However, only the Mongols under Genghis Khan achieved a stable empire in half of Eurasia.

However, only the Mongols under Genghis Khan achieved a stable empire in half of Eurasia.

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OBSERVER’S NOTESHow do animals and birds live in an era of change?Alexander VolkovEntire ecosystems are changing before our very eyes. The polar ice is melting, savannahs are turning somewhere into deserts, and somewhere – into rain forests. Moderate latitudes suffer from natural disasters never seen before. How do animals adapt to these changes? How does global warming affect animals in general?

SCIENCE NEWSIn the heading:On the role of spin-orbit interaction in superconductivityThe second giant black hole in the Galaxy?Catalysts for the development of life on EarthAverage annual temperature and economic growth

IN THE FOCUS OF DISCOVERYA new star on an ancient horizonAndrey ZheleznykhSeveral years ago, according to Andrei Zheleznykh, in the Binaledi cave ("Rising Star" in the language of the Soto tribe living here), about 50 kilometers northwest of Johannesburg, paleoanthropologist Lee Berger found the bones of an ancient man. It soon became clear: Berger had found a new species of hominin. True, this species (it has already received the name Homo naledi) turned out to be very strange, and in many ways even mysterious … How did this "New Star on the Ancient Horizon" surprise scientists?

MAIN TOPICCrises always and everywhereSyria is plunging into the abyss of civil war. Crowds of refugees flock to Lebanon and Asia Minor. Hordes of brutal assassins invade Iraq. Unrest breaks out in Libya and Egypt. Greece is going through a severe economic crisis. Attacks on the thriving cities of Paris and Brussels follow. A crisis of unprecedented proportions is shaking Europe and the Middle East. Really unprecedented? As early as 3200 years ago, a grave crisis struck the entire world of the Eastern Mediterranean. Will the lessons of history teach us to understand the future?

MAIN TOPICIn search of a new chronologyPerhaps, hardly any other civilization of the Ancient East has been studied as well as the Egyptian one. And yet, scientists are still sometimes lost in conjectures when certain events took place that played out on the ancient Egyptian stage. After all, they cannot be accurately dated. The starting point could be the devastating eruption of the Santorini volcano. In many areas of the Eastern Mediterranean, archaeologists find layers of ash blown from this island in the middle of the 2nd millennium BC. They could be reliably dated. But when did the Santorini volcano erupt itself?

MAIN TOPICThe riddle of the "peoples of the sea"The great exodus of refugees from the Middle East, which struck Europe in the summer and autumn of last year, awakened in the memory of historians pictures of three thousand years ago, familiar to them from the scanty records of chronicles. In those years, huge flows of refugees moved from Europe and Asia Minor to the Middle East. The influx of refugees (they were dubbed "the peoples of the sea", since many then, as in 2015, crossed the Mediterranean in fragile boats) was so great that the rich, prosperous powers of the Bronze Age, whose history was counted for many centuries, could not withstand the crisis. These states began to crumble one after another, like earthen colossi. Civilization perished under the onslaught of the barbarians. The "dark ages" of antiquity have come. This is, in general terms, the picture presented by historians from the scanty documents that have come down to us. Its details are completely unclear even now. "The mystery of the" peoples of the sea "" all the more prompts scientists to put forward more and more new hypotheses, because the events of that time seem to be too similar to the modern ones …

MAIN TOPICFirst global crisisXV-XIV centuries BC can be called the golden era of globalization. However, climate change, more frequent earthquakes, riots and massive population migration (“endless streams of refugees”) put an end to this great prosperity of the Bronze Age. Political and economic chaos reigned. As for the notorious "Sea Peoples", they were both victims of those catastrophes and aggressors who tried to restore what was lost, taking it away from others. Numerous parallels with recent events allow us to more accurately recreate the picture of the death of the Bronze Age, in which, as scientists believe, there is reason to see the "First Global Crisis" – isn’t it a prototype of all the subsequent ones? Today historians of the ancient world reluctantly become political commentators. We tried to collect their opinions, scattered across the pages of print and electronic publications, in this article.

MAIN TOPIC"Crises make us stronger"Can history lessons teach us to understand the future? And is it true that "Crises make us stronger"? It all depends on the angle from which we look at the past, and also on the extent to which we are ready to learn from the lessons of the past. At least, this is the opinion of the German historian, professor of medieval history at the Technical University of Darmstadt, Gerrit Schenck, the head of the Cultures of Disaster and Images of Disaster projects at the University of Heidelberg, interview excerpts with which we offer our readers.

