Илья Below are the 10 most recent journal entries recorded in the "Илья" journal:

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October 31st, 2014
08:48 am

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Народное
Митинг в Северодонецке, городе в Луганской области, откуда сепаратистов изгнали 22 июля.



"Еврейская роза, этот, как его" - это кто??? "Те, которые сидели, не должны к власти приходить" - за кого она голосовала в 2004 и 2010 году, интересно: не за сидевшего ли в молодые годы в колонии? И почему баптист не имеет права страной командовать, а православный христианин - имеет?

Участники митинга - избиратели, со мнением которых должна считаться любая власть (кроме той, которая держится на штыках, как к югу от линии перемирия).

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October 30th, 2014
10:06 pm

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Reading log
Alan Weisman, Countdown (2013). There is an island off the coast of Alaska where a radio navigation station was established in 1944. The United States Coast Guard released 29 reindeer on the island as an emergency food source for the radiomen, who soon left. By 1957 the reindeer multiplied to 1,350 individuals, by 1963 to 6,000. They ate all the available food and mostly starved to death during the winter of 1963-1964; by 1966 a scientist only counted 42 non-reproducing deer on the island, which died off by the 1980s. Humans are of course smarter than reindeer, and human intelligence can subvert the laws of ecology, if only so much. The world human population increased from 1 billion in 1800 to 1 1/2 billion in 1900 to 2 1/2 billion in 1950 to 6 billion in 2000; it now stands at 7 billion and is still growing. As of 2005 land equal in area to South America was used for growing crops and land equal in area to Africa to raising livestock; a large percentage of the rest of Earth's land area, such as the Sahara and Antarctica, is unsuitable for agriculture. A 1968 book by Paul Ehrlich called The Population Bomb made dire predictions such as "In the 1970s hundreds of millions of people will starve to death in spite of any crash programs embarked upon now", which turned out to be spectacularly wrong: despite the world population doubling, the percentage of hungry people has fallen; by one estimate the percentage of undernourished citizens of developing countries was 37% in 1969-1970 but only 16% in 2003–05. The reason for this was the Green Revolution: dwarf rice, dwarf wheat, hybrid maize, pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, irrigation.

Alan Weisman wants to know, what the future will bring. Will humans increase their numbers to the point of exhausting fresh water, oil and arable land, wreck the remaining biosphere, and die off like the reindeer on the Bering Sea island, succumbing to pestilence, war and famine? Or will we use our ingenuity to figure out how to feed, clothe and house the humanity at its largest before the increase stops? Weisman visited 20 countries, interviewing various people, from a tribal chief in Niger who has 17 living children and has lost at least this many to disease and hunger, who married his youngest wife when she was 12, "when she was fresh," and he was about 70, to a Japanese married couple who are practicing a radical form of birth control by not having sex. He interviewed a plant biologist who investigates how different strains of wheat will grow during warmer nights, and mentions plant geneticists who are trying to transform the rice plant to use a more efficient kind of photosynthesis used by maize: the Green Revolution was amazing, but by the law of diminishing returns, there is only so much more than we can increase agricultural yields. In the Philippines, where the population rose from 8 million in 1903 to 92 million in 2010, and over half of animal protein consumed by residents comes from fish, Weisman talked to a fisherman who complained that fish stocks are being depleted because too many illegal fishermen are poisoning fish with cyanide. In Pakistan, Weisman talked to a gravedigger who buries exposed newborns and illegally aborted fetuses; in a country where the population went from 38 million in 1950 to 173 million in 2010, less than 4% of the land area is covered with forest, and the country has a shortage of water: agricultural wells are being dug ever deeper until there is no water at any depth. In Japan, at the other end of the spectrum, Weisman saw a cartoon bear-looking robot made to carry older people around the house, since in the coming decades there will be too many older Japanese and too few youngsters to care for them, and immigration to Japan is severely restricted.

Weisman thinks that the surest way to avoid the looming and already occurring ecological disaster is female education: a woman who has a life and a career of her own can decide for herself, how many children she wants to have, and most aim for few. However, for at least some of the people Weisman meets having many children is a rational decision. Ugandan farmers who live next to mountain gorillas need children to shoo the gorillas away from their crops; when the children grow up, they too will need farmland, and the only way for them to get it will be to chop down the forest that is the gorillas' habitat.

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October 22nd, 2014
08:34 pm

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Контрдемонстрационное
Сценка на улице в Лондоне у входа на концерт Валерии:



По-моему, это прелестно.

(via zlobnyi_karlik via probegi)

Мужчина в очках похож на piggymouse.

