October 21, 2021

Message in a Bottle, Moscow Canal Blockage, and Mother of 22



Message in a Bottle, Moscow Canal Blockage, and Mother of 22
In Odder News

In this week's Odder News,  a successful message in a bottle, the coolest cakes in the world, and 21 babies in a year and a half.

  • A Novosibirsk woman makes the most transcendently beautiful cakes that we cannot imagine eating. She got started when her son was five years old and she ordered a cake for his birthday; she was horrified at its ugliness. Pictures of her cakes, here, include a watering can with flowers, a hamburger, a basket of KFC chicken, a skull, Simba, a handbag with a Russian zagran passport coming out of it, a fake bomb with chocolates and strawberries inside, a pot of borscht, a box of ramen noodles, and more. Her unbelievable cakes run about R4,000 ($56).
  • A 24-year-old Russian woman and her older Turkish businessman husband want to have 100 children. And they are already almost one-fourth of the way there with 22 children. He asked her to marry him the same night they met on vacation in Georgia (the country). Since they want lots and lots of kids, all of their biological children were born with the help of a slew of surrogate mothers. In a year and half, the couple had 21 babies. The mother has only been pregnant once – with a daughter she had prior to meeting her husband. An army of nannies keeps diaries so that the parents can keep up on the family news. It's a shame they live in Georgia, where he manages a bunch of hotels, instead of Russia; in Russia, she would be the biggest mother-hero in the whole country.
  • A Moscow riverboat had its own Suez Canal moment recently. The Konstantin was motoring to its winter parking place in the Moscow region when it got stuck and stopped up the canal. The ship, with 80 crew and no passengers, collided with the shore and ran aground. Equipment failure is being blamed, not human error. It is a big deal, but it is hardly Suez Canal big.
  • Some sweet news: After five years, two young sisters from Samara, who sent out a message in a bottle, have connected with the discoverer of the message. Back in 2016, the girls occupied a summer day at the dacha writing a letter on hot pink paper with pictures on fluorescent blue paper. When it rolled up onshore, the paper was white. Thanks to social media, the Samara family that received the bottle was able to connect with the now-teenaged senders – one of whom shares a name, Karolina, with one of the recipients.

You Might Also Like

Art in Utero
  • July 01, 2010

Art in Utero

St. Petersburg’s Russian Museum has inaugurated a program to acquaint pregnant women with the arts, on specially guided tours. Those who participate swear it is making them, and their children, better off.
Birthing Pains
  • January 01, 2015

Birthing Pains

Birth was no easy thing in rural Russia in the nineteenth century, not for mother or child. All manner of bizarre and unsafe practices reigned, from being “corrected,” to getting popped in the oven, to being left alone all day while mom worked in the fields.
A Celebratory Cake
  • May 01, 2020

A Celebratory Cake

А фestive Napoleon Cake that is plenty complex to offer lots of stress baking relief.
Finding Her Russian Roots
  • July 18, 2021

Finding Her Russian Roots

How a conversation led one of 60,000 Russian adoptees in the United States on a journey to her past.
A Soviet Bake-Off and Blini
  • June 30, 2021

A Soviet Bake-Off and Blini

Julia Frey's parents, Victor and Victoria, created beautiful feasts in the Soviet times. For Victor, it meant getting cake equipment tailor-made and becoming the best baker in town. For Victoria, it was cooking a Russian and Ukranian storm. Julia cooks, bakes and reminisces about her "great childhood" in London.
Better Policy for Children? No Kidding.
  • February 23, 2020

Better Policy for Children? No Kidding.

