Russia has invaded Ukraine opening a second front to the south to open a land-bridge between Russia and Crimea. The Southern Front Catastrophe – August 27, 2014 translated from Ukraine has military details. Map of Operations Aug 10-27 (detail Mariupol and detail Lugansk pink/red is separatists). So far it's been a stealth invasion and slow escalation, today Russian troops, armor columns and artillery have openly crossed the border (video). Thousands more Russian troops are amassed. Ukraine has announced a reinstatement of the draft to commence in the Fall, and is demanding EU military assistance. An emergency UN meeting is currently in session (the 24th). Russia claims "No Russian forces are crossing in any point the border of Ukraine."
Inside the Soviet Union's Secret Erotica Collection (The Moscow Times). "Across from the Kremlin, the country's main library held a pornographic treasure trove." Photogallery. "Legend has it that Soviet henchmen used to come to the archive".
We can't create Jurassic Park era (yet) but there is a place on Earth lost to time, a modern proxy of the Pleistocene (35,000 to 12,000 years ago). Other than the mammoth and a few other species, the flora and fauna remain largely unchanged, even the climate is similar to the last ice age (cold and dry). There are wild horses, reindeer, saiga antelopes, argali sheep, wolverines and snow leopards. The Altai and Sayan mountains of western Mongolia and southern Russia (map)... [more inside]
Say goodbye to winter and welcome spring with a Russian-style Mardis Gras celebration of Maslenitsa-Pancake Day. Maslenitsa is an ancient pagan weeklong Slavic holiday held before the beginning of the Christian season of Lent. Pancakes, the traditional food eaten during this time, are round and hot, representing the sun. "Fat is the key word for Maslenitsa," said Valentina Bakhtina. It is a sort of Mardi Gras without the costumes and with a lot of butter. The central thing is to drink, be merry, and eat - pancakes and more pancakes.
Farmland for sale. $80-100 trillion. Russia's lower house of parliament on Wednesday passed a bill that would allow the sale of Russian farmland for the first time since the days of the czars, but would bar foreigners from buying it.. foreign companies could still purchase Russian land through subsidiaries that are majority Russian-owned.