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.

Dubai jails Norwegian woman for having been raped


This video is called Woman Sent To Jail For Getting Raped – Marte Deborah Dalelv.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Raped Norwegian warns about Dubai

Sunday 21 July 2013

by Our Foreign Desk

A Norwegian woman who was given a 16-month jail term in Dubai after reporting being raped has warned other outsiders about misunderstanding the city’s legal system.

Marte Deborah Dalelv had worked for an interior design firm in Qatar since 2011 and said she was sexually assaulted by a coworker while on a business trip to Dubai.

She said she fled down to the hotel reception, where staff questioned her desire to report the incident to the police.

Police gave the 24-year-old a medical examination and blood test for alcohol, she said.

She was then detained for four days, accused of having sex outside of marriage – a crime not normally pressed against foreigners.

Ms Dalelv called her stepfather in Norway from prison. “He answered the phone so I said that I had been raped, I am in prison … please call the embassy,” she said.

“And then I went back and I … just had a breakdown. It was very emotional, to call my dad and tell him what happened.”

Diplomats managed to secure her release and she is staying at the Norwegian Seamen’s Centre in Dubai while she prepares her September appeal.

Ms Dalelv said the man who attacked her was handed a 13-month sentence – three fewer than she got – for extra-marital sex and alcohol consumption.

Norwegian Foreign Minister Espen Barth said: “This verdict flies in the face of our notion of justice,” calling it “highly problematic from a human rights perspective.”

UPDATE: as a result of public indignation, Ms Dalelv has been pardoned.
See also here. Unfortunately, her rapist was pardoned as well.

‘Norwegian nazi prepared terrorist massacre in France’


This video is called Varg Vikernes aka Burzum arrested in France over terror plot.

From the Daily Mail in Britain:

Norwegian neo-Nazi musician said to be an ‘Anders Breivik sympathiser’ arrested in France over fears he was plotting a similar massacre

Kristian Vikernes was arrested with his French wife Marie Chachet [sic; Cachet]

She had recently bought four rifles

40-year-old Vikernes is a convicted murderer from Norway

Previously received a copy of a manifesto from Breivik

By Anthony Bond

PUBLISHED: 15:19 GMT, 16 July 2013 | UPDATED: 16:32 GMT, 16 July 2013

A neo-Nazi linked to Norwegian mass killer Anders Behring Breivik has been arrested in France today following fears he might stage a large ‘terrorist act’.

Kristian Vikernes, a well-known black metal musician in Norway, was arrested with his French wife Marie Cachet after she recently bought four rifles.

The 40-year-old, who is a convicted murderer from Norway, had in the past received a copy of a manifesto from Breivik, the far-right militant who killed 77 people in 2011.

In a statement, France’s Interior Minister Manuel Valls said: ‘Having received the manifesto before (Breivik) committed his crimes and having been sentenced in Norway in the past for murder, this individual, who was close to a neo-Nazi movement, was likely to prepare a large terrorist act.’

Officers were searching his home in Correze for weapons and explosives, a police source said.

Breivik killed 77 people in a bombing in central Oslo and a shooting spree on a nearby island in July 2011. He was imprisoned last year for a maximum term of 21 years.

Breivik sent a copy of his manifesto setting out his ideology to Vikernes, an official at the Paris prosecutor’s office said.

Breivik’s 1,500-page manifesto outlined his planned crusade against Muslims, who he said were taking over Europe and could only be defeated through a violent civil war.

Cachet, 25, had a legal firearms permit when she bought the four rifles, the official said.

‘The investigation will notably establish the conditions in which these (rifles) were acquired and their real objective,’ Valls said. …

Vikernes, a black metal musician and writer known as Varg, was convicted in 1994 of stabbing a rival musician to death in Oslo and burning down several churches.

He was released from jail in 2009 and moved to France with his wife and three children.

French daily Le Monde reports that National Socialist Black Metal musician Vikernes on the Internet called on French voters to vote for the neo-fascist Front National party of Marine Le Pen. He called Norway “a Soviet state”.

Vikernes claims that Adolf Hitler and Norwegian World War II nazi leader Quisling “represent divine goodness”.

Svalbard, bye bye!


This video is about Arctic terns mobbing a birdwatcher, Longyearbyen, Svalbard, 28th June 2010.

After 8 June, today is 9 June 2013.

We have to leave Svalbard.

In Longyearbyen, a snow bunting, a glaucous gull, and barnacle geese sound.

On our way to the airport, we see common eider ducks swimming in the fjord.

Our plane takes off to Oslo, the capital of Norway.

8:45: our plane passes Bear Island.

In Oslo, we transfer to a bigger plane.

Many Svalbard bird photos are here.

Svalbard Arctic char fish


This video says about itself:

Tough Love, Arctic Char Style

Arctic char spawning in beautiful Savalen, Norway.

Filmed handheld with a Canon 60D on 09.27.2011.

Music: “Ranjit Prasad” (F. Hamrå/H. Stubø).

Performed by Jazz & Fly Fishing.

The book Birds and Mammals of Svalbard, on page 201, writes about one species which is neither a mammal nor a bird, but a fish.

It is the Arctic char, the species occurring furthest to the north of all freshwater fish.

It is the only freshwater fish of Svalbard. Apparently, there are not enough of them for all food needs of fish-eating birds like red-throated divers; as these often fly out to sea to catch marine fish.

Birds and Mammals of Svalbard writes that Arctic char are in over 100 lakes and waterways of the Spitsbergen archipelago. Some of them stay in fresh water all their lives, and are usually comparatively small. Some are anadromous: they migrate from the fresh water to the sea, and then back to spawn. They are usually bigger than the stationary Arctic char.