Voices from Russia

Tuesday, 5 February 2019

Lavrov Slams New Ukrainian Church as “Travesty of History” Aimed at Dividing Both Nations

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On Tuesday, Minister of Foreign Affairs S V Lavrov said at the Russian-Tajik Slavonic University that the establishment of the so-called Orthodox Church of the Ukraine violated the precepts of state non-interference in ecclesiastical life as well as the canons of Orthodox Christianity:

The decision was totally illegitimate under all canons… both the canons of state non-interference in ecclesiastical life and the canons of Orthodox Christianity itself, because the 1686 decision on transferring that church under the Moscow Patriarchate’s auspices made in Constantinople is irrevocable. All you have to do is to read it. I believe that this travesty of history, which  pursues the objective of sowing discord between Russia and the Ukraine, in addition to preventing our peoples from being friendly, is essentially a crime [by the current Ukrainian régime] against their citizens.

Ecclesiastical standoff in the Ukraine

The current leadership in the Ukraine sought to create a local Orthodox church independent of the Moscow Patriarchate ever since it came to power after a violent coup in 2014. Last April, Ukrainian President P A Poroshenko sent a letter to Patriarch Bartholomew Achontonis of Constantinople requesting autocephaly for the Ukrainian church. The Poroshenko régime cobbled together a “unification council” held in Kiev on 15 December 2018, which announced the creation of a new church, the so-called Orthodox Church of the Ukraine. The EP handed over a Tomos of Autocephaly (a clerical decree on establishing an independent church) to its head, “Metropolitan” Epifany Dumenko, on 6 January 2019. Both the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church/MP and the central apparat of the Moscow Patriarchate consider the newly-established ecclesiastical institution schismatic. Other Local Churches either condemned Constantinople’s actions or chose ostentatious silence. None of them congratulated Epifany on receiving a Tomos of Autocephaly.

5 February 2019

TASS

http://tass.com/society/1043295

Are We Doomed? How the Movement of the Magnetic North Pole to Russia Will Affect You

Filed under: science — 01varvara @ 00.00
Tags: , , , ,

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Earlier, scientists from the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the British Geological Survey updated the coordinates of the Magnetic North Pole, saying it was gradually leaving the Canadian Arctic behind and moving toward Russian Siberia at a rate of over 55 kilometres per year, up from less than 15 kilometres in the year 2000.

Navigation Systems

More than anything, the shift of the Magnetic North Pole affects navigation systems containing magnetic compasses. While modern smartphones, vehicles, ships, and airliners are connected to satellite-based navigation systems, like GPS and GLONASS, their receivers don’t provide a sense of direction, rather, only a person or vehicle’s fixed location. As a result, navigation systems’ use magnetic compasses, or magnetometers, to provide an accurate estimate of the direction a phone, vehicle, ship, or plane is pointing in using what’s known as declination… the difference between true north and the direction of the compass. If the mathematically expected location of the Magnetic North Pole is wrong, navigation equipment will be off kilter.

For this reason, the recently announced update to the World Magnetic Model, the mathematical foundation for navigation which allows magnetic north to be precisely fixed, is crucial, and couldn’t have come a moment too soon. Accounting for the shift in the pole’s location is particularly important in areas above the 55th Parallel, which covers northern Canada, Scandinavia, and much of Russia. For most civilian purposes in Western Europe and North America, British Geological Survey geophysicist Ciaran Beggan told National Geographic:

The changes would be relatively minor. The average user isn’t going to be overly affected by this unless they happen to be trekking around the high Arctic.

However, militaries, commercial airlines, search and rescue ships and aircraft, NASA, and other agencies and groups relying on precision navigation in the high north should find the update helpful.

Bird and Fish Migration Patterns

Over time, especially, in a scenario where Earth reverses polarity and the magnetic poles swap places, the moving of the Magnetic North Pole will affect animals, birds, and sea life that use the polls’ magnetic fields for navigation. While scientists expect them to recover, the shift may result in scenarios of birds falling out of the sky en masse, and fish dying off in large numbers. While most scientists believe this shift won’t lead to any catastrophic mass extinctions, the scenes may be frightening, looking something like the pictures of thousands of dead birds and fish in Arkansas in 2011, which some scientists thought may have been related to animals’ sensitivity to changes in the Earth’s magnetic field.

Magnetic Field Shielding Earth?

A more serious possible consequence of the “tug of war” between magnetic field patches in northern Canada and Siberia, which some scientists say is causing the accelerated movement of the Magnetic North Pole, is its potential to weaken the magnetic shield sparing earth from deadly solar and cosmic radiation. This could lead to increased rates of cancer in humans, or harm man-made infrastructure projects, such as power grids. However, scientists say that even in the scenario of a flip of the North and South Poles, which they don’t expect to happen anytime soon, the shift would take place slowly, taking as much as a thousand years to complete. Hopefully, this would help mitigate its effects.

