Black seeds

Black seeds are supposed to be good for the respiratory system, in particular nigella sativa, the seeds mentioned (in a hadith?) by the Prophet. These came from the Yemenis’ store, so I’m sure they’re authentic.

Google tells me I can make a tea by pouring boiling water over a tablespoon of the seeds, covering the cup while it steeps, and adding honey. This is the same method I learned in Jordan when one of my students made me a cup of zaatar (fresh thyme leaves, not the dried “zait and zatter” type) for a cold. The taste seemed a bit weak, so this morning I decided to try a seed method I learned in Amman using anise seeds for bronchitis. The herb is boiled in a small espresso pan for several minutes and poured into the glass though a tea strainer. Here it is in an everyday casset shai (tea glass).


Biblical and Koranic mentions from wiki:

When they have leveled the surface,
do they not sow caraway (“fitches?”… “black poppy?”) and scatter cumin?
Do they not plant wheat in its place,
barley in its plot,
and spelt in its field?…

Caraway is not threshed with a sledge,
nor is a cartwheel rolled over cumin;
caraway is beaten out with a rod,
and cumin with a stick.

Isaiah 28:25,27


[Sahih Muslim : Book 26 Kitab As-Salam, Number 5489]
Abu Huraira (Radi Allah Anhu) reported that he heard Allah’s Messenger as saying: Nigella seed is a remedy for every disease except death.

Narrated Khalid bin Sa’d :We went out and Ghalib bin Abjar R.A was accompanying us. He fell ill on the way and when we arrived at Medina he was still sick. Ibn Abi ‘Atiq came to visit him and said to us, “Treat him with black cumin. Take five or seven seeds and crush them (mix the powder with oil) and drop the resulting mixture into both nostrils, for ‘Aisha has narrated to me that she heard the Prophet (sallalhu-alaihewasallam) saying, ‘This black cumin is healing for all diseases except As-Sam.’ ‘Aisha said, ‘What is As-Sam?’ He said, ‘Death.’ ” (Bukhari)


Avicenna, most famous for his volumes called The Canon of Medicine, refers to nigella as the seed that stimulates the body’s energy and helps recovery from fatigue and dispiritedness. It is also included in the list of natural drugs of ‘Tibb-e-Nabavi’, or “Medicine of the Prophet”, according to the tradition “hold onto* the use of the black seeds for in it is healing for all diseases except death” (Sahih Bukhari vol. 7 book 71 # 592).

*hold onto indicates long term use; studies have reported changes in blood chemistry after several weeks

Shrimp and yellow pepper

Shrimp and pepper is pan fried with Sazón Goya con culantro y achiote (coriander & annatto), which gives it the yellow color, and a little olive oil; the rice noodles are soaked in hot water for about ten minutes before being added to the pan and tossed.

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Riparian Hegewisch: Indian Creek confluence

Last week I explored a slag heap I have been walking past for years, and crossed over Indian Creek to get to the top of it. That got me thinking about Indian Creek.

There is some really interesting information about this little creek, and maybe I’ll post some links some other time, but today I just wanted to look at the confluence where it empties into the Calumet River. Indian Creek starts at the outlet of Wolf Lake, where it flows over a small, partly submerged dam.  It winds through an industrial area, then empties into the Calumet River a mile or so away to the west.

Some of Chicago’s rivers have been reversed. The Chicago River is one of them; the technology learned on the project was applied to the building of the Panama Canal. Another reversed river is the Calumet;  Indian Creek empties into it.  Has Indian Creek been reversed? I haven’t found the answer to that yet. A better question might be whether Indian Creek is natural or made by human intervention. Wolf Lake used to empty directly into Lake Michigan to the east; now its outlet is Indian Creek to the west.

Today I start out at the bridge just south of Carondolet Ave and E 126th Street.

The color of the water by the slag heap upstream is an odd whitish green color–you can see the color change even in the satellite view.  View Larger Map Here it’s not so obvious, even though the water looks far from clean. I see several guys fishing, but no one catching anything.  One guy tells me he just saw a muskrat.  I ask if he’s fishing for crappie, which are supposed to run in the spring, but he says this time of year they catch Coho salmon, at least in Wolf Lake.

The creek passes under another bridge at 126th Street, then fans out into a sort of wildlife area.  The large white bins in the background are on the opposite shore of the Calumet River.

