Celebrate International Bat Night in English church, 28 August


This 29 September video from the USA says about itself:

Bats: Guardians of the Night

Visit Bat Conservation International to learn more about these amazing species and what we can do to protect them.

From Wildlife Extra:

Unique opportunity to celebrate International Bat Night

On Friday 28 August, to mark International Bat Night, The Churches Conservation Trust (CCT) is offering wildlife enthusiasts, their families and friends the opportunity to stay overnight in a 13th century church inhabited by a colony of Natterer’s bats.

Guests are invited to sleep in the aisle of the church and sample “champing” (church camping) whilst learning more about the mysterious creatures overhead from bat experts on site.

The event will take place at The Church of St John the Baptist in Parson’s Drove, Cambridgeshire, a stunning Grade II* church which has been in The CCT’s care since 1974 and which is a long-time favourite of both bats and architecture enthusiasts.

An expert bat-handler will lead the evening with a presentation about the fascinating animals and everyone will have a chance to try out the bat detectors.

After sunset, the bats will appear from under the church roof and guests can help The CCT count them as they emerge for their night’s feeding.

The unique break was inspired by The CCT’s hugely successful champing holiday breaks, which give people the chance to stay overnight in some of the UK’s most beautiful churches.

Camp beds will be provided in the aisles of the church so guests can get some rest before rising at 4.30am to enjoy the spectacle of the bats swarming back to the church. A hearty breakfast will be provided at 8.30am.

The bat survey will be crucial in helping ecologists on site understand more about these mysterious creatures. For more information about the event please visit The CCT website here.

This event is suitable for children over eight. Families with younger children are welcome to join in without champing at the evening-only event. Tea, coffee and squash included in the ticket price and all children will receive a free bat toy!

Bat Champing Packages cost from £45 (£25 for under 16s) including breakfast, bat talks, bat detectors and bed in an aisle of a stunning 13th century church

Bat Watching Evening tickets are available for £5 (£2 for children)

Chilean Pinochet officers charged with murdering singer Victor Jara


This 1973 music video is called Victor Jara: El derecho de vivir en Paz.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Chile: 10 former soldiers charged with Victor Jara murder

Friday 24th July 2015

TEN CHILEAN former military officers have been charged with the 1973 murder of legendary folk singer Victor Jara.

The charges, announced late on Wednesday by Judge Miguel Vazquez, include the murder and kidnapping of Mr Jara and former military police director Littre Quiroga Carvajal.

Communist Party member Mr Jara was one of thousands of people rounded up after General Augusto Pinochet’s US-backed coup against socialist president Salvador Allende on September 11 1973.

Opponents of the coup were herded into a stadium in Santiago de Chile to be tortured and murdered.

Mr Jara played a borrowed guitar and sang songs for the detainees until soldiers broke his hands. He kept singing until his death.

The announcement of the charges against the officers came a day after seven former soldiers — two former officers and five former non-commissioned officers — were arrested for burning a teenage photographer to death during 1986 protests against Pinochet’s regime.

Soldiers doused Rodrigo Rojas, 19, and Carmen Quintana, 18, with petrol and set them on fire during a street demonstration.

Ms Quintana thanked a former soldier, identified as Fernando Guzman, for coming forward with new information on the case.

She said the soldiers involved were also victims of the dictatorship because they had received death threats to intimidate them into keeping silent.

Filmmaker Miyazaki against remilitarising Japan


This 2013 video is called A List of the Best Hayao Miyazaki (Japanese Anime) Movies on DVD and Blu-ray.

By Richard Phillips:

Veteran filmmaker Hayao Miyazaki denounces government plans to remilitarise Japan

21 July 2015

Acclaimed animator and filmmaker Hayao Miyazaki last week denounced Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s moves to undermine the country’s nominally pacifist post-World War II constitution and called for an unambiguous apology to China and Korea for Japanese war crimes committed during World War II.

Miyazaki made the comments last Monday, a few days before Abe’s right-wing Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) government, with the backing of its ally New Komeito, pushed 11 new “collective self-defence” bills through the parliament’s lower house.

The measures, which are expected to be rubber-stamped during the next two months in the upper house where the LDP has a majority, are based on the government’s “reinterpretation” of the constitution in July last year.

