What Is Bloomsday? James Joyce Would Love That We Still Celebrate This Date

Bloomsday is a celebration that takes place both in Dublin and around the world. It celebrates Thursday 16 June 1904, which is the day depicted in James Joyce’s novel Ulysses. The day is named after Leopold Bloom, the central character in Ulysses. The novel follows the life and thoughts of Leopold Bloom and a host of other characters – real and fictional – from 8am on 16 June 1904 through to the early hours of the following morning.

Celebrations often include dressing up like characters from the book and in clothes that would have been the style of the era. One of the hallmark fancy dress items of Bloomsday is the straw boater hat. Celebrations come in many different forms like readings, performances and visiting the places and establishments that are referenced in the book. The Bloomsday Breakfast is another common celebration, which involves eating the same breakfast as Leopold Bloom consumes on the morning of 16 June. This includes liver and kidneys alongside the typical ingredients of an Irish fried breakfast.

HISTORY OF BLOOMSDAY

Joyce started writing Ulysses in March 1914, but put it aside again to finish his play Exiles. On 16 June 1915 he wrote to his brother Stanislaus to say he had finished the first episode of Ulysses. After Ulysses was published in 1922, Joyce’s friends began to mark 16 June as Bloomsday.

In 1924, Joyce was in hospital, his eyes bandaged having had one of many operations on them. Friends sent him a bunch of white and blue flowers (white and blue being the colours of the cover of Ulysses) but Joyce despondently scrawled in his notebook ‘Today 16 June 1924 twenty years after. Will anybody remember this date.’ The first major celebration of Bloomsday came in 1929. Adrienne Monnier, partner of the publisher of Ulysses, Sylvia Beach, published Ulysse, the French translation of Ulysses in February. Then, to celebrate the twenty-fifth anniversary of the first Bloomsday, she organised a Déjeuner Ulysse which was held at the Hotel Leopold near Versailles. Unfortunately, the event took place a little late, on 29 June not 16 June.

The first Bloomsday celebrated in Ireland was in 1954, the fiftieth anniversary of the first Bloomsday, when the writers Patrick Kavanagh and Flann O’Brien visited the Martello Tower at Sandycove, Davy Byrne’s pub, and 7 Eccles Street, reading parts of Ulysses and drinking a great deal as they went! Today, Bloomsday is celebrated by Joyceans across the globe with readings, performances, re-enactments, and a host of other events. In Dublin, enthusiasts dress in Edwardian costume and gather during the day at many of the locations where episodes of Ulysses take place. The James Joyce Centre hosts Bloomsday Breakfasts and other events in the run up to June 16 as well as on the day.

WHY DID JOYCE CHOOSE 1904?

We believe that on that day Joyce went out with Nora Barnacle, his future wife, for the first time. Joyce and Nora met for the first time on Friday 10 June 1904 on Nassau Street, near Finn’s Hotel where Nora worked. They arranged to meet again on Tuesday 14 June, outside Sir William Wilde’s house on Merrion Square. Joyce turned up for the meeting but Nora didn’t. Joyce wrote to her at the hotel on 15 June asking if she would like to make another arrangement.

According to Joyce’s biographer, they went walking together in Ringsend on 16 June and Joyce later told Nora ‘You made me a man.’ The summer of 1904 was very significant for Joyce. Not only did he meet Nora but he started writing the stories for Dubliners and, after spending six days living with Oliver Gogarty at the Martello Tower in Sandycove in September, Joyce made the decision to leave Ireland. (Though Joyce lived at the Tower in September 1904, he was not living there in June. His letter to Nora on 15 June was written from 60 Shelbourne Road where he was renting a room at the time.)

Some incidents in Joyce’s life during the summer of 1904 became material for Ulysses. On 20 June, a drunken Joyce was thrown out of a National Theatre Society rehearsal in a hall on Camden Street: at the end of episode 9 (of Ulysses) this incident is ascribed to Stephen. On 22 June, Joyce was involved in a drunken altercation which left him with a black eye and other injuries. In Ulysses, Stephen becomes involved in a similar altercation with an English soldier at the end of episode 15.

Joyce wrote a note on June 16 a few years after the novel was originally published, asking despairingly “Will anybody remember this date?”

I think Joyce would be thrilled to see quite how far-reaching the Bloomsday celebrations have spread today.

Happy Bloomsday! ☘️

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REASONS WHY HUNTING IS WRONG

Imagine that you’re on the playground during recess and one of your classmates throws a rock at you. You feel hurt, sad, and confused, and you tell your teacher what happened. But your teacher says that the kid who threw the rock was playing a game—and it doesn’t matter that you didn’t know that and got hurt.

