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Warning from Indonesia: Survey finds most Indonesians feel ‘threatened’ by LGBT community

Eighty-seven percent of them considered the LGBT community a “threat to private or public life”. A similar proportion disagreed that an LGBT individual should be able to hold a leading public office, and said that they believed their religion prohibited LGBT activity.

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For those (planning to) head to Indonesia, be warned.

Nearly 90 percent of Indonesians who understand the term “LGBT” claimed that they feel “threatened” by the community and believe their religion forbids same-sex relations. This is according to a survey by the Saiful Mujani Research Centre, which stated that “generally, the Indonesian public views the LGBT (community) negatively.”

A total of 1,220 people of various religious backgrounds across Indonesia were included in the survey conducted between March 2016 and December 2017. Eighty-seven percent of them considered the LGBT community a “threat to private or public life”. A similar proportion disagreed that an LGBT individual should be able to hold a leading public office, and said that they believed their religion prohibited LGBT activity.

Interestingly, those surveyed also held the view that “the LGBT community has the right to live in Indonesia and that the government should protect them like other citizens.”

The survey also found that around half the respondents did not know the meaning of the term “LGBT”. The results were based on those who did. Half of those aware of the term said the government should protect the LGBT community.

Homosexuality is – per se – not regulated by law in Indonesia, except in Aceh province where Islamic law bans same-sex relations. However, hostility toward the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) is commonplace. Indonesian police, for instance, raid “spas” for what they call “gay sex parties” and charged many of those involved with violating pornography laws. Over 300 people were arrested in 2017 for alleged LGBT-related behavior, according to Human Rights Watch. More recently, transgender women were shaved in public and then forced to dress as men”.

Health & Wellness

No NELL2, no sperm motility; novel protein is essential for male fertility

Male infertility may arise from lack of communication between the testis and the epididymis and new research has uncovered a mechanism of this communication.

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Photo by Dainis Graveris from Unsplash.com

Newly produced spermatozoa within the testis are not fully functional until they mature in the epididymis, a duct that helps to transport and store sperm. Male infertility may arise from lack of communication between the testis and the epididymis and new research has uncovered a mechanism of this communication.

In a study published in Science, Dr. Martin Matzuk at Baylor College of Medicine, Dr. Masahito Ikawa with Osaka University and their colleagues have discovered a novel testicular luminal protein, NELL2, that triggers in the epididymis a chain of events that matures the sperm and enables each one to be motile in females.

Sperm production

Sperm are produced in the seminiferous tubules of the testis and move through the epididymis, a long, convoluted tube linked to the vas deferens, the duct that moves sperm from the testicle to the urethra. When the sperm enter the epididymis, they are not motile and are incapable of fertilization. However, in their passage through the epididymis, the sperm are provided an appropriate environment for maturation and storage pending ejaculation.

It has been hypothesized that proteins released by the testis earlier in this process could act on the epididymis to mature the sperm as they arrive in the epididymis.

“Until now the proteins working through the lumicrine system of signaling have remained elusive. While it was known that the orphan receptor tyrosine kinase ROS1 expressed in the initial segment of the epididymis is necessary for its differentiation, neither the testicular factors that regulate initial segment differentiation nor the process of sperm maturation had been fully understood,” said Matzuk, professor and director of the Center for Drug Discovery at Baylor.

Photo by Dainis Graveris from Unsplash.com

Identifying NELL2

The researchers zeroed in on NELL2, a protein factor secreted by testicular germ cells, as a possible lumicrine regulator of fertility. “Using innovative genome editing technology, we generated knockout mice lacking the NELL2 gene and showed that these knockout males are sterile due to a defect in sperm motility,” explains lead author Dr. Daiji Kiyozum. “Moreover, their infertility could be rescued with a germ-cell-specific transgene, thus excluding other sites of expression. We also illustrated lumicrine signaling by demonstrating tagged NELL2 in the epididymal lumen.”

The research team observed that spermatogenesis proceeds normally in NELL2 knockout mouse testes but their epididymis was poorly differentiated, similar to Ros1 knockout mice. Following mating, neither NELL2 knockout nor Ros1 knockout spermatozoa can enter the uterine tubes or fertilize an egg. Further investigation showed that the Nell2 knockout epididymis is incapable of processing a specific sperm surface protein essential for male fertility.

Implications for male fertility?

Elaborating on their study, Ikawa and Matzuk, both senior authors, said: “We discovered a complicated cascade of events in which disruption of any point in this lumicrine pathway causes a male to be infertile. Our findings have important translational implications for diagnostic and therapeutic research in male infertility and male contraceptive development. This unique transluminal communication pathway between tissues and organs likely functions elsewhere in our bodies.”

