My wife Liuba is from Omsk, and many hard, frozen, poverty-stricken years there did nothing to damage her health.But all it took was four winters amid the belching smokestacks and poisoned atmosphere of Moscow for her to contract a chronic bronchial infection. During her last two years in the megapolis, often amid endless bleak rains that more and more prevail there because of climate change, our apartment was … Read the rest
One of my more engaging and creative young Chinese students (a girl of 13 years) recently started an essay with the following title: ‘Imagine that you are someone’s shadow for a day.’ In the first paragraph, she asks, “Can you choose whose shadow are you or would you just come into existence when someone is born or when the person … Read the rest
Content 21 + Please note that it should not be treated as medical advice. By now, and so indicative of the world we live in, the coronavirus has seized the public imagination more than anything since A.I.D.S and Charles Manson. It has ‘gone viral’ in ways that YouTube never dreamed of. It is, as the concerned media loves to call it now, a … Read the rest
Content 21+ Come closer, my dear friend. Take a seat in this comfortable chair. Tell me how hard it was for you to study for eight hours per day at school, how your classmates bullied you, how you were underestimated at the university and get your €1500/month underpaid job, and why it is the reason you hate others (and those nasty immigrants, of course). I will, in turn, tell how … Read the rest
Content 18+ I can remember my undergraduate days more than a half century ago and sitting with friends until the wee hours having philosophical discussions about things like 'God'. The memory grows fuzzy, but it seems to me that we gave God at least a 50-50 chance of existing. Maybe, mixed in with the residue of an upbringing that took the reality of Heaven and Hell for granted, we were … Read the rest
Content 18+ Once there was a man, and there was a s…sorry, employee. It was something I would call an ordinary relation based on power, even though it all began with sweets and roses.
Come closer. I am going to tell you the story which lies beyond the boss-clerk relations, the story that eventually leads to life-changing events. Probably, our hero should be grateful to this man, after all. … Read the rest
Content 21+ It was my first plane ride, and the stewardesses had no choice but to be beautiful back in those days; it was part of the job. Even now, I can see the reason. It was to inspire confidence. Aviation was not as safe then as it supposedly is now. I have never looked at the statistics, but I do know — from my grandfather’s own account — that … Read the rest
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