Want to run for president in Kyrgyzstan? Better bone up on your Kyrgyz language skills. The 83 declared candidates are being tested, on live television on how well they can use the country's official language. Five grammar mistakes, and you're out. (Clearly, the election commissioners are prescriptivists.) The intent, it appears, is to weed out politicians with Russian educations.
Ana Lee's fashion blog is in Russian but with its insane number of HQ photographs [don't forget to click the "далее"], you won't care. For example, her two posts about Carol Alt almost certainly comprise the greatest documentation of that model's career to be found anywhere in the world.
My new favourite internet celebrity Dmitri panders to every gun-nut's fantasy and demonstrates various firearms with humour, spectacle and cool Russian accent :) I give you: FPS Russia.
Russian divers working for the Orda Cave Awareness Project have revealed stunning images of the world's longest underwater cave.
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]
"The Mark of Cain" is a 73 minute documentary by Alix Lambert about Russian prison tattoos and the "Thieves-in-law" who often wear the tattoos. [more inside]
Security reporter Brian Krebs [previously] visits Russian illicit online prescription baron Pavel Vrublevsky.
"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]
From the always reliable Monster Brains (previously) comes the crossover you've all been waiting for: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles vs. Predator. But wait, there's more (Google translation): Evil Candy Plans, Forbidden Bat-Love, an awesome batmobile, and lots of plain old what the fuck.
Vintage Turkish-Russian advertising posters and graphics | unusual matches and match head sculptures |marbling on grafikerler.net, a Turkish graphic design site worth exploring.
Unlike many cinematic exports, the Disney canon of films distinguishes itself with an impressive dedication to dubbing. Through an in-house service called Disney Character Voices International, not just dialogue but songs, too, are skillfully re-recorded, echoing the voice acting, rhythm, and rhyme scheme of the original work to an uncanny degree (while still leaving plenty of room for lyrical reinvention). The breadth of the effort is surprising, as well -- everything from Arabic to Icelandic to Zulu gets its own dub, and their latest project, The Princess and the Frog, debuted in more than forty tongues. Luckily for polyglots everywhere, the exhaustiveness of Disney's translations is thoroughly documented online in multilanguage mixes and one-line comparisons, linguistic kaleidoscopes that cast new light on old standards. Highlights: "One Jump Ahead," "Prince Ali," and "A Whole New World" (Aladdin) - "Circle of Life," "Hakuna Matata," and "Luau!" (The Lion King) - "Under the Sea" and "Poor Unfortunate Souls" (The Little Mermaid) - "Belle" and "Be Our Guest" (Beauty and the Beast) - "Just Around the Riverbend" (Pocahontas) - "One Song" and "Heigh-Ho" (Snow White) - "Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo" (Cinderella) - Medley (Pinocchio) - "When She Loved Me" (Toy Story 2) - Intro (Monsters, Inc.)
The State University of New York at Albany's motto is "the world within reach." But language faculty members are questioning the university's commitment to such a vision after being told Friday that the university was ending all admissions to programs in French, Italian, Russian and classics, leaving only Spanish left in the language department once current students graduate.
Twenty-four different accents in just over eight minutes. (NSFW SLYT)
RussianFilter: Historical Chronicles with Nikolai Svanidze is an ongoing Russian television documentary series which, starting with 1901, picks out one person per year, every year, of the 100 years of the 20th century in Russia. It's entirely in Russian, of course, but for them as speaks it, it's one fascinating perspective on Russian history, with excellent narration, copious detail, and fascinating interconnections of events, people and places. All of the episodes that are available through Google Video and various other sources, and [more inside]
Blago walks, mostly. Short and sweet: Jury was hung on 23 counts, convicted him on 1. That count was "lying to federal investigators" when he told them that he didn't care about nor was involved with fundraising. Max jailtime for this one is 5 years. They were, reportedly, 11-1 on all others. [more inside]
There is a before and an after André Markowicz. In the early 1990s the translator, born to a Russian mother and French father, began translating the complete works of Dostoyevsky for Babel / Actes Sud. By the time he finished the mammoth undertaking in 2002 he had proved something: what people had been reading by Dostoyevsky wasn’t Dostoyevsky. - an interview with André Marcowicz, writer and translator. [more inside]
Paper Art by Alexei Lyapunov and Lena Ehrlich, Russian artists who make detailed and fun paper crafts. Site is in Russian, but navigation is simple. Check out the brilliance of Young Michael, The King, and We Are the Champions, among numerous others. [more inside]
This is a small collection of Soviet Animated science fiction from the 1980s, including the work of Vladimir Samsonov, Mikhail Titov (whose "Сражение" is one of Stephen King's "Dollar Babies"), Vladimir Tarasov, Nazim Tulyakhodzayev and Anatoly Petrov. [more inside]
The Insects' Christmas is a short stop-motion animation from 1913. (SLYT)
"Wow, a talking fish!" is a cheerfully deranged bit of animation based on an Armenian fairy-tale, starring a poor old fisherman, a talking fish, and probably the most psychedelic wizard ever committed to film.
The New York Times called it "a great work of art" (NYT login required). Martin Amis called it "a waterlogged corpse at the stage of maximal bloat". You can judge for yourself by reading an annotated, hyperlinked edition. This timeline and this geography might help. (For extra credit, here are texts mentioned in the story.)
Andrey Vinogradov has got the Russian hurdy gurdy you want. . 4,091 views. 2,635 views. 853 views. 5 views.
