Go Kommie Kidz, Go

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Unique footage you’ve probably never seen – in the midst of the fight against the corrupting influence of the West. The Lev Golovanov Moiseyev Dance Co/Ballet jivin’ to the Moses Ensemble. (Video via Olga BSP)

Lev Golovanov Vintage Moiseyev Dance Co/Ballet Photo

Soloists Tamara Golovanova and Lev Golovanov of the famed Moiseyev Dance Company in ‘Roch ‘n Roll,’ which created a sensation at Tchaikovsky Hall in Moscow, 1962. (Photo via Selina Moore)

Lev Golovanov would go on to become a Professor of Dance and a Choreographer Assistant at the Igor Moiseyev State Academic Ensemble of Folk Dance. He received a Russian government culture prize from Russia’s prime minister Dmitry Medvedev in 2014.

The Short Life Of A Beautiful Idea: The Soviet ‘Sormovich’ Passenger Hovercraft

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A gas-turbine hovercraft 'Sormovich' was built in 1965. During the tests  the 'Sormovich' reached  the speed of 120 km / h, went above the surface of the earth at a height of 0.25-0.3 m, it had easily overcame the shallow water and landed gently on the beach.

‘Sormovich’ was built in 1965. During the tests she reached the speed of 120 km/h (75 miles/hr), and went above the surface at a height of 0.25-0.3 m (approx. 1 ft), – she had easily overcome the shallow water and landed gently on the beach.

It looks like an airplane’s fuselage zipping on the water…

The Soviet Sormovich: A gas-turbine passenger hovercraft that operated on an experimental passenger line along the Volga River (Gorky – Cheboksary) in 1971-1972, which was 274 km (170 miles). A round trip from Gorky to Cheboksary took one day.

The ship had a crew of 3 people and could carry up to 50 passengers. The passenger lounge was placed at the bow. Operation was complicated by problems with the dispensing gear that failed. According to the statistics the Sormovich served about 6,000 passengers.

The 'Sormovich' In A More Pastoral Scene

The Sormovich In A More Pastoral Scene

1971 'Sormovich' winter conditions test.

1971 Sormovich winter conditions test.

In 1971, tests were conducted with the Sormovich to determine the feasibility of passenger traffic in the winter.

The tests were successful, but the idea of ​​passenger traffic in the winter was refused.

This decision was unclear, because the ship was designed to operate in the winter months. Perhaps it was connected with almost completely absent infrastructure for winter navigation on the Volga river.  (English Russia)

The Sormovich decommissioned, abandoned, and in disrepair.

The Sormovich decommissioned, abandoned, and in disrepair.

The gas-turbine hovercraft was decommissioned in 1974. The Sormovich met her end on a base in the Gorky Region. There it fell into a complete state of disrepair. It was cut into pieces of lifeless metal.

(Source material and photos: English Russia)

Modified Biological Entities Or Cybernetic Man – A 1963 Discussion On Space Travel

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Must Tomorrow’s Man Look Like This? (Popular Science, Nov, 1963)

Must Tomorrow’s Man Look Like This? (Popular Science, Nov, 1963)

Dehumanized and drugged, transistorized and plugged with electronic replacements for natural parts, a spaceman might survive. But would you still think of him as human?

The illustration above is from the November, 1963, issue of Popular Science magazine. The article is credited to Toby Freedman. M.D., and Gerald S. Lindner, M.D.. It’s a discussion about adapting man for space travel and exploration, and it’s remarkably dramatic. Below are the last few paragraphs from the article. If you’re curious enough to read the full article this link will take you to the terrific Modern Mechanix webpage for your enjoyment.

More profound is the biological approach, which seeks to understand adaptive mechanisms in other forms of life and apply them to man. Instead of hooking up a transistorized organ, the object here is to enable the subject to grow one. This is not as inaccessible as it sounds. Remove one kidney and the other one grows large to sustain the load.

Wonders or horrors? What guide can we look for to direct us in the development of these new powers? For if we can raise people’s general performance with stimulants, we can also reduce them to automatons with depressants, and dissociate them with hallucinating drugs. We can interchange their organs or intercept their heredity by scrambling their DNA. In short, we can alter them in any direction, letting loose in the world forces more powerful and menacing than anything that came out of the atom.

As in the case of the atom, are we going to back into this and find ourselves facing catastrophe without a policy? I have no answers to this question – simply a plea that we start thinking about it.

