The Rat Tribe of Beijing. A photo-essay about diverse folks who live in former bomb shelters turned into private apartments underneath the streets of Beijing. By Al-Jazeera America.
Migration of Honey Buzzards "Based on real data (latitude, longitude and height) from the University of Amsterdam the animation initially shows the tracks of 12 birds, but then concentrates on a pair - male and female, as they migrate south in Autumn 2010 from the Veluwe forest in the Netherlands to warmer weather on the African coast "
Claudia Roden, the great chef-historian of Jewish food, believes that the detachable bits of ham and bacon that go into so many Spanish stews may – for secret Jews and Muslims alike – have served as a convenient way to appease the inquisitors when they called. In Majorca, as she notes in her book The Food of Spain, the "new Christians" conspicuously cooked large quantities of bacon out of doors in order to deflect suspicion. But for Grand Inquisitor Torquemada and his fellow kitchen sleuths, any man who bridled at a bacon butty would have instantly revealed his tainted blood.Labour leader Ed Miliband has consistently been mocked for being weird. Boyd Tonkin worries about the anti-semitic undertones of some of this criticism. [more inside]
The Green Monster: How the Border Patrol became America’s most out-of-control law enforcement agency.
A long-form report from Politico.
A long-form report from Politico.
"It was always assumed that V-formation flight was learned from the adult birds. But these guys are all the same age and they learned to fly from a human in a microlight. They learned V-formation flying from each other. National Geographic reports on some of the fascinating intricacies of the V formation observed in migrating birds.
A New York Times interactive graphic feature charting how Americans have moved between states since 1900.
The SmartMime whale tracker lets you know where Hawaii's diverse population of whales are right now (not actually in real time, but based on migration data).
The Department of Immigration and Border Patrol of Australia's secret blacklist of immigration lawyers and agents has been discovered. DIBP claims that the list is used for "risk assessment" for partner visas and has "no impact" on assessing cases. The Migration Alliance, the lobby group of Australian migration agents that broke the news of the list, is not convinced.
From 1851 to 1858, Henry David Thoreau noted a number of natural occurrences in detail, including the first flowering dates for over 500 species of wildflowers in Concord. Additionally, Alfred Hosmer, a botanist in the same area, had recorded the flowering dates of over 600 species of wild plants in 1878 and from 1888 to 1902. With that data, Richard Primack, a biology professor at Boston University, and fellow researcher Abraham Miller-Rushing spent years aligning old plant names with current names to study the change flowering patterns from the recorded past to present. Their phenological study concluded that plants in Concord, on average, are now flowering 10 days earlier than they were in Thoreau's time (full article for the journal BioScience). [more inside]
Snowy owls are irrupting across the upper Midwest and down the East Coast as far as the Carolinas in what could be the largest such irruption in at least 20 years. They're here because there were a lot of lemmings in the Arctic last year, and so snowy owls made a lot of snowy owls. This year? Not so many lemmings, and so many of them have come south in search of food. [more inside]
Operation Migration has helped endangered bird species migrate by leading the way with ultralight aircraft. At the moment you can see a live video of them in flight.
Australia in 2013. We have forgotten our origins and our good fortune, we are blind to our own selfishness. In place of memory we cling to a national myth of a generous, welcoming country, a land of new arrivals where everyone gets a fair go; a myth in which vanity fills the emptiness where the truth was forgotten. -- Julian Burnside writes on refugee policy and alienation in Australia [more inside]
"For the last two years, the agency has kept a list of same-sex couples whose green card petitions were denied, the officials said, anticipating that the Supreme Court would eventually weigh in on DOMA. Those denials will now be reversed without couples having to present new applications, if no other issues have arisen." -- The US Immigration and Citizenship Services agency has issued the first green card to a partner in a gay marriage.
