New song by The Damned, Manipulator


This punk rock music video from Britain says about itself:

Manipulator · The Damned

Manipulator

℗ A Spinefarm Records / Search And Destroy Records Recording; ℗ 2020 The Damned, under exclusive licence to Universal Music Operations Limited

Released on: 2020-09-18

Associated Performer, Vocals: David Vanian
Associated Performer, Guitar: Captain Sensible
Associated Performer, Keyboards: Monty Oxymoron
Associated Performer, Bass Guitar: Paul Gray
Associated Performer, Drums: Andrew Pinching
Producer, Studio Personnel, Recording Engineer: Tom Dalgety
Composer Lyricist: Paul Gray

Trump wants even more far-right Supreme Court


This 23 September 2020 United States TV video is called What Amy Coney Barrett said about filling a Supreme Court seat in an election year.

From UltraViolet in the USA today:

News just broke that Donald Trump is going to name Amy Coney Barrett to fill Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s seat on the Supreme Court.

We knew the pick would be bad. But this one is truly awful.

Preapproved by the far-right-wing Federalist Society, Barrett wants to dismantle, if not demolish, Roe v. Wade. She opposes birth control.1 She’s even ruled in favor of “separate but equal” accommodations on the basis of race.2

RBG hasn’t even been buried yet. We’re all still mourning her passing.3 But Trump is pushing forward with a stunningly hypocritical power grab just four years after Republicans blocked President Obama from filling a Supreme Court seat that came open in February of an election year. Let’s be clear, Barrett is a disaster for women’s rights and progress, and it’s an insult to the champion we had in RBG to confirm her to the Court.

Barrett would cement a 6–3 majority on the Court for decades, which would give them a generation or more to tear down RBG’s life’s work and take our nation backward. We can’t let that happen.

This is a five-alarm fire. Will you chip in $5 to help organize a massive outcry and stop Trump from replacing RBG with right-wing extremist Amy Coney Barrett?

Mere hours after learning of Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death, Mitch McConnell promised a vote on Trump’s nominee. It’s no surprise from the man who stole a Supreme Court seat from Barack Obama in 2016.

If McConnell and Trump have their way, a conservative majority deeply out of step with the American people could rule for decades, eliminating the right to choose, climate pollution rules, the Affordable Care Act, voting rights, and civil rights. . . the list is long and horrifying. Women will be especially affected, particularly women of color and transwomen. Our literal lives are on the lines.

Most alarming: Trump said earlier this week that he wants his appointee confirmed before Nov. 3 so they could rule him the winner of the election, no matter what the voters say.4 …

–Shaunna, KaeLyn, Kathy, Melody, Lindsay, Sonja, Kimberly, Maria, Katie, Iris, KD, and Elisa, the UltraViolet team

Sources:

1. Planned Parenthood Condemns Amy Coney Barrett Nomination to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, Planned Parenthood, October 31, 2017

2. Profile of a potential nominee: Amy Coney Barrett, SCOTUSblog, September 21, 2020

3. All the Details on Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s Funeral, Town & Country, September 25, 2020

4. Trump says he wants a conservative majority on the Supreme Court in case of an Election Day dispute. The New York Times, September 23, 2020

Why tarantula spiders are blue or green


This video is called Greenbottle Blue and Sazimai’s Blue Tarantula Comparison.

By Yale-NUS College in the USA:

Scientists discover why tarantulas come in vivid blues and greens

September 24, 2020

Summary: Researchers find support for new hypotheses: that tarantulas‘ vibrant blue colors may be used to communicate between potential mates, while green coloration confers the ability to conceal among foliage. Their research also suggests that tarantulas are not as color-blind as previously believed, and that these arachnids may be able to perceive the bright blue tones on their bodies.

Why are some tarantulas so vividly coloured? Scientists have puzzled over why these large, hairy spiders, active primarily during the evening and at night-time, would sport such vibrant blue and green colouration — especially as they were long thought to be unable to differentiate between colours, let alone possess true colour vision.

In a recent study, researchers from Yale-NUS College and Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) find support for new hypotheses: that these vibrant blue colours may be used to communicate between potential mates, while green colouration confers the ability to conceal among foliage. Their research also suggests that tarantulas are not as colour-blind as previously believed, and that these arachnids may be able to perceive the bright blue tones on their bodies. The study was published in Proceedings of the Royal Society B on 23 September, and is featured on the front cover of the current (30 September 2020) issue.

