First hummingbird hawk-moth of spring

This is a hummingbird hawk-moth video from Poland.

The Dutch Butterfly Foundation reports on Twitter that yesterday, 5 March 2014, the first hummingbird hawk-moth of this spring was seen in Breda.

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Little bitterns in Bahrain

This video says about itself:

LITTLE BITTERN eating fish. Sir David Attenborough‘s opinion

6 June 2013

This is a clip from “RHYTHMS OF NATURE IN THE BARYCZ VALLEY” movie.

This film tells the story about nature in the Barycz River valley and enormous Milicz ponds. This area is located in the south-western part of Poland (in the middle of Europe). I and my wife made it for 2 years.

Sir David Attenborough, a world-famous BBC nature documentary film maker, after watching the film “Rhythms of Nature in the Barycz Valley” wrote:

“I have viewed Rhythms of Nature with great pleasure.

A lovely place, beautifully filmed”.

From Birds of Saudi Arabia blog:

15 Jan 2014

Little BitternsAlba Marsh (Bahrain)

Nicole and I ring mainly at a small marsh on the east side of Bahrain. The marsh is less than one kilometre square, possibly half this size and comprises areas of deep water and extensive phragmites reed beds. There are a few scattered tamarix bushes within the marsh and wet areas with muddy edges near the sides. Many areas are too deep to access but we have a small area were it is possible to set nets. Reed cutters come every weekend to cut reeds for their animals and this helps maintain the marsh in a suitable condition to ring as the reeds grow extremely fast and swamp the area in a very short time if not cut.

The marsh is good for typical marsh birds with herons numerous. The Indian Reef Herons and Little Egrets have yet to be caught but we have started to catch a few Little Bitterns. They are relatively common on the marsh and are seen almost every visit, particularly just after first light. Below are photographs of two male Little Bitterns we caught last weekend and photos of a female can be seen in my last post on ringing at the marsh.

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CIA secret torture prisons scandal

This video says about itself:

2 Apr 2012

Last week saw a revival of the scandal surrounding an alleged CIA secret prison in Poland – something the country’s officials have always strongly denied existed. The first charges have reportedly been brought against the country’s former intelligence chief for allowing the site. For more on this RT’s joined by former CIA officer Raymond McGovern.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Rights court hears US torture charge

Tuesday 3rd December 2013

A rare public airing over secret network of CIA prisons used to interrogate terror suspects in ECHR

The European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg gave a rare public airing to the secret network of CIA prisons used to interrogate terror suspects.

Lawyers for two detainees of the US Guantanamo Bay concentration camp have accused Poland of human rights abuses.

They say their clients fell victim to the CIA scheme to kidnap and torture terror suspects in a remote Polish prison.

One of the cases concerns Saudi national Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, who faces terror charges in the US for the alleged orchestration of an al-Qaida attack on the USS Cole warship in 2000.

The second case involves Palestinian Abu Zubaydah, who has never been charged with any crime.

Both men say they were taken to Poland in December 2002, where they were detained and tortured in a military installation in Stare Kiejkuty, a village in the country’s remote north-east.

They claim they were subjected to waterboarding, prolonged stress positions and other extreme abuses and are asking the court to condemn Poland for the abuse of rights guaranteed by Europe’s Convention on Human Rights.

Former CIA officials have admitted that a black site prison operated in Poland from December 2002 to autumn 2003.

However, Polish leaders at the time – former president Aleksander Kwasniewski and former prime minister Leszek Miller – denied the prison’s existence.

The CIA has never said where the prisons were sited, but human rights groups say they included Afghanistan and Thailand as well as Poland, Lithuania and Romania.

Contrary to Obama’s promises, the US military still allows torture: here.

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Yiddish play on Polish stage after 100 years

This video says about itself:

Sholem Asch‘s Work

28 March 2013

David Mazower shares his thoughts on which of Sholem Asch’s writings he finds most compelling, emphasizing the ways in which his great grandfather was ahead of his time. Read the full text of Asch’s most famous play Got fun Nekome (God of Vengeance) through our Steven Spielberg Digital Yiddish Library: here.

By Roman Frister in Israsel:

Yiddish play, still contentious after 100 years, to hit Polish stage

Lesbian sex, a brothel, cutting shady deals with the almighty: How will Warsaw take to ‘The God of Vengeance?’

Nov. 24, 2013 | 8:24 PM

A Yiddish play too daring for many theaters of the early 1900s – and still controversial today – is taking to the stage once more in a Polish production next month.

Sholem Asch’s “Got Fun Nekome,” or “The God of Vengeance,” is about a the owner of a brothel who – though not Victorian in business – reaches out to God in hope of a deal to protect his daughter’s innocence.

Completed in 1907, the English-language production arrived only in 1923, when it became the first-ever drama on Broadway to feature a lesbian love scene. The cast was promptly arrested and charged with obscenity.

The play was viewed as so contentious that its own writer, a Yiddish novelist and playwright born to a Hasidic family in Russian-controlled Poland, eventually refused to let it be performed in public.

The new production opens December 19 at Warsaw’s Ester Rachel Kaminska and Ida Kaminska State Jewish Theater. It will be the first time the theater is imposing an age limit on theatergoers: only 16 and up will be admitted.

Director Andrei Munteanu’s “Bog Zemsty,” as the play is known in Polish, will be performed in Yiddish, with simultaneous translation into Hebrew, Polish and English.

In the play, a man who appears to be a good citizen and doting father runs a brothel in the basement of the family home. One of the prostitutes wants to bring his daughter, Rivka, into the business. To atone for his sins, the father funds the purchase of a valuable Torah scroll.

Although Asch was born in the city of Kutno, near Warsaw, and this play is considered one of his best, “Bog Zemsty” is virtually unheard of in Poland. That may be because theaters have shied away from the taboos it raises.

Music and Hitler’s Holocaust

This music video is called Zbigniew Preisner – Diaries of Hope – PAMIĘTNIKI.

By Krystyna Zavisha in Britain:

Live Music: Diaries Of Hope

Wednesday 16th October 2013

Innocence shines amid the horrors of death camps

Diaries Of Hope

Barbican Hall, London EC2

5 Stars

After visiting the Yad washem museum in Jerusalem, Zbigniew Preisner was haunted by an exhibition dedicated to children who perished in the Holocaust.

His companion during the trip, filmmaker Krzysztof Kieslowski of the Three Colours trilogy renown, encouraged him to describe the experience musically and the idea for Diaries Of Hope was born.

Preisner was inspired by texts written by Polish children, among them the diaries of Rutka Laskier – not unlike those of Anne Frank – and Dawid Rubinowicz, along with the poems of Abram Koplowicz and Abram Cytryn.

With their childlike faith in the future, they are at the crux of the music’s imagery.

Part oratorium, part requiem this sombre opus overwhelms completely with the density of its soundscape.

With Preisner conducting, the haunting choral and orchestral support for the memorably nuanced voices of Lisa Gerrard and Archie Buchanan was immaculate, reflecting every subtle chromatic of the Diary’s palette.

Adam Klocek’s cello provided a moving counterpoint as Buchanan delivered Cytryn’s meditative lines while Konrad Matylo’s piano wove moments of inspired respite. The string section delicately interposed the leitmotif of a gentle, melancholy waltz – a reminder perhaps of the innocence of children playing in the midst of horror.

Preisner scored a historic triumph which has an impact beyond the standing ovation on the night and the moving encores at the end. Diaries Of Hope are laden with the deepest humanity and despite the sorrow they express they will remain forever uplifting.