A mysterious decimation of bee populations has German beekeepers worried, while a similar phenomenon in the United States is gradually assuming catastrophic proportions. The consequences for agriculture and the economy could be enormous.
Maybe the guy behind the recent Oscar Winning Documisinformation can figure this one out, too! ;-D
I came across a fellow member of Stumble Upon, yesterday, who also is a writer, and so much more, and a rather lengthy post of his deserves a mention in this post, and also deserves to be read by anyone interested in the history of Warfare:
"It is thought possible that the enemy may be contemplating an attack during Xmas or New Year. Special vigilance will be maintained during these periods."
From General Headquarters at St. Omer - to all units 24 December 1914.
John Fenzel shares 2 lengthy items, and some tidbits, and links of interest, including to an interview with the author of the 2nd piece below:
1. A letter from an unknown British soldier that records events and incidents with the Germans..."The Christmas Truce," describing "the most memorable Christmas I've ever spent."
I have no doubt that the soldiers seen in the photo above are not the 1st to have ever rode a Bicycle on, or near, the front lines of war, and won't be the last.
Whether serious, or in jest, the notion of the Bicycle being pedaled off to war brings a smile to my face. [ Re-imagine, if you will, The Charge of the Light Brigade, with the poor, brave, sods riding Mountain Bikes! On 2nd thought, maybe not.... ;-D ]
As you celebrate Christmas, this weekend, remember those who have served in our military in the past, and think good thoughts for those who are serving it today.
I was also sent the following, this afternoon, by friend, and frequent commentor Jaspar, who had found some related material:
The Christmas Truce - 1914
On Christmas Day, 1914, in the first year of World War I, German, British, and French soldiers disobeyed their superiors and fraternized with "the enemy" along two-thirds of the Western Front. German troops held Christmas trees up out of the trenches with signs, "Merry Christmas." "You no shoot, we no shoot."
Thousands of troops streamed across a no-man's land strewn with rotting corpses. They sang Christmas carols, exchanged photographs of loved ones back home, shared rations, played football, even roasted some pigs.
Soldiers embraced men they had been trying to kill a few short hours before. They agreed to warn each other if the top brass forced them to fire their weapons, and to aim high.
A shudder ran through the high command on either side. Here was disaster in the making: soldiers declaring their brotherhood with each other and refusing to fight.
Generals on both sides declared this spontaneous peacemaking to be treasonous and subject to court martial.
By March, 1915 the fraternization movement had been eradicated and the killing machine put back in full operation. By the time of the armistice in 1918, fifteen million would be slaughtered.
Not many people have heard the story of the Christmas Truce. Military leaders have not gone out of their way to publicize it.
On Christmas Day, 1988, a story in the Boston Globe mentioned that a local FM radio host played "Christmas in the Trenches," a ballad about the Christmas Truce, several times and was startled by the effect. The song became the most requested recording during the holidays in Boston on several FM stations.
"Even more startling than the number of requests I get is the reaction to the ballad afterward by callers who hadn't heard it before," said the radiohost. "They telephone me deeply moved, sometimes in tears, asking, `What the hell did I just hear?'"
I think I know why the callers were in tears. The Christmas Truce story goes against most of what we have been taught about people. It gives us a glimpse of the world as we wish it could be and says, "This really happened once." It reminds us of those thoughts we keep hidden away, out of range of the TV and newspaper stories that tell us how trivial and mean human life is. It is like hearing that our deepest wishes really are true: the world really could be different.
Excerpted from David G. Stratman, We CAN Change the World: The Real Meaning of Everyday Life (New Democracy Books, 1991). Available for $3.00 from New Democracy Books, P.O. Box 427, Boston, MA 02130.
Christmas In The Trenches -- Words and Music By John McCutcheon
I have just learned of an extensive essay by Jon Maloney, the writer of Orts Blog, that goes into extensive detail about all that he experienced, before, during, and after, his own surgery.
