Fukushima nuclear disaster update

This music video from Japan says about itself:

SCRAP performing their song “Fuck Tepco” in Koriyama, 10/2/11

Scrap is a punk rock band, consisting of Fukushima survivors who lost everything in the disaster.

Tepco company admitted security fault in Fukushima, Japan: here.

Japan lacks decommissioning experts for Fukushima — Phys.org: here.

TEPCO: Not all pumped-in water reached overheating Fukushima reactors — The Asahi Shimbun: here.

Hellbender salamander rock music video

This video from the Center for Biological Diversity in the USA says about itself:

Hellbenders Rock

20 nov 2013

We love hellbenders. But they’re not the cuddliest of species, with their slimy bodies that look like the 2-foot-long lovechild of phlegm and a rock. Actually these critters — also called (by people not on the Center’s staff) “devil dogs” and “snot otters” — are pretty much a PR nightmare for anyone trying to fight off their extinction due to water pollution and dams. The rallying cry “Save the Snot Otter” doesn’t always go over well.

Happily for the hellbender, a band from St. Louis is now doing this salamander justice through song. They may yet make a rock ‘n’ roll legend out of North America’s largest amphibian.

We think there are few things more rockin’ than raising a little hellbender.


HELLBENDER: Cryptobranchus alleganiensis
FAMILY: Cryptobranchidae

DESCRIPTION: Hellbenders are considered to be living fossils because they have changed so little over time. They are large, stout-bodied, fully-aquatic salamanders that grow to be two feet long with brown, grey or black skin with lighter markings. Hellbenders have flattened bodies and heads that allow them to cling to the river bottom, as well as a rough pad on their toes for traction on slick rocks. They have paddle-like tails for swimming, and numerous folds of fleshy skin for oxygen absorption. Their eyes are small, without lids, and their skin secretes toxic slime to ward off predators.

HABITAT: This salamander occurs in rocky, clear creeks and rivers, usually where there are large shelter rocks. It generally avoids water warmer than 68 degrees Fahrenheit. Males prepare nests and attend eggs beneath large, flat rocks or submerged logs.

RANGE: This species is found in Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Missouri, Mississippi, North Carolina, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia. The Ozark subspecies is found only in southern Missouri and northern Arkansas.

MIGRATION: The hellbender does not migrate.

BREEDING: Hellbender breeding is aquatic. Males may move short distances within their home ranges to brooding sites. The breeding season is variable but occurs mainly in September and October; a male prepares a nest by moving gravel to create a saucer-shaped depression, then depositing 200-400 eggs in the depression. The male fertilizes the eggs and guards the nests until the young are about three weeks old.

LIFE CYCLE: Newly hatched larvae are approximately 1.2 inches long. Development is rapid, and hatchlings double their size in the first year. Larvae normally lose their external gills in the second summer after hatching. Hellbenders reach sexual maturity at five to six years and may live as long as 30 years.

FEEDING: Crayfish are the most important food items for hellbenders, but the salamanders’ diet also includes fish, insects, earthworms, snails, tadpoles, fish eggs, other hellbenders and other hellbenders’ eggs.

THREATS: This species is mainly threatened by poor water quality, unsustainable collection for the pet trade and scientific purposes, persecution by anglers, disease caused by chytrid fungus, stocking of predatory fish and loss of genetic diversity.

POPULATION TREND: The hellbender is declining throughout its range. The Ozark hellbender in southern Missouri and northern Arkansas is in especially alarming decline.

Action timeline

May 4, 2004 — The Center petitioned the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to list 225 candidate species, including the Ozark hellbender.

April 20, 2010 — The Center petitioned to list 404 aquatic, riparian and wetland species in the southeastern United States as threatened or endangered, including the hellbender.

September 8, 2010 — The Service issued a proposed rule to list the Ozark hellbender as endangered but refused to designate critical habitat.

November 8, 2010 — The Center filed comments with the Fish and Wildlife Service urging the Service to designate critical habitat for the Ozark hellbender.

