Tag Archives: moscow

The other side of Mosfilm.

Brief intermission in among the Tales from the Permafrost Side!…

Moscow for the tourist: there’s plenty to do and see. But after several days filled with Red Square, St. Basil’s, the Kremlin, the Arbat, Tverskaya, the Park of Victory, the Tretyakov Gallery and the Pushkin Museum… what else is there? Well here’s one worthy suggestion, which I can now share with you after visiting the place myself for the first time the other day – the Mosfilm studio! ->

This legendary film studio complex was founded in 1923 – so in two years’ time it’ll be its 100th jubilee!

Mosfilm today is also a museum dedicated to itself and the movies made there. In we popped…

Read on…

Mathematics – the queen of sciences.

Hi all!

There will be two topics today: 1) where to go to study; and 2) a brain teaser – how can you obtain all the numbers from 0 to 100 using the digits 1, 4, 0, and 9. Let’s start with number one.

1) I often get asked: “What sort of education should my kid get? Which subjects are likely to be in demand in the future?”

I do not pretend to be an all-knowing visionary, but I have absolutely no doubt about the answer to this one: teach your kids mathematics! It’s the most fundamental, most indispensable and the greatest of all the sciences. Learning it opens the door to lots of different and wonderful professions. Good mathematicians can then become anything they want, including a perfectly successful humanities major (there are numerous areas where mathematics is applied in humanities, and this number will only keep growing).

Or, to look at it another way, I can safely say I’ve never heard of a humanities student becoming a successful mathematician… It’s just unheard of. Looking back at my life, I think that if it hadn’t been for the Kolmogorov Physics and Mathematics Boarding School (aka AESC MSU), many things in my life may have turned out very differently.

The school maintained very high standards – our brains were permanently going into overdrive. We had classes six days a week, several different math disciplines, advanced physics classes with lab sessions, plus all the other classes as per the regular school curriculum. Despite the heavy academic workload, we had a very happy and interesting time at school. A childhood imbued with physics and mathematics…

That’s why I was very glad when last year, as part of the Mathematical Vertical project, an experimental Grade 7 class was opened in Moscow school 1409. It is the first building block in the foundation of that Mathematical Vertical that has the same name as my company – MVK for short.

Year 7 became year 8, and will then become year 9, and, in cooperation with the school, we will draft a new class or two each year. That way, the desired vertical will be constructed: there will be the specialized classes 7, 8 and 9, then, after such serious preparation, there will be the engineering classes for years 10 and 11. The graduate students will then be able to enter the best technological universities. And then the kids will come to work for us! (said with a sly squint while rubbing my hands) :) And everyone’s a winner! Well, everyone except the cybercriminals of course :)

The Mathematical Vertical project was designed by the Moscow Department of Education as a necessary upgrade of the entire system of teaching math in years 7-9 – a radically new model. If, in a couple of years, it proves to be successful, it will become the benchmark for the entire country. Meanwhile, we are acting as an ally and partner for School 1409 in the implementation of the project. Kaspersky employees are taking an active part in the educational process, teaching the Information Security course to the MVK class and to interested students from the year 10 and 11 engineering classes.

Picture by Anastasia Shayakhmetova, Class 8M

Last Friday, I finally had time to visit the school and talk to the students under our patronage, giving them some math problems and steering them onto the true, highly interesting, albeit complicated, path and revealing a mass of opportunities. In short, I told them why they need to study hard and then work hard.

I’ve actually visited the school a couple of times before, and was pleasantly surprised. Many universities would love to have the sort of teaching equipment they have: apart from hundreds of computers, dozens of interactive whiteboards and robotics sets, the engineering and medical classes are equipped with a 3D printer, a 3D scanner, an atomic molecular microscope and other technological miracles. Back in my day, the equipment was usually limited to desks, chairs and a blackboard :)

I was pleased with my visit: the kids’ eyes were shining with enthusiasm, they asked interesting questions, and they promised to solve the tasks I set! I’ll check the next time I visit.

2) This is the main problem I set them:

You are given the digits 1, 4, 0, 9. Use the math knowledge you have received in school, namely the basic arithmetic operations (adding, subtracting, multiplying and dividing), plus raising to a power, extracting a root and factorial, to obtain all the numbers from zero to 100. You can glue numbers together and rearrange them in any order you want. For example:

0 = 0*149. Or, in a more crafty way: = 0! – 149
10 = 10 * ( √9- √4 )

You cannot turn numbers upside down, i.e., you cannot make a 6 from a 9 by turning it upside down. However, you can make a 6 from a 9 using a square root and a factorial:

6 = (√9)!

UPD1: You can use the digits just once (this is somewhat obvious, otherwise “1+1+…+1+0*49” to make any natural number).

UPD2: it’s not permitted to round numbers. Otherwise, that would be simply cheating with roots and factorials.

I wonder if all numbers from 0 to 100 can be derived from such actions. If not – what other knowledge from the school mathematics course needs to be added to the conditions?

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Banksy comes to Moscow!

He’s here folks – the mysterious international graffiti artist of mystery has come to Russia!

Privyet Banksy!

Street art, graffiti and other such hooligan-creativity was once the preserve of the seediest suburbs of, say, New York and London. Today, it’s on show even in the Central Artist’s House exhibition hall just opposite Gorky Park in Moscow, shocking the Russian public in all its avant-garde satirical edginess.

