Friday, 26 May 2017

Do Animals Have Rights Too?

The concept of human rights is such a controversial topic because of issues that involve abuse. From centuries ago until now, human rights are constantly violated and brought up in the mainstream media. However, there is something rarely spoken of but just as crucial as well – animal rights.

Do animals have rights? It is but a valid question like human rights. Even though we think of animals as less superior than us, they are living beings too that deserve to treated right by society. But doesn’t evolution teach us that we evolved from Primates? If that’s the case, we are animals too, in a sense, right?

Abusing animals is no more justifiable than abusing people, writes Peter Tatchell. The moral touchstone is sentience, not species, and the 'humans first' ideology of speciesism is analogous to homophobia, racism & misogyny. Cruelty is barbarism, whether inflicted on humans or on other species. We need to recognise and accept our common animal nature.

Since we humans are an animal species, it is obvious that human rights are a form of animal rights; and that animal rights include - or should include - the human species.

Sadly, not everyone sees it this way. Many view humans and other animals as totally distinct: drawing a clear, sharp line between animal rights and human rights.

That's not my view. Sentience is the bond that unites all animal species, human and non-human. I accept our shared animalism and advocate our shared claim to be spared suffering and accorded inalienable rights.

It is true that other animals are less intelligent than humans and lack our mental-physical skills and our capacity for culture and conscience. But this is no justification for abusing them. Just as we do not sanction the abuse of humans - such as babies and disabled people - who lack these highly developed capacities.

We accept that we have a special responsibility to protect weaker, more vulnerable humans. Surely the same reasoning applies to other weaker, more vulnerable thinking, feeling creatures?


Even zoos are not exempted despite feeding and caring for animals. Animal rights supporters imply that the zoo is not their natural habitat and thus they suffer from alienation and the loneliness associated with living in cages and be forced to entertain people.

Steven Wise, president of the Nonhuman Rights Project and chief counsel for the only chimpanzee plaintiffs in U.S. court, told Salon that visiting captive wild animals in zoos or taking your child to a circus is at best an inauthentic experience, and cruel.  “Do you really want to take your child to see a animals that are being abused for your entertainment?” he asked. “It’s not something to teach your children, at all.”

Wise has been crusading for the rights of nonhuman animals for 30 years, and on March 16, he will argue in New York State appellate court that two chimpanzees from a new documentary he’s featured in should be afforded “person” rights.  The film, “Unlocking the Cage,” can be seen on HBO and chronicles one of the legal battles in which Wise advocated for several captive chimpanzees to be treated like people (long called “person” status) under the law, not things.

“Those animals are extraordinary and should be free,” said Wise.  “Also, the animals you’re seeing in zoos and circuses are really not like animals in the wild. They have been  captive for years and years, and it’s like looking at a human who’s been in solitary confinement.”


Yes, animals have rights too. They are living creatures that can also feel even though we often question their ability to think for themselves. As the more superior species, it is our responsibility to look after them and make sure that they live as they should – free from threats of poaching and hunting out in the wild.

When you put animals in cages or on leashes for whatever reasons, you deprive them of their right to be free and live as they should be. If the roles were reversed, how would you feel to be treated that way? So, let’s leave the animals alone because they thrived in this planet for centuries even without our help. The least we can do is to limit our carbon footprint and increase environmental conservation efforts as the animals suffer the most from the neglect and abuse we inflict on Mother Earth.

Do Animals Have Rights Too? is republished from I Am Not An Artist Blog


Saturday, 20 May 2017

The Struggle Of Live Streaming

Most of us can relate to the fact that the struggle is real when we live stream. While most Western countries enjoy faster and cheaper Internet access, many developing nations struggle with poor Internet connections at double or thrice the price that their Western counterparts pay for. It’s something that really won’t bother you if you just use the web to browse and access social media and not for video watching, or worse, for work. Poor connections can still do its job of loading pages and help you stay updated on what’s viral and trending online. However, Internet connectivity is a major headache for people who love to stream online or even use the web to earn money. And rebuffering is a common complaint experienced by most web users who loves watching their favorite videos via the World Wide Web.

