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Yuri Gagarin, the first man in space

Yuri Gagarin, the first man in space

On April 12th, 1961 something extraordinary happened. A man has left the surface of the Earth, reached for the stars and came back to tell the tale. His name was Yuri Gagarin, he was 27 years old and his call-sign was “Kedr” (Cedar)

He was the first human to see the Earth from outer space and orbit it for almost 2 hours. He landed successfully and was awarded a “Hero of the Soviet Union” medal. Yet, he never had a chance to go to space ever again.

The word he said during the launch “Poehali” (“Let’s go” but literally translated it means more like “Let’s ride”) became a staple in Russian language.

Yuri Gagarin died on March 27, 1968, during a routine jet fighter training flight. Exact cause of the accident is still unknown. The most popular version is that another experimental plane came too close and it’s jet wake forced Yuri’s plane into a uncontrolled dive, which resulted in a crash that instantly killed both pilots.

Because of all the secrecy the Soviet Union was famous of, the real reason of Yuri’s death was unknown until 2003

 

 

 
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Posted by on April 12, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

Isaac Azimov, the man who changed Sci-Fi

Isaac Azimov, the man who changed Sci-Fi

Isaac Azimov, one of 3 founders of the modern Science Fiction, was born on January 2nd, 1920 in the Soviet Union. His family immigrated to the United States when he was just a boy, so he never learned Russian. He started to write books at the early age, writing over 500 throughout his career.

The most known books are his “Foundation” and “I, Robot” series. He also penned the 3 main laws of robotics that are holding true to this day:

  1. A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.
  2. A robot must obey the orders given it by human beings except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.
  3. A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Laws.

Rest in peace Isaac, we will remember you forever!

 
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Posted by on January 2, 2017 in History, Sci-Fi

 

Happy New Year 2017!

Happy New Year folks! I wish you a successful and fun year!

The New Year is ahead
With books to be read,
And adventures to be led.
May you find fulfillment and joy
All year long!
I’ve neglecting my blog recently due to, as Ric Locke would say, “Due to Real Life™”. Things will change now and my own New Year’s resolution is to post as often as I can. I have a bunch of things to post about, such as Peter the Great, The Murmansk brushing incident and other things I’ve researched. Stay Tuned!

Happy New Year 2017!

 
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Posted by on January 2, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

The real story behind the plane crash from the “Bridge of Spies”

The real story behind the plane crash from the “Bridge of Spies”
Exactly 54 years ago, on February 10, 1962, Francis Gary Powers walked past Rudolf Abel on Glienicke Bridge. The first-ever spy exchange was complete.
After watching the “Bridge of Spies” movie with my wife, I got so fascinated by the plane crash scene that I decided to do some research. While the movie focuses on the first-ever spy exchange between the United States and Soviet Union, I wanted to learn more about the American pilot himself and the reasons his spy plane got shot down.
Turns out the pilot’s story is no less fascinating than the spy exchange and the timeline of events preceding the crash and the events that followed it spawns exactly 45 years – 45 years of secrecy, fear, lies, deceit and just outright bluff. Since I speak fluent Russian and Latvian this story is a combination of facts taken from many different sources. I’ve tried hard to separate facts from fiction, so the end result should be as close to the truth as it can be.
At some point I realized that I’m writing a book, not an article, so I had to scale down and cut some things out. If you have any specific questions please feel free to drop me a note. But the story of Francis Gary Powers, his fateful flight and the events that followed it, as well as the political scene at the time, it’s all here. With that in mind…. Have fun.
 
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Posted by on February 10, 2016 in Cold War, History, Soviet Army

 

Blue Angels Fly Over 2016 Super Bowl

Blue Angels Fly Over 2016 Super Bowl

The Blue Angels, helped kick off the 2016 Super Bowl when they performed a flyover at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California, Feb. 7.

Source: Blue Angels Fly Over 2016 Super Bowl

 
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Posted by on February 9, 2016 in Navy

 

Happy Birthday Ric!

