Supertyphoon Hagibis gives new wind to Philippine disco band

MANILA (Reuters) – For a four-decade-old Philippine disco band, the namesake supertyphoon bearing down on Japan has brought a sudden rush of interest in its macho act.

Sonny Parsons (R), leader of Filipino boyband Hagibis, poses for a photo with fans at a fastfood restaurant in Manila, Philippines October 11, 2019. REUTERS/Jerome Morales

Known as the Philippines’ “Village People”, all-male band Hagibis has been going since 1979. While some members have changed over time, it has retained its act featuring tight black trousers, leather jackets, open shirts, shades, moustaches and suggestive dance moves.

“Hagibis is getting indirect publicity worldwide,” said 61-year-old Jose Parsons Nabiula, who goes by his stage name Sonny Parsons and has been with the band since the start.

“It reminded everybody of my group’s existence… Some people are making fun of it, some people are very serious.”

Typhoon Hagibis is due to make landfall on Japan’s main island of Honshu on Saturday as the most powerful storm to hit the capital in six decades.

Google Trends showed that search interest had spiked this week in Hagibis the band as well as the typhoon.

Hagibis means speed and strength in the Philippine language Tagalog.

Tropical cyclones in the Western Pacific Ocean are given their identity in sequence based on names provided by 14 regional countries.

People had been joking about the vigor of Typhoon Hagibis and comparing that to the band, Parsons said.

Parsons said he hoped the inquiries and feelers pouring in for Hagibis would translate into bookings for a band that currently performs around twice in a month in the Manila area.

A former elected official, he now also juggles his performances with film-making and a construction business.

“Maybe after a month or two I will be expecting a lot of concert offers,” Parsons said.

Typhoon Hagibis looks on track to hit Japan a month after another destructive typhoon and Parsons said he was worried about the damage.

“I hope that Hagibis storm’s show happens in the middle of the sea,” Parsons said. “Definitely, people will absorb the wrath of typhoon Hagibis and I feel bad about it.”

Hagibis is best known for its members’ macho image and songs extolling the beauty of women. The group’s hit songs include “Katawan” (Body), “Legs” and “Babae” (Woman).

While the storm did not enter the Philippine territory, its extension brought scattered rain showers and thunderstorms in central and southern parts of the Southeast Asian nation.

Sonny Parsons (C), leader of Filipino boyband Hagibis, poses for a photo with fans at a fastfood restaurant in Manila, Philippines October 11, 2019. REUTERS/Jerome Morales

Hagibis had used its renewed fame to warn Filipinos in Japan ahead of the storm’s landfall, Parsons said.

He hoped the band would get the chance to go to Japan after the typhoon.

“We will undo the sorrow and depression people experience,” Parsons said. “If the singing group will have a chance to go to Japan, we will help you forget the typhoon.”

Editing by Matthew Tostevin & Shri Navaratnam

Reuters: Oddly Enough

Wind Turbines’ Health Impact Still Up in the Air

FRIDAY, June 8, 2018 — A new study confirms that living near wind turbines can be annoying, but it doesn’t answer questions about how their noise might affect human health.

Researchers from the University of Toronto and the engineering firm Ramboll, which funded the project, analyzed survey data used in a 2013 Canadian government study.

The aim? To determine how living between 600 meters (1,968 feet) to 10 kilometers (6.2 miles) from wind turbines might affect people’s health. Wind turbines generate clean, renewable energy by harnessing the power of the wind.

The initial study “generated data useful for studying the relationship between wind turbine exposures and human health — including annoyance and sleep disturbances,” explained study author Rebecca Barry.

“Their original results examined modeled wind turbine noise based on a variety of factors — source sound power, distance, topography and meteorology, among others,” she explained in a news release from the American Institute of Physics.

The new findings confirmed the earlier findings that people who lived closer to the turbines “were more likely to report being annoyed than respondents who live further away,” Barry said.

The previous study found no direct link between residents’ distance from wind turbines and sleep disturbances, blood pressure levels or stress. However, the new study showed that people who lived closer to wind turbines reported lower ratings for their environmental quality of life.

But the new study could not determine whether this was caused by the wind turbines.

