Migratory birds in Chile, video


This video, in Spanish with English subtitles, says about itself:

Chiloé, The Island of Birds

This short film explains why migratory sea birds arrive to the island of Chiloé, and the different migrations that the birds make. It shows how important wetlands are in giving these birds shelter, as well as exposes their threats. At the same time, we can appreciate how birds have formed part of Chiloé culture, through activities such as the Migratory Birds Festival.

Vegetarian Tyrannosaurus rex relative discovery in Chile


A reconstruction of the skeleton and external appearance of Chilesaurus. Paleontologists have labelled it “a truly odd mix”. Illustration: Gabriel Lío

From daily The Guardian in Britain:

‘Bizarre’ Jurassic dinosaur discovered in remarkable new find

Chilesaurus diegosuarezi was related to Tyrannosaurus rex, but was vegetarian and has other curious features

Ian Sample, science editor

Monday 27 April 2015 16.25 BST

Fossil hunters in Chile have unearthed the remains of a bizarre Jurassic dinosaur that combined a curious mixture of features from different prehistoric animals.

The evolutionary muddle of a beast grew to the size of a small horse and was the most abundant animal to be found 145 million years ago, in what is now the Aysén region of Patagonia.

The discovery ranks as one of the most remarkable dinosaur finds of the past 20 years, and promises to cause plenty of headaches for paleontologists hoping to place the animal in the dinosaur family tree.

“I don’t know how the evolution of dinosaurs produced this kind of animal, what kind of ecological pressures must have been at work,” said Fernando Novas at the Bernardino Rivadavia Natural Sciences Museum in Buenos Aires.

“What’s surprising is that in this locality the most bizarre dinosaur is not the exception, but the rule. It is the most abundant animal we find,” he added.

The first fossilised bones of the beast were discovered in 2004 when a Chilean couple, who are geologists, were studying rocks in the Andes to understand how the mountain range formed. The couple’s son, Diego, was playing nearby when he found a fossilised bone that turned out to belong to the new species.

The discovery prompted the geologists, Manuel Suarez and Rita de la Cruz, to team up with Novas and other scientists and return to the site, called Black Hill, in a breathtaking rocky expanse near General Carrera Lake in southern Chile.

On returning to the site, the researchers found bones from at least a dozen of the strange animals, including four nearly complete and well-preserved skeletons. The skeletons showed that the weird mix of head, neck, shoulder, rib, pelvis, leg and tail bones all belonged to the same creature.

Named Chilesaurus diegosuarezi after 7-year-old Diego, the animal belongs to the theropod group of dinosaurs, which includes the carnivorous tyrannosaurs and velociraptors. But unlike its meat-eating cousins, Chilesaurus had switched diets and become a vegetarian. Meat eaters tend to have sharp teeth and large heads supported by thick necks. Chilesaurus had a horny beak, flatter teeth for chomping plants, a small head and slender neck. “It’s a theropod that turned vegetarian,” said Novas. Details are published in the journal Nature.

Other anatomical peculiarities have surprised paleontologists. Its forelimbs were stocky, like an allosaurus, and instead of sharp claws, it sported two stumpy fingers. Most of the Chilesaurus remains belonged to juveniles, no larger than turkeys, but the team found bones from adults too that suggest the animals reached 3 metres from snout to tail when fully grown.

The remains of the animals were found alongside bones of small prehistoric crocodiles and huge herbivorous cousins of diplodocus. The researchers hope to return to the site next year to uncover more bones, including those of the predators that must have stalked the land long before the Andes had formed.

The curious form of Chilesaurus is an extreme example of mosaic convergent evolution, where different parts of an animal adapt to the environment along the same path taken by other creatures.

Paul Barrett, a dinosaur researcher at the Natural History Museum in London said Chilesaurus ranks as one of the most interesting dinosaur discoveries of the past 20 years.

“It has an unbelievably weird mixture of anatomical features. If you found isolated bones from this one animal in different places you’d probably conclude that the bones came from completely different dinosaur groups, rather than representing one unusual species,” he said.