Others who contributed to the work include Taichi Noda, Ryo Yamaguchi, Tomohiro Tobita, Takafumi Matsumura, Kentaro Shimada, Mayo Kodani, Takashi Kohda, Yoshitaka Fujihara, Manabu Ozawa, Zhifeng Yu, Gabriella Miklossy, Kurt M. Bohren, Masato Horie and Masaru Okabe.

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Travel

Netherlands to remove gender from identity cards

By 2024 or 2025, gender identity will no longer be contained in Dutch national identity cards. This move is expected to counter-check the potential harms caused by gender declaration – e.g. harassment, discrimination and violence – particularly when there is no justification to publish a person’s legal gender at all.

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Photo by @travelsnips from Unsplash.com

By 2024 or 2025, gender identity will no longer be contained in Dutch national identity cards.

This after the Minister of Education, Culture and Science, Ingrid van Engelshoven, announced the decision in a letter to the House of Representatives. This move is actually part of a broader plan from the Ministry, which also includes limiting “unnecessary gender registration”.

This move is expected to counter-check the potential harms caused by gender declaration – e.g. harassment, discrimination and violence – particularly when there is no justification to publish a person’s legal gender at all.

Gender identity will, however, remain on Dutch passports due to European Union regulation.

The removal of information that used to be deemed “important” from IDs is not actually new.

Various countries, for instance, already exclude personal characteristics, such as race, religion or marital status, which could cause more harm than good.

The Netherlands is not the first EU country to do this. In 2013, Germany recognized indeterminate sex by permitting babies born with no clear gender-determining anatomy to be put on the birth register without a male or female classification.

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Travel

Thailand could become first Southeast Asian country to legalize same-sex civil partnerships

Thailand’s Cabinet approved a draft bill that will legally recognize same-sex civil partnerships while giving greater rights to same-sex couples. If/when passed into law, this could be the first for any nation in Southeast Asia; and the second in Asia to allow for the registration of same-sex unions after Taiwan legalized marriage equality in 2019.

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Photo by Sumit Chinchane from Unsplash.com

The rainbow rises in Thailand.

Thailand’s Cabinet approved a draft bill that will legally recognize same-sex civil partnerships while giving greater rights to same-sex couples. If/when passed into law, this could be the first for any nation in Southeast Asia; and the second in Asia to allow for the registration of same-sex unions after Taiwan legalized marriage equality in 2019.

This is a major step, but to clarify, it doesn’t endorse same-sex “marriage(EMPHASIS OURS). Instead, the Civil Partnership Bill allows same-sex couples to legally register their union.

The draft bill defines “civil partners” as “couples born with the same sex”. To register, couples must be at least 17 years old and at least one of the pair must be a Thai citizen; meaning that – similar to Taiwan’s law on this – foreign same-sex couples will not be able register their partnership in Thailand.

Those under the age of 17 must get permission from their parents/legal guardian.

Under the draft bill, same-sex couples will be allowed to adopt children, claim inheritance rights, and jointly manage assets such as property for the first time. However, partners would not be entitled to the same financial benefits that heterosexual couples get from the state.

The bill also covers rules for separations – e.g. unions could be ended by death, voluntary separation or court order.

While the Cabinet’s approval is a major development, process-wise, this is far from over as the draft bill still needs to go through a public hearing and then the House of Representatives (HOR) will debate and vote on it. If HOR passes the bill, it will then will go to the Senate for another vote.

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Lifestyle & Culture

Sticky wilds in slots explained

You may not think it at first, but studying gambling history is actually incredibly interesting, especially in the field of slot machines where there has been a pretty crazy amount of developments in a relatively short space of time.

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You may not think it at first, but studying gambling history is actually incredibly interesting, especially in the field of slot machines where there has been a pretty crazy amount of developments in a relatively short space of time. Seriously, it wasn’t much more than 100 years ago that Charles D. Fey was applying the finishing touches to the first commercially viable slot machine, and now they are everywhere.

One of the main developments in the field of slot gambling has got to be the discovery of the RNG – Random Number Generator. It was this that first enabled slot creators to make video slots, a version of the popular game at top10slotgames.com that didn’t have to rely on mechanical reels, and could therefore be pumped full of tantalizing bonus symbols and features. Read ahead for a lowdown on one of these – sticky wilds! 

What is a wild symbol? 

First things first: let’s do a little recap for those of us who are just starting their online slots journey and may not know what a wild symbol is, let alone a sticky wild symbol. In the vast majority of cases wild symbols end up being slot gamblers’ best friends, as these special bonus symbols can frequently swap with other icons on the reels in order to make winning combinations. 

As you might imagine, this means wild symbols can be a bit of a god send when you are spinning those reels, especially if you happen to be on a particularly drawn out losing streak. For this reason it is always worth checking what the wild symbol is before you start playing an online slot, they are often embroidered with some kind of “Wild” slogan, although a lot of the time you would not know until you checked. 

What is a sticky wild symbol? 

