Dinosaur age flowers


This video says about itself:

When Did the First Flower Bloom?

3 July 2017

During the Cretaceous Period, dinosaurs were more diverse, more fierce, and more strange than ever. But something else was happening under the feet of the terrible lizards: for the first time in history, there were flowers.

From the University of Vienna in Austria:

What flowers looked like 100 million years ago

August 2, 2017

Flowering plants with at least 300,000 species are by far the most diverse group of plants on Earth. They include almost all the species used by people for food, medicine, and many other purposes. However, flowering plants arose only about 140 million years ago, quite late in the evolution of plants, toward the end of the age of the dinosaurs, but since then have diversified spectacularly. No one knows exactly how this happened, and the origin and early evolution of flowering plants and especially their flowers still remains one of the biggest enigmas in biology, almost 140 years after Charles Darwin called their rapid rise in the Cretaceous “an abominable mystery.”

This new study, the “eFLOWER project,” is an unprecedented international effort to combine information on the structure of flowers with the latest information on the evolutionary tree of flowering plants based on DNA. The results shed new light on the early evolution of flowers as well as major patterns in floral evolution across all living flowering plants.

Among the most surprising results is a new model of the original ancestral flower that does not match any of the ideas proposed previously. “When we finally got the full results, I was quite startled until I realized that they actually made good sense,” said Hervé Sauquet, the leader of the study and an Associate Professor at Université Paris-Sud in France. “No one has really been thinking about the early evolution of flowers in this way, yet so much is easily explained by the new scenario that emerges from our models.”

According to the new study, the ancestral flower was bisexual, with both female (carpels) and male (stamens) parts, and with multiple whorls (concentric cycles) of petal-like organs, in sets of threes. About 20% of flowers today have such “trimerous” whorls, but typically fewer: lilies have two, magnolias have three. “These results call into question much of what has been thought and taught previously about floral evolution!,” said Juerg Schoenenberger, a Professor at the University of Vienna, who coordinated the study together with Hervé Sauquet. It has long been assumed that the ancestral flower had all organs arranged in a spiral.

The researchers also reconstructed what flowers looked like at all the key divergences in the flowering plant evolutionary tree, including the early evolution of monocots (e.g., orchids, lilies, and grasses) and eudicots (e.g., poppies, roses, and sunflowers), the two largest groups of flowering plants. “The results are really exciting!” said Maria von Balthazar, a Senior Scientist and specialist of floral morphology and development at the University of Vienna. “This is the first time that we have a clear vision for the early evolution of flowers across all angiosperms.”

The new study sheds new light on the earliest phases in the evolution of flowers and offers for the first time a simple, plausible scenario to explain the spectacular diversity of floral forms. Nevertheless, many questions remain. The fossil record of flowering plants is still very incomplete, and scientists have not yet found fossil flowers as old as the group itself. “This study is a very important step toward developing a new and increasingly sophisticated understanding of the major patterns in the evolution of flowers,” said Peter Crane, President of the Oak Spring Garden Foundation and a colleague familiar with the results of the study. “It reflects great progress and the results on the earliest flowers are especially intriguing.”

See also here.

CIA, Pentagon attacks on democracy


This video says about itself:

The CIA in Central America: Guatemala. The Shocking Truth about U.S. Foreign Policy

29 February 2016

An eye-opening documentary about the Central American wars and U.S. policy in Central America, this three volume series, which took six years to make, was researched and filmed by Allan Francovich, best known for his award winning film about the CIA, On Company Business.

Episode 1: Guatemala

By Shane Quinn in Britain:

US atrocities have been airbrushed from history

Thursday 3rd August 2017

SHANE QUINN reminds us of five bloody, Western-led attacks on democracy

SOME anniversaries are widely observed in the West: Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbour, armistice day, the September 11 atrocities, and so on. Yet there are other undesirable anniversaries that have been largely disappeared.

1954: CIA terminate the 10-year Guatemalan Revolution

Guatemala, a small Central American nation, remains a failed state to this day. The causes for its suffering can be traced to president US president Dwight D Eisenhower implementing a CIA-run coup that installed successive military dictatorships. Guatemala had been enjoying a 10-year revolution (1944-54): firstly, under Juan Jose Arevalo, who introduced a minimum wage and increased funding to education.

Arevalo’s democratically elected successor in 1951, Jacobo Arbenz, instituted land reforms to grant property to landless peasants.

Such inclusive measures were deemed an unacceptable threat to US hegemony over the Western hemisphere.

Arbenz’s policies threatened the United Fruit Company (UFC), a powerful corporation exploiting Guatemalan workers which had direct ties to Eisenhower’s administration (the Dulles brothers).

The UFC aggressively lobbied Eisenhower, who authorised the CIA to aid a force led by the impending right-wing dictator Carlos Castillo Armas. With further threat of invasion by US forces, the Guatemalan army eventually refused to fight on — an error of historic proportions.

Almost four decades of civil war followed, as successive US-backed dictators committed atrocities such as genocide against the Maya peoples.

1963 Juan Bosch toppled in the Dominican Republic

US interference in the Dominican Republic traces back to the early 20th century of the William Howard Taft and Woodrow Wilson administrations.

