Post-Halloween Edition: Vlad the Impaled

I’ve wanted to post this for some time but did not dare to do so until I knew it would work out. Now it has and I can reveal the identity of the guest in yesterday’s Democracy class:

But before you say, “what a bad Photoshop job!” you should know that I would never stoop that low to put myself into a picture with a famous person.  I might, however, resort to this:

More complicated?  Sure, but much more practical for Trick-or-Treat (and for classroom dialogs about Russia).
But, you might ask, “Where can I get a cardboard cutout of Putin to use in my own quest to scare adults and/or engage students in discussion?”  Well you could try one of the many vastly overpriced cardboard cutout vendors online, or you could find a high-rez picture of Putin, photoshop out the background, print it across multiple sheets, arrange them on a piece of cardboard, secure them with spray adhesive and add a stick. 

Since that’s too complicated for all but the most obsessive (of which I am obviously one), I offer below a completed version of the first 3 steps: your-own-life-sized-putin-cutout.pdf.*  Print out pages 2,5,6,7,8 for the short form, or add 9-20 for the long (if not quite full length) version.  Just print out, add cardboard, and stick, and voilà.  

*Wetsuit, equestrian and tiger-tranquilizing gun outfits sold separately.

I realize that this introduces a significant gender bias to the costumes, so I promise that by next Halloween I’ll finish the long-awaited Yulia-Tymoshenko-in-a-leather-space-suit cutout, though at the moment of my writing, the space available to her is rather smaller.



Credits:  While I am the proud owner of the Tymoshenko poster, I am thankful to Dominic Nonni for snapping the picture at the top and to the Slovenian Press Agency for putting its pictures in the public domain under a Creative Commons license (, though perhaps they just want everybody to see how Prime Minister Pahor towers over Prime Minister Putin.




It is nice to see that my rather painful obsession with the Eurovision Song Contest (other people’s tragedies are always more palatable) has some relevance for my profession:


Nice to see, too, that Slovakia will finally have an entry so that I can see who likes the Slovaks (and watch the excitement as Slovakia’s Hungarian minority votes the whole country’s 12 points for the Hungarian entry (on the odd chance that the Hungarian makes it to the final round):