Archive | November, 2008
November 25, 2008

POTD: Nixon/Khrushchev Kitchen Debate, 1959


Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev (2L) vehemently arguing w. VP Richard Nixon (2R) who is furiously objecting as an excited interpreter (C) translates their firey words re US ideas on home construction during “kitchen debate” at American Natl. Exhibit at Moscow Fair

The entire transcript is worth reading, but this is the best line:

Khrushchev: You’re a lawyer of Capitalism, I’m a lawyer for Communism. Let’s kiss.

Sounds like the title of a Panic! at the Disco song.

(Howard Sochurek, 1959)

November 24, 2008

POTD: Backpackers in Dubrovnik, 1957


(Michael Rougier, August 1957)

Tourists carrying backpacks sightseeing in Dubrovnik.

Young people traipsing about wearing jeans and gigantic backpacks with a flag pinned to them. Fifty years later, and not much has changed (except for the footwear. Flip-flops, please).

Dubrovnik is by far one of the most beautiful places on earth. If I win the lottery, I’m moving there, buying a flat in the Old City, and spending my days eating pizza and seafood, drinking beer, and listening to the 80 year old dudes at the bar tell stories about whatever.

November 24, 2008

Russian oil companies to explore off Cuba


Russian oil companies could soon begin searching for oil in deep Gulf of Mexico waters off Cuba, a top diplomat said just days before Russian President Dmitry Medvedev visits the island.

Russian oil companies have “concrete projects” for drilling in Cuba’s part of the gulf, said Mijail Kamynin, Russia’s ambassador to Cuba, to the state-run business magazine Opciones.

Kamynin also said Russian companies would like to help build storage tanks for crude oil and to modernize Cuban pipelines, as well as play a role in Venezuelan efforts to refurbish a Soviet-era refinery in the port city of Cienfuegos, according the article published this weekend.


Washington’s nearly 50-year-old trade embargo prohibits U.S. companies from investing on the island. But Cuba’s state-run oil concern has signed joint operating agreements with companies from several countries to explore waters that Cuban scientists claim could contain reserves of up to 20 billion barrels of oil.

Remind me again…this trade embargo is useful because? Oh, right…it’s not. We have just allowed our Cuba policy to be hijacked by some bitter old dudes in Miami. Meanwhile, U.S. companies can’t invest in lucrative opportunities there, and I can’t fly down and enjoy a mojito and frita. Dear Obama: Please get rid of this useless embargo.

November 23, 2008

POTD: Malibu, 1961


Post Gidget invasion, and Dora’s nightmare.

(Allan Grant, 1961)

November 22, 2008

POTD: November 22, 1963


Pres. John F. Kennedy and First Lady Jacqueline arriving for a tour of the city on the morning of Kennedy’s assassination.

I always thought this photo was incredibly sad. A little over an hour after this photo was taken, Kennedy would be pronounced dead.

(Art Rickerby, 1963)

November 22, 2008

POTD: Apollo-Soyuz “vodka” rations, 1975


American astronauts Tom Stafford and Deke Slayton holding tubes of vodka given to them by Russian cosmonauts during historic rendezvous and linkup of Apollo and Soyuz spacecraft.

Who cares what space food tastes like when your meal comes with a tube of vodka?

(The tubes of vodka didn’t actually contain vodka, as that is probably the last thing you want your crew to drink when piloting spacecraft. As a joke, the Soviet cosmonauts pasted vodka labels onto tubes of borscht and presented them to the Americans for a toast. Yes, tubes of borscht. I think I’d rather have the vodka.)


November 21, 2008

POTD: Nuclear test dummies, 1955


Atomic Bomb Test In Nevada
Scorched & disheveled male mannequin clad in dark business suit standing in the desert w. lady mannequin in bkgrd., 7000 ft. from the 44th nuclear test explosion, a day after the blast, indicating that humans could be burnt but still alive.

Well, that’s comforting. The tie on the dummy is a nice touch as well.

(Loomis Dean, May 1955)

November 20, 2008

POTD: Oil wells near Los Angeles, 1937


Los Angeles, over seventy years ago. Wonder what is there right now. Probably a mall.

(1937, Horace Bristol)

November 19, 2008

10 million LIFE magazine photos now on Google

Have I ever told you how much I love Google? Yeah, like a million times already. They are currently in the process of uploading all 10 million images from the now defunct LIFE magazine. When I visited the site today, two of the categories that immediately caught my eye were “1930s oil boom” and “Surfing.” Seriously, I love Google. Anyways, check out the site, although I should warn you that you’ll end up wasting too much time on it. I might have to start posting my favorite photo of the day from this archive or something. It’s really an incredible resource. Thanks, Google.

November 17, 2008

More Americans studying abroad


Good news:

Record numbers of American students are studying abroad, with especially strong growth in educational exchanges with China, the annual report by the Institute on International Education found.


Over all, 241,791 Americans studied abroad in 2006-7, the report said, with sharp increases in the numbers going to Argentina, South Africa, Ecuador and India, and declining numbers going to Australia and Costa Rica.


If I was supreme dictator of the United States, and had unlimited funds, I would require every college student to spend a semester abroad, with an emphasis on countries outside of Western Europe. I loved studying in Russia and the UK, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.