A researcher from Paul Sabatier University, Julien Cucherousset, heard from local fisherman that in River Tarn of Southwestern France catfish hunt pigeons in addition to other prey. He and his team set up cameras to capture the amazing predator in action.
A group of catfish in River Tarn are seen swimming close to a flock of pigeons on land. When a catfish gets close enough, it lunges forward to grab the bird’s neck and drag it back to the water to swallow its meal.
“These particular catfish have taken to lunging out of the water, grabbing a pigeon, and then wriggling back into the water to swallow their prey,” the researchers wrote in their study. “In the process, they temporarily strand themselves on land for a few seconds.”
The hunting footage is so fierce that the researcher dubbed the carnivorous catfish as “freshwater killer whales,” after killer whales in Argentina that swim close to shore and snatch sea lions on the beach.
The predatory fish in question are Wels catfish (Silurus galanis). They can grow up to 2.49 m (8 ft 2 in) long and can weigh up to 89 kg (200 lb), so they could potentially go after even larger prey than pigeons.
After strong objections by the Catholic Church which were taken up in the national parliament of Slovakia by the Christian Democratic Movement (KDH), Slovak Democratic and Christian Union (SDKÚ) and some representatives of the Ordinary People and Independent Personalities (OĽaNO) caucus to the elimination of halos from the heads of Sts. Cyril and Methodius and the removal of the image of the cross from the saints’ vestments, the Board of Directors of the National Bank of Slovakia has announced that the halos and crosses will be restored on the 2-Euro coins scheduled to be released in 2013 to commemorate the 1150th Anniversary of the Mission of Cyril and Methodius to the Slavs.
Slovak Spectator reported, however, that restoring those halos might preclude the Slovakian €2 coin being released throughout the European Union.
The NBS [National Bank of Slovakia, country’s central bank – ed. note] Bank Council approved the original proposal of the design, even though it realises that the new approval process may lead to frustrating the original goal of releasing the commemorative coin throughout the 17-nation eurozone,” said spokesperson for the bank Petra Pauerová, as quoted by TASR.
The European Commission earlier stated that the commemorative coin cannot contain crosses and halos in order to observe the principle of religious neutrality in the European Union. Later it was revealed that it was not the EC as such, but certain eurozone members that objected to releasing the coin with religious symbols.
The same paper separately identified the countries who had a problem with Christian saints being depicted with such particularist Christian symbols as halos and crosses/
It was certain eurozone member states that expressed disagreement with the original artistic proposal for a Slovak commemorative coin depicting Saints Cyril and Methodius with crosses and halos set to be released in 2013, Andrej Králik from the Representation of the EU Commission in Slovakia said on Thursday, November 22.
The commission subsequently asked Slovakia to submit a modified proposal, which was later approved by the EU Council, Králik told the TASR newswire. He rejected statements by certain Slovak politicians who said that the case involved a ‘dictate of Brussels’ and ‘high-handedness of officials from the EU Commission’, describing these assertions as untrue and deceptive.
The commission stated that the removal of the religious symbols was due to the need to observe religious neutrality, as set out in the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the EU. German MEP Martin Kastler earlier on Thursday revealed that the countries that had raised objections to the original Slovak proposal were France and Greece
The French satire magazine Charlie Hebdo again has published some cartoon images mocking Islamic religious hypersensitivity, as the Australian Herald Sun reported:
The cover of Charlie Hebdo today shows a Muslim in a wheelchair being pushed by an Orthodox Jew under the title Intouchables 2, referring to an award-winning French film about a poor black man who helps an aristocratic quadriplegic.
Another cartoon on the back page of the weekly magazine shows a naked turbaned Mohammed exposing his posterior to a film director, a scene inspired by a 1963 film starring French film star Brigitte Bardot.
Charlie Hebdo’s website crashed today after being bombarded with comments that ranged from hate mail to approbation.
The magazine is no stranger to controversy over issues relating to Islam.
Last year it published an edition ‘’guest-edited’’ by Prophet Mohammed that it called Sharia Hebdo.
The magazine’s offices in Paris were subsequently fire-bombed.
The government of France responded bravely by announcing the closing of twenty embassies all over the Islamic world.
France announced Wednesday it will close 20 embassies across the Muslim world on Friday after French weekly Charlie Hebdo published cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed naked, amid growing unrest over an anti-Islamic film that has left dozens dead.
