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To the library!

Something about the library inspires one to jump.
posted by phrontist on Apr 1, 2008 - 33 comments

Meooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooow

Cat + Airplane + Parachute [video]
posted by blue_beetle on Mar 15, 2008 - 59 comments

The Notes of a Japanese prisoner in the USSR

Kiuchi Nobuo - a Japanese airman in World War II, was captured and sent to a prison camp in the Ukraine. He tells his story with drawings.
posted by tellurian on Feb 5, 2008 - 23 comments

Comrade J: What's true in the world of spies and lies?

"My defection was the major failure of the Russian intelligence, probably in all of history," - Sergei Tretyakov, former colonel in the Russian intelligence service and the subject of Comrade J: by Pete Earley. His claims of Russian turned Canadian politicians, Russian scamming of the UN for millions, and of a Russian duped ranking member of the Clinton Administration have been denied, while legal action has frozen plans to sell Comrade J in Canada.
Two contrasting reviews of Comrade J, here and here.
posted by Atreides on Feb 2, 2008 - 14 comments

The Animated Oppa Novy God

18 animators collaborate on a cute little cartoon set to a song by Oppa Novy God, a "festive brass band" from St. Petersburg. (via Bloody Circus of Scary Dolls)
posted by madamjujujive on Jan 28, 2008 - 8 comments

...in my sobriety, behind the old facade

Art Deliverance - Alex Klochkov's gallery of abandonment from the Soviet Union. There's next to no explanation of the photos, unfortunately. Indirectly via Retrospectacle's post about the brain lab.
posted by Wolfdog on Jan 27, 2008 - 13 comments

The Polar Bear Expedition of 1918-1919

"The "American Intervention in Northern Russia, 1918-1919," nicknamed the "Polar Bear Expedition," (wikipedia) was a U.S. military intervention in northern Russia at the end of World War I." The ostensible purpose was to open an Eastern Front following the Russian withdrawal from World War I, but in practice the unit stayed to fight Bolshevism. An archive of the expedition, which gives wonderful insight into early Bolshevik Russia as well as war-weary United States, is online. [more inside]
posted by Rumple on Jan 25, 2008 - 23 comments

In Soviet Russia, baby makes you!

So we've already learned how babies are made in Germany. But we haven't seen Russia or Israel. Could be NWS if you work with people who don't know where babies come from.
posted by Lord_Pall on Jan 21, 2008 - 31 comments

Love survives after 60 years apart.

After 60 years of separation due to her family being marked as an enemy of the people, and sent off to internal exile a couple who spent only three days together after their marriage have reunited, in an amazing stroke of luck. [more inside]
posted by korej on Jan 18, 2008 - 39 comments

Did Vladimir Putin really turn around Russia's economy?

Did Vladimir Putin really turn around Russia's economy? Washington Post's Fred Hyatt attempts to refute the conventional wisdom that Putin was responsible for Russia's turnaround from the economic instability of the "disastrous" 90s by offering a thorough counter argument to prove that Putin's effect on the economy was just the reverse. [more inside]
posted by gregb1007 on Jan 18, 2008 - 26 comments

Funny Money

Super funny money turning up on the world stage
Along with pranks going on in the gulf this week, some funny stuff going on with US Currency as well - Perhaps part of the explanation of the seemingly endless run on gold?
posted by specialk420 on Jan 13, 2008 - 52 comments

Panthera tigris altaica

The Plight of the Amur Tiger (aka Siberian Tiger), the largest living cat in the world. Only 330-370 are left in the wild, but the situation is showing improvement, and they may even be repopulating previous strongholds in China. China is doing its part to repopulate the species - but for what purpose? The park's director admits the park made money from selling parts of dead tigers and wants China to lift the ban on the trade of tiger parts. They're considering it. Meanwhile, captive tigers are illegally skinned and beheaded, and 5000 tigers are kept in farms.
posted by desjardins on Dec 29, 2007 - 8 comments

Тхундербирдс являются дороге!

