Facebook Friday 5/11/18

Hey, hey! It’s Facebook Friday!

I’ve had quite a busy week. My boss was in a car accident Saturday evening so let’s just say my duties have been double time. She’s fine but has a long road to recovery because of the way her right leg broke. So lots of therapy but a coworker and I went to visit her yesterday and she’s quite optimistic. I also wrote a huge chunk of detailed posts this week ranging from colors to copyright. Do check them out if you haven’t read them yet. I was on an educational roll!

Weather wise, it’s been nice and toasty all week despite a few rain showers here and there. But I have to say, today feels like winter again and that’s not cool! Go away 45 degree weather! We don’t miss you til at least October! Was quite enjoying going from winter to summer thank you very much. 😉

Facebook Fridays is a weekly segment of RT where I share some fun stuff I observed on Facebook this past week. I share a fun meme or screenshot, a video that resonated in some capacity and a photo of my own.

For once, it’s not my meme game that sucks! It’s the internet! Once again, I did not see a single cool meme the whole week and trust me I was looking! So sadly, no memes to share today. I did come across a pretty hilarious yet genius video on Twitter. Check it out:

Bahahahaha! I can’t stop rewatching it cause it’s just so funny!

I thought I wouldn’t have a picture to share this week but I went to a library book sale yesterday and reaped some great freaking rewards!

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I’ve never been more excited to spend money. I snagged a copy of the complete Cantebury Tales because I realized I don’t have one and I love those! I just read A Promise of Fire by Amanda Bouchet last year and planned to buy it anyway so this was awesome. And then there’s the Baba Yaga books. I’ve never heard of them but the whole trilogy was there so why not. The books were 25 cents each; so basically $1.25 for those.

The real steal were the Blu-Rays and DVDs. Every last one of these literally came out last year and I got them all for $1.00 each. I was floored. Blu-Rays are expensive! Somewhere upwards of like $20-$30 dollars each and I got them all for $8 bucks! If you’ve never been to a library sale, seriously, go to one. You won’t regret it. There’s always something to find! My friend and I are looking to go back again today cause it’s bag day which means you buy a brown bag for $3 and fill it with however much you can fit in there at no additional cost. It’s awesome.

I hope you all had a wonderful week and an even better weekend! See you Monday!

🙂

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Copyright Conversation

To round out this week chock full of discussion posts, and because my girl Linda expressed interest in wanting to know more, I want to talk a bit about copyright laws and how they differ from trademarks which I discussed yesterday.

To start, this is the copyright symbol:

©

We’ve all seen it and some of us even use it for some of the content we posts in our blogs. The official definition as defined by the United States Government is as follows:

Copyright is a form of protection grounded in the U.S. Constitution and granted by law for original works of authorship fixed in a tangible medium of expression. Copyright covers both published and unpublished works.

So, what does this mean? It means that if you create an original work, whether it’s published or not, it’s still copyrighted. This applies to poetry, music, books, songs, software, movies… the list goes on. The term you’re most likely familiar with is called intellectual property and means it is protected under law. Now, the list of things that are able to be copyrighted are pretty much a form of art right; as in it’s some form of artistic expression. For example, all 300+ of my blog posts are my forms of artistic expression right? So that means all my stuff is automatically copyrighted right?

If you answered right, you’d be wrong. Sorry to break it to you but copyright does not protect ideas, concepts, theories, symbols, phrases, facts and other similar things along those lines. This means that even though I typed up some pretty cool life stories or suggested some ideas on my blog, I can’t claim official copyright and if someone decided to copy pasta my post and call it their own, there’s nothing I can do about it besides ask them nicely to take it down and hope for the best. Domain names are not even protected under copyright law so all our WordPress names we so cleverly came up? Not covered even though they are original.

Now, I know what you’re thinking here. Did I not just say original authorship works whether published or unpublished are automatically copyrighted? Well, yes I did but a post published on a website is considered an original idea, not an original work even if its stories or a logo design you made, it can be duplicated on someone else’s website without consequences. Logo designs actually can be protected but that falls under trademark territory as does words and phrases but it’s a process to get that certificate; as mentioned in the previous post. Copyright law can’t help with that.