That’s exactly what it’s like for animals who are hunted. People call hunting a “sport,” but the point is to kill animals. Here are some reasons why you should never hunt:

1. It causes a lot of suffering and death.

Hunting has even made certain animals go extinct all over the world!

2. Like humans, animals want to live. They also love and feel pain.

Animals shouldn’t have to die just because some humans consider hunting to be “fun.”

3. It can lead to violence against humans.

Experts know that people who are cruel to animals don’t stop there—many of them are cruel to humans, too.

4. Animals don’t always die right after they’re shot.

 

Some deer killed by hunters die only after they’re shot two or three times. Others are hurt but not killed right away, and they suffer for 15 minutes or more before they die.

5. It tears animal families apart.

Some animals form very close bonds with their families—just like we do! No one’s family members should ever be hunted.

6. Some hunters say that hunting “keeps nature in balance,” but that’s not true.

 

Since they usually like to kill thebiggest and strongest animals, hunters are the ones who are messing up nature’s balance.

7. There are lots of hunting accidents.

Hunting accidents have hurt or killed other animals like cows, horses, dogs, and cats—and even hikers and other hunters!

*****

You can help animals by choosing never to hunt and telling your friends and family why hunting is wrong

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Are we humans the most intelligent species on earth?

In the book The Dynamic Human, it is argued by a group of researchers from the University of Adelaide that humans aren’t the brightest crayons in the box.
In the book The Dynamic Human, it is argued by a group of researchers from the University of Adelaide that humans aren’t the brightest crayons in the box. Co-author and research fellow, Dr. Arthur Saniotis, said “For millennia, all kinds of authorities — from religion to eminent scholars — have been repeating the same idea ad nauseam, that humans are exceptional by virtue that they are the smartest in the animal kingdom. However, science tells us that animals can have cognitive faculties that are superior to human beings.”

How can this be?! No other animal can think or communicate like a human, so clearly no other species can match our intelligence!
Well, while humans, as a species, are pretty smart, it’s impossible for us to claim the title of “most intelligent” species. After all, we still have many questions left to answerabout our own brains, before we can truly compare them to that of another organism.
While primates are often used in studies on animal intelligence because of their similarities to humans, cetaceans are frequently used as research subjects as well. Looking at the brain of a cetacean, it is clear that perhaps dolphins and whales are much more complex than previously thought. Behind the glass of our “favorite” marine-themed amusement parks (we’re looking at you, SeaWorld) lives a complex organism who may have more to think and even say than we tend to believe.

-Speech Production

The Broca’s and Wernicke’s areas of the cerebral cortex are located in separate lobes of the brain (frontal and temporal lobes, respectively), but they are connected by their function in speech production and language processing. Most people believe that a human’s ability to communicate is far more complex and evolved than that of other animals, but cetaceans may have us beat.
According to a comparison of cetacean to primate brains from Michigan State University, “They have the distinct advantage over us in that their primary sense is the same as their primary means of communication, both are auditory. With primates, the primary sense is visual and the primary means of communication is auditory.”
Communication is so great in cetaceansthat there is a strong possibility they are able to project (yes … literally project) an “auditory image” that replicates a sonar message they may receive. The process is a bit confusing, but MSU describes it in this circumstance: “So a dolphin wishing to convey the image of a fish to another dolphin can literally send the image of a fish to the other animal. The equivalent of this in humans would be the ability to create instantaneous holographic pictures to convey images to other people.”
If they are in fact able to do this, there would have to be a natural tendency to break down stylized and abstracted images into words. Meaning, cetaceans, like people, use a series of signifiers to discern the exact objects they want to communicate about. We might say “tree” and think of a picture of a tree in our minds, but cetaceans can skip this step by simply projecting the image to other cetaceans.
Not fascinating enough? Well did you know that, with several sound producing organs, cetaceans are capable of conveying and receiving “20 times the amount of information as we can with our hearing”? This surpasses the amount of information we can perceive based on vision (a human’s primary sense).

