Rock ‘n roll pioneer Chuck Berry, RIP


This 2010 live music video is called Tina Turner & Chuck Berry – Rock ‘n roll music.

By Sara Boboltz in the USA today:

Rock ‘N’ Roll Legend Chuck Berry Dead At 90

The guitarist was known for a string of 1950s and ’60s hits.

Rock ’n’ roll pioneer Chuck Berry has died, police said Saturday. He was 90.

“The St. Charles County Police Department sadly confirms the death of Charles Edward Anderson Berry Sr., better known as legendary musician Chuck Berry,” police said in a statement posted to Facebook.

First responders were called out to a home on Buckner Road around 12:40 p.m. and found a man later identified as Berry unresponsive “and immediately administered lifesaving techniques,” the statement reads. They were unable to revive him and he was pronounced dead at 1:26 p.m.

Berry penned a great number of hits in the 1950s and ’60s like “Sweet Little Sixteen,” “Roll Over Beethoven” and “Rock and Roll Music” that influenced generations of rock groups, including The Beatles. Merging a captivating stage presence with his own blend of blues, country and jazz, Berry helped define the fledgling rock’n’ roll genre, later becoming one of the first musicians inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio.

Born into a middle-class family in St. Louis, Missouri, Berry picked up the basics of guitar from a neighbor and started performing music as a teenager. In 1952, he formed a trio with Johnnie Johnson on piano and Ebby Harding on drums that rose to fame in the local nightclub scene. To pay the bills, Berry worked as a hairdresser. But soon enough he wouldn’t have time for that ― a trip to Chicago netted a recording session with Chess Records, during which Berry performed an old hillbilly tune called “Ida Red.” Changing the name to “Maybellene,” Chess sent the track to an influential New York DJ, and it became a hit among the teenage set.

According to an oft-cited line by John Lennon, “If you tried to give rock ‘n’ roll another name, you might call it ‘Chuck Berry.’” Berry’s music became so well-known, he toured the country with only a guitar, trusting he’d be able to find musicians in each city he played who could serve as his back-up. Many of his lyrics focused on teen culture, although he was significantly past that age by the time he started traveling around singing about cars and dates.

But in the nascent era of the Civil Rights Movement, Berry’s status as a black man with a following of young white people ― a lot of them girls ― caused certain conflict. He’d been known to take refuge in police stations to dodge protesters after his shows, which sometimes featured police presence themselves, according to an Esquire profile. After a teenage coat-check girl who worked briefly at a club he owned alleged Berry had an affair with her, the guitarist served two years in prison. A tax evasion charge sent him to prison again, briefly, in 1979. …

Notoriously interview-shy, Berry had been living out his later years in Ladue, Missouri ― near his hometown. He never stopped writing music, and performed regular gigs at a local restaurant and club called Blueberry Hill.

Pro-Pentagon Somali government accuses pro-Pentagon Saudis of massacring civilians


This 18 March 2017 video is called Helicopter attacked refugee boat off the coast of Yemen.

First, there was the United States Pentagon and other NATO militarists-supported war in Somalia.

It led to millions of Somali refugees, fleeing to, eg, Yemen.

Then came the United States Pentagon and other NATO militarists-supported war on Yemen.

It killed many civilians, including refugees.

So, now many Somalis are fleeing again, this time from Yemen.

On 18 March 2017, the Pentagon-supported Somali government accused the Saudi Arabian government, the special darlings of the Pentagon, of butchering its citizens.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV:

Somalia accuses Saudis of attack on boat

The government of Somalia has said that the Saudi coalition is responsible for the shelling yesterday of a boat with Somali refugees. At least 42 people lost their lives. The Somali government used words like repugnant, monstrous and appalling.

The Shiite rebels in Yemen designate Saudi Arabia as the offender as well. That country has made no comments yet.

Here Dutch NOS TV, being a broadcaster of Pentagon ally the Netherlands, means with ‘that country’ the Yemeni puppet government in exile in Saudi Arabia.

The ship was fired upon from a helicopter gunship, 30 miles from the coast of Yemen.

AMNESTY International has corroborated new evidence the Saudi Arabia-led coalition recently fired banned cluster munitions in Yemen: here.

Journey to Cuba’s birds


This video says about itself:

Full Documentary: Cuba, Natural Paradise

15 March 2016

The Cuban mangrove forest is still an unknown world concealing biological mysteries and treasures which will astonish the world; a forgotten paradise ruled over by an impenetrable hell of dangerous crocodiles, manatees, birds, hutia, marshy labyrinths, and myriads of mosquitoes.

Science has not yet studied the complexity of its creatures and the balance of its ecosystems. And that is part of the charm of the Cuban mangrove forest, knowing that it remains exactly as it always has been, impenetrable, solitary, virgin. It is such a complex world that virtually nothing is known about it. And nonetheless, all its strength and complexity, all its biodiversity and richness, are due to tiny, intrepid travellers that still today, faithful to their spirit, continue to set out on anonymous journeys, crossing the sea and sowing the seeds of paradise.

