Friday, June 17, 2011

Things I learned this week

I learned that:
• Moscow city officials are mulling over the idea of installing public toilets that can withstand terrorist attacks.

• Russia's biggest retail bank, Sberbank, is testing out a new kind of ATM that has a built-in lie detector that uses voice-analysis software.

• With no NASA spacecraft available until at least 2016, American astronauts will have to hitch a ride on a Russian craft, or one of the unproven vehicles under development by the private sector.

• As recently as the late 19th century, inhabitants of Siberia and the Russian far east survived brutal winters by raiding caches of roots, bulbs, seeds, and nuts gathered by rodents.

• Since the fall of communism, religion has thrived with churches and monasteries springing up all over the country. There are four official religions --- Orthodox Christianity, Islam, Buddhism and Judaism.

• Smallpox, the most deadly infectious disease ever to affect humans, now exists only in highly secure U.S. and Russian laboratories. There is now concern about the possibility of a resurgence as bodies frozen in the Siberian tundra are exposed by global warming.
How about that?

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