The world’s biggest country, in a magazine. Since 1956.
Thursday, February 02, 2017
Things that don't quite belong
1. Many folks dream of traveling the globe. Apparently, so do polar bears. This bear-faced tourist has been from Tonga to Thailand, Ethiopia to Ecuador, but it’s his permanent habitat on Instagram that helped him taste the honey of fame. The man behind the mask is Elnar Mansurov, a Perm resident who has gained attention as a travel expert – and not just for his unconventional facewear, but also for his tips about traveling with bearly any money. If a bear can do it, anything’s pawsible.
2. A genre of teaching is born: the rap lecture. A history teacher at the Higher School of Economics gave a lecture titled "The external and internal policies of the Moscow State from the reign of Ivan the Great to the Time of Troubles," and he did it in rhyme and on beat. (Well, mostly). On the one hand, don’t make bets with students lightly. On the other, what better way to learn about 15th-century Russia? Find the full 40 minutes here. Jay-Z better watch out.
3. A new creature – part elephant, part seal, part blob from another planet – has made its way into Russian hearts and memes. Christened Zhdun, the creature was originally a sculpture meant to represent people waiting at the doctor’s office. But the little guy (or girl) has since taken off in social media, appearing in classical art, Kremlin press conferences, casinos, and scenes from history. Next thing you know, it’ll be Zhdun for president.
In Odder News
Quote of the Week
"I decided to invest in the experiences, because that is the hardest form of currency."
—Eldar Mansurov, otherwise known as Misha the bear-tourist, on his decision to spend his money on travel. Of his decision to wear a bear head while doing it, there’s no news just yet.
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.
A Moon landing is on the horizon. Eurovision, with its typical set of scandals, is on an even closer horizon. And on your way, why not stop by Red Square for some dental work?
Does Russian St. Patrick's Day have leprechauns? After you ponder that, there's a reindeer herder fighting big oil, humans-turned-Twitter bots, and a mysterious murder.
Continuing scandal, new demonstrations, a sesquicentenial and a linguistic smackdown. Just another week here at TWERF.
Investigations: the state of Russian cosmonautics, what happens to prohibited fruit, and when mourners aren't really mourning. Plus, sneaking pickles into space.
It's been a rough week in Russia, with the metro bombing in St. Petersburg, the disappearance of gay men, and the death of Yevgeny Yevtushenko. Luckily, lasers are kinda neat.
Some folks form an Arctic military base or withdraw from mayoral elections. Others counterfeit toilet paper and roll through traffic in a giant ball.
A juice flood. A mud flood. A human rights drought. And for good measure, portraits with wild animals and haircuts with an axe.
Pop-star grandmas advertise action films, May Day doesn't go great for vegans, and a Russian frog smuggler's story gets even more unlikely.