Open Thread 120

This week’s Open Thread.

Anatoly Karlin is a transhumanist interested in psychometrics, life extension, UBI, crypto/network states, X risks, and ushering in the Biosingularity.


Inventor of Idiot’s Limbo, the Katechon Hypothesis, and Elite Human Capital.


Apart from writing booksreviewstravel writing, and sundry blogging, I Tweet at @powerfultakes and run a Substack newsletter.


  1. This is the current Open Thread, where anything goes – within reason.

    If you are new to my work, start here.

  2. Are you going to make any posts about general economic predictions, in particular about post-corona recovery, either about Russia or other countries?

  3. Recently watched the movie Red Baron (2008). I recommend it as a curiosity, if you want to see how cucked a movie can be without making any of the stars nonwhites. (Though it did have at least two minor scenes with blacks.)
    -German production filmed in English. Not dual takes, but only English.
    -Red Baron comes to disdain war and borders. Quotes from homo Wilde. Argues with Kaiser.
    -In most maudlin scene, he sobbingly embraces the corpse of his close, yarmulke-wearing Jewish friend who apparently is an ace, and who flies a plane with the Star of David painted on its side. Later as the credits roll, it is revealed that he is the only entirely fictitious character, designed as a composite of Jewish pilots in the war. (The exact turn of phrase makes me think of how the Soviet press would sometimes engage in hidden criticism of the regime.)

  4. Is the one on top edible?

    Absolutely. This “черноголовик” one of the best mushrooms

  5. It is not a part of GDP if nobody paid you.

    That’s probably the main reason our peasant ancestors suffered from such low GDP…so long live the numbers!!!!

  6. черноголовик


  7. Always an excellent idea! 🙂 Let me know how it goes…

  8. Kent Nationalist says

    Kent came one step closer to independence this week

  9. I’ve picked the “pidbereznyk” myself, it’s a great shroom. It does indeed resemble the almighty boletus (bilyj hryb), but technically they’re not in the same family?…Any luck with collecting any”pidpenky” or “maszliaky” this year?

  10. Kent Nationalist says

    I have never harvested mushrooms, but I have often collected berries of various sorts, in particular rowans, and other fruits such as medlars for my mother to make preserves.

    I believe this is also popular in Eastern Europe and that the lack of preserving sugar once caused riots in Petersburg.

  11. Europe Europa says

    I strongly suspect the purpose of Brexit is provoking the balkanisation of the UK and then eventually even England.

    I find it suspicious that the Brexit campaign came almost immediately after the failed Scottish referendum in 2014, like the establishment felt they needed to up the ante to tip the balance in Scotland in favour of independence, which they hope will then cause a domino effect across the UK as a whole.

    The ultimate aim is probably the balkanisation of all major countries, which is a vital step in the NWO, but to get this to happen they need a high profile example that other countries will take notice of, and the balkanisation of the UK would certainly be a high profile national disintegration.

    Once the UK has disintegrated, the elites hope that others would follow.

  12. In another record of cringe previously unseen, apparently Lake Gazivode shall be renamed to Lake Trump. By God can some sort of disaster wipe these traitors and ass-kissers into oblivion?

  13. Not to worry, you can just pack them up and send them over to Scottsdale, AZ to support the Byelorusians of Arizona action being held this coming Sunday:

    International Solidarity Event with Belarus | Акцыя Падтрымкі Беларусі
    Public · Hosted by Liana Burtsava and Belarusian Arizona

    You, of course, left to your own devices, can then find some time to go into the woods and find some delicious mushrooms. 🙂

  14. Yes, I got many maslyata this year. I know a few places where there are plenty of them. Opyenki (or opyata) would be the honey armilaria I mentioned above. Their season is now.

  15. Kent Nationalist says

    I disagree that the purpose was originally Balkanisation. Globohomo/the EU were reflexively opposed to Scottish independence in 2014 (and Catalonia a few years later). This is despite the fact that contemporary Scottish nationalism is one of the world’s gayest ideologies, matched only by the Catalans. It is obviously not the case that most of the establishment supported Brexit.

    But, once it happened, they became much more sympathetic to Scottish independence and messing about with NI in order to keep as much of the UK in the EU as possible and to punish Britain for voting to leave.

    Of course they favour balkanising their enemies, as happened to Yugoslavia and as they would like to do with Syria, Russia and China. But I do not see that they want to do it to major countries already under their control or why this would be in their interests.

  16. My family collect a lot of berries in Piter. Blueberries, lingonberries, cranberries, cloudberries and o cause wild raspberries. Tje nice thing about lingonberry and cranberry is that due to benzoic acid content in their cuticle they hardly get spoiled.

    I have raspberries in my backyard and I also tried to learn the kids to collect wild strawberries. But they don’t see the point of spending a day collecting berries when you can buy some of them in the convenience store.

  17. Yes. Top mushrooms imo. Right next to porcini. The young one can be more firm than porcini. Their shortcoming is that when cut and broken and left on air they may acquire bluish color which makes them less desirable for dried mushroom for esthetic reasons but for cooking they need to be cut just before cooking.

    The brown one: Leccinum scabrum (Boletaceae)
    The red one: Leccinum aurantiacum (Boletaceae)

    In the N. America some Leccinum mushrooms are considered inedible or even toxic. They can fool Europeans.

