Enter the ISF Website Quiz Contest!

How much do you know about ISF? Enter our ISF Quiz Contest and prove you’re an ISF expert. Win some awesome ISF gear! You have from now until September 21 @ 11:59 pm EST to take the quiz. Click here to get your quiz questions!

Make sure you read the official contest rules here: http://www.isfoundation.com/news/isf-college-orientation-week-official-contest-rules

#RAK: It’s Thursday, AKA Random Act of Kindness day!

Start the school year off right! Random Acts of Kindness are absolutely infectious. Give away free hugs, tell someone they look nice, or pick up litter on your campus. No act is too small. Make sure you tweet photos of your random acts of kindness, and make sure you hashtag #RAKdayISF and show us how awesome you are. For more ideas/info, click here! 

#RAKdayISF and Quiz Contest

Tomorrow September 18 is #RAKday and the Quiz Contest!

Show us what types of random acts of kindess you do using #RAKdayISF!

We look forward to seeing all the great things you do!

Make sure to stop by our Tumblr page for more information!

http://isforientationweek.tumblr.com/thursday

IStandFor Video Contest!!

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Want to win some awesome ISF gear? Enter our ISF College IStandFor Video Contest! Here are the rules:

    - Create a video that is 30 seconds or less describing what you 
       stand for!
    - Send submissions to college@isfoundation.net by 11:59 pm EST 
       Friday!
    - Make sure the subject of the email is “IStandFor Video Contest”
    - Follow our ISF College Orientation Week 2014 campaign blog for more information, prize details, and other fun tidbits at: 
http://isforientationweek.tumblr.com

#ISFOrientationWeek!

Make sure to check out #ISFOrientationWeek! Check it out on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram! New events will be happening all week, and you sure do not want to miss them! Check back every day for new information!

Remember tomorrow 9/16 to use #IStandFor for our IStandFor video contest!

Here are the rules!

 Contest BEGINS Tuesday at 8 am EST, please don’t submit 
       anything until then!
    - Create a video that is 30 seconds or less describing what you 
       stand for!
    - Send submissions to college@isfoundation.net by 11:59 pm EST 
       Friday!
    - Make sure the subject of the email is “IStandFor Video Contest”
    - Click the link above for details and prize info!

http://isforientationweek.tumblr.com

Have fun and make sure to check out the brand new articles that just went live! 

http://www.isfoundation.com/campaign/who-do-you-think-you-are

It’s ISFCollege Orientation Week! Here is our full schedule of events for the week. We’ve got contests, challenges, articles, and more contests lined up from now until Sept. 20! Win yourself some awesome ISF gear! Follow our ISF Orientation Week page here to keep up to date with this week’s exciting events! Join in on the fun on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram!
Horseshoe Crabs: An Ancient Species on the Path to Extinction?

Everything you know about horseshoe crabs is a lie. …Okay maybe not everything you know is a lie. But did you know that horseshoe crabs are not crabs at all? In fact, they are more closely related to spiders than they are to crabs. Talk about a misnomer! 

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This incredible species has been on the planet, relatively unchanged, for 500 million years. Basically, they are more kick-ass than the dinosaurs. But over the past century or so, they’re population has been declining: and it’s entirely our fault. Here’s why:

1. Overharvesting. These guys are often used to bait eels. That’s all fine and good (circle of life and all that) but when you’re talking about harvesting millions and millions of these prehistoric wonders and cutting them up for nasty old eels, we’ve got a problem. But that’s not the bigger issue here.

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2. We’re harvesting their blood, too. What? No, really. Being prehistoric wonders and all, they have a very primitive immune system within their blood stream. When a harmful bacteria or other substance enters the body, the blood coagulates around it. As a result of having this incredible blood, these spiders of the ocean are being caught by the millions and 1/3 of their blood is removed before they are turned loose. We use this incredible baby-blue prehistoric blood to test medicines and medical equipment for the presence of harmful bacteria, before they are approved by the FDA. Before, we thought that the extraction process had no effect on the “crabs,” except of course for the 3-15% that die during the procedure. But some studies have shown that there are some long-term drawbacks: female horseshoe crabs who survive the process and are released become more lethargic, and are less likely to climb ashore to reproduce during mating season. This has some pretty heavy implications for their population as a whole. A synthetic liquid that has the same coagulating properties as the horseshoe crab blood may be in the works, but at this time, the harvest continues.

What are your thoughts? Should we continue this practice and risk the existence of a 500-million-year-old species to save our own skin?

