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Mick Jagger Sees No Satisfaction in Trump’s Environmental Record

Climate
Mick Jagger Sees No Satisfaction in Trump’s Environmental Record
Lead Singer Mick Jagger in action as The Rolling Stones perform live at Mt Smart Stadium on Nov. 22, 2014 in Auckland, New Zealand. Fiona Goodall / Getty Images

Mick Jagger took a moment on the red carpet at the Venice Film Festival to sound off on the Trump administration's response to the climate crisis.


The 76-year-old Rolling Stones front man was asked about the climate protestors that took over the red carpet on Saturday. As Jagger stood alongside actor Donald Sutherland to promote Burnt Orange Heresy, a new film featuring the two stars in supporting roles, he praised the activists.

"I'm absolutely behind that," said Jagger, according to the Hollywood Reporter. "I'm glad they're doing that because they're the ones who are going to inherit the planet."

On Saturday, a few hundred protestors wearing white boiler suits and carrying signs that read 'Our home is on fire' and 'No to cruise ships,' peacefully demonstrated against inaction on the climate crisis and asked to ban cruise ships from entering the canalled city, as Reuters reported.

Jagger went beyond his support for the protestors to denounce the Trump administration's rollbacks of environmental regulations and withdrawal from the Paris climate agreement.

"We are in a very difficult situation at the moment, especially in the U.S., where all the environmental controls that were put in place, that perhaps were just about adequate, say for the last ten years, have been rolled back by the current administration so much that they're all being wiped out," he said, as Esquire reported. "The US, which should be the world leader in environmental control, has lost that and has decided to go the other way."

Donald Sutherland concurred with Jagger's criticisms of U.S. policy and also offered a pointed rebuke of British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro.

"Mick is right when he said the reforms that were instituted during the Obama administration were barely adequate, and now they're being torn about," the 85-year-old actor said, according to the Hollywood Reporter. "It's the same in Brazil and they will be torn apart in England."

"They have to fight harder," said Sutherland about the environmental activists protesting. "And they have to get as much support as they can among all of you. And I also understood that there were also people with respect to immigration out front? They too need every support that they can muster."

"When you're my age, when you're 85 years old and you have children and grandchildren, you will leave them nothing if we don't vote those people out of office in Brazil in London in Washington," continued Sutherland, according to the Hollywood Reporter. "They are ruining the world. We have contributed to the ruination of it, but they are ensuring it."

Jagger and Sutherland, who play a wealthy art dealer and a reclusive artist, respectively, in the film, are no strangers to criticizing the Trump administration. In 2016, the Rolling Stones asked the Trump campaign to stop playing their music at rallies. Jagger mocked Trump earlier this summer after the President claimed during his July 4 speech that Revolutionary War soldiers took over the airports.

Sutherland has long called on young people to revolt against societal injustices, as the Guardian reported. And, in a 2017 interview with Readers Digest, he was asked what is the one political issue that he cannot ignore.

"I'll say it three times: climate, climate, climate," Sutherland said. "I realized it 20 years ago. I started to see jellyfish where jellyfish had never been before. And in the Caribbean, when the water temperature increases by just one degree, that's massive, because hurricanes feed on hot water. And now they have a President in the United States who doesn't believe in… oh, never mind."

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A net-casting ogre-faced spider. CBG Photography Group, Centre for Biodiversity Genomics / CC BY-SA 3.0

Just in time for Halloween, scientists at Cornell University have published some frightening research, especially if you're an insect!

The ghoulishly named ogre-faced spider can "hear" with its legs and use that ability to catch insects flying behind it, the study published in Current Biology Thursday concluded.

"Spiders are sensitive to airborne sound," Cornell professor emeritus Dr. Charles Walcott, who was not involved with the study, told the Cornell Chronicle. "That's the big message really."

The net-casting, ogre-faced spider (Deinopis spinosa) has a unique hunting strategy, as study coauthor Cornell University postdoctoral researcher Jay Stafstrom explained in a video.

They hunt only at night using a special kind of web: an A-shaped frame made from non-sticky silk that supports a fuzzy rectangle that they hold with their front forelegs and use to trap prey.

They do this in two ways. In a maneuver called a "forward strike," they pounce down on prey moving beneath them on the ground. This is enabled by their large eyes — the biggest of any spider. These eyes give them 2,000 times the night vision that we have, Science explained.

But the spiders can also perform a move called the "backward strike," Stafstrom explained, in which they reach their legs behind them and catch insects flying through the air.

"So here comes a flying bug and somehow the spider gets information on the sound direction and its distance. The spiders time the 200-millisecond leap if the fly is within its capture zone – much like an over-the-shoulder catch. The spider gets its prey. They're accurate," coauthor Ronald Hoy, the D & D Joslovitz Merksamer Professor in the Department of Neurobiology and Behavior in the College of Arts and Sciences, told the Cornell Chronicle.

What the researchers wanted to understand was how the spiders could tell what was moving behind them when they have no ears.

It isn't a question of peripheral vision. In a 2016 study, the same team blindfolded the spiders and sent them out to hunt, Science explained. This prevented the spiders from making their forward strikes, but they were still able to catch prey using the backwards strike. The researchers thought the spiders were "hearing" their prey with the sensors on the tips of their legs. All spiders have these sensors, but scientists had previously thought they were only able to detect vibrations through surfaces, not sounds in the air.

To test how well the ogre-faced spiders could actually hear, the researchers conducted a two-part experiment.

First, they inserted electrodes into removed spider legs and into the brains of intact spiders. They put the spiders and the legs into a vibration-proof booth and played sounds from two meters (approximately 6.5 feet) away. The spiders and the legs responded to sounds from 100 hertz to 10,000 hertz.

Next, they played the five sounds that had triggered the biggest response to 25 spiders in the wild and 51 spiders in the lab. More than half the spiders did the "backward strike" move when they heard sounds that have a lower frequency similar to insect wing beats. When the higher frequency sounds were played, the spiders did not move. This suggests the higher frequencies may mimic the sounds of predators like birds.

University of Cincinnati spider behavioral ecologist George Uetz told Science that the results were a "surprise" that indicated science has much to learn about spiders as a whole. Because all spiders have these receptors on their legs, it is possible that all spiders can hear. This theory was first put forward by Walcott 60 years ago, but was dismissed at the time, according to the Cornell Chronicle. But studies of other spiders have turned up further evidence since. A 2016 study found that a kind of jumping spider can pick up sonic vibrations in the air.

"We don't know diddly about spiders," Uetz told Science. "They are much more complex than people ever thought they were."

Learning more provides scientists with an opportunity to study their sensory abilities in order to improve technology like bio-sensors, directional microphones and visual processing algorithms, Stafstrom told CNN.

Hoy agreed.

"The point is any understudied, underappreciated group has fascinating lives, even a yucky spider, and we can learn something from it," he told CNN.

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