Author Topic: New topic Photos  (Read 193423 times)

August 22, 2018, 05:48 PM
Reply #150
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Maybe some of you read the message presenting the skeleton of the Tyrannosaurus:
In this case you will be interested in this conference about the "feathered revolution": How dinosaurs became birds ?

After agonising over it for 20 years, Darwin finally published his theory of evolution, On The Origin Of Species, in 1859. But it was Darwin’s ‘bulldog’, Thomas Henry Huxley, who braced to defend the theory. To do so, Huxley desperately needed fossil evidence of a ‘missing link’ to show how animals had transitioned from one species to another – evidence that Darwin himself admitted was sadly lacking.

Just two years later in Bavaria, the Jurassic-aged limestone deposits yielded a near-perfect fossil of Archaeopteryx. It had blade-like serrated teeth and many other features across the skeleton and skull that showed it was a carnivorous dinosaur. But the crow-sized specimen was covered in the impressions of bird-like feathers. For Huxley, this was the transitional form he was seeking: a dinosaur on its way to becoming a bird. The Germans referred to it as Urvogel, the first bird (its scientific name is derived from the Greek words, ancient feathers).
It was a coup for Huxley. It was also the beginning of the feather revolution.

Archaeopteryx’s halo of feathery impressions may have been a 19th century game changer, but feathers were only just starting to overturn the evolutionary paradigm of the day.
Fast forward 137 years, and new discoveries of fossils with quills are continuing to rewrite the textbooks, not just on bird origins but across the entire dinosaur family tree.
The attempt by palaeontologists to retrace the path of bird evolution makes for a rolicking tale full of sudden twists and turns. For starters, Archaeopteryx did not settle the matter of bird origins. In the early years of the 20th century, Huxley’s proposition that birds descended from carnivorous dinosaurs, specifically the suborder known as theropods, fell out of favour.
One problem with the theory was that the skeletons of theropods were missing a crucial part of bird anatomy – the wishbone (furcula). It acts like a spring to assist flight and is made from the fusion of two collarbones. So for the first half of the 20th century, the search was on for a non-dinosaur ancestor to the birds.

A velociraptor

The next twist in the tale of bird evolution was added by American palaeontologist John Ostrom. He resurrected Huxley’s theory by showing numerous similarities between the skeletons of Deinonychus, a theropod from the Montana Badlands, and Archaeopteryx. Ostrom was able to show that Deinonychus and other theropods did actually have a furcula; it had previously been mistaken for an extra pair of ventral ribs. Even more exciting was the fact that this fusion of the two collarbones had clearly occurred in the theropods well in advance of the evolution of flight capability.

But it was feathers that provided the final incontrovertible evidence that birds evolved from dinosaurs. In the early 1990’s researchers began recovering extraordinary fossils of a wide range of creatures from the late Jurassic and early Cretaceous periods (150 million to 100 million years ago).
They came from Liaoning province in northern China, and, unlike most fossils, their soft tissues were still preserved.
In 1996 the Liaoning deposits surrendered their first feathered dinosaur, the 1.5 metre long theropod dinosaur, Sinosauropteryx. While it had no wings, it was covered in a feathery fuzz.
Since then, a spectacular array of small, feathered dinosaurs have been recovered from Liaoning and a few other sites around the world, which plot every conceivable evolutionary step from small fuzz-covered, meat-eating theropods through to fully feathered and winged birds.
This transition is not so much a linear path as a dense maze, with many paths leading to dead ends.

For 130 years, we thought we understood the broad architecture of the dinosaur family tree. British palaeontologist Harry Seeley pointed out in 1887 that dinosaurs could be divided into two groups based on whether their hips were lizard-like (where the pubis points forward) or bird-like (where the pubis points back). Confusingly, it was members of the lizard-hipped rather than bird-hipped variety that gave rise to birds.