“Some of the bones look like they belong to an early theropod, others like they belong to a group of weird plant-eating theropods called therizinosauroids and yet others look like they belong to a completely different dinosaur group, the prosauropods. A truly odd mix.”

“It shows that dinosaurs were experimenting with a wide range of body types and that some unexpected features like a vegetarian diet turned up independently again and again in the ‘predatory’ theropod dinosaurs.”

“Its relationships to other dinosaurs are really tricky to pin down because of this mix of features and it wouldn’t surprise me if its position in the dinosaur evolutionary tree changes regularly as more people see the material,” he said.

See also here.

United States child abuse cover-up bishop resigns


This video from the USA says about itself:

Catholics in Kansas City urge Pope Francis to discipline Bishop Robert Finn

17 February 2014

James McConnell and Jeanne Christensen, Sisters of Mercy Justice Advocate for Human Trafficking, spoke about petitioning Pope Francis to discipline Bishop Robert Finn of the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph during a press conference outside the Catholic Center, 20 East 9th Street in Kansas City.

From Associated Press:

Pope Francis accepts resignation of KC Bishop Robert Finn

04/21/2015 7:12 AM

VATICAN CITY – Pope Francis on Tuesday accepted the resignation of Bishop Robert Finn, who led the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph.

Finn pleaded guilty in 2013 to failing to report a suspected priestly child abuser in the first known case of a pope sanctioning bishops for covering up for pedophiles.

The Vatican said Tuesday that Bishop Robert Finn had offered his resignation under the code of canon law that allows bishops to resign early for illness or some “grave” reason that makes them unfit for office. It didn’t provide a reason.

Finn, who leads the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph in Missouri, waited six months before notifying police about the Rev. Shawn Ratigan, whose computer contained hundreds of lewd photos of young girls taken in and around churches where he worked. Ratigan was sentenced to 50 years in prison after pleading guilty to child pornography charges.

Finn pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of failure to report suspected abuse and was sentenced to two years’ probation in 2012. Ever since, he has faced pressure from local Roman Catholics to step down, with some parishioners petitioning Francis to remove him from the diocese.

No U.S. bishop has been removed for covering up for guilty clergy.

Finn remains the highest-ranking church official in the U.S. to be convicted of failing to take action in response to abuse allegations. The Vatican’s failure to sanction or remove him had fueled victims’ complaints that bishops were continuing to enjoy protections even under the “zero tolerance” pledge of Francis.

Even Francis’ top sex abuse adviser, Cardinal Sean O’Malley, had said publicly that Francis needs to “urgently” address Finn’s case, though he later stressed that Finn deserved due process and must be spared “crowd-based condemnations.”

The Vatican last fall sent a Canadian archbishop to Finn’s diocese as part of his an investigation of his leadership. But until Tuesday, there had been no word about what the pope would do.

Finn’s resignation comes as Francis is facing similar pressure to remove a Chilean bishop, Juan Barros, amid an unprecedented outcry over his longtime affiliation with Chile’s most notorious molester, the Rev. Fernando Karadima.

Karadima’s victims say Barros witnessed their abuse decades ago. He has denied knowing anything until he read news reports of Karadima’s crimes in 2010. The Vatican has defended the appointment. Karadima was sanctioned by the Vatican in 2011 for sexually abusing minors.

Earlier this month, members of the pope’s sex abuse advisory commission came to Rome in an unscheduled session to voice their concern about Barros.

O’Malley subsequently told the pope that the Vatican must come up with “appropriate procedures and modalities to evaluate and adjudicate cases of ‘abuse of office’ ” when bishops fail to protect children.

One step towards LGBTQ equality in Chile


This video from Venezuela about Chile says about itself:

14 April 2015

On Monday Chilean President Michele Bachelet signed a law legalizing civil unions for both straight and same-sex couples. The measure, initially proposed in 2003, is expected to benefit 2 million Chileans. Although the law falls short of authorizing same-sex marriage, it was nonetheless praised as a step forward by LGBT activists.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Chile: Civil unions recognised after Bachelet signs law

Wednesday 15th April 2015

PRESIDENT Michelle Bachelet signed into law a long-awaited Bill recognising civil unions for same-sex and opposite-sex couples on Monday.

