Thursday, April 16, 2015

Putin answers all life's questions

Recently on April 16th Putin answered questions live on a four hour live television show. This allows the President to portray himself as the answer to all of Russia’s difficulties, and allows him to connect with all the people and help them solve their problems. He does need to be careful with how he answers questions though. This phone in session has become an annual tradition, with questions coming from emails, videos, phone calls, and the audience. There had been over 3 million questions received. Most of the questions were pertaining to the economy, foreign policy, or the war in Ukraine, but there were some funny questions as well. Questions like…

Why hasn't the government kept the price of apples down?
Would you like to be the head of the United Nations?

Is it hard being president? How many hours do you sleep a night? Because actually I do love to sleep.

Russian Voting

         So get this. According to various sources, there isn't a great disparity in voting by income in Russia. Whaaaaa? That doesn't make sense! That's right it doesn't! Take the United States for instance. We have a massive gap by income in our voting. That is, lower income voters tend to vote democrat, while higher income voters tend to vote Republican. There are a ton of micro and macro reasons for this, but the fact is it happens. However, in Russia, there is an even greater disparity by income in society. They have a huge gap between classes. However, that is not reflected in their voting. Some possible reasons for this is that there is no real political ideology by party. Therefore, there is no party that backs ideas of income redistribution to vote for. The options are few and far between. In the end there are many options for the reasons, so we should probably just let me write a research paper on it for another class. Till that's released check the link.

Caucasian Shepherd

Also known as Caucasian Ovcharka, this dog is native and popular in Russia. Caucasian shepherd dogs are strongly-boned, muscular, and even-tempered. Plain dogs have a shorter coat and appear taller as they are more lightly built. Mountain dog-types have a heavier coat and are more muscularly built. Caucasian shepherds are large dogs; however, there is no recorded maximum height or weight. The ears of the Caucasian shepherd are traditionally cropped, although some modern dogs are unaltered as many people believe this practice to be cruel, and as it is no longer considered a necessary attribute for the dog's traditional working conditions. The preferred show-types are the long-coated grey dogs with some white markings. The Caucasian is rather well lived averaging 10–12 years.

Russian Economy

We all know the monetary system in Russian has bottomed out. Their ruble is worth a fraction of what it once was, and it doesn't seem to be ready to boost back to where it was anytime soon. However, Putin seems optimistic. Even though the ruble fell 40% last year versus the dollar, it has strengthened in recent weeks as the oil price has changed. The Central Bank expects that the economy will sill contract both this year and the next, but Putin believes the economy will start to grow again by 2017. He mentioned that despite the recent low oil prices, he believes Russia will stand tall and return to power in the coming year. We'll see about that.

Russian Ballerinas

Russian ballet is probably the place to be for ballet. In almost no country, there are more theatres, ballet academies and more talented dancers than in Russia. For some reason, Russians have a very strong relationship to ballet. Little girls watch dancing movies on television and try to imitate the moves. Many of them decide before elementary school that they want to be the new “Swan.” Having made that decision, a long and hard way to the top lays ahead of them. Most kids are sent to ballet academies,
where they receive education, as well as excellent ballet training. Kids need to grow up really fast, when they realize how much potential competition there is; only the best “survive.” A few extra pounds or a couple of unaccomplished moves can be the end. In the past, girls and boys were beaten up when they failed to carry out moves or choreographies. I really hope this is not a standard measure anymore, but I doubt it. Children at ballet academies basically have a fulltime job; they lack free time. Sometimes kids do not even want to live such a life, but they do not want to destroy the dreams of their parents. Many parents envision their children on the great stages of “Bolshoi” and do not accept the “quitting” of their children. Life is tough as a ballerina!   

Work cited
"Sacrificing Childhood to Ballet | Russia Beyond The Headlines." Sacrificing Childhood to Ballet | Russia Beyond The Headlines. 14 Feb. 2013. Web. 14 Apr. 2015. 

