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

The Little Humpbacked Horse

The Little Humpbacked Horse

A beloved Russian classic about a resourceful Russian peasant, Vanya, and his miracle-working horse, who together undergo various trials, exploits and adventures at the whim of a laughable tsar, told in rich, narrative poetry.
Fish: A History of One Migration

Fish: A History of One Migration

This mesmerizing novel from one of Russia’s most important modern authors traces the life journey of a selfless Russian everywoman. In the wake of the Soviet breakup, inexorable forces drag Vera across the breadth of the Russian empire. Facing a relentless onslaught of human and social trials, she swims against the current of life, countering adversity and pain with compassion and hope, in many ways personifying Mother Russia’s torment and resilience amid the Soviet disintegration.
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.
The Best of Russian Life

The Best of Russian Life

We culled through 15 years of Russian Life to select readers’ and editors’ favorite stories and biographies for inclusion in a special two-volume collection. Totalling over 1100 pages, these two volumes encompass some of the best writing we have published over the last two decades, and include the most timeless stories and biographies – those that can be read again and again.
A Taste of Russia

A Taste of Russia

The definitive modern cookbook on Russian cuisine has been totally updated and redesigned in a 30th Anniversary Edition. Layering superbly researched recipes with informative essays on the dishes' rich historical and cultural context, A Taste of Russia includes over 200 recipes on everything from borshch to blini, from Salmon Coulibiac to Beef Stew with Rum, from Marinated Mushrooms to Walnut-honey Filled Pies. A Taste of Russia shows off the best that Russian cooking has to offer. Full of great quotes from Russian literature about Russian food and designed in a convenient wide format that stays open during use.
Fearful Majesty

Fearful Majesty

This acclaimed biography of one of Russia’s most important and tyrannical rulers is not only a rich, readable biography, it is also surprisingly timely, revealing how many of the issues Russia faces today have their roots in Ivan’s reign.
Driving Down Russia's Spine

Driving Down Russia's Spine

The story of the epic Spine of Russia trip, intertwining fascinating subject profiles with digressions into historical and cultural themes relevant to understanding modern Russia. 
Steppe / Степь

Steppe / Степь

This is the work that made Chekhov, launching his career as a writer and playwright of national and international renown. Retranslated and updated, this new bilingual edition is a super way to improve your Russian.
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.

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.

Latest Posts


Our Contacts

Russian Life
PO Box 567
Montpelier VT 05601-0567

802-223-4955