“Wind turbines might have been placed in locations where residents were already concerned about their environmental quality of life,” Sandra Sulsky, a researcher from Ramboll, said in the news release.

“Also, as is the case with all surveys, the respondents who chose to participate may have viewpoints or experiences that differ from those who chose not to participate,” Sulsky added. “Survey respondents may have participated precisely to express their dissatisfaction, while those who did not participate might not have concerns about the turbines.”

In the future, “measuring the population’s perceptions and concerns before and after turbine installation may help to clarify what effects — if any — exposure to wind turbines may have on quality of life,” Sulsky said.

The study was published in the June issue of the Journal of the Acoustical Society of America.

More information

Here’s where you can learn more about the Canadian government study.

© 2018 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Posted: June 2018 – Daily MedNews

Win 2 Tickets to ‘Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind’

Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind

Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind

This week, we are delighted to offer our readers the chance to win a pair of tickets to the Studio Ghibli Fest engagement for Hayao Miyazaki’s sci-fi fantasy feature Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind (1984), presented by GKIDS and Fathom Events on September 24, 25 and 27.

Set in a post-apocalyptic world in the distant future, the film follows Nausicaä, the young princess of the Valley of the Wind, as she fights to stop the kingdom of Tolmekia from poking the proverbial hornets’ nest when the Tolmekians plan to use an ancient weapon to flush out a race of jungle-dwelling mutant insects.

The film is based on an original manga by Miyazaki, produced by Ghibli co-founder Isao Takahata and features music by Joe Hisaishi in his first of many collaborations with Miyazaki. Despite being considered part of the Studio Ghibli catalog, Nausicaä was produced for Tokuma Shoten and Hakuhodo, with animation by the now-defunct Topcraft.

Enter for your chance to win by sending the correct answer to the trivia question below with your name and address to [email protected], with the subject line “Nausicaa Giveaway.”

QUESTION: The young princess Nausicaä was played by Japanese voice actor Sumi Shimamoto — she also voiced roles in the Miyazaki movies…

A. Lupin III: The Castle of Cagliostro, My Neighbor Totoro & Princess Mononoke
B. My Neighbor Totoro, Princess Mononoke & Ponyo
C. The Castle of Cagliostro, Princess Mononoke & Howl’s Moving Castle
D. My Neighbor Totoro, Spirited Away & Princess Mononoke

Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind

Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind

Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind

Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind

Animation Magazine

Skimp on Sleep and You Just May Wind Up Sick

THURSDAY, Feb. 9, 2017 — Ever noticed that when you try to “do it all,” the one thing you can count on is getting sick?

Now, a new study suggests why: if you don’t get enough sleep, your immune system seems to suffer.

The finding comes from a study of 11 pairs of twin adults. Each pair of twins had significantly different sleeping routines.

The researchers found that the twin who regularly slept less also turned out to be the one with the less potent immune system.

“This is the first study to show suppressed immune gene expression in chronic sleep deprivation,” said study lead author Dr. Nathaniel Watson. He’s a professor of neurology at the University of Washington Medicine Sleep Center in Seattle.

That, added Watson, could explain why prior research has shown that “if you expose a sleep-deprived person to a rhinovirus they are more likely to get the common cold than a person who has adequate sleep.”

Americans have seen their daily sleep drop an estimated 1.5 to 2 hours over the last century, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And even though seven or more hours of sleep is considered by many — including Watson — to be essential for optimal health, one-third of today’s working population gets less than six hours of sleep each night.

The researchers also noted that perhaps half of sleep-pattern routines can be traced to genetic predispositions, with lifestyle and environment accounting for the rest.

With that in mind, the researchers were able to focus on the non-genetic underpinnings of sleep behavior, as well as its potential relationship to immune function, by looking at the sleep habits of identical twins.

All the participating twins were drawn from the Washington State Twin Registry, and more than 80 percent were female. Their average age was 43.

All were deemed healthy before the study, though all reported differing sleep patterns.

The pairs’ sleep routines were tracked under “natural real-world circumstances” over two weeks. The pairs averaged a little over seven hours of sleep a night. And, in general, one twin in each pair slept roughly 64 minutes less per day than their sibling.

