Tag Archives: Russia

Magnitogorsk: Russia’s Steel Heart

At the extreme southern extent of the Ural Mountains in Russia, about 140 km west of the border with Kazakhstan, there are some hills that are composed largely of iron ore. So rich is their iron content that magnetic compasses cannot function near it and birds avoid flying over it. The Russians call the mountain “Magnitnaya” or the Magnetic Mountain. It is at the foot of the Magnitnaya Mountain, on the eastern slope of the Ural mountain, lies Magnitogorsk, the second largest city in Russia that is not the administrative center of any federal subject or district. It is home to “Magnitogorsk Iron and Steel Works”, the largest steel plant in the country and one of the largest in the world.

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Photo credit: Philipp Hilgenberg/Flickr

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Russia wants to compete with SpaceX—but there’s a flaw in the plan

Enlarge (credit: NASA)

For a long time, with its low production costs and efficient fleet of rockets, Russia has been the leading player in the global market for satellite launches. Some recent failures with its Soyuz and Proton boosters have not helped, but the biggest threat to Russia’s preeminence now clearly comes from SpaceX.

Publicly, at least, Russian officials were slow to acknowledge the threat from SpaceX. Even last year, the country’s space leaders dismissed SpaceX’s efforts to build reusable launch systems to lower overall costs. But that tone has started to shift in 2017, as SpaceX has begun to fly used boosters and demonstrate this emerging capability.

Now, in a new interview posted on the site of the Russian space agency, Roscosmos, its chief executive

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Russia’s hack of US State Department was “hand-to-hand” combat

Enlarge (credit: AgnosticPreachersKid)

Russia’s 2014 hack of an unclassified State Department computer system was much more aggressive than previously reported, with one official describing it as “hand-to-hand combat,” according to an article published Monday by The Washington Post.

Over a 24-hour period, top US network defenders repeatedly ejected the intruders. Just as quickly, the intruders reentered the breached computer system, the news organization reported, citing both named and unnamed officials. Whenever the defenders severed a link between the malware inside the infected network and a command-and-control server belonging to the hackers, the Russians established a new connection. The new details came amid new warnings by the National Security Agency that Russia is likely visiting the same aggressive tactics on private industry sectors, which have

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The Deepest Metro Stations in The World

The average metro train doesn’t go beyond a few stories underground. But sometimes the geology and the geography of the region, such as the presence of rivers and swamps, forces engineers to go deep underground. The Arsenalna, a station on Kiev Metro's Sviatoshynsko-Brovarska Line, is such an exception.

Arsenalna station is located 105.5 meters below the surface, making it the deepest metro station in the world. If you made a vertical shaft on earth as deep, you could drop the entire Statue of Liberty into it and still have more than twelve meters of headroom left to drop other stuff. To board a subway train at this station, commuters have to take two seemingly never-ending escalators to the bottom. The journey takes up to five … Read the rest

The Last Ringbearer

In the 90s, Russian scientist Kirill Yeskov began to write a story based on the following premise: The Lord of the Rings Trilogy is based on real events. Just as history over time becomes myth, the fantastic elements in LotR can be seen as metaphors for the social dynamics of the time (the year 3019 of the 3rd age).

The story is from Sauron’s perspective and Mordor is a haven for the ugly and the deformed. The evil west depicts these poor creatures as hideous monsters and uses that as justification for an unwarranted invasion.

The book was published in Russia in 1999 and recently Yisroel Markov translated the book into English and you can download the PDF.

The style is somewhat as if John … Read the rest

Cryptozoology

Primate-ish:
Bigfoot (Sasquatch)
Yeti (Abominable Snowman – and how would YOU like to be called ‘abominable’?)
Oliver (‘Oliver’?)

Other kinds:
Loch Ness Monster (Nessie)
Chupacabra (some kind of giant bat?)
Mokele-Mbembe (a dinosaur of the non-extinct variety)

cryptozoology.com has a glossary with a whole lot more, including the ‘windigo’, an ‘Algonkin sub-arctic zombie’.

The only I thing I’m certain about regarding these creatures is: if they do exist, they smell really bad
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Erik the Red

A recent find by archaeologists put the first north Asians in North America 30,000 years ago.

The weird thing is that they used weapons made of ivory – in Siberia.

There used to be wooly rhinoceroses up there, you know.

The main European influx came after 1492, but most know of the Vikings centuries earlier.

It’s interesting to actually read the sagas of Erik the Red.

The standard telling describes the ‘Skraelings’ they found in ‘Vinland’ (perhaps named because the new world was supposedly rich with wild grape) as “They were small, ill favoured men, and had ugly hair on their heads.

They had big eyes and were broad in the cheeks”

Apparently the locals (whether Thule, Algonquin, or other isn’t clear) were just too … Read the rest