“We are saying this is a concrete step forward in the path toward ending the differences between homosexual and heterosexual couples,” she said.

She added that she saw this as “a vindication of the struggle for sexual diversity rights.”

Ms Bachelet was joined at the ceremony by LGBT advocacy groups such as the Movement for Homosexual Integration and Liberation that were praised by the president for their leadership and advocacy work.

“Today is a historic day for social diversity. For the first time the state recognises that there isn’t just one way to build a family,” said the movement.

Communist Party MP Karol Cariola tweeted: “With this law the country recognises the existence of families with same-sex parents.”

An estimated 2 million cohabiting couples may benefit from this new law.

See also here.

Chileans protest against bishop’s cover-up of child abuse


This 21 March 2015 video is called Chilean Catholics Protest Naming of Bishop Linked to Sex Abuse.

From the BBC:

21 March 2015 Last updated at 19:25 GMT

Hundreds in Chile try to stop Bishop Barros ordination

Protesters in southern Chile have tried to stop the ordination of a Catholic bishop, accusing him of covering up a priest’s sexual abuse of young boys.

Police in the city of Osorno said at least 650 people turned up at the cathedral wearing black in protest against the ordination of Juan Barros.

The protesters say Bishop Barros used his position in the Church to try to deter an investigation into the actions of his mentor, Fernando Karadima.

Bishop Barros denies the allegations.

‘Tremendous problem’

More than 1,000 people wrote to Pope Francis to ask him to review the appointment.

“I believe the Catholic Church is not listening to its people,” said Christian Democrat congressman Sergio Ojeda.

“That is why we are asking for Bishop Barros to show dignity and resign, putting an end to this tremendous problem,” he told La Tercera newspaper.

The top leaders of Chile’s Catholic Church and most of the local authorities stayed away, but the ceremony went ahead in the morning in Osorno, some 900km (560 miles) south of the capital, Santiago.

Protesters outside and inside the cathedral attempted to stop the ordination going ahead.

There was a heavy police presence there and three people were arrested. …

‘Penitence and prayer’

Juan Barros was a protege of Father Karadima, who spent decades training young men to enter the priesthood, and regularly celebrated Mass at a well-known church in Santiago.

In February 2011, the Vatican found Father Karadima, then 81, guilty of sexually abusing children.

The Vatican ordered him to a life of “penitence and prayer” in a monastery in Santiago.

Months later, a judge dismissed a criminal case against him, saying the alleged crimes had been committed too many years before.

The BBC’s Gideon Long, in Santiago, says that before the allegations surfaced, Father Karadima was one of the most respected and influential priests in Chile.

Pope Francis under pressure after appointing bishop suspected of protecting a pedofile priest: here.

Child sex abuse survivors who were handpicked by Pope Francis to advise the Catholic church on how to address the issue are meeting with a senior church official in Rome on Sunday to criticise the Vatican’s handling of a case in Chile. Peter Saunders, a Briton who was abused by two priests as a teenager, told the Guardian that in an emergency meeting with Cardinal Sean O’Malley, who heads the pope’s abuse committee, he would demand action in a case involving a Chilean bishop, Juan Barros: here.

At least 54 Colombian girls sexually abused by immune US military: Report here.

Save Peruvian terns in Chile


This video is about the Talagante raptor rehabilitation center in Chile.

From National Geographic:

Chilean Birdman Leads Efforts to Save Seabird in World’s Driest Desert

Naturalist Jürgen Rottmann strives to protect Peruvian tern’s nesting sites amid Chile‘s growing seaport

Katarzyna Nowak

February 28, 2015

Jürgen Rottmann—a naturalist and ornithologist widely known as the David Attenborough of Chile—rehabilitates giants.

He’s lived for 44 years in what is today a raptor rehabilitation center —overseen by the Union of Chilean Ornithologists—in Talagante, outside Santiago, caring for some of the largest birds in existence: emblematic Andean condors (longest wingspan among raptors), huge Chilean blue eagles, and southern caracaras, long-legged raptors with naked cheeks, black crests, and streaked chests. (He also looks out for an enormous helmeted water toad that lurks in a tangled bank of vegetation.)

