The Mars Chronicle: NASA explores the planet

Space agency will be looking for signs of life on Mars

Reading time 5 minutes

NASA launched the «Mars 2020» mission last July. The rover, named «Perseverance», took off from the US military base at Cape Canaveral and flew for nearly seven months. A successful landing occurred on February 24. Four video cameras filmed the descent of the rover: two were installed on the device, one more – on the landing module and next to the parachute. «Perseverance» landed in the Ezero crater. There are also recorded alien sounds – for the first time ever.

In addition, the rover drove a few meters across the surface, took photographs, and has already transmitted them to Earth.

The photo taken by the Martian satellite shows bright dots - traces of scorched soil from the landing (source: NASA)
The photo taken by the Martian satellite shows bright dots – traces of scorched soil from the landing (source: NASA)

NASA’s main goal of the mission is to understand whether Mars was habitable in the past. To do this, Perseverance will look for traces of water and life organisms, study the climate and collect surface samples. For the latter task, the rover has special tubes with which it will be able to take rocks and soil.

The rover will also test new technologies. In the future, they will be used for other missions – delivering samples to Earth in 2031 and a manned mission to Mars.

A picture of the surface of Mars (source: NASA)
A picture of the surface of Mars (source: NASA)

The Perseverance mission is far from the first attempt to learn the secrets of the red planet: Mars has long been the object of research by scientists. Space programs look for alien life or at least traces of it. For example, scientists have discovered subterranean lakes of saltwater in the planet’s south pole, methane particles in the atmosphere, and the chemical elements necessary for life. These discoveries were made possible by the Mars rover «Curiosity».

«Curiosity» reveals that Mars has red skies during the day and blue sunsets (source: NASA)
«Curiosity» reveals that Mars has red skies during the day and blue sunsets (source: NASA)

Although there is no direct evidence of living organisms on the red planet yet, this has not stopped researchers from trying to send humans there. American engineer and billionaire Elon Musk is a case in point. One of his companies, SpaceX, has been involved in a manned mission to Mars for nearly twenty years. Musk wants to create a space vehicle so people can travel between planets and colonize Mars.

«I think becoming an interplanetary civilization and traveling through space is very important for all humanity. It would take a lot of resources to build a colony on Mars. And I want to contribute as much as I can»,- claimed Elon Musk for Business Insider. The billionaire is prepared to devote his $140 billion fortune to sponsoring the project.

What planetary colonisation will look like (source: SpaceX press materials)
What planetary colonisation will look like (source: SpaceX press materials)

Great artists – truth or myth?

Dispelling myths about 5 great painters

Reading time 6 minutes

Art of the turn of XIX-XX centuries – what is it? Great? Breakthrough? Unexpected? Undoubtedly. But the word «different» better describes the art of this period.

The second half of the 19th and 20th centuries gave us many great artists and genres. And individual masters have become tightly associated with their directions in art. Does no one doubts that Kazimir Malevich – Suprematist, and Auguste Renoir – the pioneer of Impressionism?

But there were artists who did not identify themselves with those styles at all, as is commonly believed. Today we will tell you about five of the most famous of them.

Salvador Dali

Salvador Dalí
Salvador Dalí

What is the question? Obviously, he is surreal… however, stop. In fact, the most famous surrealist painter in 1939 was excluded from the group of surrealists, and for the next 53 years of his work he was not the official representative of this direction. From their conflict, by the way, was born the phrase of Dali «I am not a surrealist, I am surrealism!»

Dali discovered his own unique technique – the paranoid-critical method, which differs from the method of the surrealists. And despite the fact that Dali is now considered the greatest representative of Surrealism, for most of his career he formally belonged to a different style.

