The First Movie Ever Made

Last week the 15th annual TIFF film festival kicked off in my old hometown of Cluj-Napoca. It reminded me of a story that I’ve wanted to tell for a long time. If you ask a film buff or historian of motion pictures about the world’s oldest movie, they’ll probably mention names like Thomas Edison, the…

Dill Heads

WORD COUNT: 530 One of the unexpected bonuses of learning Russian is discovering just how how much comedy exists in that language. I was always raised to think of Russia as a dour, dull place, but underneath that grey exterior exists a beating humorous heart. Russians engaged in fighting Ukrainians have come up with an…

Agitprop

Not too long ago, someone left an angry comment on this blog, complaining that s/he came for stories about wine and other “pleasant” subjects, and didn’t want to hear any more pro-Russian stories. All that’s fine and good, and I urge anyone who doesn’t like this site (or any other website on the internet) to…

The Curious Case of the 100 Thousand

I was feeling pretty good the other day after writing my post about the December 1 festivities when someone pointed out to me that maybe I had my history wrong. I portrayed the 1918 declaration as a heroically brave but mostly symbolic gesture by just a few people but the history books say that over…

The Battle of Tiraspol

Over the weekend I’ve watched with growing dismay as the propaganda war over Transnistria has been heating up. As Hiram Johnson once (allegedly) said, “The first casualty of war is the truth” and during this latest buildup of tensions between Russia and “the West” that’s certainly been the case so I figured I’d do my…