However, there is a bit of a silver lining where copyright on websites are concerned. If you post a lot of photos or a compilation of serials, you can file to have the page on which these appear on copyrighted. But remember, even if you just use the symbol and someone comes along and steals your work, you can fight them if and only if you file for a copyright certificate or have already obtained one. Otherwise, you’re a bit SOL to put it simply.

When a copyright is filed, the information becomes public record. It also means the hard copy you sent becomes the property of the United States Government. They do not give it back so if you want to file for copyright, make sure it’s your best version. This also means that you filed the application, paid the fee, it was approved, you got your certificate and the whole country knows that that piece of art belongs to you. If someone would like to use it or reference it in their own piece of expression, they have to get permission to do so and once a copyright is public record, so is information like your name, phone number and address which makes it easy for an individual to try and get said permission. You can file for a copyright under a pseudonym and use a different address such as a post office box if you don’t want your personal details out in the world. This is what a lot of authors do when they copyright their books.

So remember when you see the little © symbol in a book, it only applies to the content on the inside. The book cover, title and logo are not copyrighted. Those fall under trademark laws. In the case of the cockygate author, her content is most likely copyrighted but her cover art, the title and logos of her book are not. She filed for a trademark for the word “cocky” and, as I said in yesterday’s post, you can trademark a word or phrase while your application is pending using the  symbol but it’s not official until you get a certificate of registration in the mail showing the ® symbol.

Generally, anyone can file for a trademark or a copyright but remember, this is not an automatic approval process. You really need to show sound reasoning or, in the case of copyrights, physical copies of your work in order to get even a sliver of consideration.  My mother sees trademark applications come across her desk everyday and she said it can take literal years to get a trademark whereas hard copies of original works are a bit easier to wade through. And yes, to reiterate again, words in the dictionary can be trademarked to a certain extent (example: apple is trademarked) but you’d have to be really convincing to get approved.

Isn’t the law just a boat load of fun?

I hope you all enjoyed all the educational posts this week. Hope it wasn’t too much of an overload and hey! tomorrow we get to see some fun stuff cause it’s TGIF or Facebook Friday around these parts and I’ve got at least one share guaranteed to make you laugh.

What do you think about copyright law? Does it make you want to copyright some of your own works? Let me know in the comments below!

(Source: CopyrightGov)

Common Trademarked Words

Since I got such an overwhelming response to my post yesterday (THANK YOU!) I thought I’d do a follow up post on what it means to trademark something and share common, every day words/items that you probably didn’t know are trademarked.

I was explaining the author story to my mom and she actually gave me a bit of insight in how the process works. A trademark is basically a brand on a product created by an individual or they’re using it in a different way that it won’t effect the original defintion of a word. For example, Kit Kat is a trademark with Hershey as it’s a popular chocolate candy. However, Google was able to use Kit Kat as a trademark as well because for them it had a secondary meaning not related to chocolate candy when they decided to name their OS (operating system) after it. It’s probably a given that they got permission to do so from Hershey as well.

**EDIT** Thanks to a comment made by fellow blogger Shalini I felt I should add to this post. She asked if words in the dictionary can be trademarked. The short answer is yes but again it goes back to how the word is being used. The best example is the world “apple”. In the dictionary, an apple is a round red fruit…. etc. However, the company that mass produces your Iphones has trademarked the word Apple (with a capital) and this is allowed because it does not infringe upon the original meaning of the word. ****

The cost of a trademark usually varies by state and can be anywhere between $100-$200 dollars. If your application to register a trademark gets approved then you are able to use your trademark in that state and sue anyone who uses it without express permission. Now if you want your trademark to be national, it’ll cost a bit more; up to $400 and you have to renew it every ten years for it to be valid. Even if you have a registered trademark, depending on the changing of the seasons, i.e. culture and society changes, if your trademark becomes something that is a commonly used saying or reference, it is possible for a party to fight you on said trademark on the grounds that it’s more generic now than it was before. It all depends really.

There are two main symbols used to indicate a trademark:

  • means that a trademark has been filed but it’s not registered yet. An application has been filed or will be filed.
  • ® means that a trademark application has been filed and accepted and you received a certificate of registration.

There’s also the © but that has to do with copyright and is something I can get into in a different post if you all are interested.