Edouard Manet

Edouard Manet, «А Bar at the Folies Bergere», 1882
Edouard Manet, «А Bar at the Folies Bergere», 1882

In many sources, Édouard Manet is ranked alongside Claude Monet and the Impressionist company. In fact, Edouard was their predecessor. Of course, Manet communicated with the Impressionists and was interested in their work, but he himself denied any involvement with this style. On the contrary, throughout his career Manet strove for an official professional appraisal – that is, the recognition of the Salon, which the Impressionists opposed. And Manet never even once exhibited with them.

Edvard Munch

Edward Munch «The Scream», 1893
Edward Munch «The Scream», 1893

Next on our list is the author of the famous «The Scream» and other masterpieces. The direction of the artist, it would seem obvious – expressionism. But no! Expressionism evolved much later and independently of Munch. Meanwhile, the Norwegian master the young expressionists considered the ancestor of the direction and were inspired by his work.

But Munch himself created under the influence of Symbolism – a style of which he was a contemporary.

Frida Kahlo

Frida Kahlo (years of life: 1907-1954)
Frida Kahlo (years of life: 1907-1954)

The Mexican artist was considered by her contemporaries to be a Surrealist (particularly André Breton). But Kahlo herself categorically denied it (although she actively exhibited with the surrealists). She said that she «painted only her own reality and was not into fantasies». Plus Kahlo had no special education, and in combination with her formal features her work is referred to as the direction of naive art.

Bonus

Leonardo da Vinci's drawings: Portrait of a Man in Red Chalk (left) and Vitruvian Man (right)
Leonardo da Vinci’s drawings: Portrait of a Man in Red Chalk (left) and Vitruvian Man (right)

Leonardo da Vinci – who was he?

The author of «Mona Lisa», «Vitruvian Man», «The Last Supper» and many other masterpieces which everyone knows for sure. However, the master never positioned himself as an artist. In the Renaissance, science and art were two sides of the same coin, and an outstanding man had to prove himself in different fields. Leonardo da Vinci referred to himself not as an artist but as an engineer (for example, in his resume, which he sent to the Duke of Milan in 1482). Another indication that painting was not his main occupation is how few paintings he painted.

Of course, the boundaries of styles in art are very conditional – everything is adaptive and subjective, each work of art is unique and combines many elements. But we have tried to dispel 5 common myths about well-known artists, based on generally accepted norms.

«Winx» is saving the world again

Netflix has released a movie adaptation of the animated series about fairies

Reading time 4 minutes

The 6 episodes of the first season of «Fate: the Winx Saga» was released on the streaming platform Netflix on January 22. Directed by Brian Young, known for his work on «The Vampire Diaries», and Iginio Straffi, the creator of the original cartoon. Production was handled by Italy and the United Kingdom, and filming took place in Ireland.

The Netflix project is based on the Italian animated series «Winx Club». The fantastic series has been released since 2004 and from that time has won the love of viewers. At the moment, 8 seasons, 3 feature films and several spin–offs have been released. In addition, the manufacturer produces merch: comics, clothing, stationery, toys and computer games. Straffi conceived the film adaptation back in 2011, but Netflix only started shooting in 2019.

Despite its popularity among children and teenagers, the animated series has been repeatedly criticized. The creators of «Winx» were accused of sexual objectification of the heroines — sixteen-year-old fairies have a perfect body and wear too open clothes.

A shot from the first season of «Winx» (source: Amino Apps)
A shot from the first season of «Winx» (source: Amino Apps)

The plot of the film series differs from the original one. Sixteen-year-old Bloom (Abigail Cowen) gets into «Alphea». «Alphea» is a school for fairies and specialists from the magical world. The girl lives in a hostel with other fairies, communicates only with Aisha (Precious Mustapha), and with Stella (Hannah van der Westhuysen) is at enmity. The heroine has a bad relationship with her parents. Headmistress Miss Dowling (Eve Best) knows the truth about Bloom, but keeps it a secret. The young fairy has yet to learn about herself and her origins.

The series received an age limit of «18+». According to Straffi’s idea, the show is designed for adult fans of the animated series: in the Netflix adaptation, there are a large number of bed scenes and obscene language.

