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ömer albaş
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Happy birthday Gwyneth! She turns 44!
Gwyneth Kate Paltrow is an American actress, singer, and food writer.

Paltrow gained early notice for her work in films such as the psychological thriller Seven (1995), opposite Brad Pitt and the period drama Emma (1996), opposite Jeremy Northam. Following starring roles in the romantic comedy-drama Sliding Doors (1998) and the thriller A Perfect Murder (1998), Paltrow garnered worldwide recognition through her performance in Shakespeare in Love (1998), for which she won an Academy Award for Best Actress, aGolden Globe Award and two Screen Actors Guild Awards, for Outstanding Lead Actress and as a member of the Outstanding Cast. Paltrow has portrayed supporting, as well as lead roles, in films such as The Talented Mr. Ripley (1999), The Royal Tenenbaums (2001), Shallow Hal (2001), and Proof (2005), for which she earned a Golden Globe nomination as Best Actress in Motion Picture Drama.

Since 2008 she has portrayed Pepper Potts, the love interest of Iron Man in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, in Iron Man (2008), Iron Man 2 (2010), The Avengers (2012), and Iron Man 3 (2013). She also won an Emmy Award forOutstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series in 2011 for her role as Holly Holliday on the Fox hit TV show Glee in the episode "The Substitute".

Following high-profile relationships with Brad Pitt and Ben Affleck, Paltrow married Chris Martin, the lead vocalist of Coldplay, in 2003; they have two children. Paltrow and Martin announced their separation in March 2014. Paltrow has been the face of Estée Lauder's Pleasures perfume since 2005. Paltrow is also the face of American fashion brand Coach, owner of a lifestyle company, and author of two cookbooks.
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This imposing double portrait by Anthony van Dyck shows Lord John Stuart and his brother, Lord Bernard Stuart. The brothers were granted leave to make a three-year tour of the Continent in 1639 and may have sat for Van Dyck shortly before their departure. The simple background sets off the aquiline features, confident poses and rich clothing:
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Common hawk-cuckoo(juvenile)

The common hawk-cuckoo (Hierococcyx varius), popularly known as the brainfever bird, is a medium-sized cuckoo resident in the Indian subcontinent. It bears a close resemblance to the Shikra, even in its style of flying and landing on a perch. The resemblance to hawks gives this group the generic name of hawk-cuckoo and like many other cuckoos these are brood parasites, laying their eggs in nests of babblers. During their breeding season in summer males produce loud, repetitive three note calls that are well-rendered as brain-fever, the second note being longer and higher pitched. These notes rise to a crescendo before ending abruptly and repeat after a few minutes; the calling may go on through the day, well after dusk and before dawn.
The common hawk-cuckoo is a medium- to large-sized cuckoo, about the size of a pigeon (ca. 34 cm). The plumage is ashy grey above; whitish below, cross-barred with brown. The tail is broadly barred. The sexes are alike. They have a distinctive yellow eye ring. Subadults have the breast streaked, similar to the immature shikra, and there are large brown chevron marks on the belly.At first glance they can be mistaken for a hawk. When flying they use a flap and glide style that resembles that of sparrowhawks (especially the shikra) and flying upwards and landing on a perch they shake their tails from side to side. Many small birds and squirrels raise the alarm just as they would in the presence of a hawk. The sexes are alike but males tend to be larger.
They can be confused with the large hawk-cuckoo, which, however, has dark streaks on the throat and breast. Young birds have a pale chin but young large hawk-cuckoos have a black chin.
During summer months, before the monsoons, the males are easily detected by their repeated calls but can be difficult to spot. The call is a loud screaming three-note call, repeated 5 or 6 times, rising in crescendo and ending abruptly. It is heard throughout the day and frequently during moonlit nights.The calls of females are a series of grating notes.Common hawk-cuckoos feed mainly on insects and are specialised feeders that can handle hairy caterpillars. Caterpillar guts often contain toxins and like many cuckoos they remove the guts by pressing the caterpillar and rubbing it on a branch before swallowing it. The hairs are swallowed with the caterpillar and are separated in the stomach and regurgitated as a pellet.[Wikipedia].[Photo© - Raju Karia].

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Oceans: Single clothes wash may release 700,000 microplastic fibres, study finds

Each cycle of a washing machine could release more than 700,000 microscopic plastic fibres into the environment, according to a study.

A team at Plymouth University in the UK spent 12 months analysing what happened when a number of synthetic materials were washed at different temperatures in domestic washing machines, using different combinations of detergents, to quantify the microfibres shed.

* Learn more about the problems of marine plastic pollution at

They found that acrylic was the worst offender, releasing nearly 730,000 tiny synthetic particles per wash, five times more than polyester-cotton blend fabric, and nearly 1.5 times as many as polyester.

