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Terrorism for Martians

March 2, 2016

Me: Look, we’re just trying to promote stability.

Martian: On Earth, war makes things more stable?

Me: It’s…complicated. But really, America is a peace-loving culture.

Martian: But you have more wars than anyone. On Mars, this does not seem peaceful.

Me: Okay, but it’s not terrorism. Terrorism is when, you know, you terrorize people.

Martian: But did you not, alone among the peoples of your planet, use atomic weapons against your fellow humans, when you bombed Hiroshima and Nagasaki?

Me: Only to end the war.

Barry Eisler on the how you would explain the difference between war and terrorism to a Martian. Well worth a read.

The first casualty of chess is innocence

March 4, 2015

This was not normal chess.

Grading was simple. A: Your side wins and your piece lives. B: Your side wins and your piece dies. C: Your side loses and your piece lives D: Your side loses and your piece dies. F: You touch the main board, board cart, or otherwise interfere in the simulation. This was the ONLY way to fail the simulation.

Great post on reddit about a teacher who used chess to (unbeknownst to them) teach his students about war. Absolutely cracking.

Reindeer

November 12, 2014

reindeer

Someone tweeted this photo back on Remembrance Day, I think it was captioned “The most badass war photo ever” or similar and it is a pretty impressive shot. It appears to be a reindeer in the middle of a warzone looking towards the action, and even better this photo was taken during Operation Renntier (Reindeer), pretty amazing, no?

Well actually yeah, no. Though saying it’s a fake seems harsh because it’s still a great photo, it’s just a composite.

Yevgeny Khaldei was a Red Army photographer during the second World War. During the bombing of Operation Renntier:

…a reindeer (later named Yasha) came out to be with the soldiers–the shellshocked creature didn’t want to be alone. During one of the air raids,Khaldei took the reindeer shot, but it wasn’t as dramatic as he assumed, so he later superimposed British Hawker Hurricanes, flown by RAF pilots to relieve Murmansk, and an exploding bomb to form a composite image.

Khaldei is best known for this photo of the Soviet flag raised over the Reichstag in Berlin but this is also a fake, in that it’s a reconstruction, not the original event (much the like the image it tried to emulate).

Le drapeau de la victoire