Honduran dictators arrest farm workers


This video is about an anti-dictatorship march in Tegucicalpa, Honduras, on 11 September 2009.

From the BBC:

Dozens of Zelaya supporters held

Honduran security forces have raided a building and say they have arrested more than 50 supporters of ousted President Manuel Zelaya.

Soldiers and riot police surrounded the building in Tegucigalpa where the protesters had camped out for weeks.

The dawn raid took place under the interim government’s controversial decree suspending civil liberties.

Mr Zelaya is still in the Brazilian embassy in Tegucigalpa following his surprise return to Honduras last week.

The arrests were made at the National Agrarian Institute, police said.

“We’re going to take them to the prosecutor’s office to assess if they have committed crimes,” police spokesman Ernin Cerrato told the AFP news agency.

He said the action formed part of the decree announced at the weekend that suspended civil liberties.

Farm leader Rafael Alegria said the “the decree is completely illegal,” adding that the building belonged to farm workers.

Farm workers have been among those staging protests since the removal of Mr Zelaya on 28 June.

See also here.

Honduras: censored Radio Globo quadruples listeners by going online: here.

The top UN rights body slammed Honduras’s de facto regime on Thursday over multiple abuses following the June 28 coup and demanded the restoration of democracy and the rule of law: here.

Honduras: Anti-Chavez ‘free speech’ warriors linked to coup: here.

Protect Democracy, End the Coup in Honduras, an Interview: here.

On the spot in Honduras: The people are still on the streets: here.

Five hundred Hondurans defied the dictatorship’s ban on public demonstrations at the weekend and gathered near a sports stadium in the working-class district of El Pedregal in south Tegucigalpa: here.

Plateosaurus reconstruction in the museum


This “Walking with dinosaurs” video is called Plateosaurus vs. Liliensternus.

As this blog said, today a plateosaurus from Switzerland was reconstructed in the natural history museum. It was one of over a hundred, found in a mass grave in Frick village.

These herbivorous reptiles lived in the late Triassic, about 216 million year ago. They were the biggest of the dinosaurs, still a recent group then. However, compared to many later dinosaur species they were small with their 5 to 9 meter.

Many people, including many children, had come to see the reconstruction. After an hour, the head and other parts had been attached to the skeleton. Only the end of its tail was not yet where it should be.

This plateosaurus is called Monica, but it is not known whether it is male or female. Like with most dinosaurs.

People who had participated in the digging for these dinosaurs, like Martijn Guliker and Ben Pabst from Switzerland, were present to reply to questions from the audience.

They showed the hammers they had used. And pillows, for making digging while kneeling on rock more comfortable.

I asked Martijn whether, besides plateosaurus, other species had beenn discovered. Some carnivorous dinosaur teeth, he replied. Too little to conclude much from. And some lungfish teeth. Maybe the lungfish had been dragged along in a flood which killed the plateosaurs and covered them with mud.

Very few plant fossils were found. Maybe a horsetail? Difficult to tell.

Why so little plant fossils, and so many plateosaurus fossils? Because the plateosaurus always lived in a desert with very few plants? Problematic for such a big herbivorous animal. Because they were migrating through an area with few plants when mass death surprised them? Or because conditions for plants fossilizing there were not as good as for dinosaurs fossilizing there?

This is a video about this Plateosaurus reconstruction.

What (Maybe) Didn’t Kill the Dinosaurs: Comets: here.

Geologists in southern India say they have found hundreds of dinosaur egg clusters which could be about 65 million years old: here.

“Beagle journey” fossil egg in the museum


This video from the USA is about the early fossil bird Archaeopteryx, evolution, and creationism.

There is not just a small exhibition about orchids in the museum now. Also one of a fossil egg.

As this blog wrote, on the Selvagen islands south of Madeira, a Miocene fossil egg has been found.

It was discovered during the Dutch TV sailing ship journey around the world, “in the footsteps” of Charles Darwin’s journey on the Beagle.

That egg is exhibited now in the museum along with the tool with which it was extracted. The researchers found the egg on the biggest island of the archipelago, Selvagen grande, on what is now rock, but was a beach when it was laid. During the TV program about the discovery of the egg, it was suggested it belonged to a species, ancestral to the petrels nesting on Selvagen grande now.

However, petrels mainly nest in holes between rocks or in the ground. While birds like terns and plovers nest on beaches.

The scientists do not know yet which Miocene bird species laid the egg. They will do more research, by comparing the egg to other eggs already in the museum collection, by scanning, etc.

Indonesia earthquake disaster


Indonesia 2005 earthquake

From the Huffington Post in the USA:

Indonesia: Earthquake Hits Along Same Fault Line That Spawned 2004 Tsunami

JAKARTA, Indonesia — Indonesian officials say at least 75 people have been killed and thousands more trapped under flattened buildings in a powerful earthquake off Sumatra island.

Vice President Jusuf Kalla announced the death toll at a news conference, hours after the 7.6-magnitude quake hit off the coast of the town of Padang on Wednesday.

Rustam Pakaya, head of the Health Ministry’s crisis center, said thousands of people were trapped under collapsed buildings. He said a field hospital was being prepared to assist the injured.

Officials said the quake triggered a landslide that cut off land transport to the area closest to the epicenter. Power and telecommunications were also cut.

