Humans are not the only ones suffering from this winter’s extreme flu season, with veterinarians across the U.S. advising dog owners to get their furry friends vaccinated.
“Canine flu is one of the infectious respiratory things that we can see in dogs,” Dr. Jess Fejes, medical director at the Veterinary Emergency Group, told Fox 29.
Canine flu symptoms include coughing, sneezing, eye and nose discharge, fever, lethargy and trouble breathing. While there are limited treatment options after a dog becomes infected, there is a preventative vaccine. While it is not a core puppy vaccine, dogs that are at risk for catching the flu virus can receive it from their vet.
A dog looks on as veterinarian technician Justin Jones gives a canine influenza immunization at Los Gatos Dog and Cat Hospital. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
DogFlu.com shows a map of dog influenza outbreaks across the U.S., including recent outbreaks in nine states, including New York, Texas, Florida, South Carolina and Pennsylvania.
Vets are now having the flu shot discussion with dog owners. They say not every dog needs the vaccine, but if a dog is social, it’s something an owner should consider.
“It’s going to be somewhat specific, based on region and what they are exposed to, but, generally, dogs exposed to a lot of other dogs, dogs in doggie day care, boarding, things like that,” Dr. Fejes explained.
A dog waits to be seen at Los Gatos Dog and Cat Hospital on January 25, 2018, in Los Gatos, California. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
Vials of canine influenza vaccine sit on a table at Los Gatos Dog and Cat Hospital on Jan. 25, 2018, in Los Gatos, California. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
If pet owners choose to keep their dog unvaccinated, there are still ways to ensure that your pooch stays safe this flu season. The viruses spread through the air, so places where dogs congregate, like dog parks, can be risky for man’s best friend.
“Canine influenza is transmitted through droplets or aerosols containing respiratory secretions from coughing, barking and sneezing. Dogs in close contact with infected dogs in places such as kennels, groomers, day care facilities and shelters are at increased risk of infection.” the American Veterinary Medical Association explained. “Canine influenza can be spread indirectly through objects (e.g., kennels, food and water bowls, collars and leashes) or people that have been in contact with infected dogs.”
Dog owners should always be on the lookout for warning signs. If your dog stops eating or has difficulty breathing, contact your veterinarian. Getting your dog vaccinated for canine influenza may not prevent infection altogether, but it may reduce the severity and duration of the illness, the American Veterinary Medical Association advised.
While there’s a lot happening on Earth, the sun is the real star of our show — pun intended. Hanging out at an average 93 million miles away from Earth, the sun is a perfect mixture of hydrogen and helium that spit-roasts our planet just right as we travel around its bright, glowing body. But although the sun is central to our survival, there’s still a lot we don’t know about it. For decades, space agencies have been sending missions to explore the sun and find answers; in 2021, NASA’s Parker Solar Probe became the first spacecraft to “touch” the sun by entering its upper atmosphere (still some 4 million miles away from its surface). Based on research from these missions and more, here are some of the most interesting things we’ve learned about the sun — and some of our best guesses at what its future might look like.
The sun seems eternal — an ever-present, life-giving fireball in the sky — but not even it can escape the wear and tear of time. Some 4.6 billion years ago, the sun formed from a solar nebula, a spinning cloud of gas and dust that collapsed under its own gravity. During its stellar birth, nearly all of the nebula’s mass became the sun, leaving the rest to form the planets, moons, and other objects in our solar system. Even today, the sun makes up 99.8% of all mass in the solar system.
Currently in its yellow dwarf stage, the sun has about another 5 billion years to go before it uses up all its hydrogen, expands into a red giant, and eventually collapses into a white dwarf. So at 4.6 billion years old, the sun could be best described as “middle-aged” — but we don’t think it looks a day over 3 billion.
The sunlight that reaches your eyes is older than you might think. It takes a little over eight minutes for photons from the surface of the sun to reach Earth, meaning every time you glimpse the sun (hopefully with sunglasses!), it actually looks as it appeared eight minutes ago. However, this photon blazing at the speed of light is at the end of a very long journey. Once a photon enters the sun’s “radiative zone,” the area between the core and the convective zone (the final layer which stretches to the surface), energy is absorbed after a very short distance into another atom, which then shoots that energy into yet another direction. The overall effect is what scientists call a “random walk,” and the result is that it can take a single photon thousands of years — up to 100,000 years — to escape the sun. As our knowledge of the sun grows, scientists will likely refine this number, but for now it’s safe to say that it takes “a long time.”