Blood sample analyses revealed that the twin who slept fewer hours also appeared to have a weaker immune response, as measured by white blood cell activity.

But why?

“Sleep is regenerative and supports immune pathway protein production,” said Watson. “Thus, it makes our immune system function properly.”

The bottom line: “Sleep is as important as diet and exercise to optimal health,” he said. “Prioritize it in your life and reap the benefits. If you have trouble sleeping, talk to your doctor. You may have a sleep disorder.”

There is “no substitute for sleep,” he added.

Watson and his colleagues recently discussed their findings in the journal Sleep.

Josiane Broussard is an assistant research professor at the University of Colorado, Boulder’s department of integrative physiology. She described the findings as “really exciting” and “important.”

“We don’t know why sleep is so critical for maintaining health and immune function,” said Broussard, who was not involved with the study. “Sleep remains somewhat of a mystery, even though we all sleep and chronic insufficient sleep impairs health. We know very little about something that occurs involuntarily.

“The main take-home message from this study is that chronic insufficient sleep results in dysregulated immune function and therefore, it is extremely important that people try to protect their sleep as much as possible,” she said.

More information

There’s more on sleep deficiency at the U.S. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.

Posted: February 2017

Recommended for you

View comments – Daily MedNews

Now Hear This: Wind Noise Can Pose Threat to Cyclists

FRIDAY, Oct. 14, 2016 — Cyclists may be at risk of hearing loss from wind noise, researchers report.

For the study, microphones were attached to cyclists’ ears to measure wind noise at various speeds. Wind noise ranged from 85 decibels at 15 mph to 120 decibels at 60 mph.

“These findings are important because noise-induced hearing loss can begin with sounds at or above 85 decibels,” said study co-leader Dr. Anna Wertz. She is an otolaryngologist at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit.

How loud is that? Heavy city traffic registers 85 decibels; an ambulance siren or a clap of thunder from a nearby storm can reach 120 decibels, according to the U.S. National Institutes of Health.

“Short-term exposure to loud sounds isn’t likely to have a lasting effect on hearing, but prolonged or repeated exposure can lead to permanent damage,” Wertz added in a hospital news release.

More information

The U.S. National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders has more on noise-induced hearing loss.

Posted: October 2016

View comments

More News Resources – Daily MedNews

‘Entitled’ People May Wind Up Unhappy

Inflated expectations of what they deserve doom many to disappointment, review of the data shows

WebMD News from HealthDay

By Alan Mozes

HealthDay Reporter

THURSDAY, Sept. 29, 2016 (HealthDay News) — “Entitled” individuals who feel superior to others often end up unhappy when reality fails to match their expectations, new research shows.

“Entitlement is a broad construct, but basically it refers to a desire to get something for nothing,” explained study lead author Joshua Grubbs, assistant professor of psychology at Bowling Green State University in Ohio.

According to Grubbs, entitlement is a personality trait where a person has an exaggerated belief that he or she is an exception to the rule — much more deserving of life’s blessings that others.

But the new review of more than 170 studies on the subject suggests that entitled folk are also especially vulnerable to disappointment.

And when disappointment strikes, it can mean anger, blaming others, social strife, collapsed relationships and depression, Grubbs’ team said.

That’s because entitlement is “really an attitude of ‘deservingness’, without any consideration for earning those things you want,” said Grubbs, who conducted the review while a graduate student in psychology at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland. “I often describe it as someone saying, ‘I exist, therefore I deserve whatever I want.’ “

He said this outlook doesn’t necessarily hinge on wealth. “We observe it across cultures and economic status,” he added.

But no matter its source, “entitlement has long been known to be associated with negative emotion and distress,” Grubbs said.

Along with co-author Julie Exline, a professor of psychological sciences at Case Western Reserve, Grubbs set out to examine why entitlement can be such a problem.

The review of the data uncovered a common three-step pattern of pressures and behavior that often plague entitled individuals.

First, there’s the burden of living with the constant threat of failed expectations, Grubbs said.

Next comes emotional instability when an expected path or goal fails to materialize.

