Liebster Award, thanks so much Emilia!


Liebster Award

My dear blogging friend Emilia of the blog BookBug’s World… has been so kind to nominate my blog for the Liebster Award.

Thanks so much, Emilia, and best wishes for you and your blog!

Here are the rules of this award:

Thank the person who nominated you and link to their blog!
Give your readers 11 random facts about yourself.
Answer the 11 questions from the blogger who nominated you.
Nominate 11 bloggers to receive this award.
Come up with 11 questions for your nominees!

11 facts about me are:

1. Where did most visits to my blog come from so far today?

Country Views
United States FlagUnited States 69
New Zealand FlagNew Zealand 5
Australia FlagAustralia 5
United Kingdom FlagUnited Kingdom 4
China FlagChina 4
Netherlands FlagNetherlands 4
Canada FlagCanada 4
France FlagFrance 2
Malaysia FlagMalaysia 2
Japan FlagJapan 2
South Korea FlagSouth Korea 2
Philippines FlagPhilippines 1
Hungary FlagHungary 1

2. Where did most visits to my blog come from this month?

Top Views by Country for 30 days ending 2015-05-28 (Summarized)

Country Views
United States FlagUnited States 6,710
United Kingdom FlagUnited Kingdom 1,761
Jamaica FlagJamaica 701
Netherlands FlagNetherlands 544
Canada FlagCanada 375
Australia FlagAustralia 339
Germany FlagGermany 283
France FlagFrance 272
India FlagIndia 174
Romania FlagRomania 157
Belgium FlagBelgium 126
New Zealand FlagNew Zealand 114
Norway FlagNorway 113

3. Which blog posts and pages attracted most visits so far today?

Title Views
Home page / Archives 7
Most hated animals top 50 3
Edward Snowden ‘is a hero’, Apple founder says 3
Bahraini king’s sexual harassment of Lebanese singer 3
Very Inspiring Blogger Award, thank you Vijay! 2
Will innocent Guantanamo prisoner be free at last? 2
Abused Peruvian ex-circus bear’s rehabilitation 2
Obama lizard became extinct with dinosaurs 2
PJ Harvey song about Guantanamo prisoner 2
Spanish republicans organize referendum on monarchy 2

4. Which blog posts and pages attracted most visits yesterday?

Title Views
Home page / Archives 28
‘British politician abused children’ 21
Stop wasting food, petition in Britain 19
Buddhist clerical sexual abuse in the Netherlands 12
NSA spying and Germany 6
Helen Keller photo rediscovered after 120 years 6
Poisonous caterpillars infest Spurn Point in England 6
Rubens, Rembrandt, differences in what they painted 6
Most hated animals top 50 6
New ‘apeman’ species discovery in Ethiopia 6

5. Which blog posts and pages attracted most visits to my blog this month?

2015-04-28 to Today

6. Which search terms brought most visits to my blog this month?

Search Terms for 30 days ending 2015-05-28 (Summarized)

Search Views
helen keller 8
nigel farage wife 6
poisonous caterpillars 5
egyptian sarcophagus 5
the oldest tortoise in kenya 4
sexism in yemen 4
will the whales be migratingoff of camano island?? 2015 4
jim murphy and blairism 4
ruach ministries scandal 4
slave market jakarta 3
crow gives little girl gifts 3

7. Which search terms brought most visits to my blog ever since it moved to WordPress in December 2011?

All Time

Search Views
iguana 433
watergate scandal 386
prostitution in bahrain 366
egyptian sarcophagus 324
poisonous caterpillars 303
atsinganosaurus velauciensis 257
napalm girl 249
iraq war 208
long tailed tit 200
cercopithecus lomamiensis 189

8. On which links did visitors to my blog click most this year?

Clicks for 365 days ending 2015-05-28 (Summarized)

URL Clicks
en.wikipedia.org 1,137
WordPress.com Media 412
rspb.org.uk 93
nos.nl 85
morningstaronline.co.uk 78
theguardian.com 70
snopes.com 67
independent.co.uk 63
wsws.org 63
allytimberwolfblog.wordpress.com/2014/01/26/butterfly/ 62

