Real Neat Blog Award, congratulations for ten bloggers


Real Neat Blog Award

Late in 2014, I made this new award: the Real Neat Blog Award. There are so many bloggers whose blogs deserve more attention. So, I will try to do something about that :)

It is the first award that I ever made. I did some computer graphics years ago, before I started blogging; but my computer drawing had become rusty :)

The ‘rules’ of the Real Neat Blog Award are: (feel free not to act upon them if you don’t have time; or don’t accept awards; etc.):

1. Put the award logo on your blog.

2. Answer 7 questions asked by the person who nominated you.

3. Thank the people who nominated you, linking to their blogs.

4. Nominate any number of bloggers you like, linking to their blogs.

5. Let them know you nominated them (by commenting on their blog etc.)

My seven questions are:

1. Where do most visits to your blog come from?

2. What is your favourite sport?

3. What has been a special moment for you in 2015 so far?

4. What is your favourite quote?

5. What was your favourite class when still at school?

6. Anything you had wished to have learned earlier?

7. What musical instrument have you tried to play?

My nominees are:

1. Gringa of the Barrio

2. Belinda Crane

3. Axel The Key

4. Cloud of Lace

5. Lady Budd

6. The Reporter and the Girl

7. Surrendering My Shield

8. Dorkchops

9. Between Two Seas

10. The Adventures of a Russian Rambler

Dutch national bird election, 28 candidates with videos


This is a video of a kingfisher trying to eat a frog.

As this blog mentioned before, there is an election of the national bird of the Netherlands on the Internet.

There was already unofficial voting for five candidate bird species.

Today, the official long list of 28 species has been published. You can vote here. You vote for three species out of 28 there. These votes will be used for a making a shortlist, on which people will vote again later this year.

Two species which had been on the above mentioned unofficial list are not on this official long list: brent goose and marsh harrier.

This video is about jackdaws (and a peacock) in England. The jackdaw is one of the 28 Dutch candidates; as is the kingfisher; the peacock is not.

Then, another candidate: the spoonbill.

This is an Eurasian spoonbill video.

And now, videos about the other candidates.

This is a black-tailed godwit video.

This is a video of a great cormorant, drying its wings in the sun on Texel island in the Netherlands.

This is a grey heron video.

This is a barn swallow video.

This is a buzzard video.

This is a great crested grebe video, about their courtship dance.

This is a jay video.

This video is called Juvenile common swift practising flight in nest box.

This is a great spotted woodpecker video.

This is a house sparrow video.

This is a northern lapwing video.

This video says about itself:

Mute Swan Protecting its Nest – Helped by A Canada Goose

A mute swan did not like another swan getting too close its nest, meanwhile a family of Canada geese were trying to get past.

The mute swan is one of the 28 candidate species. The Canada goose is not.

However, the greater white-fronted goose is a candidate.

This video is called Bird migration in The Netherlands – Greater White-fronted Goose.

This is a great tit video.

This is a blackbird video.

This is a white stork video.

This is a robin video.

This is an oystercatcher video.

This video is about a singing starling.

This is a little owl video.

This video is about a kestrel nest.

This is a common tern video.

This video shows a mallard with ducklings.

This video shows young white-tailed eagles in slow motion. It also shows magpies; but magpies are not one of the 28 candidate species.

And, finally, this video is about herring gulls, and about great black-backed gulls. Herring gulls are candidates; great black-backed gulls are not.

Seal pups live on webcam


This video from the USA says about itself:

A harbor seal (Phoca vitulina) mother giving birth to a pup and their first swim. Footage was taken at a harbor seal rookery in southern Puget Sound, Washington during observations in 2004 under NMFS MMPA research permit # 782-1702. Video by Dyanna Lambourn, edited by Caitlin McIntyre, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Dutch conservation organisation Het Groninger Landschap reports today about harbour seals living in the Dollard estuary.

At the moment, there are about fifty seal mothers with pups there. You can see them full screen on a webcam, here.