Честное слово, я раньше не знал, кто такая Валерия. Это российский аналог Мадонны, да? Честно говоря, я также плохо представляю себе творчество Мадонны, и никогда к нему не испытывал интерес.

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October 17th, 2014
08:35 pm

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Jonathan Safran Foer, Everything is Illuminated (2002). A 20something Jewish American man wants to visit his grandfather's home village in Western Ukraine in order to meet the woman who saved his grandfather's life during World War II. He hires a driver grandfather-interpreter grandson duo who work in a travel bureau in Odessa to take him to the village and search for the woman. The young man is a writer; he is writing a novel about the village, a sort of anachronistic Jewish One Hundred Years of Solitude (some of the anachronisms are probably unintentional on Foer's part; a Jewish man in a village in Ukraine in the 18th century could not be called Tsvi; only Hirsh or, like Isaac Babel's Aryeh-Leib, Tsvi-Hirsh; some I am not sure about; did Foer really not know that the German invasion of the Soviet Union started on June 22, 1941, not June 18?). They reach the place where the village once stood, but in place of the village they find a Holocaust memorial dedicated by Yitzhak Shamir. They fail to find the woman they were looking for, but they do find a woman who knew the young American's grandfather, and by the end of the novel it turns out that the old man from the travel bureau has a connection to the place, too.

Now, the most distinctive thing about the novel is the language. While Leo Rosten's Hyman Kaplan wrote in broken English, his grandchildren's English is impeccable; nowadays the book character who writes in broken English is an Odessa native who studied the language in the university, and mixes up the neutral, the bureaucratic, the poetic and the vulgar registers of the language. In reality, this is normative English with lots of word substitutions: "to utilize" instead of "to use", "to manufacture" instead of "to make", "to spleen" instead of "to spite" and so on; after a while one gets used to it. The young Ukrainian interpreter's understanding of America is as skewed as his language, and the young American writer's understanding of the lives of his Ukrainian ancestors is as skewed as the anachronisms in his novel.

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October 3rd, 2014
08:23 pm

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Reading log
John Irving, A Prayer for Owen Meany (1989). In 1987, a 45-year-old naturalized Canadian schoolteacher of English recollects his childhood and youth in small-town New Hampshire, specifically the life and death at age 26 of his best friend. The friend, who is very short and has a voice that doesn't change during puberty, accidentally kills the narrator's mother at age 11 by batting a foul ball during a Little League game and striking her temple, and comes to believe that he is God's instrument. Fainting at a production of A Christmas Carol, where he is cast as the Ghost of the Future, the friend sees his gravestone with the date of death. Later he sees a recurrent dream about saving Vietnamese children who are attended by nuns. Believing that it is his fate to fight in Vietnam (where else can Vietnamese children, whom it is his fate to save, be?), after graduating from high school he enrolls in a ROTC program in college, and after graduating from college petitions his commanding officers to let him go to Vietnam, but is refused; instead, he is made a casualty officer who escorts dead soldiers' bodies to their families. The next day after escorting the body of a dead Arizona soldier, the narrator and his friend go to the Phoenix airport, and run into the soldier's gun-crazy drug-addled teenage brother who dreams of being old enough to start killing the Vietnamese, and a group of Vietnamese orphans escorted by nuns. The narrator's friend tells the orphans in Vietnamese in his child's voice, "Don't be afraid" and "Lie down", phrases that he copied down in his diary from a textbook of Vietnamese. The soldier's brother tosses a Chinese-made hand grenade that was smuggled by the soldier at the orphans; the narrator's friend catches it and makes the narrator lift him to the window, repeating a basketball shot that the two practiced for years, even though it is against the rules of basketball for one player to lift another. The grenade explodes, shredding the narrator's friend's arms and making him die of blood loss a few seconds later, but doesn't harm the narrator, the nuns or the orphans. Thus were the narrator's friend's vision and dream fulfilled, making the narrator believe in God and in his friend being God's instrument even 19 years later. There are several other plotlines, as befits a 600-page novel, such as the narrator and his friend searching for the narrator's father (he was an illegitimate child and his mother died before she could reveal the identity of his father to him) and the narrator's friend amputating most of the narrator's right index finger so he would be medically disqualified from being drafted (but he ends up in Canada anyway). I wonder, though: if the friend's foreseen day of death had been uneventful and neither the vision nor the dream had proven prophetic, would the narrator have realized that his friend is not God's instrument and perhaps not believed in God?