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Red October

The Hunt for Red October is a 1984 novel written by the late Tom Clancy, a famed author specializing in realistic military fiction. The reason I find this particular story interesting as opposed to all the others (many of which involve both Russia and its people) is the thrilling film made in 1990. The plot details an advanced submarine leaving Russia during the height of tensions between Russia and the United States. Through three points of view (in Russian, on the submarine, and in America), Clancy expertly reveals the story of a defective Russian submarine.

The commander of the submarine, a certain Marko Ramius, decides to defect on the Red October's debut mission due to both personal and political factors which began influencing him far before the submarine leaves Russian soil (or water, I suppose). Once both Russians and Americans hear of Ramius' plan to defect from Russia to America with a state-of-the-art nuclear submarine, the race to find the submarine is on. There's only one problem - Ramius' sub includes a new propulsion system, making the underwater machine virtually undetectable to current technology.

Throughout this exceptional page-turner, Clancy brings us less into a world of weapons and violence, but more so into the world of politics, where often times the obvious choice is never the right one. I won't spoil the rest of the story for anyone who has actually read this far into my blog post, but if you haven't read this, I certainly recommend it.

Unit 9: Kozinaki

1 pound total of shelled sunflower seeds, shelled walnuts, shelled almonds or shelled peanuts, all together or singularly,  all finely chopped…
2 cups (16 ounces) of pure honey…
6 tablespoons of sugar beet sugar or what ever sugar you have…
Lets make kozinaki:
Preheat oven to 350 F. Spread the chopped nuts in a single layer on a sheet pan and toast them in the oven for 8 to 10 minutes, stire them occasionally to get browned evenly. I like to get them very brown and almost burnt, many just like to heat them up. The idea is to get them toasted real well…
Put a 2-quart sauce pan on the stove top to heat the syrup in. Put the honey and sugar in the sauce pan and stirring constantly, while bringing to a boil. When the syrup reaches 220 F. (Remember the set point is 220 and go a little higher to set harder or go less and set softer!) on a thermometer, lower the heat and stir in the nuts. Stirring often, cook for 15 minutes at medium heat…

Kazimir Malevich's Suprematism

Suprematism is an art movement and style that was founded by the Russian artist Kazimir Malevich in 1913. The basis behind this particular style of art is emotion, or as stated by Malevich, "the supremacy of pure artistic feeling." Suprematism emphasizes an empathetic approach to art, and these works are often not seen as distinct visual images. Pieces from this movement tend to portray geometric shapes-- squares, circles, lines, etc.--often in various colors. The Suprematism art movement first came into being when revealed in 1915. 

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Intrastellar Blaze

Beginning on Sunday, raging wildfires have been sweeping through Siberia in a destructive rampage, resulting in 26 deaths, 1000 plus injured, 700 cattle and roughly 3000 sheep dead and immense damage rendered to the region of Khakassia in south-eastern Siberia where the fires have mostly been isolated. The inferno was the reportedly so intense the flames rose 3 meters tall and could even be seen from space. The fire is suspected to be caused by mere human carelessness.

Сегодня в кабинете... Unit 10 Week 1

Привет! Салют! Welcome back to the Language Lab. Today it's all about preparing for the oral examination in a couple weeks... Не парься! Будь спок, не волнуйся! Chill!

(The word спокойно means calm.. Будь спок! Be calm... you know, like Спок!)

Anyway, read along while listening to dialogues three and five. The word 
Назад means "ago"... The first question in dialogue three is kinda stupid... Whose on the picture? I'm on the picture. 

Answer the questions on your lab worksheet and have me or the tutor check them. 


The question На когО вы похОжи (ты похОж/ты похОжа)? means Who do you look like? Literally, "Whom do you go after?" (Похож comes from the verb ходить, to go.) 

It uses the accusative case Она похожа на меня, на маму, на Ивана... 

For your "little composition" answer in complete sentences the following questions... Remember, truth telling isn't that important... If you write the answers out now, the tutors can check them. Otherwise, they are due on Tuesday. 

Come to the tables for some further work! 
Присоединяйтесь к нам за стол!