US Consul General in St Petersberg, Anticipating End of Work in Russia, Publishes Collection of Poems Inspired by Petersberg

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The US Consul General in St Petersberg, Bruce Turner, a career member of the Senior Foreign Service who served in Russia and Afghanistan as Director of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement affairs, has published a collection of poems in anticipation of the end of his work in Russia.

Turner regretfully admitted that it was hard to leave Russia.

The collection of 65 poems, “In Petersburg in Black and White,” is inspired by life in the northern capital during the three years of Turner’s residence. “The Consul General often accompanied blog entries with his own poems, and they entered into the collection,” said representatives of the embassy.

US Consul General in St Petersberg, Anticipating End of Work in Russia, Publishes Collection of Poems Inspired by Petersberg (7)In addition to writing of his experience of Petersberg, the poems also describe Kaliningrad, Sestrorezk, Ladoga lake, and Karelia. There is a poem called “Gagarin” and one called “Aurora.”

On Kaliningrad, in a poem titled “The Croquet Pitch,” Turner writes, “Whether the city of Kaliningrad or what once was Koenigsberg should truly be part of Russia/ or returned to Prussia involves so much more than the addition of a letter for European history…”

The collection begins with “Just Arrived” and ends with “Farewell.”

The arrival is described,

“in a city once renowned for spying,

during the weekend we spent hours
wandering the st. petersburg streets
and ventured deep into the beating

heart of russia’s former imperial
lairs seeking to uncover some of
its secrets in the late october air-

and wherever we walked we were
pleased that no one stopped to turn
or stare or appeared at all to care

in what direction our footsteps were
dropping or what with our gesture
we might be intending, with no one

contending there was anything at all
odd or postured, and we for our parts
never pretending that we were seeing

any places on a dare or were vying

to tease the fabled paranoid bear.”

And at the close, Turner writes, “In leaving this land behind … we will remain most wistful about the Russian language and those whose chatter without any risk mingles in it easily, along with gracious hosts who lingered with us a moment or two and always ensured we felt welcomed, deceived us at times into believing we might one day even become one of them but in any event bequeathing to us memories that have bonded within us to be retained with fondness until all longing is gone, beyond us.”

bruce turnerThe collection was posted as a pdf. on the domain of the US State Department. Turner has no plans to publish the collection as a book at current time.

In addition to Russian, Turner is fluent in German and Grench, and he holds an MA and PHD in German literature.

Turner served in St Petersberg–the site of the original U.S. Mission to Russia, established in 1780–since 2011. Before that, he was stationed in Afghanistan as the head of international drug trafficing, and previously, Turner served as Director of the European and Eurasian Bureau’s Office of Security and Political Affairs in the State Department, where he was responsible for NATO, the OSCE, NATO-Russia relations, and conventional arms control. He also had served in Paris, Moscow, Vienna at the U.S. Mission to the OSCE, Brussels at the U.S. Mission to NATO, and Ankara, Turkey. Turner also has worked in Washington, where he was involved in North Korean, German and Turkish affairs.

By Day Blakely Donaldson

US Consulate General in St Petersberg

“In Petersburg in Black and White”

Possible new law of nature on the way

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The world of physics is excited about strong but early evidence about the behavior of muons, paricles identical to electrons only 200x more massive (heavier), which once born take 2.2 microseconds to decay into an electron, and which spin like tops. In a new, extremely precise measurement, they were made to wobble using magnetic fields but they unexpectedly wobbled quite significantly faster than the Standard Model suggests they would. They might spin so fast due to an unknown force caused by an unknown particle, and this is what is so exciting.

“We found that a muon … is not in agreement with our current best theory of physics at the subatomic level, and … it potentially points to a future with new laws, new particles and new forces in physics which we haven’t seen to date,” said Professor Mark Lancaster at U of Manchester.

“The main goal of the experiment is to make the measurement and compare with the theory, and if they disagree then it’s telling us that there’s something in nature which is not in the theory,” explained James Mott at Fermilab.

The four known forces of nature (gravity, electricity, two nuclear forces: strong and weak interactions) have left scientists without an answer for some observed phenomena, such as the speed at which galaxies spin (faster than the best model suggests). Therefore, they continue to search for glitches in their already-tight models which might point them things they don’t yet know about.

The most recent work was done at Fermilab (Muon g-2 experiment), but a similar experiment was already done earlier at the Large Hadron Collider. These tools accelerate particles in large rings at close to the speed of light.

The evidence needs more tests for greater certainty, particularly to rule out the possibility of a systematic error, and particularly with a new, independent experiment, but physicists will be chasing this line of experiment eagerly.

“This is outstanding confirmation of experimental technique, and very, very suggestive of the possibility of new physics,” noted scientist David Hertzon of U of Washington.

By the editors

#AnomalousMagneticDipoleMomentOfTheMuon #QuantumElectrodynamics

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People in Kachin state demonstrate against China

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YANGON, Myanmar – The people in the Pharkant area of Kachin state demonstrated against China this week, drawing a cross on the Chinese flag and burning a picture of Myanmar’s military leader Min Aung Hlaing.

“China stands with the military leader,” shouted the demonstrators.

By Htay Win
Photo credit Aye Yarwaddy

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Myanmar military council arrests the artist Zarganar

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YANGON, Myanmar – The artist Zarganar was arrested by the Myanmar military council from his home in Tarmwe township, Yangon this morning.

Zarganar is not only a director but also a comedian famous for political jokes since the 1988 democratic revolution.

Zarganar was arrested by the Myanmar military many times before 2010.

By Htay Win
Photo credit Zarganar page

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Kayin IDPs struggle to get for food

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YANGON, Myanmar – Kayin internally displaced people are desperate for food, clothing and shelter, hiding in the forest from the air strikes of the Myanmar military.

The IDPs fled to neighboring Thailand, but Thai government turned them back. However, Wednesday morning the Thai government opened Maeseli jetty in Maehaungsaung district to sending rations and medicines over the border to Kayin state, according to a Thai media.

By Htay Win

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Twenty Myanmar celebrities charged with incitement

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YANGON, Myanmar -They were charged under the country’s media law with inciting government employees to join the popular civil disobedience movement (CDM) through social media.

Celebrities took part in the NLD election campaigns and are thought to have played a large part in influencing the public, particularly Myanmar’s youth, to vote for Aung San Suu Kyi.

By Htay Win
Photo credit Myanmar celebrity

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