Diver woman petting Bahamas sharks, video


This 29 March 2019 video says about itself:

Petting Sharks like Dogs?! | Blue Planet Live | BBC Earth

Cristina Zenato is the woman who isn’t afraid to hug sharks.

Cristina Zenato caresses her sharks in the warm Bahamas waters, the animals seem to like the suit’s touch on their skin and stop in her lap for a quick stroke.

Classical music, robbery, child’s tears


This 2015 classical music video shows soprano vocalist Simone Nestler and piano player Helene Jedig in “Lass mich mit Tränen mein Los beklagen” by German English 18th century composer Georg Friedrich Händel.

When I was a small child, my mother used to play this on the piano, also singing the German language lyrics:

Lass mich mit Tränen mein Los beklagen,
Ketten zu tragen, welch hartes Geschick!

Let me mourn my fate with tears,
Having to wear chains, what a cruel fate!

Who has to wear these cruel chains? I asked. Rinaldo, my mother replied. Rinaldo Rinaldini.

And here, my mother made a mistake. This aria is from Händel’s opera Rinaldo. A work loosely based on a 16th century Italian poem on the medieval crusades. Not the title character, the crusader Rinaldo, sings this aria; but Almirena, a Christian woman who has become a prisoner of Muslim soldiers.

My mother confused the fictional medieval crusader character Rinaldo with another fictional Rinaldo: Rinaldo Rinaldini. An eighteenth century Italian robber captain from a 1798 German novel.

Rinaldo Rinaldini was not really the most criminal kind of highwayman; more somewhere halfway between robber and freedom fighter against tyranny. So, I cried about these cruel chains the authorities had put around, supposedly, Rinaldo Rinaldini’s body.

As my mother felt that the aria made her child sad, she made up ‘happier’, humouristic spoof lyrics to the same tune, about animals:

Just give the bananas to the roosters,
Just give the cake to the northern pike

Rinaldo Rinaldini, the title character of an eighteenth century book, a twentieth century film, etc.should not be confused with Rinaldo Rinaldi, a nineteenth century sculptor.

There are also, in twentieth century film history, at least one designer, and (different one again) actor, called Rinaldo Rinaldi.

Prehistoric sea scorpions video


This 2 April 2019 video says about itself:

When Giant Scorpions Swarmed the Seas

Sea scorpions thrived for 200 million years, coming in a wide variety of shapes and sizes. Over time, they developed a number of adaptations–from crushing claws to flattened tails for swimming. And some of them adapted by getting so big that they still hold the record as the largest arthropods of all time.

Italian fascist violence against Roma


This video is 1938 Italian fascist propaganda images of Hitler visiting his fellow dictator Mussolini in Rome.

Unfortunately, the spirit of these two war criminals is not dead in Rome yet.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV today:

The mayor of Rome has investigated the violent protests against the arrival of a number of Roma families in a reception center. She wants to know whether the violence was motivated by racial hatred.

Hundreds … of extreme right-wing activists took to the streets to prevent a group of 70 Roma, including 33 children, from accessing a reception center in the Italian capital. They set fire to cars and trampled food that was intended for the Roma. They shouted: “They must die of hunger!” The road was also blocked so that the families could not enter the center. …

This Italian tweet says (translated):

Trampling on sandwiches for Roma is not a protest, but racial hatred. Screaming “you must die of hunger” against women and children is inhumanity.

The NOS article continues:

Among the protesters were members of the neo-fascist movements CasaPound and Forza Nuova. The latter movement said in a statement that it was ready to raise the black flag [of Mussolini‘s fascists] and the Italian flag “against invasion and ethnic replacement”.

‘Replacement’: the conspiracy theory of the neonazi terrorist of the New Zealand mosque massacre.

The city council of Rome, led by the Five Star Movement, finally decided to move the families to another neighborhood in Rome. …

CasaPound says they have made a big win. If the municipality would still accommodate the Roma in the intended center, then … the neo-fascists threaten to take to the streets again.

Deputy Prime Minister and Interior Minister Matteo Salvini condemns yesterday’s violent protest, but he maintains his position, [NOS correspondent] Marghadi says. “And that position is: zero Roma camps at the end of his ministry. …

As a minister, he wants to pursue an active policy against the Roma. Marghadi: “For example, in August last year he wanted to have a census of Roma, so that people without an Italian passport could be deported. The others would have to “unfortunately be kept in Italy”, said Salvini.

