this pretty much sums things up…
Nasa video from the International Space Station shows the northern lights above Earth’s northernmost and southernmost regions, the light displays associated with the solar wind
A visual essay about the impact of deforestation in Indonesia as seen through the eyes of a dying orangutan
This extraordinary visual essay, told with no human commentary at all, explores the impact of deforestation and the exploitation of natural resources in Indonesia from the point of view of a dying orangutan called Green.
Stunning images of the natural world and its biodiversity are counter-pointed with scenes of their destruction and the resulting cruelty to animals.
The film takes viewers on an emotional journey, following Green’s final days and revealing the devastating impact of logging, land-clearing and palm oil plantations.
see the film’s producer’s account of his jouneys in indonesia, from al jazeera
NOTE: This film contains upsetting scenes including cruelty to animals.
Former U.S. vice-president Dick Cheney has cancelled an April appearance in Toronto citing concerns Canada is too dangerous.
“He felt that in Canada the risk of violent protest was simply too high,” said Ryan Ruppert, president of promotions company Spectre Live Corp., which had booked Mr. Cheney for an April 24 appearance at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.
“They specifically referenced what happened in Vancouver,” Mr, Ruppert added.
In September, Mr. Cheney was speaking at a private club in Vancouver when protesters massed outside the front door harassing ticket holders and in one instance, choking a security guard.
The former vice-president was reportedly held inside the building for more than seven hours as Vancouver Police in riot gear dispersed the demonstrators.
Cheney, who along with former President George W. Bush remains unpopular in Canada, had been slated to talk about his time in office and the current U.S. political landscape.
“God forbid there was ever an emergency,” said Ruppert, noting Cheney’s history of heart problems.
Ticket holders can either bring in their tickets for a refund, or go to a replacement talk by author Mark Steyn.
Cheney was Bush’s vice-president from 2001 to 2009
Russian punks Pussy Riot have been arrested over their February protest at Moscow’s Christ the Saviour cathedral. Beginning on 3 March, the day before the presidential election that saw Vladimir Putin return to power, six band members were charged in connection with hate crimes and violations of public order.
Two of the musicians remain in custody, where they have begun a hunger strike. Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alyokhin are protesting against the conditions of their arrest, which will see them kept behind bars until a late April hearing. They both have young children: Tolokonnikova has a four-year-old son and Alyokhin’s daughter is five. The women “will starve in jail until they are returned to their children”, Pussy Riot explained on their website.
If the accused are found guilty, they face up to seven years in prison. “These citizens were taken in on suspicion of committing a crime, one involving a gross violation of public order, including inciting religious hatred as part of a planned conspiracy,” announced the government’s press service. The band members claim they were interrogated for seven hours, beginning at 4am; the investigators allegedly revealed the case was being directed “from the highest levels”, with a focus not just on Pussy Riot’s protest but on “all anti-state activities”.
Pussy Riot comprises 10 members and dozens of supporting “staff”, who have helped organise guerrilla performances in Moscow. Notorious for their colourful balaclavas, miniskirts and tights, they criticise Russia‘s authoritarianism, pushing for judicial, educational and cultural reform. “Russia did not have enough explosive punk-feminist groups, pushing people to the development of a culture of protest,” members explained to Gazeta.ru last month. “Our concerts were to become a pure protest saying: superheroes in balaclavas and acid bright tights seize public space in Moscow.”
Pussy Riot’s most famous flash gig took place at Christ the Saviour on 21 February. Five members broke into the Moscow cathedral, performing a “punk prayer” from the altar. This song, titled Holy Shit, was a condemnation of the Russian Orthodox church’s close ties to Putin. “Holy Mother, Blessed Virgin,” they sang, “chase Putin out!”
“Our patriarch is not ashamed of wearing watches worth $40,000, which is intolerable when so many families in Russia are on the edge of poverty,”Pussy Riot explained. “Our position is to think critically, to doubt all ‘natural’ things, and find lies.”
video of pussy riot at an orthodox church – with chornium-translated text below
FULL POST on the punk prayer service, “Mother, Putin Put,” which the soloist Pussy Riot served in the Cathedral of Christ the Savior in February 21st, Tuesday Pancake week - Twitter Group:http://twitter.com/ #! / pussy_riot TEXT OF PUNK-Prayer: (Chorus),Theotokos, Virgin, Putin Put Put Putin, Putin Put (end chorus) black robe, gold epaulets All parishioners are crawling on the bows ofPhantom Freedom in Heaven Gay Pride sent to Siberia in chains head of the KGB, their main holy Leads protesters in jail under escort to His Holiness not to offend women should give birth to love Holy shit, shit, Holy shit Holy shit, shit, shit the Lord (Chorus), Theotokos, Virgin, become a feminist Become a feminist, a feminist stand (end chorus)Praise Church rotten vodzhey procession of black limousines In school, the preacher is going to you Come to class – bring him money! Patriarch Gundyaev believes Putin is better to be in God, bitch, believed Belt virgins will not replace meetings - On the protest with us Ever-Virgin Mary! (Chorus), Theotokos, Virgin, Putin Put Putin Put, Put Putin (end chorus)
A whole new world of magic animals, brave young princes and evil witches has come to light with the discovery of 500 new fairytales, which were locked away in an archive in Regensburg, Germany for over 150 years. The tales are part of a collection of myths, legends and fairytales, gathered by the local historian Franz Xaver von Schönwerth (1810–1886) in the Bavarian region of Oberpfalz at about the same time as the Grimm brothers were collecting the fairytales that have since charmed adults and children around the world.