Back in the days, you only had the television and the occasional video rentals of favorite movies to keep you entertained during your free time. But that was eons ago. Blockbuster has long since been bankrupt and most kids these days have no idea what a VHS is and how it works. For them, watching videos can easily be done on Youtube or any video sharing site on the web. Even young kids have subscriptions to their fave Youtube channels to help them pass the time. At least, they no longer have to deal with common issues like scratches on DVDs when they stream online. And best of all, most homes have Internet connections nowadays, so everyone can basically live stream and thus relate to rebuffering issues when live streaming.

"Pretty consistently, rebuffering is identified as the worst thing that could happen," says Jon Dahl.

Dahl is one of the founders of Mux, a Bay Area startup that aims to solve video quality control problems faced by mid-sized companies. Today, Mux released its "2017 Video Streaming Perceptions Report," an attempt to learn from consumers what video issues bother them the most.

Stalling and rebuffering was far-and-away the biggest annoyance, rated "most frustrating" by 47.0 percent of those surveyed. It was followed by failed video playback at 19.9 percent, slow load and start times at 18.8 percent, and low picture quality at 14.3 percent.

When people were asked about the most frequent problems they faced, rebuffering again took the lead with 41 percent.

Mux's survey also asked consumers where they place the blame when something goes wrong. When they experience rebuffering or slow load times, they usually blame their internet service provider. But, when they experience poor picture quality or playback failures they blame the app publisher providing the video stream.

One finding that surprised Dahl is that 95.5 percent of those surveyed rated stream reliability and quality as very important to their viewing experience.


The Millennials are leading this shift from conventional media to online and live streaming considering most of them are glued to their screens every single day. These busy young professionals who juggle and multitask just about everything under the sun won’t stick around waiting for their favorite shows to air and watch everything else that is shown on television even if they don’t like it that much. They will only watch what they want at a time most convenient for them and live streaming happened to solve that problem for them.

Consumers may be connecting various smart devices and appliances in their homes, but it’s nothing compared to the number of Internet-connected TV devices.

The majority (60%) of broadband homes now have at least one TV connected to the Internet, based on a new study.

The devices used to make those TVs connected also is shifting, according to the study by the NPD Group.

The study comprised a survey of 5,400 U.S. adults in a panel, which represented reporting from more than 12,000 televisions installed within 34,000 household rooms.

Streaming media players are the most commonly installed Internet-connected TV device, with more than a third (35%) of U.S. Internet homes having a streaming media player, an increase from 29% last year.


And people are not just live streaming from their computers, laptops or smartphones but with other gadgets like smart televisions. And since the technology has become more affordable today, most household now have at least one smart TV where you can watch both traditional broadcast media as well as live stream on the web. Unfortunately, old-school broadcast media can’t match the level of flexibility offered by live streaming, a lifestyle now embraced by most Millennials. And you’re all good to go as long as you have a stable WiFi connection.

The only downside here is that not all the time you can rely on a stable WiFi connection. You may end up suffering from frequent rebuffering that can mess up your entire viewing experience. Although most of the time you can speed up your connection by simply restarting the modem, at times the real issue has to do with your Internet provider itself. If you have higher demands for a better WiFi coverage that you are currently not getting from your current subscription, your options include upgrading your current package or switching to a better performing provider or end up struggling every single time you live stream online.

The following article The Struggle Of Live Streaming was originally seen on I Am Not An Artist Blog


Saturday, 13 May 2017

Fighting The Stigma Of Mental Illness

In most societies, talking about mental illness is a major taboo. People are not just comfortable discussing any of these controversial health conditions most of us know so little about. But what is really so distressing when discussing issues that are innate to all humans? If we get sick physiologically because of many factors, the same thing can happen to our mental state. After all, we are not robots and we have feelings that get hurt too.

Our psychological, emotional and social well-being comprises our mental health. How we feel, think, act and respond to stress are affected by all these factors. Whether you are a young child or an older adult, it is important to take care of your mental health at every stage of your life because various external factors like biological agents, life experiences, and a family history of a mental disease can put you at higher risk of developing a mental illness over time. A healthy mental state can help you cope with all the challenges you face in life, whether big or small, and the failure to cope often leads to mental illness.

Nicola talks openly about her battle with schizophrenia in a bid to help other people understand the illness better. A few years ago she became an ambassador for See Change, the National Mental Health Stigma Reduction Partnership, and will be speaking about the condition when the organisation launches its fourth Green Ribbon Campaign on April 27th next.

The initiative, which will include the launch of new statistics about attitudes to mental health in this country, runs all through May. See Change is a partnership of more than 90 Irish organisations working to open up discussion on mental health problems and end stigma.