Anyway, here are some examples of common words that are currently trademarked that we use all the time and the generic terms a different party has to use if they produce the same product:

  • BandAid is registered by Johnson & Johnson Company. The generic phrase you can use to describe something similar is self-adhesive bandage
  • Bubble Wrap is registered by Sealed Air Corporation. The generic phrase you can  use to describe something similar is packing material
  • Crock-Pot is registered by Sun-Beam Products. The generic phrase you can use to describe something similar is slow cooker
  • Google is registered by Google, Inc. The generic phrase you can use to describe something similar (even though we say Google it all the time) is search engine.
    • As an aside here, if you ever watch a movie and see them using a search engine that looks like YouTube or Google but is named something else, this is why.
  • Super Hero (two words) is registered by DC Comics Partnership and Marvel Characters, Inc. The generic phrase you can use to describe a hero not in these worlds is superhero (one word)
    • As you can see, two companies can register the same word but because the characters are in two different universes that will never overlap, it’s allowed.
  • Popsicle is registered by Conopco, Inc. The generic phrase you can use to describe a similar frozen treat is ice pop

So these are just a few examples. I could go on cause there are a ton and it can even get into commonly used conversational phrases as well but maybe I will save that for another post. I hope you all enjoyed this post and feel free to ask questions or share trademark examples you know of in the comments below.

(Source: RD)

You Know..

This is going to be a little bit of a rant post but here we go.

I want to start by saying I do not condone bullying in any form. In fact, I’ll be the first person to step in and defend the bullied party and/or break up whatever it is I’m witnessing that I don’t like. I wasn’t always this way. I was a really shy person in my past life but my skin is as thick as an elephant’s now and I will be a person’s person (to steal from Grey’s Anatomy) whether we’ve been friends for a a day or 20 years. It’s just the type of person that I am.

Recently on Twitter there has been a storm amongst authors in the romance world. The hashtag has been #cockygate and it’s talking about one specific author who did something that, well, is a pretty shitty thing to do. Basically the story goes, this author decided to publish a book series with the word Cocky in the title because the last name of the brothers she describes in her books is Cocker. One day, I guess, she woke up and decided that she wasn’t making enough money because her books weren’t top in the search results for other authors’ work with Cocky in the title so it was hindering her ability to make money. Her solution? To file for a trademark on the word “cocky” and the font she used (a font she did not create btw), in order to stop authors from using the word.

Now, you’d think she’d stop right there. I mean that alone is outrageous considering she did not create the word and many have been using said word for many years before she was a blip on the author radar. No, she took it a step further. She proceeded to send emails out to authors who had the word “cocky” in their titles and told them to “cease and desist” using the word from this point forward and to change the title of all their books, past and present or she would sue them. If they did not comply, well, sucks to be them because her lawyer supposedly assured her that she would get all their royalties from any books they sell using her “trademarked” word and she’d create a firestorm on Amazon for them.

Now, going back to what I said in the beginning. I do not condone any form of bullying. I really don’t. But you have to ask yourself, especially in a situation like this, what did you think was going to happen? Did you honestly think all these authors would just bend over backwards spending tons of money to change what has already been made and apologize for using the word that wasn’t trademarked previously? I mean honestly, I wonder if people really think through the consequences of their actions before they do stuff. She’s now complaining that she’s being bullied by the Twitter world because people are leaving one star reviews on her book among other things; basically ruining her reputation.

In a case like this, I honestly cannot sympathize with the woman. She went about this the complete wrong way. Authors strive so hard to support each other. I mean it takes time to create and make the most perfect form of a book, it takes courage and confidence to release it to the world and it takes strength to accept that not everyone is going to 100% love your book and handle negative criticism with grace. If she needed a boost in book promotion, I feel like all she had to do was reach out and ask the community to help her and she probably would have received it in droves. Instead she did some slap in the face underhanded nonsense and then proceeded to threaten the ones in the hardworking community.

At the end of the day, I honestly hope she learned some kind of lesson here because this will most definitely hurt her career. I also hope she’s not getting super harrassed because the message is pretty loud and clear from a lowly reader. It doesn’t need to be pounded into her to death.

Anyway, I just wanted to share my thoughts on the matter.  Have you all ever heard of a situation such as this and thought as much as you want to sympathize with a person, there’s that 95% of you that just can’t? Let me know in the comments below!

