French ballet dancers against Macron’s austerity

This 25 December 2019 video says about itself:

Ballet Dancers Protest French Pension Reform

On the steps of the Opéra Garnier in Paris, dancers perform a piece from Swan Lake to protest against the French government’s pension reform.

The ongoing mass transit and public sector strike which is paralyzing much of transport in France to protest Macron’s pension cuts entered its fourth week today. Strikers continue to march and protest against the pension cuts, knowing that they have a broad majority of the population behind them: here.

Germany: Daimler workers support the strike wave in France: here.

French strikes enter 23rd day, beating 1995 record: here.

Chimpanzee origin of human dancing?

This 2014 video shows an orangutan dancing after drinking orange juice.

From the University of Warwick in England:

How humans learned to dance: From the chimpanzee conga line

December 12, 2019

Psychologists observing two chimpanzees in a zoo have discovered that they performed a behaviour hitherto never seen, they coordinated together in a rhythmic social ritual.

Two chimpanzees housed in a zoo in the US have sparked the question about how human dance evolved after being observed performing a duo dance-like behaviour, similar to a human conga-line.

In the paper ‘Coupled whole-body rhythmic entrainment between two chimpanzees’ published today, the 12th of December in the journal Scientific Reports, researchers led by the University of Warwick found the levels of motoric co-ordination, synchrony and rhythm between the two female chimpanzees matched the levels shown by orchestra players performing the same musical piece.

Other species have been shown to be able to entertain by moving to the pace of a rhythmic tempo by an external stimulus and solo individuals, however this is the first time it hasn’t been triggered by nonhuman partners or signals.

Although the newly described behaviour probably represents a new form a stereotypy in captivity in this great ape species, the behaviour forces scientists interested in the evolution of human dance to consider new conditions that may have catalysed the emergence of one of human’s most exuberant and richest forms of expression.

Dr Adriano Lameira, from the Department of Psychology at the University of Warwick comments:

“Dance is an icon of human expression. Despite astounding diversity around the world’s cultures and dazzling abundance of reminiscent animal systems, the evolution of dance in the human clade remains obscure.

“Dance requires individuals to interactively synchronize their whole-body tempo to their partner’s, with near-perfect precision, this explains why no dance forms were present amongst nonhuman primates. Critically, this is evidence for conjoined full-body rhythmic entrainment in great apes that could help reconstruct possible proto-stages of human dance is still lacking.”

The researchers report an endogenously-effected case of ritualized dance-like behaviour between two captive chimpanzees — synchronized bipedalism. By studying videos they revealed that synchronisation between individuals was non-random, predictable, phase concordant, maintained with instantaneous centi-second precision and jointly regulated, with individuals also taking turns as “pace-makers.”

United States Epstein pedophilia scandal cover-up attempt

This 6 September 2019 video from the USA says about itself:

Dancer Says Epstein Wanted Her to Be His Fitness Trainer

The late Jeffrey Epstein allegedly targeted New York City dance studios looking for young victims, according to one dancer. “He made it known that he was interested in dancers and models. He let his team know that and they did the work to figure out where to find those women,” dancer Marlo Fisken told Inside Edition. Fisken says she first caught wind of what was allegedly happening when she was approached by a perfect stranger with an intriguing offer.

By Kevin Reed in the USA:

New York court hears argument from “John Doe” that documents related to Jeffrey Epstein should remain sealed

7 September 2019

A federal judge in Manhattan heard arguments on Wednesday regarding the imminent release of a trove of sealed documents collected during a 2015 defamation lawsuit filed against Ghislaine Maxwell, a longtime confidante of Jeffrey Epstein. Among the documents are 29 depositions, other investigative records and an “address book” that contains over 1,000 names of Epstein’s contacts.

A motion filed on September 3 by lawyers on behalf of an anonymous “John Doe” to Judge Loretta A. Preska in the Southern District of New York asked the judge not to release the names of himself or others in the documents, arguing they should either remain sealed or be released only with redaction because identifying the individuals would unfairly harm them.

Jeffrey Epstein, the multimillionaire investment consultant and elite socialite, was awaiting trial on charges of child sex trafficking when he was found dead in his New York City prison cell on August 10. All charges against Epstein were dismissed by a federal judge on August 29 amid many unanswered questions about the case, especially the suspicious circumstances of his death.

Following an autopsy on August 11, the New York Medical Examiner Barbara Sampson ruled that Epstein’s death was a suicide by hanging. However, Epstein’s legal team—along with the majority of the public—was not satisfied with this finding and are conducting their own independent investigation saying that the evidence concerning the prison death is “far more consistent” with murder than suicide.

In a letter to Judge Preska that accompanies his legal brief, John Doe asked for his name to remain shielded in any documents that may be released, arguing that he and others could face serious damage to their reputations. He wrote that a previous judge revealed that allegations in the sealed documents include lurid details of the behavior of “nonparties to this litigation, some famous, some not” along with the names of people “who allegedly facilitated such acts”.

Non-parties are individuals not involved in the defamation lawsuit who are nonetheless named in the legal proceedings or were individuals deposed during the case. The John Doe attorney brief itself goes further saying that to release the names would “unfairly do irreparable harm to their privacy and reputational interests,” since those named would have no means of responding to the “out-of-context insinuations of wrongdoing.”

The lawyers also argued in the 10-page brief that releasing all of the names in the sealed document, whether the individuals are alleged to have committed misconduct or not, will provide the media with information that would serve to continue a “cycle of irresponsible, sensationalist reporting.”

The 2015 defamation case involved Virginia Roberts Giuffre, one of Epstein’s accusers, who said that she was coerced as a teenager into prostitution by Epstein and Maxwell. Although the case against Maxwell was settled out of court before trial in 2017, a cache of legal materials—depositions, police incident reports, photographs, receipts, flight logs and diaries—were accumulated by the lawsuit.

