Vendredi nature [02.019.270]

Snails in the park
Escargots dans le parc

[ iPhone 11 Pro, Parc Frédéric-Back, 2019/09/23 ]

Relax while watching some snails in the park…
Relaxez tout en observant des escargots dans le parc…

Mise à jour (2019/09/04): Il n’est guère facile d’identifier ce mollusque (membre de la classe des gastéropodes, de la famille des Helicidae et du genre Cepaea). Je crois toutefois qu’il s’agit d’un escargot des jardins (Cepaea hortensis) ou possiblement d’un escargot des bois (Cepeae nemoralis)…

Update (2019/09/04): It is not easy to identify this mollusk (member of the gastropod class, family Helicidae and genus Cepaea), but I believe that it is a White-lipped snail  (Cepaea hortensis) or possibly a Grove snail (Cepeae nemoralis)…

(Sources: La Presse, Planet Qc, MFFPQ, Le Naturaliste Canadien (v.137 #1), Le Naturaliste Canadien (v.141 #1), inaturalist)

 

Where I belong

Shabondama-posterAfter committing robbery, Shoto’s flight from the cops takes him to the mountains of Miyazaki in southern Japan where he helps an injured elderly woman. This serendipitous encounter will softly coax him into changing and set him on the path to redemption. The Japanese countryside comes to life through beautiful cinematography in this simple and unhurried reflection on what it means to have a place where to belong.

[ From Cinémathèque québécoise ]

A petty criminal (who was shaped by his environment or bad parenting) do something bad, escape to the countryside, feels guilty, meet with nice people, sees the error of his way and seeks redemption… I must say that Where I belong doesn’t feel very original as we’ve seen this type of movie often in Japanese cinema. However, it is still a nice feel-good movie. It offers a touching story, which is beautifully shot and with good acting. It’s an entertaining flick that offers a good time. Nothing more. The best part is probably that it is showcasing the nice landscapes of Miyazaki and giving us a glimpse at the Shiiba Heike Festival.

Where I belong (しゃぼん玉 / Shabondama / lit. “Soap bubble”): Japan, 2016, 108 mins; Dir./Scr.: Shinji Azuma (based on a novel by Asa Nonami); Phot.: Wataru Miyamoto; Ed.: Shinya Tadano; Music: Yuki Hara; Cast: Kazuyuki Aijima, Mina Fujii, Kento Hayashi. ©2016「しゃぼん玉」製作委員会. stars-3-0

For more information you can visit the following websites:

[ AsianWikiGoogleIMDbJFDBOfficialYoutube ]

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About Greta

She was in the news a lot lately, but I didn’t pay much attention until I saw her speech at the U.N. Climate Action Summit this morning. It was an incredible speech, beautiful and emotional. It shows that she is an incredible girl.  Greta Thunberg was raised in a strongly cultured environment (her grandfather is/was an actor, her father is an actor and writer and her mother is an opera singer!) so it is not a surprise that she is well awaken to the state of the world. She started protesting alone, but finally won many followers. She gaves many speeches (you can also watch her TED speech) and published a book about them. She crossed an ocean in a sail boat to come deliver that latest speech. And yet, she is just a teenager.

She also received lots of criticisms from morons: they complained about her looks (yes, she’s sixteen but looks like she’s ten), about her mental health (she suffers from Asperger’s syndrome), accused her of not writing her own speeches, of being manipulated. She responded that such personal attacks only show that her detractors have “no argument or nothing else to say”. Indeed. And, frankly, who cares? It is simply beautiful to see such idealism, courage and determination in a young person. People should just admire that and not try to ruin it merely because they are mean or jealous.

Some people also complained that such idealism won’t amount to anything. Yes, it’s cute to see a teenage girl do all those things, but it will not move the mountains that need to be moved to succeed in saving the planet. At best, they say, it is a distraction. After all, mass shootings like Sandy Hook or Stoneman Douglas H.S. (despite the short-lived activism of some of its students) failed to change anything in the U.S. gun law… Why should it be different with this wave of protestations and manifestations ? To that I answer: Why not? What do we have to lose as we realize more and more that our planet is indeed on fire? Certainly, it cannot do any harm. It will build up and eventually the back of the proverbial camel will break…

Greta actions are great. They are an inspiration to all, but mostly to her own generation. Yes, the young people tend to be apathetic and rarely vote or express opinion. But that seems to be changing now. The U.S. mid-term elections of 2018 is the proof as more young people, more women and more minorities voted. Also more women, more minorities and younger candidates (including the infamous “Squad”) were elected. It shows that the ground is finally moving and activism is changing. Hopefully, the ball will keep rolling and might bring real change this time. And Greta will be a great inspiration.

