Mystery Humpback whale discovered deep in Brazil’s Amazon jungle baffles researchers

Biologists are trying to solve the mystery on how the carcass of a humpback whale landed up on the Araruna Beach along the Marajó Bay in Soure, Brazil. Vultures were spotted circling, and after investigation, the humpback calf was found in the bush.

According to the environmental group, Bicho D’água the sea creature weighs about 10 ton and is between 10-11 meters long. It is estimated that the humpback hound is a 12-month-old calf.

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Humpback female adults grow to an average of 14.6 m (48 ft.) and male humpbacks to 13 m (42.5 ft.). They weigh between 22 to 36 tons. Although scientists cannot say for sure why the calf was found 15m (50 ft) from the shore and, what is highly unusual, why a humpback whale was doing in the north coast of Brazil during February. There are many guessed reasons for this occurrence

• The calf traveling with its mother probably got separated during the migratory cycle between the two continents.

• Floating close to the shore the calf might have been picked up by a powerful tide which launched the whale inland.

• Another theory is that the calf might have died at sea and was carried inland by people.

• Death might have been caused by stress or from consuming plastic products.

• It might have been caught in a net or hit by a boat.
It will take 10 days to complete an autopsy to determine the cause of death. Due to decomposition, this task might be difficult. However, information will be gathered by identifying marks and wounds on the body of the whale.

The scientific name of the humpback is “Megaptera” which means “larged winged.” This refers to their long flippers almost a third the length of their body.
Humpbacks have been protected since 1966 at which time they were listed as endangered. They are protected under the Marine Mammal Protection Act. The humpback population is believed to be between 30,000-40,000 which is about 30 percent of their original population.
Humpback whale’s life expectancy is up to 80 years. They feed on plankton, small fish and shrimp-like krill.
They migrate annually from summer feeding near the poles to warmer breeding waters preparing to give birth.
Calves are nursed for almost a year and they don’t stop growing until they are 10 years old.
Humpback whales are known for their magical songs that can be heard for great distances.

According to ABC news, this is not the first time a whale was found in the Amazon rainforest. A minke whale was stranded on a sandbar near Santarem about 1000 miles from the Atlantic Ocean in 2007. The minke whale freed itself and swam to safety.

So the question remains – How does a Humpback whale land up in the Amazon jungle?

The Sports Nutrition Industry: Keywords to Success.

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Every developed and developing country is teeming today with manufacturers and distributors of nutraceutical products that cater to professional sportsmen and women and sport-minded ones alike.
Health products of every type, size and taste have abound. Today, the nurtraceutical industry is estimated to be worth $80 billion (U.S.) Just what are the factors of success in this highly competitive field of sports nutrition industry?

The biggest sports nutrition players have come up with keywords to success:

Keyword: Research

Company efforts to advance the field of supplement products for sports nutrition are the backbone of any industry. By supporting clinical research and trying to foster a relationship with science advisory boards, the field of sports nutrition is advanced. Eventually, consumers are able to receive innovative, scientifically-based, safe and effective products.

Advisory boards have funded research projects on nutrition and sports performance including research on creatine, HMB, CLA and glutamine among others. Research grants are also provided to young scientists early in their careers.

Large-scale sports nutrition industries commit over $500,000 every year to independent analytical analysis to ensure that sports nutrition products meet specifications. Investigations are also warranted. There should be rigorous vendor certification or re-certification auditing program that helps companies adhere to industry quality standards.

Keyword: Innovation

New products and technologies should be developed to provide the best quality on existing products.

Consumers have a preoccupation of trying out something “new,.” There should always be innovation whether it means new forms of delivery (gels, effervescent tablets, functional beverages) or new applications of or combinations with existing products.

Keyword: Price

For Sports Nutrition consumers, price is still everything. In the U.S. for example, even though people were getting laid off and the economy has been unstable after 9/11 people still wanted to work out and stay healthy. This coupled with higher oil prices has lead people to look for deals and good prices.

Products must be extremely competitively. Sport Nutrition giants for example rely on increased sales volume in exchange of lesser profit margins on each product sold.

Quality, certification and taste matter but in the final analysis, consumer want good deals on great products.

Keyword: Variety

What should retailers do to become their customers’ first choice for sports nutrition products? Carry a variety of lines that will offer clients with options in supplements.

Retailers often opt not to sports supplements when they carried only one line or one brand. Sports nutrition customers are varied and are everywhere. There are more women as well as men buying supplements and at different ages and varied income brackets. Retail stores should therefore be able to offer a selection products or else buyers will look elsewhere, like the internet or shop somewhere other than these local vitamin stores or pharmacies.

Keyword: Safe

There are regulatory agencies to protect consumers. Sports nutrition companies should engage in top of the line research and development and prove the efficacy and safety of their nurtraceutical products. Products that are based on false or misleading marketing should be and are banned and condemned.

It is thus the responsibility of manufacturers and marketers to provide sports nutrition products that are safe, effective, easily used, and completely understood by both retailers and consumers.

Today, natural product retailers can provide consumers safe alternatives to potentially harmful chemical stimulants (fenfluramine, dexfenfluramine), fat-chelating agents, cosmeticsurgery, and a life of inactivity or painful exercise Natural, science-based exercisenutrition products that promote energy, fitness, and weight loss are now available.

Keyword: Information

Consumers are becoming more and more intelligent. They rely on scientific and hard facts rather than recommendations and endorsements from celebrities and sports personalities. Aside from vigorous research, sports nutrition companies should invest in a sound information dissemination and product communication strategy to stay ahead of the game.

