Understanding the Ukraine Crisis: A Comprehensive Reading List | Literary Hub

Henrikas Bliudzius Recommends Svetlana Alexievich, Tim Judah, Joshua Yaffa, and More

By Henrikas Bliudzius, February 24, 2022

My image, public domain…

I was born in Lithuania to a half-Russian family just after the collapse of the Soviet Union. You can’t escape politics when you live in Eastern Europe.

Mine and my family’s fragmented history is inextricably linked to Russia’s looming presence and revanchist tendencies. I lived in both Lithuania and Russia before coming as a teenager to London where I studied history, specializing in Modern Eastern European History and the Cold War.

I work as book buyer for the largest bookstore in the country, mostly specializing in nonfiction. In my role, I am responsible for curating the range of books to order and highlight. Sometimes I am asked to consult the overall book-buying for the company in my areas of interest.

Many articles have been written in the last few days about whether the Russians will stop when they reach the combat lines between the rebel-held territory and Ukraine.

We now have our answer. It always seemed doubtful that 200,000 Russian troops had been mobilized and brought from as far away as the Pacific simply to apply pressure on Ukraine; of course, nobody can ever really know what is in the mind of Vladimir Putin. What I do know, however, is that people in London know little about Ukraine and its people.

Continue reading Understanding the Ukraine Crisis: A Comprehensive Reading List | Literary Hub

What Is Occam’s Razor? | Occam’s Razor Examples | Popular Mechanics

Without Occam’s razor, we may not have Boyle’s law, which made jaws drop in an iconic demonstration with a compass, magnet, and feather.

By Caroline Delbert, Feb 24, 2022

Gannet77Getty Images

Occam’s razor is a figure of speech and fundamental idea that helps us remember the value of simplicity.

It specifically states that “when you have two competing theories that make exactly the same predictions, the simpler one is the better.”

It’s used a lot in the humanities realm as a thought exercise, but its roots—and most important applications—are in science.

The concept comes from a real person, William of Ockham, an Englishman who studied and worked in the early 14th century, a time we’ve only recently begun to emphasize was not, so to speak, the “Dark Ages.”

Source: What Is Occam’s Razor? | Occam’s Razor Examples

Science of sleep: Why a good night’s rest gets harder with age | Medicalxpress

February 24, 2022

Credit: Pixabay/CC0 Public Domain

It’s well known that getting a good night’s sleep becomes more difficult as we age, but the underlying biology for why this happens has remained poorly understood.

A team of US scientists has now identified how the brain circuitry involved in regulating sleepfulness and wakefulness degrades over time in mice, which they say paves the way for better medicines in humans.

“More than half of people 65 and older complain about the quality of sleep,” Stanford University professor Luis de Lecea, who co-authored a study about the finding published Thursday in Science, told AFP.

Editor’s Note: Read more, see link below for original item…

Source: Science of sleep: Why a good night’s rest gets harder with age

Putin’s attack on Ukraine echoes Hitler’s on Czechoslovakia – The Washington Post

The Nazi leader used similar tactics to dismember and devour Czechoslovakia before World War II

By Michael E. Ruane, Feb. 24, 2022, at 1:15 p.m. EST

German Chancellor Adolf Hitler and his army parade in Prague on March 15, 1939, the day of the invasion of Czechoslovakia by the Wehrmacht. (AFP/AFP/Getty Images)

By 1939, parts of Czechoslovakia had already been carved off and taken over by Nazi Germany, which claimed that millions of ethnic Germans were being persecuted there.

The previous September, European powers, seeking to avoid war, had acquiesced and done nothing.But six months later, German troops were massed on the Czech border, as Nazi leader Adolf Hitler railed and threatened the country with destruction.

On March 15, 1939, the sickly Czech president, Emil Hacha, was in Hitler’s study surrounded by the Führer’s henchmen.

A woman holds an image depicting Russian President Vladimir Putin as Adolf Hitler during a demonstration of Ukrainian citizens in front of the Russian embassy in Paris on Feb. 24. (Thomas Coex/AFP/Getty Images)

“Hitler was at his most intimidating,” historian Ian Kershaw wrote in his 2000 biography of the Nazi leader. “He launched into a violent tirade against the Czechs.” The Nazis needed to take over Czechoslovakia to protect Germany. Hacha must agree or his country would be immediately attacked and Prague, its capital, bombed.

Source: Putin’s attack on Ukraine echoes Hitler’s on Czechoslovakia – The Washington Post

Largest human family tree ever created retraces the history of our species | Live Science

Source: CNN, https://www.cnn.com/2022/02/24/world/unified-human-genome-scli-intl-scn-gbr/index.html

A new, enormous family tree for all of humanity attempts to summarize how all humans alive today relate both to one another and to our ancient ancestors.

To build this family tree, or genealogy, researchers sifted through thousands of genome sequences collected from both modern and ancient humans, as well as ancient human relatives, according to a new study published Thursday (Feb. 24) in the journal Science.

These genomes came from 215 populations scattered across the world. Using a computer algorithm, the team revealed distinct patterns of genetic variation within these sequences, highlighting where they matched and where they differed.

Based on these patterns, the researchers drew theoretical lines of descent between the genomes and got an idea as to which gene variants, or alleles, the common ancestors of these people likely carried.

In addition to mapping out these genealogical relationships, the team approximated where in the world the common ancestors of the sequenced individuals lived. They estimated these locations based on the ages of the sampled genomes and the location where each genome was sampled.

Source: Largest human family tree ever created retraces the history of our species | Live Science