July 28, 2020

Attack of the Radioactive Berries



Attack of the Radioactive Berries
Eat at your own risk. Fabiangamerogonzalez, Wikimedia Commons

A batch of cherniki, the popular, dark-colored wild Russian blueberry, was pulled from a market outside Moscow last week. The reason? Dangerous radioactive material.

The 10-kilogram portion was pulled from a market stall and taken away for testing when it was detected to have excess levels of Cesium-137, Interfax.ru reported. The berries were later destroyed, preventing any harm done by this chemical.

How exactly the radioactive material made its way into the berries is anyone's guess. Cesium-137 is a byproduct of nuclear power plant and weapon activity, and, once it enters the environment, is easily picked up by plant and fungal organisms. Hence its presence in the berries.

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Maria's War: A Soldier's Autobiography

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Marooned in Moscow

This gripping autobiography plays out against the backdrop of Russia's bloody Civil War, and was one of the first Western eyewitness accounts of life in post-revolutionary Russia. Marooned in Moscow provides a fascinating account of one woman's entry into war-torn Russia in early 1920, first-person impressions of many in the top Soviet leadership, and accounts of the author's increasingly dangerous work as a journalist and spy, to say nothing of her work on behalf of prisoners, her two arrests, and her eventual ten-month-long imprisonment, including in the infamous Lubyanka prison. It is a veritable encyclopedia of life in Russia in the early 1920s.
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The Spine of Russia

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Jews in Service to the Tsar

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Fearful Majesty

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