The world’s biggest country, in a magazine. Since 1956.
Thursday, October 12, 2017
1. Happy birthday, Mr. President. What better way to celebrate than a spicy, 1,952-gram, five-patty burger in honor of the birthday boy? Russian state TV broadcast a story that just such a burger was on offer at a New York City restaurant commemorating the president’s October 7th birthday. Unfortunately for the Putinburger, independent journalist Alexey Kovalev did some digging and learned that the story was a hoax cooked up by one of the restaurant’s waitresses. You’ll have to make a giant burger and dedicate it to your favorite politician on your own time.
2. Fake burgers weren’t the only thing the big day had in store for Mr. Putin. Former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi gifted the president a duvet cover featuring the two hotshots shaking hands, and the president of Turkmenistan gave the canine-loving commander-in-chief a pedigree puppy. As far as gifts that everyday folks can enjoy, too, the luxury brand Caviar designed a new line of gold-plated iPhones in honor of the man of the day. And carnivores can rejoice: one cafe in Moscow actually did dedicate a “presidential burger” to Putin.
3. Alexa and Siri, meet Alice. Russian search giant Yandex has launched Alice (Alisa) as a virtual assistant who gives vocal help to users, providing directions, weather forecasts, shopping advice, and more. Yandex also touts her accuracy in spoken language recognition and ability to improvise, even telling jokes and carrying on casual conversations. And, inevitably, some users have already figured out how to get her to communicate in a more casual (read: less polite) way.
"In order to find this out, you just need to search ‘what does Putin eat’ online. I would like to note that he has a balanced diet with lots of vegetable food. Our burger has the best of what the Russian president likes."
—Timati, Russian hip hop star and owner of a fast food chain that did, in fact, serve a burger dedicated to Putin in honor of the president’s birthday.
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.
Trouble in the tombstone industry, booming blockchain, and mercenary music hits. Plus, cats at work and a use of paper you've never seen.
Halloween or Hallowon't? The holiday is more trick than treat in Russia, so dive into the details and creep yourself out with some frightful tales while you're at it.
This year marks the centennial of the Bolshevik Revolution. Here's what that looks like, plus gas, cats, and seals (state seals, that is).
Ice Age lions thaw out, fairytale heroes meet social media, and foreign news needs a new passport. Plus, all about Russian art in less than 30 minutes.
Father Frost gets iced, a space shuttle gets wet, and cars get driven driverlessly. Plus, famous Russian buildings go on vacation, the Romanovs take TV, and Russian smilies)
Putin announces he'll run for president, the Olympic Committee announces Russia can't compete, and some swans announce that they want a new house.
An art exhibit proves once and for all that Putin is a superhero. Plus, World Cup counterfeits, how Russian media monitoring works, and a leopard cub.
What a Russian holiday looks like, the Romanovs go to The Gambia, and why secret police are extra special around the holidays. All that, and Russia's most popular cats.