Real Neat Blog Award for ten bloggers


Real Neat Blog Award

Late in 2014, I made this new award: the Real Neat Blog Award. There are so many bloggers whose blogs deserve more attention. So, I will try to do something about that :)

It is the first award that I ever made. I did some computer graphics years ago, before I started blogging; but my computer drawing had become rusty :)

The ‘rules’ of the Real Neat Blog Award are: (feel free not to act upon them if you don’t have time; or don’t accept awards; etc.):

1. Put the award logo on your blog.

2. Answer 7 questions asked by the person who nominated you.

3. Thank the people who nominated you, linking to their blogs.

4. Nominate any number of bloggers you like, linking to their blogs.

5. Let them know you nominated them (by commenting on their blog etc.)

My seven questions are:

1. Where do most visits to your blog come from?

2. What is your favourite sport?

3. What has been a special moment for you in 2015 so far?

4. What is your favourite quote?

5. What was your favourite class when still at school?

6. Anything you had wished to have learned earlier?

7. What musical instrument have you tried to play?

My nominees are:

1. Notes from the north

2. theamateurone

3. Travel into the Rhythm of Color

4. Expressions of my life – An evolution of art

5. AFRICAN POETRY AND STORIES FOR YOUR SOUL

6. ElevenWinds

7. bCL Photography

8. Pelican Register

9. Noir

10. John Mallaney

‘Make British Blairite Kendall Conservative leader, not Labour leader’


This video from Britain says about itself:

Jeremy Corbyn MP for Labour Leader

13 June 2015

A few inspirational clips of Jeremy Corbyn MP who is running for Labour Leader. #jeremyforleader

There are still plenty of people in the Labour Party who believe in a society built upon social values and their voice deserves to be heard.

By Luke James in Britain:

Cheeky Facebook page backs Kendall for Tory leadership

Thursday 25th June 2015

ALMOST as many social media users want Liz Kendall to be the next Tory leader as those backing the Blairite to lead the Labour Party.

Just over 3,000 people have liked Ms Kendall’s official page on Facebook, which was established in March and is being used to promote her campaign.

But the Liz Kendall for Conservative Leader Facebook page had yesterday attracted almost 2,500 likes since being set up a little over a week ago.

As I made this blog post, over 2,500: 2,579.

Siobhan O’Malley explained why the group was established in a tongue-in-cheek post.

“The page has been set up by Tory members who are fed up with the domination of their party by leftwingers like David Cameron,” she wrote.

Others have suggested slogans for her campaign, including: “Tough on socialism, tough on the causes of socialism.”

But Peter Hubbard raised serious concerns over the consequences for Labour if she wins.

He wrote: “If she wins there is no point in having a Labour Party and I forsee a big increase in support for the Green Party, including me.”

Blairite former cabinet minister Alan Milburn waded into the Labour leadership debate yesterday by endorsing Ms Kendall and blaming Labour’s general election defeat on Ed Miliband.

In a brutal assessment of the former party leader, the social mobility tsar said the party “could not have got it more wrong” in its fight for No 10.

In a speech to the right-wing Centre for Social Justice, a think tank founded by Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith, he suggested voters were put off after the party “bet the house on the country moving to the left.”

However, support for Jeremy Corbyn’s campaign has continued to soar online.

Almost 30,000 people now like his Facebook page and 10,500 follow his campaign on Twitter.

And Mr Corbyn was the only Labour leadership candidate not to be booed at the first official Labour hustings in Stevenage on Saturday.

Ms Kendall and his other rivals, Andy Burnham and Yvette Cooper, angered supporters by refusing to rule out supporting Tory plans to cut the benefit cap from £26,000 a year to £23,000.

Mr Corbyn’s campaign team is now calling on social media socialists to sign-up as party supporters, which costs £3, and vote for the left candidate.

Tory plans to trim welfare by £12bn will cause untold suffering to millions, says JEREMY CORBYN: here.

French government ‘will not tolerate’ United States NSA spying on them


This video says about itself:

France: Hollande blasts NSA alleged eavesdropping, spying on French presidents, summons ambassador

24 June 2015

From the BBC:

NSA spying: France summons US envoy over Wikileaks claims

38 minutes ago

France has summoned the US envoy in Paris over claims that the US spied on President Francois Hollande and his two predecessors, officials say.

Whistleblower website Wikileaks reports the US National Security Agency (NSA) spied on Mr Hollande, Nicolas Sarkozy and Jacques Chirac between 2006-12.

Mr Hollande called an emergency meeting and said France would “not tolerate” acts that threaten its security.