"The success of the campaign made the three activists wonder: Could they replicate it on a grand scale by getting themselves detained on purpose? Inside immigration detention facilities, they would surely find dozens, if not hundreds, of low-priority detainees like de los Santos whom they could help. At the same time, they could publicize the fact that it wasn’t just criminals who were being deported, as the Obama administration kept insisting. “We realized we could be more effective if we just went straight to the source,” Abdollahi says. Doing so would flip the script on immigration agents; the activists would be taking advantage of their undocumented status and thus could be detained and deported. Deportation was unlikely, because they were Dreamers without serious criminal records. Even so, this would make the risk they’d taken in Charlotte look like nothing. But Saavedra, Abdollahi, and Martinez had been growing more fearless, and more radical, since they’d met." -- Los Infiltradores: How three young undocumented activists risked everything to expose the injustices of immigrant detention—and invented a new form of protest.
Prior to their southward migration, the godwits eat up large, until up to 55 per cent of their body weight is fat. They then reduce the size of their gut, kidney and liver by up to 25 per cent to compensate for the added weight. Godwits are amazing migratory shorebirds who travel many thousands of miles at a go. Here's a brief documentary of people studying them (12 minutes on youtube + ad, shows invasive surgery). Here's some science on their flights (creative commons). [more inside]
"With a time-lapse camera, it would appear that London is pulsing as generations and ethnic groups move up and move out." The BBC reports that something quite remarkable happened in London in the first decade of the new millennium. The number of white British people in the capital fell by 620,000 - equivalent to the entire population of Glasgow moving out. [more inside]
Peoplemovin illustrates the migration flow in and out of the countries of the world. Click on a country's name on the left to see its emigrants stream to countries on the right; click on a country on the right to see where its immigrants come from. Click in between the country lists to see information on top migration origins and destinations, and the largest migration corridors.
SUNY Plattsburgh Assistant Professor, Danielle Garneau uses road kill data collected by her students using a free data collection app to track wildlife migration patterns (WARNING: Some links contain pictures of road kill). via
Global Trends 2030 Alternate Worlds is the latest quadrennial report from The US National Intelligence Council (NIC). (Report: PDF / Talking Points: PDF.) Similar to its predecessors, '2030' attempts to predict 'alternate visions of the future.' An official blog discusses their speculations. The Atlantic Council has published a "companion publication": "Envisioning 2030: US Strategy for a Post-Western World." [more inside]
The website of the Society for Irish Latin American Studies is full of information about Irish migration to Latin America. It's divided into four sections: The Homeland, about the origins of the settlers; The Journey, about how the Irish settlers traveled to Latin America, including the infamous Dresden affair; The Settlement, about the lives of the Irish in Latin America; Faces and Places, which has biographies of a wide variety of people, Mateo Banks, family murderer, Camila O'Gorman, executed lover of a priest, William Lamport, 17th Century revolutionary and Bernardo O'Higgins, Chilean independence leader, who gets a whole subsection to himself. There is also a list of Irish placenames and much else of interest to history nerds.
Migrations Map elegantly visualizes migration data for every single country using an interactive world map. [more inside]
Are overly restrictive immigration rules causing a worldwide economic slow down? According to the Guardian "Allowing workers to change location significantly enriches the world economy. So why do we erect barriers to human mobility?"
The African Presence in India: A Photo Essay : The questions we pose here are simply these: Who are the African people of India? What is their significance in the annals of history? Precisely what have they done and what are they doing now? These are extremely serious questions that warrant serious and fundamental answers. This series of articles, "The African Presence in India: An Historical Overview," is designed to provide some of those answers.
Britain Is More Germanic than It Thinks, and Kon-Tiki explorer was partly right – Polynesians had South American roots. [more inside]
If you see a hundred jellies, keep going. If you see a thousand jellies, keep going. If you see a million jellies, stop - you're there.
Head some 500 miles (800 km) east of the Philippines or 2,000 miles (3,200 km) south of Tokyo, and you'll find Palau, an island nation in the Pacific Ocean. Amongst the Rock Islands of Palau is a vaguely Y-shaped uninhabited island, called Mecherchar or Eil Malk, which includes a number of marine lakes. One of the more astounding lakes is Ongeim'l Tketau or Jellyfish Lake, home to millions of jellyfish that make daily migrations, tracking the sun. [more inside]
An estimated 10,000 migratory birds whose flight path took them through Manhattan earlier this month became (temporarily) disoriented and trapped in the 88-searchlight glare of the 9/11 Tribute in Light memorial.
