Dutch Princess Mabel changed Wikipedia info about herself


This is a video in Dutch about the relationship between Princess Mabel and criminal Klaas Bruinsma.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV:

Prince Friso and [his wife] Princess Mabel [of the Netherlands] have themselves changed the entry about Mabel at the English language version of the Internet encyclopedia Wikipedia. The government information service RVD has confirmed this item in daily NRC Handelsblad.

Through an internet link at palace Huis ten Bosch, where the queen lives, the couple changed the sentence which said that Mabel before her marriage gave “incomplete and false information” about her [sexual] relationship with the drugs criminal Klaas Bruinsma. The words “and false” were removed.

According to Wikiscanner, a web site which can find out from which computer a Wikipedia article was changed, the text was changed on 8 January 2006.

Vatican

Wikiscanner, which has existed for just two weeks now, has already uncovered various examples of institutions and corporations which changed entries about themselves. In this way, eg, the CIA and the Vatican tried to whitewash their public images on Wikipedia.

That the controversial words by now have been restored by a visitor speaks for the self-cleaning capabilities of the online encyclopedia. This visitor, in a comment, points out that “onvolledige en onjuiste informatie” ["incomplete and false information"] are a literal quote by [Dutch] Prime Minister Balkenende.

Also the Dutch Wikipedia says “according to Prime Minister Balkenende, onvolledige en onjuiste informatie”.

See also here.

Orchids said to have originated in the age of dinosaurs


This video shows photos of beautiful orchids and Gloxinia.

Music: Enigma – Temple of Love.

From the BBC:

Orchids date to time of the dinos

Ancient orchid pollen found attached to a bee trapped in amber suggests the “supermodels of the plant world” were blooming at the time of the dinosaurs.

The discovery indicates that orchids arose between 76 and 84 million years ago, making them far older than experts had previously thought.

Experts used the fossil pollen grains to estimate the ages of major branches of orchids living today.

Details of the research by a team in the US are published in Nature journal.

Despite being the most diverse plant group on Earth, orchids are rare finds in the fossil record.

The authors of the Nature paper describe a mass of orchid pollen found stuck to the body of an extinct bee that lived 15-20 million years ago.

The remains of the bee were trapped and preserved in amber from the Dominican Republic.

Common ancestor

Dating the fossil allowed lead researcher Santiago Ramirez to calibrate a “molecular clock” which uses mutations, or changes, in the plants’ DNA to estimate the time of divergence between living organisms.

By building a “family tree” of orchids, the scientists could move back in time to see when the species first appeared, as well as where and how it spread.

They found that the most recent common ancestor of all modern-day orchids lived in the twilight of the dinosaurs, during the Late Cretaceous period.

“It is the first identifiable fossil orchid ever found,” Mr Ramirez said.

“And it is the first case in which an insect-orchid interaction has been observed in the fossil record.”

The new orchid species, identified from the morphology of the pollen, has been dubbed Meliorchis caribea.

The fossil orchid is related to one from the Amazon called Ligeophila.

The age of the first orchids has proven a controversial topic. Previous estimates have ranged from 26 to 110 million years ago.

The Orchidaceae family is the largest in the plant kingdom, numbering at least 25,000 species.

See also here.

And here.

And here.

And here.

Flowering plants’ evolutionary ‘big bang’ during the Cretaceous: here.

Marie Stopes and fossil plants: here.

Fossil flower ‘clue to daisies': here.

Artist makes Bush portrait from porn magazines


This video from the USA is a ‘Funny Slide Show depicting Bush moments of stupidity and obnoxiousness, as well as a couple of embelished comedy pics of him. Music is “All Things Dull and Ugly” by Monty Python.’

And another video, which used to be on YouTube, was about ‘White House Caught Doctoring “Mission Accomplished” Video.’

From British daily The Guardian:

The Bush Library in America commissioned Jonathan Yeo (British portraitist, very establishment, surprisingly impish face) to do George Junior, then backed out. In umbrage, Yeo then did the portrait anyway, fashioning the face of the Potus from a collage of porn mags.

Jokes about US Republican sex scandals: here.

The Larry Craig scandal: here.

Larry Craig and Ted Haggard: here.

Larry Craig jokes: here.

Butterflies and blackberries


In this video

A Red Admiral butterfly (Vanessa atalanta) emerges from its chrysalis and expands its wings, in time lapse.

Today, in the nature reserve.

Blackberries, some of them ripe.

Five speckled wood butterflies, some in mating flight.

Later, a red admiral.

Barn swallows flying over the meadow.

Texel island blackberries: here.

USA: New Orleans two years after Katrina


In this video from the USA, Dick Cheney meets Dr. Ben Marble in hurricane-ravaged Mississippi.

By Kate Randall:

Hurricane Katrina two years on

Part 1: New Orleans—A city in social and economic distress

29 August 2007

The following is the first in a series of articles on the second anniversary of the Hurricane Katrina disaster. Future installments will deal with housing conditions, the state of the levee system, profiteering in the Gulf Opportunity Zone [see here] and other issues.

See also here.

And here.

And here.