    “Within the past decade or so the orange-capped Leccinum aurantiacum has been reported to often cause Gastro-Intestinal distress. “

  18. Both chanterelles and Armillaria rarely have any worms in my experience. I used to gather both of them by many kilos in old times. Last year I ran into undisturbed field of chanterelles, tens of square meters densely packed but it was past their time and they were already entering the rotting phase. Few weeks earlier and I could have picked mushrooms worth of several hundred dollars at $30/lb price.

  19. Sounds just like:


  20. I’ve had the most experience with collecting and eating the Armillaria (honey mushroom) mushrooms. My father used to bring home shopping bags full of these tasty little delights when they were in season. My parents would stay up almost all night cleaning and cooking them, and freezing the overage to be used during the winter months. The house smelled really nice, pungently mushroomy. I would rate them comparable in taste to even the King Porcini. Now, the dried porcini is really hard to beat, for flavor or aroma! I’ve only had fresh porcini several time in my life. While quite delicious, the meek honey mushroom can hold its own. I got quite sick once eating a delicious porcini dish in an Italian restaurant, but why ruin a good dialogue?…..

  21. The way that the open thread has taken a gustatory turn lately, I am surprised that nobody speaks of the best way to prepare a cat, offering grandma’s secret recipe from the siege of Leningrad.

    BTW, it is notable how few environmentalists are bug-eaters given that bugs are more nutritious and easy to find than many wild plants or fungi. (I’m talking about clean, country bugs – not suburban ones).

  22. Thulean Friend says

    it is notable how few environmentalists are bug-eaters given that bugs are more nutritious and easy to find than many wild plants or fungi.

    Yeah, I’ve written about this at length before. It’s basically a socialisation process. It seems that there is a narrow window during your childhood when you can easily pick up new habits without any hang-ups, but this window quickly closes.

    Once you pass into adolescence, you get artificial barriers. Teaching adults to eat bugs is mightily difficult. It’s common among some East Asian countries (e.g. Thailand, Myanmar) since they pick up the habit at an early age and never lose it.

    Older environmentalists understand it on an intellectual level but can’t emotionally quite bring themselves to do it. We basically have to start young and then have a gradual transformation process in society.

  23. Older environmentalists understand it on an intellectual level but can’t emotionally quite bring themselves to do it. We basically have to start young and then have a gradual transformation process in society.

    Gradually loosen FDA allowable number of insects or insect fragments per food product. Within a decade or two, people will be eating meals largely composed of insect sourced protein.

  24. A couple of months ago I ate some energy bars made of crickets protein as one of the ingredients. They were decent. I thought if I eat shrimp, crab and lobster, then why not trying insects? So I tried. Nothing special really…

  25. It is not a part of GDP if nobody paid you


    GDP includes “goods and services produced by households for their own final consumption”. So in theory this is part of GDP

  26. Quite edible, although they are usually full of insects a day or so after appearing above ground.

    No. The usual “подберезовик” species Leccinum scabrum is full of insects.
    Leccinum scabrum:

    And this is a “Черноголовик” species Leccinum melaneum – it is always clean
    Leccinum melaneum:

  27. Talking about eating cat in Russia, is like talking about eating dog in America.

    In cats’ perspective, they probably believe that Russia is the new Ancient Egypt – at least in terms of local love of them, if not the suitable weather (children of certain cities, can notice it was “really cold last night”, when you walked past a cat frozen to the pavement on the journey to school).

    If Hollywood was in Russia, it would not be a dog that saves Will Smith’s wife in the tunnel explosion caused by UFOs destroying New York in Independence Day.

    Russian cats are also such an animal, that repay human’s kindness with a stereotypical genre of heroic activities* (i.e. saving families in burning buildings, alerting grandmothers from robbers, rescuing babies who were abandoned into winter nights by their mothers, running through boiling water to rescue other peoples’ kittens, etc).

  28. socialisation

    There’s just socialization – children in Japan seem to think insects are some kind of “kawaii” pet animal that you collect and store in the matchbox (I would have had an opposite reaction to beetles, compared to Japanese children at that age, and I would have viewed it more like a scenario of a horror film). Japanese children’s beetle collecting resulted in the massively exported Pokémon franchise, but the beetle collecting itself cannot be exported for obvious reasons.

    Teaching adults to eat bugs is mightily difficult

    Aside from the fact insects do not look tasty, killing insects will still feel like a kind of “bad karma” for vegetarian kind of demographic, especially if you had to do it yourself. People would find it morally easier even buying meat from the supermarket than killing insects for food, as packaged meat does not look at all like an animal anyway, and the sin involved in its death seems abstracted and displaced.

  29. The brown one: Leccinum scabrum (Boletaceae)
    The red one: Leccinum aurantiacum (Boletaceae)

    For accuracy: mushroom on the top photo Leccinum melaneum not Leccinum scabrum. They are easy to distinguish – Leccinum scabrum really the brown one but Leccinum melaneum is the black one

  30. Подберёзовик?

    “Сhernogolovik” (literally – blackheads) it is considered a special variety of “подберезовик”, and is valued on a par with the red mushroom Léccinum aurantíacum (all other boletus are valued much lower). But from the point of view of biology, the “Сhernogolovik” is a separate species

  31. Yes, now I see it. it’s darker.
    What do you think of toxicity of some Leccinum aurantiacum in N. America? Anything like that in Russia?

