Archive for the 'Russia' Category

Mar 02 2008

99 Decision Street

Published by under Music,Politics,Russia

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red balloon.gif24.

Perhaps it’s coincidence, but I seem to have met a disproportionate number of people over the past week who are 24. Born in 1984, ten years after me.

One of my favourite songs is also 24. 24 years ago this week, 99 Red Balloons was just finishing a week as the UK’s Number One. I have vague recollections of my sister and I listening to its fall from grace on the Capital Radio Chart Show, courtesy of David ‘Kid’ Jensen. Nena, lead singer of the eponymous German rock group, was 24 at the time.

If I could find a souvenir
Just to prove the world was here
And here is a red balloon
I think of you and let it go

I gave the song a blast this afternoon to see what my daughter, now the same age I was in 1984, made of it. Lately she’s been asking a lot about recent history so I even had a go at explaining the dated-sounding Cold War lyrics. I spared her the video, though, with its ’80s fashion and bad hairstyles.

Incidentally, whilst looking up the links for this post, I came across the original German lyrics to Neunundneunzig Luftballons. Rather more protest going on there than in the almost comedic English translation, and perhaps more contemporary relevance too.

Neunundneunzig Kriegsminister
Streichholz und Benzinkanister
Hielten sich für schlaue Leute
Witterten schon fette Beute
Riefen “Krieg!” und wollten Macht
Mann, wer hätte das gedacht
Daß es einmal so weit kommt

Oh, and for anyone who’s expecting a ‘Russia election’ post, this is as close as you’re going to get.

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Mar 02 2008

Links of the Week (sorry they’re late)

Published by under Digital,Media,Misc,Politics,Russia

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David Ferrabee on cultural differences – including the reluctance of Russians to apologise

Drudge – pillock.

Tories looking for friends on Facebook – can’t they see how badly this will backfire?

“Oh yeah?” says W on gas prices – as if we needed further proof …

Top 10 Russian Blogs – from La Russophobe

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Feb 23 2008

Links of the Week

Published by under Politics,Russia,Tech

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Neon Tango – reinterpretation of a classic

The ‘Splinter’ wooden supercar – and no, it’s not an April Fool

onepolitics – Puffbox’s new political blog aggregator

So I come from Moscock? – classic ad from the 80s, any Russian with a sense of humour will love it

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Feb 13 2008

Flash-mob, anyone?

Published by under Russia

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Two-Zero wonders whether we could recreate the recent Grand Central static flash-mob could be repeated in Moscow.

Why not? It happens on the Garden Ring several times a day …

Seriously, though, if it happens, I’m in. It wouldn’t be my first time.

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Jan 21 2008

Second blog, second web, second life?

Published by under Digital,Russia,Tech

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A lot can happen in a year, especially in the world of technology. I may not have been blogging, or even working in the tech sphere, but I’ve still been doing my best to keep up.

My personal tech has moved on; the BlackBerry has been replaced by an N95, and I’ve added a Mac Mini to my collection – allied to an EyeTV 250+ it makes a great PVR. But this post is more about the changes in the world of social media over the past 12 months.

A year ago Time Magazine had just named ‘You’ as Person of the Year, Steve Jobs had just unveiled the iPhone, and we were all trotting out the likes of Facebook, Flickr, YouTube and Second Life as the next big thing.

And now?

The latest Person of the Year is one Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin. The iPhone (now on v1.1.3) has been hacked, cracked and, in the case of one of my friends, broken. I’d quite like one, but I’m waiting for version 2.

Facebook looks pretty unstoppable, at least for now. My Dad uses it, my daughter wants to. I succumbed and joined up a few months ago – aside from getting the occasional sheep thrown at me, it’s proven quite handy for sharing photos and playing Scrabble clones of debatable legality. Flickr and YouTube are maturing, developing and becoming more mainstream.

But I’m not quite sure where Second Life’s got to. I get the impression it’s not quite yet delivered on its Gibsonesque promises, though. Does anyone out there use it, apart from PR firms and marketeers? Has it become a geek-clique, the opposite of Facebook’s growing ubiquity? Or am I just more out of touch than I thought? Care to enlighten me?

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