The mangrove’s success in colonising is due both to its extraordinary evolutionary adaptations, making it possible to live in an acid, briny environment, and to its incredible method of reproduction.

When the mangroves reproduce, they develop what will be the most astonishing means of genetic expansion, colonisers equipped to travel vast distances: their seeds.

A coral world surrounds the Cuban archipelago.

Enormous coral structures, the result of thousands of years of patient calcareous construction, constitute the reefs which fill the coasts of Cuba with life. The coral reef is composed of millions of tiny filtering polyps capable of turning the solar energy and the scarce nutrients in the water into organic matter available for other organisms in the coral community. Starting with them, the chain becomes increasingly complex, and thousand of different life forms develop, from the fragile invertebrates to the most highly evolved, complex fish.

Because Cuba is an island, there are many endemic species, living only in Cuba. 95% of Cuba’s 62 amphibian species are endemic. So are 37% of its 57 freshwater fish species; 79% of its 155 reptile species; and 32% of its 52 mammal species. As for birds, 26 species live only in Cuba. Also, 22 species live only in Cuba plus on a few other islands like the Bahamas.

On 5 March 2017, our journey to the wildlife of Cuba started.

Our plane was already above the Atlantic ocean, west of Scotland, when one of the passengers had heart problems. The plane had to go back east, to Manchester airport in England, so the patient could go to a hospital.

Then, we flew west again, over Ireland; then, the Atlantic.

Plane wing, 5 March 2017

This photo, a cellphone photo like the others of this blog post, shows a wing of the plane.

Hours later, we reached eastern Canada. Frozen lakes; snowy ground.

Frozen lakes and snow in Canada

This photo shows lakes in Canada.

We then flew over Maine in the USA. Still snowy ground, but already a bit less snowy than Canada.

As we went further south along the United States east coast, the snow got less and less. Still later, it disappeared.

We passed New York City.

Clouds off Georgia, USA

Clouds over the Atlantic east of Georgia.

Then, the sea between Florida and Cuba.

Finally, our plane arrived at Varadero airport in Cuba.

Stay tuned for more blog posts on Cuba, and its birds!

Real Neat Blog Award, congratulations to sixteen nominees!


Real Neat Blog Award

Late in 2014, I made this new award: the Real Neat Blog Award. There are so many bloggers whose blogs deserve more attention. So, I will try to do something about that 🙂

It is the first award that I ever made. I did some computer graphics years ago, before I started blogging; but my computer drawing had become rusty 🙂

The ‘rules’ of the Real Neat Blog Award are: (feel free not to act upon them if you don’t have time; or don’t accept awards; etc.):

1. Put the award logo on your blog.

2. Answer 7 questions asked by the person who nominated you.

3. Thank the people who nominated you, linking to their blogs.

4. Nominate any number of bloggers you like, linking to their blogs.

5. Let them know you nominated them (by commenting on their blog etc.)

My seven questions are:

1. Where do most visits to your blog come from?

2. What is your favourite sport?

3. What has been a special moment for you so far in 2017?

4. What is your favourite quote?

5. What was your favourite class when still at school?

6. Anything you had wished to have learned earlier?

7. What musical instrument have you tried to play?

My nominees are:

1. Think it, Ink it

2. The Godly Chic Diaries

3. Ecoseasons

4. Urban Poetry

5. H.Pomatia

6. deep down the thoughts…

7. future advocate shubham modi

8. the harlequin

9. Ed A. Murray

10. Helli Patel

11. tHe BeAuTiFuLl WoRlD

12. To Find the Colors Again

13. Her Lost Mango

14. Aditya’s Birding Blog

15. XFTLOWX

16. Altea Addison is Writing

Dinosaur age fungi discovery


This video says about itself:

23 February 2016

Here are 10 extraordinary fossils that have been found preserved in amber. Amber certainly makes beautiful jewelry, but its clarity and longevity have also proven it to be a great preservation medium. Here are 10 extraordinary fossils that have been found in the solidified resin.

Number 10. Ancient hierarchical civilizations. Thanks to some well-preserved remains, researchers now believe arthropod social structures have been around longer than anyone ever imagined. The encased specimens of ants and termites recently studied date back roughly 100 million years.

Number 9. A possible early version of the bubonic plague. The disease is well known as a Middle Ages mass killer, and its power may have been building since before the dawn of man. Traces of very similar bacteria were found on a 20-million-year-old flea trapped in amber.

Number 8. First carnivorous plant. Dating back some 40 million years, the specimen, which has gooey, insect-trapping tentacles shooting off of its leaves, still contains traces of its last meal. The fossil was found in what is now Russia.

Number 7. 52-million-year-old parasitic beetle. The creature’s prey of choice was ants, and it was somehow able to dupe the hard workers into letting it live in their nest. While there, the beetle would likely eat the ants’ young and exploit their resources.

Number 6. Elusive male stinging scorpion. There are many holes in the history and development of the Miocene scorpion, as very few remains of the ancient ones have been found. Except for this one, a very rare, fully-grown male discovered in Mexico.

