Category: Uncategorized


Exposing the Big Game

We live in dangerous times — no doubt about it. How did we get to such a state of affairs where democracy itself is in a very fragile condition and the future of human civilization itself at stake? In this interview, renowned thinker, Emeritus Professor of Linguistics at MIT and Laureate Professor of Linguistics at the University of Arizona Noam Chomsky, sheds light on the state of the world and the condition of the only superpower left in the global arena.

C.J. Polychroniou: Noam, looking at the current state of the world, I think it is not an exaggeration at all to say that we live in ominously dangerous times —…

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Dear Kitty. Some blog

This April 2014 video says about itself:

The Critically Endangered Blue-throated Macaw is found in only one place on earth: the Beni Savannas of Bolivia. This complex ecosystem of grasslands, marshes, forest islands and gallery forest is largely in the hands of cattle ranchers and every year untold habitat is lost to intentional burning for pastureland. Today, less than 400 Blue-throated Macaws remain.

Rainforest Trust, in conjunction with American Bird Conservancy and our local partner Asociación Armonía Bolivia, helped create the Barba Azul Nature Reserve, the first and only protected area for the Critically Endangered Blue-throated Macaw.

Artis zoo in Amsterdam in the Netherlands reports today that a record number of young threatened Bolivian parrots have fledged this nesting season.

This is the blue-throated macaw species.

It is endemic to Bolivia. Traditionally, it only nests in holes in urucuri palm trees.

Bolivian landlords had logged many urucuri palm…

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Bharata Bharati

Manu and Seven Sages of Sanatana Dharma

This video is a fascinating review of the origin of civilization on the Indian subcontinent. It looks at the undersea archaeology started by Indian scientists in the seas off the coasts of Gujarat and Tamil Nadu and includes revealing maps of ancient India after the last ice age. Interviews with Dr B.B. Lal, Dr David Frawley, and Dr N.S. Rajaram are included. Indian civilisational history can be pushed back ten thousand years and more BP with archaeological evidence to support the dating.

Note that the video is misleadingly titled “Ancient Tamil Civilization – Truths Hidden by the Indian Government”. The video concerns all of Indian civilisation with a special focus on the archaeological exploration in the seas off Gujarat and Tamil Nadu. None of the research has been hidden by the Indian government.


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How spots help giraffes

Dear Kitty. Some blog

This 11 July 2019 video, recorded in Zambia, says about itself:

How Giraffe Spots Act Like a Natural Air Conditioner

The dark patches on a giraffe’s skin have more blood vessels than the light skin. This can help heat dissipate, allowing them to stay cool.

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Jet Eliot

Anise Swallowtail Butterfly on fennel, Calif.

Of the 18,500 butterfly species worldwide, every species relies on a host plant to provide food for its larvae. Fennel is one of the host larval plants for the anise swallowtail butterfly, a common butterfly found along the western coast of North America.

Here in northern California we have a lot of wild fennel–found along freeways, in parks and yards, city parking lots and pavement cracks. This is great news for the anise swallowtail butterfly who depends on fennel to begin life. It’s great news for us, too; our summers are consistently decorated with this large butterfly.

Anise Swallowtail caterpillar, final instar, California

The host larval plant provides the food vitally necessary for the young caterpillar stages, or instars, of the butterfly. When they form wings and fly off, they seek primarily nectar thereafter, because they no longer have mouthparts for chewing.

Observing…

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Dear Kitty. Some blog

This 3 July 2019 video is about a hermit thrush singing in Canada.

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The Extinction Chronicles

https://www.wired.com/story/trees-emit-a-surprisingly-large-amount-of-methane/

Smoke rises above the Amazon rainforest, outside an indigenous reservation near Jundia, Roraima state. Brazil, on Monday, Jan. 28, 2019.
DADO GALDIERI/GETTY IMAGES
This story originally appeared on Yale Environment 360 and is part of the Climate Desk collaboration.

There are many mysteries in the Amazon. Until recently, one of the most troubling was the vast methane emissions emerging from the rainforest that were observed by satellites but that nobody could find on the ground. Around 20 million tons was simply unaccounted for.

Then Sunitha Pangala, a British postdoc researcher, spent two months traveling the Amazon’s waterways strapping gas-measuring equipment to thousands of trees. She found that trees, especially in the extensive flooded forests, were stimulating methane production in the waterlogged soils and mainlining it into the atmosphere.

Her 2014 expedition plugged a gaping hole in the planet’s methane budget. And she had discovered a…

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La Paz Group

Greenland Ice.jpg Surface meltwater ponds in Western Greenland in May 2019. NASA/JEFFERSON BECK

For his third appearance in our pages this year, illuminating a topic we all need to understand more fully, thanks to Jon Gertner for sharing this in Yale e360:

In Greenland’s Melting Ice, A Warning on Hard Climate Choices

Greenland is melting at an unprecedented rate, causing vast quantities of ice to disappear and global sea levels to rise. The fate of the ice sheet is not sealed, but unless CO2 emissions are sharply cut, the long-term existence of Greenland’s ice is in doubt.

InglefieldBredning_June-13-2019_Steffen-M.-Olsen-Twitter_web2.jpg A team from the Danish Meteorological Institute travels by dogsled across a pond of meltwater in northwest Greenland to retrieve equipment on June 13. STEFFEN M OLSEN/TWITTER

The heat wave arrived early this spring — a shroud of temperate air, sweeping in during early June, which enveloped the Northern Hemisphere’s biggest ice sheet in a…

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Dear Kitty. Some blog

This 25 June 2019 video is about three young griffon vultures. They grew up, cared for by same sex parents and injured wings parents, in the big vulture aviary in Artis zoo in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

They were brought to Sardinia island in Italy. After a stay in a local aviary to get used to the change, they were freed on 25 June 2019.

Probably, they will join a local flock, like the Artis-born vultures freed there last year did. They have GPS trackers on, so researchers can study where they go, like the other griffon vultures freed last year.

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Dream Temples

Arapaleeswarar temple in Kolli Hills,TN,India,on the eve of mahakumbabishekam Arapaleeswarar temple in Kolli Hills,TN,India,on the eve of mahakumbabishekam

Life throws surprises our way when we least expect it. Even as I was writing the post on Arapaleeswarar temple, entirely by chance I came to know that the Mahakumbabishekam was to be performed on 7th May 2017. On the rare occasions in the past when I could visit this temple it was being renovated. On completion, a special and rare ritual called Mahakumbabishekam would be performed. This event was rare because it would be done only once in twelve years. The present kumbabishekam is being  done fifteen years after the last ceremony.

The Vedic rituals preceding the Mahakumbabishekam of Arapaleeswarar Temple had commenced in April. It had been some months since I went to this temple and had no idea that so much was going on. On the evening of 6th May, I had an opportunity for a…

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