Prehistoric bison engravings in Spanish caves

This 2019 video about ancient Moravia says about itself:

A beautiful fictionalized story about the first Europeans, about Gravettian people.

The Gravettian people were the descendants of the Aurignacian, who first thought abstractly as true Homo sapiens.

From PLOS:

Bison engravings in Spanish caves reveal a common art culture across ancient Europe

Study finds ancient Gravettian art culture much more widespread than thought

October 28, 2020

Recently discovered rock art from caves in Northern Spain represents an artistic cultural style common across ancient Europe, but previously unknown from the Iberian Peninsula, according to a study published October 28, 2020, in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Diego Garate of the Instituto Internacional de Investigaciones Prehistóricas de Cantabria, Spain, and colleagues.

The history of ancient human art includes various cultural complexes characterized by different artistic styles and conventions. In 2015, new instances of rock art were discovered in three caves in Aitzbitarte Hill in northern Spain, representing an artistic style previously unknown from the Iberian Peninsula. In this study, Garate and colleagues compare this artistic style to others from across Europe.

The artwork in the Aitzbitarte caves consists mostly of engravings of bison, complete with the animals’ characteristic horns and humps. The authors note the particular style in which the animals’ horns and legs are drawn, typically without proper perspective. Pairs of limbs are consistently depicted as a “double Y” with both legs visible, and the horns are similarly drawn side-by-side with a series of lines in between.

This is consistent with the artistic style of the Gravettian cultural complex, characterized by specific customs in art, tools, and burial practices between about 34,000 and 24,000 years ago. This culture is known from across Europe but has not been seen before on the Iberian Peninsula. The authors combine this new discovery with data from around Europe to show that the Gravettian culture was more widespread and varied than previously appreciated.

The authors add: “The study analyses the particularities of Palaeolithic animal engravings found in the Aitzbitarte Caves (Basque Country, Spain) in 2016. These prehistoric images, mainly depicting bison, were drawn in a way that has never before been seen in northern Spain; in a kind of fashion in the way of drawing the engravings that is more characteristic of southern France and some parts of the Mediterranean. The study has shown the close regional relationships in Western Europe cave art since very early times, at least, 25,000 years ago.”

Spanish ex-king scot free in corruption scandal?

A resident waves a Spanish Republican flag against Spain's former monarch, King Juan Carlos I, in Pamplona, northern Spain, last Wednesday

This photo shows a resident waving a Spanish Republican flag against Spain’s former monarch, King Juan Carlos I, in Pamplona, northern Spain, last Wednesday.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain, 9 August 2020:

Pressure mounts on Spain to pursue ex-king on corruption charges

SPAIN’S former king Juan Carlos is believed to have taken up residence in the United Arab Emirates following his secretive departure from Spain last week.

Spanish media have published images of him in the Gulf state.

Knowledge of his whereabouts will intensify pressure on Spanish authorities to pursue investigations into alleged criminal behaviour that includes money-laundering and bribery relating to a Saudi construction contract.

Hundreds of rainbow flags in Spanish small town

This 26 June 2020 Spanish TV video is about the 400 Pride flags in the small town Villanueva de Algaidas.

Gay Pride flags in Villanueva de Algaidas, Spain, Reuters photo

Translated from Dutch NOS radio today:

Spanish town celebrates Gay Pride Day with over 400 rainbow flags

Residents of a town in southern Spain have massively decorated their streets and houses with rainbow flags. It is in response to the municipality’s decision to remove a large rainbow flag from City Hall.

It has been there since Monday to support yesterday’s celebration of International Gay Pride Day. But three [probably right-wing] residents of Villanueva de Algaidas reported the flag as supposedly criminal. In Spain, only the flags of the municipality, state, country and European Union may be displayed on public buildings.

More rainbow flags in Villanueva de Algaidas

The rainbow flag was removed, but a former resident didn’t let go. Coincidentally, he had a surplus of flags. He wanted to sell them on Gay Pride day in [the bigger town] Torremolinos, but that event was cancelled due to the coronavirus crisis.

When he heard from his family in his hometown that the flag had been taken down at the town hall, he offered his flags to his former townspeople. Interest was great. More than 400 rainbow flags fluttered in the streets of the 4,200-people small town yesterday and today.

Saving birds from power line death

This June 2015 video from the USA is called Birds of prey need power line protection.

