Thursday, March 02, 2017
Do androids dream of electric trains?
1. Long commute got you down? Metrosha the metro station robot is sure to give you a boost – and if you’re lucky, a wink. Maybe he’ll even transform his LED eyeballs into hearts. Those are just a few of Metrosha’s charms: he’s also got a touch-screen on his chest and the ability to answer simple questions, recognize names and faces, and take and print pictures. Introduced by the Moscow Metro to lift riders’ moods, Metrosha will grace stations around Moscow on holidays and special occasions.
2. At long last: Moscow is building a multi-billion-ruble dance complex for acrobatic rock & roll, and it’s going to be run by a Kremlin official with family ties to Russia's new National Guard – which some call Putin’s private army. Haven’t heard of acrobatic rock & roll? It’s only the favorite sport of Katerina Tikhonova, rumored to be President Vladimir Putin’s youngest daughter (though he’s notoriously silent about his family). Where Putin leads in politics, Tikhonova triumphs in cutting a rug.
3. On March 1, Russia celebrates World Cat Day. And you know what that means: a whole day of looking at cat memes and not having to feel guilty about it. The Moscow Cat Museum unofficially heralded March 1 as Cat Day in 2004, and Russians have celebrated their feline friends on that day ever since. Other countries celebrate Cat Day on August 8, the date chosen by the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) and other animal rights groups. Whichever day you prefer, any excuse to click through cat pics.
In Odder News
Russia may have a law criminalizing so-called “gay propaganda,” but it still has a vibrant – if underground – LGBT community, including drag queen performers like Mona Pepperoni, Vladislav Mamyshev-Monro, and the Birds of Paradise drag collective. For some it’s immoral; for other it’s a mode of expression. But as a political statement and a counter-culture art form, it’s a self-labeled “freak party” worth reading about.
Quote of the Week
“It’s easier for people to be hidden and not stick their necks out. It’s self-defense.”
—Grigory Zaritovsky, aka drag performer “Mona Pepperoni,” on drag as an aesthetic practice most performers prefer to keep separate from political activism.
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.
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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.