Thursday, April 28, 2016

Russia Launches Rocket From New Cosmodrome

Russia has recently finished construction on a new place to launch rockets called the Vostochny Cosmodrome. This new launch pad is located in an isolated area of the Amur Region in Russia's Far East.  On Thursday, a day after its original launch date, the cosmodrome had its first rocket launch at 5:01 AM (Moscow Time). The rocket carried three satellites into orbit. Russia's President, Vladimir Putin, was there in person to witness the launch. The first manned mission to the ISS (International Space Station) from the Vostochny Cosmodrome is expected to happen in the year 2023.

Here is the footage of the actual launch:
https://youtu.be/SkvBiD-XSeQ

Ключевская сопка


Russia is also home to the world’s largest active volcano Klyuchevskaya Sopka, which has a height of 4,750 m (15,584 ft). It is cone shaped volcano, that can be climbed from all sides. Mostly, climbs are from the pass between Klyuchevskaja nad Kamen from the south. Less popular is west route. The height of Klyuchevskaja is in the range from 4750 to 4850 m according to different sources. However, on the north side of the summit crater it is 4750 m.During the summer a helmet is necessity due to the falling of stones and rocks. In summer 2003, one Czech turist was hit to death by stone on the slope of Klyuchevskaja, and several members of rescue team were injured. For winter and spring climbs you need crampoons, ice-axe, avalanche transceiver, snow showel, etc. Helmet is recommendable, but not necessary, as majority of stones and rocks area stabilizated by ice and snow. 

Difficulties of the climb are mostly near the summit - strong volcanic activity, gases, temperature, etc. During the climb the worst troubles are falling stones and rocks. We set up our camp on the north at the altitude 2070 m, so that, 2700 altitude meters were for summit day. Usually, the advance camp is set up from the north/north-west at 2700-2900 m. From the south the summit day starts from the pass between Klyuchevskaja and Kamen.



Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Pumpkin Spice Kasha

Since we learned about kasha I found a cool recipe for it.



Directions:

  • Peel and clean pumpkin, removing all seeds. Cut pumpkin into one inch cubes.
  • Place pumpkin pieces into a large pot, add water and boil until pumpkin is tender.
  • Add milk or half & half, spices and rice and let simmer for 40 min, covered on medium heat. 
  • Mix well and add raisins.
  • Serve hot

Ingredients:
  • - 1 pumpkin or butternut squash
    - 1 cup of rice
    - 1/2 cup of sugar
    - 2 cups of milk
    - 1 cup of water
    - 1 tbsp of butter
    - 1/2 cup of raisins
    - Dash of cinnamon or nutmeg

Unit 9 Blog

Ten cool facts about Russia
  1. Russia is home to the worlds longest railway.
  2. Russia also has the worlds largest McDonalds.
  3. There are approximately 10 million more women than men in Russia.
  4. Russians have a tradition where you wear your wedding band on the ring finger of your right hand.
  5. Russian men never typically gift flowers to anyone as it is seen as bad luck/being associated with deaths and funerals.
  6. Russia is larger than Pluto by landmass.
  7. Moscow has approximately 74 billionaires living within its boundaries.
  8. Russia is the second largest oil producing nation in the world, behind Saudi Arabia, the US is third but is likely to surpass both nations in the near future.
  9. The Russian metro system is among the worlds leading means of public transportation.
  10. Russians have a superstition of shaking hands in a doorway and believe that in doing so will spark heated arguing.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Сегодня в лингафонном кабинете (второй год русского языка)... Если бы я знал!

Линк на упражнение по числительным. Listening link for numerals.



Если бы я был дома, я бы готовил обед с мамой, я пошел бы в церковь...
If I were home (I'm not!), I would fix supper with mom and I would go to church.


Sunday, April 17, 2016

Kissel (Кисель)

Kissel is a soup made with cherries or other red fruits (cranberries, bilberries, etc.) that can be served hot or cold. It was traditionally served in the summer when these fruits were in season, however, now it can be made with frozen fruits at any time of year. The soup is fairly easy to make, requiring water and 4 other ingredients. When we made this dish this weekend, we started by adding pitted cherries to a pot of water, then bringing it to a boil. We then set the heat to low, allowing it to simmer for fifteen minutes. Then, we added sugar and lemon juice before allowing it to simmer for a little while longer. Lastly, we dissolved some potato starch in cold water and stirred it to the pot. We served the kissel warm. I found that I was not as big of a fan of cherries as I had once thought and did not particularly care for the dish. However, I acknowledge that this may be purely a result of personal taste or the specific recipe that we used.
                                             

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Top Russian senator proposes ‘Ministry of Happiness’ to improve life

House Speaker Valentina Matviyenko has recently pushed for a separate ministry to be created that would aim to increase happiness and feelings on any government initiative within Russia. Piggy-backing on the United Arab Emirates creation of the ministry, she feels that its creation would be beneficial to the government and its people. The UAE added the minister of happiness in February this year and is said to use work by the UN and various other experts and researches to base their work on. Matviyenko added that another benefit of such an institution is that citizens who are happy themselves would try to cheer other people up.

