Dinosaurs’ and birds’ locomotion


This 2016 video is called Dinosaur Walk Theory Video.

From PLOS:

Locomotion of bipedal dinosaurs might be predicted from that of ground-running birds

BIRDS Model uses just two inputs to predict terrestrial locomotion in extinct avian and non-avian dinosaurs

February 21, 2018

A new model based on ground-running birds could predict locomotion of bipedal dinosaurs based on their speed and body size, according to a study published February 21, 2018 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Peter Bishop from the Queensland Museum, Australia and colleagues.

Previous research has investigated the biomechanics of ground-dwelling birds to better understand the how bipedal non-avian dinosaurs moved, but it has not previously been possible to empirically predict the locomotive forces that extinct dinosaurs experienced, especially those species that were much larger than living birds. Bishop and colleagues examined locomotion in 12 species of ground-dwelling birds, ranging in body mass from 45g to 80kg, as the birds moved at various speeds along enclosed racetracks while cameras recorded their movements and forceplates measured the forces their feet exerted upon the ground.

The researchers found that many physical aspects of bird locomotion change continuously as speed increases. This supports previous evidence that unlike humans, who have distinct “walking” and “running” gaits, birds move in a continuum from “walking” to “running.” The authors additionally observed consistent differences in gait and posture between small and large birds.

The researchers used their data to construct the biomechanically informative, regression-derived statistical (BIRDS) Model, which requires just two inputs — body mass and speed — to predict basic features of bird locomotion, including stride length and force exerted per step. The model performed well when tested against known data. While more data are needed to improve the model, and it is unclear if it can be extrapolated to animals of much larger body mass, the researchers hope that it might help predict features of non-avian dinosaur locomotion using data from fossils and footprints.

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Tony Blair against Brexit, Ramones parody song


This 21 February 2018 parody music video from Britain is called The Remoans – “Britsleave Bop”.

It is a parody of the song Blitzkrieg Bop by the Ramones.

Tony Blair takes lead vocal duties on this new Brexit-bashing single from The Remoans.’

The lyrics are:

They’re foaming at the mouth now
Their eyes are swivelling round
Devaluing the pound
The Britsleave Bop

They’re scoffing at the experts
Not listening to lectures
Endangering the sectors
The Britsleave Bop

Ho hey, let’s stay
Stop them in their tracks now
What they want, I don’t know
As long as it’s hard and we definitely go

They’re foaming at the mouth now
Their eyes are swivelling round
Devaluing the pound
The Britsleave Bop

United States students demonstrate against gun violence


This video from the USA says about itself:

Students Stage ‘Die-In’ Outside White House In Protest To Florida Shooting | TODAY

20 February 2018

Students from across the nation are staging walkouts and demonstrations to prod legislators to act on mental health and gun control issues in reaction to the Florida high school shooting that left 17 people dead. NBC’s Kristen Welker reports.

By Kate Randall in the USA:

Mounting protests, walkouts by US students against school shootings

21 February 2018

Protests and walkouts by high school students are spreading in response to the mass shooting that killed 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida last Wednesday. On Tuesday, as Douglas High students were traveling the 400 miles to Florida’s capital, Tallahassee, to express their anger and demand a ban on assault rifles, students at other high schools in the state walked out of class in solidarity, chanting “Stop gun violence!”

Scores of students walked out of McArthur High School in Hollywood, Florida just before noon and hundreds more stormed out of West Boca Raton High School just after noon and marched the 10 miles to Parkland’s Douglas High.

The Douglas High School students are planning to hold a rally Wednesday outside the state capitol. They will then meet with legislative leaders, including Senate President Joe Negron. Negron sponsored a 2011 bill, signed into law by Republican Governor Rick Scott, which banned cities and counties from regulating gun and ammunition sales. The Florida state legislature declined on Wednesday to hear a bill banning assault rifles, as students looked on from the gallery.

Protests by high school students have taken place in other parts of the country as well. On Monday, students from the Washington DC area protested outside the White House, calling on lawmakers to reform gun laws. More than 100 teenagers and their supporters staged a “lie in” outside the president’s residence.

Students also staged walkouts at Cary High School in North Carolina and in Los Angeles, where some 500 people rallied at a downtown park on Monday to protest the wave of school shootings and government inaction.

Last Wednesday, using a semi-automatic rifle, lone gunman Nicholas Cruz, 19, took the lives of 14 Douglas High students, ages 14 to 18, and three coaches, one of whom was also a teacher. Students, teachers and families attended the funerals of four more shooting victims on Tuesday: Cara Loughran, Carmen Schentrup, Gina Montalto and Peter Wang.

Since the mass shooting, information has emerged documenting Cruz’s severe and longstanding mental and emotional problems and the lack of medical or social support to help him.

Problems which were directed towards violence by Cruz’s participation in the Reserve Officers Training Corps and in extreme right politics.