  32. I take it that you enjoyed that little acoustic romp by Jethro Tull? If you did, there’s a similar sounding Russian “world music” group that I think is quite talented and deserves your attention too, “Vermicelli Orchestra”. I’ve admired them for many years now, however, I’m not sure that they’re even still around? Besides including a prominent flute sound to a lot of their music and Celtic influences too, they’ve differentiated themselves nicely from the Jethro Tull sound by including an accordion. If you or anybody else knows anything about this musical collective or have seen them live, I’m all ears:

  33. What do you think of toxicity of some Leccinum aurantiacum in N. America? Anything like that in Russia?

    In St. Petersburg alone, millions of people eat red mushrooms (Leccinum aurantiacum) every year, and I have never heard of anyone being poisoned by them. The all-knowing Russian-language Internet (where I just looked) does not know such cases either.

    So maybe this is some North American subspecies of the red mushroom that is poisonous? Or maybe the result of eating stale mushrooms

  34. another anon says

    In capitalist Russia, you pick mushrooms.

  35. another anon says

    The ultimate aim is probably the balkanisation of all major countries, which is a vital step in the NWO, but to get this to happen they need a high profile example that other countries will take notice of, and the balkanisation of the UK would certainly be a high profile national disintegration.

    Long overdue.

    Down with modernism.


  36. Daniel Chieh says

    CBD: Cat BioDiversity

    Why is the tabby fur pattern so common? Does it provide any selective advantage?

  37. Why is the tabby fur pattern so common?

    I think it’s the closest to the European wildcat fur. That would be the genetic wild type of the majority of the cats in Europe and North America. It is good for camouflage, but there might be some other alleles that come with the proximity to wild type.

  38. Among the founders of Vermicelli Orchestra was Vsevolod (Seva) Gakkel’, also among the first members of two other early Russian Rock groups that have strongly influenced the Soviet counterculture of the 80ies (Akvarium & Pop Mechanika).,_%D0%92%D1%81%D0%B5%D0%B2%D0%BE%D0%BB%D0%BE%D0%B4_%D0%AF%D0%BA%D0%BE%D0%B2%D0%BB%D0%B5%D0%B2%D0%B8%D1%87

    The Leningrad Rock Club was a very influential musical collective in the Perestroika period.

    If you are not familiar with Akvarium, you might try to listen to their songs. Perhaps you will find them interesting.

    Here is a sample of Akvarium from the movie Assa which was a blockbuster at the time:

  39. Kent Nationalist says
  40. Kent Nationalist says

    Simon Williams told us, “My Grandad dreamed this day would come, that his beloved Kent would be freed from the shackles of the oppressive Westminster regime – and that day is almost here. I’m just sad he’s not around to see it.

    Truly based and white-horse pilled. An end to 1200 years of occupation.

  41. Apparently, the Manchu banned dog-eating in the 17th century.

    Not sure if I am putting it in the proper context, but my theory is that it had to do with their original culture involving sedentary pastoralism. In such a situation, dogs would be important for herding and for guarding livestock, which is a form of wealth easy to carry off. I think the Manchu had a lot more pasture (and four-legged animals) than was typical in some other parts of China. Though, supposedly the custom of eating dogs in China originally came from Northern nomads, who would have had the pasture, but not the sentimentality that comes with sedentism.

    The Yamnaya (who all Europeans derive from in part, and I believe Chechens more particularly) supposedly had boys raise dogs up from puppies and then kill them in order to become men. (Though I am not sure how they reconstructed that.) I am in general fascinated by these taboos and lack of taboos regarding dogs. Traditionally, herding was very important in Ireland, and I think that the story of Cú Chullain demonstrates that the ancient Irish had taboos regarding the consumption of dog. IIRC, Lewis and Clark took up dog-eating from the plains Indians, when their supplies were running low, but this grossed out the Indians in the NW who had abundant resources, though they were still willing to sell the dogs.

  42. Fk bugs, fk mushrooms.

    Get it done by April as the signal-noise-empty speculation ratio will be too high after that

    Never expected you to finish before Feb. as too much going on to not include recent events.

    Tldr new president + 90 days in office = Anatoly bifurcation essay

    Also, someone called you Anatolij interesting, Ji like Baba Ji is the honorific in Prakrit.

  43. Yet, chandala or dog eater is word for untouchable across Arya world.

    Islam literally does dog culls out of ancient hatred for Zorastrian dog worship।।

    Also fk cats & mushrooms.
    Get the essay done for the 90 days of new president.
    Finishing this summer or autumn was too soon, too much happening.
    Delaying into next summer will add too much empty speculation Imo.

    Also interesting that Ij is honorific in Russian, it’s Ji in Prakrit.

  44. Daniel Chieh says


    …This survey revealed a consistent preference for lighter phenotypes in all areas. The incidence of cat ownership was greatest in the two affluent areas where there was also a high risk of the cat being sterilised.

    Independent of the questionnaire survey was a study of cat coat colour gene frequencies in each of the four districts. This study revealed that darker phenotypes predominate in the two areas of lower socioeconomic status, Maryhill and Govan.

  45. …So in theory this is part of GDP

    There is a lot of ‘theory‘ in our lives. Institutions make up numbers, some better, others worse. The whole GDP thing is at this point largely theoretical. My guess is that reality is coming back. Soon.

