Smoking, from royal promotion to doctors’ objection

Karel I cigars box

This photo shows a decades old Dutch cigar box, of the brand Karel I. The upper left corner of the box says ‘Hofleverancier’, meaning that this cigar factory had a royal warrant of appointment. The factory does not exist anymore.

Karel I is the Dutch name for Charles I, king of England (1600-1649); depicted on the case. The cigars were named after that monarch as he encouraged smoking because he could get money from taxing it. Charles I’s father, King James I, had hated tobacco.

Karel I cigar band

There is also tobacco named after Charles I’s son, King Charles II.
King Charles II tobacco

In the 20th century, Dutch school children were asked a question, to which the correct reply was King Charles II. One pupil replied: ‘Karel I’. The teacher said: ‘Wrong. Karel I is a cigar’. Another pupil said: ‘Karel de eerste’ (=King Charles I; in Dutch one should name him ‘de eerste’, ‘the first’. Saying ‘I’= ‘one’ like the first pupil did was grammatically wrong for a prince’s name). The teacher said: ‘Wrong. Karel de eerste was de sigaar, as he was beheaded.’ In Dutch the saying ‘was de sigaar’ means ‘became a victim’.

Willem II cigar box

There also used to be, and still is, another Dutch cigar brand: Willem II. It is called after a contemporary of English kings Charles I and II: William II, 1626-1650, stadtholder of the Dutch Republic and prince of Orange. The crown depicted on the box should refer to the small principality Orange in France; as stadtholders did not have princely powers in the Republic.

Willem II is also the name of a Dutch premier league football club. But that club is named after a different Willem II: King William II of the Netherlands, 1792-1849.

Now, in the 21st century, smoking is not as popular anymore as in the days of King Charles I or the early twentieth century.

This 1 February 2018 Dutch TV video says about itself (translated):

The University Medical Center Groningen joins the Antoni van Leeuwenhoek hospital in suing the tobacco industry. The hospital reported this on Radio 1 on Thursday morning. It is suing them for serious abuse. According to the hospitals, the fight against cancer is extremely uphill, as long as the tobacco manufacturers wantonly make people addicted. It is the first time in the Netherlands that hospitals make declarations because of severe abuse. The hospitals are assisted by lawyer Bénédicte Ficq.


Dipper cleaning feathers, video

This January 2018 video is about a dipper cleaning its feathers in the Ooijpolder nature reserve near Nijmegen in Gelderland province in the Netherlands.

José Schamp made this video.

Real Neat Blog Award, congratulations to all 12 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 2018?

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. The Life of a Safari Guide

2. Naturesl0vers

3. Latitudes of Lauren

4. thisisdamanblog

5. Irielife

6. #FILMose

7. sandsoftime10

8. Birds and Bees Hideout

9. Science for the People

10. blackwings666

11. galaxyftchhaya

12. La magia de la poesía

Saudi warmongering crown prince not welcome in Britain

Donald Trump is not the only warmonger who is not welcome in Britain.

This video from Britain says about itself:

1 February 2018

The Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, Mohammad Bin Salman, has been invited to visit the UK. Tell Theresa May: he is not welcome!

Bin Salman is the principal architect of the Saudi-led assault on Yemen, which has caused what the UN has called a “humanitarian catastrophe”. UK-made bombs and jets have been used in the attacks, which have destroyed schools, hospitals, funerals and supply lines. There is now widespread famine in the country, and the worst cholera epidemic in history.

Since the beginning of the Saudi-led assault in 2015, the UK government has licensed £4.6bn of arms sales to the regime. Inviting the Saudi Crown Prince is yet another sign that arms sales are more important than Yemeni lives.

Take action now to say: this is not okay.

Sign our petition here.

Ask your MP to take action here.

Ichthyosaur discovery in England

This video says about itself:

New 200 Million-Year-Old Marine Reptile Discovered

26 June 2016

That was about the first Wahilisarus discovery. Now, there is a second one.

From the University of Manchester in England:

Rare ichthyosaur is only second known example

February 1, 2018

A rare 200 million-year-old ichthyosaur specimen has been discovered in a private collection 22 years after it was originally found.

The fossil is only the second example of Wahlisaurus massarae, a new species of ichthyosaur discovered by The University of Manchester palaeontologist, Dean Lomax. This fossil was originally found in 1996 and has now been donated to a museum.

