Read in Russian Reporter magazine:
Just scold Russia: the climate we have nasty, and officials steal, and the bus rude. It is much more difficult to be proud of her. When you see a bad round, it's like giving yourself the right to not get better. But there is reason for optimism. And it's not just the Battle of Borodino, Mikhail Lomonosov and Mendeleev's periodic table. Not necessarily to climb far into the past. Even in the past year has been a lot of what causes a sense of pride for the people who live in the same country with us.
1. Volunteers: from the forest to areas
"Now talk about money / In any abandoned snow, / In ports beds, trains …" — Yuri Vizbor sang back in '82. After the collapse of the Soviet Union the money finally became an absolute value. They measured it all: success, intelligence, politics, love. More recently, doing something sensible and not get paid for it seemed madness.
Now everything has changed.
Civil society has grown, so has grown and grown. Getting started is hard to say. Publicists often recall the fires of 2010, when a lot of people suddenly came together and began to volunteer to help the fire victims, and do not get the hand to eliminate fires worse MOE.
But even before that, many of our fellow citizens have participated in a variety of civil matters — from orphanages to independent journalism. And in their last two years, a critical mass, especially in large cities, which led to the fact that civil society has become, first, noticeably, and secondly, the ability to influence events on a national scale.
"Blue buckets" catches violators of traffic rules and leading a relentless struggle with flashing lights. Environmental movements, which have become the banner of protest against the construction of the motorway through the Khimki forest. The fight with the "saw-cut", instigated by Alexey Navalny … Sometimes people do not even reflect, perhaps, but look — full civic activist. The closest example for us — Summer School "Russian Reporter". What is it about that person comes for a few days to lecture students? Nothing, other than the fact that he makes that decision for him and it did not pay (on the contrary, pays, as a rule, he himself). We drive and are quite happy.
- Project N-ducation in support of the "Citizen Observer" conducts role-playing games, training for those people who will be observers at the presidential elections on March 4
If we estimate the total work that volunteers do in Russia is free, it will be comparable to the size of any large corporation.
Last winter, it so happened that civil society itself has recognized. "Thanks Putin for this" — that the presidential election was a record number of volunteer observers to monitor violations. And it's not political technologies, generously paid for by the customer. This sense of self-worth and thirst for justice. And then it started — Abuse became widely known in Moscow and began a campaign of civil protest.
— When driving — talking, joking: "Well, there will be conductive to disperse …" I just do not know what to expect from it. And then, when they came out of the subway and walked and saw a lot of people, there was some excitement, a sense of belonging to the story — the hero of one of our stories.
Then tragedy struck in Krymsk.
And the same people gathered and went to help reverse the effects of flooding. And they are not alone: it took part in the thousands, if not tens of thousands of people.
Whatever the problem was not — traffic jam on the highway, the poor quality of education, or trash in the park — more and more are people willing to help. Free. Just out of respect for themselves and others.
2. Lake Vostok: A look into the abyss
Antarctic station "Vostok".
Perhaps this is the most extreme place on the planet. It was recorded the lowest temperature — about 90 ° below zero.
In addition to the cold — the wild wind. Altitude — 3.5 km, there is an acute shortage of oxygen. "This acclimatization, eerie mountain sickness, which hurts the newcomers first three days. "Gornyashka" that struck me on the first visit to the "East", was perhaps the most unpleasant experience of my life. The whole day I literally could not walk, eat or even sleep … "- describes his feelings in a blog glaciologist Alex Ekaykin.
This is where Russian scientists were able to make the largest geographical discovery of the second half of the XX century. Generally modern geographers had no luck all the continents are open, all passed the straits, all the rivers are described. It remains only to specify the card. Who would have thought that nowadays you can find a lake, which is larger in area of the country of Macedonia.
Here in Russia, several reasons to be proud. First Russian geographer, he is the prince and anarchist Peter Kropotkin, along with other scientists predicted the existence of lakes of liquid water under layers of ice. In the 50-ies of XX century, our geographer Andrei Kapitsa (brother of TV presenter Sergei Kapitsa) seismic measurements calculated by the existence of a huge lake near the center of Antarctica. Around the same time there was the Soviet station "Vostok". At that time nobody thought that it would be a convenient base for penetration into a unique lake. Never thought about it, and when they began to drill hole through the ice. The goal was different — on samples of ice to determine what was the climate thousands of years ago.
