You are not alone

Publishing Resources here– so you can keep the money from selling YOUR books!

Mad Genius Club

For those who don’t know, every Sunday I do a promo post. I will basically promote anyone who sends me their book. No, I don’t read them, because frankly, I wouldn’t have the time to read all of them and because although I read a lot, I read by taste, or for research, and if reading becomes a duty I’ll be out of a delightful relaxation.

Anyway, if you are interested in sending a book for promotion, just send me the Amazon link to bookpimping at outlook dot com.

I won’t say I promote every single book sent to me. Some of them are so strange or twisted that I do not think my blog readership is right for it, and even instapundit, where I put a link to the promo post every Sunday night, is not likely to find many readers. But l do promote most of them.


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Current Events: Missing the (Bottled) Point

Good post, and lots of good information in the comments.

Crossover Queen's Creative Chaos

So the evening news has noticed what the Wall Street Journal pointed out back in January; we have a baby formula shortage. This is very much Not Good. Unfortunately, the MSM and too many other people leaving comments on various spots

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How did Russia and Ukraine come about? A very brief history. 2. The emergence of Tsarist Russia

Part II

Spin, strangeness, and charm

In Part 1 yesterday, we covered the Varangian [for us: Viking] origins of the Rurikid dynasty, the emergence of Kievan Rus, its disintegration, the Mongol invasion, and the incorporation of nearly all of modern-day Ukraine and Belarus in the Polish-Lithuanian Union (est. 1385).[*] What happened meanwhile in the East?

Aside from the Republic of Novgorod (and the smaller Republic of Pskov to the West), nearly all of modern-day Russia was still under control of the Mongol/Tatar “Golden Horde”. Not having the numbers for permanent occupation of such a vast space, they had appointed local nobles as their vassals, exacting tax tributes from them.

One such local vassal principality was the Grand Duchy of Moscow (1263–1547), usually referred to in English as simply Muscovy. Alexander Nevsky‘s son Daniel I of Moscow, of the Rurikid dynasty, had been the first Grand Duke or Grand Prince [Russian: veliky knyaz] of what…

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How did Russia and Ukraine come about? A very brief history. 1. Kievan Rus, the Golden Horde, and the Polish-Lithuanian union

I am tempted to write a “Modest Proposal” for Russia and Ukraine to be unified under… Swedish rule. I mean, if Putin is so big on historical precedents…



Spin, strangeness, and charm

I’ve been asked a number of times by Europeans where distinct Russian and Ukrainian identities come from. And to tell you the truth, I wasn’t familiar with the medieval to early modern history of the region myself.

It was Alfred Tennyson who famously wrote “[…] for a lie that is half a truth is ever the blackest of lies”. When Putin starts going on about the fundamental unity of the East Slavic peoples, he isn’t all wrong. Where he goes off the rails is where he uses this historical unity as a “justification” for “uniting” them under his “benevolent” rule: this facetious argument is roughly equivalent to justifying a German invasion of the Netherlands and Flanders [=the North half of Belgium], on the grounds that the people living there are Germanic and speak a sister language of Low German. (Actually, having spoken to Ukrainian and Russian immigrants here — in…

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Holy Saturday: My Ass is in a Ditch (Luke 14:5-6)

Yard Sale of the Mind

Being a little flippant on this, the day of the Great Silence, but that’s the truth. I’ve got 6 days to finish packing up and moving out of this house, and so hope to keep a prayer on my lips as I work like a dog to get it done. My beloved and our beloved son, as well as our daughters and son in law and one very dear friend have also put in some serious work, but we’ve run hard into the 80-20 (or is it 90-10?) Rule: packing up the last 20% is 80% of the work. This post will be brief, rushed, or both.

First up, Dante: in Canto IV of the Inferno, as they leave the Limbo of souls who earned no punishment but gained not Heaven, he asks Virgil one of the enduring questions of Christianity. Is there no hope for souls separated from Christ…

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The Title “Our Lady of Good Success”

Aliens in This World

Okay, first of all, let’s talk about the meaning of the title. It’s a Spanish title for Our Lady — “Buen Suceso” but the phrase itself is a borrowing from French — “bon succès”. The words mean something like “happy event” or “fortunate event,” but in the case of Our Lady, it really means “miraculous event.”

So what was the fortunate event we’re talking about?

In Madrid, Spain, there was a famous hospital founded by Ven. Bernardino de Obregon, a young nobleman and soldier under Philip II, who gave up normal life and became a Third Order Minim. (A poor sick man had accidentally dirtied his clothes, and Bernardino hit him, assuming it was deliberate. When he realized the guy hadn’t been able to help himself, he was so ashamed of his own arrogance that he spent the rest of his life making up for it.)

When Bernardino died, his…

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How to fix the AI

But they don’t want the thing they said they want, they want validation by getting what they want without asking for it specifically….

Monday Evening

Computer Scientist: “Problem, boss. Turns out that new multi-million-dollar AI is outputting racist results.”
Boss: “Well, tell it to knock it off.”
Computer Scientist: “What do you mean?”
Boss: “How did you figure out the results were racist?”
Computer Scientist: “We asked it for a list of candidates to interview, and it returned a list of ten Asian men. ”
Boss: “Instead of?”
Computer Scientist: “Well, instead of a diverse list.”
Boss: “What’s diverse?”
Computer Scientist: “Uh, two Asians, five people of color, and three people of Hispanic heritage.”
Boss: “Tell the AI to return a list of two Asians, five people of color, and three people of Hispanic heritage.”
Computer Scientist: “That makes it sound like the AI is just a computer program.”
Boss: “Don’t tell the customers, but it is just a computer program.”

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