Yes, the Banksy exhibition is running for four months – from June 2 to September 2; so if you’re in the capital over summer, here’s a mandatory must-see for your calendar and all the calendars of everyone you know. For this is not to be missed – by anyone!

Meanwhile, I can’t choose which photo to show you first in this here blogpost. They’re all just so special and individual in their own way. It’s like when someone asks you what your fave song of your fave band is – you can’t really give a proper answer as you like so many! Ok, first photo… it’ll just have to be the first one I took:

Ok, so who is Banksy?

No one apart from himself/themselves // and the police! // really knows. Ok, there are bound to be a few folks know – but they’re all keeping stum about any real identity/ies. I give the plural too as there is a theory that it’s more than one individual – a collective of now probably very rich street artists.

So who are you, Mr. Banks?

Read on…

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Snow and Yas.

There’s a Kamchatkan saying that goes something like: ‘If snow falls in June, then spring will be long and drawn-out’. Well it’s not quite June yet, but Moscow weather right up until last week sure did seem to resemble Kamchatka’s extreme climate…

The ducks have already arrived at the reservoir next to the KL office. They’re circling up above it, peering down at the water (still!) completely covered over in ice, thinking ‘EH?!’!!

Read on…

Фэбruaяy 45, 2018.

I love Russian winters. Everything coated in spotless (at least on my balcony at the office) driven snow, and when the sun comes out, the beauty of the serene scene is multiplied several fold:

But wait. Typo, surely, no? Russian winter? But we’re 16 days into spring already. At least, that’s what I thought. What’s going on here?!!

Read on…

Snow and sun – oh what fun!

I really cannot remember a winter in Moscow like this one. A Moscow winter as it should be – frosty, icy, snowy, chilly, splendid, and sometimes even sunny. More often than not it’s a soggy, slushy, sullied affair, but I’m normally on the other side of the planet so it doesn’t really affect me so I’ve nothing to complain about.

Not that I never see snow of a winter. I’ve seen not small quantities of it twice in Antarctica (in 2009/2010 and 2017), in Greenland, and in Sweden-Denmark in February 2011 (oh such a long time ago that was). I’ve been to the typically, famously, thoroughly chilly Iceland and Yakutia, but only in summer, so those don’t count. Ah yes, I’ve skied in the Alps a few times, but I won’t count those either. So, that makes just four times in the last 10 (or even 15) years when I saw serious snow. Therefore, a rare total white-out in Moscow is only to be welcomed! Here are the views out of my office window and from the balcony next to it:

Read on…

XIA – PEK – SVO – LHR – NAS – LHR – PHEW.

I’ve been getting about quite a bit this fall, and practically every day I’ve been as busy as a bee. It’s that slightly disorienting routine I get into every few months or so: each day something new – starting with the hotel room I wake up in.

But the other day it wasn’t a hotel room. Upon waking, my first question to myself was the usual ‘Where am I?’, but the answer this time came ‘in an Airbus!’ Indeed I was, flying Xi-an – Beijing – Moscow – London – the Bahamas – London over several days.

Such continent hopping in a short time with lots on the work agenda forces my happy-snapping habit into its minimalist regime. This isn’t so bad, as the pics that do manage to get taken are normally very much ‘greatest  hits’ and no padding. Thus, this post: ‘Greatest Hits of the Last Several Days’!

First, here’s a masterpiece from Petrovich taken at dawn at Danxia:

Before you ask about the fly, let me make the introductions: please meet our pet fly, whom we carry around the world with us in a jar and sometimes let him out for a walk fly :).

And now for a brief rundown of my recent continent hopping…

Read on: Asia > Europe > North America > Europe…

Another Long Week: Snows & Scorchers, Politics & Hacks, Moscow – Abu Dhabi – Tokyo.

Good day boys and girls!

I’ve been a bit quiet of late – but I’ve a good excuse – I had a real tough week: the schedule was tight and intercontinental, plus alarmingly… combative…

It all started in Moscow. Now, normally come the month of May, the last vestiges of the long cold winter – snow and ice – have long disappeared, at least by a month. Not this year. It snowed the other week! The weather was so bad – cold, windy, wet – that even the May 9 Victory Day parade was partially called off (the airborne part). Ye gods! And I was soooo looking forward to it.

Bad weather causing things to be called off – hardly anything new there, right? Well, actually…

You see, in Russia, the authorities have a habit of… making sure the weather’s good on special occasions. In Russian they call it ‘shooing away the clouds’. I don’t know the details, but they somehow shoo away clouds by… doing something to the atmosphere to make sure clouds don’t come close. Playing God? Maybe. Whatever, it normally works. My question: WHAT WENT WRONG THIS TIME?! I mean, the budget for seeing off clouds for the weekend must be huge. Hmmm, I wonder…

Early doors it looked like the budget was well-spent: the sky was clear and the sun was shining:

Read on: a sudden global malware outbreak…

Riga Station – Another Moscow Must-See.

I really didn’t expect to find in Moscow yet another curious place that is mandatorily must-see – including by children. But the other day we visited one. It was the Exhibition Complex of Russian Railways at Rizhsky Vokzal (Riga Station). Its railroad scale model and other expositions aren’t all that big, but they’re ever so well done. Respect!

Ok, so, it’s not quite the Grand Maket Rossiya in St. Pete, but, in terms of quality of the models (incredible detail, precise movements…) – I’d say it’s on a par.

Read on: A wonderful exhibition!…