The world’s biggest country, in a magazine. Since 1956.
Thursday, March 08, 2018
1. New nuclear weapons? Fire away! With your naming suggestions, that is. That’s right, the Russian government is holding what they are literally calling a “name-that-weapon contest” for three new nuclear weapon systems that President Putin unveiled earlier this week. Predictably, suggested names range from the serious (“Volodya”), to the political (“Goodbye America”), to the purely ridiculous (“The Kraken”). The competition is highly reminiscent of a British competition to name a polar research ship, and the runaway winner of that competition was “Boaty McBoatface.” Here’s hoping the resulting names will follow suit and be less bombastic, more bomb-tastic.
2. An old Soviet truck has another shot, or many shots, at a new life. An Italian man is transforming an abandoned Soviet military truck into a massive old-fashioned ambrotype camera and darkroom. This type of photography was invented in the mid-1800s, and Kurt Moser is learning and using the method to capture the Italian Dolomites mountain range and its inhabitants. The project, incidentally, has a pretty flash-y name of its own: “The Lightcatcher.”
3. Cutting out the power for a higher power? No problem. Power lines were taken down from around the Church of the Intercession on the Nerl, located near Vladimir. The church was built in medieval times and is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Until recently, huge power lines obstructed and marred views of the beautiful and historic church, but now the church can be viewed in its full and original, pre-electrification glory. Ironically, fewer power lines might make it easier for people to see the light.
Photo: Dmitry Kamshilin
The need for overpriced mediocre coffee as fast as possible is universal: this week the first drive-thru Starbucks in Russia opened in Moscow
The British national soccer team asked Russia to build a 6-meter (20-foot!) fence around its World Cup training field in order to keep people from spying. Maybe we should investigate England’s number (00)7 more closely.
Speaking of walls: one architect didn’t put any windows in one side of a building because it overlooked an important government official’s estate. Talk about great benefits!
“Nukey McNukeface, Subby McSubface [and] Lasey McLaserface, obviously”
—One online user’s tongue-in-cheek suggestion for the names of the new nuclear weapons.
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.
Which would you rather: be trapped in the Arctic or accused of treason? Okay, not a fun game. But a worthwhile read about the latest in Russian news.
This week was full of wins for Russia: a famous photographer, everyone who watched Putin's call-in, and lawmakers making it harder to get foreign aid. So, a loss for Russians getting foreign aid.
Or, whatever the Russian version of margaritas, mariachis, and misunderstood military history might involve.
Victory Day, marking the 71st anniversary of the end of WWII, was celebrated this Monday. Here are the ups, downs, and nonsequiturs of the occasion.
Russia's physics-defying display at Eurovision. Bullying via dairy products. Plus some saucy presidential pecking – on the lips.
Politicians are people just like us. They get millions of Instagram responses for a lost pet and do folkdances in front of world leaders. Just a day in the life.
Sir Elton John's much-vaunted visit with Putin, Eurovision for kids, setting doors on fire, and other great performances – all in one little week.
The British are out to get Russian values and Russian naval vessels alike this week. Scroll down enough and there's also a cat pic.