Obituary: Donatas Banionis

Actor Donatas Banionis (b.1924) died on September 4. Banionis starred in the 1972 film Solaris as well as The Red Tent, a Russian adaptation of The Little Prince, a Russian adaptation of The Martian Chronicles, and Begstvo mistera Mak-Kinli.

Medals from Heaven

The Russian Olympic Committee has announced that all gold medals awarded on February 15, 2014 at the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia will contain pieces of the meteorite that exploded over the Russian city of Chelyabinsk on February 15, 2013. Seven sets of gold medals will be awarded on the anniversary of the meteor strike, including Men’s 1,500 meter Speedskating, Women’s 1,000m and Men’s 1,500m Short Track, Women’s Cross-Country Skiing Relay, Men’s K-125 Ski Jump, Women’s Super Giant Slalom, and Men’s Skeleton.

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Meteorite Strikes Chelyabinsk

The Chelyabinsk region of Russia was struck by a ten ton meteorite on the morning of February 15, just hours before a 150 foot asteroid is scheduled to pass between Earth and communications satellites. The shock waves from the meteor passing through the atmosphere blew out glass in six cities and four towns, damaged more than 100,000 square meters of glass, and caused nearly 1,000 injuries, most of them related to flying glass.

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Obituary: Boris Strugatsky

Russian SF author Boris Strugatsky (b.1933) died on November 19. Strugatsky, worked at Russia’s main astronomical observatory in Pulkovo before he and his brother Arkady became full time science fiction authors. Their work included Roadside Picnic and Hard to Be a God. The brothers were guests of honor at Conspiracy 87, the 45th Worldcon in Brighton, UK. After his brother’s death in 1991, Boris published two more novels, although they did not achieve the success he had when writing with Arkady.