Tag Archives: russia

Ghosts of the Osfront – an audio-chronicle of Germany/Russia during WWII

Here is a promo from my favorite historian, Dan Carlin. He does a show called Hardcore History and the name fits. So be warned that this is real, no punches are pulled.

The topic for this show, called “Ghosts of the Osfront”, is the battle between Germany and Russia in World War II. He starts with the brutality and effectiveness of the Germans as they start the war. Then, moves into the bloody Russian counterattack that eventually leads them to invade-back Germany. Millions of lives are lost, atrocities are committed, and more you don’t even want to know about.

Or do you?

If so, then this show is for you. Listen to this promo to find out if this fits your style.

 

 

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Forget the BRICs it’s the CIVETS now – the new developing world

The past decade was all about the BRICs, the massive economies of Brazil, Russia, India and China, which kicked off at the beginning of the new century, boomed and are now slowing like the rest of the developed world. Taking their place is a new group of fast-rising economies promising businesses outsized returns.

The next decade could belong to the CIVETS – Colombia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Egypt, Turkey and South Africa – whose rising middle class, young populations and rapid growth rates make the BRICs look dull in comparison.

Hardly emerging economies anymore – China is the world’s second largest economy and Brazil will take seventh place this year – that their pace would slow down was inevitable.

Now more connected by trade to the developed economies, the BRICs are feeling the same slowdown effects as the developed economies.  And, in the case of China and Brazil, they are also wrestling with the strains of their rapid ascensions. Real estate bubbles, currency control issues and hyper-wage inflation are sending global companies elsewhere for growth.

Brazil is forecast to grow a mere 3% this year. China, while still targeting a strong GDP growth rate of 7-8% in 2012, is well off its double-digit rates of the past decade. Russia, meanwhile, which can’t kick its dependency on oil exports and endured the retrograde re-election of Vladimir Putin, may grind out 3.2% growth this year. India is also slowing, with a GDP target of 6.9% growth in 2012, a sharp decline from its 2010 pace of 9.6%.

The CIVETS, meanwhile, are at the lift-off point…

 

Keep readingThe decade of the CIVETS

 

 

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World map of social networks

The most dominant social network for each country:

 

 

Facebook clearly dominates, but a few countries have other favorites:

VKontakte and Odnoklassniki remain strong in Russian-speaking countries
- Tencent’s QZone is still king of the hill in China
- Vietnam’s most popular social network is Zing
- People in Iran seemingly prefer Cloob over Facebook
Drauglem is the top dog in Latvia

 

Learn moreFacebook is eating the world, except for China and Russia

Inside the forbidden land – environmental photos of Russia from National Geographic

For an American, these photos are truly breathtaking. For most of our lives Russia has been an impenetrable vast region, indeed the largest country in the world, with millions of acres of natural wonders.

My own heritage brings me back to Belarus (the first photo below). Enjoy these photos from National Geographic Russia and their Google+ page.

I apologize for the captions since they are Google Translations from Russian (I’m also amazed that I can auto-translate a language in a browser with one click).

"Snow-white spring in the Belarusian forest." Photo by: Christine Lebedinskaya.

 

Fog in the mountains near Chemal, Altai. Photo by: Michael Evstratov

 

Moon. River Teriberka, Murmansk region. Photo by: Aleksandr Bergan

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21st century modern art – graffiti – 26 beloved pieces

I particularly like the paintings on the ground that give depth, like you’re falling into a mouth or a bowl of soup.

Chiang Mai, Thailand

Nizhniy Novgorod, Russia

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The Army’s secret Arctic underground nuclear base in Greenland

No, this picture doesn’t show a black and white image of the rebel base on the ice planet Hoth. It’s part of a semi-secret, nuclear-powered U.S. Army base that was built under the Greenland ice cap only 800 miles from the North Pole. The base was officially built to conduct scientific research but the real reason was apparently to test out the feasibility of burying nuclear missiles below the ice under an effort known as Project Iceworm.

Remember, Greenland is way closer to Russia than the ICBM fields located in the continental U.S. Rumor has it that the Danish government had no idea that the U.S. was considering installing nuclear missiles on Greenland.