This is odd: stakes with chicken wire, apparently marking some sort of channels. I suspect it’s for the salmon.

The mouth of the creek is blocked with stones, except at the far end.  Again, I suspect the salmon have something to do with this.

My curiosity satisfied, I return, and see an almost full moon over the 126th Street bridge.

A nearby truck loading area is guarded by dogs, which eventually remember to bark at me.  I understand why people breed and keep this sort of creature, but I hate to see animals treated like this.

It’s a cold, cold day.  The wind is around 30 mph and out of the north–“blustery” the forecast says.  Not pleasant at all , especially near the water, but at least the sun came out late in the day.

Computer anti-virus

If you bought a Windows computer system with a free year of a Symantec product like Norton anti-virus already installed, sooner or later the year is going to be up. Then what? Run without an anti-virus? Run periodic checks with free products?

I have just spent a tiring three days installing, uninstalling, and tweeking after I tried to watch a broken online video and all of the sudden my computer “sounded different”. I was sure I had picked up some sort of malware, but Spybot Search and Destroy found nothing. AdAware found some privacy objects, but it wasn’t clear if they were removed or not. And the computer kept “sounding funny”, making a racing sound when I wasn’t running anything. Bitdefender, on the first pass, said I had a virus it had not removed, but on the full scan, nothing turned up. I even tried AVG, which merely puts viruses in a “vault” without deleting them, but that found nothing at all.

Finally I discovered Microsoft’s anti-virus products. The first one is a free online scan called Live OneCare safety scanner that found my virus and gave it a name, besides cleaning the registry of some 300 unused items. The second one is Security Essentials, free to anyone with a valid copy of windows, that removed my virus on the full scan.  Once you install it, it continuously scans for viruses.  They both run only under Internet Explorer, but hey, it’s Microsoft’s product, why not.  You only appreciate Firefox all the more when you go back to it.

Speaking of Firefox compatibility issues, if you have the FoxLingo Translation Toolbar and are thinking of upgrading to Firefox 3.6.2, well, I just tried it and FoxLingo 2.6.1 doesn’t work with that version.  I had to downgrade Firefox back to 3.6 to get the FoxLingo and toolbars back.

The Prinicipality of Palestine.

Yesterday I updated my google Reader by adding a subscription to the blog Atlas Obscura, “a collaborative project with the goal of cataloging all of the singular, eccentric, bizarre, fantastical, and strange out-of-the-way places that get left out of traditional travel guidebooks and are ignored by the average tourist. If you’re looking for miniature cities, glass flowers, books bound in human skin, gigantic flaming holes in the ground, phallological museums, bone churches, balancing pagodas, or homes built entirely out of paper, the Atlas Obscura is where you’ll find them.”

Already the few keyclicks it took to subscribe to the blog has paid off with information about the Principality of Sealand, a tower called a Maunsell sea fort built by England during WWII in international waters:

In 1967 Major Paddy Roy Bates occupied the island and declared it a sovereign principality, appropriately named “Sealand.” For the past four decades Bates and his family, with rotating visitors, have occupied the island, named themselves Royalty, and gone about their business much like heads of state.

In 1978 a German citizen claiming to be the “Prime Minister of Sealand” attempted to take over the island while Bates was away. Bates retook the island by helicopter attack and held the German captive. First Germany attempted to negotiate with Britain, who said Sealand wasn’t their country. The Germans then negotiated directly with Bates, and after a few weeks their countryman was returned. This encounter bolsters Bates’ claim that Sealand is a nation, as Germany recognized them in negotiation.

Since this time Sealand has fired at the British Navy, issued passports, minted coins, and participated in international sporting events….


Now, if Mr. Bates can declare himself a nation, and get away with it, “WHY CAN’T PALESTINE DECLARE ITSELF A NATION? This is just so obvious to me; whatever is taking them so long?

But wait, there is another revelation in store.  The Principality of Sealand is not alone; in fact, there is a name for this phenomenon–“micro-nations”–and Atlas Obscura has a whole separate tag for micro-nations.  So far, they have written about no fewer than eleven micro-nations. Count ’em, eleven. And get this,  one of them is INSIDE THE CITY OF JERUSALEM!!!1!

