New Dutch wildlife film, trailer


The makers of Dutch wildlife film De Nieuwe Wildernis have made a new film, about wildlife in the south-west of the Netherlands: Holland – Natuur in de Delta. This 26 June 2015 video is the trailer.

The new film will start in the cinemas on 24 September 2015.

Enchanted Kingdom, new wildlife film, review


This video is the trailer of the new film Enchanted Kingdom, aka Nature 3D. It is the first film in 3D by the BBC Earth filmmakers.

The theme of the film is wildlife in Africa, centred around water.

It was filmed in 13 African countries.

This is the first time ever that I went to a cinema and put 3D glasses on. They did enhance seeing the movie: an elephant‘s trunk seems to reach out to very close to the audience; there is more depth in mountain scenery; you see more clearly how various fish in a coral reef swim behind each other; etc.

Just after the beginning, a forest which exists because of rain water. Millions of army ants march through the rainforest, feeding on animals much bigger than the ants.

Then, a gorilla family.

Then, volcanism in Africa. It seems to make life impossible. However, at Lake Bogoria in Kenya, volcanism creates the right conditions for many lesser flamingoes to feed.

The movie continues to the almost waterless sandy desert in Namibia. And shows how snakes, lizards and insects adapt to that harsh environment. Much of this part of the film are macro lens recordings.

East of Namibia is Botswana. Also a rather dry country most of the time. Elephant herds have to migrate over long distances to find water at last. They have to be careful because of lion attacks.

Then, from an environment with little water to one of 100% water: a coral reef in the sea off Africa. Where hawksbill sea turtles, lionfish and many other animals live.

Then, to the highest level in Africa. Mountains of over 5,000 meter, like Mount Kenya. Near the top, water, especially during freezing nights, exists only in the form of snow or ice. Special plant species have adapted to these high altitude circumstances. So have gelada baboons in the Ethiopian highlands.

Eventually, the ice melts, and forms rivers which get bigger and bigger. Pied kingfishers dive for fish into these rivers. During their long migration to Maasai Mara in Kenya, wildebeest follow the water of the rain. They have to cross river water, where Nile crocodiles which have not eaten for a year may attack them.

This is a really good film. One of the good sides is that, contrary to the film Earth by the same filmmakers, and contrary to some other good wildlife films, the film Enchanted Kingdom does not have on screen greenwash propaganda for polluting corporate sponsors.

Mary Wollstonecraft and Mary Shelley, new biography


This video from Britain is called The Life of Mary Shelley.

By Susan Darlington in Britain:

Gripping account of romantic outlaws’ pains and pleasures

Saturday 27th June 2015

Romantic Outlaws: The Extraordinary Lives of Mary Wollstonecraft and Mary Shelley by Charlotte Gordon (Hutchinson, £25)

THE SHELVES are already groaning under the weight of books about Mary Wollstonecraft and Mary Shelley. Romantic Outlaws, however, distinguishes itself by being a dual biography about mother and daughter.

Charlotte Gordon, who has previously written about poet Anne Bradstreet, examines the lives of the radical authors in parallel chapters in what is a hefty tome and in doing so shows how their lives were inextricably linked, despite Wollstonecraft dying 10 days after giving birth as a result of puerperal fever.

It would have been difficult for Shelley not to grow up in awe of her mother. She learned the alphabet from her headstone and Wollstonecraft was venerated by her father, the political philosopher William Godwin, and the intellectuals who visited their house, including Coleridge and Percy Bysshe Shelley, with whom she would elope at the age of 17.

Her upbringing, surrounded by enlightened views, was far removed from that of Wollstonecraft, whose political views were formed as an adolescent growing up with a weak mother and an alcoholic father who squandered the family’s money on failed projects. This made her determined to live on her own terms, free from financial or social dependence on men.

It was a resolution that resulted in her chasing pirates in Scandinavia and visiting Paris during the revolution. It was a city her daughter would visit 20 years later under very different circumstances, amid concerns over the new industrial age.

This would affect their writing — Wollstonecraft’s travel journals were largely optimistic while Shelley’s Frankenstein voiced a note of caution about science without ethics.

Yet while this writing gave both mother and daughter a degree of financial independence, their lives had a central contradiction in their emotional subservience to the men they loved. Wollstonecraft became obsessed with unscrupulous businessman Gilbert Imlay while her daughter suffered periods of depressive anxiety over the faithfulness of Shelley.

Their belief in free love affected not just on their own lives but had tragic consequences for women on the periphery, the book being littered with the suicides of Shelley’s first wife Harriet and Wollstonecraft’s daughter by Imlay, Fanny.

