Nov/Dec 2018 Current Moscow Time: 02:59:15
16 November 2018


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Thursday, October 26, 2017

Rocks, Raps, and Cats in Charge

by Alice E.M. Underwood
Don't Take Business for Granite

1. Running out of tombstones is a grave problem. Some companies specializing in granite for gravestones reported shortages, apparently due to resources being diverted for Moscow’s urban renewal project. Allaying fears that the tombstone industry was in danger of an early demise, Siberian funeral homes stated that their granite supply was in no grave danger. At least that’s one less thing for mourners to mourn.

2. In more futuristic business news, blockchain is Russia’s new big kid on the block. Blockchain and cryptocurrency have been a hot topic in Moscow circles, and it’s about to get official. For one, cryptocurrency is on the road to legalization in Russia’s financial sector. As for blockchain, the government is launching a pilot project to transfer Moscow’s land and property registry to blockchain, and later expand the technology into other government services.

3. Nothing screams catchy rap hit like a song about mercenary warfare. But just such a video has been topping the charts of Russian YouTube. The trending rap song is dedicated to PCM Wagner, allegedly a military contractor supplying fighters to Syria (though officials have neither confirmed that Wagner fighters are in the Kremlin’s employ nor even that the company exists). The song borrows a catchy refrain from Viktor Tsoi’s song "Kukushka."

In Odder News
  • Ever had a bad experience with a store manager? How about one who hisses and yowls at you? Some Perm stores have hired feline assistants to help people make their purr-chases. That’s how you put the meow in merchandise.

  • Airports are bustling, hi-tech centers of futuristic design. Unless they’re repurposed barns in rural Russian outposts. See the photo shoot.

Quote of the Week 

“We get granite by the train-car load, there are no problems with supplies.”
—A representative of funeral homes in Omsk, refuting the claims that granite shortages were getting in the way of tombstone production in Siberia.

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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