Tuesday, June 06, 2017

Meanwhile, in other parts of the world...

Time for some random news and stories from places with different concerns:

There is growing concern on the over-harvesting of coconut crabs.
And if nothing is done, there is the risk of extinction.
The crab, which is a species of the terrestrial hermit crab, also goes by the name Birgus latro or more commonly known as ugavule.
I have been interested in these crabs ever since seeing, perhaps on an Attenborough series?, that they pick up half rotted coconuts, drag them up the tree, drop them to split open the nut, and then come back down to eat the pulp inside.   That has always struck me as a strangely science-y sort of thing for a humble crab brain to know how to do.

Anyhow, further into the Pacific.

Samoa:   a column writer in the Samoan Observer gives a short history of the late 19th century colonial fights over the islands, and it's much more dramatic than I would have expected:
Germany and America were ready to go to war with each other right here in Apia to gain supreme control of Samoa. There were 7 warships in the harbour from February through to mid-March 1889. Germany had three and the United States three. The 7th belonged to Great Britain, the HMS Calliope acting as the impartial party. Rightly so, for Britain was guaranteed possession of the Fiji Islands.

Just when tensions were at an all-time high, a mighty cyclone blew for two days (16-17 March). The Great Cyclone would render apart the intentions of the super powers to settle the Samoan Question then. All six warships perished with a great loss of life in Apia Harbour. They were tossed like toys by her mighty waves. HMS Calliope alone survived. She managed to escape out to sea during the storm.
 Iceland:   Go North, young man:
Iceland will need some 30,000 foreign workers to move to the country between now and 2030, Icelandic business leaders predict.
 Mexico:   construction tries it on:
Some builders in Mexico City have been adding a few extra stories to their construction projects with the hope that no one notices, but authorities are cracking down on the practice.

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