This video is about the Talagante raptor rehabilitation center.

Almost 900 miles (1,450 kilometers) to the north of the animal rescue center lies a barren desert where Rottmann has cultivated a soft spot for a tiny creature—a seabird not much bigger than his hand—the elusive and very rare gaviotín chico, or Peruvian tern.

This tern has flourished for millennia along a thin strip of coastline from northern Chile to Peru where the Atacama Desert meets the zone of rich upwelling in the Pacific Ocean known as the Humboldt Current.

No more than a thousand of the birds may survive today, largely because of human activities in northern Chile’s Mejillones Peninsula, a critical tern nesting area—and the site of a port complex, from which copper, vital to Chile’s economy, is exported.

In 2008, Rottmann helped establish a foundation to protect tern nesting sites—Fundación Para la Sustentabilidad del Gaviotín Chico—and was made its executive manager.

Rottmann and his field team have since spent years in the desert monitoring tern nesting sites, which are now clearly signed and demarcated; observing the habits of the terns and their predators; and even filling in pits and trenches made by the military in the terns’ habitat.

This video, in Spanish, is called Gaviotín Chico o Chirrío (Sterna lorata) Península de Mejillones – Antofagasta – Chile.

Chilean poet Pablo Neruda’s hummingbird poems


This video is called Documentary on the Secrets of Hummingbirds.

From Hummingbird-guide.com:

This is the Pablo Neruda hummingbird poem.

The famous poet Pablo Neruda wrote this beautiful poem……….

Ode to the Hummingbird

The hummingbird
in flight
is a water-spark,
an incandescent drip
of American
fire,
the jungle’s
flaming resume,
a heavenly,
precise
rainbow:
the hummingbird is
an arc,
a golden
thread,
a green
bonfire!

Oh
tiny
living
lightning,
when
you hover
in the air,
you are
a body of pollen,
a feather
or hot coal,
I ask you:
What is your substance?
Perhaps during the blind age
of the Deluge,
within fertility’s
mud,
when the rose
crystallized
in an anthracite fist,
and metals matriculated
each one in
a secret gallery
perhaps then
from a wounded reptile
some fragment rolled
,
a golden atom,
the last cosmic scale,
a drop of terrestrial fire
took flight,
suspending your splendor,
your iridescent,
swift sapphire.

You doze
on a nut,
fit into a diminutive blossom;
you are an arrow,
a pattern,
a coat-of-arms,
honey’s vibrato, pollen’s ray;
you are so stouthearted–
the falcon
with his black plumage
does not daunt you:
you pirouette,
a light within the light,
air within the air.
Wrapped in your wings,
you penetrate the sheath
of a quivering flower,
not fearing
that her nuptial honey
may take off your head!

From scarlet to dusty gold,
to yellow flames,
to the rare
ashen emerald,
to the orange and black velvet
of our girdle gilded by sunflowers,
to the sketch
like
amber thorns,
your Epiphany,
little supreme being,
you are a miracle,
shimmering
from torrid California
to Patagonia‘s whistling,
bitter wind.
You are a sun-seed,
plumed
fire,
a miniature
flag
in flight,
a petal of silenced nations,
a syllable
of buried blood,
a feather
of an ancient heart,
submerged

The Spanish language original of this poem is here.

The Spanish text of another hummingbird poem by Neruda is here.

This video shows that poem, Picaflor II.

This video, in Spanish, is about these Neruda poems:

1.El vuelo (Pablo Neruda) *recita Pablo Neruda
2.El tordo (Pablo Neruda – Ángel Parra) – 3:52
3.El picaflor [El colibrí] (Pablo Neruda – Ángel Parra) – 6:36
4.El pidén (Pablo Neruda – Ángel Parra) – 8:37
5.La golondrina (Pablo Neruda – Ángel Parra) -10:22
6.El cóndor (Pablo Neruda – Ángel Parra) – 12:47
7.El poeta se despide de los pájaros (Pablo Neruda) *recita Pablo Neruda – 15:47

A Robert Frost Hummingbird Poem: here.

More hummingbird poems from the USA: here.