North Sea coral discovery


This video from Britain says about itself:

26 May 2014

Join us on a simulated journey through the undersea landscapes of the south west of England from Ilfracombe to delicate pink sea fans in Lyme Bay via Chesil Beach and Berry Head. Common cuttlefish, hermit crab, bootlace seaweed and long snouted sea horse can be found here. Watch plaice send a hermit crab packing before approaching The Lizard’s thick carpets of jewel anenomes, dead man’s fingers and Devonshire cup coral. As we reach the Atlantic we come across sun fish, lion’s mane jellyfish, basking sharks and bottle-nosed dolphins before surfacing at Ilfracombe in Devon. Grey seals swim along corkwing wrasse, ballan wrasse and swimming crabs all searching for food amongst sponges.

Translated from Ecomare museum on Texel island in the Netherlands, 16 September 2014:

During a 10-day diving expedition in the North Sea there were a number of discoveries in ancient sunken ships. The rare polychaete worm Sabellaria [spinulosa] was found for example. But the most remarkable find was a piece of Devonshire cup-coral. Although this species lives occasionally near the English east coast, it was the first time that hard coral was found in the middle of the North Sea.

King Richard III of England, how he died


This 2013 video from England is called Richard III – The Violent Death of the King in the Car Park.

From daily The Guardian in Britain:

Richard III died in battle after losing helmet, new research shows

Detailed scans of bones show that he sustained 11 wounds at or near the time of his death, nine of them to the skull

Tuesday 16 September 2014 23.35 BST

Richard III died in the thick of battle after losing his helmet and coming under a hail of blows from vicious medieval weapons, new research has shown. Detailed scans of the king’s bones show that he sustained 11 wounds at or near the time of his death, nine of them to the skull.

The blows to the head were clearly inflicted in battle and suggest that he was not wearing his helmet.

There was another potentially fatal injury to the pelvis that may have been inflicted after death.

Professor Guy Rutty, from the University of Leicester, said: “The most likely injuries to have caused the king’s death are the two to the inferior aspect of the skull – a large sharp force trauma possibly from a sword or staff weapon, such as a halberd or bill, and a penetrating injury from the tip of an edged weapon.

“Richard’s head injuries are consistent with some near-contemporary accounts of the battle, which suggest that Richard abandoned his horse after it became stuck in a mire and was killed while fighting his enemies.”

Richard III, the last English monarch to die fighting, perished at the Battle of Bosworth in 1485. It was the last significant battle of the Wars of the Roses, the civil war between the Houses of Lancaster and York, and paved the way for the Tudor dynasty.

Scientists and historians have been studying the king’s remains since his skeleton was found under a car park in Leicester.

Evidence suggests he was not the hunchbacked, deformed monstrosity depicted by William Shakespeare.

Experts now know he had a bent spine with a “well balanced curve” that could easily have been concealed by clothing and would not have affected his prowess in battle. He probably did not walk with a limp.

The latest research, published in The Lancet medical journal’s online edition, involved whole body CT (computed tomography) X-ray scans and micro-CT imaging.

Marks left on the bones by weapons were also analysed.

The serious injury to the pelvis should have been prevented by Richard’s armour, according to the researchers. They speculate that it might have been inflicted after death, with the armour removed.

Co-author Professor Sarah Hainsworth, also from the University of Leicester, said: “Richard’s injuries represent a sustained attack or an attack by several assailants with weapons from the later medieval period.

“The wounds to the skull suggest that he was not wearing a helmet, and the absence of defensive wounds on his arms and hands indicate that he was otherwise still armoured at the time of his death.”

Commenting on the study, Dr Heather Bonney from the Natural History Museum in London said the research provided a “compelling account” of the way Richard III met his death.

She added: “Wherever his remains are again laid to rest, I am sure that Richard III will continue to divide opinion fiercely for centuries to come.”

See also here.

Coleridge’s Ancient Mariner poem on stage


This video from Britain says about itself:

The Rime of the Ancient Mariner ~ Samuel Taylor Coleridge ~ Full Version

The Rime of the Ancient Mariner (originally The Rime of the Ancyent Marinere) is the longest major poem by the English poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge, written in 1797–98 and published in 1798 in the first edition of Lyrical Ballads.

By Indianna Purcell in England:

Memorable rebranding of Coleridge

Saturday 13th September 2014

The Rime of the Ancient Mariner
South Bank Centre, London SE1

5/5

IT WOULD seem that there’s nothing too ambitious for Britain’s darkest warbling cult trio The Tiger Lillies. And thank goodness for that as their latest project — premiered in France over two years ago — is one of their most spellbinding shows in recent times.

