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Golden Eagle Attacking Fox

Posted on December 6th, 2012 at 22:19 by Paul Jay in category: Great Picture

[Quote]:

This shot was taken in Bulgaria, during my preparation for a new destination for my nature photography workshops. I travelled all over Bulgaria and Greece with my local operator, and after we had been photographing stunning pelicans, woodpeckers, landscapes, geese and much more, we spent some days in a hide in the mountains for eagles and vultures. Vultures were extinct in Bulgaria some years ago, and the government had installed some feeding stations to help introduce the vultures again. This seemed to have been working well, because there were quite a lot of Griffon vultures visiting the feeding ground, where some bones and leftovers were offered to the birds. Of course, here in the mountains, we were also in the middle of the Golden eagle territory, and he became a daily visitor after a while, chasing the vultures away actually…It had been an exhausting week with temperatures at -20°C and short nights and long drives from one spot to the other, but I enjoyed it a lot! Downside is, you could easily lose your concentration when nothing is happening…While I was enjoying the Golden eagle, eating from the carrion (I already had been photographing it for the previous hour or so, so I had what I wanted), nothing exciting really happened anymore. The eagle was getting stuffed and the Ravens started to give up their harassing, when suddenly something reddish came over the ridge, behind the eagle, too unsharp for me to see through my low depth of field 600mm lens. But what happened then in the next seconds, was just automatic reaction; I saw the Golden eagle swooping up, and immediately started following the bird with my lens and started shooting away, and between the shutter-mirror ups, I could just witness what was happening: a red fox came down to the feeding station, to grab some meat, but the Golden eagle wasn’t really pleased with that and chased the poor fox away! Just seconds and tens of shots later, the eagle was back at his table, and nothing seemed to have happened! But I was eagerly glaring at my LCD screen, and could hardly hold my joy when I saw most of the shots were pin-sharp and both animals had great expressions! I was really lucky to had my complete set-up in the perfect settings, there could have been a thousand things that would have ruined my shots: my Wimberly could have been locked, my converter could have been attached, my ISO could have been to low (when trying to shoot some movements earlier on), the wrong camera could have been on the lens, I could have been drinking coffee at the moment,… But now everything was right; I had the Nikon D3s on the lens without a converter (I had been working with my D3xD330s, sometimes with 1.4x and 2x converters, which all would have ruined my chances), my ISO was set on 400, and my aperture was full open at F4 and mode was on Aperture priority. Thanks to the snow I had all the light ànd speed I wanted. Although I was really happy with the shots, the day turned out to be quite long and cold in the evening…I was happy to stretch the legs when it finally got dark, and to put on the snowshoes, to start the long descend back to the car!


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  1. What an awesome photo! Kudos to a person with enough patience, and luck, to get such a shot!

NZ judge gives Kim Dotcom go-ahead to sue police and spy agency

Posted on December 6th, 2012 at 16:13 by John Sinteur in category: News

[Quote]:

Megaupload mogul Kim Dotcom is free to press charges against a New Zealand spy agency and the police, a High Court ruled. The judge also called for classified data allegedly shared with the US to be disclosed to the courtroom.

This new twist in the Megaupload legal battle will allow Dotcom to press charges against both the New Zealand police and the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB).

The verdict is a small victory for the Internet tycoon in his battle against extradition to the US on charges of copyright infringement and money laundering in connection with media streaming site Megaupload, which was closed down in January by US authorities.

In addition to the ruling in favor of the Megaupload founder, the judge presiding over Dotcom’s case, Justice Helen Winklemann, called for the disclosure of all documents pertaining to the site’s operations. Winklemann said that the details, and all the entities with which they had been shared, included “members of Echelon/Five Eyes, including any United States authority.”

Echelon is an international intelligence agency of which the US and New Zealand are members, along with the UK, Australia and Canada.

The prosecution argued that some of the information is too sensitive to be released, and could potentially damage New Zealand’s relations with Washington.


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  1. Why do countries value their relationship with the US? I though we were almost broke according to the Tea Party Republicans.

  2. @chas: Broke? I doubt it, since you print the world’s reserve currency. You print some stuff and the Kiwis send you hobbit products in exchange. It’s important to them – they can go buy hobbit dip or whatever.

Guatemalan police arrest software guru McAfee

Posted on December 6th, 2012 at 13:43 by John Sinteur in category: News

[Quote]:

Software company founder John McAfee was arrested by Guatemalan police for entering the country illegally, ending his bizarre weekslong journey as a blogging fugitive claiming to be persecuted by authorities in Belize.

The fate of the anti-virus guru remained unclear Thursday as Guatemalan authorities awaited word from their Foreign Ministry as to what they would do with McAfee and whether they intended to send him back to Belize, where he is a person of interest in the killing of a fellow ex-pat.


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  1. Reuters is reporting that Guatemala is hoping to expel him. I bet.

Citigroup is proud to….

Posted on December 6th, 2012 at 12:23 by John Sinteur in category: Great Picture, Robber Barons

[Quote]:

Citi’s global consumer banking business took the hardest hit on Wednesday, with the bank saying it will eliminate 6,200 positions and close 84 branches worldwide, including in Brazil, Hungary and South Korea, with 44 closings in the United States. Citi will vastly reduce its footprint in some countries and leave five others entirely, including Turkey and Pakistan.

An additional 1,900 jobs will be removed from Citi’s capital markets and transaction processing units. An estimated 2,600 jobs will be cut from its back office operations as well.


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  1. “Who cares about jobs _in_ America? We have too much of your money, so we’ll give some of it to , then we pay lower taxes. Aren’t we just wonderful?”

A Congregation of Motherfuckers in the Senate

Posted on December 6th, 2012 at 11:25 by Desiato in category: Commentary, Foyer of Ennui (just short of the Hall of Shame)

[Quote]:

You’d think that at some point, even the most devoted motherfucker would get exhausted from fucking all those mothers. Even stars of gang-bang porn need a day or two to let a torn asshole heal. But not the Republicans in the United States Senate. They are motherfuckers who can’t get enough of the motherfucking. You ask them about any issue, they respond by saying, "We’re motherfuckers. Do you expect us to not fuck mothers? Oh, silly, silly Americans, bring us more mothers so we may fuck on." It gets to the point of being disturbing, where you’re looking at the dicks of the motherfuckers, chafed to bleeding from all the fucking. But these motherfuckers aren’t gonna stop fucking mothers, even if it seems absurd or pathetic. If there are mothers to be fucked, the Senate Republicans will be there, ready to get fucking.

So it was that yesterday, 38 Republicans voted against ratifying the United Nations Convention on Rights of Persons with Disabilities, a 2006 treaty that’s been ratified by 126 nations, including Pakistan, Myanmar, and Uganda (and, you know, most of Europe and South America, as well as China). Why did enough Republicans oppose the treaty, which does little more than say, "Hey, we should try to make the lives of people with disabilities a little less shitty," to deny it the two-thirds needed? Because sovereignty. Or freedom. Or something.


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  1. Funny. The U.N., hapless although it often is, is a strongly unifying issue for U.S. Tea Party members. (Such a delicious irony is like the HHGTTG proof of the non-existence of God.)