Thursday, February 2, 2012

"Forget Sublime: In Russia, It Is But One Step From the Ridiculous to the More Ridiculous"

From the Streetwise Professor:
Russia has released findings of a report that allegedly explains the loss of the Phobos-Grunt Mars probe.  It blames “space radiation” that caused a malfunction in the onboard computers:
“The most likely reason, in the opinion of the commission, was the local impact of heavily charged space particles that led to a failure in the memory of the main onboard computer in the second stage of flight,” Popovkin told Russian news agencies in Voronezh, a town 450 km (280 miles) south of Moscow.
A burst of space radiation caused the onboard computers to reboot and go into standby mode, he said.
So I guess HAARP is off the hook, but uhm, why would a craft designed to go into space be so vulnerable to space radiation, especially before it had really gotten into space? Furriners, of course:...MORE
Which brings to mind one of our favorite Russia posts which also has a link to the Streetwise Prof:
UPDATED:"Gazprom and Igor Sechin: The Dale Carnegies of Gas"

...Viktor Chernomyrdin, former head of Gazprom had a different, more communist approach to business:

"We meant to do better, but it came out as always"
UPDATE: Viktor is Dead. From FP's Passport blog, Nov. 4, 2010:

Russia's Yogi Berra
Former Russian Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin passed away on Wednesday morning at the age of 72. Best known in the West for co-chairing the Gore-Chernomyrdin Commission on nuclear safety, which largely failed in its goal of promoting bilateral cooperation between Washington and Moscow, Chernomyrdin presided over an extremely turbulent period of Russian history, including the controversial privatizations of the mid-1990s and the First Chechen War....
...Chernomyrdin is survived by ("approximately") two sons and a wealth of unforgettable lines. Here are a few of the best:
On economic reform: "We wanted better, but it turned out as always."
On his background on energy minister: "I have grown up in the atmosphere of oil and gas."
On dealing with the frequently uncooperative Duma: "Government is not the organ in which one uses his tongue only."
On Russia's unstable party system: "Whatever party we establish, it always turns out to be the Soviet Communist Party."
On his critics: "If your hands are itchy, scratch yourselves in other spots."
On the future: "We will live so well that our children and grandchildren will envy us!"
On Ukraine's Orange Revolution:  "American ears are sticking out everywhere."
On his family: "I have approximately two sons."
On political efficiency: "We accomplished all items: from A to B."
On women: "You can't scare a woman with high-heeled shoes."
On language: I can talk to anyone in any language, but I try not to use that instrument."
On the life of the mind: "I am far from thought."...
I liked that "...turned out as always" line and apparently other folks did too, the first three hits on a Google search turn up the three times I used it.