6505 (997). When Vladimir went to Novgorod after upland troops with which to fight the Pechenegs (for there was desperate and constant conflict with them), the latter, on perceiving that for the moment there was no prince at hand, came and beset Belgorod. They allowed no sally from the city, and great famine prevailed. Vladimir could not bring succor, for he had no troops with him, and the number of the Pechenegs was great. The seige was thus prolonged, and the famine grew increasingly severe. The inhabitants thus held a council in the city, and said among themselves, "We are about to die from hunger, and no aid is to be expected from the Prince. Is it not better to die? Let us surrender to the Pechenegs, and let them spare some, though they kill others. We are perishing of famine as it is." Thus they came to a decision. But one old man was not present at the council, and inquired what it was about. The people told him that on the morrow they would surrender to the Pechenegs. Upon hearing this decision, he summoned the city-elders, and remarked that he understood they intended to surrender to the nomads. They replied that the people would not endure famine. Then the ancient said, "Listen to me: do not surrender for three days, and do as I tell you." They gladly promised to obey, and he directed them to collect a measure of oats, wheat, or bran apiece. They gladly went in search of these supplies. Then he bade the women prepare the liquid with which they brew porridge, and ordered them to dig a pit. In this pit he bade them place a tub, and to pour the liquid into the tub. Then he ordered them to dig a second pit, and place a tub in the latter likewise. He next commanded them to bring honey, so they fetched a basket of honey that was stored in the prince's storehouse. He then bade them dilute it greatly, and to pour it into the tub in the other pit.
Upon the morrow, he directed them to send messengers to the Pechenegs. The citizens went forth to the Pechenegs, and offered them hostages, so that ten of the nomads should come into the city to see what was happening in their town. The Pechenegs rejoiced, thinking that they wished to surrender. They therefore accepted the hostages, and selected the chief men of their own party, whom they sent into the city to look over the town and learn what was occuring. The Pecheneg representatives entered the town, and the inhabitants said to them, "Why do you waste your strength? You cannot overcome us if you besiege us for ten years. We secure our sustenance from the earth. If you do not believe it, behold it with your own eyes." They thus conducted the Pecheneg envoys to the pit where the brew was, then drew some up in a pail and poured it into pots. After they had brewed porridge, they conducted the Pechenegs to the other pit. They hauled up the buckets and after eating from them themselves, offered them to the Pechenegs. The latter were astonished, and exclaimed, "Our princes will not believe this marvel, unless they eat of the food themselves." So they poured out a bowl of brew and buckets of mead from the pits, and gave them to the Pechenegs, who returned to their camp and recounted all that had happened. After brewing the porridge, the Pecheneg princes ate it, and were amazed, and upon recovering their own hostages and returning those given by the city, they raised the siege and returned home.
Cross and Sherbowitz-Wetzor (translators), The Russian Primary Chronicle: Laurentian Text, pages 122-123.
Did you know the Soviet Union had a porcelain industry? Me neither! This piece, "Collective Farm Woman With Fruit" was produced at the Lomonosov State Porcelain Manufactory, Leningrad, in 1937, and recently came up in a Sotheby's auction of Russian porcelain.
Yesterday Tornado Moscow Region won the European Women's Champions Cup for the fourth time, finishing first in the round robin tournament ahead of AIK Stockholm, Espoo Blues and ECS Planegg. All four clubs were champions of their respective countries in 2013. Tornado win for the fourth time, which ties them with AIK who dominated the early years of this tournament. Tornado's best attacker in the final game was Kelley Steadman, an American. Source.
On the way to the earth snow flakes get covered with hoar frost and interlock or freeze together into large snow flakes (up to 1 - 8 cm) ... in order to cover 1 square meter with snow cover to a depth of 1 meter, from several to tens of billions of snow flakes are needed ... they lie uncompacted on each other ... air is preserved between their plates, rays, and needles ... snow cover (according to Chirvinski 1932) resembles an emulsion of air and snow flakes, or a froth ... by this peculiarity the white colour of snow and its low temperature transmission can be explained ... the larger the snow flakes are, the less compactly they lie together ... in connection with this it should be noted that the specific gravity also changes ... by lying a long time or by slow melting, snow gets more compacted and can be turned into ice ... because of these pecularities, snow cover plays a very important role in preserving soil and plants from freezing ... its low thermal conductivity turns out to be very important in the ecology of animals.
