Saturday, April 28, 2007

The joke of the day.

“It is clear to everyone that the illegitimate way of coming to power costs countries and peoples very dearly,” said Kocharian.

I am sure that he knows that he is the number one illegitimate thing in Armenia.

Getting cats out of the trees.

The local news in the civilized countries carry reports about cat rescues. The cats usually climb on trees and do not come down until the rescue services arrive. Then the cats freak out and jump down. Although i love cats, I have seen the critters jump down from four story buildings without a scratch. My solution for cats stuck in trees would be to hose them down with some water.

The following news item from Cyprus describes a similar scene which was a little more complicated.

Power cut for trapped cat

AN ENTIRE block in Larnaca was plunged into darkness yesterday after the EAC cut off power to save a cat from a palm tree.

The cat had been trapped up the 15m-high tree for five days. It had refused to cooperate with the local authorities, resulting in the fire services being called out.

As the palm tree was so close to an EAC pylon, the authority had to cut off power so the fire brigade’s ladder could be lifted towards the trapped feline.

The EAC had to inform surrounding shops and clinics of the imminent power cut.

Finally, in a combined effort between the EAC, police, fire services and Larnaca municipality which took almost an hour, the cat panicked as the firemen reached out to it, plunging to the ground and disappearing in an unknown direction.

Copyright © Cyprus Mail 2007

Thursday, April 26, 2007

New juicy details about the Baghdasarian and Hyde conversation.

For the last few days the Armenian media is abuzz with the details of the secret taping of the conversation between OEK chairman and the deputy ambassador of the UK. The deputy ambassador advises Baghdasarian to sing on the ALM TV to gain popularity and then he clarifies that he joked the same way with Dodi Gago. But since Dodi Gago is somewhat of a dod, he didn't get the humor, the deputy ambassador says that he thought he was finished. Then he expresses his fears that when Dodi Gago becomes the president, he will definitely be kicked out of Armenia.

So much for the juicy details. What bothers me are the murky circumstances that the tape was made and then given to the government mouthpiece Golos Armenii newspaper. As far as I know, it is illegal in Armenia to tape someone's conversation without a court order or an explicit agreement by the conversing parties. It is illegal to publish such conversations as well if they are taped illegally. So I would think that the UK government and Arthur Baghdasarian have solid grounds to sue Golos Armenii. They will also have a legal ground to pursue the entity that taped this conversation.

Another implication of this is that no one is safe from snooping eyes and ears in that country. It's generally a given that if you are on a phone with someone in Armenia (and anywhere else for that matter) you better be careful what you say. It may not be quite as bad as during the Soviet times but at least then there was the incompetence of the KGB operatives. i remember once a lady asked my mom to 'wait a second' so that she could start the tape recorder
. Quite funny, actually. But nowadays the communications are digital so there are no tape recorders that need to be turned on manually.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Yericyan promo in Tsitsernakaberd.

One of the basic requirements of advertising is to place your ad in front of as many eyeballs as possible. Another basic requirement is to make the ad memorable.

Every April 24 thousands of people visit Tsitsernakaberd in Yerevan to honor the memory of the victims of 1915 genocide by the Turks. That is a lot of eyeballs. So the Yericyan stores in Yerevan has come up with a unique way to promote itself. They have brought a flower arrangement bearing their logo to the memorial.

This is a new low for the Armenian business. This is one of the occasions where everybody should refrain from blatant self promotion. To do things like this is to dishonor the memory of our ancestors who suffered a cruel death.

Next time I am in Armenia, I will not set foot in a Yericyan store. I call on everybody who reads this blog to boycott Yericyan stores as well. Tell everyone you know to avoid this place.

Phot cpurtesy of

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Monday, April 23, 2007

Another example of Turkish intolerance.

The New York Times reports that three Christians have been found with their throats cut in the Turkish town of Malatya. The three workied in a publishing company that printed Bibles. The publishers had in the past had prolems with the nationalists again.

What is beyond me is why do Cristians live in that country. It has been repeatedly made clear that the Christians are not tolerated there.

Boris Yeltsin has passed away.

newt1_obit_yeltsin from, originally uploaded by nazarian.

The CNN reports that former Russian president Boris Yeltsin has passed away at age 76. They cite the preliminary cause as heart failure.

I am actually surprised that he made it this far.

We lost a great figure in modern political history.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Is there a hope for a HHSh and HHD reconciliation?

There is a bitter history of mutual mistrust between HHSh (Pan-Armenian Movement) and HHD (Armenian Revolutionary Federation) parties. There was a time in the early 90-s when the President threw out the chairman of HHD from Armenia for destabilizing the country. Then some HHD members took to killing police officers, and organized the Dro group to assasinate a few ministers. Then the government closed the party, a number of affiliated newspapers and threw the Dro members in jail.

A decade has passed since these days and I can sense a thawing of relation between these parties. A week or so ago the chairman of HHSh, Andranik Zurabian, hoped that HHD would be represented in the parliament and he urged the voter, if they don't elect HHSh, to vote for HHD. This week, a prominent HHD member, Alvard Petrossian, said she supports the campaign of another HHSh member, Aram Manukian.