5 February 2019

Sputnik International

https://sputniknews.com/world/201902051072151565-magnetic-north-pole-shift-implications/

An Overhyped Bore: Five Reasons Why Superbowl Sunday Sucks

Filed under: sport,USA — 01varvara @ 00.00
Tags: , , , , , ,

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On Sunday, the 53rd Superbowl takes place with the New England Patriots taking on the Los Angeles Rams. Sputnik’s Chris Summers explains why he believes it is one of the most over-rated sports events in the world.

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So, the Boston-based Patriots go head to head with the Rams on Sunday, 3 February. Big deal. Superbowl Sunday is just a bore, am I right? So, let me list my problems with it.

  1. The Sport Itself

The most popular sport in the entire world… with the possible exception of India… is football. Not American football but Association Football (to give it its technical name), or, as the Yanks call it, soccer. That’s because it’s a much more exciting game, with far more variety and skill. Basically, gridiron (as it’s sometimes called) is the same free kick performed over and over. Tedious beyond belief. Not surprising then that American football, as played in the National Football League (NFL), is popular in how many countries? Er, one. Possibly two, if you count Canada, although they’re far more interested in ice hockey. Walter Camp, a Yale graduate considered the “Father of American Football”, adopted the game from the rules of rugby, which is also a far superior game. More on that later.

  1. The Players

In every Hollywood movie set in a high school, the girls swoon over the football players, the “jocks” who swagger around the high school with a surplus of testosterone and an absence of brainpower. The adoration of football players in the USA continues through “college”… where extremely dumb people can get a university education by virtue of their sporting prowess. So what attributes do you need to succeed in the sport? Good fitness levels, an ability to withstand frequent headaches, and (only if you are running back) some athletic ability and speed. For that, they get paid astronomical sums. The Patriots’ star player, Tom Brady, was given a contract extension in March 2018, which included a 28 million USD signing bonus. He’s currently worth 44 million USD and he earns millions from endorsements with Under Armour and UGG boots. How many games do they play? Sixteen. There are 16 games in a regular NFL season. That compares to around 38 games in an English Premier League season and 162 for Major League Baseball players.

  1. The Stupid Outfits

NFL players have been wearing the same stupid garb since the 1930s… giant helmets and shoulder pads. Why? The game’s no more dangerous than rugby union, rugby league, Aussie rules football, or Gaelic football and none of those guys wear battlefield outfits. So basically, yeah, I’m saying NFL players are pussies who wouldn’t last five minutes in a man’s game like rugby.

  1. The Fans

Unlike football (soccer) fans, NFL fans very rarely travel to away games. Therefore, the crowd will be 100 percent home fans, which leads to an extraordinary lack of tension or atmosphere. The Superbowl is the exception because they play it in a neutral venue (in this case, Atlanta) and both sets of fans will be there. Even then, they just sit and watch, literally spectate. There’s no singing or chanting, let alone animosity. Compare that to the FA Cup Final or one of the big derbies in world footballRiver Plate versus Boca Juniors, Rangers against Celtic, Fenerbahce v Galatasaray, or Olympiakos v Panathinaikos. Chalk and cheese.

  1. The Superbowl Hype

From Christmas until the date of the Superbowl, the US media will be full of nothing but this pointless little game. I guess we can be grateful they don’t give it a name like the World Series, and pretend the whole of the globe are genuinely interested in it. However, the NFL is determined to expand overseas. They’re already playing games in London and broadcasting to other countries. We aren’t interested. Go away. Then, there’s the advertising. Basically, the Superbowl is just one giant excuse to sell advertising. Every year, billions of dollars is spent on Superbowl-related advertising. This year, fans of the cult movie The Big Lebowski got excited when Jeff Bridges, as The Dude, appeared in a teaser. However, a few days later, it turned out there was no Big Lebowski sequel, only an ad for Stella Artois beer.

3 February 2019

Chris Summers

Sputnik International

https://sputniknews.com/analysis/201902031072043019-superbowl-ten-reasons-sucks/

Putin Greeted Russian Buddhists on the Lunar New Year

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President V V Putin greeted Russian Buddhists on the coming of the Lunar New Year and the beginning of the White month. The Kremlin website noted:

Drawing on the centuries-old historical, cultural, and spiritual traditions of their ancestors, Russian Buddhists celebrate this significant event widely. This holiday symbolises the renewal of man and nature, so, it’s common to sum up the year, sincerely wish each other health, and ask for fulfilment of one’s desires. People care for their loved ones and give alms to the needy. It’s important for the Buddhist community to participate actively in the life of our country, to strengthen their interaction with state and public organisations, to give much care to educating young people, and to implement popular charitable and educational initiatives. Such fruitful work deserves the deepest respect. I wish that the New Year would be successful and prosperous for Buddhist people.

5 February 2019

Interfax-Religion

http://interfax-religion.ru/?act=news&div=71973

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