Kaunas sports hall under reconstruction...

Old Kaunas sports hall is sometimes called legendary: built in 1938-1939 it saw Lithuanian basketball team becoming second time European basketball champions in May 1939 (this was decisive moment and reason why up to this day this country is called baskeltball country). It saw legendary boxing fights in 1949-1952 when best Lithuanian heavy weight boxer of all times Algirdas Šocikas dethroned then time legend of USSR heavyweight boxing Nikolay Korolyov (in 1949-1952 these fights had strong political context because Korolyov was not only boxing champion but also represented army boxing club and has been presented as best Soviet army boxer). Hall saw many other concerts and sporting events such as legendry basketball duels between Žalgiris Kaunas and CSKA Moscow in 1983-1988. Before 1970s it was the main arena in whole country and before 2011 it was the main arena in Kaunas. In the last 8 years hall lived in shadow. Time of changes came: of course it will no longer be the main arena in the city but modernization is necessary. But if it will be legendary after modernization ?

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Baltic way - 30. The biggest political innovation of the Baltics

This week our countries will mark 30th anniversary of Baltic way: massive demonstration when about one million people connected with live human chain Vilnius, Riga and Tallinn. Now it is well known that this event was decisive moment which forced George Bush, Margaret Thatcher, James Baker, Helmut Kohl and other politicians of that period to take  Baltic issue seriously.
This was the first kind of such protest in the world. In the last 30 years there were various attempts to copy such type of protests: from unsucessfull Arab way to more successfull Catalan way,
And the idea of such peacefull protests is still alive. In the recent weeks whole world heard about prodemocracy protests in Hong Kong. They are very massive and very impressive. This week Hong Kong residents are organizing Hong Kong way:

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El otono del patriarca

Few days ago chief analytic of one of Lithuanian banks - Žygimantas Mauricas (this country has very active banks analytics sometimes making jumps to the top political positions :)) - published interesting graph showing changes in Russia's GDP per capita in the last  25  years. The post has been aimed to commemorate 20th anniversary of coming to power of current president of that country. Graph shows nominal (not PPP) GDP per capita expressed in USD as the percent of world average in that year. For the comparison Lithuanian GDP per capita as the percent of world's average (100 percent in the chart) is shown too. Chart looks interesting:

I see several interesting observations in the chart. Surprisingly between 1999 and 2009 Lithuanian and Russian economies were on nearly identical tracks. After 2010 we see significant differences. (Significant differences are seen also  in 1996-1998). El otono del patriarca: succesfull first 10 years and the failure in second 10 years. Or all successes and failures depends only on prices of raw materials ?

July 2019: and again new record

July 2019 set new record in demographical statistics in this country: 5211 residents of foreign countries (absolute majority od them Lithuanian nationals returning back to the homeland) moved to live to this country. 4th month in a row the number of returning back to the country Lithuanian nationals compensates the natural loses of population (the bigger number of deaths than births) and the population of the country is growing. The number of those returning back exceeds the number of those leaving 8th months in a row:

The process isn't completely unexpected because many signs showed that we are at the verge of change in the trends in 2017 - 2018 and the year 2019 will mark the start of the new trends. But the pace of the process is surprising. The immigration data started to be similar to avalanche like process: each month this year the number of immigrants grows by 10-20 percent. Second thing is that recently the country achieved reimmigration data similar (only with sign +) to the worst years of emigration (2004-2005 and 2010-2011). And one more fact: now immigration achieved such speed that if nothing unexpected will happen in one year will arrive 2% of countries population (mhm, most of them will be "old new residents" of course) ! The pace that is almost without analogues in modern European history (e.g. during massive influx of arrivals to  Germany in 2015 the number of arrivals was only 0.8 percent of countries population).

Lithuanian aviation - 100 !

This year this country celebrates 100th anniversary of establishment of independent Lithuanian aviation (both military and civilian). To commemorate anniversary today in old Aleksotas airfield aviation show was organized. So I toook my daughters and went to see the event :)

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How many mysteries about our past remains ...

This is crossing of Laisves aleja, Savanoriu prospektas and Ozeskiens gatve in Kaunas (view from live camera), Right in the center of the city. The street in the upper right corner is Ozeskiens street:

As you can see the area is under reconstruction. This reconstruction allowed to find many unknown and unexpected facts about out past: the place where town wall once stood, the unknown cemetery, and tacts of medieval life

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Amazing success story

Transformation of this country centralized heating system  is one of the biggest success stories of this country in last 10 years. This is probably the most obvious ilustration of success. I checked this facts and they are really correct :)
From July heat price in Kaunas went down. And we need to say that this drop down is consecutive drop down. The current price is 3.42 cnt/kWh (without 5% VAT). And this is the lowest price in 19 years ! The last time when the price was lower was the period between  August 1997 and March 2000 when it was 3.02 cnt/kWh. And this is without taking into the consideration inflation or changes of income ! The highest price achieved was in July 2012 - 9.01 cnt/kWh. So in the last 7 years heat energy price dropped down nearly threefold ...

In July 2012 the energy still was mainly produced using imported natural gas ...

If we will take imto the account inflation the current prices are significantly lower: because current 3.42 cnt will be equal to 2.55 cnt in 2000 or 2.44 cnt in 1997. Even bigger differences we will see if we will try to take into the account average salary: currently average employee needs to work 0.0000034 hour for one kWh of energy while in 2000 it needed to work 0.0000097 hours per one kWh of energy.

10 gems of modernistic architecture around the world. One of them in Kaunas

This is the first recognition of modern Lithuanian architecture of such scale.
John Paul Getty foundation is very prestigious philantropical organization based in Los Angeles, California. Its primary interest are modern visual arts and support of prospective artists, etc. Recently organization decided to find 10 very remarkable objects of modern architecure. As they called it - 10 gems of modern architecture (buildings must be built in XXth century).
And they found them. One of the Top10 objects is situated in Kaunas !!!! This is  former Military Research Laboratory built in 1934-1935 (architect Vytautas Landsbergis-Zemkalnis) for many years used by the Faculty of chemical technologies of Kaunas University of Technology:

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Belgium - our common motherland :)

Not new but accidentally found only now:

All Europeans are Belgians

All Europeans descent from Belgium, a new study suggests.

An ancient DNA (genome) study suggests Europeans trace their origins from ice age Belgium. “The ability to obtain genome-scale data from ancient bones is a new technology that’s only been around for the last five or six years” said David Reich of the Harvard Medical School.

The study was published by Nature, on May 2nd, and suggests there are three major European migrations towards the end of the Ice Age across Europe. The last ice age peaked 35,000 and 19,000 years ago, coming to an end 12,000 years ago. The change of climate correlates with major migrations.

The first migration was from Spain to northern Europe (19,000 years ago). Then, there was a second migratory waves from Turkey and Greece to Northern Europe (14,000 years ago). And then there was a second migratory wave from Greece and Turkey (5,000 ago). Each wave displaced previous generations of Europe’s first humans.


Customs declarations can be amazing :)

These days world is marking 50th anniversary of first human landing on moon. On occasion one of the craziest customs declarations in the world. Captain Neil Armstrong and crew returning back to US: of course customs required to fill the declaration. The place of departure is Moon, the place of arrival Honolulu :)

Inside you can see big full customs declaration of Apollo 11
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