The US said it would not comment on “specific intelligence allegations”. …

The NSA has previously been accused of spying on German Chancellor Angela Merkel and on Brazilian and Mexican leaders.

Analysis: Hugh Schofield, BBC News, Paris

None of the leaks is earth-shattering. In one Jacques Chirac pushes for the nomination of Terje Roed-Larsen as UN under-secretary-general. Nicolas Sarkozy says he wants to help Pernod Ricard in a row with the US over rum.

Though maybe not ‘earth-shattering’ it is significant that the NSA spies on France about rum. It proves that the official lies about NSA etc. spying supposedly being ‘only against terrorists’ are lies indeed. And the spying is not only against, officially ‘allied’, governments. It is also economic espionage, paid by United States taxpayers, to help United States alcoholic drinks etc. corporations in a criminal way against foreign competition.

Three days after taking office, Francois Hollande calls secret meetings to discuss the Greek crisis.

Most of this could have been gleaned by diplomats at the US embassy simply doing their job – rather than by the spy-station that Liberation newspaper says operates on the embassy roof. The impression given is of an agency scooping up indiscriminate quantities of information, and for little benefit. As the French intelligence expert Francois Heisbourg put it, “They do it because they can.” …

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius has summoned US Ambassador Jane Hartley to discuss the latest claims, French officials said.

Ms Hartley is expected to visit the foreign ministry in Paris later on Wednesday.

A statement from the French presidency (in French) said the US must respect a promise not to spy on French leaders. The statement came after an emergency meeting of security chiefs in Paris.

A senior French intelligence official is meanwhile expected to visit Washington to discuss the spying claims.

French aware?

Wikileaks began publishing the files on Tuesday, under the heading “Espionnage Elysee” – a reference to the French presidential palace.

It said the secret files “derive from directly targeted NSA surveillance of the communications” of the three French presidents as well as French ministers and the ambassador to the US.

The Wikileaks files have now been published by France’s Liberation newspaper and the Mediapart investigative website.

One of the files, dated 2012, is about Mr Hollande discussing Greece‘s possible exit from the eurozone. Another one – from 2011 – alleges that Mr Sarkozy was determined to resume peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians, possibly without US involvement.

A file dated 2010 suggests that French officials were aware that the US was spying upon them and intended to complain about it.

According to the summary of an intercepted exchange, the French envoy to Washington and Mr Sarkozy’s diplomatic adviser discussed Mr Sarkozy’s plan to express his “frustration” over US unwillingness to sign a “bilateral intelligence co-operation agreement”.

“The main sticking point is the US desire to continue spying on France,” the intercept says.

FRANCE DEMANDS U.S. AMBASSADOR EXPLAIN SPYING ALLEGATIONS “France summoned the U.S. ambassador to the Foreign Ministry on Wednesday following revelations by WikiLeaks that the U.S. National Security Agency eavesdropped on the past three French presidents.” [AP]

United States NSA spying on French presidents


This video says about itself:

WikiLeaks Says NSA Eavesdropped on the Last 3 French Presidents

23 June 2015

WikiLeaks has published documents it says shows the U.S. National Security Agency eavesdropped on the last three French presidents. There was no immediate confirmation of the accuracy of the documents released by French daily newspaper Liberation and investigative website Mediapart late Tuesday. WikiLeaks spokesman Kristinn Hrafnsson said he was confident the documents were authentic, noting that WikiLeaks previous mass disclosures have proven to be accurate.

From the BBC:

US ‘spied on French presidents’ – Wikileaks

26 minutes ago

The US National Security Agency (NSA) spied on French Presidents Jacques Chirac, Nicolas Sarkozy and Francois Hollande in 2006-12, WikiLeaks says.

The whistleblower website cites “top secret intelligence reports and technical documents” from the NSA.

US state department spokesman John Kirby said: “We do not comment on the veracity or content of leaked documents.” France has made no comment.

The NSA was earlier accused of spying on German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

That allegation arose from documents leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden about large-scale US surveillance in 2013.

On Tuesday, Wikileaks said it began publishing the files under the heading “Espionnage Elysee” – a reference to the French presidential palace.

It said the secret files “derive from directly targeted NSA surveillance of the communications” of the three French presidents as well as French ministers and the ambassador to the US.

One of the files, dated 2012, is about Mr Hollande discussing Greece’s possible exit from the eurozone.