“I’m gonna be an astronaut”
Hey there hellogiggles,
While I usually enjoy the cute videos and links you post as a way to brighten up some long days, I would like to encourage you to be more selective in what you choose to put on your site when it comes to nonhuman primates, particularly chimpanzees, that are pets.
While legal in some areas, having a pet monkey or ape is an incredibly cruel practice that deprives these beautiful, intelligent and endangered animals from learning proper social behavior by living with others of their species. Just as a human child growing up in the forest with wolves would not learn appropriate human behaviors or things like language, a chimpanzee that is raised among humans never really learns how to be a chimpanzee, while still not being quite human. This can result in behavioral and social problems, and often these animals then require medication. In addition, in order to get a baby chimpanzee, most infants are torn from their mothers in the wild at a very young age to be sold on the black market, and the mother and other adult group members often become casualties as they try to protect their young.
Chimpanzees and other nonhuman primate pets, as we’ve unfortunately seen time and again, can become unruly and difficult to control as they get older they become stronger and more unmanageable, which can lead to dangerous situations for the humans that they live with or come in contact with. Even if a tragedy doesn’t occur, these animals are still no longer able to be controlled by their human owners and have to be taken in by an accredited zoo or chimpanzee sanctuary. However, these places only have a limited amount of space and resources, and those that have lived exclusively with humans often cannot be integrated into social groups with other chimps. Chimpanzees can live until their 50s and require expert care, which costs a lot of money.
Videos such as these, and other entertainment industry media that uses chimpanzees/highlights chimpanzees that are being raised as pets also has a profound effect on the well-being of these beautiful creatures. Not only do people often see videos of sweet chimps like this one and desire a pet of their own, but it can also cause people to forget that these animals are endangered in the wild and at risk of extinction due to deforestation of their habitat, the bush meat market, and the pet trade.
I would like to encourage hellogiggles to join many other companies that have pledged to avoid the use of chimpanzees in marketing and entertainment in an effort to decrease the effects of the illegal pet trade. If you would like to learn more about chimpanzees as pets and in the media, check out Project ChimpCare out of Chicago’s Lincoln Park Zoo, an initiative that is dedicated to bettering the fate of chimpanzees in the wild by discouraging their use as pets or in the media. While I know this link was not intended to cause any harm, being aware of the issues surrounding the illegal pet trade and keeping any apes or monkeys as pets can help to create a sustainable future for our closest animal relatives. Learning is the first step to making a change.
Thanks for listening.
When she boarded the Space Shuttle Challenger on June 18, 1983, Sally Ride (May 26, 1951 — July 23, 2012) became not only the first American woman in space, but also the nation’s first lesbian astronaut and its youngest astronaut to ever to launch into the cosmos. A lifelong advocate for science education and the author of several science books seeking to inspire kids to reach for the stars, she gave generations of girls and young women affirmation and a promise of belonging in scientific careers.
In 2001, Ride founded Sally Ride Science with the goal of empowering science educators with professional development programs and classroom materials. After news of her death broke in 2012, President Barack Obama told CNN:Sally was a national hero and a powerful role model… She inspired generations of young girls to reach for the stars and later fought tirelessly to help them get there by advocating for a greater focus on science and math in our schools. Sally’s life showed us that there are no limits to what we can achieve, and I have no doubt that her legacy will endure for years to come.
Ride spent the last three decades of her life with her partner, educator and children’s science writer Tam Elizabeth O’Shaughnessy, but in a tragic exercise in cultural hegemony, certain news outlets chose to remember Ride with a sole photo of her and Steve Hawley, the astronaut to whom she was briefly married in her thirties, kissing. While Ride paved the way for diversity in NASA — and in science — we’re left wondering whether, and hoping that, it does indeed get better.
Today in 1965, the Titan III-C, the first liquid-fuel spacecraft lifted by solid-fuel rockets, completed its maiden flight.
Space Shuttle Atlantis
Like a comet streaking across the atmosphere, the Space Shuttle Atlantis left space for the final time on July 21, 2011, descending to a smooth landing at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. This astronaut photograph, taken from the vantage of the International Space Station (ISS), shows the streak of an ionized plasma plume created by the shuttle’s descent through the atmosphere.
At the time of the image, the ISS was positioned northwest of the Galapagos Islands, while Atlantis was roughly 2,200 kilometers (1,367 miles) to the northeast, off the east coast of the Yucatan Peninsula. The maximum angle of the shuttle’s descent was roughly 20 degrees, though it appears much steeper in the photo because of the oblique viewing angle from ISS. Parts of the space station are visible in the upper right corner of the image.In the background of the image, airglow hovers over the limb of the Earth. Airglow occurs as atoms and molecules high in the atmosphere (above 80 kilometers, or 50 miles altitude) release energy at night after being excited by sunlight (particularly ultraviolet) during the day. Much of the green glow can be attributed to oxygen molecules.