From left to right: Muse, Terra, Bloom, Stella, Aisha (source: Twitter)
From left to right: Muse, Terra, Bloom, Stella, Aisha (source: Twitter)

The public met the news of the film adaptation with conflicting reviews. Even at the stage of creation, the project was discussed because of the cast: the Asian Muse was made a white American, Techna was removed from the number of Winx fairies, and instead of Flora, another character appeared — her cousin Terra. Another heroine — Beatrix-became a collective image of the evil trinity Trix. There is no Muse and Riven couple that is loved by many: Riven is an open bisexual who is in love with another person.

The first season received many positive reviews. On IMDB, users rated the series 7 points on a ten-point scale. On Kinopoisk slightly below-6,4. After the premiere, the network received information that Netflix has extended «Fate: The Winx Saga». There was no official confirmation of the second season.

 

Почему мы много едим в Новый год?

Расскажем о трёх эволюционных и социальных факторах, вызывающих праздничные переедания

Reading time 6 minutes

Новогодние застолья позади, и мир по традиции охватывает проблема: как пережить праздничные застолья? Ведь затяжные праздники, обилие вкусной еды, родственники и друзья, собравшиеся за одним столом – в общем, у многих Рождество и Новый Год провоцируют переедание и сбои в пищевом поведении. Это стало своего рода культурной нормой не только в России, но и по всему миру.И не случайно: здесь играют роль физиологические и психологические процессы, которые заставляют нас много есть.
Мы расскажем о трёх таких причинах.

Sensory-Specific Satiety (сенсорно-специфическая сытость)
Это один из психологических феноменов, отвечающих за чувство насыщения во время еды. Об этой особенности рассказывает профессор Мэрион Хизерингтон (Marion Hetherington) из Лидского университета. https://medicinehealth.leeds.ac.uk/psychology/staff/419/professor-marion-hetherington
Вы замечали, что первый кусочек любимой еды самый вкусный? И на протяжение трапезы она становится менее и менее приятной? При этом при появлении нового блюда его всегда хочется попробовать и даже сытость отступает.
Это вполне нормальное поведение для человека, а объясняется оно тем, что мы всеядны. Феномен ССС помогает человеку пробовать разную еду и получать полный спектр полезных веществ. Из-за ССС меняется удовольствие от вкуса еды во время трапезы (оно уменьшается к концу). Но при появлении принципиально нового продукта оно возвращается.
В обычной жизни феномен ССС хорошо нам служит и помогает питаться разнообразно. Но в особых случаях (например, в праздники), когда мы переполняем тарелку разными блюдами – это соблазн съесть слишком много, ибо чем больше вариантов, тем слабее чувство насыщения. И именно поэтому всегда есть место для десерта.
Таким образом, изменение удовольствия и чувство насыщения может относиться не в целом к трапезе, а к конкретному блюду, которое вы едите в данный момент.

Но то, ЧТО вы едите – это одна сторона медали. Играет роли и то, С КЕМ вы едите.

СОЦИАЛЬНАЯ СТОРОНА ПЕРЕЕДАНИЙ
Доктор Бирмингенского университета Хелен Руддок (Dr Helen Ruddock, https://fb.watch/2OtBWYKi7l/ ) рассказывает о социальных факторах, влияющих на количество съеденного.
На самом деле в каждой компании появляется мини-норма количества еды, и мы неосознанно корректируем свой выбор под эту норму. Поэтому, например, если ваши сотрапезники едят большие порции, то вы, вероятно, последуете их примеру и съедите больше.

