Archive for ‘World’

August 17, 2021

Graveyard of Empires

The Great Game

Graveyard of Empires is a sobriquet associated with Afghanistan. It originates from the alleged historical tendency for foreign powers to fail in their invasions of the country. It is unclear who coined the phrase, and its historical accuracy has been disputed.

Several superpowers have attempted to invade Afghanistan without maintaining a stable, permanent rule. Modern examples included the British Empire during the first and Third Anglo-Afghan Wars (1839-1842, 1919), the Soviet Union in the Soviet–Afghan War (1979-1989) and the United States in the War in Afghanistan (2001-2021).

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August 12, 2021

Gopnik

slav squat

gopnik is a member of a slavic subculture stereotyped as prone to hooliganism. Gopota are often seen squatting in groups ‘in court’ or ‘doing the crab’ with their heels on the ground, a behavior attributed to Soviet prison culture and avoidance of sitting on the cold ground.

The subculture of gopota has its roots in the late Russian Empire and evolved during the 20th century in many cities in the Soviet Union. By the late 2010s, it had faded for the most part, although youth gangs (such as the A.U.E.) that resemble gopota still exist in Russia and in other Slavic and Baltic countries.

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July 29, 2021

Fugu

pufferfish

Fugu [foo-goo] is a pufferfish or porcupinefish dish originating in Japan. Fugu can be lethally poisonous to humans due to its tetrodotoxin, meaning it must be carefully prepared to remove toxic parts and to avoid contaminating the meat.

The restaurant preparation of fugu is strictly controlled by law in Japan and several other countries, and only chefs who have qualified after three or more years of rigorous training are allowed to prepare the fish. Domestic preparation occasionally leads to accidental death.

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July 7, 2021

ESG

Principles for Responsible Investment

Equator Principles

Environmental, Social, and Corporate Governance (ESG) data refers to metrics related to intangible assets within an enterprise. Research shows that intangible assets comprise an increasing percentage of future enterprise value.

While there are many ways to think of intangible asset metrics, these three central factors together, ESG, comprise a label that has been adopted throughout the U.S financial industry. They are used for a myriad of specific purposes with the ultimate objective of measuring elements related to sustainability and societal impact of a company or business.

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June 26, 2021

Revenge Dress

Diana

The Revenge dress is an off the shoulder black silk evening gown worn by Princess Diana to a 1994 dinner not long after the televised admission of adultery by her husband, Charles, Prince of Wales.

The event to which the dress was worn was a June 29, 1994 fundraising dinner hosted by ‘Vanity Fair’ magazine for the Serpentine Gallery in Kensington Gardens. Diana had originally declined the invitation to the dinner. However, two days prior to the dinner, following several days’ publicity of Charles’ infidelity revelations, she accepted the invitation.

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April 26, 2021

Network Telescope

Honeypot

network telescope (also known as a ‘packet telescope,’ ‘darknet,’ ‘Internet motion sensor,’ or ‘black hole’) is an Internet system that allows one to observe different large-scale events taking place on the Internet. The basic idea is to observe traffic targeting the dark (unused) address-space of the network.

Since all traffic to these addresses is suspicious, one can gain information about possible network attacks (random scanning worms, and DDoS backscatter) as well as other misconfigurations by observing it.

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January 21, 2021

White Coke

White Coke is a nickname for a clear variant of Coca-Cola produced in the 1940s at the request of Marshal of the Soviet Union Georgy Zhukov. Like other clear colas, it was of the same original flavor, virtually unchanged by the absence of caramel coloring.

Zhukov was introduced to Coca-Cola during, or shortly after, World War II by his counterpart in Western Europe, Supreme Commander of Allied Forces in Western Europe, Dwight D. Eisenhower, who was also a fan of the drink. As Coca-Cola was regarded in the Soviet Union as a symbol of American imperialism, Zhukov was apparently reluctant to be photographed or reported as consuming such a product.

