Paulina’s Christmas

One day, in Russia, there was a heavy snowstorm. The snow was deep on the ground; and in the forest the branches of the trees bent under its weight.

In this forest a little girl was struggling along. There was no path for her to follow, for the snow covered all the paths. The little girl’s name was Paulina. She was dressed in a long fur coat, and she wore a cap and mittens and gaiters of fur, so that she looked more like a little furry animal than a little girl. She kept tramping along, not a bit afraid, when suddenly she heard a call for help.

“Help! Help!” the call came.

“Coming, coming!” she called back. She went in the direction of the voice and soon she saw a man making his way toward her. His dress was that of a peasant.

“Will you please direct me out of this forest, little one?” he asked. “You probably know the paths about.” Continue reading

Sky IS Falling Day

3bprIt seems to be a favoured line for a classic children’s tale of the sky falling, but on February 15, 2013 the sky really was falling in part of Russia.  A large meteor entered the atmosphere and heated up to high enough temperatures that it did what is called an airburst.  This airburst would be fine and dandy had it happened higher in the sky and from a smaller rock, but this one as a biggy and it exploded a mere 10 kilometers over the city of Chelyabinsk.  The force of the explosion was enough to collapse the roof of a factory and to shatter windows of many buildings.  Some 1200 people were injured, mainly from the glass and six thousand buildings damaged.  Today is Sky IS Falling Day in observance of this freak event that literally came out of nowhere.

East meets west day

The war was almost over and on April 25, 1945 when the Soviet army came and met the Americans at the Elbe River in Germany, this signified it so clearly.  The war in Europe would be over in weeks.  This East meeting West was a great time for the Allies in their war effort against Nazi Germany.  Today is East Meets West Day in honour of this accomplishment that brought the largest war that much closer to the end.

Russian cosmonaut day

Yuri Gagarin became the first man in space on this day in 1961.  In honour of this momentous event, the Soviets decreed April 12 as Russian Cosmonaut Day.  This one event sparked the space race and eventually led to Man setting foot on the moon.

I heard an interesting rumor, one that has a ring of truth to it.  The Soviet Union was very fast in proclaiming victories of all sorts but was very good at hiding failures.  It is thought that Yuri Gagarin was not the first man in space, but only the first man to survive the return from space.  True?  Who knows.