Which is quite convenient, as I’m going into mourning for winter. The rays of sun (the kind that actually radiate warmth!), the vast pits of mud in every direction, the minutes wasted staring indecisively at the closet of jackets, trying to remember which one is best for this weather… It appears the season of my discontent has arrived. I’ll spend the weekend in existential panic about it. And having dinner with friends, going to a play, watching the Oscars… Any time left for writing will be devoted to Andy’s interview questions. In the meantime, here are some articles of note:
~ From openDemocracy: So what do Russia’s people think?
In the first of his regular monthly reports for odRussia, Alexei Levinson of Russia’s prestigious Levada Centre offers a round-up of Russian public opinion at the start of 2010. Even when the economic crisis lead people to judge their government, he notes, approval of Prime Minister Putin remained high. Nor do people seem particularly bothered by Russia’s imaginary elections.
~ From A Fistful of Euros: Russia on the rebound.
Two interesting facts:
1) After sharply negative growth last year, Russia’s growth is predicted to exceed 6% this year. Okay, that’s just clawing back what they lost. But it’s still better than almost anywhere else in Eastern Europe.
2) For the first time in many, many years Russia’s population grew slightly: by a little over 20,000 people in 2009.
This growth is a combination of a slight downturn in the death rate, a noticeable uptick in the birth rate, and a sharp rise in immigration — it hit a ten year high, with about 240,000 people moving into Russia.
So: short-term blip, or sustainable?
~ From The Daily Rash: Harlequin Romance Replaces Fabio with Vladimir Putin!
“Don’t get me wrong! I’ve never read one of those books! But that Russian guy is at least believable! I was wary of Fabio when he started doing those butter commercials.” Newt ordered another scotch and lit a cigarette.
“I saw Last Tango in Paris with Brando.”
Newt puffed on his cigarette.
“So, I know what butter is used for.”
~ From Eternal Remont: Comming Soon: Jersey Shore, Russian Edition.
Apparently, it will correct the same kind of false stereotypes about Russian-Americans that Jersey Shore has so excellently dispelled for Italian-Americans.
~ From the fine State of Illinois: Forget law school, apply for Lieutenant Governor!
Illinois Democrats are trying to find a candidate for Lieutenant Governor, but they haven’t been taking the traditional route. Democrat Scott Lee Cohen originally won the nomination in February but dropped out of the race due to a scandal. That’s why the Illiniois Democratic Party is letting anyone apply for the position online. Seriously, no joke.
~ From the fine Russian Envoy to Nato: Rogozin…
“I’ll give a million dollars to the person who will prove that NATO is not pursuing military planning against Russia.”
~ From Tim Newman: Goodbye Sakhalin.
On 1st March I demobilised from Sakhalin Island having lived there on a residential basis since 12th September 2006, a period of 3 years, 5 months, and 19 days.[…]
I’ll miss it like hell.
~ Seen around blogistan:
RuNet Echo. “Global Voices’ RuNet Echo editors interpret and report on the Russian-language internet for a global audience.”
GosLiudi. Polit.ru creation for the “promotion and standardization of blogging and participating in online social projects of public people: government officials, governors, mayors, officials, deputies, heads of state-owned companies, experts and analysts in the state and e-government.”
Gov-Gov. Blog about government sites. “I am interested in all types of public web-projects – agitation and propaganda portals, Real Innovations, personal blogs and regular ministerial officials, foreign and domestic developments.”
Thanks for reading, and have a lovely weekend!