From Oregon State University in the USA:

Better way to keep birds from hitting power lines

June 24, 2020

Suspended, rotating devices known as “flappers” may be the key to fewer birds flying into power lines, a study by Oregon State University suggests.

The findings by researchers in OSU’s College of Agricultural Sciences are important because around the globe both the number of power lines and concern over bird fatalities are on the rise.

Research has documented more than 300 species of birds dying from hitting power lines, with one study estimating that more than 170 million perish annually in the United States and another estimating the global death toll to be 1 billion per year. There’s also the problem of power outages that bird strikes can cause.

Conservation managers and utilities many years ago developed flight diverters, basically regularly spaced devices that make the lines more visible, as a step toward reducing the number of birds flying into the lines.

The most common types are the PVC spirals, which are durable and easy to install, but how well they actually work isn’t well understood. Though they’ve been in use for nearly four decades, strike rates remain high for a number of species.

OSU researchers Virginia Morandini and Ryan Baumbusch were part of an international collaboration that compared the effectiveness of three types of flight diverters: yellow PVC spiral; orange PVC spiral; and a flapper model with three orange and red polypropylene blades with reflective stickers.

OSU researchers Virginia Morandini and Ryan Baumbusch were part of an international collaboration that compared the effectiveness of three types of flight diverters: yellow PVC spiral; orange PVC spiral; and a flapper model with three orange and red polypropylene blades with reflective stickers.

The flapper hangs from a power line and its blades, 21 centimeters by 6.2 centimeters, rotate around a vertical axis.

The three-year study took place in southern Spain, and almost 54 kilometers of power lines were used in the research. Ten kilometers were marked with yellow spirals, 13 kilometers were marked with orange spirals, another 13 had flappers, and 16 kilometers had no markers, thus serving as a control. All three flight diverter types were spaced every 10 meters.

Field workers combed the area under the lines every 40 days for evidence of birds killed by power lines and found a total of 131 such birds representing 32 species.

The research suggested the flappers were responsible for a 70% lower average death rate compared to the control. The findings also showed the spirals were better than no diverters, but significantly less effective than the flappers.

“Colored PVC spiral is the most commonly used flight diverter by far, but the flapper diverter was the one showing the largest reduction in mortality with the lowest variation across different power lines, habitats and bird communities,” Morandini said. “We suggest to consider the flapper as the first choice when installing bird flight diverters, recommending to increase future research in testing its material durability and resistance against vibrations and color loss.”

The flappers and PVC spirals have comparable materials and production costs, researchers say, with flappers being easier and faster to install.

That’s important because power companies must keep a line discharged during the diverter installation process — losing money because electricity is not flowing through the line — so the time required to install diverters is the most important factor when considering costs.

Spanish neofascists want killing for Wall Street

This February 2020 video says about itself:

Spain: Far-right protesters perform fascist salutes at “Spain Exists” demo in Barcelona

Far-right protesters raised their arms in fascist salutes as they confronted Catalan independence supporters in Barcelona’s Sant Jaume Square, outside regional government buildings, on Sunday.

The rally was called under the slogan “Espana existe” (Spain exists in English), with similar protests held outside local government offices in all provincial capitals.

Antifascist and pro-Catalan independence protesters staged a counter demonstration holding signs and Catalan flags.

Vox members also took part in the demonstration with the party’s MP Ignacio Garriga …

In contrast, Carles Riera, the spokesperson of Catalonia’s pro-independence CUP party, warned that “Every space and every metre that is left free for fascism, it’s an attack against democracy, freedoms and everyone’s rights.”

Dutch NOS radio reports today that in Madrid, the capital of Spain, the neofascist Vox party, the heirs of the Franco dictatorship, have demonstrated for ending anti-COVID measures.

According to the NOS (translated):

Spain has been severely affected by the coronavirus with more than 28,000 deaths. … For some regions, lockdown relaxations have already been announced.

Spanish azure-winged magpie feeds its youngsters

This April 2020 video from Spaun says about itself:

The parents of the azure-winged magpie (Cyanopica cooki) feed the chicks with insects and clean the droppings to keep the nest clean.

It is a small 34 cm corvid. It is characterized by its long tail in relation to the body and its short wings. It has a black hood, white throat, tawny body, and blue wings and tail. The legs are black, as is the bill.

I was privileged to see many of these beautiful birds in Extremadura.