How gorillas mourn their dead


This 8 January 2018 video says about itself:

Gorilla Brothers Mourn Their Dead Father | Wild Things

After losing their father, two mountain gorillas display their grief and mourning in a very human way. From Mountain Gorilla: A Shattered Kingdom.

From PeerJ:

Gorillas gather around and groom their dead

April 3, 2019

It is now known that many animals exhibit unique behaviors around same-species corpses, ranging from removal of the bodies and burial among social insects to quiet attendance and caregiving among elephants and primates. Researchers in Rwanda and Democratic Republic of Congo have been able to take a close look at the behavioral responses to the deaths of three individuals — both known and unknown — in gorillas and have reported their findings in PeerJ — the Journal of Life and Environmental Sciences.

Scientists from the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund, the University of California Davis, Uppsala University, and the Congolese Institute for the Conservation of Nature observed and filmed the behavior of mountain gorillas around the corpses of a 35-year-old dominant adult male and a 38-year-old dominant adult female from the same social group living in Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda. Both individuals had died a few hours earlier of illnesses possibly linked to their advanced age. Researchers also studied the behavior of a group of Grauer’s gorillas who found the body of a recently deceased adult male in Kahuzi-Biega National Park, Democratic Republic of Congo.

Researchers predicted that more individuals would engage with the corpses of familiar members of their own group compared to the extra-group mature male and that individuals who shared close social relationships with the deceased would be the ones to spend the most time close to body.

To the researcher’s surprise, the behavioral responses toward the corpses in all three cases were remarkably similar. In all three cases, animals typically sat close to the body and stared at it but they also sniffed, poked, groomed and licked it.

In the two mountain gorilla cases, individuals that shared close social relationships with the deceased were the ones who spent the most time in contact with the corpse. For example, a juvenile male who had established a close relationship with Titus, the dominant mountain gorilla silverback male, after his mother left the group, remained close and often in contact with the body for two days, and slept in the same nest with it. The juvenile son of Tuck, the deceased adult female, groomed the corpse and even tried suckling from it despite having already been weaned, a behavior that could indicate his distress near his mother’s body.

This work is not only of interest regarding how animals perceive and process death, but it also has important conservation implications. Close inspection of corpses can present a serious risk for disease transmission. Contacts between healthy individuals and infected corpses may be a major way through which diseases like Ebola, which have affected and killed thousands of gorillas in Central Africa, spread among gorillas.

Dutch Mauritshuis museum and its slave-trading founder


This 2015 video from the Netherlands says about itself:

The Mauritshuis museum in The Hague houses a world-famous collection from the Dutch Golden Age. At the unique 17th-century palace you can make the acquaintance of “The Girl with a Pearl Earring” by Vermeer, “The Goldfinch” by Fabritius and “The Anatomy Lesson” by Rembrandt. The Mauritshuis is a unique opportunity to see world-famous paintings by the Dutch Masters at one of Holland’s most beautiful locations.

This 2 April 2019 Dutch The Hague regional TV video says about itself (translated):

Mauritshuis organizes exhibition about the image of [Count, later: Prince] John Maurice

Is John Maurice good or not? That is the question that inadvertently arose when the bust of the founder of the Mauritshuis was removed from the museum in The Hague last year. The new exhibition Shifting Image (In search of John Maurice) will kick off on Thursday morning an extensive historical investigation into the past of the Field Marshal.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV today (quoting the same people as in the regional TV video):

In the history books, Maurice, who lived from 1604 to 1679, is usually presented as a hero. Yet he is not undisputed. This is mainly due to his past as a governor in Brazil.

Slave trade

The Mauritshuis itself writes on its site: “In terms of art history, the museum has always emphasised his importance to art, architecture and science. But Johan Maurits’s life story is also part of Dutch colonial history, particularly its role in the trans-Atlantic slave trade. …

This raises the question as to the extent we do justice to Johan Maurits’s Brazilian story if it we overemphasise the art-historical perspective. After all, he was the governor who in 1637 sent a fleet of warships to West Africa’s Gold Coast, present-day Ghana. The capture of the Portuguese-built Elmina Castle boosted the Dutch West India Company’s trading position in that area. Some years later, the island of São Tomé and part of the Angolan coast were also captured from the Portuguese – likewise on Johan Maurits’s orders – in order to increase Dutch trade in enslaved Africans. Thousands of men, women and children were shipped to Brazil. Johan Maurits personally owned dozens of enslaved people who lived and worked at his Brazilian court.”