So then, what on Earth is a sticky wild symbol? Well, a sticky wild symbol isn’t actually that much different to a normal wild symbol, its function and affect on the reels is pretty much exactly the same, however the difference here is that sticky wild symbol can end up staying in the same place for several spins. 

This is why it is called a “sticky” wild symbol, as it has the ability to stick in place! This is incredibly useful because it means that there are way more possibilities to win money with a wild symbol when it appears on the reels. 

A history of sticky wild symbols 

As experienced slot gamblers will tell you, sticky wild icons have not been around for that long, and that is mainly because it is impossible to emulate a sticky wild symbol on a purely mechanical slot machine. It was only with the advent of video slots that developers could start playing around with sticky wild symbols, as the digital screen was so much more flexible than a mechanical set of physical reels. 

As you might imagine, sticky wild symbols can now be found everywhere too, testimony to how good they are.

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Lifestyle & Culture

Necessary to avoid e-gambling in Canada? All truth revealed!

Ferret out the possible ways how to choose the reliable and reputable casino to gamble at with no negative side effects ever.

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Should you avoid the online casinos in Canada?

The e-gambling universe is known to be one of the rapidly-developing branches of human expertise, and that’s why one should be always aware of the possible hidden threats standing behind the appealing bonus offers and steeping layout! Anyway, what can be a real obstacle on your gambling success path? 

Before we inform you about everything, just know that the best casinos are always possible to be at your disposal when in Canada (or—for French-speaking Canadians, les meilleurs casinos en ligne par NativeCasino sont ici). As a result, you’ll have no problems to read the most reliable and detailed information either in English or in French.

E-Gambling: Main Pros

When it comes to the benefits of playing casino games, no one would argue that along with the fabulous opportunities to win, it gets possible to evolve some strategy-building techniques and intuition. 

Are these pros truly effective if the casino online being chosen by a gambler is not meant to provide any payouts at all and all of RTP rates are nothing else but another fake? So, each time every gambler should be aware of the possible disadvantages. Also, they have to know the ways to fix the cons up!

We’re sure you’re interested in this point, and, so, we would like to ensure you know how to omit the irresponsible e-gambling platforms to get the biggest wins ever!

E-Gambling: Essential Threats

In compliance with RGC’s Standards & Criteria for iGaming, the main threat is of course, related to the matters of addictive behavior. Along with this, it is also possible single out some more side effects, like, for instance, psychological necessity to gamble or exposure to psychological side effects of losing. What’s more, the development of possible psychological/deviant syndromes can be enumerated, as well.

However, there is another point to be touched upon, which is even more significant than just that irresponsible gambling. That’s the unreliable gambling platforms. Of course, if a virtual casino website states they have a licence by the Curaçao Gaming Control Board or any other reputable authority, it’s a good sign. In many cases, the casinos do fool up the gamblers by claiming they have a licence.

So, no one can know for sure if the reliable casino is chosen, and if it’d be possible to win at least anything. That’s why one should always pay attention to the fact there are great ways to omit the issue by reading the casino reviews.

As a result, by choosing a fair casino that would ensure the honest gambling process, one would prevent oneself from the unnecessary psychologically negative effects. Besides, there’ll be a chance to take one’s gambling endeavors over to have clear vision of the winnings and loses’ balance.

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Lifestyle & Culture

Top 7 reasons why people use stones and crystals for health healing

Have you ever wondered about the health benefits of these stones and crystals and why are people interested in it in the first place?

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Traditionally, stones and crystals have been incorporated in the spiritual and emotional healing of the wounded soul, since times unknown.  Healing stones and crystals have been widely found its usage in the alternate healing method, dating back to the ancient Chinese and Indian cultures. The Egyptians were among the first people to wear stones like Lapis Lazuli to ward off the evil and negative energies. 

In the modern days, where some people are uncertain and unsure of pretty much everything in their lives, there are also some serious believers of spiritual healing processes. Hence, today crystals are not only used by the Zen masters, but are also incorporated by common people who believe in the physical and emotional healing powers of these precious gems.

While some spiritual enthusiasts wear the crystals and stones for their healing and calming properties, others wear them for ornamental purposes, making it their style statements. Therefore, we even see top notch celebrities sporting some breathtaking crystals and stone jewelry. From Victoria Beckham to Bella Hadid, everyone seems to be harnessing the healing benefits of crystals and stones. Katy Perry even sleeps with one in her hand during the night.

Have you ever wondered about the health benefits of these stones and crystals and why are people interested in it in the first place? 

In this article, we’ve articulated the numerous benefits of using healing stones and crystals for overall well-being of a person. 

Reasons for Using Stones and Crystals for Healing

Crystals and stones are not only used for the beautification purpose, but they also have healing properties and are known to cure some ailments. For example, Topaz can help bring clarity while Amethyst is good for improving intuition. Moreover, various colorful stones and crystals are associated with the chakras in the body. Thus, crystals and stones can be used in various ways for getting optimal benefits. 