Russian cold war bombers - The Tu 95 Bear and Tu 160 Blackjack, based in central Russia, which resumed long range patrols in August.
posted by Artw on Dec 23, 2007 - 52 comments

Cool art russian artists found on livejournal

The livejournal group ru_graphic has been showcasing great artists for years, such as soamo, desmonych, floksystar, malli-ly, olliwander, omie-yomie, zuza1, ya-ya, varka, solntsev-gleb, adul and names.
posted by Brandon Blatcher on Dec 19, 2007 - 12 comments

These forum members are more dedicated than us

Some Russian online communities like to take on unusual challenges. Courtesy of English Russia.
posted by Lord_Pall on Dec 17, 2007 - 30 comments

MetroDream

Russos takes photos of Moscow Metro construction. Also of a half-abandoned river port, a cool bridge being put together, and an old underground nuclear submarine base. But mostly of the Metro, behind the scenes. (Don't ask me how he gets access.) [more inside]
posted by parudox on Dec 6, 2007 - 4 comments

6A sells LJ to SUP

Six Apart Announces New Home for LiveJournal: Russia
posted by finite on Dec 3, 2007 - 84 comments

Old Russia again

The Alexander Palace Time Machine. This deep site on pre-revolutionary Russia was not at all unearthed as a result of noting this bit of news today. The site was linked in passing previously this past August, in a post about the exact news the Times is reporting today.
posted by mwhybark on Nov 24, 2007 - 5 comments

Kasparov Detained By Russian Police (check)

Garry Kasparov, chess grandmaster, and presidential opponent to Putin, has just been detained on charges of organizing a protest and resisting arrest. [more inside]
posted by mrzarquon on Nov 24, 2007 - 63 comments

Romani portraits

The Roma Journeys - contemporary photographs of Roma life in Hungary, India, Greece, Romania, France, Russia, and Finland by Joakim Eskildsen. For more photo essays and info on the Roma, see two superb prior posts by plep and taz.
posted by madamjujujive on Nov 15, 2007 - 26 comments

Rapture ready, underground

Russian sect says world ends May 2008. And no, you can't borrow their cave. [more inside]
posted by Artw on Nov 15, 2007 - 43 comments

Delmar

In October, Vladimir Putin posthumously awarded the Hero of the Russian Federation to George Koval, who, using the code name Delmar, successfully penetrated the Manhattan Project as an agent for the Soviet Union. But, he wasn't the only one. Some think the award is just a disinformation campaign orchestrated by the Russians.
posted by Xurando on Nov 12, 2007 - 15 comments

Trotsky's Appeal

"Trotsky lived on after Stalin, and to some extent is still alive today, not because young people want the world he wanted: a phantasm that not even he could define. What they want is to be him."
posted by Firas on Nov 11, 2007 - 75 comments

Bolshevik storm the Winter Palace

The Russian Revolution: A Gallery Of Photos
posted by panoptican on Oct 15, 2007 - 27 comments

Travel the world; use less carbon, see the sights. Don't forget the penguin.

9000 miles by ferry, train, bus, bicycle, horse, foot and car. In a bid to reduce his carbon footprint, Joseph Tame swapped 11 hours in a plane from Japan to England for a month-long adventure across Eurasia. Along the way he has a Chinese Imperial Guard hold a penguin, stays in a Mongolian Yurt, experiences a "road" trip or two, misses some trains, and befriends a chipmunk.
posted by Freaky on Oct 15, 2007 - 25 comments

The West Coast connection/U.S.-Latvia Axis of Hate

On July 1st, 26 year old Fiji-native Satender Singh was gay-bashed to death by several Slavic immigrants in Sacramento. [more inside]
posted by daninnj on Oct 9, 2007 - 46 comments

Nightmare at 20,000 feet

Whether it's the Shatner or Lithgow version of the story, it's not something you would want to try and re-enact in real life. [more inside]
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Sep 26, 2007 - 27 comments

Immortal soul prisoned in a house of clay

The Por-Bazhyn Fortress (meaning “clay house” in Tuvan) is believed to have been built in the 8th century CE at the behest of the Uighur kagan Mo-yen-çur. Its remains occupy a 3.5 ha location on a spectacular island location in Lake Tere-Khol in the south west part of the Republic of Tuva. This summer a project to excavate and ultimately preserve the site began [Embedded video] (attracting some notable visitors). Via
posted by Abiezer on Sep 20, 2007 - 9 comments

And *I* thought that it was cool that I got Columbus Day off...