Entitled people often muddle through these emotional minefields, but not by admitting that perhaps they aren’t so special. Instead, Grubbs said, adversity tends to cause them to lean even more heavily on an inherent sense of superiority.

WebMD Health

Dete Meserve Named Wind Dancer Principal


Wind Dancer Films, the company behind TV series and films like Roseanne, Home Improvement and What Women Want, is going after the children’s TV space with the appointment of 15-year executive team member Dete Meserve as Principal. Meserve will lead the company’s expansion into kids TV, which officially kicked off with the launch of its first children’s series Ready Jet Go! on PBS KIDS.

Meserve serves as executive producer on Ready Jet Go!, working with creator Craig Bartlett (Hey Arnold!, Dinosaur Train). She is also heading up animated series project Not a Box, currently in development and based on the award-winning book by Antoinette Portis. In her career, Meserve has produced numerous films and series and has been responsible for securing over $ 65 million in financing for film and TV properties. Her credits include Home Improvement, Saint George, What Women Want, Bernie, The Keeping Room, Wildest Africa and As Cool as I Am.

Prior to joining Wind Dancer, Meserve was vice president of USC Radio. She began her career as station manager of the National Public Radio affiliate in Evansville, Indiana, and assistant general manager of the PBS affiliate. Meserve is also the author of multi-award-winning, best-selling novel Good Sam, which she will produce as a film for Hallmark Channel.

Dete Meserve

Dete Meserve

Animation Magazine

New Clips from Expanding ‘The Wind Rises’


The English-dub version of Hayao Miyazaki’s The Wind Rises expands its theatrical run this week to just under 500 screens, earning rave reviews along the way.

The film — which Miyazaki maintains will be the last animated feature he will direct — heads into the weekend as one of five films vying for the Best Animated Feature Oscar at Sunday’s ceremony. Prognosticators overwhelming favor Disney’s Frozen to win the big prize, but anything can happen when they open the envelopes.

Here’s two new clips Disney — which is distributing the English dub of the movie — has released from the film, which has an 88 percent “Fresh” rating on and an 83 percent approval score on

The English dub features the voices of Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Emily Blunt, John Krasinski, Martin Short, Werner Herzog and William H. Macy.

The Wind Rises

The Wind Rises

Animation Magazine

English-Language Cast Announced for ‘The Wind Rises’


Joseph Gordon-Levitt (Don Jon) leads the English-language voice cast for Hayao Miyazaki’s The Wind Rises. Disney will release the dubbed version of the Japanese master’s final film in February 21. The Golden Globe-nominated titled had its Oscar-qualifying run in Los Angeles and was voted best Animated Feature of the year by the National Board of Review. The film which charts the life and times of World War II fighter plane designer Jiro Horikoshi, has also sparked some controversy for its treatment of Japan’s role in the atrocities of the the war.

Other key roles will be voiced by Mandy Patinkin, Emily Blunt, Stanley Tucci, John Krasinski, Martin Short, William H. Macy, Werner Herzog, Elijah Wood, Mae Whitman, Jennifer Grey, Darren Criss and Ronan Farrow.

“What I love about acting is becoming somebody else, and when you’re just doing the voice and the animation is providing the visuals, you can really become someone else,” Gordon-Levitt, a fan of Miyazaki’s Princess Mononoke (1997) and the Oscar-winning Spirited Away (2001) told USA Today. “The Wind Rises is more grounded in human beings and a historical moment in time. Yet there’s still a flavor of magic in it as you go inside the mind of this aeronautics engineer and you see him walking on the wings of airplanes in his dream.”

Producer Frank Marshall added, “We credit the beauty and magic of Mr. Miyazaki’s final film for bringing together this phenomenal group of performers.”

