Women sue Catholic Church about sexual abuse


This video from Australia says about itself:

Church admits liability in school sex abuse

12 July 2010

The Catholic Church has admitted liability for the sexual abuse of girls at a primary school at Toowoomba in Queensland’s Darling Downs.

Translated from NOS TV in the Netherlands:

Injunction against church abuse

Added: Saturday 13 Sep 2014 09:10
Update: Saturday Sep 13 2014, 09:30

Six women who have been abused by clergy in their childhood days are taking the Roman Catholic Church to court. In the lawsuit, Thursday in Utrecht, they want to enforce that they and other victims of sexual abuse will still be able to file complaints, the newspaper Trouw reports.

The hotline for sexual abuse complaints has been closed since July 1 for cases which are legally time barred and whose possible perpetrators are no longer alive.

Especially men have used the chance to complain in recent years. The women going to court now want the time for filing complaints to be extended indefinitely.

Shame

According to the Foundation Women’s Platform about Ecclesiastical Child Abuse (VPKK) women “because of feelings of shame about abuse in their childhood (especially in the nineteen fifties and sixties), need more time to come out with their stories.”

The platform says that “we can still expect many cases. The number of women who will report eventually will be perhaps less than with men, but not many less.”

Sydney spiders bigger than Australian outback spiders


This video from the USA says about itself:

6 June 2011

Get a behind-the-scenes look at this history and creation of this dazzling textile—the only one of its kind in the world—made from the strands of silk from over one million of Madagascar’s golden orb spiders. On view at the Art Institute of Chicago through October 2011.

From Wired magazine:

Cities Are Making Spiders Grow Bigger and Multiply Faster

By Nick Stockton

08.20.14, 2:00 pm

Something about city life appears to be causing spiders to grow larger than their rural counterparts. And if that’s not enough to give you nightmares, these bigger urban spiders are also multiplying faster.

A new study published today in PLOS One shows that golden orb weaver spiders living near heavily urbanized areas in Sydney, Australia tend to be bigger, better fed, and have more babies than those living in places less touched by human hands.

The study’s authors collected 222 of the creatures from parks and bushland throughout Sydney, and correlated their sizes to features of the built and natural landscape. …

To measure urbanization, the authors looked primarily at ground cover throughout the city, at several scales, where they collected each spider: Are surfaces mostly paved? Is there a lack of natural vegetation? Lawns as opposed to leaf litter?

“The landscape characteristics most associated with larger size of spiders were hard surfaces (concrete, roads etc) and lack of vegetation,” said Elizabeth Lowe, a Ph.D student studying arachnids at the University of Sydney.

Humped golden orb weavers are a common arachnid along Australia’s east coast. They get their name from their large, bulging thorax, and the gold silk they use to spin their spherical webs. They typically spend their lives in one place, constantly fixing the same web (which can be a meter in diameter). Each web is dominated by a single female, though 4 or 5 much smaller males usually hang around the edges of the web, waiting for an opportunity to mate (only occasionally does the female eat them afterwards).

Paved surfaces and lack of vegetation mean cities are typically warmer than the surrounding countryside. Orb weavers are adapted to warm weather, and tend to grow bigger in hotter temperatures. The correlation between size and urban-ness manifested at every scale. Citywide, larger spiders were found closer to the central business district. And, their immediate surroundings were more likely to be heavily paved and less shady.

More food also leads to bigger spiders, and the scientists believe that human activity attracts a smorgasbord of orb weavers’ favorite prey. Although the study wasn’t designed to determine exactly how the spiders were getting bigger, the researchers speculate that things like street lights, garbage, and fragmented clumps of plant life might attract insects. They also believe that the heat island effect might let urban spiders mate earlier in the year, and might even give them time to hatch multiple broods.

The orb weavers could also be keeping more of what they catch. Because they are such prolific hunters, orb weavers’ webs are usually home to several other species of spiders that steal food. The researchers found that these little kleptos were less common in webs surrounded by pavement and little vegetation.

Lowe says quite a few species of spider are successful in urban areas, and she wouldn’t be surprised if some of these other species were also getting bigger. Despite how terrifying this sounds, she assures me that this is actually a good thing. “They control fly and pest species populations and are food for birds,” she said.

Bird songs and visual arts


This August 2014 video says about itself:

Nightingale and Canary

Australian artist Andy Thomas specializes in creating ‘audio life forms’: beautiful abstract shapes that react to sounds. In this animated short, he visualizes two recorded bird sounds from the archives of the Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision [beeldengeluid.nl] in Hilversum.

This video, from Victoria, Australia, also by Andy Thomas, is called Whip Bird Sound Sculpture test 1.

Red-backed fairywrens in Australia, new study


This 13 August 2014 video is called Studying Red-backed Fairywrens in Australia.

More about this study is here.

See also Seven Ways of Looking at a Fairywren: Student Research in Australia.