12 December 2010

From Atomgrad to Stemgrads - Welcome to СтволовыеКлетк&AтомныеБомбы

The Russian version can be found at: www.stvolovyekletkiiatomnyebomby.blogspot.com

In high school history with Mr Martin...

And he used to say. "No one would like to live in the Soviet Union," he'd pronounce it 'SAWviet Union', "except maybe for Tesolat."

We were studying the Cuban Missile Crisis, or at least his version of the Cuban missile crisis, and teaching us how outrageous it was for the Soviets to try to put nuclear missiles in Cuba, when I asked a question.

"Then isn't it equally wrong for the US and NATO to have nuclear weapons in western Europe pointing at the Soviet Union." Well, after that, when ever we studied anything remotely to do with communist countries, I'd hear the refrain.

"No one would like to live in the Soviet Union, except maybe for Tesolat."
"No one would like to live in Red China, except maybe for Tesolat."
"No one would like to live in Castro's Cuba, except maybe for Tesolat," and on...and on...and on...

But just in case Mr Martin looks at this, I want to make sure that he knows I liked his classes, because even though he had his own version of history (and most historians do), he didn't prevent us from arguing our points.

I have to admit that I was truly impressed by the Soviet Union when I was in high school. I later learned and studied things that made me change my mind, but that was later.

Here was a country, which we were told was evil, corrupt, and backwards compared with the west, but they beat the Americans into space. More importantly to this blog, they were the second country on earth to possess an atomic bomb. They did this, after four years of war where they lost over 20 million people. After one in four Russians was either killed or wounded. After their country was left devastated from World War II, and they did it in seven years.

They realized that such technology could not just be acquired willy-nilly with researchers working uncoordinated at universities throughout the country. The Soviets went so far as to build Atomgrads. These ten cities were were nuclear weapons research and development took place. Again, we can see clearly how the full weight of the state is the only thing that can produce such technology, and in a very short time.

Regardless of what I learned later, it still doesn't change the fact that both the Soviet race into space and the creation of an atomic bomb, so soon after the horrors of World War II, are remarkable feats.

With the launching of this blog in Russian today, I hope that the new Russia can also become world leaders in stem cell research. Mr Putin has already showed how to get world leaders together when he hosted a thirteen nation conference on saving tigers. I like tigers, but I hope that the Russian leaders will make the same effort for people with the many diseases that stem cells hope to cure. I'd love to see ten Stemgrads built in Russia.

1 comment:

  1. I think Mr. Martyn would have actually said, "except maybe for Tess-oh-lit".

    I like the blog, and I truly believe that you will make things happen.