Кроме этого, есть свидетельства https://www.birmingham.ac.uk/research/activity/psychology/ebrg/projects/eating-together.aspx , что люди склонны есть больше, находясь с друзьями и семьёй (по сравнению с трапезой в одиночестве). Это называют «социальное содействие в еде» (social facilitation of eating). Возможно, этот феномен развился для того, что в моменты совместной трапезы (когда члены коммуны делятся едой) получить максимум пищи. Объяснение у этого самое простое: на протяжении большей части эволюции еда была в дефиците, а распределение ресурсов внутри группы помогало избежать голода отдельных индивидуумов. Но в то же время, способ делёжки всегда провоцировал конфликты. Поэтому единственным путём преодолеть разногласия было есть ровно столько же, сколько и остальные.
В современных условиях еда больше не является дефицитом, нам не надо делиться с родственниками и друзьями, чтобы они не голодали. Но это как раз тот случай, когда эволюционный механизм продолжает руководить нашим поведением. И в некоторых ситуациях (таких, как совместная трапеза) содействовать перееданию.

И ещё один фактор, влияющий на пищевое поведение в праздники – это эмоции. Рождество и Новый год вызывают у нас приятные ощущения, напоминают о детстве. А вкус любимой еды (тем более, если мы едим её только по праздникам) – это сильнейший психологический якорь, возвращающий нас к приятным моментам. И чем сильнее связь между едой и воспоминаниями, чем больше радости они вызывают, тем сложнее нам остановиться во время приёма пищи. В случае новогодних или рождественских блюд мы придаём еде гораздо больше значение, чем обычно.

Так что в силу эволюционных причин, а также из-за сложного психологического и физиологического устройства человека, еда – это не только источник питания. Еда – это процесс, который способствуют сближению и социальному взаимодействию, который формирует и поддерживает приятные воспоминания и ритуалы семейных сборищ.
Так что еда – это важная часть нашей культуры и нас самих. Но помните, что человеческая осознанность позволяет нам контролировать эти процессы. И в Новом году мы желаем вам чувствовать меру, но не ругать себя из-за перееданий, ведь это часть нашей природы. Главное, делайте выводы и заботьтесь и себе!

How to be employed in 2030

What skills employers will need in 10 years

Reading time 5 minutes

It is not enough for today’s employers that a programmer knows how to create applications and a translator has a good grasp of texts. Potential employees must have not only professional but also «soft» skills.

Soft skills are supra-professional competences, which help to work more effectively in any sphere. For example, they include the ability to communicate with people and quick learnability. The value of these skills has increased in today’s world, where humanity’s opportunities are increasingly global. You need to adapt to technological changes and communicate with people of different nationalities.

According to Kontakt InterSearch Russia consulting company’s research for Forbes Woman employers already expect soft skills from potential employees. Creators of the  «Atlas of professions» project predict even more significant changes on the labor market.

What is worth getting better at today to be a sought-after specialist in 10 years?

1. Working with people

Communication with people is a skill worth learning

This skill has 3 components::

Multiculturalism and multilingualism. More and more companies are operating in the international market, so employees need to know foreign languages. Knowledge in the specifics of intercultural communication will be a plus.

Representatives of different cultures working together

Customer centricity. It is possible to win the battle with the competitors only if the product is created exactly for the client’s needs. That is why employers appreciate the ability to see the demand and to adjust to it.

Emotional intelligence. Empathy, the ability to feel another person is valued in today’s world. People with these qualities find it easier to find common ground with others, which helps not only in everyday life but also in work.

2. Flexibility

Quick learning curve helps you adapt to the demands of the modern world

Quick learning curve. In today’s world, new technologies often appear and you need to adapt to them in a minimum of time. The needs of the labor market are also changing, so you need to learn new professions quickly.

Working under uncertainty. The year 2020 showed that you can’t always be sure of tomorrow. It is necessary to be able to work here and now, to try to foresee the further development of events and not to be afraid of the unknown.

3. Project Management

Project management is no longer the task of the manager

The strict hierarchical structure of companies is replaced by project groups. Representatives of different professions have to show leadership and take responsibility for leading part of the work.

