Estonia Considers Its Monuments

Estonia’s Justice Minister, Urmas Reinsalu, said early in January that the government could take down the Soviet war memorial at Maarjamäe because it is falling apart and it is not on the official list of historic monuments. This led Prime Minister Jüri Ratas to suggest that the entire area, which includes a German cemetary and a memorial under construction to the victims of Communism, be designated a historic area.

The Soviet Union built many war memorials across its territory, particularly to commemorate World War II, or the Great Patriotic War, as they call it. I find those monuments moving; they are, after all, memorials to people who died in wars and who had families who grieved them. I’ve been to the Maarjamäe memorial a few times.

One of those times I visited with a graduate student who was studying monuments in the former Soviet Union. As we see now in the United States, monuments are a part of a country’s story of itself. The Soviet Union wanted to erase the past.

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Sunday Morning Frost Garden Chat: “Winter Is Here”


Sometimes all you can do is accept the austere beauty of a frozen landscape. From faithful commentor and ace photographer Ozark Hillbilly:

Seeing as I had sent you a “Winter is Coming” post I kinda felt obligated to send you a “Winter is Here” post. Sadly I find I do not have enough snowy pictures that are worth sending. Instead you are getting some from a couple of ice storms.


What’s going on in your (frosted, flourishing, or metaphorical) gardens, this week?

Late Night Open Thread: The Stars Abide

FlightLapse #01 – MilkyWay from SkyProduction on Vimeo.


Many thanks to commentor Raoul.

Bird on a Wire (Open Thread)

As long-time readers know, I enjoy bird watching, although I’m a rank amateur at it. I’ve attempted to share photos I’ve taken of birds here. But since I took the pictures with my iPhone and am a graduate of the Cole U School of Photography (not grifty like Trump U but the coursework is of similar quality), the images have been uniformly crappy.

If you’ve seen a good photo published by me on this site, it was almost certainly taken by someone else, forwarded to me, and published with attribution. The crappy, blurry photos? All mine.

One of you hilariously and accurately described a photo I published of an osprey as looking like something commissioned by Mrs. Osprey to a private detective. It’s funny because it’s true; since I was attempting to sneak up on the birds, they were giving me the stink-eye. Read more

Awesome picture photoshop open thread

Open Thread