Short, animated Russian battles to the death: Pacman vs Mario, general vs zombie, ninja vs crusader, accountant vs designer, Clara Roft vs Louisiana Jones and many, many more. (via oink)
Reports spread around the internet about an offer by a Russian company to do pirate hunting cruises off the coast of Somalia. The news garners a swarm of comments and outrage, and it looks like we have the beginnings of a snowballing controversy. [more inside]
Peasant! Free your pregnant wife from work, don't allow her to pick up heavy items since this will harm her and the child. An excellent collection of vintage soviet propaganda, public health, and infographics posters from 20s to 30s, many with full translations.
"This is a regular Russian school biology textbook owned by some Russian school. He has modified some illustrations so now it’s hard to say sometimes what was there originally and what has appeared as a result of his imagination."
A visit to Russian abandoned nuclear lighthouses.. Despite the hazards, there has been much vandalism of these sites. The IAEA has taken on the task of decommissioning these radioisotope thermoelectric generators (RTG's).
Animatsiya in English is weblog (warning: livejournal) with a narrow focus: tracking the production of Russian animated feature films. Russian animation has a long history with output both abstract and obstructed; from the early influence of the Russian avant-garde and the work of small groups of enthusiasts, through Stalin-era Socialist realism and a style known as Éclair that was marked by the use of extensive rotoscoping, to the 1960's and beyond when surreal and politically charged (and unfortunately, in this case, anti-Semitic) as well as unconventionally structured, emotionally fueled films found release. Fortunately, when Pilot Studio—the Soviet Union's first private animation studio—decided to relegate parts of that history to the dumpsters out back, the people were ready to sift through the mess. [more inside]
At One Minute Languages you can learn greetings, talking about names, counting, and more in Catalan, Danish, French, German, Irish, Japanese, Luxembourgish, Mandarin, Norwegian, Polish, Romanian, and Russian.
Footage (in Russian) of some concept tanks. Includes human tanks, hydrofoil tanks, rocket assisted tanks and many many more. SLYT I know, but Rockets! And Tanks!!!
Мотылёк - Butterfly - is just a sweet little Russian cartoon (with subtitles) (and foxes). I seem to get a little speck of something in my eyes when I watch it for some reason.
I first saw Russian Barre at Cirque du Soleil's Alegria show. I find it an exciting display of acrobatics but the ending of this video is absolutely amazing to me.
Gorbachov the music video, contains basically everything I've ever wanted in a music video.
When people think of Soviet culture in the Stalin era, jazz usually isn't the first music to come to mind. But it was there, and some of it was pretty good, whether adapting Western standards, partying with a Russian twist, or just being adventurous. If that's a little too old-school for you, try some Soviet funk.
The Amber Room found? German treasure hunters using electromagnetic pulse measurements are "90% sure" the Russian "Eighth Wonder of the World" was buried by the Nazi's in a man-made cavern 20 meters underground near the village of Deutschneudorf (map), but it will take "..until Easter to get into the chamber because it may contain booby traps and has to be secured by explosives experts.. The chamber is likely to be part of a labyrinth of storage rooms that the Nazis built." Russia is eyeing its return, "If, hypothetically speaking, the room still exists."
Nine experienced cross-country skiers hurriedly left their tent on a Urals slope in the middle of the night at around -30 degrees Celsius for no obvious reason, casting aside skis, food, boots and most of their clothes. Soon they would be dead, some with injuries more suited to car crash victims, and apparently dosed with radiation. Their deaths are still unexplained, 49 years later. The Mystery of the Dyatlov Pass Accident. [more inside]
Did you ever hear the story / of Belinda O'McHugh / She was courted by the Devil / And she didn't know what to do / He came a courtin' ev'ry evenin' / So Belinda got to thinkin' / She would be the Devil's wife / It was better far than bein' / An old maid all her life
After inventing the autojector, the worlds first artifical heart-lung machine, Sergei Bryukhonenko began to experiment on keeping severed dog heads alive and bringing dogs back from the dead, as shown in the film Experiments in the Revival of Organisms (some links contain mildly ghoulish stills from film).
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.
A recent post on Russian animation reminded me of the "Lift" series of short animations, created by the Pilot studio [link in Russian]. There are, count 'em, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 installments. Knowledge of Russian not required to watch.
Regina Spektor is a Russian-born American singer-songwriter and pianist associated with the anti-folk scene centered on New York City's East Village. Incorporating "piano riffs and integrating moans, nonsense words, groans, gurglings, or warblings," Spektor has a pretty unique voice (Seattle P-I: "an instrument with the agility of an athlete and the flexibility of a yogi") and style which incorporates "beatbox-style flourishes in the middle of ballads, or the use of a drum stick to tap rhythms on the body of the piano or chair" (wiki). She's got a pretty unique voice and "Fidelity" is a very unusual and rather enjoyable music video. Someone to keep an eye on (although Mefites already had been doing so).
The Other Side - A funny short film by Mikhail Aldashin, one of the most talented Russian contemporary animation directors.
The Cossacks, a proud people with a long history, are famous nowadays for their dancing, whether of the mass spectacle variety, or the slightly lower-key celebration of actual Cossacks. They have some pretty famous music, too, often featuring balalaikas. (Behold, the real lyrics to "Tetris") But dancing and singing is not enough for some, apparently, who seek to refine Cossack martial arts.