Laysan albatross dancing video


This video from Hawaii says about itself:

Morning Bout Of Courtship Dancing On Kauai Laysan Albatross Cam– April 12, 2018

The Kauai Laysan Albatross cam is a collaboration between the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and the Kauai Albatross Network.

Watch live with news, updates, and FAQs at http://allaboutbirds.org/albatross

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No to Trump’s, Blair’s warmongering


This video from the USA says about itself:

Syria War Being Justified By Same Type of Propaganda As Iraq; Stop Believing the Lies

12 December 2016

LONG Source List Below

After decades of the United States rationalizing war and regime change on lies, the American people no longer get a pass to blindly accept more of the same in Syria. JUST like it was ENTIRELY possible to know in real time that the justifications for war in Iraq were predicated on lies, so it is with Syria. We stand on the edge of escalating a conflict which could trigger a much wider war, and the corporate FAKE news media AGAIN acts as stenographers for lies. SHAMEFUL.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Friday, April 13, 2018

We must not be bulldozed into another war by Blair and co

THERESA MAY has no mandate to order Britain’s air force to take part in any bombing spree against Syria, which would not only be illegal but fraught with danger.

Securing a Cabinet majority for tailing behind whatever decision is taken across the Atlantic will confer neither legality nor justification for further death and destruction in Syria.

Those who advocate bombing Syria don’t even justify their stance militarily, talking airily about “punishing” or “sending a message to” Bashar al-Assad, Vladimir Putin or both of them.

This is typical of the woolly thinking that passes for rigorous debate among the political elite in Parliament and mass media.

It is confused, dishonest and potentially dangerous for all bar those who prattle on about the need for military action, especially in central Asia, the Middle East and north Africa, from the safety of their cosy Westminster benches.

Surely it beggars belief that disgraced former prime minister and serial war criminal Tony Blair is again parading through media news rooms to share his opinion that he supports military action in Syria.

“If the US are taking action, we should be prepared to be alongside them”, he told the BBC Radio 4 Today programme as though we’ve all drawn a line under the lies he told to cajole pliable Labour MPs to back the disastrous 2003 invasion of Iraq.

While Labour’s membership has moved on from the Blair years — and has swollen manyfold in response to the election of a consistent peace campaigner as leaderits parliamentary ranks remain blighted by too many armchair generals.

Labour Party organisations and constituents should act quickly to contact all MPs — not only the usual violence fetishists — to demand that they oppose the drive to war and insist that May does not go behind the back of Parliament to approve military action.

Jeremy Corbyn has been a consistent voice for sanity in this crisis, following the same principled approach he has adopted in similar circumstances when warmongers, backed by the mass media, have tried to intimidate peace forces into silence.

If Russian or US planes are shot down or troops on the ground are attacked, escalation can be all but guaranteed.

Moscow has indicated that it will not withdraw its forces from defensive positions around airfields and other key installations to give the US air force a free run to hit the Syrian army or its Iranian, Lebanese and other allies.

Russia has drawn a line between international law and imperialist piracy and is unlikely to retreat from this position.

The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) has already declared its intention to send investigation teams to Douma to seek evidence of the chemical attack that jihadist-linked groups insist took place and which is denied by both Damascus and Moscow.

The May government approached OPCW for confirmation of the agent used to poison Sergei and Yulia Skripal. Why not wait to see what it reports on Douma?

Britain has already been bulldozed by Blair and company into one mass bloodletting on the basis of false evidence that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. We don’t need another just 15 years later.

Corbyn is not alone in demanding that Parliament should have the final say on military action.

The Liberal Democrats and Scottish nationalists also want a vote but have not spoken out against the Tories’ war fever, raising fears that they will back air raids amid inconsequential nitpicking.

They and the government must be told unmistakably that people in Britain don’t want another war.

Don’t take us into another illegal war. As May summons her cabinet to discuss military action in Syria, MPs warn against doing so without giving Parliament a say: here.

