Soap Operas and Redneck Morality Plays

Content advisory 18+ Have you noticed that when one couple or family invites other couples or families as guests, they try to present a positive image? It doesn't always work out that way -- sometimes the grim and gritty truth of mounting disaffection spills out spectacularly over the dinner table and someone (usually female) flees the room in "flood of tears" (to use the British expression). But usually, the hosts … Read the rest

Enough! Or The Final Song

Enough is enough. Let`s stop speaking about 4% a year inflation when the real price growth is 1.6% a month. Let`s stop speaking about safety when the murder rate is 11.31 per 100 000, that is between Surinam, Botswana and Papua New Guinea (where the rate is lower) and Panama, Nicaragua and Costa Rica (where the rate is higher). Just stop it.

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(I had the most read post in our Read the rest

India’s Daughters; An Overview

Content advisory 18+ Being a woman is not easy. Being a woman in India is even tougher. Invariably, you are going to be subjected to so much discrimination since birth, that it eventually becomes the norm.

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Discrimination starts even before you are born. Pregnant women are made to undergo antenatal check-ups not to detect fetal abnormalities, but to find out the gender of the baby. And if it’s a girl, … Read the rest

Второй после нефти

Контент 16+ Вот была у меня статья про кофеин, теперь наверное стоит написать про кофе (основной натуральный источник кофеина).

Один из первых заводов по производству кофе был создан в арабском мире в пятнадцатом веке. Здесь исторически пьют много кофе, но существуют некоторые религиозные ограничения у радикальных групп в связи с подозрением на опьяняющий эффект. Когда кофе отправился из Константинополя в Венецию, а затем в Вену и другие европейские … Read the rest

A Long Night’s Journey Into Day

Content advisory 18+ F. Scott Fitzgerald (author of "The Great Gatsby") was, like many artists, an unstable person and drunkard. He was never among my favorite authors; nevertheless, amid his many collapses and psychological crack-ups (having Hemingway as a 'friend' probably didn't help), he came up with a single line I always remember. He said: "In a real dark night of the soul, it is always 3 o'clock in the … Read the rest

Хватит! Или Лебединая песня

Контент 14+ Хватит. Хватит стремиться к инфляции 4% на бумаге при реальном росте цен на 1,6% в месяц. Хватит говорить о безопасности, когда количество убийств на 100 000 человек составляет 11.31, это где-то между Суринамом, Ботсваной, Папуа Новой Гвинеей - там лучше - и Панамой, Никарагуа и Коста-Рикой (там хуже). Хватит. Возможно мой читатель заметил, что раньше я часто ссылался на данные Росстата, а потом внезапно прекратил. Что … Read the rest

The Narrow Road to the Far North

Content advisory 16+ I was having a spirited conversation today, early, with a really bright man -- he was frying breakfast eggs while talking with me on Skype (the ONLY way to eat breakfast !) -- about the best way to go about living one's life.

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Of course, the thing about this very bright man (aged 47 and me -- a stout 69 as of today, 8 May--) is that … Read the rest

Разрешенный психостимулятор

Контент 18+ Я сижу с кружкой в руках, которая наполнена растворенным мощным психостимулятором. Он усиливает сердечную деятельность, повышает работоспособность, устраняет сонливость и позволяет мне писать этот текст даже глубокой ночью.
Признаюсь, я подсел. Если вдруг завтра я решу отменить его прием, я буду вялым, заторможенным и менее энергичным, к тому же с ухудшившимся настроением. Мне будет его очень не хватать. Поэтому, даже если прибыли моего бизнеса уменьшатся, я все равно … Read the rest

У Президента России самый длинный

Лимузин. (Контент 18+). Ну ладно, может и не самый длинный (6620  мм), зато самый дорогой - на разработку было потрачено 12 млрд бюджетных денег при стоимости всего ГАЗ в пределах 10 миллиардов. Кроме того, его 850-ти сильный мотор был разработан одними из лучших инженерных бюро в мире - Porsche.
У данного автомобиля полный привод, автоматическая коробка и вес в 6,5 тонны, что означает броню Read the rest

Victory Day Among the Spoils

Content advisory 18+ Thinking to write about the up-and-coming "Victory Day" in Russia on 9 May (the whole world celebrates it today, 8th May - Artem), I decided to consult Artem regarding the wisdom of saying ANYTHING negative. And since I am not one to mince words whatever the subject, this was quite a concession for me to make.

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The reason for my indecisiveness stems from the enormous … Read the rest

Lisa Gherardini del Giocondo

Content advisory 18+ I used to believe that the world of “surfaces” which we usually navigate is a false world -- a superficial icing on a cake of deep and interwoven ingredients. I used to think that, in order to maximize my experience of life, I had to somehow “get to the bottom of it” -- as my old English teachers would have us plumb the depths of this or … Read the rest

How Not To Waste Your Life

Content advisory 18+ In America, guys approaching or just past 40 (In Russia it is 30, according to my friends) are always having what is known as "the mid-life crisis". I never had it because I never grew up and never wanted to deal with anything as boring as 'adult responsibilities'. Well, I jest, but maybe it says something about me that for my last Happy New Year gifts, I … Read the rest

JUST SAY NO ! (to drugs and thugs)

Content advisory 18+ When I used to write a lot for SNOB (a once-promising project that I came to by chance in 2009 or '10), they always wanted me to present the point of view of a foreigner who had been in Russia for a while. Not as some guy who just got off the boat (there are no boats) and looking for polar bears in Red Square, or who … Read the rest

The Dawns and Twilights of Offices

“What did I know, what did I know
Of love’s austere and lonely offices?”
Robert Hayden, Those Winter Sundays

Content advisory 18+ Somehow I found myself reading ancient Chinese poetry translated into English. This was years ago. The other day I tried to relocate some of those verses, but not a chance. There is plenty of ancient Chinese poetry to be had, but not the ones I remembered.

beverage books contemporary 904616_result  Here is … Read the rest

Terminal Treason

Content advisory 18+ Restricting something just for the apparent sake restricting it is usually a bad idea, though not an uncommon practice among bureaucrats and fools (if by that we are not talking about the same thing-Eric). But putting shackles on the importing of vital medicine is a treason by definition -- insofar as it represents a willful act of sabotaging the best interests of the nation, in … Read the rest

И вам не избежать блокировки (даже с VPN)

Контент 14+ В связи с энтузиазмом людей, массово устанавливающих VPN и делающих плюющиеся рожицы в сторону различных блокировок, хочу рассказать одну поучительную историю, основываясь на собственных знаниях и анализе данных.
Есть такая чудесная страна как Китай. И есть там “великий китайский файерволл” и “золотой щит”, которые прекрасно блокируют 60% VPN сервисов.

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Итак,
Если вы пользуетесь VPN, и к серверу подключены, перехватить ваши данные сможет только и только тот, … Read the rest

Don’t worry, It’s coming to Your town soon!

Content advisory 16+ Back in the days when bottled water first appeared en masse in America, I recall that a lot of people just shook their heads and mused: "What will be next? They'll start selling us air?" And everyone would nod in amusement at such a preposterous notion.

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Well, muse and smile and nod no more. IT'S HERE !! So, today, as a follow-up to my blog posted Friday … Read the rest

Demoralizator, or Hello, monkey!

Content advisory 18+ I decided to start writing my posts in English as well as in Russian. Why so? Well, I’m here for the future, and English is an international language. I honestly think that limiting yourself just to one language is a demonstration of laziness…or stagnation, or stubbornness.

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Many nations consider themselves as indisputably ‘great’, forgetting the darker sides of their history, ignoring the fact, amid the shifting … Read the rest