December 16, 2021

Yappy, Gigolos, and Timofei Chalamov


Yappy, Gigolos, and Timofei Chalamov
In Odder News

In this week's Odder News, a surprising temperature range, TikTok has competition, and overnighting in a movie theater. 

  • Thank god for the Russian government: starting December 29, Russian women will be safe from "migrants and gigolos." A new law requires most foreigners staying in Russia longer than 90 days to be fingerprinted, photographed, and examined for infectious diseases by state doctors. (The article says the law applies to visa-free guest workers, complaining about Uzbek men in particular, but it actually applies to all foreigners.) Did you know that during Soviet times, foreign visitors to Moscow were highly educated, talented, and socially responsible? But these days, any old creep can "brazenly deceive the native people" of Russia!
  • Move over TikTok, Russia is getting into the short video social media business! The new app is called Yappy (Of course it is). Gazprom Media created Yappy, and you can download it from the Apple App Store and Google Play. TikTok has become one of the top five social media apps in Russia; here's hoping Yappy will join that list before long.
  • Russia is not the frozen wasteland many foreigners think: it has almost reached the biggest simultaneous temperature differential in one country in history. The differential last week was 85.6 degrees Celsius (186.08 degrees Fahrenheit). In Chechnya, it was 24.5 C (76.1 F), while in Sakha, it was -61.1 C (-77.98 F). The typical daytime temperature range in Russia is 10-15 C (50-59 F). Climate change is being blamed for such a range, though we think Russia's absolute hugeness is primarily to blame. Oddly enough, the United States still holds the record with a range of 88 C (190.4 F) in 1954.
  • An unexpected snowstorm left over 100 people trapped in a Norilsk movie theater overnight. Visibility was almost zero with winds at 27 meters per second. Of course, it is not the worst place to be stuck: all-night movies and all-night popcorn. Well, it is Russia: all-night tea and wafers, not popcorn.
  • Meet Timofei Chalamov, Russia's Timothée Chalamet lookalike. The lookalike – actually Artyom Privalov – recorded a peach pastry commercial for Tsekh 85 bakery chain that is taking the internet by storm. The new pastry is even called the Chalamet. Check out the lookalike, or the pastry, here.

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One of the most famous works of Russian literature, the four-act comedy in verse Woe from Wit skewers staid, nineteenth century Russian society, and it positively teems with “winged phrases” that are essential colloquialisms for students of Russian and Russian culture.
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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. 
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The Little Golden Calf

Our edition of The Little Golden Calf, one of the greatest Russian satires ever, is the first new translation of this classic novel in nearly fifty years. It is also the first unabridged, uncensored English translation ever, and is 100% true to the original 1931 serial publication in the Russian journal 30 Dnei. Anne O. Fisher’s translation is copiously annotated, and includes an introduction by Alexandra Ilf, the daughter of one of the book’s two co-authors.

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