salute from the cable-stayed bridge, hovering above the water Assol and space suits

The brightest evening of the country’s graduates ended, which the guys were looking forward to this year. So, as always, the Scarlet Sails Festival 2020 became a beautiful chord of the All-Russian holiday. This year it was both traditional and completely unusual at the same time. We tell you what the Scarlet Sails 2020 surprised.

The main innovation of this year is the change of locationPhoto: Oleg GOLD

Well, firstly, the main innovation is the change of location. For several years in a row, a snow-white brig passes through the water area Not you along the Peter and Paul Fortress, the Hermitage and right under the Palace Bridge. This year, another, no less picturesque place was chosen, with very recognizable sights. Petersburg – stadium “Gazprom-Arena “, Lakhta-center and cable-stayed bridge ZSD.

Access to all locations was closed due to the difficult epidemic situation both in the city and throughout the country. Photo: Artem KILKIN

Access to all locations was closed due to the difficult epidemic situation both in the city and throughout the country.Photo: Artem KILKIN

The second innovation: live Petersburgers and visitors could not see all this beauty. And all because this year there are special requirements: because of the pandemic, access to the park is closed, it was also impossible to see from the water, since part of the Neva and the Gulf of Finland were blocked. GIMS boats and various services went around the water area and made sure that no one violated the ban. Law enforcement officers were also on duty on land: if they met people in a territory where there should not be anyone, they politely asked to leave the place and go home.

Everyone was politely asked to leave the coast Photo: Artyom KILKIN

Everyone was politely asked to leave the coast.Photo: Artem KILKIN

And at home, by the way, everyone would have considered it in the best possible way: there was a live broadcast of a concert and a pyrotechnic show on the Internet and on TV. By the way, on the screen you can see what on the shore would definitely not be accessible to the eye. And all because along the Neva and the Gulf of Finland there were several scenes at once and on each of them there was an action.

The main stage was next to the Gazprom Arena stadium, it was also very unusual – as if soaring in the air, and with it the stars acting on it. Leading the holiday were Ivan Urgant and Daria Александрова.

The hosts of the holiday were Ivan Urgant and Daria Alexandrova Photo: Oleg GOLD

Leading the holiday were Ivan Urgant and Daria AlexandrovaPhoto: Oleg GOLD

Timur Rodriguez, Vera performed their hits Brezhnev, RASA group, Dima Bilan and Surganova. And there were surprises in the form of a show of pirates and drummers, yes, it is worth noting separately what costumes the artists had – just space ones. Be sure to watch Bilan’s performance if you missed. And also a salute, well, the passage itself of a sailboat!

The cable-stayed bridge of the WHSD was both a platform for light and a launch site for fireworks. Photo: Oleg ZOLOTO

The cable-stayed bridge of the WHSD was both a platform for light and a launch site for fireworksPhoto: Oleg GOLD

By the way, the pyrotechnic show lasted almost half an hour, hundreds of volleys were launched into the sky, the first cable-stayed bridge of the WHSD was used. It was both a platform for light, and for launching a salute.

But the highlight, of course, was the passage of a snow-white brig with Scarlet Sails along the Gulf of Finland Photo: Oleg ZOLOTO

But the highlight, of course, was the passage of a snow-white brig with Scarlet Sails along the Gulf of FinlandPhoto: Oleg GOLD

And at the end of the extravaganza, the romantic Assol soared above the water to meet her dream. By the way, this year the holiday was dedicated to the author of the fairy tale about Scarlet Sails Alexander Green – marks 140 years since his birthday.

If you missed the broadcast live, there is an opportunity to watch the best moments of the show.

Graduation Scarlet Sails in St. Petersburg ended with a grandiose salute.Alena CHICHIGINA


Farmers fear the third consecutive drought summer

Dusseldorf The worried look of the farmers goes up and then down these days. For several weeks there have been hardly any rain clouds in the sky, which means that the ground is becoming increasingly dry. Memories come back to the years 2018 and 2019, when it was raining too little and the harvest of cereals and rapeseed was far below average. Now there is growing fear that it could happen in 2020.

