Browsing: Places

A Brief History On September 18, 1990, the tiny European Principality of Liechtenstein was admitted to the United Nations.  Incredibly, Liechtenstein is only the 4th smallest country in Europe, behind Vatican City, Monaco and San Marino. Digging Deeper A monarchy, Liechtenstein is ruled by the Prince of Liechtenstein, though under a national constitution.  With barely over 38,000 residents, this German speaking country lies between Switzerland and Austria and occupies a miniscule 62 square miles. While the national wealth of Liechtenstein as measured by GDP ranks a mere 149th in the world, the individual wealth of the population is a staggering…

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A Brief History On April 11, 2011, an explosion rocked the Kastryčnickaja station of the Minsk Metro in the capital city of the country of Belarus.  Sadly, 15 people were killed and over 200 others were wounded.  Although a pair of alleged perpetrators were convicted and executed for the crime, suspicion about the actual motive for the bombing remains about whether or not the Belarusian government of President Alexander Lukashenko conducted a “false flag” operation itself in order to strengthen its hand against virulent opposition forces.  In April of 2022, the otherwise non-descript country of Belarus has been in the…

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A Brief History On June 14, 1900, the United States expanded by officially adding the territory of Hawaii to its growing empire.  The Pacific region became an American area of interest during the Spanish-American War in 1898, with the US adding the islands of Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Philippines to its territory.  Today we take a look at some places we would like to see become American someday, just as Hawaii (which I have visited and believe is truly paradise) was added over a century ago.  What country or territory would you add to this list?  (OK, Donald Trump,…

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A Brief History On June 7, 2021, we have had the opportunity to read and review a great new historical examination of “the Roman campaign to crush the Jewish revolt,” as the book calls itself.  Conquering Jerusalem, by Stephen Dando-Collins, is just about 200 pages long, long enough to address detail while compact enough to keep the reader engaged.  (By the way, this reviewer has personally been to Jerusalem, a fascinating place.) Digging Deeper We found the text highly readable, while retaining academic accuracy and serious addressing of facts and events, the flow of the book is more like a…

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A Brief History On February 2, 2020, we celebrate yet another Groundhog Day, a day in which Winter weary people find out if we are in for 6 more weeks of Winter or if we are facing the joy of an early Spring.  As implied by the name of the day, an actual Groundhog is “consulted” for his (or her) “prediction.”  But…. This year the animal rights organization, PETA, is recommending we immediately end this act of animal cruelty (?) and replace our beloved Marmots with (gasp!) animatronic replicas of Groundhogs!  A discussion of why this plan is “stupid” is…

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