Sun and clouds time lapse video


This is a time lapse video about sun and clouds at the mudflats of Flakkee Zuid in the Netherlands.

Ingrit Raven made the video.

Dutch seventeenth century shipwreck discovery in Caribbean


Map of the Battle of Scarborough Harbour, 1677

From the University of Connecticut in the USA:

UConn Archaeologist Discovers 17th-century Shipwreck

October 21, 2014

By: Sheila Foran

The Dutch ship Huis de Kreuningen went to her watery grave on March 3, 1677. But until a team led by University of Connecticut professor and maritime archaeologist Kroum Batchvarov found her this past summer in the waters of the southern Caribbean, no one knew precisely where that grave was.

Batchvarov, assistant professor of maritime archaeology in UConn’s Department of Anthropology, is an internationally known researcher specializing in 17th-century ship building and maritime archaeology. He is leading a multi-phased investigation to find and study the remains of 16 vessels that were sunk in a fierce battle that took place in what is now known as Scarborough Harbour in the Republic of Trinidad & Tobago.

The battle was fought between the invading French and the Dutch, who controlled the island of Tobago at that time. Although often overlooked by students of maritime history, the confrontation was significant, both in terms of the number of lives lost and the damage done to both fleets.

Earlier this year, Batchvarov and his team were conducting a remote sensing survey in the Harbour when they picked up some promising signals. An exploratory dive struck pay dirt.

“To find what we believe to be the Huis de Kreuningen – almost by accident, as she was outside the boundaries where we expected to find her – undiscovered and untouched for over 300 years was an exciting moment,” Batchvarov says.

His research team went on to survey and map the wreck over the summer.

The find is a significant source of information for the maritime history of the period. “Although we have some written records of the battle itself, we possess no detailed plans of 17th-century warships,” Batchvarov says, “so our only sources of information about the ships of the day are the wrecks themselves. It isn’t overstatement to say that what has been discovered is a treasure trove for archaeological researchers.”

What is known about the battle is that all told, 2,000 people, including 250 Dutch women and children and 300 African slaves, were killed. In addition to the Huis de Kreuningen, which was the largest ship in the Dutch fleet, the flagship of French Vice Admiral Comte D’Estrée – the Glorieux – was also sunk and all but 80 of the 450 men aboard were lost. In the end, the Dutch lost more vessels, but they succeeded in repelling the French landing party and retained possession of the island.

Batchvarov says although his team didn’t find much of the hull structure intact, they have found a wealth of other material, including nine canons; Delft and Bellarmine pottery jars that date to the third quarter of the 17th century; lead shot that was never fired; dozens of Dutch smoking pipes; and bricks that perfectly match the specifications of bricks made in the Dutch city of Leiden in 1647.

The Huis de Kreuningen, though the largest in the Dutch fleet at 39.6 meters in length and 9.62 meters in breadth, was only about three quarters of the size of her French foe, the much newer and better armed Glorieux. With only 56 guns to her opponent’s 72, and with a crew of 129 instead of her full complement of 290 sailors aboard, existing records of the battle report that she put up a valiant fight until her captain either cut her anchor cables so she would run aground, or set her afire – accounts vary – in order to avoid capture.

Another benefit of the project is the opportunity it provides for students to participate in Batchvarov’s ongoing research. Students enrolled in maritime studies at UConn’s Avery Point campus, the only undergraduate program in the country with a maritime archaeology minor, have a singular opportunity.

On this summer’s trip to Tobago, Mark Wegiel ’15 (CLAS), a former Navy diver, took part in the exploration of the Huis de Kreuningen. With plans for doing graduate work in anthropology with a concentration in maritime archaeology, Wegiel says the dive in Scarborough Harbor gave him a new perspective.

“I had plenty of experience as a diver during my years in the Navy,” he says, “but having the chance to take part in surveying and mapping the wreck and being introduced first hand to the techniques of archaeological exploration was something new and exciting. As an undergraduate, I couldn’t have gotten this experience anywhere else.”

Permission to excavate the shipwrecks in and around Scarborough Harbour has been granted by the Tobago House of Assembly to the Rockley Bay Research Project, which is supported by the University of Connecticut and the Institute of Nautical Archaeology of the United States.

Artifacts and other items found in the shipwrecks are the property of Tobago and will eventually be displayed on the island. Excavation is expected to take three to five years.

In addition to his work in Tobago, Batchvarov is one of the world’s leading experts on the Swedish warship, Vasa, which sank in Stockholm Harbor in 1628. He has worked on Ottoman, Greek, and Phoenician ships, and has recently been invited to participate in an international collaboration that will study ships of state from 1300 to 1800. Batchvarov will concentrate on 17th-century shipbuilding technology development. The only person to have successfully excavated a Black Sea shipwreck, he is also involved in an international collaborative study of the Black Sea littoral zone – or shoreline to the high-water mark – that will concentrate on human adaptation to sea changes from the Upper Paleolithic era to the 19th century. The University of Connecticut is the only non-European institution invited to participate in these important endeavors.