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January 7, 2021

Foundations of Geopolitics

Aleksandr Dugin

‘The Foundations of Geopolitics: The Geopolitical Future of Russia’ is a 1997 geopolitical book by Aleksandr Dugin, a Russian political analyst and strategist known for his fascist views. His book has had influence within the Russian military, police, and foreign policy elites and has been used as a textbook in the Academy of the General Staff of the Russian military.

Its publication was well received in Russia. Powerful Russian political figures subsequently took an interest in Dugin, a Russian eurasianist, fascist, and nationalist who has developed a close relationship with Russia’s military academies.

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December 22, 2020

Cozy Bear

Cozy Bear

Cozy Bear, classified by the U.S. as advanced persistent threat APT29, is a Russian hacker group believed to be associated with one or more intelligence agencies of Russia.

In June 2016, Cozy Bear was implicated alongside the hacker group Fancy Bear in the Democratic National Committee cyber attacks. While the two groups were both present in the DNC’s servers at the same time, they appeared to be unaware of the other, each independently stealing the same passwords and otherwise duplicating their efforts. A CrowdStrike forensic team determined that while Cozy Bear had been on the DNC’s network for over a year, Fancy Bear had only been there a few weeks. Cozy Bear’s more sophisticated tradecraft and interest in traditional long-term espionage suggest that the group originates from a separate Russian intelligence agency.

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December 15, 2020

Yoshoku

Tonkatsu

In Japanese cuisine, yoshoku [yoh-shoo-koo] (‘western food’) refers to a style of Western-influenced cooking which originated during the Meiji Restoration (1868, a period of rapid industrialization and Westernization). These are primarily Japanized forms of European dishes, often featuring Western names, and usually written in Japanese. It is an example of fusion cuisine. Another, more contemporary, term in Japan for the Western food is ‘mukokuseki’ (‘no-nationality’ cuisine).

At the beginning of the Meiji Restoration, national seclusion was eliminated and the Meiji Emperor declared Western ideas helpful for Japan’s future progress. As part of the reforms, the Emperor lifted the ban on red meat and promoted Western cuisine, which was viewed as the cause of the Westerners’ greater physical size. Yōshoku thus relies on meat as an ingredient, unlike the typical Japanese cuisine at the time. Additionally, many of the Westerners who started to live in Japan at that time refused to touch traditional Japanese food, and so their private Japanese chefs learned how to cook them Western-style cuisine, often with a Japanese spin.

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December 1, 2020

Jewish Nose

Joseph Jacobs

Jewish nose is a caricature of Jews with hooked noses with a convex nasal bridge and a downward turn of the tip of the nose that emerged in 13th century Europe. The stereotype persists despite the fact that this nose type is as common in the general population as it is among Jews in countries where it is prevalent, such as in the Mediterranean.

Around the middle of the 19th century, and lasting for more than a century, the term ‘Jewish nose’ was commonly used in scientific literature to describe a particular shape of nose which thought to be a race-based deformity characteristic of people with Jewish ancestry (which by unwitting efforts of plastic surgeons of early 20th century started to be viewed as a pathology to be corrected).

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November 19, 2020

Russian Political Jokes

Hammer & Tickle

Russian political jokes can be grouped into the major time periods: Imperial Russia, Soviet Union, post-Soviet Russia. Quite a few political themes can be found among other standard categories of Russian joke, most notably Rabinovich jokes (short fictional Russian stories or dialogs with a punch line) and Radio Yerevan, also known as the Armenian Radio jokes, which mocked the ‘Question & Answer’ series of the Armenian Radio.

A typical format of a joke was: ‘Radio Yerevan was asked,’ and ‘Radio Yerevan answered.’ For example: Radio Yerevan was asked: ‘Comrades, will there be war?’ Radio Yerevan answered: ‘No, but there will be such a struggle for peace that everything will be razed to the ground.’

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