Roman Malanke

Best of Summer 2010

Everything here in Ukraine lets you know that summer has passed. It’s the weather, which as if suddenly awoken from a deep dream realized that it was lagging behind and is now trying to catch up with the calendar by raining and blowing cold wind. It’s the usual traffic jams of cars with people who have just returned from their vacations and are desperately trying to remember how to work.

But everything has its own time, so I thank the summer and excitedly greet the autumn, which I’m sure holds even more fun stuff for all of us.

During last three months tons of interesting and exciting things happened to me. To record the most pleasant experiences, achievements and discoveries I will award top prizes in several nominations “The Best … of Summer ‘10″. So, here we go.

Non-fiction book — “Predictably Irrational” by Dan Ariely

The book acquaints readers with the discipline of “Behavioral Economics” and contains a lot of amazing  experiments showing how predictably irrational people really are. Most of all I liked the chapter explaining the difference between social and market behavioral norms.

Fiction book — “The Metamorphosis” by Franz Kafka

Well, I know that it’s a part of high school curriculum and shame on me for not reading it ages ago. But late is better than never. Fundamental story for an intelligent person to read.

Movie — “El Secreto de Sus Ojos” directed by Juan José Campanella

Recommended by my favorite Spanish podcaster Mercedes León this Argentine movie left a strong impression on me. Thrilling, emotional, technically perfect and with a brilliant ending.

Purchase — MacBook Pro 13-inch

With no doubt this is the best consumer device I’ve ever laid my hands on. Perfect design, incomparable usability and absolute conformity with what I value in things — quality and simplicity.

Event — Rostov-on-Don Salsa Congress “Third Front”

After this event, I can declare myself completely and hopelessly addicted to salsa NY and mambo music. Great organization, unforgettable atmosphere, wonderful people, and a lot of fun. Many thanks to my teacher Dima for introducing to this culture.

Music — Ray Barretto and Tito Puente

This summer I discovered for myself two great legends of latin jazz and mambo. Once you tried dancing to their rhythms, you fall in love with this music forever.

Software — OmmWriter

With switching to Mac a whole world of new software has opened to me. The biggest impression so far left the beautiful and minimalistic text editor OmmWriter, using which I’m actually writing this post. No distractions whatsoever, just a sheet of paper and the flow of your thoughts.

Website —

Great online resource for Spanish verbs conjugation which clearly shows where the irregularities are. Very light, convenient and usable design. I actually switched to Onoma for quick conjugation lookup.

Achievement — Improvement of 50m results in swimming

I have to admit that the swimming goals that I set for this year may be a bit too high. But if they weren’t such who knows how I would perform. During summer I achieved 40” in freestyle, 46” in butterfly, 49” in breaststroke and 59” in backstroke on 50m. And we’ll see if I can’t get to where I planned for 2010.

This is about it. Of course I could have added much more nominations, like for example award Rostov’s cafeteria “Пить Кофе” (on the photo above) with “The Most Delicious Food” prize. But then I would probably take too long.

And what about your summer prize-winners in these nominations?