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Hanover Historical Texts Project

Hanover Historical Texts Project is a collection of primary source texts from ancient times to the modern era in English translation. There is a great number of interesting texts, for instance accounts of Zeno, he of the paradoxes, the diary of Lady Sarashina, a lady-in-waiting in Heian era Japan, a letter from Count Stephen of Blois and Chartres, a crusader writing to his wife, Arthur Young's travels in France before and during the Revolution, a report by the American ambassador in St. Petersburg on March 20th, 1917, immediately after the February Revolution, and finally Petrarch's letter about his graphomania. That last one is from what is perhaps my favorite part of the website, a trove of Petrarch's Familiar Letters. But there's much more in the Hanover Historical Texts Projects besides what I've mentioned.
posted by Kattullus on Oct 24, 2011 - 6 comments

The literature of the Siege of Leningrad

I am not going to try now to open the eyes of the world to the Leningrad Blockade. What I will write about here is less ambitious and somewhat more promising: the literature of the siege. [more inside]
posted by Trurl on Oct 12, 2011 - 7 comments

Inside the Russian Short Wave Enigma

UVB-76 is a Russian short wave station that has enthralled and mystified enthusiasts for decades.
posted by reenum on Oct 4, 2011 - 59 comments

The USSR's War and Peace

An 8 hour radio dramatization of Life and Fate by Vasily Grossman is being broadcast by the BBC. Kenneth Branagh and David Tennant star. [more inside]
posted by Bwithh on Sep 19, 2011 - 9 comments

Move Your Kids to Russia and Toss Them Into School

Move Your Kids to Russia and Toss Them Into School Clifford Levy and Julie Dressner moved their 3 kids from Park Slope to Russia. Instead of putting their kids in an international school, they decided to let the kids learn Russian in a Russian school. [more inside]
posted by k8t on Sep 17, 2011 - 42 comments

The Most Interesting Man In The World… Is Russian

He rides with biker gangs! He shoots whales with a crossbow! He does piano recitals for charity! He bends frying pans with his bare hands! It's Vladimir Putin, Action Man. [more inside]
posted by Bora Horza Gobuchul on Sep 13, 2011 - 92 comments

*Inhales* hmmm, needs more horse...

"It begins with a freshly showered person riding naked for hours on a clean, washed horse inside a two-meter-high 'forest' of marijuana. Afterwards, the human body and that of the horse are covered with a thick layer of resin mixed with sweat. This produces a substance that is usually dark brown in color, which is then thoroughly scraped off the human and horse's bodies." The Chu (sometimes Chui or Chuy) valley produced much of the marijuana available in the Soviet Union, and continues its unique harvest to this day. Via The World on PRI (audio link). [more inside]
posted by codacorolla on Sep 9, 2011 - 64 comments

What humans are doing in space these days

Hey, remember the ISS, that space station the Space Shuttle helped build before the shuttle was retired? Turns out humans might have to vacate that nifty space station for a bit. [more inside]
posted by Brandon Blatcher on Aug 30, 2011 - 93 comments

Russia's Arctic 'sea grab'

Russia is expected within months to claim to the United Nations its right to annex about 380,000 square miles of the Arctic.
posted by - on Aug 14, 2011 - 45 comments

A Grand Adventure

When Richard Feynman was a young boy his father told him of the remote land of Tannu Tuva, igniting an obsession that would remain with him for the rest of his life. The Last Journey of a Genius chronicles Feynman’s attempts to get to the country at the geographic center of Asia, all stymied by the Iron Curtain, although he did correspond with some of its citizens and was a fan of its distinctive music and stamps. A visa for Tuva finally arrived days after his death.
Most would suggest that the story ends there, but not so: Feynman’s friend Ralph Leighton eventually made it, and formed the Friends of Tuva; later, Feyman’s daughter Michelle made the trip her father planned but never completed, an emotional journey recorded by the Russian service of the BBC [MP3]. [more inside]
posted by Bora Horza Gobuchul on Aug 14, 2011 - 20 comments

Saint Petersburg's New Holland Island

Closed to the public for more than 300 years, St. Petersburg's New Holland Island is about to get a major makeover. The 410M USD redevelopment project, managed by none other than the power couple Dasha Zhukova and Roman Abramovich, aims to transform Russia's first military port into a residential and commercial area while preserving the island's historic warehouses. Take a look at New Holland Island.
posted by Foci for Analysis on Aug 3, 2011 - 3 comments

