Thursday, October 27, 2016
Babies and bankrolls
1. If you wanted to name your baby Dolphin, Lucifer, Princess Daniella, or Ray of Happiness Summerset Ocean, you’re out of luck. A new bill proposes banning names containing numbers, ranks, abbreviations, and profanity. The reasoning: overly outlandish names could lead to bullying in school. Authorities have refused to issue birth certificates for strange names before – BOCh rVF 260602 (short for Biological Human Object born of Voronin-Frolova on June 26, 2002) has lived all 14 years of his life without identifying papers, for instance – but this would make it official.
2. How serious is “protest potential” in Russian universities? Perhaps more than before, as it’s been revealed that students and teachers across Russia were –unbeknownst to them – investigated for loyalty to the state. A think tank claimsto have found evidence of "destructive propaganda and anti-state ideas" in universities. Even with the Kremlin claiming no involvement, people are riled up enough that protest potential might get a boost.
3. Russia’s middle class has shrunk by 14 million people just since 2014 – and none of them left the middle class because they won the lottery. The decrease from about 61% to 51% of the middle-class population indicates the extent of the economic slump, with middle-income households bearing the brunt of financial stresses. And the spiral may continue, as the increase in wealth inequality could impact the central bank’s ability to steer inflation and manage the country’s finances.
In Odder News
Quote of the Week
“You’ve all become too civilized….You need to buy a yurt and move back to nature.”
—Dugar-Syuryun Oorzhak, a shaman and a healer, on the value of tradition in contemporary life.
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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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.