Not Hockey: Introduce Yourself

We’d like to think we’re building a community here, and that means you, dear reader, are an indispensable part of RMNB. Without you, we’re just blogging into the wind.

Would you please take a moment to introduce yourself in the comments below, adding a photo if you’ve got one. This whole thing goes a lot better when we can see each other’s faces and remember that there’s a real person on the other end of the comment thread.

You don’t have to use your real name, but I think it helps.

Tell us who you are, what you do, what you see, your favorite player, and what you want out of 2014. That way, once we all meet up for a party (soon), we’ll be able to put a face to the name, and that’ll be great.

The RMNB team will be participating below, so come say hi.

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The Most Popular RMNB Stuff of 2013

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You’re not gonna be surprised which was RMNB’s most popular story of 2013. Out of almost 1200 posts this year, the one that garnered the most attention was our blow-by-blow recap of the meteor strike in Evgeny Kuznetsov’s hometown of Chelyabinsk, Russia, on Valentine’s Day. It was a weird story, one that we had a peculiar perspective on, and as a result it went viral to a degree I doubt we’ll ever see again.

But we wrote about a lot more than astrophysics this year, so let’s take a real quick stroll in the wayback machine to check out the stories you guys loved the most. This should be fun. See if you can guess what’s in the top five.

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RMNB Wishes All Its Readers Happy Holidays!

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Not a creature is stirring in our little corner of the blogosphere that doesn’t wish you and yours a happy holiday. Have a good one and we’ll see you back here in a couple days.

(P.S. tweet us your Caps-themed Christmas presents so we can be jealous.)

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Programming Note: PuckBuddys is (are?) Taking Over

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I’ll be out of town on business this week, so Craig and Doug from the always-perfect PuckBuddys site will be taking over game recap duties. Through Friday’s game against the Devils, they’ll be sharing their take on the game that was.

I’m sorry that I’ll miss the first full week of Caps hockey in over half a year, but I’m delighted to have them take over the reins while I’m gone. Please go check out the PuckBuddys site, which is full of good writing even if you’re a breeder, and be nice to them while I’m away. Seriously, don’t embarrass me in front of the guests.

 

Russian Machine, Creative Commons, and Aaron Swartz

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Effective immediately, all original content on RussianMachineNeverBreaks.com and its related sites is covered by the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license. This means you can share, copy, and remix anything we create — so long as it’s done with attribution and not for commerce. This license applies to our writing, our illustrations, our videos, and photos by our team.  It’s a lot of content (2000+ posts), so go crazy.

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Clear Your Cache: We’ve Redesigned the Site

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R.I.P. The Gray Thing 2009-2013

Happy hockey day. Peeking at RMNB today, you might notice we’ve made some changes. The new RMNB has a new main navigation along with a new design. It’s a little more toned down than the old design– with less Ovi and more focus on the things that you actually do on our site. See all our social stuff along the top, there? Ain’t it spiffy?

If you can’t see it or if it looks a little weird, clear your cache. You can hit CTRL + F5 if you’re on a PC. If you’ve got a Mac, just throw it in the trash and get a new one. You can probably afford it.

This is just the first step in a series of site improvements that we’ve been planning for a while. We’ll be doing a full redesign sometime in the near future. For now, we’ve got a bunch of new pages on the site, which you can check out by clicking around that pretty top nav. We’ve also put all our original content under a Creative Commons license, which you can read about later. When we started RMNB a few years ago, we didn’t expect anything like this level of success. We’re gonna keep working to make RMNB a rewarding experience for you guys.

Let us know your thoughts! Thanks!

 

RMNB’s Biggest Stories of 2012

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2012 is just about done, and although we’ve covered about 40 fewer hockey games than we wanted, we’re now delighted to take a look back at the year that was. We’ve ranked our top 10 stories based on traffic so that you can a) wax nostalgic on the days when we actually watched hockey, and b) get the inside scoop on what stories are popular and what stories bomb. Follow me past the jump for the countdown.

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RMNB’s new “Hahaha Ice” T-Shirts can be purchased here.

While we dedicate a lot of our time to RMNB, our team slaves away at full-time jobs just like you. Peter is an information architect, I’m a web designer/email marketer, and Fedor is a full-time student in Moscow and a journalist for VOA. Then there’s Igor.

Four score and seven years ago… okay, maybe not that long – but long enough that Scott Stevens was still a Capital and the Soviet Union was still a thing, Igor– fresh out of college– left St. Petersburg and the crumbling empire for America. Within a couple of months after getting off the proverbial boat, Igor landed his first job: an engineering position at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center.

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This is not a hockey story.

Last week RMNB published a two-part translation of an interview Michal Neuvirth gave to the Czech site iSport. Our articles contained translated, controversial quotes about Braden Holtby, Alex Semin, Alex Ovechkin, and Dale Hunter.

The story was picked up by Puck Daddy and The Washington Post, among others. Some of the articles that used our quotes excluded important passages where Neuvirth praised Holtby and Ovechkin, leading to a popular characterization of the interview that I don’t think matched what we published. On the other hand, an article for Sportsnet.ca by Chris Nichols copied our entire translation.

Before long, our translation came under scrutiny. To respond to questions from our audience, I wrote and published a note on our translation process and how much room for interpretation there is in that process, but we did not retract or correct our post. Social media and our own commenters wondered aloud if our articles had mistranslated the original article or if something had been “lost in translation.”

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RMNB recently published two articles  [I and II] translating an interview Michal Neuvirth gave to František Suchan of iSportz.Cz. The original interview was conducted in Czech and translated by Kara Martinková with proofreading and edits by our team. While we stand by the articles we published, we acknowledge that translation is as much an art as it is an academic skill. Interpretations of syntax, grammar, and idiom always threaten to transform the intent of a statement, and some of Neuvirth’s meaning may have been misconstrued.

For example, we translated Neuvirth as saying the following:

I am really sure that I have the weakest competition (Braden Holtby) I’ve ever had.

But choosing competition as an apposition for Braden Holtby is subjective. Neuvirth might have intended for competition to mean competition-as-a-thing, not as a person. Given that interpretation, Neuvirth may simply have been saying this season is the best opportunity he’s ever had to earn the number-one goalie spot.

The underlying meaning of the two statements is nearly the same, but the tone is dramatically different.

The context of the article might support that interpetation too. Later in the interview, Neuvirth responds to a question about Holtby by first saying that he is a great goalie, albeit one with less experience than Varlamov and Vokoun. Using the alternate translation above and taking into account his later comment about Holtby, Neuvirth’s statements are not so incendiary.

This same interpretative gap can apply to other parts of the interview as well. Where Neuvirth describes himself as “angry” at not starting in the playoffs, the words down or unhappy might also have been used.

The vagaries of language are challenging, and there are many possibilities to lose the intent and tone of the original statement on its path from conversation to original article to translation. We hope our readers can grant a healthy amount of leniency to Neuvirth and our translators.