Greta’s Books

No One Is Too Small to Make a Difference (Penguin, 2019, 80 pg, $9.99): a collection of Greta’s speech. [ AmazonGoodreadsPenguinWikipediaWorldCat ]

Rejoignez-nous : #grèvepourleclimat (Kero, 2019, 30 pg, $4.95): extracts from Greta’s speech at the 2019 Davos forum. [ AmazonGoodreadsWorldCat ]

Our house is on fire: Scenes of a Family and a Planet in Crisis, by Malena Ernman with Greta, Beata and Svante Thunberg. (Penguin, 288 pg, £16.99, to be released on 2020/03/05; originally published in Swedish on 2018/08/23): A biography of Swedish opera singer Malena Ernman where, among other things, she recounts (with the collaboration of her husband Svante Thunberg and daughters Greta and Beata) how Greta came to be involved in climate activism. [ GoodreadsPenguinWikipedia ]

All this reminds me of Bill Nye The Science Guy’s speech about the planet being on fire on HBO’s Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (2019/05/12). Here’s the short clip but you can find the whole video on Youtube:

Will the people in power finally listen? Nothing individuals like us can do will help much (of course we can do our part with the three Rs: reduce, reuse, and recycle — and we can get involved in activism!). The only solution is political: we must pressure — by all means possible — the politicians so they enact the necessary changes to save the planet, to save ourselves. Changes like stopping being so darn dependant on fossil energy, like investing all we can in renewable energy (solar, wind, etc.), like passing laws to force everyone to do their part (like forbidding gas engines in car starting in five years from now for new cars, and ten years from now for ALL cars — switching to electric or fuel cell engines), or like really sticking to the Paris Agreement, like promoting sustainability at all levels, like changing society itself, like the Green New Deal, etc. This is our last chance. For the future generations.

Unfortunately, it probably won’t change anything. Humans are stupid and because of that we are most likely doomed. However, we are also driven, moved and inspired by hope…

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Ken Burns’ Country Music

KenBurnsCountryMusic-DvdLast night I watched on PBS the first episode of Ken BurnsCountry Music documentary and I was mesmerized! I don’t really like country music (or at least I thought I didn’t) but I was fascinated by this documentary about the history of country music in the USA. In fact, it is much more than that: it is the history of America and its culture — mostly of the deep America. It is very interesting and educating. Like all documentaries by Ken Burns it is very well researched. It is very interesting to see all those old pictures and footage, as well as to ear such music from another era (the documentary covers until 1996)… Certainly a must see.

Country music is certainly a pretty large musical genre that has evolved a lot and encompass many sub-genres (hillbilly, bluegrass, western, etc.) and cross-over styles. It is difficult to define and I am looking forward to learn more about it. For instance, Bob Dylan sang many songs from the country music pioneers (and adopted their style) but he is considered a folk singer. What’s the difference between country and folk? Is folk a sub-genre of country music? I am just wondering…

Country Music is an eight-part mini-series (120 mins each) that premiered September 15, 2019 and airs on PBS every week day until September 25. It is also available for streaming on PBS website (U.S. only). stars-3-0

To learn more about this title you can consult the following web sites:

[ AmazonGoogleIMDbOfficialPBSWikipediaYoutube ]

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Vendredi nature [02.019.249]

Sounds of the park
Les sons du parc

[ iPhone 8+, Parc Frédéric-Back, 2019/08/26 ]

Another thirty seconds of relaxation with the soundtrack of nature as we view the Frédéric-Back Park from the belvedere of the Pelican entrance…

Encore trente secondes de détente avec la musique de la nature alors que nous contemplons le parc Frédéric-Back depuis le belvédère de l’entrée du Pélican …

Sounds of the park 2
Les sons du parc 2

[ iPhone 8+, Parc Frédéric-Back, 2019/08/19 & 26 ]

If we deconstruct the soundtrack of nature in the Frédéric-Back Park in August, we discover that the orchestra is mostly made of percussion (tymbal) and string instruments (elytron): the cicada, the cricket (not illustrated here) and the omnipresent grasshopper, with a background of airliners and distant city din…

Si nous déconstruisons la trame sonore de la nature dans le parc Frédéric-Back en août, nous découvrons que l’orchestre est principalement composé d’instruments à percussion (cymbales) et à corde (élytre): la cigale, le grillon (non illustré ici) et l’omniprésente “sauterelle”, sur fond sonore d’avion et d’un lointain vacarme urbain…