Merry Almost Christmas and Holiday Posting/Comments Sort of Holiday

Regardless of whether your observe Christmas on the 25th, or on January 7th, or celebrate a different winter solstice holiday, or aren’t big on religion, I hope you get some R&R over what is generally a quiet period around the world.

Since some of you may nevertheless need mental health breaks from perhaps overly well-meaning family members, we will continue with our daily posting. Links may be thinner due to lower news flow. We will also typically have only 2 cross posts.

If you would like to help, we are very interested in videos (presentations, debates, short documentaries, even really good “how tos”), ideally in the last year, that didn’t get the attention they deserved. A quiet media period is useful for this sort of catching up. Please send any candidates to yves-at-nakedcapitalism-dot-com.

Our very hard moderators will also be largely off duty. That means your humble blogger will be the main comments jockey. That also implies that if you post in the morning or early afternoon US time, it will be a while before any comment that winds up in moderation is liberated. So please be patient!

Regardless, hope you have some fun. And best wishes for 2023!

PS. To find the cute tree above, I searched on Google. When I put in “Christmas”….the first autofill was “in Ukraine”.

I had to call Lambert. I made him guess what the autofill was. He couldn’t come up with anything. I told him the answer in a disapproving voice. He was appalled yet amused at how unorganic this result was and what had been done to make this come about.

He suggested I screenshot the result. I said I didn’t intend to post on it.

So I went back to do the search again since I had stopped before I had located any images.

This time, the first autofill was “eastern orthodox Christmas 2022.” And other suggestions very different from the first list.

Not liking how attentively Google seems able to listen.

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  1. Steve H.

    Three videos of physical activity you (may) be able to do indoors during a storm:

    The Founder

    Tai Chi 24-form w Gao Jiamin

    Shaolin Tong Zi Gong 少林童子功 2

    1. .Tom

      The Founder isn’t much for keeping you warm but it’s a great daily for looking after your back. Years ago my cycling coach gave it me (chronic training on a racing bike can be hard on the back and neck) and it really helped.

  2. LawnDart

    Movies: no specific recommendations, however Kanopy is a web-based service/app that is available to many library card holders throughout the US. Titles run the gamut from world cinema and documentaries through holiday fare and binge tv.

    I won’t post the link, but some may find this article found on the businessmagazine dot org website useful, mostly for entertainment:
    28 Best 123Series Alternatives Working Sites to Watch Movies

    Have a good holiday week!

  3. Tom Pfotzer

    Here’s something nobody, and nobody will have ever seen, and maybe ever thought to look at.

    This is a video of two young men – well educated, multi-lingual, explorer types who (illegally, of course) ride freight trains. Across Siberia.

    The vid is about an hour. There are several things I found very interesting:

    a. Freight content. As you may know, I pay attention to freight trains. Why? Because they tell an impossible-to-obfuscate story about an economy. Trains don’t lie; what’s being shipped is what’s being produced and/or installed. For those of you interested in infrastructure investment, how to build a lot in a short time, how to build a petrochem industry, etc. … this vid tells a lot. Most viewers won’t recognize what they’re seeing, but for those with construction or engineering or oil field or petrochem background….and for you oil field guys, you’ll surely recognize the shift-work passenger trains and prefab villages that serve the oil fields.

    b. Adjacent economic investment. For those of you that have pre-existing expectations about what, and how well, Russia invests in their infrastructure, their cities and towns, their transportation systems, etc. this vid will help ground your perspectives in reality. The vid shows it all – good and bad, old and new. As of today. I haven’t seen as authoritative a source for this vantage point elsewhere.

    c. Culture. These two young men have a great deal of worldly experience, and it won’t take you long to realize that they know about and can easily converse on history and culture – past and present, throughout eastern Europe and across all of Russia. The comments about the people and the culture and the history are very interesting

    The bad news is that a lot of the vid is about getting on and off trains, staying warm, keeping out of sight, and the rest of the derring-dos of hopping trains. It’s gritty and rough. That part will not interest most of you, probably. Worst yet, that’s the part I found most interesting. Back when I was a boy…there were adventures among trains.

    So here’s the vid:

    A View Of Siberia’s Oil Producing Region From the Belly of the Beast

    1. juno mas

      I did some train hopping from Santa Barbara to San Jose (CA) with some university (UCSB) buddies during Christmas Break of 1968. This was back when freight trains had a caboose.

