The best videos of the Chelyabinsk meteor

This morning, Russians in Chelyabinsk, an industrial city 950 miles east of Moscow, were jolted awake when a meteor exploded in the sky, producing shockwaves that shattered windows, set off car alarms, and injured at least 500 people. The meteor was traveling at 19 miles per second, according to Russian authorities, before exploding mid-air, likely as a result of the immense heat generated as a large object speeds through the atmosphere.

On the ground in Chelyabinsk, Russians witnessed a scene that must have seemed ripped out of an apocalyptic film, as a bright, flaming object suddenly appeared in the sky, streaked across the horizon, and unleashed a bone-rattling shockwave. The extraordinary developments were captured on video, in part through the automobile dash-cams that are nearly ubiquitous in Russia.

Below, we've compiled a selection of some of the best videos of the meteor shower, along with translations of the reactions of the stunned Russians on the ground. 

At 1:40, the speaker says that there was an extremely bright flash going across the sky. Once the blast can be heard he says, "What the hell? ... Something fell. Do you hear? You know what that was? It was supersonic. It must have been an asteroid, and that's the blast wave." At 2:38, the speaker exclaims, "What the fuck?" They look at the broken windows and say it's like something out of the war. Then, another speaker says, "It must have been a rocket or something." While they're cursing up a storm, one of his friends says, "It must have been the Chinese!"

The video below gives a sense of the magnitude of the blast's shockwave.

This video, shot across the border from Kazakhstan about 200 miles from Chelyabinsk, shows how far from the city the meteoroid could be seen.

The blast blew out windows in Chelyabinsk. The closed-circuit video below gives a sense of how many Chelyabinsk residents likely experienced the meteoroid.

This video of a street in Chelyabinsk, which doesn't capture the direct path of the meteoroid, shows how the meteoroid lit up the street, casting a veritable klieg light on an entire city block.

This video compilation shows how residents experienced the meteroid across the city, and includes footage from a Chelyabinsk school right after the explosion was felt on the ground.


Not a fan of Valentine's Day? Neither is Pakistan

As far as holidays go, Valentine's Day seems innocuous enough. But for some Muslim groups, it's a lot more sinister than hearts and flowers.

In Pakistan, for example, the Electronic Media Regulatory Authority wrote a letter this week requiring television and radio stations to censor content related to the holiday, deeming it "not in conformity to our religious and cultural ethos."

Tanzeem-e-Islami, an Islamist organization in the country, took censorship efforts one step further, urging the government to block cell phone service in order to prevent "moral terrorism"-- otherwise known as the swapping of sappy V-Day sentiments. The same group also plastered Karachi with anti-Valentine's billboards (that look suspiciously Valentine's-y) with warnings to citizens like, "Say No to Valentine's Day" (another billboard posted on Twitter declared, "Sorry Valentine's Day, I am 'Muslim'").

It's no surprise, of course, that conservative, Islamic clerics aren't enamored with this unapologetically consumerist, Western holiday named for a saint and and centered around romance. For many, the holiday seamlessly intertwines anti-Western sentiment with the threat of loosening moral values. The spokesman for the Pakistani Islamist organization Jamaat-e-Islami said as much this week:

This is imposing Western values and cultures on an Islamic society.... Look at the West -- people love their dogs but throw their parents out when they get old. We don't want to be like that.

Pakistan isn't the first Muslim country to wage a war against Valentine's Day. In Indonesia this year, protesters took to the streets with signs reading, "Valentine, Infidel Culture" and, "Are you Muslim? Don't follow Valentine Day." As we noted last year, countries like Saudi Arabia, Iran, Malaysia, and Uzbekistan don't feel the love this time of year either. And hey, at least Pakistan didn't mark the holiday by banning the color red.