Don’t deport refugee to Ebola, Liberian government says


This video is called Cuba to send more Ebola medics to West Africa.

Translated from NOS TV in the Netherlands:

Liberia: do not deport asylum seeker

Thursday Oct 23, 2014, 11:48 (Update: 23-10-14, 12:14)

Liberia does not want the Netherlands to deport an asylum seeker. The Deputy Ambassador of Liberia calls on the Dutch government to let him stay here until the Ebola crisis in the country has passed.

The court in Den Bosch decided on Monday that the 31-year-old Liberian can be expelled. The man claimed that the Netherlands provides a travel warning for Liberia and that Belgium also does not deport Liberians because of Ebola. But according to the court, the probability of an Ebola infection is small and the man can take steps to not be contaminated.

“The court must look again at this issue on humanitarian grounds,” said Deputy Ambassador Jarjar Kamara in the program The Ochtend on NPO Radio 1. “Let the applicants stay in the Netherlands until the crisis will be over.” …

Kamara gets support from immigration law professor Anton van Kalmthout. He calls the appeal understandable. “There is an emergency. Flights are canceled. Why does the negative travel advice not apply to a Liberian that is deported? … ” said Van Kalmthout in De Ochtend.

Monday deportation

It is intended that the Liberian this Monday will be put on a plane. His lawyer is trying to prevent this with an action before the European Court of Human Rights.

Next week, the Lower House of Parliament will be talking about the issue, but by then the man may have already been deported. Professor Van Kalmthout believes that the government should postpone the deportation until it will be clear what the outcome of the parliamentary debate will be.

LIBERIA’S Ebola crisis stepped up a gear today as dozens of starving quarantined people threatened to break out of isolation: here.

England: No, there is not a ‘black illegal immigrant with Ebola’ missing in Leicester: here.

The giant pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline said yesterday that its work on a vaccine for Ebola will “come too late” to do anything about the current situation. Even now it is trying to compress trials that would normally take a decade into a year. The impression it gives is that it is working flat out, no holds barred. But hang on a moment. Ebola was discovered back in 1976. What has GlaxoSmithKline been doing since then? Answer: not much: here.

All incoming travelers from Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone must self-report their temperatures for 21 days after arriving in the U.S. [NYT]

Ebola animated cartoon by Mark Fiore: here.

The imperialist powers are using the West Africa Ebola outbreak as a cover for re-establishing or strengthening their military presence in their former colonies. Their aim is to further their geo-strategic interests including control of the region’s offshore oil resources. To this end, rather than sending financial or healthcare assistance, they are deploying military forces: here.

BAMAKO, Oct 23 (Reuters) – Mali confirmed its first case of Ebola on Thursday, becoming the sixth West African country to be touched by the worst outbreak on record of the haemorrhagic fever, which has killed nearly 4,900 people: here.

Rare moth less rare in the Netherlands


This is a video from Japan about a Lithosia quadra caterpillar.

Translated from the Dutch Butterfly Foundation:

Thursday, October 23, 2014

The four-spotted footman is a moth with no permanent populations in the Netherlands. It is a rare migratory moth, entering the Netherlands from the south and possibly temporarily propagates. This year the moth is reported strikingly more than usually.

The four-spotted footman (Lithosia quadra) was from 2004 to 2013 reported only thirty times and thus a rare moth. In normal years, zero to four individuals were reported. In good years there were seven (2006) to nine (2012) four-spotted footmen. Only in 2014, over a hundred reports came in on Waarneming.nl and Telmee, from more than fifty different locations. The past week still saw a lot.

Lithosia quadra female

Black woodpecker video


This is a black woodpecker video.

Renske van de Wiel from the Netherlands made the video.

Hedgehog on camera intended for weasels


Johann Prescher, maker of this video in the Netherlands, writes about it (translated):

October 20th 2014

Special guest in the Mostela that I had prepared in Veenwouden. A hedgehog was able to crawl through the 8cm diameter tube. The Mostela is an invention for the identification of small mustelids (Mustelidae) named after the inventor Jeroen Mos. I have provided the Mostela with an attractant which attracts the animals. Looks like it was well worth the effort for the hedgehog as well, as it crawled into the Mostela.

And this mini-hedgehog just realized it can fit in a Starbucks cup.

Don’t kill wigeons, Dutch judge says


This is a video about wigeon males and females in the Netherlands.

Sometimes, Dutch judges make wrong decisions. But sometimes, they make right decisions.

Translated from BirdLife in the Netherlands:

Tuesday, October 21

In Noord-Holland province for the time being wigeons, a duck species, are not allowed to be shot. The court in Haarlem decided last week in an emergency procedure that the exemption which provincial authorities had decided should be suspended. BirdLife in the Netherlands is pleased with the ruling.