Listed below are some of the most common health benefits of using stones and crystals for healing:

1. Stones and Crystals Help in the Emotional Healing

Emotions can create invisible wounds which apparently doesn’t immediately impact your physical well-being.  However, if left unresolved, they can manifest themselves in form of physical ailments. Nevertheless, you can still see the immediate impact of unpleasant emotions on your mental well-being. Hence, the healing crystals and stones can help in soothing and calming those emotional wounds. 

  • Aquamarine or Gold Topaz: For those, who feel a sense of abandonment, these stones are believed to help you connect to the universal feeling of motherhood. Thereby, it releases your sense of abandonment by connecting you to the higher being and the nature itself.
  • Sapphire: It may help in healing anxiety, depression and insomnia, 
  • Tiger’s eye:  It’s said to remove fear and self-doubt. 
  • Apache tears:  It’s a popular stone for emotional healing.

2. It Induces a Calming Effect

Most stones and crystals are said to create a calming effect on your soul and mind. Since crystals contain the healing energy of the earth, they have an energizing, stabilizing and calming impact on the wounded soul. When crystals or stones interact with the person, they allow positive energy to flow in the body while removing the negative energy. Hence, this creates a relaxing and calming effect. 

3. It Helps in Aligning Vibrations for Mental Clarity

 Each stone or crystal has a unique molecular composition, that projects in form of different vibrations. The stones’ vibrations are used to align your vibrations that further uplift one’s mood, impart mental clarity or simply help someone sleep better. Since crystals vibrate at the same pitch as humans, they can optimize the body’s own healing mechanism by clearing and energizing the energies. For instance, you can use Fluorite to improve mental clarity and focus. 

4. They’re Known to Improve Women’s Health

Crystals today are also being used to help women deal with issues like PMS, childbirth or infertility. 

  • Rose quartz is said to be the stone for love and heals the second chakra connected to the reproductive organs and menstrual cycles. 
  • Moon Stone is also used for regulating the menstrual cycle and balance hormones. In Chinese medicine, this stone is connected to the ren channel which is responsible for fertility. 

5. Crystals Harness the Healing Properties of Nature

All-natural stones and crystals carry within them the healing properties of earth, sun, moon and sometimes other planets, too. When you use a natural crystal, it can help you connect to the various energies of nature which benefits your physical, mental and emotional well-being. For example, 

  • Moonstone helps you harness the energies of the moon and helps stabilize emotions, reduce stress and promote calmness.  
  • Garnet can help you harness the energies of the sun and is said to detoxify the blood and keep the heart healthy. 

6. Crystals Help in Reducing Insomnia 

Lack of proper sleep can have an adverse effect on your physical and emotional well-being. Stones like Amethyst and Jasper can help you sleep better. Amethyst is said to remove the mind’s endless monologue that keeps you awake all night. It’s also effective for reducing nightmares. Place a piece of amethyst under your pillow to reduce restlessness and promote restful sleep. 

7. They are Known to Improve Digestive Health

Some crystals and stones have detoxing properties and can be used as preventive measures for digestive health. Carnelian helps with tissue regeneration and digestion. Carnelian is also used to improve liver, gall bladder, lungs, kidney, spleen, thyroid and pancreas. It can also help with certain eating disorders. 

Ways to Use Healing Stones and Crystals:

  • Set an Intention: You need to have an internal goal or intention to achieve through these crystals. This implies you must program your crystal. To program the crystals, hold the crystal in your hands, think about your intention. The intentions should be precise for the crystal to work and mentally convey the message to the crystal to perform as intended. 
  • Carry your Stones: For your stones to work optimally, they should be in direct contact with you. This way, you can tap into that tremendous natural energy for healing optimally. You can either wear the stone as a pendant or keep it in your pocket or bag. 
  • Meditate with Them: You can use your crystals to connect to your spiritual energy by holding them while you meditate. 
  • Create A Bath Ritual: You can put some healing and detoxing stones in your bath once a week for relaxation and rejuvenation. However, make sure to use appropriate stones as not all stones can be kept in water. To enjoy some self-love and healing, throw in a rose quartz the next time you plan a bath ritual.

Conclusion

Though there may not be any scientific evidence on the healing properties of stone and crystals, but they’ve been used since ages, for physical, emotional and spiritual well-being. While some stones have an energizing effect and others may be used to calm the nerves. Mostly all of them help remove negative energies and blockages, allowing the free flow of energy essential for one’s physical and emotional health. 

When buying crystals, remember to look for crystals that can be used to solve your specific problem. This way, you can get the maximum benefit from it. Ideally, you need to consult a spiritual master to guide you about the specific crystals and stones to help in your healing process.

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