Let us plan to improve man as we modify him. Let us, while taking over from nature, follow her lead. The keynote is gradual improvement. We should try to optimize those capacities and abilities man already has, by all means available, but avoid radically tampering with the basic mechanism.

In contrast to the astronaut who accomplishes his space mission at the cost of trading most of his physiological systems for electronic ones, whose mouth is sealed, his lungs collapsed, his body wastes recycled through himself, his neural pathways partly severed, and his emotions dissected out we see another. We envision a man who looks quite normal, but who has been adapted to the oxygen requirements of a Himalayan Sherpa, the heat resistance of a walker-on-coals; who needs less food than a hermit, has the strength of Sonny Liston, and runs the mile in three, minutes flat while solving problems in tensor analysis in his head. We call him Optiman, and we think we can make him in the near future.

It we don’t, the Russians will.

(h/t to Sweet Dreams‘ Tumblr for the tip)

In Which Italy’s Kirlian Camera Splashes The ‘Queen Of Blood’ With A Dark Wave

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Italian dark wave ensemble, Kirlian Camera, pays tribute to the 1966 sci-fi horror classic, Queen of Blood.

 

Song: ‘The Path Of Flowers’ – From the 2005 album release, Invisible Front).

Queen Of Blood was released in 1966 by American International Pictures. The film is considered one of ‘the best of the “Corman Cut-Ups” – the spate of films produced during the sixties by cobbling together footage pirated from Russian science fiction films and new material shot by [any one] of Roger Corman’s stable of up-and-coming film-makers, in this case Curtis Harrington.’*  In Queen Of Blood, Harrington uses footage from the Russian film Meshte Nastreshu, ‘A Dream Comes True’.

The Plot: (Set in the year, 1990) After aliens contact Earth via radio to inform humans of an impending visit, their ambassador spaceship crashes on Mars. Astronaut rescuers recover only one green-skinned survivor – a female with insatiably vampire-like appetites.*

The film features John Saxon, Basil Rathbone, Judi Meredith, Dennis Hopper, and Czech actor Florence Marly as the Alien Queen.

Valentina Tereshkova – One Cool Cosmonaut

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Valentina Tereshkova - First Woman To Enter Space (1963)

Valentina Tereshkova – First Woman To Enter Space In 1963 (Photo via The Appendix

On June 16, 1963 Valentina Tereshkova was launched aboard Vostok 6 and became the first woman to fly in space. During the 70.8 hour flight, Vostok 6 made 48 orbits of Earth.  Tereshkova never flew again, but she did become a spokesperson for the Soviet Union. While fulfilling this role, she received the United Nations Gold Medal of Peace.*  She went on to earn a Ph.d. (Tech.) and become a professor authoring more than fifty research papers. Today she remains a Russian national hero.

Cosmonauts Yuri Gagarin and Valentina Tereshkova - First Man And First Woman In Space

Cosmonauts Yuri Gagarin and Valentina Tereshkova – First Man And First Woman In Space (photo:© RIA Novosti. Alexander Mokletsov)

Valentina Tereshkova received the title of Hero of the Soviet Union and was awarded the Order of Lenin and the Gold Star Medal under the June 22, 1963 Decree of the Presidium of the USSR Supreme Soviet (Parliament) for her successful space flight and for the courage and heroism displayed during the [three day] mission. – RIA Novosti

Imagining A Glow Of A Post-Nuclear Strike

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Trinity Test Fireball - 16 ms after detonation (Photo via Wikimedia Commons)

Trinity Test Fireball – 16ms after the first ever detonation of a nuclear weapon. (Photo via Wikimedia Commons)

16 July 1945. Alamogordo, New Mexico. 5:29:45 a.m. – ‘The Gadget’ is detonated and the world is forever changed. The ‘atomic era’ has begun. On 6 and 9 August 1945 the United States government drop two atomic bombs above the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, respectively. The horror and devastation of these two atrocities soon become known around the world. 29 August 1949 – the Soviet Union conducts their first detonation of a nuclear weapon. The Cold War is on.

In the U.S., the possible reality of nuclear annihilation struck the minds of the people. At home, at work, at school, in entertainment, etc., the society was deluged with public service announcements and emergency preparedness  geared towards surviving an atomic attack. Fortunately, that feared assault has not yet occurred – although it is still a possibility despite the fact that it is no longer quite so salient on the minds of the populace.

But what if it did occur? What would the remnants of the time look like to those future generations whose ancestors might have survived the destruction? There is an artist photographer whose work seems to capture that haunting effect. His name is Troy Paiva. He uses the moniker of ‘Lost America’ as the umbrella term for his projects.