Five Russian oblasts have schooled the rest in good socio-economic policy, according to recent awards from the Expert Institute of Social Research.
Like this post? Get a weekly email digest + member-only deals

Some of Our Books

Moscow and Muscovites

Moscow and Muscovites

Vladimir Gilyarovsky's classic portrait of the Russian capital is one of Russians’ most beloved books. Yet it has never before been translated into English. Until now! It is a spectactular verbal pastiche: conversation, from gutter gibberish to the drawing room; oratory, from illiterates to aristocrats; prose, from boilerplate to Tolstoy; poetry, from earthy humor to Pushkin. 
The Moscow Eccentric

The Moscow Eccentric

Advance reviewers are calling this new translation "a coup" and "a remarkable achievement." This rediscovered gem of a novel by one of Russia's finest writers explores some of the thorniest issues of the early twentieth century.
Jews in Service to the Tsar

Jews in Service to the Tsar

Benjamin Disraeli advised, “Read no history: nothing but biography, for that is life without theory.” With Jews in Service to the Tsar, Lev Berdnikov offers us 28 biographies spanning five centuries of Russian Jewish history, and each portrait opens a new window onto the history of Eastern Europe’s Jews, illuminating dark corners and challenging widely-held conceptions about the role of Jews in Russian history.
Survival Russian

Survival Russian

Survival Russian is an intensely practical guide to conversational, colloquial and culture-rich Russian. It uses humor, current events and thematically-driven essays to deepen readers’ understanding of Russian language and culture. This enlarged Second Edition of Survival Russian includes over 90 essays and illuminates over 2000 invaluable Russian phrases and words.
Faith & Humor: Notes from Muscovy

Faith & Humor: Notes from Muscovy

A book that dares to explore the humanity of priests and pilgrims, saints and sinners, Faith & Humor has been both a runaway bestseller in Russia and the focus of heated controversy – as often happens when a thoughtful writer takes on sacred cows. The stories, aphorisms, anecdotes, dialogues and adventures in this volume comprise an encyclopedia of modern Russian Orthodoxy, and thereby of Russian life.
Maria's War: A Soldier's Autobiography

Maria's War: A Soldier's Autobiography

This astonishingly gripping autobiography by the founder of the Russian Women’s Death Battallion in World War I is an eye-opening documentary of life before, during and after the Bolshevik Revolution.
22 Russian Crosswords

22 Russian Crosswords

Test your knowledge of the Russian language, Russian history and society with these 22 challenging puzzles taken from the pages of Russian Life magazine. Most all the clues are in English, but you must fill in the answers in Russian. If you get stumped, of course all the puzzles have answers printed at the back of the book.
The Frogs Who Begged for a Tsar

The Frogs Who Begged for a Tsar

The fables of Ivan Krylov are rich fonts of Russian cultural wisdom and experience – reading and understanding them is vital to grasping the Russian worldview. This new edition of 62 of Krylov’s tales presents them side-by-side in English and Russian. The wonderfully lyrical translations by Lydia Razran Stone are accompanied by original, whimsical color illustrations by Katya Korobkina.
The Samovar Murders

The Samovar Murders

The murder of a poet is always more than a murder. When a famous writer is brutally stabbed on the campus of Moscow’s Lumumba University, the son of a recently deposed African president confesses, and the case assumes political implications that no one wants any part of.
White Magic

White Magic

The thirteen tales in this volume – all written by Russian émigrés, writers who fled their native country in the early twentieth century – contain a fair dose of magic and mysticism, of terror and the supernatural. There are Petersburg revenants, grief-stricken avengers, Lithuanian vampires, flying skeletons, murders and duels, and even a ghostly Edgar Allen Poe.
The Pet Hawk of the House of Abbas

The Pet Hawk of the House of Abbas

This exciting new trilogy by a Russian author – who has been compared to Orhan Pamuk and Umberto Eco – vividly recreates a lost world, yet its passions and characters are entirely relevant to the present day. Full of mystery, memorable characters, and non-stop adventure, The Pet Hawk of the House of Abbas is a must read for lovers of historical fiction and international thrillers.  

About Us

Russian Life is a publication of a 30-year-young, award-winning publishing house that creates a bimonthly magazine, books, maps, and other products for Russophiles the world over.

Our Contacts

Russian Life
PO Box 567
Montpelier VT 05601-0567

800-639-4301
802-223-4955