Bahrainis tweet against dictatorship’s Formula 1


This video is called Bahrain Backlash: Doctors on trial for helping protesters.

From Global Voices:

Bahrain: Tweeting Against Formula 1

31 March 2012 1:32 GMT

Twitter hashtags are no longer spontaneous, at least not to Bahraini Twitter users who are using hashtags as another tool to spread information about their protest against a regime which has so far granted them cosmetic reforms after a whole year of protest. Although Bahrain’s population is small in number, Twitter users are very organized online, using social media platforms as their only way to document the crimes of the regime against them.

This idea to trend hashtags started in solidarity with Abdulhadi Khawaja, a prominent activist and opposition figure, who is sentenced to life imprisonment after being accused of attempting to overthrow the regime and who has been on hunger strike for weeks. For the previous month, Bahrainis have succeeded in getting several hash tags to trend worldwide. In their latest attempt, they wanted to address Formula 1, the famous car race organiser, to cancel their race in Bahrain in protest against the regime’s violations against human rights. The race is scheduled to be held from April 20 to 22, 2012.

Twitter users announced the hash tag on this account @Feb14TT:

@Feb14TT: غردوا على ‬#BloodyF1‪ Tweet on This Hashtag Only NOW !!!

The rest followed on cue as Twitter users started tweeting and trying to get the hash tag to show in the top trending topics worldwide.

Despite the Bahrain GP currently having the go-ahead, the teams are reportedly making plans should it be cancelled: here.

New scorpion species discovered in California


Wernerius inyoensis

From Wildlife Extra:

New species of scorpion discovered – In California

March 2012. Even in places as seemly well-studied as the national parks of North America, new species are still being discovered. Using ultraviolet light that cause scorpions to glow in the dark, researchers from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) have discovered an intriguing new scorpion in Death Valley National Park. They named the species Wernerius inyoensis, after the Inyo Mountains where it was found.

Only 16mm long

This new species is small, only 16 mm in length. “We almost overlooked this one during the survey” said Matthew Graham, a PhD Candidate with the School of Life Sciences at UNLV. Matt discovered the scorpion along with his father who was volunteering that night.

“Only a single male individual was found, but the physical uniqueness was enough to identify it as a new species”, said Michael Webber, another PhD Candidate from UNLV who described the specimen.

This new scorpion appears to be closely related to two other species found over 400 kilometres away at Joshua Tree National Park and along the lower Colorado River. This group of scorpions is most easily identified by the presence of a conspicuous spine at the base of the stinger, the function of which, if any, is unknown.

Live underground

The previously known species are also rarely observed in the wild, and this elusive nature has led to speculation that these scorpions occur at very low densities or have only sporadic surface activity. However, the rocky terrain in which the previous species were found and the discovery of the new species at the base of a talus slope, hint at the possibility that these scorpions are subterrestrial, spending their lives deep in rock crevices or in the interstitial spaces among piles of loose rock.

Scorpions are quite common within arid regions where they can comprise a large component of biological diversity. The new species was discovered during field surveys funded by the National Park Service as part of efforts to develop better inventories for all organisms occurring within the parks.

“In North America, inventories for mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibians are pretty well developed, and we have a good handle on higher-order plants, but for many groups of smaller organisms taxonomic inventories will no doubt lead to numerous new discoveries” said Dr. Jef Jaeger, a Research Assistant Professor at UNLV who initiated and oversaw the scorpion surveys.

In the face of regional environmental changes brought about by human actions and the potential for larger changes that global warming may bring, many scientists and resource managers place new importance on efforts to document and catalogue species diversity.

The study was published in the open access journal ZooKeys.

William of Orange’s last words, a myth


There are lots of quotes, supposed to be from famous people in history, which, after scrutiny, turn to be myths.

Edmund Burke never wrote the words attributed to him “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing”.

King Louis XIV, absolute monarch of France, never said: “The state, that is me.”

A special sub-category of these non-historical non-quotes is supposed things famous people have been supposed to say just before dying.

Christian fundamentalists spuriously claim that Lenin on his deathbed said that because of all his sins he was going to burn in the Christian hell forever.

Murder of William of Orange

Another leader of another revolt (not against twentieth century Russian czarism, but against sixteenth century King Philip II of Spain and the Netherlands) was Prince William of Orange.

After his murderer, paid by King Philip, shot Prince William, the Stadhouder of the rebellious province Holland is supposed to have said in French: “My God, have pity on me, and on my poor people”, just before his terminal breath.

Now, however, Dutch experts have concluded that the impact of the assassin’s bullets was so strong that the prince would have been unable to say anything, dying instantly.

Another myth debunked.

Prince William’s nickname was William the Silent. So, a fitting nickname for the very last part of his life as well.

Trayvon Martin’s death, Florida reactions video


This video from the USA says about itself:

Central Florida workers and students speak on killing of Trayvon Martin.

The killing of Trayvon Martin and the social crisis in the US: here.

Thousands of US citizens marched at the weekend through the Florida town where an unarmed black teenager was shot dead by a neighbourhood watch volunteer: here.

In an interview on Sunday night with Trayvon Martin’s parents, Geraldo Rivera looked to make amends for his controversial comments surrounding the death of their son: here.

Henry A. Giroux | Hoodie Politics: Trayvon Martin and Racist Violence in Post-Racial America. Henry A. Giroux, Truthout: “The killing of a young African-American boy, Trayvon Martin, by an overzealous white Hispanic security guard … has devolved into a spectacle. While there is plenty of moral outrage to go around, a recognition that racism is alive and well in America, and that justice has been hijacked by those who can afford it, the broader and more fundamental questions and analyses are not being raised”: here.

Florida serves as proving ground for pro-gun laws: here.