Operation Concrete


Another reasonably slow week when it comes to wikipedia exploring, but three particular pages I'd like to draw your attention to this time around, including one of the most interesting natural places on the planet, America's greatest General who supposedly slaughtered Muslims with pigs blood soaked bullets, and some Russian literature.

The Yucatán Peninsula - Now, this might not stand out as a particularly interesting piece, just another land mass, but I remember seeing a programme about this area once, and how, there is no fresh water, accept for in gigantic sink holes, called cenotes, these cenotes then connect to each other, to form a vast underground system of rivers and streams. When I first saw the documentary, I thought about how a Superman-eqse super-villian might try and drain the peninsula to form a vast underground hide out, loved the idea and although it's jungle and I don't like the jungle, I'm sure I'll get there one day to check it out and face my fears. The video at the end of the post is of a dive through a Yucatan cenote.

Opening - The Yucatán Peninsula, in southeastern Mexico, separates the Caribbean Sea from the Gulf of Mexico, with the northern coastline on the Yucatán Channel. The peninsula lies east of the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, a northwestern geographic partition separating the region of Central America from the rest of North America.

John J. Pershing - Now, men of war are something that seem, for some reason, to capture my imagination, war in itself, and its desolation is something that has always bore a hole in my mind and made me think about the nature of man, and why we are what we are, all those sorts of big questions. I seem to often happen across war heros, people who stood out in time of crisis or extreme danger, it's hard to think of anyone that went to war not being a hero, any man that stood up and decided to put himself in the line of fire is a hero in my book, but sometimes, people just stand out. I came across John J. Pershing recently, and aside from being nicknamed Black Jack, and basically being the greatest General America has ever had, there is also an urban legend that surrounds him that, in these recent times, has brought him to the attention of a lot of young people that would have never otherwise have cared, the story goes:

"Gen. Pershing, as legend has it, was in the Phillipines and you guessed it, Muslim terrorists were a problem, even back then, in the early 1900′s. He and his troops captured 50 of them, brought pigs out and slaughtered them, soaked bullets in pigs blood while the terrorists were digging a trench, while digging they saw what the Americans were doing.

The pig carcasses were thrown in the trench, and the prisoners were executed with the pig’s blood soaked bullets, and their bodies were thrown in the trench, or mass grave if you will with the pig carcasses, one at a time. The 50th prisoner was set free. After the “Phillipine Incident” there was not one Islamic act of terrorism anywhere in the world for the next 42 years"

Opening: John Joseph "Black Jack" PershingGCB (Hon) (September 13, 1860 – July 15, 1948) was a general officer in the United States Army. Pershing is the only person to be promoted in his own lifetime to the highest rank ever held in the United States Army—General of the Armies (a retroactive Congressional edict passed in 1976 promoted George Washington to the same rank but with higher seniority). Pershing also holds the first United States officer service number (O-1). Pershing led the American Expeditionary Forces in World War I, and was regarded as a mentor by the generation of American generals who led the United States Army in Europe during World War II, including George C. Marshall,Dwight D. EisenhowerOmar N. Bradley, and George S. Patton.

The Idiot -  Now, I've yet to sample the delights of the Russian greats in literature, that is contained within the 'Golden Age' of Russian writing, I am however, keen to know more about them, and I believe having looked into The Idiot, it will be my first purchase and first read. The premis is so beautifully simple, that a man is nice, and has kindness in his heart, and it is this kindness that brings about disaster to those around him, and that in a world where money, power and sexual conquest are paramount, the only place for a kind person is a sanatorium. In other words, if you are kind, you are mad. I though that very moving, especially after trying to explore the concept of kindness and anger and the demon within in my own writing.

Opening: The Idiot (RussianИдиотIdiot) is a novel written by 19th century Russian author Fyodor Dostoyevsky. It was first published serially in Russkiy Vestnik between 1868 and 1869. The Idiot is ranked beside some of Dostoevsky's other works as one of the most brilliant literary achievements of the Russian "Golden Age" of Literature. It was not published in English until the 20th century.