Are you listening, Palestinians? Are you listening, Dr. Fayad  (author of “The Salam Fayad Document: A Palestinian Initiative to Bear Responsibility”)?

Forget  “settlements”.  So what, settlements. They’re the only places it ‘s safe enough to put a bank ATM machine.  They’re the only places it’s safe enough for Arab women to walk without being harassed by Arab men. Leave them alone.  There must be plenty of “empty” land still left that can be reclaimed; there’s even a precedent for that move.  I hear the West Bank is absolutely sitting on an underground lake.

Build your own Palestinian nano-nations, but forget all that dreary intifada stuff.  Make a sweet little Arab country without  shebabs–you know the guys I’m talking about, the ones who don’t want to keep their hands to themselves. You know who they are.  Send those jerks to Gaza to live out their lives with kefeeyas wrapped around everything but their eyes.

Then build a principality with the best felafel, the best mahmoul, and that bear-claw-shaped, date-filled Palestinian bread that’s to die for.  Plant a few palm trees to sit and eat them under.  Don’t forget a mosque where the women can worship on the same floor side-by-side with men, and don’t have to hide in the mosque basement for fear the men will stare at their butts while they’re praying.  And then issue passports–and visas–for it.

The Micro-Nation of Palestine.

Build it and they will come.


Alexander Arguelles is a polymath who says it’s more effective to teach yourself a language than to take a class. He has an interesting page on his blog called “Guide to autodidatic foreign language study” where he demonstrates his method of practicing speaking a foreign language while walking briskly.

Comparing language learning to learning a musical instrument or a  sport, he says the first thing is to learn proper posture. Then, he says a brisk walk is needed to focus the attention on the material, a slow walk will have you soon distracted.

His method of language learning uses twenty minute segments; anything longer and focus will be lost.  He alternates writing with speaking, and changes languages frequently to keep from becoming fatigued.  The video also shows his system of recording his practice in a notebook in order to track his progress. Ironically, the video is 56 minutes.

The method is called “shadowing”, and involves reading out loud along with a recording of a native speaker, a the same time or slightly behind the speaker. He also works on several chapters at a time, reviewing the older chapters while pushing ahead with exposure to newer material. I tried this with my class; they say they like it.

Hyde Lake Plateau

Last week I took a walk to an area I always thought was a gravel pit.  It turned out to be a flattened mound–some sort of slag pile. After puzzling over the satellite image, and comparing it with old maps, I have concluded that this is none other than the lost Hyde Lake.

I love these old maps (they’re all clickable).  The first one is by the Army Corps of Engineers, 1811.

From left to right:  Lake Calumet, Hyde Lake, Wolf Lake, George Lake, all flowing more or less north, into Lake Michigan or into the Calumet river, which at that time flowed north into Lake Michigan.

A regional street map from 1902, showing Hyde Lake still in place.  Little Hegewisch has already been laid out, and its railroad tracks split as they go north on either side of Hyde Lake.

But by 1911, the steel industry has been well established in the Calumet area and Hyde Lake is no longer on the Waterways or Railroad Transportation maps.

From a satellite, you can see where the railroad track splits, but Hyde Lake is nothing but a gray mound.

Close up, you can see the railroad tracks bifurcating on the south, Wolf Lake to the east, the Ford plant on the north, and on the west, another railroad track squeezes between the marsh and the gray mound. In the middle of the gray mound, you can see high “sandstone ridges” described in early surveys.

Here’s what it looks like from the ground. First, entering the area across a marsh from the south, then climbing across the railroad tracks, then climbing up the low hill to the top of the plateau.

From the top of the plateau, to the north can be seen the Ford plant and the sandstone ridges mentioned in early surveys, and to the south, the neighborhood of Hegewisch.

Indian Creek flows into the surrounding wetland from Wolf Lake to the east, and here there are many signs of deer and birds. I cross the creek and walk along the north side of the plateau area on sidewalk across from the assembly plant. Finding a path back south, I ford the creek by way of some rocks, and find myself back on top of the plateau.

Finally I get up close to the peak in the middle of the slag dump, the “sandstone ridges” mentioned in old surveys. You can certainly see they were formed in an ancient sea bed.

I am reminded that this area was at once at the bottom of ancient Lake Michigan, covered by 60 feet of water.


UPDATE: A former resident of Hegewisch has confirmed for me that Hyde Lake was filled in by slag from steel production from National Steel.  That hill? –we put that there, he says.

