October 17, 2019

Things to Avoid After Drinking Vodka

Things to Avoid After Drinking Vodka
Fall has fallen! tinaborovykh

Quote of the Week

“How can I make this my ringtone?”

— A Youtuber reacting to a Saudi marching band obliterating the Russian national anthem

Raise a Glass to Ruining the Russian National Anthem

1. There are many ways to celebrate the start of fall: fall-themed parties, fall-themed poems. But the city of Yekaterinburg went one step further and painted a fall-themed crosswalk. The crosswalk has “cutouts” of leaves, with white leaves drifting away from the stripes. Probably even better than the crosswalk, though, was the RuNet’s reaction. One user quipped that “A hungover street sweeper will lose his mind here.” Another joked that in Moscow they have the same thing, posting a picture of a scratched-up crosswalk; a third (more favorably) compared the art to Banksy. Leaves may fall in autumn, but beauty is evergreen.

2. A meeting between President Vladimir Putin and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman began on a discordant note. After Putin arrived in Saudi Arabia, the Saudi marching band played the Russian national anthem for him. It went all right, until they got to the chorus and… to put it mildly, Putin was definitely trying not to laugh. Fortunately, Russia got its revenge when it gifted the crown prince a falcon that defecated on the carpet. (Actually, according to the Tweeter who posted the video, a bird pooping is a good luck sign in Russia. Then again, we’ll never know if the Saudis believed that or called Putin on his birdcrap.)

The Saudi marching band attempts the Russian national anthem. / Meduza

3. Last Thursday, Russia’s favorite alcohol allegedly marked its 516th birthday. According to one legend, vodka was invented by monks trying to find the perfect disinfectant, though they didn’t drink it (they said the next morning, discombobulated). As is appropriate for an alcoholic drink, though, no one really remembers how (or when) it started. Another legend traces vodka to a kind of distilled wine introduced by Genoese traders to Russians. Yet another legend (since debunked) credits Dmitri Mendeleyev with finding the perfect proportion of alcohol to water. No matter the occasion, there’s always a reason to raise a glass to vodka.

In Odder News

  • On Friday, Alexei Leonov, the first man to walk in space, passed away. Leonov was more than a cosmonaut; he was also an artist who painted pictures and designed stamps. Take a look at five of his most noted drawings at the Tretyakov Gallery.
Leonov's painting
Leonov’s painting Near the Moon (1967). / Wikimedia Commons
  • Need a tooth implant? Russian scientists are developing a new stem cell treatment that may let you skip the surgery and just grow a new tooth.
  • Beanpole, a harrowing film about postwar Leningrad, is captivating Russian audiences and was nominated for the Oscars last week. To understand the hype, start with The Guardian’s review here.

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