  46. Lots of examples of movies where the hero suddenly develops some 21st century upper middle class ideology, despite the movie being set in the Middle Ages. Probably this Red Baron is not even the worst.

  47. Astuteobservor II says

    Any good movies in 2020? With all the shit happening this year, hoping for something good. No preference, I watch everything.

  48. Just stumbled upon this.
    Most fitting for a relaxed, beautiful Indian summer late Saturday afternoon.

    Marina Kapuro – “В горнице моей светло”

    Simply exquisite.

  49. I’ll definitely give Akvarium & Pop Mekhanika a listen.

    Do you know whether Vermicelli Orchestra has actually disbanded, or are they possibly just sitting in mothballs?

  50. I’ve said it before, but I’m surprised Russian cats aren’t bigger and hairier, due to cold winters, like the Maine Coon.

    When I was a young boy, I once saw these small cats out in a mountainous country – they looked a bit like half-mature kittens, but were supposedly older. A farmer explained to me that it was due to inbreeding.

    There is a great clip I once saw of a cat attacking a vicious dog that was dragging a toddler off his tricycle or something.

    One day I found something very odd-looking in my yard. From a distance, I didn’t know what it was, but using a stick to hold it up closely, I recognized it – a squirrel’s liver. Guess a neighborhood cat had eaten every part of the squirrel but its liver, which I thought was really cool because it recalled to me the myth of a waterhorse, which eats every part of a man but his liver.

  51. Here it is:

    My last cat, a calico took down squirrels. Brought a couple inside the house and dropped in front of me, which has been explained as giving a present.

    Orange tabbies are generally known to be the more friendly among cats.

    Nowadays in the US, it’s especially not advisable to have outdoor or indoor/outdoors cats as pets, on account of the increase in raccoons, coyotes, chemical treatments for lawns and auto vehicles. There’s also the issue of cats killing birds.

    In a relatively very safe neighborhood, I can see letting a cat out during the day only.

  52. @Anatoly Karlin

    I would like you to comment on how you see Covid ending throughout the world?

    Will there be a bad 2nd wave or will it fizzle out?

  53. Could be both.

  54. Pop Mekhanika was a kind of experimental music, I always found them a little bit too odd for me. Can’t tell anything about Vermicelli Vermicelli Orchestra.

  55. I’ve said it before, but I’m surprised Russian cats aren’t bigger and hairier, due to cold winters, like the Maine Coon.

    Russian cats (Siberian cat) are bigger and hairier like the Maine Coon

  56. The Siberian cat breed can be really hairy and above the average size, although smaller than the Maine coon. It is also interesting because it lacks one of the proteins in its saliva that causes a lot of allergies, so it is sometimes presented as an hypoallergenic cat.

  57. They are not bigger than the recently bred Maine coons that were selected for a bigger size in the last decenies.

  58. All of you are quite mad, you know. Dotty!

  59. Just following in St John the Baptist footsteps! If he ate locusts, why can’t we eat crickets?

  60. The EU was against Scottish independence, because of the precedent it could establish. If the UK broke up, so could Belgium, Spain, Italy, etc.

  61. Now I know what Super Mario Brothers was about.

  62. Thanks, that was really fascinating. Especially, about the length of daylight triggering the moult – I’ve been wondering how that works with dogs. And also, the younger sexual maturity and greater litter size. Possibly the male caring for the young, but I don’t know how atypical that is.

  63. I first heard Vermicelli Orchestra on a world music Russian radio station about 10 years ago. I’m no expert about them, but every time I’ve heard their music (I’ve listened to 3/5 of their albums), I’ve been drawn towards it. They’re an interesting group that incorporates different strands of music into one masterful whole. The music industry categorizes their music as either “world-ethno music” or even “prog-rock”. I enjoy both types of music, so for me it’s a natural fit. The clip in #44 is a fine example of their eclectic currents, as in this composition the sound is very reminiscent of an old school jazz giant sound of Herbie Mann (Jazz flautist superstar). Today, I listened to the complete album “Marcus Aurelius Suite” that I think was actually used as a soundtrack for a film. Very nice contemplative and even dramatic classical music, I would say. So, with Vermicelli Orchestra you never know what you’ll get and that’s exciting for me in this case. Listen to both clips and let me know what you think…

  64. I’ve located a good Russian facebook site that offers more information about this group:

  65. I don’t get mushrooms. I cannot distinguish the tase of one from another. They are all bland. I seem to have a normal sense of smell and taste otherwise, perhaps even a good sense of smell. The best thing to do with any mushroom for me is fry it gently in butter, even with red onions. Can you actually taste differences?

  66. I once walked up Mount Olympus on a less used path. The ground cover was fantastic. The smell of sage and thyme and so forth under every step. There were wild strawberries. They were tiny. So tiny I couldn’t understand why anyone would pick them given the alternatives. And yet modern strawberries are monstrous. Some are bigger than plums.

  67. The Archbishop must become the Prince Bishop and rule benevolently. If Durham colaminers can have Prince Bishop then Kent ones can as well. Of ocurse, there is the pagan alternative. Thanet is named after the Phonecian goddess Tanis. Most Phonecian coins fond in the UK have been foun don or near Thanet. Always been a funny lot in Kent actually. Domesday book was a bit odd. Carucates not hides or something.

    Where next to restore restore the Heptarchy? Durham indeed seems a good place to start.

