Russia has repeatedly detected the ominous presence of NATO warships, including vessels with cruise missiles, in close proximity to Russia’s territorial waters which have soured the already tense relations between Moscow and the bloc. President Vladimir Putin has told the Ministry of Defence to respond promptly to a missile deployment by western nations near Russian borders, should such a necessity arise.
Don’t mess with the money? A top scientist who was working on a Covid-19 vaccine has been found dead in suspicious circumstances. Biologist Alexander Sasha Kagansky, who had close links with Edinburgh University, was reported to have fallen in his underwear from a 14th floor window of a high rise residential building in St Petersburg, Russia.
The Yule goat is a Scandinavian and Northern European Yule and Christmas symbol and tradition. Its origin may be Germanic pagan and has existed in many variants during Scandinavian history. Modern representations of the Yule goat are typically made of straw.
Can the lockdowners and mask-wearers be likened to the witchfinders of the 17th Century England and Scotland and the equally notorious Salem Witch Trials?
The question on everyone’s lips is, has a collective madness descended on the politically elite. In London and Madrid, elsewhere too, regimes close capital cities with a few hours’ notice. Unsurprisingly, millions flee from the metropolis and spread out in their countries. Not a single journalist has the spine to question such madness; indeed, the media seems to be part of the lunacy.
At Rome Termini train station, it’s a hot pre-Christmas time. Italians are trying to hop on the last train in order to have time to leave for the holidays. These are the last days of more or less free movement around the country.
In the middle ages, many Russian communities, especially in the Novgorod and Pskov regions, believed in building churches as response to calamities raging at that time, most often epidemics. The tradition known as obydennye khramy requires that the church be completed within the course of a single day. These one-day votive churches were built by communal labor and were simple in design and small in size. Construction usually began at night and ended before sunset of the following day. By nightfall, the church had to be consecrated. Made of wood, they stood no more than 40-50 years.
Taking the Covid-19 vaccination appears to be the modern form of Russian roulette, a lethal game played by bored army officers of Imperial Russia. Two days after the first COVID-19 vaccine was to a healthcare worker in Long Island, New York, two healthcare workers in Alaska who received Pfizer’s COVID vaccine experienced allergic reactions. One of those, a woman with no prior history of allergies, suffered an anaphylactic reaction and spent at least two nights in the hospital.
Ships aren’t meant to sink, but sometimes you have to wonder what miraculous forces kept a vessel afloat. The SS Baychimo was such a ship. For nearly four decades after it was abandoned, this 1,300-ton cargo ship sailed the Arctic without fuel or crew, until it disappeared just over fifty years ago, but some believe she is still out there drifting among the frozen icebergs.
Christmas Eve was traditionally the time to tell scary stories round the hearth. And 19th-century writers were fearsomely adept at exploiting a world of creaking floorboards, creepy servants … and gas lamps that caused hallucinations.