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Pave Muromtsev Dacha, put up a parking lot

Don’t it always seem to go
That you don’t know what you got till it’s gone
They paved paradise and put up a parkin’ lot
–Joni Mitchell, Big Yellow Taxi

The following is a transcript, via Google Translate, of the March 16th  Russian language interview with Nikolai Boldyrev about the destruction of the historic Muromtsev Dacha in Moscow, apparently with the full knowledge and cooperation of the Moscow authorities working with “developers” who want to turn the area into a parking lot. A parking lot.  Seriously.

Wouldn’t the building itself have some value as a tourist draw? Studiolum says the dacha was “the last building of a suburban – podmoskovnoe – dacha settlement established back in the 19th century on a radiating ground plan conceived in the spirit of Ruskinian “communal settlements”. ”

For more about the destruction and the historical significance of this building, see Studiolum’s The House that did not exist, The house that does not exist anymore, and Landscape after battle . Also the museum on Wikipedia, an interesting discussion thread at Languagehat’s “The Muromtsev Dacha”, and a video of the destruction.

In 2001, when the Taliban blew up the 1700 year old Bamiyan Buddhas, the world was appalled.  The cliff statues weren’t just the cultural heritage of Afghanistan, they belonged to the world and to future generations.

Now the Moscow government is destroying the cultural heritage of the Russian people, but this time it isn’t about religion, it’s about money. As a non-Russian speaker, it’s hard for me to evaluate the value of the journals, books, sketches, and papers of Russian literary figures destroyed at the Muromtsev Dacha museum,  but it’s inconceivable to me that a city the size and importance of Moscow would not have a plan to safeguard its literary heritage (not to mention the occupants of the museum!) and that it would be unwilling and unable to work with existing citizens’ groups who are willing to lend free expertise and advice, or that there would not be wealthy patrons willing to lend their support.

But it’s worse than that.  The destruction of Muromtsev Dacha is not isolated. According to the St. Petersburg Times, it’s only one of a series of Moscow arsons committed against historically protected buildings that are in prime real estate areas: last month a listed building on Potapovsky Pereulok close to Chistiye Prudy, the month before that, Dom Bykova, one of Moscow’s finest examples of Art Nouveau, near Mayakovskaya metro station. Other notable Moscow fires include the Central Manezh Exhibition Hall near Red Square and the private residence of neoclassical architect Matvei Kazakov.

Image credits: Cats at dacha window by doroti danini.  Dacha site satellite image superimposed with numbered plots from Архнадзор.

*translation notes sent by a reader


From OBSCHEROSSIYSKAYA DAILY NEWSPAPER (JOURNALS “NO”). (Russian follows.)  [*The title of the newspaper is not ЕЖЕДНЕВНАЯ ОБЩЕРОССИЙСКАЯ ГАЗЕТА / OBSCHEROSSIYSKAYA DAILY NEWSPAPER – which only means “Russian daily newspaper” – but NOVAYA IZVESTIYA.]

(A second, earlier  piece follows this one, but even more difficult to read, about the women injured and hospitalized during the destruction of the museum.)

March 16, 2010
“Against us committed criminal offenses”
“NO” talked with his father Anfisa Boldyrev, [*the father of Anfisa Boldyrev, who was] beaten by police during the demolition of the house-museum in Tsaritsyno
ALESYA Lonskaya

March 7 this year on the orders of the prefecture of the Southern Administrative District (SAD) was demolished house-museum on the site of the former summer residences of the first chairman of the State Duma Sergei Muromtseva in Tsaritsyno. Until recently, this house was inhabited by six families. Residents staged a folk museum where the writer Benedict Erofeev, held a cultural evening and tried to formalize the barracks in the property. But the authorities before the court acknowledged that the facility is occupied illegally. Two months before the demolition, January 3, house-museum set on fire. Nearly a dozen people yesterday applied to the Investigation Department of UPC Moscow. One of the residents of the house-museum Nikolai Boldyrev, whose dwelling together with all the equipment was destroyed and whose daughter was beaten during the demolition of the police, gave an interview to “NO”.

