It is a purely futurist composition combining bold colours and clean lines with the popular obsessions of speed, danger, mechanisation and drama. The stylised imagery is ‘trans-atlantic’, with the front of the express ship resembling the face of Fritz Lang’s ‘Maria’, the machine-human from the film ‘Metropolis’, which had been released six months earlier. This cover is extremely eye-catching when framed.
Not to be confused with Lenin’s ‘Iskra’, the political paper published from 1900-1905. This is the early USSR version of the ‘New Scientist’ and is a fascinating comment on the way the country saw itself. There are many articles referring to foreign inventions and achievements. This indicates a period where the country appears more at ease with itself, more ‘normal’ than it was to become – being able to compliment and point out the good in others is surely a sign of self-confidence. Positive reporting of technological advancement in other countries virtually stopped in the 1930s except to point out the menace of foreign military equipment.
There is an engaging article, written in a begrudgingly complimentary style:
Endless different types of sports, regardless of the costs, occupy a huge place in the life of bourgeois society.
They are trying to think up some or other unusual pleasure in this area, which might occupy the bored bourgeois for a short time.
A curious novelty in this field is artificial snow. A British inventor has found some sort of substance of unknown constituents,, that displays the characteristics of snow at normal room temperature.
It is a quite harmless white powder. One can also ski and toboggan on the surface of artificial snow in the same way as on real snow. It’s rather cheap, so going skiing in the summer on this powder works out quite a lot less expensive than in ‘ice palaces’ where a temperature below freezing is maintained using refrigeration units.
The picture shows an image of a ski slope, built in one night in an old garage in Berlin. The slope is 120m long and 20m wide. It is made from wood and covered in carpet onto which is poured 200,000 kg of artificial snow. (Picture 1)
Now rich Berlin sports people are able to not forget their skill at ski-jumping, without having to walk a long way in the high mountains, but it is unlikely that even one of the workers, building this construction, (Picture 2) will be able to happily glide along on the layer of artificial snow they themselves laid.
One of the major news stories of 1927 was the successful solo trans-atlantic flight of Charles Lindbergh in May. Iskra compliments Lindbergh and includes some photographs and a map showing the progression of records in trans-atlantic flying.