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Author Topic: What makes the FSU so interesting?  (Read 263122 times)

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Offline mendeleyev

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What makes the FSU so interesting?
« on: October 26, 2011, 10:21:35 AM »
From the Mendeleyev Journal story, In Russia it's all about the chocolate.

Sitting on a plane making ready for takeoff from Atlanta some few days ago I listened to a guy in the row behind me wax eloquent on the glories of Russia to his seatmate. I kept quiet -- nothing ruins a good conversation like input from someone who knows what they're talking about -- and listened with a smile.

To hear it from this fellow, all the ladies in Russia have blonde hair and blue eyes and the food is just like American cuisine; in fact, he seems to believe that most Russians eat at McDonalds every day. Perhaps he is right and I'm just blind to it all.

That is okay because he did get it right in one area...the chocolate.


 
Oh boy, especially that European dark confection that causes a diet managed diabetic like myself to risk it all for just a taste. While no one is watching, of course.

So much chocolate, so little time!



There is even a fast growing chain of chocolate oriented stores that serve great chocolates along with tea and fruit drinks.

What a country!
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Offline Steamer

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What makes the FSU so interesting?
« Reply #1 on: October 26, 2011, 10:28:10 AM »
What I enjoy most about Russian chocolate is that it's not too sugary and you can really get into the taste. Russian ice cream is also the best.
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Offline mendeleyev

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What makes the FSU so interesting?
« Reply #2 on: October 26, 2011, 10:51:21 AM »
From the Mendeleyev Journal section on Russian cuisine: main dishes.

The Russian word for eggs is яйца (YEEt-sa).
 
That part is easy. The hard part is figuring out why most egg cartons come with 10 eggs instead of a dozen.



 
If the expression cheaper by the dozen is true, then I'd like to know why do stores sell them by 10 instead?
 
Supermarkets and medium sized neighborhood markets package eggs in styrofoam cartons like most other places in the modern world, but in a group of 10.


 
As eggs are not a breakfast staple in many homes, Russian housewives use them for cooking and baking and perhaps that is why they don't come in a dozen. I asked one time and the blank stare and shrug of shoulders clued me in that not only did the shopkeeper not have an answer, but neither did she share my curiosity about how eggs are packaged.

To be fair, in the small markets and kiosks you don't have to purchase eggs in a carton. Just like potatoes, you can ask for 2 or 3 eggs. Or 4 or 5 if you'd like. They'll be put in a small plastic bag, tied tight at the top and you are responsible for getting them home without breaking.

The news today says that hurricane Rita could impact more than a dozen cruise ships and that the Texas drought could force the relocation of more than a dozen buffalo. Well, why not just write that more than ten cruise ships would be impacted or that more than ten buffalo would be located?
 
If it is so danged important to group buffalo by the dozen in Texas then surely someone should suggest to the Russians the idea of cooperating with the rest of the world and sell eggs by the dozen!

Then again, some ideas just aren't that important.  :)
« Last Edit: October 26, 2011, 08:46:49 PM by mendeleyev »
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Offline Ranetka

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What makes the FSU so interesting?
« Reply #3 on: October 26, 2011, 10:56:47 AM »
Eggs are in ten because Russia uses metric system for ages. I am sure you know this really:-)
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I do resent the fact that most people never question or think for themselves. I don't want to be normal. I just want to find some other people that are odd in the same ways that I am. OP.

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What makes the FSU so interesting?
« Reply #4 on: October 26, 2011, 11:03:02 AM »
Eggs are in ten because Russia uses metric system for ages. I am sure you know this really:-)


Are you sure thats the reason?


What in your opinion, would be the reason for eggs to come in a dozen/12 per carton for Standard measuring countries? 12 has no significance.

Offline Ranetka

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« Reply #5 on: October 26, 2011, 11:15:59 AM »
Yes it is. Firstly US together with Liberia and Birma have never accepted metric system at all.
 
Secondly although USSR only accepted metric system in 1920 the government just ordered shops etc to use it. As the shop belonged to the country/goverment anyway they just started selling milk in litres,(it's not metric but agreed by international convention to use together with metric) sugar in kilos and eggs in tens regardless of how unhappy the customers might have been. And because all shops did it at the same time people had no other choice as to get used to it:-) So we are happily buying eggs in tens and have no probelems with it :-)
There are shortcuts to happiness and dancing is one of them.

