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Thursday, May 10, 2018
1. Mayday! It’s May Day! On May 1, most Russians celebrated Labor Day (aka Solidarity Day), replete with parades, marches, and demonstrations. However, some Russians also gathered in a “Monstration,” which is an absurdist public demonstration native to Russia. Moscow had its first Monstration this year, and participants went all out with signs that meant nothing or that poked fun at traditional political signs. In a darker twist of absurdity, hints of political overtones put the police on their guard, and several people were not allowed to participate or were even arrested. Is the joke on the police for not getting the joke, or on the de-monstrators for getting one-upped by the police? You decide.
2. Alternative energy is setting sail as Russia launches the world’s first floating nuclear power plant. The power plant, named the Akademik Lomonosov, is being towed from St. Petersburg to Murmansk, where it will be fueled. After that pit stop, Akademik Lomonosov will travel to its final destination in the Arctic, where it will provide energy for a water desalination plant and oil rigs. Greenpeace has spoken out against the power plant, citing its potential for disaster. For everyone’s sake, let’s hope there’s only smooth sailing in Akademik Lomonosov’s future.
3. All right, everybody better be recycling. This week, the Russian state media censor Roskomnadzor called on Russians to throw paper soccer balls out of their windows in support of the provision of high-speed internet at the 2018 World Cup, even linking to a 20-minute video that describes how to make the balls. This sounds innocent enough, but it is oddly reminiscent of the paper airplanes that Russians are throwing in protest of Roskomnadzor for blocking the messaging app Telegram. The rules of rock, paper, scissors are pretty easy, but it sounds like Roskomnadzor is trying to beat paper with paper.
The writing on the wall: subversive Swan Lake graffiti greeted Vladimir Putin in honor of his inauguration
Curls of conquest: veterans received free haircuts in preparation for Victory Day
Story update: last week’s ruble wrongdoer has been caught!
“Say no to anti-semiotics”
— One Monstration demonstrator’s absurd sign
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