Cartoonist David Levine dies


Lyndon Johnson and the Vietnam war, cartoon by David Levine

From the New York Times in the USA:

David Levine, a painter and illustrator whose macro-headed, somberly expressive, astringently probing and hardly ever flattering caricatures of intellectuals and athletes, politicians and potentates were the visual trademark of The New York Review of Books for nearly half a century, died Tuesday morning in Manhattan. He was 83 and lived in Brooklyn.

Félix Nadar, a famous French photographer and caricaturist, died on March 21, 1910, at the age of 89: here.

Baby seahorses born


Today, not just news of a fish dying in Zeeland, the Netherlands.

From daily bndestem, about the same province:

FLUSHING – In the Arsenal aquarium in Flushing, this Monday thirty seahorses were born.

The creatures are smaller than one centimeter. The last time that seahorses were born in the Arsenal was a few years ago. They also never have been born so late in the year.

In seahorses, the males get pregnant. The babies grow for four weeks in the pouch of their father. Then they are no longer cared for, and they have to find their own food. They eat plankton only. After two months, they are five centimter long, they will start eating solid food and will be allowed back into the aquarium with their parents.

This video says about itself:

There’s something about sea horses

A glimpse of the latest exhibit at Birch Aquarium, La Jolla, California by Steve Perez

Marine Biologists Work To Protect Seahorses By Developing A Breeding Program: here.

Those cute little buggers might help me one day – scientists look to seahorses to find blindness answers: here.

Atlantic pomfret, last 2009 beachings?


Beached Atlantic pomfret

Yesterday, an Atlantic pomfret beached in Wissenkerke, Zeeland, the Netherlands. By the time it was discovered, herring gulls had eaten parts of it.

Today, another Atlantic pomfret beached in Katwijk, Zuid-Holland, the Netherlands. About 50cm long; also partially already eaten.

Atlantic pomfret, Texel, November 2010: here.

Terschelling, January 2012: here.

NATO soldiers kill Afghan civilians yet again


This video from the USA is called Rethink Afghanistan War (Part 4): Civilian Casualties.

From the site of Afghan women’s organization RAWA:

PAN, December 29, 2009

“Four Afghan civilians killed in Baghlan air raid”

UNAMA said that 468 deaths were caused by pro-government forces, including NATO and US-led forces, and 166 by “other actors

Habib Rahman Sherzai

Four civilians have reportedly been killed and eight others wounded in a fresh air strike by foreign forces in northern Baghlan province, residents alleged on Tuesday.

The overnight attack took place in Kohna Qala area of Baghlan-i-Markazi district, residents told Pajhwok Afghan News. The fresh air raid came about three days after 10 civilians were killed during military operations in eastern Kunar province.

The Saturday air strike in Kunar drew condemnation from the lawmakers on Monday who walked out of the session and later a parliamentary delegation met President Hamid Karzai to show their resentment. Karzai ordered a serious probe into the attack that killed ten people including eight school children in Badeel area in Narang district.

In the last night air raid, the dead included a father and his three sons, who were killed while running to escape the bombardment, a teacher at the Jamiat Aburjaee High School in the area, Karim Safi, told Pajhwok Afghan News.

A student of the school, Karim Javed, said that the air raid also left many people wounded including a student of his school.

Head of the district hospital, Abdul Qahir Qanit, said they had received eight injured people delivered to the hospital with a woman and a child in a critical condition.

The war in Afghanistan is becoming deadlier, killing 10 percent more civilians during the first 10 months of 2009 compared to the previous period last year, according to UN figures.

UNAMA said that 468 deaths were caused by pro-government forces, including NATO and US-led forces, and 166 by “other actors”.

US Military is Meeting Recruitment Goals With Video Games – But at What Cost? Here.

Afghan soldier opens fire at military base in Afghanistan, killing one American and injuring two Italian troops: here.

Scottish Socialist Party national spokesman Colin Fox has condemned “silent” MSPs who have ignored a letter from grieving grandmother Joan Humphreys asking them to support the withdrawal of British troops from Afghanistan: here.

Rare birds in Britain this year


This is a citril finch video.

From daily The Independent in Britain:

Record year for Britain’s twitchers

Birds from Asia and US among highest number of species spotted in a single year

By Lewis Smith

Tuesday, 29 December 2009

Twitchers look set to break the record for the most species sighted by British birdwatchers in a year.

Figures released today show that in 2008, 407 different species are confirmed. Up to 11 more are likely to be added to the list. The total of 418 bird species recorded in Britain in a year beats the previous high of 412 in 2004. Many of the winged visitors sighted, some for just a few minutes, included exotic visitors from across the globe.

Three had never been seen before in Britain: the Alder flycatcher from North America, the Yelkouan shearwater from the Mediterranean and the citril finch, from the Alps.