The lizard-hipped saurischians were in turn divided between the long-necked plant-eating sauropods, such as Brachiosaurus, and the meat-eating theropods.
The bird-hipped ornithischians included a huge variety of plant-eating dinosaurs that could be divided into three smaller groups: the armoured dinosaurs including Stegosaurus, the bird-footed ornithopods such as Iguanodon and the horned dinosaurs like Triceratops.

Bottom line: Brachiosaurus and Tyrannosaurus were relatively close cousins. Iguanodon, Stegosaurus and Triceratops were more distantly related.
Palaeontologists were quite happy with this binary arrangement until 2017, when another British palaeontologist, Matthew Baron from Cambridge University, completely redrew the family tree.

Baron looked at 74 species of exceedingly rare early dinosaurs from the first half of the Age of Dinosaurs. By analysing a very large set of characters from all over the skeletons, he was able to tease out how the early branches divided right down at the base of the tree.
His first finding pushed back the origin of dinosaurs by around five million years to about 247 million years ago. The second completely rewrote dinosaurian prehistory. Instead of a neat, early split between the lizard-hipped and bird-hipped branches, Baron found an even earlier split that placed the lizard-hipped theropods onto the same branch as the bird-hipped group.

So now Tyrannosaurus is nestled in with Triceratops.

This new and, at present, controversial arrangement of dinosaur relationships lay hidden in a soup of confusing lumps and bumps on bones; there was no single feature that you could point to and say “dinosaur X belongs on this branch or that”.
Except, perhaps, feathers.
Feathers and their hairy antecedents have been found on many theropod dinosaurs and also on several different bird-hipped dinosaurs. But they have never been found among the sauropods. So the new group of dinosaurs consisting of the theropods and the bird-hipped dinosaurs (which has been named the ornithoscelidans) may be defined by the presence of feathers or feather-like structures covering some portion of the animal.
So feathers may be telling us a lot more about the structure of the dinosaur’s family tree than simply “here are the birds”. They may actually be the defining feature of one of the most fundamental splits in the dinosaur tree that occurred very early in their evolution.

The revolution is still underway and many of the preliminary conclusions presented here are far from settled and confirmed. There is still a lot of work to be done, more species to find and classify.

Incontrovertible evidence: the Sinosauropteryx fossil, discovered in Liaoning province in 1996, revealed a dinosaur covered in downy fuzz.
« Last Edit: August 21, 2020, 08:44 PM by scarface »

September 04, 2018, 01:43 PM
Reply #151
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a few days ago aa1234779 was asking for new photos. And I know that he is looking at them with great attention. Maybe some other users are looking at them too.

Here we have two photos taken place des ursules in St Etienne.

On the foreground, those young people seem to be outsiders, drinking beers and smoking. We can't see it here, but half of the shops are closed, even in the center of the town. Saint Etienne is a town that was devastated by the closure of coal mines. And it's still the case. Since 1970, it lost 25% of its population. Now the population has stabilized at about 170 000.
I was looking for some Chinese spring rolls, but I've been unable to find this kind of shop in the center of the town. Where I was living in the 17th arrondissement I was spoilt for choices when it came to dining.
But unlike Paris which is cloudy most of the time, the weather was fine and we have a sunny day.

Some young asian girls. I must say there are more Muslim people in the streets, and Maher would be surprised because there are many kebab shops. Unfortunately, I'm not a fan of "junk food". On the wall, a weird graffiti.

Note that I found a code to use the internet connection of the neighbor.
« Last Edit: September 04, 2018, 01:50 PM by scarface »

September 05, 2018, 05:38 AM
Reply #152
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Here is another photo, taken in a park in St etienne. The environment is restful. We don't hear the sounds of the birds but there are a few pigeons. The Parisian frenzy doesn't seem to exist here, but the noises of the cars are spoiling this subtle harmony.

I hope aa1234779 and usman are enjoying the photos.

September 08, 2018, 01:01 PM
Reply #153
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Tonight, I'm going to talk about the international day of protests that took place today.

