Big bird sounds archive on the internet


This 21 December 2018 video says about itself:

In October 2018, Ireland’s National Biodiversity Data Centre was delighted to host the 25th meeting of the Governing Board of the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF) in Kilkenny.

GBIF is a global network of 59 Participant Countries and 38 international organisations and initiatives, working together to share data and information on the world’s biological diversity.

From the Global Biodiversity Information Facility:

9 January 2019

Tweets, chirps and hoots: collaborative project Xeno-canto adds 170,000 sound-based bird records

New Dutch dataset more than doubles the number of species occurrences with audio recordings

Images and videos recorded by professional researchers and citizen scientists often provide evidence of species occurring in time and space. But sound recordings can be equally important for identifying species–especially those more easily heard than seen.

While more than 31 million species occurrences available in GBIF.org have images attached to them, only about 100,000 records have accompanying sound files. However, since its addition last month, a new dataset has more than doubled this number, bringing 170,041 more audio-enabled occurrence records to GBIF.org.

Xeno-canto (XC) is a long-term collaborative project dedicated to collecting and sharing the sounds of wild birds from across the world. Started in 2005, XC accepts contributions from anyone–professional researchers, dedicated amateur birders or aspiring citizen scientists–who is willing and able to record bird sounds. More than 4,000 XC contributors have recorded and uploaded the sounds of 10,063 avian species–data that has already been used in scientific studies (e.g. Avendaño et al, 2017). The dataset metrics can also give users a sense of the taxonomic and geographical scope of the XC contribution.

Identifications of recordings are subject to crowd-sourced validation by the Xeno-canto community, ensuring accurate, high-quality species identification. As data becomes discoverable through GBIF.org, XC contributors not only help popularize bird sound recordings worldwide, but also add knowledge about avian distributions for use in research and policy-making.

XC intends to update the dataset on GBIF.org regularly, as users add around 5,000 new recordings every month. The next update is expected to bring the total number of records to more than 250,000 records, a spike prompted by current users adopting more open licences for the occurrence information (while maintaining different ones applied to audio files).

As multimedia evidence in occurrence records have become more frequent, it’s important to make it easy for users to view, watch and listen to them. The arrival of the XC dataset prompted improvements to the GBIF.org occurrence pages, making the interface for playback and viewing more accessible and intuitive. Now, in addition to viewing images, users can now also watch videos and listen to audio recordings–directly on the occurrence page.

Members of GBIF community in the Netherlands play a critical role in making the XC dataset available through GBIF.org. Naturalis Biodiversity Center has provided the project with long-term support and funding, and persistent, multi-year engagement by the staff of NLBIF has led to them hosting the Dutch national node to host this version of the project dataset.

While audio-enabled records available in GBIF.org are still dominated by the avian variety, users of GBIF.org may be surprised be the taxanomic breadth of other audio content–including sounds of spiders, bees, monkeys–and even an underwater recording of spawning cod.

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Irish Catholic mass grave children to be reburied


This 7 April 2018 video says about itself:

Children of Shame (Crime Documentary) – Real Stories

Tuam, a quiet town in the west of Ireland. Tuam, a name that traumatised the whole of Ireland in the spring of 2014, when an unimaginable story was revealed. A hidden mass grave containing the remains of some 800 children was discovered on the former grounds of a home for single mothers, a hell on earth where children died from ill treatment, and were shamefully buried in secret and forgotten.

Up until the 1990s, dozens of these detention centres were run by religious orders, but the country is still reluctant to confront the ghosts of its past.

Provisional gravestone in Tuam, Ireland, for possibly 796 mass grave children

Translated from Dutch NOS TV today:

Ireland wants to rebury hundreds of children’s dead bodies from mass grave

The Irish government has decided to dig up hundreds of baby dead bodies on the site of a former shelter for unmarried mothers near the town of Tuam, in the west of Ireland.

Research should provide more clarity about abuses in the Catholic institution. The children must also still get a dignified funeral.

