On October 7, 1959, the Soviet space probe Luna 3 took the first pictures of the far side of the moon. This view is actually of the east side of the moon. That's Mare Moscoviense in the upper right. Compare.
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.]