-Emotions

Have you ever been so happy that you feel like you can conquer anything the world throws at ya? Well, you have the limbic system to thank for that. The limbic systemis a combination of multiple structures in the brain that deal with emotions and the formation of memories. When it comes to comparing the limbic system of whales to that of humans, we may need to rethink our emotional awareness.
Lori Marino, a neurobiologist who helped co-write “The Declaration of Rights for Cetaceans,” finds the limbic system of whales to be the most intriguing part of their brains, as they may be more complex than our own. In her research of killer whales, she found that the limbic system of a whale is “so large it erupts into the cortex in the form of an extra paralimbic lobe.”
Since the lobe merges with the cortex, it is believed that the lobe may create a mixture of both emotional and cognitive thinking. The placement may also suggest that secrets about social communication and self-awareness may also be located in this part of the whale brain.

-Advanced Cognition

Specialized brain cells called spindle neurons are most often associated with an organism’s ability to “recognize, remember, reason, communicate, perceive, adapt to change, problem solve and understand.”
Though this “advanced ability” is most often associated with organisms that are deemed to be the most intelligent, (*cough* humans *cough*) the truth is that spindle neurons have been isolated in the brains of both whales and dolphins, which suggests that whales do a lot more thinking than previously thought.
Dolphins, for example, have been known to recognize themselves in mirrors, solve problems, follow recipes, and associate a part of their anatomy with that of a human’s (such as when a dolphin waves it’s fin whenever a trainer waves their arm). Recent studies even indicate that dolphins are capable of creating personalized whistles that act as names for individual members of a pod. With this name, dolphins are able to communicate more efficiently while roaming the open seas.

-Using Our Intelligence for Good

While it appears that cetaceans have incredible abilities to feel emotions, understand complex problems and communicate in ways we can’t even imagine, humans don’t seem to value this. Because we assume we are so smart, we put the other creatures of the world underneath us. Knowing how dynamic cetaceans are, keeping them in glorified bathus  and forcing them to do tricks for food is insulted and cruel Could you imagine the pain of living in a small room your entire life and having to do flips to be fed? Sounds like a miserable existence, doesn’t it?

It is far past time that we started to use our intelligence for good to help the plight of cetaceans. Boycotting inhumane establishments, like marine parks (and zoos and circuses), is the first step, but fighting to obtain personhood rights for cetaceans should be next.

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Humans are responsible for the sudden disappearance of world’s largest mammals

During the late Pleistocene, about 125,000 years ago, some of the world’s largest and most impressive mammals suddenly started disappearing. This was a time when huge beasts collectively known as megafauna roamed the planet; animals like a hornless rhino that was ten times bigger than today’s living variety or a short-faced bear that would have towered over the mighties grizzlies. But even such terrifying megafauna was no match for a seemingly inconsequential-looking species: Homo Sapiens.

Paleontologists studied the entire mammal fossil record from 65 million years ago — after the dinosaurs became extinct followinga giant asteroid impact — up to present day. They found that for the most part, being large was not correlated to a heightened risk of going extinct — not until a new apex predator arrived on the scene: Homo Erectus. This 1.8-million-year-old human ancestor disrupted ecosystems with its novel tool use and group hunting style.

Before Homo Erectus, hominids were mostly vegetarians. Afterward, their diet became increasingly dependent on meat, which offered far more bang for the buck, calories-wise. But even so, it made economic sense to go after the biggest, loudest animals out there. A hare might feed a small family for a day but a woolly mammoth, well, that’s enough food for the whole tribe.

When humans arrived, large mammals were really done far. According to lead author Felisa Smith, a paleontologist at the University of New Mexico, and colleagues, the mammals that disappear tend to be 100 to 1000 times bigger than those that survive, a pattern that occurred on every continent except Antarctica throughout the last 125,000 years.

Two centuries from now, the world’s largest mammal could be a cow

It’s not like it was too difficult for very well organized human hunters to drive such species extinct. The larger the mammal, the harder it is for it to reproduce (i.e. longer breeding cycles), and it was not like humans had to hunt down every last one specimen of a species — it’s enough to stress a population just enough to keep the fertility rate below the replacement rate. Eventually, the population collapses along with an entire species.

By around 15,000 years ago, the average mass of North America’s mammals had fallen from 216 pounds to just 17 pounds, roughly the size of a Yorkshire terrier. When the researchers made some extreme assumptions, such as presuming that all currently listed mammals as endangered or threatened will become extinct, they found that biggest mammal on the planet 200 years from now will be the domestic cow.

Scientists had long known about the sudden disappearance of large mammals from the fossil records, but it was never clear whether humans, climate change, or a combination of the two were responsible. However, large and small mammals seemed equally vulnerable to temperatures shifts through the studied time span, the authors note, with suggests climate change had little to do with the observed size-specific culling.