  68. Zoroastrian attitudes towards dogs are really interesting. I’m puzzled how they dealt with the problem of overpopulation. Once looked at an old book of dog licenses from Ireland – vast majority of registered dogs were males. Could be wrong, but my interpretation is that they drowned most female puppies.

    Interesting how Zoroastrians considered cats pests.

  69. I think it is a taste this grows on you, a question of habit. The wild mushrooms do taste different to me. The difference is especially notable if you compare different types of boleti to armilaria and chanterelles. The chanterelles have a very distinctive flavor. One might simply fry them in butter with some salt and a little pepper and serve them with potatoes. I usually prepare the boleti sautéed in butter with some minced onions, then add salt and pepper to end with sour cream. Although the shitake mushrooms do not grow in Russia, I have also learned to love them as well. The pleurote (oyster) mushroom is good fried in olive oil with salt pepper and balsamic vinegar. Bottom line, mushrooms are great (at least they taste great to me).

  70. Indeed the wild strawberries are really tiny, it takes forever to fill a pint. But they are very tasty and make an outstanding jam.

  71. Establishment propaganda seems really clumsy these days. Low quality, but high production volume.

  72. I liked the Marcus Aurelius suite more than the first jazzy clip you posted. Both clips demonstrate a high level of musical mastery, but the second one feels less eclectic and more complete to me.

    If you like “world music “, then perhaps you will love Русский Альбом by the Akvarium leader, Boris Grebenshikov. It is strongly influenced with the medieval Rus and Byzantine music.

  73. Although the shitake mushrooms do not grow in Russia, I have also learned to love them as well.

    Any special way you like to prepare these “rubbery” morsels? As they’re now ubiquitous in the Asian grocery stores that I frequent, I keep buying them more and more. So far I use them, along with onions when frying up a Ukrainian omelet. I also find them useful when I make natto, and add a few drops of soy or teriyaki sauce when frying them up. I’m always looking for new ideas?

  74. Nice stuff and I’ll keep Grebenshikov and Akvarium on my radar screen. If you enjoy that special “Byzantine” flavor try this one on for size. It’s the title song from Vermicelli Orchestra’s most popular CD, “Byzantium”.

  75. Although the shitake mushrooms do not grow in Russia

    Shiitake grow in Russia – on the Pacific coast.
    Since this mushroom is now grown artificially in Europe, it is likely that this mushroom will soon appear in European forests.

  76. Although the shitake mushrooms do not grow in Russia, I have also learned to love them as well.

    Siitake was discovered and brought into use more than 2 thousand years ago, but in Russia it became known only in 1988 thanks to mycologist E.M. Bulakh. She discovered a previously unknown mushroom on the linden tree, and confirmed with numerous studies that it grows mainly in the southern regions of the Primorsky Territory and in the Far East. In 2008, the mushroom was listed in the “Red Book of Primorsky Territory”. However, in the course of field studies, we obtained new information and made conclusions regarding the exact range of the mushroom in Primorsky Territory.

    Bulakh EM (2015) Forest mushrooms of the Russian Far East. Vladivostok: Dalnauka: 404 p.

    Shiitake is 100% Russian mushroom that’s why you love them, Slavic blood never lies!

  77. Wow, the Third Reich even worked anti-Semitism into childrens’ books.
    Of course, that level of obsessive hatred couldn’t possibly be a curtain-raiser to murder of Jews on a gigantic scale – or could it?

  78. Kent Nationalist says

    Only a people possessed with such an insane hatred could have frozen Jews in freezers then shattered them, thrown Jews into pits to be torn apart by an eagle and a bear, masturbated Jews to death, fried them on electric floors, had them incinerated with nuclear devices etc.

    The most incredible thing is that they managed to communicate all of this through telepathy, without anyone ever actually recording anything or purchasing and transporting any of the necessary supplies. The hatred interfered with the radio communications that, unknown to them, the British were intercepting from Auschwitz and decoding and removed all reference to any movements of supplies or anything at all which would indicate they were killing the inmates.

    Then, they just disintegrated the bodies with the force of sheer concentrated hatred, leaving no trace.

    And finally, their hatred manifested itself physically by scouring the gas chamber walls of any trace of blue Zyklon B staining. The most incredible thing about this is that the hatred was targeted so it only removed the blue residue from the walls of the homicidal gas chambers, while leaving it so deeply penetrated into the walls of the delousing chambers that it is visible from the outside.

  79. What is the position of Russia in the latest flare up between Armenia and Azerbaijan?

  80. Azerbaijan and Armenia appear to have started a bugaloo in the morning on 27th Sept 2020

  81. The Spirit of Enoch Powell says
  82. Of course they favour balkanising their enemies, as happened to Yugoslavia and as they would like to do with Syria, Russia and China. But I do not see that they want to do it to major countries already under their control or why this would be in their interests.

    I agree.

    The elites certainly do not want balkanisation of the U.S. – in fact they will fight tooth and nail to prevent it.

  83. Since felines came up on this Russia blog does anybody else watch I Am Puma?

    Some Russian couple who have a puma for a pet. They don’t really do much yet I think I’ve watched every one of their videos.

  84. The ultimate cat loving Russian family:

    There are many such videos within youtube that I’ve quit watching because of their addictive nature. 🙂

  85. This is a very powerful year.

  86. Shitake were an important source of protein for the Japanese Zen Buddhist monks who are historically strictly vegetalian. Each monastery had a monk responsible exclusively for the monastic kitchen. The cook en chef was an important person in the monastic hierarchy. The recipies were healthy, nutritious and flavorful. It is the foundation of Shojin Ryori, one of the traditional schools of the Japanese gastronomy.