Blue is the Color of…

Last week I planned to write a sort of different type of post for Endangered Thursday. It sort of had to do with nature in a sense but I thought it was really cool and since I’m thinking of changing Endangered Thursdays to Endangered Mondays, we’ll see how this works out.

If you listen to NPR regularly, Saturdays they usually play podcasts; TED Talks and Radio Lab. They’re quite educational and cover a wide variety of topics. My husband is Next Day Air UPS driver on Saturdays and he happened to tune in to the RadioLab podcast that day and came home quite excited to tell me about it.

The premise of this show was a researcher who was obsessed with Homer and his works. He’d read these books back to back to back and one day had a bit of an epiphany. When describing things in nature such as dirt and trees and the like, naturally one would use adjectives of course but main descriptors such as color. What he realized is that the color blue was never named in any of the works. For example, the sea was described as “wine red”. He took his research even further to see if it was in other ancient texts. In the original Hebrew translation of the Bible, blue was never named. Then he looked in Hindu texts, Chinese texts even, and no blue. It wasn’t until he came across some Egpytian texts that the color blue was actually named.

You listen to this and you have to ask yourself, how did these ancients not know the color blue? All you had to do was look at the sky or the ocean and, boom blue right? Well scientists saw this as anamoly and assumed ancient peoples were color blind. But that wouldn’t make sense either because they were able to see reds, browns, yellows and even greens. Digging a littler deeper, scientists began to realize that blue very, super rarely occurs naturally in nature. What these ancient peoples’ were essentially doing was basing colors off tangible things. For example, the dirt was red or oxen were brown, tree leaves are green, etc. And if you were to grind these things up, that is the color it would be. Blue was not something that could be touched. Granted you can touch the water but when you scoop it up in your hands its not blue, its clear and you can’t touch the sky.

I was so intrigued by this that I went on a Googling spree because I feel like I’ve seen plenty of blue things in nature. Well there’s a video of a professor who talks about the blue morpho butterfly and even blue jays. To the human eye, these animals are naturally blue.. except they’re not a true blue pigment. If you flip a blue jay feather over, its brown underneathe. And even with the blue morpho butterfly wings, he did an experiment where he poured alcohol on the wings and the wings turned a greyish brown color. He even tested to see if he could get a blue pigment powder by crushing the wings but the powder came out brown. I even thought about how you crush blueberries which are clearly blue to me but they end up having a purplish black tinge when crushed, not blue.

It all came down to the molecular structure of these things. I don’t have an expert way of explaining this but basically the cellular structure of things that are blue are able to reflect the smaller wavelength of blue waves in comparison to other color wavelengths that get absorbed. Even people with blue eyes don’t have naturally blue eyes. It’s been about reflection this whole time!

How cool is that right? Just blows the mind.

I hope you all enjoyed this different type of educational segment. Please let me know in the comments below if you would like to see more posts like this included with the endangered posts.

Facebook Friday 5/4/18

Hey, hey! It’s Facebook Friday!

I apologize yet again for being lax with posts this week especially with skipping Endangered Thursdays yet again. Because my OB appointments seem to fall on Thursdays all the time, I’m thinking of changing the day for Endangered to Monday instead of Thursday. That way it’s first ont he list and out of the way. What do you all think?

This week was pretty great weather wise. It’s been consistenly in the 80s and all the leaves and flowers seem to have some kind of accerlerated blooming because we went from bare trees to huge leaf buds anf flowers everywhere in the span of like a day. Nature is so cool!

Facebook Fridays is a weekly segment of RT where I share some fun stuff I observed on Facebook this past week. I share a fun meme or screenshot, a video that resonated in some capacity and a photo of my own.

I didn’t share any memes on social media today but since today is May 4th, it’s only appropiate that I find an adequate meme to share anyway:

Image result for may 4th meme

May the 4th be with you all! Also, besides being revenge of the 5th, tomorrow is Cinco de Mayo. If you plan on indulging, drink one for me too since I can only vicariously live through others for another 2 months. 😉

Even though I was pretty busy, I was able to share a video on Facebook that absolutely blew my mind with it’s sorcery! Check it out:


Did you know cattails could do that?? Cause I sure didn’t. I’ve seen them a million times and I’ve even touched a couple but I never thought to try to break them apart!