Valentina Matviyenko, chairperson of the Russian Federation Council. © Alexei Danichev

Friday, April 15, 2016

Blini

     The original blini are similar to French crêpes, if only a bit thicker. This is the kind that you will be served 99% of the time in Russia. There are even cafés dedicated to them, the blinochnayas. They can be paired with anything you can think of: ground meat, cheese, smoked fish, fish roe, sour cream, jam, honey, etc.
Blini and Oladi, Russian Pancakes
  • 12 oz flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp powdered orange peel (optional)
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 12 oz milk
  • 5 eggs
  • 12 oz water
  • 2 oz butter, melted
     In the bowl of an electric mixer, mix the flour, baking soda, powdered orange peel, salt, sugar, milk and eggs with the paddle attachment on medium speed until smooth. Add the water and melted butter and mix again. Cover with plastic wrap and let rest for 30 minutes.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

The Portrait by Nikolai Gogol

Nikolai Gogol's  "The Portrait" is a fantastic novel about a very talented poet.  This poet is doing well but is painting pictures that will increase his talent rather than increase his wealth. But, once he becomes famous he starts to produce portraits that require very little talent but get a decent amount of wealth in return. This truly was one of the first modern novels to cover someone selling out their talent.

Колобок: The Little Round Bun

Колобок is a Russian Folk Tale of a little round bun trying to escape being eaten by various characters. The following is a translation of this beloved tale.

Once upon a time there lived an old man and an old woman who were very poor and had nothing at all to their name. And they kept getting poorer and poorer till there was nothing left to eat in the house, not even bread, Said the old man:
"Do bake us a bun, old woman! If you scrape out the flour-box and sweep out the bin, you'll have enough flour."
So the old woman scraped out the flour-box and swept out the bin, she made some dough and she shaped a little round bun out of it. She then lit the oven, baked the bun and put it on the window sill to cool. But the bun jumped out of the window and onto the bench outside, and from the bench onto the ground, and away it rolled along the road!
On and on' it rolled, and it met a Rabbit coming toward it.
"I'm going to eat you up, Little Round Bun!" called the Rabbit.
"Don't do that, Fleet-Feet, let me sing you a song instead," said Little Round Bun.
"All right, let's hear it!"
"Here it is!
"I was scraped from the flour-box  
And swept from the bin
And baked in the oven
And cooled on the sill.
I ran away from Grandpa,
I ran away from Grandma,
And I'll run away from you, this minute I will!"
And off it rolled and away. By and by it met a Wolf coming toward it.
"I'm going to eat you up, Little Round Bun!" called the Wolf.
"Don't do that, Brother Wolf, let me sing you a song instead."
"All right, let's hear it!"
"I was scraped from the flour-box
And swept from the bin
And baked in the oven
And cooled on the sill.
I ran away from Grandpa,
I ran away from Grandma,
And I'll run away from you, this minute I will!"
And away it rolled.
By and by it met a Bear coming toward it.
"I'm going to eat you up, Little Round Bun!" called the Bear.
"Don't do that, Brother Bear, I'll sing you a song instead!"
"All right, let's hear it!"
"I was scraped from the flour-box
And swept from the bin
And baked in the oven
And cooled on the sill.
I ran away from Grandpa,
I ran away from Grandma,
And I'll run away from you, this minute I will!"
And away it rolled and away!
By and by it met a Fox coming toward it.
"I'm going to eat you up, Little Round Bun!" called the Fox.
"Don't do that, Sister fox, I'll sing you a song instead."
"All right, let's hear it!"
"I was scraped from the flour-box
And swept from the bin
And baked in the oven
And cooled on the sill.
I ran away from Grandpa,
I ran away from Grandma,
And I'll run away from you, this minute I will!"
"Sing some more, please, don't stop!" the Fox said. "Hop onto my tongue, I can hear you better."
Little Round Bun jumped onto the Fox's tongue and began to sing:
"I was scraped from the flour-box
And swept from the bin-"
But before it could go on, the Fox opened her mouth and - snap! -she gobbled it up.