    Here’s a Shojin Ryori inspired shitake recipe:

  87. Russia favors status quo, so it is trying to appeal to both sides for a cease fire and negotiations. But Turkey is 100% on Azeri side. I have read that Syrian Jihadists are being sent to the Karabakh front line through the Turk military channels. Interestingly enough, this flare up occurs immediately after the end of the Russian war games in the Caucasus.

  88. Plays a lot like a domesticated cat. I’ve witnessed the problem that often occurs with wild cats when they are taken in at a young age and then when they become older and larger and more difficult to keep, are let out back into the wild. Unfortunately, they haven’t ever acquired the training necessary to survive in the wild, and end up as pariahs in their new environment. Sometimes, it’s best to leave things as they are within mother nature.

  89. Domesticated cats don’t have any relation to European wildcats.

    Domesticated cats are all descended from Middle Eastern wildcats (where they were domesticated thousands of years ago), not European wildcats. Which is perhaps still indicated by them, when you see how much they dislike Northern European winters’ weather.

    Domesticated cats were probably mostly brought to Northern Europe from East Mediterranean and North Africa, by Vikings.

    Vikings employed for their ships to control rats, the domesticated cat breed which they bought in Egypt, and the domesticated cats entered Northern European mainly this way.

    In Russia, the different breeds like the Siberian, were bred mostly probably in 18th-19th century.

    • One thing before Vikings, cats were not orange. In particular, Vikings loved orange as a cool colour for their cats on ships, and so bred cats especially to for this colour – orange cats in the population are an old memory of the Vikings’ tastes.

    These long hair cats like Siberian were bred to develop their aesthetics in Russia probably across the 18th-19th century.

  90. Mushroom collecting has more of a Schopenhauerian lesson. The less you will look at the end result, or destination, the more you had spiritually appreciated its search.

    This is especially, if your family are not talented at cooking mushrooms. With my grandparents we used to collect a very highly esteemed kind of mushroom, and always cook it in the same way, which I viewed as quite an unpleasant tasting experience (cover all mushrooms with cream, which soaks an unpleasant flavour). Then we eat again the same thing the next day, where it was even less pleasant.

    So the end of result of the activity – eating the mushrooms -, was the least attractive part. Of course, the happy memories are from walking in the forest in the long evening, as if the family was working together for a collaborative mission.

    If you imagine there was something you really desired growing in the forest (like bottles of wine, or suitcases full of money), then the activity itself would become less enjoyable, too instrumentalized and frenetic.

    If there were expensive wine bottles, or OLED televisions, growing in the forest, everyone would run around aggressively and anxiously, desperate and stressed to find it. But with mushrooms, it is at the ideal compromise of desirability and nondesirability, to create a kind of relaxed contemplative search.

    As Schopenhauer writes, the businessman who has to cross a river to approach an important meeting as his destination, is the person who least will contemplate or enjoy the river.

  91. Boswald Bollocksworth says

    The point of all these mail-in ballot initiatives isn’t to directly steal the election. The DNC must expect the US Supreme Court to give them some unfavorable ruling. What the ballot initiative does is muddy the waters, basically spoil the election. And open the door for your standard Color Revolution riots, by lending the rioters some apparently legitimate grievance. Beattie and Revolver News have me convinced.

    What is ol’ Trumpy to do? A sober response is to have the Supreme Court order the election postponed a month, to allow for in-person voting, with lots of hygienic theater, or time to request standard absentee ballots. Anything less risks fostering a narrative of Trump stealing the election, and opening the door for a new demoralization campaign. Instead of “Wussia, Wussia, Wussia” it will be election stealing. The election can be pushed a month without requiring modification to Trump’s standard first term length.

    The issue is that plenty of people are going to get these unsolicited mail ballots and use them to vote. It’s not really fair to throw those votes out, as many of those people would have voted through the standard in-person or absentee avenues.

  92. Thanks for your input Dimitri, I have a few questions that you will no doubt have no problem to elucidate.

    1) Are you absolutely certain that Middle Eastern cats of the Neolithic era had been first domesticated in the Middle East and have absolutley nothing to do with the European wildcat?

    The earliest archaeological evidence for human coexistence with cats dates to ∼9.5 kya in Cyprus and ∼5 kya in central China (5, 6)

    Cats are considered only a semidomesticated species, because many populations are not isolated from wildcats and humans do not control their food supply or breeding (39, 40). We therefore predicted a relatively modest effect of domestication on the cat genome based on recent divergence from and ongoing admixture with wildcats (8⇓–10),


    Domestic cats are generally considered to have descended from the Old World wildcats, but they differ from these hypothesized progenitors in behavior, tameness, and coat color diversity (9, 10).

    Perhaps the European wildcat is one of these Old World wildcats?

    Or maybe the European wildcat is just a Middle Eastern cat which became feral after its domestication somewhere between Cyprus and China?

    And you are absolutely certain that prior to the Varangians (not Vikings) there were no cats in Russia at all?

  93. Vikings employed for their ships to control rats, the domesticated cat breed which they bought in Egypt, and the domesticated cats entered Northern European mainly this way.

