"People had to leave everything,
from photos of their grandparents to cars." One brave (or foolish, depending on your view) girl, and her Kawasaki motorcycle take a tour through the Chernobyl "dead zone
". An astounding an eyewitness photo-essay of chernobyl
today. (Note that the first link is a google cache, but subsequent pages are available from the site when you click the "next page" link...Angelfire, go figure.)
posted by dejah420
on Mar 8, 2004 -
Anatoly Fomenko is one of a number of Russian academics advancing revisionist chronologies
which portray a greatly foreshortened view
of European history. He argues that mediaeval and classical histories as we know them today were fabricated in Renaissance times. In his book
'History: Fiction or Science
', he 'proves' that Jesus Christ was born in 1053 and crucified in 1086, and that the Old Testament refers to mediaeval events... Fomenko's theories have been debunked
, but his ideas have nevertheless gained some currency
in Russia: among his supporters is the former chess champion Garry Kasparov
. Of course, Fomenko is by no means the first
mathematician to grapple with the subject of chronology: indeed, any history must be founded in part on a calculus of dates... Are there any parallels, I wonder, between the spread of theories like Fomenko's and the renewed prevalence of Biblical chronologies
in the US, for example: is there some kind of psychological solace in perceiving history on a smaller scale than current academic orthodoxy allows? (more inside)
posted by misteraitch
on Mar 2, 2004 -
is one of the missing links in 20th-century history; in at the beginning of the Soviet Union, he saw before almost anyone what a nightmare it was going to be, wrote some prescient books, may have invented the word "totalitarian," knew everybody who was anybody, and was forgotten. Christopher Hitchens tries to remind us
(quote and acknowledgment inside).
posted by languagehat
on Nov 18, 2003 -
Russian Prisoners Sing for Freedom
A strange take on the whole American Idol concept, prisoners in Russia were allowed to take part in a singing competition to get freed.
Of the 26 finalists, six were freed.
That only leaves just about a million prisoners left.
I'm curious about the precedent this sets.
posted by fenriq
on Oct 28, 2003 -
CEO of Russia's largest oil company in jail
The guy sounds like a crook to be sure; but its an interesting contrast to the US. When was the last time in this country someone with limitless financial resources was thrown in jail? Is Key Lay
in jail? How about Bernie Ebbers?
(Worldcom getting Iraq contracts
is of course another story) Jeff Skilling?
With all the talk of crony-capitalism anymore its easy to get desensitized. But to get a reality check on how to treat toplevel white-collar crime from Russia of all places is sobering.
posted by H. Roark
on Oct 26, 2003 -
Pay your electricity bill -- or Fluffy gets it.
Russia's First Channel television reported Dalenergo, an electricity company in Russia's Far Eastern city Vladivostok, is so frustrated by customers who owe around 300 million roubles (6 million pounds) that it has decided to confiscate their pets.
posted by gregb1007
on Oct 9, 2003 -
Kir Bulychev died today.
.) Those of us familiar with Russian sci-fi will always remember him for such masterpieces as Poselok
(Those Who Survive) and a famous children's series Devochka s Zemli
(The Girl from Planet Earth). More than just a writer, he was a profuse translator, East Asian researcher, and playwright. Over ten films were produced from his books and scripts. Almost all works are online in Russian
, but I could find no online translations.
posted by azazello
on Sep 5, 2003 -
is a retro look at Russia through engaging and often playful snapshots - it has all the feel of rummaging through a box of photos in an attic. Communist Store Windows
offers another, more recent glimpse behind the iron curtain. Both galleries are like shots of peppered vodka.
posted by madamjujujive
on Aug 31, 2003 -
Fatherland or Motherland.I was wondering why people say Motherland for Russia and Fatherland for Germany.I googled and didn't find an answer but did find an artistamp
exhibit that artistically tried to answer the question.1
.And at the same site found a collection of other cool artistamps.1
And also found a neat gallery
of cigarette packages from around the world.But my question still remains to be answered.(Oh,who cares,Motherland is where the vodka
posted by JohnR
on May 5, 2003 -
Russia Makes It Funny:
Communist Party organ Pravda
["Truth"] updates its play for the weird news
niche with a skewed take on the blogging aesthetic, with links to Romanesko New World Disorder
A lot of people like going to saunas. A sauna used to be associated with cold beer and a company of friends. Now the situation has changed a bit: going to a sauna implies some sort of sexual activities and even perversion sometimes. Steam, beer and friends have been pushed into the background. Since people love mixing business with pleasure, let us try to find out, to which extent the sauna entertainment is good, and to which extent it is bad.
posted by hairyeyeball
on Mar 21, 2003 -
"Weapons of Mass Destruction", you say?