I don't know how sincere this is. The fact is that there are very few parties with solid ideologies in Armenia, and the most prominent are HHSh with its libertarian views and HHD with its socialist views.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

We link our lives with Russia: Gagik Tsarukian's interview with

Gagik Tsarukian's interview with is all the rage in the Russian language Armenian blogosphere. I hope that he does not really think what he says. It would be sad if the control of Armenia was given to someone with such a puppy like devotion to Russia. If you thought that Kocharian was close to treason for his devotion to the Russians, just wait till Tsarukian 'wins' the elections.

Here is the English version translated by Google. There obviously are some problems with it but you can get the main idea.

Our life is linked with Russia : an interview with the leader of the "flourishing Armenia Gagika Tsaroukyan

Monday, April 16, 2007

Protest with empty plastic bottles in Yerevan.

E-Channel reports that the Ayl@ntrank movement has had a protest in Yerevan. The theme of the protest was 'Empty Plastic Bottles'.

On April 13, 2004, an opposition rally in Yerevan was brutally dispersed by the special police units (read the Diaspora Armenian accounts of it). Dozens of people were beaten up, a lot of others were arrested as well. One protester was so savagely beaten at the police precinct that he had to have an operation to have whatever remained of his testicles removed. It was quite an ugly affair more fitting to Saddam Hussein's Iraq than Armenia.

One of the protesters, Edgar Arakelian, was convicted of assault on police for hitting them with a plastic bottle. Hence the theme of last Thursday's protest.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Cleared of Robbery, Suspect Snatches Judge's Cell Phone

Here is a funny news item from the Moscow Times newspaper.

By Carl Schreck

Staff Writer

A Pyatigorsk man is facing up to four years in prison after he stole the cell phone of a judge at the courthouse where minutes before he had been cleared of charges of stealing a cell phone, a court official said Thursday.

The Pyatigorsk City Court on Tuesday cleared Alexander Kishko of stealing a woman's cell phone at a local clinic after the woman asked the court to drop the case because Kishko had compensated her for damages, court spokesman Astemir Podluzhny said by telephone.

But after leaving the courtroom a free man, Kishko went downstairs, snuck into the office of one of the judges and stole a cell phone, Podluzhny said.

"He was apprehended by one of the court marshals who saw him leaving the judge's chamber," Podluzhny said.

Police in the city in the southern Stavropol region could not be reached for comment.

Podluzhny said Kishko has been charged with robbery -- the same charge he had been cleared of -- and was being held in a detention facility.

In the case that was dropped, Kishko was accused of entering a clinic and attempting to steal a patient's cell phone from a drawer. Security guards caught him red-handed before he left the building, Podluzhny said.

Before he was let go, Kishko admitted to the crime in court and expressed regret over his actions, reported.

Thousands of crimes have been committed in recent years -- including multiple homicides and arson -- in which authorities say the primary motive was to steal cell phones.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Photo for April 10, 2007.

State Museum, originally uploaded by nazarian.

Indiana State Museum - view from the Military Park.

Yet another example of intolerance in Azerbaijan.

As Azeri-Press Agency reports, a brand new catholic church still under construction has been torched in Baku, Azerbaijan. Azerbaijan, pretty much like Turkey, insists that they are tolerant societies. Yet the reality paints a different picture. Such events as the pogroms and murder of Armenians in Sumgait or Baku, the murder of catholic priests in Trabizon, bombing of synagogues in Ankara, the murder of Hrant Dink in Istanbul and other hate crimes in recent years convince us that, despite all the propaganda, these societies are not a place to be if you are not a Turk or an Azeri.

The burning of this catholic church adds another line to this shameful list. Here is the APA news snippet.

Monday, April 09, 2007

1939 map of Armenia.

Here is a map of the Armenian SSR from 'The USSR Atlas, 1939'.

Photo for April 9, 2007.

The Racing Duck, originally uploaded by nazarian.

The swift duck.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Photo for April 7, 2007.

Female Duck, originally uploaded by nazarian.

It looks like the ducks have already chosen their mates for the upcoming season. Her companion is not visible in the frame but he is a few feet away keeping a watchful eye.

Before I could take this picture, she tilted her head and looked at me with playful curiosity in her eye. Then she hurried away.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Kerkorian is at it again.

Kirk Kerkorian has made a low ball offer of 4.5 billion dollars for Chrysler. The experts say that Chrysler may be worth 9 billion - I don't know if it's true or not as I have not looked at their cash flows. From what I can see in the real world, Chrysler vehicles are not favored very much by the consumers - even the 300 has lost its luster.

Kerkorian is amazing. Most of his deals revolve around two companies - MGM and Chrysler. He buys 'em cheap and sells then makes a killing when he sells them. He keeps finding suckers who buy high and sell low. But I don't think he's gonna be successful this time. Private equity firms are quite aggressive nowadays and sometimes they do irrationally exuberant deals to take public companies private.

Typing Armenian texts.

There is a way to make Windows type texts in Armenian Unicode. But, as usual, Windows has made it hard to figure out how to do it. Fortunately, there is a handy web based tool that translates Latin letters into Unicode Armenian letters. Give it a try - it has a very flat learning curve and there is a handy letter mapping layout as well.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Sksel a.

Well, it has started. No, I don't mean the recent flash mobs of youth in Yerevan. I mean, the cleansing of the Republican Party (HHK) in Armenia. There was an attempt on the life of the mayor of Gyumri after he was returning from a meeting at the HHK head courters in Yerevan.

Lucky for him, he survived. It's obvious that the assassins were not Dashnaks - they have proven to be very competent at things like this since the independence.