Likely to be mostly history, historic preservation, Russian literature, stuff about Central/Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union, various fandoms as they intermittently strike me, dogs (behavior, training, genetics), nature, cool buildings, animal behavior, and... anything else that happens to appeal to me.

About me... I'm 23. I'm a graduate student in historic preservation. I have a BA in Russian studies. I'm Polish-American (on one side, at least). I have a slight love affair with the city of Kiev after spending a summer there.

I had a Finnish Lapphund for 12 years. Someday I will have a Kai Ken. I have a now 15 year old cat who follows me like a dog and features sometimes in my blogging.




The Earliest Pictures Of Jerusalem From 170 Years Ago

These earliest pictures of Jerusalem were taken ​​in 1844 by French photographer and draughtsman Joseph-Philibert Girault de Prangey (1804 – 1892), who was active in the Middle East. In 1844, Jerusalem was a small town with a population of 15 thousand people on the outskirts of the Ottoman Empire.

Remarkably, his photographs were only discovered in the 1920s in a storeroom of his estate and then only became known eighty years later.

For rest of this article click Link

Coastal wolves a whole different animal, study finds


Elders of the Heiltsuk First Nation along the B.C. central coast have long recognized the difference between coastal and inland grey wolves in their territory.

Now, new scientific evidence helps prove it.

A study by Victoria-based researchers, published today in the open-access journal BMC Ecology, affirms genetic, ecological and behavioural differences between coastal and mainland wolves living in close proximity to each other.

Read More

OH GOSH YOU GUYS THIS IS SO NEAT. THIS IS LIKE EXTRA SUPER DOUBLE NEAT. These coastal wolves have adapted to their specific environment and instead of like elk and mountain goats they eat fuckin MUSSELS AND SEALS AND FUCKIN BARNACLES OKAY.

Darimont said the research shows how ecological development might drive genetic differences and would have significant conservation implications if the wolves are recognized as marine mammals, similar to polar bears.

Paul Paquet, a senior Raincoast scientist and supervisor of the study, said: “It is imperative that responsible government agencies now recognize coastal wolves are unique and take the opportunity to design management plans that reflect the uniqueness, rather than defaulting to simplistic policies that are convenient but inappropriate from a conservation perspective.”

Also, you can learn a lot here about the sad and frankly laughable way that scientists often dismiss the contributions of incredibly knowledgeable local and indigenous people. The scientist is just like “oh yeah this Heiltsuk elder told me about this way back and I totally brushed it off.” And now a DECADE later it’s in the news because he’s researched it. Come on man step up your game.

This is still TOO COOL though I’m totally excited, WOLVES HOW DO THEY WORK. (Here’s the actual research paper that explains how they work, in case you wanna look at some charts and things.)

(Source: thewinterotter)



One of my fave old Russian actors

I cannot escape this now I am all in

There’s really no point in trying.

Holocaust survivor finally graduates from high school


Henry Friedman, 86, was denied a diploma during World War II, but has now received one thanks to Seattle’s Kent School District.

imageHenry Friedman never got his chance to graduate from high school

The now 86-year-old Mercer Island resident was born and raised in Poland circa 1930, and was deprived of the opportunity when the Nazis came to power and sent the majority of the country’s Jews to concentration camps.

He and his family were able to survive due to a Christian family who provided them with shelter.

However, thanks to Seattle’s Kent School District, where Friedman has been volunteering for over the past two decades, the Holocaust survivor was finally able to receive his diploma last week with an honorary diploma from the District’s high school.

For Friedman, and his family, it is an emotional, unforgettable experience.

"I always felt something missing in my life, especially when I went to my children’s graduations," Friedman told KING 5 News. "I don’t have the words in my vocabulary to describe what it really feels like."

Chief of Communications for the Kent School District, Chris Loftis, said they were honored to present Friedman with the diploma.

"How many hundreds and hundreds of students have heard his story and have been inspired by that story," Loftis said. "Education is more than reading, writing and arithmetic. Education is about learning about the community of humanity. Henry Friedman is one of the best instructors we could possibly have in that community."

Friedman is a frequent public speaker at schools around his area, where he shares his Holocaust story, and what it was like to hide in a barn for a period of 18 months.

He says he is one of less than 100 Jews from his town, which had a population of 10,000 Jews, to survive the Shoah.

"We had properties in Europe. Most of it was lost. We had money. Most of that was lost. But I was able to carry through borders whatever teachers had put through my head," he said to a freshman history class at Kent Mountain View Academy. "Nobody can take that away from you."

Shalom Life





This prompt generator is golden

First click: “Mabeuf & M. Myriel: smoking pot for the first time

First click: “Babet and Enjolras: romantic comedy”

Second click: “Mabeuf and Montparnasse: Harlequin romance”

First click: “Joly & Courfeyrac: werewolves.”

I think I like it.









is now a bad time to talk about how sex trafficking exploded in eastern europe after the collapse of the USSR since a huge amount of women were instantly out of food/shelter/work or is that inconvenient for liberal feminism

The soviet union was no doubt very open about stuff like this and took detailed and accurate statistics

Enlighten me. I’m curious what led you to the conclusion that communism in Eastern Europe kept women any safer than the current political and economic situation from being forced into things such as prostitution or sex slavery.

probably the part where they had food/shelter/work, or at the very least enormously easier access to those three things. but that’s just my onion

Really? Because, as I recall, food/shelter/healthcare/livable wages were in high demand but in short supply for us. And it didn’t shield women from trying to get out by any means necessary - or from being abused and exploited. Things are far from ideal today as well, but communism did nothing to improve women’s health, safety, or well-being.

is the termination point of your memory like 1982 or some shit because it was going downhill for a while there and it was entirely the influence of liberalization of the economy buddy

Which economy?  You have to, first and foremost, acknowledge that the Soviet Union and Eastern Bloc were not a monolith (contrary to the former’s desires).  Depending on where you lived, things played out at a different pace and through different means.  In most general terms, however, none of these nations were a safe haven for everyone.  You don’t have to take my word for it, talk to other people who lived in those places.  I’ve had the opportunity experience pre- and post-Soviet Eastern Europe as well as living in the US.   And as bad as it can be, living in the States on a Social Security income below poverty level is still easier than it was in the Eastern Bloc.  You want some fun things about daily life that goes far beyond my personal experiences?  I have another blog, historia-polski.  Enjoy the communism or PRL tags, it should give you a basic idea of what a utopia we lived in.  It’s still not perfect there, and it certainly isn’t a paradise here in the US either.  But compared to Soviet-brand communism?  There is a good reason why the US and Western Europe has such a large population of Eastern Europeans. 

It may also be worth noting that, as an undergrad, I had a professor who was approached by a pimp in… Krasnodar, I think it was—I’ve forgotten that detail, but regardless—smaller city in the RSFSR.

Sometime in the mid to late 1970s. His specialization was Russian intellectual history, and he was there on a formal group tour with other Westerners with academic interests in the Soviet Union. He was out sketching, and was approached by a man who said to him “You have probably heard there is no prostitution in the Soviet Union. I can prove to you that this is not true.”

Is it anecdotal? Absolutely. But it’s also a true story, and it illustrates the point—Soviet statistics on prostitution were not accurate. Post-Soviet statistics probably aren’t either, but at least it’s acknowledged that it exists.

It would be really lovely if my stepmom would stop smacking her lips and crunching down on hard candies.

I’m getting a headache.