Paiva has been drawn to urban exploration since being in his teens and he has used that interest to become the master of night photography. Utilizing natural moonlight, as well as synthetic lighting of varying kinds, he doesn’t just take photographs of his subjects – in a lot of ways, he paints them. Paiva’s works involving the abandoned west are the primary focus of this post.

Below are a few of Paiva’s photos depicting various remains of abandoned mid-twentieth-century cultural artifacts. Some of these were once considered the gems of the time – to collectors they still are. The eerie luminescence that colors these works evoke a kind of radiant glow often mentally associated with things atomic. In many ways they depict a society now long gone, and even though the decay has been brought about by abandonment, one’s imagination could be led to the thought of a more sinister destruction.

Underground Castle: Castle AFB was a Cold War era Strategic Air Command installation in central California.

Underground Castle: Castle AFB was a Cold War era Strategic Air Command installation in central California. This is a semi-blastproof, partially underground, barracks-bunker where B52 and KC135 crews lived on 2 week shifts. On a scramble they’d run out of these tunnels to their waiting aircraft. The crews could have their aircraft in the air in 15 minutes, 24-7.

Aluminum Drizzle: How hot does it have to get for an airliner to melt?

Aluminum Drizzle: How hot does it have to get for an airliner to melt? Aviation Warehouse, El Mirage, California.

Rusty Boomerangs: This Jetsons-era Googie gas station rots beside Interstate 80, just east of the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah.

Rusty Boomerangs: This Jetsons-era Googie gas station rots beside Interstate 80, just east of the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah.

A Chemical Hotspot: Inside the assayers office at Atolia tungsten mine, abandoned since the '60s. Judging by the ventilated booths on the left, a dirty chemical process was done in this room.

A Chemical Hotspot: Inside the assayers office at Atolia tungsten mine, abandoned since the ’60s. Judging by the ventilated booths on the left, a dirty chemical process was done in this room.

Kitchen Witchin Hour: About 1 AM in the unlucky kitchen of a destroyed abandoned house. A mile down a lonely dirt road, in the middle of nowhere, in the Mojave.

Kitchen Witchin Hour: About 1 AM in the unlucky kitchen of a destroyed abandoned house. A mile down a lonely dirt road, in the middle of nowhere, in the Mojave.

Greyhound Scenicruiser...at the Williams Bus Yard. The unrestored inside of the bus was as hot as a sauna, and smelled like an overflowing toilet.

Greyhound Scenicruiserat the Williams Bus Yard. The unrestored inside of the bus was as hot as a sauna, and smelled like an overflowing toilet.

Kelvinator: Late-'50s Nash Metropolitan, at The Big M in Williams, California.

Kelvinator: Late-’50s Nash Metropolitan, at The Big M in Williams, California.

The Fear: Skaggs Island Naval Base. Over 100 buildings, abandoned, near Sonoma, CA.

The Fear: Skaggs Island Naval Base. Over 100 buildings, abandoned, near Sonoma, CA.

Hope Has Left: Never to return.  Inside the Palms Motel at Salton Sea Beach. Abandoned and ravaged by vandals. Taken shortly after dusk on a sultry, hot night.

Hope Has Left: Never to return.
Inside the Palms Motel at Salton Sea Beach. Abandoned and ravaged by vandals. Taken shortly after dusk on a sultry, hot night.

If you’re interested in seeing more of Troy Paiva’s works, you can visit his Lost America Flickr page here, or the Lost America website that features a bio, information on night photography workshops and techniques, links for purchasing books and prints, and access to Paiva’s blog, here.

Soviet Russian Magazine Depicts Classic Futurism

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Tekhnika Molodezhi, or Technology for the Youth, was first published in Russia in 1933. Throughout World War II, its covers would often depict the weapons and technologies of war. After the war, it featured visions of deep sea exploration, gyrocopters and rocket cars, space capsules and lunar missions. This art offers a rare and fascinating insight into the pop culture depiction of futurism in mid 20th century Russia.

The gallery includes 201 classic illustrations. Below are just a few. Click here to view them all if you’d like. Viewing them is an interesting walk down Soviet Russia’s memory lane.

The Art of Tekhnika Molodezhi

The Art of Tekhnika Molodezhi

The Art of Tekhnika Molodezhi

The Art of Tekhnika Molodezhi

The Art of Tekhnika Molodezhi

The Art of Tekhnika Molodezhi