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Blogging on animals, peace and war, science, social justice, women's issues, arts, and much more

American oil beetles video


This video from the USA says about itself:

American Oil Beetles – Blister Beetles

14 October 2017

Do not ever touch these beetles! Bizarre bugs indeed! I happened upon about a dozen of these beauties in a fall mating frenzy centered around two very large females full of eggs.

Fortunately I did not step on them in the middle of the trail. They are called Blister Beetles because they emit an oil that will burn the skin if you pick them up. The poison they contain is among the strongest known. Cantharidin is an odorless, colorless fatty substance of the terpenoid class, which is secreted by many species of blister beetles. It is a burn agent or a poison in large doses, but preparations containing it were historically used as aphrodisiacs. In its natural form, cantharidin is secreted by the male blister beetle and given to the female as a copulatory gift during mating. Afterwards, the female beetle covers her eggs with it as a defense against predators.

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Chipmunk in the USA, video


This video from the USA says about itself:

13 October 2017

Chipmunk takes on a cup of sunflower seeds on a perfect Fall morning. While we admire the changing leaves he is thinking ahead to winter!

‘Nuclear radiation not that bad’, Trump administration says


This video from the USA says about itself:

Trump‘s EPA: Radiation Not That Bad, Actually

22 October 2017

Mr. Burns might as well be running the EPA now. Cenk Uygur, host of The Young Turks, breaks it down.

Donald Trump’s appointment of former Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt as chief of the Environmental Protection Agency this year drew eyebrows, because Pruitt had made his career as a longstanding legal opponent of the EPA and a prominent climate change skeptic. Since he’s been put in charge of the agency, Pruitt has allegedly made plans to water down federal scientific research on the climate, deflected from the issue during natural disasters, and cut loose hundreds of employees in a deregulation push.

Now some are worried he’s trying to lower the bar for, uh, deadly radiation. In new guidelines for local officials published in September, the EPA advised that radiation exposure during disasters ten or more times higher than guidelines under Barack Obama’s administration is safe, Bloomberg reported.”

Read more here.

Big German demonstration against extreme right


Demonstrators against extreme right AfD in Germany, photo by Tim Zülch

Translated from daily Neues Deutschland in Germany today, about Berlin:

“On the evening of the election, I was shocked – that is why I organize this big demonstration in front of the Reichstag building and hope that many thousands will demonstrate with me for a diverse and cosmopolitan Germany,” says Ali Can on the big stage in front of the Brandenburg Gate to kick off the demonstration under the motto “Against hatred and racism in the Bundestag“. 12,000 people have come to demonstrate before the constituent meeting of the new Bundestag on Tuesday against the move of the [extreme right] AfD into parliament.

Eyebrowed thrush on Vlieland island


This 21 October 2017 video is about an eyebrowed thrush eating berries on Vlieland island in the Netherlands.

This Asian species is rare in western Europe. The bird on Vlieland was a young male, not yet one year old. See also here.

Eyebrowed thrush birders on Vlieland

This rare thrush attracted many birders to the dike above the backyards of Vlieland village.

This is also an 21 October 2017 eyebrowed thrush video, but not especially on the Vlieland individual.