Last Wednesday, residents of the Ulyanovsk province of Russia took the day off work in celebration of their newest holiday, Sex Day.
posted by Afroblanco on Sep 18, 2007 - 42 comments

Space: 1989

Some photo galleries (and youtube video) of Buran, the USSR's space shuttle program (previously) from the 1980's, long since abandoned. Bonus: A comparison between Buran and the US space shuttle. Double Bonus: More on Buran from russianspaceweb.com, which is awesome. Combo breaker: An official page with NASA's take on Buran, (and their photos), frozen in time a decade ago.
posted by dersins on Sep 13, 2007 - 25 comments

Suburban Moscow only seems like outer space

Russians are planning a trip to Mars, but first they want to better understand the psychological and practical issues involved with long, isolated human travel. So the Russian Institute for Biomedical Problems will be locking volunteers into a small, closed system for ~500 days. The ESA is collaborating on the so-called Mars500 project. There is a current call out for volunteers which is open until the end of this month. [more inside]
posted by dkg on Sep 6, 2007 - 33 comments

Can I say, "I know, but if I tell you I'll have to kill you"?

Mayor of Siberian town orders his bureaucrats to stop using expressions such as "I don't know", "I can't", "I'm having lunch", and "It's impossible". Not sure if "You have got to be fucking kidding me." or "What the fuck, man? are on his list.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium on Sep 4, 2007 - 16 comments

Railway of Bones

Dead Road - Museum of Communism in the Open. "It was one of the most ambitious projects of the Stalin era, known as the 'railway of bones'. At least 10 people a day died during the four years of its construction [actually 1947-1953], but unlike most of Uncle Joe's grand designs it was never completed and now sits unfinished in the tundra, an icy road to nowhere." The transpolar railway was built by labour camps^ 501 and 503 and construction was stopped after the amnesty following Stalin's death in 1953; 800km, about half, was built. Some sections are currently in operation, but much is abandoned: depot and locomotives in Dolgoe, Dolgoe itself, labour camps, more spectacular decay. (Previously: Norilsk, which was supposed to see an extension of the line.)
posted by parudox on Aug 27, 2007 - 13 comments

"...as a Russian and Chinese-led alliance created to counter US hegemony"

The Shanhai Cooperative Organization. [wiki] When Moscow and Beijing engineered the creation of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) six years ago, I am not sure if they foresaw its emergence as an important actor in the international order. Iran, India, Pakistan and Mongolia, currently observers, are lobbying hard to get accepted into this club. The US request for membership was rejected two years ago.
posted by delmoi on Aug 23, 2007 - 14 comments

"The most unpardonable sin in society is the independence of thought."

My Disillusionment In Russia. Deported American anarchist Emma Goldman's narrative of her time in 1920s Russia. Omitted chapters were published as My Further Disillusionment With Russia. Emma was not only an anarchist, she was also an advocate for free speech, women's equality, sexual freedom, birth control and more. For more of her writings, see Anarchism: What It Really Stands For, Patriotism: A Menace To Liberty, and Minorities Versus Majorities. [Previously 1, 2]
posted by amyms on Aug 21, 2007 - 53 comments

Bush the Dissident

Bush the Dissident. (WaPo) Background (and previously) here here here here and here.
posted by Avenger on Aug 19, 2007 - 45 comments

Союз нерушимый...