Wilson, for example, ordered the invasion of the country by US marines in 1916, their presence lasting over six years — an occupation reviled by the Dominican population.

The democratic election of socialist reformer Juan Bosch in February 1963, replacing a military junta, caused undue concern in elite US circles.

Their fears were quickly realised as Bosch undertook progressive steps the Dominican population had never known before (or since), initiating plans to reduce poverty, declaring labour rights, strengthening unions, rights for farmers, and so on.

Bosch was declared “a communist” by pro-US business magnates and members of the army. On September 25, 1963, a group of commanders led by Elias Wessin y Wessin, with crucial US support, expelled Bosch from the country.

1964: US-backed forces overthrow president Joao Goulart in Brazil

Left-wing nationalist Joao Goulart became the democratically elected president of Brazil in September 1961, setting alarm bells clattering in the liberal John F Kennedy administration.

Goulart began implementing structural reforms in the massive resource-rich South American country that would help integrate the general population into society.

The United States was loath to sit helplessly by as this movement came within “our hemisphere,” as Kennedy described it. Goulart, also known as “Jango,” was hostile toward US capitalist democracy that seeks to primarily serve elite powers.

Shortly before his death, Kennedy had been preparing the groundwork to oust Goulart, with the coup (March 31 to April 1) occurring less than five months into his successor, Lyndon B Johnson’s, reign.

“We just can’t take this one [social movement],” warned Johnson. Goulart’s toppling received crucial CIA funding and arms, while Brazil was placed under a brutal military dictatorship that tortured its people for over 20 years.

1967: Isabel Peron overthrown by US-backed forces

The 1976 Argentine coup was the sixth and final forced government change that took place in the country during the 20th century.

The US-backed Argentine Armed Forces installed the most vicious Latin American military dictatorship of all, responsible for tens of thousands of murdered and “disappeared” people under convicted war criminals such as Jorge Rafael Videla and Reynaldo Bignone. Revealingly, the fascistic regime was a favourite of US president Ronald Reagan.

The coup toppled Isabel Peron, the wife and successor of deceased ex-president Juan Peron.

Henry Kissinger, the then US secretary of state, met with several Argentine military commanders suggesting they crush their enemies before human rights issues become known to the US public.

“We read about human rights problems, but not the context.

“The quicker you succeed the better,” he said, and not for the first time Kissinger, a Nobel Peace Prize winner, was implicated in war crimes.

1983 US invasion of Grenada

The invasion of the minuscule Caribbean island of Grenada under US Reagan drew a scathing international response from the UN general assembly.

It deeply deplored the intervention, which it said “constitutes a flagrant violation of international law,” further condemning “the deaths of innocent civilians… the killing of the prime minister [Maurice Bishop].”

The intervention was even opposed by most Nato countries and US allies such as France, Portugal, Australia, Spain and the Netherlands.

All irrelevant criticism for elite Western figures that believe the US should be a law unto itself.

The usual pretexts for the invasion of Grenada were put forward by the US government and obediently relayed by the press: Grenada was a “Marxist dictatorship” and the US army was on a “rescue mission” to defeat a Cuban military presence defending “this outpost of Soviet imperialism.”

The true reason for the attack? To expel a government not amenable to US hegemonic demands, and that may act as a further example of defiance — the abysmal after effects for Grenadans was quickly airbrushed from history.

Dinosaur bone discovered at Colorado, USA bike trail


This video from the USA says about itself:

Part 1: Triceratops femur excavation, Baker, Montana

29 July 2014

On a private ranch, purchased from owner.

These two videos arte the sequels.

From KUSA-TV in the USA:

Man planning bike trail finds dinosaur bones instead

Miles Moraitis, KUSA

4:33 PM. MDT August 02, 2017

Imagine hiking on a trail and stumbling upon dinosaur bones. Well that’s exactly what happened to a Colorado land management official when he was walking and planning out the new Palisade Plunge bike trail near Grand Junction.

In April, Chris Pipkin of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) was surveying the new Palisade trail. He saw something strange in a boulder about five feet off the trail. Curious, he took a photo and sent it to his colleague Eric Eckberg. He confirmed it was indeed a dinosaur bone.

Eckberg is a geologist and paleontology coordinator for the BLM in Grand Junction. Upon receiving the photo, he mobilized a group of local paleontologists and even some BLM interns to help excavate the bone.

“It’s in remarkably good shape for something that’s roughly 80 million years old,” Eckberg said.

The bone is two feet long and about two inches around.

Eckberg says it likely belonged to a hadrosaur — a group of dinosaurs known for their duck-bills. Their bones have been found before in this area.

“It’s kind of one of those career defining moments for me in a way,” Eckberg said. “You don’t get to go and extract a dinosaur bone that often.”

The bone will now head to the Museum of West Denver. Experts will take a look at it and try to determine exactly what dinosaur it came from. They could even figure out how the dinosaur died.

That process takes a while though. The museum doesn’t expect the bone to go on display for at least a couple months.

Two-barred crossbill feeding in Sweden


This video shows a two-barred crossbill feeding at a coniferous tree in Sweden.