The Alternative Universe Of Soviet Arcade Games


When you walk into the Museum of Soviet Arcade Games in St. Petersburg, the first thing you’ll see is a series of gray, hard-edged soda machines from the early 1980s. If you choose the one in the middle, it will dispense a tarragon-flavored and slightly fermented soda whose recipe relies on a syrup that has not been… »9/06/15 11:55pm9/06/15 11:55pm

Central European Forests Are Regrowing After the Breakup of the USSR

The collapse of the Soviet Union didn’t just affect humans—forests across Europe and Asia were impacted, too. Some 533 million acres of forest in Eastern Europe have regrown since 1985, largely due to the disintegration of timber industries and abandonment of agricultural lands in countries such as Hungary, Croatia,… »7/15/15 7:30pm7/15/15 7:30pm

North Korea's Brand New Ballistic Sub Discontinued by Soviets in 1990

Looks like North Korea's engineers have been hard at work brushing up on their obsolete Soviet-era technology. Because after acquiring 10 discontinued Soviet subs, everyone's favorite little warmongering-dictatorship-that-could has finally rendered the outdated ballistic vessels seaworthy—and it only took them 21… »11/03/14 11:33am11/03/14 11:33am

The Abandoned Communist Nuclear Reactor That Could Have Killed Us All

Just 90 miles off the tip of Florida lies a half-baked, abandoned relic of the Cold War-era arms race—what was once going to be a joint Cuban-Soviet nuclear reactor. And thank god it never panned out. Because not only do we now have these incredible shots from photographer Darmon Richter, but every last aspect of… »10/09/14 2:56pm10/09/14 2:56pm

Soviet Doctors Cured Infections With Viruses, and Soon Yours Might Too

In the Soviet Union, western antibiotics couldn't make it past the Iron Curtain. So Eastern Bloc doctors figured out how to use viruses to kill infectious bacteria. Now, with antibiotic-resistant bugs vexing doctors, that eerie yet effective method might come our way. In post-antibiotic world, infection cures you! »6/07/14 2:00pm6/07/14 2:00pm

This Woman Secretly Dubbed American Movies During the Cold War

In the 1980s Irina Margareta Nistor worked as a translator of TV programs in Romania under the Communist regime. But in her spare time she secretly dubbed over 3,000 banned movie titles, all VHS tapes smuggled in from the West. These tapes quickly spread throughout Romania. Nobody knew Nistor's name. But everybody… »2/18/14 7:10pm2/18/14 7:10pm

This Insane Rocket Is Why The Soviet Union Never Made It To The Moon

Americans tend to talk a lot about the Space Race and how we made it to the Moon and we were first and no one else was second because we are the best. It's put into context by the fact that the Soviet satellite Sputnik was the first in space, but by the time we get around to discussing the moon landings no one… »10/19/13 1:54pm10/19/13 1:54pm

Tons of Hackers Are Hanging Out in Old Soviet Cyberspace

The Internet is a huge place. Some parts of it are awesome, but others are...less so. And falling squarely in that latter category is the ancient .su domain, once the cyberhome of the Soviet Union. It's not exactly well maintained, or well policed, which is why more and more online criminals are using it as a hideout. »6/01/13 12:00pm6/01/13 12:00pm