- In winter, the station "Vostok" virtually cut off from the world — for the aircraft too low temperature
And the global scientific community has confirmed the existence of "our" lake. With much difficulty, and acknowledged the fact that the Russian drilling technology is one of the safest in the world and our invasion into the water of the lake, hidden from the outside world 15 million years old, will not affect its ecological status. It remains only doburitsya.
February 5, 2012 well, breaking 3,769.3 m of ice, has reached a unique lake. Perhaps, in the textbooks on the history of science, this event will be compared to obtain the Higgs boson, or the synthesis of new elements of the periodic table (by the way, part of the new elements of Russia is now one of the world leaders, and our scientists to boson hand in it, too.)
But on this occasion for pride does not end there. When writing this text, research vessel "Akademik Fedorov" left the port of Cape Town and headed for Antarctica. On b
oard the expedition of the new season, including those who will go to the "East" to continue to work.
In the coming year the business will be limited samples from the lake. A year or two in him descend probe, which is designed around the same as the spacecraft. Perhaps, then, will be able to discover the lake life, and this will be another worldwide sensation.
3. Yandex: to teach the world to look in Russian
The letter "I" in the Latin alphabet no.
This is our ancient achievement. A modern success lies in the fact that the word "Yandex" has to learn all over the world. The name of Russia's largest search engine came up with one of its founders, Ilya Segalovich. YetAnotherIndex — «another search index" — an alloy of these words and has the word "Yandex". Later in the search engine, a host of folk etymologies. Some believe that Yandex — it's just a "language code", others — that the creators of a work-out in the erotic play of words: if there INdeks, there must be a Yandex.
But the origin is not important. More importantly, the Russian search engine becomes the world. Detonator of the process, of course, was triumphant Yandex IPO on the stock exchange NASDAQ, followed by dozens of employees have become millionaires. Never in the Russian intelligence and the power of faith in their own business has not received such visual monetary value.
Despite the fact that most of the "commissioners of the knowledge economy" did not miss an opportunity to go to a marshy area and shout "Down with Putin!", It is amazing the positive and patriotic Wednesday. Being in it, you can, for example, to know that in Russia one of the strongest engineering schools, universities continue to produce excellent specialists, even Google and Facebook have not been able to crush our own search engines and social networks, and in general — the world is changing inexorably for the better.
- In May 2011, Yandex placed its shares on the stock exchange NASDAQ. Total was taken more than 52.2 million shares of Class A common placement volume amounted to $ 1.3 billion
Yandex itself in the coming year also presented several significant news. First, the company has launched its own browser — however, it was an attempt to protect themselves from its main rival, Google, which is using its own Chrome browser has been actively attract a audience. And here is another key event of the year — this is clearly an act of aggression. The company began making the first success in the Turkish market. Yandex.com.tr — this is the first attempt to expand outside of the Russian-speaking world.
The team has a search engine to this effect has its own hypothesis, and it sounds as if in a particular country search market is monopolized by one company, the arrival on the market of another company with a product of decent quality guarantees a market share of 25-30 per cent — at the expense of the audience that just does not like monopolies and always votes for the availability of choice. While this hypothesis proves only experience of Google in Russia (where it has precisely the same 25% "protest" of the audience). Will it work "theory Yandex" outside the country will become clear in the next year, while the same number of monthly requests the Turkish language has reached 60 million. The company has already hinted that if the experiment proves successful, the next object of expansion — Europe.
4. Folk heroes of the fire, from water, from the ruins
There is such an American psychologist Philip Zimbardo. He is very famous. His Stanford prison experiment and work on the perception of time included almost all the textbooks. Zimbardo now engaged in the subject, which he called "everyday heroism."
Currently lives an ordinary man — not special forces, not the president, not an investigator. He walks to the regular work drinks in the evenings regular yogurt, and even regular beer. And then suddenly folded unusual circumstances: fire, accident, disaster. And to a person faced with a choice — to say, "It's not my thing" or to take responsibility for themselves. And he chooses responsibility. In fact, it is very difficult to do under normal circumstances, not in war or during an alien invasion. Everybody was running to escape, and he runs to save. Makes the feat. But then again, is an ordinary man with a job and yogurt.
— But what is a feat! Well, I have not climbed — then maybe someone else would be useful, — told reporters, a taxi driver from Tomsk, Alexander Okonechnikov. In December last year he pulled out of a burning apartment of four children.
— In my action there is no heroism. I believe that any reasonable person would have done the same — echoes an old gym teacher Vladimir Snatenkov from the village of Ust-Khoperskaya Volgograd region. Last summer, he saved two drowning in the River Don girls.