9. Which referrers referred most to my blog this week?

2015-05-21 to Today

10. Which referrers referred most to my blog ever since it moved to WordPress in December 2011?

All Time

Referrer Views
Search Engines 301,485
WordPress.com Reader 13,754
Facebook 6,828
WordPress Dashboard 5,352
Twitter 3,628
mail.yahoo.com 3,046
topix.com 1,761
en.gravatar.com/petrel41 1,279

11. Which search engines referred most to my blog ever since it moved to WordPress in December 2011?

All Time

Referrer Views
Search Engines 301,486
Google Search 215,583
Google Image Search 56,272
Bing 13,948
Yahoo Search 8,208
AOL 1,293
Google Mobile 838
Ask.com 818
Yahoo Image Search 699
duckduckgo.com 550

My answers to Emilia’s questions are:

1. Mountains or sea? One can find beauty in both.
2. Walk or bike? Walk.
3. Sweet or salty? Salty.
4. Hot&humid or warm&breezy? Warm & breezy.
5. Beer or wine? Pineapple juice.
6. Airplane or car? Bus.
7. City or farm? City.
8. Ice cream or sherbet? Ice cream.
9. Mystery or Romance? Both.
10. Sunbathing or hiking? Hiking.
11. Hardcover or paperback? Depends on the contents.

My eleven questions are:

1. Which country have you never visited yet, but would you like to?

2. Who is your favourite musician?

3. Which politician, anywhere in the world, should resign?

4. Who is your favourite sports person?

5. Who is your favourite author?

6. Who is your favourite visual artist?

7. Which is your favourite quote?

8. Which is your favourite food?

9. Which is your favourite blog?

10. Which is your favourite news site?

11. Where would you blog if your present blog host would stop?

My eleven nominees are:

1. ON VA TOUS MOURIR

2. The Hairy Housewife

3. CIGUDEG pleis bilong tu mi

4. Be Like a Lady

5. Chista Note

6. This Labyrinth I Roam

7. tsuyopinn blog

8. mysuccessisyoursuccess

9. Cindy Knoke

10. Kaligrafi Nusantara

11. Talains Photography Blog

Portuguese birds, new Internet site


This is a lesser spotted woodpecker video from Portugal.

From BirdLife:

Portugal’s birding at your fingertips

By Nuno Barros, Tue, 26/05/2015 – 14:50

Now available at your fingertips, all you need to know about more than 100 species of bird and birdwatching in mainland Portugal, the Azores and Madeira archipelagos. Yes, you can find all the information you need to know about all the best birding sites that the country has to offer, itineraries, and many other interesting facts and figures on the Portuguese Society for the Study of Bird’s (SPEA/BirdLife partner) new website.

Found in the south-western part of Europe, Portugal is a small but beautiful country, home to friendly people, a huge myriad of habitats, and many southern European bird species. In the last few years, more and more birdwatchers have come and discovered the many wonders of birding in Portugal, mostly in the Alentejo and Algarve regions. The country’s year round great weather conditions and ease of spotting elusive birds like the Black-winged Kite, Little Bittern, Great Bustard or Azure-Winged Magpie draws birders from far and wide.

Even in the peak of winter you can expect to see more than 100 species in a week, and with a bit of luck, enjoy some sunny days. And Portugal is so small, so it’s easy to jump from one amazing birding hot spot to another, and along with the local cuisine, culture and landscapes, a visit is simply a must.

There are certainly many other places to go birdwatching in Portugal and it’s islands, but this platform provides birdwatchers with what SPEA thinks are all you need to know about the “best” birding sites around, places that not surprisingly overlap with Important Bird and BiodiversityAreas (IBAs), the conservation background that is SPEA’s stronghold.

So all bird lovers, we invite you to come and explore our website, and see what this magnificent corner of Europe has to offer. You can also come to our next Sagres Birdwatching and Nature activities Festival, from 1-4th October, to celebrate some of Portugal’s birdwatching wonders.

Versatile Blogger Award, thanks Eye-Dancers!