Ichthyosaurs have recently been in the limelight as the focus of BBC One documentary, ‘Attenborough and the Sea Dragon’. They were a type of sea-going reptile that lived during the time of the dinosaurs. Their fossils are plentiful in the UK and in recent years Lomax has described five different species of the prehistoric reptile.

In 2016, Lomax described an ichthyosaur skeleton that he had examined in the collections of Leicester’s New Walk Museum and Art Gallery. He spotted several unusual features of the bones and determined that the features were unique and represented a new species, which he called Wahlisaurus massarae, in honour of two of his colleagues and mentors: Bill Wahl and Prof. Judy Massare.

He said: “When Wahlisaurus was announced, I was a little nervous about what other palaeontologists would make of it, considering the new species was known only from a single specimen. As a scientist you learn to question almost everything, and be as critical as you can be. My analysis suggested it was something new, but some palaeontologists questioned this and said it was just ‘variation’ of an existing species.”

In this new study, Lomax teamed up with Dr Mark Evans, palaeontologist and curator at the New Walk Museum, Leicester, and fossil collector, Simon Carpenter, of Somerset. The study focuses on a specimen Dean identified in Simon’s collection, which is an almost complete coracoid bone (part of the pectoral girdle) that has exactly the same unique features of the same bone in Wahlisaurus. The specimen was originally collected in 1996, in a quarry in northern Somerset. Once the specimen’s rarity was realised, Simon immediately donated it to Bristol Museum and Art Gallery.

Lomax added: “You can only imagine my sheer excitement to find a specimen of Wahlisaurus in Simon’s collection. It was such a wonderful moment. When you have just one specimen, ‘variation’ can be called upon, but when you double the number of specimens you have it gives even more credibility to your research.”

The new discovery is from a time known as the Triassic-Jurassic boundary, right after a world-wide mass extinction. For these reasons, the team have been unable to determine exactly whether the ichthyosaur was latest Triassic or earliest Jurassic in age, although it is roughly 200 million-year-old.

As part of the study, Dr Evans cleaned the bones and removed additional rock from the first specimen. This assisted in a detailed re-examination of the original skull, which led to the discovery of additional bones. This has provided a better understanding of the skull structure.

“The discovery of the new specimen in a private collection helps to recognise the important contribution of dedicated and responsible fossil collectors. I am especially grateful to Simon for donating the specimen and collecting all of the data available with the specimen when he found it”, added Lomax.

See also here.

A comprehensive new study looking at variations in Ichthyosaurus, a common British Jurassic ichthyosaur (sea-going reptile) also known as ‘Sea Dragons’, has provided important information into recognizing new fossil species: here.

Surinamese artist Erwin de Vries, RIP

This video from the Netherlands says about itself (translated):

The Surinamese sculptor and painter Erwin de Vries will be eighty years old on 21 December 2009 and will be active in that profession for 60 years. The Kunsthal Rotterdam honors The Grand Old Master from Suriname with a retrospective exhibition. Over one hundred and twenty-five works, including paintings, drawings and sculptures from the nineteen fifties to the present, provide a multifaceted picture of his extensive oeuvre.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV today:

The Surinamese artist Erwin de Vries died last night after a short-term illness in a hospital in his home town of Paramaribo. He leaves behind a large oeuvre, of which the National Slavery Monument in the Oosterpark in Amsterdam is one of the most famous works.

This 2017 video is about a Surinamese Winti religious ceremonial cleansing of Erwin de Vries’ slavery monument in Amsterdam.

The NOS article continues:

He [De Vries] also made many depictions of celebrities, eg in the Netherlands of politician Joop den Uyl, writer Simon Carmiggelt, cabaret artist Toon Hermans and footballer Clarence Seedorf. In Paramaribo there are images of him from, eg, the politicians Arron and Lachmon and the only survivor of the December murders, trade union leader Fred Derby.

De Vries (born in 1929) has been a prolific and successful sculptor and painter since the 1950s. He was influenced for some time by the Cobra movement and had solo exhibitions in, among other places, the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, the Rotterdam Kunsthal, in Jamaica and in other countries. …

He was born in Paramaribo and came to the Netherlands in 1949 for training as a drawing teacher. Later he went to the Rijksacademie van beeldende kunsten in Amsterdam.

This 16 March 2008 video says about itself:

The making of a sculpture of Barack Obama, by the well-known Surinamese Artist, Erwin de Vries.

Obama was then not yet president of the USA; he was only a presidential candidate fighting for the Democratic party nomination against Hillary Clinton.