Newsfilter: Someone is clearly nostalgic for the good old days of the Iron Curtain.
posted by Krrrlson on Aug 18, 2007 - 22 comments

Impeachment Day

Clinton White House Spokesman Joe Lockhart does stand-up. Text, or if you prefer there is some audio at the 51min mark from This American Life.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 on Aug 17, 2007 - 7 comments

Hitler's record collection

Know who else liked tunes by "subhuman" Jewish and Russian musicians? That's right.
posted by mr_crash_davis on Aug 7, 2007 - 36 comments

Musica Excentrica

Musica Excentrica.
posted by hama7 on Aug 7, 2007 - 10 comments

Portraits of rural Russians by Pavel Bezrukov

Portraits of rural Russians by the photojournalist Pavel Bezrukov. He is born in 1962, and started with photography as a hobby. Currently freelancing as a photo correspondent for the Moscow-based Orthodox magazine Foma. Some more samples of his work can be found at Orthodoxy Photo.
posted by Harald74 on Aug 7, 2007 - 22 comments

Bizarre geopolitical posturing filter

Russians plant flag on North Pole Sea bed. Russia has attempted to assert it's sovereignty over the North Pole by planting a Russian flag 4,200 metres under the ice. Norwegians, Danes react with amusement.
posted by ClanvidHorse on Aug 2, 2007 - 67 comments

Interpreting Vertov

Interpreting Vertov - an open invitation to reimagine the early Russian filmmaker Dziga Vertov's 1929 'Man with a Movie Camera".
posted by Burhanistan on Jul 18, 2007 - 30 comments

Motherland

Motherland - a photo essay of Russia by Simon Roberts. (via conscientious)
posted by sgt.serenity on Jul 17, 2007 - 5 comments

Wow, Russia!

Wow Russia! A cutesy guide to the world's largest country. [via Siberian Light]
posted by Ljubljana on Jul 6, 2007 - 13 comments

Danger, Danger High Voltage

Creepy High Voltage Installations The Russian countryside yields sometimes most improbable sights - abandoned artifacts and installations from bizarre military/scientific research, strangely futuristic forms left to rust and decay - to be found by a curious photographer. "Master" stumbled upon this installation close to Russian city of Istra (50 km from Moscow) quite by chance, and these mysterious shots were percolating for a while around the web, until the answer was found. According to this little, cryptic, and quite secretive website [in Russian], the weird alien-like towers are the Experimental Grounds for High-Voltage Generation, the only open-air kind in the world. Amazingly, it's still in use... as the powerful lightnings rip through the night and the darkened forest - much like in "The Prestige" movie.
posted by psmealey on Jul 4, 2007 - 38 comments

Soviet era arcade games resurrected

Uptick in Cold War-like rhetoric making you a little nostalgic for the era of parachute pants and Members Only jackets?
A cabal of Russki comrades at some pinko university have been going around collecting and resurrecting disused Soviet-era arcade games, which became instantly obsolete with the collapse of communism. Sea Wolf, Duck Hunt, Pole Position, Dogfight!
We begin bombing in five minutes.
posted by planetkyoto on Jun 7, 2007 - 28 comments

Cold War back on.

Cold War back on.
posted by reklaw on Jun 3, 2007 - 159 comments

Policing Putin's Russia

"OMON knows no mercy and forgives none. This is the way it is, was, and always will be." The Russian OMON (Otryad Militsii Osobovo Naznacheniya), or Special Purpose Police Squad, is one of the most elite police units in the world. Formed in the mid-1980s to combat urban riots, the 20,000-strong OMON now tackles terrorists, protesters, and soccer fans. What drives former soldiers to join the beefy brigade? "Risk," says Major Viktor Kommissarov, "Working in the OMON always involves the risk of death." (in Russian)
posted by nasreddin on Jun 1, 2007 - 22 comments

return of the soviet union - the empire strikes back

Russia on Tuesday test-launched a new intercontinental ballistic missile The points to note are:- It could penetrate any defense system, the statement did not specify how many warheads the missile can carry, it's either a decoy or something that has been developed in complete secrecy.
posted by chrisranjana.com on May 29, 2007 - 54 comments

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