Final passage of the new legislation will allow the foreign deployment of Japanese troops with the US and other military allies and are in line with a US-Japan military agreement signed in April and Washington’s “pivot” to Asia aimed at militarily encircling China.

“I think we are going in completely the wrong direction,” Miyazaki told a meeting hosted by the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Japan and streamed live over the Internet.

Japan’s challenge, he said, is to find a new means of creating peace and stability in the region. “Prime Minister Abe seems to want to be remembered in history as the man who revised the constitution and remilitarised Japan, but this is despicable,” the 74-year-old animator said.

During the hour-long press conference Miyazaki also noted the approaching 70th anniversary of the end of WWII, and said Tokyo should make “very clear that [Japan’s] aggressive war was a complete mistake and that we have deep regret for the great damage it caused the people of China

“Regardless of the political situation, Japan has to have deep remorse over a long period of militarist activities in China. There are many people who want to forget this, but it is something that must never be forgotten.”

Miyazaki, a liberal pacifist, has carved out a five-decade career as an animator, filmmaker, writer and manga artist and founded Studio Ghibli. While his meticulous, hand-drawn animations have always been popular with millions of Japanese youth, international releases of his full-length features—Princess Mononoke (1997), Spirited Away (2001), Howls Moving Castle (2008), Ponyo (2008) and The Wind Rises (2013)—brought him a global audience and numerous awards, including an Academy lifetime achievement award, the first anime director to receive the prize.

Miyazaki’s denunciations of the Abe government are another indication of widespread anti-war sentiment in Japan and, in particular, the mass opposition to the government’s efforts to legitimise overseas operations by the Japanese military.

According to a Kyodo News poll conducted on the weekend, the Abe government’s approval rating plunged by 9.7 points to 37.7 percent, the lowest since it was elected in December 2012. More than 70 percent of those surveyed were opposed to the way the security legislation was pushed through the parliament.

Last month about 25,000 people demonstrated outside the Japanese parliament against the government’s new self-defence laws. Over 20,000 marched to the parliament last Tuesday and another 6,000 demonstrated on Saturday over the lower-house passage of the new legislation and carrying placards stating “We will not tolerate Abe’s politics.”

Miyazaki’s anti-war views are well-known. He refused to visit the US to receive an Oscar for Spirited Away in protest against the US invasion of Iraq and is an official spokesman for the Henko campaign group, which is opposing the construction of a new US marine base at Onaga in northern Okinawa.

The popular animator and filmmaker’s political outlook, however, is a confused combination of pacifism, Japanese liberalism and environmentalism.

In a lengthy interview in 2013, Miyazaki forthrightly denounced Abe and others “who mess around with our [pacifist] constitution,” appealed for the government to pay compensation to Chinese, Japanese and Korean “comfort women” enslaved by the Japanese military during WWII and called for a negotiated solution to the territory conflicts with China and Korea.

In the same interview, however, Miyazaki declared that he supported previous Japanese military missions in Iraq and the Persian Gulf, repeating the official lie that Japanese involvement had been “humanitarian.”

United States jazz musician Jeremy Pelt on Eric Garner’s death


This music video says about itself:

1 November 2012

Jeremy Pelt Quintet in “We’ll Be Together Again” (Fischer-Laine), Live al Duc des Lombards – Paris

Jeremy Pelt trumpet, Roxy Coss sax, David Bryant piano, Dwayne Burno bass, Jonathan Barber drums.

By Chris Searle in Britain:

Art, protest and restless humanity, never quelled

Tuesday 21st July 2015

Trumpeter Jeremy Pelt echoes a nation’s grief as US police continue to target, hurt and kill innocent black men, writes CHRIS SEARLE

Tales, Musings and Other Reveries
(High Note HCD 7270)
Jeremy Pelt

IT WAS July 17 2014 on a busy shopping street in Staten Island, New York City. A 43-year-old African-American ex-horticulturalist from the New York Parks and Recreation Department, Eric Garner, was confronted by some police officers, accused of selling “loosies” — single cigarettes from unlicensed and untaxed packs.

An argument ensued, with an officer — one Daniel Pantaleo — putting Garner into a 15-second chokehold and forcing him face down onto the pavement.

Garner spluttered: “I can’t breathe!” 11 times while his head was held down. An ambulance was called, and by the time it arrived at the hospital an hour later, Garner was dead.