July 12, 2011 — The Center reached a landmark agreement with the Fish and Wildlife Service compelling the agency to move forward in the protection process for 757 species, including the Ozark and eastern hellbenders.

October 5, 2011 — The Service issued a final rule listing the Ozark hellbender as an endangered species under the Endangered Species Act as part of our 757 species agreement.

January 31, 2013 — The Center and the Missouri Coalition for the Environment filed a formal notice of intent to sue the U.S. Forest Service and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service over the agencies’ failure to protect the Ozark hellbender, Hine’s emerald dragonfly, Tumbling Creek cavesnail and two endangered mussels on Missouri’s Mark Twain National Forest, where logging, road use and other activities are polluting waterways.

Two new species of mini-salamander discovered in Colombia: here.

Loïs Lane, live radio concert video

This is a music video of Lois Lane, singing their song My best friend, written in 1989, live on the national radio show in Hilversum on 2 November 2013.

The video was made with a cell phone, so please don’t expect professional quality :)

After the Hilversum radio show concerts by Berget Lewis and Rick de Leeuw, Loïs Lane came. While the two earlier acts had been on stage for half an hour both, Loïs Lane played (and was interviewed by the presenter) for one hour. Like Berget and Rick, Loïs Lane had a new album out; but theirs was also a special occasion, as it was a sort of resurrection after a long time of (near) death.

Monique Klemann, an Amsterdam singer of Indonesian-Dutch ancestry, originally founded Loïs Lane in 1984. When another singer left, she asked her elder sister Suzanne to join; as there would be an important show in the Melkweg soon. Suzanne had never sung on a stage; so, she hesitated. However, as soon as she was on the Melkweg stage, she found out that the really liked it.

Their music caught the attention of famous United States musician Prince. They became support act on tour, and recorded songs with him.

However, pregnancy and other causes put the band on the back burner. Suzanne for some time became the presenter of the radio show she played in on 2 November; but decided she liked singing better.

In the band’s new line-up, Monique’s daughter Merel sings as well. Not on 2 November, however, as Merel’s hockey team needed her then.

Rick de Leeuw concert live on radio

This is a music video of Rick de Leeuw singing the song Kom bij mij, at the live national radio concert in Hilversum, the Netherlands, on 2 November. Rick de Leeuw came on stage after Berget Lewis (on whose performance this blog reported earlier).

The video was recorded on mobile phone, so please don’t expect professional quality :)

Decades ago, Rick de Leeuw was singer of the Amsterdam punk rock band Tröckener Kecks. Later, he became well-known for poetry as well.

He now is a radio presenter in Belgium; though he lives in Amsterdam. His backing band at the Hilversum concert were Belgian musicians. Contrary to Berget Lewis, they did include a bass guitar with their drums, guitar and keyboard.

Berget Lewis radio concert live

This video is the official video of Berget Lewis‘ new single, Aviator.

On Saturday 2 November, there was a live national radio show in Hilversum, the Netherlands. Three music acts performed there. They all had new albums out recently. About the two others later; Berget Lewis sang first.

Berget Lewis was born in Amsterdam, from parents from Suriname.

Her parents were Pentecostal church members. As Berget told in the radio interview between the 2 November songs, they forbade her to sing anything which was not religious gospel music. While her brother’s non-religious music was allowed.

Berget Lewis, radio concert Hilversum, 2 November 2013

Berget’s band were her, relatively low, vocals; two guitars, keyboards, drums; no bass guitar. Sometimes, the music seemed to be somewhere between Tina Turner and Guns ‘n Roses.

They played three songs. The audience applauded enthusiastically.

Rock musician Lou Reed dies

This video says about itself:

Laurie Anderson & Lou Reed Interviewed by Charlie Rose (2003) – Part One

July 8, 2003

Lou Reed talks about ‘NYC Man‘ (his retrospective album) and Andy Warhol.

Laurie Anderson and Lou Reed talk about their relationship.

And here is part two of that interview.

