The world’s biggest country, in a magazine. Since 1956.
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.
Burger King makes money (its own), broke taxi passengers turn green, and summertime snow. Plus, a ballerina with a backup plan, Borodino, and the Museum of Death.
How to be patriotic to a nonexistent country, get a proper education, and deal with a highway through your house. Plus buildings, bridges, and bratwursts to die for.
Clown horror is horrid for clowns, a ballet scandal on the silver screen, and a pack of protesting porkers.
Heroes who caused deaths, heroes who saved lives, questionable movie heroes, and the heroes who make art and cheese. Which is your favorite?
A record-breaking cake, a robot breaking (conceptions of) art, and a space station breaking international boundaries. Plus, flying cars and how to live on Mars.
The glorious deeds of a famous spy, the smaller deeds of everyday spies, and a whole new horizon for female fighter pilots.
For Putin's birthday, a fake burger, a real burger, and a puppy. Plus, St. Petersburg rooftops, frogmen, and how to bathe in crude oil.
Arcade cars, patriotic circuses, and administrative festivities. Also, some crazy murals, Moscow's transformation, and the secrets of Peter the Great.