... These microfibres track through domestic wastewater into sewage treatment plants where some of the tiny plastic fragments are captured as part of sewage sludge. The rest pass through into rivers and eventually, oceans. A paper published in 2011 found that microfibres made up 85% of human-made debris on shorelines around the world.

The impact of microplastic pollution is not fully understood but studies have suggested that it has the potential to poison the food chain, build up in animals’ digestive tracts, reduce the ability of some organisms to absorb energy from foods in the normal way and even to change the behaviour of crabs.

Read in full at

#oceans #plastic #pollution #clothing #microfibres #fish

Image: Microfibres found inside the body of a North American fish. Photograph: Rachel Ricotta/AP
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Great news, and something for which EIA has long been campaigning!

CoP17: Process for establishing future ivory trade rejected at CITES conference

For the last nine years, CITES parties have been negotiating a “decision-making mechanism,” (DMM), which would establish a process for a future trade in ivory. Today, the parties of CITES voted to end the long-running discussion.

The notion of a DMM was established at CoP14 in 2007 as part of a compromise that put in place a nine-year moratorium on the international ivory trade. Namibia and several other countries agreed to the moratorium back then so long as a DMM was established.

* Get more background in 'CITES ivory trade system is flawed and drives poaching' -

Since then, the development of the DMM has only become more controversial as the poaching crisis escalated. There has been a net decline of approximately 110,000 African elephants from 2007 through 2015, according to a report released yesterday.

Namibia, South Africa, and Zimbabwe put forward a proposal at this week’s CoP17 conference in Johannesburg calling for the DMM to be established. A group of eight other African states put forward a counter-proposal calling for the discussions to be abandoned. Both proposals were rejected; the former by a secret ballot.

A third vote, on a proposal put forward by the CITES Standing Committee itself asking the parties to decide on whether DMM discussions should be extended, was rejected. That was the final word—the DMM is off the table.

Read in full at

#Africa #elephants #ivory #Namibia #SouthAfrica #Zimbabwe #CoP17 +CITES 
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Born on September 27

Avril Lavigne (1984–), Canadian singer-songwriter and actress. She has sold more than 40 million albums and over 50 million singles worldwide. Lavigne's debut album Let Go made her the youngest female soloist to reach number 1 in the UK.

More famous birthdays at

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Cartel en corne verte de forme violonnée. Epoque Louis XV, XVIIIème siècle.
En vente sur Proantic, galerie Laurence Helmer et Maison James
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The Spotted Pardalote, a pretty Australian pipsqueak, uses bifocal vision to almost simultaneously see small insects underfoot and predators overhead.

That’s the theory of Canadian neuroscientists who completed the most exhaustive and detailed study to date of a tiny structure in the avian midbrain called the isthmo optic nucleus, or ION. When present in a bird, nerve fibers link the structure to the bird’s two retinas, the light-sensitive inner lining of the eyes responsible for vision.

The neuroscientists studied the eyes of 81 bird species in 17 orders, and reported their surprising results in the journal PLOS ONE.

The ION was discovered over a century ago and has been found in many vertebrates, but its role has remained a mystery. Some scientists had theorized that it enables “pecking birds” to more accurately hit small food targets. Maybe it’s needed for gaze stabilization, dark adaption, shifting attention or detecting aerial predators.

The Canadian neuroscientists ascribe a more complex function to the ION that takes into account its size and complexity in the 81 species they studied, the birds’ visual habits, and the bifocal nature of their retinas.

“The ION is more complex and enlarged in birds that have eyes that are emmetropic [far-sighted] in some parts of the visual field and myopic [near-sighted] in others,” said the researchers, led by Cristián Gutiérrez-Ibáñez, a neuroscientist at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada. “We therefore posit that the ION is involved in switching attention between two parts of the retina i.e. from an emmetropic to a myopic part of the retina.”

Read more –
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CoP17 blog: Future ivory trade is off the CITES table – and it's about time!

... After a frenetic and sometimes farcical afternoon session on Monday (September 26), Parties to CITES overwhelming voted not to extend the “Decision-making mechanism for a process of trade in ivory” (DMM).

This is the end of a long-running saga that first began in 2007 and is a welcome boon to elephant conservation. EIA has always opposed the development of the DMM because we believe any trade in ivory poses a serious threat to elephants and the main objective of this mechanism was to facilitate international legal ivory trade.

We welcome yesterday’s decision and commend all CITES Parties who voted the right way to protect elephants.

... EIA has long-argued that discussions on developing a DMM should be closed because the elephant poaching crisis is simply too great and that it was distracting CITES and its Parties from the real issues – the rising levels of criminality associated with the ivory trade and the poor governance that is facilitating so much of it.