After a grand jury decided not to charge Pantaleo for murder, there were nationwide protests and demonstrations at yet another fatal police attack on an African-American, and the mass indignation spread into popular culture too. No more efficaciously than in the new album by the southern Californian-born trumpeter Jeremy Pelt, Tales, Musings and Other Reveries.

In his sleeve notes, Pelt remembers “witnessing Los Angeles go up in flames” after the broadcasting of footage showing police beating black taxi driver Rodney King following a high-speed car chase though the city’s streets in 1991, and the subsequent acquittal of the police officers.

In the track Ruminations on Eric Garner, the twin brutalities against King and Garner are brought together in Pelt’s powerful hornplay and the two sets of pulsating drums of Virginian Billy Drummind and Victor Lewis of Omaha, Nebraska.

Pianist Simona Premazzi and bassist Ben Allison are there in the introduction and fading finale, but all the rest is Pelt, Drummond and Lewis creating an incensed colloquy of brass, skin and cymbal, with the trumpeter’s high-pitched runs and soaring, defiant notes calling out like a clamour for justice, and the two drummers pitched in the earth of wronged and savaged humanity.

I Only Miss Her When I Think of Her, which follows, is very different, with Pelt’s beautifully bent notes and burnished tone singing of love and tenderness. Nephthys is songlike and full of rapture, with the drums and Allison’s throbbing bass dancing below Pelt’s high horn trajectory. Premazzi seems to love the two drummers beside her too, and her keys jump off their sound.

Pelt writes that the blues piece The Old Soul of the Modern Day Wayfarer is about him and “the soujourner in myself” as if the nomadic musical life and the perennial touring has in some way defined his sound. His note-perfect delivery brings into strange unity the form of Art Farmer and the fierce passion of Freddie Hubbard: quite a fusion of excellence and tradition.

The hard bop classic Glass Bead Games, written by the tenor saxophonist Clifford Jordan, is transformed into a brass rhapsody by Pelt, flying above Lewis’s and Drummond’s pounding drums. Premazzi’s solo enriches the artistry before the drummers have their own palaver, loving their togetherness, prefacing Pelt’s final flourish as a salute to their union. Then there is Vonetta, written by another great tenorist, the survivor Wayne Shorter, for the 1967 Miles Davis album The Sorcerer. Pelt’s long, anguished notes reveal an unexpected tenderness in the heart of enchantment.

Pelt’s own Harlem Thoroughfare is a quasi-Ellingtonian title for another side of New York, and its village of black achievement. Premazzi’s solo is racked with complexities and Pelt is the griot and historian of his own dwelling place.

Pelt blows with a tender lucidity and Allison’s bass palpitates all through Everything You Can Imagine is Real, a dictum attributed to Picasso, whose Guernica is close to Pelt’s home, there in the New York Museum of Modern Art. The man who painted that would have understood Pelt’s artistry and his Ruminations on Eric Garner, that’s for sure. They come from the same soul of art, protest and restless humanity, never to be quelled or silenced.

Etruscan women exhibition in 2011


This 2014 video is called Etruscan Necropolises of Cerveteri and Tarquinia (UNESCO/NHK)

Lucas Knitel told on 27 November 2011 about the exhibition on Etruscan women at the Antiquities Museum in Leiden.

This exhibition is the counterpart of the present exhibition about Etruscan men, in the Allard Pierson Museum in Amsterdam.

In this culture in ancient Italy, women had a relatively strong position (somewhat like Egypt), if compared to Athens and other Greek states, Rome, and Mesopotamia.

We do not know as much about Etruscan culture as we might like. Much of their temples and other buildings were made of wood, so few of these survive. We also know much more about rich Etruscans than about poor ones. And the Etruscan language is still a problem. Not because of their alphabet, similar to the Greek alphabet; but because their language is unrelated to most European languages in antiquity.

There are varous theories on the origins of Etruscans. Eg, Italian nationalists tend to claim they were “autochthonous” ancient Italians. Another theory claims they were immigrants from Asia Minor. Mr Knitel tended to favour a third theory: that Etruscans were immigrants from central Europe. In what is now Austria, the Rhaetic language was spoken in antiquity. It seems that Rhaetian is related to Etruscan.