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Monday, June 15, 2015

Chaos theory ~ Monarch butterfly - white ones at Nepal ~ and tragic Romanian selfie

Sure you have a FB a/c [or more than one !!] – how often you change your profile picture and how often you check to see ‘how many likes’ you got for the same ? Narcissists cut a wide, swashbuckling figure through the world.   They are self-loving spectrum whose grandiosity soars to heights and they get easily angered, especially when they don't receive the attention they consider their birthright.  Narcissism is the pursuit of gratification from vanity or egotistic admiration of one's own attributes. The term originated from the Greek mythology, where the young Narcissus fell in love with his own image reflected in a pool of water.

The monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus) is a milkweed butterfly in the family Nymphalidae. It may be the most familiar North American butterfly.  The mystery stumped both scientists and ordinary citizens. Where did millions of monarchs go when they made their flight from backyards and farmers’ fields? Canadian zoologist, Fred Urquhart, solved the puzzle 40 years ago. He unearthed the monarchs’ winter getaway in the warm mountain forests of Mexico. The revelation was splashed on the cover of National Geographic, which declared: “Discovered: the Monarch’s Mexican Haven.” 

But today, conservationists and eco-enthusiasts are fixated more on the plight — not the flight — of the butterflies. Studies by the World Wildlife Fund and other conservation groups show that monarch populations in Mexico have plummeted. An estimated 33 million arrived in 2013, compared to the 550 million monarchs that migrated there in 2004.  By all accounts, the monarch population has been on a steady decline. It’s not a stretch to see the monarchs’ plight as an example of “the butterfly effect” — the theory that seemingly small or innocuous actions have significant, unforeseen consequences.

Away from the monarch, a ‘social butterfly’ is a   popular slang term for a person who is socially dynamic, networking, charismatic, and personally gregarious.  Social butterflies are lively characters, comfortable – fitting in every environ, making friends easily – and keeping in touch with no geographical features. Social media like FB, Twitter, Instagram can do wonders – and you get to see so many photos, people and happenings everyday – when you stay in touch...

Earthquake has created chaos and tragedy in Nepal – there are some people who are making a difference – and Milan Rai, an artist has taken to social network.  Standing among the debris of a destroyed square in his home town of Kathmandu, Milan Rai prayed for the earth to stop shaking. Determined to help those less fortunate, Milan started a social media campaign which has gained support across the globe - especially in the UK.  Two days after the earthquake hit, Milan went to Tundikhel Ground, Kathmandu’s only real open space, where terrified families had fled for safety. With just four toilets for some ten thousand people, there was already a terrible smell as earthquake survivors had no choice but to use the park as an open latrine. Milan knew that something had to be done, and fast. Bad sanitation can lead to outbreaks of cholera, a water-borne disease that can kill victims in matter of days.

Using funds from well-wishers, and whatever limited materials he could lay hands on, Milan set out the next day on a mission to build emergency toilets. With help from young volunteers who responded to a call on social media and a helping hand from members of the Nepal Army, Milan managed to construct 45 latrines. Milan, also brought hundreds of white paper butterflies to the site as a symbol of hope.  That night before falling asleep, Milan shared photos of the toilets, and the butterflies, on Facebook, and put out a desperate plea to friends for more funds to continue the work.  Offers of financial help had come in from Nepalis and their friends all over the world.  Milan is continuing setting up temporary toilets in and around the Kathmandu valley. 

~it is not butterflies alone – you get to see more ‘selfies’ on FB – but this attempt of a Romanian teenager is tragic.  Anna Ursu, 18, and a friend went to a train station in the town of Iasi in the northeast of the country to take a 'special selfie' that she intended to post on Facebook.  The  Romanian teenager burst into flames after accidentally touching a live wire while attempting to take the 'ultimate selfie' on the roof of a train.  Tragically, as she lay on top of the train and stuck one of her legs in the air, an electrical field surrounding the overhead cables sent 27,000 volts zapping through her body, causing her to burst into flames. Despite the best efforts of a passer-by to save her life, the 18-year-old later died in hospital with burns to 50 per cent of her body.   The charge that hit Miss Ursu was so powerful that it caused her 17-year-old friend to be sent flying off the roof of the stationary train.

A passer-by who saw the horrific accident risked his own life by scrambling on top of the carriage to extinguish the girl's burning clothes before phoning the emergency services.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

14th May 2015.

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