-Kylie

(@KyleMeredithh)

How to Procrastinate: With Cute Animals

Odds are you’re on Tumblr right now as a mode of procrastination. Studying is rough, and you’re not at the right mental state right now to study effectively. We totally get it. Take a brain break with us and check out these cute animal fun-facts:

This is a sea otter playing basketball. Sea otters are super-smart, as well as super-cute. They are known to hold hands with each other while sleeping so that they don’t float away from one another. They also have special pockets in their fur where they store their favorite rocks. Could they get any cuter?

This adorable Fennec fox has some pretty big ears. He uses them to help dissipate heat. He also has some special furry feet that work like snowshoes to make sure that he doesn’t burn his toes in the hot desert sand where he lives. A-dor-a-ble.

Snow leopards use their own tails as a blankie. Enough said.

And lastly,

Elephants are the only mammals that can’t jump. They are also clearly better at painting self-portraits than I am. 

Happy studying!

-Kylie

(@KyleMeredithh)

Why Having A Pet Is Good For You!

Having a pet in a house hold is such a common thing now. From having a fish to a dog these animals are beneficial to you and your family. 

Pets are natural mood enhancers, they help take the edge off of all the anxiety and stress that is building up. Even though many do not think a fish could be a great pet, it is proven that by just watching a fish swim ones mood can enhance! 

At school one definitely as many ups and downs with anxiety and stress. Even though many colleges do not allow residents to have pets in their dorms, majority of schools allow fish. Just think what one little fish can do to help improve ones mood!

Sometime love is all you need, and having something that loves you unconditionally is a big plus. Pets give you unconditional love no matter what. Even though you might be at school and do not have a pet near you at that time you can always call home via Skype or Facetime and get to see your best friend. Pets can help turn a frown upside down!

There are so many more great reasons why having a pet is good for not only you but your family! For more of these reasons you can visit 

http://pets.webmd.com/ss/slideshow-pets-improve-your-health

http://www.helpguide.org/life/pets.htm

http://www.oprah.com/spirit/Pets-and-Health-Benefits-Why-Keeping-A-Pet-is-Good-For-You

Why Turtles Shouldn’t be Overlooked
We all see cute pictures of dogs and cats, the occasional bird or bunny. What about turtles? These animals are truly spectacular! Here’s why:
1. Turtles have been around over 200 million years, that’s before mammals, birds, snakes, or even lizards! 
2. They live to be extremely old, one of the oldest documented turtles was over 200 years old! So make sure you add into your will who your turtle will go to ;-) 
3. A turtles shell is made up of 60 different bones that are all connected together.
4. They have good eyesight and an incredible sense of smell! They sense touch and even their shells have nerve endings. All the more reason to be kind to ALL animals, no matter how strong they look! 
- Jess, a turtle lover (@J_Zava)
Three Ways We’re Killing Our Oceans

Our oceans are incredible: they contain about 99% of the living space on our planet (71% of the Earth’s surface) and have the greatest biological diversity of all habitats. It is suspected that 50-80% of all life on Earth dwells down in the depths, with millions and millions of species yet to be discovered. With all that in mind, how could we possibly be treating our oceans so terribly? Here are three terrible things we do to our oceans that need to stop now. 

1. Pollution. Imagine how many pounds of fish are caught each year: now multiply that weight by three, and that’s how many pounds of trash are dumped into the oceans annually. There are actual “garbage islands” that have formed in certain areas of the ocean, where the current and wind patterns have accumulated vast amounts of plastics into large masses. These masses have grown 100 times larger over the past forty years alone. Do your part to stop this trend by recycling, or by participating in beach cleanups.

2. Air Pollution. 33% of all of those awful chemicals and gases that we spout into our atmosphere each year are absorbed by the ocean, harming all kinds of marine species. We need to come up with better emission control measures to protect both our air and our oceans, and stop relying so heavily on the burning of fossil fuels.

3. Oil Spills. About one-third of our oil comes from offshore drilling sites. When there are leaks or accidents at these sites, it is deadly for the surrounding wildlife. Oil also reaches the oceans through runoff; and actually, more oil from leaking cars and other non-point sources reaches the ocean each year than was spilled in the Gulf of Mexico back in 2010. We need to stop offshore drilling, and ensure that our waterways stop carrying our oily messes all the way to the ocean through better stormwater management processes.

We’re pretty awful to our oceans. Let’s develop ways to keep pollution out of our waters to protect the health of the ocean and its inhabitants.

-Kylie

Summer Is Over BUT You Can Still Have Fun

That is it! Summer is officially over as we are all heading back to school to begin a new year! Now that classes are starting many of you are wondering how you can still have fun and stay on top of your work. Well that is easy. There are very simple every day tasks that you can do to not only have fun but stay on top of your work!

1. Study with your friends- while studying with friends you can make a game of jeopary to help test your knowledge on the subject at hand!