I have recently had cataract surgery. I am 52 years old and have lived with growing cataracts for at least eighteen years. Before the surgery I tried to research several types of details on the Internet -- details I was unable to find. I wanted to know simple things like: How many doctor's appointments will be required? What will be the purpose of each appointment? What procedures will be performed at each appointment? How much will everything cost? In this post I will answer those questions and more based on my experiences. I will simply show the charges listed on my insurance forms, rather than the amounts I paid. I'm sure your charges will differ based on your region, your doctor, and your insurance (or lack of insurance). My surgery was in Anderson, South Carolina, USA.
The report is outstanding, and informative, and highly recommended for anyone contemplating having the procedure.
I have just gone thru a 2nd series of tests that have finalized the prescription for Bifocals so i can better read a computer screen, and my books, and magazines as well.
I will still use my current glasses for distance vision, and watching TV.
Kehaar, of Silflay Hraka, brings us CoTV #211, and more on his editorial direction, and this leads me to ponder what, and when, will be my next contribution ( See Below. ):
Some people might say that everything submitted should be posted but I think that's part of what's been ailing the Carnival for a while now. People have been submitting anything and everything and, since the Carny has been sans editor, the average quality of the posts dropped to the point at which the Carnival was becoming irrelevant.
He quotes a portion of the origin essay, and continues:
It's about exposing your best stuff to the rest of the blogosphere. With that in mind, the editorial clipping for the Carnival shouldn't begin with me. It should begin with you. I only have to edit the Carnival if and when people fail to edit themselves. It's pretty easy to tell who is using the Carnival to drive traffic to their blog and who is using the Carnival to provide exposure to truly good writing. The people who do the first, while claiming to support CoTV, have slowly been poisoning it instead. Readers don't have the time to separate the wheat from the chaff and assume most of what appears in the Carnival is poor.
He goes on to suggest the potential submitter ask himself/herself/itself/huself a few questions.
This is new teritory for me, and may cause a stir, and I'm unsure how to spread the word to a Community that seems unaware of my particular niche of the Blogosphere, and thus might not take it seriously, even after several appearances in the Carnival over the years.
Whereas I value a good traffic spike as much as the next blogger, I realize that the value of those spikes is fleeting. Most of those readers will never visit your blog again. They aren't really fans of great writing as they are followers of fashion, following whatever link Instapundit might decide to throw up next. To me, those readers hold less value than the one that comes back every week or every day or even every hour. Those readers, the ones that are fans of your writing, will find you if you are patient and keep writing every day. If your vanity is well-founded and your writing actually does deserve the recognition you think it does, readers will come. It may not happen overnight and it may not be as rewarding as heavy volume, but the value is still there.
If you look at my Sitemeter Stats for both my blogs you will probably wonder why I continue to do this.
My overall numbers reflect a carry over from a stat tracker I once had that tracks more than Sitemeter does, and the lead my older blog has over the other, more popular blog, on Cycling, reflects the results of 2 months of traffic to 1 long ago post on the death of Nick Berg, that included a link to the video.
My daily numbers reflect what to the Traffic obsessed would be a horror. ;-D
For most Bloggers our Blogs are a way to share our life, thoughts, and interests, with the wider world we all live in.
How many people read our stuff, find our links useful, e-mail us, leave comments, or trackbacks because they are doing us the honor of spreading the word about something we have written, on a regular, or semi-regular basis, is not as important as the fact that there are people doing so at all.
The new home of the Granddaddy of all Carnivals celebrates that The Carnival of the Vanities turns 4 this week, and that means it's officially of pre-school age. ;-D
Being a Blog that's a few months older than the COTV, I am honored to welcome the newbie into the classroom! ( The class is open to Blogs, and Carnivals, hee, hee! ) ;-D
Four years ago, something happened that was to change the face of blogging: CotV #1 appeared. The very first edition of the Carnival of the Vanities featured 15 participants. Of those, I’m aware of 9 who are still blogging. That’s three-fifths! Yowee!
In recognition of how freaking amazing it is that they’re still blogging after all these years, here are some of their recent posts. Call it editor’s choice, call it anniversary madness, call it what you will: here’s your tribute to the original bloggers of the CotV...
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PERMISSIONS: Original Content of this blog is Copyrighted, and owned, by Kiril G. Kundurazieff, 2002 - Present...The Author, Owner, has no problem with people excerpting a reasonable part of one of our entries in a post of their own, as long as attribution to him is made, and a link to his original post is included.
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