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I will be visiting Copenhagen for three days. What are must-sees and must-do's for a short trip?

Product Marketing Manager

If you are coming in the late spring and summer you are in for a real treat. Copenhagen blossoms all around under the warm Scandinavian sun during these seasons and there are a plethora of activities to choose from that can keep you occupied from when the sun rises at 5 in the morning until it sets at 11 at night.

First, a little about how Copenhagen’s set up. It is one of the easiest cities to navigate and the best part is that you can do it all on a bike. Cycling and cycling lanes are the bloodlines of the city and the best way to see it’s free (minus the rental fee, which is very reasonable from most bike shops, or the white city electric bikes), green, and really good for you. Copenhagen is divided into five main parts where most of your sightseeing, outings, and exploring will happen.

Indre By - The heart of Copenhagen

The oldest and most compact part of the city, you will find plenty of cobble stoned streets lined up with pastel colored townhouses. One of the longest pedestrian streets - Strøget - snakes its way through this part of the city. If you are up for taking some Scandi design back with you, whether it's clothes or furniture or ceramics - this is where you will find all the Danish staples. Add Royal Copenhagen, Illums Bolighus, Illum and Magasin du Nord to your store list. 

For sightseeing, Indre By is home to the Royal Palace (Amelienborg), where the Danish Queen and her two sons and their families reside. Plus you'll catch a glimpse of the royal guards, and if you're lucky to be there around lunch time may even witness the changing of the guards. From the Royal Palace you can pop over to one of the most impressive churches in the city, The Marble Church. From there walk over to Nyhavn, one of the most famous harbors of Copenhagen. In the old days, this was the bustling, economic heart of Denmark. If you feel like taking a break from walking / cycling, you can catch one of the canal and harbor tours from here. It's a great way to see the city from the water. Plus, you will get to see the Little Mermaid statue, which by the way tends to disappoint most of her visitors. But at least you can tell your friends back home that you saw her! 

From Nyhavn, walking away from the Royal Palace you will find yourself in front of the Danish Parliament, which is also called the Christiansborg Palace. You can go up the main tower for free and get an impressive, often windy, view of the entire city, the windmills of the Øresund and even get a glimpse of Sweden. 

Not far from there is the Tivoli Gardens, which boasts as the oldest amusement park in the world. If you're up for feeling like a kid again, hyped up on cotton candy and wanting to go on every ride, then this is the place for you. If you feel like exploring more historic sights, check out the Copenhagen Townhall across the street from Tivoli, then walk through Ørstedsparken, a picturesque public park, then onto the Botanical Gardens and then straight down to the Rosenborg Castle. If you are here in April-May you will have the exclusive chance to snap a ton of photos of the perfectly groomed gardens that surround Rosenborg. And if you are lucky enough to be here on sunny and warm days, grab some picnic food and drinks and plop down on the greenery to catch some rays. Good luck finding a spot though...the locals tend to populate the gardens very quickly.

For the lovers of the arts, the Inner City also houses some of the most beautiful and unique museums the city has to offer: SMK - the National Gallery of Denmark, Glyptoteket, Kunsthal Charlottenborg. This is also where I will mention Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, which is located 40 km north of the city but the thought- and emotion-provoking exhibitions and the stunning location of the museum is worth the half of a day visit. 

Whew! Would you believe me that the above is only the tip of the iceberg in exploring the Inner City? My best advice is to star the places you want to see the most and the just wander from one point to another while discovering beautiful streets, shops, people, parks, churches, cafes. 

Christianshavn, Nørrebro, Vesterbro, Østerbro 

(Good luck pronouncing those names the correct way)

The remaining four districts of Copenhagen. There is the historic yet chill Christianshavn, home to the Royal Danish Opera (quite the architectural sight!), canals a la Amsterdam, and of course the infamous commune of Christiania. And technically not part of Christianshavn but still a place worth mentioning, especially if you are here on an unusually warm and sunny day, is Islands Brygge. Buy a portable grill from one of the shops, burger patties, a six pack or chilled wine, and find yourself a cozy spot on the grass along with the locals. And when the sun warms your skin enough, take a dip in the harbor! 

Nørrebro is the most multi-cultural and eclectic part of the city. Always vibrant, this is where you can catch up on some essential vintage shopping, taste one of many döner kebabs, and play around one of the coolest urban parks (Superkilen)I have ever seen. If you need to find a quiet corner, the Assistens Cemetery is the perfect green oasis for you Don't be intimidated by the tombstones, and instead go pay your visit to the writer HC Andersen & the philosopher Søren Kirkegaard.

Vesterbro was once the seediest part of the city but has transformed itself to become one of the most colorful, family-friendly parts of the city. It is also known for its nightlife, the kind you dare not tell your grandma about (so maybe the seediness isn't all that gone yet). My go-to's are the Meatpacking District (Kødbyen), Carlsberg Brewery, Kalvebod Brygge waterfront. 

