March 14, 2019

Wailing for Freedom

Wailing for Freedom
Spring is coming, not winter! (See In Odder News, below.) Svyatoslav Seleznev 

The worst of times to be a small child; the better of times to be a large whale

1. In Ryazan a woman gave birth in a bathroom. And then threw her newborn in the trash. A passerby heard the baby crying in a dumpster, found him in a plastic bag, and called an ambulance and the police. The mother was found drunk and partying in her friends’ apartment nearby. She has been charged with attempted murder by a mother of a newborn. The doctors treating the baby, who is in critical condition, named him Vanechka, a diminutive for Ivan, and hopefully not derived from the word for bathroom in Russian, which is vannaya. We love a good pun, but we’d give that one two thumbs down.

Possibly the worst place for a newborn to spend his first two hours. / Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation for Ryazanskaya Oblast

2. Some fifth graders outside of St. Petersburg want their women’s day “without women,” according to post-it notes they stuck on their faces on March 8. One schoolgirl’s mother claimed in a Facebook post that some boys took it further and kicked passing girls, including her daughter. The “campaign” was inspired by a meme from the Russian sitcom Happy Together. The director of the school said it was supposed to be a joke. Cue some sitcom canned laughter. Not laughing yet? Doesn’t seem like the incident made everyone happier together. 

We would translate the Russian for you, but the symbol says it all. /

3. Belugas are not “swimming so wild and swimming so free” in Russia’s Far East. Last fall Russia was scandalized by the discovery of about a hundred orcas and belugas in captivity off the shore of Primorsky Krai, where they had been freezing all winter. On March 12, a group of experts sent to deal with the situation decided that they would work toward releasing the animals from the “whale prison” in early summer. Over the next few months they will rehabilitate the health of the captive creatures and try to prepare them to readapt to conditions in the wild. 

You can practically hear them wailing for freedom. / Vitalii Ankov for RIA Novosti

In Odder News

  • It’s a Maslenitsa tradition to burn a scarecrow representing winter, and this year for residents of Lipetskaya Oblast that “scarecrow” was the Night King from the popular TV show Game of Thrones, based on the book series with an more on-the-nose title: A Song of Ice and Fire.
  • Russian lawmakers have written dachas out of existence, replacing them with “garden and another-word-for-garden noncommercial partnerships.” Because who likes short laws with words that actual people use?
  • Russian Orthodox priests started Maslenitsa right by curling with brooms and a tea kettle. 
They swept away the competition. /


Quote of the Week

“In response to one of the most popular questions – is there meat in pelmeni – experts confidently answer: yes! DNA of large horned livestock and DNA of pigs were found in all samples.” 

- Research conducted by quality control authorities on 48 types of frozen pelmeni (Russian dumplings), none of which fully passed inspection.

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