The mass grave was discovered in March 2017. Some of the corpses have already been excavated, but a major legal change is required for the large-scale digging. The Irish government hopes that parliament will soon agree, so the digging can start in the second half of next year.

On the grounds of the Catholic shelter, 796 children were probably buried. It has been recorded that they have died, but not where the bodies have gone. Probably the children were buried there illegally, possibly without the rest of the family being informed.

Initial research has shown that it mainly concerns children up to two or three years old, including prematurely born infants. Experts suspect that many bodies date from the 1950s.

Decent funeral

“We do not know exactly what lies ahead, but we are convinced that we should do this”, says Irish Prime Minister Varadkar. “We dig up the remains and give the children the decent funeral they did not receive before.”

The shelter at Tuam was run by the Catholic Church from 1925 to 1961. It had a remarkably high mortality rate, but it never clarified why that was. Malnutrition probably played a role.

There were ten such houses in Ireland in the last century, where a total of 35,000 women were taken care of. Not only at Tuam children are buried, three other shelters are said to also have children’s mass graves.

Few dinosaur fossils in Ireland


This 3 December 2018 video says about itself:

Can you find dinosaur fossils in Ireland?

Dinosaurs existed for over 170 million years and lived all over the Earth. You might expect to find fossil evidence of them everywhere you look, but only two dinosaur fossils have been found in Ireland.

Dr Mike Simms, Senior Curator of Natural History at National Museums Northern Ireland, explains why.

British army collusion in massacring Irish musicians


This 2013 video from Ireland says about itself:

UDR massacre innocent Miami Showband

The Miami Showband killings (also called the Miami Showband Massacre) was an attack by the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) some of whom were also members of the UDR, on 31 July 1975.

The UDR, Ulster Defence Regiment, 1970-1992, was an infantry regiment of the British army.

By Bernadette Hyland in Britain, Thursday, August 30, 2018:

Book Review: Survivor of Miami Showband Massacre during Ireland’s ‘Troubles’ seeks justice
by Stephen Travers and Neil Fetherstonhaugh
(Frontline Noir, £9.99)

ON July 31 1975 the popular group The Miami Showband were travelling back home across the border into the North of Ireland. They were stopped by a fake army patrol made up of Ulster Defence Regiment soldiers and members of the loyalist paramilitary Ulster Volunteer Force at a fake checkpoint outside Newry.

As the men were lined up outside the bus, the “soldiers” tried to hide a bomb on it. It exploded prematurely, killing the bombers. The rest of the gang then opened fire on the band, killing Fran O’Toole, Tony Geraghty and Brian McCoy. Band members Des McAlea and Stephen Travers were the only survivors.

In this new book Travers, alongside journalist Neil Fetherstonhaugh, reveals the truth about that night — that “British soldiers were sent out to murder innocent people.” The truth that “collusion took place between the security forces and terrorists” and that “Britain colluded in murder and is therefore guilty of murder. She must answer the charges.”

The book is Travers’s story and it’s one of a young working-class man from the small town of Carrick-on-Suir who went on to to become a member of one of the most popular bands in Ireland. Like many people in the south of country in the 1970s he was unaware of the so-called Troubles — his life was his music, his wife and his family.

Made up of Catholics and Protestants, the band entertained audiences right across Ireland. It made no difference to them or their fans what their religion was, but religion was the deciding factor that led to the events of that night in July 1975.

Today, the truth about those murders is being played out in the courts as Travers and the other band members are suing both the Ministry of Defence and the Police Service of Northern Ireland over alleged collaboration between serving soldiers and paramilitary killers.

Travers has come a long way from the carefree musician of the 1970s. In the epilogue he reflects on past events.

“Every day, the British government accuses Syria or Iran or some other far-flung place of aiding terrorists. They should examine their own consciences”, he writes.

“They sent their trained soldiers out to murder a pop group on their way home from a concert. We cannot be complacent and believe it could never happen again.”

Telling words, indeed.