to 600-1,000 bugs a night, which saves millions for crops. Other bats survive on only fruits such mangoes, papayas or anything found in the rain forests. Fruit bats, in particular, help with 70 percent of the fruit regrowth in rain forests. Some other bats will also eat scorpions, frogs and fish. Lastly, other types of bats will eat nectar and pollen from plants.

4. Bats are blind.

That’s not true. Although bats can’t see colors, they can actually see relativity well. Almost as well as humans can see. At night, it’s their ears that guide them through the darkness using echolocation. Echolocation is exactly what it sounds like, a sonar system using echoes to help locate things.

5. All bats have rabies.

This is one of the most common misconceptions out there. It is less than one percent of all bats that carry rabies. Keep in mind the number of bats was never recorded before 2007 because of their vast quantities.

6. There is a plethora of bats.

Since 2007, there has been a disease that is slaughtering millions of bats. This disease is known as White Nose Syndrome (WNS). It kills bats while they are hibernating. The disease eats at the bats soft wing membranes and nose. The disease causes the bat to wake during its hibernation, and it causes the bat to use up its sorted fat, which they need during their deep winter sleep. They can starve to death, get disoriented and get caught outside in the snow, or simply fall prey to dehydration.

WNS has killed an estimated 5.7 million-6.7 million bats in both United States and Canada. The disease has reached 16 states and four Providences in Canada since that single cave in New York.

Bats have done so much good for our world and only receive negative remarks. It’s time to realize that bats are our knights with wings, and they need our support and help. If you’d like to learn more I’ve posted some links below.

(Photo I created for one of my classes)

White-Noise Syndrome: A coordinated response to the devastating bat disease

Bat Conservation Trust

Live Science: Facts about Bats

Cover Image Credit: YouTube

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To The Boy Who Will Love Me Next

If you can't understand these few things, leave before things get too involved
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To the boy that will love me next, I need you to know and understand things about me and my past. The things I have been though not only have shaped the person I’ve become, but also sometimes controls my life. In the past I’ve been used, abused, and taken for granted, and I want something real this time. The guys before you were just boys; they didn’t know how to treat me until it was too late. They didn’t understand how to love me, until I broke my own heart. Before you truly decide to love me I want you to understand these things.

When I tell you something, please listen.

I’m my own person, I want to be loved a certain way. If I ask you to come over and watch movies with me please do it, if I ask for you to leave me alone for a few hours because it’s a girl’s night please do it. I don’t just say things to hear my own voice, I say things to you because it’s important to my life and the way I want to be loved. I’m not a needy person when it comes to being loved and cared for, but I do ask for you to do the small things that I am say.

Forgive my past.

My past is not a pretty brick road, it is a highway that has a bunch of potholes and cracks in it. I have a lot of baggage, and most of it you won’t understand. But don’t let my past decided whether you want to love me or not. My past has helped form who I am today, but it does not define who I am. My past experiences might try and make an appearance every once in a while, but I will not go back to that person I once was, I will not return to all that hurt I once went though. When I say those things, I’m telling the complete and honest truth. I relive my past every day, somethings haunt me and somethings are good reminds. But for you to love me, I need you to accept my past, present and future.

I’m just another bro to the other guys.

I have always hung out with boys, I don’t fit in with the girl groups. I have 10 close girlfriends, but the majority of my friends are guy, but don’t let this scare you. If I wanted to be with one of my guy friends I would already be with him, and if you haven’t noticed I don’t want them because I’m with you. I will not lose my friendships with all my guy friends to be able to stay with you. I will not cut off ties because you don’t like my guy friends. I have lost too many buddies because of my ex-boyfriends and I promised myself I wouldn’t do that again. If you don’t like how many guy friends I have you can leave now. Don’t bother trying to date me if you can accept the fact I’m just another bro.

I might be a badass, but I actually have a big heart.

To a lot of people I come off to be a very crazy and wild girl. I will agree I can be crazy and wild, but I’m more than that. I’m independent, caring, responsible, understanding, forgiving, and so such more type of woman. Many people think that I’m a badass because I don’t take any negatively from anyone. Just like we learned when we were younger, “if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say it at all.” Most people can’t do that in today’s world, so I stick up for myself and my friends. I don’t care what anyone thinks about me, or their option on how I live my life. The only thing I care about is being able to make myself happy. Even though I’m an independent woman, understand that I do have a big heart. Honesty when I truly care for someone I will do just about anything they ask, but don’t take advantage of this. Once you take advantage of this part of me, all respect will be lost for you.