It’s a pain for which Shelley would later come to feel she was being punished for inflicting and this absence of sisterhood where love was concerned is an area that deserves more detailed analysis.

Another aspect that could be covered in more depth is the footnotes of their lives, with Godwin’s memoir of Wollstonecraft having the unintentionally damaging effect of portraying her as a hysteric. Shelley’s reputation was equally damaged by her conservative daughter-in-law Jane, who shaped her as a respectable literary wife at the cost of her desire to live along feminist ideals.

These minor points aside, this is an engaging book that shows clear affection for its subjects. It subtly points out how little progress feminism has made in some areas — the central tenets of chick lit being the same as the ones Wollstonecraft decried in 18th-century novels — and it certainly demonstrates both the excitement and pain of being a romantic outlaw.

#BlackLivesMatter and street art in Baltimore, USA


This video from the USA says about itself:

29 April. 2015

SHOCKING VIDEO: Joseph Kent, a 21-year-old Morgan State student and civil rights activist, was telling demonstrators to disperse Tuesday night after the 10 p.m. curfew as a line of police officers stood by in riot gear.

Baltimore protester’s creepy arrest on live TV prompts concerns of ‘blackbag kidnapping’. CNN was broadcasting live when a National Guard armored car drove directly toward Kent and some of the officers pushed him behind the Humvee, which drove off.

Protester with his hands up arrested by police in Baltimore

The camera followed the armored vehicle, leaving many to conclude Kent had been shoved inside.

Shocking Video broadcast live by CNN shows a prominent Baltimore activist being kidnapped off the street by five National Guard troops as an armored vehicle shields the scene from cameras.

“They ran out and grabbed him … and then arrested him,” reported CNN’s Chris Cuomo.

Kent gained attention during protests in Baltimore over the police shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri.

The music student was credited in some reports as helping to keep protests peaceful and organized.

Baltimore police could not be reached for comment on Kent’s arrest.

A local attorney said Kent had apparently been booked into jail but was not among those who will be presented for bail on Wednesday.

By Priscilla Frank in the USA, with photos there:

Baltimore Students Team Up For #BlackLivesMatter Street Art Takeover

06/25/2015 11:59 am EDT

In 2011, street artist JR made a call to art and a call to action — a call he hoped would reach people around the world. “I wish for you to stand up for what you care about by participating in a global art project,” he said. “And together, we’ll turn the world inside out.”

“Inside Out” is the name of the project, which challenges people around the globe to share their portrait and a message they believe in. Thus far, the project has attracted over 200,000 people from 112 countries, from Ecuador to Nepal to Palestine. Issues addressed range from climate change to gender-based violence, all communicated through the simple yet striking image of a large, black-and-white pasted portrait.

Now, the students of Morgan State University’s Visual Arts Department are taking a hint from JR and collaborating, along with Computer Graphics II and Computers in Art Design professor Chris Metzger, on an “Inside Out” Group Action project, a visual response to the #BlackLivesMatter Movement.

For me, Black Lives Matter — way before it became this social media movement, before it became a hashtag — it’s always been a part of my work,” artist Sheldon Scott explained in a previous interview with The Huffington Post. “We’ve been saying these things for years about … mistreatment and injustices.”

From June 17 to June 19, students teamed up to take on the facade of the future home of Open Works in Baltimore City, a space meant to serve as an incubator for Baltimore‘s creative economy.

“Research shows that Baltimore City ranks 100th out of 100 cities nationally in terms of income mobility,” program manager Will Holman explained in a statement. “We view Open Works as a ladder for youth, unemployed, and underemployed workers looking for better opportunities.” The facility will offer advanced tools and technologies for ordinary citizens, transforming Baltimore into a grounds for burgeoning tech and art scenes.

“These facilities, such as TechShop, FabLab and other homegrown maker spaces, are emerging as a new kind of civic institution, similar to schools or libraries,” BARCO Managing Director, Mac MacLure added. “Maker communities are springing up around the world as places that inspire and teach, provide access to tools and mentorship, and connect individuals with financing and customers.”

Given its potential for the creative and economic future of Baltimore, Open Works is an ideal canvas for the young faces of Baltimore’s artists and activists. The project comes at as an apt a time as ever, following the horrific events of last week’s shooting in Charleston, in which 21-year-old white gunman Dylann Roof murdered nine individuals at the historic Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church during a Bible study meeting.

The only reason someone could walk into a church and shoot people praying is out of hate,” Charleston Mayor Joe Riley said at a news conference following the massacre. “It is the most dastardly act that one could possibly imagine.”

In the wake of such tragedy, projects like “Inside Out” restore some sense of hope. The strong faces of the men and women of Baltimore’s “Inside Out” installation emanate a sense of strength, togetherness and peaceful defiance.