Rare Spanish sparrow in the Netherlands


This is a video about a Spanish sparrow, on 26 October 2014 on the Maasvlakte in the Netherlands.

This south European species is rare in central and northern Europe.

André Strootman made the video.

Red fox and badger, video


This video is about a red fox and a badger in the Netherlands.

Gerrie van der Meulen and her brother Theo made the video.

Dutch shrew video


This is a video about a shrew in the Netherlands.

Beerke made the video.

Liberian refugee not deported to Ebola today


This video is called Ebola Virus: Film reveals scenes of horror in LiberiaBBC News.

Translated from NOS TV in the Netherlands:

Monday 27 Oct 2014 19:35

The Liberian who today would be deported to Liberia can remain temporarily in the Netherlands. According to his lawyer, the court in Roermond has decided that. The Liberian at that time was already on the way to the airport.

The court in Den Bosch last week ruled that the Ebola epidemic was not a reason to stop deportation, because people can protect themselves against Ebola. …

The lawyer had filed a case in Roermond with different arguments.

Ebola virus family is 16 to 23 million years old: here.

EBOLA FIGHT A LOGISTICAL NIGHTMARE “Because of the limited time they can spend in the sick wards in their stifling protective suits, the risks of certain procedures and even the amount of medicines available, health workers [in Liberia] and elsewhere in West Africa ration care, operating under constraints they often find frustrating.” And contact tracing in Liberian slums is near impossible as mass fear of quarantine and treatment hampers any separation of the sick from the healthy. [NYT]

Israel’s Ebola-testing lab too slow to diagnose disease, critics say: here.

Australia has become the first Western country to impose a total entry ban on people from Ebola-stricken West African countries. Medical experts, UN agencies and African government leaders denounced the move as discriminatory and damaging for international efforts to combat the catastrophe: here.

Dutch Islamophobic policeman


This video is called Islamophobia and Antisemitism: Same message, different minority.

After the Dutch policeman who illegally kept wild animals, now another policeman. Apparently a police officer supposed to teach police students how to become good police officers …

Translated from NOS TV in the Netherlands:

Police: officer insulted Muslims

Friday Oct 24, 2014, 18:19 (Update: 24-10-14, 19:06)

The police dissociate themselves from “very insulting statements” about Muslims which a police officer made off duty on Facebook. The police regrets the statements and dissociates itself fully from them, the police supreme officers report on Twitter.

The message has since been removed from Facebook. According to nu.nl it was on an account of a teacher to the police of Rotterdam-Rijnmond region. He is said to have written: “I’m all done with these f*cking Muslims. I hope they will very soon die a slow painful death. In other words: Death to Islam!!!”

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.