Posts Tagged 'USSR'

Reality – Original Israeli


“Original Israeli Music Line. Leonid Ptashka, Marina Maximilian Blumin.”

Ptashka was born in Baku and Blumin in Dnipropetrovsk.

I love this country so much.

Reality – Pioneers crossing

Pioneers crossing

This picture was taken in Nesher, Israel in 2007, but it looks like it’s from USSR 1951.

Soviet Space

“O Lord! What an honor! What an undeserved mercy: I know the Russian alphabet!” (Sergei Dovlatov)

In Soviet Russia the beautiful things were beautiful. All in all, the art of Socialist Realism was not necessarily worse than the “free” art of the West. Take a look at this: Rare & Beautiful Vintage Visions of the Future. Not much is written there at all, but i nearly cried at every Russian word that i read. Yes – clever, talented and inspired people lived in the Soviet Union.

Soviet Sherlock Holmes

New Zealand issues a commemorative coin with images of Sherlock Holmes, Dr. Watson and related characters.

The cool part: The characters’ appearance is copied from the Soviet movies about Sherlock Holmes!


I took a bus from Jerusalem to Haifa for the first time in three years.

A couple of cute teen age American Haredi girls were standing in the aisle, chuckling. After a few moments i understood why: There was one free seat next to a guy. Now, the awkward problem: None of them would sit there, ‘cuz their Haredi education doesn’t allow them to sit next to men. I wouldn’t sit there, ‘cuz my Soviet Russian education doesn’t allow me to sit when there’s a woman standing.

So the seat remained empty.


Art. Lebedev did it again: Короче. The title means “Shorter”.

You don’t need to know Russian to understand what he says there. The road sign at the first picture says:


The second picture says:

— Lights and seat belt!

Lebedev doesn’t just say that road signs should be shorter. He emphasizes the use of proper typography, which is not just nice, but practical too. In books the dash introduces direct speech, so when the driver sees it, he feels that someone is actually speaking to him and makes him want to do something in response. Proper use of capital and small letters instead of all-capitals makes the sign more easily readable, which is crucially important, ‘cuz you don’t want to make driving harder.

Lebedev doesn’t say much about the exclamation mark, but as a linguist i’d like to add that it is there because it has to be there, because a sentence that starts with a dash just has to end with something. It’s similar to the -es in the sentence “He goes to the bar”: textbooks say that the -es means “third person singular”, but in fact the He is the sign of “third person singular”, and the -es is there simply because the sentence “He go to the bar” would not be considered proper English by most people.

In the USA almost all road signs are just written in English in very short and standard sentences: “SPEED LIMIT”, “STOP”, “FOOD”. It’s not as beautiful as Lebedev’s proposal, but i do think that it is rather practical, because the driver doesn’t need to learn a hundred or so pictograms, like it is in most countries. It has one drawback: The driver has to know English.


If you type владимир (vladimir) in Google and let it guess the popular queries, then Vladimir Putin is second and Vladimir Vysotsky is first.

Thank God.