Bogatyrs (1898) by Viktor Vasnetsov with Alyosha Popovich on the right hand side.
Alyosha Popovich is a folk hero of Kievan Rus, a bogatyr. He is the youngest of the three main bogatyrs, the other two being Dobrynya Nikitich and Ilya Muromets.
In Byliny he is described as a crafty priest’s son who wins by tricking and outsmarting his foes. He is known for his agility, slyness, and craftiness. Alyosha Popovich is fun-loving, sometimes being depicted as a “mocker of women,” and may occasionally be a liar and a cheat.
He defeated the dragon Tugarin Zmeyevich by trickery.
Alyosha Popovich and his servant, Yekim, set out for Kiev to meet Prince Vladimir. When they arrive at Kiev, Prince Vladimir is having a feast. Prince Vladimir offers Alyosha Popovich to sit next to him, but Alyosha Popovich refuses and decides to take the lowest place in the social hierarchy by sitting next to the stove. At the feast, the monster Tugarin insults the Prince by sitting between Vladimir and his wife. Tugarin also does not pray to God and gorges himself at the feast. Alyosha Popovich, who is disgusted with the way Tugarin is acting, insults the creature with stories about the deaths of a dog and a cow.Tugarin is provoked by these stories and throws a dagger at Alyosha Popovich. Then, Alyosha Popovich accepts Tugarin’s challenge to fight. The battle takes place in an open field, and when Alyosha Popovich arrives, Tugarin is already flying in the sky on his wings made of paper. Alyosha Popovich prays for rain, and Tugarin falls to the ground because his paper wings get wet. Finally, Alyosha Popovich knocks Tugarin’s head off with his staff, sticks it on a spear, cuts his body into small pieces, and presents it to Prince Vladimir’s court.
The “Night Witches” was the all female Night Bomber Regiment of the Soviet Air Forces that bombed German lines in WWII. They were equipped with the worst, oldest, noisest, crappest planes in the entire world. The engines used to conk out halfaway through missions and they had to climb on the wings mid flight to restart the props. To stop germans from hearing their noisy planes and firing at them, they’d climb up to a certain height, coast down to German positions, drop their bombs, restart their engines in midair, and get out as quickly as possible. Their leader flew over 200 missions and was never captured.
I’ve reblogged this before but these women are badasses.
So much badassery.
August 15, 1914: Panama Canal Opens
On this day in 1914, an American-built waterway across the Isthmus of Panama, called the Panama Canal, opened. The canal connected the world’s two largest oceans (the Atlantic and the Pacific) and signaled America’s emergence as a global superpower.
Watch the American Experience documentary on the turmoil surrounding the building of the Panama Canal.
© Mu Ge (aka Muge), 2005, “Going Home”
“Going Home” is Muge’s poetic journey along the Yangtze River and back to his childhood home in Chongqing, Wuxi County, in 2005.
Muge’s images have an almost dreamlike quality, but through his nostalgia you can see the immensity of the transformation, displacement, and disappearance along his route. You sense the movement of time; past, present, and future seem to exist simultaneously in many of the frames. Now, almost seven years later, I was curious about how much more Yangtze had changed since Muge made his photographs.
“The government promised a lot of hope and a better future,” Muge told me. “But after so many years, even that is still unknown. Many farmers lost their land, but were unable to survive in the city. Some of the migrants could not integrate into a different environment and chose to return to the Three Gorges, but there remains no housing, land, identity, and life is very difficult.”
His new body of work, “Ash,” picks up where “Going Home” left off, he told me. “Through still lives and landscapes I continue to explore the balance between man and nature.” (read more)
The American ambassador to Moscow Joseph Davies with his wife at Lenin Mountains (Leninskiye Gory), Moscow, 1937-38. Photo by Emlen Knight-Davies.
Marine Corporal Fenwick shares the candy from his rations with an elderly Japanese woman, Japan 1945.
Pacific War Museum
British troops returning to England from France after the “Miracle” of Dunkirk, June 1940.
A Russian Imperial Presentation gold ring, circa 1800, with a diamond cipher of Empress Maria Feodorovna, consort of Emperor Paul I (ruled 1796-1801).
If someone got me a ring like that I’d love them forever
Women’s Liberation Coalition March, Detroit, Michigan, 1970