There is still huge stigma around mental health issues in Ireland - figures due to be released by the organisation shortly underline this, showing 38% of people say they would conceal from family, friends and colleagues the fact that they had a mental health difficulty.

In all, 500,000 free green ribbons will be distributed nationwide in a bid to encourage people to show their support for opening up the topic to discussion.


The negative stereotype of people diagnosed with mental illness is one of the barriers why people suffering from it shy away from seeking help and just isolate themselves from the people they know and the life they have lived. Sometimes, admitting you are battling some inner demons is even worse than suffering in silence. Once people know you have a mental disease, they treat you differently and even get treated like a social outcast. It was worse back then when treatment options were limited, however, the stigma still persists until now.

While we imagine Lady Gaga and Prince William don’t have a lot in common — being either a pop star or a prince are probably fairly different — they are both dedicated to fighting negative stigma toward mental health.

In addition to founding the Born This Way Foundation, last year Lady Gaga opened up about her personal mental health struggles and revealed that she suffered from PTSD following a teenage sexual assault.

The Royal Family have also been vocal recently surrounding mental health issues. Prince Harry announced yesterday that he went to a therapist in his late 20s to process unresolved grief following his mother’s death. Meanwhile, Prince William has been advocating for mental health awareness with his programs “Heads Together” and #okaytosay.

For a new “Heads Together” initiative, Lady Gaga and Prince Willam chatted on Skype about the importance of being open about mental health. Prince William said that it’s vital to break down mental health taboos and “for everyone to speak up and feel normal about mental health.”


Rather than ridiculing patients with mental illness, why not extend a helping hand like these well-known people are doing. At some point in our lives, we go through so much grief and have a hard time coping with personal problems and issues and it is the same thing with these mental patients. Imagine going through such a traumatic experience every single day of your life. Not a happy though, right? So enough with the stigma and let us all be more understanding of one another. We all cope differently and it may be that the will power of others is not as strong as ours. The world becomes a better place to live in if we learn to accept and be tolerant of each other's flaws and differences.

Having a mental illness is not a walk in the park. Early treatments include electro-convulsive therapy and other equally controversial practices that often left the patient dead rather than cured. Fortunately, much has improved today and patients with mental illness have higher chances of recovering and living like a normal person once again. It is not an affliction that they chose to have after all. If we try to look past the illness and see the person suffering within, perhaps we wouldn’t easily pass judgment without thinking and not treat them differently like any person diagnosed with a health condition we are more familiar with.

Fighting The Stigma Of Mental Illness See more on:


Tuesday, 9 May 2017

How Will Local Businesses Fare During The Trump Admin?

Nothing is constant in this world. And America just recently witnessed one of the most surprising events took place in the country’s political arena. President Trump won the American presidency and snatched Hillary Clinton’s dream of becoming the first U.S. lady president. It made the news all over the globe and people were wondering what his leadership would mean to the U.S. and to the world at large.

Now that he has finally assumed office, both local and big businesses are curious as to what will happen next to their businesses as his plan for the next four years continues to unfold (and businessmen most likely cringe in anticipation).

It’s still early in the Trump presidency, but not too early for supply chain professionals to begin planning for what could be major challenges in global markets and trade agreements, especially if President Donald Trump follows through on border tariffs, the dismantling of existing trade agreements, and other “America First” protectionism ideas he has shared as part of his Twitter-storm rhetoric.

One discussion topic among procurement and supply chain professionals is the resurrection of the age-old “near-shore/on-shore” debate, and whether (and when and where) supply chain professionals should either locate their own assets or build relationships with suppliers.

An early viewpoint from the January meeting of political and business movers and shakers in Davos is that thinking too globally might not be the wisest strategy: a shift to “localizing” operations is a good fallback position.


Issues regarding trade relations with China can also impact both small and big offshore Chinese businesses, which in turn will affect American businesses that relies on China for cheap materials and labor.

Higher labor costs and stricter regulations keep nudging Eric Li’s glass factory in southeast China toward insolvency, even though his lampshades are on the shelves at Home Depot. President Donald Trump’s threatened tariff on his goods may be the final shove.

Three of the four furnaces at Huizhou Baizhan Glass Ltd.’s dusty plant sit dormant, and the workforce making lampshades and vases for export to the U.S. has been slashed to 150 from about 1,000 just a decade ago. Profit margins are shrinking, and Li said the company started by his Taiwanese father in 1991 is hanging by a thread.

