August 12th, 2008

darkness

Politics

So, everyone knows that Russia invaded Georgia, right?

Well anyone who's been paying attention to the details already knows that whoever started things, Russia A: went way over the top in response and B: was actually already prepared for just such an over the top response. There's no way they could have mobilized that much force that quickly without having planned and prepared for it already. Well it turns out that the signs that it was happening were pretty blatant and go back a fair bit in time, they were just going under the mainstream media's radar.

This post is clearly from a very biased source, however they have good references for all the points they make, and most of it is stuff that's pretty easily verified. Particularly the bit about Russia committing an act of war against Georgia back in April by shooting down a Georgian drone aircraft. Even more significantly, again in April NATO was concerned about Russian troop build up in Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

Now i can still imagine some scenarios that would shift the blame back in Georgia's direction, but the above definitely makes it seem like Russia was doing its best to pressure Georgia into exactly what happened. So does anyone know of any good pieces of, or better yet collections of information that supports the idea that Georgia was being irresponsibly bellicose? Obviously it doesn't matter if the source is biased in the other direction as long as the information presented is independently verifiable.

What really confuses me however, is that if Georgia knew that Russia was building up troops along/inside the border, then why did they allow themselves to get suckered into this? Even if the other side started shelling first, why didn't they pull back rather than respond with force? It seems like it would have been better PR form them if they could have forced Russia to make a blatantly aggressive move without offering the excuse of defending the breakaways.

And on a completely irreverent note, i wonder if this means that NBC will be airing the Georgia vs Russia women's volleyball match tomorrow?
darkness

Horseshoes and Hand grenades

I seem to remember awhile having a conversation with some people, i don't remember exactly when or with who, but i remember the question "is there such a thing as a low explosive?" coming up in relation to some variant of the quote "close only counts in horseshoes, hand grenades and high explosives."

Well it turns out, there is! Somehow i never thought of that possibility, probably because i've had it rubbed in from multiple sources that "gunpowder doesn't explode, it just burns very quickly." I always thought that although it's important to know exactly how gunpowder works, it seems to be rather a pedantic quibble to claim that it doesn't actually explode at all. Turns out i was right and the people trying to indoctrinate me were wrong, mainly because they failed to account for the existence of low explosives.

So theoretically it should be "horseshoes, hand grenades and other explosives," but that loses the alliteration. One could thematically lump in low explosives with hand grenades. I don't know what they're made out of now but they certainly started out as containers of gunpowder. Another problem however is that high explosives doesn't technically include nuclear weapons, although high explosives are certainly involved. I suppose if one wanted to be an odd combination of exacting/pedantic while simultaneously lumping broad categories together under specific examples of that type, one could say "Close only counts in horseshoes, hand grenades, high explosives and hydrogen bombs."

In other news, Congress is debating changing the composition of pennies and nickels. Actually they're not adverse to making cost-cutting changes to the other coins as well, even though they still cost less to make than their face value. It would be kind of cool if the steel penny came back. A steel nickel would be cool too.