– Have you started on the tribunal claim for recognition of ownership of the house. But the house is no longer …

I think that it will be closed, because the object of the dispute is lost (at the time of signing of this issue the court’s decision was not yet known. – “NO”). In place of the house is now plain, littered with old bricks and cladding tile stoves end of XIX century. And I’m talking to you, standing in line at the prosecutor’s office.

– Why did you come to the prosecutor?

– We are sitting here man 25 witnesses. Each writes from a statement of misconduct by law enforcement officers and the prefecture of the Southern District. With the demolition of homes, we have not shown any document, they said that this operation is the removal of rubble, but the paper on the removal of “garbage” is not shown. Apparently, this document does not at all, they are all referred to the oral order. Ask: “Whose?” Answer: “It does not matter.” Against us is committed criminal offenses – such as the intentional destruction of property, personal injury (beaten by police Boldyreva Anfisa daughter is in hospital. – “NO”). After the fire two months we have saved the museum exhibits, and from their apartments did not have time to pull out because they were confident that we can hold up to heat.

– Who destroyed your property?

– At seven in the morning broke off the house and gave it to the plundering of the so-called employees of public utilities: are migrants who speak little in Russian.  I’ve talked with one and found out that they had it was subbotnik**, and they do not pay for it, they were told: all that you find in the house – will be yours. They drove the “Gazelle”, loaded our belongings there, and we kept police cordon and were not allowed there.  This is a horror when you see 50 people in orange jackets who scavenge in your pictures, in photos of your children, your great-grandfather …

[subbotnik**: Studiolum says “Ah, субботник, sweet subbotnik! This word evokes the memory of those glorious times, when работа, work was still дело чести и долга, matter of honor and duty, and brigades organized themselves to keep working unpaid on суббота, the weekend (lit. Saturday).
…that is, Sabbath. In Hungarian it unfortunately did not have such a perfectly sounding name: it was rather called “Communist shift”.]

– What are the valuables were buried under the rubble?

– I had a unique library with books of the XIX century. The collection of his high-school textbooks beginning of XX century … a few pictures, decorations to his grandfather – he had many awards, he went to Berlin. The collection was a samovar. Ancient icons.

– And what was saved?

– We pulled out the manuscript Erofeev, books Muromtseva. As luck, two months after the fire was cold. And there were snowfalls. Some of the rescued things we just had nowhere to put, we have adapted a shed under defrost. Basically trying to save a unique book. For example, a set of laws Russia Empire.

– The representative of the prefecture of SAD at the end of last week described you as the illegal invaders 600 “delicious” square meters in Tsaritsyno, although you supposedly have two apartments.

– Two flats we have not. All our great semeika spelled out in Zelenograd in the apartment area of 40 square meters. And for us there nine people. We just saved and joined the museum, which have created. A claim of ownership was fed by six families who lived in this house. Our family is doing the same 40 meters.

– Where are the six families who filed lawsuits?

– In the three families have housing, they live at his residence. But even three families have nowhere to live, they wander on to friends and acquaintances. We will seek justice, and it is not in material values. We live without things, and it’s all nonsense.  The main thing – a lost cultural environment … I have five children, now would be the sixth. I have no right to despair.

– In Moscow lost with this house?

– Our house was open to all.  Moscow lost in the first few thousand loyal citizens who came to this house, there were sewing costumes for the dance, staged literary and musical evenings.  That youth, and older people who have been spit on politics. They were engaged in creative work on a piece of land. Now these people became the opposition government.

– Why do you call a living museum exhibit?

– Do you imagine: a piece of paper hanging on the wall at this leaf Yerofeyev were written some lines. And where they come from? When he fell ill with cancer, after surgery, he lost his voice. He came to visit us, we talked, and he wrote us in response to handle. Or hanging on the wall of binoculars. And I can tell you that Yerofeeva the apartment was visible two wine shop, and he looked, what they give to each shop (laughs). Binoculars Yerofeyev used to determine the range of wine and vodka products in the period of alcohol crisis.


16 Марта 2010 г. «Против нас совершили уголовные преступления»«НИ» поговорили с отцом Анфисы Болдыревой, избитой милицией при сносе дома-музея в Царицыно

До недавнего времени этот дом населяли шесть семей. Жильцы устроили там народный музей писателя Венедикта Ерофеева, проводили культурные вечера и пытались оформить барак в собственность. Но власти еще до решения суда признали, что объект занят незаконно. За два месяца до сноса, 3 января, дом-музей подожгли. Почти полтора десятка человек вчера подали заявления в следственное управление СКП по Москве. Один из жителей дома-музея Николай БОЛДЫРЕВ, чье жилище вместе со всем имуществом было уничтожено и чью дочь во время сноса избили милиционеры, дал интервью «НИ».