Accumulated snow cover metamorphoses under the influence of a number of factors ... compaction of the snow and secondary recrystallization occur under the influence of gravity (this occurs especially in the lower layers), by partial melting and refreezing, which results in the appearance of compacted crusts and layers, and, in particular, under the action of wind which moves fine, dry snow from certain places and deposits it in others (ravines, forest borders, hedgerows), in the form of banks, hillocks, dunes, etc. ... drifting snow moves in the form of fine snow dust, which later forms especially compact layers under strong pressure from the wind ... cold rain and sublimation which form icy crusts, also take some part in the metamorphosis of snow ... particles transported by wind ('snowy detritus') are able to furrow and carve the surface of snow layers and even to inflict heavy damage to the barks of trees and bushes at the border of the tundra (Gorodkov 1926).
From A.N. Formozov, "Snow Cover as an Integral Factor of the Environment and its Importance in the Ecology of Mammals and Birds".
Snegurochka is a feature-length animated cartoon based loosely on Rimsky-Korsakov's opera of the same name, which translates as The Snow Maiden. It shows some Disney influence, but not so much as to excise the fairy tale's bittersweet ending. The animation has a flowing grace, with some really remarkable dance scenes. Full movie.
This Brezhnev-era map of Гринок (Greenock) might have aided an invasion force, if the Soviet military hadn't already been tied up in Afghanistan. Source.
Dumbarton FC stage an amphibious landing at Cappielow today. Morton, you must win.
Morton's season has the appearance of Airdrie United's last year. They too held first place after the first weekend, but drifted down the table to finish tenth. They were relegated and are now in last place in League One. Another model might be Dumbarton's 2012-13 season. They began very poorly and seemed to have a lock on tenth place, but then they fired the manager and finished safely in seventh. Firing the manager is the key to that scenario. [But Moore has reportedly been given a new contract.]
How many wins does it take to finish eighth in the SPFL Championship? Drawing on the First Division standings for the 21st century the average is 9.6, with a high of 13 and a low of 7. Round it off to ten wins. Morton have one win, nearly a third of the way through the season.
[Morton win 2 - 0. Goals by McLaughlin and Peciar.]
UEFA Champions League Wednesday: Ajax 1 - 0 Celtic.
There's a nice piece at FWW about goalkeeper Albert Camus.
Yesterday US Boulougne visited Gazélec Football Club Ajaccio in Corsica. Did you know that Corsica was an independent republic from 1755 to 1769 and a kingdom under the British crown from 1794 to 1796? Well, now you do. [Boulogne won 0 - 1.]
The KHL is the top hockey league in Russia, and during the absence of the NHL also the top hockey league in the world. About three dozen NHLers have signed on with the KHL for the duration of the lock-out.
There are currently 26 teams, twenty of them in Russia and one each in Kazakhstan, Ukraine, Belarus, Latvia, Slovakia and the Czech Republic. They are divided into two conferences, one with twelve and one with fourteen clubs, and each conference is divided into two divisions. Every club plays a 52 game schedule from September to February. The top eight finishers in each conference make the playoffs. Four rounds of best-of-seven series determine the Gagarin Cup winner.
The KHL is the heir of the old Soviet league. The succession of top Russian leagues goes: 1946-47 to 1991-92 Soviet Championship League; 1992-93 to 1995-96 International Ice Hockey League; 1996-97 to 2007-08 Russian Superleague; 2008-09 to now KHL.
The current KHL teams are:
In the Chernyeshev Division, Eastern Conference:
HC Barys. Barys play in Astana, Kazakhstan. The club was founded in 1999 and participated in the Kazakhstan league until joining the Russian Superleague in 2007, and then the KHL in 2008. Their rink, the Kazakhstan Sports Palace, holds 5,532. Colours: double blue and white. [Nikolai Antropov of the Winnipeg Jets, Victor Hedman of the Tampa Bay Lightning, and Ryan McDonagh have signed with Barys Astana.]
HC Amur. Amur play in Khabarovsk, which is so far east it's practically in Japan. The club began in 1966, and moved up to the Russian Superleague in 1996. Their rink is the Platinum Arena, capacity 7,100. Blue and white.
HC Metallurg Novokuznetsk. Founded in 1949, they joined the Superleague in 1999. Kuznetsk Metallurgists Sports Palace holds 7,533. Novokuznetsk is north of the point where Kazakhstan and Mongolia nearly meet. Red, black and white.
