Posts Tagged ‘Russia’
Erin Thompson is fascinated by our junk– more specifically, by our junk drawers…
The contents of a junk drawer are a historic cache of information about a person. They raise questions about what makes us happy, what objects hold sentimental value and what makes us who we are—much like a time capsule or a scrapbook.
This project seeks to explore the reasons behind keeping a junk drawer while unlocking the puzzling nature behind why we hold on to the used birthday candles, unpaid bills, the old pack of gum, the toy dinosaur and Bed, Bath and Beyond coupons all in the same place.
Find her collection of junk drawers, and interviews with their owners/creators, at The Junk Drawer Project.
* Thomas Edison
As we wonder where we put that Swiss Army Knife, we might recall that it was on this date in 1825 that Russian army officers, frustrated at Nicholas’ recalcitrance to liberalize Russia, led about 3,000 soldiers in a protest against Nicholas I’s assumption of the throne after his elder brother Constantine removed himself from the line of succession. As it happened when it did, it has come to be known as the Decembrist Uprising.
The rebels were quickly put down. Several of the leaders were executed; the bulk of the revolutionaries, exiled to Siberia. And though serfdom was officially abolished in 1861, Russia’s autocracy continued for almost a century. Still, the Decembrists were the first open breach between the government and reformist elements of the Russian nobility, a rift that ultimately widened and contributed to the Russian Revolution of 1917.
Bread is the staff of life, but beer is life itself.
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, snacking
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has signed a bill that officially classifies beer as alcoholic. Until now anything containing less than 10% alcohol in Russia has been considered a foodstuff.
The full story at BBC.com
As we revisit our food pyramids, we might spare a sweet thought for William A. Mitchell, the food scientist who invented Pop Rocks candy, Cool Whip, the orange drink mix Tang, quick-set Jell-O Gelatin, and powdered egg whites; he died on this date in 2004. In his 35 year career at General Foods he received over 70 patents.
click here (and again) for a larger image
[TotH to Brainpickings]
Along these same lines, readers might also be interested in the “Perpetual Notion Machine” (which includes, as a bonus, the story of Dmitri Mendeleev and the “real” Periodic Table…) See also the Periodic Table of Typefaces (“‘There are now about as many different varieties of letters as there are different kinds of fools…’“) and the Periodic Table of Visualization Methods (“Now See Here…“).
As we constructively stack our writers’ blocks, we might wish a thoughtful Happy Birthday to Immanuel Kant; he was born on this date in 1724 in Königsberg, Prussia (which is now Kaliningrad, Russia). Kant is of course celebrated as a philosopher, the author of Critique of Pure Reason (1781), Critique of Practical Reason (1788), and Critique of Judgment (1790), and father of German Idealism (et al.).
But less well remembered are the contributions he made to science, perhaps especially to astronomy, before turning fully to philosophy. For example, his General History of Nature and Theory of the Heavens (1755) contained three anticipations important to the field: 1) Kant made the nebula hypothesis ahead of Laplace. 2) He described the Milky Way as a lens-shaped collection of stars that represented only one of many “island universes,” later shown by Herschel. 3) He suggested that friction from tides slowed the rotation of the earth, which was confirmed a century later. Similarly, Kant’s writings on mathematics were cited as an important influence by Einstein.
More posing pointers at Russian Drunk Yoga Poses.
As we limber up, we might recall that it was on this date in 1965 that the Righteous Brothers’ recording of Cynthia Weil/Barry Mann/Phil Spector’s “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’” hit number one on the Billboard Hot 100 (it also reached #1 in the UK and #2 on the U.S. R&B chart).
Centered on the vocals of “Brothers” Bill Medley and Bobby Hatfield, with instrumental work by “The Wrecking Crew” and a background contribution from a very young Cher, the record is a classic example of Spector’s “Wall of Sound” approach. Landing as it did in the midst the the “British Invasion,” Spector and the boys were concerned that the tune was too slow and (at 3:45) too long for DJs increasingly looking pick up the pace of their shows. There was nothing to do about the tempo; but they printed the record label to indicate a running time of 3:05… and tricked enough spinners to launch the hit. In this version and many covers, “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’” had more radio and television play in the United States than any other song during the 20th century (according to performing-rights organization BMI).
So, it turns out that Rene Descartes and Andre Benjamin of Outkast have in common rather unconvincing proofs…
From (medical student and nice guy) Sanjay Kulkarni’s wonderful web comic Cowbirds in Love.
As we ponder the the depths of demonstrability, we might recall that it was on this date in 1962 that Izvestia informed its Russian readership that baseball had actually been invented by Russians (and transmitted to the U.S. by emigres who’d brought a 14th century game, lapta, with them).
A game of lapta, c. 1900 (source)