Having embarked on projects such as transforming WWI poetry into songs or a macabre classic German children’s book into an even more sinister musical, The Tiger Lillies now take on Samuel Coleridge’s epic poem The Rime of the Ancient Mariner.

Along with Mark Holthusen’s stunning visual effects, they transform it into a unique, haunting and effortlessly graceful stage production.

Coleridge’s eerie crime-and-punishment classic recounts the tale of a mariner who narrates his nightmare sea voyage where, having shot an albatross, he’s forced to wear it round his neck in penance by his fellow sailors, who ultimately all perish.

In bringing that morbid tale to life, lead singer and accordionist extraordinaire Jacques grimaces through his usual glass-breaking vocal range, with many of the 20 seductive songs sounding sombre in comparison to the Lillies’ usual circus-style cabaret tracks.

In contrast with many of their shows where the group perform on a stage with minimal visual effects, relying more on their own startling stage presence, this time they perform behind a screen of animated handmade puppets. It’s a puppet theatre which they memorably transform into a work of nightmarish art.

Stonehenge, new discoveries


This video from England is called Cool! Technology Unearths 17 New Monuments at Stonehenge!

From daily The Morning Star in Britain today:

STONEHENGE: An extraordinary hidden complex of archaeological monuments has been uncovered around Stonehenge using hi-tech methods of scanning below the Earth’s surface, it was revealed yesterday.

The finds, dating back 6,000 years, include evidence of 17 previously unknown wooden or stone structures as well as dozens of burial mounds which have been mapped in minute detail.

Most of the monuments are merged into the landscape and are not visible to the eye. The four-year study, the largest geophysical survey ever undertaken, covered an area of 12 square kilometres and penetrated to a depth of three metres.

Good hen harrier news from England


This video says about itself:

Northern Harrier (Marsh Hawk) Circus cyaneus [called hen harrier in Britain]

* Family: Accipitridae,

* Genus: Circus,

* Species: C. cyaneus,

* Phylum: Chordata,

* Class: Aves,

* Order: Falconiformes or Accipitriformes,

* Type: Bird,

* Diet: Carnivore,

* Average lifespan in the wild: about 12 years,

* Size: 45–55 cm long with a 97–118 cm wingspan,

* Weight: average of 350 g to 530 g,

** The northern harrier is a sleek bird of prey with a long, narrow tail. The adult male is a pale gray color and the female has a brown back and brown-streaked belly.

More info here and here.

From Wildlife Extra:

Future for hen harriers looking bright in the Peak District

With the fledging of five hen harrier chicks, it seems that hen harriers are once again breeding successfully in the Peak District for the first time in eight years.

This is great news for the hen harrier, as the bird has been at serious threat in England for over sixty years, with their numbers declining primarily due to illegal persecution. In 2013 just two breeding pairs were reported in England, and no young fledged [for the first time] in over fifty years.

The hen harriers were nesting on land cared for by the National Trust in the Upper Derwent Valley. In late April 2014, two male hen harriers and a female were seen sky-dancing, which is the spectacular aerobatic mating routine of the birds. Then in early August, a nest containing five chicks was discovered by Geoff Eyre, a local National Trust shooting tenant. He alerted the Peak District Birds of Prey Initiative, who put a nest watch team in place to monitor the nest daily.

The Trust puts the success down to collaboration with a wide partnership of people and organisations, who all share the goal of protecting the birds and their nest as part of the National Trust’s High Peak Moors Vision, aiming to restore birds of prey in the area. “Having hen harriers breed successfully here in the Peak District is wonderful news,” comments Jon Stewart, the National Trust’s General Manager for the Peak District, “and would not have been possible without the hard work and commitment of all the people and organisations involved, which has been truly inspiring.”

The Trust continues to work closely with tenants and partners of the area, including the grouse-shooting community, in order to pursue the goal of its High Peak Moors Vision, which is committed to increasing the number of birds of prey on National Trust land in the Peak District.

Commenting on the fledging of the hen harrier chicks, Jon Stewart says: “This success is the first step towards a sustainable future for these magnificent birds; a future that can only be achieved by everyone continuing to work together, both here and across the English uplands.”

If you are lucky enough to see a hen harrier in the wild, the National Trust and the RSPB encourage you to report the sighting. You can do this via calling the hen harrier hotline on 0845 4600121, or emailing henharriers@rspb.org.uk. Please be prepared to include the date and location of the sighting, and a six-figure grid reference where possible.