Scanning the Pasvik Valley for boreholes.

The Kola Superdeep Borehole

This is an excerpt from Driving Down Russia’s Spine, a book about three journalists’ (one American, two Russian) 6000-km trip down the full length of Russia, from the border with Norway to the Black Sea. The trip took place in October 2015, and this is one of the first episodes. The trip also produced a […]

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Brotherhood of the Arrow

Faire Thee Well

In the heart of the Green Mountains, a sun swept field vibrates with the enthusiasm of a thousand devotees of broadswords, mead and medieval attire. Maidens in ankle-length dresses and pushup bodices, accompanied by young sires trussed up in leather and the occasional feathered cap, clamber out of dusty Subarus and F150s to attend the first […]

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The Most Beautiful Village in Russia

Across the room an iPhone alarm rages. I open my eyes. Or at least I think I do. I cannot tell if I am asleep or awake, alive or dead. An utterly absolute blackness surrounds me. Eyelids closed: pitch black. Eyelids open: pitch black. It is a very unsettling feeling, as if I could reach […]

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Burr Morse

Sweet Maple

The first Morse family sugaring ancestor arrived in Cabot in 1789. For 150 years, the family tapped trees and boiled sap in Maple Corner. In 1952, the family moved to its current farm in East Montpelier. With over 60 years sugaring experience, Burr Morse is the family’s maple patriarch, as well as its boiler-in-chief. He […]

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Why Russians Don’t Run

It is a chilly September afternoon and I am sitting in a smoky Italian restaurant at the dismal southern end of a St. Petersburg metro line with Yevgeny Kurov. Buzz-cut, 45, mustached, and a tightly wound 5′ 10″, he wears a new Garmin GPS watch on his left wrist and juggles two mobile phones. He’s […]

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“The Russian bees will save us”

Originally published in Russian Life, July/Aug 2013 Each September, honey makers from around Russia gather in the capital’s picturesque Kolomenskoye Park, high above the banks of the Moscow River, for the annual Yarmarka Myoda (Honey Market). About sixty 100-square-foot popup tents are lined up in neat rows, each featuring the output of a single farm […]

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1983: The Scariest Year

Thirty years ago the world came uncomfortably close to Armageddon. Some believe that at no time since the Cuban Missile Crisis have we perched so precariously close to the nuclear abyss. Yet even today, the story is little known… Prologue The 1980s arrived with something of a bang, or rather with a sorrowful whimper that […]

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