Northern and southern light videos


This is a northern light video from the Canadian Rocky Mountains.

This video, Comet and the Northern Lights, is from Tromsø in Norway.

This video is from Oregon in the USA.

This video is from Michigan in the USA.

This video is called Aurora Australis TimelapseTasmania, Australia – May Day 2013.

This video is from Alberta in Canada.

This video says about itself:

12 Nov 2013

Flying on a Virgin Atlantic flight from London to New York when the aurora forecast was high, I balanced my camera on a rucksack and left it snapping away out the window … what an amazing spectacle was to be seen! You can see some of the still pictures that formed this time-lapse here.

‘Dutch Breivik’ terror plot in Belgium


This video from Norway is called New CCTV footage of Breivik‘s terror attack in Oslo.

Translated from Kathleen Heylen in Belgium:

Terror suspect wanted to attack Flemish radio and TV broadcasters

15/11/2013 – 06:31 Update: Fri 15/11/2013 – 11:49

In Sint-Niklaas a man has been arrested who is said to have planned to commit terrorist attacks. The man wanted to overthrow the Belgian state, including an attack against the VRT broadcasting organisation.

The 23-year-old man of Dutch origin was arrested on Wednesday night. He was in a bar trying to recruit people to carry out attacks. Like Anders Breivik in Norway, he had described in a manifesto how he wanted to overthrow the Belgian state.

“He’d been planning to proclaim on VRT TV his message and, if necessary, to do this by violence. He targeted some Belgian political institutions as well,” said Anthony Schotsaert from the Prosecutor’s Office in Dendermonde. The Belga news agency claims to have heard from a reliable source that he wanted to strike exactly today, King’s Day.

Bahrain human rights activists win Norwegian prize


This video is called Bahrain rights group awarded Norway’s Rafto Prize.

From Index on Censorship today:

Bahrain Center for Human Rights wins Norwegian Rafto Prize

BCHR was awarded the human rights prize for its peaceful fight for fundamental rights in Bahrain

From Views and News from Norway:

Rafto winner credits ‘unnamed heroes’

November 3, 2013

Maryam al-Khawaja, acting president of the Bahrain Center for Human Rights, accepted the Rafto Prize in Bergen on Sunday on behalf of the center, but said she wasn’t the one who should be on the stage receiving the accolades. Rather, she said, it was “the people on the streets of Bahrain who are the unnamed heroes.”

The center she now leads, however, was awarded the Rafto Prize for its “long and courageous fight for human rights such as freedom of speech and freedom of association in Bahrain.” In awarding the prize to the Bahrain Center for Human Rights, the Bergen-based Rafto Foundation stated that it was “turning the spotlight on the systematic violations of human rights in a region where abuse is too often met with silence from western governments.”

The president of the center, Nabeel Rajab, is currently in jail for having “encouraged illegal gatherings.” Al-Khawaja read excerpts from a letter he wrote as part of her acceptance speech, in which he told of the “brutal violations … against peaceful Bahrainis while the whole world continues to stay silent.”

The prize winners, also those absent, were honoured in Bergen, though, with a traditional torchlight parade Sunday evening. The center also received a diploma and USD 20,000 in prize money.

Ancient Norwegian sweater discovered


The ancient Norwegian tunic, photo: Museum of Cultural History, University of Oslo, Marianne Vedeler

From Smart News blog in the USA:

September 4, 2013 9:30 am

Melting Glaciers Are Liberating Ancient Clothes, Like This 1,700-Year-Old Sweater

Around 1,700 years ago, a reindeer hunter lost a well-worn, patched up tunic. It turned up recently in Norway, after sections of the quickly melting Lendbreen glacier retreated. As glaciers around that country melt, more and more scraps of ancient clothing are being revealed. This one, however, is in especially fine condition. Discovery News reports:

Examinations with a scanning electron microscope and light microscopy revealed that two different fabrics, made of lamb’s wool or wool from adult sheep, are present in the tunic.

“There is no doubt that the wool was carefully chosen for both fabrics, and that both quality and natural pigmentation were taken into consideration,” the researchers said.

The tunic was once a greenish brown. Its owner would have worn it like a pull-over or sweater, Discovery writes, given its lack of buttons. The weave—a diamond twill—has turned up in other fragment scraps recovered in the region.

Indeed, the fabric was deliberately and evenly mottled, the effect obtained using two light and two dark brown alternating wool threads.

Two carefully added patches, the researchers say, show that the hunter probably took good care of his things, and they also suspect that the sweater may have originally been sleeveless, with those warmth-providing additions added at a later date.

As for why the hunter left such a lovely garment behind, the researchers can only speculate. Perhaps he was overtaken by a sudden storm, they told Discovery, forcing him to quickly retreat without retrieving his tunic. Given the amount of care put into it, he would probably be glad to know that the sweater, at last, has found a good home.