The research was jointly led by Dr Saoirse Foley from CMU, and Dr Vinod Kumar Saranathan, in collaboration with Dr William Piel, both from the Division of Science at Yale-NUS College. To understand the evolutionary basis of tarantula colouration, they surveyed the bodily expression of various opsins (light-sensitive proteins usually found in animal eyes) in tarantulas. They found, contrary to current assumptions, that most tarantulas have nearly an entire complement of opsins that are normally expressed in day-active spiders with good colour vision, such as the Peacock Spider.

These findings suggest that tarantulas, long thought to be colour-blind, can perceive the bright blue colours of other tarantulas. Using comparative phylogenetic analyses, the team reconstructed the colours of 110 million-year-old tarantula ancestors and found that they were most likely blue. They further found that blue colouration does not correlate with the ability to urticate or stridulate — both common defence mechanisms — suggesting that it did not evolve as a means of deterring predators, but might instead be a means of attracting potential mates.

The team also found that the evolution of green colouration appears to depend on whether the species in question is arboreal (tree-dwelling), suggesting that this colour likely functions in camouflage.

“While the precise function of blueness remains unclear, our results suggest that tarantulas may be able to see these blue displays, so mate choice is a likely potential explanation. We have set an impetus for future projects to include a behavioural element to fully explore these hypotheses, and it is very exciting to consider how further studies will build upon our results,” said Dr Foley.

The team’s survey of the presence of blue and green colouration across tarantulas turned up more interesting results. They found that the blue colouration has been lost more frequently than it is gained across tarantulas. The losses are mainly in species living in the Americas and Oceania, while many of the gains are in the Old World (European, Asian, and African) species. They also found that green colouration has evolved only a few times, but never lost.

“Our finding that blueness was lost multiple times in the New World, while regained in the Old, is very intriguing. This leaves several fascinating avenues for future research, when considering how the ecological pressures in the New and the Old Worlds vary,” said Dr Saranathan. “For instance, one hypothesis would be differences in the light environments of the habitats between the New and the Old World, which can affect how these colours might be perceived, if indeed they can be, as our results suggest.”

Greek students strike against schools coronavirus danger


Greek school students march with a banner stating: ‘Masks are not the only protection – give money for education’

From daily News Line in Britain, 26 September 2020:

SEVERAL hundreds of secondary schools throughout Greece remain shut as school students refused to attend classes considering the Covid-19 government guidelines to be ineffective.

Last Thursday in Athens, over 2,000 school students, along with delegations from university students’ unions, marched to the Vouli (Greek parliament) shouting ‘money for health and education, that’s what could protect us from the pandemic’ and ‘masks are not enough’. Marchers demanded the resignation of the Education Ministry.

The march took place as Covid-19 cases and deaths have more than trebled this month as compared to spring, with Athens hardest hit.

The government have imposed draconian rules, prohibiting meetings of more than nine persons, either indoors or outdoors. Over summer, the government voted in a reactionary Bill restricting marches and demonstrations.

But Greek riot police stayed away from the school students’ march.

Greek hospital doctors were also on the march last Thursday in a mass protest meeting at the Health Ministry building as part of their 24-hour national strike demanding the employment of doctors and staff at state hospitals and mass free Covid-19 tests for all.

But a OENGE (hospital doctors federation) spokesperson announced that Health Ministry officials had told their delegation that no government cash is available for hospitals.

At the port of Piraeus, seafarers on ferries staged a solid 100% 24-hour strike against the Greek government attack on wages and rights. Last June, the government annulled all collective agreements for freight ships and oil tankers.

Seafarers’ unions called the strike against this government action and in defence of their rights.

But the PNO (federation of seafarers trades unions) leaders have refused to call a national strike.

At a mass meeting in the Piraeus docks, the President of the PENEN (deck crews) trade union Antonis Dalakogeorgos called for the unification of all the different protests and for the creation of a ‘common centre of struggle’ to fight the government.

The GSEE (Greek TUC) leaders have obeyed the EU and bosses’ diktats and have refused to even call a protest march.

Delakogeorgos stopped short of calling for a new leadership in the trade union and labour movement to organise the overthrow of the current right-wing government.

More restrictive lockdown set for Israel as coronavirus cases soar.