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Judi Lynn

Judi Lynn's Journal
Judi Lynn's Journal
November 15, 2022

Largest known manta ray population is thriving off the coast of Ecuador, new research shows

NOVEMBER 14, 2022

by Michelle Klampe, Oregon State University

A manta ray near Isla de la Plata off the coast of Ecuador. Credit: Fundacion Megafauna Marina del Ecuador

Scientists have identified off the coast of Ecuador a distinct population of oceanic manta rays that is more than 10 times larger than any other known subpopulation of the species.

The findings, just reported in the journal Marine Ecology Progress Series, indicate that while other populations of oceanic manta rays are typically small and vulnerable to human impacts, this population is large and potentially quite healthy, said Joshua Stewart, an assistant professor with the Marine Mammal Institute in OSU's College of Agricultural Sciences and a co-author of the paper.

"It's clear that something different is happening here," Stewart said. "This is a rare story of ocean optimism. In other regions, we typically have population estimates of 1,000 to 2,000 animals, which makes this species very vulnerable. In this area, we've estimated that the population is more than 22,000 mantas, which is unprecedented."

Oceanic manta rays are the largest species of ray, with wingspans that can reach more than 20 feet. They are filter feeders that eat large quantities of krill and other zooplankton and tend to live in small subpopulations in tropical, subtropical and temperate waters, spending much of their time in the open ocean.

Oceanic manta rays were listed as threatened under the U.S. Endangered Species Act in 2018, and in 2019 their threat category increased from vulnerable to endangered on the International Union for the Conservation of Nature's Red List. The biggest threat to oceanic manta rays is commercial fishing, both as the target of some fisheries and as unintentional bycatch in many others.


November 13, 2022

Money Launderers In Honduras Are Getting Away With It

Rohan Parakkad / Nov 08 2022, 09:36AM EST

Dozens of individuals with claimed ties to organized crime have been released a year after Honduras changed its money laundering law, and there is a growing belief that this is an effort to shield those in authority.

According to a report by Insight Crime, at least 45 people with connections to organized crime have been released in the past year after their cases were dismissed as a result of a controversial reform to Honduras' Special Law Against Asset Laundering. The Honduran government published legal changes to the law in its official gazette last year after congress approved the reform.

These changes meant that proving someone had unexplained wealth was no longer enough to charge them with money laundering. Prosecutors must instead prove a link between the suspect's assets and another crime, like the distribution of drugs or the sale of weapons. Additionally, unless with a judge's prior approval, investigators are no longer permitted to access a suspect's or a company's financial records.

. . .

The decision to make it harder to prosecute money launderers seems suspicious in a nation where a previous president was extradited to the US on drug trafficking charges.

. . .

In 2019 the Honduran congress passed a controversial law that was criticized for protecting politicians from being investigated for embezzlement of public funds.


November 9, 2022

Colombia, Venezuela pledge to save Amazon rainforest

Gustavo Petro and Nicolas Maduro launch call at COP27 climate summit for wide-ranging alliance to protect planet’s biggest tropical forest
Laura Gamba |

BOGOTA, Colombia

The presidents of Colombia and Venezuela, Gustavo Petro and Nicolas Maduro, issued a call Tuesday at the COP27 climate summit for forming an alliance to protect the Amazon, the planet's biggest tropical forest.

"We are determined to revitalize the Amazon rainforest to give humanity an important victory in the fight against climate change," Petro said at the UN climate summit, which is being held in the Egyptian resort city of Sharm el-Sheikh.

"If we, in the South Americas, carry a responsibility, it is to stop the destruction of the Amazon and put in place a coordinated process of recovery," Maduro said at the summit as he spoke next to Petro.

Petro called for the involvement of the United States, "the country that pollutes the most" on the American continent, while the south of the landmass is "the sponge that absorbs the most CO2."

He said his country will allocate $200 million a year over the next two decades to save the Amazon and appealed for the solidarity of multilateral organizations and big countries in the world.


November 8, 2022

Ichkabal archaeological site near Bacalar will soon open to the public

Ichkabal was rediscovered by researchers in 1994. INAH

The site is home to a pyramid twice the size of the large Kukulkán temple in Chichén-Itzá

Published on Monday, November 7, 2022

On route to the Bacalar lagoon in Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula, the site of the ancient Maya city of Ichkabal (City of Snakes) will soon open to visitors, according to Diego Prieto Hernández, Director of the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH).

