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23 About Windows, Not “Windows”

About Windows, Not “Windows”

What comes to your mind when you hear the word “windows”? Of course, you recollect Bill Gates, his Microsoft guys and their perpetration. Only after that you might remember some wood-and-glass, PVC
or fiberglass hole in the wall behind your back. Or might not. Anyway, today I want to mull over these, traditional windows, or as they are called sometimes, “the eyes of the house”.
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18 Russian Matte-Painting

Russian Matte-Painting

The other day, while browsing the Web, I came across a nice article on matte painting. A matte painting is a painted representation of a landscape, set, or distant location that allows filmmakers to create illusions of an environment that would otherwise be too expensive or impossible to build or visit. The thing is matte painting is a quite old technique in film-making with more than one hundred years of history. Although the term itself is not too popular among
laymen, we come across various instances of this technique almost every time when we decide to watch another newfangled movie or play a fancy computer game. Surprised? So was I. And if you see somewhere – in a movie, on a photo some unusual, unreal scene or background, be sure that you deal with this very matte painting. Of course, digital matte painting came to practice only a while ago, but is widely used in modern cinematography.
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13 One Fake’s Story

One Fake’s Story

By a broken Soviet helicopter. Ashmar, province Khunar, 18 January, 1980. This photo with this cutline appeared in a well-known to many comrades famous Russian
Live Journal about two years ago. And it won’t be a kind of surprise if it appears again, because an anniversary date (30 years) is on the doorstep.
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Russian wedding cakes
37 Russian Wedding Cakes

Russian Wedding Cakes

Never let it be said that Russians are not creative or romantic – for proof, take a look at
this collection of amazing Russian wedding cakes.  Enjoy, and don’t drool.
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Ural park
20 Ural Park

Ural Park

This is an amusement park in the Ural region in Russia. Like a lot of awesome things in Russia, it is made of
wood and they like to claim that “Our wooden Disneyland is much cooler than their Western one!”
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Russian bus accident
21 Bus Going Down

Bus Going Down

Crazy story happened in the Russian city of Perm a few days ago: a city bus lost control of its brakes at the top of a hill and careened down a busy street smashing cars, kiosks and generally wreaking a path
of destruction. Fortunately (for us) a street camera caught some of it on tape.  Check out the video to see what happens when bus meets pedestrian. Does he live?? Watch and see.
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Russian oldest woman
13 Dude, Where is my Birth Certificate?

Dude, Where is my Birth Certificate?

So to continue today’s “Dude, where is…?” theme, we have a story about a particular Russian “babushka”. What makes her really remarkable is her date of birth: as marked in her passport it reads July 1, 1890, making her 119 years old. According to the Guinness Book of World Records the oldest woman living now on Earth is a Japanese lady who is 114 years old. But why, you might ask, can’t this Chelyabinsk granny beat her and take her rightful place in the Earthlings printed hall of fame? Well, for one, she can’t prove it; and second, she just doesn’t care.  Her relatives of course were pretty enthusiastic about the idea until they realized that it’s not a simple matter of a lost birth certificate. The fact is, a hundred and
nineteen years ago, formal birth registration procedures were not a high priority.  Moreover, such procedures were generally carried out by the church—but this babushka was raised in an Islamic tradition.  The one document she owns is a gift card sent to her on her thirtieth birthday, and that postcard is almost ninety years old! So while her numerous relatives - and there really are a lot of them - like 67 grand children, 40 great grandchildren and even 17 great great grandchildren - are occupied with getting more info on her birth, she is spending her days sitting near the house and watching people pass by, her own time to hustle long past.  Here’s to a hundred and twenty, Za Vas!
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Russian foam
25 Dude, Where is my Foam?

Dude, Where is my Foam?

Looks like we are having “Dude, Where is my …” day. Well, a leak in a storage freight one day left some Russian firefighters near Moscow
wondering just where their foam went.  They didn’t have to look far though: it had escaped to the river!  Run free, foam, run free.
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Russian Gangsters
71 Dude Where is my Harlem?

Dude Where is my Harlem?

Ah, the importation of cultural habits: Moscow kids mimicking American ‘thug life’.  While pretty amusing, and perhaps not
even surprising, how come you never see kids in Harlem wearing kokoshniks and taking balalaikas with them to parties?
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Children of War
47 Children of War

Children of War

From time to time photos of child soldiers in Africa holding AK-47s or some other kind of weapon appear here and there provoking outrage and compassion from the Western public. But just a few decades ago, during World War II, there were often occasions of Russian kids fighting in the regular army against the Nazis. Generally speaking, children were not allowed to join the combat army—but many exceptions were made. Many kids tried to run away from their homes “to the War” but most such cases were eventually captured by military police and returned back to their homes.  While some did succeed in joining the army, it was often the case for these runaways to get lost in the
woods or shot along their journey. Also, from time to time, soldiers found children in the devastated and burnt down villages of the Soviet Union. While there was a directive for them to send such children to established orphanages, still sometimes such boys were simply incorporated into the active combat units.  Specially sized uniforms were tailored for them and they were entrusted with guns. Some of those boys joined the army at nine or eleven, and stayed with their regiment through all the war front, from Russia to Germany, until the war ended and they were discharged at fourteen or sixteen, often with medals of honor.
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