Last but not least is Østerbro. Posh, quiet, family-friendly, clean, residential pretty much sums up this part of Copenhagen. Enjoy the lush, expansive public park, Fælledparken, or take a walk through the Citadel (Kastellet)

All that sight-seeing, but where are the food & drinks?

I just realized that I've had you exploring Copenhagen's every corner without a bite to eat or a sip to drink. The good news is that in the past few years Copenhagen has truly embraced the foodie culture and brought forth its Nordic traditions in very pleasing ways for the pallet. There are simply too many restaurants, cafes, food halls, food festivals to list here. But the MUST tries are: 

  • Food halls: Torvehallerne, Copenhagen Street Food, Kødbyens Mad & Marked
  • New Nordicrestaurants: Hōst, Gorilla, Nose2Tail, Kødbyens Fiskebar, BROR
  • Any of the restaurants in the Cofoco or Madklubben family. 
  • Yumson the budget: Grød, LeLe Street Kitchen, Paludan Bogcafe, Tommi's Burger Joint, Sliders, Slurp Ramen Joint 
  • Bakeries (because the American-invented "Danish" is a sad excuse for a baked good): Meyers Bageri, Lagkagehuset, Emmery's, Sankt Peders Bageri
  • Cocktail bars: Lidkoeb, Duck & Cover, the Bird & the Churchkey, Curfew, 1656, the Barking Dog
    And after all of that you are still standing on your two feet and want to them dancing here are my favorite going-out spots: Chateau Motel, The Jane, Condesa, NOHO, Le Bambole. 

And with that, you should be fully armed to make the most of your visit Wonderful Copenhagen!

Почему среди чиновников распространено убеждение о том, что на Западе демократии не существует, которое Екатерина Шульман определила как «обратный карго-культ»?

Основатель, Партнер Capstone Connections, к.полит. наук

Такое убеждение среди российских государственных служащих действительно существует, и для этого существует несколько причин. Во-первых, объем знаний. Большинство работающих в государстве не имеют длительного опыта жизни в зарубежном обществе. Даже дипломаты проводят много времени в общении внутри представительства, и их восприятие внешнего мира существенно искажено. Соответственно, представления строятся на ограниченном объеме информации, и информация существенно искажается на более высоких уровнях управления, поскольку чем выше уровень, тем меньше времени на образование, общение, доступ к широкому объему источников информации.

Во-вторых, россияне в целом довольно циничны. Всемирное исследование ценностей (см. показывает, что мы одно из самых материалистичных обществ мира. Поскольку россияне не очень религиозны и не верят, что человек может быть движим убеждениями, возникает стремление искать скрытые, в основном материальные, стимулы в действиях других.

В-третьих, есть особенности человеческого восприятия, которые заставляют нас придавать большее значение одним сведениям и меньшее другим. В частности, есть «cклонность к подтверждению своей точки зрения» (confirmation bias - Это особенность восприятия, которая заставляет нас обращать большее внимание на те факты, которые подтверждают уже имеющееся мнение. И если это мнение основано на недостаточной и искаженной информации (см. пункт 1) и укрепляется цинизмом (см. пункт 2), то сознание услужливо помогает нам находить новые и новые доказательства того, что на Западе демократия тоже не работает, просто они притворяются лучше.

В-четвертых, да, ни одно общественное устройство нельзя идеализировать, в том числе либеральную западную демократию.

9 октября 2015  · 3,3 K
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What are the best/worst things about being Russian abroad?

BA Journalism at City University. Video-Journalist for The National Union of Stu...

Let's start with the worst. 

  1. Vodka

"Do you like vodka?" Don't even try to say "no". 

They will pour it straight into your mouth because everyone is convinced - Russians drink shots for breakfast. Mixers? Don't disappoint your friends! In fact, they will assume you drink a lot.

P.S. this picture's name on Pixabay is "Russian dinner".

  1. Political stigma

"What do you think about Putin?" "Are you a communist?" " What about your parents?  Grandparents?" "Do they like Stalin?" "Do you have Lenin's picture in your house?" 

Don't even get me started on this one. 

Picture from GamingVid

  1. Weather

"Are you cold? How can you be cold? You're from Russia!"

Never say you're freezing because Russians are not allowed to! In fact, nobody knows that in southern parts of Russia the climate is similar to the one of northern Italy! For example this is Russian health resort in Sochi

Picture from Znanie.

And here are the best things according to my LONDON BASED experience. 

  1. Food

Wherever you go, you will always stumble across Polish shop that sells 'tvorog' or Azerbaijanian takeaway that offers 'borscht' and 'pelmeni'. 

