Changes Afoot

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Apologies to anyone who has had trouble accessing this blog in the past few days. I have been switching over to a new system, so things might have been a bit odd. I think everything is up and working now.

The most important change is the URL: my address is now fluenthistorian.com, NOT blog.fluenthistorian.com. The latter should redirect to the former, but you probably ought to update your bookmarks and links anyway. :)

Liberation At Last?

I’m watching TV at work and all the coverage is about an alleged Russian invasion of Ukraine. Of course, the reporters are touting Obama’s amazingness and how he’s going to Estonia to “reassure” them or something. I’m sure that has Putin quaking in his boots—not.

A Bad Idea: Deploy Forces To The Baltics

This editorial in the Wall Street Journal is bad on so many levels:

We should reassure the Baltic States by deploying forces in those countries. A permanent deployment would contravene the NATO-Russia Founding Act, but a rotating force could be consistent with the Act while indicating to Russia how seriously we take their military actions.

And this is written by a former Secretary of State and Secretary of Defense. They ought to know better. Deploying forces to the Baltic countries would only escalate events in Eastern Europe. And then there’s the whole issue of this technically not being legal in the first place. Nice to know that former government officials are advocating circumventing the law, right?

I’m sure some would disagree, but remember, I think NATO has been irrelevant since the end of the Cold War.

How To Do Research

I found on an anonymous professor’s blog (sorry I don’t have a link; I can’t find one) a very interesting quote. She was talking about her next book that she’s started writing and said that she has a massive document full of quotes from the books she has read to do research.

Is this how to do proper academic research? Seriously, when I read that, a light bulb went off in my head. I have done annotated bibliographies in classes before. Somehow I never considered using them for my own research. My way of doing research is actually dreadfully inefficient, so I think I will try this new way for my Super Secret Research Project that I want to start on (but have zero time for at the moment).

A Crime Against Humanity

This, my friends, is a crime against humanity:

isis support

I found it via Anatoly’s Twitter and I am appalled. Yes, I know the French figure is high—but even the German figure is appalling. In a decent, civilized society, ISIS should have a negligible amount of support (like a tiny fraction of a percent, if that).

I despair for Western Europe if these figures are indeed true. And I am disgusted.

The Dinner Party

Tonight was the much-anticipated dinner party. I was a bit apprehensive that it would awkward or strange or not fun, but it was amazing. A few bank executives were there and it was nice to meet them. The food was excellent and I really enjoyed talking to everyone. I’m exhausted now and probably will be very tired at work tomorrow, but it was well worth it.

Busiest Week Ever

Ugh, this is the busiest week ever, people. We have a ton of stuff to do at work and a dinner tonight at an executive’s house. It’s to welcome everyone in my program to our new city. He said we can dress casually, but I feel like it’s almost sacrilegious to meet with an executive while not wearing a suit. I know it’s after work hours, but still.

Sunday Night Music: A Mozart Violin Concerto On The Double Bass

I found a very cool video on YouTube of a performance of Mozart’s Violin Concerto No. 5 in A major, K. 219 on the double bass. I’ve played this concerto with my teacher before, so I was interested to see how Catalin Rotaru, the bass player, would handle some of the passages.

He did not disappoint. This is a very fascinating rendition. It’s so interesting to hear it played on a different instrument, but about three octaves lower. I still maintain that the third movement sounds best on violin, but as a violinist, I am more than a bit biased. :)

A little bit about the piece: Violin Concerto No. 5, which is nicknamed ‘Turkish’ due to a passage in the third movement, was Mozart’s last concerto written for solo violin (Nos. 6 and 7 are of dubious authorship and most music scholars agree that Mozart did not write them). He was nineteen years old when he wrote it and I desperately wish he had continued to write violin concerti so that I’d have more of them to play!