. . .

With a large portion of the city still lying beneath the jungle, the site is currently being excavated by the National Institute of Archaeology and History (INAH) as part of the Program for the Improvement of Archeological Sites (Promeza), an initiative to improve and/or develop archaeological sites along the route of the under-construction Maya Train, a commuter and tourist railroad route that will have stops near many tourist cities and attractions in southern Mexico.

. . .

So far, excavation at Ichkabal has revealed a central set of five buildings that are at least 2,400 years old. Standing out among them is a 40-meter-high pyramid twice the size of the large Kukulkán temple in Chichén Itzá. The Ichkabal pyramid has a base area similar to that of the Pyramid of the Sun in Teotihuacán.

The artificial lagoons used as water reservoirs for the ancient city have also surprised archaeologists. In an interview with the newspaper La Jornada, INAH archeologist Sandra Balanzario said that the lagoons used an advanced hydraulic technique to avoid erosion and water seepage, allowing the lagoons to support the daily life of a city of 100,000 inhabitants spread over an area of 60 square kilometers.

November 6, 2022

The Woman Who Saved Native Song

“We understand the people better if we know their music, and we appreciate the music better if we understand the people themselves.”


Tucked into a corner of the Library of Congress is the Densmore Collection of cylinder phonographs — a bygone medium containing the living songs of an ancient culture.

In the early twentieth century, the U.S. government continued its assault on Native Americans by demanding they relinquish their tribal languages and belief systems, teach their children English, and enter the American mainstream. As a result of this concerted erasure campaign, the average American came to see indigenous peoples as living fossils on the brink of cultural extinction.

Frances Densmore (May 21, 1867–June 5, 1957) — a young music teacher from Red Wing, Minnesota — was appalled. In consonance with the eternal truth that the best way to complain is to create, she set out to singlehandedly preserve a vital aspect of indigenous culture, the one art that is the heartbeat of every culture: music.

Thomas Edison had invented the phonograph — a mechanical means of recording and reproducing sound, using a wax-coated cardboard cylinder and a cutting stylus — when Frances was ten. Around that time, listening to the songs of the Dakota Indians near her home, she fell in love with music. In an era when higher education was closed to women with only limited exceptions, she spent three years studying music at Oberlin College — the first university to admit women, and the first to admit students of ethnic minorities — then devoted herself to teaching Western music to Native Americans (the academic term for whom was then “American Indians”) and learning their own traditional songs as they taught her in turn.

November 4, 2022

Polar Bears Are Gathering in Canada--and You Can Watch Them Live

Bears return to Churchill, Manitoba, every autumn to await the formation of sea ice on the Hudson Bay

Sarah Kuta
Daily Correspondent
November 2, 2022

Polar bears are back in Churchill, Manitoba. Courtesy of Kieran McIver / Polar Bears International

Every autumn, hundreds of polar bears return to Churchill, Manitoba—Canada’s northernmost seaport, a.k.a. the “polar bear capital of the world.” There, they wait for sea ice to form on Hudson Bay. The hungry bears have been fasting for months, so they’re eager for the opportunity to once again hunt their favorite food: ringed seals.

But to watch these majestic marine mammals, wildlife lovers don’t have to venture all the way to chilly Canada. Several live video streams—run by Polar Bears International (PBI), Explore.org (which also hosts Fat Bear Week) and other organizations—offer people around the world a chance to see the bears in action.

Some of the polar bear cams are stationary, while others roam Manitoba’s Wapusk National Park aboard so-called “tundra buggy” vehicles, which serve as mobile broadcast studios.

The video streams show the vast ruggedness of the Canadian tundra, as well as various bears lumbering around, snoozing, rolling in the snow, foraging for snacks and, occasionally, wrestling playfully with each other. Other animals sometimes make appearances on the video streams too, including ptarmigans, Arctic hares, Arctic foxes and owls.