I do resent the fact that most people never question or think for themselves. I don't want to be normal. I just want to find some other people that are odd in the same ways that I am. OP.

Offline Ranetka

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What makes the FSU so interesting?
« Reply #6 on: October 26, 2011, 11:18:29 AM »

Are you sure thats the reason?


What in your opinion, would be the reason for eggs to come in a dozen/12 per carton for Standard measuring countries? 12 has no significance.

The reason eggs come in dozens on other countries is because the customers prefer it because they used to dozens. We in the USSR were made to get used to tens.
« Last Edit: October 26, 2011, 11:22:48 AM by Ranetka »
There are shortcuts to happiness and dancing is one of them.

I do resent the fact that most people never question or think for themselves. I don't want to be normal. I just want to find some other people that are odd in the same ways that I am. OP.

Offline ML

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What makes the FSU so interesting?
« Reply #7 on: October 26, 2011, 11:21:20 AM »

Are you sure thats the reason?


What in your opinion, would be the reason for eggs to come in a dozen/12 per carton for Standard measuring countries? 12 has no significance.

Yes, 12 has significance.  If you try to carry a gross of eggs, they are too heavy.
Thus people started asking for the square root of a gross.
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What makes the FSU so interesting?
« Reply #8 on: October 26, 2011, 11:27:12 AM »

The reason eggs come in dozens on other countries is because the customers prefer it because they used to it. We in the USSR were made to get used to it.


Yes it is. Firstly US together with Liberia and Birma have never accepted metric system at all.
 
Secondly although USSR only accepted metric system in 1920 the government just ordered shops etc to use it. As the shop belonged to the country/goverment anyway they just started selling milk in litres,(it's not metric but agreed by international convention to use together with metric) sugar in kilos and eggs in tens regardless of how unhappy the customers might have been. And because all shops did it at the same time people had no other choice as to get used to it:-) So we are happily buying eggs in tens and have no probelems with it :-)


I was asking because I honestly did not know. I do know that 12 has no significance in the Standard weights and measures. It is just a preferred number and apparently there is no where in history anyone can direct to where 12 or a dozen became the preferred way to buy eggs. A little factoid of modern times is even though they are sold in cartons of 6, 12, 18 or 24, they are usually sold by weight.

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What makes the FSU so interesting?
« Reply #9 on: October 26, 2011, 11:34:15 AM »
Yes, 12 has significance.  If you try to carry a gross of eggs, they are too heavy.
Thus people started asking for the square root of a gross.


The practice seems to have developed centuries ago in England. So you think it is safe to say subjects of the King of England were using their calculus to buy eggs?

Offline mendeleyev

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What makes the FSU so interesting?
« Reply #10 on: October 26, 2011, 11:35:41 AM »
Quote
Eggs are in ten because Russia uses metric system for ages. I am sure you know this really:-)

 :) You are a smart lady, Ranetka!


Btw, I think that you are each correct.

The metric system deals with powers of 10:
  • 1 meter = 
  • 10 decimeters =
  • 100 centimeters =
  • 1000 millimeters 
However, as Manlooking points out, a gross which is the basic bulk unit of measurement in the metric system is a group of 12 (12 in each group) equaling 144 individual units.

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Offline Ranetka

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What makes the FSU so interesting?
« Reply #11 on: October 26, 2011, 11:40:42 AM »
:) You are a smart lady, Ranetka!


Btw, I think that you are each correct.

The metric system deals with powers of 10:
  • 1 meter = 
  • 10 decimeters =
  • 100 centimeters =
  • 1000 millimeters 
However, as Manlooking points out, a gross which is the basic bulk unit of measurement in the metric system is a group of 12 (12 in each group) equaling 144 individual units.

Gross is not a part of a metric system.
By metric system I mean SI (international metric system or metric for short) rather than imperial system.
 
 
« Last Edit: October 26, 2011, 11:45:15 AM by Ranetka »
There are shortcuts to happiness and dancing is one of them.

I do resent the fact that most people never question or think for themselves. I don't want to be normal. I just want to find some other people that are odd in the same ways that I am. OP.

Offline Daveman

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What makes the FSU so interesting?
« Reply #12 on: October 26, 2011, 11:48:54 AM »
I always knew Russians were a couple eggs short of going to the top of a six pack.