These protests over climate change kicked off in dozens of cities around the world Saturday, as key UN talks aimed at breathing fresh life into the Paris Agreement took place in Bangkok.
As global warming races ahead of efforts to contain it, the discussions are deadlocked over a number of contentious issues, with activists demanding immediate action to prevent irreparable damage to the planet.

The "Rise for Climate" protest movement, which has organised events in dozens of countries on Saturday, wants governments to end their reliance on fossil fuels and transition fully into renewable energy.

Beginning in Australia, a tall ship moved through Sydney Harbour in front of the Opera House as activists on board held up protest signs.
Its billowing sails featured banners that read "Rise for Climate; Action with 350" – referring to environment advocacy group 350, which spearheaded the global protest.

In Paris, the protests looked set to have renewed momentum this year, FRANCE 24’s Chris Moore reported from City Hall in central Paris.

“There is a healthy turnout today,” said Moore, as thousands of people waving banners and clapping hands marched in the background.
Some 20,000 people responded to an appeal on Facebook, launched by a man called Maxime Lelong who described himself as an "ordinary concerned citizen", saying they would attend Saturday’s protests.

Lelong’s appeal came in the wake of the resignation of France’s popular environment minister and celebrity green campaigner, Nicolas Hulot, who quit his role last month, accusing the French government of only taking baby steps in the fight against climate change.

Hulot’s appointment was a coup for French President Emmanuel Macron – Hulot had declined to serve under previous French presidents – but his public resignation on live radio at the end of August dealt a damaging blow to the Macron government’s green credentials.

NGOs and organisers of Saturday’s events in Paris stress that it is not about supporting one politician or another, Moore added, it’s really about honouring the words that Hulot gave when he resigned.

‘In an era of [Donald] Trump,’ Hulot said, ‘many people are simply resigned to their fate on climate change. That’s the absolute opposite of what we need. The organisers want a big turn out on the streets of France to show that the general public haven’t forgotten that this is a pressing concern.

In the Thai capital, some 200 protesters assembled in front of the UN regional headquarters, where delegates were discussing how to implement measures agreed by world powers under the 2015 Paris Accord on climate change.

The talks aim to create a draft legal framework for limiting global temperature rises that can be presented to ministers and heads of state at a final round of discussions in Poland in December.

The delegates have been meeting since Tuesday, but have made little progress, according to multiple sources close to the negotiations.

"The negotiators are not taking any action," Ruchi Tripathi, head of climate justice at charity ActionAid, told AFP.

In particular, the issue of how the fight against climate change will be funded – and how that funding is made available to developing nations – remains a key sticking point.

Dozens of labourers and fishermen from the Gulf of Thailand, whose livelihoods are threatened by rising sea levels and coastal erosion caused by climate change, joined Saturday's protest.

Many brought examples of their produce, including crabs and shrimp, and held banners demanding that delegates take action.

"I came here today to ask the government to put coastal erosion on the national agenda," 58-year-old fisherwoman Aree Kongklad told AFP.

She said that the mangrove forests near her coastal home had been destroyed, jeopardising the supply of crabs that are her livelihood.

In Manila, more than 800 people, including one dressed as a Tyrannosaurus rex holding a "Go Fossil Free" sign, marched through the streets protesting the country's heavy reliance on coal.

Along with Bangkok, the Philippine capital is projected to be among the world's hardest hit urban areas by climate change impacts.

"We are among the most vulnerable and we are among those still stuck in an energy system that is backwards," campaigner Chuck Baclavon told AFP, adding that the government is out of excuses.

The country has been the victim of powerful weather phenomenons like Typhoon Haiyan, a deadly superstorm that left more than 7,350 people dead or missing across central Philippines in November 2013.