The Chessboard Killer

Russia had never seen anything quite like the prolific serial killer Alexander Pichushkin, for whom “life without killing is like life without food.” In the end, the Maniac was what his mother and Suprunenko say he was: ordinary. He didn’t have strong opinions. He lacked preferences or ideas about other people, God, art, beauty. He could talk about these things, and did, but these were simply words in the service of killing; they were bits of theater; they were nothing. [more inside]
posted by WalterMitty on Jul 29, 2011 - 38 comments

Russian neo-indie-disco from Pompeya

Pompeya is a band that is hard to describe, especially if you go by their videos and sound. For example, if you started with Power (Simple Symmetry & Lipelis Remix), you might think it's an act from the the late eighties, complete with break dancing and dated fashions. If you first came across the Barbarella Chisinau Teaser, you might imagine that they're something from the early 1990s, or a new band goofing with vintage video. And then they drop Power II, which could be some kids playing neo-disco akin to the US band VHS or Beta (wiki). But wait! Check out Cheenese (NSFW moment of nudity 2:58 to 3:05), and you think they might be professional musicians with a sharp-looking video. In fact, Pompeya is a mix of various things: they're four young Russian guys who play indie-disco. [more details after the break] [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Jul 17, 2011 - 22 comments

Fear the Future

Metro 2033: Multimedia Online Fiction. Cruel but beautiful Russian shooter Metro 2033 and its upcoming sequel, Metro: Last Light are arguably two of the most polished games to come out of a country better known for the buggy, idiosyncratic work of GSC Game World and Ice-Pick Lodge. Less well-known is the games' source material, a self-published, soundtrack-backed online novel of the same name (warning: Russian).
posted by Tubalcain on Jul 12, 2011 - 18 comments

Orda Cave Awareness Project

Russian divers working for the Orda Cave Awareness Project have revealed stunning images of the world's longest underwater cave.
posted by bwg on Jul 12, 2011 - 38 comments

Tragedy on Volga

100 Dead, Many Children, in Boat Sinking in Russia [more inside]
posted by mooselini on Jul 11, 2011 - 21 comments

Everything You Think You Know About the Collapse of the Soviet Union Is Wrong

This is a very insightful piece that shows the Soviet collapse from a completely different angle than one would expect.
posted by Vibrissae on Jun 25, 2011 - 88 comments

Where there's a will, there's a way...

A heroin substitute called "Krokodil" is having destructive effects on Russia's active user population. [more inside]
posted by rodmandirect on Jun 22, 2011 - 108 comments

Russian Video from Russia

Russian Video from Russia does what it says, providing a variety of videos from Russia, presented in English or with English subtitles, and brief descriptions of the videos. You can check out videos as they're posted, or sort through by categories (including customs, musical video, science and technology, and movie for the weekend). This last category ranges from Russian Sherlock Holmes movies to a traditional New Year romantic comedy, a documentary on Yuri Gagarin to a classic Russian children's tale of Old Hottabych, an old genie freed in modern times.
posted by filthy light thief on Jun 16, 2011 - 8 comments

Wedding Photos

Some Russian wedding photos. One or two of them might have been photoshopped. Related video, featuring the white birch, which is Russia's national tree.
posted by Greg Nog on Jun 14, 2011 - 55 comments

"We are under more of a moral obligation to try very very very hard to develop compassion and mercy and empathy."

‘A Frightening Time in America’: An Interview With David Foster Wallace
posted by timshel on Jun 13, 2011 - 50 comments

Udmurt Grannies

Buranovskie Babushki is a charming group of grannies from the village of Buranovo in Udmurtia, Russia who came one place away from being the national entry to last year's Eurovision with their crowd-pleasing folk number. Since then, they've been covering a few western classics in their native language. Here's a few: Yesterday; Venus; and Let it Be.
posted by madamjujujive on Jun 12, 2011 - 16 comments

Sex and the Single Bat Leveyha

"God is totally down with sexpionage, at least according to the Zomet Institute, an organization dedicated to interpreting Jewish law for modern living" -- on the Mossad's precursor to Russia’s femme fatale spy Anna Chapman.
posted by maud on May 13, 2011 - 26 comments

