Chiune Sugihara was a Japanese diplomat who helped several thousand Lithuanian and Polish Jews escape the Holocaust at the height of World War II. Born on the auspicious date of January 1, 1900 in rural Gifu, he graduated university as an English major, learning Russian and German when recruited into the Foreign Ministry. In his twentieth year of service, he became a vice-consul at the Japanese Consulate in Kaunas, mainly to supply intelligence on Soviet and German military movement. When the Soviets took over Lithuania in 1940, most of the numerous Jewish refugees (including many driven out of Poland by the Nazis the previous year) suddenly were desperate for any place to escape to, but Sugihara's instructions were only to permit visas per usual, which qualified only a tiny fraction of wealthier individuals. In spite of his orders, he began issuing visas between July 18 to September 4 to nearly anyone who could afford a ticket on the Trans-Siberian Railway to Japan. As the diplomatic post was closed, he continued to write visas, even throwing the last batch out of a train window into an eager crowd. It's estimated that between six and ten thousand individuals were saved by Sugihara, who wound up serving as a consul in East Europe until held prisoner by the Soviets in Romania in 1944. In 1947, he was downsized, and lived a low-key life until recognized as Righteous among the Nations in 1985, and passed away the next year.
|Even though he saved far more lives than Oskar Schindler, his name is virtually unknown (except to astronomers).|
While the Toba catastrophe theory concerns a supervolcanic eruption in Sumatra approximately 70,000 years ago, the main point of interest to me is the population bottleneck in human evolution. Between one and ten thousand breeding pairs of humans survived the event, and are considered the genetic ancestors of all humans alive today. While not quite as dramatic as Mitochondrial Eve and Y-chromosomal Adam, the reason I bring it up is that it seems to be a correlation with events of the Bible. Say what you will about Christianity (and Noah's Ark), it's a fact that most cultures have some kind of flood myth where human population is narrowed a great deal by a divine flood, often with some kind of scientific evidence to suggest that there were indeed floods in many portions of the world. Is it also a coincidence that many linguists believe in the hypothetical Proto-Human language, a monogenesis reminiscent of the tale of the Tower of Babel?
Law 3037/2002, as the name suggests, was legislation passed in 2002. In Greece, illegal gambling was becoming endemic at the time, and public hysteria was fueled by a video recording electronic gambling machines in use. Unfortunately, lawmakers wrote the law too vague, and it essentially outlawed all electronic games, including public video games and internet cafés. Overnight, any sort of arcade was made illegal, and many businesses couldn't survive until clarification legislation was passed.
Records of Operation Cottage tend to dress it up, but essentially, it was a massive cluster-fuck of an invasion. The final operation of the largely underrated Aleutian Islands Campaign
|And pretty much zero strategic value except the psychological impact of occupied American soil.|