Sculptor Louise Bourgeois dies


This video is on Louise Bourgeois and her work.

From the New York Times in the USA:

Louise Bourgeois, the French-born American artist who gained fame only late in a long career, when her psychologically charged abstract sculptures, drawings and prints had a galvanizing effect on younger artists, particularly women, died on Monday at the Beth Israel Medical Center in Manhattan. She was 98.

Rare dragonfly back in the Netherlands


This video says about itself:

Leucorrhinia caudalis is one of the most threatened dragonfly species in central-Europe regarding its wide distribution throughout Europe to West-Asia in the past and the heavy recent retreat. It is included in the Annex 4 of the EU Habitats Directive and listed in the Bern Convention as well. The video was taken on one of the few (not more than 5-10) colonies in Hungary in 2008 while taking quantitative survey at Őrtilos (river valley of Dráva).

From Staatsbosbeheer in the Netherlands:

Rare dragonfly found in Weerribben nature reserve

News release, Saturday, May 29, 2010

The rare Leucorrhinia caudalis dragonfly is back in Weerribben National Park. A visitor noticed the species during a trip to the edge of a hole in a bog where peat used to be mined. In 1970 the species had been last seen in a lakes complex in Noord-Brabant province. The Leucorrhinia caudalis dragonfly is the forty-sixth dragonfly species recorded in the Weerribben.

In the area where overgrown peat holes have been restored by dredging, the water quality has greatly improved and the underwater plants have recovered. This has made the Weerribben into one of the main areas for dragonflies in the Netherlands. Eg, in the Weeribben rare species fly, like the large white-faced darter dragonfly, Siberian winter damselfly, dark bluet damselfly. These species are typical of a well-developed peat area. The Forestry Commission will, jointly with dragonfly researchers, look in the Weerribben to see if the species occurs in more places.

Leucorrhinia pectoralis in Nieuwkoopse Plassen: here.

Leucorrhinia caudalis back in Weerribben reserve: here.

White-faced darter genus photos: here.

June 2011. The first white-faced darters have hatched at Cumbria Wildlife Trust‘s Foulshaw Moss Nature Reserve, near Kendal, for the first time this century. This exciting recurrence of this darter dragonfly is part of the Trust’s three-year programme to re-introduce it to Foulshaw Moss. It is hoped that these darters will now start to colonise the nature reserve. The moss has over the last 13 years been restored to its former moss habitat, which is perfect for the extremely rare white-faced darter: here.

The dragonflies of Borneo: here.

Nakamura’s Skydragon, Chlorogomphus nakamurai, is listed as ‘Vulnerable’ on the IUCN Red List of Threatened SpeciesTM due to its restricted range of occurrence. This rare species was first described in 1996, and has only been found in Cuc Phuong and Ba Vi National Park, North Vietnam: here.

Rare vagrant emperor dragonfly found in Pembrokeshire: here.

April 2011. At a time when the world has been focussed on events in North Africa and the Middle East, large numbers of predatory invaders have been silently invading Europe, and some of these have reached Britain! The invaders in question are brownish dragonflies known as Vagrant Emperors: here.

A dragonfly’s guide to Britain: here.

Dragonfly wings inspire micro wind turbines: here.

Curacao dragonflies: here.

Pale Snaketail Ophiogomphus severus: here.

Dragonflies: The Flying Aces of the Insect World: here.

Extinct bird in Australian rock painting


Rock painting, with Genyornis?

From ABC Online in Australia:

Megafauna cave painting could be 40,000 years old

May, 31 2010

Scientists say an Aboriginal rock art depiction of an extinct giant bird could be Australia’s oldest painting.

The red ochre painting, which depicts two emu-like birds with their necks outstretched, could date back to the earliest days of settlement on the continent.

It was rediscovered at the centre of the Arnhem Land plateau about two years ago, but archaeologists first visited the site a fortnight ago.

A palaeontologist has confirmed the animals depicted are the megafauna species Genyornis.

Archaeologist Ben Gunn said the giant birds became extinct more than 40,000 years ago.

“The details on this painting indicate that it was done by someone who knew that animal very well,” he said.

He says the detail could not have been passed down through oral storytelling.

“If it is a Genyornis, and it certainly does have all the features of one, it would be the oldest dated visual painting that we’ve got in Australia,” he said.

“Either the painting is 40,000 years old, which is when science thinks Genyornis disappeared, or alternatively the Genyornis lived a lot longer than science has been able to establish.”

Mr Gunn says there are paintings of other extinct animals right across the area including the thylacine, or tasmanian tiger, the giant echidna and giant kangaroo.