Happy Birthday Ric!
Warrick Merrell Locke (Ric Locke) was born on February 3rd, 1948 in Pittsburg, Texas. He served in the United States Navy, on an aircraft carrier. After retiring from the Navy he became a very active blogger with strong political opinions. In his own words he was a “self-opinionated S.O.B.

Ric has started writing his Temporary Duty book in the late nineties, revising it multiple times between 2001 and 2005. The book was ultimately self-published and exists only in electronic form.

Ric has passed away in July 2012 after losing his battle with lung cancer. He posted a “This ain’t working” entry on his personal blog 3 days before his death. For a long time he had to rely on donations from Temporary Duty fans and his friends because the book has sold so well that the Internal Revenue Service has denied him the Social Security benefits he was entitled to.

At the time of his death, Ric was working on the sequel to “Temporary Duty” called “Service Call”. About 2/3rds of the book was written and there’s a community effort to get it finished by some other author.

To commemorate Ric’s birthday here are some quotes from his book:

– “Very few things are actually impossible. Some of them are improbable”
– “’Freedom’ is a noble ideal, but has no referent in the perceivable Universe. None of us is truly ‘free’ so long as we require air, water, food, and shelter to survive”
– “Beer is like gravy. Everybody has it, and everybody claims to have invented it”
– “When you’re reading it’s better to have quiet, so you can listen to the voices the book makes in your head”
– “It’s a basic principle of trading that the other party should be made as unsure of himself as possible. Confused people make bad deals”
– “No matter where you were or what was going on, hot water and soap and razor and the familiar curves and hollows of your own face centered you, started the day off with something solid, something you could handle, a minor success to serve as omen for the rest of the day. Maybe that was why women used makeup”
“To keep ‘desperate improvisation’ so far within the bounds of civilized custom is remarkable in and of itself”
“There comes a time when self-confident optimism turns into flat reckless stupidity”

Happy Birthday Ric! You are with the Makers now. God bless you!
 
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Posted by on February 3, 2016 in History, Ric Locke

 

Anna, princess of Russia, queen of France

Anna, princess of Russia, queen of France

In the year of our Lord 1048, Henry I, king of France, had decided to marry again. At first he wanted to marry his relative’s daughter, but the Pope said “No way!”, out of fear of inbreeding (most royal families were all relatives back then). So Henry sent emissaries all over Europe to find a suitable bride. Perhaps the emissaries got lost during their travels, because they’ve found an unlikely bride for a catholic French king – Russian orthodox princess Anna of Kiev, daughter of Yaroslav the Wise. Unlike most princesses of the time, Anna could read and write and even ride a horse. It took a while to get the things arranged, but in 1050 Anna of Kiev had married Henry and became “Anne of Rus, Queen of France”.

Even while her husband was still alive, Anna was actively participating in the affairs of France. She gave birth to 4 children, including the next king of the Franks, Philip I. After Henry’s death she has managed to govern France all by herself for a while. Yet being a woman, she didn’t get a chance to do it for long.

Some time after Anna’s death, the French have introduced the Salic Law, an interpretation of an older custom which specifically prohibits any property to be owned by a woman. By extension it means that any time a king of France dies, the crown goes to the closest relative from the male line (brother, uncle or cousin), bypassing the dead king’s wife or any of his daughters. The law was put in place to prevent an English queen to become the queen of France as well, thus ruling both countries and was the primary reason for the 100-year war between France and England. Because of the Salic Law, while there’s still Elizabeth the II, the ruling queen of England, all French queens after Anna could only reign, not rule.

But Anna’s biggest accomplishment wasn’t the fact that she could rule France all by herself. She introduced the name “Philip” into Western culture. “Philippos” means “lover of horses” in Greek. So if your name is Phil, please give your thanks to Anna. Just don’t get any crazy ideas about horses, ok?

 
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Posted by on January 29, 2016 in History, Kings and Queens

 
 
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