The French foreign ministry announced Wednesday that France will close 20 of its embassies in Muslim countries this Friday following the publication of controversial Prophet Mohammed cartoons by satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo. Major protests in the Muslim world generally take place after Friday prayers.
Charlie Hebdo’s web-site was successfully shut down by denial of service attacks, and its offices were today surrounded by French riot police.
One of my European Facebook friends forwarded a photo of the above piece of jewelry, which I, at least, failed to recognize as Lalique.
My curiosity is strong, so I captured the picture and ran it through a search program (Tineye), thereby identifying its source as Odisea2008.com, a Spanish-language web-site regularly purveying images of art.
(I never actually studied Spanish, but for the convenience of my Anglophone readers, I have combined my own feeble efforts with Google translator to produce a readable (reasonably accurate, I hope) version of Odisea2008’s accompanying text.)
RENÉ LALIQUE, AN ARTISTIC GENIUS
René Lalique was born in 1860 and died in 1945, and lived two successive artistic lives, as he expressed different facets of his personality in two diametrically opposed styles: the Art Nouveau and the later Art Deco.
Basing his inspiration on nature and having had the audacity (for the time) to use the female body as an element of ornamentation, Lalique created some of the most representative jewelry of the Art Nouveau style. His earrings, brooches, tiaras, glasses, combs were original and imaginative works using the most elaborate techniques. He was not afraid to use previously little-used materials, such as horn, ivory, semi-precious stones, enamel and inlaid glass that was combined with gold and precious stones. His originality and talent caused him to be regarded by Emile Gallé as the inventor of modern jewelry.
At the height of his career as a jeweler, Lalique gradually changed direction and became a glazier. His earliest experiments dated back to the 1890s, but his encounter with the perfumer François Coty in 1908 played a decisive role, causing him not only to create produce bottles for the greatest perfumers, but gradually also to add to his productions, boxes, vases, lamps, and so on.
His reputation in the realm of glass was such that his factory at Combs-la-Ville, could not meet the demand, so after the World War, Lalique opened a second manufactury in Alsace at Wingen-sur-Moder, knowing that he could find in this region with a tradition of stained glass production the necessary skilled labor and that he would be able to obtain support from the government which at that time was seeking to establish the region of Alsace and Moselle as “the glass-center of France.”
Glazier of genius and eclectic creator, Lalique was not only interested in the arts of tableware and perfume bottles. He also produced, in the luxury years of the 1920s, equally emblematic designs for car radiator mascots, lighting for trains like the Orient-Express, for passenger ships like the Normandie, and for luxury stores. Lalique also took a special interest in religious architecture for which he produced some extraordinary designs.
After the death of Rene Lalique in 1945, his son Marc succeeded him in directing the company. Imbued with the same passion for the work, he used his technical skills to rebuild and modernize the factory largely destroyed during the war. Abandoning glass in favor of crystal, He exploited the contrast between the transparent and the satin-glazed to achieve the maximum expressivity from this pure material. It was this particular effect which became famous worldwide and was recognized as characterizing the brand “Lalique”. Under his guidance, the company quickly reached the highest position among the great French and foreign glassmakers.
Marie-Claude succeeded her father Marc in 1977, with the intention of combining tradition and renewal, along with the love of natural forms and the capability of reproducing and communicating their essence in objects, that for three generations has marked the creative sensibility of Lalique.
In 2008, the Lalique Company was merged into the Pochet Group of Art and Fragrance Companies and Saint-Germain Finance. The aim of its president and CEO, Silvio Denz is to strengthen the brand name in the world market and to increase its production capacity of glassware. Collections of jewelry and perfume bottles continue to be developed in parallel with traditional stained glass activity. Reissues of old works and contemporary creations are still produced in Wingen-sur-Moder by master glassmakers, where several of the best workers in France perpetuate the cult of excellence.
Dan Freedman has some data on the recent French election that most Americans had not realized.
This is from a friend in France:
Hello to my American friends,
As you know, the Socialist François Hollande won the presidential elections in France, last Sunday.
It is a catastrophe for France.
Hollande was elected by the Muslisms:
a survey (of 10,000 Muslims) shows that 93% of the Muslims voted for him.
As 2 million Muslims participated in this election, Hollande got 1,720,000 Muslim votes more than Sarkozy did: (0.93-0.07) x 2,000,000 = 1,720,000
But at the end, in the whole population, he got only 1,139,316 votes more than Sarkozy.