The Sun’s Atmosphere Is Much Hotter Than Its Surface
As you travel farther from the surface of Earth, things usually get colder and colder. Planes traveling at 35,000 feet, for example, travel through the stratosphere and experience temperatures around -60 degrees Fahrenheit. However, the sun’s atmosphere works inexactly the opposite way. While the surface of the sun hovers around 10,000 degrees Fahrenheit, the atmosphere (or corona) of the sun is hundreds of times hotter, with temperatures reaching up to 3.6 million degrees Fahrenheit.
Scientists aren’t exactly sure why the sun’s atmosphere is so much hotter than the surface. One leading theory is that a series of explosions called “nanoflares” release heat upwards of 18 million degrees Fahrenheit throughout the atmosphere. Although small when compared to the sun, these nanoflares are the equivalent of a 10 megaton hydrogen bomb, and approximately a million of them “go off” across the sun every second. Another theory is that the sun’s magnetic field is somehow transferring heat from its core, which rests at a blazing 27 million degrees Fahrenheit, to its corona.
Different Parts of the Sun Rotate at Different Speeds
The sun doesn’t rotate like your typical planet. While the Earth’s core does rotate ever so slightly faster than the planet’s surface, it mostly moves as one solid mass. The sun? Not so much. First of all, it’s a giant ball of gas rather than a rigid sphere like Earth. The gases at the sun’s core spin about four times faster than at its surface. The sun’s gases also spin at different speeds depending on their latitude. For example, the gases at the sun’s equator rotate much faster than the areas at higher latitudes, closer to the poles. A rotation that takes 25 Earth days at the sun’s equator takes 35 days to make the same journey near the poles.
The Sun Completes Its Own Galactic Orbit Every 250 Million Years
Picture a grade-school model of the solar system, and it’s easy to forget that the sun is on its own galactic journey. While the Earth orbits the sun, the sun is orbiting the center of the Milky Way galaxy. On its orbiting journey, it travels roughly 140 miles per second, or about 450,000 miles per hour (by comparison, the Earth travels around the sun at only 67,000 miles per hour). Although blazing fast by Earth standards, it still takes our star roughly 230 million years to complete a full revolution.
In About 1 Billion Years, the Sun Will Kill All Life on Earth …
In 5 billion years, the sun will enter its red giant phase and engulf many of the inner solar system planets, including Earth. However, Earth will lose its ability to sustain life much earlier than that, because the sun is steadily getting hotter as it ages. Scientists estimate that anywhere between 600 million and 1.5 billion years from now, the Earth will experience a runaway greenhouse effect induced by our warming sun that will evaporate all water on Earth and make life on our blue marble impossible (except for maybe some tiny microorganisms buried deep underground). Eventually, Earth will resemble Venus, a hellish planet warmed beyond habitability due to its thick atmosphere and proximity to the sun. Luckily, humanity has at least several hundred million years to figure out a plan B.
… But Life Only Exists Because of the Sun in the First Place
You can’t get too mad at the sun for its warming ways, because life couldn’t exist without it. Earth is perfectly placed in what astronomers call a star’s “goldilocks zone,” where the sun isn’t too hot or too cold but just right. This advantageous distance has allowed life to flourish on Earth, with the sun bathing our planet in life-giving warmth. The sun also gives plants the light they need to grow and produce oxygen, which in turn forms the bedrock of the web of life — and it’s all thanks to the middle-aged, hydrogen-burning, massively huge star at the center of our solar system.
A recent incident in the UK serves as a warning of the dangers that Britain’s censorious state poses to the right to free speech.
Isabel-Vaughan-Spruce, a charity volunteer, was arrested and charged for a silent prayer “thought crime” near an abortion facility
Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) released a video on Thursday showing police confronting Spruce, who was arrested for violating a Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) after she was seen praying silently near an abortion facility four times in Kings Norton, Birmingham.
Spruce, a longtime charity worker for vulnerable women and children, was praying in silence when police officers approached her and inquired about what she was doing outside the abortion clinic. She said that she “might be praying in my head, not out loud.”