- Tomsk taxi driver Alexander Okonechnikov at home on the street 31 Internationalists talks about how he helped four children down through the window from the second floor in their apartment when the fire started
— Nothing much I did not … I'm just doing my job. And then of little things made a big heroism universal scale, — the head of the guard excuses Rostov firehouse Alexander Ponomarenko. In October, he was risking his life, led the operation to evacuate 147 people from the smoky hospital.
The word "normal" here is key. According to psychologist Zimbardo, the social norm is a great burden on the person, makes him show cowardice and cruelty. Zimbardo experiments, Milgram and other social psychologists have shown that people who are ready to submit to the pressure of circumstances, the most. But still there are those who dare to show humanity and oppose this rule. Actually, this is the real heroes. We simply do not notice. And they go with us on the same bus.
5. Bovanenkovskoye field: gas window to Asia
The fact that Russia's history — a history of continuous colonization, also wrote Basil Klyuchevskii. Giant undeveloped space called the main problem of our country, Alexander Solzhenitsyn. The commissioning Bovanenkovskoye natural gas field, located in the middle of the endless arctic desert Yamal Peninsula — is not just a great success of the national gas industry, but also an important step of internal coloniz
ation, of civilized development of our northern periphery.
"No country in the world do not build in the Arctic region — said at the opening of the deposit chairman of" Gazprom "Alexey Miller. — Russia Today really showed that it has no equal in the Arctic. "
The statement, of course, bravura, but not without a reason. Bovanenko, in effect, restores the interrupted at the beginning of the 90 industrial expansion inland.
Prospects are impressive. The structure introduced in the first complex includes a comprehensive gas capacity of 30 billion cubic meters of gas per year, and 60 wells. For transportation of the Yamal gas to the Unified Gas Supply System of "Gazprom" is building a system of main gas pipelines (SMG) Bovanenkovo — Ukhta. Who built the first line stretching more than 1,240 km. A complete construction is scheduled for 2016.
Reserves are estimated at 4.9 trillion cubic meters. In comparison, global consumption of gas is about 3.2 trillion cubic meters a year. Impressive. And it is no coincidence Miller compared the significance of the beginning of the Bovanenko for the country's economy with the commissioning of the giant oil fields in Western Siberia in the 70-ies of the last century.
- Bovanenkovskoye field of natural gas would begin to operate more in 1991. It turned out just now. Now the gas from the Yamal Peninsula will flow through the pipes in Russia and Europe
Of course, all of this large-scale industrial fabric has an obvious flaw: the work Bovanenko extends extensively prolonged cycle of resource-existence of the Russian economy. However, the field — is the core of a large Yamal project, which will be strung everything else that has become a lifeless desert Arctic as a result in a new and important for the country's economic cluster.
And it is not only in the gas, although it reserves the Peninsula and adjacent waters alone inspire confidence that the status of an energy superpower in the coming years will not have to give up: the proven and estimated reserves and prospective resources of gas are 26.5 trillion cubic meters . This will allow the 2030 annual production is up to 360 billion cubic meters of gas.
6. Paralympics: we give only the Chinese
To see coverage of the Paralympics (competition among athletes with disabilities) from London, it was necessary to carefully study the TV program. Unlike the Olympic Games, which are played on all central TV almost non-stop, the Paralympic Games have received only a brief diary. Politics TV is clear: these rankings do not broadcast, quite the contrary.
Paradoxically, in a country where people with disabilities can not get out of their own home, met one of the strongest teams in the Paralympic world.
At the Games in London, our athletes won second place in the team standings, behind only the Chinese. How they did it — a mystery. One can not say that our Paralympians have created all the conditions for victory — on the contrary, people with disabilities in Russia by trying to ignore.
Kolyasochnitsa-athlete, fencer, winner of the Beijing Paralympics Lyudmila Vasilyeva comments on the situation:
— I disabled incentives more. While in healthy athletes and the Olympic Games in addition to a lot of opportunities to earn good money, then the Paralympic Games — the only chance to achieve great success and to improve their financial condition. We're behind victory at the World Cup no cash prizes do not get. People with disabilities are not able to buy a house.
- At the Paralympic Games in London swimmer Dmitry Kokarev of Nizhny Novgorod (pictured it right, help him out of the water) won three medals — two silver and one bronze
Paralympic team for four years, living in a state of information vacuum, most of the time varyas in its own juice. At least in Russia. In Western countries notorious for disabled people a very different attitude. They should not ignore either in everyday life or in sports.