“If it stays that dry, it could be another very difficult year for German agriculture,” says Joachim Rukwied, President of the German Farmers’ Association. “A third year of drought would hit many of our farms even harder than the last.”

2020 hadn’t started badly. “From January to mid-March we had even more rain than usual,” says farmer Till Bredtmann, who runs a farm in Velbert in North Rhine-Westphalia, “but it has been dry since March 16”. According to calculations by the German Weather Service (DWD), less than ten liters per square meter of precipitation fell from March 14 to April 18 in many places.

Tobias Fuchs from the DWD told the Tagesschau that only about ten percent of the normal rainfall fell in April. In addition, the floors were also dried out by the strong wind.

This brings back memories of the past problem years. However, the water reservoirs in the soil were well filled last winter, the DWD says. Farmer Bredtmann also says: “I don’t see any catastrophe yet, but if it stays dry longer, it will be difficult”. The next few weeks are crucial for whether the drought will become a tangible problem, the experts agree.

It is not so easy to answer whom the weather affects and to what extent. The basic nature and water retention of the soil play a major role in the resilience of the cultivation. Another key question is which products are sown and harvested. For example, grasses for fodder cultivation are very susceptible to prolonged drought.

During the 2018 drought, it became clear that cereals and rapeseed suffered significantly, while asparagus harvests were stable and fruit was even better than average.

Demanding more commitment to climate protection

Nevertheless, the current dry weather reflexively raises two questions. First, is there another year of drought in 2020? The honest answer is: Nobody can say that exactly. The DWD writes on its homepage: “It is not yet possible to assess whether May will bring more precipitation after what is likely to be a very dry April.” To be prepared in an emergency, farmers can take out drought insurance, the value added tax of which has been reduced retrospectively from January 1, 2020 from 19 to 0.3 percent of the sum insured.

The second question is: Are the dry periods a sign of climate change? A clear answer is not possible here either. Climate change makes extreme weather conditions more likely, according to the DWD. However, it is difficult to prove whether a specific event can be attributed to this. Farmer Bredtmann states: “There has been a lot of dry summer in April and May in recent years”

German farmers are concerned about drought

The farmers’ association and the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture still agree that again more needs to be done for climate protection. Farmer President Rukwied says: “As farmers, we are increasingly dealing with extreme weather conditions. It would be unwise to put climate protection on the back burner, even if the focus is now on dealing with the corona pandemic “.

It is clear that agriculture itself also has a role to play. The ministry speaks of the farmers as “victims and participants” of the climate crisis and refers to a ten-point plan to combat the problem with measures to reduce CO2. The reform of EU agricultural subsidies should also have the right steering effect towards more environmentally sustainable agriculture. An agreement in Brussels on how this could look exactly is far from in sight.

Farmer Till Bredtmann, who has been practicing organic farming for 35 years, draws attention to another problem: “Consumers demand this, but in practice it looks different, because most people just want the cheapest possible food.”

More: Initiative calls for an economic stimulus package for the climate


Nationwide drought: farmers hope for rain

After a lot of sunshine, the “drought monitors” of the weather services indicate dryness across the country. This hits a stressed forest.

Three swans sit on the bank of a river.

Run aground due to drought: The Rhine is already leading low water Photo: Roberto Pfeil / dpa

BERLIN taz / dpa | Yellow, orange, dark red – the drought monitor of the Helmholtz Center for Environmental Research in Leipzig currently shows various stages of the drought for Germany, from “unusually dry” to “extraordinary drought”. At the same time, the “plant-available water” decreases, ie the moisture that roots in the soil can reach. According to calculations by the German Weather Service, less than 10 liters of rain per square meter fell in many places from mid-March to mid-April. The warmth, but above all the wind, has dried up the upper soil regions. This leads to an increased risk of soil erosion and forest fires, especially in areas with sandy soil.

They are already raging in North Rhine-Westphalia; In the past few days, the fire departments have been deployed on large-scale operations for hours. In the Netherlands, the De Meinweg National Park burned extensively on the border with NRW. And at Lohne near Osnabrück in Lower Saxony, 30 to 35 hectares of moorland burned on Tuesday. According to the German Meteorological Service, the highest forest fire warning level 5 prevails in the northeast of the country in particular.