2. Put your notes to music! That’s right, take your favorite song and redo it to the information you are studying!

3. Play games such as Hangman on a white board to remember how to spell words that will be on an exam!

4. Treat yourself- everytime you get a few questions right treat yourself to a little snack!

5. Change the scene- why not go explore your campus or the area around your campus, you never know you may find a great study place that you never would have discovered!

6. Like to act? Why not perform a dramatic reading of the text you have to remember, that way it is a fun way to study and relieve stress!

7. Make a Powerpoint presentation as a new way to not only organize your notes but have fun while doing it! Maybe even add some special effects to it!

8. Take dance breaks in between studying! 

Remember to 

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Animal Cruelty Isn’t Cool: Three Rules to Live By

I’ve seen too many videos on the internet of people kicking puppies; too many stories about pets being neglected; and way too many stories of exotic animals being exploited so that people can hoard (and/or eat) parts of their bodies. Guys, enough is enough.

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Maybe this makes me a hippie, but screw it: I don’t think that the life of an animal is any less precious than my own. Just like us, animals deserve to be cared for, loved, and protected. They are not our toys. They were not put on this planet to serve our needs. They are living creatures with rights, beauty, and dignity.

Here are my Three Rules to Live By for animal lovers:

1. If you adopt a pet, care for it. Adopting an animal is a big deal: you are responsible for the happiness and well-being of another living thing. Basically, don’t adopt something and treat it like garbage, okay? Is that so much to ask?

2. Do not support groups that are responsible for animal cruelty. Animal cruelty is widespread in our global culture. Between animal testing, poaching, and industrial habitat destruction, animals have been dealt a pretty crappy hand. Boycott companies that conduct needless animal testing; don’t purchase exotic animal goods; and don’t buy products that have had a hand in deforestation (I’m looking at you, palm oil). If you don’t condone what they’re doing, don’t give them your money. End of story.

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3. Stand up. Let’s be real for a sec: animal lovers are often misrepresented as idealistic tree-hugging hippies. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t harm any animal ever. I hate mosquitoes and I’m an omnivore just like the rest of us. But animal cruelty has become a “necessary evil” in the modern world and a huge black spot on our global culture. We can absolutely learn to live without it, but the way things are will never change unless we all stand up together. Make your voice heard: encourage others to take a stand as well. Be more than a bystander. 

You have more of a voice than you think you do. Use it.

-Kylie

(indefinitely-wild.tumblr.com)

Three Things You Should NEVER Ask a Nature-Nut

Okay so typically us self-proclaimed nature-enthusiasts are a peaceful bunch. Not a lot gets us riled up. But there are some things you say that make us want to punch you right in the face.

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I hear these kinds of things almost every day. They’re really common. But what makes us nature freaks so mad is that these things they say are flat-out wrong. WRONG! Somehow, these eco-blasphemies have spread like wildfire, perpetuated generation after generation. So it may seem a little nit-picky to you, but do yourself a favor: when you’re around a nature lover like myself, DO NOT say any of the following three things:

1. “If global warming is real, why was this past winter so cold?” Let’s talk about the Greenhouse Effect for a hot second. Increased levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere are not just heating things up: the overall climate of the planet is being altered (that’s why we prefer the term “climate change”), leading to more dramatic, and often deadly weather patterns. This can include stronger hurricanes, abnormally hot summers, and bitter, frosty winters.

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2. “Is that snake poisonous?” I’m gonna stop you right there. When’s the last time you ate a snake? Because that’s the only way you can be harmed by something that’s poisonous. Most people use the words “poisonous” and “venomous” interchangeably, but they mean two entirely different things. In order for something to be poisonous it has to have poison, which is a substance that can cause damage if it is ingested, or absorbed through the skin. Venom must be injected directly, via fangs. Just think: if you bite it and you die, it’s poisonous; if it bites you and you die, it’s venomous. Come on, people!

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3. “If I’m out in the woods and I see X-animal, should I kill it?” NO. No no no no no. Why is that even a question? When you’re out in the wilderness and you spot an animal, you are in their home; and last time I checked, it wasn’t permissible to go in someone’s home and kill them on sight. However, we as humans have this mentality that we own everything, and that when we spot an animal in the wild, they are encroaching on our territory. Animals typically do not attack unless you give them a reason; so unless you are threatening it, stealing its babies, or you look like a giant cheeseburger, you should just leave it alone. Is that so hard??

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There are many more of these infuriating questions floating around, and I’ll be the first to admit that they are super-duper-annoying. But instead of being snooty about it, we can help stop the spread of these silly questions and common misconceptions through environmental education. After all, Earth is our home; and we ought to know a thing or two about it.

-Kylie

(indefinitely-wild.tumblr.com)