Showing posts with label russia. Show all posts
Showing posts with label russia. Show all posts

June 26, 2009

Reporting from Russia 2009

I've been here in Акдемгородок for a about a week now and things are good. I've been walking the ~40 minute walk to work each day with a college and I really enjoy that introduction to my day - well at lest the first 30 minutes of it or so :) Great exercise, fresh air, great to be outside for as a part of a daily routine.

I got here with my carrier locked iPhone 3G and luckily it was only two days later when the venerable Dev Team allowed me unlock it with UltraSn0w. Simple, effective, brilliant. And I just love that MMS is working for me here but not for AT&T yet in the US. Not that I even use or need MMS, just that I /can/ and you can't.

Internet connectivity is impossibly bad here for Internet-addicts like my wife and I. In the event that it is working it's incredibly slow. One web page at a time per family please!
It reminds me of Putin's remarks to Michael Dell a few months ago when Michael Dell was asking how US companies can do to help Russia with their internet connectivity. Putin snapped back explaning that Russian's can do it themselves and didn't need any help. At the time I understood Putin's position (still do in a way) and respected him for his pride and command of respect. Now I'm thinking he should suck it up for his people (and me) and get some help in here!

August 2, 2008

The Total Solar Eclipse in Pictures from Novosibirsk

Yesterday I was able to witness a total solar eclipse here in Novosibirsk Russia. First, I must confess that leading up to the day of the eclipse I was not as excited as everyone else was. I planned to watch it with friends, but knowing it would only last a couple minutes, and it is just a spot over the son. Well, it was a lot more interesting than I expected. It was very interesting and if you ever get a chance to witness a total solar eclipse, don't miss your chance!

About Solar Eclipses
There are three main types of eclipses: Partial, Annular and Total. A total eclipse covers the sun completely.
According to the Saros Cycle, which is an accurate way to predict eclipses, an eclipse will reoccur nearly exactly the same way every 18 years 11 days and 8 hours. It is not perfectly accurate but close. Although all conditions are nearly identical (e.g. the moon at nearly the same distance from Earth and at the same time of year), since it is not a whole number of days difference, the earth is rotated differently and thus the eclipse is visible from different parts of the globe (each successive eclipse path is shifted by ~120º westward). However, the same eclipse returns to about the same geographic region every 3 saroses (54 years and 34 days).

About the Solar Eclipse of August 1, 2008
It was a total solar eclipse. It was visible from northern Canada (Nunavut), Greenland, central Russia, eastern Kazakhstan, western Mongolia and China. The greatest eclipse duration was reached near the town of Nadym in Northern Siberia Russia (about 1300 Kilometers from Novosibirsk where I was).
The last solar eclipse was on September 11, 2007. The last total solar eclipse was on March 29, 2006. The next solar eclipse is on January 26, 2009. The next total solar eclipse is on July 22, 2009.
The best page for information on this eclipse is NASA's page. Wikipedia also has a nice short page with more information. There is also a page in Russian here.

Photos of an Eerie Feeling
What was amazing, was just how dark it was! Before the eclipse, even just a couple minutes before the total eclipse it was bright outside. Almost like a normal day:

Then for two minutes it was pitch black outside like the middle of the night. Even street lights and building signs came on, it was noticeably colder and people even shot off fireworks!

Just reminds one how important the sun is. Two minutes later it was a bright sunny day again.

July 25, 2008

Facts about Russia (2)

Following up on my first post of Russian facts. Here are some more facts...

  • The "current account balance" (as defined by CIA W.F.B.) of the United States is $-738,600,000,000 with a ranking of 164th in the world (last). [1]
  • The "current account balance" of the Russian Federation is $76,600,000,000 with a ranking of 5th in the world. [1]
  • Russia has the world's greatest reserves of mineral and energy resources. [2]
  • Russia produces one-fifth of the worlds diamonds. [7]
  • There was 418,500 American casualties in World War 2 (0.32% of the total population). [5]
  • There was 23,100,000 Soviet Union Casualties in World War 2 (13.7% of the total population). [5]
  • My fiancé's grandfather told us that of his generation, only 1 in 100 Russians (or Soviets?) survived World War II. We made a toast to him as a survivor.
  • The literacy rate in Russia is 99.4%. [6]
  • The literacy rate in the United States is 99.0. [6]
  • Russia has more post-secondary education graduates than any other country in Europe. [3]
  • Moscow Russia is the most expensive city to live in the world. [8]
  • Russia is in the process of building the Russia Tower in Moscow which, upon completion, will be the tallest building in Europe and the second tallest in the World. [9]
  • There are more billionaires living in Moscow Russia than any other city in the world. [4]
  • Only America has more billionaires than Russia (469 vs. 87). [4]

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July 22, 2008

Facts about Russia (1)

In total now, I decided I've spent at least one year living in Russia in spans anywhere from a few weeks through going on three months now. As you might expect, after being so close to a country, I've read and learned a thing here and there that I thought might be interesting to share. I'm choosing facts I would have probably not have known had it not been for my personal interest in Russia. I hope and expect at least a couple of my fellow American comrades to find a thing or two listed here interesting.

  • The actual country name is Russian Federation. [2]
  • Russia is the largest country in the world by land mass (by far). [1]
  • Russia occupies nearly twice as much land area (17,098,242 km2 vs 9,629,091 km2) as the USA and has about half of the population (142m vs ~300m). [1]
  • Russia Occupies 11.5% of world's land area.  [1]
  • The next closest is Canada with 6.7%. [1]
  • The population of Russia is 142 million. [3], [5]
  • The Russian language is the largest native language in Europe. [6]
  • Russian scientist Dmitri Ivanovich Mendeleev (Дмитрий Иванович Менделеев) created the periodic table of the elements. [4]
  • Most Russian's (even university graduates) won't know what a "Periodic Table of the Elements" is. They refer to it only as it's official name: "Mendeleev's Table".
  • Some of my colleagues were shocked (and maybe a bit offended) that we were not taught it as "Mendeleev's Table".

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I'll post a more in the next couple days.