Due to similarities in the former-Soviet cuisines it is easier to feel at home. There are always nice Russian restaurants too! For example Zima in London. 

  1. Language

The grammar complexity, vast vocabulary and extraordinary pronunciation make it one of the most difficult languages in the world.  People are usually impressed with how gracefully you levitate between "Р"/rr/ ,  "Ш" /sh/ ,  "Щ" /sрch/ ,  "Ч" /ch/ ,  "Ц"  /ts/ and "Х" /kh/.  In fact, cyrillic alphabet ensures no one can understand your messages even using Google Translate.

But not to worry, it is official language to 38+ territories with at least 150 million speakers! Thus it is most likely that you will communicate easily with people from Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and some parts of Ukraine. In fact, common language creates stronger bonds. 

Additionally, Russian is a good language to have in terms of employment. As it is both hard to learn and widely spoken it gives you a comparative advantage in the workplace.

Picture from Wikipedia.

  1. Russian literature

Tolstoy, Dostoevsky, Chekhov, Bunin, Gogol, Turgenev, Nabokov, Bulgakov, Pushkin, Solzhenitsyn, Pasternak, Akhmatova and Tsvetaeva...the list goes on.

Everyone knows War and Peace and Anna Karenina, Crime and Punishment and Idiot. Indeed, Russian literature is widely acknowledged. Last year many Brits watched a BBC adaptation of War and Peace. Some of them asked me about the author and were curious to find out more. Here is a picture of Leo Tolstoy!

P.S. If you live in London there is a whole section of books in Russian on the fifth floor of Piccadilly's Waterstones. 

  1. Russian classical music

Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninoff, Stravinsky, need to say anything, just listen.

5. Russian history and politics

Ivan Grozny, Peter the Great, October revolution, Perestroika, Putin...The narrative is special and extraordinary, that's why many scholars in academia around the world continue to research and analyse Russian historical past. They would be excited to discuss it with a Russian person.

LSE usually does a lot of public talks, lectures and seminars to explain Russian foreign policies and history behind it. For example, this lecture I attended in the beginning of February. Vladimir Posner visited London this year and gave a lecture at UCL on the same topic.

In the light of 100 years after Russian Revolution there is a number of events going on in London. For example, this exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts dedicated to Russian art between 1918 and 1932.  The British Library is doing another exhibition on Russian revolution this month.  

Apart from that, you can find many documentaries about Russian history on BBC. For example, Russia's Lost Princesses or  Empire of the Tsars

It's exciting how much you can learn about your country from abroad. It's flattering that people from other countries want to learn about it too!

Here is a picture of Catherine the Great.

Overall, being Russian abroad can be both positive and negative. The worst part is when people judge you based on the most common stereotypes about Russia. The best part is that actually a lot of people are interested in your culture and history. 

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What does Russia think about the South China Sea dispute? Are they staying out of it, or do they not want to choose sides?

MGIMO BA, Latin-American studies

Actually we have no interest in entering this dispute. It's way too far from our borders and we simply don't possess enough resources to project our power that far south let alone our Pacific fleet is not very numerous in comparison to deployed forces of China and the US in the region. But what is more: we could not care less about those islands as long as it doesn't end up in a huge regional war with tactical nukes, which is de-facto hardly possible in 2-3 decades.

So for Russia it is very pointless to drag itself into a dispute that has no connection with its national interests. We have enough problems in our neighlouring regions and with islamists, havent't we?

10 января 2017  · < 100

Why does my cat always sit on the keyboard when I’m trying to type?

Feline Welfare Manager, Battersea Dogs & Cats Home. @LifeOnPawsUK

This is a funny one, and there are a number of reasons as to why they might do that. Some people think it’s because keyboards are quite warm, and as cats can be a heat-seeking species, they enjoy sitting on a warm surface.

It’s also a way for cats to solicit attention and get a bit of time with their owners. By stopping the owner from working, the cat gets something nice from their owner in return in the form of attention, time, fuss, strokes, etc.

A cat will always do what works, so once they’ve learnt that behaviour will result in something that they want, the behaviour is rewarded and reinforced – and so they’ll repeat the behaviour in the future.

Cats as a species tend to prefer low intensity high frequency physical contact, so a lot of cats like to be near their owners, but may not necessarily enjoy sitting in a person’s lap. Sitting on the keyboard close to their owner allows them to enjoy your company and enjoy being near you.

A keyboard or laptop is also very much the focus of attention for the owner while they’re using it. It could be that some cats may appreciate the importance of it to the owner, and so they want to focus on it as well – almost “it’s important to you so it’s important to me too”.

So they’re not just being a pain in the butt!

Sue is Feline Welfare Manager for Battersea Dogs & Cats Home.