At the 2012 Paralympic Games has sold over half a million tickets — much more than in previous years. Interest in the Paralympic movement is growing. The famous Paralympic Oscar Pistorius in 2012 was in the top 100 most influential people in the world by the magazine Time.
Russian disabilities to such loud glory far, and it is unlikely to end in itself. For them, the most important thing today — support of the state and the media. The secret to winning Russian Paralympians at the same time simple and terrible: they win — the chance of survival. And in order to do the impossible.
7. Population: we deny forecasts
790 — this is the natural growth of the population of Russia for 10 months of the year. If it does not end of the world or other terrible disasters that we remain in positive territory, and for the full year. At least it has promised to the Minister of Labour and Social Security Maxim Topilin. Perhaps he report back how many more women have to give birth.
The figure seems to be miserable, but still we have much to be proud of. Natural increase of the population in Russia were noted in 1991. According to the UN Population Projections Department, Russian citizens must become smaller and smaller. There were years when we were losing almost a million people. In the past, the death rate by 127 thousand persons exceeded the birth rate. If the population of Russia and grew, it was only at the expense of workers, both legal and illegal.
Statistics show that the pride we have an obligation not to any particular region. In almost all of the heroes of the country. The birth rate has fallen in just three regions (in the past year — 43), the vast majority of decreased mortality. And not only from disease, but also by our own stupidity, for example, reduced the number of suicides (3%), and alcohol poisoning (19%).
Refute the numbers and say that we grow only at the expense of the Caucasian republics. The leaders on the baby boom — Moscow, Sverdlovsk, Tyumen Region and Krasnodar Territory.
By the terms of this year we were going slowly, reaching at some point in the demographic of the bottom. Thus, the minimum birth rate we had in 1999: 1.2 million people. Since then it has gradually increased. And yet grown to nearly 1.6 million
With some trends we fought back to Soviet times. In 1964, the Soviet Union emerged at one of the first places in the world for abortion: 5.6 million and even in 1990 at 100 206 births had abortions. And in 2011 — only 55. The turning point came the same in 2007: the first time when the number of births exceeded the number of abortions.
- According to Rosstat, in the period from January to October 2012 were born in Russia 1,586,000 children. This is 140,000 more than the same period last year
Influenced the growth of the birth rate and the specific demographics.
— Now in the stage of the reproductive-age children are mid — late 80's, then a lot of them were born — explains the director of the Institute of Population Studies, Ivan Beloborodov. — Also changed "calendar birth": motherhood and fatherhood has grown old. Before giving birth to the first child of 20-25 years, and now — after 25. Without this demographic wave 80 would run out of myself before.
On the other hand, demographers warn that the natural growth of the population to achieve little — it should be maintained. And here are a few steps already taken by the State. As in "Alice in Wonderland" — even to stay in place, will have to run fast forward. For instance, state stimulants (maternity capital, a maternity certificate) contributed to the increase in the birth rate, but in many ways have already exhausted their resources.
— Because of the possibility to receive financial support has been reduced active period of reproduction: the family realized their plans earlier than they wanted, on a "strike while the iron is hot" — warns Beloborodov.
8. Boguchan plant: the energy for people and aluminum
In the Soviet Union was to be proud of hydroelectric power. About them made films and composed the poem. In our time, the poets with the directors moved on to other topics. We do not often reflect the origin of the electricity, a charging our cell phones and laptops. In recent years, there have appeared a minimum of three power plant: Zagorskaya, Boguchan and Bureyskaya.
Which began work this fall Boguchan plant by the fourth power in the country and the most powerful of those that were launched after the 70-ies.
Kodinsk city on the site of the taiga harvested in the late 70's, when experts began to arrive here for the construction of hydropower plants and workers from all over the Union. It was planned that the first units will be started up in 1988, and in 1992, construction will be complete. But it did not — first, the money ran out, then ended the Soviet Union, and then began to run sustainably, then froze the construction site. And 12 years from 1994 to 2006, in Kodinsk was lousy, because, apart from logging but maintaining the already constructed half-power plant, there was nothing.
— I came here in February 2006, and over the years we have made concrete as much work as has been done for the previous 32. When we came here, everything looked like this — Vsevolod Kalmyks, CEO — construction customer BoHPP shows two pictures on the wall of his office.
- Boguchan HPP. The idea to build a hydroelectric dam in the lower reaches of the Angara appeared in the late XIX century. The project was developed in the 60-70s of XX century, and the only power plant started in the XXI century
The first power plant in 2006, the second — in 2012. In 2006, the dam is still visible sections of the spillway, in 2012, they were no longer visible: the water level rose.