Among those listed in the document trove are significant US political figures such as Donald Trump, Bill Clinton, former Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell (Democrat from Maine) and former New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson. Giuffre, in the course of her legal filings, has alleged that among those within Epstein’s circle who abused her were “numerous prominent American politicians, powerful business executives, foreign presidents, a well-known Prime Minister and other world leaders.”

The legal battle over the content of the materials from the defamation case has been ongoing for months. On August 9, an appellate court released 2,000 pages of the documents that provided significant details of Epstein’s alleged behavior and abuse as well as that of his friends and associates. It should be obvious to anyone who does not have an interest in covering up the truth, that there is no accident that one day later Epstein was found dead in his Manhattan jail cell.

For her part, Judge Preska said she wanted to release all of the documents quickly and suggested that lawyers provide a framework for determining which ones the public had the right to see. Presumably basing herself on constitutional principles, Preska said that people accused of misconduct in the documents would have an opportunity to make arrangements with the court before she makes a final decision on what would be released to the public.

Given Epstein’s connections with extremely wealthy and powerful individuals—alongside of his 2008 Florida guilty plea and conviction for procuring an underage girl for prostitution—it is clear there are something on the order of 1,000 people who want to see the case against Epstein shut down as soon as possible.

Many media outlets, with the New York Times in the lead, continue to assert as fact that “Mr. Epstein killed himself in a federal jail cell last month” even though there is ample evidence to the contrary. Among them is the recent report that at least one of two prison video cameras outside of Epstein’s cell “malfunctioned” during the period of time leading up to his death. Apparently, these corporate media sources believe that if something unproven is stated as fact enough times, it will eventually be accepted as truth. However, as was reported last week, only one-third of Americans are buying this version of the story.

Lance-tailed manakins dancing in Panama, video

This video says about itself:

Excellent Display and Dancing at Lance-tailed Manakin Cam | Cornell Lab

This cam shows one display perch in a population of Lance-tailed Manakins on Isla Boca Brava, Chiriquí, Panamá, that has been monitored intensively since 1999. Lance-tailed Manakins are small passerine birds in the family Pipridae that live in secondary growth forests of Western Panama, Columbia, and Venezuela.

Watch live here.

Brazil’s Bolsonaro attacks carnival

This 1 March 2019 music and dancing video from Brazil is about the Rio de Janeiro Carnival 2019.

Now, the newly elected extreme right president of Brazil, Jair Bolsonaro, has attacked carnival.

Why? Because of the anti-Semitic carnival float recently in Aalst, Belgium? No way. Bolsonaro does not mind Jew-haters; as long as they make an exception for one Jew, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu.

As this Instagram entry shows, Bolsonaro’s campaign got help from the anti-Semitic ex-adviser of Donald Trump, Steve Bannon.

Why, then, does Bolsonaro attack carnival? Because white men a few years ago harassed a female Belgian TV journalist sexually during carnival in Germany? No way. Being a misogynist, Bolsonaro does not mind.

Why? Because a few years ago, a carnival float in the Netherlands campaigned for conservation of a rare butterfly species? That at first sight might be a plausible reason. Bolsonaro hates wildlife, especially Brazilian wildlife. But no, Bolsonaro did not mention the Dutch butterflies.

Why? Because a few years ago, a carnival float in Germany lampooned Adolf Hitler, Donald Trump, Marine Le Pen and Geert Wilders? That at first sight might be a plausible reason. Bolsonaro likes these four fellow right-wingers, especially Trump. But no, Bolsonaro did not mention the German carnival revelers lampooning these right-wing politicians.

Why, then?

Translated from (center right) Belgian daily De Standaard today:

Brazilian president denounces ‘immodest‘ carnival with an explicit video

Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro has questioned the exuberant carnival celebrations in his country in a post on Twitter. He did that with a very explicit video made during a street party. But in a country where carnival is almost sacred, the criticism is not agreed with by many people.

Bolsonaro shared a short film in which two scantily clad men can be seen at a carnival party.

To the homophobe Bolsonaro that looks like being gay. And Bolsonaro very much prefers two men killing each other to two men kissing each other. Especially if the killer is a far-right man, and the person killed a gay leftist man (or, still more preferably to Bolsonaro, a leftist lesbian woman.)

At one point one of the men bends forward, after which the other pees over his head.

Apparently, Bolsonaro making ‘fake news‘; like a Dutch daily’s tweet about Donald Trump’s supposed ‘golden shower’ was fake news.

“I do not feel comfortable showing this, but the population deserves to know the truth. This is what the carnival has become in many places. Look and draw your conclusions’, writes Bolsonaro in his tweet.

A remark that to many Brazilians sound like cursing in a church. The South American country has been organizing the most famous carnival party in the world for decades, attracting tens of thousands of tourists every year from far and wide. Local samba schools start months in advance with the preparations and organize spectacular parades and gigantic street parties.

Isolated incident

Many Brazilian Twitterers therefore note that the video that Bolsonaro shares is not representative of carnival as a whole, and only shows an isolated incident. Well-known Brazilians are also involved in the debate.

“I’ve seen so many beautiful things again at the recent carnival party. And then I see on Twitter this by the president of our country, who also shares this with all the children who follow him?’ eg, television presenter Astrid Fontenelle tweeted.

Critics of Bolsonaro also believe that the Brazilian president is attacking street parties because during the past few weeks during several of those parties there were demonstrations against his government. In addition, during the latest edition of the carnival, quite some revelers were dressed up as Bolsonaro, or their costumes referred to the allegations of his involvement in money laundering.

Brazil’s new president tweeted a very NSFW video of a “golden shower” in an apparent attempt to disparage Carnival participants and push his homophobic agenda.