Versatile Blogger Award

Mike of the blog Eye-Dancers has been so kind to nominate this blog for the Versatile Blogger Award.

Thank you so much for this generous gesture, and best wishes for you and your blog!

Here are the rules for the Versatile Blogger Award:

Thank the person who gave you this award.
Include a link to their blog.
Next, select 15 blogs/bloggers that you’ve recently discovered or follow regularly.
Nominate those 15 bloggers for the Versatile Blogger Award with links to their blogs.
Finally, post 7 things about yourself. (Answer the questions from the person who nominates you, and then ask 7 of your own.)
Also remember to add the Versatile Blogger image to your post.

My answers to Mike’s seven questions are:

1. You have the opportunity to step into a time machine and choose any destination you want: past or future. When and where would you go?

The White House in Washington, D.C. in the USA, in March 2003. To stop the Iraq war just before it started.

2. When you were growing up, did you have an idol? If so, who was it?

Melina Mercouri.

3. You have three choices, and only three: you can watch either a 007 movie, an Alfred Hitchcock classic, or a reality TV show. Which one do you watch?

Alfred Hitchcock.

4. What do you enjoy most about blogging?

Many things … including making hyperlinks to more information than is in my blog posts themselves.

5. What is something about you (it could be a hobby, interest, talent–anything) that most of your friends would be surprised to learn?

Years ago, I used to be fairly good at long-distance running.

6. If money were not an object and you could do anything you wanted for a career or profession, what would you do?

Start a media business to counter lies by Rupert Murdoch, Silvio Berlusconi and their ilk.

7. There are three items on the table in front of you (only three!): a chocolate bar, a Stephen King paperback, and a Rubik’s Cube. Which of these do you reach for?

The chocolate.

My seven questions for my nominees are:

1. In which city, town or village (except where you live), anywhere in the world, would you like to live?

2. In which city, town or village (except where you live), anywhere in the world, would you never like to live?

3. Which screen do you watch more: computer screen or TV screen?

4. Do you watch sports on TV?

5. If yes, what is your favourite sport on TV?

6. What is your favourite kind of music?

7. What is your best experience so far in 2015?

My 15 nominees are:

1. It Is What It Is

2. Heirloom

3. Dragos Calinescu

4. Animalcouriers

5. Chasing Color

6. nightwithdeer

7. Peterson Ssendi

8. Celebración de la voz humana

9. Will the real reality please stand up!

10. Kintal

11. Minding My P’s With Q

12. Seeing Spots Photography

13. Micheline’s Blog

14. Good Music Speaks

15. Maria Luisa Marcelino

African-American poetess Aja Monet on police bruatality


Aja Monet, Say her name

From the Huffington Post in the USA:

Poet Aja Monet Confronts Police Brutality Against Black Women With #SayHerName

Posted: 05/21/2015 3:32 pm EDT Updated: 05/22/2015 5:59 pm EDT

Melissa Williams,” Aja Monet reads, “Darnisha Harris.” Her voice is strong; it marches along, but it shakes a little, although not from nerves. She’s performing a poem that includes the forgotten names of girls and women who’ve been injured or killed by the police. She finishes forcefully, then pauses, exhales. “Can I do that again?” she asks. “It’s my first time reading it out loud, and … ” she trails off.

Monet had written the poem — a contribution to the #SayHerName campaign, a necessary continuation of the Black Lives Matter movement focusing on overlooked police violence against women — earlier that morning. That evening, she’d read it at a vigil. Now, she was practicing on camera, surprised by the power of her own words.

As a poet, Monet is prolific. She’s been performing both music and readings for some time — at 19, she was the youngest ever winner of New York City’s Nuyorican Poet’s Café Grand Slam — and her work has brought her to France, Bermuda and Cuba, from where her grandmother fled, and where she recently learned she still has extended family. Next month, she’ll return to visit them. But first, she wants to contribute to a campaign she believes in.