Lastly, I didn’t share any photos on Facebook but Tuesday was my birthday and my coworker brought me some nice goods that I figured I’d take a picture of (check out the car fobs making a cameo too in the bottom right):

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She bought me a money tree which I shouldn’t be able to kill (knock on wood), 2 bags of Cheetos and an apple pie that’s not pictured. I had a friend ask me what she should get me for my birthday that’s not baby related and I told her air purifying plants would be nice that are animal safe and my coworker overheard me tell her that and bought me one. Funny story with the Cheetos, she walked into the office one day and I had two bags of open Cheetos on my desk; one regular and one flamin hot and I was alternating eating from each bag cause the baby couldn’t decide which flavor it wanted so we ate both. Actually bonus picture, cause naturally she took one that day. Please excuse my messy work desk:

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No shame! I love food, hahahaha.

I hope you all enjoyed this Facebook Friday. I hope to be regularly posting again next week. Thanks for bearing with me! You all are awesome. I hope you have a great weekend filled with lots of sunshine and I’ll see you Monday!

🙂

Customer Reps

Ever have to call a place to get answers and it takes about 8 times talking to multiple reps to finally get an answer?

I swear I’ve gotten the run around so many times just in the past few days. For example, I received a “final notice” in the mail about a payment for an OB visit threatening to send me to collections essentially if I didn’t pay it. Funny thing is, I paid it 2 months ago. Have a receipt to prove it and even faxed my receipt proof over to the hospital, again, 2 months ago. So the woman goes to look, checks, sees that I did that, and goes, oh well there’s a new balance on your account. Do you want to pay that now?

Um… why would I pay the next bill when they can’t even get the past bill sorted out?? I don’t know if it’s just hospitals in America but if you overpay on a hospital bill or like a student loan bill, they’ll keep your money. They won’t say oopsie, you paid too much, no. They’ll just keep the difference.

Speaking of student loans, that’s another one I recently called about. Called looking to get my monthly payment lowered cause bills are kicking my butt and I want to get caught up. So I call and a woman tells me exactly what to do in order to get my payments lowered to as little as $0 a month for a year. I do that and my April autopay payment went away. I’m thinking, yay! this is great! I have a break to spend money where I want to right? Wrong. They only postponed them for 2 months and then they resume. So I call the woman back and tell her, listen, either I get a lower payment or I don’t pay. They’re student loans. I don’t care about them. Well the last thing they want you to do is stop paying so she tries to get me to go all these other options and I had to keep reiterate what the other rep told me.

Well this pretty much led to her being nasty because I wouldn’t do what she said and she was telling me stuff that was frankly untrue. So I had to get off the phone with her ASAP before I said some things she wouldn’t like. I let that stew for about an hour and then called back and got a helpful woman who apologized for the viscious one.

I don’t get why customer service reps feel the need to get nasty with you. I get their job is to take your money most of the time but do you honestly think I’m going to want to give you my money when you give me attitude over the phone especially considering I didn’t raise my tone of voice or anything and struggled to be as polite as possible throughout my frustration? I love when reps also feel the need to spout how long they’ve been with the company and they know everything when they’re still wrong. It’s truly okay to admit when you’re wrong and put me on hold to get the right answer.

I worked customer service for many years; face to face at that! I don’t think people realize how hard it is to do everything possible almost to the point of getting on your knees and licking the customer’s boots in order to make sure they get off the phone or leave your store happy. It’s a struggle. But to be the customer and get the attitude just for pointing out that someone is feeding you misinformation?? That’s just rude and it’s sad you have to go through about 10 people to find that 1.

But at the end of the day, thank goodness for that 1.

Have you ever had bad customer rep issues? How do you normally handle it? Are you like me and keep calling back to you get the competent one? Let me know in the comments below!

Baby Brain

Apparently during pregnancy, especially the last trimester, women experience what’s called baby brain. It basically means you become more forgetful than usual. I haven’t felt very forgetful I think. I know I take my rings off and forget where I sat them or I’ll almost forget to take my prenatal vitamins but nothing too wild.