The drought of this spring hits an already weakened forest after two years of drought, says Michael Welling, spokesman for the Thünen Institute in Braunschweig. If it starts to rain again at the end of May and beginning of June, the trees could possibly compensate for the current lack of water. However, the research institute subordinate to the Federal Ministry of Agriculture is more likely to expect further severe forest damage and quantities of damaged wood this year.

Farmers also monitor the weather situation closely: “The situation is by no means dramatic. Rain would still be urgently needed, ”says Bernhard Rüb from the NRW Chamber of Agriculture. After the experiences of the past two dry years, the farmers looked at the situation earlier than usual with concern. “Another drought year would mean an existential problem for many companies.” In many companies, the reserves were used up.


Between rain and drought: two exceptional sacrifices of children in Mexico and Peru | The feathered serpent blog

40 years ago, the team of archaeologists working in the ruins of the Templo Mayor de Tenochtitlan, in Mexico, announced the discovery of the remains of a mass ritual sacrifice of children. It was, they learned later, a sacrifice of times from the first Moctezuma, back in the middle of the 15th century. Archaeologists found bones of at least 42 infants, aged three to eight, next to jugs from Tláloc, the Mexican god of rain and fertility. It was an impressive, unique discovery. Investigators presumed that such a thing had never been found before.

Thirty years later, on the north coast of Peru, a team of archaeologists located the remains of another mass ritual sacrifice of children between the sand and mud of the Pacific Ocean coast. Their skeletons, the researchers discovered, lay next to the remains of llamas. A short time later, archaeologists already counted more than 200 infants, far exceeding the case of the Tenochtitlan Main Temple.

In this second case, they were the remains of a chimú sacrifice, a more or less contemporary civilization of the Mexica, which extended along the northern coast of what is now Peru, since the beginning of the 11th century. The place of sacrifice is on a cliff just over 300 meters above sea level, in the middle of a residential housing complex, in Huanchaco.

The archaeologists who led both excavations, the Mexican Leonardo López Luján and the Peruvian Gabriel Prieto, met a couple of years ago in the center of the world, in Quito. This week they both remembered that first meeting, at an event organized by the National College, in Mexico City. The first thing López Luján told him that day in Quito was: “I hate you!” And Prieto, amused, replied: “What Peruvians cannot do in football, we have to do with archeology.”

Jugs Tláloc, in the offering found in the Templo Mayor in 1980.

Jugs Tláloc, in the offering found in the Templo Mayor in 1980.

Prieto presented the results of his excavation this Thursday at the National College, at a conference presented by López Luján himself. Doctor in archeology from Yale University, Prieto explained that the chimú ceremony, where authentic anatomy experts took out the hearts of dozens of infants and llamas, after cutting the sternum and opening the ribcage, was the product of a meteorological phenomenon.

At that time, more than 500 years ago, torrential rains hit the region and the chimú sacrificed the little ones so that the waters stopped. In fact, the researchers found a thick layer of mud that suggests there was rain at the time of sacrifice. On the site, in addition to the children, they found the bones of two swollen women with their heads facing the ground and a man in his 40s, who has wounds on his right arm, which could suggest that it is the self-sacrificed victimizer.

“We know that the weapon they used to make sacrifices were metal knives known as tumis,” explains Prieto. The researchers suggest that the children, coming from various ethnic groups, were prepared in advance for the great moment of the ritual in Chan Chan, a nearby archeological site, declared a world heritage site.

Remains of sacrifice in the Templo Mayor.

Remains of sacrifice in the Templo Mayor.

If in the chimú domains everything flooded, in Tenochtitlan the water ran out. López Luján explained that the Aztec mass sacrifice was probably due to a huge drought, which the basin of Mexico suffered in the year 1454, year one rabbit, according to the Mexican account. López Luján says: “The fraternal Friars Toribio de Benavente and Juan de Torquemada identify it as the origin of the later widespread practice of child sacrifice. Its significance is also evident in the work of Durán, who asserts that, when Motecuhzoma Ilhuicamina [el primero de los dos] He put his own effigy on the rocks of Chapultepec to leave a memory of his glories, he ordered the artists: ‘And together you mark the year of Ce Tochtli, where the great past hunger began. “The famine was terrible at the time. Tlatoani had no choice but to distribute the city’s food reserves and then announce that there was nothing more to offer.

