Impressions of Antarctica
Sebastian Copeland is a photographer and environmental activist. Copeland grew up in France and Britain, and graduated from UCLA in 1987 with a major in film. Throughout the 1990’s, Copeland directed commercials – everything from soft drinks to sportswear – as well as music videos. He is also known for his celebrity portraiture; he’s taken pictures of Sandra Bullock, Kate Bosworth, and Orlando Bloom (who is also his cousin), among others. In recent years, Copeland has focused on environmental activism. He serves on the Board of Directors of Global Green USA and recently published Antarctica: The Global Warning
Question: What was the strongest impression of your trip to Antarctica
Copeland: Well Antarctica yields an extraordinarily magical and otherworldly landscape. It is . . . It is a dream for a photographer and an environmentalist because it is like traveling into a different world . . . another world; essentially what could be seen almost as another planet. There’s never been an indigenous human population in Antarctica, and yet it is teeming with animal life unperturbed and unchallenged by the human presence; and not conditioned to the predatory characteristics of the . . . of the human activities. ___________ that is. And so . . . So animals, they are simply not scared of humans is ultimately what I’m saying. So to . . . To travel through this type of otherworldly environment that has been particularly antagonistic to human life or its . . . its cold and its condition. But to be in a world of ice that is isolated from the rest of the world by a body of water that is particularly challenging where the conditions are cold. And yet to see this vibrant animal life forces you to ponder the relationship of humanity to the rest of the world. I mean we are one in 30 million species inhabiting this planet. We are, intellectually it would allegedly seem, superior; but ultimately we are only one in this order of this planet who is hosting us, and who has not been hosting us all that long incidentally. We are only 150,000 years old to the earth’s 4.5 billion years. And when you travel in Antarctica, you cannot help but somehow get connected to that principle, because the Antarctica the landscape has been in its present form more or less for a very long time. And . . . And as humans we are relatively new to this environment and very disposable ultimately. The animal world functions very well without us there, and we are literally tourists into this other aspect of what is incidentally our garden in our backyard as well as the rest of the planet. But one is stricken by the lack of human imprint, at least in a direct way; because although remotely, our activities are being felt in that environment – at the very least physically where we’re not there. So it’s pretty magical to be traveling into that environment as such.
Question: What scenes most disturbed you?
Copeland: Well that’s a good question. You know one thing that comes to mind is we traveled into an environment in a place called Port __________ in Antarctica. I went there twice on two different trips. And ___________ . . . Antarctica at the turn of the last century or the century before that – that is late 1800s and early 1900s – was a vibrant whaling environment. The Norwegians and __________ in particular who was an inventor and invented, amongst other things the exploding harpoon, contributed to the dissemination of the whale population of the Northern Hemisphere. So the Scandinavians set their sites to Antarctica and set up what turned out to be a very productive for them whaling environment. So true to tradition for the human lack of accountability, when you travel in some of these areas, they are . . . there’s a lot of human waste that has been there for over a century in the form of barrels – whale oil barrels that have been left over; or __________ that have been driven into the rocks and whatnot. And so there are environments like this that are just littered with a lot of those barrels, and it’s been left behind. And it’s a little shocking. In modern day it would be like finding, you know, steel barrels left over and just polluting the land . . . as of course we do a lot as a society and as a humankind . . . as a human race . . . or plastic or whatnot. So that’s one of the aspects that was sort of shocking, is to see all of this pollution – even though it’s in the form of wood and steel, but nevertheless.
Question: Did the experience leave you with any hope?
Copeland: We’d have to analyze what type of hope we’re discussing here. If the hope is that the planet will be okay, I’m not concerned about the planet at all. The planet’s gonna be just fine. The planet is doing what it’s doing. And if you . . . You know if you believe Lovelock . . . James Lovelock who is a philosopher . . . an environmentalist ____________ philosopher who is responsible for ___________ which is a widely accepted theory – today anyhow – that he introduced in the ’60s and ‘70s that the earth is a self-regulating organism . . . If you go by Lovelock’s theory, you know the earth is doing what it’s doing. And in its . . . You know in its reaction to manmade activities, that if a climate and whatnot may well be shaking off what could be seen as a virus. Humans could be seen as a virus because they destroy for the sake of destroying. And they expand for . . . you know by virtue of its advances in technology and medicine and whatnot, and has exponential demographic growth and what not. So hope . . . My considerations have to do more with humanity than with the planet. This may look like a dichotomy or a paradox in some respects, but it really isn’t. I’m just hoping that as humans we get into the next phase of spiritual awakening; and understanding that we are one with the environment that is hosting us; and ultimately that energy is the paramount component for our survival.