Police: I’ll ask you once more. Will you voluntarily come with us now to the police station for…
Suffering: Giant Pandas YaYa And LeLe At Memphis Zoo Credit: Panda Voices
UPDATE! A huge victory for Giant Pandas YaYa, 22, and LeLe, 24, who will be sent back to their homeland of China, according to a statement from the Memphis Zoo. In Defense of Animals and Panda Voices, who have been lobbying for the pandas’ release for nearly two years, announced the news today.
“After far too many years of suffering in a grossly inappropriate zoo exhibit, YaYa and LeLe will finally get improved care at a specialized panda refuge in their homeland,” said Brittany Michelson, Captive Animals Campaigner for In Defense of Animals.
“We applaud the Memphis Zoo and Chinese authorities for making the ethical decision to return the pandas to China once the loan contract ends in April 2023. We thank Billie Eilish and our many thousands of supporters worldwide for helping us encourage the zoo…
This list was first posted on December 26th, 2016. I think it is still good advice.
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Top Ten Things Not to Do on The Day After Christmas
10 On the day after Christmas, do not venture out to return gifts. If you do, at best, due to the lines, you will get to return three in eight hours. At worse, you will encounter conditions much like warfare and require treatment for PGRTS. (Post Gift Return Traumatic Syndrome is nothing to take lightly, Buford.)
9 On the day after Christmas, do not watch a bowl game. If you do, at best, it won’t keep you awake. At worst, the two teams will be so bad you will totally regret the time spent watching. (You never realized a schedule made up entirely six loss teams could be so dull, did you, Bunky. Bunky?…
The emergency order from the US Energy Department allowed the state’s grid operator to exceed certain air pollution limits to boost generation amid record power demand in the state. The Electric Reliability Council of Texas, whose service area includes 90% of electric customers in Texas, requested the emergency order Friday, warning it may need to resort to blackouts. TRANSLATION – fire up more coal and gas plants!
Fortunately a repetition of the blackouts last year was avoided. But as we can see, it was gas power which came to the rescue, as wind power collapsed to virtually nothing at the same time as demand surged:
On today’s date 153 years ago, Christmas Day, Saturday, December 25, 1869, notorious sixteen-year-old outlaw John Wesley Hardin (1853-1895), the son of a Methodist preacher, was playing cards at the town of Towash in Hill County, Texas, & had won many hands when a town tough, Jim Bradley, a big loser, suddenly jerked forth a knife & threatened: “You win another hand & I cut out your liver, Kid.” Hardin was unarmed at the time & politely excused himself. He went to his room & strapped on two six-guns.
☞That night, Hardin stepped into the main street of Towash wearing his two revolvers. Down the street stood Jim Bradley, who also wore a gun & had been looking for Hardin. Hardin walked toward Bradley who cursed him & then fired a shot in Hardin’s direction, the bullet missing its mark. Hardin’s hands flashed…
As we enter the week between Christmas and New Year’s, we always seem to be besieged with list after list of the “top news stories of the year”, the “best fill in the blank of 2022”, and on and on. It gets to be a little nauseating. So, this year, I’m going to give you what I considered to be the top ten Biden Blunders of the year. Now, realize that some of his biggest blunders (I’m looking at the Afghanistan withdrawal) took place in 2021 and aren’t eligible for this year’s list. With that in mind…here we go!
10. The Iranian Nuclear Deal. Ever wonder what actually happened to this one? It basically died on the table. Yes, Biden wanted to bring back Bobo Obama’s worst foreign policy deal, something that was supposed to be Obama’s “signature foreign policy legacy item”. It didn’t work. In fact, Iran’s Ayatollah called…
Elves take many forms. For starters, there’s the diminutive, pointy-eared elf that often appears in fairy tales. In fantasy literature like J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings and many role-playing games, elves are human-sized, willowy, and wise. In Northern European folklore, they’re clever, supernatural tricksters.
Each December, however, the hardworking, friendly elves under the employ of Santa Claus reign supreme. When Yuletide rolls around, it’s only natural to have elves on the brain. But do you know how those mischievous sprites became Christmas helpers? Or why should you be cautious around a dancing elf? Get in the holiday spirit with these six interesting facts about elves.
The concept of elves got its start in Northern Europe, from early Norse mythology to the Germanic folklore of the Middle Ages. Elf myths varied by region, and were often told in conjunction with fairy folklore. While some elves were benevolent, more often than not they were volatile troublemakers.
