‘Russia’ Category

  1. AI: breaking news

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    May 26, 2017 by AK

    As Interfax reports from Moscow, the Russian cabinet’s representative in the Duma has asked the chairman of its legislative committee if MPs could be replaced by robots: “I am very much interested in your view on this. I’ve been to a lecture on artificial intelligence, and apologists for this theory are saying that soon, within five-ten years, …
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  2. Poets as players 2

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    May 24, 2017 by AK

    More from Khodasevich’s 1924 memoir on Bryusov quoted in the previous post. Card players inadvertently reveal their deeper selves to discerning eyes: I have played cards a lot in my day; I have seen many players, both occasional and professional. I believe that at the card table, one can learn a great deal about people – at any …
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  3. Poets as players

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    May 21, 2017 by AK

    Language Hat has a post on the card game played by Grandma Lausch and her Hungarian friend Mr. Kreindl in The Adventures of Augie March by Saul Bellow. It’s called klabyash in the book while clobyosh seems to be the more common spelling, and the present-day Russian names for similar games are deberts, klabor, and belot. …
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  4. The contagion of example

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    May 16, 2017 by AK

    Denys Krasnikov reports in KyivPost: Ukraine will block access to the Russian websites VKontakte, Yandex and Odnoklassniki — all hugely popular in the country — under new sanctions measures. Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko signed a decree on May 16 blocking access to the websites… it’s probably worth noting that VKontakte and Odnoklassniki are social network …
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  5. “Nothing I saw at Magadan… suggested slave labor.”

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    May 15, 2017 by AK

    Henry Wallace was a man of great talent and achievement. As a politician, however, was susceptible to selective blindness or conscience-soothing self-delusion. In May 1944, he visited the camps of the Kolyma basin – the vast, permafrost-covered northeasternmost island of the Gulag Arkhipelago. The title of Robert Conquest’s 1978 book, Kolyma: The Arctic Death Camps, is …
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  6. Macrón

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    May 12, 2017 by AK

    The name of the praetorian prefect Macro, who (according to Tacitus and Cassius Dio) was driven to suicide by Caligula in 38 AD, is rendered as Macron in French. Thus, it fully coincides with the name of the new president of the French republic. This -n pattern also applies to Polish and Russian, which apparently …
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  7. Russistan’s blasphemy law?

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    May 11, 2017 by AK

    Observer.com, formerly the New York Observer, reports from Russia: Thursday morning in a Moscow courtroom, YouTuber Ruslan Sokolovsky was sentenced to three and a half years probation for an August stunt in which he filmed himself playing Pokémon Go in church. In a Yekaterinburg courtroom, if I remember correctly. Sokolovsky’s YouTube channel had about 280,000 …
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  8. Ireland’s fine timber

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    May 10, 2017 by AK

    Prompted by Language Hat’s latest post on Ivan Goncharov’s Oblomov, I wondered if its protagonist could be described as “fine-souled” and ran a Google search for the expression. The second link on the results page brought me this: Here the sensitive and fine-souled author of “Psyche” died. I thought of Keats (Ode to Psyche) but he died …
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  9. You know you’re a cynic…

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    April 30, 2017 by AK

    …when you’re looking through a depressingly serious, heart-rending, gut-wrenching piece and suddenly a minor detail sends you into a fit of liberating laughter: Over dinner—Dreher, who was observing Lent, confined himself to oysters and crab cakes—I learned what happened when he moved back to St. Francisville. I know, I know that oysters and crabs must …
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  10. Russian truckers protesting again

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    April 24, 2017 by AK

    This is not fake news: The truckers went on strike this time after the Russian government announced it would double the Platon [toll-collection system] tariff as of April 15… [The] government softened that blow in March, temporarily raising the fee by a lesser amount to about 3.4 cents per kilometer.  That doesn’t seem like much. But Ibragimov says he travels …
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