Old Moscow Photos Reappear

"Howe snapped more than 400 photographs in Moscow and St. Petersburg with his hand held Graflex camera, a state-of-the-art device that allowed its user to shoot without a tripod. His photographs of pedestrians, street vendors and aristocrats are rare glimpses of everyday life before the upheavals of World War I and the Bolshevik Revolution — and sparked huge interest in Russia among history buffs and local museums."
posted by gman on May 10, 2011 - 20 comments

Leningrad - Dr. House

Leningrad - Dr. House (slyt)
posted by kdar on May 9, 2011 - 36 comments

tonalist's videos: contemporary music in Moscow

tonalist (aka composer Pavel Karmanov) is a YouTube user who has uploaded numerous videos featuring performances of contemporary/classical music from the former Soviet Union... [more inside]
posted by misteraitch on May 9, 2011 - 3 comments

In Soviet Russia, MosFilm posts YOU(tube)

"Legendary" Russian movie studio Mosfilm is posting some it's most famous films on its youtube channel. They will be posting 5 new legendary Soviet films per week. They expect to have 200 uploaded by end of year. Most have English subtitles. [more inside]
posted by spicynuts on May 6, 2011 - 16 comments

A Bottomless Silo

The Rusty Technoporn Of Nuclear Russia - The Base Of Human Exterminators , The Place That Stalkers Would Love To Visit, from English Russia via Warren Ellis
posted by Artw on May 3, 2011 - 35 comments

Vanguard of American Journalism

Current TV previously & previously, the media company founded by Al Gore after the 2000 election, has picked up the kinds of in depth long form journalism being rapidly dropped by major networks, but has been tantalizingly unavailable for those without cable; until now. They have been putting their Vanguard episodes up on their website and on YouTube. [more inside]
posted by Blasdelb on Apr 30, 2011 - 24 comments

An Extended Finnish Saturday Matinee

Finnish YouTube user Ishexan has uploaded seven English subtitled movies in parts: Broken Blossoms (1919), Aelita (1924), The Gipsy Charmer (1929), The Tragedy of Elina (1938), The Activists (1939), The Wooden Pauper's Bride (1944), and Sampo (1959), which is based on the epic poem The Kalevala. The films are mostly Finnish, though Aelita is a silent Russian sci-fi film, and Sampo was a joint Finnish and Soviet production. More film clips inside (mostly Finnish documentaries and "dorky musical numbers"). [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Apr 30, 2011 - 12 comments

Funeral money in the contamination zone: living with Chernobyl, 25 years after the accident

Nadezhda Korotkaya, 77, a widow who lives alone in her small wooden house on the edge of Stary Vyshkov, still remembers the World War II. "The Germans came and went," she said. "But Chernobyl came here to stay." It was 25 years ago today that reactor number four at the Chernobyl power plant exploded, following an emergency shutdown (detailed recounting of the disaster on Wikipedia). A memorial was held in Kiev, Ukraine, this morning for the liquidators who were the first human responders, with a bell struck at the exact moment of the Chernobyl explosion on April 26, 1986. See also: a look back, with The Big Picture. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Apr 26, 2011 - 23 comments

Finding the Edge

Google Translated from nub1an's livejournal Some stunning wilderness-travelogue photography from Russian trekker and (self-described-)amateur photographer "nub1an" (Ilya Kondrashov). Untranslated link.
posted by J0 on Apr 26, 2011 - 10 comments

Not just for fanfic

Livejournal has been straining to keep up service in the face of repeated DDoS attacks. Fingers are being pointed at the Kremlin, but others are skeptical. While often associated with media fandom in the English speaking world, Livejournal is extremely popular in Russia, and home to presidents and dissidents (info) alike. [more inside]
posted by kmz on Apr 6, 2011 - 35 comments

Mapping Petersburg

Mapping Petersburg "..explores the everyday life and the material, political, and literary culture of St. Petersburg [..] at the beginning of the twentieth century. It maps eleven itineraries through the city with the purpose of creating a palpable sense of life in Russia's late imperial capital on the eve of the 1917 revolution and during the subsequent decade." [About] [via] [more inside]
posted by peacay on Apr 6, 2011 - 8 comments

The artists who crossed the line

Voina are a group of revolutionary artists. The most controversial of all was Voina's final stunt before the arrests, which the artists called "Palace Revolution". Members overturned seven police cars, some of them with officers inside, at St Petersburg's Palace Square one night last September. Obviously, a group called "war," is going to attract a certain amount of controversy, but they're also going to attract some allies. Right now, they're just trying to dodge the fuzz. Who knows? Maybe they're just dicks.
posted by snottydick on Mar 29, 2011 - 18 comments