    A genuine Viking cat (judging by the ferocious face – even a Berserker)

    Vikings employed for their ships to control rats, the domesticated cat breed which they bought in Egypt

    This is clearly an urban legend. southern Europe was inhabited by domestic cats in the era of Ancient Rome. cats clearly came to Northern Europe from southern Europe but not from Egypt

  94. Let’s ponder a couple of minutes what we know about the process of the Neolithic Revolution which occurred in Anatolia some 10 000 years ago.

    We know that the Anatolian populations that have built Gobekli Tepe were probably semi-nomadic and that those who have built Çatal-huyuk some thousand years later were most probably sedentary. We also know that the Natufian populations of the Middle East were semi nomadic on transition towards sedentary lifestyle.

    We know that these populations domesticated the animals found in their local ecosystems. The ecosystem for both populations was more or less equivalent to the one found today around the Adriatic and Eastern Mediterranean. Have there been any European wildcat populations present in these biotopes during the Neolithic Era? I would say probably there were some, because:

    The Sicilian population is the only Mediterranean insular population that has not been introduced.[35

    So the European wildcat would most probably been the wild type genetic lineage from which all the Middle Eastern domestic cats have originated through domestication.

    To rule out this possibility, we would need to prove that all the cats in Europe are genetically completely distinct from the European wildcat populations, which they cannot possibly be because the domestic cats readily interbreed with the wild cats.

    BTW, prior to cats the ancient Egyptians used albino ferrets to keep the rodents away from their granaries…

  95. It’s perhaps speculative and too strong to claim only on Vikings, but it’s not urban legend (i.e. it is based on evidence).

  96. Well, from reading this study below – it seems to claim there does occur a continuing admixture of domesticated cats that become feral with local wildcats of the different branches, but all domesticated cats have descended from the Near Eastern/Egyptian wildcat domestication projects (as this was the only branch of wildcat that was successfully domesticated).

    (Perhaps you could read the study and I may have misread it).

  97. Cats are semi-domesticated animals, they cannot be separated from their wild type siblings which still live in the European wilderness, but have been probably gone extinct during the development of civilization in the Mediterranean area.

    We cannot clearly separate the Europe wildcat from the domestic cats of Europe because they readily interbreed.

    So your affirmation that that Russian Siberian tabby colored cats have nothing to do with their wild “cousins ” is probably too extreme.

    Near Eastern/Egyptian wildcat domestication projects.

    Replace it with Anatolian and we might agree. Regarding the timing of the domesticated cats introduction in Europe, the article below about the domestic mice might be of interest:


    However, the house mouse invasion of Europe did not happen until the development of proto urbanism and exchange networks — 6,500 years ago in Eastern Europe and 4000 years ago in Southern Europe — which in turn may have driven the first human mediated dispersal of cats in Europe.

    Thus it would be quite plausible that cats have been present in Eastern Europe prior to the Viking era.

  98. The former director of my former company in Russia has an uncle who lives in the forest near Nizhny Novgorod. It is a perfect old Russian cottage with coloured patterns on the blinds. She sends me photographs of their best finds. They had a big red one last year. It seems more like a family get together than serious food gathering. In my part of Wales we pick winberries (blue berries that grow on the mountainside). They are not th esame as US blueberries. Smaller and sharper to taste.

  99. they cannot be separated from their wild type

    Domesticated cats are quite different to wildcats – even when domesticated cat turn feral, they behave very differently, and live in different territories. Feral domesticated cats are organizing into groups (as in Karlin’s photo above), whereas wildcats are solitary. Tolerance for cold weather is also different for wildcats in Northern countries.

    Russian Siberian tabby colored cats have nothing to do with their wild “cousins ” is probably

    These if they cannot shelter near a building, freeze to the pavement on cold nights, so that even if they can live for several hours, they cannot move, and freeze solidly, so that it is difficult to remove them (they can turn into dead icebergs in morning, scraped from pavement with a shovel – I’ve seen these poor cats sometimes they freeze under cars).

    Anywhere East from Urals and across Siberia is inconceivable for cats to live in the winter nights, without human buildings to shelter near. There are some rare type of wildcats (Manul) just in a Southern strip of Altai Republic (perhaps the winter nights are usually less cold). I doubt this exotic and rare wildcat has been interbred with a domesticated cat, although perhaps who knows.

  100. I wonder how possible it would be to create a transgenic cat that didn’t freeze, by using the hemoglobin from woolies dug up from the permafrost, or else from living animals like the musk ox or reindeer. Perhaps, it would not work well without other physical adaptions, like counter-current exchange.

    Alternatively, perhaps, one could take the Eurasian lynx, which already seems to be cold-adapted and domesticate it by using clues in the DNA of current domesticated animals.

  101. Europe Europa says

    I find it odd how a lot of British people will respect and will defend authoritarianism and oppressive governments if it’s abroad, but would never accept the same thing from their own country.

    For example, there was an article on the Daily Mail about an American man facing prison in Thailand for writing a negative review about a hotel on TripAdvisor, the hotel accused him of lying and defaming them, and most of the British posters were defending the Thai authorities and saying things like “Their country, their rules!”.

    What I find hypocritical is that if police in Britain started arresting people for expressing negative opinions about businesses on TripAdvisor it would be considered terrible oppression and would probably spark protests, British people would never accept that sort of oppression from their own government but they will defend other countries doing it?

