Sunday, August 21, 2016

Current Situation In Ukraine -- Map Updated Five Hours Ago -- August 21, 2016


March 27, 2017: Russia warns "nuclear war" risks breaking out in Europe. 

August 25, 2016: Putin calls for "snap" military exercises along the Ukraine border
Original Post
Updated map -- morning of August 21, 2016, just after midnight, Eastern European Time.

Ukraine. Tensions are heating up again. BBC summary in maps. Indications are strong that Putin is getting ready to annex eastern Ukraine.  The Crimean, a peninsula, has been annexed by Russia. Next to go is likely to be the eastern third of Ukraine, known as the Donbass region, composed of Luhansk to the north and Donetsk to the south. If that is not "bad enough," it is now claimed that pro-Putin forces are putting pressure on the western border of Ukraine, in the area it shares with Moldova and known as Transnistria.

It is difficult to keep up with all the moving pieces, but this is a good update as of January, 2016, with regard to Russia's pipeline situation bringing natural gas to Europe.

Daily USC-LA Times Poll

Link here.

For The Granddaughters

The New Yorker Magazine  has been been publishing a series of books on the "decades" the last couple of years. To date, The 40s: The Story of a Decade and The 50s: The Story of a Decade have been published, and I have read most of both. They are anthologies of articles that represent the particular decade as covered by contributors to The New Yorker magazine. They are not the kinds of books one reads from beginning to end. They are more fun to page through and then pick one or two articles.

This past week I received an "advance uncorrected proof/not for sale/on sale 10.25.2016" softcover copy. Except for a few changes, the hard cover will probably be identical.

One almost thinks that two volumes will be needed for the 60s. Of course that won't happen. But, just to start:
  • the moon landing
  • the assassinations -- JFK; RFK; MLK
  • the Vietnam War
  • Dylan
  • the Beatles
  • the Free Speech Movement -- Berkeley
  • Cuban missile crisis
  • the Six Day War
  • Ronald Reagan
  • Telstar
And that barely scratches the surface.

Our oldest granddaughter wants to be a marine biologist; her hero is Rachel Carson. The 60s leads with an excerpt from Silent Spring, by Rachel Carson, as published in The New Yorker, June 16 & June 23, 1962. (It feels funny to type "1962.")

The third selection is In Cold Blood: The Corner, by Truman Capote, as published in the magazine, October 16, 1965. (It feels awkward to type "1965.")

There are a few essays on the Beatles, and the editors were surprised to see how scant the coverage was of the Beatles as provided by The New Yorker. The editors consider that a "miss" but what they did write was excellent, and, in the big scheme of things, all they needed. I don't consider their "scant" coverage of the Beatles (or is it, The Beatles?) a miss.

The anthologies are divided into eight sections:
  • Reckonings
  • Confrontation: Civil Rights; Youth In Revolt
  • American Scenes
  • Farther Shores
  • New Arrivals
  • Artists & Athletes
  • Critics
  • Poetry
I had not heard of Pauline Kael (or had forgotten) but my wife said she read every Kael column (including those in The Stars and Stripes when we were overseas). From the editor's notes:
The newly arrived movie critic Pauline Kael brought the most influential and distinctive voice to emerge in that decade, and her work, re-read, continues to prove that a great critic can be interesting about anything while being wrong about everything. Though she went after Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid with a hatchet, it remains a legendary entertainment even today. Still, her tone taught a generation a new way to argue over such things: passionately, intelligently, unfairly, at length.
That's sort of how I feel about The New Yorker and The New York Times: they can be interesting about anything while being wrong about everything. (The Los Angeles Times does not fit that group.) Just the same I have discontinued my subscription to The New Yorker, at least until after the election, and then I will reconsider.

A new word for Arianna's word list: polemic.

And with that, I will leave this for the granddaughters:

Telstar, The Tornados

From wiki:
"Telstar" is a 1962 instrumental written and produced by Joe Meek for English band the Tornados. The track reached No. 1 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 in December 1962 (the second British recording to reach No. 1 on that chart in the year, after "Stranger on the Shore" in May), and was also a number one hit in the UK Singles Chart. It was the second instrumental single to hit No. 1 in 1962 on both the US and UK weekly charts.

A French composer, Jean Ledrut, accused Joe Meek of plagiarism, claiming that the tune of "Telstar" had been copied from "La Marche d'Austerlitz", a piece from a score that Ledrut had written for the 1960 film Austerlitz. This led to a lawsuit that prevented Meek from receiving royalties from the record during his lifetime, and the issue was not resolved in Meek's favour until three weeks after his suicide in 1967. Austerlitz was not released in the UK until 1965, and Meek was unaware of the film when the lawsuit was filed in March 1963.


  1. Now that it is a country, a nation, and a recognized state, it is just Ukraine. And it is incorrect to refer to the Ukraine, even though a lot of people do it.”

    1. Much appreciated, thank you. I've correct the entry above, and hopefully will remember in the future.