I’m hard to love.

Sometimes I want to be cuddle and get attention, and sometimes I don’t want you to talk to me for a couple hours. Sometimes I want you to take me out for a nice meal, but sometimes I want a home cooked meal. Every day is different for me, sometimes I change my mind every hour. My mood swings are terrible on certain days, and on those days you should probably just ignore me. I’m not easy to love, so you’ll either be willing to find a way to love me, or you’ll walk out like so many others have.

I’m scared.

I’m scared to love someone again. I’ve been hurt, heartbroken, and beat to the ground in my past relationships. I want to believe you are different, I want to hope things will truly work out, but every relationship has always ended up the same way. I’m scared to trust someone, put my whole heart into them, just to be left and heartbroken again. I sick and tired of putting my whole body and soul into someone for them to just leave when it is convenient for them. If you want to love me, understand it won’t be easy for me to love you back.

When “I’m done.”

When I say “I’m done” I honestly don’t mean that I’m done. When I say that it means I need and want you to fight for me, show me why you want to be with me. I need you to prove that I’m worth it and there’s no one else but me. If I was truly done, I would just walk away, and not come back. So if I ever tell you, “I’m done,” tell me all the reasons why I’m truly not done.

For the boy who will love me next, the work is cut out for you, you just have to be willing to do it. I’m not like other girls, I am my own person, and I will need to be treated as such. For the boy that will love me next, don’t bother with me unless you really want to be with me. I don’t have time to waste on you if you aren’t going to try and make something out of us. To the boy who will love me next, the last thing I would like to say is good luck, I have faith in you.

Cover Image Credit: Danielle Balint

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Severus Snape Is The Worst, And Here's Why

Albus Severus, sweetie, I'm so sorry...

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I grew up being absolutely obsessed with the Harry Potter franchise. I read the books for the first time in second and third grade, then again in middle school, and for the third time in my last year of high school. Recently, I had a somewhat heated argument with a fellow fan of the books about Severus Snape. As I've reread the Harry Potter books, I've noticed that, although J.K. Rowling tried to give him a redemption arc, he only got worse because of it. Here's why I still think Severus Snape is the absolute worst.

His love for Lily Potter was actually really creepy. When I was younger and reading the books, I always found the fact that he held fast in his love for Lily to be very endearing, even noble. However, rereading it after going through a couple of relationships myself, I've come to realize that the way he pined over her was super creepy. It was understandable during his time at Hogwarts; he was bullied, and she was the only one who "understood" him. However, she showed zero interest, and if that didn't clue him into realizing that he should back off, her involvement with James Potter should have. She was married. He was pining after a married, happy woman. If he truly loved her, he would have realized how happy she was and backed off. Instead, he took it out on her orphan son and wallowed in bitterness and self-pity, which is creepy and extremely uncool. When a girl is kind to a boy during high school (or in this case, wizard school), it's not an open invitation for him to pine for her for the literal rest of his life and romanticizes the absolute @#$% out of her. It's just her being a decent person. Move on, Severus.

He verbally abused teenagers. One of the most shocking examples of this is in The Prisoner of Azkaban when Snape literally told Neville Longbottom that he would kill his beloved toad, Trevor if he got his Shrinking Potion wrong, and then punished him when he managed to make the potion correctly. Furthermore, poor Neville's boggart was literally Snape. The amount of emotional torture Neville must have been enduring from Snape to create this type of debilitating fear must have been almost unbearable, and even if Snape was simply trying to be a "tough" professor, there is no excuse for creating an atmosphere of hostility and fear like he did in his potions class for vulnerable students like Neville. In addition, he ruthlessly tormented Harry (the last living piece of Lily Potter, his supposed "true love," btw), and made fun of Hermione Granger's appearance. Sure, he might have had a terrible life. However, it's simply a mark of poor character to take it out on others, especially when the people you take it out on are your vulnerable students who have no power to stand up to you. Grow up.

He willingly joined a terrorist group and helped them perform genocide and reign over the wizarding world with terror tactics for a couple of decades. No explanation needed as to why this is terrible.

Despite the constant romanticization of his character, I will always see the core of Severus Snape, and that core is a bitter, slimy, genocidal, manipulative trash being. J.K. Rowling's attempt to redeem him only threw obsessive and controlling traits into the mix. Snape is the absolute worst, and romanticizing him only removes criticism of an insane man who just so happened to be capable of love (just like the vast majority of the rest of us). Thank you, next.

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