WORLDWIDEIn the heading:Alcohol from other worldsThe jokes are over!Death Predictor ProgramScented candles and air fresheners are hazardous to healthAnd yet why?Such scary cucumbers

EMPIRE. GOOD OR Evil?Russia after the Mongol explosionSergey SmirnovExactly four centuries separate the Varangian miracle in the seas around Scandinavia from the Mongol miracle around Baikal. Four centuries before the sea Normans, a similar miracle was performed by the nomadic Huns in the steppes between the Urals and the Carpathians. However, only the Mongols under Genghis Khan achieved a stable empire in half of Eurasia. Continuing the conversation that began in the April issue of this year, Sergei Smirnov understands why this happened and what "Russia after the Mongol explosion" looked like. Further, the same author reflects on the fact that with all the horrors of the Time of Troubles of the 17th century, it must be admitted: it was this that melted the Muscovy into a balanced empire. The article "New Russian Empires" is devoted to the chain of imperial projects that have formed the skeleton of the Russian state over the past thousand years.

REFLECTIONS ON INFORMATIONDisserviceVladimir SmolitskyThe dictionary says: “Secondary infection is an infection with another type of microorganism, which has developed against the background of an already existing infectious disease. Secondary infection occurs as a result of a decrease in local and general immunity … "and so on. And why does this immunity suddenly decrease after a primary infection? A hypothesis in this regard, put forward by a group of British researchers, and the vulnerable points of this version are analyzed by Vladimir Smolitsky in the article "A disservice".

MEDICINE WITHOUT EFFECTYou can’t survive to dieRussia took the last place in the ranking of the effectiveness of health care systems. But even getting into this rating is a success that may not be repeated. What’s going on with our health care system? We will devote to this the main topic of the next, June issue of the magazine. In the meantime, browse the Internet with us. Sophia Siegmond has collected statistics on the state of health in different countries of the world in an article entitled "You cannot survive to die." The modernization of healthcare taking place in the capital raised many questions from both physicians and Muscovites. The most frequently heard of them were answered by the Deputy Mayor of Moscow for Social Issues Leonid Pechatnikov. Here are some of his answers. In the outgoing 2015, there were many events that significantly changed the vector of development of Russian healthcare. And here are the results: the overall mortality rate in Russia has grown (life expectancy in Russia is already the lowest in Europe). We also place statistical data on health care in our country in this section.

HOW LITTLE WE KNOW ABOUT THEMIn the heading:Mosquitoes will save from the rubbleThe benefits of butterfly wingsSharks breed without malesCreeps on instrumentsFearless GoldfishGarbage is better than travel!Lazy antsInformation for divers

HISTORY OF CIVILIZATIONSAt the crossroads of history: Andrey Sakharov, Chelyabinsk, 1989Gennady GorelikIn September 1989, People’s Deputies of the USSR Academician Andrei Dmitrievich Sakharov and Doctor of Economics Galina Vasilievna Starovoitova arrived in Chelyabinsk to participate in a mourning ceremony: not far from the city, in abandoned mines on the Golden Mountain, they found the remains of thousands of those executed. Nowadays, Gennady Gorelik, searching the Internet for materials about the life of Andrei Sakharov, found an article describing his stay in Chelyabinsk: "Repressions in the South Urals: truth or fiction?" Finding the author, he found a remarkable eyewitness … The author tells about what the author managed to find out in the article "At the crossroads of history: Andrei Sakharov, Chelyabinsk, 1989". From all that has been said, he concludes: Russia is not some kind of separate special civilization, but a meeting place for two civilizations – the paternalistic (it is also autocratic) and the civilization of free rule. The place of the meeting cannot be changed, but one can – and must – try to influence its outcome …

COSMOS: CONTINUED TALKSWho is winking at us?Ruslan GrigorievIn October 2015, the British magazine Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society reported a mysterious feature of the star with catalog number KIC 8462852 in the constellation Cygnus. This star is located 1,500 light years from the Sun and one and a half times its size. So, Ruslan Grigoriev draws our attention, the data of two observations made by the Kepler space telescope (for one week in 2011 and several months in 2013) and analyzed by a group of amateur astronomers in 2014-2005 show that the brightness of this stars change very often and dramatically. I wonder "Who’s winking at us?"