HC Sibir. Sibir are from Novosibirsk, Russia's third-largest city and the administrative centre of a chunk of Eurasia about the size of China. The club was founded in 1962 and joined the KHL in 2008. The Ice Sports Palace Sibir holds 7,400 sectators. Another blue and white team.
HC Avangard Omsk Oblast. Founded 1950. They won the Superleague in 2004 and the IIHF European Champions Cup in 2005. Omsk Arena can contain 10,318 Avangard fans. Dostoyevsky was exiled to Onsk in 1849. Red, black and white. [Nikita Nikitin of the Columbus Blue Jackets, Andrew Ladd of the Winnipeg Jets, and Sergei Kostitsyn of the Nashville Predators have signed with Omsk.]
HC Salavat Yulaev Ufa. Founded 1957. Winners of the 1995 IIHF Federation Cup. Russian champions in 2008 and 2011. Salavat will be representing Russia at this month's Spengler Cup. Green, blue and white. Ufa Arena holds 8,200. The city of Ufa was founded in the time of Ivan the Terrible.
In the Kharlamov Division, Eastern Conference:
HC Traktor. What a good old-fashioned Soviet name. Founded in 1947, they play at the 7,500-seat Traktor Sport Palace in Chelyabinsk. Black, white, red and grey. [Andrei Kostitsyn of the Nashville Predators has signed with Traktor.]
HC Ak Bars Kazan. Snow Leopards. Four-time Russian champions. Winners of the 2008 IIHF Continental Cup. Green, red and white. Tatneft Arena holds 10,000. [Alexei Yemelin of the Habs has signed with Ak Bars.]
HC Yugra. Founded in 2006, HC Yugra progressed to the KHL in 2010. Arena Ugra came accommodate 5,500 supporters. Blue, green and white. Yugra is the ancient homeland of the Hungarians.
Metallurg Magnitogorsk. Founded in 1955, the Magnitka have won the Russian Superleague three times, various IIHF European championships four times, and the 2005 Spengler Cup. Sergei Fedorov is captain. Magnitogorsk Arena holds 7,500. Blue, red and white. The city of Magnitogorsk was created by the First Five Year Plan in 1928 and modeled on Gary, Indiana. [Sergei Gonchar of the Ottawa Senators, Yevgeny Malkin of the Pittsburgh Penguins, Nikolai Kulyomin of the Leafs and Ryan O'Reilly of the Colorado Avalanche have signed with Magnitogorsk.]
HC Neftekhimik. Founded 1968 in Nizhnekamsk, which was itself founded in 1961 as a petrochemical city. It looks like a petrochemical city. SCC Arena holds 5,500. Double blue and white. [Nail Yakupov of the Edmonton Oilers has signed with Neftekhimik.]
HC Avtomobilist Yakaterinburg. Founded in 2006. Joined the KHL in 2009. Red, black and white. Their rink is the 5,570-seat KRK Uralets. Yakaterinburg is named after Empress Catherine I, though from 1924 to 1991 the city was rebranded Sverdlovsk after Bolshevik leader Yakov Sverdlov. [Joffrey Lupul of the Leafs has signed with Avtomobilist.]
In the Tarasov Division, Western Conference:
HC Severstal. From the steelmaking city of Cherepovets. Their Ice Palace seats 6,064. Black, yellow, orange and white. Founded 1954. They used to have the best logo, with molten steel pouring out of the letter C, but they changed it to an unengaging Moebius triangle. [Tom Wandell of the Dallas Stars has signed with Severstal.]
HC Dinamo Minsk. This is the second Dinamo Minsk club. The first began in 1976 and played in the top Soviet league, after which it changed its name and won the Belarusian league four times, before disbanding in 2000. The second club was started in 2003, and became Belarusian champions in 2007 and winners of the Spengler Cup in 2009. Minsk-Arena is nearly NHL-size at 15,086 seats. Colours: double blue and white. [Niklas Bäckström of the Minnesota Wild, Evander Kane of the Winnipeg Jets, and Joe Pavelski of the San Jose Sharks have signed with Minsk.]
CSKA. Central Red Army, 32-time Soviet champions. They play at the 5,600-seat CSKA Ice Palace in Moscow. Red, white and blue. [Ilya Bryzgalov of the Philadelphia Flyers, Pavel Datsyuk of the Detroit Red Wings, and Mikhail Grabovsky of the Leafs have signed with CSKA.]
