“Ekranoplan,” said Gareth. “A ground effect vehicle. He’s mad.” … The ekranoplans reminded Milgrim of the Spruce Goose, which he’d toured in Long Beach as a high school student, but with its wings largely amputated. Weird Soviet hybrids, the ekranoplans; they flew, at tremendous speeds, about fifteen feet above the water, incapable of greater altitude. They had been designed to haul a hundred tons of troops or cargo, very quickly, over the Black or Baltic Sea. This one, an A-90 Orlyonok, had, like all the others, been built in the Volga Shipyard, at Nizhni Novgorod.Read More
The most immediately notable thing about this 1960 issue of Popular Science I picked up a vintage market is the smell. It smells, heavily, of chlorine. Not just chlorine, it smells like an indoor whirlpool Jacuzzi, like filmy chlorinated water and aqua blue PVC, with a vinyl cover holding down vapors that make the nose and eyes burn.
The smell isn’t relevant to the content, and it’s specific to this one water-damaged copy. But it’s a fitting smell, and it conjures images of spilled martinis, one-piece bathing suits and foamy wet chest hair. Consumer products awash in chemicals and exciting new compounds, promising joy and leisure.Read More
There’s a growing body of evidence that the Internet can be an empowering tool for marginalized populations, and a recent study tells some striking stories of how it’s been used by one uniquely isolated community.
In the early 1990s, when Gorbachev reopened the borders of the declining Soviet Union, many thousands of Russian Jews fled to Israel, where there were no restrictions against Jewish immigration.Read More
Russian scientists pierced a 2.2-mile-thick shell of ice that protected an inky, alien lake untouched for millions of years this week, and briefly, the world seemed deeper, older, and more mysterious that it did the week before. Cloudy, unconfirmed reports started trickling in Monday about a sub-glacial lake in Antarctica, and the isolated team that had been boring into it for 20 years in the coldest place on Earth (a recorded low of minus 128.6F).Read More