Tag Archives | USSR

Charming Vintage Soviet Animation of Ray Bradbury Stories

Via Open Culture:

Sergei Bondarchuk directed an 8-hour film adaptation of War and Peace (1966-67), which ended up winning an Oscar for Best Foreign Picture. When he was in Los Angeles as a guest of honor at a party, Hollywood royalty like John Wayne, John Ford, Billy Wilder lined up to meet the Russian filmmaker. But the only person that Bondarchuk was truly excited to meet was Ray Bradbury. Bondarchuk introduced the author to the crowd of bemused A-listers as “your greatest genius, your greatest writer!”

Ray Bradbury spent a lifetime crafting stories about robots, Martians, space travel and nuclear doom and, in the process, turned the formerly disreputable genre of Sci-Fi/Fantasy into something respectable. He influenced legions of writers and filmmakers on both sides of the Atlantic from Stephen King to Neil Gaiman to Francois Truffaut, who adapted his most famous novel, Fahrenheit 451, into a movie.

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A debate, a lecture, an interview, and some ethnic cleansing: Chris Hedges vs. Black Bloc, Victor Sebestyen on the Collapse of Soviet Empire, Joshua Oppenheimer on ‘The Act of Killing’, and some Israeli Ethnic Cleansing

via chycho

Chris Hedges Debates the Black Bloc

“In his article “The Cancer in Occupy” posted on Truthdig in February, Chris Hedges criticized Black Bloc activists, saying their use of violence in the streets would alienate the Occupy movement from mainstream Americans and legitimize the use of police violence in the eyes of the public. Black Bloc supporter Brian Traven debate[s] him in New York City.”


Revolution 1989: what exactly happened?

“How did the mighty Soviet empire collapse so quickly, so completely – and so peacefully? Victor Sebestyen is an author and journalist. This lecture marks the launch of his latest book, Revolution 1989: the fall of the Soviet Empire.”


“The Act of Killing”: New Film Shows U.S.-Backed Indonesian Death Squad Leaders Re-enacting Massacres

“We spend the hour with Joshua Oppenheimer, the director of a groundbreaking new documentary called ‘The Act of Killing.’ The film is set in Indonesia, where, beginning in 1965, military and paramilitary forces slaughtered up to a million Indonesians after overthrowing the democratically elected government.… Read the rest

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Military’s Best Secret Weapon: Dolphins

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Assassinating enemy divers with CO2-filled syringes? Parachuting from the sky and blowing up enemy ships kamikaze-style? Acoustically detecting a 3-inch ball 200 meters away in complete darkness? All this and more as Skeptoid covers the James Bond’s of the sea, deployed first by the USSR and today by the Indian Navy and U.S. Navy Marine Mammal System:

Dolphins and sea lions have advantages that are hard for navies to ignore. They swim far faster than divers, and are much easier and cheaper to deploy than remote underwater vehicles. They can dive hundreds of meters and return, with no concern about decompression, quicker than a human diver could even get suited up. Dolphins’ underwater acuity is such that they can acoustically detect a 3-inch ball 200 meters away in complete darkness, and even discriminate between different kinds of metal. A dolphin’s brain is famously larger than a human’s, in part because so much of it is dedicated to processing sonar signals.

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Roswell ‘Was Soviet Plot to Create U.S. Panic’

Stalin RoswellThis is even stranger to me than the famous “it’s aliens!” conspiracy theory we all know and love. Thomas Harding writes in the Telegraph:

Devotees of science fiction have been convinced for decades that an alien spacecraft crashed in the desert of New Mexico – and that the American government covered up the recovery of extraterrestrial bodies. The so-called Roswell Incident of 1947 spawned conspiracy theories by the score.

But now, sadly for UFO spotters, a new book offers an entirely man-made — and some would say even more bizarre — explanation, featuring two of the greatest villains of 20th century history: the Soviet dictator Josef Stalin and the infamous Nazi “Angel of Death” Dr Joseph Mengele.

During a powerful storm in July, 1947, an object crashed near a rancher’s home in Roswell, New Mexico.

Roswell army air base initially said that a “flying disc” had come down, but hours later, as government scientists arrived in the area, it was stated instead that a weather balloon had crashed.

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2 To 3 Minutes In Hell: Cleaning Chernobyl

A gripping, short documentary video of the horrifying challenge confronting the Soviet Union’s “biorobots” — soldiers, scientists, and civilians who were tasked with the emergency cleanup following the explosions at Chernobyl. Radio-controlled robotic machines were used at first, but their circuitry broke down from the radiation, leaving humans with shovels as the only option.

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Soviet Sci-Fi Animation Of The 1980s

Rhizome.org has a collection of animated adaptations of sci-fi stories produced in the Soviet Union. Apparently studios in the USSR churned out these eerily films, based on stories by American authors such as Stephen King and Ray Bradbury, throughout the 1980s. Bradbury’s “Here There Be Tygers” works perfectly as a fable warning of the destructiveness of evil capitalist greed.

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Latvia Sells Secret Soviet City

skrunda Lavtia has auctioned off an entire city to a private bidder. Skrunda-1 has built by the USSR in the ’80s and kept off all maps and records. “It is not immediately clear” what plans the mysterious investor has for it. From the Boston Globe:

Latvia sold a deserted town built around a Soviet-era radar station to a Russian investor who bid $3.1 million at an unusual auction yesterday, officials said.

The town formerly known as Skrunda-1 housed about 5,000 people during the Cold War. It was abandoned over a decade ago after the Russian military withdrew from Latvia following the Soviet collapse.… Read the rest

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