This is the first of what we hope to be many successes over the next 10 days but this result would not have been possible without the support of several Parties such as Kenya, Ethiopia, Benin, Burkina Faso, Central African Republic, Chad, Niger and Senegal, which all pro-actively opposed the DMM.

Read today's EIA blog in full at

#CoP17 #ivory #elephants +CITES 

Image: Carved ivory legally on sale in China (c) EIA / Mary Rice
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CoP17: China accused of defying its own ban on breeding tigers to profit from body parts

China has been accused of deceiving the international community by allowing a network of farms to breed thousands of captive tigers for the sale of their body parts, in breach of their own longstanding ban on the trade.

The Chinese government has allowed about 200 specialist farms to hold an estimated 6,000 tigers for slaughter, before their skins are sold as decoration and their bones are marinated to produce tonics and lotions. Campaigners say this has increased demand for the products and provoked the poaching of thousands of wild tigers, whose global population is now down to just 3,500.

* EIA's Tigers Campaign has long been at the forefront of efforts to investigate and expose tiger farms and their links to illegal trade.

Learn more in the report 'Hidden in Plain Sight: China’s Clandestine Tiger Trade' at

China is expected to come under pressure at this week’s Johannesburg conference of nations who have signed the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (Cites). The Guardian has found that Chinese delegates have tried to obstruct debate at the conference by rewriting a critical report and questioning the wording of a key decision.

The Chinese say their domestic market is nobody else’s business since Cites covers only international trade.

... Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) discovered that, having opened the farms, the SFA had been quietly issuing licences for the sale of skins from the tigers that were bred there. The SFA claimed that the skins were only sold to museums and universities for scientific purposes, but the EIA found at least half ended up in the plush apartments of China’s elite.

... Inspired by China’s behaviour, Thailand, Vietnam and Laos also opened tiger farms, some of which were suspected to be not only breeding animals for body parts but also “laundering” wild tigers that had been captured. Wild tigers are close to extinction in Vietnam and possibly already extinct in Laos. China is believed to have only 50.

Read in full at

#China #Thailand #Vietnam #Laos #tigers #tigerfarming #CoP17 #whereRthetigers? +CITES 

Image: Tiger bodies and skins in cold storage in Guilin Tiger & Bear Farm, China (c) Belinda Wright WPSI-ITC
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Updated map reveals scale of trade in threatened hornbills

... Due to an unprecedented rise in poaching in recent years to sustain a burgeoning international trade and ongoing habitat loss, the future of the helmeted hornbill in the wild is at risk.

At CITES CoP17 is agenda item 69 “Illegal trade in Helmeted Hornbill”. Tabled by Indonesia, this resolutionPDF encourages all parties, especially consumer and range states, to improve current levels of protection and prevention of trade for the helmeted hornbill through legislative, enforcement and awareness-raising means, in light of recent population collapse across much of its habitat range.

EIA and TRAFFIC have combined seizure records for hornbill casques occurring over the past six years from 2010-16 and plotted them on an interactive map. Although only representing a fraction of the trade, this will hopefully show its regional nature with key import and export hubs for casques highlighted and will be showcased at CoP 17 at a side event today (September 27) in support for greater investment in and awareness of the plight of the helmeted hornbill.

EIA encourages all CITES Parties to support this proposal.

Read today's EIA News Update in full at

#Indonesia #Malaysia #Thailand #birds #hornbill #CoP17 +CITES 

Image: Helmeted hornbill products for sale online (c) EIA; the map of hornbill product seizures
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Turmeric: Better Than Aspirin For Heart Disease Prevention?

In a day and age where people identify heart disease prevention strategies with consuming what are essentially toxic chemicals like aspirin and statin drugs, it is refreshing to see clinical research being done on the powerfully cardioprotective properties of time-tested and much safer spices.

A compelling new study published in the Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism has found that a daily dose of a novel form of turmeric extract (curcumin) significantly improved the functional state of the blood vessels of healthy adults within two months.

The randomized, controlled, double-blind parallel prospective study involved fifty-nine healthy adults who were assigned to either a placebo, 50 mg (50 mg), or 200 mg (200 mg) curcumin, for 8 weeks.

The study provided background on what is believed to be a primary underlying cause of cardiovascular disease, namely, the inability of the inner lining of blood vessels (endothelium) to dilate fully as a consequence of mostly symptomless damage that can start early in life:


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Çevrecilik ( Environmentalism ), Özgürlük ( Freedom )
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  • Anadolu University
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March 16, 1965
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Karadeniz Fırtınası
  • Kartonsan A.Ş.
    Muhasebe Memuru, 1990 - 2002
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    Muhasebe Memuru, 2003 - 2004
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    Muhasebe Memuru, 2008 - 2009
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