November 4, 2022

Opinion: A new coup may be being planned in Bolivia

MIRIAM AMANCAY COLQUE looks at the confontational tactics by the country's right wing frustrated at having lost the general election

OF THE PEOPLE, BY THE PEOPLE, FOR THE PEOPLE: President Luis Arce Catacora (centre) inaugurates the first Nuclear Medicine and Radiotherapy Center in El Alto on March 6 2022. The facility will provide care to 36,000 patients per year who require diagnosis, treatment, and monitoring against cancer Photo: Vice Ministry of Communication/CC

FRESH fascist attacks in Bolivia endorsed by the national and international right-wing press, headed by the nefarious coup plotter Luis Fernando Camacho, intend to apply “the recipe of the empire” to overthrow the democratic government of Luis Arce, who was elected in October 2020 with more than 55 per cent of the vote.

The left-wing MAS-IPSP, made famous by former leader Evo Morales, defeated the coup plotters led by Jeanine Anez, Arturo Murillo Prijic, Fernando Lopez and the rest of the corrupt clique that in 2019 usurped power to massacre the people, loot the state coffers, embezzle strategic companies, increase the narcotraffic, reinstall rapacious neoliberalism and steal large areas of land.

But who is Luis Fernando Camacho? He is a far-right separatist who dreams of dividing Bolivia and an extremist who for many years led the paramilitary neonazis Crucenista Youth Union (UJC).

He is a rich, daddy’s boy, a creature of dictatorships, accused of tax evasion, corruption and incompetence as a governor, with connections to tax havens earning him a mention in the Panama Papers. His father, Jose Luis Camacho Parada, is a blood-soaked paramilitary who was notorious during the dictatorships of Banzer and Luis Garcia Meza.

. . .In their supposedly “peaceful” forced blockade that started in October 22, the far-right “civic dictators” target and attack the dark-skinned people with racist, discriminatory insults: “Shitty collas, get out of here. Go back where you come from. Indians, savages, beasts ...”

They block the streets prohibiting the free transit to the humblest sectors that need to feed their families. With sticks and whips with nails in them they hit and kick women and men, causing serious injuries.


November 4, 2022

US-led panel exploring Cuba's solo development and deployment of COVID-19 vaccines calls for lowerin

US-led panel exploring Cuba's solo development and deployment of COVID-19 vaccines calls for lowering barriers blocking global access to the country’s biotech innovations

First high-level delegation in five years to visit Cuba; groundbreaking Havana dialogue seeks greater role for Cuba to confront “shocking inequities” in global access to medical advances

First high-level delegation in five years to visit Cuba; groundbreaking Havana dialogue seeks greater role for Cuba to confront “shocking inequities” in global access to medical advances

Exchange also focuses on Cuba’s exceptional COVID vaccine coverage for adults and children—far greater and achieved far earlier than wealthy countries

SEATTLE (October 31, 2022) — The first U.S.-led scientific delegation to visit Cuba in five years released a consensus report today concluding that this small country’s ability to develop and rapidly immunize more than 90 percent of its citizens with safe and effective homegrown COVID-19 vaccines should serve as a model for confronting global public health emergencies in low-resource settings and the developing world.

The call for greater engagement with Cuba’s biotech sector was among the key conclusions of Cuba’s COVID-19 Vaccine Enterprise: Report from a High-Level Fact-Finding Delegation to Cuba, released today at the annual meeting of the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene (ASTMH).

“What we learned about Cuba’s extraordinary COVID-19 vaccine work made it clear that it can be an important player for increasing global access to life-saving advances. And while the politics are complex, we must confront the barriers preventing its impressive brain trust of scientists and public health experts from doing so,” said Michael Osterholm, PhD, MPH, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota.

Osterholm served as co-leader of the delegation alongside Cristina Rabadán-Diehl, PharmD, PhD, MPH, a scientist who spent 25 years leading international work at the National Institutes of Health and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services before becoming Associate Director of Clinical Trials for Westat. The delegation (see delegation members below) was organized by MEDICC (Medical Education Cooperation with Cuba), a U.S.-based non-profit that promotes health-related dialogue and collaboration. The delegation also had members from Africa and the Caribbean and collectively brought expertise in public health systems, infectious diseases, biotechnology, and vaccine development.


November 4, 2022

Taddeo on 'socialist' name-calling in District 27 race: two can play that game

WLRN 91.3 FM | By Helen Acevedo
Published October 31, 2022 at 12:11 PM EDT

One of the most competitive congressional races in the country is playing out right here in our backyard.