So, without the Muslims’ votes, Sarkozy would have been re-elected.
All the Muslim criminals feel now empowered.
Criminality is already on the rise (1,700 cars were burnt in France for the first night). Muslims are screaming anti-French and anti-Jews watchwords in our streets.
Veiled women, wearing the illegal burqa, are strolling in our streets.
And, as if this wasn’t enough, Hollande wants to give to all the foreigners the right to vote in our elections!!
France will face a very hard situation. We are heading for civil war in a few years.
That’s the last news from occupied France.
The dinosaur is wearing a “PS” (Parti socialiste) pin in his beret.
Tim Blair offers some quotations as commentary on the French election.
P.J. O’Rourke in 2008:
France is a treasure to mankind. French ideas, French beliefs, and French actions form a sort of loadstone for humanity. Because a moral compass needle needs a butt end. Whatever direction France is pointing in—toward Nazi collaboration, Communism, existentialism, Jerry Lewis movies, or President Sarkozy’s personal life—you can go the other way with a clear conscience.
French voters elected François Hollande as president on Sunday, giving the country a Socialist leader who has pledged to shift the burden of hardship to the rich and resolve the protracted euro-zone sovereign-debt crisis by softening the current prescription of austerity.
Time to haul right and stomp welfare. History is our guide.
UPDATE. Iowahawk: “If white people are so smart, then how do you explain Europe?”
Translation: “One hundred lashes if you don’t die laughing!”
Charlie Hebdo, the French satirical journal, was in 2007 the only publication in France to print the Danish Mohammed cartoons. As a result, Charlie Hebdo was then charged with slandering a group on the basis of religion, but was finally acquitted after a two day trial.
Charlie Hebdotoday intended to commemorate the Islamic victory in the elections in Tunisia by temporarily renaming itself “Sharia Hebdo” and appointing the Prophet Mohammed “guest editor” and putting his portrait again on the cover.
The “Sharia Hebdo” edition had not even appeared yet, when last night the paper’s Paris offices were fire-bombed and its web-site attacked and taken down.
The bravery and readiness to defend the principle of free speech of the American urban elites was promptly demonstrated by Time Magazine’s Bureau chief, the aptly named Bruce Crumley.
Okay, so can we finally stop with the idiotic, divisive, and destructive efforts by “majority sections” of Western nations to bait Muslim members with petulant, futile demonstrations that “they” aren’t going to tell “us” what can and can’t be done in free societies? Because not only are such Islamophobic antics futile and childish, but they also openly beg for the very violent responses from extremists their authors claim to proudly defy in the name of common good. What common good is served by creating more division and anger, and by tempting belligerent reaction?
The difficulty in answering that question is also what’s making it hard to have much sympathy for the French satirical newspaper firebombed this morning, after it published another stupid and totally unnecessary edition mocking Islam. ..
[Y]eah, the violence inflicted upon Charlie Hebdo was outrageous, unacceptable, condemnable, and illegal. But apart from the “illegal” bit, Charlie Hebdo’s current edition is all of the above, too.
All of which leads inevitably to the reflection that objectionable as the bigoted barbarian fanatics who firebombed Charlie Hebdo are, lickspittle cowards, appeasers, and traitors to their own culture and civilization like the invertebrate Mr. Crumbley are even more of a blight on the face of the planet.
Bugger Islam, and bugger bed-wetting liberalism twice.
The Telegraph reports that the French riot police are threatening to go out on strike to resist the French nanny state. The issuing of alcohol to men going into physical combat used to be a routine step during the ancien regime. France with its Catholic tradition ought to be more resistant to the pettiness of modern Puritanism.
The CRS (Compagnies Républicaines de Sécurité), which made its name quelling student demonstrators during nationwide disturbances in 1968, has always enjoyed a glass of beer or wine with its meals.
However, following photos of riot police drinking bottles of beer during Paris street protest, police chiefs have decided to put an end to the tradition.
They were wearing body armour and carrying weapons as they sipped from beer and wine bottles. Some were also smoking.
Didier Mangione, national secretary of the police union, said bosses were “trying to turn us into priests, but without the altar wine”.
“Nobody should object to a small drink on jobs,” he said. “CRS officers do not have any more or less alcohol problems than anybody else in society. They should be allowed to drink in moderation.”
While British police are strictly barred from drinking on duty, the French have traditionally been allowed 25cl of wine or a small beer with their main meal of the day.