This blog wrote earlier on this:

The new Dutch [slave] owners [in Brazil] found out that in order to maximize sugar profits, they had to import extra slaves from Africa.

To make that possible, they conquered the important Portuguese slave export port Luanda in Angola.

That made the Dutch major players in the trans-Atlantic slave trade, which they had not been until then.

In this way, war begot slavery, and slavery begot war.

The NOS article continues:

According to historian Erik Odegard, who is leading the research, the focus will be on: “It is now clear that he personally played a role in the slave trade. Only we do not yet know exactly how large his share was or how many people it was. How much money did he make with it?”

John Maurice of Nassau-Siegen was born in Germany in 1604. He was a ruler in Nassau, Germany, field marshal in Dutch service and governor-general of Dutch Brazil.

That colony consisted of an area on the coast. There was a profitable sugar industry that depended on the labour of enslaved Africans. It was the first large plantation colony of the Dutch Republic.

After his return from Brazil, he moved into the Mauritshuis – then known as the Sugar Palace – in The Hague. He had already commissioned the construction in 1633. He housed his natural history and ethnological collection there.

46 experts made written contributions to the exhibition. From their own perspectives, they write how they view the past and the legacy of Maurice.

For example, Ashaki Leito (champion for the position of black women) is very happy with the portrait Two African men by Rembrandt van Rijn: “If you look at the other paintings, blacks are depicted as servants or slaves. But these are just two black men who have the right to be there.”

Rembrandt, Two African men

Criminal, murderer, villain

But Leito’s verdict on Maurice is anything but mild. She says to Omroep West regional broadcasting organisation: “Everyone can decide for themselves what they think of him. But I think he’s a criminal, a murderer, a villain. Someone we shouldn’t worship, but tell the right story about.”

Although slavery is therefore inextricably linked to Dutch Brazil, this is hardly reflected in the perception of John Maurice, writes the Mauritshuis.

“The governor of the colony has traditionally been commemorated for his love of art, architecture and science – and for his governance, which allowed a remarkable degree of religious freedom.”

Most slave owners in Dutch Brazil were Roman Catholic Portuguese. Making Roman Catholics second class inhabitants like then in the Dutch republic would endanger losing north-east Brazil to the Portuguese again.

Basilisk, squirrel at Panama bird feeder


This video says about itself:

Common Basilisk And
Red-tailed Squirrel Meet On The Feeder – April 2, 2019

An uneasy interaction between a female Common Basilisk and a Red-tailed Squirrel as they attempt to share the bounty of fruit on the feeder.

Watch LIVE 24/7 with highlights and viewing resources at http://allaboutbirds.org/panamafeeders

The Panama Fruit Feeder Cam is a collaboration between the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, the Canopy Family, and explore.org.

Facebook welcomes neonazis, censors leftists, famous painters


This 9 September 2016 video from the USA says about itself:

Fury over Facebook ‘Napalm girl’ censorship

Facebook has controversially removed the iconic image of a girl fleeing a napalm attack during the Vietnam war from a post, on the grounds of nudity. The editor of Norwegian newspaper Aftenposten said the entire post, which was about iconic war imagery, was later deleted and the account of the reporter behind it suspended.

FB OKS WHITE NATIONALIST VIDEO Facebook vowed last week to curb hateful content by extending policies against white supremacy [after the white supremacist mosque massacre in New Zealand]. HuffPost on Tuesday showed a Facebook spokesperson a video on the site in which a prominent white nationalist laments white “replacement” [the conspiracy theory advocated by the New Zealand mosque murderer in his manifesto] and demands that Jews and people of color repay the white European countries they’ve “invaded” [as Donald Trump says, thus inspring both the Pittsburgh synagogue and Christchurch mosque massacres]. The spokesperson said no policy had been broken. [HuffPost]

Meanwhile, Facebook, where neonazis like this Faith Goldy are apparently welcome, will very probably keep censoring leftists, anti-fascists, feminists, LGBTQ people, the truth about the Vietnam war, and long dead famous artists like Rubens and Courbet.

