Sep/Oct 2018 Current Moscow Time: 03:26:16
23 September 2018


  The world’s biggest country, in a magazine. Since 1956.


Thursday, September 06, 2018

A Walk on the Wild Side (of Russia)

by Irina Bukharin
Of bugs, lip synching police and a very cute kitten

1. As it turns out, Siberian transport police have got some fire moves to encourage you to get moving, too. They released a hot new track called “Three Lines of Fate” (how could it not be good?), a song that lauds the work of these policemen and encourages people to travel. In it, transport police of all types lip sync and dance to the music, albeit in a rather limited way. Still, even if Billboard doesn’t place this jam on its Top 100 list, “Three Lines of Fate” has won a place in our hearts.

 

2. When you’ve had one of those days (you know which ones we’re talking about), only a poop emoji will do. Well, maybe that’s only true if you’re a millennial. Anyway, Yandex Maps is conspiring to take this privilege away from users! Yandex Maps has a new feature in which users can label map locations using three emojis (and you can take this quiz to guess cities based on their emojis!). Given this power, internet trolls have quickly covered the map with poop emojis and other coded emojis that Yandex Maps finds offensive. What Yandex Maps giveth, Yandex Maps taketh away, and so the company is limiting which emojis one can use on its maps.

3. In a certain Russian city, people are slipping, cars are skidding out, and it’s getting hard to breathe. No, this isn’t due to a very early snow storm, or to a late one, or to toxic waste in the streets. In fact, the plague that’s been bugging Taganrog is exactly that: a plague of bugs. To be more specific, Chironomidae, a mosquito-like bug that, very thankfully, does not bite. These creatures are absolutely covering the city’s every available surface. The streets are slick with them, the air is heavy with them, and the people are covered in them. This mysterious swarm may be due to the unusually warm and sticky summer the area was subject to. Regardless, we think we’ll let Taganrog sort out this fly in their ointment before we schedule our next visit.

In Odder News:

Dasha the Cat

Photo: Vadim Kirilyuk

  • Cute as a wild kitten: scientists rescued a wild kitten and prepare her for life outside
  • A true fail: everyone has a life when a school’s ceremonial balloon, shaped like a 5, turns over into a two (in American parlance, hopes for an A get turned into an F)

  • Leaf through the amazing photos from a reenactment of the Battle of Borodino, the biggest military reenactment in Europe

Quote of the Week:

“In the middle of June she went outside for the first time, and immediately ran back inside, to her humans, because she got too scared.”

— Vadim Kirilyuk, one of the Dasha’s caretakers, offering up a very sweet and sad moment of the wild kitten’s life.

Want more where this comes from? Give your inbox the gift of TWERF, our Thursday newsletter on the quirkiest, obscurest, and Russianest of Russian happenings of the week.

The spy who stayed out in the cold
The spy who stayed out in the cold

Some people see spies everywhere. Other people just see dumpsters, birds, snow, dogs, boars, or artists seeking political asylum. (That's at least 4 separate stories).

Bacon, comics, and fairy tales on ice
Bacon, comics, and fairy tales on ice

Adapting to life in Russia? Comic books. Craving cuteness? Piglets getting saved from a fire. Not Russian enough for you? Ice swimming. And for good measure, zombies. 

Blogging Bears, Ivan the Terrible Rapper, and a Blob
Blogging Bears, Ivan the Terrible Rapper, and a Blob

A polar bear travels the world, a historian serves up the Rhyme of Troubles, the Kremlin gets a new alien, and Presidents Putin and Trump get along by the skin of their teeth. 

Buddha in a blizzard, tsar in the tropics
Buddha in a blizzard, tsar in the tropics

A Buddhist monastery in the mountains fights one millionaire, and Kiribati's islands welcome another one. There's also exorcism, the Facebook of 1917, and general happiness. 

The Kremlin on Ice
The Kremlin on Ice

Convicts carve up the Kremlin, an assassin wins a prize, and governors drop like flies. Actually, that all sounds a lot worse than what happened. Find out for yourself. 

100 Years Ago, In a Monarchy Far, Far Away...
100 Years Ago, In a Monarchy Far, Far Away

Exactly 100 years ago, on February 23, 1917, the Russian Revolution began. And once you've learned about that, there's space, WWII reenactments, and a portal back to medieval times. 

Cats, droids, and acrobatic rock & roll
Cats, droids, and acrobatic rock & roll

A friendly robot graces the metro and a politically charged (and financed) dance studio gets footloose thanks to the youngest Putin. Also, happy World Cat Day!

Say no to discrimination, ducks, and hugs
Say no to discrimination, ducks, and hugs

International Women's Day was celebrated by marches, flowers, and flash mobs. In other news, Russia and China are BFFs, and Prime Minister Medvedev likes ducks.