Though she’s disheartened that a hashtag is necessary to capture people’s attention — “I think #SayHerName is the surface level of the issues but beneath that there is the real question of, ‘Why?’” she says — Monet wields her art to achieve social and political justice. While discussing political poetry with a fellow artist in Palestine, he observed, “Art is more political than politics.” “I feel him,” she says. “I think he’s right.”

Can you explain #SayHerName in your own words?

It is us calling out the lack of attention on women of color also affected by state violence. We recognize the power of our voices and so we raise the spirits of our sisters by daring to utter their names.

A recent Washington Post write-up said it’s difficult to even quantify police brutality against black women. How will #SayHerName honor those whose stories are lost?

I can’t speak for what a hashtag will do in the actual hearts of people but I know that anything worth paying attention to these days in America has to be sold and marketed as if worth buying into. We recognize that the attention span of our generation is so short: How else do we make the issues we care about accessible and also relevant? This is what activism has come to. This is where we are at in the age of the Internet. We must be honest with ourselves about how human interaction is now only affirmed or confronted based on the projected world we live in through screens.

I think #SayHerName is the surface level of the issues, but beneath that there is the real question of “Why?” Why do I need to make saying her name a hashtag for you to pay attention? The goal is to use this as an opportunity to redirect the attention of people, to hopefully get folks researching the names and stories of all the women we’ve lost. To educate themselves so we are all more informed on how policing works. Black women’s bodies are the most policed bodies in this country.

Also, I didn’t read the Washington Post write-up, but it seems silly to me. Like, of course it’s difficult to quantify any brutality against human beings. It’s not more difficult when it comes to black women, I think it’s just easier for us to ignore them because if we acknowledge them then we must acknowledge all of the women affected by violence and brutality, not just by police but by an entire patriarchal, racist system. We keep scratching the surface of these issues and neglecting the root, which is this country never loved black people, and of course that meant black women. We who birth the men they also hate. We are an extension of each other.

What inspired this poem, and what inspires your poetry in general?

I was at an event where I read a poem in solidarity with my Palestinian brothers and sisters, and Eve Ensler was in the audience. We spoke briefly after and she admired the poem I read. I was honored and she gave me her email. I followed up immediately the next day and informed her that if she ever needed a poet at any point, I’d be there, no questions asked.

She responded with this vigil for #SayHerName and asked if I’d be willing to read a poem. I have been meditating on this issue of women of color affected by police brutality, but the poem hadn’t quite come to me yet. I started writing a piece for Rekia Boyd but it just isn’t ready to be done yet. So I woke early the morning of the vigil and forced myself to write this poem. I sat with all the names of the women and I asked them that I may find the words to do justice. They came to me hours before I had to meet with you all to record.

And maybe they’ll change, but the process of inspiration is a strange thing. For the most part I call on my ancestors. Not to be all, “I call on my ancestors,” but it’s true. I know I’m not the only one writing when I write. I also know that more times than not inspiration is subjective. You can find inspiration in anything if you pay attention. If you’re careful enough to notice how divine this world is and we are, to be here together, creating.

Obviously you appreciate overtly political art — why do you think political art can be powerful?

I met an artist in Palestine who said “art is more political than politics.” I feel him. I think he’s right.

I think being an artist, you are in the business of telling it like it is. You create of the world you live in, unapologetically. What that means is you aren’t catering to an eye or group or specific niche so much as your own truth as you see fit. Politicians, on the other hand, are constantly determining their worth and issue relevance based on approval ratings and polls. They are always campaigning, which becomes less about the issues we need to be dealing with and more about who can be bought to speak about what you want them to speak about. It’s an ugly game I want no business in.

Art that addresses the business of politics recognizes its power and influence. It unveils the mask of “politics” and gets to the people we are fighting for. It does the difficult work of reaching people’s hearts and minds. No great change takes place without art. It’s necessary.

Who are some fellow poets you currently admire?

Since we are in the spirit of saying her name, here’s a few names: Jayne Cortez, Wanda Coleman, Carolyn Rodgers, June Jordan, Audre Lorde and, of course, my sister, Phillis Wheatley.

Monet’s two books of poetry, Inner City Chants and Cyborg Ciphers and The Black Unicorn Sings are available online.