Bird paintings by Aert Schouman exhibited


This 17 February 2017 Dutch video is about an exhibition in Dordrecht of bird paintings by Aert Schouman (1710-1792).

Among his works are big oil paintings for the walls of Prince William V‘s palace in The Hague.

Now, these paintings are usually in Huis ten Bosch royal palace in The Hague. However, that palace is being reconstructed (which costs lots of taxpayers’ money). So, from now till September 2017, there is an exhibition of Schouman’s work in the Dordrechts Museum in Dordrecht.

Biologists have helped with this exhibition as the birds depicted are from many countries and Schouman often did not know which exact species he depicted.

Henry David Thoreau, United States environmentalist author bicentenary


Henry David Thoreau (July 12, 1817 – May 6, 1862) was an essayist, poet, philosopher, opponent of slavery, naturalist, and historian from the USA.

This video from the USA says about him:

31 May 2009

Henry David Thoreau sought the simple life in 1845 when he moved to the woods outside Boston to live on Walden Pond. We visit the remains of his home. …

In wildness is the preservation of the world,” wrote Henry David Thoreau in 1851 at a time when he was one of the few thinking about environmental conservation. Six years previous he had embarked on a now-famous experiment in simple living. He’d gone to the woods outside Boston to live in a 150-square-foot cabin to avoid living “what was not life”. …

He spent two years, two months and two days in his cabin at Walden Pond and in 1854, he published his reflections on life in the woods in the book Walden. The book is credited with helping to inspire environmental awareness. …

Due to his detailed observations of the natural world during his days at Walden, his work is now being used to help modern scientists study climate change.

When he died in 1862, the industrial revolution was just beginning to pump greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. His recordings of when and where plants flowered in the area are now being studied to show patterns of climate change.

Conservation biologists reported in 2008 – based on Thoreau’s research- that common species are flowering 7 days earlier than they did during his day and 27% of the species he studied have disappeared (another 36% are endangered).

Henry David Thoreau did not only inspire environmentalism in the USA, but also in many other counties. This morning, Dutch Vroege Vogels radio said that without Thoreau, famous Naardermeer nature reserve would now be a landfill.

Thoreau was also a big influence on literature, both in the USA and elsewhere. Walden, the name of Thoreau’s cabin and book, became the name for the Walden utopian socialist community in the Gooi region as well; founded by Dutch poet Frederik van Eeden.

From the site of The Thoreau Society in the USA:

Thoreau Bicentennial Gathering: Celebrating the Life, Works, and Legacy of Henry David Thoreau

The Thoreau Society Annual Gathering & Bicentennial Celebration of
Thoreau’s Life, Works, and Legacy

July 11-16, 2017
Concord, Massachusetts

Be it life or death, we crave only reality.
Henry D. Thoreau

Miffy the rabbit artist Dick Bruna, RIP


This video says about itself:

Farmer John • Miffy Classics

17 February 2017

Farmer John is plantings seeds. The hungry birds are eating all his seeds. He is angry and makes a scarecrow to scare them of. After a while the seeds turn into beautiful blue flowers. He also makes a birdhouse. Now he can enjoy his flowers and the birds eating the seeds he gives them.

From the Daily Mirror in Britain:

Dick Bruna dead: Creator of cartoon rabbit Miffy dies in his sleep after selling 80 million books

Bruna began his career as an illustrator of covers for books including Ian Fleming‘s James Bond series and the Inspector Maigret thrillers of Georges Simenon

By Thomas Escrit

14:07, 17 FEB 2017

Dick Bruna, the children’s author and artist who created the cartoon white rabbit Miffy, has died aged 89.

Bruna, who sold more than 80 million Miffy books, died in his sleep last night in his hometown of Utrecht, his publisher said in a statement.

Bruna created the character to entertain his infant son after seeing a rabbit in the dunes while on a seaside holiday.

He went on to relate the giant-eared, orange-pullovered bunny’s adventures in dozens of books sold worldwide.

Born in 1929 into a family of publishers, Bruna began his career as an illustrator of covers for books including Ian Fleming’s James Bond series and the Inspector Maigret thrillers of Georges Simenon.

Miffy, known as Nijntje in Dutch, was his best known creation, enjoying great popularity in Asia and adorning lunchboxes the world over.

Film on 1871 Paris Commune reviewed


This video from London, England says about itself:

15 February 2017

The New Babylon is a 1929 Russian silent film about the 1871 Paris Commune. It was directed by Grigori Kozintsev and Leonid Trauberg, with a musical score by Dmitri Shostakovich. Ian Christie, Professor of Film and Media History at Birkbeck College, explains the importance of this film from a political and film history context.

New crab species gets Harry Potter name


This video says about itself:

1 February 2017

A new species of crab has been named after two characters from JK Rowling‘s “Harry Potter” stories, according to a new study in “ZooKeys”.

From Science News:

Coral reef crab named after Harry Potter characters

16 years after its discovery, the crustacean is labeled a new species

By Helen Thompson

7:00am, February 13, 2017

Deep beneath coral rubble in reefs off the coast of Guam, there lives a pale, black-eyed crab whose true taxonomic character has long been unknown.

In 2001, amateur researcher Harry Conley discovered the translucent crab burrowing among reef rocks. Eventually, two specimens — each several millimeters long — came to the lab of biologist Peter Ng at the National University of Singapore. Now, Ng and colleague Jose Mendoza have identified the quirky crustacean as a new species and bestowed on it the moniker Harryplax severus, the researchers report January 23 in ZooKeys.

The genus name honors two Harrys: Conley, who died in 2002 and had a reputation for finding otherworldly ocean critters, and Harry Potter, the titular character in J.K. Rowling’s popular books. Mendoza, a Potter fan, suggested the species designation severus — a reference to the books’ notoriously uptight and misjudged Severus Snape, whose true nature remains elusive until the series’ end.

H. severus belongs to a group of crabs first found in shadowy caves on Christmas Island. With small beady eyes, well-developed antennae, washed-out coloration and long legs, the crabs are suited to the dimly lit nooks and crannies of Guam’s rubble beds — a place where Snape, a prickly potions master who worked in a dungeon, might feel right at home.

Cuban art exhibition in London


This video from England says about itself:

14 February 2017

The ¡Presente! exhibition gathered, for the first time in London, the work of over 30 contemporary Cuban artists. With curators and artists from the island visiting the city, it also represented an opportunity for conversation and exchange on arts, culture and education.

Dog drawing by Rembrandt discovery


Dog, by Rembrandt

Translated from Dutch NOS TV:

Drawing of dog turns out to be real Rembrandt

Today, 12:49

A chalk drawing of a dog which had been in possession of a German museum for centuries appears to be the work of Rembrandt van Rijn. International experts confirm that. “It’s 110 percent Rembrandt“, said the Dutch Rembrandt expert Peter Schatborn.

The Herzog Anton Ulrich Museum in Braunschweig has had the drawing in their collection since about 1770. Until now it was considered to be a work by the German artist Johann Melchior Roos. …

Schatborn calls it a nice addition to the known works of the Dutch master. “There are of course some 700 drawings by Rembrandt. It is special if there is found something new by such an old master.” He says it’s one of the few drawings which Rembrandt made of dogs.