Why Tornadoes Are A Valid Fear to Have

Why Tornadoes Are A Valid Fear to Have

It's not the flying cows that have me worried, it's halves of buildings and my neighbor's car crashing into my house.
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Tornadoes are terrifying. How could they not be? They are literally a swirling cloud of wind and debris ready to eat your house.

Whenever I tell people that tornadoes are my biggest fear, I always get the same look of disbelief verging on laughter. They obviously don't take my fear seriously.

I am absolutely terrified of these swirling funnels of doom. Having no where to go is my biggest fear. When a tornado touches down, meteorologists tell you to get as low to the ground as possible (a ditch if you're driving), a tornado shelter, somewhere in your house/building where there are no windows, or even your bath tub.

Now everyone doesn't have a tornado shelter, myself included. You can bet that when I get my own place, I will most definitely have a tornado shelter outside of my house and very close to my house I might add.

The danger of the tornado itself, is the flying debris. The swirling cloud is carrying all types of stuff that can destroy both you and your house. It's not the flying cows that have me worried, it's halves of buildings and my neighbor's car crashing into my house.

South Carolina isn't really a place that is known for their tornadoes. This is what people tell me when I see a dark cloud in the sky and instantly go into a panic attack. Even though people tell me this, it doesn't calm me down anymore or make me any less antsy.

Another thing about tornadoes that scares me, is that there isn't anything you can do once one touches down. You can't shoot at it or drive away from it, because it will catch up to you. You can chill in your tornado shelter (if you have one), lay in a ditch on the side of the road, hide in your hallway at work, or rock back and forth in the fetal position in your bath tub at home while you wait for it to pass.

If a tree crashes through your window, there isn't much you can do about it. The not knowing and no sense of control is what scares me the most about tornadoes.

Regardless of what people tell you, I'm here to let you know that if most of your nightmares consist of tornadoes, I'm right there with you. Remember that your fears are valid, and someone else probably has the same one.

Cover Image Credit: wmky.org

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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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Cape Town, South Africa Still Has Clean Water, But The World’s Water Crisis Is Far From Over

Day Zero didn’t happen this month, but it’s not far on the horizon.
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In January, the world was rocked by the announcement that Cape Town, South Africa, would run out of clean water in April of 2018. The statement quickly garnered attention and was even hash-tagged as #DayZero.

But Day Zero never came. What happened?

As soon as this announcement came out, the government, residents and businesses of Cape Town banded together and enforced different measures to conserve water, such as irrigation regulations and the "if it's yellow, let it mellow" rule, which said that if there was only urine in the toilet bowl, the person should not flush it. Rolling their sleeves up, the people of Cape Town saved their water supply... but for how long?

There are roughly 174 million cubic meters of water left (approximately 46 billion gallons) for Cape Town to use, and this may seem like a lot, but for a city that usually uses 600 megaliters a day (about 158 million gallons), it runs out fast. Now the city only uses about 510 to 520 megaliters a day (135 million gallons) in an effort to reduce their water consumption and prolong the supply.

However, this still puts Day Zero somewhere in 2019, only a year from now.

Unless the world works together to conserve water, the faucets in one of the largest commercial cities in the world will run dry next year.

Cape Town is rationing their water. Have you ever heard of having to count every drop of water you use because it may run out all together?

Is an entire major city's water supply running dry what it will take for the world to wake up and realize that we are in the middle of a bona fide global water crisis?

Even though water covers about 70 percent of the Earth's surface, it is not as copious as we believe it is. Only three percent of water worldwide is fresh and therefore usable for human purposes. Climate change will create more droughts and they will be more severe and longer, scientists warn. Before long, major cities will run out of water just like Cape Town is on the verge of.

A study in February 2018 by BBC revealed that the 11 cities that will run out of clean water the soonest are Istanbul, Turkey; Moscow, Russia; Bangalore, India; Sao Paulo, Brazil; Beijing, China; Cairo, Egypt; Mexico City, Mexico; Tokyo, Japan; London, England and even Miami in our very own country. Running out of water may seem like a distant possibility from the bubble of America, but if we don't start taking preventative measures now, the water crisis will directly be upon us soon.

Cape Town may be the first major city to experience such a devastating water shortage, but it certainly won't be the last. Sao Paulo, Brazil experienced an earthshaking drought in 2015 and will sink into another one if we do not monitor our worldwide water usage. Many towns and rural areas have been facing this issue for decades as water scarcity runs rampant and wreaks havoc all over the developing world, claiming money, ecosystems and even human lives.

A study by BBC in early 2018 divulged an appalling truth: "Over one billion people lack access to water and another 2.7 billion find it scarce for at least one month of the year. A 2014 survey of the world's 500 largest cities estimates that one in four are in a situation of 'water stress'. According to UN-endorsed projections, global demand for fresh water will exceed supply by 40% in 2030, thanks to a combination of climate change, human action and population growth."

Cape Town is working to fix the supply and demand issue of its clean water supply and has made monumental budget cuts to be able to fund the building of desalination plants, the drilling for groundwater, the recycling of wastewater, the maintenance of aquifers, the plugging of large leaks and other water-conserving initiatives. Public pools and fountains have been shut down, "water-thirsty alien vegetation" have been uprooted and an emergency plan has been put in place if Day Zero does arrive sooner.

The city of Cape Town sent out an announcement via YouTube to alert all residents of the new water-saving measures. If the fated day does arrive, residents of this city will have to stand in line to access drinking water because all of the taps and other man-made running water sources will be shut off.

However, we can stop this from happening in other cities around the world as well as push back (and even eliminate altogether) Day Zero in Cape Town.

On the large scale, governments can pass laws restricting the amount of water people and businesses are allowed to use daily, legislatures can allocate large chunks of the budget to funding desalination ventures and other initiatives that look to other nontraditional sources of water, businesses can monitor their water usage and governments can pass taxes on overuse of water.

So what can you do on the small scale?

You can turn the water off while you brush your teeth, take shorter showers, fix leaks quickly, not use the hose, keep sprinklers on a shorter timer, refill pools less frequently, only run the dishwasher or washing machine when it's full and do many other things

(Check the link above or Google "what can I do to save water" for more!)

The global water crisis is far from over, but we can stop it before it claims more lives, money and tears. Change starts with every one of us, so we must take this paramount issue seriously and work to conserve our water before it disappears.

Cover Image Credit: Static Flickr

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