Illnesses, both human and animal, were often pinned on elves, as were bad dreams — supposedly, elves caused them by sitting on the sleeper. (The German word for nightmare, alpdrücken, translates literally to “elf pressure.”) They were even rumored to steal babies. While helpful elves sometimes worked their way into the mythology, early elves were certainly a far cry from the cheery toy manufacturers that came to dominate modern wintertime folklore.
In Scandinavian mythology, elves are typically portrayed as powerful, supernatural beings, and they often used music and dancing as a way to enchant and ensnare humans — like in the story of The Elf-Woman and Sir Olaf. In the tale, a knight stumbles into the elf world the day before his wedding and encounters elf maidens dancing. He’s asked to join the dance but refuses. As a result, he dies, although the ending differs in the story’s many variations. Another ballad, called “Elvehoj,” has a happier ending: Elf maidens attempt to draw him into dances that would permanently bind him to the elf world, but they’re ultimately unsuccessful.
Still another legend tells of the Elf-king’s tune: When a fiddler plays the song, it compels everyone in earshot, including inanimate objects, to dance. The fiddler can’t stop playing once the song has begun, unless he or she can play backwards, or someone cuts the fiddle’s strings. These dance themes continue in later Scandinavian texts, such as Hans Christian Andersen’s 1845 tale The Elf Mound, which describes elf maidens performing dances to impress party guests.
Christmas Elves First Emerged in the 19th Century
Credit: Buyenlarge/ Archive Photos via Getty Images
It wasn’t until the 1800s that elves began to be associated with Christmas. One of the earliest references was Clement Clarke Moore’s 1823 poem “A Visit From St. Nicholas” (more commonly known as “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas,” from its first line), which described Santa himself as a “jolly old elf.” In 1856, Little Women author Louisa May Alcott wrote a short story called “Christmas Elves” — but that story was never published, so it didn’t popularize the concept.
Nonetheless, the concept of Santa’s elves had certainly entered the cultural lexicon by the 1870s, when other works started mentioning elves. A December 1873 issue of Godey’s Lady Book — a highly influential women’s magazine that also helped popularize the Christmas tree as a tradition in America — led with an image of Santa’s workshop, complete with his elf helpers.
J.R.R. Tolkien Preferred the Middle English Word “Elven” Instead of “Elfin”
When J.R.R. Tolkien wrote his famous Lord of the Rings series, “elven” was considered an obsolete Middle English word. According to the Oxford English Dictionary (OED), it was originally a noun that meant “female elf,” or simply “elf.” When Tolkien wrote the series, “elfish” or “elfin,” which had its first print appearance in 1590, were the terms used to describe “having to do with elves.”
Tolkien, also well known for his expertise in language and folklore, deliberately used “elven” and “elvish” instead, which became somewhat of a headache when it came time to proofread The Fellowship of the Ring. “The impertinent compositors have taken it upon themselves to correct, as they suppose, my spelling and grammar,” Tolkien wrote to his son in August 1953, “altering throughout ‘dwarves’ to ‘dwarfs’; ‘elvish’ to ‘elfish’… and worst of all, ‘elven’ — to ‘elfin.’”
To this day, neither Merriam-Webster nor Dictionary.com recognizes “elven” as a word, although Merriam-Webster recognizes “elvish.” The OED says that “elvish” specifically refers to elves as they’re described in Tolkien’s books, though the word has also become popular in other elf-related fantasy circles.
The Elf on a Shelf Tradition Started With a Self-Published Book
The Elf on a Shelf is a Christmas season ritual in which a parent hides a “Scout Elf” doll each morning for kids to find. The idea is that the elf watches the family, reports back to Santa at night if the kids have been naughty or nice, and then sets up in a different spot in the home for the next day.
This now-ubiquitous Christmas tradition dates to 2005, when a mother and her twin daughters pitched the idea for a book based on their own family ritual. After they were rejected by publishers, the trio took out credit cards and dipped into retirement funds to self-publish the book The Elf on the Shelf: A Christmas Tradition, which came with an elf for the reader’s own shelf. It was a runaway success, and over the next 15 years, more than 14.5 million Scout Elves were sold as the practice became a regular part of Christmas for families all over the world. The design of what’s now known as a “Scout Elf” is much older than the tradition itself. It bears a striking resemblance to the “knee-hugger” elves of the 1950s and 1960s; perhaps one of these was the family’s original elf.