Hummingbirds singing with their tails


This video from the USA says about itself:

How diving hummingbirds flatter with a flutter | Science News

12 April 2018

Male Costa’s hummingbirds make sounds with their tails when they dive to attract females. Now researchers report that the birds are targeting their sounds and masking the Doppler effect.

Read more here.

From the University of California – Riverside in the USA:

To impress females, Costa’s hummingbirds ‘sing’ with their tail feathers

Researchers show how male Costa’s control the acoustics of a tail song produced during high speed dives

April 12, 2018

Summary: Male Costa’s hummingbirds perform a high-speed dive during which they ‘sing’ to potential mates using their tail feathers. Males perform their dives to the side, rather than in front of females. UC Riverside researchers used an acoustic camera to find out why. The results are published in Current Biology. They showed that sideways dives allow males to hide the speed of their dives, perhaps enabling them to appear faster than they really are.

In the world of Costa’s hummingbirds, it’s not size that matters — it’s sound. During breeding season, male Costa’s perform a high-speed dive during which they “sing” to potential mates using their tail feathers.

Unlike related hummingbird species, Costa’s perform their dives to the side of females, rather than in front of them. In a paper published today in Current Biology, researchers at the University of California, Riverside show this trajectory minimizes an audible Doppler sound that occurs when the Costa’s dive. The Doppler effect is familiar to most people as the change in tone of an ambulance siren as the vehicle passes by.

The findings suggest that males can strategically manipulate the way females perceive their displays by minimizing the Doppler sound. This deprives females of an acoustic indicator that would otherwise reveal the speed of their dives.

“Recent studies in birds and other animals suggest that females prefer higher speeds during male athletic displays. By concealing their speed, males are not necessarily cheating, but instead have evolved this placement of trajectory out of female choice”, said Christopher Clark, who led the study. Clark is an assistant professor of biology in UCR’s College of Natural and Agricultural Sciences.

Clark and co-author Emily Mistick, a former research assistant at UCR, showed that males aim their sound toward potential mates by twisting their tail vertically by up to 90 degrees. In previous research, Clark has shown that the tail song is made by the flutter of the outer tail feathers.

“We don’t know why males twist only half of their tails toward the females, but it may be due to anatomical limitations that prevent them from twisting their whole tail around,” Clark said.

Clark and Mistick used a device called an acoustic camera to record Costa’s dives. They also conducted experiments in a wind tunnel to examine how the birds’ speed and direction influence the sounds they make. Curiously, they found it was difficult to measure the velocity of the Costa’s dive from the sound produced.

“Once I realized it wasn’t trivial for a scientist to measure, I realized it wouldn’t be trivial for a female to measure either”, Clark said.

Clark said the findings add to the literature about how male animals use athletic displays to attract females.

“Most research has focused on static male attributes, such as bright colors or elongated tails, but our research shows that dynamic displays may be just as important, and males strategically control these performances to show themselves in the best possible light,” Clark said.

Belgian action against militarism


This 9 April 2018 satiric video from Belgium is about the 69th birthday of NATO. It says about itself (translated):

On Wednesday, April 4, 2018, NATO blew out 69 candles. NATO is responsible for an annual military budget of 919 billion dollars, of which 70 percent is from the United States.

This enormous amount benefits US American arms corporations and increases the threat of new major conflicts. More and more spending on ‘defense’. That is what NATO requests from its member states, and therefore also from Belgium.

The (manipulated) choice of the replacement for the Belgian F-16 must therefore be seen in that context. With 10 illegal missions as its record and many dead people, we think it is high time for NATO to retire! If you ask us:

Nuclear weapons away from Kleine Brogel

– Belgium must sign the UN treaty against nuclear weapons

No new fighter planes

– Belgium out of NATO and NATO out of Belgium

We are preparing for a NATO summit [probably including Donald Trump] in Brussels in July. Want to join us? Contact gmo@intal.be.