    Police brutality is another one. If a foreign country deals with protesters/riots in a tough manner, a lot of British people will also defend that and say things like “you don’t mess with their police!”, yet if police in the UK acted in a brutal manner they would shout “police brutality!” and say how terrible it is and how the police are just state thugs.

    I just find it bizarre how many British people seem to wholeheartedly support authoritarianism and brutal governments if they’re abroad, yet would be vehemently against the same policies in their own country.

    It’s like really they would like to live in an authoritarian country and really have no respect for the liberal British system, but at the same time don’t actually have the guts to support a hardline, authoritarian government in Britain.

  102. Daniel Chieh says

    Liberal British system.I.

    You’d be so fortunate to have a decent authoritarian government: perhaps you’d have more freedom.

  103. Lol I don’t know about Woolly-cat.

    One of the obvious cold adaptations of the Lynx, is that it lost its tail. It has evolved to lose the tail, because tails lost heat.

    Another cold adaptation of the Lynx, is to evolve huge paws, so that it can achieve traction on snow.

    These animals cannot hibernate, and have to continue food every day, even the ground is frozen for months – paws are like some snow boots.

    e Eurasian lynx, which already seems to be cold-adapted and domesticate it

    It might be easier to breed cats with the manul. But it might not match peoples’ aesthetic considerations when buying cats.

  104. I find it odd how a lot of British people will respect and will defend authoritarianism and oppressive governments if it’s abroad, but would never accept the same thing from their own country.

    Really? Britain has moved extraordinarily far in the direction of totalitarianism in the past decade or so (under a Conservative Government) and Britons don’t seem to have any problems with that development.

  105. It might be easier to breed cats with the manul.

    Interesting idea – crossbreeding. I guess it might be easier to create new breeds of dogs doing that.

    One day, very early after sunrise, I was walking down the street, and I was shocked to see a coyote lying on the other side of a short white picket fence, with his head turned to the street, just exactly like a dog, only better behaved than many dogs would be.

    But it might not match peoples’ aesthetic considerations when buying cats.

    I bet if one commissioned an anime starring the manul as a pet, the Japanese would be smuggling it into Japan, just like they did with raccoons after they adapted Little Rascal. Incidentally, the Germans imported them to make coonskin caps, after watching Davy Crockett or Daniel Boone. (It is interesting to think how American culture helped spread American animals.)

    I once knew a neighborhood cat that had gotten into a fight with a raccoon. Regrettably, most of its tail needed to be amputated. Afterwards, many people thought it was a rare breed of cat, and some small children would get really excited to see it.

  106. China becomes Russia’s biggest fresh produce market, data from the Agricultural Export Center of the Russian Ministry of Agriculture shows that as of September 20, Russia exported 2.67 billion US dollars worth of produce to China, experiencing an increase of 27% over the same period last year. China is now the largest buyer of Russian produce, accounting for 14% of total agricultural exports from Russia. One more link in the Sino-Russian strategic partnership and the eventual economic integration of Eurasia.

  107. Father Coughlin says

    Great piece by the banned Irish Savant hoping that the banned UNZ can samizdat somehow.

    “You might have the right to endanger your own life but you have no right to endanger the lives of others”. To the strutting, preening Covid Karens this represents the ultimate argument in favour of masks and lockdowns. But as with everything else to do with the Covid hoax this argument falls at the first hurdle. Because we do have the right to engage in activities that potentially endanger the lives of others. The most glaring example lies is driving a motor vehicle. Every time we drive off into traffic the lives of others are potentially at risk. (Note: If my wife is at the wheel these odds soar).

    Even in a small country like Ireland we could save over 300 lives every year by banning driving. Or even by enforcing a 10 m.p.h. speed limit. So “if even a single life can be saved….” – another Covid Karen favourite – doesn’t apply when it comes to being inconvenienced by severe driving restrictions. And here’s another perspective. Some of you might remember a bad bus crash in England some years back, involving multiple fatalities, caused by the driver succumbing to a sudden heart attack. He had been diagnosed with an apparently mild heart condition some years previously and had been undergoing treatment. Should he have been deprived of his livelihood because of the potential risk represented by his condition? Given the high proportion of drivers today with dodgy hearts I believe such a restriction would be decisively rejected by the public. And what about airplanes too small to have a co-pilot? If the pilot becomes disabled for some physical or mental reason the crew and passngers are doomed. But such planes are in the air every day.

    And here’s the piece de resistance . Vaccines. You can be assured that once Big Pharma produces a “cure” for Covid-19 the pressure for mandatory vaccination will be overwhelming. Not necessarily as in police breaking down your door to force a needle into your arm (although developments in Victoria suggest such a scenario to be very much on the cards) but more by making ordinary life impossible without your ‘digital passport’. But, despite the furious propaganda counter-offensive from Medico-Pharma Complex (MPC) vaccines have caused, and continue to cause, catastrophic damage . Even Our Saviour Bill Gates has been run out of India after his oral polio vaccine resulted in thousands of casualties (the actual numbers are in dispute).

    The point is this: Death and serious injuries are part of living. Trade-offs have to be made that seek to balance the risks to a minority against the general well-being of the majority. We can debate and philosophise about the abstract issues involved such as the value of a human life but society generally has made its position clear: Your right not to be endangered directly or indirectly by others is not absolute.

    Point that out to the next Covid Karen who starts hectoring you.