Over the past couple years, a new meme or slang phrase has entered our lexicon: "first world problem." It has now reached the tipping point of ubiquity where even your typically uncool friends have picked up on it and started saying it, despite the fact that those "in the know" have been throwing it ... More >>
I had no idea Louie Gohmert once lived in the Soviet Union. Apparently, during the 1970s, the man headed to the USSR on some form of exchange program -- the details remain murky -- and had a chance to experience all of the lag and stagnation brought through the Brezhnev years. How he kept that secre ... More >>
Irada Akhoundova remembers when the Soviet military rumbled outside her house. It was late 1991, post-perestroika, pre-independence, and Akhoundova, a principal of one of the schools of the Azerbaijan Republic, heard the four-wheelers and hard-tops tossing gravel outside her house. It was an early m ... More >>
The next time someone who's too "cool" to "get" the Beatles asks what makes them so important, ask that person what's so great about his or her nose. First, if you're lucky, you'll be treated to an entertaining look of befuddlement. Then, when you're done being amused by that, avoid launching into a ... More >>
Sir Paul McCartney Minute Maid Park November 14, 2012 Seeing Paul McCartney live is a lot of things. It's communing with a spirit that touched millions and will touch millions for as long as humanity lurches forward. It's hearing the old schmaltzy bedrock anthems and the proto-everything blasts tha ... More >>
The WWF may have been the most patriotic American institution during the '80s and '90s; it turned Hulk Hogan into one of the biggest symbols of patriotism in recent memory. But there's a fine line between patriotism and nationalism, which the WWF straddled for years. By using jingoist superstars ... More >>
Tomorrow is May Day. It doesn't mean a lot in the U.S., but in many nations it's their version of Labor Day. Back in the day, when there was such a thing as the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, May Day was a big, big deal. Soviet leaders would stand on a huge stage as mighty missiles, demonstra ... More >>
From Stalin to Putin
The Russian artists of "Perestroika" turn the past into something new.
Bill Moyers believes that the sun-baked scattered bones of Wall Street's carcass are being picked clean by "animal spirits" -- namely, hyenas, and that these scavengers believe that they are justified, indeed morally sanctioned, in behaving as such, and that nobody in government is willing or able t ... More >>
Explains a lot.I was discussing career choices (don't ask) with an acquaintance of mine, and in the course of talking about how we got where we were, I mentioned that I'd never really planned for life beyond college when I was in my teens. The decision wasn't a "non-decision" or anything lik ... More >>
Skylab: Roomy but fallibleNews came out yesterday that Russia and her space-station partners plan to crash the thing into the ocean when its life span ends in 2020. It's too expensive to dismantle, and would be too huge and dangerous a piece of space junk to leave up there in orbit. Man-mad ... More >>
The USA's run in the Women's World Cup seemed to be finishing in grand style when Abby Wambach put in an extra-time header to give the team a 2-1 lead. It didn't last, and Japan won in overtime. Wambach's late goal joins a storied list of scores that seemingly iced a game or a series, only to be o ... More >>
Rocks Off has learned a lot from video games over the years. Super Mario Bros. 3 taught us that the sun is an angry, malice-filled demon who will stop at nothing until you're dead (It's a 102 degrees as we write). Bioshock taught us that taking Ayn Rand a too seriously leads to fighting genet ... More >>
House of Pain, Big B Warehouse Live March 26, 2011 See more jumping around from Warehouse Live Saturday in our slideshow. Walking up to Warehouse live Saturday night, Aftermath wasn't sure what to expect of House of Pain's Houston reunion stop. We heard through the grapevine, "it had been ... More >>
You can see the hammer and sickle, and the "C" in "CCCP." What is this thing? It's the USSR's version of the lunar module that -- as far as know -- never made it to the moon.It's not on public display, but a student got a tour of the storage facility in Russia and posted pictures to his livejour ... More >>
Its an insiders view at the race for space
Photo courtesy HISDWe guess they didn't get the memo out at Bellaire High that the USSR is an enemy devoted to selling us the rope with which we'll hang oursel -- wait, what? The Berlin War fell? We won the Cold War? It must not have made TMZ.com, because we don't remember reading about it. At a ... More >>
Mumiy Troll, the biggest rock band in Russia, hopes for a belated U.S. breakthrough.
When I wrote about mustard recently, I got so many interesting recommendations that I went out and bought a bunch. Some of the tastiest mustards I tried were imported. Here are my current top five imported mustards: 5. Maille Dijon Originale (Canada) Good mustard seed, excellent vinegar, a ... More >>
You've lost your best player to injury, you've lost the guy who thinks he's the best player to Advanced Wussiness Syndrome, you haven't got a decent big name to take the court for you next year: What are you gonna do if you're the Rockets?Pitch yourselves as "Red Nation," apparently.That's the new a ... More >>
On September 1, 1939, German forces invaded Poland. Soviet troops joined the attack (in adherence to the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact) on September 16, and by the first of October, the country was entirely in enemy hands, and World War II was well underway.Poland and its people have had enough problems, ... More >>
This weekend, as we come together to celebrate Independence Day, let's do our best to remember what this holiday is all about. It's more than merely dodging DWI checkpoints on your way home from backyard barbecues and trying to decide between the Jon & Kate 8 or Deadliest Catch marathons on TV ... More >>
Class of 2009, as you go out into the real world, you'll be welcomed by a sputtering economy, rising consumer debt, and increased threats from abroad. It's just like the 1970s, except you'll have the added fun of spending the next 30 years paying off your student loans. Congratulations! Here are so ... More >>
Hey, how'd those Rockets do last night?!Oh.In case you missed it, Our Rockets (and by "Our," we mean "team we started cheering for a week ago"), got shellacked by the Lakers 118-78. Everyone had expected the injury-riddled Houston team to lose like that -- in Sunday's game, which they had won.That ... More >>
Once a pre-Christian celebration of the beginning of the summer, May 1 became associated with the labor movement and was eventually appropriated by the Soviet Union. The Cold War has been over for almost 20 years, so what better way to commemorate May Day than by poking fun at some famous movie Com ... More >>
Because things aren't already bad enough out there right now, the original lineup of crotch-rocking mooks Limp Bizkit annouced today they are reuniting. Here, according to a joint statement by the band's Fred Durst and Wes Borland, is their reasoning: "We decided we were more disgusted and b ... More >>
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn is honored at this festival of Russian docs
This documentary film captures the Canadian pianist's visit to Leningrad and Moscow
James Brown isnt among these great Georgian dancers
A photo exhibition at the MFAH has some real standouts
The Red Elvises appear Monday, November 6, at McGonigel's Mucky Duck, 2425 Norfolk. Call 713-528-5999 for more info.
A Salvadoran boy awaits the birthday that renders him a warrior
Schizo paints a harrowing portrait of the former Soviet state
Lughnassadh will make your heart Celt
Saturday, March 1
Stoli Grill's "KGB"
Jennifer Steinkamp and Sharon Engelstein bring back the big and bold.
Painter Vladimir Gorsky learned how to work the system in the Soviet Union for personal gain. He discovered that things operate much the same way in America.
East Side Story explores Soviet musicals. Yes, musicals.
A review of the films of '93, and hopes for an adventurous '94