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16 July 2018


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Thursday, June 23, 2016

Scandals, lies, sci-fi, and other sporting events

by Alice E.M. Underwood

Sports Goals and Science Goals

1. In a sad development for sports patriots, Russia’s track and field team has been banned from competing in the 2016 Rio Olympics due to news of state-sponsored doping and cover-ups. Athletes have dubbed the ban a “direct violation of human rights,” and clean athletes are appealing for permission to compete for Russia. They could run their races as neutral athletes, but where’s the patriotism in that?

2. By 2035, you can press a button, watch your body fade into bluish light, and rematerialize on Red Square. At least, that’s the dream, since a report on Russia’s scientific and technological goals includes a plan to work on teleportation. Unfortunately, the actual aim is quantum telecommunication (sending messages, not people). Tweeters theorize how teleportation could look, from relocating pensioners to sending cash offshore.

3. Soccer scandals are all over the Russian news – only some of those scandals are figments of a muckraking imagination. Simon Rowntree, whose Twitter bio identifies him as a bisexual football writer for a (fictional) football news outlet, has made a name for himself by tweeting soccer news – specifically, made-up, offensive soccer news. Nothing like a fake journalist to give propaganda sites new source material.

In Odder News

  • In nonfictional football news, Russia suffered a dismal loss to Wales – in spite of all holy icons placed before TV screens.
"It's not helping yet." themoscowtimes.com
  • The bright side of being insulted by homophobic city councilman Vitaly Milonov: the chance to turn his diatribes into a catchy tune.
  • Vladimir Medinsky, Russia’s Cultural Minister, is concerned that Netflix is one feature of a U.S. government attempt at worldwide mind control.

Quote of the Week

"Our ideological friends [the U.S. government] understand...with the help of Netflix, how to enter every home, to creep into every television, and through that very television, into the heads of every person on Earth."

—Russian Cultural Minister Vladimir Medinsky on the insidious nature of Netflix, the popular U.S. video-streaming service.

Icebergs and tigers and starships, oh my!
Icebergs and tigers and starships, oh my!

Which would you rather: be trapped in the Arctic or accused of treason? Okay, not a fun game. But a worthwhile read about the latest in Russian news. 

Prizes, spies, and kasha for all
Prizes, spies, and kasha for all

This week was full of wins for Russia: a famous photographer, everyone who watched Putin's call-in, and lawmakers making it harder to get foreign aid. So, a loss for Russians getting foreign aid. 

A Very Russki Cinco de Mayo
A Very Russki Cinco de Mayo

Or, whatever the Russian version of margaritas, mariachis, and misunderstood military history might involve.

Baby bears, cats in debt, and other fuzzy victories
Baby bears, cats in debt, and other fuzzy victories

Victory Day, marking the 71st anniversary of the end of WWII, was celebrated this Monday. Here are the ups, downs, and nonsequiturs of the occasion.

Catchy beats and milk-soaked scuffles
Catchy beats and milk-soaked scuffles

Russia's physics-defying display at Eurovision. Bullying via dairy products. Plus some saucy presidential pecking – on the lips. 

Dancing diplomats and dictators' cats
Dancing diplomats and dictators' cats

Politicians are people just like us. They get millions of Instagram responses for a lost pet and do folkdances in front of world leaders. Just a day in the life.

Elton John Crocodile Rocks the Kremlin
Elton John Crocodile Rocks the Kremlin

Sir Elton John's much-vaunted visit with Putin, Eurovision for kids, setting doors on fire, and other great performances – all in one little week.

Russians don't need principles. Just submarines
Russians don't need principles. Just submarines

The British are out to get Russian values and Russian naval vessels alike this week. Scroll down enough and there's also a cat pic.