Here’s the role breakdown:

  • Joseph Gordon-Levitt — main character Jiro Horikoshi
  • Emily Blunt — love interest Nahoko Satomi
  • John Krasinski — Honjo, Jiro’s college pal and fellow aviation engineer
  • Martin Short — Kurokawa, Jiro’s grumpy boss
  • Stanley Tucci — Caproni, Italian airplane creator
  • Mandy Patinkin — Hattori, senior designer at Mitsubishi
  • William H. Macy — Satomi, Nahoko’s father
  • Werner Herzog — the mysterious Castorp
  • Mae Whitman — Kayo, Jiro’s younger sister, as well as Kinu, Nahoko’s caretaker
  • Jennifer Grey — Mrs. Kurokawa
  • Darren Criss — Katayama, one of Jiro’s engineering colleagues
  • Elijah Wood — Sone, another of Jiro’s colleagues
  • Ronan Farrow — Mitsubishi employee
The Wind Rises

The Wind Rises

Animation Magazine

Miyazaki’s ‘The Wind Rises’ to Screen at AFI Festival


Hayao Miyazaki’s acclaimed 11th and final film The Wind Rises will makes its Los Angeles premiere at the American Film Institute’s Festival on November 8 and 9. Disney’s Touchstone Pictures will distribute the film in theaters widely on February 21, 2014. The English-language version will be produced by Frank Marshall, who also oversaw the adaptation of Studio Ghibli’s From Up on Poppy Hill, Arrietty and Ponyo. The movie will also screen for one week at the Landmark Theater in Los Angeles starting on November 8, for Academy Awards consideration.

Other animated screening scheduled for the festival are Ari Folman’s The Congress (Nov. 10, 13) and Yeon Sang-ho’s The Fake Saibi (Nov. 8, 9). The festival will also feature a gala screening of John Lee Hancock’s Saving Mr. Banks (with Tom Hanks as Walt Disney and Emma Thompson as Mary Poppins author) on Nov. 11 and Robert Stevenson’s family classic Mary Poppins on Nov. 9. Several shorts programs will also include animated fare such as Bernardo Britto’s Places Where We Lived, Julia Pott’s The Event, Pedro Gonzalez’s Family in the Park, Emily Carmichael’s RPG OKC, Yung Jake’s Datamosh and Michael Please’s Marilyn Myller.

The AFI Fest will take place in Los Angeles from November 7-14. For more info, visit

The Wind Rises

The Wind Rises

Animation Magazine

Wii U | The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD Review

It’s strange to think how the elegance of The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker’s bold, thick strokes, endearingly stumpy protagonist, and lusciously saturated palette ever caused so much controversy back in 2003, but even a decade later, the game’s legacy remains defined by its visuals.

This is a sneaking mission.

In hindsight, The Wind Waker’s distinctive, cel-shaded visuals have retained their allure, even as other, more recent, Zelda games have started to lose lustre. In bringing the game to the Wii U, Nintendo has updated it to run in 1080p widescreen, but has also reworked the lighting and shadows. The Wind Waker HD is no mere upscaling, then, and Nintendo further alters the look of the game by adding thick, foggy layers of bloom and a slightly adjusted colour palette. While the choppy expanses of ocean look untouched, for instance, the sky loses some of its shine and the clouds are blurred, creating a more realistic look.

This is an undeniably beautiful adaptation, but fans of the GameCube original will find themselves reaching for their TV’s contrast setting, especially when fighting bosses in enclosed spaces. The electric, pillowy blasts of Gohdan used to bathe the room in a piercing yellow, but no more, and the rich orange and red hues of Gohma have been disappointingly dimmed to shades far closer to brown.

Yet The Wind Waker HD’s occasionally muted palette does little to diminish the powerful effect of revisiting its fresh take on the series’ ubiquitous mountains, temples, and villages, and a decade of ballooning real estate in the open-world genre doesn’t make the game’s oceanic overworld feel any smaller. Link may have later taken to the clouds in Skyward Sword, but sending him to the open seas still feels like a fresh way for Nintendo to keep players’ feet off the ever-familiar Hyrule Field.

It’s the way The Wind Waker’s vibrant art is intertwined with its evocative soundtrack and cast of characters, notably the boyish Link with his humongous, expressive eyes, and the stern weariness of The King of the Red Lions, his talking boat companion, that propels the adventure and exploration. The oceans, sunken treasures, and pirate galleys take the series away from its more traditional fantasy setting and place it into fresh water, its swashbuckling theme completed by the addition of a ghost ship that appears on the horizon at night.

