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1. ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY
26th December 1991
The end of the Soviet Union
The dissolution of the Soviet Union was a result of the declaration no. 142-Н of the Supreme Soviet of the Soviet Union, acknowledging the independence of the former Soviet republics and creating the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), although five of the signatories ratified it much later or not at all. On the previous day, Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev, the eighth and last leader of the Soviet Union, resigned, declared his office extinct, and handed over its powers – including control of the Soviet nuclear missile launching codes – to Russian President Boris Yeltsin. That evening at 7:32 p.m., the Soviet flag was lowered from the Kremlin for the last time and replaced with the pre-revolutionary Russian flag.
Previously, from August to December, all the individual republics, including Russia itself, had seceded from the union. The week before the union's formal dissolution, 11 republics – all except the Baltic states and Georgia – signed the Alma-Ata Protocol formally establishing the CIS and declaring that the Soviet Union had ceased to exist. The dissolution of the USSR (Russian: Распад СССР) also signaled the end of the Cold War. The Revolutions of 1989 and the end of the Soviet Union led to the end of decades-long hostility between North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) and the Warsaw Pact, the defining feature of the Cold War.
Several of the former Soviet republics have retained close links with the Russian Federation and formed multilateral organizations such as the Eurasian Economic Community, the Union State, the Eurasian Customs Union, and the Eurasian Economic Union to enhance economic and security cooperation. Some have joined NATO and the European Union or aspire to do so, to enhance their military and economic independence from Russia.
2. TODAY IN MY LIFE
The Milk Run
Twitter Followers = 2,055 (up 1)
Non-followed eliminated = 0
Unfollowers eliminated = 0
New Followers followed back = 1
Spammers not followed back = 0
3. TODAY'S SELF-OBSERVATION
Christmas Day was generally great - no fallouts or upsets of any kind, everyone got presents they wanted, there were no stupid presents and so no complaints whatsoever. However, to grow means to nitpick the minor negatives quietly to oneself in order to learn from them.
Christmas dinner was a slight weak point in that I partially burned the Yorkshire puddings (we all ate them anyway) and I got a little impatient with Son whilst serving, and though he rightly protested, he didn't hold a grudge, probably because he did rather well out of us this year.
I got a quadcopter drone to my delight, but found that flying the thing was something of a challenge, especially when cat hairs get caught in the shafts of the propellers, and they're fiddly to unravel. The other challenge was the water pressure in the boiler, which after continually draining to 0 out of the external pressure-relief valve has become stuck at 3 bar (too high) despite the pressure-relief valve still letting out water and extensive radiator bleeding.
The quadcopter got de-haired but is still not hovering straight so there's a challenge sorting that one. I'm beginning to disbelieve the boiler pressure gauge, particularly after all the water I drained from the radiators and the boiler still works fine anyway. I decided to just not tamper any longer and see what happens. It certainly came on fine this morning!
These technical challenges only served to reinforce my belief about happiness, which is that happiness is not the absence of challenges but fulfilment in relationships and purpose. I am also pleased that my mindfulness quickly picked up on and corrected times of impatience, and I quickly returned to kindness and gentleness. Saving my wrath for genuine predators and the self-interested has been a very important learning point. With undesirables now suitably distant, I am freed up to fine-tune, focus and enhance kindness to loved ones, fans and neutrals.
Without a disciplined structure, eating and sleeping has become a little chaotic in the past few days! Letting myself go for Christmas has led to both overeating and sugar-crashes, and I have been waking early (around 04:00) meaning I need 2 hours in the afternoon. Since Missus also likes an afternoon nap (at 4-5 hours) this is not a problem on holiday!
Now I am entering the second half of the holiday, the reintroduction of at least partial discipline is necessary for wellbeing, so I will endeavour not to nibble all day or binge on chocolate, as enjoyable as that was yesterday!
4. TODAY'S QUESTION FOR YOU
Are you completely honest with yourself?
5. TODAY'S WEATHER IN BRADFORD
Heavy rain throughout and a moderate to strong south-westerly wind
Max Temp = 12 degC at noon
Min Temp = 8 degC at midnight
Sunrise at 08:25
Sunset at 15:50
Weathertrack: A strong weather front will remain static over Britain
Air Pressure: 1009 millibars and falling slightly
6. TODAY'S ONELINER
All I want for Christmas is to win an argument :D
7. NOW THAT'S FUNNY!
Two And A Half Men featuring Jenny McCarthy
Cholesterol can be too low as well as too high. Low cholesterol levels have been associated with higher rates of suicide, violence, Alzheimer’s, and accidents. Scientists suggest that cholesterol plays a critical role in neuron signaling and brain structure.
9. ZEN WISDOM
We must each initiate action in the direction we believe to be right. We must refuse the temptation to passively accommodate ourselves to present realities and embark upon the challenge of creating a new reality.