It’s not just large mammals that are pressured to extinction by humans. The same size-selective pressures are affecting the world’s largest fish, reptiles, amphibians, and birds.

Losing the world’s largest mammals — the products of millions and millions of years of evolution — will pose profound implications for the world’s ecosystems. Large mammals such as elephants tend to be herbivores and have huge ranges over which they devour copious amounts of vegetations. As such, these mammals act like ecological engineers, clearing the land and making way for open terrain such as savannahs. They also dispense nutrients over large distances around an ecosystem. So if big mammals are gone, the smaller ones might follow.

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No, That animal in the Zoo Isn’t Saying ‘Hi’ to You: Commonly Misinterpreted Captive Animal Behaviors

It’s safe to assume that at one point or another, each of us has experienced seeing animals in captivity. Having the opportunity to see wild animals like tigers, elephants and gorillas up close is an exhilarating prospect. Sadly, anyone who as ever set foot inside an establishment housing captive wild animals has also likely witnessed unnatural stereotypic behaviors.

Many patrons are amused, feeling as though the animals are following them around the exhibit. In some cases, they think the animals are “dancing.” The truth is these are only a few of the many stereotypic behaviors exhibited by captive animals. These abnormal behaviors describe “zoochosis,” the psychological impact captivity has on wild animals.

The term was first coined in 1992 by Bill Travers to characterize zoo animals. Today the term refers to any captive wild animal exhibiting abnormal behaviors, including animals in zoos, aquariums, testing (lab) facilities and pseudo-sanctuaries. These behaviors serve no clear purpose or function and are destructive to the animal’s mental, and often physical, well-being.

According to one study, the importance of behavior is as significant as the internal organs essential to one’s life. Animals that display normal behaviors allow for homeostasis, which is needed to ensure internal conditions are maintained and stable. When a captive animal is not capable of modifying or controlling its environment, animals begin to cope by exhibiting stereotypic behavior. Scientists believe this abnormal behavior releases endorphins and allows for momentary relief.

While many renowned facilities pour millions of dollars into programs designed to keep the animals “happy,” it’s clear that stereotypic behaviors are representative of poor welfare in captivity. No habitat can rival the environment animals would have in the wild; albeit the animals born in zoos and other facilities are often born through breeding programs, the number of animals suffering from these stereotypic behaviors only further corroborates that these animals are inherently wild and suffer in captivity.

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The world’s last remaining male northern white rhinoceros has died.

Sudan was euthanized the Monday, according to reports, after he was suffering too much pain from a degenerative disease.

There are only two females left – his daughter and granddaughter. Before Sudan was put down, ‘genetic material’ was collected from him, with conservationists hoping it can be used for breeding.
Much of the species was killed by hunting in earlier times – followed by illegal poaching in recent yeas.

Sudan, who lived in the Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Kenya, was described as a ‘gentle giant’ by staff there.

Elodie Sampere, a representative for Ol Pejeta, said: “He was a gentle giant, his personality was just amazing and given his size, a lot of people were afraid of him.

“But there was nothing mean about him.”

“He was a great ambassador for his species and will be remembered for the work he did to raise awareness globally of the plight facing not only rhinos, but also the many thousands of other species facing extinction as a result of unsustainable human activity.

“One day, his demise will hopefully be seen as a seminal moment for conservationists worldwide.” Rip Sudan 💔

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The reason why I became a vegan

First I want to explain what it means to be vegan and what is a vegan diet.

Veganism is a philosophy that moves by respect for animals. When you finish reading this post, 300,000 animals will have died at the hands of man.

If you look at the world with attention, you will see the inescapable hell in which we have converted it for the majority of the inhabitants of the planet.

Why?

Human civilization, with all its great advances, is based on the daily and implacable exploitation of the weakest.

The human being tends to use the animal world for its own benefit in many facets of life.

We eat a lot of meat or products from certain animals, we investigate with them to test treatments or creams, and we dress with their skins. And this is precisely what veganism avoids. To understand the vegan philosophy, we must think of a way of life with the utmost respect for the animal world. It is also a current that opposes speciesism, that is, discrimination according to the species. In fact, this is considered the main cause of animal  exploitation.

For the compassion I feel for other living beings. This is an argument used by many and ridiculed by many others, but it is true.

I do not pretend to convince others to follow my lifestyle, but I intend to live an honest life and in accordance with my principles: not harm others for free.

I do not need animal meat for my survival, which is why I consider it unnecessary to consume it. Still, if you consume it, I will not judge it, because it is my personal choice.

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