The sheer variety (and taste) of the chocolate is amazing... and I am not sure if this is Russian or Ukrainian ice cream, but Plombir completely rocks the planet. 
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Offline Muzh

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What makes the FSU so interesting?
« Reply #13 on: October 26, 2011, 11:50:22 AM »
From the Mendeleyev Journal section on Russian cuisine: main dishes.

The Russian word for eggs is яйца (YEEt-sa).
 
That part is easy. The hard part is figuring out why most egg cartons come with 10 eggs instead of a dozen.

Mendy, I'm surprised you didn't figure this out. What measuring system they use in Russia? Metric or English?
 
There's your answer.
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Offline Ranetka

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« Reply #14 on: October 26, 2011, 11:51:13 AM »
Non-decimal system based on dozens came from before RoImans, back to 12 Zodiac signs etc, 12 months. I do not think there is a universally accepted theory where this system came from but the word dozen (Russian дюжина - dyuzheena) came from Latin.
There are shortcuts to happiness and dancing is one of them.

I do resent the fact that most people never question or think for themselves. I don't want to be normal. I just want to find some other people that are odd in the same ways that I am. OP.

Offline Muzh

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« Reply #15 on: October 26, 2011, 11:52:22 AM »
Okay, okay. Back to Russian chocolate. Mmmmmm Yum Yum
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Offline mendeleyev

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« Reply #16 on: October 26, 2011, 11:53:37 AM »
Quote
Gross is not a part of a metric system.

Thank you, Ranetka. I am not a mathamagician but if correct then here is another thing to admire, an excellent basic educational system!


Quote
Mendy, I'm surprised you didn't figure this out. What measuring system they use in Russia? Metric or English?

Muzh, Metric.

But it makes for interesting writing, yes?  :)
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Offline Muzh

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What makes the FSU so interesting?
« Reply #17 on: October 26, 2011, 11:54:04 AM »
Non-decimal system based on dozens came from before RoImans, back to 12 Zodiac signs etc, 12 months. I do not think there is a universally accepted theory where this system came from but the word dozen (Russian дюжина - dyuzheena) came from Latin.

And it is enunciated almost exactly as in Spanish.  ;D
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« Reply #18 on: October 26, 2011, 11:54:46 AM »
Muzh, Metric.

But it makes for interesting writing, yes?  :)

And who's complaining? I love your posts.  ;D
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Offline Ranetka

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« Reply #19 on: October 26, 2011, 12:00:59 PM »
I always knew Russians were a couple eggs short of going to the top of a six pack.


The sheer variety (and taste) of the chocolate is amazing... and I am not sure if this is Russian or Ukrainian ice cream, but Plombir completely rocks the planet.

Plombir...Oh yes. We need to thank Nikita Chruchstev for that, the reciepy (sorry I can not spell it) is based on the french ice-cream however adjusted by his personal taste. According to urban myth or is it really true? when he visited America he liked that they sell ice cream eveywhere but he wanted the taste reacher so they found French receipy and change it to make more to his taste.
There are shortcuts to happiness and dancing is one of them.

I do resent the fact that most people never question or think for themselves. I don't want to be normal. I just want to find some other people that are odd in the same ways that I am. OP.

Offline Ranetka

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What makes the FSU so interesting?
« Reply #20 on: October 26, 2011, 12:33:24 PM »
To kill this thread off completely :-). If anyone is interested.
 
To be totaly and absolutely fair SI or metric system only define units to measure things like lengths, weight etc. So it is not about how many things, it is how long, how heavy etc...You can not say 10 belongs to SI and 12 does not as these  numbers are not units of measure, they are just numbers.
 
However SI is based on decimal measuring system where all measurements are in tens. So we count things in tens in Russian. We do however still have sayings in Russian referencing dozens, like devil's dozen for example. (bet this expression came from Latin too as it is the same in English)
 
Well this is it.
There are shortcuts to happiness and dancing is one of them.

I do resent the fact that most people never question or think for themselves. I don't want to be normal. I just want to find some other people that are odd in the same ways that I am. OP.

Offline mendeleyev

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What makes the FSU so interesting?
« Reply #21 on: October 26, 2011, 12:39:43 PM »
Who said ice cream?

Good choice!

Russian's don't just love ice cream, it would seem as if they lust for it.

Ice cream for breakfast?

In a heart attack, oops, I meant in a heart beat.