Anti-warplanes demonstration, 22 April

Translated from Belgian peace movement intal today:

Together with the other organizations of the platform “No fighter planes” we call again to immediately stop the procedure of replacing the F-16s, and to enter into a broad public debate about whether or not the F-16 fighter planes have to be replaced. Join us in action on Sunday 22 April! #f16gate #geengevechtsvliegtuigen

Can our F-16s fly longer or not? Was Minister of Defense Vandeput aware of the information of the army top brass or not? Does our government want to procure at any price aircraft that can drop nuclear bombs?

A dangerous game is played with our tax money, while:

16% of the population in Belgium live below the poverty threshold
Belgium does not achieve its objectives in the fight against climate disruption
The ‘defense’ budget is double that of Justice
Our government practices austerity for billions on public transport, despite the gigantic traffic jams and air pollution
Our government has not yet made a balance sheet of 40 years of use of the F-16s

The platform “No fighter planes”, of which intal is a part, calls again to IMMEDIATELY stop the procedure of replacing the F-16s, and to enter into a broad public debate about whether or not the F-16 fighter planes have to be replaced.

Do you also want to see your tax money invested rather in the needs of the population and the planet instead of expensive and superfluous war gear? Then join us in action on Sunday 22 April!

Appointment: Sunday, April 22, 14h Cinquantenaire, Brussels (metro Merode). Dress code: black.

English Bempton Cliffs and its birds, video


This video from England says about itself:

A Day in the Life of RSPB Bempton Cliffs Reserve

9 April 2018

The Bempton Cliffs reserve, on the spectacular Yorkshire coast, is home to one of the UK’s top wildlife spectacles. Around half a million seabirds gather here between March and October to raise a family on towering chalk cliffs overlooking the North Sea.

With special thanks to George Stoyle who made this film for the RSPB Bempton Cliffs Reserve.

Music called Dwell by Tony Anderson, licensed through MusicBed.

I was privileged to see Bempton Cliffs and its beautiful birds, then, in 2011 (scroll down).

Anti-Welsh racism in Murdoch media


This video says about itself:

Racism against the Welsh….. in Wales

27 November 2017

Numerous incidents of Welsh people, in particular, Welsh-speakers, being treated like unwanted foreigners in their own country.

By Bernadette Horton in Wales:

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

No place for any anti-Welsh bigotry

BERNADETTE HORTON takes Rod Liddle to task over his latest column which is insulting to the people of Wales

RIGHT-WING hack Rod Liddle decided to give his extreme personal views in the recent edition of the [Rupert Murdoch-owned] Sunday Times on the naming of the second bridge across the river Severn linking Wales with England.

The background to the story is that First Minister of Wales Carwyn Jones and Tory PM Theresa May decided jointly to name the crossing as The Prince of Wales Bridge in honour of Prince Charles.

Many people in Wales are unsurprisingly annoyed and angry at this decision and feel the Welsh people should have been consulted and perhaps a choice of names submitted and a public majority vote made.

The days of people doffing their caps to royalty are long gone and it irks proud Welsh people the bridge is being named after the heir to the English throne when we could have named the bridge after the last real Welsh prince Owain Glyndwr or perhaps someone like the inspirational Aneurin Bevan, father of the NHS, or distinguished writer Dylan Thomas. Some people suggested Tom Jones and Shirley Bassey would be much higher on the list than Prince Charles.

Deciding to capitalise on the growing discontent and petitions being started in Wales to change the bridge’s name, Liddle wrote in the Sunday Times: “The Welsh, or some of them, are moaning that a motorway bridge linking their rain-sodden valleys with the First World is to be renamed The Prince of Wales bridge in honour of the venal, grasping, deranged (if Tom Bower’s new biography is accurate) heir to the throne.

“That Plaid Cymru woman who is always on Question Time, has been leading the protests. They would prefer it to be called something indecipherable like Ysgythysgymlnggwchgwch Bryggy.

“Let them have their way. So long as it allows people to get out of the place pronto, should we worry about what it’s called?”

Liddle is straight out of the 1970s Jim Davidson book of casual racism that died a death back in the era with good reason.

The Irish were always the topic of such jokes, as were the Scots and the Welsh, portrayed as “Paddies, Jocks and Taffs”.