      Riding in a freight car is indeed cold and gritty (soot from diesel engine), so we climbed aboard the last in line Engine unit (heated) and kept out of sight of the lead Engine on track curves. Can’t imagine the effort needed to cross Siberia hobo-style.

      The stuff you see from a railroad is truly surprising. In the US, graffiti is king in urban rail yards; Engines, freight cars, bridge abutments, any smooth concrete is smothered in paint.

      That Xmas journey included riding the street cars of San Francisco (my hometown) and meeting some sweet Co-eds from Stanford University; and somehow an overnight stay in the near empty Stanford dorms.

      The train can take you places never imagined.

      1. kareninca

        Wow. Thank you for that Siberia link. I’ve always longed to travel through Siberia, but it looks like it won’t every happen. But this sort of thing is a wonderful approximation.

    2. Glen

      Wow, thanks for the video! I’m just getting started. It’s a fascinating watch.

      I just finished this one:

      Elko, NV to Roseville, CA – Trainhopping The Feather River Route

      It’s more much more about the scenery along the way as it takes you thru the Sierra Nevada by a route that few get to see.

      But it’s interesting to see the differences.

    3. Lambert Strether

      > I pay attention to freight trains. Why? Because they tell an impossible-to-obfuscate story about an economy

      Please post more on freight trains, for the reason above, but also because I am a railfan (“foamer,” as real railroaders denote us.

      This is great stuff!

  4. Captain Planet

    A sobering 20-minute video about long covid:

    As someone who’s been mostly bedridden since age 23 (2007) due to a similar condition (ME/CFS), this video breaks my heart. When covid first hit, those of us in the chronic illness community predicted that this would be a mass disabling event. And sure enough, the covid people started showing up on the ME/CFS forums…

  5. Jeremy Grimm

    After reading today’s link “Deep Learning Alone…” that took me into the Noema magazine site I checked a little of the other content there. I enjoyed this article on concrete especially the description of methods for obtaining building strength from compressible but not tensile strength materials like concrete — arches. The section on cement culture in Mozambique was also interesting:
    “Concrete Built The Modern World. Now It’s Destroying It.”
    Feature Climate Crisis By Joe Zadeh December 6, 2022

  6. MichaelSF

    If you need to work off a heavy holiday meal, you could try to emulate this:

    It is an Argentine gaucho tap done wearing heavy boots. I at first thought it was some sort of flamenco. It was interesting to see the side of the foot being used to tap with. As one person commented “when I broke my ankle while hiking I didn’t realize it was a dance step”.

    is another one by the same artist (without fancy costume) using bolos as an accessory in the dance.

    Something quite different and very stately is

    This is the Carbadine (Circassian) ethnic dance troupe from Russia doing a fancy dance with elements of ballet. If you watch the men they are mostly staying on the balls of their feet, but when the principal male dancer comes out he stays mostly en pointe. The costumes are very fancy. The troupe was founded in 1933. I found some other videos showing that this type of dance seems pretty common, with local amateur groups doing something similar.

    Best wishes to all and thanks to everyone for making NC such a success this year!

    (who, thanks to the clouds over the Pacific Ocean, got to enjoy a very colorful San Francisco sunset this evening. It is nice to have a free light show!)

  7. ElViejito

    Interview with Walter Vincent Brooks, the author of Trust No Shadows After Dark,. It is a comparison of the situation of Jews in Nazi Germany with that of Blacks in the United States, compiled over a 45 year period..

  8. JBird4049

    Respectfully, I would not compare what happened to the Jews with what happened to Blacks. It is a matter of degree. I would say that comparing indentured servitude to chattel slavery would be the equivalent of comparing Black enslavement and oppression to the Holocaust; as I remember, the majority of indentured servitude servants did not live long enough to be free, working and dying under horrific conditions sentenced by an extremely unjust legal and economic system, but they were not strictly property, nor could they or their literal children legally used as sex slaves; Black slaves were property same as a chair or a cow, and their children could be sex slaves especially the lighter colored ones, but there were some protections albeit pathetic including against being murdered; the Nazis were trying to exterminate all the institutionalized disabled, Jews, Poles (and later most Slavs west of the Urals, plus groups like homosexuals are the Roma. They did murder eleven million people (six million Jew plus five million of the others) in six years.

    Each group suffered horribly and they deserve to have their history truthfully and without exaggeration explained

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