Stunning Landscapes and Starscapes in Kazakhstan

Take a moment to stop, breathe, and immerse yourself in the sheer beauty of our planet. Denis Frantsouzov spent last month travelling around Kazakhstan, collecting photographs, videos, time-lapses, and long exposures of the land and sky. The result a stunning 5-minute break from your day. » 6/06/14 11:22am 6/06/14 11:22am

The Strange, Post-Soviet Architecture of Astana, Kazakhstan

In 1991, Kazakhstan became the last Soviet republic to declare independence. Six years later, the government moved from the Almaty to Astana (formerly known as Aqmola). There, with the help of architects like Norman Foster, they built a futuristic city on the remains of old buildings from the Soviet era. » 5/13/14 4:54pm 5/13/14 4:54pm

This inquisitive gopher hangs out under a rocket launchpad in Kazakhstan

At Kazakhstan's Baikonur cosmodrome, a news cameraman inexplicably left his camera rolling near a functional launchpad. What occurred next was equally random — a gopher popped out of the ground to investigate and/or gnaw at the still-filming camera. Those readers wary of coincidences can happily postulate that this… » 7/20/12 7:50am 7/20/12 7:50am

In Kazakhstan, cosmonauts must go through winter wilderness training to…

When cosmonauts and astronauts now return from a long-duration space mission on board the International Space Station, they are always coming home on a Soyuz capsule, landing in northern Kazakhstan. The Kazakh Steppe is known for its bitter winters (I just checked the local weather in Ayagoz, Kazakhstan and there is… » 1/21/12 3:45pm 1/21/12 3:45pm

Marijuana harvesting in Kyrgyzstan sometimes involves naked horseback…

The Chu Valley between Kyrgyzstan and Kazkhstan is the home to an extremely hardy type of marijuana that resisted Soviet-era efforts to stamp it out. Law-breaking marijuana farmers in the region harvest the crop normally, but they also procure their stick-icky using a tried and true method that's been around for… » 9/10/11 9:35am 9/10/11 9:35am

Niiice: Borat's Homeland Gets A Space Pyramid

Perhaps in an attempt to shake off the backward, cousin-marrying, antisemitic image it got from Sacha Baron Cohen's film Borat, Kazakhstan has hired British architects Foster and Partners to build a futuristic Pyramid Of Peace And Reconciliation. Built in just two years at a cost of 35 million pounds, the building is… » 11/04/08 3:40pm 11/04/08 3:40pm

Kazakhstan's Highest Peak is a Pyramid-Shaped Alien Ship

Astana, Kazakhstan, has a new entertainment center that looks like a transparent pyramid-shaped alien ship. Designed by British architecture firm Foster and Partners, the structure arises from a 220 yard elliptical base and provides an indoor park, shopping venues, shelter from extreme weather conditions, and—perhaps… » 1/28/08 8:00am 1/28/08 8:00am