– У вас начался суд по иску о признании права собственности на часть дома. Но дома уже нет…

– Да, суд состоится. – Yes, the court held. Я думаю, что он будет закрыт, потому что объект спора утерян (на момент подписания этого номера решение суда еще не было известно. – «НИ»). На месте дома теперь равнина, где валяются старинные кирпичи и облицовка изразцовых печей конца XIX века. А я сейчас разговариваю с вами, стоя в очереди в прокуратуру.

– Зачем вы пришли в прокуратуру?

– Нас тут человек 25 сидят свидетелей. Каждый пишет от себя заявление о неправомерных действиях сотрудников правоохранительных органов и префектуры Южного округа. При сносе дома нам не показали ни одного документа, они говорили, что это операция по вывозу строительного мусора, но бумаги о вывозе «мусора» не показали. Судя по всему, этого документа нет вообще, они все ссылались на устное распоряжение. Спрашиваем: «Чье?» Отвечают: «Не важно». Против нас совершили уголовные преступления – в частности, умышленное уничтожение имущества, причинение вреда здоровью (избитая милиционерами дочь Болдырева Анфиса находится в больнице. – «НИ»). После пожара мы два месяца спасали музейные экспонаты, а из своих квартир ничего не успели вытащить, потому что были уверены, что дотянем до тепла.

– Кто уничтожил ваше имущество?

– В семь утра в выходной разломали дом и отдали его на разграбление так называемым сотрудникам коммунальных служб: это мигранты, плохо говорящие по-русски. Я там с одним поговорил и выяснил, что у них это был субботник, и им за это не заплатили, им сказали: все, что вы найдете в доме, – будет вашим. Они подгоняли «Газели», грузили туда наше имущество, а нас держало милицейское оцепление и не пускало туда. Это какой-то ужас, когда ты видишь 50 человек в оранжевых куртках, которые роются в твоих фотографиях, в фотографиях твоих детей, твоего прадеда…

– Какие ценные вещи были погребены под обломками?

– У меня была уникальная библиотека с книгами XIX века. Коллекция гимназических учебников начала XX века… Несколько картин, боевые награды деда – у него много наград, он дошел до Берлина. Коллекция самоваров была. Старинные иконы.

– А что удалось спасти?

– Мы вытащили рукописи Ерофеева, книжки Муромцева. Как назло, два месяца после пожара было холодно. И были снегопады. Часть спасенных вещей нам просто некуда было класть, мы одну бытовку приспособили под разморозку. В основном пытались спасать уникальные книжки. Например, свод законов Российской империи.

– Представительница префектуры ЮАО в конце минувшей недели охарактеризовала вас как незаконных захватчиков 600 «лакомых» квадратных метров в Царицыно, хотя у вас якобы есть две квартиры.

– Двух квартир у нас нет. Вся наша семейка огромная прописана в Зеленограде в квартире площадью 40 квадратных метров. Мы просто сохраняли и пополняли музей, который создали сами. И нас там девять человек. А иск на право собственности подавался от шести семей, которые жили в этом доме. Наша семья там занимала те же 40 метров.

– Где сейчас шесть семей, которые подавали иски?

– У троих семей есть жилье, они живут по месту прописки. Но еще трем семьям негде жить, они скитаются по друзьям и знакомым. Мы будем добиваться справедливости, и дело не в материальных ценностях. Мы живем без вещей, и это все ерунда. Главное – потерянная культурная среда… У меня пятеро детей, сейчас шестой будет. Я не имею права отчаиваться.

– Что потеряла Москва вместе с этим домом?

– Наш дом был открыт для всех. Москва потеряла в первую очередь несколько тысяч лояльных граждан, которые приходили в этот дом, шили там костюмы для танцев, устраивали литературные и музыкальные вечера. Это и молодежь, и пожилые люди, которым было плевать на политику.  Они занимались созидательным трудом на кусочке земли. Теперь эти люди стали оппозицией власти.

– Почему вас называют живым музейным экспонатом?