Yesterday, I totally had baby brain. Just full on thought I was losing it and on top of that, my husband must have it too cause he didn’t catch what we both missed either.

I was driving home from work when I decided I wanted fruit. On Sunday, before seeing Avengers: Infinity War, we went to this brunch spot called First Watch to get brunch before the movie; curbs you wanting to spend $5 on a small popcorn. I got what’s called an elevated egg sandwich. It’s basically a BLT but it uses arugla, no tomato, no mayo, but with cheese, mashed avocado and an egg on a brioche bun. It normally comes with a side of potatoes but I wanted fruit so I got seasonal fruit bowl. After eating that, I decided I craved more fruit; lots of fruit my brain screamed!

Fast forward to Monday and I’m leaving work. I decide I’m going to go shop and get all this fruit cause I just want to eat fruit. And mall food yesterday but mostly fruit, lol. I go to Acme which is our local grocery store cause it’s on my way home. It’s after 5pm and it’s warm as hell outside so I forgo wearing my jacket. I leave the car and go to lock it but it doesn’t lock. I realized it was cause my car keys were in my jacket pocket that was still in the car. So I reach in, grab my keys and go into the store.

It should be noted here that I have key fobs not actual keys. This means, I don’t need to take a key out to unlock or lock the car or to even start the car cause it’s push to start. I just need the fob on my person. It looks like this:

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Technically all fobs have a key inside of them too. But it’s used for valet purposes where you give the valet the fob and you keep your key:

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As you can see, I have two fobs and they are identical. But one is for each car cause my husband and I swap between the sedan and the coupe depending on the month.

Anyway, I’m in Acme and I’m buying all this fruit okay. Watermelon, honeydew, strawberries, pears, grapes, etc. Husband actually convinced me to buy grapes that were touted to taste like cotton candy. They kind of do but they’re still gross just fyi. Those grapes are all his. I go through the self checkout and I pull my keys out to scan the little Acme card so I get all the discounts right. I carry a small purse. I mean it’s like tablet size purse so I just clip my keys to the strap, pay and walk away. I get in the car, drive home and that’s that. I greet the husband and then walk into the living room to greet the cats. I’m greeting Isabel and my keys drop off my purse. I scared the living Jesus out of her so I wented to apologize for that and picked up my keys.

I’m sitting here holding them and I notice that they feel awfully light. Two fobs are heavy for the record and that’s not including everything else on my keychain. I look down and half my set is missing. My husband goes “you’re missing a whole car!” and not only that, my house key, garage key and the key to my mom’s property. So of course I’m frantic. I go and retrace my steps from the garage to the house. I call Acme to see if anyone turned in keys and just generally flipping out. It wasn’t the thought of losing my house keys cause that’s minimal to replace but it was replacing the damn fob!

So we hop in the car and go back to Acme to retrace all our steps to make sure the keys weren’t in the parking lot or in the cart or in the store. Talk to customer service again about keys that may  have been turned in; everything we can think of. We go back home and I’m admitting defeat, on the verge of tears cause that’s more money I didn’t want to spend. PLUS! What are the odds the key I lost wasn’t the key that got me home?? It would have been easier if I’d lost that one then I wouldn’t be able to go home and would have found them quickly I think.

I decide to call Honda to see what the damage is going to be. Millardo comes walking over flopping over on his back looking cute and I’m so upset, I kept pushing him away. But he’s persistent and he’s also cute so while I’m on the phone waiting to get a quote, I look down at him and out of the corner of my eye I see a Honda logo…

I look at the cat.

I look at the keys.

My husband walks in the room and looks at the cute cat and notices what I notice. And we literally  just stared at the floor for a good 2 minutes because sitting next to the wheel of my laptop stand are my freaking keys! I’m still on the phone with Honda and I just start laughing hysterically. I still get the quote cause I was already on the phone anyway — $250 to replace if you were curious (kill me) — and my husband reaches down and picks up the keys and is like “what is this sorcery?”. Then he blames the cat, hahaha.


So that’s one of my baby brain stories. I still have 10 weeks to go so I have time for more wouldn’t you say? Moral of this story is, cats have magic. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. 🙂

Facebook Friday 4/27/18

Hey, hey! It’s Facebook Friday!