4. Green thinking

Businesses pollute the environment

Manufacturers of goods are thinking about the impact of their business on the environment. Therefore, modern professionals in any field must understand at a basic level how to reduce harmful emissions and the use of natural resources. In Russia this culture is in its infancy, but in Japan the environmental friendliness of production is already controlled at the legislative level.

To develop soft skills, you can join a discussion club, read books on the topic, watch professionals on TED, or take a course.

«Soft» skills are useful not only in work. In life, we communicate with people, learn, and set goals, each of which can be viewed as a project. Above-the-professional skills will help in these areas of life as well.

Russian sensation

"To the lake" - the most expensive Russian series on Netflix

Reading time 3 minutes

“To the Lake” is a Russian sci-fi thriller series directed by Nika Award nominee Pavel Kostomarov. It was added to the Netflix catalogue in October 2020. The platform bought the series for a record-breaking sum – $1,5 million. The Russian name of the series is “Эпидемия” (Epidemic).

Главный герой сериала
The main character moves to Karelia because of the epidemic

It is based on the novel ‘Vongozero’ by author Yana Vagner. The plot is literally repeating the events of the current pandemic. Life in Moscow has become life-threatening because of the new disease. The main character, accompanied by his family, ex-wife and neighbours, moves to Karelia, to a small island in the middle of a lake.They have a dangerous way to go. Netflix got interested in the series in January, when the pandemic just started.

“To the lake” was ranked the 4-th most watched series in the Netflix rating. Stephen King tweeted about the series: he called it “pretty darn good” and highlighted the excess of snow, cold and vodka in the show. There is even a fan-page of the series on the Internet.

Стивен Кинг написал твит об «Эпидемии»
Stephen King’s tweet

This is not the first time when Netflix wants to buy a project created by Valeriy Fedorovich and Evgeniy Nikishov. In their interview to Meduza producers said that they had already refused to sell their projects to Netflix because the terms weren’t beneficial. At first Netflix wanted to pay for “To the lake” less than the other streaming platform. When the offer was rejected, the company suggested releasing the series with a “Netflix Originals” mark. Products from this category are generally more expensive. After some consideration producers accepted the offer.       

Netflix has already purchased more than 40 Russian cartoons, movies and tv shows. Before “To the lake” was added to the catalogues, the most expensive Russian project on Netflix was “Better than us”. The series cost one million dollars. 

Reading time 6 minutes

Banksy is a British street-artist and a political activist. He is the most famous graffiti artist in the world but works incognito. Banksy’s mysterious personality makes him and his art extremely intriguing and popular: the artist’s works are worth millions of dollars and exhibited by top world galleries. 

Today Banksy’s anonymity has become his unique feature and seems to be a metaphorical part of his image. However, its origin is pretty simple. In Britain there is a law about property damage that protects some city buildings. Drawing graffitis on their walls may entail serious legal sanctions.

A monkey mask and a black shirt – a basiс Banksy’s look

«In the era of the Internet and social media it is hard to hide something. Banksy remains anonymous, and this fact itself is a piece of art. Still, the main factor is the talant, not the artist’s personality. His art is perceived differently by everyone, but the irony, sophistication, and complexity of his works is obvious», — says the founder of street-art festivals Ivan Panteleev to «Kommersant».

1. A girl with a hoop

Someone made a graffiti of a girl spinning a tire-like hoop on a wall of some Nottingham building. This work appeared in October 2020. There was an abandoned bicycle without a tire near the mural. Several days after the graffiti had appeared Banksy posted the picture of this work on his instagram page.This was a confirmation of him being the creator. This place instantly became one of the most popular both for the citizens and tourists.

«Everyone needed such a ray of positivity in these corona times », — Nicola Marshall said to BBC when she came with her son to see the mural.

Cr: BBC
Cr: BBC
2. EU flag without a star

This work is dedicated to inglorious Brexit. The long procedure of leaving the EU caused some backlash in society. The mural shows a worker that is removing one star from the EU flag.