The United Nations Refugee Agency has a Flickr page with nearly 3000 photos neatly sorted into over 150 sets, most often by country, though sometimes by other themes, such as photos taken by refugee children, life in a refugee camp and mixed migration. There are also news sets, sorted by month. Some of the countries featured are ones that many associate with humanitarian disasters, Timor-Leste, Iraq and The Democratic Republic of Congo, but there are also photosets from countries that few associate with refugees, Panama, Hungary and France.
Genus Vanessa butterflies are migrating now in North America, and you can help track them by submitting your observations. They could use a lot more data for their interactive map.
In Motion: The African-American Migration Experience is organized around thirteen defining migrations that have formed and transformed African America and the nation. From The New York Public Library, Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture [prev], more than 16,500 pages of text, 8,300 illustrations, and 60+ maps. [more inside]
It's 15:00 UTC. Do you know where your Common Toads are...? World on the Move.
The annual northward migration is in full swing. The first time you see one on your feeder for the new season is cause for a big smile (maybe a little waving of arms). These little guys can weigh as little as a penny, yet will consume nearly twice their body weight every day. Have you guessed? Yes, it's a hummingbird flight of fancy. (Attenborough video) [more inside]
Oh, I say old chap--do you mind not going all "immigrant" on me, and spitting all over the place? Thank you very much. (how Britain proposes to solve the problem of integrating its migrant population)
A Virtual Cartography of European Migration Policies MigMap conveys a picture of how and where the production of knowledge is currently taking place in the field of migration – and of who is participating in and has access to it. It investigates precisely how the new forms of supranational governance that can be observed in the European migration regime function. It looks, for example, at how European standards in politics and civil society are implemented, and at the authorities, persons and institutions taking part in this process. It examines how the various key players in the public and private spheres are interrelated and funded, as well as at the ways in which these spheres overlap or differ in terms of focus, location or personnel. Finally, it analyzes how responsibilities are allocated and legitimized – and explores the theories, data and discourses upon which current paradigms in migration are based. [more inside]
Unexpectedly, thousands of mammals were spotted during their migration in the Southern Sudan surprising scientists who had given up thinking that wildlife might still exist [video link] in this war torn region of the world.
In one of the most remarkable journeys by any creature on the planet Humpback whales travelling between breeding grounds off the west coast of Central America and feeding grounds off Antarctica clocked up more than 5,000 miles on one leg of their journey as recorded by the wonderful people of Cascadia Research Collective.
Christmas Island sits just northwest of Australia, and is the perfect place to go if you're trying to get over a fear of being surrounded by small animals. Every November/December about 120 million Red Crabs make their annual migration to the ocean to mate and spawn. The masses of crabs cover some routes so densely that they can be seen from the air.
North by South : web content on the Great Migration, the result of a six-year, NEH-funded collaboration between Kenyon College and K-12 students in Ohio and various Southern communities.
Interactions between migrating birds and offshore oil and gas platforms in the northern Gulf of Mexico (PDF, 5.9MB). A scientific but engrossing look at bird migration over the Gulf of Mexico, describing, in part, death by starvation of migrants who have metabolized all their bodily fat, “overshoots” that inadvertently travel past their intended destinations and find themselves unexpectedly over water at first light, and a suggestion that peregrine falcons not only recovered from near extinction due to the presence of oil platforms in the Gulf, but that they may eventually establish a breeding population on the Gulf platform archipelago. Summary. Full report (PDF, 5.9 MB).
Human footprints from 40,000 tears ago - evidence of the early colonization of America. New Scientist journalists tell us that this finding may overthrow the commonly held view that the first humans to arrive did so only 11,000 years ago. But this isn't the first time an earlier arrival date has been suggested.
Mexico publishes Migrant/Illegal Immigrant Guide A new comic-book-style guide for migrants produced by the Mexican government is designed to help immigrants cross the border illegally into the United States. (NPR) This is proving a little controversial. Deaths are common on the crossing.
Since 1996, The Osprey Project has been re-introducing the osprey into the United Kingdom, and since 1999 has been tracking its migrations, which stretch as far south as Senegal, and can include marathon stretches of open-ocean flight.
Oh, and sometimes they even make it Back.
Oh, and sometimes they even make it Back.
Why Birds Fly in a 'V'. And I thought it was because they liked the view.