Question: If Iraq is the vicious rat and North Korea the
furious pygmy of WMD threats, where is the 800 pound gorilla? Answer -
"...law enforcement officials worldwide have seized 40 kilograms of Russian-origin uranium
and plutonium since 1991. Stanford researchers have also estimated that only 30 to 40 percent of
the nuclear material stolen from facilities in Russia and other territories in the former Soviet
Union are ever recovered by authorities."
the collapse of the Soviet Union left vast stores
of Nuclear weapons and weapons grade plutonium and uranium, and stocks of chemical and
biological warfare agents lying about at dangerously underfunded facillities scattered through
the vast expanse of the ex-Soviet realm. "Russian stockpiles of weapons and materials are
the most likely source for terrorists attempting to acquire weapons of mass destruction"
said US Senator Richard Lugar, Republican chairman of the Senate's Foreign Relations Committee. An international effort to destroy these stores of ex-Soviet WMD's
is currently funded at a tiny fraction of the estimated cost of a possible US invasion and occupation of Iraq. (more inside)
posted by troutfishing
on Mar 16, 2003 -
Say goodbye to winter and welcome spring with a Russian-style Mardis Gras celebration of Maslenitsa
-Pancake Day. Maslenitsa
is an ancient pagan
weeklong Slavic holiday
held before the beginning of the Christian season of Lent. Pancakes, the traditional food eaten during this time, are round and hot, representing the sun. "Fat is the key word for Maslenitsa," said Valentina Bakhtina. It is a sort of Mardi Gras without the costumes and with a lot of butter. The central thing is to drink, be merry, and eat - pancakes and more pancakes.
posted by stbalbach
on Mar 4, 2003 -
Give It Up for MC Zhirinovsky
Flamboyant Russian ultra-nationalist Vladimir Zhirinovsky, renowned for his controversial views on Iraq, has had his words turned into an anti-war rap song. The song, titled "Don't you dare go shooting at Baghdad", is being launched on the internet, according to the Russian television station TVS.
posted by turbanhead
on Feb 26, 2003 -
On November 28, 1960, a morse code transmission reading "SOS to the whole world" from an orbiting spaceship was picked up by the Judica-Cordiglia brothers with their home-made radio tracking station in San Maurizio Canavese, Italy. Sometime between February 2-4, they picked up telemetry of a dying cosmonauts heartbeat and breathing. Yuri Gagarin,
the universally acknowledged first man in space, did not make his flight until April 12, 1961. These brothers claimed that they intercepted radio transmissions of other secret flights as well. Were there secret Soviet spaceflights that ended in the death of Cosmonauts? Most
tend to disagree,
and offer an excellent debunking.
I started reading about this several weeks before the Columbia, but it now has a new poignancy. I agree that it is exceedingly unlikely that these alleged flights took, but the claims of these brothers, mingled with various other rumor and various Soviet urban legends, (along with the fact of Russian/Soviet general secrecy about most everything,) create an alternate history that is exceedingly disturbing.
posted by Snyder
on Feb 7, 2003 -
Tarkovsky's Stalker coming as video game in 2003.
I always wondered how long it would take for a more artistically-informed bunch to come to the $18B/year video game market (bigger than Hollywood). Will our generation have its video-game counterparts to Faulkner and Fitzgerald? A David Foster Wallace or Don Delillo authored game? Are there other video games that can stand up as "Art?"
posted by minnesotaj
on Dec 3, 2002 -
Should majorities also have a say?
Why doesn't Russia get to vote on Chechen independence? Why can't Britain vote on expelling Northern Ireland ... or the English on Scottish devolution? Should minorities be allowed to hold a gun to the heads of the majority?
posted by bonaldi
on Nov 4, 2002 -
Chechen Rebels to be buried in pigskin
It seems that the Russian security forces have decided that burying the Chechens in pig's skin will keep future Islamic terrorists from following suit in the attacks in a theater a little over a week ago.
Instead of immediately going to 'heaven', the terrorists would preventing from doing so forever.
sorry for the short link, just thought the headline was niche-y enough...
posted by djspicerack
on Nov 4, 2002 -
Russian Forces Set Hostages Free.
Deputy Interior Minister Vladimir Vasilyev said about three dozen of the estimated 50 hostage-takers had been killed and Federal Security Service director Nikolai Patrushev said, contrary to earlier reports, that none of the gunmen had escaped. Terrorism loses again.
posted by David Dark
on Oct 26, 2002 -
Army for sale!
Russia will back the US in it's Iraq campaign only in exchange for money. Didn't they used to be a superpower? Now they are the A-Team?
posted by wolfgangnorton
on Oct 9, 2002 -
The Russian Avant-Garde Book
is an online version of the MoMA exhibit, featuring 112 books originally published in Russia during the intensely creative period between 1910 and 1934, before Stalin outlawed any style but social realism. The site is separated into three chronological themes and includes examples of futurist works, constructivist graphic design, children's books, propaganda, photography and photomontage, revolutionary imagery, architecture and industry, war themes, folk art and judaica...
posted by taz
on Oct 8, 2002 -
River found under Sahara
Russian satellites have discovered a river flowing 700 feet under the Sahara.
It carries enough water to supply 50,000 people and is said to surge with "colossal power".
---the thing that interests me most about this is the economic impact that this will have on the area. seeing as how wars are being fought over water supplies in the area, what do you see as the most likely result of this discovery??
posted by daHIFI
on Sep 17, 2002 -