The quake was along the same fault line that spawned the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information

The major 2004 earthquake in Sumatra may have weakened the San Andreas fault, 8,000km away in California: here.

TSUNAMI PICTURES: Samoa, Tonga Hit by Deadly Waves: here.

Antarctic diving video


This video is about diving in the Antarctic; including studying Weddell seals and icefish.

Palynomorphs from a sediment core reveal a sudden remarkably warm Antarctica during the middle Miocene: here.

Antarctic expedition studies survival strategies of Weddell seals: here.

Three new species of deep-sea Gromia (Protista, Rhizaria) from the bathyal and abyssal Weddell Sea, Antarctica: here.

Video footage, shot by the Oceana marine group, of the aquatic wildlife resident on the Sahara seamounts – an underwater mountain range near the Canary Islands: here.

Orchids museum exhibition


This video says about itself:

The relationship between Orchid Bees (genus Euglossa) and Orchids is remarkable.

This video shows male Orchid Bees collecting fragrance from a Mexican Orchid, Mormodes badia.

Filmed at Puerto Vallarta Botanical Gardens.

This being the Darwin year, there is a small exhibition about orchids, and their relationship to pollinating insects, in the natural history museum.

Charles Darwin himself studied orchids.

One of the subjects is the broad-leaved helleborine. Compared to other orchid species in the Netherlands, rather a common species. It even grows on the museum’s parking lot.

Orchids threatened by phosphates: here.

Social insects: here.

British occupiers’ propaganda kills Afghan girl


This video from the USA is called Rethink Afghanistan: Join the Movement to Stop this War.

From the BBC, today, months after the tragic facts:

RAF leaflet box kills Afghan girl

The Ministry of Defence is investigating the death of a young Afghan girl who died after being hit by a box of leaflets dropped by the RAF.

The information leaflets were dropped in boxes from an RAF Hercules aircraft in Helmand province on 23 June.

The box failed to break apart in mid-air and landed on top of the girl who died later in hospital. …

Leaflet drops have been used extensively in Afghanistan by US and British forces in the battle to win the “hearts and minds” of the local population.

The MoD would not comment on what type of leaflet was involved, but past leaflets have included information about the election campaign, mine awareness campaigns, and warnings of impending military action in an area

In May, C130 aircraft based in Afghanistan with 904 Expeditionary Air Wing dropped 200,000 leaflets in support of the Mentoring and Reconstruction Task Force.

From the Australian, owned by Rupert Murdoch:

Some of the leaflet drops over Helmand involve black propaganda campaigns aimed at the Taleban. These are part of psychological warfare missions.

Reactions on the Times site [Update October 2010: no longer available at the Times site]:

Jon Barrett wrote:
We don’t even know her name.

Shameful.

Marcus Holyoak wrote:
Great – you drop litter in Singapore, you get hauled off by the police; drop litter in the UK you get a spot fine of £50; drop litter in Afghanistan, a girl loses her life, a family lose their daughter, and you get told keep up the good work. It’s not right.

S K wrote:
Another needless death in what can only be described as a pointless war. Why are our troops still there again? Why are we even involved?

Paul Kingsley wrote:
If this happened in june, just how long does it take to investigate why a box didn’t open ?. What they really mean is we had forgotten abut it until the press asked about it ?

The most senior American diplomat at the UN mission in Afghanistan appears to have been forced out of his post after failing to secure an investigation into claims of widespread fraud favouring Hamid Karzai in the August presidential elections: here.

Pacific ocean tsunami


From the BBC:

Samoa tsunami kills ‘at least 20′

A tsunami caused by a powerful earthquake in the South Pacific has killed at least 20 people and injured 50 in Samoa, local media report.

Dr Lemalu Fiu of the main hospital in the capital, Apia, said the number of casualties is expected to rise as the injured arrive from coastal areas.

An 8.3-magnitude quake struck at 1748 GMT, generating 5.1ft (1.57m) waves in Apia and Pago Pago, American Samoa. …

The PTWC – a branch of the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration – issued a general alert for the South Pacific region.

Stuart Weinstein, the deputy director of the PTWC, told the BBC that the agency was monitoring the situation, but said the wave was expected to be “much smaller” than the 2004 Asian tsunami which killed about 230,000 people in 11 countries.

Mr Weinstein said Tuesday’s quake had only had 3% of the energy generated by the 2004 quake.

He said he expected the quake to be destructive in the areas closest to the epicentre, but said it “remains to be seen” how far any devastation would spread.

By 2200 GMT, the tsunami warning had been cancelled.

The Samoa islands comprise two separate entities – the nation of Samoa and American Samoa, a US territory – with a total population of about 250,000 people.

Update: A tsunami triggered by a strong quake in the South Pacific has killed at least 65 people in Samoa and more than 20 in American Samoa, say reports: here.

Samoa tsunami: more than 100 feared dead on Pacific islands: here.

Samoa tsunami – live blog: here.

Where did the tsunami hit? Here.

The potential for a huge Pacific Ocean tsunami on the West Coast of North America may be greater than previously thought. The new study of geological evidence along the Gulf of Alaska coast suggests that future tsunamis could reach a scale far beyond that suffered in the tsunami generated by the great 1964 Alaskan earthquake: here.