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The Bicholim Conflict (that never took place) or How Gods (i.e. Wikipedia) Fail

"Up until a week ago, here is something you could have learned from Wikipedia:  From 1640 to 1641 the might of colonial Portugal clashed with India's massive Maratha Empire in an undeclared war that would later be known as the Bicholim Conflict. Named after the northern Indian region where most of the fighting took place, the conflict ended with a peace treaty that would later help cement Goa as an independent Indian state Except none of this ever actually happened..." (read more rom the Daily Dot).

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Genealogical note

I found out that I have direct family relation (from my mother's side) to Mikhail Tal, the mythological world chess champion. My mother, two years old than him - had he been still alive - still remembers him and his mother. Sadly, my ability to sit in front of Bobby Fischer is limited to the computer screen, namely I can play chess and sometimes not lose to my son, but that's it. Misha Tal looks totally crazy, funny and fun, unrestrained, wonderfully mad - in summation, really cool.
(I adore the first photo, where he plays chess with his first wife: it looks like a scene taken fro À bout de souffle.The last photo is also great: Misha Tal and Tigran Pertrosian playing ping-pong).

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CIA officially denies that it is trying to erase a letter from the Russian alphabet

I had to read it twice to believe that it's a real - well, sort of real - story...

The Wall Street Journal has a long, charming article on the ups and downs of a Russian letter that is fading from the vernacular. The Cyrillic-alphabet letter, ë, is pronounced “yo.” Apparently, people are starting to drop the dots, even though the resulting e is pronounced “ye” in Russia. The distinction does matter: it’s why Russians know their former leader as Nikita Khrushchov rather than Khrushchev, as he is commonly called by the rest of the world.

The letter’s slow decline is apparently provoking a movement to save it, according to the Journal’s story. That means a “cultlike following that has honored [the letter] with monuments in two provincial towns, written books about its use and computer programs to make sure the dots are never left out.” But the preservation campaign’s leading figure, an 80-year-old former engineer named Viktor Chumakov, believes quite firmly that ë is falling out of usage as a result of secret efforts by the Central Intelligence Agency. (read more in Washington Post, Dec. 17, 2012).