Raskolnikov waking up mid afternoon, very grumpy. There is shit lying around all over the floor. He realises he really should clean his room asap. Precisely 7.8 seconds later, he falls asleep again. He is woken by an angry guardian knocking on his door, sternly reminding him that as a human being, he has an obligation to contribute to society. He looks around his room. It’s still not clean. He is grumpy.
Even though Belarusian is the official
first language of Belarus, only around 12% of the population actually speak it
while 72% of the population speaks Russian. In 2014 following the annexation of
Crimea, their president gave his first speech in Belarusian after 20 years in
power over fears of Russian dominance in the country.
That Close Call Back in 1995 — The Norwegian Black Brant Incident,
In the past 60 years there have actually been several incidents where the world was almost plunged into a nuclear holocaust. Many of these incidents were purely accidental, caused by things like radar blips resulting from flocks of geese or faulty early warning detection satellites. One of the most interesting close calls occurred in Norway, and is unique in that the incident happened in 1995, after the end of the Cold War.
On January 25th, 1995 a team of Norwegian and American scientists launched the Black Brant VII rocket from the Andøya Space Center in Norway. The purpose of the rocket was to collect scientific data on the aurora borealis over the Arctic Ocean. The rocket reached an altitude of 903 miles and eventually splashed down in the ocean off the coast of Svalbard. At the time most of the world believed the rocket launch was a routine test that occurred without incident. However, little did anyone know, the Russians nearly shit their pants over it.
The rocket traveled over an air corridor that stretches from minuteman III rocket sites in North Dakota. The scientists notified 30 countries, including Russia, of the launch, however the Russian government failed to pass on news of the launch to the Russian President and to the military. Russian early warning radar systems in Murmansk detected the object, which had a similar speed and flight pattern to that of a US Navy Trident missile. Immediately Russian High Command went on full alert, fearing the United States was launching a nuclear missile. While a single missile launch may not seem much of a threat compared to thousands of missiles in an all out nuclear strike, one possible scenario that the Russians feared was that of a high altitude nuclear detonation used as a prelude to all out nuclear war. A nuclear warhead would be detonated high in the atmosphere over Russia, and the resulting electromagnetic pulse would knock out the electrical grid, communications grid, and radar over a large portion of the country, leaving Russia completely vulnerable to an all out attack.
The full alert initiated by the rocket launch went all the way up to Russian President Boris Yeltsin. The Russian nuclear briefcase containing command codes was opened, the only time in history a nation’s nuclear briefcase was ever opened. This was especially scary because Boris Yeltsin had a reputation for being a hard drinker. Yeltsin’s alcohol problems were so bad that he was often drunk in public, at one point allegedly being found wandering the streets of Washington D.C. half naked after a particularly hard bender during a diplomatic visit.
As luck would have it, Boris Yeltsin was perfectly sober on January 25th, 1995, and thus he made a very wise decision to not retaliate but take a wait and see approach. Soon, it was realized that the rocket was traveling away from, not towards Russia, and thus was not a ballistic missile being fired at Russia. 24 minutes after launch, the rocket returned to Earth harmlessly. Disaster had been averted once again.
What is especially disturbing about the Norwegian rocket incident was that it occurred in the 1990′s at a time when Russian - American relations were at a peak. This wasn’t the middle of the Cold War, this wasn’t the Cuban Missile Crises with Nikita Khrushchev shouting “we will bury you!” while slamming his shoe on a podium. This was at at time when there was absolutely no reason to go to nuclear war. It just goes to show that in the modern nuclear age, even at the best of times civilization hangs on a very fine thread.
Yes, I know Macron is a 39 year-old banker with no electoral experience, but he’s smart and sane and, right now, that counts for something.
It’s like France saw Britain then the U.S. dive headfirst into an empty pool and said, “Hey! Let’s swim instead!”
Two huge concerns:
1) LePen and her supporters won’t go silently into that good night. France must still contend with burgeoning fascism. But unlike in the U.S., it won’t be emanating from the seat of power.
2) France is one of five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council, the others being the U.S., the U.K., Russia, and China. Which means two of the five, the U.S. and now France, are led by political novices.
We’re in uncharted waters, but at this moment, let’s celebrate the wisdom of the French voters and be grateful they resoundingly rejected fascism.
hi everyone, i’ve never had a pen pal but i find it very so interesting to connect with people around the world and i wanna give it a try. So i’m attending my last high school year ( in Italy we’ve got 5 years of HS) and next year i’m hopefully going to study psychology or international relationship. I love Learning languages ; i’m studying spanish, english , french and russian. i’m pretty interested in anthropology. I love music, i play piano and I listen to music all the time. I love all kind of music , from mumford and sons to radiohead and 2cellos. I also love reading , my current favorite book is “Remember me like this” . I love discovering and learning new things so i’m interested in everything you want to share. I love watching movies, lately i’m into Martin Scorsese and Xavier Dolan but i like literally everything. I love tv series : from game of thrones to how i met your mother, criminal minds. i’m a pretty goofy person. I adore travelling . I don’t want to bother you with any more information just know i’m interested in everything you wanna say. ( by the way big sorry for any mistakes i made)
Hi! I’m Anya, and I’m from Ukraine. I’m a student of international
relations. I love art and history; period drama and historical films are
I love writing and receiving letters, and do this even with my real life
friends sometimes who live in other parts of the country, and I thought
it would be wonderful to also get to know people from other countries,
and doing this by sending actual letters seems like such a great and
cute idea to me! I speak Russian, Ukrainian and English, so it’s
possible to write to me in any of these languages.
I hope to be able to find penpals from around the world, get to know different people, things about their lives and cultures.
Any age, as long as we can find common language and something to talk about!)