Never the English. The 1970s were also a time of racist “humour” against black people, with comedians mocking the accents of Caribbeans.

But these too became tired and shoddy. Regionally, people from Birmingham have been portrayed as slow, people from Liverpool as thieves, people from the north-east as incoherent, people from London as wide boys.

But Liddle and his ilk of middle-class, middle-aged white men need to grow up and understand that this form of casual regional prejudice fuels an undercurrent of social media abuse that can then take the form of physical attacks out on the streets in 21st century Britain.

There is a moral duty not to print racist remarks in newspapers and the Sunday Times is culpable by allowing this diatribe to be printed.

We all know the sick and disgusting online remarks that spew forth from the likes of failed Apprentice applicant Katie Hopkins, who tries to shock simply in order to garner headlines.

But she crossed the line so far even the Daily Mail got rid of her as a columnist, as did The Sun.

Liddle crosses a few lines in his piece. His sexism is blatant, as he well knows the name of Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood but refers to her as “that Plaid Cymru woman” in order to belittle her in print.

Wood is a serving assembly member and leader of her party and should be referred to as such.

His allusion to Wales as some backward country behind the supposed First World country of England reeks of imperialism and a Little Englander attitude that is entrenched in the far-right political parties he probably admires.

Liddle obviously knows nothing about Wales, Welsh people or Welsh history and should refrain from public comment until he is better informed.

I contacted North Wales Police and Crime Commissioner Arfon Jones about Liddle’s article and he is looking into it, alongside North Wales Police.

We have to report newspapers and their reporters who think casual racism towards a country and its people is OK because it quite frankly is not.

There are some warped idiots out there who see emblazoned headlines about Muslims, refugees and immigration and are acting out assaults, murders and hate crime because they are being psyched up to do so by our right-wing media.

Some people will laugh and say Liddle’s article isn’t casual racism but a light-hearted skit on Wales and the Welsh. Well, we don’t see it quite that way in Wales and think attacks in print by national newspapers should not go unpunished.

I sincerely hope the Sunday Times acts and issues a public apology for allowing this article to be printed and that Liddle apologises and makes an effort to learn there is no place for his casual racism in modern Britain.

Here in Wales the issue of the naming of the second bridge will not go away. Welsh people have a right to be part of a process to name such landmarks and, as online petitions are racking up large numbers of signatures, the hope is the bridge can be renamed.

In future when new buildings and structures are built, people should be fully included in the naming of them and not have some royalist name imposed upon us simply because our government’s leaders say so.

Australian Newspaper [Herald Sun, owned by Rupert Murdoch] Doubles Down On Racist Serena Williams Cartoon: here.

Osprey nest hatching time in Georgia, USA


This video says about itself:

Closeup On Eggs In Savannah As Hatch Watch Begins – April 12, 2018

At day 35 of incubation, the Savannah Osprey pair‘s first egg could begin hatching at any point in the next week. The incubation period for Ospreys ranges between 35 and 43 days, so keep a close watch when you can!

Watch live at www.allaboutbirds.org/savannahospreys

During the Fall of 2014, a pair of Great Horned Owls began frequenting this recently abandoned Bald Eagle nest adjacent to a protected, nutrient-rich salt marsh along the Georgia coast. The nest sits nearly 80′ above one of the six Audubon International Certified golf courses at The Landings, on Skidaway Island, near Savannah, Georgia.

Over the course of 2015 and 2016, a pair of owls successfully fledged four owlets from the site, but they did not return to breed in 2017. Instead, a pair of Ospreys began renovating the nest and committed to breeding in the same site for 2017.

Ospreys are consummate fishing birds, and this pair fishes primarily from the nearby salt marsh, ponds, and waterways. They use their 6–7 foot wingspans to soar above the water, looking for fish, then diving as deep as 3 feet for shallow-swimming prey. Adult Ospreys usually weigh 3–4 pounds, and they can carry prey up to 50 percent of their own weight. Ospreys can live up to 25 years, and they typically lay 1–4 eggs in a clutch.