About petrel41

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

White house sparrow, video


This 15 November 2019 video shows a house sparrow which is, unusually, white, because of leucism.

Aren Kievit in the Netherlands made this video.

Prince Andrew’s Epstein scandal, musical parody


This 17 November 2019 musical parody video of the Prince song ‘When doves cry’ from Britain says about itself:

Prince Andrew – When Dukes Lie

Prince Andrew’s Prince tribute act.

LYRICS:

“Explain, if you, will this picture”
Said BBC’s Emily Maitlis
“Is that your hand around her waist?
Can you, Your Highness
Can you explain this?”

I said, “Well, it could be a fake
Not been upstairs at that address
The only thing I clearly remember
Is the time I ate at Woking Pizza Express

“How come you stayed there for four days
With someone who preyed on the vulnerable?”
Well, I only went there to unfriend him
Maybe I’m just like my father: too honourable
That’s not how I dressed in the city
I’d wear a suit and a tie
I couldn’t sweat ‘cause the Falklands
This is what is sounds like when Dukes lie

Prehistoric ichthyosaurs, bigger than blue whales?


This 17 November 2019 video says about itself:

Bigger Than A Blue Whale? A Giant ‘Sea Dragon’

The story of Dr Dean Lomax and his research on Ichthyosaurs, including discovering some that were possibly bigger than a blue whale, is truly fascinating and inspiring. I hope you enjoy learning about his journey into the science!

‘Stop coup massacres in Bolivia’, Argentine says


This 6 November 2019 video says about itself:

Bolivia Protests 2019 – victims of massacre

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Sunday, November 17, 2019

Argentina’s president-elect calls on UN to intervene over massacres by Bolivia’s coup regime

ARGENTINA’S president-elect Alberto Fernandez called on the UN to do something about the massacre of anti-coup protesters in Bolivia at the weekend.

He spoke out after Bolivia’s self-proclaimed president Jeanine Anez granted immunity to soldiers who commit crimes while suppressing the demonstrations that have erupted against the overthrow of former leader Evo Morales by the military.

“The personnel of the armed forces who participate in operations for the restoration of order and public stability will be exempt from criminal responsibility when they act in legitimate defence,” the decree reads. It also specifies that security forces may use firearms to put down protests.

“The de-facto government that has usurped power in Bolivia has conferred to the armed forces the right to act without having to answer for their crimes. The number of deaths grows. The Argentinian government [of Mauricio Macri, who will remain in office until December 10 despite losing the last election] is silent. The Organisation of American States endorses it. [UN human rights chief] Michelle Bachelet and the UN must intervene,” Mr Fernandez tweeted.

At least nine Bolivians were killed over the weekend, with four protesters shot dead in La Paz and five in Sacaba, where a march on Cochabamba by thousands of coca farmers in protest at the coup was intercepted by the military. More than 30 people were injured and over 160 arrested.

Ms Bachelet’s office expressed “concern” at what it said was evidence of 17 protesters’ deaths and hundreds of arrests and called on Bolivian authorities to respect human rights.

And the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights condemned the “excessive use of force” against protesters.

A statistical analysis of last month’s election has now been published by the Centre for Economic & Policy Research in Washington.

It confirmed that there is “no evidence that irregularities or fraud affected the official result that gave president Evo Morales a first-round victory.”

In Venezuela, tens of thousands marched in the capital against “fascism in Latin America”, condemning the coup against Mr Morales as well as the repeated attempts by Venezuela’s self-declared “president” Juan Guaido to do something similar.

Mr Guaido also called for demonstrations in Caracas to demand the removal of President Nicolas Maduro from office.

Oscar Wilde’s twice stolen ring found again


This video says about itself:

Friday, November 15, 2019

A golden ring once given as a present by the famed Irish writer Oscar Wilde has been recovered by a Dutch “art detective” nearly 20 years after it was stolen from Britain’s Oxford University. The friendship ring, a joint gift from Wilde to a fellow student in 1876, was taken during a burglary in 2002 at Magdalen College, where the legendary dandy studied.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV today:

The Dutch art detective Arthur Brand has found the lost ring of the famous writer Oscar Wilde. The Irish author donated his ring in 1876 to the University of Oxford, where he studied. The ring was stolen in 2002 and had since been considered lost.

But thanks to Arthur Brand, the ring has surfaced again and will soon return to Oxford. “I have to admit that I did wear it for a while with pride,” says Brand. The art detective is a big fan of the writer. When he searched for something about Wilde seven years ago, he came across the story of the stolen ring. That is how a long search began.

The ring was stolen in 2002 by a university cleaner. He was looking for evidence that his wife, who also worked at the university, was having an affair. He did not find that proof, but he did find the ring and he took it. The man was sentenced, but the ring remained lost: he claimed he had it melted down.

“I didn’t believe that. Most thieves say something like that, so they don’t have to betray to whom they’ve sold something,” says Brand. The art detective was convinced that the ring still had to be somewhere. “I have quite a few contacts in England so I started asking around, but unfortunately nothing came out.”

Senior citizen robbery in 2015

In 2015, a group of mostly elderly men broke into a locker business in the London jewellery district of Hatton Garden. They stole jewellery for 20 million euros. The theft is seen as the biggest robbery in British history. “Soon after, rumors arose in the criminal underworld that things had been found that had been stolen before. Eg, it was said that there was a Victorian ring with a Russian text,” says Brand.

Brand actually already knew that it had to be Oscar Wilde’s ring, because the description almost corresponded exactly with what the ring looked like. “Only there is no Russian on Wilde’s ring, but a Greek text. The criminals couldn’t tell apart Russian and Greek and they didn’t know it was the famous writer’s ring. The ring was therefore stolen twice.”

Through various intermediaries, the art detective finally managed to find the person who owned the ring. “By now, almost all of London was looking for the ring, because Oscar Wilde is so famous that even criminals knew who he was.”

The person who had it was shocked when he heard that it was Oscar Wilde’s ring. “He or she, because I don’t know who it was, would probably have bought that ring as an ordinary Victorian ring. For perhaps a few hundred pounds. If they had known at that time that it was Wilde’s ring, that price would have been sky high.”

It still had to be checked whether the ring was ‘real’. Then Brand finally got hold of the ring. He couldn’t resist wearing the ring for a while. “I certainly put it on my finger a couple of times. I don’t normally wear jewellery and it is not my style at all. Wilde was, of course, the prototype of a dandy so that ring is a bit over the top. But I think he would really like it if he knew that a big fan had worn his ring.”

The ring is now in a safe place in England and on Wednesday, December 4 he will be presented with a ceremony at the University of Oxford, the rightful owner. “I miss it a bit. You got a kind of bond with it”, says Brand.

It is not the first time that Arthur Brand has been able to find a great art treasure.

Earlier, Mr Brand discovered that the theft of 17th-century paintings and silverware from the Westfries Museum in Hoorn, the Netherlands, had been done by the secret police of Ukraine, jointly with the neofascist Svoboda party.