In the wake of the horror of the Parkland massacre, the 17th school gun incident so far this year, students are seeking a political road to address one of the most malignant expressions of the social breakdown in America. According to the group Everytown for Gun Safety, this year to date has seen on average one school shooting every 63 hours, more than double the rate for the previous three years.

The Washington Post published a tally on Tuesday showing that since the Columbine massacre in 1999, 150,000 students at US primary and secondary schools have experienced a school shooting on their campus and more than 400 have been killed.

Protesting students have aimed their fire at local politicians, the US Congress and President Donald Trump. The group March For Our Lives has called for a march on Washington and protests in cities across the US on March 24. In its mission statement, the group declares, “March For Our Lives is created by, inspired by, and led by students across the country who will no longer risk their lives waiting for someone else to take action to stop the epidemic of mass school shootings that has become all too familiar.”

The students who are protesting represent a generation that was born for the most part after Columbine and has known nothing but constant war, the glorification of the military, police brutality and killings, mass shootings, worsening inequality, poverty and economic insecurity and the opioid epidemic—all expressions of the mortal crisis of American capitalism.

These conditions have been fostered by the reactionary and militarist policies of both big business parties, under Democratic no less than Republican administrations. In the aftermath of the Parkland shooting, as in every previous rampage, the response of the entire political establishment and the media is to cover up the roots of such tragedies in a social system dominated by an oligarchic elite and the military and intelligence agencies.

The Democrats are once again seeking to limit discussion to the issue of gun control, which they seek to exploit for their own electoral advantage. Meanwhile, they, if anything even more stridently than Trump and the Republicans, push for war against Russia and more military violence in the Middle East, and along with war, its inevitable domestic counterparts—austerity, censorship and repression.

Students must be warned against the efforts already underway to channel their protests against the fascistic Trump administration behind the Democratic Party and its own right-wing agenda and electoral ambitions in the 2018 mid-terms. The way forward is to turn to the masses of working people who are coming into struggle against the ruling class and both of its political parties.

The World Socialist Web Site spoke to students in New York City and Minnesota about the wave of school shootings and the protests in response to the Parkland tragedy. Eoin in New York said, “The Parkland shooting was brought up at my school and there was a lot of talk about security in case someone comes in. But it doesn’t address why there are people doing this. A lot of the discourse right now is around security and gun laws. There should be a focus on some kind of preventative action to help these troubled students.

“I don’t think it does any good to show police and the military bursting into schools. It creates a feeling that you can just fight fire with fire. Kids are growing up seeing the military on their TV all the time. They see things being solved with guns, and that’s how they think their problems can be solved.”

Jie, a student at John Dewey High School in Brooklyn, said, “The glorification of violence is part of nationalism. There is a lot of focus on violence in movies now, and it is a divisive issue. My feeling is that it is the social system that is pushing people to be antagonistic and see each other as enemies.”

Shea, a student at Assa High School in Minnesota, said, “Students talked about this a lot, and it is scary. Most of the students even before thought about what we would do if a similar event happened here. It is like there is an infection and the shootings are like a boil bursting. It is a symptom but not the source of the problem. I think stricter gun control laws would be a good start, but I’m not sure if that will really solve everything.”

See also this 21 February 2018 video.

Less than four days after the Parkland school shooting, the New York Times has found a way to turn a national tragedy that claimed the lives of 17 high school students into an opportunity to escalate its unrelenting campaign of anti-Russian propaganda, involving the continuous bombardment of the public with reactionary lies and warmongering: here.

Desperate British Conservative anti-Corbyn ‘spy’ smears own goal


This video from Britain says about itself:

JEREMY CORBYN WAS A COMMUNIST SPY!!! PIGS ALSO FLY

20 February 2018

Several outlets have covered a story accusing Jeremy Corbyn of spying in yet another ridiculously bogus story. The man who accuses Corbyn also takes credit for founding Live Aid! Moreover, what were the Tories up to in the 1980’s?

A filthy anti-communist campaign has been mounted by Rupert Murdoch’s the Sun and the Times—along with the Daily Mail and Daily Telegraph—claiming that Jeremy Corbyn was a paid informer for the Czech secret service in the 1980s: here.

Rupert Murdoch and British Conservatives are watching so many James Bond movies that they have forgotten all differences between fantasy and reality.

The extreme right American John Birch Society and Republican politician and Mormon church leader Benson also used to say that Republican President of the USA General Eisenhower was a Russian spy.

Jeremy Corbyn was in Derbyshire when ex-Czech spy claims they met in London, leader’s records show. The Labour leader ‘s spokesman branded the former agent’s claims ‘utterly ridiculous’: here.

Jeremy Corbyn demands apology and donation to charity from Tory MP who said he ‘sold British secrets to spies’: here.

Owls in Sweden on videos


This is a great grey owl video from Sweden.

This is a video about a northern hawk-owl on a birch tree in Sweden.