Red Panda Cubs Bring Debilitating Cuteness To Bronx, Prospect Park Zoos [via Nina Reznick]

(Julie Larsen Maher © WCS)
Two sets of red panda cubs, nature's most heartwarming product yet, today make their debut at the Bronx Zoo and Prospect Park Zoo, increasing the "Awww" capital of both locations by roughly 700 percent.

The critters and their staggeringly adorable doll faces were born over the summer, with each pair consisting of a male and female. They can be found gallivanting around the Himalayan Highlands portion of the Bronx Zoo, and along the Discovery Trail at Prospect Park. Red pandas are native to the eastern Himalayas and southwestern China, but are considered a vulnerable species thanks to damage to their habitats from deforestation.

(Julie Larsen Maher © WCS)
Unlike most babies, the cuteness of red pandas does not decrease with age, as their fur remains robust and fluffy, and their faces the stuff of Wes Anderson fever dreams, until the day they depart this fragile earth.

Reposted from Gothamist

Plastic into oil [via Tom Cacciatore]

Now this is just amazing and almost so unbelievable that I just hope it’s true……When an invention like this is already up and working why don't our governments have them installed everywhere

Japanese Ingenuity -- Save your plastic ~~~

This is one of the most amazing emails and break-through in Technology I have ever seen!!!

Why aren't we doing this now?

I think we should all do what we can to save what we are destroying! Not surprised at this at all, just a case of Japanese ingenuity and perseverance.

 What is more important would be the marketing and very low cost to make it mandatory to have one of these in every home.

The sound is all in Japanese. Just read the subtitles and watch.

SQUIRRELY LOVE [via Nina Reznick]

A Dying Squirrel Gets Help From a Kind Warrant Officer

You know a man is kind hearted when he shows those creatures below him utmost respect. They often say to judge a man by how he treats his inferiors, not his equals. When one warrant officer came across a dying squirrel, he not only saved its life. He became its best friend.

If this doesn’t melt your heart, we don’t know what will.

When two soldiers brought in a dying squirrel, this warrant officer decided to help the little guy out.

Slippery Sliders: WATCH OUT!

Slippery sliders are being caught on camera all across the country. Sometimes the perpetrator is caught red-handed, but most of the time the victim has no idea until it's too late.

KANT CAN’T CANT [via David Adashek]

MOSCOW (AP) — An argument in southern Russia over philosopher Immanuel Kant, the author of "Critique of Pure Reason," devolved into pure mayhem when one debater shot the other.

A police spokeswoman in Rostov-on Don, Viktoria Safarova, said two men in their 20s were discussing Kant as they stood in line to buy beer at a small store on Sunday. The discussion deteriorated into a fistfight and one participant pulled out a small nonlethal pistol and fired repeatedly.

The victim was hospitalized with injuries that were not life-threatening. Neither person was identified.

It was not clear which of Kant's ideas may have triggered the violence.

Killer Whale Luna Mimics Boat Sounds [via Nina Reznick]

Meet Luna, a remarkable whale. Separated from his family when he was just two years old, this orca whale lived alone off the coast of Vancouver Island, Canada. There, in 2001, Luna became known for interacting with local boaters. The amazing video above captures Luna swimming right next to a boat and mimicking boat noises. Luna's sounds are almost indistinguishable from those of the boat's engine. 

Video ABOVE courtesy of

Animals Like You’ve Never Seen Them Before [via Nina Reznick]


From armadillos to zebras, or what championship chickens have to do with a giant octopus.

It’s easy to take this amazing planet we inhabit for granted. While National Geographic‘s school of nature photography may have its place, there’s something remarkable and whimsical that happens when a fine art photographer takes her lens to Earth’s creatures — they become poetry. Today, we turn to five such photographers, whose portraits of animals — unusual, otherworldly, kooky, tender, charismatic — make the eye swoon and the heart sing.

Andrew Zuckerman is one of my absolute favorite photographers working today, his Wisdom and Music projects priceless time-capsules of contemporary culture and his thoughts on curiosity and rigor as the key to creativity a beautiful articulation of my own credo. In Creature, Zuckerman brings his exquisite signature style, crisp yet tender, to Earth’s beings. With equal parts detail and delight, he captures the spirt of these diverse creatures, from panthers to fruit bats to bald eagles, in a way makes them seem familiar and fresh at once, and altogether breathtaking.