A new study reported that white supremacist groups are “thriving” on Facebook, despite repeated assurances from the company that it doesn’t allow extremists on its platform. The watchdog group Tech Transparency Project released a study Thursday that found more than 100 white supremacist groups had a presence on Facebook.

SHAREHOLDERS TAKE AIM AT NEO-NAZIS For months, Mastercard has tried to suffocate the creation of an internal committee that would monitor payments to white supremacists and far-right extremists. But on Tuesday, renegade shareholders will finally force a vote on the matter during the company’s annual shareholder meeting. [HuffPost]

Sea snakes can dive deeply


This 2014 video says about itself:

In this exciting adventure, Jonathan travels to Manuk, a tiny, uninhabited volcanic island several hundred miles from the nearest populated island in Indonesia, on a mission to discover why the waters of this remote place are teeming with thousands of venomous sea snakes!

From the University of Adelaide in Australia:

Sea snakes make record-setting deep dives

April 2, 2019

Sea snakes, best known from shallow tropical waters, have been recorded swimming at 250 metres in the deep-sea ‘twilight zone‘, smashing the previous diving record of 133 metres held by sea snakes.

Footage of a sea snake swimming at 245 metres deep, and another sea snake at 239 metres has been provided to University of Adelaide researchers by INPEX Australia, an exploration and production company operating in the Browse Basin off the Kimberley coast of Australia. Both snakes appeared to belong to the same species.

Sea snakes are found in tropical waters of the Indian and Pacific Oceans and are typically associated with shallow water habitats like coral reefs and river estuaries.

“Sea snakes were thought to only dive between a maximum of 50 to 100 metres because they need to regularly swim to the sea surface to breathe air, so we were very surprised to find them so deep”, says Dr Jenna Crowe-Riddell, lead author of the study and recent PhD graduate at the University of Adelaide’s School of Biological Sciences.

Oceanic depths between 200 and 1000 metres encompass the mesopelagic zone, sometimes called the ‘twilight zone’ because only a small amount of light reaches that depth.

“We have known for a long time that sea snakes can cope with diving sickness known as ‘the bends’ using gas exchange through their skin,” says Dr Crowe-Riddell. “But I never suspected that this ability allows sea snakes to dive to deep-sea habitats.”

These record-setting dives raise new questions about the ecology and biology of sea snakes.

“In some of the footage the snake is looking for food by poking its head into burrows in the sandy sea floor, but we don’t know what type of fish they’re eating or how they sense them in the dark,” she says.

The snakes were filmed in 2014 and 2017 using a remotely operated vehicle or ‘ROV’ undertaking work for the INPEX-operated Ichthys LNG Project. …

Published in the journal Austral Ecology, the study is a collaboration between the University of Adelaide, the INPEX-operated Ichthys LNG Project, James Cook University in Australia, and The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts (KADK) in Denmark.

British soldiers practice killing Labour leader Corbyn


This 3 April 2019 video from Britain says about itself:

DISGRACEFUL: Soldiers in Kabul [Afghanistan] use Jeremy Corbyn image as target practice

Reported by Alistair Bunkall of Sky News on Twitter. Confirmed by Ministry Of Defence.

It looks like the bloody neocolonial war in Afghanistan has a dehumanizing effect on at least some of the people fighting it. Earlier, there were, eg, British soldiers there doing the nazi salute and Australian soldiers flying the nazi swastika flag.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV today:

The British Ministry of Defense has started an investigation into a video in which it seems as if British soldiers are using a photo of opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn as a target. …

In the video, four British paratroopers can be seen at a shooting range. The images are said to have been made in the Afghan capital Kabul, when is not clear. The images include the caption “Happy with that”. …

Other British politicians have spoken strongly about the video, which is said to have first been broadcast on Snapchat and then posted on Twitter. “Soldiers should not be concerned with politics, but with defending the country”, is one of the responses.

While waging neocolonial war in Afghanistan, thousands of miles away from home, is not exactly ‘defending Britain’.
.
The NOS report also mentions that Corbyn last month was violently attacked by a white supremacist who had made death threats against Muslims and politicians when visiting a London mosque.