“It does give you a window back to a time that you can pinpoint, and in the case of the Genyornis it’s a very long picture,” he said.

The traditional owners of the land in the Northern Territory say they are excited the painting could be Australia’s oldest dated rock art.

The Jawoyn Association‘s Wes Miller says the painting is one of thousands rediscovered across Arnhem Land in recent years.

“It verifies that the Jawoyn people were living in this country for a very, very long time,” he said.

“People say it, but once again this is clearly a demonstration of how long Jawoyn people have been in this country and other Indigenous groups. It’s great from that point of view. It’s pretty exciting stuff.”

More on Australian Aboriginal Rock Art May Depict Giant Bird Extinct for 40,000 Years: here.

The extinction of Australia’s ‘megafauna’ was caused by long-term hunting, new research suggests: here.

When the researchers analyzed the so-called Bradshaw rock artworks found in Western Australia’s Kimberley region, they didn’t find paint. Instead they found a black fungus, probably belonging to a fungi group known as Chaetothyriales, as well as a reddish organism that is suspected to be a species of cyanobacteria: here.

Dung fungus reveal that humans, not climate change, killed Australia’s giant beasts: here.

Climate change, not human activity, drove Australia’s megafauna to extinction, says Dr Stephen Wroe: here.

Israeli armed forces kill demonstrators


From the BBC today:

More than 10 people have been killed after Israeli commandos stormed a convoy of ships carrying aid to the Gaza Strip, the Israeli army says.

From daily Haaretz in Israel:

At least 10 activists killed as Israel Navy opens fire on Gaza aid flotilla

IDF says 10 killed, 2 commandos wounded, troops attacked when trying to board ships; Turkish TV says over 60 pro-Palestinian campaigners wounded after aid convoy bound for Gaza ignored Israel’s order to turn back.

From Al Jazeera:

Israel attacks Gaza aid fleet

Al Jazeera’s report on board the Mavi Marmara before communications were cut

Israeli forces have attacked a flotilla of aid-carrying ships aiming to break the country’s siege on Gaza.

Up to 16 people were killed and dozens injured when troops stormed the Freedom Flotilla early on Monday, the Israeli Army Radio said.

The flotilla was attacked in international waters, 65km off the Gaza coast.

Footage from the flotilla’s lead vessel, the Mavi Marmara, showed armed Israeli soldiers boarding the ship and helicopters flying overhead.

Al Jazeera’s Jamal Elshayyal, on board the Mavi Marmara, said Israeli troops had used live ammunition during the operation.

According to this report and this report, over 20 people died.

This bloody military violence was against unarmed ships in international waters.

The Israeli peace movement said, before the people died on board:

LET THE AID BOATS THROUGH TO GAZA! END THE SIEGE!

The State of Israel has no interest in flooding television screens all over the world with footage of its navy violently assaulting against peace activists at sea. It is time to remove the suffocating siege and allow residents of Gaza to have free contact with the outside world, freely operate sea and air ports of their own like any country in the world.

The Gush Shalom movement calls upon the government to allow the eight-boat aid flotilla from all over the world to reach the shores of Gaza, where they are scheduled to arrive next week, and unload the humanitarian cargo which is urgently needed by the residents of Gaza. In a letter to Defense Minister Barak, Gush Shalom calls upon him to cancel immediately the instructions given to Israeli Navy ships off the Gaza shore to intercept the aid flotilla.

From the Jerusalem Post in Israel:

Israeli NGO Gush Shalom has planned a protest Monday morning to demonstrate in support of the “Free Gaza” convoy, according to an email circulated by the group.

The demonstrators intend to converge outside the center in Ashdod where the detained international aid activists are supposed to be held.

This video from Israel is called 1 March 2010 — THOUSANDS of Israelis protest against the war on Gaza.

Shock and outrage swept the globe Monday after Israeli commandos stormed a flotilla of aid ships bound for Gaza, as the Jewish state’s foes and allies closed ranks in condemning the deadly raid: here.

Did Twitter censor the #flotilla hashtag following the Israel attack? Users of the microblogging service complain at apparent censorship as discussion grows around deaths on convoy: here.

An Israeli blogger’s criticism of the attack: here.

Haaretz analysis: The government failed the test of results: here.

It has emerged that the bestselling Swedish author Henning Mankell was on board a convoy of Gaza-bound aid boats stormed by Israeli forces today, resulting in the deaths of at least 10 activists and injuries to dozens of others. With the ships out of communication since the attack early this morning, it is not yet known whether he is among the injured: here.

Is the state of Israel its own worst enemy? Here.

Exodus in 1947 and the flotilla today: here.