A hand-drawn clock!

Peeling rubber through Chernobyl

Okay, this is deranged. There’s a chick in Russia whose hobby is riding her 1100-cc Kawasaki motorcycle through the irradiated heart of the Chernobyl region of Ukraine. Apparently the whole region is still deserted, which makes it a totally bodacious place to cruise: No stoplights, no pedestrians. Nothing, indeed, except for the occasional security guard who waves a dosimeter around your bike to make sure you haven’t, you know, contaminated yourself while racing 140 miles an hour through one of the most gruesome casualties of the Cold War.

The woman has taken a bunch of wonderfully creepy photographs of the ghost town nearby the Chernobyl plant, which was entirely evacuated in 30 days and has never been repopulated. Many of the houses are still filled with stuff lying around the house — as in the photo above — from vintage Soviet days. She’s also added in some pictures taken by her father, a former Soviet nuclear physicist.

My favorite part is her description of the eerie silence of the town:

Usually a police officer who call himself a town guard was telling me that I was in town alone. then I could hit roads with no worry that I will run accross some car. This town might be an attractive place for tourists. Some tourists companies have been trying to arrange extrim tours in this town, but people- their customers scared and have been complaining about silence which is hard to stand in empty town. They charged 210 us dollars for 2 hours excursion and town guard say, they all were leaving in some 15 mins, complaining that silense is tremendous as if one got deaf.

UPDATE: Oddly, barely 12 hours after I posted this entry, the site was temporarily taken down — the author promises it will be back online in May. I’m not sure what’s up. Is this thing a hoax? It didn’t seem so.

(Thanks to HiddenPCMaster for this one!)

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I'm Clive Thompson, the author of Smarter Than You Think: How Technology is Changing Our Minds for the Better (Penguin Press). You can order the book now at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Powells, Indiebound, or through your local bookstore! I'm also a contributing writer for the New York Times Magazine and a columnist for Wired magazine. Email is here or ping me via the antiquated form of AOL IM (pomeranian99).

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