Cr: RBС
Cr: RBС
3. Slave labour

The graffiti was spotted on a wall of a London store in 2012. It shows a little boy bending over a sewing-machine. He is sewing together several British flags. This work is Banksy’s reaction to the news about usage of child labour for souvenirs’ production for 2012 Olympics.

This mural appeared right before the birthday of Elizabeth II. A year later this part of the wall was removed and stolen.

Cr: RIA News
4. Balloon girl

A child with a heart-shaped balloon emerged on a wall of a central London building in 2004. Some believe that the graffiti is a metaphor of hope. Others think that it symbolizes the cruelty of modern society which forces children to grow up yearly and abandon their dreams.

Later Banksy made a copy of his work on a canvas. In October 2018 on the Sotheby’s auction it turned out that the frame had a shredder inside.The canvas self-destructed after it was sold for 1.4 million dollars. This was a projection of the creators’ discontent with the sale of his work.

Cr: Gazeta.ru
5. Kissing coppers

This is one of the most famous and controversial works of the British artist. Banksy portrayed two passionately kissing policemen. He wanted the public to pay attention to the problems of LGBT-community. After time passed, the graffiti turned into a symbol of rebellion. Due to a grand backlash it disappeared: it was covered with black paint by anonymous people.

Cr: bit.ua

Banksy doesn’t reduce himself only to street-art. In 2010 he became a director of the movie “Exit through the gift-shop”, it was nominated for the Oscar. Additionally, several years ago the artist opened an amusement park called “Dismaland”. However, the park had nothing to do with conventional entertainment: it was a platform for modern artists and their works.

«Берлинский пациент» умер от рака

История первого в мире человека, победившего ВИЧ

Reading time 2 minutes

Тимоти Рэй Браун, известный как «Берлинский пациент», умер 29 сентября после продолжительной борьбы с лейкозом. Ему было 54. Об этом сообщил его партнер на странице в Фейсбуке.

Тимоти Браун учился в университете Берлина, когда врачи поставили мужчине диагноз ВИЧ. Отсюда и пошло прозвище «Берлинский пациент». Затем у Брауна обнаружили лейкоз — заболевание кроветворной системы. Геро Хюттер, лечащий врач Тимоти, предложил пересадить пациенту костный мозг донора с иммунитетом к ВИЧ-инфекции. Иммунитет возникает, когда у человека отсутствует поверхностный лимфоцитарный белок CCR5.

Геро Хюттер и Тимоти Браун
Геро Хюттер и Тимоти Браун

При попадании в организм вирус старается проникнуть в лимфоциты — иммунные кровяные клетки. Для этого белок вируса должен связаться с двумя белковыми рецепторами лимфоцитов, один из которых — CCR5. Некоторые люди обладают с рождения генной мутацией. Она останавливает синтез CCR5.

В 2007 врачи первый раз провели пациенту трансплантацию костного мозга. Она не была полностью успешной: ВИЧ не определялся в организме, но рак продолжал развиваться. Вскоре процедуру повторили, и на этот раз наступила ремиссия. Оба раза биологический материал брали у одного донора.

Браун со своей собакой по имени Джек
Браун со своей собакой по имени Джек

В 2008 на Международной конференции по борьбе со СПИДом о выздоровлении Тимоти узнали все. История Брауна вызвала скептицизм в научном сообществе. Некоторые исследователи хотели самостоятельно протестировать кровь на наличие инфекции, так как не доверяли результатам. Были и те, кто считал полное выздоровление невозможным: у пациента мог случиться рецидив. Несмотря на громкие заявления прессы о лекарстве от ВИЧ, трансплантация стволовых клеток не используется для борьбы с вирусом. Операции сложные и рискованные: доноры с иммунитетом встречаются очень редко, а сама процедура опасна из-за возможных осложнений и летального исхода.