After photographing the human footprint on Antarctica, Copeland believes the planet will be fine; it’s the rest of us he’s worried about.
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Beards and perceptions of masculinity<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMjU5OTg0MC9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY0NzkxMjM3N30.cH-GqNwP5GVqvstgJWAhBPn1B_lYpVEAI0I7iax7EQw/img.jpg?width=1245&coordinates=0%2C1900%2C0%2C849&height=700" id="caae6" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="cb0a355a4e8e1899789bc45f3f7aef56" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" />
Photo Credit: Wikimedia<p>The study used 919 American (mostly white) women ages 18-70 who rated 30 pictures of men they were shown with various stages of facial hair growth. The photographs depicted men with faces that had been digitally altered to look more feminine or more masculine, with a beard and without a beard. The women rated the men according to perceived attractiveness for long-term and short-term relationships. The study found that the more facial hair the men had, the higher the men were rated on their attractiveness, particularly for their suitability for a long-term relationship.</p><p>Part of this might be attributed to facial masculinity — i.e. protruding brow ridge, wide cheekbones, thick jawline, and deeply set narrow eyes — which conveys information to a woman about a man's underlying health and formidability. Women tend to associate more masculine faces with physical strength and social assertiveness. It can also indicate a man with a superior immune response. The researchers suggested that their findings favoring bearded men could be due to the fact that facial hair enhances the masculine facial features on a man's face, like creating the illusion of a thicker jaw line. This could communicate direct benefits to women like resources and protection that would enhance survival among mothers and their infants. In other words, while a beard doesn't mean superior genetics in and of itself, it might be a primitive, ornamental way of saying, "Hey girl, I'm a testosterone-fueled lean, mean, pathogen fighting machine." <br></p><p>It could also be that a beard becomes its own destiny. The researchers in this study cite prior research that found that by growing a beard, men felt more masculine and had higher levels of serum testosterone, which was linked to a higher level of social dominance. They also tended to subscribe to more old-school beliefs about gender roles in their relationships with women as compared to men with clean-shaven faces.<span></span><br></p>
What does disgust have to do with beard preference?<p>Obviously, not all women dig beards. The researchers were particularly interested in what traits make a women prefer bearded men over clean-shaven faces. They looked into several factors including a woman's disgust levels on various concepts, her desire to become pregnant, and her exposure to facial hair in her personal life. </p><p>According to the study, women who were not into facial hair were turned-off by potential parasites or other critters they imagined could be in the hair or skin. Women ranking high on this "ectoparasite disgust" scale might have viewed beards as a sign of poor grooming habits. However, women who ranked higher in levels of "pathogen" did find the bearded men to be desirable, possibly because they perceived beards as a signal of good health and immune function. An intriguing discovery in the study was links to morality. Women who displayed higher levels of "moral disgust," or feelings of repugnance toward taboo behaviors, were more likely to prefer hairy faces. The authors opined that this could reflect a link between beardedness, politically conservative outlooks, and traditional views regarding performances of masculinity in heterosexual relationships.</p>
Additional findings<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMjU5OTg1My9vcmlnaW4uZ2lmIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYyNDI1NjUyOX0.P9B8WbmJR0q4nfzYZKbuNSA-2SAigVWJgrQE-_Gxlds/img.gif?width=980" id="49143" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="2ed3b1d6f20fc170bf2974646e565e8d" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" />Giphy<p>The correlations that existed between married and single women's rating on the attractiveness of beards were not particularly clear, although the researchers noted that single and married women who wanted children tended to find beards more attractive than the women who didn't want children. They also found that women with bearded husbands found beards to be more attractive, which might indicate that social exposure to beards influences how desirable they are perceived of as being. Or it could be that men with wives who like beards grow beards.</p><p>It's important to note that culture plays a huge role in how attractive women perceive certain male characteristics as being. This study looked at a small, culturally specific group of American women, so no big, universal claims should be made about masculinity, facial hair, and male desirability to women. However, research like this is important in highlighting how human grooming decisions are driven by much more than fashion trends. Sociobiological, economic, and ecological factors all play a part in the way we choose to present ourselves.</p>
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