From Haaretz daily in Israel:

Rock legend Lou Reed dies at 71

Cause not reported, but according to Rolling Stone magazine, he underwent a liver transplant in May.

Oct. 27, 2013 | 7:42 PM

Rock legend Lou Reed, 71, died Sunday, Rolling Stone magazine reported.

The cause of death wasn’t reported but according to Rolling Stone, he underwent a liver transplant in May.

Reed was born to a Jewish family in Brooklyn, New York in 1942. He went on to form the Velvet Underground group with Welsh musician John Cale in the 1960s. They would later come to collaborate with pop artist Andy Warhol.

The band is widely credited as one of the most influential bands of the 20th century.

Some of his most well-known songs were Perfect Day, Take a Walk on the Wild Side, I’m Waiting for my Man and Here Comes Your Man.

He was married to performance artist Laurie Anderson. He had no children.

This music video is called Lou Reed – Walk On The Wild Side.

American rock song on Chinese traditional instrument, video

This 21 September 2013 music video is called Guns ‘N RosesSweet Child o’ MineGuzheng Cover.

From the Huffington Post in the USA:

This Unconventional Cover Of A Guns N’ Roses Song Is Beyond Awesome

Posted: 10/07/2013 11:19 am EDT

Vancouver musician Michelle Kwan rocks out with this most holy of covers, showing that nothing is more rock ‘n’ roll than an ancient Chinese string instrument.

You may not have guessed that a guzheng would so delicately capture the essence of Guns N’ Roses’ harmonious hit “Sweet Child O’ Mine.” In fact, you might not even know what a guzheng is.

For those of you who don’t know, a guzheng is a Chinese plucked zither, related to the Japanese koto, the Mongolian yatga, the Korean gayageum and the Vietnamese đàn tranh. If you don’t know what those are either, you’ll have to watch the video above to find out.

Enjoy the teenage musician’s unlikely hard rock ode and be warned: things get really intense around 2:37.

Swedish police anti-Roma discrimination

This video is called Gypsy Gipsy Romani Romany Sinti Holocaust.

Translated from NOS TV in the Netherlands:

Outcry about registry of Roma in Sweden

Monday 23 Sep 2013, 14:08 (Update: 23-09-13, 14:40)

In Sweden there is an outcry over a police database containing thousands of names of Roma. The only reason for inclusion in the registry is Roma origin, most of the people listed have no criminal records.

The existence of the registry was revealed by the newspaper Dagens Nyheter and confirmed by the Swedish police. According to the newspaper, there are over 4,000 people in the database. A quarter of them are toddlers or preschoolers.

Bad reputation

Police would not say why the register is kept, but it is believed that it is done because of the bad reputation of Roma, mostly living in camps or on the streets. …

This reminds me of United States rocker Joan Jett‘s song “Bad Reputation”. Here is the music video.

The Swedish Minister for EU Affairs Ohlsson was shocked by the revelation about the Roma, who are considered to be Europe’s most discriminated minority. She calls the registry “frightening, unethical, unacceptable and illegal.”

Sweden has prohibited registration by ethnicity. In the Netherlands there is a ban on that as well, though there are municipalities which want more opportunities to register Roma.

French Interior Minister Manuel Valls has once again turned on the Roma, demanding their expulsion to Eastern Europe: here.

The Final Countdown, music video by Koen Theys

This video is called Koen Theys – The Final Countdown (2013, 3 channel video, 47″44′) @SMAK, GENT.

Belgian video artist Koen Theys made a video, based on over 2000 YouTube videos, of people performing the song The Final Countdown, originally by Swedish rock band Europe.

The song is played on electric guitars, acoustic guitars, kazoos, flutes, other wind instruments, violins, by a capella singers, etc.

Koen Theys’ complete video lasts over 47 minutes. At the moment, it is projected on a big screen in the S.M.A.K. museum in Ghent, Belgium. That is part of a Koen Theys exhibition in that museum. I visited that exhibition; and will write more about it on this blog later.