Nikolai Alekseev interviewed on Gay USA

Six months ago, MetaFilter discussed Russian LGBT activist Nikolai Alexeyev's disappearance. This past week, an interview with him was aired on Gay USA. (Interview starts around 30m10s, and runs for 17m30s ) Episode also available as audio only, and available through iTunes as a free podcast. [more inside]
posted by hippybear on Mar 19, 2011 - 4 comments

they simply forgot about it

How a handful of geeks on Usenet defied the USSR. [more inside]
posted by Potomac Avenue on Mar 14, 2011 - 39 comments

The Last Ringbearer

... history is written by the winners. That's the philosophy behind "The Last Ringbearer," a novel set during and after the end of the War of the Ring... and told from the point of view of the losers. ... In Yeskov's retelling, the wizard Gandalf is a war-monger intent on crushing the scientific and technological initiative of Mordor and its southern allies because science "destroys the harmony of the world and dries up the souls of men!"
posted by Joe Beese on Feb 15, 2011 - 90 comments

Potemkin Productions

"In 2006 I was invited to take part in one of the great adventures of modern broadcasting – conquering the booming Russian television market." Peter Pomerantsev remembers his time in the Russian television industry. [more inside]
posted by vidur on Feb 14, 2011 - 14 comments

Dreaming Walls.

"In a small, remote village in the Udmurt Republic of Russia, photographer Lucia Ganieva discovered a wonderful anomaly in home decoration — the interiors of practically every home in the village feature room-size photographic murals of 'exotic' scenes, which symbolize the distant places that the home-dwellers will never visit, except in their dreams." Via wood s lot.
posted by languagehat on Feb 3, 2011 - 33 comments

"...I feel Norwegian and my friends call me Norwegian. I feel this is where I belong"

Why Norway deported its 'Norwegian of the year'.
posted by klue on Feb 2, 2011 - 36 comments

Fish finger

Security advisor Brian Krebs on the 'hacking' of web dating site Plenty of fish by Chris Russos.
posted by unliteral on Jan 31, 2011 - 73 comments

They giggle and laugh, as they watch Project Popcorn

And now, the Russian version of Mystery Science Theater 3000: Project Popcorn [more inside]
posted by Servo5678 on Jan 28, 2011 - 25 comments

There has been an explosion in the arrivals hall of Moscow's Domodedovo airport.

There has been an explosion in the arrivals hall of Moscow's Domodedovo airport. [more inside]
posted by jonesor on Jan 24, 2011 - 40 comments

felt cats

heartfelt felt cats. pregnancy (incl. sonography). newborn & begin of life cycle.
posted by megob on Jan 3, 2011 - 12 comments

How Caviar Turned Out To Be Halal

A look at how fatwas are issued, and how Iranian authorities were able to change the classification of caviar from haram (forbidden for Muslims to eat) to halal (permissible for Muslims to eat) in order to retake the caviar industry from the Soviets. [PDF]
posted by reenum on Dec 9, 2010 - 26 comments

United Forever in Friendship and Labor

The funny thing about the National Anthem of the Soviet Union is that through the sixty-so years of its existence the lyrics were written all by one man. [more inside]
posted by curuinor on Nov 27, 2010 - 22 comments

Here There Be a Tyger

Deep in the forests of Russia’s Far East, the last Siberian tigers are under siege by runaway logging and poachers who get paid $30,000 per carcass. One tiger decided to fight back. [more inside]
posted by mreleganza on Nov 9, 2010 - 19 comments

"Unfortunately, no U.S. audiences will be able to witness this anytime soon."

Beg, Steal, or Borrow: New Beats From Moscow Nice look at some brokenbeat/glitch/electronica/hiphop musicians in Russia, with embedded songs, a couple of mixtapes and links to lots of free listening. [more inside]
posted by mediareport on Nov 8, 2010 - 14 comments

The Battle of Stalingrad

In the scale of its intensity, its destructiveness and its horror, Stalingrad has no parallel. It engaged the full strength of the two biggest armies in Europe and could fit into no lesser framework than that of a life-and-death conflict which encompasses the earth. - The New York Times, February 4, 1943 [more inside]
posted by Joe Beese on Oct 27, 2010 - 61 comments

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