September 10, 2018, 11:23 AM
Reply #154
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A few days ago, Hundreds of thousands of climate change protestors gathered at some 850 events across 90 countries – and seven continents – in what is one of the biggest ever days of global action highlighting the issue.
They are marching in cities from Kathmandu to Copenhagen, Lagos to Lisbon, Bogota to Berlin. They are asking politicians to do something to curb climate change.

Here are a few photos.

Here in Sydney, Australia

Members of The Forgotten Solution NGO, disguised as trees, demonstrate in front of the San Francisco City Hall on September 8th.

In Brussels, a rally organized in front of the European Parliament Saturday gathered about a thousand people according to the organizers

Events took place even in Marseille, where 2,500 people marched according to the organizers, and 700 according to the police.

In Paris, 20 thousand people met and responded to a call for mobilization launched on social networks. Maybe some of you recognized the building in the background (it's Notre dame Cathedral).

In Nairobi

In Bangkok, nearly 200 protesters gathered in front of the UN regional headquarters, where a preparatory meeting for the upcoming COP24 climate summit, scheduled for Poland in three months, was organized until Sunday.

Thousands of protesters gathered in the streets of San Francisco, including indigenous advocates.

This day of action, here in Kathmandu, Nepal, is supposed to culminate with a big demonstration in San Francisco, where will be held from September 12 the World Summit of cities and companies for the climate, organized by the governor of California in answer to Trump's anti-ecological policy.

September 14, 2018, 05:44 AM
Reply #155
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Here are a fem photos for the users of the forum. I know that aa1234779 is waiting for them.

From the observatory park of Meudon

Paris on 14 July 2018

La défense from Saint Cloud

A view from Issy les Moulineaux

Lyon by night

San Francisco early in the morning

If you can, avoid those big towns, which ar heavily dependent on oil. Smaller towns usually require less energy and less complex logistics.

The following are some pictures taken in Qalqilya Zoo (not taken by me). This zoo is a bit unique since the zoo is more or less without living animals. The majority of animals had died from fright and lack of proper care as a result of continuous incursions into the town by the Israeli Defence Force. The zookeeper was forced to become taxidermist but with little experience this often resulted in tragi-comic results.

In the East of Palestine, people are using camels instead of cars.

« Last Edit: September 14, 2018, 05:48 AM by scarface »

September 14, 2018, 06:01 AM
Reply #156
scar, have you taken these pictures with a camera, phone or something else?
The light in the pictures is usually quite good.

I thought of uploading some pictures.
Where do you host them?

September 14, 2018, 06:19 AM
Reply #157
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scar, have you taken these pictures with a camera, phone or something else?
The light in the pictures is usually quite good.

I thought of uploading some pictures.
Where do you host them?

Actually none of these photos were taken by me. It was the guy who was working next to me who took them, with a camera. My phone has a 16M pixels camera, and yet the results would have been sensibly more blurred. That's why I practically never took photos of landscapes. You can see that in this topic.
One day he brought his camera and he had a lens like this...

« Last Edit: July 06, 2020, 05:20 AM by scarface »

September 15, 2018, 11:03 PM
Reply #158
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The following are some pictures taken in Qalqilya Zoo (not taken by me). This zoo is a bit unique since the zoo is more or less without living animals. The majority of animals had died from fright and lack of proper care as a result of continuous incursions into the town by the Israeli Defence Force.

Lack of proper care makes sense. According to Maher, the statement about continuous incursions into Qalqilya by the IDF is inaccurate. He tells me that rarely do people who live in Qalqilya ever see Israeli soldiers. If they come it's very brief (e.g., to take away a suspected terrorist) and they're gone almost immediately. All police work is done by the Palestinian police. This is essentially the agreement signed some 20 years ago by Yassir Arafat and Yitzak Rabin.