— You see, loading platform, computer room unfinished, that's all — it was not, the bank has not been reduced. We actually half the concrete work done, one third of earth and rock work … — says the Kalmyks.
October 15 this year, was launched the first two hydroelectric units in November — the third. Before the year is planned to start the fourth, fifth and sixth hydraulic units. A fully working station can be called at the end of 2014, when the reservoir is full, the so-called New Siberian Sea. 40 years after construction began.
9. The Internet revolution: we are involved fastest
One day, we were told the real story, which could easily turn into a Hollywood movie. In one village there lived a poor deaf girl. And it occurred to look for happiness in the vast expanses of the Internet. Found. For a long time they were copied and all dreamed to meet in person. Long dreamed of. Until it became clear that they are living in the neighboring villages and even crossed a few times at a local disco. Now they are married and have two children.
In Russia there was the Internet revolution — is now almost 100% of young people go online. We took the first place in Europe in the number of Internet users, overtaking Germany and France. Even 10 years ago, the owners of capital are rare modem for a minute waiting for each page load, and now regularly use the Internet more than half of adult Russians and every child knows what it means to "download". If you believe the poll Google «Russian student today", our students spend an average of the Net for 4 hours per day — more than anywhere else in the world: that is the time that was previously spent watching television.
The value of this revolution is difficult to overestimate. Russia as a huge dinosaur head in Europe and a long tail ending in the Far East, which can not survive without an advanced "nervous system". Virtual Russia gathered in a common space, not only the residents of their actual territory, but all scattered all over the world Russian people — everyone is discussing common themes in social networks.
- Visitors during the operation in the coworking "Workstation". It is a space where anyone can take a job with computers and the Internet
Ðóíåò (in other languages such words and similar not) has become a huge area of habitat Russian culture alive, vibrant Russian politicians and political reflection, the space of a dialogue, in which values and identity of all those who speak in Russian. Where there is Internet, the term "province" is rapidly losing its meaning — and Russia as a whole ceases to be the intellectual and cultural borderland world. No matter how sad was the fate of public education, anyone truly interested can get a good education without leaving your computer.
It is clear that freedom and equality in the virtual world is not like our deputies and other "elite" — they then try to come up with laws punishing offensive to their statements in the web, to not let the children to free wi-Faya, then close the library, who refused remove from the virtual shelves banned books. But the network grows everywhere, avoiding any obstacles, and those who fear it as fire officials themselves have to start their own blogs and read other people's.
10. "Radioastron": we look at the black hole
Our space industry in recent years accepted blame. In general, it is correct: it is in crisis. But we should not forget that with all the problems we know how many things: our missiles are buying for launches, bringing us the main space cab drivers of the world, Russia — one of the two countries, which now can send a human into orbit (second — China), the most difficult engineering construction in the history of mankind, the ISS, our at least half. Well, "Radioastron".
He flies around the planet aerials, launched last year, from the Baikonur Cosmodrome. Flies on a highly elongated arc, now closer to the Earth at several hundred kilometers, that is actually moving away to the orbit of the Moon. The antenna catches the radio waves from space — from pulsars, black holes in the centers of galaxies, interstellar gas and so on. Practical sense in this, but the main point is — to know the world in which we live.
Together with aerial work of the world's largest ground-based radio telescopes, astrophysics, take turns to present their program of observations in this project, formally called "ground-space interferometer" Radioastron. '"
Each is unique. Base of the telescope (or, in an household, size) — 300 thousand kilometers through space antenna. Accordingly, resolution and thirty times greater than the earth interferometers. With such a resolution, you can see what happens, for example, on the border of black holes, wormholes, or look for — a hole in space, leading to other times and dimensions.
In this project strikes like so much crazy energy and life of its creators, that would be enough for a lot of other lives. The main creator, of course, Academician Nikolai Kardashev, a quarter of a century ago who began work on the "Radioastron" and drag it to implementation, despite the difficult times for science.
- The launch of a spacecraft "Spektr-R", which contained a telescope "Radioastron"
— First of all, we hope to finally get direct evidence of the existence of black holes in galactic nuclei. The resolution of "Radioastron" came very close to the size of these black holes. After all, before we saw a stream of substances suspected to be sucked out of the stars of the black hole, but the angular resolution of the telescope is not allowed to see where this matter falls. Hopefully, with the help of "Radioastron" we can see how the material falls into the black hole and is accelerated to extremely high energies — said