Dutch wildlife videos Internet game


This video from Norway is called Singing Icterine Warbler and European Siskin.

Today, a new Internet game started in the Netherlands.

Its name is “Spotvogel”. If you translate that literally into American English, then you get “mockingbird“. Spotvogel (literally: mocking bird) is the Dutch name of the European songbird species, the icterine warbler. This species imitates all kinds of songs by other birds, sounding like it mocks them.

The new Internet game’s name Spotvogel also alludes to the Dutch expression: “Spot de vogel”, spot the bird.

During the game, you watch videos about wildlife and lifeless objects in nature. You should try to name them (in Dutch). If you see a bat in a video, name it, and that is correct, then you get a few points. If your description is more precise than just “bat”, eg, “long-eared bat“, then you get some more points. If your description is still more detailed, eg, “brown long-eared bat“, then you get most points.

If people play this game, they also help the video archive to catalogue better what their videos are about.

The rules of the Spotvogel game are (translated from the game’s site):

1. Select above here a video clip to play the game and watch the video.
2. Enter as many [Dutch] words as you can describing what you see or hear then.
3. If your words match the words of other players, then you score matches which mean points for you.
4. Register to save your points.

Breivik and Musharraf, murder update


This video about Pakistan says about itself:

May 24, 2012

Benazir Bhutto‘s son, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, tells CNN’s Wolf Blitzer he blames Musharraf for his mother’s death.

From the Press Trust of India:

Pakistan’s Pervez Musharraf to be charged with former PM Benazir Bhutto’s murder next week

July 30, 2013 18:05 IST

Islamabad: Pakistan’s former military ruler General Pervez Musharraf will be charged with criminal conspiracy and murder of ex-Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto on August 6, even as his bail plea in the Akbar Bugti killing case was rejected today.

General Musharraf was produced in an anti-terrorism court in Rawalpindi amidst tight security for today’s hearing in the Bhutto assassination case headed by judge Habibur Rahman.

Mr Rehman fixed August 6 to be the date to formally charge 69-year-old Musharraf.

The former President’s indictment would be an unprecedented move in a country ruled by military for more than half of its life.

The Rawalpindi court is hearing the case of the killing of two-time PM Bhutto.

Mrs Bhutto was assassinated in a gun-and-bomb attack outside Rawalpindi’s Liaquat Bagh on December 27, 2007, when General Musharraf was the president. She was killed after addressing an election campaign rally in the city.

State prosecutor Chaudhry Azhar Ali told media that “Musharraf will be produced at the next hearing on August 6″.

The charges relating to criminal conspiracy and murder will be read out before Musharraf and he will have to sign the charge sheet, he said.

Mr Rehman ordered the police that the accused should be present in the court to sign the charge sheet and respond to the charges.

General Musharraf was not produced in court in the last two hearings due to security reasons, prompting the judge to reprimand the police and order them to present the accused or make arrangement for hearing of the case in the jail.

Now, after this ex-military dictator and George W Bush crony, to another country, Norway; and another murderer, Islamophobic and anti-Semitic racist Anders Behring Breivik.

From daily The Independent in Britain today:

Anders Behring Breivik, the right-wing extremist who killed 77 people in a bombing and shooting rampage in Norway two years ago, has applied to study political science at the University of Oslo.

Breivik, who is serving 21 years for the massacre at a Labour Party youth camp on Utoya Island and the Oslo bombing, argued that his actions were politically motivated, and since his incarceration has tried to set up a organisation aimed at “democratic fascist seizure of power in Norway”.

Survivors of Breivik’s rampage, meanwhile, are determined to make sure his intended legacy of wiping out the next generation of Labour politicians will never become a reality. Twenty-seven of them are standing for election in polls in early September.

The announcement of their candidacy came as Norway this month marked the two-year anniversary of the attacks, with the Prime Minister, Jens Stoltenberg, speaking out against extremism but vowing to make sure Norway remained an open and democratic society.

Svalbard Arctic terns get geo-locators, names


This video says about itself:

The Arctic tern (Sterna paradisaea) makes an incredible migration each year. These small birds travel distances of more than 50,000 miles, from pole to pole, crossing through temperate and tropical regions along the way. Carsten Egevang used geo-locator tags to track ten of these terns, and he shares their story with us in this tour.

Translated from the blog of Maarten Loonen, Arctic tern researcher at Ny-Ålesund, Svalbard:

Naming terns

July 20, 2013

Thanks to the crowd funding campaign rugsteuntstern.nl I can catch terns and equip them with a geo-locator. In total, 35 people have paid an amount enabling them to name a tern.

Fortunately, we were able to catch exactly 35 terns. It was not easy because it was a disastrous year in terms of breeding success. There were very few terns breeding and the bravest ones were often robbed of their eggs by an Arctic fox within a few days.

However, here we proudly present [photos of] 35 named terns. They may look very similar, but they are all special individuals anyway.

Arctic terns in Alaska: here.