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1. ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY
27th December 1979
The Soviet Union occupies Afghanistan after "Operation Storm-333"
The Democratic Republic of Afghanistan, established in 1978 after a coup d'etat by Afghan communists, was initially led by Nur Muhammad Taraki, who was pro-Soviet Union, so Afghan–Soviet relations were friendly. However Taraki's reforms angered most of the devoutly muslim and conservative population, and by April 1979 the government had lost control of the whole country outside the major cities, and there was disquiet within the Afghan Communist party.
In September 1979, Taraki was deposed by Hafizullah Amin, due to intra-party strife. After this event and the suspicious death of Taraki (an apparent assassination by Amin's followers), Afghan–Soviet relations started to deteriorate; by December the Soviet leadership had established an alliance with Babrak Karmal. The Soviet Union declared its plan to intervene in Afghanistan on 12 December 1979, and the Soviet leadership initiated Operation Storm-333 (the first phase of the intervention) on 27 December 1979.
Soviet forces stormed the Tajbeg Palace in Afghanistan and captured Afghan President Hafizullah Amin. Several other government buildings were seized during the operation, including the Ministry of Interior building, the Internal Security (KHAD) building, and the General Staff building (Darul Aman Palace). An unknown number of Afghan palace guards were killed while 150 were captured. Amin's 11-year-old son died from shrapnel wounds. The Soviets installed Babrak Karmal as Amin's successor.
The military operation had been a complete success, returning a pro-Soviet regime to Afghanistan. The victory however proved to be hollow, as even massive Soviet military intervention failed to suppress and control a deeply hostile population in Afghanistan's mountainous and difficult terrain.
The Soviet Union became embroiled in a fruitless ten year struggle to prop up the deeply unpopular Communist government, losing over 14,000 men. In February 1989 the Soviet Union abandoned Afghanistan.
2. TODAY IN MY LIFE
The milk run
Twitter Followers = 2,056 (up 1)
Non-followed eliminated = 0
Unfollowers eliminated = 1
New Followers followed back = 1
Spammers not followed back = 1
3. TODAY'S SELF-OBSERVATION
Boxing Day was great with a sour end. After a some great Missus time and me time, including a feat of TV footie and comedy after, a final late session with the quadcopter got frustrating when one of the propellers developed a fault I couldn't get to the bottom of before the battery went flat.
Son, who had proposed some quality time involving a game of Chess, never followed through (again!) Both Missus and Son went to their bedrooms, and I discovered a pile of their dirty crockery in the kitchen. For all the joys of the day I suddenly felt very frustrated and lonely. My consciousness, which would in previous years have dissolved into fury, kinda rose above the situation to look down on it from a higher plane, though this did not quell the emotion, only the behaviour of the character.
Despite it now being midnight, I dived into housework, clearing all the shite I'd been left, then decided to cheer myself up on the laptop, finally hitting the sack around 02:15. Nevertheless, my body-clock still woke me at 05:00. I decided to go with it and pay off the sleep debt this afternoon, as that way I can prevent further housework backlogs.
On a plus-note, the mystery of the high-pressure boiler was solved - the water inlet tap was not tightly closed. Shutting it tight last night, the excess water drained out of the exterior pressure-relief valve and the boiler was down to normal pressure this morning.
Reflecting on yesterday, I'm finding that the quadcopter, though something I'd wanted for some time, is a potential source of unhappiness. You can't just start it up and fly it - it's an incredibly difficult thing to master and maintain. Now I'm conscious of this, I will endeavour to ensure it doesn't spoil the rest of the holiday, and I will greatly limit the time I spend on it.
4. TODAY'S QUESTION FOR YOU
Are you aware of things that are distracting you from your goal?
5. TODAY'S WEATHER IN BRADFORD
Dry and cloudy throughout
A light south-westerly will swing south-easterly in the afternoon
Max Temp = 10 degC at midnight
Min Temp = 6 degC at 7am
Sunrise at 08:25
Sunset at 15:51
Weathertrack: The weather front that has been over Britain for 48 hours will remain for today but will weaken considerably then move north overnight as the anticyclone over southern Europe intensifies
Air pressure: 1014 millibars and rising
6. TODAY'S ONELINER
All shoes are buy one get one free :D
7. NOW THAT'S FUNNY!
In 2010, there were more farm animals living in the U.S. than there were humans on earth.
9. ZEN WISDOM
Dialogue starts from the courageous willingness to know and be known by others. It is the painstaking and persistent effort to remove all obstacles that obscure our common humanity.