May 30, 2019

Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Fire/Lightning?

Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Fire/Lightning?
Blast off at the speed of light! @Rogozin

Throwback Thursday

Boris Pasternak painted in 1910 by father Leonid
Boris Pasternak, painted in 1910 by father Leonid Pasternak. / Wikimedia Commons

On this day in 1960, Boris Pasternak, one of Russia’s most famous dissident writers, poets, and translators, died in the Soviet Union. He was fondly remembered not just in the West, where he received a Nobel Prize, but also by his Russian literary peers, including Mandelstam and Akhmatova. Read some of their reminiscences here on Russian Life.

Avengerful Pomp and Fiery Circumstance

1. Avengers Endgame 2: Graduation Boogaloo. In Russia, as in the US, it’s high school graduation season. Some teachers at a Murmansk high school decided to send off their graduates in style. The graduating students were big fans of the Avengers, so the teachers filmed a 2-minute video of themselves as Marvel and DC superheroes (be sure to keep watching, the vid takes an unexpected turn at about 40 seconds). “We decided to be on the same wavelength as them,” said one teacher. Needless to say, the students loved it. It was a heroic way to end the heroic feat of school.

Teachers in Avengers costume
The Avengers return to say farewell. / 360tv

2. Onwards and upwards! The Plesetsk Cosmodrome launched a rocket on a cloudy Monday morning. About fourteen seconds in, a bolt of lightning hit the rocket. Nevertheless, the rocket continued its intrepid launch into the sky, prompting a major general at the cosmodrome to quip, “We’re all-weather forces.” As it turns out, the engineers usually anticipate such situations, even though they are rare. Let’s hope that next time around, lightning doesn’t strike the same place twice.

3. Keep calm and swing on. In Yamal, a boy was swinging cheerily in a playground. This would not be news if it weren’t for the fact that there was a huge fire burning right behind him. The short video has gone viral on social media and sparked comparisons to the popular “This is fine” meme. One commentator, however, admonishes us for taking this video too seriously: “What did you want from the kid?…He had already seen enough of the fire.” Honestly, that’s a fair point. Still, we can’t help marvelling at how he could keep his cool in such heated circumstances.

Boy swinging in front of fire
He didn’t start the fire. It was always burning since the world was turning / Vkontakte

Blog Spotlight

Tired of hearing about Americans going to Russia for the first time? Then read Victor Pogostin’s story about visiting an American subway (Subway) for the first time.

In Odder News

Swan father and baby
Father and baby. / 47channel
  • After the untimely death of his swan partner, one swan father in Gatchina took it on himself to raise their sole surviving swan baby. The elder swan is teaching the hatchling to nip at the grass and clean its feathers.
  • Make way for utkas! In St. Petersburg, drivers on a busy street stopped for two ducks crossing the road — in the crosswalk of course, these are clearly very law-abiding ducks.
Ducks crossing the road
Bon quackage! / Serg Mikerov

Quote of the Week

“Because of the abundance of expletives in the video, the audio had to be turned off.”

— A news website regarding a (terrifying) video of a tourist who got too close to a bear and just barely managed to escape

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