– А вы представьте: висит листок бумаги на стене, на этом листике Ерофеевым были написаны какие-то строчки. А откуда они взялись? Когда он заболел раком, после операции он потерял голос.  Он приходил к нам в гости, мы говорили, а он в ответ писал нам ручкой.  Или висит на стене бинокль. И я могу рассказать, что у Ерофеева из квартиры было видно два винных магазина, и он смотрел, что дают в каждом магазине (смеется). Бинокль использовался Ерофеевым для определения ассортимента вино-водочных товаров в период алкогольного кризиса.


The following is an earlier article from the OBSCHEROSSIYSKAYA DAILY NEWSPAPER  ( “NO”)[*The title of the newspaper is not ЕЖЕДНЕВНАЯ ОБЩЕРОССИЙСКАЯ ГАЗЕТА / OBSCHEROSSIYSKAYA DAILY NEWSPAPER – which only means “Russian daily newspaper” – but NOVAYA IZVESTIYA.], also via Google Translate, that frankly doesn’t scan at all in English.  The only thing I can make out is that two women were thrown from the second floor to the first floor of the dacha and that they were both hospitalized with concussions. Pasting the translations results in the original language mouseovers being incorporated into the text; I haven’t take the time to separate them as it’s equally  hard to read either way.

two women were thrown”..this is the classic case of passive voice used in exactly the place where you want to be able to say WHO threw the women.  But who were they? I can’t read what’s on their jackets.


12 Марта 2010 г. March 12, 2010

«У них был шок» “They had a shock”

Девушек, жестоко избитых милицией при сносе «дачи Муромцева», «НИ» нашли в больнице The girls were brutally beaten by police during the demolition of “giving Muromtseva”, “NOR” found in hospital

Алеся ЛОНСКАЯ, Нуне ЕГЯН, Василий ВАСЮКОВ Ales Lonskaya, Nune EGYAN, Vasily Vasyukov

Former summer residence of the first chairman of the State Duma Sergei Muromtseva demolished, showed no relevant documents. Много лет в этом здании живет семья Болдыревых, которая в скором времени собиралась отстаивать в суде свое право собственности на часть дома. Many years in this house lives a family Boldyrev, which soon was going to defend in court its right to ownership of the house. Однако дачу уничтожили, несмотря на то, что суд пока даже не состоялся. However, the cottage was destroyed, despite the fact that the court has not even taken place. Историческое строение защищали более 50 активистов. The historic building protected more than 50 activists.

Анфису Болдыреву и Лилю Бурганову милиционеры избили, когда ворвались в дом. Anfisa Boldyrev and Lily Burganova police beat, when broke into the house. Из милицейского автобуса вышли больше 10 человек в касках. From a police bus went more than 10 people in helmets. Девушки находились на втором этаже, где после пожара отсутствует лестница, и милиционеры просто сбросили их вниз, на первый этаж, а потом поволокли на улицу, выворачивая руки, и швырнули на землю. The girls were on the second floor, where, after a fire there is no ladder, and the policemen just threw them down on the first floor, then dragged into the street, twisting his hands and threw him to the ground. «Пострадали и другие люди, просто некогда им ходить по врачам. “Injured and other people simply have no time for them to go to doctors. Может быть, кто-то еще потом сообщит о побоях, – рассказывает «НИ» Александра Черняк, бывшая жительница дачи Муромцева. Maybe someone else then tell of beatings, – says “NO” Alexander Cherniak, a former resident of Cottage Muromtseva. – Всех парней увезли в милицию, где им потом сказали, что «это вы к нам в гости пришли, а мы вас не забирали». – All the guys were taken to the police station, where they were then told that “it is you to come visit us, and we have not taken away.” Девушкам мы вызвали «скорую». The girls we called an ambulance. У них был шок, и они просто не чувствовали боли». They had a shock, and they just do not feel pain. “

Обе девушки находятся в Боткинской больнице. Both girls are in the Botkin Hospital. У Лилии Бургановой сотрясение мозга, а вывихнутая рука – синего цвета от кисти до локтя. We Lilies Burganova concussion, a dislocated arm – blue from wrist to elbow. Бедро тоже все в гематомах. The thigh also all hematomas. Анфиса Болдырева тоже лежит с сотрясением, помимо этого у нее ушибы ребер и грудной клетки. Anfisa too Boldyreva lies with concussion, in addition, she has bruises ribs and chest.

