First up is Trey Ratcliff's Stuck in Customs photography/travel blog. Most of Trey's images appear to be HDR, as well as (I presume) some other processes which provide a painting-like effect.
Trey is also the owner/founder of John Galt Games, a video gaming company. I'm not sure what Ayn Rand has to do with video games, but hey - that's his business.
Next up is Dr. R. J. Hillhouse's The Spy Who Billed Me blog (subtitled "Outsourcing the War on Terror"). From Dr. Hillhouse's glowing mini-autobiography:
The Wall Street Journal has called RJ Hillhouse's life "exotic" and The New York Times found her writing "equally daring." Hillhouse has run Cuban rum between East and West Berlin, smuggled jewels from the Soviet Union and slipped through some of the world’s tightest borders. From Uzbekistan to Romania, she's been followed, held at gunpoint and interrogated. Foreign governments, among others, have solicited her for recruitment as a spy. (They failed.) The St. Louis Post-Dispatch wrote that “she's truly like James Bond and Indiana Jones all rolled into one."For Russian topics, we also have the rather intellectual (although apparently anonymous) Russian Film Blog. Along with that, I should point out the Russian Movie Database, which I list under Russian Items of Interest. It is simply an excellent resource for locating and purchasing Russian films.
A former professor and Fulbright fellow, Hillhouse is fluent in several languages. She studied in Central and Eastern Europe for over six years at various institutions including Moscow State University, Moscow Finance Institute, Humboldt University of Berlin, Eberhard Karls University of Tübingen (Germany) and Babes-Bolyai University (Cluj, Romania). She eared her undergraduate degree from Washington University in St. Louis and her MA in Russian and East European Studies as well as her Ph.D. in political science from the University of Michigan. She has published in major academic journals and has lectured at major institutions including Harvard, Stanford and the Smithsonian.
Her widely-acclaimed debut novel, Rift Zone, was selected as one of the best books of 2004 by the American Booksellers Association. Her next novel, Outsourced, is about the turf wars between the CIA and the Pentagon and the privatization of military and espionage. It will be published by Forge books in May 2007.
Among personal blogs, I've included Swedish student/bombshell (her words) Josefina's A Russia of My Own blog ("Ambition mixed with vodka gets me up in the morning"). Josefina exhibits a stream-of-conciousness writing style in a fashion only a philology student could employ when discussing her exploits and worries while living and studying in Ekaterinburg .
Lastly, the very well-written and interesting Moscow Through Brown Eyes blog by Buster PH.D Candidate. Inciteful and political, while observing the Moscow scene, I find this blog a very worthwhile stop.
This reminds me - I am curious how others keep track of their favorite blogs online. I've been using some combination of My Yahoo and Technorati to stay on top of various blogs and feeds, with mixed results. If someone has a suggestion for a great RSS reader or other method to stay on top of topics from their favorite blogs, I'm all ears.
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