"Russian foreign policy never changes, regardless of the regime. Discuss."
I don't remember everything I wrote, but I do remember generally agreeing with the statement. Two aspects of 'permanent' Russian foreign policy (from the Tsars to Gorbachev and now relevant in the Putin era) I do remember were these:
- Russia is terrified (for very valid historical reasons) of invasion from the west, and always wants buffer countries between it and potential aggressors.
- Russia always wants a port that doesn't freeze in winter and still offers access to the Atlantic.
So why are people surprised at the current turn of events?
* The module in question would either have been 'International Politics in the Era of Two World Wars' or 'International Politics Since 1945'.
12 games you've never played (and should have done) (Actually, I’ve played Beyond Good & Evil – didn’t like it – and Ico – loved it, and have pictures of it hanging in my living room.)
There's feeble badly written fan vids, there's impressive machinima and then there's Death Knight Love Story. It's got Joanna Lumley, Jack Davenport and Anna Chancellor in it! AND BRIAN BLESSED! (Created by cairmen.)
The best photograph of a dead sperm whale on the back of a lorry you'll see this week. (Seriously, the only use for a dead sperm whale they can think of is landfill? Ask the Icelanders, they’ll have some ideas.)
Some terrible ad slogans. (Actually, some of these seem quite good. I’ve gone native…)
2. Car passed MOT (well, it needed a headlight bulb). I'd expected that at least £2,000 of work would be needed. The dealer had some very rare and interesting 911s in including three GT3 RS models (a very fast, very hardcore 911). One of these, in white, with red trim and red wheels had the number plate FA51 LAP, which amused me. They also had an utterly gorgeous blue ducktail 1970s 911 that was almost mint. The service manageress reckoned it was worth £180k.
3. Had a very successful wander around secondhand bookshops in Exeter while waiting for the MOT results. Two Robin Hobbses (although one turned out to be a book I already had but didn't realise, the other was the third in a trilogy where I've read the first and have the second sitting on the to-read shelf), one Tad Williams (the first of his famous trilogy, whose name escapes me, but which I've heard good things about), one Michael Moorcock omnibus (about the only Eternal Champion series I don't have - the second Corum trilogy), David Brin's entry into the trilogy of other-famous-authors-do-Asimov's-Foundat
4. My Dad has ordered fibre-optic superfast broadband from BT based on my advice and has got his current provider (the astonishingly shite TalkTalk) to fix his current 1mbps copper connection for the remaining two weeks until his fibre is switched on. They'll go from 1mbps to "Up to 34mbps". I have arranged to provide some IT education so that they will be able to make the most of their new superfast broadband. This may have to start at a very basic level. I don't know why, but neither of my parents seems to pick up IT skills without actual teaching. They've had a computer of one sort or another in their house since 1982 and a Windows PC since the 1990s, so you'd think they'd at least know of the existence of copy-and-paste...