Product information should be detailed but fairly understandable. Also, information should be readily available on product packets, posters, print and TV advertisements and the internet. Consumers can believe only what manufacturers communicate well.

Everything focuses around education for the consumer — an educated consumer is the industry’s best friend.

These principles helped sports nutrition companies boost the industry as a whole. If remembered and adhered to, these keywords will spur more gains in the industry as large portions of the world’s population now put priority to fitness and health.

No, My Son Doesn’t Play Sports … Really, It’s OK!

A visit to the doctor, orthodontist, school function or anywhere, really will alert you to the fact that people don’t know how to talk to your son if he doesn’t play sports.

Our society is programmed in a way that a boy who doesn’t play sports is an anomaly. What can we possibly have to say to a boy if we can’t ask him about football, basketball or soccer?

My son not only doesn’t play sports……he doesn’t watch them either. GASP!! I know, it’s a tragedy, right?

My son has a deep, abiding empathy for others.

My son is a critical thinker.

My son is constantly questioning the world.

My son is not a box checker.

My son has a thirst for knowledge about space that won’t quit.

But the world has no questions for him except for, “so… do you play basketball?”

REALLY? This 13-year-old boy who could change the world has to constantly answer why he isn’t interested in sports. Can’t we do better than that?

I watched my son pick grass on the baseball field until age 11. I watched him run halfheartedly down a basketball court and cheer for his teammates every single time they scored. Like good Americans, we tried every single sport there was, encouraging him to get involved, and choose from the buffet our country offers.

The looks I get from other mothers when I say that I gave him the choice at age 11 whether to play sports or not… one of reprehension.

How dare I guide and support instead of mold him in the image that is expected for our boys.

I get it, I really do…our boys are to follow a plan set out for success, right? We believe that you get them involved in sports, they play through high school, gaining popularity and acceptance along the way. This quells our fears. Society has instilled a fear in us that if our boy doesn’t play sports, than he is uninvolved. He is clearly sitting around doing nothing.

We ignore the statistics behind head trauma.

We ignore the statistics regarding how many of those boys actually play in college.

We ignore whether our children are enjoying themselves.

We ignore what their true passion might be.

We ignore that competitive sports keep them so busy, they have little time for much else.

I am not saying that sports don’t have absolute value. They do. Especially if your son or daughter loves the sport. They push themselves, they learn about themselves, they challenge themselves and meet those challenges. All really good things.

If your son or daughter doesn’t have passion for the sport I mean real passion then what are we doing?

Why not look deeper? Why not look beyond society’s expectations?

To what degree does your child’s involvement in sports have to do with YOU?

What if we got to know our child? What if we asked them if they wanted to play sports or get involved in robotics, student government, forensics, or the like?

What if we said, who are you and what do you like?

What if we said, it’s okay to not like sports?

What if we said, whoever you are is enough?

What if we put our desires aside and opened the door for more?

The self-worth gained from a parent who says “you are enough” is valuable beyond measure. That parent opens the door to more. That parent learns more about their child and more about themselves than ever before.

We owe our boys more than funneling them into a system they don’t fit into. If your boy isn’t an athlete … guess what. It’s okay. They are going to be okay.

You are enough, and so are they.

This post comes from the TODAY Parenting Team community, where all members are welcome to post and discuss parenting solutions. and join us! Because we’re all in this together.

Why High School Musicals Should Be As Respected As Sports Programs Are

When I was in middle school and high school, I felt like I lived for the musicals that my school orchestrated.

For those of you who don’t know, a musical is an onstage performance wherein actors take on roles that involve singing, and often dancing, to progress the plot of the story. While it may sound a little bit nerdy to get up in front of an audience to perform in this manner, this is something you cannot knock until you try it.

For some reason, though, many public schools have de-funded arts programs that would allow these musicals to occur, while increasing the funding for sports teams. There are a few things that are being forgotten when sports are valued more than musical programs in high schools.

Much like athletic hobbies, an actor must try-out, or audition, to participate in a musical. Those best suited for each role will be cast, and those who would not fit well are not given a part. While this may sound similar to trying out for say, basketball, it is an apples to oranges comparison.

At a basketball try-out, those who have the most experience doing a lay-up or shooting a foul shot will be more likely to succeed, no questions asked. However, for an audition, it is common to have to learn a piece of choreography upon walking in, and a potential cast member will be required to sing a selected piece with only a few days of preparation.

There are many more variables involved with an audition that makes it that much more nerve-racking.

The cast of a school musical will often rehearse for several months to perfect their roles, with only several nights of performance at the end. Many sports practice for three or four days between each of their respective competitions. While this may seem to make sports more grueling, this is not always the case.

Musicals have very little pay-off for a large amount of effort, while athletic activities have more frequent displays of their efforts.

Athletes are not encouraged to but are allowed to make mistakes. This is simply not allowed for someone in a musical, because certain lines or entrances may be integral to the plot.

Sometimes, because of all the quick changes and the sweat from big dance numbers, the stage makeup just starts to smear. Despite this, an actor must smile through it all. This is the part of musicals that no sport has: introspection.

An actor must think about how he or she would respond in a given situation, be it saddening, maddening, frightening, or delightful. There is no sport that requires the knowledge of human emotion, and there is especially no sport that requires an athlete to mimic such emotion. This type of emotional exercise helps with communications and relationships.

Sports are great, don’t get me wrong. I loved playing volleyball, basketball, track, and swimming, but there were no experiences quite like those from a musical. Sports challenge the body with slight amounts of tactic, while musicals require much physical and mental endurance.

The next time you hear someone say that it’s “just a musical,” just remember that musicals deserve as much respect as sports, since they are just as, if not more demanding.