Parakeet and jackdaws


This is a video about ring-necked parakeets and a cat in Israel.

On my way back from the library, not far away from me, a ring-necked parakeet flying parallel to me on the other side of the road, along the leafy trees.

Also, a few jackdaws. One of them had a few white feathers, among the standard jackdaw black and grey ones.

Google launches astronomical site


This video is called Hubble Deep Field. See also here.

‘The image, called the Hubble Deep Field (HDF), was assembled from 342 separate exposures taken with the Wide Field and Planetary Camera 2 (WFPC2) for ten consecutive days between December 18 and 28, 1995.’

From the New York Times:

In Google Earth, a Service for Scanning the Heavens

By MIGUEL HELFT

Published: August 22, 2007

After turning millions of Internet users into virtual explorers of the world with Google Earth, the Internet search giant is now hoping to turn many of them into virtual stargazers.

Google is unveiling within Google Earth today a new service called Sky that will allow users to view the skies as seen from Earth. Like Google Earth, Sky will let users fly around and zoom in, exposing increasingly detailed imagery of some 100 million stars and 200 million galaxies.

“You will be able to browse into the sky like never before,” said Carol Christian, an astronomer with the Space Telescope Science Institute, a nonprofit academic consortium that supports the Hubble Space Telescope.

While other programs allow users to explore the skies, they typically combine a mix of representations of stars and galaxies that are overlaid with photographs, Ms. Christian said. “These are really the images of the sky. Everything is real.”

See also here.

And here.

About online videos and science: here.

New instruments on the Hubble Space Telescope are currently undergoing calibration following the latest upgrade to the venerable scientific instrument: here.

Cutbacks on astronomy in Britain: here.

Google and other search engines: here.

Hornbills born in Dutch zoo


Wrinkled hornbill, Aceros corrugatus, Zoo Negara, Malaysia

From Dutch news agency ANP:

ALPHEN AAN DEN RIJN – The fledging of the first chick of the hornbill species wrinkled hornbill this Tuesday means a record for Vogelpark Avifauna. …

For the first time ever, two wrinkled hornbills were born there. …

Not anywhere in the world, a zoo has reproduced more hornbill species than this …

Over two hundred chicks of fifteen [hornbill] species have already been born in this bird zoo.

Hornbills in Thailand: here.

Black Hawk helicopter down in Iraq, 14 US soldiers die


This video from the USA is about Arlington West, a memorial for the US soldiers who died in the Iraq war.

From ABC News in the USA:

14 US Troops Die in Copter Crash in Iraq

Helicopter Crashes in Northern Iraq, Killing 14 U.S. Soldiers, Military Says

By HAMID AHMED Associated Press Writer

BAGHDAD Aug 22, 2007 (AP)

A helicopter went down in northern Iraq on Wednesday, killing all 14 U.S. soldiers aboard, the military said, the deadliest crash since January 2005. …

The UH-60 Black Hawk was part of a pair of helicopters on a nighttime operation when the crash occurred. …

The U.S. military relies heavily on helicopters to avoid the threat of ambushes and roadside bombs the deadliest weapon in the militants’ arsenal and dozens have crashed in accidents or been shot down.

The deadliest crash occurred on Jan. 26, 2005, when a CH-53 Sea Stallion transport helicopter went down in a sandstorm in western Iraq, killing 31 U.S. troops.

Wednesday’s deaths raised to at least 3,721 members of the U.S. military who have died since the Iraq war started in March 2003, according to an Associated Press count.

See also here.

And here.

British government suppressed evidence on torture of Iraqi prisoners


This video is called Naked Torture: Sex main tool of British interrogation in Iraq?

From British daily The Guardian:

Lawyers accuse MoD of retaining evidence on abused Iraqi detainees

· Legal team wants data on death of Baha Mousa
· High court urged to force army to reveal documents

Richard Norton-Taylor

Wednesday August 22, 2007

Lawyers representing the families of Iraqis detained by British soldiers yesterday accused the Ministry of Defence of suppressing crucial information about the circumstances surrounding their mistreatment, including advice given to senior army officers.

They have asked the high court to issue a new order requiring the MoD to disclose all relevant documents about the death of Baha Mousa, a Basra hotel receptionist who suffered 93 injuries and died while in British custody in 2003, and the abuse of 10 other Iraqi civilians.

Hillary Clinton and the Iraq war: here.

Basra update October 2007, here.

Australian high school students to protest Bush visit


This is a video from Australia for the September 5 student strike against George W Bush’s policies on global warming and the war in Iraq.

From the Walkout Against George Bush organizers in Australia:

For immediate release

Students: Della Bosca’s memo will only get more to protest

Students organising the Walkout Against George Bush on September 5 are outraged at N[ew] S[outh] W[ales] Education Minister John Della Bosca’s memo to school principals instructing them to take disciplinary action against students who protest Bush’s arrival [in Australia].

“It is hypocritical that the NSW government has called a public holiday for APEC, at the same time as criticising us for orgainsing the walkout. All students want to do is peacefully express their opposition to Bush by using their democratic right to protest. I ask John Della Bosca, what is so ‘wrong’ or ‘dangerous’ about that?” Amber Pike, student strike organiser, said.

“Young people will not be silenced – the NSW Government’s attempt to intimidate students will backfire. It will only get more students to walkout. Protesting to end the war on Iraq and for sustainable solutions to climate change is the only way to guarantee that there is a future.

The Education Department should be supporting students to make this statement.” Pike stated.

“This is an attempt by the Education Minister to deny the students the right to express a political opinion and to make an informed decision to protest. If high school students are old enough to work, old enough to pay tax they should have the right to protest” Simon Cunich, student walkout orgainser and Resistance, socialist youth organisation member said.

“It is the police, not students, that are preparing for a confrontation. If the NSW government is so concerned about safety why have they approved the $600,000 for a dangerous water cannon? We are armed with nothing but a peaceful message – to end the war in Iraq,” said Cunich.

Students concerned about their schools taking disciplinary action against walkout participants they are encouraged to download a permission slip … The website will also soon have a ‘know your rights at high school’ section.

Students are organising on a number of high schools and universities in the lead up to APEC. Students will be handing out leaflets and ‘Stop Bags’ outside high schools every day until the walkout.

Walkout Against George Bush
September 5, 1pm Belmore Park [Sydney, Australia].