HC Spartak Moscow. A venerable old Soviet club founded in 1946. Red and white uniform. They were four-time winners of the Soviet league, and they won the Spengler Cup five times. Their rink is called LDS Sokolniki, and seats 5,350.
HC Atlant Moscow Oblast. You may remember this club as Khimik. Founded in 1953. Famous sons: Igor Larionov and Valerie Kamensky. Blue and yellow. They play at Mytishchi Arena (7,000). Ray Emery played for them after his time in Ottawa. [Anton Khudobin of the Bruins and Fedor Tyutin of the Columbus Blue Jackets have signed with Atlant.]
HC Torpedo Nizhny Novgorod. They play at Trade Union Sport Palace, which seats 5,500. Colours: blue, white and red. Founded 1947. Nizhny Novgorod was called Gorky from 1932 to 1990. [Anton Volchenkov of the NJ Devils has signed with Torpedo.]
HC Lokomotiv. This is the club that lost its entire roster in a plane crash two years ago. They spent last season rebuilding in a lower league, but have been fast-tracked back to the KHL this year, which accounts for the number of NHLers signed this summer, even before the lockout. Founded in 1959. Red, white and blue. Their rink is Arena 2000, which seats 10,000, in Yaroslavl. Three-time Russian champions. [Sami Lepistö of the Blackhawks, Curtis Sanford of the Columbus Blue Jackets, Niklas Hagman of the Anaheim Ducks, Mark Flood of the Winnipeg Jets, Artem Anisimov of the Blue Jackets, Dmitri Kulikov of the Florida Panthers, and Semen Varlamov of the Colorado Avalanche have signed with Lokomotiv.]
In the Bobrov Division, Western Conference:
HC Slovan Bratislava. Slovan Bratislava is the most successful club in Slovak hockey. They go back to 1921, and have been champions of Slovakia ten times and of Czechoslovakia once, have won the Spengler Cup three times in a row, and the IIHF Continental Cup in 2004. They joined the KHL this year. Blue, white and red. Andrej Nepela Arena holds 10,055. [Lubomir Visnovsky of the NY Islanders and Andrej Sekera of the Buffalo Sabres have signed with Slovan Bratislava.]
HC Vityaz Chekhov. The Knights. Their rink, Ice Hockey Center 2004, holds 3,000. Dark red and white. Founded 1996. Their General Manager is Alexei Zhamnov. Chekhov lies about fifty miles south of Moscow. [Andrei Markov of the Habs and Mark Cullen of the Florida Panthers have signed with Vityaz.]
HC Donbass. Founded in 2005, they became champions of the Ukraine in 2011. This is their first season in the KHL. They play at the 4,130-seat Druzhba Palace of Sports in Donetsk. Red, white, black and grey. [Anton Babchuk of the Calgary Flames has signed with Donbass.]
HC Dynamo Moscow. Ten-time Russian champions, twice Spengler Cup winners, and IIHF European Champions Cup winner 2006. In 2010 they merged with HC MVD. They play at Megasport Arena, which really is mega by European standards, with room for 14,500 supporters. Blue and white. [Alexander Ovechkin and Nicklas Bäckström of the Washington Capitals have signed wth Dynamo Moscow.]
HC Lev Praha. Lev is the result of the KHL's efforts to get a franchise in the Czech Republic. Attempts two years ago to set up the club in Hradec Králové failed to get off the ground. Last year there was a Lev in Propad, Slovakia. This year the franchise is set up in the 13,150-seat Tipsport Arena in Prague, which is also the home rink of the Czech Extraliga's Sparta Praha. [Jiri Hudler of the Calgary Flames, Jakub Voracek of the Philadelphia Flyers, and Zdeno Chara of the Boston Bruins have signed with Lev Praha. Hudler subsequently moved to Trinec of the Czech Extraliga.]
Dinamo Riga. This Latvin team is a resurrection of the Soviet era club of the same name. They play at the Arena Riga (capacity 10,300). Maroon and white. [Kaspars Daugavins of the Ottawa Senators has signed with Dinamo Riga.]
HC SKA. From Saint Petersburg, formerly Leningrad. Four-time Spengler Cup winners. Their Ice Palace seats 12,300. Blue and red. [Ilya Kovalchuk of the NJ Devils, Sergei Bobrovsky of the Columbus Blue Jackets, and Vladimir Tarasenko of the St. Louis Blues have signed with SKA.] [January 4th, 2013: Kristopher Letang of the Pittsburgh Penguins has signed with SKA.]