Last year, the Oberpfalz cultural curator Erika Eichenseer published a selection of fairytales from Von Schönwerth’s collection, calling the book Prinz Roßzwifl. This is local dialect for “scarab beetle”. The scarab, also known as the “dung beetle”, buries its most valuable possession, its eggs, in dung, which it then rolls into a ball using its back legs. Eichenseer sees this as symbolic for fairytales, which she says hold the most valuable treasure known to man: ancient knowledge and wisdom to do with human development, testing our limits and salvation.
Von Schönwerth spent decades asking country folk, labourers and servants about local habits, traditions, customs and history, and putting down on paper what had only been passed on by word of mouth. In 1885, Jacob Grimm said this about him: “Nowhere in the whole of Germany is anyone collecting [folklore] so accurately, thoroughly and with such a sensitive ear.” Grimm went so far as to tell King Maximilian II of Bavaria that the only person who could replace him in his and his brother’s work was Von Schönwerth.
Von Schönwerth compiled his research into a book called Aus der Oberpfalz – Sitten und Sagen, which came out in three volumes in 1857, 1858 and 1859. The book never gained prominence and faded into obscurity.
While sifting through Von Schönwerth’s work, Eichenseer found 500 fairytales, many of which do not appear in other European fairytale collections. For example, there is the tale of a maiden who escapes a witch by transforming herself into a pond. The witch then lies on her stomach and drinks all the water, swallowing the young girl, who uses a knife to cut her way out of the witch. However, the collection also includes local versions of the tales children all over the world have grown up with including Cinderella and Rumpelstiltskin, and which appear in many different versions across Europe.
Von Schönwerth was a historian and recorded what he heard faithfully, making no attempt to put a literary gloss on it, which is where he differs from the Grimm brothers. However, says Eichenseer, this factual recording adds to the charm and authenticity of the material. What delights her most about the tales is that they are unpolished. “There is no romanticising or attempt by Schönwerth to interpret or develop his own style,” she says.
Eichenseer says the fairytales are not for children alone. “Their main purpose was to help young adults on their path to adulthood, showing them that dangers and challenges can be overcome through virtue, prudence and courage.”
In 2008, Eichenseer helped to found the Franz Xaver von Schönwerth Society, an interdisciplinary committee devoted to analysing his work and publicising it. She is keen to see the tales available in English, and a Munich-based English translator, Dan Szabo, has already begun work on stories ranging from a miserly farmer and a money-mill to a turnip princess.
“Schönwerth’s legacy counts as the most significant collection in the German-speaking world in the 19th century,” says Daniel Drascek, a member of the society and a professor in the faculty of language, literature and cultural sciences at the University of Regensburg.
wanna read the turnip princess?
The Turnip Princess
A young prince lost his way in the forest and came to a cave. He passed the night there, and when he awoke there stood next to him an old woman with a bear and a dog. The old witch seemed very beautiful and wished that the prince would stay with her and marry her. He could not endure her, yet could not leave that place.
One day, the bear was alone with him and spoke to the prince: “Pull the rusty nail from the wall, so that I shall be delivered, and place it beneath a turnip in the field, and in this way you shall have a beautiful wife.” The prince seized the nail so strongly that the cave shook and the nail cracked loudly like a clap of thunder. Behind him a bear stood up from the ground like a man, bearded and with a crown on his head.
“Now I shall find a beautiful maiden,” cried the prince and went forth nimbly. He came to a field of turnips and was about to place the nail beneath one of them when there appeared above him a monster, so that he dropped the nail, pricked his finger on a hedge and bled until he fell down senseless. When he awoke he saw that he was elsewhere and that he had long slumbered, for his smooth chin was now frizzy with a blond beard.
He arose and set off across field and forest and searched through every turnip field but nowhere found what he was looking for. Day passed and night, too, and one evening, he sat down on a ridge beneath a bush, a flowering blackthorn with red blossoms on one branch. He broke off the branch, and because there was before him, amongst the other things on the ground, a large, white turnip, he stuck the blackthorn branch into the turnip and fell asleep.
