Bolsonaro militarising Brazilian schools


This 4 April 2019 France 24 video says about itself:

Brazil: Military discipline at school

Brazil‘s new minister of education caused an outcry among some when he proposed that schoolchildren recite President Jair Bolsonaro‘s campaign slogan each morning. But plenty of other Brazilians are happy to see more conservativism in schools. They are followers of a movement close to the Bolsonaro administration, and to Evangelical churches which claim to be fighting indoctrination in public schools after too many years of leftist government. Our correspondents report.

Translated from Belgian daily (Roman Catholic) De Standaard today:

Brazilian president Bolsonaro wants to militarize schools

To the class in army uniform

Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro wants public schools to get less money. Unless they transform themselves into military schools, then the money is ready. “A conscious strategy to anchor yourself ideologically.”

So, extreme right Bolsonaro, just like his United States ally Trump; who was educated at a military academy, but was a draft dodger, avoiding having to go to the Vietnam war (like that other United States president, George W Bush).

Barely two days after Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, of the Workers Party (PT), left jail thanks to a Supreme Court (STF) ruling granting some five thousand Brazilian prisoners the right to remain free until exhausting their appeals, President Jair Bolsonaro threatened to have the ex-president re-arrested under Brazil’s dictatorship-era National Security Law for “inciting violence”: here.

15-year-old girl becomes Europan skateboarding champion


This 31 July 2019 video from the Netherlands is called Best skater girl! Keet Oldenbeuving.

Keet Oldenbeuving is only 15 years old.

Nevertheless, today, in Nizhny Novgorod in Russia, she became European champion in the street discipline in skateboarding.

Second place was for Belgian Lore Bruggemare; third for Dutch Roos Zwetsloot; fourth for Dutch Candy Jacobs.

They all want to go to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, where there will be skateboarding for the first time ever.

Ms Oldenbeuving is not even world’s youngest top class skateboarder.

Brazilian Rayssa Leal is only 11 years old. She was second in the September 2019 world championship in her own country.

This June 2019 video is about Rayssa Leal.

Purple martin migration, unexpected research results


This 29 July 2019 video from Pennsylvania in the USA says about itself:

Life in a Purple Martin nest: 2019 nestcam recap

Watch as a nest of Purple Martins at the Purple Martin Conservation Association headquarters in Erie, PA progresses from eggs to fledglings.

Purple Martins are completely reliant on humans to survive. Learn how you can help here.

2019 was a great year for our livestream nest, but not without drama. As you see in the video, we encountered a “capped egg”, subadult martins causing problems, a nestling whose airway was blocked by a large dragonfly, a near miss by a hungry Cooper’s Hawk, and a House Wren intent on pecking the nestlings. Such is life for the Purple Martin, a struggle to survive in the face of habitat loss, predators, and competition.

Incredibly, these parents (nicknamed Carl and Jolene) successfully raised and fledged seven birds…the highest number we’ve witnessed.

From the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, News Bureau in the USA:

Purple martin migration behavior perplexes researchers

September 30, 2019

Purple martins will soon migrate south for their usual wintertime retreat, but this time the birds will be wearing what look like little backpacks, as scientists plan to track their roosting sites along the way.

The researchers recently discovered that purple martins are roosting in small forest patches as they migrate from North America to Brazil. The scientists published their findings in the Journal of Field Ornithology.

“This is highly unusual behavior for songbirds, which typically roost in heavily forested areas,” said Auriel Fournier, a co-author of the study with University of Manitoba biological sciences professor Kevin Fraser, who led the research. Fournier is the director of the Forbes Biological Station at the Illinois Natural History Survey.

“It’s surprising to see them roosting in these forest islands, which are small, isolated clusters of trees typically surrounded by agriculture, water or recently cut forest,” Fournier said.

The researchers want to determine whether the birds are responding to a change in the environment or whether their surprising roosting behavior is something purple martins have always done.

“We believe they must be intentionally seeking out the forest islands,” Fournier said. “Because these habitats don’t occur very frequently on the landscape, the birds’ use of them is unlikely to be by chance.”

“We are curious if birds are choosing these isolated patches of habitat because they have fewer predators than in larger patches of forest,” Fraser said.

About 13% of the world’s birds are colonial nesters, and purple martins are the only songbird species that requires a nest site surrounded by the nests of other similar birds, the researchers said.

“During migration, these birds flock in numbers up to the hundreds of thousands,” Fournier said. “It’s wild because their flocks are sometimes big enough to be detected by radar.”

The researchers had to wait for technology to catch up before they could identify precisely where the birds were stopping to rest during migration. A purple martin weighs about 1.6 ounces (45 grams) and flies an estimated 6,200 to 13,700 miles (10,000 to 22,0000 kilometers) a year. Too much additional weight — even that of a tiny tracker, for example — could interfere with the bird’s trek.

Thanks to advances in technology, the scientists are using GPS tracking devices small enough to be carried by purple martins. The devices use satellites to pinpoint the birds’ location with such accuracy that Fraser and Fournier can identify down to a single tree where a tagged purple martin is roosting at night during migration.

“No one has looked at habitats during migration,” Fraser said. “But we need to look so that we can start protecting these birds and their habitats across international boundaries.”

The researchers plan to continue tracking purple martins, monitoring whether they faithfully return to the same roosting sites in forest islands. And they are working with conservation groups across this species’ range to better preserve purple martin habitat.

Long ago, I saw purple martins wintering in a park in Quito, Ecuador.

Brazilian students fight far-right Bolsonaro


This 30 September 2019 video says about itself:

Brazilian Students Take Protest to Next Level, Launch Strike Against Bolsonaro Education Cuts

Brazil’s far-right president Jair Bolsonaro has proposed privatization and immediate slashing of the public education budget. Students worried about the future of education in Brazil are beginning to mobilize with a strike at one of the county’s main universities.

TEEN FIGHTS TO SAVE BRAZIL FROM BOLSONARO “We are fighting for our lives,” 19-year-old Artemisa Xakriabá said in a speech during the youth climate strike in Manhattan, not far from where Brazil’s far-right president, Jair Bolsonaro, would later tell the United Nations that climate change is a “globalist” conspiracy, deny that the fires were devastating the Amazon, and place blame for the blazes on indigenous people. [HuffPost]