Structurally, however, The Wind Waker was, and still is, trapped in the shadow of the seminal Ocarina of Time, and plays out in the series’ classic fashion as opposed to the broad experimentation of its predecessor Majora’s Mask. There’s no new content in the HD update, so The Wind Waker still moves to the same rhythm as before: its first half is an adventure of thundering and thrilling pace, but an underweight second half stretches itself thin with an exasperating fetch quest that requires deep pockets and a cast-iron level of perseverance.

GameSpot’s Reviews

Miyazaki’s Retirement Boosts B.O. for ‘The Wind Rises’

Hayao Miyazaki

Hayao Miyazaki

Looks like retirement has so far been a good career move for Hayao Miyazaki.

Following the animation master’s announcement last week at the Venice Film Festival that he is retiring from making films, the box office take for his current film, The Wind Rises, shot up more than 13 percent in Japan — despite the film having been in release for two months, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

The trade reports that Miyazaki held a news conference Friday in Tokyo to confirm what he told the media at Venice: that The Wind Rises would be the 72-year-old director’s final film.

The Wind Rises has earned an estimated $ 97 million at the box office in Japan since it opened two months ago. It has been the top-earning movie in the country since its release, and with this being the final Miyazaki movie, his popularity is expected to continue to boost attendance for The Wind Rises.

Walt Disney Pictures’ Touchstone Studios is planning to release the film (in Japanese with English subtitles) Nov. 8 in Los Angeles to qualify it for this year’s Oscar race. It’s slated for limited release in North American theaters on Feb. 21, 2014, and expanded release on Feb. 28, 2014.

The Wind Rises

The Wind Rises

Animation Magazine

New Reviews of Miyazaki’s ‘The Wind Rises’ Are In


Following the news about Japanese animation master Hayao Miyazaki’s retirement, we tracked down some of the new reviews of his latest (and now possibly final movie) The Wind Rises, which screened at the Venice and Telluride Film Festivals recently. The maestro’s 11th animated feature has been holding tight to the No. 1 spot in Japan, and has made over $ 88 million since its release on July 20th. Disney’s Touchstone banner will reportedly release the film for an Oscar-qualifying run on November 8 this year.

Here is a sampling of the somewhat mixed reviews of the film from English-language press.

Xan Brooks of The Guardian writes:

“The latest from Japanese animation master Hayao Miyazaki looks astonishing but fails to face up sufficiently to the politics of its subject – genius fighter jet designer Jiro Horikoshi… Here is a film with a clean outline and a foggy center. I wanted to love it, tried to love it and then went down in flames. It turns out that it is not always possible to view the beauty in isolation. Sometimes you need to take a long, hard look at the outside world and then perhaps connect the two.”

“Naturally the animation is a joy to behold. The film’s crisp colors and commanding lines summon up a ravishing portrait of pre-war Japan with its puffing steam-trains, huddled neighborhoods and lulling nocturnal tram-rides through town. Some of the setpieces (most notably the apocalyptic earthquake that leads to the burning of Tokyo) are the equal of anything the director has produced in Spirited Away or My Neighbor Totoro. But the film itself is genteel to a fault. It’s too polite, it needs more bite. It lets enigmatic Horikoshi off the hook, bobbing out to the clouds, forever out of reach.”

Scott Foundas of Variety calls the film hauntingly beautiful.

He writes, “As grown-up as 2008?s Ponyo was tot-friendly, Miyazaki’s 11th feature draws a sober, socially astute portrait of Japan between the two World Wars, marked by flights of incredible visual fancy, harrowing images of poverty and destruction, and touches of swooning romance. Already a major hit at home, Wind will prove a trickier sell offshore than the helmer’s more familiar fantasy adventure pics, but should soar with animation and aviation buffs, and discerning arthouse goers of all stripes.”

“If that romance is the only part of Wind that feels a tad too leisurely in its pacing, it’s a small quibble with a film that otherwise affords so much narrative and sensory pleasure. Miyazaki is at the peak of his visual craftsmanship here, alternating lush, boldly colored rural vistas with epic, crowded urban canvases, soaring aerial perspectives and test flights both majestic and ill-fated. ‘Airplanes are beautiful dreams,’ notes Caproni in one of pic’s fantasy sequences. So, too, this movie about them.”