REFLECTIONS AT THE BOOKSHELFSpace – why and / or why?Leonid AshkinaziSome areas of science and technology are developing peacefully for themselves, and no one has to explain why this is all. For example, why we need gasoline, fertilizers and medicines is clear to everyone. But there are things, the need to spend on sweat and blood earned money is much more difficult to explain: this is space exploration. Leonid Ashkinazi reflects on why such strange, costly and laborious fields of science, which, moreover, do not bring immediate practical results to humanity, in the article "Space – why and / or why?" Material for these reflections is given to the author of the book: “How we will live on Mars” by Stephen Petranek, “Breakthrough beyond the end of the world. On the cosmology of earthlings and Europians "by Boris Stern," How I killed Pluto and why it was inevitable "by Mike Brown," Copernicus’s mistake: The mystery of life in the Universe "by Caleb Scharf," Intelligent life in the Universe "by Peter Ulmschneider," Astronomy. Century XXI ”(compiled by VG Surdin),“ Space and Chaos ”by Lev Shilnik and the reprint of this book under the even more enticing title“ Amazing Cosmology ”,“ Universe, Life, Black Holes ”by AM Cherepashchuk and A.D. Chernin, "The Last Cosmic Chance" by A.I. Pervushin, as well as some reviews and articles.

PRESENT TIMEWhy study historyKirill KobrinKirill Kobrin offers his answers to the eternal question "Why study history?" History, he believes, helps to realize that all people are different, and that people of the past were just as different from us as they are today – people from different countries are on each other. "Returning to the people of the past their own, special life, thoughts, motivations for actions and so on," the author believes, "we thereby draw the contours of ourselves."

RETURNING TO PRINTEDLend-Lease on both sides of the frontIgor DadashevIgor Dadashev talks about some of the features of military supplies during the Second World War.

RETURNING TO PRINTEDThe logic of one Hitler decisionJoseph GoldfainOn December 11, 1941, Nazi Germany declared war on the United States. This decision of Hitler still has no generally accepted explanation. On the one hand, it looks like a demonstration of solidarity with its ally Japan, which on December 7, 1941, with an attack on Pearl Harbor, started a war with the United States. But the position of Germany itself in those days was unenviable: on December 5, 1941, the offensive of the Red Army began near Moscow; back in November, the Red Army launched an offensive near Tikhvin and Rostov, taking Rostov on November 29. And on November 13, 1941, in North Africa, the British went on the offensive and by the beginning of December had already achieved success. At the same time, British aviation intensified the bombing of targets both in Germany and in those territories that were occupied by it. All this added to the sad consequences for Germany of the defeat near Moscow, which was of strategic importance. The Wehrmacht was retreating on all fronts. And in such an unfavorable situation, Hitler, on his own initiative, declares war on another powerful enemy. Why? Joseph Goldfain is trying to understand what the "Logic of one Hitler decision" was.

MAN AND WARInvisible frontMarianna SorvinaThese people live next to us, and often we pass by, not even suspecting that they are heroes who brought victory closer, scouts, fighters of the invisible front. They could tell a lot, but by virtue of their profession they are used to silence.

READ THESE BOOKS"So if I didn’t die, it’s all their fault …"Natalia RozhkovaWar is not only hard bloody work, not only countless losses and suffering, but also saved lives. The surgeon who did not close his eyes in the medical battalion, the orderly hurrying in the rain of bullets to the wounded, the young nurse changing the bloody bandages on the exhausted soldiers – they all found words of kindness and sympathy for their wards. What were their worries, thoughts, dreams?

MAN TRANSPARENTNew figures of the microbiomeMikhail GeorgiadiMan is a living body stuffed with many microscopic animals. They feel great, settling in this nutrient medium "on two legs." Their colonies thrive here. At the same time, they have a huge impact on any life processes taking place in the body where they settled.

VERNISSAGE "Z-S"Life on the riverElena GenerozovaThe hero of Elena Generozova’s essay "Life on the River" is the English artist John Constable and his painting "The Mill in Flatford" (1816-17), kept in the London Tate Gallery – which, according to tradition, we talk about on the third page of the cover, where reproduction of a painting.

ON THE THRESHOLD OF ETERNITYThe last words of scientists and philosophers, or What did the deceased say?Konstantin DushenkoAccording to the true observation of the Italian Roberto Gervaso, "the most beautiful words of the dying are spoken by them posthumously." The author of the article invites readers to see for themselves.

Our laureates

MOSAICIn the heading:Living on the upper floors is dangerous Sleep properly!You politicians!

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OBSERVER’S NOTESIndia’s glitter and povertyAlexander VolkovFor Europeans who fell in love with India, it was in the "eternal past." The Indians themselves see their country as looking to the future. In scientific circles, more and more often you can hear that by 2025 India will be among the five leading countries in the world in terms of scientific development. We are talking about a country where the number of beggars is more than twice the population of today’s Russia.

SCIENCE NEWSIn the heading:Fermilab in search of a holographic universeGoing beyond the Standard Model?Cancer-predicting "clock" has been found in the cells.

IN THE FOCUS OF DISCOVERYTree of Life or Circle of Life?Nikolay Sablin