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.

Enhanced by Zemanta

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.

Enhanced by Zemanta

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.

Polish Triassic amphibian burrowing discovery


Skeleton of Metoposaurus diagnosticus krasiejowensi in the Krasiejów museum in Poland

Not only news today about living amphibians … but also about their very distant relatives, extinct since over 200 million years.

From the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology:

Giant Triassic amphibian was a burrowing youngster

Krasiejów, Poland was a vastly different place 230 million years ago during the Triassic Period. It was part of a giant continent called Pangea, had a warm climate throughout the year, and was populated by giant amphibians that weighed half a ton and were 10 feet long. Metoposaurus diagnosticus was one of these giant amphibians, and its environment had only two seasons: wet and dry. Like modern amphibians, Metoposaurus needed water for its lifestyle, but the extremely long dry season in Triassic Krasiejów drove this species to burrow underground and go dormant when water was scarce.

The burrowing behavior of Metoposaurus was recently discovered by Dorota Konietzko-Meier of the University of Opole, Poland and the University of Bonn, Germany, and P. Martin Sander also of the University of Bonn and was recently published in a study in the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology. This study examined both the overall structure of the skeleton of Metoposaurus as well as the microscopic structure of its bones.

The broad, flat head, broad flat arm bones, wide hands, and large tail of Metaposaurus diagnosticus led the investigators to conclude that this species swam in ephemeral lakes during the wet season and used its broad, flat head and forearms to burrow under the ground when the dry season began. The authors also examined cross-sections of the bones of Metoposaurus looking for growth rings, called annuli. These annuli are similar to tree rings, where a band of light and a band of dark indicate one year of growth. In other early amphibians one annulus usually consists of a broad zone of rapid growth (wet season) followed by a thin band of slow growth (dry season), but in Metoposaurus, a period of prolonged slow growth was followed by a cessation of growth during the dry season. According to lead author Dorota Konietzo-Meier, “The histology of Metoposaurus long bones seems to be unique. In our interpretation it corresponds to the two-seasonal climate with a short, more favorable wet season and a long dry part of the year when life conditions were worse.”

Dr. Michel Laurin from the Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle who was not involved with this study, commented, “This interpretation is interesting, but problematic in some respects. This animal was much larger than any extant burrowing species I know of, and if it dug, I suspect that the snout and tail played a far greater role than the limbs, as we observe in most extant aquatic vertebrates.”

These annuli also give an estimate of age. Co-author P. Martin Sander said, “A common problem with these large amphibians is that you can’t tell from the shape of their bones if they are grown or not; sometimes the youngsters get described as a different species from the grown-ups”. This technique solves that problem. It turns out that all of the specimens preserved at Krasiejów were juveniles. The smallest specimen was only one year old, while the largest specimen was four. Adulthood in these large amphibians was usually reached around year seven. The authors do not know if this mode of life was unique to juveniles or if adults also burrowed.

Sander concludes, “It amazes me time and again how much we can learn from these extinct animals. The techniques we used have been around since the 1840s, but only in the last 20 years have researchers asked the right questions and drawn comparisons with living animals.”

###

ABOUT THE SOCIETY OF VERTEBRATE PALEONTOLOGY

Founded in 1940 by thirty-four paleontologists, the Society now has over 2,000 members representing professionals, students, artists, preparators, and others interested in VP. It is organized exclusively for educational and scientific purposes, with the object of advancing the science of vertebrate paleontology.

The Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology

The Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology (JVP) is the leading journal of professional vertebrate paleontology and the flagship publication of the Society. It was founded in 1980 by Dr. Jiri Zidek and publishes contributions on all aspects of vertebrate paleontology.

For complimentary access to the full article, visit: http://www.tandfonline.com/toc/ujvp20/current (on or after September 3, 2013)

The article appears in the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology 35(5), published by Taylor and Francis.

Citation: Koneitzko-Meier, Dorota and P. Martin Sander. 2013. Long Bone Histology of Metaposaurus diagnosticus (Temnospondyli) from the Late Triassic of Krasiejów (Poland) and its Paleobiological Implications. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology 35(5):1-16.