Man what a week. Anyone feel like this was the slowest week ever cause that’s how I was feeling. I worked from home on Monday too and it still felt like forever. I haven’t been very social on social media this week. We’re still in the process of putting our house back together still! My poor turtle is having a fit cause he wants to swim and this 3 inches of water stuff is just not cutting it. I hope to have him back filled up tonight though and all the furniture back in its proper place by the end of the weekend. No more house projects for at least another year or two unless they take place outside in the yard.

Facebook Fridays is a weekly segment of RT where I share some fun stuff I observed on Facebook this past week. I share a fun meme or screenshot, a video that resonated in some capacity and a photo of my own.

I did not share any memes this week. I don’t even remember seeing any that stood out so I blame the internet for that this week. I did share a video however to honor Avengers: Infinity War!!! For most, it came out last night but the official release date is today and I can’t wait to go and see it on Sunday! Check out this fun video the stars made on an episode of Jimmy Fallon:

Who’s your favorite Avenger?? Let me know in the comments below!

As for pictures, I didn’t share any on social media so I’m cheating. We let the cats out of their room last night to let them explore the house and they pretty much freaked out. I think they think we moved because they’ve never been in a house that didn’t have carpet on every surface. Isabel (the tan one) was the little explorer cause shes’s pretty fearless. Milliardo however came all the way down, walked through the rooms and then ran back upstairs. I guess he’d rather stay confined for now. Hopefully they’ll warm up this weekend though. Here’s a picture I snapped this morning of them in their room enjoying their carpet square and getting along for now:

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That’s all I have this week. Did you see anything interesting in your social medias this week? Are you going to see Avengers: Infinity War this weekend? Let me know in the comments below!

Have a good weekend everyone and I’ll see you Monday!

🙂

Axolotl

Today’s endangered creature hails from Mexico City. Specifically a lake called Xochimilco (prounciation: So-chee-mill-co). Axolotl (pronounced: ack-suh-lah-tuhl) are very unique in the marine world. They are often referred to as walking fish but they’re actually amphibians. If you think of frogs and how they have different larval stages, the axolotl is basically an adult amphibian that keeps its larval stages throughout adulthood and unlike frogs that go from water to land, the axolotl stays in the water, retains it’s tail and gills even though it develops fully functioning lungs. The technical term for this is called neoteny. It’s like an adult who always looks like a kid. Axoltol were named after an aztec God who was known to be a water monster that turned himself into a salamander to avoid sacrifice.

Axoltol range in color from dark brown or blackish to albino although the albino ones don’t occur naturally. They have four stumpy limbs and their gills resemble a feathery shape on either side of their head. They become sexually mature around 12-18 months. Males do a little jig and then deposit their sperm packets on rocks and other sea plants. Then the female comes along and takes the packets up through her cloacea (yeah, this is a thing) and inititates fertilization internally. Up to 400 eggs are laid within 24 hours and they hatch in about two weeks. The young will feed primarily on algae but adults are carnivores feasting on small mollusks and crustaceans. Axoltol live about 10-15 years in the wild.

baby axolotl

One of the most unique features an axolotl has is the ability to regnerate parts of it’s body. Usually when an animal gets wounded, it forms scar tissue. When axolotl’s are wounded, they regnerated whole body parts and even organs. They are known to regrow whole pieces of tissue, limbs and even organs. In fact, a study showed an axolotl able to regrow parts of of its brain. Astounding!

Unfortunately, axolotl are listed, and have been listed since 2006, as critically endangered. The exact population size is not known but the last known area study only produced 42 individuals. The channels of the lake with its brackish water is their only home but they are severely threatened by lake contamination due to sewage dumping, exotic pet trade and being captured by the natives who consider the axolotl a delicacy.

The species is currently under special protection by the government of Mexico. Steps have been taken to increase awareness of the axolotl through eco-tourism and the lake has undergone bio-restoratoration. There are many captive-bred colonies around the world due to the pet trade but they can not be introduced back into the wild until testing has been done to determine if the genetic pool won’t affect the wild population in a negative way. Hopefully this combination of things are able to stop the rapid fall into extinction that the axolotl are currently up against.

(Sources: Arkive, IUCN, Wiki, NatGeo)
(Image Sources: Featured, Axolotl Egg)