Pine grosbeak in Canadian winter


This 23 February 2020 video shows a male pine grosbeak in a snowy winter in Canada.

Again anti-Semitism controversy at Aalst, Belgium carnival


Aalst, Belgium carnival float with 'gold Wailing Wall', EPA photo

This EPA photo shows a carnival group in Aalst, Belgium dressed as vermin and walking along today with a ‘golden’ ‘Wailing Wall‘ in this year’s parade.

Translated from Dutch NOS radio today:

Jewish caricatures again at carnival parade in Aalst, criticism of ‘hate festival’

Carnival celebrators in Aalst today have mocked the indignation about Jewish stereotypes during the annual carnival parade in the Belgian city. Last year there was a lot of criticism of a carnival float with dolls of stereotypical orthodox Jews with hook noses and money bags.

In this year’s parade, carnival society Lossendeirdeveirdeirdeir showed a ‘humour tribunal’ on its float, with a Jewish caricature with long toes at the front.

In Dutch, the expression ‘lange tenen’ (long toes) means that someone is easily offended by trivial things.

A group also walked with a ‘wailing wall’ of gold bars. Members of the group were dressed as insects and wore ringlets hair and shtreimels, fur hats worn by orthodox Jews.

“More painful than last year”

The parade immediately led to fierce criticism from the Jewish community. Eg, the European section of the American Jewish Committee calls on the European Unity to investigate Belgium because the country has allowed the “hate festival”.

Depicting Jews as vermin is reminiscent, according to the organization, of dehumanizing Jews, as happened in the Nazi era. “My stomach turns around”, Ronny Naftaniel, chairman of the Jewish Humanitarian Fund, tweeted about the procession in Aalst.

The Belgian Forum of Jewish Organizations called the caricatures in this year’s parade “even more painful” than last year’s. “At that time we could still think that it might not have been the intention to insult, but now they are doing a bit more. That really defies all imagination,” said a spokesperson for the umbrella organization to newspaper Het Nieuwsblad.

The controversial dolls with hooked noses and ringlets hair that last year led to the carnival in Aalst being scrapped from the UNESCO list of intangible heritage were on display again today. This year the dolls were on a car with other caricatures in a kind of shooting gallery.

[Mayor of Aalst] D’Haese [of the ‘centre-right’ N-VA party]: “I have not seen any manifestations of racism or anti-Semitism”.

Belgian parade features costumes of haredi Jews with insect bodies: here.

Carnival parade in Spain features Nazi uniforms, trains with crematoria. February 25, 2020. By Cnaan Liphshiz.

Dinosaurs were warm-blooded, egg research says


This 21 February 2020 video says about itself:

Dinosaurs Probably Weren’t Cold-Blooded, According to Eggshells

Scientists can find answers in some pretty unusual places, and recently they found some evidence that dinosaurs weren’t cold-blooded by looking at… eggshells?

Hosted by: Stefan Chin

Tree of Life, new research needed


This 19 February 2020 video says about itself:

The Tree of Life Is Messed Up

Taxonomy is a powerful tool, and one that modern biology wouldn’t be able to function without. But trying to shoehorn the messy, complicated web of interrelationships that is biology into neat boxes has resulted in a pretty messy tree of life.

Hosted by: Olivia Gordon

16-year-old girl wins adults’ championship, to Olympics?


This 22 February 2020 video shows the finals of the Dutch indoor track and field championship: sixty metres-dash for adult women.

As the video shows, the winner was 16-year-old N’ketia Seedo. Being 16-year-old means that Ms Seedo is in the Junior Girls B category of Dutch track and field. Supposedly, as she grew older, she would first go to the Junior A category, and later still to the adult women category. Yet, she won the adult women’s championship.

This photo shows N’ketia Seedo and the numbers two and three of the women seniors’ final.

N’ketia Seedo’s winning time was 7.24 seconds. The second-fastest time ever anywhere in the world of an under-18-year-old woman. Only Tamari Davis from the USA had ever been faster.

This March 2019 video is about Ms Seedo when she was 15 years old; including her playing saxophone.

Seedo, of African Surinamese ancestry, was born in Utrecht city. Like Dafne Schippers, former 200 metres-dash world champion. Ms Seedo yesterday ran faster than Ms Schippers when she was 16-years-old.

N'ketia Seedo and her club trainer Juul Acton

She now wants to go to the Tokyo Olympics later this year. If she succeeds in that, then she will be youngest ever 100-metres-dash runner at the Olympics. She will try to be in the 4 x 100 metres Dutch women’s relay team, maybe together with Dafne Schippers. Maybe the individual 100 metres four years later, at the next Olympics.

Maybe at the Tokyo Olympics, Ms Seedo will meet Keet Oldenbeuving, one year younger, European skateboard champion, also from Utrecht.