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.

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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.

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.