Infinity Dreams Award

¡Hola a todos! Many, many weeks ago I was nominated for the Infinity Dreams Award, and I have finally gotten around to posting about it. If you’d like to check out this post, click here.

Also, this is the first post for which I have produced English and Spanish versions. I’d like to write more multilingual posts as my Spanish skills improve, but this one took me a long time to translate. So for now I might only produce bilingual posts for my simplest pieces and/or as time permits.

Here’s the link de nuevo (again)!

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Register Now for a Live-Stream Discussion about Trophy Hunting and Lion Conservation on August 10

Hello everybody!

I just learned that the National Geographic Society is hosting a live-stream discussion about lion conservation and trophy hunting on August 10: World Lion Day. The forum will feature several prominent big cat scientists and conservationists, and it will take place from 9:30 – 11am – I’m assuming that’s EST.

For more information, including how to register, click here to check out my newest post.

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A Very Special Thank You

Hello everyone, a lot has been happening in the big cat conservation world lately! Just a few days ago I received an email from the Snow Leopard Trust about a campaign I previously helped to publicize on my blog. Some of their partner communities in rural Pakistan had been decimated by catastrophic flooding, and the Snow Leopard Trust was trying to raise money to help the villagers recover.

In the end they were able to raise over $10,000, which has since been put to good use. Click here to read more about it on my blog!

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Happy Word Tiger Day!

Hello everyone, today is World Tiger Day! July 29 has been set aside to honor the world’s most magnificent land predator, and to mobilize international support to prevent its extinction! Therefore I have just released a new post with information about how you can learn more about tigers and help reverse their startling decline.

Here’s the link to the post!

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The Seven Pillars of Wisdom: A Book with no Equal

“This therefore is a faded dream of the time when I went down into the dust and noise of the Eastern market-places, and with my brain and muscles, with sweat and constant thinking, made others see my visions coming true” (Lawrence, 1922, p. 10).

The above words have haunted me for at least the past five years. When I first read them in the introduction to the Seven Pillars of Wisdom: a Triumph by T. E. Lawrence, I knew I had struck literary gold: I could feel it in my body. I could not have been more right.

The Seven Pillars of Wisdom is T. E. Lawrence’s (AKA Lawrence of Arabia) magnum opus, and one that “ranks with the greatest books ever written in the English language;” according to Winston Churchill. It is Lawrence’s account of his experiences during the Arab Revolt of 1916-18; a conflict which played a large role in making the Middle East what it is today.

But the Seven Pillars of Wisdom is more than just a memoir: it is a masterpiece. No, it is an experience. Lawrence’s words are imbued with so much power, so much emotion, that many times the sheer beauty of his writing has brought me to the edge of tears. This is not a book that was ever intended to make money (Lawrence himself refused to profit off of it), it was meant to be an extension of the author’s soul. And it is. When I first read The Seven Pillars, I felt as if I was talking with Lawrence himself; so clearly does his essence show through his writing.

The Seven Pillars of Wisdom has personal significance for me as well. I first experienced it during a down period in my life. Like many people in their early 20s, I felt lost and confused. The overwhelming beauty of Lawrence’s writing broke me out of my self-absorption and forced me to focus on it, and the adventure at the heart of this tale made me yearn for adventures of my own. The Seven Pillars also made me more interested in one of the most heavily stereotyped regions of the world: the Middle East.

Apart from being a literary masterpiece, the Seven Pillars of Wisdom describes the geography of Arabia and the customs of its inhabitants at the dawn of the 20th Century in great detail. Lawrence was uniquely able to describe the minute details of the desert landscape in the most captivating of ways. His love of the Bedouin is also contagious, and his writing opened my eyes to how rich Middle Eastern history really is. It is now one of my goals to explore this critical region when the political situation calms down.

To summarize, the Seven Pillars of Wisdom is like no other book. It is at once a historical thriller, a window into the world of the Bedouin, a natural history chronicle, and an exquisite literary masterpiece. This book has literally changed people’s lives, and it has the potential to do the same for you. All you have to do is read it, and allow it to inspire you to dream. For in the words of T. E. Lawrence:

“Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that all was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dream with open eyes, and make it possible” (1922, p. 10).

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Sign Up to Help Snow Leopards

Hello friends!

I’ve recently learned of a quick and painless way you can help conserve snow leopards. All you have to do is subscribe to the Snow Leopard Trust’s email list, and a donor will give them $2 for every new subscriber! To learn more about this organization (possibly my favorite NGO) and opportunity, click here to read my latest post!

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Thanks for Helping to Make National Wild Cats’ Day a Success!

¡Hola a todos! You might recall that in May I shared a request from a conservation organization in Costa Rica who was attempting to raise money for celebrations in rural communities on National Wild Cats’ Day (Día Nacional del Felino Silvestre).

I have recently received an update on this initiative via email, and have translated and shared the information on my blog. Click here to check it out!

Also, I see that the forum received 21 views in one hour a little while ago. Congratulations!

Review of Beyond Cecil: Africa’s Lions in Crisis

Hello everybody!

Three big-name conservation NGOs are currently collaborating on a campaign to reverse the decline of lions in Africa. As part of this initiative, called Let Lions Live, they have released a report about the state of Africa’s lions and what can be done to save them. I have summarized and reviewed the article for your convenience in my latest post. It’s mostly an excellent report, but I have one very small critique about the way it leads people to think of human-lion conflict.

Click here to read the post!

Also, I am moving to California tomorrow. So please forgive me if I don’t respond to your comments as quickly as usual.

What to do if You Encounter a Wild Jaguar

¡Hola a todos! I realize that the chance of any of us encountering a jaguar in the wild is exceedingly low. But surely it can’t hurt to be prepared! In addition, the steps one should take to remain safe in the presence of a jaguar are very similar for what to do around most large predators.

Therefore I have just shared an excellent blog post from the NGO Panthera about what to do if one meets a jaguar. I have also included a bonus video of a rare black jaguar swimming across a river in the Amazon Rain Forest, because I can.

Click here to check out my latest post!

Reflecting on One Year of Blogging

Hello everyone! Last week marked the one-year anniversary of my blog, and I have thus released a post to commemorate that event. It mainly highlights three lessons I’ve learned since I started blogging, and gives a brief explanation of what to expect for the coming year.

Here’s the link!