When he awoke on the morrow, the turnip beside him looked like a large, open shell in which lay the nail, and the wall of the turnip resembled a nut-shell, whose kernel seemed to shape his picture. He saw there the little foot, the thin hand, the whole body, even the fine hair so delicately imprinted, just as the most beautiful girl would have.
The prince stood up and began his search, and came at last to the old cave in the forest, but no one was there. He took out the nail and struck it into the wall of the cave, and at once the old woman and the bear were also there. “Tell me, for you know for certain,” snarled the prince fiercely at the old woman, “where have you put the beautiful girl from the parlour?” The old woman giggled to hear this: “You have me, so why do you scorn me?”
The bear nodded, too, and looked for the nail in the wall. “You are honest, to be sure,” said the prince, “but I shall not be the old woman’s fool again.” “Just pull out the nail,” growled the bear. The prince reached for it and pulled it half out, looked about him and saw the bear as already half man, and the odious old woman almost as a beautiful and kind girl. Thereupon he drew out the nail entirely and flew into her arms for she had been delivered from the spell laid upon her and the nail burnt up like fire, and the young bridal pair travelled with his father, the king, to his kingdom.
RL7 is an eight-foot tall combat robot that goes on the run after malfunctioning with vivid memories of once being human. As its creators and the military close in, RL7 battles its way to uncovering the shocking truth behind its mysterious visions and past.
Directed by Aaron Sims
starring Robert Joy (Land of the Dead, CSI:NY) and David Anders (Heros, 24)
This weekend marks the fourth anniversary of Marie Mason’s indictment and arrest. She’s now serving more than 20 years due to her admitted and proud involvement in Earth Liberation Front arsons against genetic engineering, logging, road-building, and suburban development. In addition to her militant actions, she contributed to a variety of community and environmental projects.
Rather than beg for nature to be respected or wait for the Earth to be commodified and destroyed, Marie defined her own course of action and has since courageously faced the consequences. As a mark of her commitments, she remains vegan, despite being placed in an isolation unit with limited access to suitable food. Whatever one thinks of her actions, she deserves support in the face of the FBI’s efforts to bury her alive.
Marie released a letter in January marking her 3rd birthday spent in prison:
“Tomorrow I will turn 50. It’s a mile marker and a time to reflect on my life. Like all humans, I’ve made mistakes and have some small regrets. But I am still an anarchist, a feminist, an internationalist, a Wobbly and community organizer, a passionate Earth First!er, and am still proud to have played my part in the Earth Liberation Front and Animal Liberation Front’s work to defend the wild and our non-human brothers and sisters.
My life has been spent in many movements, and all seem to be part of the process of necessary change. That experiment in social change is still ongoing and we must all keep trying, keep contributing what we can. My body is trapped here, but my heart is with you still fighting out there.
As Woody Guthrie used to say, ”take it easy… but take it.”Never give up, never give in, keep your minds open to inventing better, compassionate ways to make change happen. And write when you can. I’m a mom, I worry about all of you out there…..
Solidarity with Marie Mason and with all eco-prisoners.
Let’s overturn this society based on prisons, repression, and the
increasingly-rapid destruction of the environment!
Todd Bol wanted to honor his mother, a former teacher and book lover who died a decade ago. So two years ago, Bol built a miniature model of a library, filled it with books for anyone to take, and placed it outside his home in Hudson, Wis.
He says people loved it. “People just kept coming up to it, looking at it, patting it, saying ‘oh, it’s cute,’ ” Bol recalls.
From that idea, hundreds of similar Little Free Libraries are popping up on lawns across the country. They’re tiny — no bigger than a dollhouse. Some look like miniature homes or barns. Others just look like a box on a post.
But they all hold books.
“Take a book, leave a book,” says Bol, explaining in a nutshell, the basic concept of these tiny libraries.
After building the first library, Bol thought the idea had potential to spread. He contacted his friend Rick Brooks, who is an outreach program manager for the Division of Continuing Studies at the University of Wisconsin.
Together, they have helped launch a small, but growing movement.
The men provide logistical assistance and support to people who want to become mini-librarians. They have a Website, littlefreelibrary.org, that provides drawings people can use to construct the boxes. It also has a map that tracks the location of Little Libraries.
Today, Little Free Libraries can be found in at least 24 states and eight countries, Brooks says. He guesses there are 300 to 400 in existence.
“We are estimating that for every one we know about, there are two or three others being built,” Brooks says.
Little Libraries can now be found on lawns from Oakland, Calif., to Yarmouth, Mass. Overseas, you can find them in places such as Berkamsted, England, Hamburg, Germany, and Accra, Ghana.
In Wisconsin, Brooks says prison inmates recently started building the libraries, which will soon be posted in several Wisconsin communities.