Steve Jobs, the Macintosh and the Moscow Metro

In 1972 Steve Jobs dropped out of Reed college in Portland, Oregon, but hung around campus for more than a year afterward; during that time, he audited Father Palladino’s calligraphy class. After helping to found Apple in 1976, he often credited the company’s elegant onscreen fonts — and his larger interest in the design of computers as physical... Continue Reading →

Sunset on the Volga

I wrote in a previous post about how, originally coming from a city surrounded by mountains, I am fascinated by the "vast skies" of the Russian Plain, that spans approximately 4,000,000 km2 (2,000,000 sq mi) without a single mountain. This creates the ideal conditions for absolutely spectacular sunsets, thanks mostly to the fact that you can see the sun disappearing over... Continue Reading →

The Times They Are A Changin

This 1964 Bob Dylan song seemed appropriate to illustrate how in just one picture you can see how much things have changed in Russia since the time of the Soviet Union. In a seemingly insignificant corner (even if it is in fact a round corner) of a Moscow street we see two elements that symbolize as... Continue Reading →

The tank that won the war

I already wrote in a previous post (Lala Tulpan in Ufa, or “when the weather doesn’t play nice”) how my stay in Ufa was too short and definitely not "blessed" by good weather.  In spite of that the capital of Bashkortostan offered so many interesting sights I managed to take a few pictures, also as "visual... Continue Reading →

The resting Antonov AN-2

The Antonov An-2 was one of the most successful  Soviet propeller planes. Nicknamed "Annushka" or "Annie", it flew for the first time on 31 August 1947. It was used as a light utility transport, parachute drop aircraft, aerial agricultural work and many other tasks suited to this large slow-flying biplane. Its slow flight and good short field performance... Continue Reading →

Autumn in Moscow

Many foreigners, and western in particular, have a mental image of Moscow as a drab, grey city. This comes from years of movies where the Russian capital was portrayed as such, especially during the cold war years. But in reality Moscow is a very green city, with over 40 percent of its territory consisting of parks,... Continue Reading →

Murmansk turns 101 years (and one day) old

So many things happened in Russia on October 4th in the course of the centuries! I chose to dedicate yesterday's post to the anniversary of Sputnik, Earth's first artificial satellite, but yesterday also marked the 101st birthday of the city of Murmansk. Murmansk was the very last city founded in the Russian Empire. In 1915, World War I needs... Continue Reading →

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