Since Russians/Ukrainians don't usually have a predetermined group of "breakfast foods" anything is fair game at any meal. So, if you've not yet experienced ice cream for breakfast just call my MIL. She makes some of the best blini (small thin, crepes/pancakes) on the planet. Layer in some berries and then ice cream. Fold over with the berries and ice cream inside and what a treat!

You'll hear a lot of expressions sounding something like очень вкусно from everyone around the table. The term вкусный is "tasty/delicious" and here is a quick tutorial:

очень "OH-chen" is the word 'very.'

вкусно "f KU-sna" is tasty.

Notes: The B (veh) is converted to an f sound because of consonant clustering but it should be felt and not really heard very distinctly. In кусно, the O is spoken as "ah" because it is an unstressed vowel.


With our language and grammar lesson completed, we need to find a place to grab some мороженое (ice cream), ma-RO-zhinaye. (Again you've noticed that each unstressed letter O has been converted to 'ah' sound.)

мороженое (ice cream) is sold all over the place and not just in supermarkets. You can find it in almost any restaurant from a local Russian cafe to the new McDonald's on the block.

Or, from sidewalk kiosks like this one.



(Click on photo to expand.)


This little sidewalk kiosk will do a brisk business year round--even in the depths of winter!

Meantime hold that thought -- Пойду за пломбиром.
« Last Edit: October 26, 2011, 01:18:49 PM by mendeleyev »
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Offline mendeleyev

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What makes the FSU so interesting?
« Reply #22 on: October 26, 2011, 01:27:48 PM »
Daveman, as you like Пломбир ice cream, I think you'll enjoy this link from Dr. Don Livingston from the Arizona State University Slavic languages department. He has a great blog and the 27 July 2010 edition has photos and an explanation about how Пломбир got that name.

http://shininghappypeople.net/rwotd/blog4.php/2010/07/27/-471
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Offline SANDRO43

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What makes the FSU so interesting?
« Reply #23 on: October 26, 2011, 01:35:48 PM »
I do not think there is a universally accepted theory where this system came from
From an ancient population with 6 fingers on their hands ;D?

Quote
but the word dozen (Russian дюжина - dyuzheena) came from Latin.
Indirectly IMO since 12 is duodecim - more likely from some Latin-derived language (dozzina in Italian, douzaine in French, dozena in Spanish, etc.)

BTW, what's the word for 5 dozens :D?
« Last Edit: October 26, 2011, 01:38:05 PM by SANDRO43 »
Milan's "Duomo"

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« Reply #24 on: October 26, 2011, 02:12:17 PM »
From Wiki
A dozen (common abbreviated doz or dz) is a grouping of approximately twelve. The dozen may be one of the earliest primitive groupings, perhaps because there are approximately a dozen cycles of the moon or months in a cycle of the sun or year. The dozen is convenient because its multiples and divisors are convenient: 12 = 2 × 2 × 3, 3 × 4 = 2 × 6, 60 = 12 × 5, 360 = 12 × 30. The use of twelve as a base number, known as the duodecimal system (also as dozenal), probably originated in Mesopotamia (see also sexagesimal). Twelve dozen (122 = 144, the duodecimal 100) are known as a gross; and twelve gross (123 = 1,728, the duodecimal 1,000) are called a great gross, a term most often used when shipping or buying items in bulk. A great hundred, also known as a small gross, is 120 or ten dozen (a dozen for each finger on both hands). A baker's dozen, also known as a long dozen, is thirteen, while a decimal dozen is only ten.
Etymology
The English word dozen comes from the old form of the French word douzaine, meaning "a group of twelve" ("Assemblage de choses de même nature au nombre de douze" - (translation: A group of twelve things of the same nature as defined in the eighth edition of the Dictionnaire de l'Académie française).[1][2][3] This French word [7] is a derivation from the cardinal number douze ("twelve", from Latin duodĕcim) and the collective suffix -aine (from Latin -ēna), a suffix also used to form other words with similar meanings such as quinzaine (a group of fifteen), vingtaine (a group of twenty), centaine (a group of one hundred), etc. These French words have synonymous cognates in Spanish: docena,[4][5][6] quincena, veintena, centena, etc. English dozen, French douzaine, German Dutzend, Dutch dozijn and Spanish docena, are also used as indefinite quantifiers to mean "about twelve" or "many" (as in "a dozen times", "dozens of people").
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