Незадолго до смерти в интервью изданию Associated Press Браун рассказал, что лейкоз вернулся. Он лечился при помощи химиотерапии, но рак победил. До конца жизни у Тимоти сохранился иммунитет к инфекции.

Тимоти никогда не жалел, что решился на операцию
Тимоти никогда не жалел, что решился на операцию

На данный момент лекарства от вируса иммунодефицита не существует. Ученые много лет работают над вакциной, но результатов нет: вирус встраивается в геном клетки, поэтому его сложно изучить. ВИЧ-положительные люди принимают специальные антиретровирусные препараты, которые задерживают развитие СПИДа и сопутствующих заболеваний. Инфицированные при успешном лечении могут дожить до старости.

Заведующая центра по профилактике СПИДа Наталья Сизова отмечает, что после случая «Берлинского пациента» исследователи не исключают факт разработки мутации рецепторов CCR5. Это значит, что появится возможность искусственно создавать иммунитет к ВИЧ у заболевших.

“There is something to lose your head from”

Alexander Sergeyevich Pushkin as a role model of responsible citizen at the lockdown

Reading time 5 minutes

Alexander Sergeyevich Pushkin is the father of contemporary Russian language. Pupils read “Eugene Onegin”, “Belkin’s Stories”, plays “Mozart and Salieri”, “The Miserly Knight”, “A Feast during the Plague” as well as adults reread. And who can remember from his youth that all these works were written at the height of the cholera epidemic of 1830?

How Alexander Pushkin got into the backwoods far away from his friends

Pushkin and Natalia Nikolaevna Goncharova were engaged in may 1830. He obtained the consent to the marriage only from the third request. The financial affairs of the bride were so up the spout that Alexander Sergeyevich himself had to earn money for the dowry which he allegedly received. Sergey Lvovich found with difficulty a not mortgaged estate that he could give to his son.

Master's house in Bolsino, family Pushkin's estate
Master’s house in Bolsino, family Pushkin’s estate

Boldino is a village of 500 souls. The father allocated to the son a nearby village Kistenevka, a part of Boldino estate. “Collegiate Secretary Alexander Sergeev, son of Pushkin” hastened to draw it up in a separate possession and pawn to get money for the wedding. For this reason, he arrived in Nizhny Novgorod province in September. He was forced to stay there for two months due to cholera quarantine.

Why should we take the poet for a model?

He didn’t lose composure

Alexander Sergeevich wrote two dozen of letters during the autumn in Boldino. He made up with the bride. Natalia Nikolaevna agreed to marry without a dowry.

Natalya Nikolaevna Goncharova, the bride and then the wife of Alexander Sergeyevich Pushkin
Natalya Nikolaevna Goncharova, the bride and then the wife of Alexander Sergeyevich Pushkin

At the same time, the writer did not forget about literary and critical practice. He asked Pogodin who was the publisher of the “Moscow Vedomosti” to send his tragedy “Marfa, Posadnitsa Novgorodskaya” for criticism. And in response, Pushkin sent a poem “The Hero” written on the occasion of the appearance of Nicholas I in cholera Moscow. The poet was not embarrassed to speak out against the regime naming himself but he wanted to publish the “apocalyptic song” with approval of the autocrat’s actions anonymously.

Pushkin willingly wrote many poems in Boldino. Autumn was the most fruitful time for him. The author was glad to be unexpectedly free to write what he wished and walk where he could. That feeling was expressed to his friend Pletnev in letters.

Pushkin approved of getting information in time

He read the cholera bulletins named “The Bulletin on the State of the Moscow City” which were published in the “Moscow Vedomosti”. The suspense tormented him. Alexander Sergeyevich was worried about the health of his family and the bride. He asked her to write regularly and was upset when the letters were long. Natalya Nikolaevna’s reply of October 1, he received on the October 26th. All suspicious and unverified information about the disease was rejected by him. A year earlier Pushkin had been to Arzrum where he had seen an outbreak of the plague, so he knew that the picture of devastation and the number of victims were often exaggerated.