Deborah Young of The Hollywood Reporter finds the film’s visuals shout out that life is wonderful.

She notes, “The ambitious The Wind Rises is something of a special case that will divide audiences into two camps, those who find it an unforgettably beautiful and poetic ode to life, and those who tune out to its slow-moving second act, which can wear down the patience of even the well-disposed. On the other hand, the daring subject — the engineering of technically advanced war planes by the Axis powers for use in the Second World War – is so honestly handled it should not present a problem for Western viewers…The war itself remains off-screen, except for a chilling final vision of vapor trails clawing the air above ugly dark clouds, and below them a cemetery of metal pieces from fallen planes. “Not a single plane came back,” says Jiro disconsolately. “That’s what it means to lose a war.” This attitude of regret, but not apology, makes The Wind Rises a very honest film from a great Japanese artist.”

The Wind Rises

The Wind Rises

Animation Magazine

Wind farms to lure back German lobsters decimated by WW2

1 of 7. A European lobster (Hommarus gammarus) is pictured in a breeding station at the Alfred-Wegener institute (AWI) on the German island of Heligoland, about 46 kilometres away from the German coastline, April 30, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Fabian Bimmer

BERLIN | Thu May 2, 2013 12:33pm EDT

BERLIN (Reuters) – New wind farms off Germany’s North Sea coast will provide an ideal habitat that could help restore the lobster population near Heligoland after British bombing during and after World War II drove them away.

Biologists at the Alfred-Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research are breeding 3,000 lobsters to be released next year into the Borkum Riffgat offshore wind farm near the island 70 km off the German-Dutch coast.

The 1.5 square km island had a thriving fishing industry before it became a Nazi fortress in the war, pounded by Allied bombs, and then later used for target practice. It is now a tourist resort.

Billions of euros of investment in wind turbines as part of Germany’s ambitious transition to renewable energy has given the scheme impetus. Lobsters, whose local population is 90 percent smaller than it was 70 years ago, need a firm seabed to thrive.

“The new wind parks mean lobsters may settle in a new habitat, because the stony foundations offer a favorable environment,” project leader Heinz-Dieter Franke said.

The 700,000 euro ($ 923,500) scheme is funded by compensation paid to the state of Lower Saxony by utility EWE for any potential ecological damage caused by the construction of its wind park. The money will fund breeding, reintroduction and monitoring of the lobsters for roughly two years.

“With Germany’s shift to renewables, we could have 5,000 wind farms by 2030, so if it works, this kind of project could have a huge effect on the lobster population,” Franke said.

He estimated that wind farms could help increase the lobster population to as many as 300,000 lobsters in the area around Heligoland in the long run from 50,000 to 100,000 now.


Scandinavian and Mediterranean lobster stocks have collapsed in the past few decades from a combination of environmental factors.

But some scientists cite British explosives as one reason for the decimation of the lobster population around Heligoland.

In one of the biggest bombing runs on Heligoland during the war, the Allied air force destroyed almost every building on the island, raining down 7,000 bombs in a two-hour raid on April 18, 1945.

For five years after the war, Britain used Heligoland for target practice, and in 1947 it set off some 7,000 metric tons worth of explosives to blow up U-boat pens in one of the biggest non-nuclear detonations on record.

Britain released the crater-scarred island for resettlement in 1952, but scientists say that was too late for the lobsters.

The toxins from the bombs may have hurt the crustaceans’ sense of smell, which is essential in finding a sexual partner and so damaged their ability to reproduce, Franke said.

Lobster expert Dominic Boothroyd, general manager of Britain’s National Lobster Hatchery, said the idea of using the hard foundations of a wind park made sense and that projects to reintroduce young lobsters had taken place in Britain and Norway, though not on wind farms.

“(From these projects), we know the animals survive and that they contribute to fishery and reproduce. We have also got a lot of interesting biological information,” Boothroyd said.

($ 1 = 0.7580 euros)

(Reporting by Madeline Chambers; editing by Gareth Jones and Jane Baird)

Reuters: Oddly Enough