Hornet, stag beetle drinking, video

This 6 July 2018 video is about a hornet, a stag beetle and many flies drinking a tree’s sap.

J. Slagers in the Netherlands made this video.


Against Trump, NATO militarism, big demonstration in Brussels

The front of today's demonstration in Brussels against Trump's and NATO's militarism

Today, thousands of people demonstrated in Brussels, Belgium against the militarism and other right-wing policies of United States President Donald Trump and of NATO. Trump will arrive this week in Brussels for the NATO military alliance conference, of 11 and 12 July.

Trump Not Welcome, Brussels, 7 July 2018

The signs on this photo say (translated):

No money for war
Trump Not Welcome

Right-wing Belgian daily Het Laatste Nieuws reports today (translated):

Under the slogan “Make Peace Great Again!” environmental activists, anti-nuclear weapons activists, feminists, trade unions, representatives of the LGBTQ community, political parties and human rights activists have united. They demand a peaceful, sustainable and inclusive view of the world, and that is not in line with that of Trump and of the European political leaders who follow his ideology. …

The participants protest against various policies of Trump. For example, the left-wing party, PVDA, carried the inscription “No money for war” with which it refers to Trump’s claim that all NATO member states should spend 2 percent of their gross domestic product on defense. …

‘Pussy hats’

Human rights organization Amnesty International specifically protested against the separation of families that try to enter the US illegally. The members of Amnesty were dressed in white and have stuffed toy animals to symbolize the innocence of the children, just like the wasted childhood of children who are locked up with their parents in closed centers.

In addition, many women also wear ‘pussy hats’, the pink hats with cat ears that were worn for the first time in March 2017 during the big women’s marches against the sexism of President Trump.

‘Make Peace Great Again’: Ahead of NATO Summit, Anti-Trump Protest Draws Thousands in Brussels. “We are against this logic where militarization takes preference against the struggle against poverty, climate protection, migrant reception”: here.

Estuary underwater wildlife video

This 6 July 2018 video shows life underwater in the Grevelingen brackish lake and the Oosterschelde estuary in Zeeland province in the Netherlands.

Brittle stars, sap-sucking slug, common spider crab and bobtail squid.

Diver Harry Brummelhuis made this video.

Donald Trump unwelcome in Britain

Donald Trump and British Conservative Prime Minister Theresa May

By Sam Tobin in Britain:

Friday, July 6, 2018

Scottish Labour vows to join Trump protests on his state visit

SCOTTISH Labour vowed to help lead the protests against “misogynist” and “racist” Donald Trump when the US president visits Britain next week.

The government confirmed today that Mr Trump’s trip will involve a black-tie dinner at Blenheim Palace, a working lunch with Theresa May at Chequers and a meeting with Elizabeth Windsor at Windsor Castle.

Mr Trump will only spend one night in London, at the US ambassador’s residence in Regent’s Park, where protests are likely to attract several thousand people.

It means the president is unlikely to come face to face with a giant “Trump baby” blimp which protesters will fly over the Houses of Parliament during his time in Britain.

Asked whether Mr Trump’s schedule was designed to keep him away from mass protests in the capital, a Downing Street spokeswoman said: “Prime ministers frequently make use of Chequers for meetings with foreign leaders. It offers a more informal setting for important bilateral discussions.”

But Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard stormed: “Someone who holds such misogynist, racist and anti-trade union views, not to mention his dangerous approach to foreign policy, and someone who rejects the Paris climate change agreement, should not be given the red carpet treatment.

“The sight of mothers separated from babies and children caged like animals has horrified people across the globe, we should not be welcoming the man responsible.”

Scottish Greens co-convener Patrick Harvie agreed, saying: “Donald Trump has not been invited to Scotland, and even if he sticks to Turnberry or Menie [golf courses] there will be huge protests in our biggest cities that will send a message loud and clear.

“Greens will be proud to take part in events in Glasgow and Edinburgh next Friday and Saturday to tell this vile xenophobe that he and his climate denial, his bullying attitude and his racist and sexist politics are not welcome here.”

A spokesperson for Together Against Trump said: “We regard it as a victory that Donald Trump does not appear to have any official engagements in London or anywhere with a large population. Instead he will stay hidden away in country estates and castles.”