In their chronicles, Friars Motolinía and Diego Durán say that in the basin of Mexico, children selected because they had two swirls in their hair were sacrificed in honor of the God of the rain. They were slaughtered or drowned. Sometimes they were introduced to a cave and allowed to die of starvation. But no historian of the time described the sacrifice in Tenochtitlan that involved the 42 children.

What was death for ancient societies here and there? According to the famous historian Eduardo Matos Moctezuma, author of Death on the Edge of Obsidian: “the pre-Hispanic man conceived death as a process more than a constant cycle and blood as a vital element generating movement.” Birth and death, indissoluble unity. The sacrifice, turn something into sacred, establish a link with the gods. For them, death was the germ of life. Only then could we explain the mass burial of children and animals, they were the germ to start all over again.


“Cyrille, farmer …”, a life for butter

Emmanuel Macron’s long-distance marathon at the Agricultural Show consisted essentially, between the usual falsely relaxed photo poses in the midst of muddy animals, to reassure a sector on edge between ecological conversion, agribashing and waves of suicides. The revelations of Mediapart on the remuneration of senior executives of the FNSEA, with the monthly sum of 13,400 euros gross for the director general Clément Faurax, have probably made faces in the many farms which are struggling today to make ends meet. Rodolphe Marconi’s documentary is far from the showcase of the Show, far from the maneuvers of the various unions and lobbies who are busy further promoting agriculture and intensive livestock farming to the detriment of everything else and without too much concern for the impact in particularly on water resources. For four months, this filmmaker, former resident of Villa Medicis, author of fictions (This is my body in 2001 with Louis Garrel) and other docuses (Lagerfeld confidential) installed his camera on a family farm in Auvergne, a dairy farm taken over by one of the three sons, Cyrille, who has been trying to run the store for five years. We can understand by his example the horrible fate that lashes out at the most idealists when they want to do well and that no one helps or thanks them for this effort. This is a new picture of the degradation of the very idea of ​​work even when we have been fed our heads with it through debates, editorials and political TV platforms since it is the least evaluated value, the least held in respect, even if the obsessive mantra which guides the steps of liberalism is that it is necessary to work more and longer.


It’s always good to go down from principles to examples, and this one is rare. Cyrille, 30 years old therefore, works every day, including Sundays and holidays, from 6 am to midnight and sometimes beyond, without managing to pay himself a salary. He lives with his father, he had to build a building to standards for his operation and went into debt to the tune of 200,000 euros. He had thirty cows, but eight died from illness. With global warming helping, the region suffered two drought summers and the meadows gave less grass, therefore less hay, therefore less food for its good animals, therefore less milk. To compensate, you have to buy food and try to produce more because at too low a level of liters of milk, the cooperative no longer moves. Cyrille can no longer sell his milk, he can transform it into artisanal butter which he sells for 3 euros a plate on the village market. The more he works, the more he ruins himself. The debt spiral always takes it lower in the appreciation of an existence that counts for nothing: “I’m alone working like an idiot.” In France, statistically, a farm is only viable with an average of 60 cows per farmer.

Dead end

We gradually understand that the film is also the chronicle of mourning and unexpressed depression. The loss of his mother leaves Cyril distraught, without advice, without support, facing the silent father and who only speaks to him in reproach. It turns out that Cyrille is gay elsewhere and in a remote corner where Tinder does not have the shadow of a guy to offer him tens of kilometers from his home. We see concretely the impasse in which he finds himself and which pushes him to inexorably join the battalion of rural people who must reconvert into other professional sectors, accentuating the desherence of certain regions and a degraded relationship to a landscape including this distant cousin cowboy boys intended to maintain the poetic heritage, crossed at the best days by the light of Corot’s canvases.

Didier Péron

Cyrille, farmer, 30 years old, 20 cows, milk, butter, debts of Rodolphe Marconi (1 h 25).