Florida’s District 27 — which covers broad parts of Miami-Dade County, stretching from Miami’s Little Havana to South Dade — is up in the air, with incumbent Republican Congresswoman Maria Elvira Salazar and Democratic State Senator Annette Taddeo battling out for the seat.

The district has flipped between Republicans and Democrats over the past few election cycles but many believe this year's redistricting redrew the lines slightly in favor of Republicans.

Daniel Rivero, the co-host of the South Florida Roundup, sat down with Taddeo at her campaign office in South Miami to discuss the race and what she expects to do if elected. WLRN contacted Congresswoman Salazar’s campaign many times for an interview, but they did not respond.

While discussing affordability, Taddeo criticized Salazar for voting against bills that she thinks were in the best interest of the people – saying her opponent based her decisions on whether she thought they were "socialist".


November 2, 2022

Embark on a Mind-Bending Art Odyssey to Uruguay & Argentina

Find out why celebrities like Drake idolize the artist.

By Daniel Maurer
Published on 10/26/2022 at 5:32 PM

José Ignacio Online

Just when you thought there could be no better way to catch the sunset—sipping on tannat at a rooftop infinity pool in the idyllic beach town of Jose Ignacio, Uruguay—a guide tells you it’s time to enter the skyspace. He leads you to what looks like a domed sepulcher, opens a monumental door, and ushers you into the latest immersive installation by an artist whose work is so “life-changing” that famous people around the world can't stop throwing money at him. And after what you see in this room, you too might just join the cult of James Turrell.


~ ~ ~


James Turrell (born May 6, 1943) is an American artist known for his work within the Light and Space movement. Much of Turrell's career has been devoted to a still-unfinished work, Roden Crater, a natural cinder cone crater located outside Flagstaff, Arizona, that he is turning into a massive naked-eye observatory; and for his series of skyspaces, enclosed spaces that frame the sky.[1]

. . .

President Barack Obama presents the National Medal of Arts to visual artist James Turrell in a White House ceremony on July 28, 2014

. . .

James Turrell was born in Los Angeles, California.[2][3] His father, Archibald Milton Turrell,[4] was an aeronautical engineer and educator. His mother, Margaret Hodges Turrell,[4] trained as a medical doctor and later worked in the Peace Corps. His parents were Quakers.

Turrell obtained a pilot's license when he was 16 years old. Later, registered as a conscientious objector during the Vietnam War, he flew Buddhist monks out of Chinese-controlled Tibet.[5] Some writers have suggested it was a CIA mission; Turrell called it "a humanitarian mission" — and that he found "some beautiful places to fly". For years he restored antique airplanes to support his "art habit".[5]

He received a BA degree from Pomona College in perceptual psychology in 1965 (including the study of the Ganzfeld effect) and also studied mathematics, geology, and astronomy. The following year, Turrell enrolled in the graduate Studio Art program at the University of California, Irvine, where he began making work using light projections.[6] His studies at Irvine were interrupted in 1966, when he was arrested for coaching young men to avoid the Vietnam draft. He spent about a year in jail.[1] In 1973, he received an Master of Arts degree from Claremont Graduate University.[7]

. . .

Roden Crater

In 1979 Turrell acquired an extinct cinder cone volcano located outside Flagstaff, Arizona. Since then he has spent decades moving tons of dirt and building tunnels and apertures to turn this crater into a massive naked-eye observatory for experiencing celestial phenomena.[5]

. . .

Satellite view of Roden Crater, the site of an epic artwork in progress by James Turrell outside Flagstaff, Arizona


In the 1970s, Turrell began his series of "skyspaces" enclosed spaces open to the sky through an aperture in the roof. A Skyspace is an enclosed room large enough for roughly 15 people. Inside, the viewers sit on benches along the edge to view the sky through an opening in the roof.[18] As a lifelong Quaker, Turrell designed the Live Oak Meeting House for the Society of Friends, with an opening or skyhole in the roof, wherein the notion of light takes on a decidedly religious connotation. (See PBS documentary). His work Meeting (1986) at P.S. 1, which consists of a square room with a rectangular opening cut directly into the ceiling, is a recreation of such a meeting house.[19] In 2013, Turrell created another Quaker skyspace, Greet the Light, at the newly rebuilt Chestnut Hill Friends Meeting in Philadelphia.[20]


Please see this google images link for amazing views of this man's deeply interesting work:


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