Asian Elephant
Image courtesy of Andrew Zuckerman
Six banded armadillo
Image courtesy of Andrew Zuckerman
Mandrill Monkey
Image courtesy of Andrew Zuckerman
Grant's Zebra
Image courtesy of Andrew Zuckerman
Common Dove
Image courtesy of Andrew Zuckerman
Image courtesy of Andrew Zuckerman
African Crested Porcupine
Image courtesy of Andrew Zuckerman
Blue and Yellow Macaw
Image courtesy of Andrew Zuckerman

Reticulated Giraffe
Image courtesy of Andrew Zuckerman

Reposted From Brain

YOGA GIVES BACK November 2013 Newsletter

E-Newsletter - November 2013
Yoga Gives Back
For the cost of one yoga class, you can change a life.

Support 3rd annual global "Thank You Mother India" 2013!!!
The impact of your Donation!!
Through your support, YGB's direct funding program supports 240 mothers and children in India with micro loans and education funds. Among these, we support 10 groups of mothers and children in West Bengal. We received the latest updates from our local partner. Read about how each mother is starting her own income generating activity against all odds, in one of the groups. Read more here.
Pure InternationalWe are proud to introduce YGB's first corporate sponsor Pure International, headquartered in Hong Kong. As part of its Corporate Responsibility Program (CSR) initiative, the company will fund higher education for ten rural girls in West Bengal over the next five years, lending its support to "Sister Aid's" new initiative, the "SHE-Scholarship for Higher Education". Read more here.

Pure International"Pure Yoga Hong Kong is hosting its 3rd fundraiser to support "Thank You Mother India" in December, check details here.

Exciting News:
TYMI Runner
3rd Annual Global "Thank You Mother India" needs YOUR support!!
50 events in 9 countries are already scheduled before the end of the year!! See exciting global events already registered here. Join our efforts with the global yoga community to give back together.
Host just ONE event before December 31st, donate or become a sponsor. Register today here.
Your event will be promoted at YGB's website and social media. Your event photos will be included in the upcoming PR video.
Malibu Event with Dr. MarwahThank you everyone who supported this year's annual flagship fundraiser. Generously hosted once again by Dr Armajit Marwah, which was attended by over 150 people, raising $16,000, 50% more than last year!! Thank you to all its sponsors. See event details here and check out event photos here.

UK's Om Padma PinkUK's Om Padma is donating 100 beautiful yoga bags for YGB at the occasion of "Thank You Mother India". We are looking for US yoga studios or stores to sell them for YGB.

New Ambassadors & Representatives
YGB is thrilled to present new Ambassadors and Representatives who have joined its growing global family!!
MagnoliaMagnolia Zuniga,
San Francisco, CA
Mysore San Francisco
Tokyo, Japan
Tokyo Yoga
GaryGary Goldman,
Los Angeles, CA
Jamie's Rock
DavidDavid Kim,
Los Angeles, CA
David Kim Yoga

ChiaraChiara Condi,
Paris, France
ChiaraMeng XU,
New York

New Partners
Morgan StanleyMorgan Stanley will now match 100% of donation made to YGB by its employees!!! Please spread the word to your friends at Morgan Stanley about YGB.

Baja RetreatsBaja Retreat, is offering 30% savings to YGB network affiliates, partners, clients, members etc. that will be based off a retail price of $2,499.00 for a retreat. An additional 20% of the purchase price will be donated to YGB. Enter Code-YGBBAJARETREAT13-14 has to be presented at the time of booking. Any inquiries:

Holiday Gift Ideas
YGB T-ShirtsYGB's new fall collection also includes cool men's T-shirts, too, 100% of sales are donated by Jala Clothing. Purchase yours here.

Imagine Project"The Imagine Project" opens your heart and soul to the ordinary people who surround you every day-neighbors, teachers, co-workers, the clerk behind the deli counter, strangers you pass by on the street, even the homeless. YGB founder Kayoko Mitsumatsu was featured in this beautiful project. Read more at Use "Kayoko" as your coupon code when ordering and $10 will be donated to YGB!!