Number 5. A daddy long legs with an erect penis. With a 400-million-year history of existence, that the arachnids mate isn’t surprising. However this particular one, estimated to be about 99 million, is the oldest known to have been preserved in such a state.

Number 4. A flower on the verge of being fertilized. Had it not been for the flow of resin that engulfed this bud 100 million or so years ago, the bloom likely would have spread viable seed far and wide. Instead, it was fossilized right as pollen tubes were about to make contact with flower’s stigma.

Number 3. A spider on the brink of an attack. This roughly 110-million-year-old, 8-legged predator missed out on getting a last meal by a sliver of time. The would-be nibble was a wasp that had become ensnared in the web.

Number 2. Dinosaur feathers. Many experts have suggested the prehistoric beasts were covered in them, and this particular piece of amber certainly lends support to the idea. It was discovered in Canada and created some 78 million years ago.

Number 1. Ancient Caribbean lizards. Even though they are 20 million years old, the reptiles inside the golden stones were not found to differ from their contemporary counterparts in any significant way. Scientists attribute the rarity to stable ecological surroundings.

Which amber-encased fossil do you find most fascinating?

From Xinhua news agency in China:

Scientists find earliest intact mushroom fossils

NANJING, March 17 — Paleontologists from China, New Zealand and the United States have found four intact mushroom fossils, sources with the Chinese Academy of Sciences said Friday.

The four, well preserved in Burmese amber for at least 99 million years, are the earliest complete mushroom fossils ever found.

The findings represent four species of mushroom. A stalk and a complete cap containing distinct gills are visible in most of the mushrooms, which are two to three millimeters long.

The research team led by Prof. Huang Diying from Nanjing Institute of Geology and Paleontology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, reported the finding after researching more than 20,000 pieces of Burmese amber collected over 10 years.

The team also found three kinds of rove beetle, which feed on mushrooms, in pieces of amber 125 million years old. The discovery highlights the palaeo-diversity of mushrooms, pushing back the presence of agaric mushrooms by at least 25 million years.

Mushrooms are common and morphologically diverse fungi. Their bodies are soft and ephemeral and therefore extremely rare in fossils. Until the recent discovery, only five species of mushrooms were known exclusively from amber. Among the previous five species, one was found in a 99-million-year-old piece of damaged Burmese amber, another in a 90-million-year-old piece of New Jersey amber and the three remaining species in 20-million-year-old Dominican amber.

Turkish government attacks universities


This video from the USA says about itself:

On February 13, 2017, San Francisco Labor Council delegates rallied in solidarity with the academics, teachers and journalists in Turkey at the council meeting.

Many signed a petition Rehire Fired Academics, Educators and Journalists in Turkey-Free Jailed Trade Unionists and Freedom For Academics and Journalists. Fifteen thousand teachers have been fired in a mass political purge.

The petition called for

1. The immediate rehiring of fired professors and teachers in public schools in Turkey.

2. An end to the repression and political purges of democratic dissent including the attacks on journalists who have been fired and jailed by the government.

3. For an end to US military and economic support to the Erdogan government, which is using this aid for further repression and militarization of the country.

By Steve Sweeney in Britain:

Academic freedom must be defended

Saturday 18th March 2017

Rallying cry at conference after Turkish purge

ACADEMIC freedom in Turkey and Britain must be defended at all costs, a peace conference heard yesterday after thousands of Turkish academics have been sacked and hundreds put behind bars.

The Academics for Peace UK conference at Birbeck University, London, was held in memory of Mehmet Fatih Tras who committed suicide in February having been dismissed from his university post and denied other academic positions in the country for over a year.

Since the failed coup attempt of July 2016, thousands of academics in the country have been dismissed and hundreds thrown into prison.

More than 20 universities have been shut down and hundreds of academics have been forced to flee Turkey over fears for their safety.

Professor Naif Bezwan, who was dismissed from Mardin Artuklu University last August, told the Star how the purges of academics in Turkey are unprecedented.

“Compared with other oppressive regimes, in terms of numbers, we have not seen anything like this since the 1930s. This is a really widespread purge with deportations of critical intelligentsia.”

Mr Bezwan added: “Academic freedom should be defended at all costs in order to keep academic freedom in the UK.”

Campaign group Academics for Peace (BAK) was founded in January 2016 with the launch of a peace petition of over 2,000 signatories from 89 universities in Turkey calling on the government to bring a halt to the destruction and civilian killings being carried out in Kurdish towns and cities.

Conference organisers accused Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of “instigating a campaign of persecution” against academics who had signed the petiton.

Over 700 BAK academics in Turkey have been subject to dismissal, disciplinary action, criminal prosecution and even detention.

University and College Union international spokesman Rob Copeland told the conference that solidarity work with academics in Turkey was a key priority for the union.

He said: “We have been letter writing and protesting but there is no response from the Turkish government” who refused to meet with representatives from the union and their Turkish counterparts.

Mr Bezwan stressed the importance of building support for academics in Turkey saying that “solidarity offers hope to those being persecuted.”

He also urged the British government to set up a fund to help those who have fled the country.