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Biculturalism and the Apollo-Soyuz Mission


The final two short audio pieces from the Monterey Summer Symposium on Russia. “A Brief Conversation on Biculturalism” by Alexandra Diouk and “Remembering the 1975 Apollo-Soyuz Mission: 45 years of US-Russian Space Cooperation” by Lisa Becker.

Trash Protests and Leninopad


Two short audio pieces from the Monterey Summer Symposium on Russia. “The Great Russian Trash Crisis” by Seth Farkas and  “An Empty Pedestal: Ukraine after Leninopad” by Sabrina Beaver.

Gorbachev: Who Killed Laura Palmer?

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Who killed Laura Palmer? Was it James Hurley? Bobby Briggs? Leland Palmer? Or was it the demonic entity, Bob? The question has occupied fans of the dark and quirky drama series since it went off the air in 1991. Perhaps we’ll finally learn who killed Laura Palmer when the series returns in 2016.

One fan nagged by the identity of Laura Palmer’s killer was none other than Mikhail Gorbachev, the last president of the Soviet Union. Twin Peaks aired in Russia in 1993. According to a new oral history of the series, Brad Dukes’ Reflections: An Oral History of Twin Peaks, Gorbachev pressed President George H. W. Bush to ask the series’ creators about Laura’s killer. This is what Jules Haimovitz, then President and Chief Operating Officer of Spelling Entertainment Inc, recalled:

Twin Peaks aired in Russia and Mikhail Gorbachev was a big fan of the show. . .One day Aaron [Spelling] gets a call from Carl Lindner who wants to know who killed Laura Palmer. Aaron was not that involved with the show on a day-to-day basis, so he calls me up and he said, “Who killed Laura Palmer?” I said, “No clue.” He said, “It’s really important.”

I called David [Lynch] and he says, “I can’t tell you.” I don’t want to press David, so I call Aaron back to say, “David won’t tell me, who wants to know?” and he says “President Bush.” What happened was Gorbachev called Bush, who called Carl, who called Aaron, who called me. So I called David back and I said, “This isn’t going to go anywhere, it’ll be a secret. You have to tell me who Laura’s killer is.” That’s when I realized David had no idea who killed Laura Palmer.”

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