Pushkin's letter to Praskovya Osipova. Punctured envelopes mark "cholera" correspondence. Letters were fumigated with sulfur or chlorine through the holes for disinfection
Pushkin’s letter to Praskovya Osipova. Punctured envelopes mark “cholera” correspondence. Letters were fumigated with sulfur or chlorine through the holes for disinfection
The writer was aware of necessity of precautions and lockdown

While there were no letters from Goncharova, the poet repeatedly tried to find out where the bride was. He was angry and concerned about her staying in Moscow and advised her to go to the country. Pushkin recalled a trip to the Caucasus and asked Natalia Nikolaevna to be careful and avoid cholera places. He also tried to go to Moscow and connect with his beloved. He was ready to stay in quarantine for as long as it would be necessary, though the poet did not visit the cordoned-off areas.

Google Stadia is at the failure stage

Why does the company fail to gain a foothold in the gaming market?

Reading time 5 minutes

About a year ago, on March 19, one of the world’s largest media corporations named Google announced the upcoming entry into the video game market. The company launched the Google Stadia game platform, something new in this area. The main feature that the creators of Stadia noted was the full focused of the new product on cloud gaming. This reminds Netflix analogue in video games: with a monthly paid subscription, the user gets access to the games in the platform’s library. At the same time he or she has an opportunity to connect within any device without downloading the games themselves. High resolution quality is guaranteed. A stable Internet connection and Google Chrome browser are required. At the announcement stage, Stadia looked interesting and seemed to be quite different from the market leaders (Sony PlayStation, Microsoft Xbox and Nintendo Switch). But everything changed dramatically six months later.

Никто не любит жадность
No one loves greed

The release of Google Stadia took place on November 19, 2019 and turned out to be disappointing. The main object of criticism was the general technical unavailability of the platform: the first buyers noted that the games work with significant glitches and are far from 4K resolution, as was promised at the announcement. In addition, many users were outraged by the Google pricing policy: the subscription costs $ 10 per month; Chromecast Ultra prefix, which includes a controller in Night Blue color, a Chromecast Ultra adapter, a three-month subscription for two and a Destiny 2 game costs $ 130; at the same time, the average price for a game will be similar to those of Sony, Microsoft and Xbox – $ 60. The current generation consoles for all Google competitors are about $ 500. There is also a monthly subscription worth about $ 7, but exclusively for online games. For single players (story games that a gamer can play alone) this subscription is not needed, as well as the Internet connection in general. This reveals another problem: users of Stadia are very dependent on the work of the company’s internal servers: if they crash, all game progress will not be saved. Another important obstacle, partially due to the preceding paragraphs, is the quantity of games. There were only 22 games in the Google start library, after 3 months of the service’s existence only 6 more were added. 28 games is an extremely small number for a company which is trying to become a full-fledged player in the market. Moreover, among these games there is not a single exclusivity. These are games that can only be played on one console, one of the most compelling reasons to buy one. At the moment, the PlayStation is a leader in the gaming industry thanks to exclusives such as the Uncharted series, The Last of Us, God of War, Bloodborne and many others. The Xbox has a series of Halo and Quantum Break, the Switch has Mario and Zelda. Stadia has nothing. The reason is Google itself: after the release, the company weakly supports the project (6 new games in 3 months to confirm). Accordingly, the audience, which was already relatively small, is beginning to decline. Therefore, game developers have no motivation to conclude exclusive production contracts with Google, because they still will not pay off in the current platform state.

За годы существования Google всего "умерло" 198 проектов
Over the years of Google’s existence, 198 projects have “died

Thus, Stadia is a vivid example of how an excellent idea can be ruined by poor technical performance and the lack of a clear PR strategy. The future of the project looks uncertain. It is unlikely that anyone will be surprised if he soon replenishes the “Google Cemetery“.