Grey squirrels in Cornwall

This video from Britain says about itself:

Videos for Cats to Watch – [Grey] Squirrel Mania

Video Produced by Paul Dinning – Wildlife in Cornwall

Filmed on July 17th 2017

Problem-solving powers may help to explain why grey squirrels have taken over from native red squirrels in the United Kingdom, according to new research: here.


Dwarf planet Pluto features get official names

Pluto features named

From the International Astronomical Union:

7 September 2017

Pluto Features Given First Official Names

The Working Group for Planetary System Nomenclature (WGPSN) of the International Astronomical Union (IAU) has officially approved the naming of fourteen features on the surface of Pluto. These are the first geological features on the dwarf planet to be named following the close flyby by the New Horizons spacecraft in July 2015.

The IAU has assigned names to fourteen geological features on the surface of Pluto. The names pay homage to the underworld mythology, pioneering space missions, historic pioneers who crossed new horizons in exploration, and scientists and engineers associated with Pluto and the Kuiper Belt. This is the first set of official names of surface features on Pluto to be approved by the IAU, the internationally recognised authority for naming celestial bodies and their surface features.

NASA’s New Horizons team proposed the names to the IAU following the first reconnaissance of Pluto and its moons by the New Horizons spacecraft. Some of the names were suggested by members of the public during the Our Pluto campaign, which was launched as a partnership between the IAU, the New Horizons project and the SETI Institute. Other names had been used informally by the New Horizons science team to describe the many regions, mountain ranges, plains, valleys and craters discovered during the first close-up look at the surfaces of Pluto and its largest moon, Charon.

“We’re very excited to approve names recognising people of significance to Pluto and the pursuit of exploration as well as the mythology of the underworld. These names highlight the importance of pushing to the frontiers of discovery,” said Rita Schulz, chair of the IAU Working Group for Planetary System Nomenclature. “We appreciate the contribution of the general public in the form of their naming suggestions and the New Horizons team for proposing these names to us.”

More names are expected to be proposed to the IAU, both for Pluto and for its moons. “The approved designations honour many people and space missions who paved the way for the historic exploration of Pluto and the Kuiper Belt, the most distant worlds ever explored,” said Alan Stern, New Horizons Principal Investigator from the Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) in Boulder, Colorado.

The approved Pluto surface feature names are listed below.

Tombaugh Regio honours Clyde Tombaugh (1906–1997), the U.S. astronomer who discovered Pluto in 1930 from Lowell Observatory in Arizona.

Burney crater honors Venetia Burney (1918–2009), who as an 11-year-old schoolgirl suggested the name “Pluto” for Clyde Tombaugh’s newly discovered planet. Later in life she taught mathematics and economics.

Sputnik Planitia is a large plain named after Sputnik 1, the first space satellite, launched by the Soviet Union in 1957.

Tenzing Montes and Hillary Montes are mountain ranges honouring Tenzing Norgay (1914–1986) and Sir Edmund Hillary (1919–2008), the Indian/Nepali Sherpa and New Zealand mountaineer who were the first to reach the summit of Mount Everest and return safely.

Al-Idrisi Montes honours Ash-Sharif al-Idrisi (1100–1165/66), a noted Arab mapmaker and geographer whose landmark work of medieval geography is sometimes translated as “The Pleasure of Him Who Longs to Cross the Horizons.”

Djanggawul Fossae defines a network of long, narrow depressions named for the Djanggawuls, three ancestral beings in indigenous Australian mythology who travelled between the island of the dead and Australia, creating the landscape and filling it with vegetation.

Sleipnir Fossa is named for the powerful, eight-legged horse of Norse mythology that carried the god Odin into the underworld.

Virgil Fossae honors Virgil, one of the greatest Roman poets and Dante’s fictional guide through hell and purgatory in the Divine Comedy.

Adlivun Cavus is a deep depression named for Adlivun, the underworld in Inuit mythology.

Hayabusa Terra is a large land mass saluting the Japanese spacecraft and mission (2003–2010) that returned the first asteroid sample.

Voyager Terra honours the pair of NASA spacecraft, launched in 1977, that performed the first “grand tour” of all four giant planets. The Voyager spacecraft are now probing the boundary between the Sun and interstellar space.

Tartarus Dorsa is a ridge named for Tartarus, the deepest, darkest pit of the underworld in Greek mythology.

Elliot crater recognises James Elliot (1943–2011), an MIT researcher who pioneered the use of stellar occultations to study the Solar System — leading to discoveries such as the rings of Uranus and the first detection of Pluto’s thin atmosphere.

Ku Klux Klan mocked by United States artists

This video, by the satiric Indecline artists from the USA says about itself:

Ku Klux Klowns

7 September 2017

If attacked by a mob of clowns, go for the juggler.

From the Washington Post in the USA:

Activists hang KKK ‘clown’ effigies from tree in a Virginia park

By Justin Wm. Moyer

September 7 at 4:31 PM

The art collective that unveiled naked statues of Donald Trump in major U.S. cities last year left Ku Klux Klan effigies hanging in a park in Richmond early Wednesday.

The faux Klansmen, left by the INDECLINE collective in Joseph Bryan Park overnight, were hanging from a tree dressed in multicolored wigs and clown shoes. A sign on one of the effigies read: “If attacked by a mob of clowns, go for the juggler.”

A spokeswoman for Richmond police said authorities were investigating the display, which was removed. The park was closed and cordoned off with crime scene tape, according to the Richmond Times-Dispatch.

A video published online Wednesday by INDECLINE includes footage of the clowns being assembled and mounted at dusk by people wearing masks. The video includes dialogue from a decades-old episode of the “Superman” radio show that ridiculed the KKK, interspersed with a Klan anthem featuring the lyrics: “Stand up and be counted/show that world that you’re a man … join the Ku Klux Klan.”

A statement from the group said Richmond was chosen for the display, called “Ku Klux Klowns,” because it was the capital of the Confederacy. The project is a response to the “White Nationalist uprising in the United States”, the statement said, and the park was chosen because it was the location of a slave rebellion in 1800.

INDECLINE was founded in 2001, according to its website. The group was thrust into the spotlight after it left Trump statues in New York, San Francisco and other cities before the 2016 presidential election. It has also covered stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame with names of African Americans killed by police.

West Virginia policeman supports Ku Klux Klan: here.

Red squirrel in Cornwall

This video from Britain says about itself:

Red Squirrel at Paradise Park in Cornwall

19 July 2017

Cornwall Red Squirrel Project!

The aim of the project is to re-introduce Britain’s native red squirrel into Cornwall. The project was founded in 2009 and started work on the ground in 2011.

Red squirrels (Sciurus vulgaris) were common in England until the grey squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis) was first introduced to the UK from America as an ornamental species in 1876 and to Exeter in 1915. The spread of the grey squirrel was rapid, and in 36 years the species had reached Cornwall. The last of our native red squirrels was seen in Cornwall in 1984.

Cornwall is ideally suited to this project because of its relative isolation from the mainland, and the presence of wooded valleys and mixed woodland which offer suitable red squirrel habitat. The project will start with reintroductions on The Lizard and in West Penwith. These sites have been identified in a habitat survey as being suitable for re-introduction. As the two areas are surrounded by sea on three sides they are also more easily defended against re-population by grey squirrels.

We currently have three grey squirrel rangers who are focusing on the Lizard area, plus volunteer and land owner work which is ongoing in West Penwith.

Video produced by Paul Dinning – Wildlife in Cornwall.