British Windrush scandal, Theresa May’s scandal

Andria Marsh holding a photo of her parents, who arrived on the ship Windrush, after the service of thanksgiving at Westminster Abbey in London last month

By Lamiat Sabin in Britain:

Saturday, July 7, 2018

Responsibility for Windrush deportations rests ‘squarely on Theresa May’s shoulders’, Lucas charges

RESPONSIBILITY for the Windrush scandal falls “squarely on the shoulders” of Theresa May for ignoring a report warning her what would happen, Green Party co-leader Caroline Lucas charged yesterday.

The Brighton Pavilion MP had tabled a written question asking if Ms May, as home secretary, had acted on the Legal Action Group’s prescient October 2014 report Chasing Status.

Immigration Minister Caroline Nokes responded: ”No specific action was taken as a result of this report.”

The report recommended a number of measures which could have prevented the Windrush scandal, including to set up a special unit to fast-track cases of people living in Britain on January 1 1973.

It also called for the restoration of legal aid for these cases, allowing Commonwealth-born citizens to work, access the NHS and claim benefits and for Home Office proof of residence standards to be revised.

Another of the report’s recommendations was for “greater openness” from the Home Office about its archiving and destruction policies, and for it to accept that some immigration records could be rendered inaccurate or incomplete over time.

Ms Lucas said: “We now have yet more clear-cut evidence that Theresa May as home secretary chose to explicitly ignore recommendations that would have prevented much of the damage of the Windrush scandal from happening.

“Responsibility for the Windrush scandal, and the countless lives it has ruined, falls squarely on the shoulders of our Prime Minister — and she must be held to account for this act of great betrayal.

“Corrective measures are all well and good but without a root and branch transformation of both attitude and policy across Government, the hostile environment and all its damaging consequences will persist.”

The 2014 report highlighted the plight of thousands of long-term British residents who are unable to prove their immigration status or have “irregular” status, despite having lived legally in the country for most of their lives after arriving as children.

They were being targeted for detention and deportation under Ms May’s hostile immigration environment and denied access to work and public services.

Windrush man unlawfully charged thousands for cancer treatment, High Court hears: here.

The Tories are ‘dragging their feet’ over Windrush compensation, Abbott charges: here.

THE government’s decision to change immigration rules under which migrant workers could be denied the right to strike is “not going far enough”, Labour said today: here.

Bid to gag Windrush generation ‘disgraceful,’ says Abbott. Home Office confirms at least one person had been persuaded to sign a non-disclosure agreement in return for compensation: here.

Sajid Javid finally apologises for treatment of Windrush generation: here.

Zebras, why their stripes?

This video says about itself:

Striped Survivors [Zebra Documentary] | Wild Things

27 January 2018

The promise of rain draws zebras across east Africa. The crew follows the zebras as they migrate to find an area full of grass and vegetation.

From Lund University in Sweden:

Stripes may be cool — but they don’t cool zebras down

July 6, 2018

Susanne Åkesson, a biologist at Lund University in Sweden, refutes the theory that zebras have striped fur to stay cool in the hot sun. That hypothesis is wrong, she and her colleagues show in a study recently published in Scientific Reports.

There has been an ongoing discussion among researchers, dating back to Darwin, on why zebras have their signature black and white stripes.

One of several theories is that it keeps them cool in the sunshine. The black stripes get warmer than the white areas, and the theory states that this creates small vortexes when the hotter air above the dark fur meets the cooler air above the white fur. According to the theory these vortexes works as a fan to cool the body.

To test this theory, the researchers filled big metal barrels with water and covered them with skin imitations in different colours: black and white stripes, black, white, brown and grey. They then placed the barrels in the sun and later measured the temperature in each barrel. Not surprisingly, the black one was the hottest and the white one the coolest. The striped and grey barrels were similar, and in these the temperature did not go down.

“The stripes didn’t lower the temperature. It turns out stripes don’t actually cool zebras”, says Susanne Åkesson.

Eight years ago she and her colleagues from Hungary and Spain presented another theory, where they claim that bright fur works as an optical protection against blood-sucking horseflies and other insects that bite. Horseflies are attracted by polarised light, the sort of light that appears when sunbeams are reflected on a dark surface. If the sunbeams are reflected on a white surface there will be no polarised light — hence the protection.

Two years ago Susanne Åkesson, the Hungarian physicist Gábor Horváth and their colleauges were awarded with the Ig Nobel Prize for their research on polarised light, horseflies and why these blood-sucking insects bother dark horses a lot more than they bother white horses.