Qatar Internet censorship


This video from the USA is called Internet CensorshipJillian C. York.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Qatar tightens internet laws

Friday 31 May 2013

Qatar: The government followed other Gulf states yesterday in backing internet rules that widen controls over news websites.

Gulf nations have sharply increased arrests over social media posts on charges that include insulting rulers.

Qatar’s measures would give wide leeway to punish websites or social media users for items considered a threat to “state security” or the “general order.”

News websites reporting on Singapore were told on the 29th May that will have to obtain government licences: here.

Naturalist Alfred Wallace on the Internet


This video is called Operation Wallacea – Indonesia schools expedition.

From Wildlife Extra:

Historic collection of naturalist Alfred Wallace goes online for the first time

Treasure-trove of writings and images by the co-discoverer of natural selection

October 2012. The complete works of the great naturalist Alfred Russel Wallace have been made freely available online on the Wallace Online website.

First announcement of the theory of evolution by natural selection

Amongst the thousands of pages of writings, it includes the first announcement of the theory of evolution by natural selection.

Wallace and Darwin

Since the scientist’s death 99 years ago, Wallace’s complete publications have never been gathered together. The new website is unveiled in time for the centenary celebrations in 2013 that mark the anniversary of Wallace’s death in 1913.

Back in the 1850s, Wallace independently formulated the theory of evolution by natural selection during a fit of tropical fever. He later sent an outline of the theory – in one of the greatest ironies in history – to Charles Darwin. To avoid a priority dispute, papers by both men were read together at a London scientific meeting in July 1858. The event unleashed the Darwinian revolution whose shockwaves continue to this day.

Wallace has long been in the shadow of his more famous contemporary Charles Darwin. The compilation of this new website is timely and long overdue. It provides 28,000 pages of searchable historical documents and 22,000 images. They can now be seen free of charge by anyone around the globe at Wallace Online.

Wallace’s contributions to biodiversity

Wallace spent four years as a collector in Brazil (1848-1853) and eight years in Southeast Asia (1854-1862). In addition to collecting an astonishing 125,000 specimens of insects and birds, Wallace proposed a sharp dividing line between the Asian and Australian animals in the archipelago. This line still bears his name today and is called The Wallace Line.

One of the most influential scientists in history

Dr van Wyhe, project director, said: “Wallace was one of the most influential scientists in history. But until now, it has been impossible to see all of his writings. For the first time, this collection allows anyone to search through his writings about Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia, and see many of the birds and insects that he collected.”

Dr van Wyhe holds a joint appointment as Senior Lecturer at NUS’ Department of Biological Sciences and the Department of History, under Faculty of Science and Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, respectively. He is also the founder and director of the award-winning Darwin Online at the University of Cambridge, UK.

This project was directed by historian Dr John van Wyhe from the National University of Singapore (NUS). The Wallace Online project was made possible by an anonymous grant from an American donor.

New Sri Lankan frog discovery


This video is about a species, related to the just discovered Sri Lankan species:

Polypedates leucomystax – “Quack!” calls.

Singapore, 3rd February 2012 (night).

From Zootaxa:

Abstract

A new species of frog tentatively assigned to the genus Polypedates is described from the Gilimale forest reserve of the Sabaragamuwa province of Sri Lanka.

This tree frog is characterized by unique osteological characteristics in the skull which distinguish it from all other congeners, such as the presence of a series of maxillary teeth progressively changing orientation from horizontal to vertical from posterior end to anterior; a laterally-curved spine in the quadratojugal bone; and bony co-ossification on the skull resulting in four dorsal spines which are externally seen as protrusions in the parietal area. Bioacoustic observations of Polypedates ranwellai sp. nov. revealed three distinct call types.

High rates of deforestation and anthropogenic activities at the type locality threaten the survival of the species.

Singapore shark fin victory


From Oceana:

Shark Fin Victory in Singapore

Posted Fri, Jan 6, 2012 by RProkop

In Singapore, we’re seeing more proof that dedicated activists can make a difference in the world. Singapore is one of the shark fin capitals of the world, but thanks to an outcry from local customers, its largest supermarket chain, Fairprice, will be pulling fins from its shelves.

Shark fins are often cut from live sharks, which are then thrown overboard to die. The huge demand for fins, considered a delicacy, puts some shark species at risk of extinction.

And while shark fin is a culturally important food in Singapore, the tide is turning. A campaign by divers against shark fins caused one of Fairprice’s suppliers to launch an online attack ad that said “Screw the divers!”

Luckily for sharks, the ad backfired. Not all Singaporeans are shark fin fans. Local groups like Project Fin have been fighting to create change from the inside out, and they are finally having an impact. In response to the ad, Singaporeans sent hundreds of complaints to Fairprice and suggested a boycott.

In response, Fairprice made the smart—and surprising—decision to stop selling shark fins.

“It is encouraging to see FairPrice respond promptly to the public reaction. They can progress further by selling only sustainable food,” said Jennifer Lee, founder of Project Fin.

Kudos to the Singaporean shark protectors for such a powerful victory in the wake of cultural pressure.

Why planting mangroves is good news for whale sharks: here.

Petition: Stop the Shark killing in the Red Sea.