Tag: Russia

Vintage Soviet Union (USSR) New Year’s Postcards, Vol. 2 (1960s)

Vintage Soviet Union (USSR) New Year’s Postcards, Vol. 2 (1960s)

Ephemera
I hope you enjoyed the first set of New Year's cards from the USSR of the 1950s, because we're moving on to the '60s. And while most of the imagery found in the '50s was brought over into the next decade, you can definitely see some more of the Space Age creeping in as well. As with the first set, all card scans courtesy Flickr user katya. Enjoy, and С Новым годом! (Happy New Year!) 1960 1961 1962 1963 1964 1965 1966 1967 1968 1969
Vintage Soviet Union (USSR) New Year’s Postcards, Vol. 1 (1950s)

Vintage Soviet Union (USSR) New Year’s Postcards, Vol. 1 (1950s)

Ephemera
I guess I just always assumed that once the Communists came to power in Russia and the rest of what became the USSR, any holiday not linked directly to the Communist Party ceased to exist. But lo and behold, I stumbled upon a Flickr set of postcards from the Soviet Union celebrating New Year's, some of them dating back to the 1930s. What I find most fascinating about these cards is how for the most part they look like they could have come from the West. Most of them feature images of idyllic forest scenes, cityscapes, and smiling children. The more overt Soviet stuff pops up in the cards from the '60s, which I'll feature in the next post on this series. Let's look at some cards, and as they say in Russia, С Новым годом! (Happy New Year!) 1953 1954 (more…)
Summing Up My Thoughts on the London 2012 Summer Olympics

Summing Up My Thoughts on the London 2012 Summer Olympics

Sports
Over the last several days of the 2012 Summer Olympics, I was struck by the feeling I get when I visit family out of state for long trips. There's the planning, the buildup and anticipation, and then the big day comes. I'm finally reunited for the first time in awhile, and it feels great. But then, as the days march on the newness of the experience gives way to a creeping feeling of anxiousness. By the end, even if the trip has gone well, I can't wait to be back home and back to my daily routine. In much the same way, I couldn't wait for the London Games to be over even though I eagerly anticipated them for several months earlier this year. I dutifully plopped myself in front of the TV for the prime time package most nights, and even checked out several live events on the internet, ...
Vintage Photo Wednesday, Vol. 1 — Photochrom Prints, 1890s-1900s

Vintage Photo Wednesday, Vol. 1 — Photochrom Prints, 1890s-1900s

Featured Posts, Vintage Photo Wednesday
This is the first of what I hope will be a long-running feature on the site. Each Wednesday I'll post a handful of vintage photographs that strike my fancy. Some weeks there will be a theme, others not so much. If you have any subjects you'd like me to look for, or have photos you'd like to share, let me know! This week's collection is drawn from the Photochrom Print Collection on the Library of Congress website. From the site: The Photochrom Print Collection has almost 6,000 views of Europe and the Middle East and 500 views of North America. Published primarily from the 1890s to 1910s, these prints were created by the Photoglob Company in Zürich, Switzerland, and the Detroit Publishing Company in Michigan. The richly colored images look like photographs but are actually ink-based phot
The 10 Deadliest Tornadoes in World History

The 10 Deadliest Tornadoes in World History

Featured Posts, Listcruft
In spite of all our technological advancements and so-called human ingenuity, we are ever at Mother Nature's mercy. 2011's deadly tornado in Joplin, Missouri -- just one of many to strike the American Midwest that weekend -- is a stark reminder of that fact. In total, more than 1,000 tornadoes touched down in the U.S. in April 2011 -- the most active month on record. But while the U.S. is home to the most tornadoes on a yearly basis, advances in research and early detection have helped reduce the number of fatalities from twisters. As a result, the list of the 20 deadliest tornadoes (or tornado outbreaks) ever contains just five from the United States. Here are the full top ten. Some of these totals are estimates of course, owing to time or lack of properly published information. #1: D
A brief recap of my Olympics experience

A brief recap of my Olympics experience

Sports
I didn't have the gumption to post on a daily basis during the 2010 Winter Olympics, but I did watch a lot of them.  As I get older I find that I enjoy the Olympics more and more, although I think I prefer the Summer games more.  So here's some random observations on the 17-day spectacle that was the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics... • First off, I know I'm not the only one who thought NBC's coverage sucked hard.  I don't even care about the tape delays so much (since I'm not around to watch during the day anyway), but there was so much else to hate.  Look, I get that television networks are businesses, and the primary goal of a business is to make money.  But really, could NBC have been any more clumsy about the unending barrage of commercials?  After awhile it felt like I was watching
I have a dream that one day, faceless corporations will pander to me based on my skin color

I have a dream that one day, faceless corporations will pander to me based on my skin color

Advertising
As a middle-class white male, I know I'm not really in much of a position to bitch about being overlooked or disadvantaged.  Still, I'll admit feeling a bit like the odd man out when one of my (formerly) favorite fast food establishments, McDonald's, launched their "I'm Lovin' It" ad campaign in 2003.  Few things are more transparent and painful than when a business makes an obvious attempt to pander to minorities, because they usually do such a piss poor job. Oh sure, fast food chains targeting black people is nothing new, so that's no big deal in and of itself.  But historically for TV ads, it seems the chains had their regular campaigns and then they had their "black" ads, replete with awful R&B-esque music and sad attempts to look hip.  But McDonald's took it to a whole new leve
Book report: Single & Single

Book report: Single & Single

Books
Don't let the title fool you - Single & Single is in fact not the new name for Jon & Kate Plus 8.  It's actually a 1999 novel by John le Carré, who made a name for himself in 1963 with The Spy Who Came in From the Cold.  I picked it up a few years ago solely because le Carré is the author, which should tell you how much I liked The Spy Who Came in From the Cold. I don't know if I was aware that Single & Single isn't a spy novel when I bought it, but it doesn't really matter because it might as well be. All the familiar elements are here, but in the post-Cold War world we have to make do with cutthroat Russian mobsters rather than crafty KGB agents, and put-upon British bureaucrats who lack the zip of the agents of yesteryear.  Fighting crime just isn't as interesting as figh