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October 1st, 2014
07:54 pm

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Reading log
Впервые лет за 30 перечитал повесть "Друга планета" украинского писателя Анатолія Дімарова про приключения школьника в стране генномодифицированных орангутанов-фашистов на терраформированной Венере (I kid you not!). Какая добрая детская книжка! Это тот же жанр, что, например, и The Supernaturalist by Eoin Colfer или The House of the Scorpion by Nancy Farmer, которые мой пасынок читал в средних классах, но для детей поменьше.

Интересно, в пост-советской России и Украине пишутся такие же добрые детские книжки?

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September 30th, 2014
05:37 pm

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Террористическое
Сценка из Первомайска (небольшого города на западе Луганской области). Сепаратист в папахе отвечает на вопрос жителя города, почему сепаратисты размещают орудия возле домов и воюют за спинами населения:



Ответ: чтобы защитить жителей города от украинских силовиков, сепаратисты вправе размещать огневые точки в любом доме и в любом квартире, а за такой провокационный вопрос спрашивающего можно и расстрелять, чтобы другим неповадно было [задавать такие вопросы]. Хамас одобряэ. Похоже, что слово "расстрелять" произносит женский голос около 0:26; эта идея не сама пришла в голову сепаратисту. Sancta simplicitas!

Вот мне кажется, что циничный мерзавец не стал бы читать бумажку с этим вопросом, который показывает его товарищей в неприятном свете. Он действительно, что ли, не понимает, что украинская артиллерия старается бить по позициям сепаратистов (да, плохо; да, с гражданскими жертвами), и ставя орудия возле домов, они вызывают ответный огонь на жителей этих домов, которых он якобы намерен защищать? Я помню, как читал июньский репортаж Дмитрия Стешина из Славянска, и на фразе "Где-то во дворах,совсем рядом,по гаубичным позициям била "Нона" " подумал: "Вот это незамутненность!"

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September 29th, 2014
02:16 pm

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Вика Цыганова
Песня дня:



К счастью, большой палец вверх поставили 247 пользователей, а вниз - 949. Отрадно видеть, что с выраженными в песнями идеями согласны менее, чем 84% слушателей.

Почему Аляска упоминается, а Гельсингфорс - нет, хотя Гельсингфорс входил в состав Российской Империи куда позже Аляски? Не потому ли, что автор песни знает о том, как в Гельсингфорсе пели: "Ньет, Молотофф!" ?

(via marko19511)

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September 26th, 2014
06:43 pm

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Рокаш
А вот кому этно-рока из Мукачева на карпаторусинском языке-диалекте?



Я сперва не понимал кое-каких слов, но _under_score_ и wlodek мне перевели; то же слово "легінь" (парень) встречается в "Тенях забытых предков" Коцюбинского, о чем я благополучно забыл.

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September 23rd, 2014
06:05 pm

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Мар'яна Садовська


Я был в гостях у wlodek, когда еще была жива его мама: 15 лет назад; 14 лет назад; также 13 лет назад он разминулся со мной и улетел в Египет, а я в Харькове общался с его мамой. Его мама была по профессии переводчик, и wlodek пошел по ее стопам. Он переводил между английским, немецким и польским с одной стороны, и русским и украинским с другой, а также давал частные уроки немецкого, а его мама мне сказала, что после того, что она видела во время войны (а ей было 4 года, когда немцы вошли в ее родную Полтаву), она не может переносить немецкий язык, но для ее сына это не так. Я могу понять человека, для которого немецкий язык ассоциируется в первую очередь не с Марлен Дитрих, не с Ниной Хаген, не с Францем Кафкой, и не со автором "Степки-растрепки", а с Адольфом Гитлером и Йозефом Менгеле, и поэтому он его ненавидит. Но как можно ненавидеть украинский язык? Я могу понять человека, который констатирует тот факт, что качественная украиноязычная культурная продукция во много раз, если не на порядки, меньше таковой русскоязычной: современная и классическая литература, песни, фильмы, и поэтому усилия, потраченные на изучение украинского языка в школе и во взрослом возрасте дадут гораздо меньшую отдачу, чем такие же усилия для русского языка. Я могу понять человека, которому не нравится то, что в Харькове, где на улице услышишь украинскую речь реже, чем в Сиэттле испанскую или китайскую, 42% школьников обучаются на русском языке, и 58% на украинском. Но это не то же самое, что ненависть. Как можно ненавидеть исполненную Марьяной Садовской песню? По-моему, так может делать лишь нацист, который считает себя юберменшем, а Садовскую и иных носителей украинского языка и культуры - унтерменшами.

И не говорите мне, что украинский язык ненавидят жители Донбасса, родственников которых убила украинская артиллерия в ходе нынешней войны. Ненависть появилась сначала; артиллерийские обстрелы - это уже последствие.

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