September 16, 2018, 05:01 AM
Reply #159
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Lack of proper care makes sense. According to Maher, the statement about continuous incursions into Qalqilya by the IDF is inaccurate. He tells me that rarely do people who live in Qalqilya ever see Israeli soldiers. If they come it's very brief (e.g., to take away a suspected terrorist) and they're gone almost immediately. All police work is done by the Palestinian police. This is essentially the agreement signed some 20 years ago by Yassir Arafat and Yitzak Rabin.
You are certainly right. In the first picture, we can see a kind of Lion. Had he been alive, the Israeli forces would have been scared. In the second picture, it seems it's a monkey, but it does not look like mr baboon. The Arabic description must be giving clues.

Today, I'm going to hold an exceptional conference titled: Ecological transition: how to do it?

How to lead a more sustainable life? This question generates a lot of debate about what people can do to fight climate change. In many cases, the answers are directed at individuals, asking them to adopt more responsible behavior, such as buying locally, insulating their homes or taking their bike instead of the car ... "But these individual responses raise the question of their effectiveness in changing behavior that needs to be systemic, "says Kris de Decker on Low-Tech Magazine.
There are three types of public policies to combat climate change: decarbonisation policies (encouragement of renewable energy sources, electric cars, etc.), energy efficiency (improvement of the energy ratio of appliances, vehicles, buildings ...) and behavioral change (promoting more sustainable behaviors). The first two aim to make existing consumption patterns less resource-intensive, but all too often relying only on technical innovation, they forget social support, which explains why they have not led to a significant decrease in CO2 emissions or energy demand. Progress in energy efficiency does not take into account new consumption patterns and the rebound effect.

Similarly, the development of renewable energies has not led to decarbonisation of energy infrastructure because energy demand is increasing faster than the development of renewable energy sources. For Kris de Decker, this highlights the need to focus more on social change. If we want efficient energy efficiency and decarbonisation policies to be effective, they must be combined with social innovation: hence the importance of behavior change policies!
If the instruments of behavior change are numerous, they are mostly carrots or sticks, when it is not a sermon. But these instruments (economic incentives, norms and regulations, information ...) are based on a vision of individuals as rational beings: people would engage in a pro-environmental behavior for self-interested reasons (because it's nice or they can save money) or for normative reasons (because others do). But many actions generate a conflict between these two visions: the pro-environmental behavior is often considered less profitable, less pleasant or longer, hence sometimes a mismatch between what people think and what people actually do . To respond to this, we can reduce the cost of pro-environmental actions or increase the cost of actions which are harmful to the planet. Or, strengthen normative behavior.

Still, the results of these behavior change policies have so far been rather limited and disappointing.

The problem, writes Kris de Decker, is that these behavior change policies are based on the recognition that what people do is essentially a question of individual choice. But, the fact that most people eat meat, drive cars or are connected to the electricity grid is not just a question of choice: people are actually locked into unsustainable lifestyles. What they do is conditioned, facilitated and constrained by social norms, public policies, infrastructures, technologies, market, culture ... As an individual, we can for example buy a bike, but we can not not develop bike infrastructures. If the Danes or Dutch use the bike more than others, it's not so much because they are more environmentally conscious than others, it's because they have excellent bike infrastructures, because it is socially acceptable to ride a bike and because motorists are very respectful of bicycles, especially since the motorist is always considered responsible in the event of an accident, even if it is the cyclist who made a mistake. Without this support infrastructure, we can see that it is more difficult to get a large number of people to ride a bike. Similarly, individuals do not have the possibility to modify the speeds of the Internet or reduce the energy supply of the power plant on which they depend. "If individuals can make individual pro-environmental choices based on their values and attitudes, and inspire others ... they have no opportunity to act on structures that facilitate or limit their options."

The Guardian environmental journalist George Monbiot recalls in one of his forums that we will not save the Earth by adopting better consumption patterns, such as replacing our disposable plastic cups with disposable cups. "Of course, we should try to minimize our own impacts, but we can not deal with climate change and the resource crisis simply by taking responsibility for what we consume." Disposable coffee cups made of corn starch perpetuate the problem rather than solve it. For him too, "Defending the planet means changing the world".