When cosmonauts work in space they work in a weightless environment. It goes without saying that they need to be prepared for such work. But how can it be done on Earth? It's not as hard as it first seems. Conditions closest to weightlessness are provided by ordinary water. That is why in 1980 they
built a water immersion facility in the Cosmonauts Training Center named after Yuri Gagarin. For the thirty years of its existence cosmonauts have spent over 65 000 training hours here, those who have subsequently walked in real space had the same opinion: it felt 95% the same.
Even in our age of developed industrial technologies the appearance of the larger man made objects being assembled out of steel touches me, when the people working on the ship or submarine are hundreds of times smaller than the metal giant they are building. So I can imagine how impressive this was a hundred years
ago when it was fresh and those achievements of human engineering were just popping up for the first time. Building something half the size of the Titanic in a wooden barn really should look tremendously awesome for the ones who could take a peek inside. We can take a look inside, too.
The propaganda and informational posters in the Soviet state were a popular form of art and targeted different slices of society. You come to a factory where workers work and see the "Don't steal from the factory!" or "Be careful with machinery!" posters around. You go out on
the streets - you see different sorts of posters. Then when you enter a school for kids you get to see posters too, now these ones are targeted towards children. So what did kids have to know according to the propaganda masters of the State? Here is what:
Lake Baikal is the biggest lake in the world by volume, and there are recreational train trips going around it. Some prefer to go around by foot, it said to take 3 to 5 days to complete the picturesque route, but some, like Evgeny prefer to take a train ride. It's a much faster and easier way to enjoy all the landmarks around the Lake and you can get everything done in a day. They
deliberately make several stops so people can walk around and enjoy the scenery, the local meals being cooked by the babushkas, etc. The trip is called a roundtrip on purpose - the route makes a circle around the lake (or something more like a stretched oval around it). So the first stop is the last stop. Let's follow Evgeny and see some things he has seen and photographed:
Semyon Fridlan was a Russian photographer that worked at the state owned magazine, OGONYOK. He was a photographer who had the chance to travel to numerous Russian places and document in color life at the time. His topics of interest were out of different spheres - he took photos of people, of the cities, of plants and nature, art pieces and trains -
virtually everything he could find an inspiration in. They said at the time that his photos were lost but then at some point in time the American (!) researchers found his photos on Agfacolor film, they scanned them and published them. Thanks to this work we can get a glimpse of a country sixty years ago. Here we go:
If you have the number 666 on your car's number plate, be ready to face religious activists that will use spray paint to ruin your plate, your car and your day. At least this is what happened in Moscow a few days ago. It's interesting that they didn't just spray paint on the
number plate but also deliberately painted out the "KIA" logo of the car, like they have something against this word too. Also it seems that the number 777 is not what they like, either. Also the paint color choice was some tint of gold or bronze.
The Voroniya cave (Kruber caves or Krubera-Voronya) is the world's deepest cave that has been studied by specialists. It is situated in the massif Arabika of the Ghagra mountain range, in Abkhazia, Georgia. The cave has two branches: Novokuibyshevskaya (1300 meters deep) and Main (2196 meters deep), the second ramifies into several smaller branches. The depth of the Voronya cave is 2140 (± 9) meters (7020 ft (± 29)). The previous record was set in 2001 by the Russian-Ukrainian team who found the cave area at 1710
meters deep. In 2004, during three research expeditions, the depth of the cave was recorded deeper and deeper. They crossed the mark of 2000 m under the ground. In the history of speleology it happened for the first time. October 2005 brought new sensational results - the cave turned out to be even deeper. The expedition of CAVEX team confirmed that presently the depth of the cave is reaching 2140 (± 9) meters (7020 ft (± 29)) under the ground. Can you imagine how deep that is?
Some say hurricanes or tornadoes are not possible in the center of Russia, in Moscow city. However in 1904 there was an event that shocked most of the people who saw it. The giant pillar of swirling air dropped on the suburbs of Moscow and swept through what was mainly the suburbs of Moscow at time. Tens or hundreds of houses
were demolished, and train cars and carriages were thrown around. All of this was preceded by a hail storm with hail the size of goose eggs. The photo above might be the only photo of the actual hurricane pillar, however inside there are plenty of more photos of this natural event and its aftermath.
How did a restaurant in Russia looked around hundred years ago. What type of gentlemen frequented the place and what did the interiors look like? Is it something similar to newly made, often kitschy eateries after almost eighty years of Soviet people eating in state-owned Stolovaias (all restaurants in USSR belonged to the Soviet state)? If you are curious
about these things (like I am) then you have a chance to take a look at "Luna-park". This is what a restaurant in Moscow was called at the beginning of the 20th century, before the Revolution, and this guy in the photo is its owner, as you probably has guessed already. Photos can be viewed in higher resolution by clicking on them.