“If there’s a tariff, it’s game over for us,” said Li, 42. “We don’t have the ability to take on extra costs.”

Thousands of small- and medium-sized factories in China face the same predicament, with some owners considering shutting down or selling out if Trump slaps a levy on Chinese products that he said could reach 45%. These makers of clothes, toys and household goods fuel the $462.8 billion annual flow of exports to the U.S. but aren’t cash-rich, making it harder for them to take the tariff punch or pivot their operations toward Southeast Asia.


A lot is at stake both in and out of the country. But it is hard to predict too early in the Trump presidency which of his initial policies will be approved by the Congress and eventually enforced. Even ordinary people will soon realize the importance of issues such as Free Trade and economic policies as we all experience their effects first-hand.

The issue, known in trade jargon as rules of origin, figures to be a major bone of contention as President Trump undertakes his promise to radically overhaul the North American Free Trade Agreement.

And here’s an example of how it works…

On motor vehicles, there is a provision allowing duty-free imports and exports so long as at least 62.5% of the value of a vehicle originates in one or more of the three nations. Trump’s trade team is looking to raise that percentage significantly, on the theory that it will boost domestic production and jobs by preventing manufacturers from bringing in more components from Asia and other countries outside North America.

There’s no assurance, however, that a higher rule of origin threshold, say 75% or 80%, will prompt car makers to move work from existing locations or make new investments in the U.S. rather than in the other two countries, particularly Mexico.

Building new manufacturing plants or expanding existing ones would require companies to spend millions, even billions of dollars. And manufacturers don’t want to be saddled with excess capacity should the market slow down.


The American economy is actually progressing and I am sure many ordinary Americans can feel this progress. However, many people can't also hide their fears about the erratic policies of the new administration. His unorthodox ways may indeed be a concern for many and fearful that whatever momentum we are now enjoying will be stunted. However, let us remain hopeful that he has the best interests of the country and every citizen at heart.

Businesses may have to cope with certain policy changes – big or small – and ride the tide as the country attempts to achieve greatness once more. But that's just the way things go.

The following blog article How Will Local Businesses Fare During The Trump Admin? See more on:


Saturday, 6 May 2017

The Woes Of Live Streaming

The internet is a modern playground for the young and the old alike. You’ll never run out of things to do nor suffer from boredom anymore. For instance, social media not only helps you connect with family and friends but lets you follow and stay updated on the lives of your favorite stars. If you are a movie buff, Youtube is home to millions of videos and films both old and new ones you can watch anytime of the day. The web is like an answered prayer to many of man’s problems. We just want to stay connected to everyone we know and the web provides that all for us.

The popularity of live streaming can’t also be denied especially during special events, sports games, movies, etc. Social media sites now also offer its users to live stream events, so you feel like a star in your own right. You can broadcast your video on the internet through any smartphone or computer, just as long as it has a working camera. You can come up with your own vlog or use it to promote your business, the possibilities are endless. With all this technology right on our fingertips, is it really doing us any good? The Internet can be used in disturbing ways such as ordinary individual live streaming their suicides and the crimes they commit. Yes, it is real and it has happened many times and again.

"Why would someone videotape themselves committing a crime? To most of us, it sounds completely ridiculous," said Ari Waldman, associate professor and director of the Innovation Center for Law and Technology at New York Law School.

Waldman said there's a simple explanation for why more crime is being live streamed: The technology is better and more accessible, making it easier for more people to live stream anything.

"We have more people using the tech. As a result, we have more people using it in bad ways," he said.

The problem was acknowledged by Const. Tammy Skrabek at a news conference in Winnipeg on Tuesday, where she said officers arrested three people after someone watching the weekend live stream reported the assault to police.

"I think we are going to be seeing more of that in the future, and we are going to have, maybe, [to] put a little bit different resources now … into investigating these internet crimes and identifying suspects and ultimately arresting them," she said.

"We are still trying to figure out how we are going to follow up these investigations."


But there is also a bad side to livestreaming. The television and the film industry suffer from illegal live streaming of their shows and films and they end up losing a lot of money from cyber criminals who broadcast their shows to the public without their permission.