«Во время сноса дома оперуполномоченный Лазарев угрожал нам, толкал людей, моего отца скинул с «КамАЗа». “During the demolition of the house detective Lazarev threatened us, pushing people, my father took off with” KAMAZ “. Он называл нас рейдерами и клоунами, требовал вынести из бани все вещи, иначе, говорил, «я сейчас психану и прикажу сломать», хотя баня вообще не относится к дому. He called us raiders and clowns, demanded from the bath to make all things differently, saying, “I now psihanu and order break down, although the bath does not apply to the house. Но ее тоже сломали. But it also broke. Теперь мы должны были писать показания на имя его начальника Антипова. Now we had to write statements in the name of his chief Antipova. Мы постоянно чувствовали давление на нас со стороны Антипова, лично от него слышали угрозы», – рассказывает «НИ» Анфиса Болдырева. We always felt the pressure on us from Antipov, personally heard from him a threat “, – says” NO “Anfisa Boldyrev.

«По-хамски во время сноса никто себя не вел, милиционеры старались отгородить людей, чтобы они не пострадали, – объяснил нам действия правоохранителей начальник пресс-службы УВД Южного округа Москвы Валерий Бузовкин. “In boorishly during the demolition of one himself did not conduct, the police tried to isolate people so that they have not suffered, – explained to us of the law enforcement chief of the press service of the ATC for the Southern District of Moscow Valery Buzovkin. – Две дамы обратились через день, что они якобы пострадали от действий милиционеров. – Two ladies called one day that they allegedly suffered from the actions of policemen. По этому поводу сотрудниками инспекции по личному составу ГУВД Москвы проводится служебная проверка, результаты которой будут переданы в прокуратуру». In this regard, the inspection staff for personnel of the Moscow police official investigation is conducted, the results of which will be referred to prosecutors. Г-н Бузовкин не согласен с версией о том, что милиционеры не представлялись и не показывали удостоверений: «А кому их было показывать? Mr. BUZOVKIN not agree with the version that the police did not present and did not show identity: “And who was their show? Я был там и не видел, чтобы кто-то просил». I was there and saw that someone asked. “


And now, for something completely different. A nightcrawler on a flat rock.

Other blogs feature crocuses in bloom and cute designer snails.  This earthworm is the best I can do–our shoots are barely poking out of the ground. I have dared to name the worm a nightcrawler since it seems so fat for this time of year, but maybe I’m overly excited just because I haven’t seen anything other than a mouse all winter.

You can see the thing run through its paces. It elongates its nose, it looks up to the right, it rests with its nose slightly off the rock. It may look humble, but this is the creature that turns ordinary dirt into well aerated and fertilized garden soil.

As a bonus photo, here is removal of a tree stump. Anyone looking for something green can see the daylilies I transplanted last fall just starting poke out of the ground beside the fence.

Finally, as I carry away 30 or 40 buckets of small stones from the back flower garden, a pale yellow moon, the kind you see on top of mosques,  sets over a pale yellow house.

Posted in Illinois. Comments Off on Nightcrawler


Last week I decided to explore an area I have never been before, a gravel pit behind a stand of cattails next to the railroad tracks. It turned out not to be a gravel pit at all, but a slag heap, probably from the days when steel was a booming local industry. Photos from the era show a steel mill with a sign in nine languages, mostly eastern European. These days only a few of the Polish are left in the neighborhood, and this huge pile of gravel the local kids use to zoom around on various motorized vehicles.

To make my excursions more interesting I like to go out with different objectives in mind. A few months ago, inspired by the moss arrangement I saw on a blog, and some links to scholar’s stones, I was looking for both moss and a scholar’s stone. I didn’t find them at the time, but on this walk I found both.

The top of the slag dump had a huge moss farm emerging from the melting snow.

I took a few pieces for my windowsill.

The first stone called to me from the path: a large lightweight black thing that looked like a miniature shiny mountain. It’s probably anthracite or some type of coal used for burning, or maybe steel production. The second stone came several hours later, on top of the slag heap: an unusually heavy stone with various colors of rust. Probably iron ore. A few feet away I completed the collection with a heavy porous stone that is probably slag, the product left over when the ore has been heated with coal and the iron extracted.