Spanish rapper flees incarceration for rapping


This 2012 Spanish rap music video is called La TuerKa Rap – Valtónyc (NO AL BORBÓ). In this song, rapper Valtónyc is not very flattering about Juan Carlos, then king, now ex-king, of Spain. The rapper mentions the king killing elephants and other, corruption etc. scandals. Scandals which led to forced resignation of Juan Carlos as honorary chairman of the WWF conservation organisation, and then also as king.

Ex-King Juan Carlos is not the only well-known person in Spain in a corruption scandal. So is Prime Minister Rajoy and his right-wing minority Partido Popular government. Some media like the New York Times expect that the Rajoy government may fall soon because of its corruption scandals.

To distract attention from its scandals the Rajoy government starts repression reminiscent of the Franco dictatorship. Repression in Catalonia for voting in a referendum. And repression for lèse majesté. Reminiscent of the military dictatorship in Thailand, where so-called insults of the king, or of a king who died 400 years ago, or of the king’s dog, are pretexts for harshly imprisoning critical voices.

Now, back to Spanish rapper Valtónyc, born in Mallorca.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV today:

“Tomorrow is the day, tomorrow they will come to get me to lock me up. But I’m not going to make it easy, disobedience is allowed, an obligation even in this fascist state.” These are the last words of the Spanish rapper Valtónyc in public before he fled on Wednesday.

Since the tweet [see above] nothing has been heard from the 24-year-old artist, who was supposed to have started serving his prison sentence of 3.5 years yesterday. The Spanish police have issued an international arrest warrant against him.

Valtónyc, who is actually called Josep Miquel Arenas Beltran, was convicted in February for lèse majesté …

Valtónyc claimed it was a case of freedom of speech, but the judge did not go along with that. …

Valtónyc receives a lot of support on social media. His last tweet has been shared almost 40,000 times and the hashtag #FreeValtonyc is frequently used on Twitter.

Spain’s new laws turn peaceful protesters into terrorists. Ignasi Bernat and David Whyte report that Spanish central government has introduced new police powers to crack down on radical movements in Catalonia.

How termites recognize queens, kings


This 2009 video says about itself:

Her Majesty, The Termite Queen | National Geographic

Journey to the center of the…termite nest? Hard to believe this termite queen will produce almost 165 million eggs in her lifetime!

From North Carolina State University in the USA:

Termite queen, king recognition pheromone identified

March 19, 2018

Summary: Forget the bows and curtsies. Worker termites shake in the presence of their queens and kings. New research explains how these workers smell a royal presence.

Researchers at North Carolina State University have for the first time identified a specific chemical used by the higher termite castes — the queens and the kings — to communicate their royal status with worker termites. The findings could advance knowledge of termite evolution, behavior and control.

A study published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences shows that a wax-like hydrocarbon — a chemical consisting of only carbon and hydrogen atoms called heneicosane — on the body surface of subterranean royal termites is used to enable worker termites to recognize and care for them. Termites live mostly underground or in wood and are generally blind, necessitating the use of chemical signals to communicate.

“This is the first report of a queen recognition pheromone in termites and the first report of a king recognition pheromone in insects”, said Coby Schal, Blanton J. Whitmire Distinguished Professor of Entomology at NC State.

Schal and NC State Ph.D. graduate Colin Funaro, the paper’s co-corresponding authors, used gas chromatography to isolate specific chemicals from the exoskeletons of royal and worker Reticulitermes flavipes termites and found heneicosane on the royal termites, but not on workers.

When heneicosane was placed on glass dummies serving as royal termite proxies, workers did not bow or curtsy, but instead started shaking — an action that seemed to reflect the termite version of royal recognition. Workers shook even more when the royal pheromone was blended with other hydrocarbons from the colony’s workers that represent the colony’s odor.

“Termites use a two-step recognition process — the colony’s odor gives workers a ‘home’ context and heneicosane within this context denotes ‘royals are in the home'”, Schal said.

“The royal-recognition pheromone lets workers know that there is a queen or a king present and that everything is stable in the colony”, Funaro said. “Worker termites shook more when realizing that the royals were also nest mates.”

Schal said that the study upends the commonly held belief that queens of the insect order Hymenoptera — ants, bees and wasps — were the first to use these wax-like hydrocarbon pheromones for royal recognition.

“Termites appeared some 150 million years ago while the social Hymenoptera appeared about 100 million years ago, so this discovery of a hydrocarbon as a royal-recognition pheromone in termites appears to predate its use in [other] social insects“, Schal said.

R. flavipes termites are major pests in North Carolina and the Southeast, causing billions in damage, Schal added. In recent years they have spread to the west coast of the U.S., and into Canada, South America, Europe, and Asia.

Meghan Markle’s Anglican baptism with holy, but polluted? water


This 8 March 2018 video from England is called Meghan Markle has finally been baptized into the Church of England.

By Tom Powell in Britain, 8 March 2018:

Meghan Markle has reportedly been baptised into the Church of England in a secret ceremony led by the Archbishop of Canterbury.

The divorced American actress is said to have been formally introduced to the Anglican faith with Prince Harry at her side ahead of their wedding in May.

The Daily Mail reported that the 45-minute service took place at the Chapel Royal on Tuesday evening, using holy water from the River Jordan.

Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall were among the guests at what was described as a private affair. …

Holy water from the River Jordan was poured on the former Suits star’s head as part of the religious ritual, the Daily Mail reported.

That water may have been holy, but it was also very expensive, as it had to be flown in from Israel/Palestinian territory/Jordan. Commoner Church of England baptisms cost a lot less. Though the water may have been holy, it may have harmed Ms Markle’s health: as there are big river Jordan pollution problems.