Pass my pirate’s eye patch, I’m off to the criminal underworld to steal from the entertainment industry. The economy will be severely damaged and people will lose their jobs because of my selfish desire to keep up with the unfolding drama on some obscure Canadian television series which has taken my fancy.

I’d happily pay for this content, in fact I’d prefer to pay for this content. But I can’t. Whatever legal channel I go to waving my credit card and three-digit security code airily dismisses my supplications.

Some viewers do not mind paying for content they want to watch while most of us want to see it for free whenever possible. However, some sites have problems with their payment system that they end up losing money instead of generating profits.

This week, seven major film and television studios were granted injunctions by an Irish court that will direct Irish internet service providers to block access to websites which stream popular television shows and films. On these websites you can watch current film and television releases without paying for them. Which is not a good thing – but then neither is preventing honest consumers from paying for content they want to watch.


Technology has drastically changed everything we know of in the world. Many things that we only see in the movies before are now the reality we live in. You don’t need to be a celebrity to flaunt your videos on the Internet. With your handy smartphone, you can livestream your activities, so your friends and followers can see it on social media for free. You can generate money from the videos you live stream but it can also be used by criminals who are lurking everywhere on the web. So, always exercise extreme caution when uploading content on the web especially if you're into vlogging for a living.

The following blog article The Woes Of Live Streaming Find more on: I Am Not An Artist Blog


Monday, 1 May 2017

Staying Fit And Healthy In The Era of Social Media

People were more active back then. The absence of too much technology prompted people to do things on their own when they can’t rely on a gadget or two to wash their dishes, heat their food or research their homework. Everything was done by scratch. And people led more active lives too. People actually go out of the house to keep themselves entertained since nothing much is on TV and they didn’t have a smartphone to fiddle with.

Nowadays, people can’t get enough of social media. It borders on an addiction/ obsession already. And as we become more dependent and obsessed with technology, the less time we have to move around and take care of our physical health. Even sleep is compromised as you stay up late at night to keep yourself updated on the happenings on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram. As a result, our physical health deteriorates and obesity is becoming a global issue. People these days have no time to engage in actual sports but they play all sorts of games on their smartphones, tablets, and computers.

You just won a big game with your team and one way to commemorate the victory is by posting a video of the celebration on your Instagram or Snapchat. Should you post?

You just lost a big game with your team and one way of venting is to post your frustrations on Facebook or Twitter. Should you post? Maybe you should take this play off.


Sounds familiar, right? Oh, the woes of modern living. While we loathe technology for a number of things, we also have a reason to be thankful for it.

Social media has a mixed reputation. You can get sucked in, focus on the negative and even start comparing your experiences to those of your friends. But if you recognize that your friends have bad days, too, and that the world is bigger than the latest political debate, social media can actually be a powerful tool for improving your health.

Maybe it’s counter-intuitive, but social media connects you to friends who can help motivate and inspire you, day after day. If your friends have your back, then their comments on social media will help you push forward when you need it most.

You may have gotten off track from the exercise you promised yourself in the new year, but with summer coming—and beach trips and weddings on the calendar—now is the perfect time to get back into a healthy routine, and you can bring your social network along.

Sharing your intentions with friends is an effective way to maintain healthy habits. 


By broadcasting your fitness goals to your social media circle, you feel more pressured to stick to your plans and deliver the results you wanted because people will definitely ask you for it sooner rather than later. You can even post before and after photos not only to show off your sexy and healthy figure but to inspire others as well. In short, become a fitspiration for all your friends and followers.

For the average student, social media is an entertaining and enjoyable way to communicate with family and friends. For the student athlete, however, a simple tweet can ruin one’s entire athletic career.

Social media popularity – and in turn public scrutiny – continues to grow at a blistering pace. Critical commentary, compromising photos and other questionable content make for some uncomfortable conversations, embarrassing introductions, legal troubles and can potentially cost high-profile athletes millions of dollars.


You can still stay fit and healthy despite the world’s social media obsession. You’d be surprised that social media is a rich resource for articles, videos, and photos of fitness plans and goals that you can do on your own at home. There is no need to spend lots of money on a gym membership or pay for a personal trainer to stay active. You can simply watch a Youtube video online and you are good to go. So, no need to get all stressed up with all your online activity but use it to your advantage to improve your health and physique without spending anything at all.

Staying Fit And Healthy In The Era of Social Media was initially seen on I Am Not An Artist Blog