Linnaeus year celebrations begin


Linneaus on Swedish bank noteAssociated Press reports:

Sweden Kicks Off Linnaeus Celebrations

By TOMMY GRANDELL

Associated Press Writer

STOCKHOLM, Sweden — There are places on the Moon named after him.

His face appears on Swedish currency, and an era of scientific history bears his name.

But Carl Linnaeus is best known for creating the system of classifying living organisms that became the international standard.

Sweden on Saturday began yearlong celebrations that will mark the 300th anniversary of the birth of its most famous scientist, launching festivities with music and fireworks in Linnaeus’ hometown.

“He has meant an incredible amount to the world because by systematizing just about every plant and animal, he helped organize it,” said Kajsa Eriksson, spokeswoman for the Linnaeus 2007 celebration.

Often called the father of taxonomy, Linnaeus laid the foundation for a new classification of plants and animals based on their reproductive systems.

His famous book Systema Naturae, classified 4,400 species of animals and 7,700 species of plants.

He is also credited for distinguishing humans as Homo sapiens and as primates in the class of mammals.

Linnaeus’ ideas have influenced generations of scientists, including Charles Darwin, and even those opposed to the philosophical and theological roots of his work.

Unknown in Linnaeus’ time: here.

Darwin and his predecessors: here.

Somalia, a country with 400 plant species newly discovered by science: here.

Fossil plants: here.

Eocene fossil coral reef found in Pakistan


Eocene coral from EnglandFrom Dawn daily in Pakistan:

‘Largest’ fossilised coral reef found near Dadu

By Qurban Ali Khushik

DADU, Jan 26: A number of fossils of fish, plants and other organisms have been found in a place said to be the largest fossilised coral reef in the world.

The place, called Bunjo after a spring, is in the Khirthar mountain range near Gaji Shah, some 50 kilometres away from Dadu city.

The reef contains several identified fossils, including fish, sponges, snails and flower plants.

It may be mentioned that coral reefs, also called sea gardens, are generally located in the ocean bed.

Local people use the spring’s water for drinking.

Experts say there is a treasure of fossils on the slopes of the Bunjo mountain.

Shafqat Wadho, an irrigation engineer with keen interest in geology, discovered the mountain formed of fossils during a visit to the Khirthar range.

Speaking at a press conference at his residence in Dadu on Friday, Mr Wadho said that the living organism had been fossilised millions of years ago.

He claimed that the site was actually fossilised coral reef and once it was a part of an ocean bed.

He said that the area was spread over 2.5 square kilometres and added that fossils in such large numbers might not be found at any other place in the world.

Mr Wadho said it was an open natural geological museum of an era dating back to 50 million years.

He appealed to geologists of the country to visit the Bunjo mountain for more research and called upon the federal and Sindh governments and the National Geographic channel to visit the area which was a treasure trove of geological wonders.

Corals of Scotland today: here.

Where Mel Gibson Got His Anti-Semitism


Mel Gibson and anti-Semitism, cartoon

From Alternet in the USA:

Where Mel Gibson Got His Anti-Semitism

By Heidi Beirich, Intelligence Report.

Posted January 27, 2007.

Numbering near 100,000, radical traditionalist Catholics, who reject the teachings of the modern papacy, may form America’s largest group of anti-Semites.

“Fucking Jews!”

So began Mel Gibson’s now infamous anti-Semitic rant to Los Angeles sheriff’s deputies who pulled him over on suspicion of drunken driving last July.

“The Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world,” the world-famous movie actor continued, before asking his arresting officer: “Are you a Jew?”

After his tirade made international news, Gibson promptly disappeared into an addiction clinic.

Anti Iraq war demonstration in Washington, DC, USA


This video from Britain is called Manchester Iraq Demo. 15th February 2003.

Anti Iraq war demonstration in Washington, DC, USA, today:

Interview with a Gold Star mother demonstrator: here.

The rural USA pays the price for the Iraq war: here.

Associated Press report on the demonstration: here.

John Conyers reports on the demonstration: here.

CBC report: here.

See also here.

International support for the demonstration: here.

Senator McCain’s irrealist militarism: here.

Scotland: haddocks’ love songs recorded


HaddockFrom The Scotsman:

With a song in their heart, male haddock look for love

IT MAY not quite be Barry White but the mating call of a frisky male haddock – recorded by Scottish marine scientists – is one of the standout tracks on a new CD compilation of “love songs” from the deep.

The humming courtship call of the spawning male haddock has been released publicly for the first time.

The recording was made by scientists at the Government’s Fisheries Research Services laboratory in Aberdeen who first stumbled across the noisy romantic life of the humble haddock six years ago.

They discovered that the courtship ritual of the haddock was extremely elaborate and intense and, above all, a raucous affair.

At the height of the courtship ritual, the male haddock makes a noise that sounds like a motorbike engine revving up.

It has now been released by the British Library on a wildlife CD called Sounds of the Deep.

The album also features the “haunting song” of the humpback whale, the drumming calls of a walrus diving for food and the warbling of a leopard seal.

See also here.

USA: big pro peace demonstration in Washington, DC, today


This video from the USA is described as ‘Antiwar protest taking place in Washington DC on January 27, 2007.’ Hiphop caucus, Jesse Jackson, Sean Penn and others protest against US occupation of Iraq.’

Today, there is a big demonstration against the Iraq war, in Washington, DC, capital of the USA.

See about events as they proceed here.

Site of the organizers: here.

USA: Conyers’ plan to impeach Bush back on the table?


Rice, Bush, and impeachment, cartoonFrom The Smirking Chimp in the USA:

Conyers Puts Abuse of Power and Impeachment Back “On the Table”

by Dave Lindorff
Jan 26 2007 – 8:55am

Speaker Nancy Pelosi may have taken impeachment “off the table,” but House Judiciary Chair John Conyers (D-MI) is about to put it back on the menu.

Conyers had been blocked by a timid Pelosi from initiating impeachment hearings immediately into President Bush‘s crimes against the Constitution, but he’s taken the first step anyway, with the anouncement of plans to hold hearings into what is surely the President’s gravest abuse of power.

The congressman, a veteran of the Nixon impeachment hearings who recently published a book on Bush’s crimes, today announced plans to have his Judiciary Committee hold hearings on Bush’s rampant use of so-called “signing statements.”

These are the documents the president has claimed give him the power, as a commander-in-chief, to ignore laws duly passed by the Congress.