One Elf in “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” Lacks a Notable Feature
There’s much that sets Hermy the Misfit Elf apart from the rest of his North Pole co-workers in the 1964 animated TV special Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. The most obvious and central to the plot is that he wants to be a dentist rather than manufacture toys. He also appears to be the only junior employee with a visible hairstyle — a stylish, swoopy blond mop.
But another feature sets Hermy apart that you may not have noticed: He does not have the pointy ears typically associated with elves. The other assembly workers, and even the gruff, goateed factory supervisor, all have pointy ears. Once you notice they are missing, it’s hard to unsee it, especially since his actual ears are quite small and rounded.
Special diet: gluten-free, nut-free, oil-free, soy-free, vegan
Creamy chocolate vegan fudge is a no-bake treat that’s easy to make with only 2 ingredients. No double boiler or special equipment required. And it’s just as delicious as traditional fudge.
No bake sweets like pumpkin balls and vegan rice crispy treats are perfect for the holidays. You can make them for friends, family, or just yourself with minimal effort.
Vegan fudge is another favorite that tastes as decadent and chocolaty as the traditional version and is easy to prepare. Simply melt chocolate chips with store-bought vegan sweetened condensed milk, pour into a pan, and refrigerate until set.
Perfect for Christmas treats, homemade gifts, or just because!Jump to:
Why you’ll love this recipe
You only need 2 ingredients and 10 minutes of active time to make it.
It keeps for 2 weeks or can be frozen for up to 3 months.
You don’t need any special equipment like a double boiler or candy thermometer.
Sweetened condensed coconut milk: A replacement for dairy-based sweetened condensed milk. Made with coconut milk and sugar.
Nature’s Charm Sweetened Condensed Coconut Milk
Vegan, dairy-free, soy-free, and gluten-free.
Use in recipes calling for sweetened condensed milk including desserts and beverages.
Rich and tasty.
For the complete list of ingredients with measurements plus recipe instructions, please see the recipe card at the bottom of this post.
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Line an 8×8 inch baking pan with parchment paper.
Add the chocolate chops and sweetened condensed coconut milk to a medium saucepan.
Warm over low heat, stirring, until the chocolate is melted and combined with the milk.
Pour into the pan, smooth out, and let set in the refrigerator before cutting into squares.
The mixture will be thick and may be difficult to spread in the pan. Shake it back and forth and use a rubber spatula to even it out as best you can.
What can you use instead of sweetened condensed milk?
If you don’t want to purchase vegan sweetened condensed milk, or it’s unavailable where you live, you can make your own by simmering full-fat coconut milk or coconut cream and cane sugar until thick.
What types of chocolate chips are vegan?
Look for chocolate chips that do not contain dairy products. Some popular brands are Enjoy Life, Trader Joe’s, Kroger Simple Truth Organic® Semi-Sweet Vegan Chocolate Chips, 365 by Whole Foods Organic Semi Sweet Chocolate Chips, and NESTLÉ® TOLL HOUSE® Allergen Free Semi-Sweet Morsels.
Can you make fudge in a microwave?
If you would like to make this vegan fudge in a microwave instead of on the stove, add the chocolate chips to a large microwave safe bowl. Pour the vegan sweetened condensed milk over the chips. Microwave for 60 seconds, then stir the mixture. Microwave for 60 more seconds and stir again. Continue to microwave at 30 second intervals until the chocolate has completely melted and combined with the milk.
Why is fudge not vegan?
Traditional fudge is made with butter and milk, making it not suitable for vegans.
▢ Line an 8 inch by 8 inch baking pan with parchment paper. Set aside.
▢ Place the chocolate chips and sweetened condensed coconut milk in a medium saucepan.
▢ Over low heat, stir constantly until the chocolate chips are melted and fully combined with the milk.
▢ Pour the chocolate mixture into the lined baking pan. Use a rubber spatula to spread it out as evenly as you can.
▢ Cover and refrigerate the pan for at least 2 hours to set.
▢ Pull up the parchment paper to remove the fudge from the pan. Use a sharp knife to cut it into 4 equal pieces. Then cut each of those pieces into 9 so you end up with 36 pieces. Enjoy right away or refrigerate for later.
The mixture will be thick and may be difficult to spread in the pan. Shake it back and forth and use a rubber spatula to even it out as best you can.
Store the fudge in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Following in the spirit of Britain's Queen Boudica, Queen of the Iceni. A boudica.us site. I am an opinionator, do your own research, verification. Reposts, reblogs do not neccessarily reflect our views.