Use "Kayoko" as your coupon code when ordering and $10 will be donated to YGB!!

Levitating Monkey"Changing Lives for the Cost of One Yoga Class"

Read the story here.

Anjula of "Levitating Monkey" interviews YGB President Kayoko Mitsumatsu.

How I Grew A Grassroots Non-Profit"How I Grew a Grassroots Non-Profit From Los Angeles to the World"

Read the story here.

YGB Founder/President Kayoko Mitsumatsu shares how a grassroots organization became a global campaign in six years..."If you go to Yoga Gives Back’s brand-new website (, you would probably think that YGB is a million dollar company. The truth is, we’re an entirely grass roots organization, that started from scratch and to this day pays nobody a salary. Yet, YGB now provides over 240 mothers and children in India with micro loans and education funds with minimum five-year commitment to each person. “

Follow our new YGB Blog for updated news from around the world!!

Check upcoming exciting global events for the "Thank You Mother India" campaign.
Ashtanga Yoga ConfluenceAshtanga Yoga Confluence 2014 choose YGB as Charity Beneficiary!! Register now, space if limited.
Explore the Ashtanga Yoga tradition based on the teachings of Sri K. Pattabhi Jois. Start your day with a Mysore or Guided class followed by daily panel discussions and afternoon workshops with master Ashtanga Yoga teachers; Richard Freeman, Manju Jois, Dena Kingsberg, Tim Miller and David Swenson.

Thank you for all the past and future events,
and for making a real difference one event at a time!!

Yoga Gives Back is a 501(c)(3) Non-Profit Organization.

Question, comment, want to learn more?

How the Government Tracks You: NSA Surveillance [via Nina Reznick]

Are Humans Inadvertently Helping Make Animals Smarter? [via Nina Reznick]

A new study shows that changes in the environment caused by people are helping animals to evolve bigger brains.


Well, chalk one up for homo-sapiens, sort of. While we've known for some time that humans have been affecting the enviroment on a global scale, one aspect of our evolutionary impact on other species might not be all bad.

In a recent study, University of Minnesota biologist Emilie C. Snell-Rood found evidence suggesting that our direct changes to the natural habitats of animals (through technologies advances, antibiotics and revised food pyramids) have caused some animals to evolve with bigger brains.

Dr. Snell-Rood studied dozens of individual animal skulls, some as old as a century, from ten different species including bats, gophers and mice. In two of the species, the white-footed mouse and the meadow role, the brains of the animals plucked from metropolitan areas or suburbs were about 6% bigger than those of the animals taken from farms or other rural areas. Dr. Snell-Rood's hypothesis after assessing the first wave of results was that brains become significantly bigger when they move to cities or bustling towns, where the animals must learn to find food in places that they're not biologically trained to encounter or expect.

An increase in brain size was also detected in two species of shrews and bats, both found in rural Minnesota, which at first seems to conflict with Dr. Snell-Rood's theory about the impact of stimulating city environments and brain growth. This leads to her second proposition, which is that this increase occurred due to radical changes in the environment brought on by the people. As farms replaced forests, the disruption in the environment caused animals to evolve, and those who survived were better at adapting and more likely to breed.

Similarly, researchers at the Uppsala University in Sweden conducted experiments in which they bred guppies for larger brain sizes, and essentially proved that animals with bigger brains tend to learn tests quicker, meaning they generally learn better.

Jason Munshi-South, an evolutionary biologist at Fordham University calls the results "exciting and deserving of much follow-up work." Such secondary research may include the breeding of small-brained rural mammals with big-brained mammals, in an effort to collect information on the genes involved in producing different brain sizes.

So, at least there is one upside to humans' impact on the environment.

Tree-Climbing Goats

In Morocco, the native Tamri goats are so enticed by the berries of Argan trees that they have become adept at climbing the branches to reach their food. Even stranger still, the goats' droppings contain seed kernels which local farmers then grind into an oil that is used in cooking and cosmetics