The base was massive, described by some as an underground city, and consisted of 21 steel-arch covered trenches; the longest of which was 1,100-feet long, 26-feet wide and 26-feet high. These tunnels contained numerous prefabricated buildings that were up to 76-feet long. The base was powered by a portable PM-2A nuclear reactor that produced two megawatts of power for the facility.

“The camp was staffed year round, with population peaking at nearly 200 over the summer months.”

via Defense Tech

The base makes sense if you look at maps with the Arctic Circle at the center, Russia is a direct shot over the ice.

 

// Thx to Dave Schroeder

Around the world social network usage is rising, especially in Egypt and Russia

From the Pew Global Attitudes Project:

In 15 of 21 countries, at least 25% of those polled use social networking sites.

Israel (53%) and the U.S. (50%) top the list.

About four-in-ten of all adults in Britain (43%), Russia (43%), Spain (42%), Lithuania (39%) and Poland (39%). Among this group, Russia is the only country where nearly all internet users are on social networking sites. Only 6% of Russian internet users say they do not go on these sites.

Germany, France, and Japan are the only countries polled where more internet users say they do not go on social networking sites than say they do. While 35% of Germans use social networking sites, 44% go online but do not use such sites; the comparable numbers are 35% and 38% in France and 25% and 33% in Japan.

About three-in-ten are on social networking sites in Ukraine (30%), Turkey (29%), Jordan (29%), and Egypt (28%).

Social networking is generally more common in higher income nations; however, this is largely driven by the fact that wealthier countries have higher rates of internet access. People in lower income nations who have online access use social networking at rates that are as high, or higher, than those found in affluent countries.

In most of the countries surveyed, there has been only marginal change in social networking use since 2010. Two notable exceptions are Egypt and Russia – countries where the role of social media in recent political upheaval has been the subject of considerable attention. In both nations, usage has increased by ten percentage points over the past year, from 18% in 2010 to 28% in 2011 in Egypt and from 33% to 43% in Russia.

 


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The Oil Industry – the most developed world industry, twice the size of the food industry

In 1950, the United States was the only country with a well developed oil industry. Today, the energy sector as a whole is the largest industry in the world and accounts for over $3 trillion dollars in annual sales. The second largest global industry, food, accounts for $1.7 trillion. Between 1950 and 1973 the world oil industry grew 9-fold – a rate of increase of 10% per year, sustained over a period of 20 years. During that time period, the world produced over 2.5 billion new motor vehicles, half of which in the United States.

The world demand for oil has multiplied from 11 million barrels per day (mbd) in 1950, to 57 mbd in 1970, to almost 80 mbd today. The United States consumes 20.7 mbd, which is the most of any nation and equals the consumption of the next 5 largest national consumers (China, Japan, Germany, Russia and India). World demand has recently grown as the economies of China (6.5 mbd) and India (2.3 mbd) have developed, but the United States remains the largest consumer.

The five largest producers of oil are Saudi Arabia (10.37 mbd), Russia (9.27), United States (8.69), Iran (4.09) and Mexico (3.86). Proven oil reserves are concentrated in the Middle East (60%).

via Joseph Coton Wright at Berkeley

11 awesome achievements by the Department of Energy in 2011

Energy Secretary, Steven Chu
January 10, 2012
Re: Year in Review

 

Dear Colleagues,

As we enter the New Year and move forward with our efforts…(it’s) important to take a moment to reflect on the progress we have made.

Across the complex, our workforce is reducing nuclear dangers, expanding the boundaries of science and innovation, and accelerating the transition to a clean energy future.

We’re working together like never before to seize the technological lead in everything from batteries to biofuels to solar energy.

I thought I would share a few of the things we have accomplished together:

 

  • Our investments in wind and solar power have put the country on track to double renewable energy generation from 2008 to 2012.
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  • Overhauled and re-launched our website, Energy.Gov, to better communicate with the public.  Just recently, GovLoop named the new Energy.gov the top Federal website of 2011.  The Department’s website reform efforts are expected to save more than $10 million annually.
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  • We also started Powerpedia, a Department of Energy wiki-like site, that facilitates information sharing among employees.
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