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  • Michael Krakovskiy 3:05 am on October 10, 2008 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: book author, , , Ilya Miloslavskiy, Miloslavsky, , Nikolai Tolstoy-Miloslavsky, , royal physician, , , , , Web design   

    Best Nickname Ever 

    When I was in school, I always considered History to be one of the easiest subjects, and also one of the most boring ones. Most teachers that I had concentrated on having us memorize facts and dates, and did not really try to make History interesting. I did have a couple of good History teachers in college, one of whom won a Pulitzer prize. Another made me regret not having the time to get a proper classical education.

    In any case, the biggest problem I have with history books is that everything in them is sanitized. I like my historical works HBO-style, with all the filth intact, like in Deadwood and Rome.

    Let me give you an example. I was reading “The Tolstoys: Twenty Four Generations of Russian History” by Nikolai Tolstoy-Miloslavsky. The Tolstoy family were always very important in Russian history. They seem to possess some talents that seem to be passed on genetically. These talents seem to fall into three categories: writing, politics, and to the lesser extent art. From founding the fist Russian secret police, through writing dozens of world-changing books, to revolutionizing Russian web design, Tolstoys left a deep mark. By reading this book I understood how much this one family line changed Russia and the world.

    But what I found the most enjoyable was not that, but a little episode about Ilya Miloslavskiy, the book author’s illustrious ancestor. Boyar Miloslavskiy was sort of an olde tyme oligarch. In 1600s he headed all of Russia’s most important (and profitable) ministries, Military, Medical, Treasury, etc. He was a man of limitless appetites, and stole amazing amount of money. Miloslavsky’s boss, tzar Alexei was not bothered as much by stealing, as he was by amoral behavior.

    Tolstoy quotes Dr. Collins, a royal physician and apparently Miloslavsky’s employee:

    “at last perceiving Eliah too kind to some of his Tartar and Polish slaves, he urged him (being and old Widdower) either to marry or refrain the Court. For the Russians highly extoll marriage, partly to people their Territories, and partly to prevent Sodomy and Buggery, to which they are naturally inclined, nor is it punished there with Death. A lusty Fellow about eight years since being at this beastly sport with a Cow, cry’d to one that saw him ‘Ne Mishchay, do not interrupt me; and now he is known by no other name over all Muscovy, than ‘Ne Mishchay’ “.

     
  • Michael Krakovskiy 4:42 pm on July 26, 2008 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Copywriters, , , online copy, Online Copywriting, online writing, , Search engine optimization copywriting, Web design, Web word wizardry, Web writing, ,   

    Persuasive Online Copywriting: How to Take Your Words to the Bank 

    Writing for the web. Web word wizardry. Web writing that works. What does that mean? Your online copy must persuade – it’s integral to getting your visitors or readers to register, subscribe, qualify as leads, and yes, even buy from you. It’s writing that must earn its keep. And to effectively manage the quality of your online writing, you need to understand what works, why it works and how to make it work better for you. Whether you are the marketer responsible for the bottom line or the writer creating the copy, Persuasive Online Copywriting provides the tools you need to get results.

     
  • Michael Krakovskiy 1:38 am on November 21, 2007 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: bag designer, , , , Packaging, Plastic bag, , Reusable shopping bag, Shopping bags, , Web design   

    Ceci n’est pas une plastic bag 

    Some people stood in long lines to purchase a shopping bag created by some famous bag designer who kinda recycled Magritte’s “this is not a pipe” idea in the name of recycling.

    Others paid ridiculous amounts of money for it on eBay because the bags were made in small quantities. Now, I noticed the street vendors who usually sell those ugly copies of other ugly bags, now copied this one too. You can buy you own I’m not a I’m not a Plastic Bag bag.

    It would have been funnier and more environmentally sound to make the bag out of tough recyclable plastic as the “carbon footprint” of the original bag was not entirely kosher.

    Speaking of bags. In some web design firms “bag” is shorthand for Big Ass Graphic.  At some point in my previous job I had to write a piece of software that created a slideshow of “bags”. Everybody referred to it as the “bag rotator”, and I got to listen to every single pun that involved every slang meaning of the word “bag” in existence.

     
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