It was normally served on an official tray and sometimes eaten in full view of the public, often outside riot-control vans.
“Our right to drink alcohol with our food is protected by the law and our members are very unhappy at being treated like children,” Mr Mangione added.
The CRS, which was formed after the Second World War to “protect” the Republic from internal threats, has always been renowned for employing particularly tough officers.
They are often seen bracing themselves for action on the streets of major cities like Paris, Marseilles and Lyon.
Whenever a riot is threatened in a housing project or outside a university, it is invariably the CRS who are called to mobilise. Their tactics involve responding swiftly, and often violently.
Mr Mangione said he would be making a formal appeal against the new rules to the police authority.
The Telegraph reports that Carla Bruni, wife of French President is changing her political stance.
The supermodel-turned-singer’s reputation as a “luvvie Lefty” has been cited as a major handicap to Mr Sarkozy’s re-election, and her political change of heart is an attempt to boost support for her unpopular husband among his core Right-wing electorate.
Only two years ago Mrs Bruni-Sarkozy had claimed that she was “instinctively left-wing” after at one stage supporting her husband’s Socialist rival in the 2007 presidential elections. She had also publicly opposed Mr Sarkozy’s plan to conduct DNA tests on immigrants.
In 2008, she told the Libération newspaper: “Nobody has to be joined at the hip in politics or with one’s husband”. A year earlier she told a British newspaper: “I would never vote on the Right.”
But in Monday’s interview with Le Parisien newspaper, she said her previous political persuasion was only due to her belonging to a “community of artists.” “We were bobo (bourgeois bohemians), we were left-wing but at that time I voted in Italy (her native country).” I have never voted for the Left in France and I can tell you, I’m not about to start now. I don’t really feel left-wing anymore,” she said.
Personally, I don’t think Carla Bruni is going to have a very tough time wooing French conservatives.
A new paper in Forensic Science International: Genetics by Carles Lalueza-Fox, Elena Gigli, Carla Bini, Francesc Calafella, Donata Luiselli, Susi Pelotti, and Davide Pettener details the results of DNA analysis of the unfortunate King Louis XVI of France executed by the Revolutionary convention 21 January 1793.
Wikipedia notes: “It is agreed that while Louis’s blood dripped to the ground many members of the crowd ran forward to dip their handkerchiefs in it.”
A text on a pyrographically decorated gourd dated to 1793 explains that it contains a handkerchief dipped with the blood of Louis XVI, king of France, after his execution. Biochemical analyses confirmed that the material contained within the gourd was blood. The mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) hypervariable region 1 (HVR1) and 2 (HVR2), the Y-chromosome STR profile, some autosomal STR markers and a SNP in HERC2 gene associated to blue eyes, were retrieved, and some results independently replicated in two different laboratories. The uncommon mtDNA sequence retrieved can be attributed to a N1b haplotype, while the novel Y-chromosome haplotype belongs to haplogroup G2a. The HERC2 gene showed that the subject analyzed was a heterozygote, which is compatible with a blue-eyed person, as king Louis XVI was. To confirm the identity of the subject, an analysis of the dried heart of his son, Louis XVII, could be undertaken.
The mitochondrial dna haplogroup N1b is a decidedly unusual. Louis XVI’s mother was Princess Maria Josepha of Saxony, the daughter of Maria Josepha of Austria, granddaughter of Wilhelmine Amalia of Brunswick-Lüneburg, ggd of Benedicta Henrietta of the Palatinate, gggd of Anne Gonzaga, ggggd of Catherine of Mayenne, a member of the House of Guise, a junior branch of the royal House of Lorraine.
French politician Rachida Dati says “fellatio” comment was slip of tongue.
Former French justice minister Rachida Dati has said the reason the word inflation came out as fellatio during her talk, was because she was speaking too fast.
Dati, 44, laughed at the mistake she had made on Canal Plus television during a radio interview.
“I just spoke too quickly but, well, if that lets everybody have a laugh, then that’s fine,” News.com.au quoted her as saying.
The MEP had confused oral sex with rising prices as she launched an attack on foreign investment funds.
[“...moi quand je vois certains qui demandent des rentabilités à 20, 25%, avec une fellation quasi-nulle et en particulier en période de crise…”]
“When I see some of them looking for returns of 20 or 25 percent, at a time when fellatio is close to zero, and in particular in a slump, that means we are destroying businesses,” she had told Canal Plus in a midday interview.