FAQ

This looks distinctly pro-Russian, isn't it?

Err, no. It is distinctly pro-scientific. And maybe a little bit anti-Ukrainian state. As they have now prohibited Master and Margarita as a seditious piece of writing (at least some editions) I, the Behemoth Cat, am entitled to pinch Bug's Bunny's phrase: "This Means War, You know?".

Back to the pro-scientific aspect. Most screwups features in this blog are "ours" not theirs. There are multiple reasons for it:

  1. The high school and undergraduate average levels of STEM education in Russia and Eastern Europe are still better than in the West. As a result when they screw up on the human side producing a Petrov and Boshirov blooper while the West screws up on the scientific side.
  2. When they design a disinformation piece they use and respect the opinion of technical experts. It is extremely rare,  for Russians to have a hair disorganized incompetent baboon with no scientific knowledge whatsoever override a scientific expert and claim something along the lines that chemical analysis can yield the post code of the lab where a particular chemical has been produced.
  3. Russian independent media like Dozhd, Novaya, The Bell, etc gives no quarter and knows no mercy in terms of ripping apart Russian government disinformation narratives. Some of it is a natural result of them both asking and listening to people with proper scientific and engineering background as well as finding the right people. They do it better and they do it at a level which should make our own "free" media ashamed (as it has lost all shame long ago that is not really in evidence). I see no reason to redo their work. I can read it including the cases when our media refuses to reproduce it. This to some extent is valid for the rest of the Eastern European media which I read too (without the need for Google Translate for most of the languages).
  4. As a person with multiple scientific backgrounds I can (and do) express opinions only regarding stuff which I have some level of familiarity with. As a result this covers mostly scientific and engineering screwups which are typical of Western European originated disinformation.

This covers a lot of ground how can you be proficient in all of this?

If you need to survive in a country which is undergoing 1000% annual inflation as a result of going cold turkey on 30 years of economic trade block relationships, you will learn to switch professions like napkins too.

I have changed professions 3+ times as a result and I am working in an area which is different from my 2 completed (or 2 switched/dropped out of due to force major) degrees. I am not alone here either - I have plenty of friends who have an even more varied background (and more degrees).

What about the Black Sea?

Diving, snorkeling, sailing along its coast in multiple countries - 20+ years of it. I am also hoping to retire to a location from which I can put a dingy on a trailer and have it under sail in either the Black or the Ionian Sea in 3h tops, so I am following what goes on there quite closely and keeping my "navigation homework" up-to-date.

A bit more on that "homework". The Black Sea is an ecological disaster zone. It is overfished, poached, vandalized and bespoiled by all the nations around it. As a result, the wildlife has learned where the military has established "closed" zones and has retreated there. In some cases, the relationship has been formalized and some of the most interesting wildlife sanctuaries on the Black Sea are now officially "dual use" areas - "wildlife sanctuary" + "closed military area".

This means that contacts with marine life like this:

tend to happen in places like this:

So if you have any interest in wildlife you also need to know the locations where you can earn a Darwin Award. I know a lot of those, and I came very close to earning it on a few occasions (PK machine gun rounds make a lovely plop when they hit the water 2m away from you).

The particular location on the photo and video above is Opuk bay. It is the site where the "Kerch Incident" ships are heading when they are captured on video. As far as Darwin award locations go that one is probably too Darwin even for me.

Will you please look at...

NO. Definitive NO. I will look only at something I come across myself and only if it annoys me on a science/engineering level. The only cases which get a priority are when people full of extremely hot and smelly air as a result of a red brick stuck up their rectum are emitting it orally. Doubly so if they are hair disorganized.

That is why there are no contact forms and I will ignore any request to look at something received via other means.

Social Media?

I did not know that being the target of abuse is mandatory nowdays. I am not a fan of F***book and Tw*tter. Links have been provided for convenience and that is where the social aspect ends.