Saturday, January 28, 2023

400+ Harry Potter Facts & Statistics from the Books, Movies, and More

Back in July 2011 in The end of Harry Potter I reflected on the last Harry Potter movie.  As eldest said at the time, "7 Books, 8 Films and 14 years of my life. In essence, my childhood!" 

As it happens, Netflix has all the movies on at present, so I have been revisiting them and especially the early ones. Coincidentally, Ella Trosden drew my attention to this piece by Rebecca Janacek on the vpnMentor blog, 400+ Harry Potter Facts & Statistics from the Books, Movies, and More. I think that it's worth a browse. Certainly, I enjoyed browsing 

Saturday, January 07, 2023

Preliminary reflections on 2023: Ukraine

 After a turbulent few years, 2023 looks likely to follow the same pattern. 

When President Putin launched his Special Military Operation in Ukraine in February 2022, there was some debate about the causes of the conflict, a debate that has dragged on. Regardless of that, few expected a war with such significant global implications. Looking back at the small number of posts I wrote from 2014, I downplayed suggestions that we might have a repeat of the Second World War. Now I'm not so sure. I also underestimated the global impact of the conflict.

President Putin expected his invasion to yield quick results. The strength of Ukrainian resistance took him by surprise, providing time for Ukraine's allies to provide financial and material assistance that in turn forced the Russians back. Now Russia is regrouping trying to use its stronger population and resource base to wear down the Ukrainians. President Putin has been reluctant to move to a full total war footing, it's hard to do that when you even deny that there is a war on, but circumstances are likely to force his hand. 

The present war position can best be described as a stalemate reminiscent of  World War 1 with trench and defensive lines running over thousands of kilometres. President Putin hopes that the extended conflict will finally drain the West's willingness and ability to sustain support given domestic political considerations in the various countries involved. The West hopes for a Ukrainian breakthrough that will erode Russia's ability to fight the war. I could wish that, but it seems to me that the most probable military result is a period of stasis with heavy casualties on both sides. Meantime, the effects of the war continue to spread and spread.